Fmr FDA Head Warns of Covid ‘Accelerating Across the Country’ as Daily Case Total Reaches New High, Close to 100K


Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb warned on CNBC Friday night about coronavirus “accelerating across the country” as new figures show the U.S. has reached a new record high number of daily cases — roughly 97,000.

Gottlieb told Shepard Smith “we’re right at the beginning of the steep part of the epidemic curve, we’ve seen these episodes before,” and warned that we’re going to see an acceleration of cases in weeks.

He said December will likely be “the toughest month” and that “we’ll be forced to take tougher mitigation steps right around Thanksgiving.”

“Right now today we reported 97,000 cases. We probably will cross 100,000 maybe tomorrow, but certainly by next week,” Gottlieb said. “The reason why it doesn’t feel very bad in most parts of the country right now is because it’s moderately bad everywhere, as opposed to the epidemics before that were centered in New York and n the South, this one is more confluent across the entire country.”

“Well, if it’s moderately bad everywhere,” Smith asked, “and the trend is up, then are we anticipating really bad everywhere?”

“I think that’s the risk,” Gottlieb said.

Smith also asked about a realistic vaccine timeline. Gottlieb expressed hope that if results from current trials are released this month, “you could see an authorization for a vaccine for a high-risk population, largely an older population, happen at some point this year.”

“It’s really probably going to be February or March before that first tranche of patients that are eligible to receive a vaccine actually have protective immunity,” he added.

You can watch above, via CNBC.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac