Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that a decline in coronavirus deaths is likely to be temporary.
The concentration of new cases among younger patients, and therefore the decline in mortality, “is not likely to remain so,” Gottlieb said in CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “Total daily deaths are likely to start rising.”
In states that imposed restrictions in response to the increase in cases, Gottlieb said that “the action is much weaker than a domicile order.”
“I think these states have a few tough weeks ahead,” added Gottlieb, stating that Florida in particular “looks like they may be about to grow exponentially.”
“We think in the coming weeks we will know how widespread the spread is” in several states, he said.
Gottlieb said that the issue in many states may not necessarily have been premature reopening, but rather insufficient time between reopening phases.
“The speed of openness in some of these states … actually didn’t stop between the steps of reopening for a period of time long enough to see if it was having an unpleasant effect,” he said.
When asked about the steps taken by the European Union to limit the entry of travelers from the United States, Gottlieb added “I think the states that crushed their epidemic will begin to place stricter travel restrictions”, also indicating New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which established a quarantine period for travelers from states where outbreaks occurred.
“The simplest thing we can do is universal masking and I don’t know why we can’t … that alone could reverse the epidemic,” added the former FDA chief, pointing out that it was the best solution, particularly in the next months.
“After about 6 or 7 months we will go to a vaccine or a therapeutic treatment … But it will be an event of 2021,” he added.