PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - While businesses and schools work to figure out how to reopen in the safest manor possible, PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has a harsh reminder that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Speaking on Zoom Wednesday as part of the Carnegie Science Center’s Women in Stem Speaker Series, Dr. Levine says the reality is we will be dealing with the novel coronavirus for at least the next two years.
“Hopefully there is going to be a vaccine, if it’s in 2020, that’s a miracle, most likely in 2021, but it doesn’t just get distributed by itself we’re going to have to work to distribute the vaccine, we’ll have to see if there’s enough vaccine and the production rate and the distribution of that vaccine and the distribution not only in Pennsylvania but nationally and internationally of that vaccine,” said Levine.
Levine’s hope is that the coronavirus pandemic will raise more awareness on public health and will lead to better funding to organizations like the CDC.
Levine also believes that the World Health Organization should not be defunded but should rather be improved for its faults.
“To defund it doesn’t make any sense to me at all because this highlights how critical it is. If it was slow on the uptake we need to make it better, not defund it because there’s no one else that’s going to be looking at those issues globally,” said Levine.
During the discussion, Levine also explained by the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 is the largest pandemic to hit the world since the 1918 flu pandemic.
She says because it is spread through droplets in the air and that a large amount of people are asymptomatic, it quickly spreads largely undetected.
While something like Ebola has a much higher death rate, around 50 percent at times, Ebola is not spread through the air and rather though sharing bodily fluids.
Also those infected get so ill, they are unable to transmit it, while the death rate of COVID-19 is around 1 or 2 percent so it spreads easier.
Learn more about Carnegie Science Center's Women in STEM Speaker Series Here.