The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday when the two men discussed the ramifications of having a successful vaccine and a timeline for “getting things back to relative normal.”
“When do you think Americans will next be able to safely gather together for family events like this?” Mr. Tapper asked.
The infectious disease expert said it was tough to tell “until you see the data” coming back on effective vaccines.
“We could start getting things back to relative normal as we get into the second and third quarter of the year, where people can start thinking about doing things that were too dangerous just months ago,” Mr. Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said.
“So, not until the second or third quarter of 2021, though? Christmas is probably not going to be possible?” Mr. Tapper asked.
“Yes, I’m — well, I think that, if we get most of the country vaccinated in the second, third quarter of the year, and the vaccine continues to prove its efficacy, and people adhere to those fundamental measures, I think we can start approaching the degree,” the doctor said. “It’s not going to be a light switch.”
The doctor’s comments come as politicians and public health officials try to deal with an uptick in cases — now over 10 million total U.S. cases since the virus first spread from China early in the year.
“I was talking with my U.K. colleagues who are saying the U.K. is similar to where we are now, because each of our countries have that independent spirit,” Mr. Fauci said last week while speaking to a conference of health experts. “I can understand that, but now is the time to do what you’re told.”
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