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Former FDA head: ‘The Sun Belt is going to be in for a tough week’

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Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Sunday that while mitigation efforts against the coronavirus are proving effective, some southwestern states would likely be hard-hit by the virus in the week ahead.

“Mitigation’s clearly working, we’re seeing cases slow in the northeast and the northern states,” Gottlieb said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” but “the Sun Belt is going to be in for a tough week, we’re going to see cases in the Sun Belt start to accelerate.”

“I think the New York City health system is going to be worked right to the brink but they’re not going to go over capacity… it’s a historic effort that’s underway in New York right now,” Gottlieb added, expressing confidence that New York would not run out of ventilators.

{mosads}Gottlieb said it remained a problem that institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have yet to publish literature about outcomes and treatment for the virus, leading doctors to make decisions based on personal experience and anecdotes.

“What we should have is literature published by the CDC that delineates what’s working and what’s not,” he said.

“I think things are going to be permanently changed coming out of this until we get to a vaccine where we can fully vanquish this,” Gottlieb added. “There are things that are not coming back.”

The former FDA head echoed National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci that technology will be key to mitigation as well, saying “the massive surveillance system that we need to detect infection quickly we’re hopefully going to have in place.”

“What we also need is a drug that can be used either as a preventative tool, a prophylaxis, or treatment for people who have a bad outcome,” Gottlieb said, noting that a handful of drugs currently in development showed promise and “we need to place significant bets on each of those drugs and try to pull them through more quickly.”

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