Former FDA head: 'Life's never going to be perfectly normal until we get to a vaccine'

Former FDA head: 'Life's never going to be perfectly normal until we get to a vaccine'
© Stefani Reynolds

Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said a return to the status quo amid the coronavirus pandemic would likely be “a slow transition,” only returning to full normality once a vaccine was approved.

“I think it’s going to be a slow transition,” Gottlieb said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” saying “the epidemic is probably going to peak sometime in late April” and taper off by June but that it could possibly recur in the fall.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Life’s never going to be perfectly normal until we get to a vaccine,” Gottlieb added.

“Right now we’re engaging in broad, population-based mitigation techniques; that’s the right thing to do in cities like San Francisco and New York where we see hotspots,” Gottlieb said, but “unfortunately we’re not engaging in those tactics across the whole country.”

The former FDA head said the U.S. must “start thinking about how we transition away from that” and into case-based interventions that focus on the most at-risk cases.

In weeks ahead, Gottlieb said, “I think the scenes out of New York are going to be shocking,” saying the city would likely “start to see places like Javits Convention Center and other facilities used to house people.

“I think there’s other cities that are at extreme risk,” he added. “New Orleans is not taking appropriate measures… any city that has a mass transit system is probably at risk.”