Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, is telling Americans to exercise caution as the country moves towards the holiday season.
During an interview with “CBS Evening News” host Norah O’Donnell, Fauci also warned that people may have to change or skip their usual traditions amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
CBS News reports the White House Coronavirus Task Force leader said the country should “double down” on the safety precautions already in place—social distancing and wearing a mask—as well as add to their efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus in lieu of the holidays.
“What we really have to do is double down,” Fauci said as recent reports show up to 37 states are witnessing increases in their daily coronavirus cases.
“That is not a good sign as you’re entering into the cooler weather,” he added. “They sound very simple, but people are not doing that and that’s why we have an uptick in cases.”
Fauci said the holiday season brings an increased risk as people are traveling more and visiting from out of the area.
“That is, unfortunately, a risk, when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting,” he said. “It is unfortunate because that’s such a sacred part of an American tradition — the family gathering around Thanksgiving. But that is a risk,” he said.
Fauci encouraged people to continue being “very careful” but said some people may have to forgo their holiday tradition.
“Given the fluid and dynamic nature of what’s going on right now in the spread and the uptick of infections, I think people should be very careful and prudent about social gatherings, particularly when members of the family might be at a risk because of their age or their underlying condition,” he said via CBS News, adding, “You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected.”
Fauci shared that he would also be changing his own Thanksgiving tradition, seeing his family for the holiday as he is considered high risk.
“They themselves, because of their concern for me and my age, have decided they’re not going to come home for Thanksgiving — even though all three of them want very much to come home for Thanksgiving.”
Dr. Fauci can skip it. To the rest of the country:
Have a great Thanksgiving. https://t.co/UuO1XIdE0H
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 16, 2020