The U.S. will likely see another uptick in COVID infections in the coming weeks, says the former FDA commissioner, Dr Scott Gottlieb.
Highlights from Dr Gottlieb’s interview on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’
His remarks come as the U.S. listed Chinese stocks took a dive on Monday after a new wave of COVID infections driven by the “stealth omicron” variant pushed several cities in China into a lockdown. On CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, Dr Gottlieb said:
China has a population that’s very vulnerable to this new variant. It’s much more contagious and will be harder to control. They don’t have a population that has natural immunity and haven’t deployed vaccines that’re effective against this variant. So, they’re very vulnerable to spread.
The B.A.2 omicron infections have already been reported in Europe as well.
What does the new omicron variant mean for the United States?
According to the former FDA commissioner, it could take three to four weeks before new COVID infections start to rise in the United States as well. A dramatic increase, however, is unlikely, he added:
“I do believe we’ll probably see a bump up in infections as we lift the mitigation, as B.A.2 starts to spread and become more prevalent, and as you get some waning immunity from the boosters. But I don’t think it’ll be another major surge.”
Natural immunity, high rate of vaccination, and warming weather heading into spring were among his reasons why he sees a significant surge in the U.S. as unlikely.
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