Oct 29, 2020 - Health

Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a Senate hearing on COVID-19
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.

  • In a separate interview with Australia's University of Melbourne Wednesday, Fauci said he was "certain" there would be a coronavirus vaccine in the next few months.
"If we get a vaccination campaign, and by the second or third quarter of 2021 we have vaccinated a substantial proportion of the people, I think it will be easily by the end of 2021 — and perhaps even into the next year — before we start having some semblances of normality."

The big picture: President Trump has repeatedly claimed that a vaccine would be available for widespread distribution before the end of this year.

  • CDC director Robert Redfield testified before Congress that it's more likely that a vaccine won't be available until the second or third quarter of 2021.

Of note: Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said earlier this month that his company's coronavirus vaccine won't be available for widespread distribution until at least this coming spring.

  • The company's vaccine is one of four that are in late-stage testing in people in the U.S.

Go deeper: The coming coronavirus vaccine chaos

Go deeper