Over 1.17 million people passed through TSA checkpoints Sunday, marking the highest daily total since mid-March, an agency spokesperson said.
The total comes in spite of the CDC’s Nov. 19 advisory urging Americans not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, saying that doing so would increase their odds of spreading or contracting the coronavirus, which is spreading throughout most of the country.
The United States passed 90,000 coronavirus-related hospitalizations Saturday, and some hospitals have reported that they are near their maximum capacity. November has seen over 4 million coronavirus cases in the United States, nearly double October’s total, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
JUST IN: @TSA officers screened 1,176,091 individuals at checkpoints on Sunday, Nov. 29. It’s the highest number since mid-March. By comparison, last year 2,882,915 people were screened the Sunday after Thanksgiving and that remains the highest volume ever in TSA history.
— Lisa Farbstein, TSA Spokesperson (@TSA_Northeast) November 30, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Sunday that the U.S. could witness “a surge superimposed on the surge we’re already in” as a result of the increased travel. Dr. Deborah Birx said travelers should assume that they were exposed and became infected, and urged them to get tested.
A Harris poll conducted earlier this month found that over 25% of Americans were likely to ignore public health experts’ warnings and travel for Thanksgiving, despite the increased risks.
Experts have also said that there is a light at the end of the tunnel in response to the announcements of multiple promising vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna have announced that they are applying for emergency use authorization from the FDA, meaning that many doses may be distributed before the end of 2020.
As of Monday, the U.S. has recorded nearly 13.4 million coronavirus cases and 267,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
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