Showing: 1 - 2 of 2 RESULTS

Dr. Scott Gottlieb says U.S. coronavirus testing must still improve

Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday the U.S. still needs to expand and improve its coronavirus testing and contact tracing to bring its epidemic under control — even if it will never be able to employ an operation as rigorous as China.

“We don’t need to have their level of surveillance state to have better testing and tracing in place, and we could be doing a lot better at calling on collective action for people to wear masks on a more routine basis,” Gottlieb said on “Squawk Box.”

The former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner pointed to recent developments in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao. After 12 cases were reported, the city now plans to test all 9 million residents over the next five days, according to the BBC.

“So they’ll manage to snuff out that outbreak,” said Gottlieb, who served in the Trump administration from May 2017 to April 2019. “We could never do that here. First of all, we don’t have the capacity to do it, and if we did, we’d never get anywhere near the compliance.”

Gottlieb has previously lamented the lack of coronavirus testing in the U.S. as the nation’s outbreak began to grow, causing significant uncertainty about where the virus was actually spreading in March and April. That made widespread stay-at-home orders the only choice to slow the transmission, he has contended.

U.S. testing capacity has expanded for the highly accurate lab-based PCR tests, even though there have been challenges with delayed results. Additionally, new rapid tests for the virus are coming onto the market, adding a layer to the public-health response.

The U.S. has conducted an average of 907,000 tests per day over the last 30 days, according to a CNBC analysis of data from the Covid Tracking Project, an independent volunteer organization launched by journalists at The Atlantic. In April, with much of the nation under lockdown, the daily average of tests was about 177,400.

The increases in testing can explain some of the growth in new daily U.S. coronavirus cases, which averaged almost 51,000 in the last seven days, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

However, Gottlieb still stresses the need for continued improvement to the nation’s response, telling CNBC last week that “having a raging epidemic is not inevitable.” He added, “The entire Pacific Rim has less than 1,000 infections a day,” referring to countries such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and Australia. 

On Monday, Gottlieb acknowledged there are differences between what can be done in the U.S. compared with an authoritarian country such as China, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year. “They’re doing testing and tracing very aggressively, probably more aggressively than we can because we’re just not going to surrender certain liberties,” he said.

In China, for example, government cameras were installed at the doors of people under a 14-day quarantine in order to make sure they don’t leave home, CNBC reported in March. Gottlieb also noted that other Asian countries use

Gottlieb predicts “a lot of death and disease” before end of the year as COVID cases rise

Washington — With the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continuing to rise in states across the country, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, warned that there is going to be “a lot of death and disease” from now until the end of 2020.

“We’re in a difficult situation heading into the fall,” Gottlieb said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” “I think the only caveat is in terms of us being better prepared for this wave, is that we have dramatically improved clinical care in hospitals. So I think we’re going to have better outcomes overall, but we’re still going to have a lot of death and disease between now and the end of the year.”

There have been more than 7.7 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., and 15 states have a positivity rate above 10%. Forty states have an expanding epidemic, Gottlieb said, and hospitalizations are also rising.

In looking ahead to how the country will fare in the weeks ahead, Gottlieb predicted the U.S. is “going to face a difficult fall and winter.”

“What we thought might be just a bump after Labor Day clearly is a resurgence in a virus heading into the fall and the winter,” he said. “You’re seeing cases build across the entire country.”

The coronavirus swept through the halls of the White House this month, as President Trump, first lady Melania Trump and at least two dozen people in the president’s orbit have tested positive for COVID-19. Mr. Trump spent three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center receiving treatment for the coronavirus, which included a dose of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, which he has since heralded as a “cure” for the virus.

On Saturday, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said the president is “no longer considered a transmission risk to others,” but did not specify whether Mr. Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus.

Gottlieb, however, said the president will likely not test negative for “a period of time.”

“We know that people continue to shed virus for a long period of time, but that’s dead virus,” he said. “It’s a virus that doesn’t grow in a culture, can’t really pass on the infection. There are indications that the president’s no longer infectious.”

Gottlieb added it’s safe to assume Mr. Trump is no longer contagious, as he has been symptom-free for several days and has not had a fever for more than 24 hours.

“I think the question now is, has his health been restored?” he said. “And we know that a lot of patients have lingering effects from COVID.”

Source Article