Dr. Andrew Pastewski, the Intensive Care Unit Medical Director at Jackson South Medical Center in Kendall, Florida, told CNN on Christmas Eve that Americans need to realize Christmas Day 2020 shouldn’t be enjoyable because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“What’s your message? It’s Christmas Eve; it’s not the only holiday obviously happening this month and in the coming days. There’s a lot that people want to celebrate and they want to find joy somewhere,” observed the CNN host in a Christmas Eve morning interview with Dr. Pastewski. “What’s your message to Americans this morning based on what you see and what you hope to see in the coming year?”
“Christmas should not be fun this year, okay?” Dr. Pastewski replied curtly.
“This should be part of the negative  that we’ve had,” he continued. “But we should see the hope of New Years 2021 — that the vaccine is here, we are getting it.”
“Let’s stay diligent, get the vaccine, and move forward to a 2021 where we don’t have to wear masks and we can all be safe and start to return to a normal life,” he added. “It just requires a little more work, a little more mask-wearing, a little more staying at home — not seeing the older people — and we’ll get there. And it will be one of America’s great triumphs to have gotten over this period, which is one of America’s worst periods.”
Dr. Andrew Pastewski’s advice for the holidays?
“Christmas should not be fun this year.” pic.twitter.com/6uclOa5tmt
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 24, 2020
Under the Trump administration, two vaccines against COVID-19 have been authorized for emergency use, and around 9.5 million doses of those vaccines have been distributed across the United States as of Wednesday morning. The CDC also recorded more than 1 million first-round inoculations using the Pfizer vaccine, which was approved earlier than the Moderna vaccine, as of Wednesday morning, but NBC News reports that this figure was likely an undercount because of the way data trickles back toward the federal government.
According to The New York Times, the U.S. government has secured contracts with Moderna and Pfizer to obtain enough COVID-19 vaccine for 200 million American adults to receive the authorized two-dose regimen before the end of July 2021. The vast majority of these vaccines will be administered in 2021, and individual states will decide who will be the highest priority to receive them first.
“We are delivering millions of doses of a safe and effective vaccine that will soon end this terrible pandemic and save millions and millions of lives,” said President Donald Trump in a video message with first lady Melania Trump on Christmas Eve. “We’re grateful for all of the scientists, researchers, manufacturing workers, and service members who have worked tirelessly to make this breakthrough possible.”
“It is truly a Christmas miracle,” the president added.
Related: President Trump, First Lady, Praise Vaccine Efforts In Christmas Video: ‘Truly A Christmas Miracle’