It’s a new year, but the same old rules will be around for a while, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“It’s going to take several months,” Fauci said Thursday on MSNBC, according to Politico. “It’s not going to happen in the first few months.”
“If we do it correctly, hopefully, as we get into the end of the summer, the beginning of the fall of 2021, we can start to approach some degree of normality,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.
Fauci said that the Trump administration’s goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans by the end of 2020 is likely to be accomplished in the first quarter of 2021.
“Whenever you have a very large operation — such as trying to vaccinate an entire country with a new vaccine — there always will be bumps in the road and hiccups about that,” he said. “We hope that that’s what this is a reflection of.”
Although Fauci said full normal is months away, he supports reopening schools.
“What we should do is to do everything to support the maintenance of the children in school,” he said Wednesday during an online conversation with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Los Angeles Times reported. “If you really want to get society back to some form of normality, one of the first things we have to do is to get the children back in school.”
If enough Americans are vaccinated by July, “I believe … by the time we get to the early fall, we will have enough good herd immunity to be able to really get back to some strong semblance of normality — schools, theaters, sports events, restaurants. I believe if we do it correctly, we will be there by the early fall,” Fauci said.
Fauci estimated that between 70 and 85 percent of the nation must be vaccinated to stop the spread of the virus.
“If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated, please get vaccinated,” Fauci said. “It’s a safe and it’s a highly efficacious vaccine that could save your life, the life of your family and the community.”
He stressed that controlling the virus is the key to reopening the economy.
“We need to use public health measures — as a vehicle, a gateway, a tool — to get the economy back. It isn’t the economy versus public health. It’s public health bridging you to getting the economy back,” Fauci said.
The economy will revive “when you get the level of infection down,” Fauci added. “And the only way you’re going to get the level of infection down before the vaccine kicks in is by the public health measures that you have been talking about.”
Fauci said that the battle to stop the virus was complicated by the fact that many people who have it have no symptoms.
“The mystery of how you can have so many people who have no symptoms, and so many people who get seriously impacted, is one of the reasons why we have a messaging difficulty,” he said. “Because most of the people who do well are young people, and they say, ‘What do I got to worry about?’ … So they say to themselves, ‘Why do I need to interrupt my life?’”
But the virus will be defeated in the end, Fauci said.
“The good news is that science has and will come to the rescue getting us vaccines,” he told NBC’s “Today” on Thursday, according to The Hill. “More than one vaccine, hopefully five, six, seven or more vaccines throughout the world, that will get us out of this and put this in the rear-view mirror, behind us.”
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