Ahead of fulfilling his promise to deliver 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in his first 100 days in office, President Joe Biden announced during his first primetime address on March 11 that every adult who wants one can receive the vaccine no later than May 1. Having accomplished that, Biden says that the United States might return to normalcy by July—just in time for Independence Day celebrations. Will COVID be over by July 4? Not entirely, but life then could look a little different than it has since March 2020.
Given that only about 11% of Americans had been fully vaccinated by mid-March, however, with approximately 20% having received one dose of the vaccine, some may be wondering if this goal is as attainable.
For what it’s worth, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, seems to agree with Biden.
During a recent appearance on The Journal podcast, Fauci told the Wall Street Journal’s Kate Linebaugh that yes, “absolutely,” he was planning a July 4 barbeque. “I’ve been looking forward to that, and I think that the president’s projection that that is something we should plan for. And I think his reasoning is quite sound,” Fauci said in the March 17 episode.
“Because if you look at the pace of the people who are getting vaccinated right now, and you look at the fact that we can hopefully get the level of infection down in the community, it is entirely conceivable that we’ll be able to participate in that loved tradition that we all grew up with, myself included, of celebrating the birth of our country with nice summer weather outside in a barbecue,” Fauci explained, adding that he believes it’s “entirely feasible” it will happen.
Of course, Fauci’s projections are also on the contingency that Americans continue to practice safety measures over the next several weeks and months to bring the overall number of coronavirus cases down and to prevent another surge. Like many activities, such as dining out at a restaurant, going to the gym, and visiting family, we can gradually ease back into normal life while staying mindful of asymptomatic transmission.
Though the COVID pandemic will by no means be “over” by July 4, the good news is that we’re closer than ever before during the pandemic. And by heeding experts’ advice, 2021’s Independence Day celebration could be one of the most memorable ever.