The economic devastation in New Jersey due to pandemic closings has been severe. More than 1 million people are unemployed in the Garden State. The summer tourism season is in jeopardy. In order to reopen the economy, state officials say better treatments and a vaccine are needed. As New Jersey officials eye slowly reopening the economy — and residents eye a return to normal life — the potential for better treatments and an eventual vaccine will prove key. New Jersey doctors and scientists have been on the leading edge of developing both.

On Thursday New Jersey 101.5 presented the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts to help New Jersey residents dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Watch the program below

New Jersey 101.5’s Eric Scott led the news and digital departments in highlighting the groundbreaking work being done in New Jersey’s hospitals and laboratories.

“Even as treatment options have advanced, there is much work still to be done,” Scott said. “This program seeks to highlight that work, but also set reasonable expectations about how it impacts the prospects for reopening New Jersey’s economy.”

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Our panel

Joining New Jersey 101.5 on air was:
• Dr. Edward Lifshitz, N.J. Department of Health Communicable Disease Service Medical Director
• Dr. Martin Blaser, Director of the Rutgers Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine
• Dr. Sara Cherry, Microbiologist, Genetic and mechanistic studies of viral-host interactions,  Penn Medicine
• Dr. E. John Wherry, Penn Medicine Chair of Systems Pharmacology and Transitional Therapeutics
• Dr. Matt Lissauer, Director, Critical Care/Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Joining New Jersey 101.5 online was be Ihor Sawczuk, MD FACS, President, Northern Region and Chief Research Officer of Hackensack Meridian Health, as well as Assistant Dean, Clinical Integration and Professor of Urology at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

See New Jersey 101.5's previous town hall, on the unique challenges faced by first-responders, here: