Fauci expects ‘real degree of normality’ by November election

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Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said he expects a “real degree of normality” by the November elections as a partisan battle breaks out over voting by mail.

“I would hope that by November we would have things under such control that we could have a real degree of normality. That’s my interest and my job as a public health person,” Fauci, a leading member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, said Friday on MSNBC.

The remarks come as Democrats and Republicans feud over the viability of expanding mail-in voting in the November election.

The GOP, led by President Trump, have claimed that mail voting is particularly susceptible to fraud and could affect the general election, though they have offered no evidence to support their claims.

“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”

However, Democrats have fired back that voting by mail could be an alternative to in-person voting that could allow people to vote without putting themselves at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a different value system about what voting means to a democracy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during a call with reporters Thursday. “Clearly, we want to remove all obstacles to participation.”

The debate over mail-in voting was revived this week when Wisconsin held its primaries after its governor’s efforts to postpone the races were shot down by a series of court rulings. Videos emerged of long lines and understaffed polling stations, raising concerns over the effect COVID-19 had on the safety of voters who went to cast ballots in person.

Trump is weighing how and when to reopen the country, with some officials saying that businesses could expect to reopen in May, though public health experts have warned that reopening the country too early could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.

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