Theaters and music venues could reopen in the “late fall” if the U.S. reaches a level of herd immunity at which COVID-19 is “virtually no threat to anyone,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a new interview.
In a conversation hosted by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Program Director for the Arts, Maurine Knighton, asked Fauci about a timeline for the resumption of live performances.
“Last fall, you told us that it might be the middle or end of this year, even, before things return to a semblance of normalcy,” Knighton said. “Are there any updates right now on the timeline, that you are seeing from your end?”
That timeline, Fauci responded, “won’t change if what I would hope happens, in fact happens.”
“And that is that we need to vaccinate between 70 and 85 percent of the population to get a level of herd immunity where the virus is in such a low level in society that it’s virtually no threat to anyone,” he said.
“In other words, do with [COVID-19] what we did with polio, what we did with measles, and what we’ve done with many other infectious diseases,” he explained. “But that only happens if you have people take up the vaccine.”
Fauci estimated that “early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage, as well as people in the audience,” provided the government rolls out vaccines quickly and people are willing to take them.