Dr. Peter Marghella is a world-renowned expert on pandemics and public health policy, and he was the featured guest on the KGVO Talk Back show on Wednesday.

For 90 minutes, Dr. Marghella answered questions from listeners about the pandemic.

He began with a global outlook.

“In the past week, we've had the highest number of COVID-19 cases that have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic, globally, which has amounted to more than 2 million new cases in just the past seven days,” said Dr. Marghella. “This is the shortest interval for this level of an exponential increase since the start of the pandemic and what we're seeing is a very, very rapid acceleration of disease spread around the world.”

Whatever we seem to be hearing from administration officials about having turned the corner or having this in check, or even reports today that the administration has controlled and stopped the pandemic, are simply bald-face lies.

Dr. Marghella flatly denied claims by the Trump administration that the pandemic is nearly under control in the U.S.

“We think we're going to see deaths go to as high as 2000 per day by January 1,” he said. “So this thing is on the move and whatever we seem to be hearing from administration officials about having turned the corner or having this in check, or even reports today that the administration has controlled and stopped the pandemic, are simply bald-face lies.”

On the matter of masks, Dr. Marghella said the large majority of cloth face coverings such as gaiters or other such masks are relatively useless in stopping the virus from entering through the mouth. He recommended only two types of masks that are commercially available.

“At the top you have N-95’s or KN-95’s, which were originally manufactured for work in the medical and surgical environments and are tested by OSHA and the FDA and the CDC to be able to prevent infections of viruses that can be worked on in laboratories up to bio-safety level three and four,” he said.

Closing the 90 minute program, Dr. Marghella referenced a ‘war game’ style scenario called ‘Dark Winter’ that originally proposed using smallpox as a bio-weapon, but he said the exercise had to be stopped after less than a day due to the overwhelming numbers of infections worldwide.

Dr. Marghella said the combination of COVID 19, seasonal flu or any other strain this winter could bring about massive disruption to the U.S. and global healthcare system.

“If we see a second pandemic that occurs, either the same time as the COVID pandemic is occurring, or in concurrence, meaning it follows quickly, then I'm not sure how at least the American healthcare system of public health system is going to bear up under the weight of this event,” he said. “So, what this drives us to is that fact that it's more important than ever to listen to competent medical and public health authorities that are trying to give all of our citizens good information in the time of crisis.”

Dr. Marghella served for 20 years as a Medical Plans, Operations, and Intelligence Officer in the United States Navy, retiring as the Director of Medical Contingency Operations for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

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