From Los Angeles California to Tulsa, Oklahama - Americans are flocking to airports for travel ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, even after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pleaded with them to stay home as the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the country.
Karyn Bryan, Traveler at LAX: “There’s a lot more people here than I thought would be here."
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said on Monday that more than 1 million travelers passed through airport security the day before, making Sunday the busiest day at U.S. Airports since mid-March
Dan Wapner, Traveler at LAX: “I’m 64 years old and I just wanna enjoy what we can enjoy while we can.”
The number of U.S. air travelers is still down nearly 60% than the same date last year but Sunday was the second time in three days that the number of passengers screened topped 1 million.
In an interview on CBS this Morning on Monday, Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown University's School of Public Health said the potential impact of people traveling over Thanksgiving could be dire.
"What I'm worried about is we're already seeing a surge in cases in large parts of the country. After every holiday over the past 6 months, we have seen another surge of cases. I'm worried that what we're going to see is a big bump and hospitals are already strained - and by Christmas time I think we're going to be in a lot of trouble with a lot of infections, hospitalizations and a lot of deaths."
But as Americans are urged to stay home, ABC News has learned the White House is planning an indoor holiday gathering on November 30, hosted by First Lady Melania Trump, who on Monday received welcomed the Official White House Christmas tree.
The upcoming celebration follows a series of White House events in recent months that have been linked to a rash of outbreaks.
Asked about the Trump administrations plans, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said in an ABC News interview on Monday that holiday parties can be super spreader events.
Adding that all Americans - even at the White House - should follow CDC guidelines and avoid large gatherings.