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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump administration officials are set to defend the federal government's response to the coronavirus crisis at the hearing hosted by a House panel calling for a national plan to contain the virus. (Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci is telling lawmakers that once a coronavirus vaccine is approved as safe and effective, Americans should have widespread access within a reasonable time. Appearing before a House panel investigating the nation’s response to the pandemic, Fauci on Friday expressed “cautious” optimism that a vaccine would be available, particularly by next year. Fauci’s message in recent days has been Americans can’t afford a devil-may-care attitude toward COVID-19 and need to double down on basic measures such as wearing masks, keeping their distance from others and avoiding crowds.