Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that Americans should not expect to return to a pre-coronavirus pandemic level of normality until potentially late next year.
The director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, though, did not rule out the possibility that a return to normal life could come earlier.
“But by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations and you get the majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen until the mid or end of 2021,” he said.
“If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to COVID, it’s going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021,” Fauci added.
Fauci also cautioned against a sense of security now that businesses in a number of states are back open.
“Being indoors absolutely increases the risk [of transmission],” he told Mitchell.
“I am concerned when I see things starting indoors, and that becomes more compelling when you move into fall and winter season.”
Fauci has notably warned of a “second wave” of the virus striking in the fall and winter months.
“I’m hoping we do not see a surge in cases as we’ve seen following the Fourth of July and Memorial Day,” he said.
He farther warned against a false sense of security for people who enjoy being outdoors.
“Just because you’re outdoors does not that mean you’re protected, particularly if you’re in a crowd and you’re not wearing masks,” he said. The statement came in reference to people attending political rallies.
Fauci also answered a question about a report claiming President Donald Trump admitted, in a March interview with Bob Woodward, to previously downplaying the threat of the coronavirus.
Fauci said he could not comment on the specifics of conversations between Woodward and Trump, but said in reference to the idea of downplaying the coronavirus, “That’s not a good thing.”
Fauci also disagreed with Trump, who asserted earlier this month that Americans might be in the final stretch of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
The president said at a Sept. 4 White House news briefing, “We’re rounding the corner on the virus.”
“I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with that,” Fauci said.
“What we don’t want to see is going into the fall season, when people will be spending more time indoors — and that’s not good for a respiratory-borne virus — you don’t want to start off already with a baseline that’s so high,” he said.
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