Millions of people are flying across the US for Thanksgiving, ignoring CDC advice

Millions of people are flying across the US for Thanksgiving, ignoring CDC advice
Travelers wearing protective face masks walking through Concourse D at the Miami International Airport on Sunday, November 22, 2020 in Miami, Florida.David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
  • More than three million people travelled through US airports this weekend in advance of Thanksgiving, defying advice from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • The CDC on Thursday advised people to stay home for Thanksgiving. More than one million people flew the next day.
  • Friday through Sunday was the busiest weekend for air travel in the US the since COVID-19 began to spread in March.
  • The US is still the worst-affected country in the world, with the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths.

Millions of people flew across the US over the weekend weekend in advance of Thanksgiving, defying advice from the US Centers for Disease Control for people to stay home for the holiday to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

More than three million people travelled through US airports between Friday and Sunday, the Transportation Security Administration said, citing data from airport security checkpoints.

It said that 1,019,836 people travelled on Friday, 984,369 on Saturday, and 1,047,934 on Sunday — the most recent day for which data was published at time of writing.
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The CDC recommended last Thursday that Americans don't travel for Thanksgiving, which falls on November 26, the Thursday of this week.

It said that "as cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with."

The next day, one million people did the opposite.
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The American Automobile Association (AAA) said it expects around 50 million people to travel between Wednesday and next Sunday across all travel methods.

Both Reuters and The Associated Press noted that the past weekend was the busiest for air travel in the US since movement was first restricted in March in light of the spread of COVID-19.
Millions of people are flying across the US for Thanksgiving, ignoring CDC advice
Travelers waiting in the line at the food court of Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado on Friday. November 20Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images
The AP noted that the numbers traveling so far are less than half those from 2019.
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The AP interviewed air passengers, who spoke of wanted to see their families, and argued that they could do so without putting anybody at risk.

It also noted that many students are going home after colleges ended in-person classes.

As Business Insider's Inyoung Choi reported, photo and video footage showed busy airports over the weekend.
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This video from 3TV and CBS5 journalist Max Gorden showed crowds of people at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he was more concerned about the risks from a crowded airport than actually being on a plane.

"You are at a crowded airport, you are lining up, not everybody is wearing masks. That puts yourself at risk … that's what's going to get us into even more trouble," he said.
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Dr. Syra Madad, an infectious-disease epidemiologist for New York City hospitals, told the AP: "There is so much community transmission all over the United States that the chances of you encountering somebody that has COVID-19 is actually very, very high, whether it's on an airplane, at the airport or at a rest area."

The US is the world's worst-affected country by the coronavirus, with the highest number of cases and deaths.

As of early Tuesday, more than 12.4 million people have been infected across the US and more than 257,700 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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And cases are the highest they have ever been, with the US regularly breaking its own records for new cases in a day over the last few weeks.

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