U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans may want to reconsider their traditional Thanksgiving celebrations due to the conronavirus pandemic.
In televised interviews Wednesday and Thursday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director suggested that spending the traditional holiday with extended family this year may not be the best idea, especially if they must travel long distances.
Fauci told the CBS Evening News, “When you're talking about relatives that are getting on a plane, being exposed in an airport, being exposed in a plane, then walk in the door and say 'Happy Thanksgiving' — that, you have to be careful about.”
Fauci says if you have a family with older, vulnerable members, or people with underlying conditions, you may want to consider putting off that family gathering.
The 79-year-old Fauci said he, himself will not have his own children home for Thanksgiving. He said they live in three different states and would have to each come through separate airports and decided it was not worth the risk.
Fauci’s caution comes a day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said small gatherings are increasingly becoming a source for spread of COVID-19. The CDC also suggested that people celebrating with members of their own immediate household is the lowest risk holiday observance.
The annual U.S. Thanksgiving Day, celebration is believed to have been modeled after on a 1621 harvest feast shared by British colonists in Plymouth, Massachusetts and their indigenous neighbors.