Biden Covid advisor says Christmas is a ‘reasonable’ timeline for getting back to normal – CNBC


Andy Slavitt, at his home in Edina, MN, September 17, 2020.

Shari L. Gross | Star Tribune | Getty Images

President Joe Biden‘s prediction that the United States could return to some semblance of normalcy by Christmas is “a reasonable answer,” a senior advisor on the president’s Covid-19 response team said Thursday.

During a CNN town hall on Tuesday, Biden said the U.S. will be “in a very different circumstance, God willing” by Christmas. “A year from now, I think that there’ll be significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced, having to wear a mask,” he added. “I don’t want to overpromise anything here.”

White House Covid advisor Andy Slavitt said he’s reluctant to give a timeline for when things could return to normal, warning there are still plenty of unknowns. The biggest issues that could undermine efforts to contain the virus are new, emerging variants as well as vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. and elsewhere.

“There’s a lot we don’t know about the future,” Slavitt said during a virtual interview Thursday with Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart. “We are trying not to give a false sense of security or a false sense of precision when none exists. And I know that makes people less comfortable, but I also know people want to be leveled with and they want to be told the truth.”

Slavitt’s comment comes as U.S. health officials, including White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony