Former FDA Chief Warns COVID is Getting Out of Control
With COVID-19 cases consistently breaking 100,000 daily, and hospitals in some cities overflowing, you'd think the coronavirus outbreak couldn't get any worse. But it can. And it will, according to former FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb, who spoke Sunday with Margaret Brennan on CBS's Face the Nation. "I mean, there's not a lot of novelty to this," he said of how to get the virus under control. "We know what works. We know what we need to do." But are enough people doing it? Are you? Read on for his dire warnings, so you can learn how to protect yourself, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The Former FDA Chief Warned That Hospitals are Overflowing in Some Cities
"We're seeing that in Wisconsin now. It's building field hospitals. Utah's building field hospitals. El Paso built their fourth mobile morgue. We now have- we're going to have a record number of hospitalizations this week. Now, 56,000 people are hospitalized. 11,000 are in the ICU. These are very big numbers nationally, and it's accelerating very quickly."
The Former FDA Chief Said we Need a More "Aggressive" Plan—Now
"My advice to them would be to get more aggressive," said Gottlieb about the Trump Administration's response to the pandemic in the next two months. "We're past the election. And I think they need to focus on what we can be doing nationally. We've been sort of arguing politically over what I think is a false dichotomy, a strawman, that it's really a choice between lockdowns and no lockdowns. And that's not the case. We- we don't need to shut down the country, close businesses, tell people they need to stay at home to get some measure of control over this virus. We're not going to get perfect control over this virus. It's a contagious virus. It's going to spread, but it doesn't need to spread at the levels and at the velocity that's going to start to press the health care system, which is what we're seeing."
The Former FDA Chief Says Things Will Reach Their "Apex" in January
"The reality is that by the time the president-elect takes office, we'll probably be at the sort of apex, if you will, of what we're going through right now. You know, this is going to play out over the next couple of months. And I think as the president takes office, we'll be coming down the other side of the epidemic curve, hopefully. And the only question is going to be how many people have died in the course of this and how many people have been infected. And we have to keep those numbers down as much as possible."
The Former FDA Chief Warned About Family Gatherings Over Thanksgiving
Getting tested before a T-Day celebration—are tests a foolproof way to prevent spread? "No, they're not," said Gottlieb. "I mean, the tests can help. I think- I- it's prudent to try to get tested if you're going to bring together a group of people. But if you have individuals who are vulnerable in that setting, I think you still need to be very careful if you're going to be exposing younger people in a broader group to older individuals who are vulnerable. If you do that, make sure they're wearing high quality masks, try to get a N95 mask and have them wear it the whole time. Try to keep people separated and distanced where you can. You know, you need to take a layered approach. Testing alone can't create a safe environment, a protective bubble–"
The Former FDA Chief Says We Need to Start Planning Now for A Bigger Surge
"But there's still a lot you can do, I think, as you come in trying to make sure you're going to have adequate supplies of drugs, potentially vaccines, if we have safe and effective vaccine available and the testing equipment, the supply chain, because this isn't going to be over in 2021. I think 2021 will be much better than this year. But you still want to make sure you have adequate supplies as you come down that epidemic curve and head into the fall in 2021 when we're going to face risks again. But there's still probably a lot you could do in the near term, especially with the supply chain. That's something that can be affected in the near term. Things like durable medical equipment, testing supplies, gloves, gowns, masks." As for yourself, wear your face mask, social distance, avoid crowds, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.