Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that he could see face masks being a part of culture going into 2022.
Fauci joined CNN anchor Dana Bash on “State of the Union” to discuss the state of the coronavirus pandemic and what he believes will be the next steps and the timeline going forward. (RELATED: Fauci Says Masks Can Come Off When Virus ‘Is Not A Threat At All’)
Bash began the interview by asking Fauci what he thought about family gatherings now that people were beginning to get the vaccine, and he said that he personally was not ready for large family gatherings until more of his family members were vaccinated.
“Obviously, I’m with my wife every day. She’s gotten her first dose and will soon get the second. My children, when they get vaccinated, I look forward to seeing them and I’m sure by that time recommendations will come out to guide us in a more precise way,” Fauci said.
Bash referenced comments from President Joe Biden about an eventual return to “normality,” asking, “What does normal mean? Do you think Americans will still be wearing masks for example in 2022?”
“You know, I think that’s possible that’s the case. It depends what you mean by normality,” Fauci replied.
“Right. That’s why I want you to define it,” Bash pushed back, prompting a laugh from Fauci.
Fauci went on to say that while he believed it might take longer to get back to where the United States was in November of 2019, some degree of what people view as “normal” would likely come as more Americans received the vaccine.
“It may or may not be precisely the way it was in November of 2019 but much, much better than what we’re doing right now,” he said.
“Why do you think Americans might have to wear masks into 2022?” Bash asked again.
Fauci said that he wouldn’t be comfortable rolling back mask recommendations until the dynamics had changed to the point that the risk was minimal.
“I want it to keep going down to a baseline that’s so low there is virtually no threat,” he said.
“Wow. So your timeline is taking us out a year, maybe two years, maybe even longer?” Bash asked.
Fauci pushed back, saying that he didn’t want to put a definite timeline on something that was constantly changing, saying, “then it will be a sound bite that’s not true.”