Dr. Anthony Fauci has decided not to attend the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday due to concerns about COVID-19, CNN reported Wednesday.
Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had been invited to attend as a guest of ABC News and had intended to go, ABC confirmed. Fauci decided to pull out after assessing his personal risk.
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Fauci said he withdrew “because of my individual assessment of my personal risk,” according to The New York Times.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that President Biden would be attending the speaking program of the event but would not be there for the dinner portion to limit COVID-19 risks.
Vice President Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday but is not considered a close contact of Biden.
Fauci recently said that the US was “out of the pandemic phase” of COVID-19. Fauci clarified those comments in his interview with CBS News, saying, “We certainly cannot say the pandemic is over,” and adding, “It is not over.”
He went onto say that cases are starting to “creep up” again and said that while a range of vaccines and therapeutics were accessible and the country was seeing a more “controlled” phase of the pandemic, “that does not mean we are out of the woods.”
“Dr. Fauci has been vaccinated four times and he still says he’s not comfortable going to the white house correspondents’ dinner this Saturday night,” Johns Hopkins professor Dr. Marty Makary told Fox News host Tucker Carlson Wednesday night. “That is the person that is behind all the covid policies in the United States.”
Makary questioned Fauci’s credibility, noting he is “not an infectious diseases doctor” and has been “using the wrong data the entire pandemic.”