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Virus Expert Just Issued This Essential Warning

The pandemic is not over yet.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Scott Gottlieb

Just when you through we'd be celebrating our "independence" from COVID-19, a new, more "transmissible" variant, coupled with a sizable number of Americans who refuse to get vaccinated, means the pandemic will be extended well into the future, costing lives, or causing serious, life-ruining side effects. Will that happen to you? Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner, appeared on Face the Nation yesterday with a warning to all Americans—read on for five life-saving pieces of advice. And to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.


Virus Expert Warned COVID Will Last Well Into Winter

Female and male doctors wearing masks and uniforms are visiting to check the symptoms of middle-aged female patients lying in bed.

The former FDA commissioner talked on the 4th of July, the day President Biden was throwing a party with 1,000 people, partly to celebrate our  "independence from the virus." "Well, look, I wouldn't be declaring mission accomplished," warned Gottlieb. "I think this is going to be a long fight, but I think we have had a near term victory against the virus in terms of getting immunity into the population through vaccination. And virus levels are much lower than they were certainly last summer and they are likely to remain low. I think you're seeing a decoupling between cases and hospitalizations and deaths because there's so much immunity in the population, not just through vaccination, but also through prior infection, people who have acquired immunity from prior infection. But this is likely to become an endemic virus. We're going to have to deal with it. It's likely to be on par with the second circulating flu this winter. At best, it's going to be on par with the second circulating flu. It could be a little bit worse."


Virus Expert Warned We Still Have "A Lot of Vulnerable Americans"

Person refuses nurse injection or vaccination.

"I think given how transmissible this variant is…85% of the population is going to end up with some level of immunity to coronavirus," said Gottlieb. "We now have a choice in terms of how we acquire that immunity. You can acquire it through vaccination, or you're going to end up acquiring it through natural infection. I think people who choose to acquire it through natural infection may end up acquiring it more than once….We now have about 55% of the population with at least one dose of a vaccine in them. So it leaves a lot of people who are going to be vulnerable to this infection. We've probably infected about a third of the population. So some compliment of people who've chosen to remain unvaccinated have been previously infected with the virus, but there's still a lot of vulnerable Americans."


Virus Expert Warned We Cannot Be "Complacent"

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"I think we're going to need to think differently about respiratory pathogens generally in the wintertime and be more vigilant about the spread of diseases like flu and like coronavirus," said Gottlieb. "Flu is fearsome enough. We were far too complacent about it. And given the fact that we're now going to have the equivalent of a second circulating flu, I don't think we could be complacent about the risk of respiratory pathogens in the workplace, in schools anymore. So people are going to need to be more vigilant. We're going to have to do some things differently. That doesn't mean our lives change, but this is going to be a new normal."


Virus Expert Said Here's What the "New Normal" Might Look Like

Young people with face masks back at work in office after lockdown.

"I think the use of masks is going to become more normalized," said Gottlieb. "I think people are going to use them on a voluntary basis and certainly people are at higher risk from COVID, bad COVID outcomes or from influenza. But I think going to work with the sniffles is going to be frowned upon. I think businesses are going to have access to routine testing. I think there might be symptom checks within certain settings. If you have a congregate setting where a lot of people are getting together, they might check symptoms. Feverguns might become more routine, even though they're not that helpful. I think you're going to see a veneer of safety superimposed upon normal life." 

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Dr. Gottlieb Said Going to Work Sick Will Be "Frowned Upon"

woman with handkerchief has sneezing attack, blowing nose while working with colleagues on meeting, caught cold, flu symptom

"That doesn't mean that there's going to be mask mandates reimposed. I'm not sure that's necessarily what we should be doing right now, given the substantially reduced overall death and disease we're seeing from coronavirus, which is likely to continue as long as this virus doesn't mutate in an untoward way. But I do think we're going to need to be more vigilant about the spread of respiratory pathogens. I mean think back. It was always looked upon as being something that was somewhat brave if you toughed out a cold. That's going to be really frowned upon now. You don't want to be in a social setting where you don't feel well. You're going to be asked to stay home. So things are going to be different. I think we're going to deal differently with the risk of respiratory diseases in the wintertime." He added: "I think societally we're just going to have a different etiquette around the risk of respiratory pathogens. We can't afford the morbidity and mortality from flu and coronavirus being twin viruses that circulate at very high levels." So get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more