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Dr. Anthony Fauci says US could be back to normal by autumn 2021 — if country vaccinates 1 million people every day

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Lofty aim

Photo by Patrick Semansky/Associated Press/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading infectious diseases expert, says that the country could get back to a more normal day-to-day society by fall 2021 — if the country vaccinates at least 1 million people every day beginning in April.

What are the details?

According to a Newsweek report on Monday, Fauci said that America "will need to reach a target of administering at least one million vaccinations every day in order to return to some form of 'normality.'"

In weekend remarks to ABC News, Fauci said, "If we get 70 to 85 percent of the population vaccinated and we start right now, we're getting the people who are in the priority groups. By the time we get to the end of March, the beginning of April, I would have hoped that we would have taken care of all of those priority [groups] and have what I call 'open season' on vaccines — namely, anybody who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine."

Fauci added that if "at least a million people a day and maybe more" received a COVID-19 vaccination from April through August, "by the time we end the summer and get to the fall, we will have achieved that level of herd immunity that I think will get us back to some form of normality, and maybe quite normal."

He also pointed out that about 4 million Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

"So we are not where we want to be, there's no doubt about that," he said. "But I think we can get there if we really accelerate, get some momentum going and see what happens as we get into the first couple of weeks of January."

Newsweek reports that by the end of December, an average of 200,000 per day were being vaccinated in the United States.

What else?

Last week, health experts — including Fauci — warned that the vaccine distribution plan in the United States was not progressing as fast as initially projected.

President-elect Joe Biden, Fauci, and Dr. Scott Gottlieb were all in agreement and said that the Trump administration's "Operation Warp Speed" simply wasn't unfolding as planned.

President Donald Trump issued a near-immediate statement in response to the criticism.

A portion of the president's statement read, "Nearly 20 million first doses have been allocated to states for immediate delivery and administration at their direction, and this process is progressing rapidly. Hundreds of millions of doses have been secured to be delivered over the months to come."

"The president has used the Defense Production Act 18 times in conjunction with Operation Warp Speed and will continue to employ it wherever possible to accelerate vaccine manufacturing and save lives," the statement added.

An Operation Warp Speed spokesman also said that there was an "expected lag between shots going into arms and the data being reported."

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