Don't Expect Normal Before Fall: Fauci

Infectious disease expert calls vaccination effort disappointing
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2020 5:30 PM CST
'Normal' Is Still Months Away: Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar before receiving his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine last week.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Vaccinations have begun, but the goal of resuming American life something like it was before the coronavirus struck is not within reach yet. "It's going to take several months. ... It's not going to happen in the first few months," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday. "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." That prediction assumes the nation "efficiently, quickly, and effectively" carries out its vaccination program, which hasn't happened so far, Politico reports. And Americans would have to stick to wearing masks, washing their hands, and maintaining social distancing, Fauci said. The nation's top infectious disease expert made the comments on MSNBC.

The vaccination effort is running well behind the pace promised by the federal government. "We would've liked to have seen it run smoothly and have 20 million doses into people today, by the end of the (year) 2020, which was the projection," Fauci said on the Today show, per CNBC. "Obviously, it didn't happen, and that's disappointing." After talking with the head of Operation Warp Speed on Wednesday, Fauci said it looks like that rate will be reached "as we get into the middle of January, February, and March." He portrayed the delays as understandable. "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." (More Anthony Fauci stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.