Thursday, Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of former Vice President Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force, urged Americans to cancel their Christmas parties with members outside of their immediate family.
CNN “New Day” host Alisyn Camerota asked Osterholm what his recommendation for Christmas amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic would be if he were head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“So, can you just give us that tough medicine? Your recommendation if you were the head of the CDC would be what for Christmas?” asked Camerota.
Osterholm called for no gatherings outside of the immediate family, adding not even children coming home for Christmas if they have not quarantined. He stressed that “there is not a safe Christmas party” in the United States right now.
“At this point, no gatherings outside your immediate family that are — in a sense — podded together. And what I mean by that is that the people who you have been with, who haven’t had outside exposures,” Osterholm outlined. “So, if your son and daughter are coming home from college, they are not part of your pod. You know, either they quarantine for 10 to 14 days or they are not part of what happens at the holidays. Don’t get together with neighbors. No Christmas parties. There is not a safe Christmas party in this country right now unless everybody for the previous 10 to 14 days were podded.”
“You know, I think many of my colleagues are saying, well, limit it to 10 people, whatever. … That’s happy talk,” he continued. “We have to tell people what’s happening. As you report these numbers every day, and I know that you don’t grow insensitive to them, you understand these are all humans who have lost their lives, who won’t be at the Christmas table this year, but at the same time, we keep telling people who are really upset, you know, we are coming down too hard. I mean, look at how governors and mayors are taking the heat right now for trying to limit transmission, but look what’s also happening. So, we have to say the next three to six weeks at minimum, longer, are our COVID weeks. We just have to get through this. Please, save a life, particularly the ones that you love, and don’t get together for these holiday parties, holiday events. That’s the very best thing that you could do to love someone today.”
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent
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