This is a talk given by Dr. Mike Osterholm from the University of Minnesota. He is the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health at the University of Minnesota and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). His views on infectious disease epidemiology and control are sound and very well received in most, if not all, circles. He wrote two pieces on Ebola recently. The first was on Politico: “The Ebola Epidemic Is About to Get Worse. Much Worse.” The other was in the New York Times opinion section: “What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola“. Both are very sobering views on Ebola in West Africa and, now, the rest of the world.
Here is the embedded video. You can watch all of it, or skip to 2 hours 24 minutes and 40 seconds to listen to Dr. Osterholm. Or you can see the video at the original site by clicking here.
To say that we need a shift in how we’re addressing Ebola is an understatement. The biggest take-home message of Dr. Osterholm’s lecture was that we in public health must not be afraid to disseminate the truth, even if the truth is scary and if in disseminating it we cause fear. If the evidence and science of Ebola changes tomorrow, it is my responsibility and that of all public health professionals to report on that change and do so in an honest way. There should be no sacred cows in science.