CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that holiday gatherings should be limited this year and families should be mindful of people brought together to limit the risk of spreading the virus. He also implied that COVID-19 vaccines will not be available until January 2021 or later.
“You don’t want to be the Grinch that stole the holidays,” Fauci, who is director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a live-streamed interview with Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Fauci added that Americans shouldn’t call off Thanksgiving, but families can conduct safety assessments to mitigate COVID-19 risks.
“Everything is relative. Access the risk for your particular situation,” Dr. Fauci urged. “If you have elderly people or individuals who are compromised because of underlining conditions ask yourself is it worth it this year.”
Fauci also hinted that Americans may have access to COVID-19 vaccines as soon as January or later. As of Wednesday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. was 73,240, according to Johns Hopkins University
In a separate interview with the University of Melbourne, Fauci predicted that Americans will most likely resume life as normal by 2022 because that’s how long it will take for enough people to be vaccinated for coronavirus.
“I think it will be easier by the end of 2021 and perhaps into the next year before we start having some semblance of normality,” Fauci said. “If normal means you can get people in a theatre without worrying about what we call congregate-setting superinfections if we can get restaurants to open almost at full capacity.”