# Dr. Fauci: ‘For the first time in more than 30 years, I’m not spending the Christmas holidays with my daughters’

Dr. Fauci: ‘For the first time in more than 30 years, I’m not spending the Christmas holidays with my daughters’

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned of a ‘dark time’ in mid-January after Christmas and Hanukkah

Dr. Fauci warned Monday that Christmas could create another COVID-19 surge.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the past three decades, told CBS News during the Milken Institute’s Future of Health Summit that people should avoid travel this month.

As hospitals await an increase in cases after Thanksgiving, he said, “For the first time in more than 30 years, I’m not spending the Christmas holidays with my daughters.”

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(Fauci had said much the same in October, with Thanksgiving on the horizon, about gathering only on Zoom
 with family, aside from his wife of 35 years.)

The post-Thanksgiving case increase is expected to happen right before “the Christmas, Hanukkah potential surge,” he said.

Speaking to CNN on Monday, Fauci warned that Americans are facing a “critical time” and the next potential surge over the holidays could lead to a dark January, “This may be even more compounded because it’s a longer holiday,” he said.

Fauci, saying 10 people gathered indoors during the holidays is likely too many, also issued this stark warning to Americans in a video appearance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday:

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‘We could start to see things start to get really bad in the middle of January, not only for New York state but for any state or city.’

That, he added, “could be a really dark time for us.”

The U.S. set a record for COVID-19–related hospitalizations this month with more than 100,000 patients, and the number of people with the virus in intensive-care units surpassed 20,000. Dr. Thomas Russo, the chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo, told WGRZ-TV over the weekend that an increase in “bad outcomes” may take four to six weeks.

Don’t miss:Here is advice for those who wish to travel

Risk factors to consider before attending a gathering include local community spread of COVID-19; exposure during travel; the location and duration of the gathering, and whether it’s indoors; the number of attendees and capacity for physical distancing; and attendees’ preventive behaviors before and during the gathering, such as mask wearing.

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As of Thursday, nearly 69 million people worldwide had contracted COVID-19 and 1.57 million people had died. The U.S. had 15.4 million cases and 289,450 fatalities, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations held below 60,000 during the early wave of the pandemic in the spring.

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There has been progress on vaccines. BioNTech SE
and Pfizer
said a final analysis of their vaccine candidate showed 95% rather than 90% efficacy. Meanwhile, Moderna
 said its vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective.  

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A vaccine candidate from AstraZeneca
 and the University of Oxford is safe and effective and showed an average efficacy of 70% in a pooled analysis of interim data, according to a peer-reviewed study published Tuesday.

Efficacy was 62% for trial participants who received two full doses of the experimental vaccine, but increased to 90% among a subgroup of volunteers who received a half dose, then a full dose, according to the full late-stage clinical trial data published in The Lancet.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
the S&P 500 Index
 and the Nasdaq Composite
 were lower Wednesday, weighed down by the rise in cases across the U.S. Reports of a possible compromise between lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle on a new COVID-19–related stimulus bill, and progress with vaccines have helped stocks make gains in recent weeks.

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