Americans Could Still Be Wearing Masks In 2022, Fauci Says

Americans Could Still Be Wearing Masks In 2022, Fauci Says


While a quickening vaccine rollout has some U.S. officials predicting a return to normalcy by the end of this year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said it’s “possible” the Covid-19 precaution of mask usage will linger into 2022. 


Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci is seen … [+] before US President Joe Biden address about the Covid-19 response ahead of signing executive orders in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 21, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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Key Facts

Fauci said Sunday he agrees with President Biden’s prediction that the U.S. will be “approaching normalcy” by the fall or winter of this year, but warned during an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” that it may take longer for the country to “be precisely the way it was in November of 2019.”

While he evaded exact projections, Fauci said widespread mask usage could still be prevalent in 2022 depending on the “dynamics of the virus that’s in the community.” 

Fauci said he’d want to see “basically no threat” from the virus before he could say it’s safe to go mask-less, pointing to more contagious variants like the U.K. and South African strains as potential complicating factors. 

“If yo

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