In the midst of a global pandemic, the December holidays started like we had never experienced before. As coronavirus cases rise in the United States and Americans choose to go ahead with their plans to visit family and friends, foreign observers watch with concern.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, thanked medical professional and essential workers for their service to the country, in the annual Thanksgiving Day proclamation released by the White House on Wednesday but ended the message by encouraging «all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship.”
In contrast, in his own Thanksgiving message, published in CNN Opinion this Thursday morning, President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden emphasized the importance of adhering to guidelines from the top health agency and public health experts for this celebration.
“There is real hope, tangible hope. So hang on. Don’t let yourself surrender to the fatigue. I know we can and we will beat this virus. America is not going to lose this war. You will get your lives back. Life is going to return to normal. That will happen. This will not last forever» said the Democrat.
As s disturbing fact, on Thanksgiving’s eve, the U.S. reported record hospitalizations (nearly 90,000) and its highest number of coronavirus deaths (2,300) since May.
Meanwhile, roughly 900,000 to 1 million people per day passed through U.S. airport checkpoints from Friday through last Wednesday. That was a drop-off of around 60% from the same time a year ago, but the more than 1 million people screened at airports Wednesday was the largest since the start of the COVID19 pandemic.
Former White House medical team advisor Dr. Jonathan Reiner warned that if Americans don’t alter their behavior, Thanksgiving could become “the mother of all superspreader events.”
According to experts consulted by the Washington Post, decisions over whether to gather have turned divisive, as this holiday includes the key ingredients — a shared, indoor meal and inter-household mixing — that could spark an even worse surge in cases in the coming weeks.
The White House has mainly remain silent on health precautions for the holiday and hasn’t done much to promote the guidance from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).