Fauci says the US could see a 'degree of normality' by fall if 70-85% are vaccinated by end of summer

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday underscored that a strong majority of Americans will need to be vaccinated before the US can truly begin to lift the drastic changes in daily life brought on by the pandemic. 

During a White House press briefing, Fauci said President Joe Biden's goal of vaccinating 100 million people in the first 100 days is "reasonable."

Fauci went on to say that if the US can vaccinate 70 to 85% of people by the end of summer then it could approach a "degree of normality" by fall. He said this is the "best case scenario."

But he also emphasized concerns about skepticism over the vaccine, and the need for strong outreach on that front to educate people on the necessity and importance of vaccination. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly 38 million vaccines have been distributed, and more than 17.5 million have been administered. 

Thursday was Fauci's first appearance at a White House press briefing under the Biden administration. 

Fauci, who's advised multiple presidents on public health crises, has been one of the most trusted voices in the country on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trump administration's anti-science approach to the virus often placed Fauci in a precarious position in terms of publicly contradicting former President Donald Trump, which the infectious disease expert alluded to on Thursday. 

"The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know...let the science speak — it is somewhat of a liberating feeling," Fauci told reporters.