Last Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines urging Americans not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, writing, “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”
But over the weekend, from Friday through Sunday, over three million Americans decided they were traveling anyway. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), 1,019,836 passengers flew in the U.S. on Friday, 984,369 flew on Saturday, and 1,047,934 flew on Sunday, a total of 3,052,139 passengers.
Friday’s total represented the second-highest number of people to travel by air since the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, according to the Daily Mail.
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke on NBC’s Meet The Press, where he warned about traveling, according to The Hill:
I think the people in this country need to realistically do a risk-benefit assessment. Every family is different. Everyone has a different level of risk that they want to tolerate … 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. You just need to consider it and make your own decision.
But when you think of the holiday season and the congregating indoors at what are innocent, lovely functions, like meals with family and friends, you have got to at least think in terms of evaluating, do you have people in your family that are elderly, that might have underlying conditions, like someone on chemotherapy, or other things that weaken their immune system? Do you really want to get a crowd of 10, 15, 20 people, many of whom are coming in from places where they have gone from crowded airports, to planes, getting into the house? I mean, those are the things that have been such joyous things in the past.
Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz of the CDC stated bluntly on Thursday, “The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household.”
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the leader of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, said on CNN’s State of The Union on Sunday, “70 percent or so of the population being immunized would allow for true herd immunity to take place. That is likely to happen somewhere in the month of May or something like that, based on our plans. I really hope and look forward to seeing that the level of negative perception of the vaccine decreases and people’s acceptance increase. That’s going to be critical to help us. Most people need to be immunized before we can go back to a normal life.”