Millions of Americans are traveling and gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday, in spite of dire and urgent warnings from US doctors, nurses, health authorities and hospitals not to do so.

The travel raises the possibility of a “surge superimposed on a surge,” in the words of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and of a wave of deaths as Christmas arrives.

“There is so much community transmission all over the United States that the chances of you encountering somebody that has Covid-19 is actually very, very high, whether it’s on an airplane, at the airport or at a rest area,” said Dr Syra Madad, an infectious disease epidemiologist for New York City hospitals.

Nearly 12.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and more than 258,000 have died, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. Doctors and nurses have reported severe burnout, and some healthcare facilities have seen emerging staff shortages. States such as North Dakota have recently led the world in the death rate from the disease.

In spite of this, several recent surveys show a meaningful minority of Americans have not changed Thanksgiving plans, and intend to go ahead with travel and gatherings.

A New York Times survey showed more than a quarter of Americans still planned to dine with people outside their household. An Axios-Ipsos poll found 39% of Americans had not changed their travel plans at all, while 61% have decided to limit gatherings to those only in their household, have small dinners and avoid travel.

Read more of Jessica Glenza’s report here: Millions of Americans to travel and gather for Thanksgiving despite expert warnings




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