Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday the current surge in Covid infections caused by the more contagious delta variant may be the “final wave” of the virus in the United States.
“I don’t think Covid is going to be epidemic all through the fall and the winter. I think that this is the final wave, the final act, assuming we don’t have a variant emerge that pierces the immunity offered by prior infection or vaccination,” the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said on “Squawk Box.” “This is probably going to be the wave of infection that ends up affecting the people who refuse to get vaccinated.”
Gottlieb said Americans have a couple months remaining where they need to take pandemic-related precautions, particularly in northern U.S. states as cases begin to peak in the South, until the wave of infections begins to decrease again.
“I think this is going to be a difficult period right now,” he said. However, Gottlieb said the contagious nature of the delta variant and increased vaccination rates could change the trajectory of future infections.
“We’re going to reach some level of populationwide exposure to this virus, either through vaccination or through prior infection that’s going to stop circulating at this level, at this rate,” said Gottlieb, who led the FDA from 2017 to 2019 under the Donald Trump administration.