Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is not going to be gathering with his children on Thanksgiving because they are concerned about the threat of the coronavirus, which is surging in more than 30 states.
“I have three children that I would love to see over Thanksgiving,” Fauci told Yahoo News in a live interview on Thursday. “They’re in three separate parts, triangulated throughout the country. They’re adult women; I would love to see them. They themselves are concerned about getting on a plane, being in an airport, coming in for a couple of days with their father, me, who’s in an age group that is vulnerable. And they’ve made the decision they are not going to do that.”
The 79-year-old director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a key figure in the White House coronavirus task force, said Americans should make informed decisions about family gatherings during the holidays.
“People have to make their individual choice, particularly who you have in your home,” Fauci said. “Are there vulnerable people? Are they elderly? Are they people with underlying conditions? You’re going to an airport that might be crowded. You’re on a plane. And then to come in, unless you absolutely know that you’re not infected, there are many people that are not going to want to take that risk.”
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an updated guidance on the risk of virus spread during the holiday season.
“Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others,” the agency’s website reads. “If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.”
“I mean, it’s such a beautiful tradition, Thanksgiving, of getting family together,” Fauci added. “I think we just need to realize that things might be different this year, particularly if you want to have people who are going to be flying in from a place that has a lot of infection.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 216,000 Americans have died of complications related to COVID-19, and nearly 8 million have been infected.
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