Dr. Scott Gottlieb says Northeast has yet to see ‘true delta wave’

Dr. Scott Gottlieb predicted on Friday that the northeastern states, including New York and Connecticut, will see another surge in Covid cases related to the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“I think there is some sort of perception that we somehow traversed this delta wave here in the northeast because we saw delta falls go up and down in places like metropolitan New York [test] come positive, “said the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner in CNBC’s” Squawk Box “.

“I don’t think that was the real delta wave. I think that was a delta warning. I think our true delta wave will build up here in the northeast and northern parts of the country after Labor Day. “Added Gottlieb, who is now on the board of directors of the Covid vaccine manufacturer Pfizer.

The Covid Delta variant hit the American south earlier than other parts of the country, and now the surge in infections has clearly reached its peak there in the summer, said Gottlieb. But in the northeast, Gottlieb said he believes Labor Day weekend get-togethers and children returning to school will serve as “incubators for the diffusion”.

“Whether we are now seeing such a dense and severe wave of infections as in the south, I don’t think that will be the case because we have a lot more vaccinations; we had a lot of pre-infections, which we also have.” knowledge is protective, “said Gottlieb, who headed the FDA in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019.” But we will likely see construction in cases here in the Northeast. I don’t think we’re done with it. “

schools

Gottlieb said his advice to schools that have brought children back to face-to-face learning, or will soon do so, is to increase the frequency of their coronavirus tests in addition to other protective measures such as masks and improved ventilation.

“We have just seen a lot of studies that if you do routine tests in schools once a week – and preferably twice a week – you will catch an infection before there are heavy epidemics in that school environment,” said Gottlieb called.

“There are things schools can do, but schools are a risk factor for spread within schools and also become sources of transmission in the community,” added Gottlieb, pointing to the rise in school-related coronavirus cases Michigan in March and April as the state faced a major Covid outbreak.

At that time, the contagious alpha-covid variant, first discovered in Great Britain, was partly responsible for driving up infections in Michigan schools, said Gottlieb. “The same risk exists with this delta variant,” which, according to estimates by the World Health Organization, is about 55% more transmissible than alpha.

“So I think schools have to go into the year to implement attenuations that will hopefully control the spread,” said Gottlieb.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion Inc., and biotechnology company Illumina. He is also co-chair of the Healthy Sail Panel for Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

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