Story at a glance

  • Gottlieb said he believes the country is further into the current epidemic than modeling shows.
  • He said the U.S. is about three or four weeks behind the United Kingdom in the latest rise of infections driven by the delta variant.
  • “If the U.K. is any guide, we are perhaps further into this epidemic and hopefully going to turn a corner in the next two or maybe three weeks,” he said.

The former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it’s possible the U.S. could turn the corner in the current spike of new infections in the next few weeks. 

In an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he believes the country is further into the epidemic driven by the highly contagious delta variant than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) models indicate. 

The CDC recently estimated there may be between 90,000 and 800,000 new cases over the next three weeks. Gottlieb said such a range in variation shows modelers are having a hard time forecasting where the outbreak is headed. 

“I believe that there is more virus than we’re picking up right now,” Gottlieb said. 


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“We’re not doing a lot of testing. More of the testing that we are doing is antigen tests that are being done at home and not getting reported. So I think we’re much further into this epidemic than we’re picking up and hopefully further through this epidemic,” he said.

Gottlieb said the U.S. is about three or four weeks behind the United Kingdom in the latest rise of infections driven by the delta variant. The U.K. reported a drop in new cases for the fifth consecutive day Sunday. 

“If the U.K. is any guide, we are perhaps further into this epidemic and hopefully going to turn a corner in the next two or maybe three weeks,” he said. 

The current seven-day average for new infections is 40,246, a nearly 47-percent increase from the week prior. Hospitalizations have increased more than 32 percent and deaths more than 9 percent from last week, according to the CDC.


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Published on Jul 26, 2021