Ex-FDA Commissioner Gottlieb On COVID-19: 'Things Will Be Normal In The Spring And Summer'

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Jayson Derrick
·2 min read
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The United States has so far rolled out more than 63 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with an average of 1.3 million doses administered per dayy.

Continued momentum in the vaccination effort implies the U.S. could return to a form of normalcy within a few months, according to former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

Timeline: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said over the weekend that mask-wearing and other preventive measures will be in place into next, year and normalcy won't return until December.

Speaking on CNBC's "Squawk Box" segment Monday morning, Gottlieb said he disagrees with Fauci's timeline.

"I think things will be normal in the spring and summer of this year," he said.

As the weather turns colder in the back half of 2021, familiar measures may be reintroduced — although not to the same extent as 2020, Gottlieb said.

"This isn't going to be a linear progression over the course of the year where it gets progressively better and by Christmas time it's all good," he said.

Related Link: Novavax Achieves Target Enrollment In Pivotal Phase 3 Coronavirus Vaccine Study In US, Mexico

Are Cases Undercalculated Sixfold? Johns Hopkins School of Medicine surgeon and professor Dr. Marty Makary wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the total number of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. could be underreported by a factor of as much as 6.5 times.

The math behind this assumption implies that 182 million Americans were infected with the virus.

Makary's "sentiment is right," Gottlieb said, adding that he thinks the total infection rate is underreported by four to five times. Regardless of the exact numbers, it is likely that at least 40% of the U.S. population now has "some form of protected immunity," he said.

While this may not satisfy the requirements for herd immunity, it should be significant enough to prevent alarming new infection rates, he said.

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