Moreover, “New COVID-19 strains will likely cause cases to surge this March,” predicts epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm. —
No 2711 Posted by fw, February 21, 2021 —
The rapidly spreading (UK) B117 variant “is almost a totally different kind of large pandemic.”
In a 27-minute, February 19, 2021 televised interview on the PBS Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, she asks Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy, to explain what he meant when he warned that a “hurricane is coming our way.”
Below is my transcript of two short exchanges between Hoover and Osterholm, the first from the beginning of their discussion and the second from the ending. Below my short transcript is an embedded You Tube video of the interview. To watch it on You Tube, click on the following linked title.
Margaret Hoover – I want to show you an image of the curve. You are warning that a hurricane is coming our way. This is the calm before the storm. Some people say you’re an alarmist. You say you’re just a realist. Explain what’s about to happen.
Dr. Michael Osterholm – Right after Labor Day (2020) when we were at 26,000 cases a day, and I said we’d likely be well above 200,000 cases by Thanksgiving (2020). We hit that well before Thanksgiving. Case numbers came down again to 150,000 new reported cases a day in December (2020, and I said we’re going to hit 300,000 cases in January (2021). We did. Each time someone would point out to me, when I made those predictions, that they were scary, and they were very unfortunate. And yet that happened. Now I can tell you, I can’t say with certainty that we’re going to see this big surge, but everything tells me, based on the rapidly spreading (UK) B117 variant here in the United States, we are going to do a redo of what places like England, and Ireland, and Denmark and Israel – all these countries have done in recent months with B117.
Margaret Hoover – Back when we spoke, several weeks ago, you were beginning to wonder if this might turn into “The Big One”. Your nickname is “Bad News Mike”. Is it possible that this is The Big One? Do you still hold that view?
Dr. Michael Osterholm – Well, let’s put it this way – This has thrown us recent curve balls that make us wonder just what is the long-term relationship between these corona viruses and humans. And in that regard, I’m not sure if it’s The Big One meaning a large pandemic, or this is going to be a challenge unlike anything we’ve seen since HIV aids…. This one, I think, is a chronic issue that, like HIV is never going to go away. … This is really a Big One for certain, but it’s almost a totally different kind of Big One. I don’t have the hope like I might with influenza that it would one day attenuate or become less serious or no longer be the pandemic risk. This one, I think is going to be with us for a long, long time.
FAIR USE NOTICE – For details click here