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Dr. Fauci Just Said When We Will Return to "Normal"

Might be late spring or early summer. “We can't claim victory prematurely.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Right now, at this point in the coronavirus pandemic, things do not feel "normal." Only 17% of America is fully vaccinated, and yet restaurants and sporting events are opening up, and mask mandates have been lifted in some states. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News and issued a warning about what could lead to a fourth surge—and also predicted when we'd finally be back to normal (if we hold tight now). Read on to see when that might finally happen—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.


In Order to Get to Normal Faster, Dr. Fauci Warned You Can't Stop Mitigation Methods Now

"Let's talk about where we are right now. We're watching new infections climb. We're watching vaccinations climb as well. Where do these lines go? Where does this all end?" asked Holt.

"Well, it ends, I hope, and I feel reasonably confident—it's going to end with the vaccine winning that race. Indeed we're concerned that we plateaued at a high level and unacceptably high level. The last count was 60,000 new infections in a single day. At the same time, we're vaccinating over 3 million people per day. Yesterday was 3.3 million people. So the vaccine program is moving along very smoothly. And if we keep getting people vaccinated and don't pull back on the mitigation methods, namely the public health guidelines that we talk about that we won't see that surge, but it's going to be important. We can't claim victory prematurely." Next, he says when we'll finally return to normal.


Dr. Fauci Said We Could Return to Normal By Early Summer if We Hold Tight

Woman getting COVID-19 vaccine shot.

"You're still talking about mitigation," said Holt. "Mask mandates have been lifted and air travel is up. Restaurants and bars are filling up again. People are going to baseball games. You watch that happen right now. Do you feel like you're not being heard?"

"It's understandable why people want to do that," answered Dr. Fauci. "We have been restricted in our activities for a considerable period of time and everybody, including myself, has some degree of COVID-19 fatigue. But the thing we try and emphasize is that this will end. We need to hold out just a bit longer and give vaccines a chance to really get the upper hand in this and I'll guarantee as we get into the late spring and the early summer, you're going to see a term, a return to gradual degree of normality that everyone is hoping for, but we don't want to do it prematurely. We don't want to pull back on all the measures, what we see a very high plateau of daily infections. That's the thing that concerns me and many other public health officials." Keep reading to see which state he said opened up too early—and how to stay safe.


Dr. Fauci Said Michigan May Have Opened Up Too Prematurely

Detroit Woodward Ave

Michigan has seen a worrying leap in COVID cases, with more than 6,000 on Wednesday. Did the State open up too soon? "I think the idea of pulling back prematurely, under pressure, it's understandable why you might want to do that, but the results, I think, are being manifested in what you're seeing in Michigan," he told Dave LewAllen for 7 UpFront. "I hesitate to criticize anything the governor did because she's really quite a good governor," Fauci said.


Dr. Fauci Says This to Anyone Who is Frightened

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Courtesy of FiveThirtyEight

Rich Eisen sat down with Dr. Anthony Fauci on the latest episode of his podcast, Just Getting Started, and asked what Dr. Fauci would tell "people who are absolutely frightened about what happened over the last year, even if they haven't lost a loved one. How do you tell everybody to just get started on their lives normally?" "I think people should understand that this is going to end. It really will," said Dr. Fauci. "There is so much frustration we've been living. I know I have, and I'm sure so many other people kind of a surrealistic existence over the last year where your entire life has been up, ended some more than others. This is going to end. We're going to get it under control and we will get back to normal. So your advice to people is just hang in there a bit longer. Don't get discouraged. It's going to end. Vaccines are going to be the end game. Answer to this. When we get enough people vaccinated, it's going to turn this around very dramatically. So just hang in there, keep pulling with it. It's going to be okay."

RELATED: Most COVID Patients Did This Before Getting Sick


How to Get to the End of This Pandemic Without Getting Ill

Woman putting a second face mask.

Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek