It’s been months since the start of the pandemic yet the Trump administration has taken no action against the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 continues to spread across the country as health officials encourage mask-wearing and social distancing to slow down the spread. While many hoped that the virus would come under control for the holiday season, the reality that the virus will remain in our country for a long time has settled in as the Trump administration continues to ignore its severity.
In the latest news about the virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, expressed his concerns with Thanksgiving gatherings. Fauci has continued to supply trustworthy information and health recommendations since the beginning of the pandemic while rejecting Donald Trump’s COVID-19 response. In an interview with CBS Evening News’s Norah O’Donnell on Wednesday, he said that the U.S. and its residents need to rethink efforts to contain the virus including holiday traditions like gathering with family for Thanksgiving. “That is, unfortunately, a risk, when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting. It is unfortunate because that’s such a sacred part of American tradition—the family gathering around Thanksgiving. But that is a risk,” Fauci said.
Fauci noted that cases are surging in at least 37 states across the U.S. and as colder weather approaches more protocols will be needed. He expressed that while healthcare recommendations like washing your hands, wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, and social distancing seem “very simple,” they are not being followed.
“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,” Fauci said. “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.”
He added that his own family will not be gathering this year because his children live in three different states and have chosen to not return home in order to protect his health. Fauci is considered at higher risk because he is 79. Instead, Fauci will join his children on Zoom to celebrate the holiday. “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.”
Fauci’s message follows similar concerns on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. “Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together,” the CDC said on its website. “Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.” Additionally, the CDC has ranked holiday activities into three categories of lower risk, moderate risk, and higher risk, to explain the impact.
During the interview, Fauci also reiterated that while vaccines are in the works, there is currently no cure for COVID-19. Speaking of Trump’s “recovery” from COVID-19 and his comments to the public to not fear the virus he noted that not everyone is affected by the virus and able to recover the same way. Trump has continuously downplayed the virus; Despite spending time in the hospital after being infected by COVID-19 and clearly having trouble breathing, he told his supporters not to worry about the virus.
“That’s sort of like saying someone was speeding in a car at 95 miles an hour and didn’t get in an accident, so I can go ahead and speed and not get in an accident. There’s a great deal of variability,” Fauci told CBS News. “We’re very, very pleased that the president did so well when he was infected with the coronavirus, but there are also a lot of people who are his age and his weight which did not do as well as the president did. The president was fortunate.”
This isn’t the first time Fauci has urged Americans to rethink their holiday plans. Since the start of the pandemic, Fauci has encouraged individuals to social distance and avoid large gatherings. During Easter and other national holidays the health expert warned of a surge in cases.
As of this report, the U.S. reported more than 7.9 million cases of coronavirus and 217,700 deaths as a result of COVID-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.