News & Politics

Dr. Fauci Says the World May Never Get Back to 'Normal' After the Pandemic

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Dr. Anthony Fauci has a somber warning for people who are hoping the world will get back to “normal” soon.

Speaking at the coronavirus White House briefing on Sunday, Fauci said “If you want to get back to pre-coronavirus, that might not ever happen in the sense that the threat is there.” He said that even with a vaccine, the coronavirus will remain a threat.

Fox News:

Fauci said Sunday that people must be prepared for a resurgence next year, which is why officials fighting the pandemic are pushing for a vaccine and clinical trials for therapeutic interventions so “we will have interventions that we did not have” when this started.

He said Monday that he is encouraged about therapies and “confident that over a period of time we will get a good vaccine, that we will never have to get back to where we are right now.”

I guess it depends on how you define “normal.”

“If ‘back-to-normal’ means acting like there never was a coronavirus problem, I don’t think that’s going to happen until we do have a situation where you can completely protect the population,” Dr. Fauci said. “But when we say ‘getting back-to-normal’ we mean something very different from what we’re going through right now – ’cause right now we are in a very intense mitigation.”

“When we get ‘back-to-normal’ we will go back gradually to the point where we can function as a society.”

“If you want to get to pre-coronavirus, that might not ever happen in the fact that the threat is there,” Fauci added.

Trump sought to interject a more optimistic note in Fauci’s gloomy assessment. America will get “more than back to normal and even be better,” Trump said.

The pandemic is like a tsunami that has washed ashore and has begun to slowly recede. As it does, the shoreline will have changed — some places imperceptibly, others more dramatically.

One part of American society that will definitely see dramatic changes will be American business, as with the 2009 bailout, when Democrats took the opportunity to force government intervention in the private sector. The 2020 bailout already passed and those to come will dramatically alter the nature of the relationship between government and business.

This will be particularly noticeable in labor relations. Companies will be forced into a host of reforms that, for good or ill, will change employment in the United States. Paid leave will become universal, and probably subsidized child care as well. Smaller companies may not be affected but will be forced into more record-keeping and paperwork requirements.

The government-business relationship will become more of a partnership. That’s the price businesses are likely to have to pay to receive the trillions in bailout money that taxpayers will ultimately be responsible for.