- Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, warned of a possible spike in novel coronavirus cases this fall, saying the US has "another 12-14 months ahead of a really difficult path ". ""
- Osterholm, who made the comments on Sunday "Meet The Press" from NBC News said while a COVID-19 vaccine might become available, it wouldn't have "significant" effects until 2021 at the earliest.
- Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading US expert on infectious diseases, Americans should expect to "settle down" in the coming fall and winter months.
- "What is our national plan?" Asked Osterholm. "We do not have."
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Research and Policy on Infectious Diseases at the University of Minnesota, warned on Sunday of a possible COVID-19 spike and bleak future in the US, citing the lack of a national plan to prevent its further spread the virus.
Osterholm made the comments when asked by "Meet the press"Presenter Chuck Todd explains earlier statements by Dr. Anthony Fauci who said people in the US should expect to" squat "for the coming fall and winter months.
"It won't be easy," said Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, during a panel discussion with Harvard Medical School last week. "We know that every time we lift restrictions, we slip up. It's a slap in the mouth."
"I think we'll probably have a vaccine by the end of the year, early 2021," Fauci continued. "And I think that's going to be what turns it around. I just think we have to crouch."
– Meet the press (@MeetThePress) September 13, 2020
Osterholm said he and Fauci are "on the same page", pointing out the roughly 40,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus diagnosed every day. According to a Sunday count of Johns Hopkins UniversityTo date, there have been at least 6,492,744 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, killing more than 190,000 people.
"With the colleges and universities open, we're going to see the spillover that occurs with people who have even greater pandemic fatigue and want to be indoors with other people," he said. "When we get into the fall, these numbers will increase significantly," he said.
While Osterholm said a vaccine might be available, it won't necessarily "make sense," he added, until early next year. A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 62% of adults in the US fear that "political pressure from the Trump administration" could lead the Food and Drug Administration to approve a vaccine "without ensuring that it is safe and effective. ""
"And then," said Osterholm, "we will need months to vaccinate the people of this country."
"We really have another 12-14 months ahead of us on a really tough road," continued Osterholm. "That's what I'm worried about today. I'm not going back and playing again in February and March. I'm playing right now.
Osterholm's comments come days after it became known that President Donald Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in a February interview in February that he knew the novel coronavirus was more deadly than the worst of the flu viruses, even though he continued to risk the virus over the months publicly downplayed that followed.
"What's our national plan? We don't have one," he continued. "We have 50 government plans, which in many cases are so different, so divided and not necessarily based on good science. So, yes, we have a long way to go."