Families across America are about to gather to celebrate Thanksgiving and while certain family members may be assigned to carve the turkey or bring a pumpkin pie, Axios is suggesting a new role for the holiday.
"No one really wants this job, but millions of households may need their own Thanksgiving bouncer," Axios began a report on Tuesday. "The cover charge is a negative COVID test, done ahead of arrival or outside the front door."
The report, co-authored by Axios politics managing editor and CNN analyst Margaret Talev and Axios health care editor Tina Reed, called for the "normalizing" of rapid COVID tests in order to "help extended families feel a little more normal around the holiday dinner table."
"If you're hosting, let your guests know ahead of their arrival that you'll be testing everyone at the door for their own safety. If you're a guest who's anxious about attending without testing, talk to your host now about their plans and how you can help," Axios suggested. "Depending on your budget, you might offer to pick up the tab for everyone's tests, or hosts might ask guests to pay for their own. At-home antigen tests cost around $25 for a box of two. Alternatively, guests who have gotten a PCR test within a couple of days prior could bring evidence of their negative results."
"One extra precaution may be to purchase enough tests for a re-test, or to ask guests to test on their own before and then again when they arrive for the meal," Axios told readers.
Axios had Gigi Gronvall of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security cautioned the false-positive results that could emerge from the rapid antigen tests, telling the outlet, "If you are negative, you can draw some comfort in that but it doesn't mean you'll always be negative. You just might be below the threshold. But you also might not, at that moment, be as much of a danger to somebody else either." Gronvall also suggested opening windows to improve circulation in homes.
CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen called a rapid antigen test a "very good for that kind of screening purpose" to put relatives at ease.
"Enforcing testing rules at your holiday gathering can reduce the chances of COVID spread. But there's no way to eliminate the risk when people are gathering," Axios added.
Critics panned Axios for floating such strict COVID enforcements for Thanksgiving dinner.
"No," Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., told Axios.
"Who are these people who not only think these things, but then decide it’s a good idea to write them down with their names attributed to them??!" reacted "The War on Small Business" author Carol Roth.
"It's never been more clear that there are two Americas," radio host Tony Katz tweeted.
"If a family member confronts you and asks you for a negative covid test on thanksgiving, you should smoosh the mashed potatoes you brought firmly in their face," Tablet Magazine's Noam Blum suggested.
"Omg this is peak COVID media parody," The Daily Signal reporter Mary Margaret Olohan exclaimed.
"brb just heaving grandma out the window because she forgot her vax card," Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy quipped.
"If this counts as journalism, then it should be taken out to pasture," conservative attorney Elliott Hamilton wrote.