A biologist says it’ll take 18 months to come up with COVID-19 vaccine
Dr. Zeke Emanuel, one of the key architects of the Affordable Care Act and a special adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), suggests that all mass gatherings, including concerts, be on hold for 18 months while biologists work on a vaccine for COVID-19. Emanuel tells The New York Times that it will take that long to fully reopen the economy and get back to normal.
“Restarting the economy has to be done in stages, and it does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back,” he says. “Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner. Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”
Emanuel also says the social distancing guidelines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) put in place will need to be expanded beyond the initial April 30th outline.
“We’re going to have to renew it because some places in the country will have reached the top of the curve and coming back back down, some patients in the country won’t have reached the top of the curve,” Emanuel tells ABC News. The biologist adds that rural areas of the country likely won’t have reached their peak by April 30th.
As of this writing, most concerts through May have been either postponed or canceled. Many have been pushed back to June and beyond, but the industry is taking it day by day.
With the entertainment industry on hold, many organizations have launched COVID-19 funds to assist those who work in the industry. Live Nation launched the Crew Nation Global Relief Fund to support the crew members of its concert industry who have been out of work due to COVID-19. The company has pledged $10 million to the cause, contributing an initial $5 million to the fund, then matching the next $5 million given by artists, fans and employees dollar for dollar.
The Recording Academy and MusiCares have the launched the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund in which the CMA, The Latin Recording Academy; StubHub; Universal Music Group; Warner Music Group; City National Bank; Bill Silva Entertainment; William, Jeff, and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation; George Harrison’s Material World Foundation; the Michael Jackson Estate; Alicia Keys and She Is The Music; and Yoshiki Foundation America have donated funds.