Americans may still have to wear masks in 2022 even as the country eases other restrictions to fight COVID-19, said Dr.Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert.
As daily infection rates decline dramatically, thousands of Americans still die from the virus every day, and less than 15% of the US population has been vaccinated against it.
US President Joe Biden is trying to speed up the vaccination campaign for most American adults as local governments demand more doses to prevent the highly contagious disease that has claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 people in the United States.
Fauci, Biden’s senior medical adviser, told TBEN that the impending death toll was “a terribly historic milestone in the history of this country.”
Asked whether Americans should expect to wear masks again next year, Fauci said: “I think it is possible that it is,” adding that it depended on the level of the virus in communities and potential variants of the virus.
“Obviously, I think we’re going to have a significant degree of normalcy beyond the terrible burden we’ve all endured over the past year,” Fauci said.
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Fauci said it was too early to determine when the United States could achieve collective immunity.
“We want that baseline to be really, really, really low before we start to think we’re out of the woods.”
He told “Fox News Sunday” that whether Americans will need a recall later depends on which route the South African variant takes.
Although the vaccines currently available appear to be protective against the British variant that has emerged nationwide, they are less protective against the South African vaccine, which so far is not dominant, he said.
“If in fact this becomes more dominant, we may need to get a version of the vaccine specifically directed against the South African isolate,” Fauci told Fox, saying studies were already underway.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)