Infectious disease expert warns coronavirus pandemic could be ‘the first inning of a 9-inning game’

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Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday that the world will likely be dealing with the coronavirus in some form over the next several months.

“I don’t know if we can say there will be seasonality to this,” Osterholm told host Tucker Carlson. “If it acts like an influenza pandemic, which it seems to be doing right now, those are situations where for about two years after the introduction, waves will come and go …

“I think the bottom line … is a really important one — that we are all obviously occupied and terribly concerned about what’s happening right now, but we could be in the first inning of a nine-inning game [where] we’ve got 18 or more months left until we get the vaccine.”

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Osterholm explained that when the virus first appeared at the end of 2019, experts were trying to figure out whether it would be like SARS, which proved to be very infectious for a short period of time, or more of a long-term global problem like influenza.

“Right now, Singapore has just declared a state of emergency [as well as] Japan — and we are seeing cases come back in China, so I think the bottom line message is, this is going to be around, it’s going to come back and it will be like 1918 and cause waves of illness that will likely occur in the same cities for several more years potentially.”

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In order to help return life to normal, Osterholm agreed with host Tucker Carlson that a widespread test for antibodies that protect against the virus would be essential.

“We need that very badly. Then we can get a better handle on it,” he said. “Right now, we are sampling what’s out there with who we can test and in our own state of Minnesota, we don’t have nearly enough testing.”

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