The top infectious disease expert in the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci, stated that he and his wife will not celebrate Christmas with his three adult daughters amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and urged Americans to follow his example, Fox News reported on Wednesday.
Fauci made his recommendation in an interview with the Washington Post, adding that his family will not come together for his 80th birthday on Christmas Eve as well. One of the most prominent members of the Trump administration's White House Coronavirus Task Force, Fauci noted that this Christmas would be the first that he would spend without his three daughters since they were born.
"I’m going to be with my wife – period," the media giant quoted Fauci. "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 warned that Christmas cannot be "business as usual", as many Americans ignored health guidelines over Thanksgiving.
"Stay at home as much as you can, keep your interactions to the extent possible to members of the same household," he said. "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."
Fauci stressed again that the pandemic is "an unusual situation" and is "not going to last forever", but asked fellow citizens to be strong.
"It is highly likely that with vaccines being distributed, that we will be back to normal by next Christmas," Fauci suggested.
Fauci's request caused emotional reactions on social media, including Twitter. Many tweeted dissent, sometimes harshly.
Dr. Grinch Fauci !!— #WWG1WGA 🛑-Roger Michaud 🚀 (@Rogercmichaud) December 17, 2020
I would take advice about being a nun from Whoopi Goldberg before I would take advice from Fauci on my health— Sam Childs (@samchildsDJ) December 17, 2020
Dr. Fauci is now telling parents not to see their children this Christmas.— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) December 17, 2020
Literally dude - Go to hell.
Hey Fauci 💋 your Grinch ass pic.twitter.com/FotTA5DL4w— freedomWarrior (@1983JPK) December 17, 2020
When Dr. Fauci says to cancel Christmas: pic.twitter.com/qZtfORFs1y— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) December 16, 2020
Nevertheless, some Twitterians agreed with the reasoning of the nation's top infection specialist, and noted that they too would follow the national safety guidelines.
I have talked to one to many people with covid this week. I want to see Christmas next year. We are staying home.— Meryl Lane (@MerylLa59255340) December 16, 2020
Fauci warned people not to travel for Thanksgiving.. but 5 Million did so anyways (plane). USA at heartbreaking 3K deaths/ almost last two weeks..— M4ZK (@M4ZK_) December 17, 2020
people should heed this warning. Skip the family for the Holidays.. so that everyone is there next year. https://t.co/oLWzYYRa7Q
According to data collated in real time by Johns Hopkins University, the coronavirus death toll in the US hit a new daily average record of 3,700 deaths on Wednesday, while the total number of dead has passed a frightening 307,000. The nation registered a record number of new cases in 24 hours, about 250,000 on Wednesday.
The country is currently seeing rapidly rising numbers of new COVID-19 infections over the past month.