Dr Fauci advises Americans not to travel for Christmas
Dr Anthony Fauci has once again advised against festive travel plans and gatherings after the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC) urged people to stay home for Christmas.
During an interview with MSNBC, Fauci was asked whether Americans should cancel their travel plans for Christmas.
‘I think they’re going to have to make individual decisions, but I think we need to, as a nation, seriously consider the things that we in the public health arena have been talking about, of minimizing travel to the extent possible,’ Fauci responded.
‘Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary, but to the extent possible, don’t travel, don’t congregate together,’ Fauci said.
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Dr Anthony Fauci has once again advised against festive travel plans and gatherings after the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC) urged people to stay home for Christmas
‘Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary, but to the extent possible, don’t travel, don’t congregate together,’ Fauci said, A traveler wearing a mask walks through the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on November 29
Passengers wait in line to enter a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport on November 25
‘I know how difficult that is. We all have a strong degree of empathy knowing, and myself included, about wanting to be with your family, wanting to have a large Christmas dinner with family and friends over.
‘Right now, that just should not be done. To the best of our capabilities we should avoid travel and avoid congregate settings,’ the nation’s top infectious disease expert added.
Fauci echoed the CDC, which pressed Americans to not travel for the rest of the holiday season.
‘The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel,’ Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, told reporters Wednesday.
‘Cases are rising. Hospitalizations are increasing, deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve, stop this exponential increase.’
According to the CDC’s new guidance, if people do travel, they should get tested one to three days before travel and three to five days their trip.
People who do not get tested should limit nonessential activities for 10 days after travel.
Similar guidance was issued ahead of Thanksgiving but millions of Americans traveled anyway.
Last weekend, Fauci predicted that irresponsible Thanksgiving gatherings could lead to ‘a surge superimposed upon that surge’.
During his interview with MSNBC, he doubled down on that prediction, saying the US is going to experience ‘a surge superimposed upon a surge, because we already have that sharp incline’.
‘We still have not yet seen what will likely be another blip of a surge following the travel and the congregating during Thanksgiving,’ he explained.
‘Now we’re entering, approaching the Christmas season. The effect of Thanksgiving is going to be realized two weeks from now, literally as we’re getting into the traveling season for Christmas and Hanukkah.’
As of Thursday, there are more than 14 million confirmed cases of the virus in the US with at least 274,648 deaths
The doctor said that the US is ‘in for a very, very difficult couple of months of December and January’.
‘Rather than just throw our hands up in despair, there are things that we can do about it,’ he said, pointing to mask-wearing, socially distancing, avoid indoor gatherings and staying home as much as possible.
The interview took place right before Fauci spoke to President-elect Joe Biden who revealed that he will ask Americans to mask up for 100 days as soon as he takes the oath of office.
Biden, who has asked Fauci to be his chief medical adviser on the pandemic, told CNN: ‘On the first day I’m inaugurated I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask – just 100 days to mask. Not forever.
‘And I think we’ll see a significant reduction’ in COVID cases when that happens.’
Inauguration Day is January 20. Biden has pushed for Americans to wear the face coverings to combat the disease.
Biden’s plans come as there was a new record in the US on Wednesday, the most ever COVID deaths in one day at 2,670.
More than 100,200 patients were in US hospitals Wednesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Biden also revealed he’s spoken to Fauci and asked him to stay in his current job and play a senior role in his administration.
The interview took place right before Fauci spoke to President-elect Joe Biden who revealed that he will ask Americans to mask up for 100 days as soon as he takes the oath of office
Diners enjoy a meal at a restaurant in Pasadena, California, on Wednesday
‘I asked him to stay on the exact same role he’s had for the past several presidents, and I asked him to be a chief medical adviser for me as well, and be part of the Covid team,’ Biden told CNN as part of the first joint interview with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Biden added that Ron Klain, his incoming chief of staff, knew Fauci well and had been talking to him ‘all the time’.
Fauci has clashed at times with Donald Trump as the president has made such suggestions as injecting bleach in oneself to combat the coronavirus and pushed for an economic recovery ahead of medical advise.
But the doctor, who was an early expert on the AIDS crisis, has become a public hero and trusted face of the disease as cases rise across the nation.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday nearly 9.5 million Americans took to the skies despite health officials’ warnings that travel would dramatically exacerbate the country’s coronavirus pandemic.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported screening an average of 975,000 travelers per day in the 10-day period from Friday November 20, to Sunday November 29.
Nearly 9.5 million Americans took to the skies over the Thanksgiving holiday despite health officials’ warnings that travel would dramatically exacerbate the country’s coronavirus crisis
The map above shows flights crossing the US two days before Thanksgiving
Four days in that period saw more than one million travelers passing through TSA checkpoints with a peak of 1,176,091 on this past Sunday – the largest number since the pandemic took hold in the US in March.
Over that same 10-day period the total number of confirmed US coronavirus cases rose by more than 1.6 million as experts warned that Thanksgiving travel and gatherings could cause America’s worst surge since the pandemic took hold nine months ago.
Experts say it will be a few weeks before the fallout from Thanksgiving travel becomes clear, as COVID-19 symptoms can appear up to two weeks after exposure.
But they say a surge is likely based on trends from previous holidays including Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day, which were each followed by spikes in new cases.
And while Fauci has not suggested a lockdown for the entire country, California has taken matters into their own hands ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays.
California Gov Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a new stay-at-home order for regions where fewer than 15 per cent of intensive care unit beds are available.
And while Fauci has not suggested a lockdown for the entire country, California has taken matters into their own hands. California Gov Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a new stay-at-home order for regions where fewer than 15% of intensive care unit beds are available
The new order divides the state into five regions – none of which currently meet the threshold for the new restrictions. However Newsom said four out of five regions are on track to hit that threshold within a few days
The new order divides the state into five regions – none of which currently meet the threshold for the new restrictions.
However Newsom said four out of five regions – Greater Sacramento, Northern California, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California – are on track to hit that threshold within a few days and the fifth – the Bay Area – is expected to meet it by the middle of the month.
When they do surpass 85 per cent capacity, the state will order affected regions to close hair salons and barber shops, limit retail stores to 20 per cent capacity and only allow restaurants to offer take-out and delivery for at least three weeks.
Northern California has 15 per cent of its ICU beds available, San Joaquin Valley has 22 per cent, Greater Sacramento has 24 per cent, Southern California has 26 per cent and the Bay Area has 28 per cent.
The announcement comes after California broke its record for daily new cases on Wednesday with more than 20,000, bringing the state’s total to 1,264,539 with 19,437 deaths.
A record 9,702 people are currently hospitalized, including 2,147 in the intensive care unit, leaving the state with fewer than 1,800 available ICU beds.
‘The bottom line is if we don’t act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed,’ Newsom said at a video press conference.