The mayor of Los Angeles issued a chilling warning Wednesday that his city will not be completely open for business until there is a cure for the coronavirus that scientists have said may never come.
Eric Garcetti, the mayor, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the city is continuing to learn about safe ways to resume normal activities but the health of its citizens remains his top priority.
Some health experts say that there may never be a cure for the disease and an effective vaccine could still be years away due to the fact that the virus has so many mutations.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that there are inherent challenges in trying to “cure” something that has several strains and said, for the most part, the human immune system “is on its own” in most of these cases.
“You want something that targets the sickness and not you,” Zachary A. Klase, associate professor of biology at the University of the Sciences told the paper. “You need to look for the special things that only the virus is doing.”
Scientists across the world are working to find a vaccine or cure for the virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top disease expert in the U.S., has compared remdesivir, the Gilead Sciences drug used in extreme COVID cases, to the first medications used to treat HIV.
“The data shows that remdesivir has clear-cut, significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recover,” he said, according to Politico.
Reports emerged Tuesday that Los Angeles is planning to extend the city’s shelter-in-place order for another three months. ABC 7 reported that the city’s health director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, said that the extension will occur unless there’s a “dramatic change to the virus and tools at hand.”
Garcetti told “GMA” that Ferrer’s comments were “taken out of context” but pointed out that he believes the city, like the rest of the country, will have to learn to live with the disease.
“Quite frankly, there’s no so-called open state or open country that doesn’t continue to have health orders telling us to cover our faces, physically distance and to tell people that you’re safest working from and staying at home – that’s all the county health director was saying and we can’t expect that to disappear in a matter of weeks or even a few months,” he said.