“My bad.”

That’s what Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. immunologist, had to say after he predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would not be under control for more than a year and maybe longer.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who served on former President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force and is now President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19, told NPR on Monday that if enough Americans get vaccinated, the country could “really get some good control over this” by fall or winter 2022.

But later the same day, this time on CNN, Fauci said it won’t take that long.

“Anderson, I have to apologize. When I listened to the tape, I meant to say the spring of 2022, so I did misspeak,” he said. “I didn’t mean the fall — I misspoke. My bad.”

Fauci added that if “the overwhelming majority of the 90 million people who have not been vaccinated” get jabbed, “I hope we can get some good control in the spring of 2022.”

Asked what he meant by “good control,” Fauci said “getting back to a degree of normality,” such as reopening of more “restaurants, theaters, that kind of thing.”

“But again, there’s a big caveat there — this is a very wily virus,” Fauci, once again couching his numbers by saying it could all change again.

“We thought we were going to have that degree of freedom as we got into the fourth of July and the summer. And then along comes a sucker punch with the Delta variant which is extraordinary in its ability to spread from person to person,” he said. “So we hope we’ll be there at the time frame I mentioned, correctly being the spring of 2022, but there’s no guarantee because it’s up to us.”

“If we keep lingering without getting those people vaccinated that should be vaccinated, this thing could linger on, leading to the development of another variant which could complicate things,” Fauci said.

The doctor, 81, has come under fire for flip-flopping.

In June, Fauci took aim at critics, saying his evolving positions were “not a change because I felt like flip-flopping. It was a change because the evidence changed, the data changed.”

Back in March 2020, when the World Health Organization (WHO) claimed COVID-19 was spread mostly by surface transmission, Fauci declared, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.”

“When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is,” the doctor said on CBS News.

This past February, Fauci said that wearing two masks is likely more effective than wearing one. “If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on it, just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” Fauci told NBC News.

Fauci said he was right both times. “It isn’t a question of being wrong,” Fauci said. “It’s a question of going with the data as you have, and being humble enough and flexible enough to change with the data.”

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