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Los Angeles international Airport on Nov. 25. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Many Americans chose to travel by plane ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Why it matters: The CDC advised Americans on Nov. 19 not to travel for Thanksgiving, and that doing so may increase the chance of contracting and spreading COVID-19. The U.S. is currently seeing the most coronavirus cases and the greatest strain on hospitals since the start of the pandemic.

  • 25%-30% of Americans said in a Harris Poll survey shared exclusively with Axios that they were likely to ignore health officials' warnings about the risks of gathering with family for Thanksgiving. The survey was conducted from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21.

What they're saying: "There's fewer points of contact between a passenger and an officer. Additionally, it's much better security," TSA administrator David Pekoske told CBS News on Tuesday. Some airports, like LAX and LaGuardia, also offer COVID testing.

  • When asked if he believes people should be traveling, Pekoske said: "I think people should look at all the advice that's out there. And then, I think passengers need to make a judgement."
  • "Every person's circumstance is different. My job, in TSA, and my officer's job, is to make sure that if you do choose to travel, we provide you with as safe and secure experience as we possibly can," he added.

By the numbers: Over 1 million people traveled through TSA checkpoints this past Sunday, agency data shows. Fewer people traveled through security on Monday and Tuesday, as the Thanksgiving holiday drew closer. Pekoske told CBS that TSA expected to see high numbers on Thanksgiving eve, as well as next Sunday.

A traveler is tested for COVID-19 at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal on Nov. 25. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Nov. 24. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
People check in for departing flights at Orlando International Airport on Nov. 25. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images
O'Hare International Airport on Nov. 25 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 25 in West Hollywood, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
A traveler talks to a nurse at a COVID-19 test station at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal on Nov. 25. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
Travelers check in for their flights at O'Hare International Airport on Nov. 24 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Terminal B at Boston Logan International Airport on Nov. 23. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 25. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Go deeper

L.A. becomes first county to surpass 1 million coronavirus cases

COVID-19 mass-vaccination of healthcare workers takes place at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles County officials said Saturday they had detected the county's first case of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom.

Why it matters: The announcement came as L.A. became the first county to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, straining the area's already overwhelmed health care system.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.