Dr. Anthony Fauci told a British newspaper Sunday that something resembling normal life in the U.S. would likely return in “a year or so,” with the coronavirus pandemic expected to require social distancing and other mitigation efforts through the fall and winter, although political divisiveness, reopening efforts and the George Floyd protests could add more layers of difficulty to the country’s recovery.
“I would hope to get to some degree of real normality within a year or so. But I don’t think it’s this winter or fall,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Telegraph Sunday.
Fauci also told the newspaper that the travel ban from the U.K., the European Union, China and Brazil will likely stay in place for “months,” based on “what’s going on with the infection rate.”
Within the U.S., Florida, California and Texas hit all-time daily highs in reported Covid-19 cases, while the Centers for Disease Control predicted six states (Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, North Carolina, Utah and Vermont) will see higher death tolls over the next month.
U.S., where states that aren’t making them mandatory, like California, are seeing cases spike while New York, where the protective gear is required, has the country’s lowest spread rate.
“We’re seeing several states, as they try to reopen and get back to normal, starting to see early indications [that] infections are higher than previously,” Fauci said.
Over 2 million. That’s how many confirmed coronavirus cases are in the U.S., which leads the world both in the number of infections and casualties from the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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Despite Fauci’s immediate conservative outlook on when life can return to normal, he’s hopeful that multiple Covid-19 vaccines could be found by the end of 2020. “We have potential vaccines making significant progress. We have maybe four or five,” he told The Telegraph. Although “you can never guarantee success with a vaccine,” Fauci added, from “everything we have seen from early results, it’s conceivable we get two or three vaccines that are successful.”
The U.S. is not facing a second wave of coronavirus. “We really never quite finished the first wave,” according to Dr. Ashish Jha, a global health professor at Harvard. In an NPR interview, Jha said the first wave is unlikely to be finished “anytime soon.”
The World Health Organization designated the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. As of Sunday, the pandemic is approaching its fifth month, and few countries have had success in beating back their outbreaks. New Zealand has essentially returned to normal life after eliminating coronavirus, while countries like the U.S., the U.K. and Brazil, among others, continue to see new cases and report deaths.
Within the U.S., efforts to reduce cases and deaths, like mask wearing, have become partisan political issues. Desires both from elected officials and some citizens to reopen economies have also impacted the pandemic, as states that reopened earlier, like Florida, are seeing numbers of cases spike. Concerns that recent protests sparked by George Floyd’s killing will also further spread the coronavirus are present, but have not yet been proven, as symptoms can take up to 14 days to develop.