PRESIDENT Donald Trump is encouraging Americans to gather on Thanksgiving – despite the widespread threat of the deadly coronavirus.
In a White House Thanksgiving proclamation released on Wednesday, the president’s annual note called for people to “gather” for the holiday.
President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Wednesday encouraging Americans to ‘gather’ for ThanksgivingCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Trump is seen here during the annual turkey pardon at the White House on Tuesday Credit: AFP or licensors
But health officials throughout the US have warned against celebrating with a large group or traveling this holiday season out of fears such gatherings could turn into superspreader events.
Despite this, Trump’s proclamation reads: “I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings.”
According to data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), more than one million people flew in the US on Wednesday.
That’s less than the 2,624,250 who flew on the same day last year, but still proves that people are traveling for Thanksgiving – and is the highest number of travelers since the pandemic started this year.
As of Thanksgiving morning, tens of millions of Covid cases and over 268,000 virus-related deaths have been reported in the US.
People across the country have been encouraged to stay home and celebrate Thanksgiving with just their household or immediate family.
But millions of Americans have still traveled, whether by car or plane, to visit loved ones throughout the US.
In a stark contrast, President-elect Joe Biden said during Thanksgiving remarks on Wednesday that: “We’re at war with the virus, not each other.”
President-elect Joe Biden said in Thanksgiving remarks that Americans are ‘at war with the virus, not one another’ Credit: Getty Images – Getty
“I believe you always deserve to hear the truth from your president. We have to slow the growth of this virus. We owe it to the doctors and the nurses and the frontline workers. We owe it to our fellow citizens.”
Biden said coronavirus “brought us pain and loss and frustration.”
“It’s divided us, angered us, set us against one another. I know the country’s grown weary of the fight, but we need to remember – we’re at war with the virus, not one another.
“I know that we can and will beat this virus,” he said. “Life is going to return to normal, I promise you. I believe this grim season of division is going to give way to a year of light and unity.”
Millions of Americans have traveled for Thanksgiving this year
Health experts fear Thanksgiving gatherings could become ‘superspreader’ events
Health officials fear that gatherings across the states will contribute to an even bigger surge in Covid cases than the country is seeing right now.
Experts think Thanksgiving could be the “mother of all superspreader events” after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned the vast majority of reported Covid-19 infections are missed.
Former White House medical team adviser Dr Jonathan Reiner warned that Thanksgiving could lead to a massive surge in infections.
“It’s potentially the mother of all superspreader events,” Reiner told CNN as North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oregon, Maine, and Alaska reported record numbers of deaths on Tuesday.
Trump is pictured here with First Lady Melania Trump as they pardoned pardons Corn, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, in the Rose Garden this weekCredit: EPA
The Trump administration encouraged people to ‘gather’ on Thursday Credit: Getty Images – Getty
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court sided in a 5-4 ruling with religious groups over Covid restrictions put in place by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that limited the number of people attending religious gatherings.
The nation’s top court ruled the restrictions violated the First Amendment.
Millions of people have been flying in the past week Credit: Getty Images – Getty
It was the second day in a row that more than 2,000 Americans have died; hospitalizations also reached single day record of 89,954 with a seven-day average of 84,840.
This disturbing news emerged after the CDC revealed that a whopping 53million people had contracted the virus two months ago – just under eight times the confirmed cases reported at the time.
The agency had previously estimated that one of every 10 infections were being missed
Health experts have suggested eating Thanksgiving dinner with your household or immediate family Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Of the 53million estimated infections, around 45million were sick at some point while about 2.4million patients were hospitalized.
On November 24, the CDC reported 12,498,734 cases of the new coronavirus – an uptick of 165,282 from its previous count.
Across the US, hospitals have been overwhelmed with Covid patients – with at least one medical center turning a parking lot into treatment areas.
Dr Anthony Fauci stressed the need to “hang in there a bit longer” on wearing masks, maintaining distance, and avoiding crowds – especially indoors.
“If we do those things, we’re going to get through it. So that’s my final plea before the holiday,” he said during an interview on Good Morning America.