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I Watched Joe Rogan Interview An Infectious Disease Expert About The Coronavirus, Here Are 13 Things He Said

"This is going to unfold for months to come yet."

The Joe Rogan Experience interview with Michael Osterholm was uploaded to YouTube on March 10, 2020.

Below are some of the statements made by Osterholm, an infectious disease expert who has been warning the world of how ill-equipped we are for a pandemic for a decade and a half. These are solely his opinions on the matter. We recommend consulting various sources for a full picture of the COVID-19 outbreak.

1. "This is going to unfold for months to come yet."

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Osterholm says this is just the beginning and there's limited data.

2. "This could be 10–15 times worse than the seasonal flu (in terms of illness/fatalities)."

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Osterholm estimates that this could require 48 million hospitalizations, 96 million cases, and more than 480,000 deaths over the next 3–7 months.

3. According to Osterholm, having certain underlying health problems plays a role in the effects of the coronavirus.

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4. Osterholm says there's an incubation period, meaning there's a slight delay from the time you were exposed (e.g. being in a room breathing the same air as someone who is infected) to the time you get sick. It's about four days.

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How do they know this? Osterholm says, "We have data from people who were exposed one time and one time only, and we know when and where they were exposed and how soon they got sick after."

5. According to Osterholm, you can be contagious but not have symptoms.

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Osterholm shared info about a recent study in Germany, in which a group of nine people who had been exposed to someone who was infected had their saliva, nose, blood, stool, urine, etc. sampled. Though they weren't coughing or showing symptoms yet, it was found that they already had high levels of the virus.

6. Osterholm agrees that wearing surgical masks to prevent sickness is largely nonsense. However, if you're sick, they may help prevent you from spreading it when you cough into the mask.

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7. "Kids are not getting sick very often. In China, only 2.1% of the cases were under 19 years of age."

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"One study showed that they still get infected with the disease, but they don't get sick." Osterholm says some diseases (like Hepatitis A, for example) manifest primarily when you're an adult.

8. Osterholm thinks so many people could eventually get infected with the coronavirus that it would stop itself.


How so? He says that if someone is infected, but the other people near them have already had it and recovered, they're essentially immune to it, though he acknowledges that would be a heavy toll.

9. To strengthen your immune system, Osterholm recommends focusing on staying in shape, not missing cycles of prescribed medications (e.g. high blood pressure pills), getting sleep, and eating a healthy diet.

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10. Osterholm says hand sanitizers are great for stopping a lot of infectious diseases in terms of killing bad bugs. However, he says the data that this virus is transmitted by your hands touching your face is very weak. He says not to stop using hand sanitizers, but don't expect it to have a huge impact on this bug.

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He emphasizes that the spread of this disease is just about “breathing air.”

11. Osterholm believes America should be preparing for public health crises the way we prepare for defense. He says, "We don't build an aircraft carrier the moment we're going to go into battle."

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He believes stockpiling supplies (e.g. the N95 masks there've been a shortage of) "would've been the difference between night and day." He hopes this will be a wake-up call.

12. If you have an underlying health problem and you're over the age of 55, Osterholm recommends avoiding large crowds.

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13. Finally, Osterholm believes a SAFE vaccine for the coronavirus is going to take years. He uses the 2015 Zika virus outbreak as an example, stating "five years later and we have no vaccine."

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Here's the interview, which is 1 hour and 34 minutes long, in its entirety.

View this video on YouTube

(FYI: If you're working from home or still looking to put together a coronavirus preparedness kit, here are some things you should know!)


All the statements in this video are the opinion of Michael Osterholm, and not all of them are in line with CDC and WHO findings. This post has been updated to delete certain comments until more information is available.