It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, mandates and restrictions took hold in the United States.
According to White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients, the country is finally “turning the corner” on the virus, and implied that the outcome is contingent on Americans getting vaccinated, The Washington Times reported.
“Turning the corner”
Zients made the remarks Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked, “Six weeks ago, Dr. Fauci said that we were at the corner in the pandemic. Since then, the U.S. has vaccinated more than 60 million people, daily cases fell almost 40% in the last month. Has the United States turned the corner?”
“I would say we are turning the corner,” Zients replied. “We now have, as of this morning, 58% of adult Americans with at least one shot, over 110 million Americans fully vaccinated.”
“The president has set a goal of 70% of Americans being vaccinated with at least one shot by July 4. We’re at 58% today,” he added.
Dr. Anthony Fauci also made the media rounds over the weekend and pushed the notion that Americans getting vaccinated is necessary to prevent future outbreaks.
Fauci: Vaccines are ‘game changer’
“The fact that we have vaccines right now is really a game changer,” Fauci said Sunday during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I mean, if we get, which we will, to the goals that the president has established, namely if we get 70% of the people vaccinated by the Fourth of July, namely one single dose, and even more thereafter, you may see blips.”
“But if we handle them well, it is unlikely that you’ll see the kind of surge that we saw in the late fall and the early winter,” he added.
Fauci said that vaccines are “the wildcard” that we didn’t have last fall or winter.
He also suggested that mask-wearing could become routine in America, a suggestion likely to be widely unpopular with many Americans.
“[I]t is conceivable that, as we go on a year or two or more from now, that during certain seasonal periods when you have respiratory borne viruses like the flu, people might actually elect to wear masks to diminish the likelihood that you’ll spread these respiratory borne diseases,” Fauci said.