Fauci Hesitant About Returning To ‘Normal,’ Predicts Americans Could Continue Wearing Masks Into 2022

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, says it still may be some time before the country returns to “normal.”

During an interview on MSBNC with host Andrea Mitchell, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director said the vaccine opens some new opportunities for people leaving under the pandemic. One of these opportunities: hugging your loved ones.

Fauci said it is “very likely” that family members who have both been vaccinated can safely hug one another without risking transmission of the disease.

These vaccinated individuals, Fauci explained, are “much, much more liberal in the sense of pulling back on stringent public health measures.”

As Fox News reports, however, Fauci warned that much of the country is not yet vaccinated and people should continue to be cautious when venturing out into public.

“For example, if you’re vaccinated and you have a member of your family vaccinated — someone [who] has not lived with you — can you actually be with them without a mask? Can I sit down and give them a hug and things like that? And the answer is very likely, of course, you can,” he said.

Fauci continued: “But if only 10% of the society is vaccinated, you’re not going to be able to go to a restaurant or to go to a theater because it’s not going to be opening. So, that’s the reason why … you’ve got to separate it from what you can do in a certain vacuum versus what you can do in society.”

Watch his comments below:

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During another interview with CNN, Fauci predicted Americans could continue wearing personal protective face masks well into 2022:

Fox News adds:

While getting the vaccine does not mean an individual cannot be reinfected, it drastically lowers the chance and lessens the severity of an infection.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 95% effective in protecting against the COVID-19 virus, though the CDC and Fauci are still urging those immunized to continue taking precautions like wearing masks and social distancing.

As states transition into different phases of vaccine rollouts, dangerous winter weather has hampered the process across nearly all 50 states.