Dr. Michael Osterholm warns of what second COVID-19 wave could look like

'That could make everything we've had so far seem mild'

The Morning News with Dave Lee
May 27, 2020 - 8:14 am

Dr. Michael Osterholm at the University of Minnesota is warning of what impacts a second wave of COVID-19 could mean for the United States.

Dr. Osterholm told Dave Lee during the WCCO Morning News that if COVID-19 goes dormant in the next few months, it could be the worst thing that could happen.

"Given previous influenza pandemics, and this not an influenza virus so we don't know for certain it will act like that, but if it did, by far the second wave was the worst one of each of the pandemics," Osterholm said. "A second wave in late summer or early fall that lasts three or four months could make everything we've experience so far seem mild."

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 21,960 total COVID-19 cases in Minnesota, 652 of which were newly reported cases. There were 18 newly reported deaths, bringing the total to 899.

"I don't think the public gets that we're in this for the long haul," Osterholm said. "Less than 5-percent of many parts of the United States have been infected with this virus yet. We're not going to see this virus slow down until we get until 60-70 percent of the population infected, hopefully develop and immunity, or a vaccine causes that immunity."

New COVID-19 numbers for Minnesota should be released to the public shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday. Governor Tim Walz is expected to join the daily MDH briefing at 2 p.m.

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