Surgeon general didn’t warn against large gatherings for 4th of July – Insider
  • Surgeon General Jerome Adams wouldn’t give a yes or no answer during an appearance on the “Today” show asked if he would recommend people attend large gatherings over the 4th of July weekend.
  • When host Craig Melvin asked him if he would advise people to attend large gatherings or not, Adams said, “It’s not a yes or no. Every single person has to make up their own mind.”
  • President Donald Trump is hosting large events in Washington D.C. and at Mount Rushmore for Independence Day over the weekend, and masks will not be required at either event.
  • The CDC currently recommends people do not attend large gatherings, deeming them high-risk.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jerome Adams, the United States surgeon general, refused to give a yes or no answer when asked if he would advise people to attend large gatherings over the 4th of July weekend.

Adams appeared on the “Today” show with Craig Melvin on Friday to discuss the safety of attending Independence Day celebrations.

At the beginning of the segment, Melvin pointed out that President Donald Trump is hosting and appearing at two large events in honor of the 4th of July: a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on Friday and a gathering at the National Mall where he will give a speech on Saturday.

Masks will not be required at either event, and social distancing won’t be enforced at the gathering at Mount Rushmore.

—TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 3, 2020

During the interview, Melvin asked Adams, “If a loved one came to you, Dr. Adams, and asked, ‘Should I go to those events,’ what would you advise?”

Rather than answering the question directly, Adams instead listed risk factors for the coronavirus, such as pre-existing conditions or advanced age. Melvin then interrupted Adams, urging him to directly answer whether or not he would advise someone to go to a large gathering or not. 

“It’s not a yes or no,” Adams said in response. “Every single person has to make up their own mind.” He then pivoted the conversation to individual freedom, and he encouraged those who do go to gatherings to wear a mask. 

The surgeon general’s refusal to advise people not to attend large gatherings is at odds with the CDC’s current recommendation, which states that large, in-person events are high risk.

Adams has previously spoken out against shaming people who don’t wear masks, telling Business Insider’s Kimberly Leonard, “We’ve seen over and over and over again that shaming does not work.” 

“What we need to do is engage people and help them understand the return on investment to them or to their communities or to the people that they love in a tangible way. And that’s how you get people to cooperate,” Adams told Leonard.

When Insider reached out to the surgeon general’s office for comment on this story, a representative directed Insider to a recent Twitter thread Adams made about attending events.

—U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) June 27, 2020

Democratic lawmakers have taken issue with President Trump’s planned celebrations for the 4th of July, which will reportedly include a flyover, other military demonstrations, music, and a speech from the president. Lawmakers have criticized the events for costing taxpayers money and putting citizens at greater risk of contracting the virus.

The US surpassed its record for new daily coronavirus cases again on Thursday. More than 55,000 Americans were diagnosed with the virus in one day.

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