Infectious Disease Expert: Cases Will Rise So ‘Dramatically’ in Coming Weeks It Will Be Hard to Keep ‘Everyday’ Life Operating


Dr. Michael Osterholm warned viewers of Morning Joe that a sharp spike in Covid-19 infections in the coming three to four weeks means “we’re going to have a hard time keeping everyday life operating.”

The Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and member of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning to discuss the sharp rise in coronavirus cases brought about by the Omicron variant and new CDC guidelines that shorten the recommended time to quarantine for asymptomatic individuals following a positive test.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wolensky appeared on a number of television shows and was pressed on whether the decision to cut quarantine guidelines from 10 to five days was based on business needs or science. Willie Geist asked his guest “What’s your take on the isolation down from 10 days to five? It’s more of what people can tolerate, according to Dr. Wolensky, and hopefully getting people back to work and school, perhaps to set some people’s minds at ease, but is it based on science in your view?”

“Right now we have a very imperfect situation that’s going to require some very imperfect responses,” Dr. Osterholm replied. “Over the next three to four weeks, we are going to see the number of cases in this country rise so dramatically that we’ll have a hard time keeping everyday life operating.”

“Already we are seeing it in our healthcare settings where we can lose 10 to 20 percent of healthcare workers who are not available to work,” he said. “We are seeing that right now in critical infrastructure areas where people can’t come to work.” New York area transit systems were delayed earlier this week due to staffing shortages caused by Covid-19.

“You would like to have more time to allow people to clear the virus and not potentially be transmitting it,” he added. “At the same time, we got to have people who are there every day who are doing the work. How can you provide the safest environment? I support what they are doing. I think it’s not perfect. It won’t be perfect and what we have come before us in the next few weeks is hardly going to allow for a perfect response.”

Watch above via MSNBC.

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