Dr. Oz: Amid case spikes, now is 'time of reckoning' in COVID-19 battle

The United States has now surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases.

And, in our area, Pennsylvania has recorded its second-highest daily number of cases since the start of the pandemic.

New Jersey also continues to see a resurgence of COVID-19.

And in Delaware, the number of new daily cases last week remained elevated.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, of "The Dr. Oz Show," joined "Good Day Philadelphia" on Monday morning to discuss the latest on the pandemic.

"The spike is happening in many parts of the country," Oz said. "I live in this area, so, I'm with you. We've seen, I think, a lot of these cases increase because of super-spreader events. As the weather gets chillier, people head indoors, they get sloppy. Things they used to be able to do with their friends outdoors, like dining or maybe having some drinks or barbecue, now goes indoors. 'What's the big deal?' But, unfortunately, one person in a small, poorly-ventilated space can get 10 people sick at once."

CHECK: Philadelphia-area coronavirus case map

On NBC's "Meet The Press" Sunday, infectious disease specialist and "Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs" author Michael Osterholm had this to say: "We do have vaccines and therapeutics coming down the pike. But when you actually look at the time period for that, the next 6 to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic. Vaccines will not become available in any meaningful way until early to third quarter of next year. And even then half of the U.S. population, at that this point, is skeptical of even taking the vaccine."

Asked if he agreed with Osterholm's prediction, Oz said, "Well, I don't, and the reason I don't is I think America realizes the things we can do, we control in our own homes. That's where we're going to win this battle."

Oz went on to say, "And we're not going to have a vaccine ready for widespread use probably until the middle of next year. I've spoken to everybody, ranging from the vaccine czar of this country to experts who are working on the vaccine space itself. It's just not going to happen. And we don't have therapeutics that are well-enough defined. So, the average American is going to have to take control of this on their own."

"Now, the good news is the mortality rate of [COVID-19] has gone down dramatically across the country. We're getting better at the protocols of treating, and we're also smarter about how to avoid getting COVID," Oz added.

 "All of that said and done, pointing to six to 12 weeks is exhausting because we have another year of being thoughtful – not fearful respectful – of the virus," Oz added.

The doctor says he really thinks this is a time of reckoning: "Listen, shutting down is an admission we lost control of the virus. That's what happened in March and April. We had to do it because we had lost control of the virus. We don't want to make that same mistake again."

He pointed to some countries that have been more successful fighting the virus and said people who get sick need to get tested ad quarantine contacts. And people have to believe in that process, including masks and social distancing.

Oz also discussed "long-haulers," a term for those patients who have had long-term consequences from COVID-19 cases.

You can watch the doctor's complete interview in the videoplayer above.



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