Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke out on Friday to warn that the United States will not return to normal until the “end of 2021.”
While talking to MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell, Fauci explained that “normality” will not be achieved until a vaccine for coronavirus is first developed and then widely distributed. The top infectious disease expert added that he is confident that a vaccine will be available by the end of this year or early 2021.
“By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccine and get a majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen until the end of 2021,” he said. “If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality prior to COVID, it’s going to be well into 2021, towards the end of 2021.”
Fauci went on to say that he finds it worrisome that states all over the country are easing lockdown measures and allowing the reopening of movie theaters, gyms, salons, and restaurants for indoor dining.
“Being indoors absolutely increases the risk [of transmission],” he warned. “I am concerned when I see things starting indoors, and that becomes more compelling when you move into fall and winter season.”
Fauci then disputed a claim made by President Donald Trump this week, when the president said, “I really do believe we’re rounding the corner” on coronavirus.
“I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with that because if you look at the thing that you just mentioned, the statistics, Andrea, they’re disturbing,” Fauci said when asked about the president’s comments. “We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day and the deaths are around 1,000.”
This comes after CNBC reported that “daily new cases in the U.S. have fallen substantially since new national cases peaked in late July, when the country reported nearly 70,000 new cases in a day, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over the past seven days, the country has reported an average of about 35,200 new cases per day, down more than 12% compared with a week ago.”