Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Tuesday that he believes the United States will avoid a “national wave” of infections related to the more contagious Omicron BA.2 subverter this spring.
However, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner told the Squawk Box that he felt cases were being reported “dramatically” in some parts of the country. Now in terms of reliance on tests at home, he estimates that in the Northeast, one in seven or one in eight infections is actually appearing in official case counts.
“I think we’ve come a long way in realizing this,” Gottlieb said, referring to Germany and the United Kingdom, where cases have begun to decline sharply from their recent, BA.2-related peaks.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, BA.2 is the dominant version of Covid in the United States. Some hope that within two weeks, it will be able to replace the previous version of Omicron, which increased the number of cases and hospital admissions by the end of last year and by 2022.
Both covid infections and hospital admissions are more than 90% behind their January highs during omicon waves.
From BA.2, “this is probably not going to be a national wave of infection,” predicted Gottlieb, who led the FDA from 2017 to 2019 in the Trump administration and is now serving on the board of Pfizer, the maker of covid. “It’s probably going to be northeast-centric, maybe Florida. I think when it starts to spread nationally, we’re already going deep into the summer and it’ll provide a seasonal backstop.”
Gottlieb says the picture could change after the fall for a number of reasons. “We have to fight it in the fall,” he said. “If [BA.2] It is still an influential variant in parts of the country that it has not really found yet, it will start to spread in the autumn as people’s immunity will start to decline, they will come out more from their previous infections from their vaccines and omikron. “
Disclosure: Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and he is a board member of Pfizer, Genetic Testing Start-up Tempas, Health Care Tech Company Aetion and Biotech Company. The Illuminati. He is also serving as its co-chair Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings‘And Royal CaribbeanIts “healthy sail panel.”