- The Thanksgiving holiday will likely cause a huge increase in new coronavirus infections, health experts warn.
- Dr. Fauci said we’ll know the extent to which family gatherings impacted the pandemic in about two to three weeks.
- Despite warnings to avoid travel, millions of Americans have already traveled home over the past few days alone.
Despite pleas from the CDC urging people to avoid travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, Americans are donning their masks and visiting loved ones regardless. Just this past weekend, the TSA announced that they screened more than 2 million passengers at U.S. airports on Friday and Saturday.
With families getting together in close quarters this Thanksgiving holiday, many health experts are worried that we’re going to see a massive spike in new coronavirus infections. Indeed, if you take a look at the COVID-19 infection rate in a big city like Toronto following Canadian Thanksgiving, the line graph almost shoots up vertically. And seeing as how Thanksgiving is a much bigger deal in the U.S. than it is in Canada, there’s a strong chance it won’t be long before we see a record-breaking number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths across several U.S. states.
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Touching on this very issue, Dr. Anthony Fauci, during an interview on Monday with The Washington Post, relayed that the full impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on the coronavirus pandemic will likely become apparent in about three weeks.
“When you do the things that are increasing the risk,” Fauci said, “the travel, the congregate setting, not wearing masks, the chances are that you will see a surge superimposed upon a surge.”
With respect to the current surge, cases in the U.S. have shot up by nearly 50% over the past two weeks. Coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations, meanwhile, have shot up by 62% and 49% during the same time period.
Fauci went on to say that because there’s an incubation period associated with a coronavirus infection, we’ll need a few weeks to truly assess how Thanksgiving celebrations impacted the pandemic.
“And you’re not going to see the results of that because things lag by a couple of weeks,” Fauci added. “So what we’re seeing now is what happened two-plus weeks ago. What we’re doing now is going to be reflected two to three weeks from now. So what we want to make sure we don’t do, is as we enter into the most risky part of the year — the weather gets colder, more people stay indoors — that you don’t exactly exacerbate the problem that already exists.”
This rationale is precisely why Fauci implored Americans last month to cancel their Thanksgiving plans if at all possible.
“I say that some people in this country are going to be a relatively normal type of a Thanksgiving but in other areas of the country, you better hold off and maybe just have immediate family,” Fauci said a few weeks ago.
Fauci’s full interview with the Post can be viewed below: