Dr. Gottlieb: COVID ‘strains’ will not produce new ‘COVID surge’
UPDATED 8:35 AM PT – Tuesday, March 9, 2021
An American physician said the U.S. is on track to overcome coronavirus and finally reopen. In an interview over the weekend, former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb asserted a resurgence of COVID-19 is unlikely despite reports of so-called “new strains.”
“There’s probably some crossover between the immunity you get from B.1.1.7 and immunity against those other strains,” he explained. “I don’t think we’re going to see another surge of infection this spring, but we might see a plateauing before we see continued declines again.”
Dr. Gottlieb added, the decline in new COVID infections may slow down in coming weeks, but then it will dramatically reduce by early summer due to ongoing vaccinations. He said COVID strains are mere variations of the same virus, which the human immune system is able to handle.
“We have more population-wide immunity from this virus from prior infection as well, so people are going to want to start to do things…and we need to take that into consideration in terms of how we’re putting out guidance,” stated the physician. “Just looking at nursing homes alone, if you look at overall deaths they are declining, but of the deaths that are occurring 13 percent right now are occurring in nursing homes.”
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) March 12, 2020
Dr. Gottlieb stressed overall vulnerability to COVID is declining amid mass vaccinations, along with herd immunity built up from prior infections. He also endorsed mass vaccination across all age groups by the end on this year, although debates continue if that would be necessary.
The doctor expects that once people are vaccinated, they will want to leave their houses again and called on public health officials to take this into consideration while writing guidelines. He warned, “we can’t be so far behind aspirations of the public that the message itself gets ignored.”