Dr. Fauci Says We Might Still Be Wearing Masks In 2022

by Valerie Williams
Tasos Katopodis/Getty

Dr. Anthony Fauci tells CNN’s Dana Bash that it’s “possible” we will still be wearing masks in 2022

Is it just me, or has the last year felt like an entire decade and also a week all at once? Time is an odd thing when weathering our nation’s first pandemic in 100 years, and now, after almost a full year of living with COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says it’s “possible” we might still need to wear masks as late as year 2022.

Fauci talked to CNN’s Dana Bash on the channel’s State of the Union about his predictions for the coming months when it comes to COVID spread and some of the news is, thankfully, sounding quite hopeful. “If normality means exactly the way things were before we had this happen to us, I mean, I can’t predict that… I think we’re going to have a significant degree of normality, beyond the terrible burden all of us have been through in the last year, that as we get into the fall and winter by the end of the year, I agree with the president completely that we will be approaching a degree of normality,” he says. “It may or may not be precisely the way it was in November of 2019, but it will be much much better than what we are doing right now.”

As far as when we can put away our masks? “When it goes way down and the overwhelming majority of the people in the population are vaccinated, then I would feel comfortable in saying, you know, ‘We need to pull back on the masks,'” Fauci explains. “It depends on the level, the dynamics of virus that are in the community.”

President Biden’s chief medical advisor also talked about the country’s rising death toll during his CNN appearance, calling it a “really horrible” reality. “It’s nothing like we’ve ever been through in the last 102 years since the 1918 influenza pandemic,” he said. “People decades from now are going to be talking about this as a terribly historic milestone in the history of this country.”

“It really is a terrible situation that we’ve been through and that we’re still going through, and that’s the reason why we keep insisting to continue with the public health measures because we don’t want this to get much worse than it already is,” he urges.

So keep up with the hand-washing (which you should’ve been doing all along anyway, yo), social distancing, masking when you can’t social distance, and hopefully, all of those measures coupled with an increase in vaccinated people will mean a return to some level of normal sooner rather than later.