Dr. Anthony Fauci told PODCAST-19 this week that the U.S. will reach “very close to a degree of normality” next fall, but only if an “overwhelming majority” of the population is vaccinated.
When asked when he expects Americans to “start seeing life get back to normal,” Fauci pointed to fall 2021 but caveated his prediction, explaining that the “overwhelming majority” of the population will need to be vaccinated to make that a reality.
“It’s going to depend on our success in vaccinating what I would say is an overwhelming majority of the population, between 70 to 85 percent,” Fauci said.
“If we can do that, by mid to end of the summer, I think as we get into fall, October, November, times like that, I think we will be very close to a degree of normality,” he continued.
When asked about “COVID fatigue,” Fauci emphasized the importance of getting people to “understand is that help is on the way, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and just hang in there a bit more and we’re going to be OK.”
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director added that he is going to “try and prevent” potential pitfalls for President-elect Joe Biden as the transition process begins to take place.
“I think it’s going to be the divisiveness that’s still in our society; I think that’s probably the thing that’s going to be most challenging. It’s unfortunate that we’ve plowed through a historic pandemic, like nothing we’ve ever seen in 102 years, and it’s been done in the context of a great deal of divisiveness in society,” Fauci said, adding that he does not believe that it is going to “change right away with the change of administration.”
“We have so many people who don’t believe that this is a problem, that think it’s a hoax, that think it’s fake news, when in fact the numbers are looking you square in the face telling us how serious this really is,” he added.
Earlier this month, Fauci, who has encouraged Americans not to gather with their families for the holidays, warned of the potential of a “dark time” come mid-January in the event of Americans not partaking in “substantial mitigation” strategies.
Appearing at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) press conference on December 7, Fauci emphasized the importance of the majority of the population receiving a vaccine, contending that 50 percent of the population getting vaccinated will not create a proper “umbrella of immunity over us.”
“When that happens, governor, is going to be entirely dependent upon how well we do, how well I do, you do, your health officials, in getting the message out of why it’s so important for people to get vaccinated, because if 50 percent of the people get vaccinated, then we don’t have that umbrella of immunity over us,” Fauci said.
Fauci, who turns 80 on Christmas Eve, received the first dose of Moderna’s vaccine on Tuesday.