Hundreds of millions of Americans are traveling for the holidays and planning to spend time with family and friends. Should they be concerned about COVID-19?
Last Friday, infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci told CNBC (Center bias) that vaccinated people “can still enjoy” a holiday gathering. In a briefing Wednesday, he said people “do not want to go to” holiday parties “in which you do not know the vaccination status of individuals.” Fauci also discouraged people from spending time with unvaccinated individuals over the holidays in an interview with MSNBC (Left bias) Tuesday. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), 2.1 million people passed through airport checkpoints on Monday, double the amount that traveled on the same day last year. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that 109 million Americans will make holiday trips of 50 or more miles, an overall increase of 34% from last year.
Left- and center-rated outlets often highlighted the advice of health officials, and many left-rated voices, as well as some on the right, urged vaccinated people to continue with their holiday plans. Some right-rated outlets focused on Fauci’s advice against spending time with unvaccinated people; others highlighted the data about upticks in holiday travel, painting that as evidence of the average person not being as concerned with COVID-19 as politicians and journalists are. One writer for National Review (Right bias) questioned whether an annual winter COVID-19 spike will make every Christmas one of caution and concern about illness.