Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned Americans against traveling and gathering this Christmas season.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, the director of the NIAID expressed his belief that people can individually determine the best course of action, but that they should be focused on “minimizing travel” and that the United States would not have to issue lockdowns if people follow health guidance.
“Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. But to the extent possible, don’t travel, don’t congregate together,” Fauci said. “I know how difficult that is, we all have a strong degree of empathy knowing — and myself included, about wanting to be with your family, wanting to have a large Christmas dinner with family and friends over.”
“Right now that just should not be done, to the best of our capabilities we should avoid travel and avoid congregate settings,” he added, reported the Daily Caller.
In its official guide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told Americans not to travel and urged people to get tested if they decide to do so.
In his interview with MSNBC, Fauci reiterated his belief that there would be “a surge superimposed upon a surge” as case numbers are climbing.
“The effect of Thanksgiving is going to be realized two weeks from now, literally as we’re getting into the traveling season for Christmas and Hannukah,” Fauci said.
Fauci said that vaccines are expected to see distribution “towards the middle and end of December and then more in January, and then more in February,” adding that the vaccines “should be a motivation to double down even more” on social distancing.
In an interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie, Fauci reiterated his calls for limiting Christmas gatherings, and stated that “We don’t expect to see the full brunt of [infections] until between two to three weeks following Thanksgiving."