President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser, Anthony Fauci, told CNN in an interview that Americans might have to wear masks until 2022.

CNN’s Dana Bash asked Fauci when things will return to “normal” and whether he thinks Americans will need to wear masks next year.

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“I want [COVID-19 cases] to keep going down to a baseline that’s so low there is virtually no threat,” said Fauci

“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, for the most part, we don’t necessarily have to wear masks.”

Fauci told the CNN host that he cannot predict when the United States will be able to return to the way things were before the pandemic.

“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,” Fauci said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), wearing masks is crucial to slowing down the virus’s spread.

The mask-wearing mandate applies to all Americans who go to public places, use public transportation, and are within six feet of others.

Fauci also shared his confidence that individuals need just one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to protect against the deadly virus and that two doses will provide the most protection.

“We know for sure that when you give a prime with the Pfizer followed by a boost 21 days later that you get a 94% to 95% efficacy and the difference between the level of antibodies after one dose versus two doses is about tenfold higher,” Fauci said. 

“And that is really important because when you have that high a degree comparable to the single-dose alone, that’s the cushion that you would like to have when you get a variant that isn’t as well-protected against by the antibodies induced by the vaccine, but you have enough level to be able to prevent at least severe disease.”

As of Feb. 22, there are 27,938,085 cases of COVID-19 and 497,415 deaths caused by the virus.

Written ByLauren Akabori

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