Dr. Anthony Fauci urged caution over the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as the United States continues to manage the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
During a Sunday morning appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that comes as millions prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, Fauci told anchor Margaret Brennan that people should be careful about gathering with crowds and people they aren’t living with.
“One of the things we’re really concerned about is that as we get into this Thanksgiving season, you’re not going to see an increase until weeks later,” Fauci said. “Things lag. So what you don’t want to see is another spike in cases as we get colder and colder into the December, and then you start dealing with the Christmas holiday. We could really be in a very difficult situation.”
After citing CDC advice about gathering with people for Thanksgiving, Brennan asked Fauci whether that advice will “expire” after this week’s holiday.
“Is Christmas canceled, too?” she asked.
“We don’t know what is gonna happen,” Fauci responded. “It could actually, if we don’t do this correctly and pay close attention to the reality of what is possible, if we ignore these recommendations, that you could continue to have that exponential increase as you get into Christmas, and that’s one of the things we’re concerned about.”
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director said that since people tend to “intuitively and instinctively” let their guards down with people they know, they should “call a risk/benefit determination” when deciding who to spend time with indoors. (RELATED: Jake Tapper Calls Coronavirus Vaccines An ‘Unmitigated Success’ For Trump Administration)
“If I have someone in my home who’s elderly, someone who has an underlying condition, do I really want to put that person at risk from someone who innocently or inadvertently could infect them?” he said. “Because we know clearly that people who don’t have symptoms are clearly capable, and are transmitting the infection. So just think about it for a moment, the risk now versus the long-range of what you can do if you continue to be healthy.”