Dr. Anthony Fauci says it is “possible” the nation will still be wearing masks next year.
“You know, I think it is possible that that’s the case and, again, it really depends on what you mean by normality,” President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor told CNN’s Dana Bush on Sunday’s “State of the Union.”
Fauci added that when the COVID-19 infection rate “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.’”
On a positive note, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) believes the nation may reach some semblance of normality by the end of this year.
“I think we’re going to have a significant degree of normality, beyond the terrible burden all of us have been through in the last year, that as we get into the fall and winter... we will be approaching a degree of normality,” Fauci said.
Dr. Fauci says that it's "possible" that Americans will be wearing masks in 2022.— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) February 21, 2021
"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/8Upirj9VGb
Fauci’s comments come on the heels of a Sunday report from the New York Times that said the U.S. is likely to reach 500,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the upcoming days.
In response to this tragedy, Biden will order flags on federal land to be lowered to half-staff for the next five days. The president will also deliver remarks and hold a moment of silence at a candle-lighting ceremony on Monday.
“Tonight’s events, including the president’s remarks, will highlight the magnitude of loss this milestone marks for the American people and so many families across the country,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing.
“He will also speak to the power of the American people to turn the tide on this pandemic by working together, following public health guidelines and getting vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.”
Pres. sec Psaki says Pres. Biden will lower flags at half-staff on federal property for the next five days in honor of the 500,000 COVID-19 related deaths. https://t.co/M5ouF4twXn pic.twitter.com/4YJCxgZ1xq— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 22, 2021
As of Monday, February 22, 2021, at 2:09 p.m. EST, the Times reports that more than 28,169,400 people in the United States have been infected with COVID-19, and there have been approximately 499,189 coronavirus-related deaths.