Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was interviewed Friday by MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. (Photo: MSNBC)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was interviewed Friday by MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. (Photo: MSNBC)

Fauci Warns Pre-Pandemic Normalcy Not Likely Until 'Well Into' or 'Towards the End of 2021'

The public health expert also addressed the need to reduce cases headed into fall, halted vaccine trials, and reported attempts to "muzzle" him.

Jessica Corbett

As the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States surpassed 6.43 million and the nation's death toll topped 192,600, the federal government's top infectious disease expert warned Friday that life likely won't return to normal until sometime—perhaps late—in 2021.

During a televised interview, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about his comments earlier this week that it may not be safe to attend movie theaters or indoor events until a year after the U.S. has a safe, effective vaccine.

Fauci said that he remains confident the U.S. could have a vaccine for Covid-19 by the end of this year or early next year, "but by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations and you get the majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that's likely not gonna happen till the mid or end of 2021."

"If you're talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to Covid, it's gonna be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021," Fauci added, referencing the local and state level lockdowns and social distancing practices that have been implemented throughout this year.

A White House adviser, Fauci also disagreed with President Donald Trump's claim during a Thursday press briefing that the United States has "rounded the final turn" in the pandemic. Looking at the statistics, "they're disturbing," Fauci told Mitchell. "We're plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day and the deaths are around 1,000."

The expert expressed hope that the U.S. won't see a post-Labor Day Weekend surge in cases like what occurred after July 4 and Memorial Day, and stressed the importance of driving down infection numbers heading into the fall and winter months.

"What we don't want to see is going into the fall season, when people will be spending more time indoors—and that's not good for a respiratory borne virus—you don't want to start off already with a baseline that's so high," he said.

Fauci also denied that he has been influenced by the reported efforts of a Trump-allied official within the Department of Health and Human Services to muzzle him or otherwise guide what the expert says publicly about the pandemic.

Regarding AstraZeneca's decision earlier this week to halt human trials for a potential vaccine after a participant in the U.K. showed signs of a suspected adverse reaction, Fauci said the development was unfortunate but should also reassure the public that safety concerns are being taken seriously.

The trial delay came as AstraZeneca joined eight other pharmaceutical companies in pledging to "stand with science" amid alarm that Trump may pressure the industry and the Food and Drug Administration to approve a vaccine ahead of the general election. As Common Dreams reported Tuesday, public health experts responded to Big Pharma's promise with cautious optimism.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·


Democracy 'On the Line' Says Bowman After Protest Arrest

"I will not stand by and I will not stay quiet while the fate of our democracy continues to hang loosely by a thread that the Senate is hellbent on tearing apart."

Julia Conley ·


To 'Hold Her Accountable for What She Did,' Primary Sinema Project Gets Into Gear

"Kyrsten Sinema is unfit to be a United States senator," the project asserts. "Just like the filibuster itself, we need to get rid of her if we want to save our democracy before it's too late."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo