On Tuesday night, National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci was seen maskless at an indoor party in Washington, DC, where an indoor mask mandate remains in effect for a few more days.
The incident occurred at ABC reporter Jonathan Karl's book party, held at the high-end Italian restaurant Café Milano, according to Politico's Playbook.
Fauci was seen without a mask on at the party at some points, and with a mask at others depending on who he was speaking to.
When asked by writer Sally Quinn, who at one point wrote an erotic novel with a main character based on Fauci, why he wasn't wearing his mask, he said he was putting it on for those he did not personally know.
"I said, 'You seem pretty ambivalent about your mask' because no one else was wearing one," Quinn told Playbook. "He said, 'I just decided that if anyone came up that I didn't know, I would put my mask on.'"
"Quinn added that 'paparazzi' were surrounding Fauci trying to get that 'gotcha moment' of the Covid czar without a mask on," wrote Playbook.
Guests of the party reportedly had to show from of vaccination to attend.
"He was being safe," Quinn said in Fauci's defense. "He knew everyone was vaccinated. If it was someone we knew, he would trust them, and if it was somebody else, he didn't."
Washington DC's citywide indoor mask mandate is set to end on Monday.