In a viral tweet that he then shared on Instagram, Dinesh D’Souza claimed that Dr. Anthony Fauci was never critical of the recent protests that swept the nation despite the risk of spreading that such large gatherings pose:
Here we have an example of why fact-checking can be so difficult. D’Souza’s claim is literally true: Fauci has not called for an immediate end to the protests using the exact words in D’Souza’s tweet. But Fauci has spoken out repeatedly—and aggressively—about the public health risks such mass gatherings present.
Fauci has addressed the risk of transmitting coronavirus at protests on several occasions. On June 5, Fauci said in an interview with radio station WTOP that “the reasons for demonstrating are valid, and yet the demonstration itself puts one at an additional risk.” He called protests “the perfect setup [for coronavirus transmission]” and went on to say: “I get very concerned, as do my colleagues in public health, when they see these kinds of crowds.” Fauci told his interviewer that he recognized why people would want to go to demonstrations and that it was important to practice the constitutional right to do so, but that he would advise demonstrators to keep their masks on.