Dr. Anthony Fauci encouraged Americans to enjoy a “good, normal Christmas” Monday, less than a day after he entertained the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic could cancel family gatherings for the holidays.
Fauci told CBS News on Sunday that he believed it was “too soon to tell” whether family Christmas gatherings should be encouraged amid the resurgent pandemic. He now says those comments were misinterpreted, and he believes Americans should hold their normal Christmas gatherings.
“The best way to assure that we’ll be in good shape as we get into the winter would be to get more and more people vaccinated,” Fauci said Monday on CNN. “That was misinterpreted as my saying we can’t spend Christmas with our families, which was absolutely not the case. I will be spending Christmas with my family, I encourage people, particularly the vaccinated people who are protected, to have a good, normal Christmas with your family.”
Dr. Fauci: “I will be spending Christmas with my family. I encourage people — particularly the vaccinated people who are protected — to have a good, normal Christmas with your family.”
— Kate Sullivan (@KateSullivanDC) October 4, 2021
Fauci had told CBS News Anchor Margaret Brennan on Sunday that it was too soon to say whether normal Christmas gatherings were on the table.
“But we can gather for Christmas, or it’s just too soon to tell?” Brennan asked at the time. (RELATED: Dr. Anthony Fauci: Trump’s Decision To Stop Travel From China Helped Contain Coronavirus)
“You know, Margaret, it’s just too soon to tell,” Fauci responded. “We’ve just got to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time. Let’s focus like a laser on continuing to get those cases down.”
Fauci’s statements come amid a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. is seeing more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases each day, and there were more daily COVID deaths in September this year than in 2020.
Deaths appear to have peaked in late September, however, with daily deaths decreasing from a six-month high of 2,087 on September 20 to 1,878 on October 3, according to statistics compile by The New York Times.