The New Normal: Could NYC's vaccine plan become the norm elsewhere?
President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that the delta variant accounts for eight out of 10 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and says it's the unvaccinated who are being hit the hardest.
With cases on the rise, New York City now plans to require proof of vaccination for indoor dining, performances and gyms.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "The Key to NYC Pass will be a first-in-the-nation approach. It will require vaccination for workers and customers in indoor dining, in indoor fitness facilities, indoor entertainment facilities. This is going to be a requirement. The only way to patronize these establishments indoors will be if you're vaccinated, at least one dose. The same for folks in terms of work, they'll need at least one dose."
Dr. Kaedrea Jackson, an emergency medicine physician with Mount Sinai Health System, says she is a little surprised by the mayor's plan but does understand where he's coming from.
Jackson says the effort was to get people vaccinated and since that has not worked it is time to maybe try something different. She says vaccination is still very important.
"The vaccine is one way to ensure that one we are decreasing hospitalization and decreasing the severity of any illness that someone would get," says Jackson. "Unfortunately, the reason why we are having this uptick is that there are these variants and there's still not enough people who are vaccinated."
Jackson says wearing masks again are also important to helping stop the spread of the variants.
The president says COVID-19 has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated and urges people to get vaccinated.
"Unfortunately, the public health concern we have somewhat politicized the issue and we need leaders from both sides to get the word out that this is not about Republican or Democrat, it's about making sure you're safe, your family is safe, your neighbors are safe, and we need everyone to be on board and pushing it," says Jackson.
Another big issue facing New York came out Tuesday when the state attorney general announced that her investigation found Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed nearly a dozen women and worked to retaliate against one of his accusers.
Basil Smikle Jr., former executive director of the New York state Democratic Party, says the announcement is incredibly damaging to the governor.
Smikle says sadly this is something that New York voters have had to deal with before.
"It seems like the governor has one of two options. He can either leave on his own accord or get pushed out," says Smikle.
Smikle says it doesn't seem like he has many political allies left.
As for the pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration says it is trying to fast track full approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA says it won't lower its scientific standards to do so.