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Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he does not believe the coronavirus pandemic in the United States will ease over the summer or in the fall.

Driving the news: The country on Saturday reported more than 33,000 new cases of the coronavirus — the highest total since May 1 — despite claims from Trump administration officials that concerns over a second wave of the virus are "overblown." Osterholm countered that he believes a second or third wave of coronavirus is unlikely because the first wave has yet to slow down.

What he's saying: "I'm actually of the mind right now — I think this is more like a forest fire. I don't think that this is going to slow down," he said. "Wherever there's wood to burn, this fire is going to burn, and right now we have a lot of susceptible people."

  • Osterholm added that he does not think the influenza model of multiple waves applies to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
  • "Right now, I don't see this slowing down through the summer or into the fall. I don't think we're going to see one, two and three waves. I think we're just going to see one very, very difficult forest fire of cases."

The big picture: As of Sunday afternoon, the country has reported more than 2.2 million coronavirus cases — the highest caseload in the world — and has suffered at least 119,744 deaths from the virus.

  • The European Union, which has a population of around 446 million, is seeing average new confirmed case numbers of around 4,000 per day, compared to about 24,000 for the U.S.
  • This is at least in part attributable to increased testing by the U.S., but there are surges in infections in several states that outpace the growth in testing. The U.S., which has a total population of around 328 million, has conducted around 26 million coronavirus tests since the beginning of the pandemic.
Screenshot: Meet the Press

Go deeper: Navarro says Trump's call for less coronavirus testing was "tongue-in-cheek"

Go deeper

Sep 28, 2020 - Health

Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid coronavirus tests

President Trump announced on Monday that the federal government will distribute 150 million rapid, point-of-care coronavirus tests to states over the next few weeks, including to K-12 schools and vulnerable communities like nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has stressed the importance of reopening schools in allowing parents to return to work and jumpstarting the economy.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Sep 29, 2020 - World

Global coronavirus death toll crosses 1 million

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The global toll of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 crossed 1 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: More than half of those deaths have come in four countries: the U.S. (204,762), Brazil (141,741), India (95,542) and Mexico (76,430). The true global death toll is likely far higher.

Sep 29, 2020 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans won't take Trump's word on vaccine

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey; Note: Margin of error for the total sample is ±3.2%; Chart: Axios Visuals

Barely two in 10 Americans would take a first-generation coronavirus vaccine if President Trump told them it was safe — one of several new measures of his sinking credibility in the latest wave of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Details: Given eight scenarios and asked how likely they were to try the vaccine in each case, respondents said they'd be most inclined if their doctor vouched for its safety (62%), followed by insurance covering the full cost (56%) or the FDA saying it's safe (54%).