Over 2 million people passed through the airport this weekend ahead of the Christmas holiday, following the tragic trend of Thanksgiving travel

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Crowds seen on Friday waiting by the baggage carousel at the Miami International Airport as the Christmas holiday travel starts despite the Coronavirus pandemic.

Amid a surge in coronavirus cases following the Thanksgiving holiday, over 2 million people have passed through airports in the US between Friday and Saturday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

A record number of US travelers passed through the airports over the Thanksgiving holiday, with the Sunday following Thanksgiving recording around 1.17 million travelers – the highest since March. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention had urged the American public against traveling over Thanksgiving, but over 5 million Americans passed through airports over the week of the holiday. Public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned of an uptick in coronavirus cases following the high rates of travel. 

As Business Insider’s Morgan McFall-Johnsen reported, over 47,000 people in the country have died from coronavirus since the Thanksgiving holiday and hospitals have struggled to support an overwhelming number of patients. 

While the tragic surge in deaths is attributed to pandemic fatigue, cold weather forcing people indoors, and lax policies on masks and closures, the recent record-breaking days of death are also the result of infections contracted around Thanksgiving, McFall-Johnsen reported.

Dr. Fauci, in a recent interview with The Washington Post, warned the public ahead of the Christmas holiday to remain home as much as possible, and that it “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 of Sunday, the US recorded a total of 17.6 million cases of coronavirus and over 316,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Since last Tuesday, airports have recorded an increased number of travelers passing by the checkpoint with the past consecutive days recording over 1 million travelers passing by, respectively, according to the TSA. 

Meanwhile, various countries around the world including Italy, Germany, and the UK have announced stricter lockdowns ahead of the winter holidays. 

Read the original article on Business Insider