WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says even if the coronavirus is around for decades, public health safeguards and an eventual vaccine will allow the world to successfully adapt.
The government’s leading infectious disease expert was asked about whether the coronavirus could become a fact of life for generations.
Fauci says the combination of public health measures — masks, hand washing, social distancing — and vaccines should mean that “you can very well control and essentially eliminate (the coronavirus) from any given country.”
He added: “Remember, there’s only been one virus in the history of the planet that’s been eradicated and that’s smallpox.”
Vaccines are under development and it’s unknown how effective they will be. But Fauci says he hopes it will be in the range of 70% to 80% effectiveness. A vaccine should be available in 2021, he says.