During a live interview with Yahoo News, top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said the crowded rallies held by President Trump, with little mask wearing or social distancing, were "a risky situation" that can contribute to the spread of the coronavirus. "You can't run away from the facts," Fauci added.
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Let's talk a little bit about modeling behavior because that is really important, particularly from our top leaders. So I want to ask you about President Trump. As you watch the footage of Trump's campaign rallies-- people not wearing masks, a lot of people crowded in together, no social distancing-- what goes through your mind?
ANTHONY FAUCI: I mean, that's a risky situation. I mean, again, people ask me that question, and it often gets that pitting me against the president. Put that aside for a moment and just talk generically. It doesn't matter who you are or where you are, when you have congregate settings where people are crowded together and virtually no one is wearing a mask, that's a perfect setup to have an outbreak of acquisition and transmissibility.
It's just a public health and scientific fact. We know that. We see that happening over and over again. And you can't run away from the facts. So I'm not trying to point a finger at any particular individual or group, I'm just saying in general, generically, when you do that, you are going to be in a risky situation.
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: I don't want you to point fingers either, but I do want to ask you. I assume you prefer an approach more like Joe Biden's-- often wearing a mask when he speaks, talking only in front of a smattering of highly socially distanced people?
ANTHONY FAUCI: You know, Daniel, I-- this is a trap, you know? Because you're putting it into a political context. I prefer one versus the other. I'm not going there. I'm talking generically.
You should do things according to good public health guidelines. That means sufficient spacing, uniform wearing of masks, avoiding crowding situation. It doesn't matter where you are, who you are, or what your political party is. So I'm not going for one versus the other.