Jason Isbell flipped the script on Thursday as served as the interviewer for a conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci. The singer-songwriter discussed with the infectious disease expert how to safely keep live events going as well as general pointers on the vaccine.
Foremost among Isbell’s questions was what to say to those who are still hesitant about the vaccine. Above all, Fauci stressed, you shouldn’t try to make people feel guilty about their reluctance to get the vaccine.
“Don’t point your finger at them and say ‘you’re crazy, you’re stupid’ or whatever. The doesn’t work,” Fauci said. “Just get in a conversation and have them articulate to you what are the reasons why they’re hesitant, because some of them are very valid questions, and if you give them an answer to a valid question you might turn them around.”
The nation’s top infectious disease doc also tried to dispel the myth about how “fast” the vaccine was produced, when in reality the work and science behind the COVID-19 vaccine was “two decades” in the making.
One of Isbell’s top concerns is keeping his audiences safe, prompting him to make proof of vaccination/negative COVID test mandatory at all of his concerts. Beyond that, however, Isbell asked Fauci how he can assure his fans’ safety.
“Favor outdoor concerts as opposed to indoor concerts, that’s probably the most important thing,” Fauci said. “It really is true that the risk of infection in an indoor, not optimally ventilated place is dramatically higher likelihood of getting infected to an outdoor one.”
Taking it a step further, Fauci acknowledged that it’s a good idea to hang onto your masks and that, as a star of the show, Isbell should do what he can to make those that still feel most comfortable wearing a mask confident in that decision.
“You know some people might want to wear masks,” Fauci said. “A lot of time when you’re in a congregate setting like a concert, some people might feel more comfortable wearing a mask. You might want to tell your audience, you know they respect you and they’re there because they admire you, to say ‘for those of you who feel more comfortable for wearing a mask, no problem. Go ahead and wear it.’ Don’t make them feel guilty about putting a mask on. That might help.”
Unfortunately, there was one piece of medical advice Isbell didn’t get from Fauci.
“I was also hoping you’d say that yelling out requests is a good way of spreading the virus,” Isbell joked.
“You can tell them, Jason, ‘I know what you like. Don’t worry,'” Fauci quipped back.
Watch Jason Isbell interview Fauci about vaccines and the sustainable return of live events.
Jason Isbell in Conversation with Dr. Fauci
[Video: Jason Isbell]