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Dr. Fauci just gave us the worst possible news about the coronavirus pandemic

Published Sep 16th, 2020 4:01PM EDT
Coronavirus update
Image: Kevin Dietsch - Pool via CNP/MEGA
  • White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has shared another coronavirus update, this time predicting when the point will come that we feel like life has returned somewhat to normal.
  • Unfortunately, that won’t happen for about another year.
  • Both Fauci and CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield think we’ve got another year to go, based on how long it will take to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to the public.

With all the headlines in recent days about COVID-19 vaccines, their status, and the race to get them approved and given out to everyone who needs them, it’s natural that people look at that news and start to see a light at the end of the tunnel. If a vaccine is almost here, then surely that means the end to this months-long situation is coming into view, too, right?

Well, sort of, but definitely not as soon as you might hope. In his latest coronavirus update with a major news outlet, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci during a conversation with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer predicted that we won’t feel our lives have gotten back to normal again and that the pandemic is over or almost over for probably another year, unfortunately.

The US is still averaging almost 40,000 new coronavirus infections a day, along with “thousands” of deaths, Fauci pointed out. “So we are still in the middle of this. And in order to get any semblance of normality, you’ve got to get that baseline number of infections way down.” Once a vaccine does eventually arrive, “it’s not going to be turning a switch off and turning a switch on. It’s going to be gradual.”

Moreover, Fauci (who’s also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) thinks that behaviors like practicing social distancing as well as wearing face masks will remain something of a norm until late into next year. “I think it’s going to take several months before we get to the point where we can really feel something that approximates how it was normally before COVID-19,” Fauci continued. “And for that reason, I made the projection of getting back to that state of normality well into 2021 and very unlikely before then.”

This lines up with a prediction that CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield told Senators on Wednesday, during a subcommittee hearing appearance. Redfield said the US should have a full-enough supply of coronavirus vaccine doses by the third quarter of 2021 that we should be able to get back to “regular life” at that point.

“If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of (a) vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third … late second quarter, third quarter 2021,” he said.

Of course, this is dependent on another Redfield assessment coming true — that people can start receiving the coronavirus vaccine as early in November or December. The vaccine would be given to the most vulnerable first, as well as health care workers, and then broaden out from there.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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