White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that the Biden administration does not know or have a timeline of when life is going to return to normal from the pandemic.
“The question of when we get some semblance of normalcy, that timeline also seems to be shifting,” a reporter said to Psaki. “Dr. Fauci had said a sense of normalcy maybe in the fall, that’s when you might be able to go to theaters, go to sporting events, still with masks, of course.”
“Now, it seems that’s being slid to early next year, the president said maybe around Christmas, what’s going on here?” the reporter asked. “When do we think we will get back to some taste of normalcy?”
“Well, this is the question, as I’m sure is the case for all of you, that every neighbor, every friend, every family member asks, at least me in the street when I’m walking my dog in the morning,” Psaki responded. “We want to be straight with the American public, though, it is — we are not in a place where we can predict exactly when everybody will feel normal again, and it has, there are a number of reasons.”
“One is, even though we will have enough doses for every person in this country, as you all know, [because] we’ve talked about it in here, vaccine hesitancy remains a challenge,” she added. “We need to ensure that everybody who can get a dose is getting a dose; we will also need to be masking for some time; we will also need to be still taking social distancing measures.”
“So, you know, there is, of course, is an understandable question, and I think the president wants things to return to normal, as we all do, but we don’t know at this point what that timeline is going to look like,” she added.
Psaki’s comments come after Biden said just two days after taking office that “there’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.”
.@PressSec Psaki on when Americans can expect a return to normal:
"We are not in a place where we can predict exactly when everybody will feel normal again" pic.twitter.com/WyYMv42KIv
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 17, 2021
Biden said during a CNN town hall event last night that the officials who are advising him on the coronavirus pandemic are telling him, “Be careful not to predict things that you don’t know for certain what’s going to happen because then you’ll be held accountable.” Biden suggested that things might being returning to normal “by next Christmas.”
“We don’t know for certain but it is highly unlikely that by the beginning of next year’s traditional school year in September we are not significantly better off than we are today,” Biden added. “But it matters, it matters whether you continue to wear that mask, it matters whether you continue to socially distance, it matters whether you wash your hands with hot water, those things matter, they matter and that can save a lot of lives while we’re getting to this point, we get to herd immunity.”