A former head of the Food and Drug Administration warned that the nation has arrived at a “dangerous tipping point” in the COVID-19 pandemic with cases on the rise.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he expects the number of infections to climb exponentially as the country enters the winter months.
“We’re at a dangerous tipping point right now. We’re entering what’s going to be the steep slope of the curve, of the epidemic curve,” Gottlieb, who served under the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019, said Sunday on “Face the Nation.”
“We know what that looks like from the spring, we know what it looks like from this summer. These cases are going to continue to build. There’s really no backstop here.”
He added that the federal government could implement aggressive measures to stop the spread of the virus, but he doesn’t “see forceful policy intervention happening anytime soon.”
“We have a moment of opportunity right now to take some forceful steps to try to abate the spread that’s underway,” he said. “But if we don’t do that, if we miss this window, this is going to continue to accelerate and it’s going to be more difficult to get under control.”
Since the pandemic began, the US has recorded more than 8.6 million infections, including at least 225,000 deaths, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University. The US hit a record-high 83,757 new cases Friday.
But the death rate among patients has been declining as treatments and understanding of the virus have improved.
On Sunday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said the country is “not going to control the pandemic.”
“We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation efforts,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”