News & Politics

'Straight Talk': Here Are the 10 Key Things a 'Medical Detective' Says About COVID-19


What may be the most informative interview on COVID-19 was not in the mainstream media, not in the New York Times or on ABC News – it was by podcaster Joe Rogan in a talk with internationally recognized infectious disease epidemiologist Michael Osterholm on March 10.

In it – get ready for the cv – “the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota,” says what the nation needs now is straight talk.

Osterholm, who advised the CDC and White House officials that the coronavirus was coming to our country by February, touched on several data points in the 1-1/2 hour interview. By all means, watch the interview yourself, but here are ten highlights:

  • COVID-19 is not only an “old person’s disease”
  • This next 3-6 months will be “coronavirus winter”
  • COVID-19 could cause 48 million hospitalizations and 480,000 deaths over the next 3-7 months
  • This virus was most certainly NOT man-made
  • The U.S. could have critical shortages of 153 drugs, 100% of which are generic and made offshore, many of them in China and India
  • 690,000 American with renal disease are dependent on Chinese drugs to live
  • We must do everything to protect our critical-care medical workers
  • 38% of nurses have children in school who may either get sick by their children or be forced to stay at home with the kids when they’re out of school
  • We must always have a stockpile of masks and other items for hospitals
  • Obesity, like smoking, is a preexisting condition for COVID-19

Osterholm, who refers to himself as a “medical detective” helps oversee the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) website, which is constantly updated on COVID-19. He wrote the book, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Deadly Germs, in 2017 which predicted a SARS-like virus pandemic. COVID-19 is a SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus.