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Fauci: Maybe 2022 before US sees 'some semblances of normality'

Top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciUS COVID-19 cases reach past 13 million Fauci: Pandemic likely won't improve by Christmas, New Year's Vaccine skepticism emerges as early test for Biden MORE said Wednesday that it might be 2022 until the U.S. sees “some semblances of normality.”

During a University of Melbourne panel discussion, Fauci said it’s possible a “substantial proportion of the people” won’t receive vaccination until the second or third quarter of next year, even with the U.S. getting a vaccine in the next few months. 

"I think it will be easily by the end of 2021, and perhaps even into the next year, before we start having some semblances of normality," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.

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"We're not in a good place," Fauci added. "Now we're averaging about 70,000 [cases] a [day]. That's a bad position to be in."

He also encouraged Americans who want to avoid another shutdown to wear a mask. 

"If you don't want to shut down, at least do the fundamental basic things, which are — really the flagship of which is wearing a mask," Fauci said. "We can't have this very inconsistent wearing that you see, where you see some states that absolutely refuse to wear a mask."

The top infectious disease expert’s comments come amid surging cases of coronavirus in the country, as the seven-day daily case count is measured at 75,522, according to The New York Times

Johns Hopkins University reported that the average number of new cases is up 21 percent this week compared to last week. But testing has only jumped 6.63 percent in the same period, according to a CNN analysis of the COVID Tracking Project, negating the argument that more testing is leading to more cases. 

Several states are struggling this month, with 29 documenting record single-day case counts and 11 measuring record single-day death counts.

Forty states as of Wednesday recorded 10 percent more new cases this past week compared to the previous week, nine states remained steady and Missouri was the only state with 10 percent fewer cases in the past week when compared to the week before.