Asked if he feared a “fourth wave” of infections, Garcetti said, “hope really hangs on the horizon. I haven’t felt this optimism in 12 months.” He estimated that “anywhere between half and two-thirds of our population has antibodies in it now, either because of exposure to COVID-19 and vaccination. So it is a very different context than when openings happened last July or when openings didn’t happen in December.”
Asked by moderator Margaret Brennan whether two variants of concern, B.1.427 and B.1.429, may indicate the city is opening “too fast, too soon,” Garcetti again leaned on optimism.
“Well, you never know, but you have to follow the data and the data is very clear, if we were a state right now, we’d have the second-lowest positivity rate. And our state of California right now, I think, is the third-lowest case rate in the country. I believe that some of those variants have burned through Los Angeles. It’s the only way to really explain what happened in December and January when we still had the same level of closures as a month or two before and we didn’t have that case rate.”
Garcetti added, “it’s time to get things moving. It’s time to get our economy started. It’s time to start hugging our loved ones again. And certainly that comes from getting a vaccine.”