Speed Reads

Auld Lang Syne

Fauci recommends Americans 'stay away' from larger New Year's parties: 'There will be other years to do that, but not this year'

President Biden's chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has recommended Americans "stay away" from larger, presumably out-of-home settings for their New Year's Eve celebrations this year.

"I have been telling people consistently that if you're vaccinated and boosted and you have a family setting in the home with family and relatives, but when you're talking about a New Year's Eve party where you have 30, 40, 50 people celebrating, you do not know the status of their vaccination, I would recommend strongly stay away from that this year," Fauci told CNN's Kaitlan Collins on Monday.

"There will be other years to do that, but not this year," he said.

On Sunday, Fauci told ABC's This Week that current COVID-19 cases, already at record levels in some areas, will probably continue to climb as the "extraordinarily contagious" Omicron variant spreads rapidly across the U.S.

"Every day it goes up and up. The last weekly average was about 150,000 and it likely will go much higher," he said. 

The doctor also warned that although Omicron appears to cause less severe symptoms and fewer hospitalizations than other strains, Americans shouldn't be complacent because the sheer number of infections "might override a real diminution in severity." Officials are "particularly worried" about unvaccinated people, Fauci added, considering they are the "the most vulnerable ones."