Minnesota infectious disease expert: U.S. has 'another 12 to 14 months of a really hard road ahead of us'

Minnesota infectious disease expert: U.S. has 'another 12 to 14 months of a really hard road ahead of us'
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The director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota said Sunday that he agreed with Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNorth Carolina couple married 50 years dies minutes apart of coronavirus holding hands As virus pummels US, Europe sees its own spike Democratic chairman says White House blocked FDA commissioner from testifying MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, that Americans would need to “hunker down” in the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Looking forward, where we’re at right now, Tony and I are completely on the same page,” Michael Osterholm said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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“Number one is, we're now leveled off at about 40,000 cases a day, which if you think about that, that’s eight thousand more when the house was on fire back in March,” he said.

“[A]s we get into the fall, we're going to see these numbers grow substantially. When the vaccine does become available, it won't be in any meaningful way until the beginning of next year, and then it's still going to take us months to vaccinate the population of just this country,” he added.

“We really have another 12 to 14 months have a really hard road ahead of us. And that's what I'm concerned about today,” he added. “I don't go back and you know, replay February and March.  I play right now. What is our national plan? We don't have one.”

Osterholm also addressed President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE’s comments to Bob Woodward in March that he was deliberately downplaying the threat of the virus to avoid a panic.

“[W]e know in public health, as well as just in general response to crisis, telling the truth never causes panic,” Osterholm said. “If you just tell people the truth, they will respond and they will trust you to continue to tell them the truth. The great leaders of the world have done that.”