Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging Americans to stay home for the holidays.
“We’re in a tough situation because of our baseline level of infections,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Tuesday in a discussion with the National Urban League.
Before the fall surge, the Unites States was already recording anywhere between 40,000 to 70,000 new coronavirus cases a day as the fall weather forced more people indoors, Fauci said.
The country is now seeing hundreds of thousands of new cases every day and Fauci said the US hasn’t even seen the spike that’s expected from travel and gatherings from the Thanksgiving holiday yet.
“When you superimpose the Thanksgiving spike you have what I call a surge upon a surge. That is going to land about a week before we start to travel for the Christmas holidays and Hanukkah,” Fauci predicted.
“People travel for Christmas, they congregate at parties, at social gatherings and dinners,” he said. “Then the Christmas spike is going to be another one, so the months of December and January are going to be very problematic.”
But Fauci said it doesn’t have to be that way. He urged continued mitigation efforts such as mask usage, social distancing and avoiding crowds.
“We're going to be asking people to do something that is difficult and maybe even painful, particularly at the family level, is to tell people, unless it's absolutely necessary, not to travel,” he said. “We said that over Thanksgiving and we're saying the same thing over Christmas.”
Fauci said that it would be best for Americans to stay away from travel -- especially trains and airports -- and remain home with their families "as difficult as it may be."
“It's better to say this is an unusual year, hopefully we’re going to have a lot more Christmases, a lot more New Years,” Fauci said.