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Fauci calls on Americans to evaluate 'risk-benefit' of Thanksgiving gatherings

Fauci calls on Americans to evaluate 'risk-benefit' of Thanksgiving gatherings
© Bloomberg/Pool

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: White House seeks to clarify press release claiming pandemic over | Fauci: COVID vaccine likely not available until next year Fauci: COVID-19 vaccine likely not available until next year Kushner told Woodward in April Trump was 'getting the country back from the doctors' MORE warned Thursday that American families should “evaluate the risk-benefit” of having a Thanksgiving gathering with regard to spreading coronavirus. 

“We really have to be careful this time, and each individual family evaluate the risk-benefit of doing that, particularly when you have people coming in from out of town who may have been on airplanes, in airports,” Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.

The calculation depends in part on the risks for the people who would participate in the gathering, he said. 

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“If you have vulnerable people, the elderly or people with underlying conditions, you better consider whether you want to do that now or maybe just forestall it and just wait and say, 'You know, this is an unfortunate and unusual situation, I may not want to take the risk.' But then it's up to the individuals and the choices they make,” he added. 

As Thanksgiving nears, officials are warning that small family gatherings are the source of a significant amount of spread of the virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield warned about such gatherings on Tuesday in a call with governors, CNN reported. 

The warnings come as cases are rising again in the United States as the weather cools and people move indoors, with an average of more than 50,000 cases per day. 

Fauci said the situation in the country is “quite concerning [and] we've really got to double down on the fundamental public health measures that we talk about every single day, because they can make a difference.”

He has been urging Americans to wear masks, maintain six feet of distance, avoid crowds, move activities outdoors when possible and to wash their hands.