The TSA stated that 846,520 people passed through American airport security checkpoints on Dec. 24, compared to 2,009,112 on the same day in 2019.
The nation’s leading health experts have urged Americans not to travel amid a growing number of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases across the United States.
“Stay at home as much as you can, keep your interactions to the extent possible to members of the same household,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said earlier this month. “This cannot be business as usual this Christmas because we’re already in a very difficult situation, and we’re going to make it worse if we don’t do something about it.”
“As cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to increase across the United States, the safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to celebrate at home with people who live with you,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised on its website.
Despite the decrease in travelers over the Christmas period this year, the Christmas season has marked the busiest period for airports since the CCP virus outbreak first began, according to TSA data.
“TSA screened 1,191,123 individuals at airport checkpoints nationwide yesterday, Wednesday, Dec. 23. It’s the highest checkpoint volume since March 16, when 1,257,823 people were screened,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein wrote in a Twitter post.
Roughly 1.9 million travelers were recorded on the same day in 2019.
The previous record during the pandemic was recorded on Nov. 29—the Sunday after Thanksgiving—with 1.17 million travelers.
Last week, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, admitted to visiting family for Thanksgiving after repeatedly warning against traveling for the holiday.
Birx went to one of her vacation properties on Fenwick Island, Delaware, accompanied by three generations of her family from two different households, The Associated Press reported.
Birx told the outlet, “I did not go to Delaware for the purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving.” She said they did share a meal while at the house during the roughly 50-hour visit.
Birx said everyone on the trip was part of her “immediate household,” even though they live in two different houses.
The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Birx was one of the top two most influential health officials on the White House task force. She and Fauci convinced President Donald Trump to push for a two-week shutdown earlier this year in a bid to curtail the spread of the CCP virus, which causes COVID-19.
A number of other officials have violated their own advice this year, including Fauci, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.