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Fauci drops out of White House Correspondents Dinner over COVID concerns

The White House Correspondents' Dinner is back, but Dr. Anthony Fauci will no longer be there. 

President Biden's chief medical adviser was planning to attend the dinner on Saturday as a guest of ABC News, but he will no longer do so due to COVID concerns, CNN reports. Fauci told The New York Times he decided to drop out "because of my individual assessment of my personal risk."

The White House Correspondents Dinner gathers journalists and politicians each year, but it hasn't been held since 2019 because of the pandemic. The Daily Show's Trevor Noah is set to host this year. It's tradition for the president to attend, and although former President Donald Trump repeatedly skipped the dinner during his administration, President Biden is planning to go.

Still, after Fauci pulled out, Politico wondered if Biden would do the same or if he'd be "disagreeing with his chief medical adviser" by still going. Fauci, 81, is only two years older than Biden, 79. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that "just like many Americans," Biden "makes risk assessments," adding, "That's an event he's attended many times in the past, and he made a decision through consultations that it was an event he could attend and wanted to attend again." 

According to The New York Times, about 2,600 people are expected to attend the dinner, which will require proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test result.