Skip to content

Dr. Fauci Warns This Behavior is "Very Risky"

“It's not [safe] because there's a considerable amount of transmission,” he said.
Smiling woman talking with friends sitting at dining tablet at home. Group of people having great time at dinner party.

The coronavirus numbers never seem to get better: America has more than 10 million cases total. More than 100,000 daily. More than 241,000 deaths total. More than 1,000 people die every day due to it. Could things possibly get worse? Well, yes, but you can help stop it. In an interview during the Financial Times' Global Boardroom Conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shared his concern about the risks we are all facing. Fauci said one activity in particular was "very risky." Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Which Behavior Did Dr. Fauci Call "Very Risky" During the Pandemic?

Hannah Kuchler, US Pharma and Biotech Correspondent for the Financial Times, asked Fauci about the rising cases and hospitalizations. "One of the things that we've been seeing in the United States that really is disturbing," he answered. "And when I call up my European colleagues, they're seeing the same thing. There's not a lot of difference between what goes on in Europe and what goes on here in the United States and in the UK. And that is people innocently are getting a few family, a few friends, maybe a dinner party or [an] indoor social gathering of not a lot of people. We're not talking about massive crowds. We're talking about people, 8, 10 people getting together for a social event. You would assume since you know everyone there and since no one has any symptoms that is safe. As it turns out what we're seeing in the United States is that it's not [safe] because there's a considerable amount of transmission among people who are without symptoms."

How You Could Catch COVID From Gatherings—Even Family Gatherings

The virus spreads a few ways indoors. When you come in, you likely take your mask off. There's often poor ventilation inside. Then, "you can't wear a mask when you're eating and drinking," says Fauci. "So if you're [in] as something as innocent as a social setting, you really gotta be careful. And that's one of the things that we're contemplating now in the United States—we're just a week and a half away from the Thanksgiving holidays where people will be traveling. They'll likely be at a crowded airport, there'll be coming from different parts of the country to meet with their family. You know, we don't want to shut down Thanksgiving. I mean, obviously that's such an important function traditionally in this country, but we're asking people to really consider the risk benefit of a large family gathering. And by considering a risk benefit, I mean, what you might want to do is say in my family:

  • Do I have elderly people?
  • Do I have people with underlying conditions, obesity, diabetes, hypertension? 
  • Or even a relative, a family member who's on chemotherapy for cancer or for an autoimmune disease?

Those things are very risky. So you say to yourself, do I want to really have a family gathering? Or should I say, you know what? Let's just cool it this time and look forward to the next time."

RELATED: Unhealthiest Habits on the Planet, According to Doctors

What Dr. Fauci is Doing for Thanksgiving to Protect Himself and His Family. Maybe Follow His Lead.

Fauci has a family and shared how he intends to spend the holiday. "Every family is an individual family unit and you have to make up your own mind, but I have three daughters, adult professional women who live in three separate parts of the country, West coast, East coast, South. And they have made a decision themselves that they don't want to ]put me at risk] as their father. I mean, because as much as you don't like to say, you're elderly. In fact, I am—I say that and I wince—but it's the truth. And I think that they're being very responsible. I would love to see them." Instead, "I'm going to have a quiet dinner with my wife. Yeah. And deal with my children through Zoom the way you and I are speaking."

RELATED: This is the #1 Way You'll Get COVID, According to Doctors

How to Avoid Dying From COVID-19

Fauci tried to spin the bad news into something useful. "What I would hope is that the projection of the models, as scary as they seem, might be an incentive for all of us globally to realize that we have to double down and uniformly do the fundamental things that are not that difficult to do, but we are not necessarily doing them uniformly, certainly not in the United States," Fauci said. "And I hope that what we're seeing now triggers that it's the uniform and universal wearing of mass keeping distance, avoiding crowds, doing things outdoors, much more than indoors, avoid congregate settings, especially indoors." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.