Fauci says Christmas and New Years restrictions will be necessary

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Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wears a protective mask during a press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, the United States, Thursday, November 19, 2020.
Chris Kleponis | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease specialist, said on Sunday that the United States is heading for a difficult time in the coronavirus pandemic and said current restrictions and travel advisories would be necessary for them. Christmas vacation.
“What we expect, unfortunately, as we go for the next two weeks in December, is that we might see a surge superimposed on the wave we’re already in,” Fauci said in an interview with “ Meet the Press ”from NBC. “I don’t want to scare people, except to say it’s not too late to do something about it. ”

Fauci urged Americans to be careful when they return from Thanksgiving vacation travel and to wear face masks to mitigate the spread of the virus. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in November warned people against traveling for Thanksgiving, more than 9 million people traveled to airports in the week leading up to the holidays and the weekend after.

“I think we’re going to have to make decisions as a nation, state, city and family as we’re going through a very difficult time, and we’re going to have to make the kinds of restrictions on things that we wish we had. done, especially in this holiday season, because we’re getting into what is really a precarious situation, ”Fauci said.

Travelers on vacation pass through Los Angeles International Airport the day before Thanksgiving as the COVID-19 peak worsens and home stay restrictions are increased on November 25, 2020 in West Hollywood, California.

David McNew | Getty Images News | Getty Images

America has passed 13 million cases of Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and at least 266,000 people have died. As cases and deaths increase across the country, hospitals are grappling with a shortage of medical staff and capacity issues in the face of an influx of patients.

Fauci said colleagues and associates from various states had called him to seek advice and express concerns about possible local lockdown measures if the hospital’s capacity issues worsened. Americans should take their own virus mitigation measures to help hospital systems and avoid potential lockdowns, Fauci added.

“We have to realize that we have in our capacity to be able to blunt that by doing the simple things that we are talking about other than locking, so as not to rush the need to lock,” Fauci said.

Disease experts predict the nation’s daily death totals will rise this winter. In November alone, the United States recorded more than 4 million new cases, more than double the record set in October, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Deaths and hospitalizations increase several weeks after a surge in new cases.

Admiral Brett Giroir, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said on Sunday he was concerned about an increase in cases and hospitalizations due to the increase in travel.

Giroir, who is leading the government’s Covid-19 testing effort, said in an interview with CNN that he couldn’t offer projections on the number of daily deaths, but that “a lot depends on this weekend” in as for the United States avoiding major peaks in cases and deaths.

Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said on Sunday that the United States was entering the days after Thanksgiving with a much higher number of cases, hospitalizations and daily deaths across the country than the period after Memorial Day weekend, when the country has already experienced a surge of the virus.

“We saw what happened after Remembrance Day. Now we are deeply concerned about what could happen after Thanksgiving because the number of cases – 25,000 versus 180,000 per day – which is why we are deeply concerned, ”Birx said in an interview with CBS News.

“We know people might have made mistakes during Thanksgiving,” Birx said. “If you’re young and you get together you should be tested about five to ten days later, but you have to assume that you are infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and the like without a mask.

The growing outbreak comes as health and government officials plan to distribute the first round of vaccines in December, with healthcare workers expected to be among the first beneficiaries.

The United States is also investing hundreds of millions of dollars in improving rapid testing and “flooding the markets of ten different states” for surge testing, according to Giroir. He said the government was working to solicit more home tests for widespread distribution, but they are not yet available.

“We would love to have hundreds of millions of these tests,” Giroir said, adding that they may become available in the coming months.

Americans wanting to be tested for the coronavirus face long queues and wait times that can last for several hours in some urgent care settings as the demand for rapid tests continues to increase.

Summit CityMD CEO Dr Jeffrey Le Benger told CNBC on Friday that those long queues could continue until 2021, as he expects demand for the test to remain high during peak season. vacation.

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