Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said an interview Wednesday there is "a good chance" that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by the end of the year.
"I still think that we have a good chance, if all of the things fall into the right place, that we might have a vaccine that will be deployable by the end of the year, by December or November," Fauci said on CNN.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, also said that a second wave of the coronavirus isn’t “inevitable” if people are prudent.
Fauci also said U.S. testing capability is getting “better and better.”
Several companies have been working on a vaccine for the potentially deadly disease.
Merck (MRK) - Get Report said Tuesday it was buying Vienna-based vaccine maker Themis Bioscience for an undisclosed amount, and would collaborate with research nonprofit IAVI to develop multiple vaccines.
Fauci also called for a cautious approach to the reopening of America and asked for people to wear masks.
"I want to protect myself and protect others and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that's the kind of thing you should be doing," Fauci said.
Fauci said he believes that while wearing a mask is not "100% effective," it is a valuable safeguard and shows "respect for another person."
In addition, Fauci said that recent reports of social crowding -- such as a pool party in Missouri -- are “very troubling."
The wearing of masks has become a political issue. President Donald Trump has not worn a mask in public during factory tours in recent weeks.
Trump on Tuesday shared a tweet that mocked former vice president Joseph Biden for wearing a mask Monday at a Memorial Day ceremony, prompting the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee to call Trump "an absolute fool."
Trump threatened to pull the Republic convention out of North Carolina unless the Democratic governor can "guarantee" that the arena can be filled to capacity.
Fauci suggested Wednesday to "reserve judgment" about whether political conventions could be held in-person with large crowds gathered in a confined space and to wait to see a "really significant diminution" in the number of new cases and hospitalizations.