Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that "the next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.”
Vaccines won’t be available “in any meaningful way” until the third quarter of next year, he said – and even when they are, half the US population is skeptical of even taking one.
“So, what we have right now is a major problem in messaging,” he said. “People don’t know what to believe, and that’s one of our huge challenges going forward, is we’ve got to get the message to the public that reflects the science and reflects reality.”
Osterholm added that he doesn’t know if there is a lead when it comes to the federal government’s public health response. There are a lot of different voices, which is part of the problem.
“We don’t have a consolidated one voice,” he said.
Osterholm highlighted the 70,000 cases of Covid-19 reported on Friday, which matched the largest number seen during the peak of the pandemic, and said that between now and the holidays, the US will see numbers “much, much larger than even the 67 to 75,000 cases,” he said.