Even as movie theaters, gyms and salons are opening and some states are allowing limited indoor dining, daily life in the U.S. won't get back to normal until late 2021 when a vaccine for COVID-19 could be widely distributed, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Friday.
In an interview on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he remains confident there will be a vaccine available by the end of this year or early 2021.
"But by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccine and get a majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen until the end of 2021," he said. "If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality prior to COVID, it’s going to be well into 2021, towards the end of 2021."
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As the U.S. is plateauing at a high level of around 40,000 new cases and 1,000 deaths a day, Fauci also voiced concerns about states starting to resume certain indoor activities like dining.
"Being indoors absolutely increases the risk" of transmission, Fauci said. “I am concerned when I see things starting indoors, and that becomes more compelling when you move into fall and winter season.”
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