New York’s reopening date could mark turning point in fight against COVID-19

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, discusses Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to reopen the city on July 1 and what this could signal for the rest of the country.
2:32 | 04/30/21

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Transcript for New York’s reopening date could mark turning point in fight against COVID-19
Okay, whit, thanks very much. Let's bring in Dr. Ashish jha. Welcome back, Dr. Jha. You know, I was talking to the CDC director Rochelle walensky the other day and she said she was cautiously optimistic. Can we say confidently the worst is behind us and we've reached a turning point. Thanks for having me on. I think we can confidently say the worst is behind us barring some crazy unforeseen variant that none of us are expecting to see we will not see the kind of suffering and death we have seen over the holidays. I think we are in much better shape heading forward. New York going to begin to re-open July 1st but Broadway theaters aren't re-opening. Large venues aren't ready. When should we return to theaters, concerts, sporting events. Very good question and depend on two things. First is going to be how many people get vaccinated. If vaccinations continue, if we can get 80% plus of adults vaccinated, that will make an enormous difference. Theaters and other places can put in testing and other things to also keep it safe. So I do think those things will happen at some point over the summer, late as early fall but we just have to watch the numbers. You mentioned 80% vaccination rate. We showed that poll that showed one in four Americans are still resisting getting the vaccine. That would put us at 75% if everybody not resisting took it. What is the magic number. What is it about 80%? Yeah, there is no magic number and the experience from Israel is that once you got to about 70%, 80% of adults the numbers of infections crashed. Went way, way down so part of it is looking at that. Obviously kids will not be vaccinated at that point. If we can add more kids in when they start getting vaccinated that will make a big difference. The CDC appears to allow 12 to 15-year-olds to get vaccinated it appears. 12 to 15-year-olds getting vaccinated. Hopefully early this summer once the fda authorizes it I think it will make an enormous difference. For infection numbers in the community and schools for fall as well. How much do we need to be worried about variants still out there and knead for booster shots of the vaccine either later this year or next year? Yeah, you know, the variants are important to track. I worry about them some. The huge surge in cases in India probably driven by variants, we have to keep a really close eye on them. My hope is nobody will need a booster shot this year. At some point maybe next year but have to keep an eye on it. A moving target. Dr. Jha, thanks for your time and information this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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