Report: Former FDA Commissioner Expects Post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 Peak – Community News
Covid-19

Report: Former FDA Commissioner Expects Post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 Peak

STATEN ISLAND, NY — The former head of the US Food and Drug Administration said there is “no doubt” the country will see a spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) after Thanksgiving.

Speaking on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb that parts of the country that have not yet experienced a wave of the virulent Delta wave are particularly at risk.

“Now if you’re in the Southwest, you’re in the Great Lakes area, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, you’re in parts of New England or western Pennsylvania or northern New York, or certain mountain states like Colorado, things don’t look good,” Gottlieb said. “You haven’t been through the Delta wave yet and things are going to get worse before they get better.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the total number of new cases across the country has remained relatively stable over the past two weeks.

However, cases have risen in numerous states, including New York, as winter temperatures return and force people inside. Pennsylvania has recorded a 79% increase in cases in the past week, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University. This is the largest increase in the US.

According to CDC data, the number of COVID-19 deaths has declined steadily since a peak in late September, although the seven-day national daily death average is still around 1,000.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb speaks at Newseum about patient access to innovation

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 06: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb speaks about teen vaping during a discussion about overcoming obstacles, in the Newseum on March 6, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)Getty Images

“People are exhausted now, but we have to remain vigilant,” Gottlieb said. “I think we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of declining prevalence at the back of this Delta wave and also with the deployment of new technology that we have.”

Vaccines are now allowed for emergency use for children between the ages of 5 and 11, and the increased number of people eligible to be vaccinated should help mitigate the impact of future spikes, Gottlieb noted.

“I think COVID will be controlled at the back of this Delta wave through a combination of population-wide immunity — we’re going to have a lot of people with immunity, either from vaccination or infection,” Gottlieb said.

Experts and multiple studies note that while surviving a COVID-19 attack may provide some protection, it’s unclear how long or lasting that immunity can last. Moreover, antibodies alone are not a complete predictor of protection.

“We may have to re-vaccinate for this every year, but this will not be the ubiquitous risk that it now dominates our lives and the economy,” Gottlieb said. “But there are some parts of the country that still haven’t had their Delta wave, which unfortunately will hit you pretty hard, especially the unvaccinated or under-vaccinated parts of the country…”