Story at a glance

  • Gottlieb said the U.S. may hit the other side of the delta outbreak sometime in November.
  • “We’re transitioning from this being a pandemic to being more of an endemic virus, at least here in the United States and probably other western markets,” he told the news outlet.
  • The top health expert’s prediction comes as the U.S. is again averaging more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases each day due to the highly contagious delta variant.

Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb predicted Friday that COVID-19 will likely transition to an endemic disease following the peak of the delta wave. 

An endemic is a disease outbreak in a particular region that is present in a community at all times but in relatively low frequency, such as the common cold. 

“We’re transitioning from this being a pandemic to being more of an endemic virus, at least here in the United States and probably other western markets. There’s still going to be a pandemic in a lot of parts of the world where you don’t have high vaccination rates,” Gottlieb told CNBC’sSquawk Box” on Friday morning. 

“It’s not a binary point in time, but I think after we get through this delta wave this is going to become more of an endemic illness where you just see sort of a persistent infection through the winter ... but not at the levels we’re experiencing right now,” Gottlieb told CNBC. 


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Gottlieb said the U.S. may hit the other side of the delta outbreak sometime in November, and he expects there won’t be a large spike in cases following the recent wave. 

He said the recent approval for booster shots by the FDA will likely help the U.S. transition to the endemic phase of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The top health expert’s prediction comes as the U.S. is again averaging more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases each day due to the highly contagious delta variant. 

The current seven-day average for new hospitalizations also increased nearly 30 percent from the week prior, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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Published on Aug 13, 2021