Even after weeks of warnings from US public health officials warning people not to travel this Thanksgiving holiday, millions are doing so anyway. Large crowds are descending upon airports nationwide, according to reports. While photos show some travelers wearing masks, there were just as many showing those without face coverings.
In a video shared to Twitter, the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, located in Nevada, showed the airport crowd with standing room only as travelers waited at the gates before boarding their flights.
The photo was taken one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recommended that people cancel their travel plans for Thanksgiving.
The same scene was witnessed at San Francisco International Airport, where crowds of people filled the seats, as many others stood by, awaiting their flights. One witness described on Twitter: “SFO this week, people are stacked on top of each other waiting to board.”
In a statement issued to the Des Moines Register, officials of the Des Moines airport said that they expect an increase in passenger traffic of at least 50 percent leading up to and including Thanksgiving.
All of these reports from airports nationwide come mere days after the CDC urged people to put off any travel for the holiday this week. The CDC warned: "Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading the coronavirus. Postponing travel and staying home is currently the best way to protect yourself and others this year."
The agency also posed a question to those who were considering traveling to ask themselves if you or someone you care about are known to be at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19. They also asked to consider if the numbers are increasing in your community and if your hospitals in your area are already overwhelmed.
During an appearance on Face The Nation this week, Dr. Fauci also took the chance to warn the public at large about the possible dangers of holiday travel. He said that those who choose to travel, even after the warnings: “…are going to get us into even more trouble than we’re in right now.”
Many US public health officials and the CDC feel that travelers not heeding the warning will lead to superspreader events nationwide. One official said that if this week's predictions are anywhere near what transpires, the numbers as sure to spread exponentially.
Do you think travelers should have listened to officials and curtail their holiday plans?