Senior US public health official urged Americans today to make a “sacrifice now to save lives and disease” by resisting the urge to come together for Thanksgiving, as the United States witnessed of more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday – the first time this dark mark has passed since the spring.
Anthony Fauci, the leading public health expert on the White House Coronavirus Task Force and a top official for every president since Ronald Reagan, said “this is my last call” before traditional dinners at tomorrow.
“Keep indoor gatherings as small as possible. We all know how difficult it is because it is such a beautiful traditional holiday. But by making that sacrifice, you’re going to avoid infections, ”Fauci told ABC’s Good Morning America in a live interview Wednesday morning.
Fauci, who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, said asymptomatic people who have Covid-19 innocently and “without malice” unintentionally infect people if they attend a party or at an indoor gathering, especially when they are wearing their masks to eat and drink.
“Sacrifice now could save lives and disease and make the future a lot brighter as we go through this, because we’re going to get through this. Vaccines are on the horizon, ”he said.
More than 2,100 deaths from the coronavirus were recorded in the United States on Tuesday. It’s the highest 24-hour death toll in the United States since early May. The previous record total was 2,603 deaths in one day in mid-April, as New York City was the global hotspot for the coronavirus and many New York hospitals were overwhelmed.
More than 88,000 Americans are now hospitalized across the country with coronavirus, infections are almost at 12.6 million and deaths in the United States are on the verge of 260,000, the highest number in the world, according to the research center on the Johns Hopkins coronavirus.
Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University, described Thanksgiving to CNN as “potentially the mother of all super-propagative events.”
He added that, “One of the ways we think the Midwest was seeded with viruses over the summer was with the Sturgis, South Dakota Motorcycle Rally, [in August] where people were infected and then scattered across the Midwest. Now imagine that on a massive scale [over Thanksgiving], with people departing from all airports in the United States and carrying the virus with them. ”
Fauci added that “I am very concerned about it” if Americans, including healthcare workers, express doubts about taking vaccines that are approaching impending approval in the United States.
He said there were three, “maybe more” vaccines put into use that are “very effective” and people should have confidence in a “transparent and independent” approval process.
“We could crush this epidemic like we did with smallpox, polio and measles,” he said.
Fauci said he spoke to President-elect Joe Biden’s new chief of staff, Ron Klain.
The Trump administration agreed this week, three weeks after the election, to begin cooperating with the Biden transition team.