Surgeon General Jerome Adams did not directly answer a question Friday about whether he'd advised a loved one to attend a large gathering, such as those being hosted by President Donald Trump this weekend, instead saying people must assess their own "individual risk" on crowded places.
“It’s not a yes or no,” Adams told NBC's Craig Melvin on "Today," after Melvin pushed him about his advice on whether he'd advise going. "The CDC says larger gatherings are a higher risk.”
But he did emphasize that the "most important thing" to remember is to wear 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," Adams said.
But Trump events, Friday night at Mount Rushmore and Saturday at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., both of which are expected to attract thousands of people.
Meanwhile, people must "look at their individual risk" when going to places that are crowded such as beaches or barbecues this weekend, said Adams.
He also defended statements he made back earlier this year, when he said wearing a mask does not help prevent the spread of coronavirus, noting that the information he'd given is now outdated.
"It's important for people to understand that we now know 40% to 50% of cases of coronavirus are spread asymptomatically and that's different than any other coronavirus we've experienced before," said Adams. "You could have no symptoms, no cough, no fever, and still be someone who's spreading the disease. We know that many of the new cases are being spread in much younger people and that's why we now encourage everyone to wear a face covering or a mask so that you can prevent asymptomatic spread."
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