During an appearance on CNN this Friday, infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm warned viewers that “this is just the beginning” of the coronavirus health crisis and that we’re going to see it continue to spread throughout the U.S., adding that people are underestimating just how the long the outbreak could last.
“I think one thing that’s really being missed here is that if you look at 1918 and the big influenza pandemic that occurred then, that lasted until almost 1920 before finally most people were infected and therefore became immune or died,” he said. “And what we’re talking about here is this is not the next couple of weeks — we’re talking about months and months, and we’re already running out of supplies now, and much of the rest of the country won’t even have the supplies New York has when their first wave was up and active.”
Osterholm went on to say that we need a national plan that doesn’t just cover the next few weeks. “We don’t have a plan,” he stressed. “We don’t have a national plan.”
When asked about the White House’s projected model of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths if guidelines are properly followed, Osterholm said he was baffled as to why that model is being used.
“Let me just give perspective to this,” he said after pointing out that the model only lasts for four months. “… even areas that [stemmed their outbreaks] so well originally as people thought now are realizing that unless you can completely suppress this virus, it’s gonna come back, and it’s gonna keep coming back as long as you have susceptible people.”
Watch the full segment below: