U.S. coronavirus trajectory looks ‘a lot like Europe’ as cases rise, Dr. Scott Gottlieb warns

Dr. Scott Gottlieb advised CNBC on Wednesday that the United States’ newest surge in coronavirus cases has the nation following the trail of Europe, the place intensifying outbreaks has nations such as Germany weighing partial lockdowns.

“We’re about maybe three weeks behind Europe. Maybe a month at the most, so we’re on a trajectory to look a lot like Europe as we enter the month of November, so I think things are going to get worse,” Gottlieb mentioned on “Squawk Box.”

The former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner mentioned the American uptick in cases and hospitalizations has not but taken on the identical tenor as in some European nations as a result of the unfold of the coronavirus is extra diffuse.

“The density of the epidemic underway in European countries like France, Italy and the U.K. right now far exceeds what’s underway in the United States,” he mentioned. “For the most part, it’s a little bad everywhere in the United States. It’s not really, really bad anywhere with the exception of maybe Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Utah.”

Wisconsin on Tuesday reported a file variety of deaths and new cases. And in Utah, faculty districts are shifting to online-only lessons as the state’s fee of an infection reaches an all-time excessive. In the U.S. total, the common variety of new each day infections has set one other file. On Tuesday, specifically, the nation reported 73,240 new cases, in response to information compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“We’re at the beginning of that steep part of the epidemic curve right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we challenge 100,000 diagnosed cases this week. We’ll certainly get above 90,000 towards the end of the week if all the states report,” mentioned Gottlieb, who led the FDA from May 2017 to April 2019 within the Trump administration.

In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing leaders of the nation’s 16 states to tighten enterprise restrictions as each day coronavirus cases hit a file excessive, probably together with the closure of bars and eating places. France just lately reported its highest 24-hour dying complete since April, and lots of medical doctors within the nation are calling for a nationwide lockdown as Covid-19 sufferers occupy over half of hospital ICU capability.

Gottlieb maintained his perception that the U.S. is unlikely to see widespread stay-at-home orders that mirror the public-health restrictions applied earlier this yr as the nation grappled with its first surge in Covid cases. That’s as a result of the general public’s willingness to simply accept such measures merely is not there, he mentioned.

However, extra focused restrictions such as curfews and eating restrictions in cities and areas the place Covid outbreaks have turn into particularly intense are doubtless and wanted, he mentioned. Indeed, in Chicago, indoor eating at bars and eating places can be suspended starting Friday.

“What we should be doing is trying to implement things now that are easy, or easier, to get ahead to not wait for this to truly become very dense. My concern is that we’re not doing that,” Gottlieb mentioned.

Gottlieb has beforehand warned that the despite the fact that the size of hospital keep and mortality charges are falling, the sheer variety of new coronavirus infections means the U.S. is more likely to see “staggering” dying totals within the months forward.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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