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Dr. Fauci Says "Be Careful" of This COVID Hotspot

Limit gatherings and travel this holiday season, Fauci implores.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

We are in the midst of a pandemic unlike anything seen in our lifetimes, with more than 3,000 Americans dying from COVID-19 daily. Yet as life goes on for the living, many wonder how to celebrate Christmas? Should it be "canceled"? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussed what to worry about and how to stay safe, during an interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS News Hour. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Warns You "Be Careful" and Dine Only With People Who Are Safe

"You know, Judy, this is a tough recommendation because I am not recommending that we cancel Christmas," said Fauci. "Someone was tweeting that around, saying I was trying to cancel the holidays. That's not the case at all. But I think there is something we have to face when you get into a holiday situation where there's a lot of travel of people from different places. And you have a tendency to congregate indoors with a larger numbers of people than you usually do. Families and friends come over for dinners. You have sometimes the big Christmas dinners of 15, 20 people."

Dr. Fauci's ultimate message is, don't do things that will potentially get yourself or others killed. "I'm just saying, be careful—limit travel, to the extent possible within the framework of your family. And try when you have indoor settings, such as meals that you do with the limited number of people, you get family, maybe a few friends who you have confidence that they're being very careful, but not the 20, 25-size dinners that you have sometimes with people that you have no connection—with just a friend of a friend, you don't know where they've been, where they've come from or what their exposure is."

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Dr. Fauci is Asking You to Be Careful Because We Have a "Significant Surge"

Dr. Fauci doesn't want to be "the Grinch" but encourages you to face reality.  "We are in the middle…[of a] significant surge," he said. "If you look at the map of the country and you look at the numbers of places where there's an increase in cases, and just look at the numbers that we have now, we're averaging between 2 and 300 cases, 300,000 cases a day we have between 2 and 300 deaths per day. The hospitalizations are at a hundred thousand plus; California is in a very dire situation. As you heard, they're running out of ICU beds. So we are in a serious situation. And despite the fact that there's the light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines being rolled out through December, into January, February and beyond, we still have to be careful because there's a lot of virus out there. That's all I'm recommending. Be careful during the Christmas holidays and tone it down a bit. You don't have to cancel what you're doing, but tone it down a bit."

As for Fauci himself, he's going to spend Christmas Eve—his birthday—at home. "I am going to do what I recommend to the rest of the country. You asked, so I am going to be 80 years old on Christmas Eve. I'm going to spend it at a quiet dinner with my wife. We will do what we did over Thanksgiving. I will Zoom in my three daughters so we can have a chat and maybe share a glass of Prosecco with them. And then we'll have a quiet dinner. So I'm going to practice what I've been preaching to the American public."

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How to Survive This Pandemic

As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—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, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more