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Surgeon General Dodges Qs on Trump's No-Mask-Required July 4th Parties


The Trump events, at Mount Rushmore and the National Mall in Washington, D.C., are expected to host thousands — no masks required.

Jerome Adams, the surgeon general, has consistently advanced the commonsense CDC guidance that would preclude events like these. But, asked Saturday morning whether he would recommend that a loved one attend one of Trump’s parties, Adams hemmed and hawed.

“If a loved one came to you, Dr. Adams, and said ‘Should I go to one of those events?’ what would you advice?” NBC’s Craig Melvin asked the doctor.

Adams began listing through his “surgeon general’s prescription for staying safe from coronavirus” — general information about crowd sizes, social distancing, and the elevated risk of COVID-19 for the elderly and immunocompromised. Melvin cut him off.

“We know that large gatherings present the biggest risk right now. Would you advise someone to go to a large gathering? Yes or no.”

“It’s not a yes or no,” Adams said, adding: “As you mentioned, CDC says larger gatherings are a higher risk.”

He emphasized his “most important thing”: Wearing a mask.

“If we all wear these, we will actually have more independence and more freedom, because more places will be able to stay open, and we’ll have less spread of the disease.”

About The Author


Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously associate editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at and on Twitter @mattshuham.