The US will see a significant reduction in new coronavirus infections in the coming weeks, said Dr. Scott Gottlieb advance on CNBC on Monday.
“I think we’ll see how the pandemic spreads in the US in terms of the cases,” Gottlieb said in an interview about “Squawk Box”.
However, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration warned that “we will still have outbreaks in some parts of the country even if the number of new infections falls”.
“We’ll never practically eliminate this virus,” said Gottlieb, who headed the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019, reiterating his concern expressed on Friday when he warned the vaccine’s hesitation was in the USA makes it unlikely that virus nation will eradicate Covid as it is done with other diseases like polio and smallpox.
“But I think you will find the cases drop pretty dramatically in May,” said Gottlieb, who serves on Pfizer’s board of directors and has approved one of the three emergency Covid vaccines in the US Moderna provides the other two- Shot vaccine. Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine has been suspended by the FDA due to rare but serious blood clotting problems.
As of Monday, the 7-day average of daily new coronavirus cases in the US was 67,400, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. This number is down slightly from the previous week, although it represents an increase from the end of March and is at the same level as last summer’s increase.
In the United States, deaths from the disease have decreased significantly. According to CNBC’s analysis of Hopkins data, the 7-day average of daily new Covid deaths on Monday was 723, a 25% decrease from a week.
Gottlieb said he expected the pandemic landscape to continue improving for two reasons. The first is the warming of the weather, which allows for more outdoor activities, where the risk of coronavirus transmission is lower. The second is the additional advancement in the introduction of Covid vaccines, he said.
Every U.S. adult was officially approved for the coronavirus vaccine on Monday. Just over half of adults in the United States have already received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the boards of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion Inc., and biotech company Illumina. He is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean’s Healthy Sail Panel. The Associated Press contributed to this report.