The U.S. is headed for the worst of the coronavirus pandemic in the weeks ahead as Americans see the effects of the holiday travel boom, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: COVID-19 relief waiting on Trump’s signature; government continues vaccine roll out First responders serenade Fauci with ‘happy birthday’ AIDS activists recruit Barbra Streisand for surprise Fauci birthday party on Zoom MORE said early Sunday.
Fauci, a member of President TrumpDonald TrumpPost office to be named after oldest Pearl Harbor veteran Federal agents search residence in Antioch in connection with Nashville explosion Sunday shows preview: COVID-19 relief waiting on Trump’s signature; government continues vaccine roll out MORE‘s coronavirus task force, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he agreed with President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBrother of Biden adviser Ricchetti hired as lobbyist at Amazon Sunday shows preview: COVID-19 relief waiting on Trump’s signature; government continues vaccine roll out Global COVID-19 cases surpass 80 million MORE‘s warning that cases are expected to surge as a result of families gathering for the holiday season.
“As we have gone from the late fall to the early winter, the numbers really are quite troubling,” Fauci said.
“With the hospitalizations over 120,000, we really are a critical stage,” he said, before adding of Christmas gatherings: “Even though we advise not to, it’s going to happen.”
He went on to predict that with the distribution of both Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines in the upcoming months, U.S. health experts should see the general population reach significant herd immunity by the end of next summer.
“I think that’s probably going to be by the middle to the end of next summer so that I hope…by the fall we reach that critical percentage of people,” Fauci said.
His remarks came in response to a question about Biden’s comments on the pandemic during a news conference last Tuesday, at which time Biden urged Americans to remain vigilant with social distancing and other measures over the Christmas holiday to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“Experts say things will get worse notwithstanding the vaccine,” Biden said. “We’re averaging a death rate of close to 3,000 a day. That means we will lose tens of thousands of more lives in the months to come, and the vaccine won’t be able to stop that.”
“So we still have to remain vigilant,” he added.