Americans may have to forgo an annual tradition, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, due to fears about the spread of COVID-19.
In an interview on CBS News on Wednesday, host Norah O’Donnell noted that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Direct Robert Redfield warned that Thanksgiving dinners could lead to coronavirus outbreaks.
She asked if Fauci agrees with Redfield’s warning. He said, “I do. I do, and that’s really an unfortunate fact that is going to cause obviously some concern about everyone who looks forward to the holidays.”
“That is, unfortunately, a risk when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting, you don’t know what the status of it is. It is unfortunate cause that’s such a sacred part of American tradition, the family gathering around Thanksgiving, but that is a risk,” he continued.
O’Donnell asked Fauci how he would suggest that Americans plan for the holidays. He encouraged families to be “very careful and prudent about social gatherings,” especially when family members are in a risk category for the virus.
He added, “Namely, 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.”
Fauci added that his family members have been pretty careful to avoid interacting with other people and argued that gatherings among families who have little interaction with the public would be “really relatively safe.”
However, he noted that families who have to travel across the country and come in contact with other people on airplanes and in airports would have to be careful.
Fauci also said his family’s Thanksgiving dinner would be different this year because his children live in different states and “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.”