Saturday, December 5, 2020

Gottlieb Warns US on Same Path as Europe With COVID

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The United States is on the same path as Europe with its latest surge in coronavirus cases, and matters are just going to get worse as winter approaches, Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Wednesday. 

“We’re about maybe three weeks behind Europe, maybe a month at the most,” the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner under President Donald Trump said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We’re on a trajectory to look a lot like Europe as we enter the month of November.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for tightened business restrictions as the daily coronavirus rates hit a record high. In France, which recently reported its highest 24-hour death toll since April, doctors want a nationwide lockdown, as half the country’s ICU capacity is occupied with COVID-19 patients. 

In the United States, the disease’s spread is more diffuse, said Gottlieb. 

“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 said. “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.”

The United States has reached a new average of daily infections, with 73,240 new instances being reported on Tuesday alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

Gottlieb said the country is just at the beginning of a steep part of the epidemic curve and he would not be surprised to see 100,000 new diagnosed cases this week, as “we’ll certainly get above 90,000 towards the end of the week if all the states report.” 

However, Gottlieb said he doesn’t expect extensive stay-at-home orders like were enforced earlier this year because the public isn’t willing to accept them, but more targeted efforts such as curfews are more likely. 

Chicago is suspending indoor dining at bars and restaurants starting Friday, reports CNBC.

“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 said.


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