This Is When COVID Will Peak in the South, Former FDA Chief Warns
The doctor has issued a dire warning for southern states seeing spikes in COVID cases.
Many southern states are currently enduring a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases. Florida, for example, saw 15,300 new cases on Sunday, outdoing New York's April record to become the state to have the highest single day of new cases since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, Texas also hit its peak of new cases in a single day recently, with 10,909 reported positive cases on July 9. Residents of these suffering states and many others are looking to know if there's an end in sight and now, they have some insight. During a Sunday appearance on CBS's Face the Nation, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said: "Things are going to get worse before they get better." He cited "private modeling" that indicates the outbreak in the South is "possibly going to peak in the next two or three weeks."
Gottlieb noted data from Google Mobility and OpenTable reservations that show a "decline in these Southern states where these dense epidemics are happening, which is an indication that consumers are pulling back."
He added that the current outbreak in the South is different than what happened in New York. "New York really followed the pattern of Italy, where it was a sharp up, a huge epidemic, but it came down rapidly," Gottlieb explained. "In the South, you're likely to see an extended plateau."
While New York's trajectory mirrored Italy's, Gottlieb believes "the southern experience is more likely to mirror Brazil, where you're likely to see more of an extended plateau once we reach that apex. And you could reach the apex in the next two or three weeks."
Gottlieb pointed out the lack of national approach in dealing with this deadly pandemic stateside, which is why certain states are seeing such different results. "What we have is state approaches that are creating regional effects," he noted. Those who live in the South "felt they were out of the woods after that first wave passed, but this has really been a regional experience in the United States. And what happened was they reopened against the backdrop of what was a lot of spread." And for more on where COVID is spreading, check out These 10 States' Coronavirus Outbreaks Are Now "Critical," Experts Say.