Washington — Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, mentioned Sunday he thinks the U.S. is additional into the COVID-19 epidemic pushed by the Delta variant than Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fashions are selecting up. He mentioned that might imply “hopefully we’re going to turn a corner” within the subsequent two to a few weeks.

“We’re not doing a lot of testing. More of the testing that we are doing is antigen tests that are being done at home and not getting reported,” Gottlieb mentioned. “So, I think we’re much further into this epidemic than we’re picking up and hopefully further through this epidemic.”

According to the CDC’s newest mannequin, the company predicts that over the following three weeks, there could also be between 90,000 and 800,000 new instances — an enormous vary. Showing a good bigger disparity, the CDC estimates that for the week ending August 14, there might be from an common of 10,000 infections a day to greater than 100,000. Gottlieb believes this vary is a sign that the company would not have sense of the place the outbreak is headed.

“I believe that there is more virus than we’re picking up right now,” Gottlieb mentioned. “There’s probably a lot of people with mild to subclinical infection since more of the infection is happening in a younger population that’s less likely to become very symptomatic.”

Gottlieb mentioned that it seems the U.S. is about three or 4 weeks behind the United Kingdom, and utilizing that nation as a mannequin, the U.S. might be turning a nook quickly.

“If you look at the U.K., they do in the last seven days appear to be turning a corner. You’re starting to see a downward trajectory on the cases. Now, it’s unclear whether that’s going to be sustained,” Gottlieb added.

Gottlieb mentioned the CDC is simply monitoring breakthrough infections when persons are hospitalized, however medical professionals “need to understand whether or not vaccinated people are developing subclinical and mild infections and whether or not they can spread the virus, because that’s going to inform the kinds of decisions that they make.”

“It’s a question I get a lot from vaccinating individuals is whether or not they can spread the infection,” Gottlieb mentioned. “Again, we know that they were far less likely to spread the infection with the other variants. We don’t know a lot about this Delta. This is a question that can be answered, and CDC should be looking at this.”

Despite that the Delta variant is extra transmissible than earlier variants, Gottlieb mentioned the “characteristics of the virus haven’t changed as far as we know.”

“So it’s not more airborne,” Gottlieb mentioned. “It’s not more likely to be permeable through a mask. So a mask can still be helpful. I think, though, if you’re going to consider wearing a mask, the quality of the masks does matter. So if you can get your hands on a KN95 mask or an N95 mask, that’s going to afford you a lot more protection.”


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