Although Thanksgiving hasn’t happened yet, Dr. Anthony Fauci appears to already be in the Christmas spirit.
The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert this week in an interview with USA TODAY joked that old Saint Nick, while he will be spreading the spirit of Christmas, won’t be spreading the coronavirus.
“Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity,” Fauci told USA TODAY.
According to the USA TODAY article, many children have been worried this year about Santa, especially when he visits billions of people on Christmas Eve. On top of that, Kris Kringle, being elderly and overweight, falls into a demographic that is particularly prone to the worst effects of COVID-19.
Fauci is telling kids to be rest assured that Santa won’t give them and their loved ones the virus, saying that “Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody.”
As Adrianna Rodriguez and Grace Huack noted in their USA TODAY article, the Santa Clauses that people would see under normal circumstances at shopping malls and street corners have been social distancing this time around, instead taking to Zoom and the internet to spread the joy.
This isn’t the first time in history, however, that people were concerned that Father Christmas would get sick. According to USA TODAY, he has “gotten sick” from the flu before. More than a century ago during the last major pandemic, one newspaper, the St. Paul Daily News, wrote on December 6, 1918 that “SANTA CLAUS IS DOWN WITH THE FLU.”
Doctors and health experts have been urging everyone to get their annual flu shots to avoid a flu crisis while they are already trying to contain the growing spread of COVID-19 cases across the country. Additionally, health experts and many government officials have been urging people to reconsider big travel plans for the holiday season, with Fauci having said that people should “think twice” about traveling or holding big indoor gatherings in a Wednesday meeting with the USA TODAY editorial board.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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