WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government's top infectious disease expert, is urging Americans to be cautious this Thanksgiving to prevent further spikes of the coronavirus. 

What You Need To Know

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans might want to keep Thanksgiving dinners small and avoid traveling this year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

  • In an interview with "CBS Evening News," Fauci  noted that many large family gatherings might include older people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19

  • The federal government's top infectious disease expert added that his own adult daughters won't be visiting him this Thanksgiving as a precaution

  • The CDC also has issued guidance saying that “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others" from the virus this Thanksgiving

Fauci told the “CBS Evening News” on Wednesday that he’s concerned about families gathering in large groups indoors, with some traveling in from out of town. 

"I think given the fluid and dynamic nature of what's going on right now in the spread and the uptick of infections, I think people should be very careful and prudent about social gatherings, particularly when members of the family might be at a risk because of their age or their underlying condition," said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Namely, you may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering unless you're pretty certain that the people that you're dealing with are not infected."

The 79-year-old Fauci added that he won’t spend this Thanksgiving with his three adult daughters because his age makes him vulnerable. 

"My Thanksgiving is going to look very different this year," he said. "I would love to have it with my children, but my children are in three separate states throughout the country, and in order for them to get here, they would all have to go to an airport, get on a plane, travel with public transportation."

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted guidance on its website saying: “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.”

The CDC said lower-risk ways to celebrate Thanksgiving include having smaller dinners with just those who live in your household or having virtual dinners. The public health agency also suggested online shopping over venturing out on Black Friday.