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Fauci: Restrictions likely won't be reversed before Christmas

National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Biden unveils COVID-19 relief plan | Post-holiday surge hits new deadly records | Senate report faults 'broken' system for insulin price hikes Should there be a 'Secretary of Thought'? Post-holiday COVID-19 surge hits new deadly records MORE said Sunday that coronavirus restrictions likely will not be reversed before Christmas. 

Host Martha Raddatz asked Fauci on ABC News's "This Week" if he thinks “we’ll be under the same restrictions you recommended on Thanksgiving, going into Christmas.”

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“You know, Martha, I can't see how we're not going to have the same thing,” he replied. “Because, when you have the kind of inflection that we have, it doesn't all of a sudden turn around like that.”

So clearly, in the next few weeks, we're going to have the same sort of thing, and perhaps even two or three weeks down the line, Martha, we may see a surge upon a surge,” he added.

Fauci continued by saying he doesn’t “want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality.”

“We said that these things would happen as we got into the cold weather and as we began traveling, and they've happened,” Fauci said. “It's going to happen again.”

“So I cannot see, all of a sudden, a relaxation of the kinds of recommendations or restrictions because we're getting into colder weather and an … even larger holiday season, as people travel to come back and forth for Christmas,” he continued.  

A week before Thanksgiving, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention advised against travel and recommended that people not gather with people outside their immediate households. 

But millions of people boarded flights last week, with last Wednesday recording the most air travel since March.

In the meantime, U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are not slowing down. The country surpassed 13 million confirmed cases on Friday and has reached a record of more than 91,000 current hospitalizations, according to the Covid Tracking Project

Health experts expect Thanksgiving gatherings across the country to contribute to even greater surges in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.