"Since the very first day of this pandemic, I don't think [we've been] in a more confused position about what's happening," epidemiologist Michael Osterholm says. "We just aren't quite sure what [the coronavirus is] going to do next."
Osterholm is the founder and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
As millions of people remain socially isolated and anxious about COVID-19, several U.S. governors are at least making plans to relax controls in their states and revive economic activity — against the advice of many public health professionals.
New York Times science and health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. warns that the push to reopen is premature. "We're nowhere near getting on top of this virus," he says.
Of the roughly 100,000 Americans included in the official COVID-19 death count, 20,000 died in New York City in a period of two months. Time magazine reporter W.J. Hennigan recently spent several weeks looking into the practical challenge of how a city deals with so many bodies suffused with a deadly pathogen.
President Trump's daily briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic have introduced millions of Americans to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. At times, the specialist in infectious diseases has differed with the president during the briefings, correcting him on the seriousness of the virus or on the timeline for developing a vaccine. That's fueled speculation that Fauci's tenure might be cut short.