On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the Biden Administration’s prediction that coronavirus vaccines can lead to relative normalcy by July Fourth is “quite reasonable” —assuming states don’t pull back public safety measures, Politico reported.
“If you wait just a bit longer to give the vaccine program the chance to increase the protection in the community, then it makes pulling back much less risky,” said Fauci, on “Fox News Sunday.” “But if you do it prematurely there really is a danger of triggering another surge.”
But Fauci expressed concerns the pandemic is still a danger in the United States, with the number of new cases seeming to plateau at 50,000 or 60,000 daily over the last week.
“When you see [infections] plateauing at a level of anywhere between 50,000 and 65,000 cases a day, that is absolutely no time to declare victory, because we know from previous surges that we’ve had over the year that when you see that leveling off at a high level, there’s always the risk of a surge back up,” Fauci said. “And in fact, unfortunately, that is exactly what’s happening in Europe right now.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Fauci pointed to Europe as warning that relaxing mitigation measures prematurely could put the United States on a similar course.
“They had a diminution of cases, they plateaued, and they pulled back on public health measures. You see the pictures in the paper and on TV. They have opened the restaurants. They have opened some of the bars. The younger people particularly stopped wearing masks, and then, all of a sudden, you have a surge that went right back up.”
Last week, President Joe Biden in his first primetime address, asked states to make all adults eligible for vaccines by May 1 and set a goal for Americans to be able to gather in small groups to celebrate the Fourth of July.
“If the surge back up comes, that would endanger the goal of getting people much more toward normal in the beginning of the summer,” Fauci said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s not going to influence the vaccination program or the vaccination rate, but it could influence how soon we get back to normal.”
Some states, including Texas and Mississippi have started to allow businesses to resume normal operations and told residents in their states they no longer have to wear face masks in public. Fauci called the lifted mask mandates “risky and potentially dangerous.” Other states, such as Maryland, have retained mask mandates but removed limits on capacity for business.
“If you look at the numbers, we are not out of the woods yet,” he cautioned.