Dr. Fauci's 80th birthday is on Christmas Eve, and he's celebrating it with a Zoom party

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Fauci birthday
Dr. Anthony Fauci will turn 80 on December 24, 2020. Tijmen Kielen/Flickr/Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci turns 80 on Christmas Eve, and he plans to celebrate with a family Zoom party. 

  • It will be the first year the nation's top infectious disease expert doesn't spend the holidays with his three daughters, who live in various cities across the country, in person. 

  • He and other experts encourage all Americans to make changes to holiday traditions to help control the virus, which just reached its highest level of current hospitalizations. 

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dr. Anthony Fauci will turn 80 years old on Christmas Eve.

The milestone birthday will cap off a monumental year for the nation's top infectious disease expert, whose New York-accented voice of reason has made him a household name, sought-after interview subject, and an inspiration for the next generation of doctors

To celebrate, Fauci will party with his family on Zoom. 

"We're going to have a Zoom celebration with my wife and I in my house, and my children scattered throughout the country," Fauci told CBS Evening News Anchor and Managing Editor Norah O'Donnell during the Milken Institute's Future of Health Summit Monday. 

Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has three daughters in their 20s and 30s who live in different cities across the country.

The virtual celebration will be the first time since their births Fauci hasn't spent his birthday and Christmas with them in person. But, he added, "we'll get through it." 

Fauci and his wife also spent Thanksgiving physically apart from their children. The women encouraged their parents to "have a nice quiet dinner," and said they'd send their love via Zoom. 

The doctor and other experts have urged families across the country to take their lead and alter any travel or gathering plans that could dramatically worsen the coronavirus's already devastating trajectory. 

Experts recommend avoiding travel 

The first five days of December brought about 1 million more COVID-19 cases in the US, and the country just exceeded 100,000 current hospitalizations for the first time.

Experts predict rates will only get worse if people gather indoors and travel for the upcoming holidays, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's ask that Americans not travel for Christmas and New Years.

"The Christmas issue even bothers me more than Thanksgiving," Fauci told O'Donnell, since the celebrations and related travel, on top of New Year's Eve, span weeks, not days. The full impact of Thanksgiving has yet to be seen, he said. 

But a post-holiday surge isn't inevitable, Fauci said. 

"We have tough times ahead of us, but we need to address them by doubling down on public-health measures, wearing masks, avoiding crowds and congregate settings, keeping physical distance," he said. "If we can do that together, pulling together as we get the vaccine rolled out, we should be OK, but it's not going to happen spontaneously. We're going to have to make the effort to do that." 

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