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Gottlieb says cases will be declining and vaccinations are a monumental achievement

Signs and age groups for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are shown at a vaccination center, as California reveals eligibility for the vaccine for all residents aged 16 and over during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Chula Vista, California, USA , April 15, 2021.

Mike Blake Reuters

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlabe said Sunday that a sharp decline in new Covid-1

9 cases in the United States is likely to continue, predicting a “relatively quiet summer when it comes to the spread of coronavirus.”

“Look, the situation in the United States continues to improve, and I think we’re going to see an acceleration in cases in the coming weeks,” Gottlieb told CBS News.

The doctor credited a mass vaccination campaign under President Donald Trump that continued with President Joe Biden because of the country’s ability to stem the spread of the disease.

“It was a monumental achievement – the release of this vaccine, the vaccination of so many Americans – and it will continue,” Gottlieb said. “We will continue to repel him. The speed of vaccination will slow down in the coming weeks. But we will continue to collect more people as we enter in the summer.”

To date, more than 100 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or nearly a third of the population. About 146 million people, or 44% of the population, received at least one dose.

The rate of vaccine administration has dropped somewhat in recent weeks, after rising for months, now most people who are most eager to get a shot have received one.

As more Americans receive vaccines, the incidence of Covid-19 has dropped dramatically. As of Saturday, the 7-day average of daily new cases has dropped below 50,000, up 17% from the week before. Hospitalizations and deaths from the disease are also falling.

To understand what could happen around the corner in the United States, Gottlieb said it would be helpful to look at highly vaccinated San Francisco.

“About 71% of people in San Francisco have had at least one dose of the vaccine, 47% have been fully vaccinated. They record about 20 cases a day. They have about 20 people who are hospitalized,” Gottlieb said.

“They have drastically reduced Covid in this city and this is largely the result of vaccination,” he added.

Using financial terms, Gottlieb suggested that the gains from vaccination were “locked in” and “quite sustainable.”

“We are entering the warmer months, when this will create a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, and so we are locking up these gains,” Gottlieb said.

Although the health situation is at the peak of normalcy in the United States, it is deteriorating in other countries with fewer resources. In India, new daily cases surpassed 400,000 on Saturday, a record.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and a member of the board of Pfizer, which is launching the Tempus genetic test, health technology company Aetion Inc. and biotechnology company Illumina. He is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Healthy Sail Panel.

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