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You don’t have to cancel Christmas this year — just keep gatherings small, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.
The country’s top infectious disease specialist responded to critics who slammed him for being Grinch-like about scrapping the holiday completely — saying he never recommended such extreme measures, according to FOX News.
Instead, Fauci said he’s simply urging people to take caution when it comes to traveling, and to limit the size of holiday get-togethers.
“I’m not saying that everyone should cancel the family gathering, I’m saying that people will need to make individual choices,” Fauci told FOX host Bill Hemmer.
“You don’t have to cancel things — you can still spend time with your family. I’m just asking people to be careful when it comes to travel that may not be necessary, travel that you can avoid, and when you get together, try to make some limitation to it.”
He said folks should be aware that there are different levels of Yuletide risk-taking.
“You have some Christmas dinners [where] people bring friends and others who travel from different parts of the country. You could have 15 or 20 people at a dinner,” said Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “That’s really somewhat risky. You can do a modified version of that.”
Earlier this week, Fauci said he won’t spend Christmas with his children for the first time ever — and urged other families to make similar “painful” choices if necessary, according to the Washington Post.
But Fauci said his words have since been twisted on social media.
“I’ve heard and seen tweets saying, ‘Fauci says cancel Christmas,’” he explained. “Nonsense. I’ve never said that.”
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