More than 88,000 people in the U.S. – an all-time high – were in the hospital with Covid-19 as of Tuesday, pushing the health care system in many places to the breaking point, and new cases of the virus have been setting records, soaring to an average of over 174,000 per day.
Deaths have surged to more than 1,600 per day, a mark last seen in May, when the crisis in the New York area was easing.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local authorities have begged people not to travel and urged them to keep their Thanksgiving celebrations small.
“That’ll make sure that your extended family are around to celebrate Christmas and to celebrate the holidays next year,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said.
But even Denver Mayor Michael Hancock flew to Mississippi to spend Thanksgiving with his wife and youngest daughter despite sending messages on social media and to city staff asking them to avoid traveling for the holiday. He apologised, acknowledging that he went against his own public guidance.
“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” Mr Hancock said.