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- Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the U.S. could hit the grim milestone in the coming weeks, or possibly this week.
- “We might do it this week, if all the states report on time,” Gottlieb said.
- Gottlieb said he doesn’t expect to see a slowdown in the outbreak until Americans change their behavior by going out less and wearing face masks regularly.
The U.S. could begin seeing 100,000 coronavirus cases per day sometime in the next couple of weeks or sooner, the former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday.
“We’ll cross 100,000 infections at some point in the next couple of weeks, probably,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said during an interview with CNBC.
“We might do it this week, if all the states report on time,” Gottlieb said.
The U.S. is currently reporting a record high seven-day average of more than 74,000 new coronavirus cases per day with nearly 800 deaths, according to The COVID Tracking Project. More than 85,000 cases were reported across the country Friday, breaking the previous record set in July for the highest number of confirmed infections in a single day.
Public health officials have confirmed the surge is not just a consequence of expanded testing but a true worsening of the outbreak in many states.
Gottlieb said he doesn’t expect to see a slowdown in the outbreak until Americans change their behavior by going out less and wearing face masks regularly, noting that people need to be vigilant about adhering to public health measures over the holiday season.
“I think after Thanksgiving, that’s going to be a turning point when the infection levels get high enough in many parts of the country that we start to see a policy reaction and also consumer behavior start to change. The month of December is really spent probably hunkering down a bit more, and hopefully we turn the corner as we get into the new year,” he said.
More than 40 states are reporting increases in cases with several Midwestern states experiencing steep inclines in hospitalizations. On Wednesday, hospitalizations hit new highs in 13 states.
The U.S. continues to be the worst-affected country when it comes to COVID-19, confirming nearly 8.9 million cases and more than 227,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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