Dr. Anthony Fauci said that even though he's "very certain" we will have a coronavirus vaccine "in the next few months," we are unlikely to be able to go about our normal lives until at least the end of next year – or perhaps 2022.
"If we get a vaccination campaign, and by the second or third quarter of 2021 we have vaccinated a substantial proportion of the people, I think it will be easily by the end of 2021, and perhaps even into the next year, before we start having some semblances of normality," Fauci said during a University of Melbourne panel.
However, Fauci noted that political division and the fear of economic loss has affected how the country is currently doing.
"When we were trying to open up the economy again, or open up the country … and I was very much involved with Dr. Deborah Birx and putting together these guidelines, which were a gateway of Phase 1, Phase 2 – to tell you how you can gradually safely and prudently open up the country." Fauci said. "If everybody had done that uniformly, I don't think we would be in the position we're in right now."
He continued: "Masks in the United States have almost become a political statement, and I know that was carried in the news globally, it was really ... very, very difficult. In fact, people were ridiculed for their mask, depending upon which side of a particular political spectrum you were at," Fauci said, adding that it has been painful to witness this divisiveness centered around a public health issue.
Dr. Paul Offit discusses on Newsroom: