Consider your scaled-back family Thanksgiving a test run.
White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans won’t be able to celebrate the end of the COVID-19 pandemic until after Christmas and New Years — even with vaccines posed for mass-distribution.
“For my own family, I’m saying we had a really great Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. We’re looking forward to a really great Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2021,” Fauci told USA Today. “Let’s now make the best of the situation and show our love and affection for people by keeping them safe.”
Drug company Pfizer last week submitted a vaccine application to the Food and Drug Administration after seeing 95 percent effectiveness in clinical trials. But the FDA scheduled a review meeting for Dec. 10, delaying distribution of millions of doses amid a nationwide surge in infections.
Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, “If the surge takes a turn of continuing to go up and you have the sustained greater than 100,000 infections a day and 1,300 deaths per day and the count keeps going up and up … I don’t see it being any different during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays than during Thanksgiving.”
Since March, about 13 million Americans tested positive for the respiratory virus and more than 264,000 have died.
Millions of vaccine doses will be rapidly distributed after the FDA gives approval, with initial shipments going to elderly people and healthcare workers. Several companies in addition to Pfizer have vaccine candidates with promising clinical trials data.
President Trump said in September that “we expect to have enough vaccines for every American by April.”