CDC warns against Thanksgiving travel

The day after the U.S. passed the breathtaking milestone of a quarter of a million deaths from COVID-19.

the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday strongly recommended Americans not travel for Thanksgiving.

On a call with reporters, the CDC's Dr. Henry Walke said the country was facing a dire situation ahead of the holiday.

AUDIO: "We're alarmed with the exponential increase in cases, rising hospitalizations and deaths."

The CDC also warned against gathering with anyone who hasn’t lived in the same household for at least fourteen days.

The remarks come as new infections explode across the country.

and as the U.S. again set a record for the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 nationwide.

A Reuters tally showed nearly 79,000 people in the United States were hospitalized with the virus on Thursday.

Over the past 14 days, hospitalizations jumped nearly 50% straining the nation’s healthcare system and forcing states to impose new restrictions.

New York City abruptly shut in person-learning as the city’s 7-day positive test rate averaged 3%. Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was a painful but necessary step.

"I do understand the frustration of parents wanting their kids to be in school and that's what I fought for in September against all odds."

The mayor faced backlash for his decision, with outraged parents rallying outside City Hall on Thursday.

As cases mount across the country, some encouraging news on the vaccine-front:

AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Thursday said their potential COVID-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response in older adults while Moderna said its vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19.

Drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech also released data showing their vaccine -- which the two companies developed together -- was 95% effective in preventing infections.

Pfizer said it planned to apply for FDA emergency use authorization “within days,” raising hopes that a working vaccine could soon become a reality.

Video Transcript

- The day after the US passed the breathtaking milestone of a quarter of a million deaths from COVID-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday strongly recommended Americans not travel for Thanksgiving. On a call with reporters, the CDC's Dr. Henry Walke said the country was facing a dire situation ahead of the holiday.

HENRY WALKE: I think why now is-- this is-- we're alarmed, again, with the exponential increase in cases and hospitalizations and deaths.

- The CDC also warned against gathering with anyone who hasn't lived in the same household for at least 14 days. The remarks come as new infections explode across the country and as the US again set a record for the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 nationwide. A "Reuters" tally showed nearly 79,000 people in the US were hospitalized with the virus on Thursday. Over the past 14 days, hospitalizations jumped nearly 50%, straining the nation's health care system and forcing states to impose new restrictions.

BILL DE BLASIO: It was a tough decision yesterday.

- New York City abruptly shut in-person learning as the city's seven-day positive test rate averaged 3%. Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was a painful but necessary step.

BILL DE BLASIO: And I do want to say how much I feel and understand the frustration of parents, that so many of them want their kids to be in school. And that's what I fought for in opening our schools back in September, against all odds.

[CROWD CHANTING]

- The mayor faced backlash for his decision with outraged parents rallying outside City Hall on Thursday.

- Our most vulnerable kids need school to be open to have a fighting chance-- a fighting chance-- at the American dream.

- As cases mount across the country, some encouraging news on the vaccine front-- AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Thursday said their potential COVID-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response in older adults, while Moderna said its vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19. Drug makers Pfizer and BioNTech also released data showing their vaccine, which the two companies developed together, was 95% effective in preventing infections. Pfizer said it plans to apply for FDA emergency use authorization within days, raising hopes that a working vaccine could soon become a reality.