An infectious disease expert speaks: worth a listen by Marjorie Arons-Barron

My last blog warned about the need to separate reliable COVID-19 information from misinformation, whether intentional or unintentional,  and rumor. Last week an esteemed British scientist passed on a podcast to my brother-in-law, who shared it with me.  I vetted it as best I could and now share it with my readers.

Joe Rogan is a former comedian and actor who runs The Joe Rogan Experience, one of the nation’s most popular free podcasts. A gruff libertarian with a harsh misogynistic streak and over-the-top anti P.C. persona, he reminds me of Don Imus.  But, like Imus, Rogan does some very serious long-form interviews, which brings me to the purpose of this posting. Last week, he hosted a two-hour interview with infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm. 

Osterholm is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.  He has been working in the field since 1975, with particular focus on the  science of pandemics and the lack of international preparedness. The two-hour podcast is eye-opening on the implications of COVID-19 and the doubling of cases every four days. His presentation is level-headed and fact-based, soberly  separating myth from reality, misinformation from truth. It gets into the complexity of just what pre-existing adverse health conditions are concerning and extends the discussion to include other problems, like Lyme Disease.

Forget your antipathy to Joe Rogan, if you’ve even heard of him.  Check out Osterholm on the podcast. His book Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs,        predicted this scenario three years ago. It is not culturally insensitive in worrying about infectious diseases being spawned in crowded Asian “wet markets,” where both wild and domestic, live and dead animals are sold for human consumption. There’s a lot that can be said about our failures in the last 3 1/2 years. Osterholm is clear-eyed about what we do and don’t know going forward. The book is sold out on Amazon, but it is available to download on Kindle.

I invite your suggestions on reliable sources. What do you find particularly informative?