Dr Scott Gottlieb: Pandemic in US could be over by January

The Hill

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Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Friday that he thinks the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States could be over by January, transitioning to a lower-level “endemic” presence.

“I think the bottom line though is that these mandates that are going to be put in place by Jan. 4 really are coming on the tail end of this pandemic,” Gottlieb said on CNBC, referring to President Biden’s deadline for a vaccine or test mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees. “By Jan. 4 this pandemic may well be over at least as it relates to the United States after we get through this delta wave of infection. And we’ll be in more of an endemic phase of this virus.”

The coronavirus is not expected to disappear entirely, but it could settle into a lower-level, constant presence that does not cause the disruption and harm of the past year and a half.

In addition to vaccines, Gottlieb, who is on the board of Pfizer, also pointed to results from new treatments, including a pill from Pfizer that the company said Friday was found to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 by 89 percent.

“Once we get through this delta wave of infection over the course of the next two months, I think that this therapeutic and the other innovations that we’ve seen coming to market really mark the end of the pandemic in the United States,” Gottlieb said. “We need to think about how we put that victory sign on the side of the White House.”

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