The US’s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has pleaded with Americans to scale back their Thanksgiving plans as fears rise that large celebrations will cause an explosion of new Covid infections across the country.
Fauci told ABC News on Wednesday that people should be wary of committing to large gatherings in their homes this Thanksgiving, warning that otherwise there may be “yet another surge” of the novel coronavirus.
We all know how difficult that is because this is such a beautiful, traditional holiday. But by making that sacrifice, you’re going to prevent people from getting infected.
The medic’s remarks echo the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which already warned US citizens against travel and household mixing over the national holiday.
Fauci claimed that there isn’t much longer left to wait until things return to normal, given that a Covid vaccine rollout is very much on the horizon.
“If we can just hang in there a bit longer and continue to do the simple mitigation things that we’re talking about all the time – the masks, the distancing, the avoiding crowds, particularly indoor. If we do those things, we’re going to get through it. So that’s my final plea before the holiday,” he said.
He also noted that the majority of cases are driven by large gatherings in places such as bars, but warned people not to let their guard down when celebrating in smaller groups at home over the holiday.
It has been reported that three million people have already travelled from Friday to Sunday through US airports, approximately half of the usual figures for the lead-in to Thanksgiving.
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CDC guidance urges Americans not to travel this Thanksgiving, adding that the safest way to celebrate the holiday is at home with the people you live with.
Speaking at a press conference on November 19, the CDC’s incident manager, Dr Henry Walke said that the agency “is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period,” and added that 30 to 40 percent of Covid infections are spread by people who are asymptomatic.
America has already been the worst-hit nation in the world from the pandemic. The CDC noted on November 19 that there had been more than one million Covid infections reported in the previous week in the US.
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