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Infectious Disease Expert: The ‘darkest of all pandemics’ has yet to come

Michael Osterholm, a well-known infectious disease expert, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that “the next six to 12 weeks will be the darkest of the entire pandemic” and expressed concern that the United States lacks a leading voice to guide the public.

“Vaccines will not be available in any meaningful way until early [the] third quarter next year. And even then, approx. half of the U.S. population at this time is skeptical about even taking the vaccine, ”said Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Osterholm pointed to the daily inventory of 70,000 new COVID-1

9 cases in the United States on Friday, the highest level since July. Between now and the holidays, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is likely to “blow right through it,” he said.

He stressed that one of the reasons for concern is that there are a number of voices guiding the public instead of just one, “which is part of the problem.”

Michael Osterholm

NBC News / Meet The Press

Michael Osterholm

“This is more than just science. This brings people together to understand why we do this. This is an FDR brand chat approach, and we just do not, ”he said, referring to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s evening radio speeches during the Great Depression, which increased public confidence.

Osterholm said the goal is to achieve herd immunity, not by letting people get the virus, but by vaccinating them through a vaccination program. It requires strengthening public confidence.

“We need someone to start formulating, ‘What is our long-term plan?’ How are we going to get there? Why do we ask people to sacrifice distance? Why do we tell people that if you really love your family, you do not go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and end up infecting mom or dad or grandpa and grandma. “We do not have the narrative that is going on right now, and it is as important as the science itself,” he said.

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