During a discussion Sunday with Dr. Michael Osterholm and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, medical experts from Minnesota and Michigan, "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd wondered if the political will exists to "do a reset" on the coronavirus pandemic and "maybe go back to the shutdown and maybe do it right."
Dr. Osterholm, let me start with you. Is there any way we avoid what some people thought was alarmist a few weeks ago, when Dr. Fauci said he was worried about 100,000 cases a day, is it inevitable at this point that that's where we're headed in a couple of weeks?
DR. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM: Well, to put in perspective, again, look at where we've been. We've probably infected between 7 or 8 percent of the U.S. population to date. That's it. For all the pain, suffering, death, economic disruption, that's it. As we've talked about on this very show, it won't -- this virus won't slow down, even, let alone stop transmission until we get to 50 or 60 percent. To put that into some kind of perspective, Chuck, if we had 65,000 to 70,000 cases a day for the next 365 days, it would just begin to get us to that level. So we have a lot of human wood to burn in this coronavirus forest fire, and, you know, we may see ups and downs in communities where people do take more concern for a moment, because of the severe problems, but I think it's not only likely we're going to see much more than 100,000, but I don’t think people understand that if we don't change our ways, we are in for the next year of those very kinds of numbers.
CHUCK TODD: Dr. Khaldun, I know that the scientific and medical advice is, essentially, we've got to do a reset, maybe go back to the shutdown and maybe do it right, a little bit better than we did the last time. Can you imagine the political will in Michigan to do that again?
DR. JONEIGH KHALDUN: You know, I'm very proud of the people of Michigan, I'm proud of Governor Whitmer, she has from day one listened to the data and listened to the science. But I'm very concerned. I'm very concerned that people are making very simple things like mask-wearing political. I'm concerned that people are gathering in these large groups. Many people across the country heard about a bar where we've seen over 150 cases of COVID-19 associated with people gathering. So I'm very concerned, but I'm also confident that Michiganders can do the right thing, because we did it before. We saw over 150 deaths a day in Michigan back in March and April, we brought that down, so I'm confident we can do that again.