Former FDA commissioner says current COVID surge could be done by Thanksgiving

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Monday, September 27, 2021
Last major wave? Health expert weighs in on when current surge could be done
In this News in 60, a health expert who used to be the FDA commissioner explained what he thinks will happen with COVID-19 over the next couple months.

A former FDA commissioner has a promising prediction when it comes to COVID-19.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who is also a Pfizer board member, said that what the country is experiencing now with the delta variant may be the last major wave of infection.

Though he and another health official, Dr. Megan Ranney, associate dean at the Brown University School of Public Health, say that delta will surge across the country in the weeks and months to come, and hit different regions at different times, things start to look better once it plays out.

"This may be the last major wave of infection. I think by Thanksgiving you'll have seen this move its way through the country," Gottlieb told CNN. "The virus isn't going away, but prevalence levels will decline to a level that feels more manageable."

But what does manageable mean?

The U.S. has seen a 7-day average of up to 160,000 cases a day at the peak of the surge. Now, the CDC says that average is closer to 114,000 new cases a day.

Gottlieb expects that number to drop down to about 20,000 cases a day. But getting there depends on more people getting vaccinated.

"There's still pockets of vulnerability, and COVID is so contagious, it finds its way into those pockets of vulnerability," Gottlieb said.

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