US Surgeon General Calls for Small and “Smart” Gatherings at Thanksgiving Amidst Pandemic

Photo By: The White House

Surgeon General of United States and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, Dr. Jerome Adams, has recently called on all Americans to practice caution this Thanksgiving and celebrate with care, keeping in mind government guidelines to prevent COVID-19 spread.

The warning comes as the First Lady Melania Trump is planning a holiday reception and everyday news of more officials at White House becoming infected are coming out.

Adams asked all Americans to have smaller and smarter gatherings as this is the a “dire point” in the pandemic with increased cases, hospitalizations and deaths. He explained that there is an increased threat as these Thanksgiving parties can become superspreader events. He went on to say that everyone should follow CDC’s prevention guidelines, including those at the White House.

Adams pled with everyone listening that this is the time to be vigilant and wait for a few more weeks as it is likely that a vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna could be approved within these weeks.

This advice comes at the heel of the causal attitude shown by the White House staff and guests regarding official stances of governmental health institutions.  This led to President Trump, the first lady, two of the president’s sons and multiple senior staffers, getting infected.

Previously, many believed that Trump’s infection was tied to the September event celebrating the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, which was also a superspreader event. After attending the said event in which party was organized both indoor and outdoor, at least 14 people came down with viral infection.

Similarly, an election night party in the East Room of the White House has also come under scrutiny as multiple guests have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

In both these events, very few wore masks and most did not follow social distancing guidelines.

After Adams called for increased precautions in the coming week, he also explained that coronavirus vaccines in work are likely safe and he is planning on getting one himself as soon as possible.  The data also supports his claim as it has been shown that vaccines from Pfizer and Modern are likely to me more than 95 percent effective.

Till recently, 12.26 million Americans have been diagnosed with coronavirus infection, according to data from John Hopkins University. The number of new daily cases exceeded 100,000 for the first time on November 3 and has remained so since then.

These numbers show that for the citizens of US the chances of getting infected are very high, especially in small quarters. Number of experts are calling on government to do more to control the virus, else than asking people not to see their family and friends.

According to Ellie Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University’s School of Public Health, even though the focus to control the virus is on small gatherings but those are still not the main reason for this rampant spread.

The government institutions say that the largest source of COVID-19 infections are workplaces, prisons, retirement homes, bars, and restaurants.

“We have seen really large spread happening from things like bars especially and other kind of indoor gatherings like that, where people spend a long time in proximity with a lot of people,” she says. “And I think that those places need to be closed down, for at least until we can get a handle on the current surge.”

According to Murray, the ideal way to think about this is that the more infection is in the community, the riskier are even the small gatherings. She further added that it is more important to wear mask in these in door settings which are high risk for infection spread in the community.

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