How Dr. Fauci Is Celebrating His Christmas Eve Birthday

Dr. Anthony Fauci turns 80 on Christmas Eve, but he won't be celebrating the milestone birthday with a big party. The infectious disease expert is going to keep things simple for his birthday, as well as for the rest of the holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're going to have a Zoom celebration with my wife and I in my house, and my children scattered throughout the country," he said during the Milken Institute's Future of Health Summit (via Business Insider).

Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, always celebrates Christmas with his family, but is socially distancing this holiday season. He and his wife also celebrated Thanksgiving without their family. Fauci has been encouraging people not to have large gatherings or to travel over the holiday season to prevent worsening the pandemic.

Dr. Fauci warns that COVID-19 cases may increase over the holidays

Fauci has warned that, although vaccines should be ready soon, we need to continue to be diligent and work to slow the spread of the virus. Fauci has said that we may be in for a rough winter and that the holidays could lead to "an uptick" as people gather with family and friends. "We likely will have an increase in cases as we get into the colder weeks of winter and as we approach the Christmas season," he told ABC's This Week.

Fauci said that COVID-19 restrictions will most likely remain in place well into next year. "I can't see how we're not going to have the same thing," he said. "When you have the kind of inflection that we have, it doesn't all of a sudden turn around like that... We don't want to frighten people, but that's just the reality."

While Fauci will miss his family on his birthday this year, he will hopefully be able to celebrate with them in person next year as he anticipates most Americans will be able to get vaccinated in the next few months. "I would think as we get to April and May that we likely would have, for those who want to get vaccinated, the overwhelming majority of the people that want to get vaccinated," he told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an interview for Bloomberg Quicktake.