• White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci’s coronavirus updates this week have been increasingly negative and pointing toward a much worse COVID-19 situation on its way to the US.
  • This week also saw Dr. Fauci predict that the first coronavirus vaccine will probably be available in January, at the earliest.
  • On Friday, according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University, the US surpassed 9 million recorded COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

I’m sure this isn’t necessarily intentional, it’s just the way these kinds of things have shaken out — but, lately, it seems that each time White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks, and good lord he’s certainly been The Everywhere Man this week, he sounds more bleak than the last time. At various times this week, he’s said a coronavirus vaccine won’t be here until January, if even then. And that we will (probably) get a safe coronavirus vaccine, though there’s never a guarantee about these things.

Also just this week Fauci has let everyone know, just in case you weren’t sure, that the current pandemic should be regarded as “the mother of all outbreaks” over the last century — that the US is going in the absolute wrong direction, and we’re in for a world of pain this winter. And as if all that wasn’t enough, Dr. Fauci’s latest coronavirus update is the following: Remember the life you enjoyed as recently as January of this year? Don’t expect to get a taste of that for another year.

“I think it will be easily by the end of 2021 and perhaps into the next year before we start having some semblance of normality,” Fauci said during a University of Melbourne webinar on Wednesday. “If normal means you can get people in a theater without worrying about what we call congregate-setting super infections, if we can get restaurants to open almost at full capacity.”

Of course, we know what stands in the way between right now and that future scenario. A successful vaccine has to finally materialize, win government approval, and be distributed to the population. And, it should go without saying, enough people have to take it — while, at the same time, everyone keeps up all the coronavirus-related health measures in the meantime, like wearing face masks and social-distancing.

During a Yahoo Finance summit this week, Dr. Fauci also made the point that the first COVID-19 vaccine will hopefully operate much like the flu shot you get each year. The flu vaccine doesn’t offer a 100% guarantee that you won’t still be infected with the flu, but you’re much less likely to be infected — and, even if you are, those people should be infected with a much less severe case than they would have gotten otherwise.

“What you need is a combination of a heavy, heavy element of vaccine-induced protection, together with the protection that those who unfortunately have already been infected have,” Fauci said on Friday during an episode of SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio Reports. “That’s the reason why a vaccine is so important in a much safer approach towards herd immunity.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.