Fauci warned that when a vaccine arrives it will rely upon people taking it in massive numbers as well as obeying social distancing rules.
Tapper replied: ‘So, not until the second or third quarter of 2021, though? Christmas is probably not going to be possible?’
Fauci told CNN: ‘Yes, I’m – well, I think that, if we get most of the country vaccinated in the second, third quarter of the year, and the vaccine continues to prove its efficacy, and people adhere to those fundamental measures, I think we can start approaching the degree – it’s not going to be a light switch, Jake.
‘We are not going to turn it on and off, going from where we are to completely normal. It’s going to be a gradual accrual of more normality as the weeks and the months go by, as we get well into 2021.’
CNN host Jake Tapper yesterday suggested that ‘Christmas won’t be possible’ for Americans as Dr Anthony Fauci told him coronavirus restrictions will last well into next year
The nation’s lead infectious diseases expert has already told families to don masks for Thanksgiving and avoid visiting other families or inviting others into their homes.
Asked about whether a vaccine would be ready for Labor Day or Thanksgiving next year, Fauci said: ‘We could start getting things back to relative normal as we get into the second and third quarter of the year, where people can start thinking about doing things that were too dangerous just months ago.’
Fauci said that he was optimistic on the latest results from the leading pharmaceutical companies – Pfizer’s vaccine was shown to be 90% effective in preliminary tests – but that many millions will have to receive the jab for it to succeed.
‘For example, we have vaccines now. The first one that came out was highly effective. I anticipate that the second one likely will be comparable. You never can tell until you see the data, but would be comparable. That is great.’ Fauci said.
‘But we have to get people to take the vaccine. So, if we get the overwhelming majority of people taking the vaccine, and you have, on the one hand, an effective vaccine, on the other hand, a high degree of uptake of the vaccine, we could start getting things back to relative normal.’
The doctor went on to criticise President Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the election result which Fauci said meant he could not discuss vital plans with president-elect Joe Biden.
‘Of course it would be better if we could start working with them (Biden’s team),’ Fauci told the broadcaster.
He added that the president hasn’t attended a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in several months.
Fauci said that President Donald Trump hasn’t attended a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in several months. Pictured above during an April 1 coronavirus press conference
Trump has refused to concede in the presidential election. The president pictured golfing on Sunday at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia
‘You know, it’s – it was months ago. But when we have our task force meeting, it’s run, as you know, by Vice President Pence. And the vice president then translates that the president himself. But the last time the president was physically at a task force meeting was several months ago.’ Fauci said.
Fauci’s push for a transition of power comes as the US broke 11 million COVID-19 cases on Sunday with a death toll of more than 246,000. The country recorded more than one million new cases this past week alone.
When Tapper asked on the urgency due to the pandemic to start communicating with Biden’s incoming team, Fauci said it’s more pressing than ever to have a smooth and quick transition of power.
‘As you know, I’ve been through multiple transitions now, having served six presidents for 36 years. And it’s very clear that the transition process that we go through … is really important in a smooth handing over of the information as well as it’s almost like passing the baton in a race,’ he said.
‘You don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody, you want to essentially keep going,’ he added.
Fauci praised the president-elect for choosing Ron Klain for chief of staff, who worked with Fauci during the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
‘He was absolutely terrific at the Ebola situation where we had a very successful, ultimate endgame with Ebola. We developed therapies. We put out the outbreak — you know, it was a terrible outbreak, obviously. But we, ultimately, were very successful but that is how I got to know Ron.’
Biden’s coronavirus team has been already reaching out to states and the medical community so that they have a head start come January’s inauguration. However, the transition team does not have access to the administration’s COVID-19 data or vaccine distribution plans
The transition of presidential power has not started yet because Trump has refused to accept the results of the election.
Meanwhile, Biden’s coronavirus team has been already reaching out to states and the medical community so that they have a head start come January’s inauguration.
However, the transition team does not have access to the administration’s COVID-19 data or vaccine distribution plans.
A transition is unlikely to take place until a Trump appointee within the General Services Administration certifies the result.
The country logged more than 135,000 new cases on Sunday, as well as 623 deaths.