On Sunday, Chief Medical Adviser to President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said it is ‘possible’ that Americans might have to wear masks into 2022 as precaution against spreading coronavirus.
Fauci made his comments during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Fauci hinted that “normality” may be a relic of the past.
Dr. Fauci says that it's "possible" that Americans will be wearing masks in 2022.
"When it goes way down and the overwhelming majority of the people in the population are vaccinated, then I would feel comfortable in saying, you know, 'We need to pull back on the masks'" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/Pyry7HlqnR
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 21, 2021
Fauci: ‘It Depends On What You Mean By Normality’
Host Dana Bash said to Fauci, “You and the president have suggested that we’ll approach normality towards the end of the year. What does normal mean?”
Then Bash asked point blank: “Do you think Americans will still be wearing masks, for example, in 2022?”
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Fauci replied, “You know, I think that’s possible that’s the case. It depends on what you mean by normality.”
Bash said, “Right. That’s why I want you to define it.”
Fauci told, “It’s important because if normality means exactly the way things were before we had this happen to us, I mean, I can’t predict.”
The doctor did appear to believe the worst was behind us.
“I mean, obviously, I think we’ll have a significant degree of normality beyond what the terrible burden that all of us have been through over the last year as we get into the fall and the winter by the end of the year,” Fauci said.
Fauci was quoted today as saying we will return to normal in 2022. Which is weird because Florida returned to normal 6 months ago, and their outcomes are just as good as places that didn't return to normal. Maybe we should just return to normal & let people make their own choices
— Sujay Jaswa (@sujayjaswa) February 19, 2021
Fauci: Vaccinations Are Key
He added, “I agree with the president completely that we will be approaching a degree of normality. It may or may not be precisely the way it was in November of 2019 but much, much better than what we’re doing right now.”
Bash pressed again on the 2022 question, “Why do you think Americans might have to wear masks into 2022?”
Fauci replied, “You know, because it depends on the level of dynamics of virus that’s in the community, and that’s really important because that gets back to something, again, you said, if you see the level coming down really, really very low.”
He continued, “I want it to keep going down to a baseline that’s so low there is virtually no threat.”
“It will never be zero, but a minimal, minimal, minimal threat you will be exposed to someone who is infected,” Fauci said.
Fauci said getting as many people vaccinated as possible was key.
“So if you combine getting most of the people in the country vaccinated with getting the level of virus in the community very, very low, then I believe you’re going to be able to say, you know, for the most part, we don’t necessarily have to wear masks but if we have a level of virus that is at that level that it was months and months ago like 20 thousand per day is a heck of a lot better than it has been,” Fauci said.
In Fauci’s explanation, ‘don’t necessarily have to wear masks’ seems to be doing a lot of heavy lifting.
“I think it’s possible that’s the case,” Fauci says of Americans still wearing masks in 2022. He says to @DanaBashCNN on @CNNSotu that the US will be “approaching a degree of normality” by end of year
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 21, 2021
He added, “That’s still a very high level of virus in the community. I want to see it go way down.”
When would he be comfortable with no more masks?
“When it goes way down, and the overwhelming majority of the people in the population are vaccinated, then I would feel comfortable saying we need to pull back on the masks,” Fauci said.
“We don’t need to have masks,” Dr. Fauci finished.
2022 is a long way off.
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