“I’m going to be with my wife – period,” Fauci told the outlet on Monday. “The Christmas holiday is a special holiday for us because Christmas Eve is my birthday,” said Fauci, who is turning 80. “And Christmas Day is Christmas Day. And they are not going to come home … That’s painful. We don’t like that. But that’s just one of the things you’re going to have to accept as we go through this unprecedented challenging time.”

Fauci, noting that many Americans ignored health guidelines over Thanksgiving, warned that Christmas cannot be “business as usual.”

“Stay at home as much as you can, keep your interactions to the extent possible to members of the same household,” Fauci said. “This cannot be business as usual this Christmas because we’re already in a very difficult situation, and we’re going to make it worse, if we don’t do something about it.”