How 2020 Thanksgiving Travel Numbers At U.S. Airports Compare To 2019 [Infographic]

Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, warned on Sunday that the U.S. could experience a “surge upon a surge” of Covid-19 in the weeks after Thanksgiving as airports saw their busiest travel period since the middle of March. Health experts had called for people to celebrate the holiday at home but the pandemic failed to deter many fliers with the number passing through airports surpassing 900,000 for seven consecutive days around Thanksgiving. That’s according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who kept tabs on airport throughput in late November.

On three days – November 20, 22 and 25 – the volume of travelers passing through U.S. airports exceeded one million. While that is well short of the two million plus travelers recorded daily during Thanksgiving week in 2019, it is still far higher than the number of fliers seen in the early days of the pandemic when the travel volume was in the region of 100,000. With many travelers attending large family dinners held indoors including the presence of over-65s, there is now real concern that the U.S. is set to experience a serious coronavirus shock over the coming weeks.

13.38 million Americans have now contracted Covid-19, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University. Separate data from the COVID Tracking Project shows that the total number of people currently hospitalized has now surpassed 93,000 with 18,198 in the ICU and 6,249 on ventilators. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are expected to discuss the approval and distribution of a vaccine over the coming week. With America bracing itself for a potential tidal wave of new Thanksgiving infections, Pfizer’s
vaccine is anticipated to gain FDA authorization by the middle of December. Preparations for distribution are well under way with the FAA confirming the first ‘mass air shipment’ of the Pfizer vaccine left Belgium on Friday.

*Click below to enlarge (charted by Statista)

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