However, the former FDA chief advises Americans to take precautions in the meantime as delta, first found in India, serves as the dominant variant in the US.
“I think the bottom line is that we’re going to see continued growth, at least for the next three to four weeks. There will be a peak around late August, early September,” Gottlieb said. “Squawk Box.” “I happen to believe we’re getting deeper into this delta wave than we’re measuring, so this could end sooner than we think. But we really don’t know because we don’t know. didn’t do a lot of testing either.”
There could be another small increase in infection rates when schools reopen in the fall and become “transmissible” as they did with variant B.1.1.7, the first. discovered in the UK, and now known as alpha, Gottlieb, who led the Food and Drug Administration from 2017 to 2019 during Donald TrumpPresidential term.
Gottlieb also warned that wearing masks alone, especially cloth masks, may not be enough to prevent Covid infections from delta variant in the classroom. He advised schools to create pods and spaces for children in classrooms, avoid group meals and pause some large activities, as well as improve filtration levels and air quality.
“There may be other things you do that actually reduce the risk more than wearing a mask in the context of a more contagious variant where we know there’s going to be potential for transmission,” Gottlieb said. even when wearing a mask. “If we’re going to tell people to wear masks, I think we need to start educating people better about the quality of masks and the difference in mitigation and risk that you get with other masks. together.”
For businesses looking to get people back into the office, Gottlieb says October could be a more “cautious” time than September.
Gottlieb, who serves on the board of the vaccine maker Covid Pfizer, said the key question now is how likely are vaccinated people to transmit the virus if they become infected. He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should collect that data because there’s a chance the current delta variant could be a newer, more permanent form of Coronavirus go forward.
“When you’re dealing with a new variant where the virus level you get during infection is a thousand times as early as the original strain, you’re probably shedding more virus and you have could be more contagious,” he said.
Local officials across the country is advising and re-applying in-house mask duties as the highly transmissible delta variant causes Covid cases and deaths increase again in the United States, especially in largely unvaccinated communities.
Nearly 162 million people in the US are fully immunized – nearly 49% of the national population – even as daily vaccination rates have plummeted in recent months, follow a CDC tracker.
CDC has reduced A vivid guide to masks for fully vaccinated people on May 13.
However, since the plains have held firmer, health experts are warning people to once again use masks and follow public health measures. Chief Medical Adviser of the White House Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Wednesday that even people who are fully immunized may want to consider wearing a mask indoors as a safeguard against delta variations.
Last week, Gottlieb told CNBC that he believes the US is “overestimated” The number of Covid delta infections, especially among vaccinated people with mild symptoms, makes it difficult to understand whether the variant is causing higher-than-expected hospitalizations and deaths.
“The end game here will always be one last wave of infections,” Gottlieb told CNBC on Thursday. “We have predicted that this summer will be relatively quiet and we will have an increase in infections in the fall with B.1.1.7, and that will be the last of the pandemic phase of its kind. This virus and we will enter a more endemic phase where this virus becomes a fact of life and it circulates to a certain extent.”
But unlike early last year, he added, “We have treatments and vaccines to deal with it, we treat it better and it becomes a second flu.”
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and board member of Pfizer, gene testing startup Tempus, healthcare technology company Aetion, and biotech company Illumina. He is also co-chairman of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Sail Panel.”