December 07, 2020

Fauci warns pandemic could really get bad in mid-January after holiday gatherings
Dr. Anthony Fauci offered a bleak warning on Monday that "without substantial mitigation" efforts in the coming weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic could "really get bad" in the middle of January. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joined New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for a briefing on Monday, and the governor asked Fauci when there might be a peak in COVID-19 cases due to Americans gathering for the holidays. Fauci told Cuomo that the full effect of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings is likely to be seen in "another week, a week and a half from now." But he warned this is "going to come right up to the beginning" of a potential surge due to gatherings for the upcoming winter holidays. "So you have a surge upon a surge, and then before you can handle that, more people are going to travel over Christmas, they're going to have more of those family and Friends gatherings," Fauci said. "If those two things happen, and we don't mitigate well — we don't listen to the public health measures that we need to follow — we could start to see things really get bad in the middle of January." "Without substantial mitigation, the middle of January can be a really dark time for us," Fauci added. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously urged Americans to avoid traveling for Christmas, while CDC Director Robert Redfield said the next few months will likely be "the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation." In an earlier interview with CNN, Fauci said he has the same concerns about Christmas gatherings and travel leading to an increase in COVID-19 cases as he had prior to Thanksgiving. But, he added, Christmas may be "even more of a challenge."

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