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Fauci Believes Life Will Go Back to Normal Sometime in 2021

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Fauci Believes Life Will Go Back to Normal Sometime in 2021

2020-07-30 13:45:25

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Anthony Fauci (Image source: Screenshot)

It would be a struggle to find anyone in the United States not wondering when life will go back to normal — life when we don't need to worry about bringing a face mask with us when we leave the house, to be able to go in stores and restaurants without another thought, to when we can send kids to school without worrying about their safety.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious-disease specialist and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, believes it will be sometime in 2021 that life may return to normal. It's not exactly great news, but it's at least something to cling to.

There are still so many things that are unknown about the novel coronavirus. Doctors and other experts disagree. But one thing most agree on is that when flu season kicks off in the fall, the country will be headed for another surge.

Part of the unknown is when a vaccine will be ready. There are currently two vaccines — one in the U.S. and one in the UK — that are showing much promise, and they are already in production so that they'll be ready in case they prove to be effective at making people immune to COVID-19. They are expected to be ready at the end of the year or early next year.

"The timetable you suggested of getting into 2021, well into the year," Fauci explained in an interview with CBS News, "then I can think with a successful vaccine — if we could vaccinate the overwhelming majority of the population — we could start talking about real normality again. But it is going to be a gradual process."

In an interview with Wired, Fauci said he believes there will be "multiple successful candidates." He added that he is "hopeful that there will be more than one successful vaccine because we need vaccines not only for the United States — we need it for the rest of the world."

He also said in an earlier interview that there is no guarantee there will even be an effective vaccine by the time all is said and done. He has also said he can see COVID-19 being comparable to the Spanish Flu in terms of severity.

"If you look at the magnitude of the 1918 pandemic where anywhere from 50 to 70 to 100 million people globally died," said Fauci, "that was the mother of all pandemics and truly historic. I hope we don't even approach that with [COVID-19], but it does have the makings of, the possibility of approaching that in seriousness."

In a conversation of why the coronavirus has hit the U.S. more than any other country, Fauci noted that there isn't just one factor, but he pointed to a few he feels are important.

When other countries went on lockdown, "they did it to about 95 percent of their countries." These other countries "came down to a very low baseline — down to tens or hundreds of new cases a day, not thousands ... and they stayed down."

Fauci went on to note that in the U.S., "we only did it to the tune of about 50 percent of the country shutting down. Our curve goes up and starts to come down. but we never came down to a reasonable baseline." But the country started to open again when there were 20,000 new infections per day, and it went up from that to where there were 70,000 new cases in one day last week.

While the country went through the shutdown, it was far from being 95 percent shut down. Fauci explained some states "didn't adhere to the guidelines." He noted that watching video, "you see people congregating in crowds at bars with no masks on.

"We didn't shut down fully, the baseline never came down to a real low level," the doctor explained. "And when we started to open up, we didn't open up uniformly in a very strict way."

Fauci also preached "social responsibility." He blamed it on people who believe they have little chance of catching it. "But what they don't realize is that, even if they don't get any symptoms at all, by being careless and allowing themselves to get infected, they are becoming a part of the propagation of the outbreak. They are putting other people in danger by themselves getting infected." 

"That's the message we have to get across," he said.

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