During remarks he made at a virtual coronavirus roundtable on Wednesday, Biden urged Americans not to travel during the holiday season in order to prevent the spread of the disease amid the national spike of coronavirus cases. He expressed sorrow that he would not be seeing his "large family" that he normally celebrates with while recalling the small gathering he had for Thanksgiving while the rest were on "Zoom."
"Christmas is going to be a lot harder," Biden said. "And I don't want to scare anybody here, but understand the facts: we're likely to lose another 250,000 people dead between now and January. You hear me? Because people aren't paying attention. People aren't paying attention."
Biden later reiterated his call to "bring down the virus" and the "replication rate of it" as well as increase testing.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield similarly warned that the winter months could be the deadliest the nation has seen during the pandemic.
“The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they're going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation largely because of the stress that it's going to put on our healthcare system," Redfield said on Wednesday, "So we're in that range, potentially, now starting to see 1500 to 2000 to 2500 deaths a day from this virus... And I do think, unfortunately, before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans who have died from this virus."
Redfield stressed, though, if the public follows various practices of social distancing, mask-wearing, and "not letting your guard down at family gatherings," such dramatic figures could be minimized.
According to John Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center, nearly 273,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus during the pandemic while nearly 14,000,000 cases have been counted. Roughly 1.5 million people have died worldwide.