Washington – Dr Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, warned on Sunday that the current wave of new coronavirus infections would likely be the “biggest wave” the nation is experiencing before a vaccine.
“We will have to withstand this wave of proliferation right now,” Gottlieb said on Sunday in “Face the Nation.” “And it’s probably going to be the biggest wave we’re enduring without the benefits of a vaccinated population.”
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“There really is no stopping the spread we are witnessing,” he said, adding that this was “the most difficult phase of this epidemic.”
Gottlieb said the current rise in coronavirus infections is happening as countries have imposed measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, including requiring masks in public and indoors, promoting social distancing and limiting the number of people in restaurants and bars.
“If we did not take these steps, if people did not wear masks in general and some countries did not adhere to certain mitigation tactics and did not test and track, then we would have a much worse distribution,” he said.
The latest jump in coronavirus cases comes when millions are preparing to go to the polls or vote on November 3, although election officials encourage voters to vote by mail or develop a plan to ensure they can vote safely.
Gottlieb said precautions are being taken at polling stations and warned that the “biggest risk” is where people are more comfortable and can refuse security.
“When you talk to the governors about where the spread is happening, it’s happening in a general environment where people feel more comfortable, a local Elks club, a big family gathering,” he said.
While coronavirus infections are on the rise, President Trump hasto the campaign, holding large rallies with thousands in attendance, many of whom were not wearing masks. Mr Trump himself was diagnosed with coronavirus this month and spent three days receiving COVID-19 treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Gottlieb said the actions of Trump’s campaign were “problematic” and questioned the White House’s strategy to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
“They have spoken out against universal disguise. They have spoken out against testing asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic people. They say testing should be reserved only for the vulnerable. They want businesses and schools to be open, like all of us, and against targeted mitigations such as closing restaurants, “Gottlieb told the White House. “There was criticism of New York when New York kept restaurants closed. So the question is, what’s the strategy? And I think the strategy is just to keep it from spreading until we get this vaccine.”
However, the coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to be available to the public by 2021.