Michael Osterholm is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and author of The New York Times bestseller, "Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs." He has been publicly warning of the dangers of a global pandemic for more than a decade and half and was a member of Joe Biden's Covid task force during the presidential transition. In April 2020, he told me that he estimated that there could be 800,000 deaths from Covid-19 within 18 months in the US. That prediction has proven eerily prescient; a year and a half after Osterholm made that prediction more than 793,000 Americans have died from the disease. I spoke to Osterholm this week about what he sees ahead for the pandemic. Our conversation was edited for clarity.
President Joe Biden plans to nominate attorney and former Bush administration appointee Kenneth Wainstein to lead the Department of Homeland Security's intelligence division, according to a department official, a step towards permanent leadership at an office plagued by Trump-era controversies.