For parents and students hopeful that coronavirus will not keep schools closed into the next school year, White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci was rather upbeat on Tuesday on those prospects.
Despite worries that a second wave of COVID-19 would return in the fall as students are settling into the new school year, Fauci said that the work being put in now should allow for schools to open this fall.
“Bottom line is, no absolute prediction, but I think we're going to be in good shape,” Fauci said.
One day earlier, Fauci offered an assessment on when life could return to normal.
“If you want to get to pre-coronavirus, that might never happen in the sense of the fact that the threat is there,” Fauci said, “but I believe with the therapies that will be coming online and the fact that I feel confident that over a period of time, we will get a good vaccine, we will never have to get back to where we are right now.”
While his declaration is promising, he also suggested getting back to life the way life was before the spread of COVID-19 might not happen until a vaccine.
“If back to normal means acting like there never was a coronavirus problem, I don’t think that is going to happen until we have a situation where you can completely protect the population,” Fauci said.
“But when we say getting back to normal, we mean something very different from what we’re going through right now,” Fauci added. “Cause right now, we’re in very intense mitigation. When we get back to normal, we will go back gradually to the point where we can function as a society.”
Many states have already closed schools for the rest of the academic year. Also, many summer events around the country and are already being canceled or postponed. For instance, the US Open, typically held on Father's Day weekend, is now slated for September.
But there are concerns that a second wave of the virus could mean a return on the extreme mitigation seen now. Fauci doesn't think the guidelines in place now will be needed again in the fall.
"I fully expect, that by the fall, we will have things in control enough that it certainly won’t be the way it is now," he said Tuesday.
But for parents looking to send their kids to summer camp, Fauci was not as optimistic.
"If we start talking about the things where the curve goes down and we really have minimal (spread), how we respond and what kind of rebound we see or don’t see I think is going to have a lot of influence probably more immediately on things like summer camp than it will in the fall," Fauci said.