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Staying vigilant is key to fighting COVID-19 says optimistic MSU health sciences leader

Michigan State University
Norman J. Beauchamp Jr. M.D.

Norman J. Beauchamp Jr. M.D. is Michigan State University's Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and he's supporting MSU's community response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He talks with Spartans Athletic Director Bill Beekman about MSU’s collaborative ethos and the university’s low barriers for researchers to work together to fight COVID-19. He explains the process involved in developing a vaccine, too.

“Viruses are very tricky,” Beauchamp says. “Do I think it'll take three to four years? I'm more optimistic than that. My hope is that something like an effective vaccine, assuming that it is possible to generate lasting immunity, which I believe it is, would be closer to 18 months.”

Beauchamp discusses how testing and contact tracing impact the fight against COVID-19. He’s cautiously optimistic about a healthy future for all of us.

“This is an incredibly stressful time. People being quarantined, being isolated, the economic injuries, the loss of life. And yet there's reason for optimism as we're starting to see the case numbers flatten. The ability to be optimistic and to have hope is to be thoughtful and really adhere to the guidance that we're getting about staying at home. I want optimism that is based in a recognition that we do have a path, and it is working, but not have an optimism that leads people to dismiss the guidance that is leading to the flattening of the curve of COVID virus.”

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