Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that he won’t rule out Americans still needing to wear masks in 2022 — even as the country returns to a certain degree of “normality.”
When asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” whether masks will be necessary next year, Fauci replied, “I think it is possible that that’s the case and, again, it really depends on what you mean by normality.”
The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said he doesn’t know when the country will return to pre-pandemic life, but that he believes by the end of the year “we’re going to have a significant degree of normality beyond the terrible burden that all of us have been through over the last year.”
“As we get into the fall and the winter, by the end of the year, I agree with [President Joe Biden] completely that we will be approaching a degree of normality,” Fauci said.
“It may not be precisely the way that it was in November 2019, but it will be much better than what we’re doing right now.”
But he said that mask-wearing will depend on how prevalent the virus remains.
“It depends on the level of the dynamics of virus that is in the community and that’s really important because… if you see the level coming down really very very low, I want it to keep going down to a baseline that there’s virtually no threat — it’ll never be zero — but a minimal, minimal threat that you will be exposed to someone infected,” Fauci said.