The U.S. has not but had a “true second wave” of the coronavirus and the nation might see a resurgence of the virus within the fall and winter, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb informed CNBC on Friday.
“I think most peoples’ perception is we had one epidemic in New York, in the New York region, we came down the epidemic curve, we had another epidemic in the Sun Belt, so that really looks like and feels like a second wave,” Gottlieb stated on “Squawk Box.” “I do think that we’re going to have a third act of this virus in the fall and the winter and it’s likely to be more pervasive spread in a broader part of the country.”
He added that the virus is likely to unfold to rural elements of the nation, some of which have been “largely unaffected to date.” Cases are already starting to construct within the West and Midwest, Gottlieb stated, including that “every community is vulnerable.”
He stated the coronavirus doesn’t unfold just like the flu, which one individual may go on to 2 or three others, he stated, however that the coronavirus spreads largely at “super-spreading events” equivalent to giant gatherings, particularly indoor occasions.
“Really, an outbreak can happen anywhere,” he stated.
While day by day new circumstances have fallen steadily for a couple of month within the U.S., the quantity of new circumstances reported on daily basis stays above 40,000 and greater than 1,000 folks within the U.S., on common, are nonetheless dying on a regular basis as a consequence of Covid-19. Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield stated Thursday he’d wish to carry the quantity of day by day new circumstances down under 10,000 and see day by day new deaths fall to below 250.
He added that he expects each new circumstances and deaths to proceed to fall as folks and officers implement public well being tips equivalent to masks sporting, hand washing, social distancing and the closing of bars.
“You and I are going to see the cases continue to drop. And then hopefully this week and next week, you’re going to start seeing the death rate really start to drop again.” Redfield stated Thursday in an interview with Dr. Howard Bauchner of the Journal of the American Medical Association. “I think we’re going to start to see a decline in mortality across the country now next week as we continue to get control of these cases.”
Redfield and others, together with Gottlieb, have repeatedly warned that the nation might be in for a very tough fall and winter. Coronavirus circumstances might start to rise once more, particularly as chilly climate forces folks indoors, the place the virus spreads extra simply. And hospitals will have to grapple with the double burden of each treating Covid-19 sufferers in addition to the anticipated seasonal influenza sufferers.
Redfield urged Americans but once more on Thursday to get this yr’s flu vaccine as quickly as it’s obtainable to mitigate the danger of an amazing flu season. Health officers are taking new steps to extend entry to the vaccine. Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Services introduced that they have licensed pharmacists in all 50 states to supply childhood vaccinations, together with flu pictures.
In Massachusetts, well being officers stated Wednesday that the majority college students over the age of 6 months should get a flu vaccine this yr with the intention to enroll in courses in January. That makes Massachusetts the primary state to require the flu vaccination for all Okay-12 and faculty college students. The state expects college students to obtain the vaccination by Dec. 31, except the coed supplies a medical or non secular exemption.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic-testing start-up Tempus and biotech firm Illumina. He additionally serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Sail Panel.”