DAVE ROSS

UW Virology head: ‘I hope we give science benefit of doubt’ in next pandemic

Jun 9, 2021, 2:16 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2021, 3:07 pm

Over the last year, health officials at the University of Washington Virology lab have been constantly taking in new information as they’ve worked to mitigate against the effects of the pandemic. And while it was a tough year for everyone, the hope is that all the work done during that period will prove crucial should another pandemic begin to take shape in the future.

From vaccine research to observations on the relative effectiveness of lockdowns, a lot was learned by experts both at UW Virology and across the globe.

“We’ve learned a tremendous amount,” UW Virology head Dr. Keith Jerome told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross. “There are going to be benefits that will show themselves over the next several years from this entire COVID experience, as horrible as it’s been.”

Moving forward, that will also help drive research into future viruses, as well as speeding along the process of vaccine development should it ever become necessary.

“There will be some benefits and research on other viruses and other diseases, and some other people will actually be helped from what we’ve learned and the capacity that we’ve built,” Dr. Jerome described.

Head of UW Virology Lab answers your vaccine questions

Dealing with a possible pandemic will also be a two-way street, though, given the political minefield many aspects of the COVID crisis quickly evolved into.

Through that, Jerome hopes the rest of the world will continue to believe in the work of health experts, and recognize that knowledge is constantly evolving.

“I would hope that we could learn as a society that science is imperfect, but it’s working and it’s trying to come up with the right answers,” he noted. “When there are recommendations, I hope we give science the benefit of the doubt and say, ‘OK, if you guys think that this is the best approach right now, let’s go with that, and I promise not to be too upset if you find out in a couple months that actually this way is better.'”

“I hope people have learned that that’s sort of how science works,” he continued. “We give the best answer we can right now, we’ll tell you how sure we think we are, and occasionally, we’ll change our mind when we know better — that’s just how we try to get the truth.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

legislature, police, stolen camper...
MyNorthwest Staff

Tacoma listener tells Legislature to ‘let police do their jobs’ after his camper was stolen

A listener in Tacoma had his camper stolen from his yard, but was told by police that he would need to contact the Legislature to sort it out.
1 day ago
Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court...
MyNorthwest Staff

Former Washington AG: Supreme Court is losing one of its last moderate justices

Former Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna reflects on the legacy of departing Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
1 day ago
bus fare, community transit...
Dave Ross

Ross: Is enforcing the bus fare unconstitutional?

The state Supreme Court is taking up a case of a bus passenger who didn’t pay his fare. But what got him arrested was that he had outstanding warrants.
1 day ago
omicron sub-variant...
MyNorthwest Staff

UW Virologist: ‘Every chance’ omicron sub-variant precipitates ‘endemic state’ of COVID

The UW virology department's Dr. Keith Jerome is optimistic that the emergence of a sub-variant of omicron indicates a trend out of the pandemic.
1 day ago
commentator...
Dave Ross

Ross: Everybody thinks they have to be a commentator 24/7

Everybody now thinks they have to be a commentator 24/7. And as a professional commentator, I’m here to say, “No, you don’t!”
2 days ago
Google...
Dave Ross

Ross: How to baffle Google

Our state attorney general is suing Google for secretly tracking us. It turns out that after you think you’ve turned off tracking, it can still follow you.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
UW Virology head: ‘I hope we give science benefit of doubt’ in next pandemic