Fauci warns of uptick in COVID-19 cases from travel as over 5 million people pass through US airports in the past week

Graeme Jennings – Pool/Getty ImagesDr. Anthony Fauci.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, warned that there is going to be an ‘uptick’ because of the amount of travel the US has seen this Thanksgiving holiday.

“There almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what’s happened with the travel,” Fauci told ABC on Sunday.

Even as the CDC recommended against travel, over 5 million travellers passed through the US airports between Monday to Saturday of this week, according to the Transportation Security Agency (TSA)’s checkpoint travel numbers. According to the TSA, the weekend prior to the week of Thanksgiving saw a total of over 3 million travellers between Friday, Nov 20 to Sunday, Nov 22. Photos and videos showed some airport terminals and gates with alarming crowds of people.

“Well, I mean the travel that has been done has been done,” Fauci told ABC. “Right now, as people go back we want to urge them if they have been in situations outside of the family setting in which they really don’t know the level of exposure, to be really careful when you either return from the place that you went or other people come back into your house.”

As the pandemic fatigue looms over Americans who have become more likely to take risks from exhaustion over a long lost sense of normality and more people congregate indoors because of the cold weather, the US has entered a surge of Coronavirus that public health experts have warned could be the deadliest yet, Business Insider’s Aria Bendix reported.

The US has a total of over 13 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Public health experts have warned that travel from the Thanksgiving holiday may make this surge even worse, Business Insider’s Yelena Dzhanova reported.

“Everyone is totally empathetic about the fatigue everyone is feeling,” Fauci said on ABC. “But if we can hang in there a bit longer and do the fundamental things: wearing a mask uniformly, avoiding crowds in congregate settings, keeping physical distance, washing your hands. They seem simple in the enormity of the problem that we’re facing but they do make a difference.”

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