Fauci weighs in on risks of voting in person or gathering with family for Thanksgiving

Is it safe to go to the polls on election day? Or to gather for the Thanksgiving holiday? During a live interview with Yahoo News, Dr. Anthony Fauci explained how he plans to vote this year, saying he would like to vote in person but admitting that "my schedule is not my own." For Thanksgiving, Fauci said "people have to make their individual choice" after weighing the coronavirus risks for their family.

Video Transcript

MICHAEL ISIKOFF: There's two big events coming up for people in the next few weeks-- Election Day and Thanksgiving. What advice do you have for people about whether it's safe to go to the polls? Will you be doing so yourself, or will you be voting by mail? And Thanksgiving, what advice do you have for people as to how they should plan their Thanksgiving?

ANTHONY FAUCI: If one does the polling process carefully and prudently, I think it would be fine for people to go to the polls who feel that that's something that they want to do. Some people are reluctant to do that because they don't want to go out, particularly vulnerable people. For those, you know, mail-in ballots or drop-it-in-a-box ballot is-- I think would be fine. But in the actual--

MICHAEL ISIKOFF: What are you going to do?

ANTHONY FAUCI: You know, I'm going to try to get physically-- Mike, I'm going to try to get there physically. But, you know, my schedule is not my own. It's in flux. If I can't, I'm going to drop it in a box. I'm going to vote for sure. But I'm going to do one of the two, depending upon what's happening at the time.

With regard to Thanksgiving, you know, people have to make their individual choice, particularly who you have in your home, are they vulnerable people, are they elderly, are they people with underlying conditions? I mean, it's such a beautiful tradition, Thanksgiving, of getting family together.

I think we just need to realize that things might be different this year, particularly if you want to have people who are going to be flying in from a place that has a lot of infection. You're going to an airport that might be crowded. You're on a plane. And then to come in, unless you absolutely know that you're not infected. There are many people who are not going to want to take that risk.

You know, as I've said-- and it's public because I've said it multiple times-- I have three children that I would love to see over Thanksgiving. They're in three separate parts, triangulated throughout the country. They're adult women. I'd love to see them.

They themselves are concerned about getting on a plane, being in an airport, coming in for a couple of days, with their father, me, who is in an age group that is vulnerable. And they've made the decision that they're not going to do that. Hopefully, by Christmas, that might be different. But right now, that was their decision. Each individual family needs to make the decision based upon the risk situation in your own family.