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Announcing A Very Special COVID-19 Update: The Advanced Pediatrics Interview With Dr. Michael T. Osterholm

By Dr. Arthur Lavin

Advanced Pediatrics is deeply honored and excited to announce that one of the world’s leading experts on epidemics and pandemics, Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, was interviewed by Dr. Arthur Lavin today, July 8, 2020.

This interview will be available for viewing on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 8pm.

The 40 minute interview will be aired in three episodes, which will be released for viewing all at the same time, so you have the option of bingeing and seeing the whole interview, or savoring the experience in three separate viewings.

The three segments will be:

  • The Biology of the Virus- Lavin will be talking with Dr. Osterholm about some essential properties of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, specifically its mutation rates and what this implies for how deeply it changes over time.
  • The Human-Virus Dance- In this segment the two doctors will be discussing aspects of the complex weave of interaction between the virus, and us.  Topics will include:
    • Models of management- whether various nations’ approaches to managing this pandemic offer at least two models of management
    • The pattern of discrete outbreaks- why the infection seems to flare in one place rather than another
    • The infectious dose-  The latest on Dr. Osterholm’s world-wide research teams work on defining just how much virus do you need to get infected, and how that dose compares to dosages of virus encountered in a wide range of situations- walking by someone outside, visiting parents, going to a bar, going to school, etc. etc.  This study based at CIDRAP includes 19 of the world’s leading epidemiologist, aerosol physicists, etc.
  • Questions from Advanced Pediatrics- Here Dr. Lavin will be asking Dr. Osterholm a range of questions that have come from the most common questions you have asked Dr. Lavin recently.   One includes the latest on how age relates to degree of viral transmissibility.

A word on Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, extraordinary.   Dr. Osterholm has devoted his career to one top goal- to understand how germs affect people and how people can help each other be protected from their harm.  He has described himself as a medical detective, and in that guise, has been at the center of many of the great hunts to protect humanity from the devastation that bacteria and viruses can cause.  Some of the great threats he has played an important role in include:

  • The finding that toxic shock syndrome was caused by tampons
  • The threat of Hepatitis B in health care settings
  • The spread of HIV in health care settings
  • The epidemiology of infections in day care settings
  • Studies about Lyme disease
  • The danger of changing spread and contact with food-borne infections
  • The threat to nations from weaponized infectious diseases
  • The future danger posed by deadly influenza virus pandemics

His work has included publication of hundreds of papers, over 20 book chapters, and many books, and serves on the editorial board of nine journals.  He has served a  leader on national and internationally agencies, including helping to lead the CDC through a transition, advisor to international leaders on epidemic and bioterror infections.  He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, frequent consultant to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and winner of many awards.

But most importantly, he cares about you and to that end has tried his utmost to squeeze knowledge through the rigorous process of science, to help each of us avoid harm when germs threaten.  It was a great honor to have him say when I invited him to talk together, that “…you are exactly the kind of expert and voice in our communities I so much want to support however I can.”

I have had the great pleasure of watching Dr. Osterholm.  It has been my experience that the hard work of earned competence is visible in the ease with which a person can talk about what she or he knows, and the comfort one has in knowing what we do not know.   I am confident Dr. Osterholm would agree with me that the heart of science is exposing what we do not know, which paradoxically turns out the be the only real path to finding out facts we can rely on.

So be on the lookout on July 9th at 8pm for the link to our interview, I am sure you will be as pleased as I am that we have the chance to talk science and learn together with one of the world’s great scientists on the subject of germs, how they can hurt us, and what we can do to protect ourselves.



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