In the weeks and months preceding the Thanksgiving holiday last year, Dr. Fauci urged people to avoid traditional family gatherings as to prevent a new surge of coronavirus infections. Fauci’s warning, however, went unheeded as millions of Americans threw caution to the wind and traveled home in late November. Shortly thereafter, with the COVID infection rate already on the rise, Fauci issued a similar plea ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays. Fauci’s warning, once again, largely fell on deaf ears and his dire prediction about an unprecedented surge of COVID infections sadly proved to be accurate.
“I think January is going to be terrible because you’re going to have the Thanksgiving surge super-imposed upon the Christmas surge,” Fauci said in early December. “So it’s entirely conceivable that January could be the worst.”
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From October 8 through January 8, the COVID infection rate jumped by more than 500%, a surge that was largely traced back to widespread travel and household gatherings over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
In light of the above, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky recently expressed concern that we might see a similar surge in COVID infections on account of college students partying on spring break. Far from a controversial statement, we saw a discernible increase in COVID infections last year in the wake of spring break festivities in Florida.
“This past Friday, we saw more travelers pass through our airports– over 1.3 million,” Walensky said during a White House press briefing this week. “This is the most travelers that we’ve had in a single day since last March before the WHO declared the global pandemic. We have seen footage of people enjoying spring break festivities maskless. This is all in the context of still 50,000 cases per day.”
“I’m pleading with you for the sake of our nation’s health,” Walensky added, “these should be warning signs for all of us. Cases climbed last spring. They climbed again in the summer. They will climb now if we stop taking precautions when we continue to get more and more people vaccinated.”
All the more worrisome is that more contagious variants of the coronavirus from the UK and South Africa are already spreading in Florida, a popular and somewhat iconic spring break destination. Compounding matters is that the UK mutation is believed to be more deadly than the original strain while the South African mutation has been found to be more resistant to existing COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
“There’s always a risk of another surge and that’s the thing we really want to avoid because we are going in the right direction,” Fauci said a few days ago. “That’s why I get so anxious when I hear pulling back completely on public health measures like saying, ‘no more masks, no nothing like that’ I mean, that’s is risky business.”
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