Tag: Fauci

Fauci warns of ‘superimposed’ coronavirus surge after Thanksgiving travel

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert, warned that the travel-heavy Thanksgiving holiday could lead to a “superimposed” surge in Covid-19 cases as the nation heads into December.

Appearing on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” Sunday, Fauci said that public health officials “tried to get the word out for people, as difficult as it is, to really not have large gatherings” during the holiday due to concerns that the celebrations could exacerbate the coronavirus spread.

“What we expect, unfortunately, as we go for the next couple of weeks into December, is that we might see a surge superimposed on the surge we are already in,” he said.

“I don’t want to frighten people except to say it’s not too late at all for us to do something about this,” he added, urging Americans to be careful when they travel back home and upon arriving, and to take proven steps like social distancing and wearing masks.

It can sometimes take two weeks for infected people to develop symptoms, and asymptomatic people can spread the virus without knowing they have it. So Fauci said the “dynamics of an outbreak” show a three-to-five-week lag between serious mitigation efforts and the actual curbing of infection rates.

While the first wave of vaccinations could start in America within a matter of weeks, Fauci said that, for now, “we are going to have to make decisions as a nation, state, city and family that we are in a very difficult time, and we’re going to have to do the kinds of restrictions of things we would have liked to have done, particularly in this holiday season, because we’re entering into what’s really a precarious situation.”

Covid-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. have been accelerating in recent weeks — there have been more than 4 million cases and 35,000 deaths attributed to the virus in the month of November alone. Overall, America has had 13.3 million coronavirus cases and 267,000 deaths attributable to the virus, according to NBC News analysis.

Despite a mid-November warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraging Americans not to travel during Thanksgiving, air-travel broke pandemic records, with 6.8 million people traveling through airports in the seven days ahead of the holiday.

The already accelerating caseload, combined with the potential for another surge of cases, comes as hospitals across the country are sounding the alarm about overloading the system’s capacity.

Fauci said that he is concerned about the nation’s hospitals, noting that he received calls last night from colleagues across the country “pleading for advice” amid the “significant stresses on the hospital and health care delivery systems.”

While he explicitly said he was not calling for a national lockdown, Fauci said at the local level, Americans could “blunt” the surge’s effects on the hospital system by taking mitigation steps “short of locking down so we don’t precipitate the necessity of locking down.”

The surge in cases comes amid promising news about a coronavirus vaccine, with both

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Travel recommendations, restrictions likely to extend through Christmas: Fauci

“We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality,” Fauci said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he can’t see how the current restrictions and recommendations around Thanksgiving would be relaxed by Christmas.

“When you have the kind of inflection that we have, it doesn’t all of a sudden turn around like that,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.

“So clearly in the next few weeks, we’re gonna have the same sort of thing. And perhaps even two or three weeks down the line, Martha, we may see a surge upon a surge,” he told “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz.

“We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality” Fauci added. “We said that these things would happen, as we got into the cold weather and as we began traveling, and they’ve happened. It’s going to happen again. So I cannot see all of a sudden, a relaxation of the kinds of recommendations or restrictions because we’re getting into colder weather, and in, in an even larger holiday season as people travel to come back and forth for Christmas.”

He also urged Americans to be “really careful” as they return from their Thanksgiving holiday travel.

“You’ve really got to understand the importance of trying to prevent further spread and further surge, that may be when you go back where you came from,” Fauci said.

The U.S. surpassed 13 million COVID-19 cases on Friday, an increase of more than a million cases in six days, according to data from John Hopkins University. More than 265,000 people have died.

Experts have warned against reading too much into numbers from this week, as states have paused updates due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Despite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warnings and increasing case counts, millions traveled for Thanksgiving. The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 8 million people between Nov. 20 and Saturday.

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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Fauci urges Americans to conduct ‘risk-benefit assessment’ before holiday travel

Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci urged Americans on Sunday to conduct a “risk-benefit assessment” before traveling for the holidays as Thanksgiving approaches this week.



Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Fauci urges Americans to conduct 'risk-benefit assessment' before holiday travel


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Fauci urges Americans to conduct ‘risk-benefit assessment’ before holiday travel

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that families need to consider the risks of gathering indoors. He said families especially need to take into account if their gatherings plan to include those who are elderly or have underlying conditions affecting their immune system.

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“I think the people in this country need to realistically do a risk-benefit assessment,” he said. “Every family is different. Everyone has a different level of risk that they want to tolerate.”

The NIAID director acknowledged that holiday gatherings “have been such joyous things in the past,” but added “this is a very special situation.”

“So you don’t want to call it all off, but you want to say at least give you and your family the benefit of having considered what is the risk-benefit of doing that as opposed to constraining what you do to the very core people who live in your home,” he said. “You just need to consider it and make your own decision.”

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Fauci emphasized that the almost exponentially rising numbers in the country “doesn’t necessarily” have to continue.

“We’re not going to completely eliminate it and turn it around rapidly and dramatically, but we can prevent it from increasing,” he said.

“We should not accept that we can’t do anything about that,” the public health expert added. “Putting vaccines aside for a moment, which will be extraordinarily helpful, if we implement the simple public health measures that I was mentioning to you, we can blunt that inflection. It doesn’t have to be as high up.”

The U.S. reached the milestone of 250,000 COVID-19 deaths last week, since the beginning of the pandemic this spring. The country documented single-day records for hospitalizations on Saturday with 83,227 currently hospitalized, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

On Friday, the U.S. confirmed a record-number of COVID-19 cases in a single day at 192,805 new cases.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended against traveling for Thanksgiving amid the ongoing surge in cases.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci says ‘think twice’ about holiday travel plans

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Holidays are usually for gatherings but many get-togethers are complicated or canceled because of COVID-19.

USA TODAY

Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging Americans to “think twice” about traveling and having indoor gatherings for the holidays.

During a meeting with USA TODAY’s Editorial Board Wednesday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said seemingly “innocent” family and friend dinner gatherings at home are where many of the infections are now stemming from.

“Because of the almost intuitive instinct that when you’re with people you know … and no one appears to be physically ill that it’s OK to congregate 10, 12 people for drinks or a meal or what have you, but it’s indoors because the weather is cold, that’s where we’re seeing these types of outbreaks,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explained.

He continued, “As we get into the colder weather, we should really think twice about these kind of dinner parties where you’re not sure of whether the people that are in your bubble (are safe). Then you’re going to start seeing these unanticipated infections related to innocent home gatherings, particularly as we head into the holiday season.”

Fauci’s recommendation? He advises each individual person and family unit “should make a risk-benefit assessment.”

The assessment should consider, he says, the risk of going to a crowded airport, getting on a plane as well as whether you have family members who are elderly or have underlying conditions that would put them at a higher risk of a serious outcome.

“That should determine what your decision is about the risk you’re willing to take. Because the risk of not traveling is less than the risk of traveling,” he said. “So you’ve got to decide, during this interesting period of a lot of infection going on, colder weather, indoors: Do you want to travel and go to a Thanksgiving meal where there may be 12, 15, 20 people?”

Fauci’s own Thanksgiving plans have been affected by the pandemic. He says his three adult daughters, who all live in different parts of the country, decided not to come home this year.

“If they were going to come to Washington and see their daddy, they would have to travel,” he said, in addition to complications of quarantining and getting tested. “They made a decision because of my age, that as much as they would like to see me … that they are not going to come for Thanksgiving, … and I’m proud of them for that.”

Instead, Fauci and his wife are planning to have a dinner with the children over Zoom.

“We’re going to say we had a great Thanksgiving last year, we’re looking forward to a great Thanksgiving next year, but today, we’re going to call a time out,” he said. 

Fauci said he does not think everyone “needs to do what I’m doing” but urged others to “at least pause for a moment” to assess the risks based on every individual’s circumstances.

COVID-19 travel restrictions

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Infectious Disease Expert Contradicts Anthony Fauci, Reveals How Thanksgiving Travel Could Be Safe

While Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning against large family gatherings and travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., another health expert is saying that those who utilize proper precautions should be okay to do some traveling over the holidays.

Speaking to WPTV, an NBC affiliate station, Dr. Kleper De Almeida, an infectious disease specialist with JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida, said that he felt travel could take place over the holiday season, including Thanksgiving, so long as those choosing to travel did so in a smart and safe way.

“As long as people take the measures that we should be applying every day, it would be safe to travel,” he said. “We need to be very mindful of that while we travel to protect ourselves from exposure, and in doing so, minimizing the risk of bringing it back to our communities.”

De Almeida’s comments directly contradict ones made by Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has been seen as the face of COVID-19, as he repeatedly warns Americans of rising infection rates and encourages mask use and social distancing. However, while those measures can help slow the spread, he has warned against letting them be the sole means of protection when it comes to considering a larger gathering for Thanksgiving and even admitted that he was taking precautions by not spending the holiday with his own daughters.

“That is unfortunately a risk, when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting,” Fauci said. It is unfortunate, because that’s such a sacred part of American tradition—the family gathering around Thanksgiving. But that is a risk.”

The CDC echoed Fauci’s concerns with their guidelines for the holiday season, and traditional events that draw large crowds, like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, are going virtual to try and prevent the spread.

The United States currently stands at more than 8 million total COVID-19 infections reported and 218,000 deaths, with more than 70,000 new cases reported Friday, the largest increase since July. According to statistics from the New York Times, a total of 29 states continue to report high numbers of cases, while 16 other states are starting to report upticks.

In the past seven days, states that have seen high surges in percentages of cases have been North and South Dakota, which have seen more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents, with Montana, Wisconsin and Nebraska also reporting high numbers, with more than 300 cases per 100,000 residents. Currently, the only states that have seen less than 100 infections per 100,000 people (less than 0.001 percent), have been Vermont, Maine, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, California, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Delaware, Georgia and Louisiana.

Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Photo: POOL / Al Drago

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The Latest: Dr. Fauci criticizing concept of ‘herd immunity’

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci is criticizing a declaration by a group of scientists that supports the concept of “herd immunity,” which the White House is using to bolster a push to reopen schools and businesses.

Fauci says backing herd immunity — the idea that a disease will stop spreading once nearly everybody has contracted it — is “total nonsense.”

The top U.S. infectious disease expert says: “If you talk to anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases, they will tell you that that is risky and you’ll wind up with many more infections of vulnerable people, which will lead to hospitalizations and death,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “So I think that we’ve just got to look that square in the eye and say it’s nonsense.”

The U.S. leads the world with 7.9 million coronavirus cases and nearly 217,000 confirmed deaths. Globally, there have been 38 million reported cases and 1.09 million confirmed deaths.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— WHO: European cases rocket, says strong coronavirus limits needed

— Germany reports more than 6,600 new coronavirus cases

— India reports 67,708 new infections, total more than 7.3 million

— London moves to second-highest coronavirus alert level amid rise in cases.

— French police search homes of the former prime minister, the current and former health ministers in probe of government response to coronavirus pandemic.

— Nominations for the Tony Awards will have just 18 eligible plays and musicals because of the coronavirus interrupting on the Broadway season.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BERLIN — The German Hospital Federation says the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the country has doubled in the past week.

The head of the federation, Gerald Gass, says the first wave showed it takes about 14 days for the rise in infections to affect hospitals. He says the number of patients receiving intensive care is likely to pass 2,000 by November at current rates.

Germany’s well-funded health system has helped the country keep the death rate from COVID-19 significantly below other large European countries.

During the first wave of infections in spring, Germany took in dozens of patients from France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands as their hospitals struggled to care for seriously ill patients.

Bavaria’s governor Markus Soeder says his state has received a request to treat patients from the neighboring Czech Republic, where case numbers have surged in recent days.

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LONDON — Britain’s health secretary says London has moved to the second-highest coronavirus alert level amid a rise in cases.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons the government acted because infection rates are rising rapidly in the capital and swift action was necessary to control the virus.

The move comes as millions of people in northern England are waiting to learn if they’ll be placed under the government’s tightest restrictions, like Liverpool.

The “high risk”

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