Since the start of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been preaching about avoiding crowds, so when football season at the NFL and collegiate level kicked off this year, he feared we could be stuck in “outbreak mode” with thousands of maskless fans packed together in stadiums across the country.
“I don’t think it’s smart,” he told CNN last month. “Outdoors is always better than indoors, but even when you have such a congregate setting of people close together, first you should be vaccinated. And when you do have congregate settings, particularly indoors, you should be wearing a mask.”
Fauci wasn’t alone, of course. MSNBC host Joy Reid, looking at the crowds, told Fauci during an interview that she “thought COVID is about to have a feast.”
"I thought the same thing. I think it’s really unfortunate," he replied.
But NBC fact-checked those concerns, pointing out over the weekend that fears about packed football stadiums being super-spreader events “never happened.”
"For weeks, crowds in the tens of thousands, mostly unmasked, have sat side-by-side now cheering on their teams at the halfway point of the season," said NBC reporter Shaquille Brewster. "All while doctors warned of games becoming potential super-spreader events. A frightening prospect at the time with hospitals already on the brink."
Data paint a different picture, however, after increased vaccinations and higher natural immunity.
"Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths now all down nationwide," Brewster said. "Cases are now in steep decline in every college football state across the south, including Florida, where hospitalizations fell 64 percent last month, even as some 90,000 fans packed the [University of Florida] Gators' stadium."
A little shocking! NBC report on how college football games are NOT "superspreader" events includes video of Joy Reid and Dr. Fauci sounding panicky notes. Ooooops. https://t.co/H8Bc2GoiPw pic.twitter.com/tjqapmVA2w— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) October 16, 2021
Last month, Outkick founder Clay Travis also pointed out that packed stadiums haven’t led to surges in Covid-19 cases.
"There’s been a 35% decline in Georgia, 32% decline in South Carolina, 30% decline in Mississippi, 22% decline in Arkansas, 23% in Alabama, 9% in Texas. Every single SEC state where millions of people have gone to college football games has not led to a feast of COVID as Doctor Fauci predicted," Travis said, reports Fox News.