Dr. Ashish Jha shares what he believes Americans need to prepare for in weeks ahead

Dr. Jha warns of a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases and discusses the anticipated FDA approval of a vaccine.
5:49 | 12/01/20

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Transcript for Dr. Ashish Jha shares what he believes Americans need to prepare for in weeks ahead
He's the Dean of the -- can you roll that back,guys? Thank you. I want to introduce him. He's the Dean of brown university's school of public health, Dr. Ashish jha. Dr. Jha, welcome to "The view." We're so glad you're here. Thank you so much for having me. Now we're seeing a staggering 1 million coronavirus cases every week in the U.S. Hospitals are filling up. Dr. Fauci is warning of a surge upon a surge due to Thanksgiving gatherings and travel. What exactly are we preparing for in the next couple weeks? What are you preparing for? Whoopi, the next few weeks are going to be tough. I think we're expecting that -- we have as you said, 1 million cases a week. Over the next few weeks we'll see a new surge from Thanksgiving. I think a lot of people did a good job and stayed home. Some people travelled. I expect a surge. In the weeks that follow hospitals will get stretched even more. We'll have a hard four to six weeks ahead of us. Okay, so, doctor, yesterday's trump's right hand coronavirus adviser, Dr. Scott atlas, resigned. Too bad. As you know, atlas was a controversial figure who had zero background in public health and embraced the idea of herd immunity. How much damage have the policies he's been pushing done to this situation, in your opinion, sir? Yeah.so his resignation came not too soon. My goodness, he is somebody who spread more disinformation than almost anybody out there. He embraced the idea that we should let everybody get infected with this idea that we can protect the vulnerable. Of course we want to protect the vulnerable. He never did anything to protect the vulnerable. It was a travesty. We think everybody were shocked that this guy who knew so little about this topic had the ear of the president. All of us feel a sense of relief he's out. We need to listen to science for the next couple months and not somebody who doesn't know much about the topic. Yesterday modern became the second company to apply for emergency fda approval for its covid vaccine. They say nobody who was in the trial developed severe symptoms. Did that surprise you? Vaccine development has gone really well. It has surprised me how effective these vaccines are, both this one and the pfizer vaccine are about 95% effective. With the modern vaccine there were zero people who had severe cases. That is fabulous. That is what we were hoping for. It's great. That means once the vaccines get out it really will start making a big difference. R.R. Jha, the CDC is holding an emergency meeting today to vote on who should get the vaccine first. Who do you expect to be vaccinated first? What do you think the timeline will be for everyone else? Yeah, so I think there's pretty broad consensus that health care workers and first responders should go first. I think that's right. We need the health care workforce out there. After that, certainly older people, people with chronic diseases, those who end up having a lot of complications will be next, as well as essential workers. After that set of folks go, then I think it opens up to everybody else. Timeline late December, January for health care workers. Late January, February for high risk people and March and April before it comes widely available. It depends on distribution. That's the general timeline I'm thinking about. Okay. So Dr. Fauci says that -- this is so interesting to me. I'm curious about this. He says even if you get vaccinated you still have to wear a mask, social distance. I'm wondering why do I have to do that? We don't do that with the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is 40 to 60% effective. These ones are more like 90 to 95% effective. Why do you still have to wear the mask and be socially distant when you're immuned? You're 90 to 95% after the second dose. If there's a lot of covid circulating in your community, then you can still get infected. Much less likely, but you could still get infected and get sick. That's part of the reason why for a short period of time until there's widespread vaccination everybody still needs to wear masks. Once we get to 70, 80% of Americans getting vaccinated that will bring the pandemic under control at which point certainly in low risk situations we don't need to wear masks anymore and life will get better. I'm hoping that's like may, June, not 2022 or something. I think there will come a time don't have to wear masks as much, but that's not going to happen until a lot of Americans have got vaccinated.

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

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