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Dr. Fauci Warns of COVID Death "Surge"

It might be a good idea to put your holiday plans on hold.

Temperatures are dropping and fall is officially here. While Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has been warning for months that failing to enter into the colder seasons with a low level of infection would prove to be a deadly mistake, his grim prediction might come true. During an interview with Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, Fauci expressed his fear that we are headed toward a surge of COVID-related hospitalization and even death, warning that many people should consider staying home over Thanksgiving to keep themselves as well as loved ones protected from potential infection. Read on, and don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

The Baseline of Infections is Too High

"Well, it's quite concerning George, because as you just mentioned, we have a baseline of daily infections of approximately 45, 50,000 per day. And then if you look at the States that we just mentioned, several of them — well over 30 — upticks in test positivity, which has proven in the past to be a very good prediction of a surge in cases, which ultimately leads to a surge in hospitalizations," Fauci began. "And then ultimately in some individuals, that will obviously be an increase in deaths."

"The issue is that as we enter, as we are now in the cooler season of the fall, and ultimately the colder season of the winter, you don't want to be in that compromised position where your baseline daily infection is high and you are increasing, as opposed to going in the other direction," he continued. 

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How You Can Help Turn Things Around

In order to turn things around, Fauci suggests strictly adhering to the fundamentals — which include mask wearing, social distancing, avoiding crowded places, staying outdoors instead of in. "We really got to double down on the fundamental public health measures that we talk about every single day, because they can make a difference."

As far as the holidays are concerned, Fauci urges everyone to consider their own personal situation and to make smart decisions accordingly. 

"Understanding that everyone has this traditional, emotional, understandable, warm feeling about the holidays and bringing a group of people, friends, and family together in the house indoors, that's understandable," he confessed. "But we really have to be careful this time." 

He explains that each individual family should "evaluate the risk benefit" of doing that. "Particularly when you have people coming in from out of town who may have been on airplanes in airports to just come into the house." 

This is incredibly crucial when there are people involved who fall into the higher risk category. 

"If you have vulnerable people — the elderly or people with underlying conditions — you better consider whether you want to do that now, or maybe just stall it and just wait and say, 'you know, this is an unfortunate and unusual situation. I may not want to take the risk.' But then it's up to the individuals and the choices they make," he concluded. So make the smart choice, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah