Dr. Michael Osterholm suggests a 6-week shutdown is needed to contain coronavirus


Friday in the New York Times, two prominent Minnesotans wrote an op-ed suggesting that a more restrictive, six-week shutdown would, "crush the spread of the virus to less than one new case per 100,000 people per day."

One of the authors is Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who said without this shutdown, "the economic recovery will be much slower, with far more business failures and high unemployment for the next year or two."

The other author is Dr. Michael Osterholm who is a professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.  

Monday on the Morning News with Dave Lee, Osterholm addressed the concerns he has about the spread of the virus in the United States, and why he believes we need to take more drastic measures now.  

"We've had a wonderful relationship with the expertise of the Reserve Bank here in Minnesota," Osterholm said. "They are have been studying this on like very few economists have. Neil and I have actually done other things together. This is really just an ongoing collaboration, and this piece in the New York Times basically just laid out what we have to do right now about this pandemic, from the standpoint of of really reducing its impact in the United States. It's not only good for health, but it's also good for the economy. And that's what this piece really detailed."

Osterholm says the United States, on a national level, has really failed compared to other parts of the world in containing the virus.

"In early March through April, many countries found themselves a house on fire," Osterholm tells Dave Lee. "We did in this country, particularly in the New York metropolitan area, but also in Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, places like that. Some in Seattle. And at the time, as we all recall, there was the need to flatten the curve. That idea of locking down the economy in such a way as people basically sheltered at home largely. And if people weren't having contact