COVID-19 Will Rage 'Like A Forest Fire' In Unprepared America, Top Doc Warns
COVID-19 will rage "like a wildfire" in the United States, which has no clear plan to deal with it, and has reverted to a "prepandemic" repellent attitude, a leading infectious disease expert said on Sunday.
America's leadership is unfocused, said Dr. Michael Osterholm on Chuck Todd in NBC's "Meet the Press," unlike other parts of the world that remain vigilant against the pandemic.
The spread of COVID-19 is "like a forest fire," warned Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
"I don't think that will slow down. I think wherever there is wood to burn, this fire will burn. And at the moment we have a lot of vulnerable people," he said.
"I don't see a slowdown in summer or fall. I don't think we'll see one, two, or three waves. I think we'll only see a very, very difficult forest fire of falls."
Other nations have "stopped the spread of COVID-19 much better," said Osterholm.
"We haven't done that yet ... We just haven't really given the public the message that this is a very serious problem. We can't close our economy, but we can't suddenly say that with COVID- 19 are done, he added.
A number of countries are currently experiencing a record daily rise in COVID-19 cases because "everyone is reverting to a pre-pandemic mindset," said Osterholm.
He noted that the US lacks a national plan that "really sums up what we're trying to do" - so that the states can impose a patchwork of different responses.
"It is wrong to hear that we do not want to run tests. We should definitely test as much as possible," said Osterholm. "What do we do after these positive tests to ensure that there is no additional transmission? How do we conduct contact tracking by? "
President Donald Trump said at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday that he told his "people" to cut tests to suppress reports of increased cases.
"If you test to this extent, you will find ... more cases," Trump said. "So I said to my people," Please slow down the tests. "
June 21, 2020
3 things I was completely wrong about: 1) the number of rallyers (6,200 v 19K); 2) the% who don't care or believe that COVID is a danger to their family (<10% wore masks); 3) I hadn't even thought that the President could actively sabotage tests, speed up and brag about US deaths
This is the president who admits on national television to put his need to look good about American life. He recognizes what we've seen - actively disabling testing in a pandemic that has killed 120,000 people so far. If I did this for 10 people in my hospital, it would be a crime.
Trump: If you test on this scale, you will find more people. You will find more cases. So I said to my people, please slow down the tests.
5:55 p.m. - June 21, 2020
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