A recently appointed member of Joe Biden’s new Coronavirus Advisory Board warned Americans not to be surprised when the US reports 200,000 COVID 19 cases daily.
Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, appeared on CBS Tuesday morning to discuss the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. Osterholm was one of 13 public health experts appointed to Biden’s Coronavirus Advisory Committee following his planned presidential victory.
“You know, on Labor Day we had 32,000 cases per day in this country, now we have 120,000 to 130,000 cases per day,” Osterholm said during his presentation. “Don’t be surprised if we have 200,000 cases a day.”
He added: “We will experience by far the darkest days of this pandemic by next spring, when the vaccine is available”.
Easterholm’s comments come as cases of the novel virus continued to rise in the US.
On Monday, data from Johns Hopkins University showed that about 1 million new cases of the novel virus were registered in the U.S. in the last 10 days, with the U.S. exceeding the 10 million mark in the total number of cases.
Johns Hopkins University data also show that the U.S. reported over 100,000 new cases daily for the past seven days. According to the tracker, there are currently over 10.1 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and at least 238,251 deaths.
Asked why he believes that cases of the novel virus have continued to increase in recent weeks, Osterholm said: “We have a perfect storm coming.
“We have pandemic fatigue, people who have been distancing themselves for months from others who have just decided, you know, ‘I’m kind of done with it’, even though the virus is not yet finished with them,” he said. “We have a group I call pandemic anger, up to a third of the population, who believe that this pandemic is still a hoax and that it is a politically motivated activity.
Osterholm continued: “Then you accumulate all this together with the indoor air, where we are basically bringing people much more inside, where we know that the transmission is intensified.
Alex Azar, Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, also appeared on CBS on Tuesday morning to discuss the latest news about Pfizer’s vaccine, announcing that early analysis shows that the vaccine is about 90 percent effective.
Azar said Pfizer could begin vaccinating the “most vulnerable” people by early December.
“By the end of January, we would then have enough for all our healthcare workers and first responders,” Azar said. “From late March to early April, we should have enough for all Americans, not just Pfizer, but of course the other vaccines in our portfolio.
Washington Newsday contacted the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota for Osterholm’s opinion, but did not receive a response in time for publication.