Fauci urges weighing the risks of holiday travel

ANTHONY FAUCI: "Right now, the curve is like that."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, urged Americans on Sunday to do a serious "risk-benefit assessment" before traveling for Thanksgiving this week, as the number of U.S. coronavirus cases surpassed 12 million, rising by more than a million in less than a week for the first time.

FAUCI: "In general, what I would recommend -- and I do this every day, Margaret -- is to tell families to just take a moment to do what I call a risk-benefit determination. If I have someone in my home who's elderly, someone who has an underlying condition, do I really want to put that person at risk from someone who innocently or inadvertently could infect them? Because we know clearly that people who don't have symptoms are clearly capable and are transmitting the infection."

Fauci's strong recommendation during an interview on CBS's Face The Nation came as COVID-19 deaths topped 255,000, and Fauci warned that deaths could rise to over 2,000 a day in the coming weeks.

FAUCI: "These numbers really speak for themselves, Margaret. We're in a very, very difficult situation at all levels. So I think, I would hope, that the people who are pushing back on the recommendations for mitigation measures just look at the numbers, look at the facts. They're staring us right in the face."

Some Americans are ignoring a warning from the CDC, which recommended against traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

ANDREW CUOMO: "This is a dangerous period."

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York -- which was the first major U.S. coronavirus epicenter -- said he expects a spike in cases because of holiday gatherings.

CUOMO: "I believe the COVID rate will increase, just as I believe most New Yorkers will put on weight. The only question is how much and how fast."

Meanwhile, the chief scientific adviser for the government's "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine program said on Sunday that the first Americans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine could get it as soon as Dec. 11 if the FDA grants approval, which would kick off the largest inoculation campaign in U.S. history.

Video Transcript

ANTHONY FAUCI: Right now, the curve is like that.

- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, urged Americans on Sunday to do a serious risk-benefit assessment before traveling for Thanksgiving this week, as the number of US coronavirus cases surpassed 12 million, rising by more than a million in less than a week for the first time.

ANTHONY FAUCI: In general, what I would recommend-- and I do this every day, Margaret-- is to tell families to just take a moment to do what I call a risk-benefit determination. If I have someone in my home who's elderly, someone who has an underlying condition, do I really want to put that person at risk from someone who innocently or inadvertently could infect them? Because we know clearly that people who don't have symptoms are clearly capable and are transmitting the infection.

- Fauci's strong recommendation during an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" came as COVID-19 deaths topped 255,000. And Fauci warned that deaths could rise to over 2,000 a day in the coming weeks.

ANTHONY FAUCI: These numbers really speak for themselves, Margaret. We're in a very, very difficult situation at all levels. So I think-- I would hope that the people who are pushing back on the recommendations for mitigation measures just look at the numbers, look at the facts. They're staring us right in the face.

- Some Americans are ignoring a warning from the CDC, which recommended against traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

ANDREW CUOMO: This is a dangerous period.

- Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, which was the first major US coronavirus epicenter said he expects a spike in cases because of holiday gatherings.

ANDREW CUOMO: I believe the COVID rate will increase, just as I believe most New Yorkers will put on weight. The only question is, how much and how fast?

- Meanwhile, the chief scientific advisor for the government's Operation Warp Speed vaccine program said on Sunday that the first Americans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine could get it as soon as December 11, if the FDA grants approval, which would kick off the largest inoculation campaign in US history.