Anthony Fauci on Sunday took to television to criticize Americans who attended a large outdoor motorcycle rally in South Dakota the day before, claiming that the single event could lead to another surge of the coronavirus, according to the Daily Caller.
In his appearance on “Meet the Press,” Fauci told host Chuck Todd that he was “very concerned…that we’re going to see another surge related to that rally,” in reference to the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that took place on Saturday in Sturgis, South Dakota.
The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) further told Americans that they were not yet allowed to return to their normal lives, saying that “there comes a time when you’re dealing with a public health crisis…that something supersedes that need to do exactly what you want to do. You’re going to be able to do that in the future, but let’s get this pandemic under control.”
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has been an annual event in South Dakota ever since it was first founded in 1938, each one taking place over the course of about 10 days. The rally was still held in 2020 even despite most of the country being locked down, at what was considered to be the height of the pandemic.
Fauci was immediately criticized on social media for hypocrisy by going after the South Dakota rally without mentioning other large-scale events that have also taken place in recent weeks. Most prominently, the music festival Lollapalooza in Chicago, which took place in late July and early August, had nearly 400,000 in-person attendees in a very closely-packed crowd. More recently, former president Barack Obama had over 700 attendees for his 60th birthday party at his mansion in Martha’s Vineyard. Pictures that emerged from the party confirmed that none of the attendees were wearing masks or social distancing.