Osterholm: Worst of pandemic may be yet to come

U of M infectious disease director says new variants have been a real "curveball"
Could the worst of the pandemic still be ahead?
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The worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least in terms of case numbers, could still be ahead.

That dire prediction today from Dr. Michael Osterholm, head of infectious disease for the University of Minnesota and part of the Joe Biden coronavirus advisory board.

Dr. Osterholm says the new strain will make its way through Minnesota's population in a little more than a month.

"We could see a substantial increase in the number of cases here in Minnesota in the next six to eight weeks. Very substantial. The worst of the pandemic."

Dr. Osterholm, who was a guest of WCCO's Chad Hartman, says serious improvements need to be made in vaccine distribution.

President-elect Biden will unveil his plans to distribute the vaccine this evening - with a goal of 100,000,000 doses going out in the first 100 days.

Using a baseball analogy, Osterholm says were are still very much in the middle innings. He says the new strains of the coronavirus have thrown a major curveball to experts.

"The challenges are immense, simply immense. If you think that we've had a problem to date with this virus, if these variants spread here and cause the problems that they have in (England and Ireland), God help us."