Dr. Fauci Just Gave His "Final Message" About Thanksgiving

Fauci makes one last plea for Americans to be safe and smart this holiday.

On the brink of Thanksgiving, top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, MD, has shared his final message with Americans about the holiday. Fauci has been doling out ominous warnings all week about the potential for a catastrophic COVID surge on the heels of family gatherings. Read on for Fauci's final message on COVID and Thanksgiving, and for news on the only real coronavirus containment in the country, This Is Now the Only State Without "Uncontrolled Spread" of COVID.

In a Nov. 25 appearance on Good Morning America, Fauci said, "The final message is to do what really we've been saying now for some time, is to the extent possible, keep the gatherings—the indoor gatherings— as small as you possibly can."

Fauci told George Stephanopoulos that while he sympathizes with people's desire to see family on Thanksgiving, skipping out on gatherings this holiday is crucial in preventing another spike in COVID cases. "We all know how difficult that is because this is such a beautiful, traditional holiday, but by making that sacrifice, you prevent people from getting infected," Fauci added.

Although you may feel healthy enough to visit family or friends, the infectious disease expert warns about the dangers of asymptomatic spread. People who have the virus but no symptoms can go to a gathering where they're eating and drinking without their masks on, all while unknowingly spreading COVID. "A sacrifice now could save lives and illness and make the future much brighter as we get through this because, George, we're going to get through this," Fauci said.

With a vaccine on the horizon, Fauci appeals to Americans to strictly follow precautionary measures for just a little while longer. "If we could just hang in there a bit longer and continue to do the simple mitigation things that we're talking about all the time—the masks, the distancing, the avoiding crowds particularly indoors. If we do those things, we're going to get through it, so that's my final plea before the holiday," the doctor said.

Fauci's main concern lies in the possibility of seeing a surge tacked on to America's current surge in COVID cases. "What we don't want to see is yet another surge superposed upon the surge that you just described," he noted.

This wasn't the first time Fauci warned Americans about the risks associated with Thanksgiving. Keep reading for Fauci's previous statements about gathering for the holiday, and for more on the future of coronavirus, These Are the COVID Vaccine Side Effects Doctors Are Worried About.

Families should do a risk-benefit assessment.

Woman on phone with family

During an interview with The Washington Post's Robert Costa, Fauci said that "each individual family has to make … a risk-benefit assessment about the risk you're willing to take in terms of traveling and congregating in the usual warm atmosphere of 10, 15, 20 people at a home dinner." And for more on the current state of coronavirus spread, This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.

Be on the lookout for subtle symptoms.

Woman with headache and fever

Before heading home for the holiday, Fauci urged Americans to be extra attuned to their bodies and any possible symptoms. During the Washington Post interview, Fauci advised people with a fever, sore throat, congestion, muscle aches, or a fever to stay home. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

We'll know how bad the Thanksgiving surge is two or three weeks out.

People wearing masks in street

Fauci has repeatedly warned Americans about the dangers of having a spike as a result of Thanksgiving gatherings—a spike on top of the current spikes. Fauci told Costa that a surge from Thanksgiving gatherings will manifest in two to three weeks.

"Things lag by a couple of weeks, so what we're seeing now is what happened two-plus weeks ago," he said. "What we're doing now is going to be reflected two, three weeks from now." And for another essential Thanksgiving warning, If You're Doing This, You Won't Be Totally Safe From COVID on Thanksgiving.

There are parts of the country where gathering is especially dangerous.

Thanksgiving facetime

Back on Oct. 5, Fauci tried to predict the conditions of this year's Thanksgiving. His somewhat optimistic hopes from over a month and a half ago have proven to be a bit off-base. "I say that some people in this country are going to have a relatively normal type of a Thanksgiving," Fauci told Chris Cuomo on Cuomo Prime Time. "I'd like to say that everything is gonna be great by Thanksgiving, but I'm not so sure it is."

Either way, Fauci knew there would be a large portion of Americans who wouldn't be able to safely see their families. "In other areas of the country, it's gonna be—you better hold off and maybe just have immediate family," he said. At this point, that's true nearly everywhere. And for more on how coronavirus will be contained, These Will Be the Very First People to Get the COVID Vaccine, CDC Says.

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