Three coronavirus vaccines should undergo clinical trials in the new few months, but Fauci is anxious about making sure the drug is effective enough, "The best we've ever done is measles, which is 97 to 98 percent effective", said Fauci.
But asked about polling that said around a third of Americans would not get a coronavirus vaccine when one is developed, Dr Fauci said that such a high level of refusal would mean it was "unlikely" the vaccine would get the USA to herd immunity level. Asked how the USA is performing on contact tracing, Fauci said: "I don't think we're doing very well".
But a CNN poll says one-third of Americans do not plan to get a vaccine if it becomes available. Herd immunity is where enough people in a given community are immune to a disease that it makes it very hard for that disease to spread to the people who aren't immune to it because there simply aren't enough viable carriers to transmit the disease.
"We have a lot of work to do because as you well know ... there is a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling among some people in this country - an alarmingly large percentage of people, relatively speaking".
Fauci said the government has a vaccine education program to counteract anti-vaccine messages.
The director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases declined to predict a figure for the expected number of deaths in the United States from the pandemic but said it is going to be "disturbing".
However, a spokesman for the US Department of Health and Human Services told CNN that a vaccine education campaign does not exist.
During an interview Saturday, the coronavirus task force member said many people took an "all or nothing" approach to distancing guidelines by either completely locking down or ignoring guidelines entirely.
"When you have community spread, it's insidious because there are so many people in the community who are infected but asymptomatic", he said. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.