Why This Pandemic Expert Bet It All

Dr. Michael Osterholm staked his credibility on predicting a new wave —and delayed his own second shot to stop it.

Photo: Ed Dunens

Michael Osterholm has spent the past year as afraid of getting Covid as anyone else. “You know how many times I’ve woken up in the morning and said, I wonder if today’s the day I could get infected?” One of the world’s leading epidemiologists, he is reassured by the fact that he doesn’t go anywhere—“I’m the guy who has the same tank of gas in his car that he had three months ago”—but he, too, is desperate to be done with the pandemic.

“I miss my grandkids,” he told Intelligencer from his Minneapolis-area home, his assured voice turning wistful. “My God, I miss my grandkids.”

Osterholm, 67, is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and has spent the past four decades studying epidemics, but he became nationally famous a year ago for his stark predictions during the first shocking wave of the pandemic in the U.S. Read more at New York magazine.

Categories: Freelance Articles

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