Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Sunday that some states in the U.S. reopened businesses too early, leading to surges in coronavirus cases across the country.
“I think that they felt they were out of the woods after that first wave passed, but this has really been a regional experience in the United State. What happened is they reopened against the backdrop what was a lot of spread, they hadn't really crushed the virus in those states,” Gottlieb said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
He said the states opened “too early” in his view.
“And people became complacent, especially younger people,” he added. “They were going out, not taking precautions.”
WATCH: @ScottGottliebMD tells @margbrennan some states reopened "too early in my view" as people became "complacent" about safe #COVID practices after the #firstwave— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 12, 2020
"Especially younger people, they were going out and not taking precautions," he explains. pic.twitter.com/9oWA7hOip8
Despite precautions to protect more-vulnerable populations and nursing homes, Gottlieb said the virus inevitability spread to those communities since younger people were getting infected. Younger people are said to be less likely to experience the most extreme symptoms of the virus, but can spread the infection even if they are asymptomatic.
Coronavirus is still rapidly spreading across the U.S., with the number of coronavirus cases on an average day increasing in the last two weeks in 43 states.
There have been more than 3.2 million reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 134,898 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.