American News Feb 21, 2021 4:18 PM EST

WATCH: Fauci says US may not return to normal until 2022

"I think it is possible that that's the case, and again, it really depends on what you mean by 'normality,'" Fauci said.

WATCH: Fauci says US may not return to normal until 2022
Noah David Alter Toronto
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical advisor, spoke to CNN on Sunday morning to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, during which he said that the United States may not be returning to normalcy until 2022. Biden recently named "Christmas" as the date.

When asked if the US will be returning to normality by the end of 2021, Fauci responded "I think it is possible that that's the case, and again, it really depends on what you mean by 'normality.'"

"If normality means exactly the way things were before we had this happen to us... I think we're gonna have a significant degree of normality beyond the terrible burden that all of us have been through over the last year," Fauci continued.

"As we get into the fall and the winter by the end of the year, I agree with the President completely, that we will be approaching a degree of normality."

"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're doing right now."

When asked why Americans may need to wear masks into 2022, Fauci responded "I want it to keep going down to a baseline that's so low, that there's virtually no threat, it will never be zero, but a minimal, minimal threat."

"If you combine getting most of the people in the country vaccinated with getting the level of virus in the community very, very low, then I believe you're gonna be able to say, you know, for the most part we don't necessarily have to wear masks but if we have a level of virus that is at that level that it was months and months ago, like 20,000 per day is a heck of a lot better than what it's been, but that's still very high level of virus in the community," Fauci said.

"I want to see it go way down," he continued. "When it goes way down, and the overwhelming majority of the people in the population are vaccinated, then I would feel comfortable saying, you know, we need to pull back on the masks, we don't need to have masks."

The United States has vaccinated over 50 million citizens and is currently vaccinating 1.6 million people per day.

More than 28 million Americans have fallen ill with coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2o20, and nearly half a million people have died as a result.

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