“If we could just buy a few more weeks and don’t really see any decrease in infection anywhere in the country, we would have got to the point where we have enough vaccines in the population … that’s going to be a pretty significant setback – combined with the warming weather – against really a fourth wave of “infections,” said Gottlieb, noting that these are states Significant expansion of vaccine eligibility.
“I think we will achieve that,” added the former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who is now in office PfizerBoard of Directors. “It’s a little touch and goes for the next two weeks because we’re seeing some increases in some parts of the country, but it will likely be regionalized. It will likely only be certain states that see their cases increase.”
Approximately 28% of the US population have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, and 15.5% were fully vaccinated on Sunday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines require two shots for full immunity protection while Johnson & Johnsonis a single dose. These are the only three emergency approved in the US.
“When Israel hit about 25% of its vaccinated population, they started to see that [case] Declines attributed to vaccination. We’re right at this tipping point, “Gottlieb said in an interview on CNBCs “Squawk Box.”
The moving average of new infections in seven days is increasing by 30 states and Washington, DC, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Gottlieb pointed to Michigan and the Tristate area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as “we see problems” regions.
Overall, the latest weekly average of new Covid cases in the country is over 63,000, up 16% from the previous week, according to CNBC analysis. That remains well below the nation’s high in early January of around 250,000.
For the period of seven days through Friday, hospital admissions of Covid patients increased by 4% compared to the previous week, but had fallen by more than 71% since the beginning of January, according to the CDC.
The US recorded an average of 970 Covid deaths per day for the past week, a 3% decrease from the previous year, according to CNBC’s analysis.
Last week, White House chief medical officer Dr. Anthony Fauci, at a press conference that America is “on the corner” in the fight against Covid instead of going around the corner.
– – CNBCs Nate Rattner contributed to this report.
DR. Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and member of the boards of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion, and biotech company Illumina. He is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean’s Healthy Sail Panel.