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Dr. Anthony Fauci on vaccines: 'I think it will be a positive answer by the end of this year'

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), discusses whether President Trump is undermining his message, the progress of vaccines, and public health measures necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Video Transcript

ANTHONY FAUCI: Well, I would say it's certainly not helpful. But that's something that I really don't think I should be, you know, wringing my hands about. What I do, since this is limited amount of time in the day, and to just get your energy focused, as I say, like a laser, on what you know the proper and appropriate public health measure is. And hope that people hear you and understand that adhering to public health measures now is going to make it easier and more quickly getting to where we want to go, is to approaching some form of normality.

Luckily, despite the fact that we're dealing with a very, very challenging period right now, even more so as we enter the cooler months of the fall, and the colder months of the winter, that vaccines are proceeding at a very good pace. And we should be on time to get an answer-- and I think it'll be a positive answer-- by the end of this year, the end of November, the beginning of December. So that we can start distributing vaccine to those who are most in need, particularly health-care workers and the vulnerable among us in the population.

So that will help a lot. But it's not going to be solving the problem by itself. We will not be able to abandon prudent public health measures for quite some time right now. We've got to make sure that's going to be part of what we do, without closing the country, without closing the economy.

We can do this-- I'm absolutely convinced-- if as a nation, we pull together and do some fundamental common-denominator public health measures, that we can get through this, with a lot of help in the future from vaccines and adequate therapies.