Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, on Wednesday urged Americans to have a low-key Christmas to avoid spreading the coronavirus.
“I’m going to be with my wife — period,” Fauci told The Washington Post. “The Christmas holiday is a special holiday for us because Christmas Eve is my birthday. And Christmas Day is Christmas Day. And they are not going to come home. That’s painful. We don’t like that. But that’s just one of the things you’re going to have to accept as we go through this unprecedented challenging time.”
Fauci turns 80 on Dec. 24. He has three adult daughters and none will visit him or his wife Christine Grady over the holidays.
The United States currently has “a big problem” as daily new infections, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 continue to surge, Fauci continued. “Look at the numbers — the numbers are really quite dramatic.”
The pandemic has now killed more than 300,000 people nationwide. Wednesday saw 244,365 new cases reported and 3,607 deaths.
Fauci last week revealed that the 32-year-old brother of his daughter’s boyfriend died after contracting COVID-19.
He encouraged people to “stay at home as much as you can, keep your interactions to the extent possible to members of the same household.”
“This cannot be business as usual this Christmas because we’re already in a very difficult situation, and we’re going to make it worse, if we don’t do something about it,” he added.
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus
- How long does it take for the coronavirus vaccine to work?
- Which masks will actually keep your face warm this winter?
- Can you close your COVID “bubble” without losing friends forever?
- How will spending the holidays in quarantine affect our mental health?
- What happens to all those face masks and gloves we’re tossing in the trash?
- Find all that and more on our coronavirus hub page.