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Tipsheet

Philadelphia's Grinchy Health Chief Tells Residents to Cancel Christmas Gatherings

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Philadelphia's health commissioner Cheryl Bettigole is warning families against gathering for Christmas with people outside their immediate household, saying Wednesday that "it’s just too dangerous" as the Wuhan coronavirus causes public health officials to advocate for another lonely holiday season.

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Bettigole claimed, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer "As a mom, as a friend, as a community member, I don’t want to say this," but then went ahead and said it anyway: "Please do not hold or attend holiday parties indoors." 

And while Bettigole's warning is not accompanied by a reinstatement of stay at home orders or other enforced restrictions — for now — it's stunning to be back where we were one year ago when public health officials urged Americans to cancel their usual holiday plans. So much for President Biden's promise to "shut down the virus" and countless other broken pledges about "just do X and then you can do Y again."

Even for Philly residents who are fully vaccinated and boosted "are still advised by the city health department to keep their gatherings to one or two other households at most and not to gather with those who aren’t vaccinated," the Inquirer explained. Another health official quoted in their coverage said that "no one should ever assume they have complete protection, even if they have received a booster."

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The comments from Philadelphia's health officials don't jive with what President Biden said this week, including his insistence that Americans "make sure you’re vaccinated, so you do not spread the disease to anyone else," as Leah covered

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