Chicago officials have defended the city’s decision to host a massive music festival in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that there is no evidence to suggest the event was a “superspreader” for the virus, as reported by The Hill.
The claim was made by the Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Public Health Allison Arwady, who said that the city has made “no unexpected findings at this point,” two weeks after the festival concluded.
“There’s no evidence at this point of a super spreader event,” she continued, “and there’s no evidence of substantial impact to Chicago’s COVID epidemiology.”
According to the numbers, Arwady says that there were approximately 203 confirmed cases after the festival. Of those, 58 were Chicago residents, 138 were Illinois residents outside of Chicago, and only seven were from out-of-state. There were over 385,000 people in attendance over the course of the four-day, in-person festival.
Arwady claimed that the reason for the low number of cases was the fact that attendees had to provide either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, and that all attendees had to wear a mask indoors, regardless of status. However, recent announcements by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have revealed that the vaccines do not prevent one from catching the virus. A more likely explanation, which Arwady left out, is the possibility that the significantly younger average age of the crowd played a key role, as young adults are less likely to catch the virus due to having stronger immune systems and fewer pre-existing conditions.
The Lollapalooza festival has become a point of contention over claims of hypocrisy between Democratic-run jurisdictions and those run by Republicans. While dismissing concerns about Lollapalooza, Democrats and the media were quick to criticize the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. In a televised interview, Anthony Fauci claimed, with no evidence, that the Sturgis rally had the potential to be a so-called “superspreader” event, while conveniently failing to mention Lollapalooza. The Sturgis rally had previously been held in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, and ultimately did not lead to a widespread outbreak of the virus among attendees.