Two million people traveled by plane in the United States on Friday and Saturday despite the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) issuing new guidelines last week and as Dr Anthony Fauci urged Americans to do a ‘risk-benefit assessment’ before Thanksgiving travel.
With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation’s top public health agency pleaded with Americans on Thursday not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household.
Despite those warnings, 1,019,836 passengers flew in the US on Friday, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Nearly a million more traveled Saturday, their data shows.
Friday’s figure is 1.5 million less than on the same day in 2019 but it’s the second-highest number of people to travel by air since the pandemic hit the US in March. On October 18, the TSA reported that 1,031,505 people boarded flights.
Meanwhile, Dr Fauci has urged Americans to really look at the bigger picture before they travel or make plans for the holidays.
‘I think the people in this country need to realistically do a risk-benefit assessment,’ the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told NBC anchor Chuck Todd on Meet the Press.
‘Every family is different. Everyone has a different level of risk that they want to tolerate.
‘But when you think of the holiday season and the congregating indoors at what are innocent, lovely functions, like meals with family and friends, you have got to at least think in terms of evaluating, do you have people in your family that are elderly, that might have underlying conditions, like someone on chemotherapy, or other things that weaken their immune system?’
Fauci said that families should also consider the areas people would be traveling from.
‘Do you really want to get a crowd of 10, 15, 20 people, many of whom are coming in from places where they have gone from crowded airports, to planes, getting into the house?’ he said.
While recognizing that some will host guests this holiday season, Fauci said they should ‘at least give you and your family the benefit of having considered what is the risk-benefit of doing that’.
The CDC’s Thanksgiving warning came last week and was some of the firmest guidance yet from the government on curtailing traditional gatherings to fight the outbreak.