Fauci says the full brunt of Thanksgiving on US Covid-19 data isn't here yet

Dr. Anthony Fauci talks with CNN's John Berman about how holiday gatherings have impacted the rate of coronavirus deaths across the country.

Posted: Dec 7, 2020 1:23 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2020 9:30 PM


The United States hasn't seen the full impact that Thanksgiving gatherings likely will have on rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday.

'The blip from Thanksgiving isn't even here yet,' Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS' Norah O'Donnell during the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit.

'So we're getting those staggering numbers of new cases and hospitalizations before we even feel the full brunt of the Thanksgiving holiday,' Fauci said. Health experts warned before the holiday that Americans should gather virtually rather than risk exposure.

As the US nears an average of 200,000 Covid-19 cases a day, experts say 'behavior and cold weather' are behind the current surge gripping American communities.

'People are going indoors, they're not minding the three W's,' Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar told Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday. 'Our advice is always the same. Wash your hands, watch your distance, wear face coverings.'

Health experts have long warned that the holiday season would bring a spike in coronavirus cases as people increasingly gather indoors. As of Sunday, the US averaged 196,233 new cases over the past week, another record high, according to a CNN analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 14.9 million confirmed cases have been reported in the US since the pandemic began, and more than 283,000 people have died.

And with the recent spike in cases, record hospitalizations have followed. On Monday, 102,148 patients were in the hospital with the virus, according to the Covid Tracking Project -- the sixth consecutive day the US surpassed 100,000 hospitalizations.

The Thanksgiving surge could begin to show itself in the coming week, Fauci said, because it generally takes about two and a half weeks from the time of the event until a surge in new positive test cases and potential hospitalizations.

'The problem is, that's going to come right up to the beginning of the Christmas, Hanukkah potential surge,' he said.

The middle of January 'could be a really dark time for us,' he added.

For his part, Fauci said he plans to observe the holidays differently this year.

'For the first time in more than 30 years, I'm not spending the Christmas holidays with my daughters,' Fauci said.

No guidance yet on being vaccinated if you already had Covid

It's unclear whether Americans who have had Covid-19 and have antibodies to the virus should get a vaccine, Azar said Monday.

'That's something that the FDA has not ruled on and CDC has not ruled on, yet, in terms of providing guidance,' Azar said during an interview with NBC.

Azar clarified that he was not saying people who have had the virus and recovered either should or should not get vaccinated. 'I have actually explicitly asked the FDA for advice on this question because it has come up,' he said.

In fact, it came up at an Operation Warp Speed meeting, according to Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.

'Right now, we don't know how long people's antibodies are going to last,' Adams told Fox News. 'And we know that in the studies they vaccinated people who did have antibodies, and so it's not going to harm you, based on what we know about the vaccines, if you've had the virus and you get vaccinated again.'

Adams encouraged people who have recovered to donate plasma. 'Convalescent plasma is a treatment out there that has potential to really help individuals recover if they've gotten Covid, particularly in this surge,' he added.

States reporting records with the worse still to come

Before vaccines can be distributed widely to residents, states must contend with the surge on top of a surge experts say is coming after the holidays.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state just underwent 'our highest week to date.' The state reported 10 confirmed deaths, a positivity rate of 9.75% and 2,567 new cases as of Sunday evening -- the second-highest for a Sunday in Kentucky.

While the rate of growth appeared to be slowing, he said, it is still unclear whether data will show 'a Thanksgiving surge' later this week.

New Jersey and California saw record highs for cases reported in one day. New Jersey reported 6,046 Sunday, topping the previous all-time high recorded Friday, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

In the more populous California, the record high was more than 30,000 cases on Sunday. The state also reported an all-time high for hospitalizations with 10,624 patients, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The increase has pushed some states to take aggressive measures, including about 33 million Californians under new stay-at-home orders.

And in Maine, which has the second-lowest total of reported cases per capita, the number of infections since October 31 has more than doubled, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296745

Reported Deaths: 6783
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19731230
Hinds18881393
Harrison16780282
Rankin12787265
Jackson12643229
Lee9703161
Madison9484203
Jones8005147
Forrest7250138
Lauderdale6847227
Lowndes6033140
Lamar590980
Lafayette5747113
Washington5229130
Bolivar4620124
Oktibbeha442194
Panola432396
Pearl River4193132
Warren4138115
Pontotoc410771
Marshall404492
Monroe3993128
Union396474
Neshoba3822170
Lincoln3564104
Hancock350277
Leflore3389119
Sunflower319286
Tate303374
Pike301796
Scott295271
Alcorn292463
Yazoo290865
Itawamba290275
Coahoma282069
Tippah279565
Copiah279259
Simpson276680
Prentiss271158
Wayne254541
Leake253172
Marion252778
Covington249780
Grenada248578
Adams235078
George232445
Newton231252
Winston221979
Jasper213845
Tishomingo212965
Attala206870
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182770
Clay179251
Stone173029
Tallahatchie171439
Clarke169672
Calhoun158528
Smith153033
Yalobusha145536
Greene127933
Walthall124540
Noxubee123131
Montgomery122939
Perry122235
Lawrence120621
Carroll119025
Amite112235
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99523
Claiborne99129
Benton93924
Humphreys93027
Kemper90423
Quitman77414
Franklin76219
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62427
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498076

Reported Deaths: 10094
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson716711387
Mobile36294737
Madison32616468
Tuscaloosa24340421
Montgomery22739519
Shelby22174218
Baldwin19873289
Lee15039157
Calhoun13832293
Morgan13753254
Etowah13390325
Marshall11448211
Houston10124264
Elmore9483190
Limestone9420138
St. Clair9022227
Cullman8984182
Lauderdale8612214
DeKalb8489175
Talladega7606165
Walker6585259
Jackson6545104
Autauga632492
Blount6236127
Colbert6001121
Coffee5264103
Dale4671107
Russell406933
Franklin399878
Covington3993106
Chilton3898103
Escambia379173
Tallapoosa3622143
Clarke344053
Chambers3431111
Dallas3422142
Pike293373
Marion288695
Lawrence284985
Winston258368
Bibb246160
Geneva240370
Marengo238857
Pickens225457
Barbour213651
Hale212269
Fayette202057
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178039
Monroe166739
Randolph164840
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146255
Clay145954
Cleburne139841
Lamar133733
Lowndes132751
Wilcox122925
Bullock117336
Conecuh107024
Perry106127
Sumter99732
Coosa90224
Greene88532
Choctaw55323
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