Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke out this week to say that a return to normal life after COVID-19 depends on vaccine rollout as well as a “rather strict adherence” to restrictions in the coming months.
During an interview with MSNBC, Fauci doubled down on his prediction that normal life will not return in the United States until the fall of 2021.
“It’s going to take several months. … It’s not going to happen in the first few months,” Fauci said, according to Politico. “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.”
He went on to talk about the vaccine rollout that will be happening in the coming months.
“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,” Fauci said. “We hope that that’s what this is a reflection of.”
Fauci also said that the federal government must first ensure “that the states and the local authorities have the resources that are necessary to implement these programs,” and he nodded to his apparent disagreement with the White House over vaccination strategy.
“My feeling is — and not everyone would agree with me — is that there has to be a strong relationship between the national approach and the local approach,” Fauci said, adding that when officials with the federal government leave their state and local counterparts “on their own, without giving them direction, without giving them the kind of resources that they need … they can’t do it. And this is proof positive.”
This comes after Fauci said in November that other mitigation measures, including universal masking and social distancing, would still be necessary, even after getting vaccinated.
“I would recommend you have an added area of protection,” Fauci said. “Obviously, with 90 plus percent effective vaccine, you could feel much more confident, but I would recommend to people to not abandon all public health measures just because you’ve been vaccinated.”
He then noted that “you don’t necessarily know for you how effective it is,” also saying that he would not “abandon completely public health measures” upon getting vaccinated.