World Renowned Virologist, Dr. Michael Osterholm Warns COVID-19 — In The Absence Of A Vaccine — Will Continue To Spread Until ‘Up To 70 Percent Of The Population Is Infected,’ And A Second Wave Could Be Even Worse – ‘We Are Going To Have To Learn To Live With This Virus’
Keith Griffith posted a May 12, 2020 article to the DailyMail.com with a depressing warning from Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota; and, a world renowned virologist. In an interview with the USA Today on Monday/this week, Dr. Osterholm said, “We have to confront the fact that there’s not a magic bullet, short of a vaccine, that’s going to make this go away. We’re going to be living with it [for the forseeable future]. And, we’re not having that conversation at all.”
Dr. Osterholm said that “without a vaccine, which is more likely a year away, (Moderna, NVAX, and Pfizer/J&J among others, are already in clinical trials), the virus will continue to spread until we achieve herd immunity, which he estimates will kick in after 60 to 70 percent of the population has been infected.” Mr. Griffith wrote. “This dam virus is going to keep going until it infects everyone it possibly can,” Dr. Osterholm said. “It surely won’t slow down until it has hit 60-70 percent.”
Dr. Osterholm warned that “even if cases drop over the summer, it could be a sign that COVID-19 is seasonal, like the flu, and cases could surge again this fall,” Mr. Griffith wrote. “It’s the big peak that is really going to do us in,” Dr. Osterholm warned. “As much pain, suffering, death, and economic disruption we’ve had, there’s been 5-20 percent of the population that’s been infected…..That’s a long way to go to get to 60-70 percent.”
Dr. Osterholm, along with coleagues from Harvard and Tulane University recently completed a study predicting that — in the absence of a vaccine — that COVID-19 is likely to be with us for at least the next 18-24 months — thus his assertion that “we’re going to have to live with this disease.” I take that to mean we aren’t going to get to zero; and, we are going to have to accept some level of risk and pockets of outbreaks, it we are to re-open our economy.
I am also optimistic that the U.S. pharmaceutical industry — which is the best in the world at new drug innovation — is going to have a vaccine sooner, rather than later. Crossing fingers. RCP, fortunascorner.com