After passing the quarter of a million deceased due to the pandemic, alarms have gone off in the US at the proximity of Thanksgiving, the holiday with the highest number of displacements in the country, and this Thursday the authorities recommended avoiding traveling at this time.
Such is the concern caused by the possibility contagions multiply for Thanksgiving, a date on which family gatherings are typical, which the government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, in English) advised not to travel during the festivity next week.
“As we see exponential growth in cases, and the likelihood of disease or infection moving from one part of the country to another, we must recommend that travel be avoided at this time, “said the CDC’s director of Covid-19 Incidents, Henry Walke, in a call with journalists. The official stressed that Americans should spend Thanksgiving with the other people who reside in their homes, instead of travelling.
Anticipating those who do not heed its recommendation, the CDC advises that if you finally travel, measures should be taken such as wear a mask, keep a distance of about 1.8 meters of those people who do not reside in the same household and hold small meetings outdoor.
10% fewer trips than in 2019
About 50 million Americans plan to travel this year, 10% less than last year, most of it due to highway, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). The air travel they will be cut in half at this time, but that means that still 2.4 million people will get on a plane.
The United States is the country in the world most affected by covid-19 with more than 11.5 million cases and more than 251,000 deaths, according to the independent count from Johns Hopkins University.
The spike in infections It has prompted many states to resume restrictions to try to contain the spread of the virus. Even in Republican-majority states, which had been more reluctant to apply these limitations, the situation has overflowed, as is the case of Dakota del Norte, Montana, Wyoming o Iowa.
In Ohio a night curfew, while Iowa has ordered the use of the mask in closed public places, Maryland forces the closure of clubs nightlife, bars and restaurants at 22.00 local time and if you want to travel to Pennsylvania will have to do a test of covid-19 at source. Given the worrying increase in cases, the working group for covid-19 of the White House, led by outgoing vice president Mike Pence, held a press conference without questions on Thursday, the first in weeks.
The White House says the US is ready
Pence wanted to convey a message of confidence that the country is prepared, despite the alarming increase in infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the disease. “Now the cases are increasing throughout the country, in the last 30 days the positivity has grown an average of 5% and up to 10%. To this end, we have continued the mobilization initiated by order of President (Donald) Trump earlier this year. We have increased the tests, “said Pence, who stressed that there will be vaccines in” a few weeks “for the most vulnerable.” The United States has never been more prepared to combat this virus, “he concluded.
Pence was accompanied by leading government experts, Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx y Robert Redfield, who stressed the importance of taking precautions. Birx explained that in recent weeks there have been community infections large scale and that behind them are the asymptomatic: “People are spreading the virus because they don’t know they are infected, and they are gathering indoors because everyone seems healthy, but among those individuals there could be people who are infecting without symptoms.”
For his part, Fauci, the main epidemiologist of the White House, spoke of the advances for a future vaccine, especially on the part of the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna, and wanted to calm those who are concerned about its safety.
“The speed of the process (to achieve a vaccine) in no way compromises its safety or scientific integrity,” Fauci said. “It has been a reflection of the extraordinary scientific progress in this type of vaccine, which has allowed us to do things in months, when they actually took years before, so I really want to assuage any concerns people may have. “
No to national confinement
Added to the health crisis is the unusual political blockade in the United States after the elections on November 3, which could worsen the situation.
The president-elect Joe Biden has announced that his priority will be the fight against the pandemic and is already preparing the transition, but the outgoing president, Donald Trump, has not yet acknowledged his defeat, claiming that there was electoral fraud, and is hindering the process of transfer of power.
Despite their differences, if there is one thing they both agree on, it is reject a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of covid-19. Pence reiterated it this Thursday at the White House, and Biden insisted that he will not promote such a measure, in statements to the press after meeting with the governors of several states to discuss the pandemic and the economy.
“I will not (promote) a national closure (of the economy), because each community is different. That would be counterproductive,” he stressed.