WATCH: When could things return to ‘normal’ for Americans following the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, said the U.S. would need to monitor benchmarks such as the number of COVID-19 tests coming back positive, as well as number of cases per population, in order to gauge when it will be safe to return to some semblance of “normal” life amid the pandemic. He said that if the U.S. makes testing more widely available in the coming months, maintains social distancing and approves a safe and effective vaccine, he expects case numbers to begin dropping significantly in the spring of 2021. “My hope is by summertime, if everything goes well, life will begin to come back to some semblance of a new normal,” Jha said. He spoke with PBS NewsHour political reporter Dan Bush on Oct. 7 ahead of the first and only 2020 vice presidential debate.

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