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Fauci says it's 'possible' that Americans will still need to wear masks in 2022

Published by Business Insider on Mon, 22 Feb 2021

<p><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/60332d54bed5c50011a2bc12-1024/GettyImages-1286586484.jpg" border="0" alt="fauci mask" data-mce-source="Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images" data-mce-caption="Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting on November 19." data-link="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/dr-anthony-fauci-director-of-the-national-institute-of-news-photo/1286586484'adppopup=true"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser for Covid-19, said Americans may still need to wear masks in 2022 even as he suggested that the US could reach some sort of normality by the fall.&nbsp;</p><p>Fauci told <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/21/politics/anthony-fauci-mask-wearing-2022-cnntv/index.html">CNN's</a> Dana Bash on "State of the Union" that while he can't predict when Americans could go back to pre-pandemic behaviors, he thinks "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."</p><p>Fauci said Americans could still need to wear masks a year from now depending on the level of virus in the community.&nbsp;</p><p>"If you see the levels coming down very low, I want it to keep going down to a baseline that's so low there is virtually no threat," Fauci said. "It'll never be zero but a minimal minimal threat."</p><p>Fauci added that Americans wouldn't necessarily need to wear masks at the point when most people in the country are vaccinated. "If you combine getting most of the people in the country vaccinated with getting the level of virus in the community very, very low, then I believe you're going to be able to say, you know, for the most part, we don't necessarily have to wear masks," he said.</p><p>So far, more than 43.6 million Americans have received their first dose of a vaccine, with over 18 million getting both doses, <a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="60" data-uri="abb844b00359e918dc9c6db2284a1392">data</a> from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.&nbsp;</p><p>Coronavirus cases overall in the US are on the decline. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/19/health/us-coronavirus-friday/index.html" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="40" data-uri="04b992d29fbb9ae8274b68ca5d85a17b">CNN</a>&nbsp;reported that there was a 29% decrease in cases over the previous week, the largest drop during the course of the pandemic so far.</p><p>Saturday also marked the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/covid-19-hospitalizations-reach-lowest-number-since-november-2021-2">first time</a> COVID-19 &nbsp;<a href="https://covidtracking.com/data/charts/us-currently-hospitalized" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="40" data-uri="948e17c5dd7e4a77d22964fd3f76f35f">hospitalizations dropped below 60,000</a>&nbsp;since November 9.&nbsp;</p><p>However, Fauci's comments also come as the country approaches 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.&nbsp;</p><p>The US is also dealing with several coronavirus variants that are more transmissible and in some cases deadlier.&nbsp;</p><p>A&nbsp;<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/contagious-uk-coronavirus-variant-spreading-quickly-in-us-study-2021-2" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="80" data-uri="7d2e05f4955d8ee973da84634b3494a2">study found that the Coronavirus variant that originated in the United Kingdom&nbsp;</a>is spreading quickly across the US and is likely to become the most dominant variant in many states by next month. Another <a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/961042/S1095_NERVTAG_update_note_on_B.1.1.7_severity_20210211.pdf" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="80" data-uri="46711fb9097fe557572e719ce0a48b18">assessment</a> found that this variant could be&nbsp;<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/uk-coronavirus-variant-likely-deadlier-than-original-strain-2021-2" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="80" data-uri="b9566eac5cd74a173dac7903364b4aad">30% to 70% deadlier</a>&nbsp;than the original virus.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/fauci-says-americans-will-have-to-wear-masks-into-2022-2021-2#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/navy-usns-comfort-hospital-ship-new-york-coronavirus-covid-19-2020-3">How the Navy's largest hospital ship can help with the coronavirus</a></p>
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