Dr. Anthony Fauci said he and his wife will not be spending Christmas with family this year and advised other American families to follow his example.
“I’m going to be with my wife — period,” Fauci told The Washington Post on Monday regarding his holiday plans. “The Christmas holiday is a special holiday for us because Christmas Eve is my birthday. And Christmas Day is Christmas Day. And [my daughters] are not going to come home … That’s painful. We don’t like that. But that’s just one of the things you’re going to have to accept as we go through this unprecedented challenging time.”
“We have a big problem,” Fauci continued. “Look at the numbers — the numbers are really quite dramatic.”
The U.S. surpassed 300,000 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, and continues to experience a spike in the weeks since Thanksgiving, which Fauci described as “extraordinary.”
“Each day, we have another record where it rains between 200,000 to 300,000 new cases a day. We have over 2,000 deaths per day … 300,000 total deaths. I mean, these are things that are data that you can’t run away from,” he said.
Fauci advised Americans to “stay at home as much as you can, keep your interactions to the extent possible to members of the same household … This cannot be business as usual this Christmas because we’re already in a very difficult situation, and we’re going to make it worse, if we don’t do something about it.”
Fauci also maintained that the “independent spirit in the United States of people not wanting to comply with public health measures has certainly hurt us a bit.”
“There are people in various parts of the country who still believe that [COVID-19] is a hoax, that it’s fake — even when in their own state the hospitals have been overrun with patients in the hospital beds and in the intensive care unit,” Fauci said. “That’s very unusual to see a situation like that, but that is what is going on in this country.”
Fauci’s Christmas advice echoed what he said regarding Thanksgiving.
As The Daily Wire reported:
“You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected,” Fauci told CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell.
“That is unfortunately a risk, when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting,” he said. “It is unfortunate, because that’s such a sacred part of American tradition — the family gathering around Thanksgiving. But that is a risk.”
“Given the fluid and dynamic nature of what’s going on right now in the spread and the uptick of infections, I think people should be very careful and prudent about social gatherings, particularly when members of the family might be at a risk because of their age or their underlying condition,” Fauci said.
Related: Dr. Fauci Suggests Canceling Thanksgiving Family Gatherings This Year