The nation's COVID-19 infections never dropped to a level that would make the disease easy to control, and as winter approaches, the colder weather and the upcoming holiday season are increasing the disease's threat, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday.
"Right now, as we are in the cool season of the fall and soon to enter the cold season of the winter, that makes it very problematic because people, out of necessity, will be congregating indoors more than outdoors," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on "CBS This Morning." "This is a particular issue as we're approaching the holiday season of Thanksgiving."
But it's not too late to turn things around, especially with vaccines so near, he added
"If we do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down," said Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. "You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile."
The disease is spreading at record numbers, though, because there asymptomatic people infecting others, said Fauci.
Fauci also urged Americans to use common sense when making their Thanksgiving plans and said people gathering with others should keep a mask on. However, the "risk goes way down" if everyone at a gathering has tested negative for COVID-19.
"Then you make a risk assessment," he said. "When families go the extra mile of either quarantining or getting tested, then I don't think you really have to say every moment you're in the house you have to have a mask."
Fauci also insisted he's "doing fine," even though he's faced some threats.
"I have taught myself over the years to focus like a laser on what my goal is and what I need to do," said Fauci. "That driving force makes all that other stuff that you're talking about become peripheral noise I don't pay attention to. And the other thing, I have a spectacular wife who is amazingly supportive of me, so I'm doing fine."
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