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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on MSNBC Thursday that New York City plans to "fully reopen" on July 1, with no restrictions on restaurants, retail, or any other business.

Why it matters: It will be a major milestone for America's most populous city, which was once the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

Flashback: At the peak of the outbreak last April, New York City reported a seven-day rolling average of more than 800 deaths per day. The daily death toll has now dropped to below 40, with over 6 million vaccine doses administered.

What they're saying: While cautioning that he wants people to remain "smart" about public health, de Blasio said that "we now have the confidence that we can pull all of these pieces together and get life back, really, in many ways, to where it was."

  • "We said a month or so ago, it was the variants versus the vaccination, what was going to win, which one was going to win the race. Vaccination is winning this race ... 6.3 million vaccinations, COVID is plummeting," he continued.
  • "This is going to be the summer of New York City. You're going to see amazing activities, cultural activities coming back. I think people are going to flock to New York City, because they want to live again."

Between the lines: De Blasio was asked about possible pushback from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with whom he has clashed throughout the pandemic.

  • "State government and federal government always have a say," de Blasio told MSNBC. "But as mayor of New York City, we're ready to come back and come back strong."
  • "We're focused on the data and the science. That's how we've made every decision, that's what's worked. And the data and the science are saying, out loud, it's time to come back."

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases are finally falling

Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections fell by roughly 16% over the past week in the U.S. — a big improvement after weeks of stasis.

The big picture: More than half of American adults have gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and that seems to finally be putting a dent in the size of the country’s outbreak.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Apr 29, 2021 - Health

India's COVID-19 crisis is only getting worse

A makeshift mass crematorium in New Delhi. Photo: Imtiyaz Khan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

India's runaway coronavirus surge is only getting worse, and doctors are growing increasingly concerned about the risks of a new variant.

The state of play: "The current wave of COVID has a different clinical behavior," Sujay Shad, a surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told The New York Times. "It's affecting young adults. It's affecting families. It's a new thing altogether. Two-month-old babies are getting infected."

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