March 5, 2021

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Schools reopening and the return of normalcy hard for Biden team to get specific about

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Laura Meckler

Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious-disease expert, has said Americans can expect a return to normalcy by this fall. President Biden suggested on Tuesday that a better estimate for a return to the pre-pandemic normal would be Christmas.

Both goals come long after the end of July, when Biden promises there will be enough vaccine doses for every American, which is the benchmark that many people had believed would allow life to resume its normal course.

As the country approaches the one-year mark of the pandemic’s isolation and restrictions, the Biden administration is struggling to give precise, consistent answers to two key questions: When will the pandemic truly be behind us? And, short of that, when can children safely return to school?