Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, said on Sunday that he thinks the U.S. could start getting back to “relative normal” by April or July of 2021, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the nation.
Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” he thought that would be possible to achieve by the second or third quarter of 2021, but the question of when Americans can safely gather in large groups again depends on a number of factors.
He pointed to Pfizer’s announcement that early data shows the manufacturer’s coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective and noted that a second company is expected to soon unveil its early results.
“That’s great, but we have to get people to take the vaccine,” Fauci said.
“So, if we get the overwhelming majority of people taking the vaccine, and you have on the one hand an effective vaccine, on the other hand, a high degree of uptake of the vaccine, 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,” Fauci said.
But he added that the country “can’t just wish it happening.”
Vaccines have to come, they must be deployed and fundamental public health measures can’t be abandoned, Fauci stressed.
“You can approach a degree of normality while still doing some fundamental public health things that synergize with the vaccine to get us back to normal,” he said.
CNN contributed to this report.