Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director, Rochelle Walensky, why packed sports arenas weren’t contributing to a rise in COVID-19 cases on “Fox News Sunday.”
“You see hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands people all packed together – not a mask in sight. I understand it’s outdoors,” Wallace stated, “but what does it tell you that there have not been spikes in most of these communities when you have people crowded into football or baseball stadiums?”
While contending that the unvaccinated should still wear masks at these events, Walensky argued that the outdoors tend to be a much safer environment. (RELATED: Fauci Tells Americans To Enjoy ‘Normal’ Christmas After Floating COVID Cancellation)
“We would still encourage people who are unvaccinated to wear a mask in those situations, but given that these games are outdoors, that tends to be a much safer environment,” Walensky said.
CDC guidelines state, “In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings. In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.”
When asked about the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, Walensky stated, “It’s critically important that we gather, that we be together with our family and friends during these holidays. We have the prevention strategies that we know work to be safe for those holidays.”
She urged people who weren’t vaccinated to get vaccinated before they celebrate the holidays and reiterated that outdoor gatherings were safer than indoors.
Earlier this month, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci faced criticism for casting doubt on whether Americans would be able to celebrate holidays with loved ones.
Fauci said it’s “just too soon to tell” whether holiday gatherings should be limited for the second year in a row due to the ongoing pandemic, but said Americans need to focus on lowering the number of new infections and hospitalizations.