In a broad interview published Sunday, a leading U.S. infectious disease expert eased expectations for a return to normalcy, offered advice to people protesting the death of George Floyd, and suggested that travel bans to the U.S. could remain in place for months.
The coronavirus could “continue for several cycles, going backwards,” Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Telegraph.
“I hope to reach a certain degree of real normalcy within a year,” he said. “But I don’t think this is winter or fall, we’ll see about that a little bit more.”
Amid protests against racial justice, Fauci said “the bottom line is there is a risk (in the protest) and, of course, it concerns”. He said wearing masks helps, but stressed that crowds are risky.
“I would say that in a perfect world, people should not gather in front of the masses and demonstrate. But I know, even though you say that, they will do it – said Fauci.
“So if you’re going to do that, don’t take off your mask while yelling, yelling and yelling and doing anything at the demonstration.”
Fauci also poured cold water on the idea that travel restrictions from the UK and other countries be lifted in time for the summer holidays.
“There will be a real wait and see. I don’t think there will be an immediate withdrawal for such restrictions,” he said. “My feeling, looking at what’s going on with the infection rate, I think it’s more likely to be measured in months, not weeks.”
Openings in schools should be based on local conditions, Fauci said in an interview. He also expressed optimism that the vaccine would eventually be successful. “We have potential vaccines that are making significant progress. We have maybe four or five,” he said.
“You can never guarantee success with a vaccine. It’s stupid to do, there are so many chances that things will go wrong. (But) everything we’ve seen from the early results, it’s conceivable that we get two or three vaccines that are successful.”