Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Infections and Allergy Diseases, has made a final appeal to Americans with just a few hours before one of the biggest holidays in the country. The infectious disease expert urged Americans to desist from hosting large parties in their homes during the holidays to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Fauci and other public health experts are worried that with the situation of things in the country if people let down their guards during the holidays, the effect could be disastrous for everyone. Currently, over 85,000 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized and over 1,000 hospitals are short-staffed. The infectious disease expert and others worry that with these figures, a spike in infection rates could lead to a huge public health emergency in the country.
“We have to keep our holiday indoor gatherings as small as possible,” Fauci said. “It is difficult because this is a holiday we’ve all been looking forward to but if we can stick to the rules, we will stay safe, keep our loved ones safe and keep our country safe.”
Fauci explained that families having Thanksgiving dinners with people who are not members of their household could be making a big mistake. He also stated that it is important to remember that an asymptomatic person could easily transmit the infection to a whole family, Fox News reports.
Dr. Hassan Taha, a medical practitioner at Stormont Vail Health in Topeka, Kansas informed reporters that the hospital, like many other hospitals in the country, is already at its capacity, and will not be able to admit patients if there is a fresh wave of infections.
“I am so concerned about the Thanksgiving holiday and with the situation of things it will be disastrous if we get patients that we and other hospitals around can’t attend to,” Taha said. “Currently Stormont Vail has 100 COVID-19 patients, and we cannot take anymore.”
Fauci also explained that if people are very conscientious about COVID-19 protocols and safety measures during the holidays, the government may drop some of the restrictions currently in place and ease the effects on businesses and personal activities as soon as vaccine distribution commences.
One of the panels of the Food and Drug Administration will meet on December 10 to discuss the possible approval of Pfizer’s application for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement Alex Azar, secretary of the Health and Human Services made on Tuesday. If the evaluation of the vaccine’s claim of 95% success rate proves to be true, without risks that outweigh its benefits, then distribution will begin soon after.