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Fauci Says if You Should "Cancel Christmas"

“I'm not saying that everyone should cancel the family gathering,” Fauci clarified.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Director Of Nat'l Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Discusses Global Health Threats

As coronavirus deaths tally up to a 9/11 every day, public health experts have sounded the alarm that things could get even worse this holiday season, as traveling for Christmas may spread the virus, leading to another "surge on top of a surge." "I'm going to be with my wife — period," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, told the Washington Post's Power Up this week. this week. His daughters won't be attending. "The Christmas holiday is a special holiday for us because Christmas Eve is my birthday. And Christmas Day is Christmas Day. And they 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." So is Fauci saying we should "cancel Christmas"? Read on to hear his warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Says Gathering Involves Risk of Disease—and Dying. You Make the Choice.

Dr. Fauci has been clear this week about how you might catch COVID-19—and how you might pass it along to someone else—and begs you prevent this from happening. Many people may feel no symptoms, and thus spread the virus unwillingly to people who could die, or have live-long disabilities. "Stay at home as much as you can, keep your interactions to the extent possible to members of the same household," he advised. "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."

On Fox News last night, host Bill Hemmer asked Fauci if we indeed do need to "cancel Christmas." 

"You know, I'm not saying that everyone should cancel the family gathering," Fauci clarified. "I'm saying that people will need to make individual choices. And when you're talking about having a congregate setting for a dinner, not cancel the family aspect, but you know, you have some Christmas dinners. People bring friends and others in who traveled from different parts of the country. You could have 15, 20 people at a dinner that's really somewhat risky. You can do a modified version of that. You don't have to cancel things. You can still spend time with your family. I'm just asking people to be careful when it comes to travel, that may not be necessary travel that you can avoid. And when you get together, try to make some limitations to it."

"I think," he added, "there's been a misinterpretation somehow by some that said that you have to cancel all family integration."

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Consider a Risk Assessment

What Fauci said previously of Thanksgiving can apply to Christmas. "It's an important family holiday. I mean, every family is different," he told host Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. "If you have someone in the family, an elderly person or person with an underlying condition who, whatever that underlying condition may be—diabetes, obesity, hypertension, someone on chemotherapy for one reason or other, cancer, auto-immune disease—you really need to make a decision. Do I want to put that person at an increased risk by having people coming in from all parts of the country, usually in a crowded airport without necessarily knowing if they're infected, without having time to get tested or time to do quarantine? Make your own decision. What kind of risk are you willing to take?" 

The underlying conditions Fauci mentions can put patients at a greater risk of severe illness, and "severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death," reports the CDC.

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How to Survive This Pandemic

As for yourself, follow his fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—don't visit family members on Christmas unless you're willing to possibly infect them, and others you pass by on the way there, and wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.