During testimony at a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP), Dr. Anthony Fauci said he’s “confident” that if the U.S. continues vaccinating people at its current rate, the country will soon be able to return to some normalcy.
“Based on experience thus far in this country and globally, I feel confident that if we continue to vaccinate people at the rate that we're doing, that we will very soon have a situation where we will have so few infections in this country, we will begin to return to normality that all of us desire so much,” Fauci said during his testimony on Tuesday.
Fauci’s come as the U.S. vaccination rate has steadily declined in the last three weeks.
"I feel confident that if we continue to vaccinate people at the rate that we're doing, that we will very soon have a situation where we will have so few infections in this country, we will begin to return to nomality that all of us desire so much" -- Fauci pic.twitter.com/YXZJZvndyT— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 11, 2021
According to Bloomberg, the U.S. vaccination rate peaked on April 13, when the U.S. was administering 3.74 million doses of vaccine a day. However, demand for vaccines waned in late April and early May, and the U.S. is now vaccinating an average of about 2 million people a day.
The declining vaccination rate, combined with the rise in more contagious variants of the virus, has led some medical experts to question whether the U.S. will ever reach the threshold of “herd immunity” — a point in which so many people are inoculated against a virus where the disease can no longer find a host to which to spread.
In an interview Friday with McClatchy, Fauci said there is “no magic number” of the percentage of Americans vaccinated that will constitute herd immunity. Instead, in recent months he’s simply stressed that the U.S. needs to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible to limit the spread and prevent the virus from mutating further.
President Joe Biden has targeted July 4 as a return to some normalcy for the U.S. In March, he said he hopes that Americans will be able to hold small gatherings by Independence Day, and his current goal is to have 70% of adults in the U.S. with at least one vaccine dose by that date.
As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 58.2% of adults have at least one dose of vaccine.