Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday that he believes that by spring and summer, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States will continue to decline, allowing Americans to temporarily ease some pandemic preventive measures.
However, in an interview with “Squawk Box”, the former Director of the Food and Drug Administration did not completely agree with the opinion recently published in the “Wall Street Journal” entitled “We will gain immunity in April.”
Makary pointed out in the article that in the past six weeks, Covid cases in the United States have fallen by 77%. He believes that the main reason for the decline is that the level of natural immunity in the American population is “almost certain” higher than the recommendations of antibody research. When considering the speed of vaccination, Macari wrote: “I hope that Covid will basically disappear by April, so that Americans can return to their normal lives.”
Gottlieb said that he “disagreed” with some of the figures Macari used to support his argument, but added: “I think this view is correct.”
Makary writes that approximately 55% of people in the country have natural immunity to previous coronavirus infections. Gottlieb said that while admitting that John Hopkins confirmed 28.1 million cases in the United States is an underestimate, he believes that about 120 million people (about 36% of the U.S. population) were infected with the coronavirus during the entire pandemic. virus.
Taking into account the vaccination data, Gottlieb estimates that currently about 40% of US residents have previously infected or vaccinated antibodies-as the number of vaccinations increases, this percentage will increase. According to CDC data, 43.6 million Americans have received at least one or two doses of Covid vaccine from Moderna and Pfizer since the FDA’s emergency emergency use authorization was granted in December.
“When you reach some form of protective immunity reaching 40% or 50% of the population, you have no herd immunity, but your population has sufficient immunity, [virus] It’s just that the transfer is not easy,” Gottlieb said.
“I do think that as the weather gets warmer, we are vaccinating more people, and given that at least one-third of Americans suffer from this condition, I do think that infection levels will drop sharply. During spring and summer ,” Gottlieb said.
The Chief Medical Adviser to the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci, previously said that 75% to 85% of the population needs to develop immunity to create an “umbrella” of protection. CDC officials also recently stated that if a rapidly spreading virus variant (such as B117 first reported in the UK) becomes a major virus, it needs to cover more than 85% of the population to achieve so-called herd immunity.In the U.S
Gottlieb added that the presence of more infectious virus variants means that the infection rate in certain areas of the United States this summer is “higher than it should be.” “But I don’t think this will change the overall trajectory.”
Gottlieb said that if this trend is indeed established, and in the next few months is a “low epidemic environment”, he hopes that children can safely participate in summer camps. He said: “I think people will go out and do a lot this summer, and the demand for consumer spending has been suppressed a lot.”
“I think we will have to take certain precautions in the fall, but we will go back and do something. Then, when we enter the deep winter, it starts to spread again… I think it’s December and we may start to retreat. “Gottlieb said. “This does not mean that we are going to shut down and do what we want. [past] In December, this means that we may not have holiday gatherings, and the December board meeting may be Zoom instead of face-to-face meetings. “
Gottlieb emphasized that he believes that the recovery of the United States from the pandemic will not be a “linear process”. In this case, the risk of coronavirus will steadily decrease from month to month. He warned that winter may be more challenging because it is a respiratory pathogen. “Once in 2021, 2022 becomes winter again, we will need to take some precautions. I think if it will be the normal time in the next 12 months, it will most likely be this spring and summer.”
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer’s genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion and biotech company Illuminance.He also serves as Norwegian Cruise Line‘ with Royal Caribbean“Healthy windsurfing.”