Thanksgiving travel is like ‘pouring gasoline on the fire,’ experts say

(NBC News) Despite a Centers for Disease Control travel advisory urging Americans to stay home this Thanksgiving, it’s clear many people are choosing not to do that.

Since Friday, the TSA has screened nearly five million people at the nation’s airports, less than half the number of travelers from last year, but crowds not seen since the pandemic arrived.

With COVID-19 infections and deaths already on the rise, health professionals are worried.

“With this increased travel, with all this mixing of populations from one location to another, family to family, we are literally pouring gasoline on the fire that is already burning very hot,” says Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

AAA expects the number of people driving to Thanksgiving gatherings to drop just four percent from last year.

Public health experts say it could lead to a surge in cases like the U.S. saw after Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day.

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