Gottlieb rejected President Donald Trump, who served in his administration, who repeatedly claimed that the US had brought the coronavirus “around the corner” as infections soared to record levels in recent weeks.
Outbreaks are increasing in every state, and some states are reporting record hospitals while the US reported More than 99,000 new cases on Friday – a new high – even as Trump continues to downplay the virus and hold massive campaign rallies in Midwestern states experiencing the worst of the recent wave.
Gottlieb said the country was “at the beginning of exponential growth” in areas like the Midwest and the Great Lakes region, a trend he described as “very worrying.”
“The positivity rate is over 10 percent in 15 states,” he noted. “And all states are over 1 [percent]which means they are a growing epidemic right now. This is very worrying when we start winter. “
A coronavirus test positivity rate is generally considered too high if it exceeds 5 percent.
The former FDA chief also warned that the facts on the ground will soon be too bad to be ignored as the president continues to give optimistic assessments of his response to the virus and the country stands on the pandemic.
When asked about a blunt interview Trump’s best infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, told the Washington Post this weekend, “I think the facts are going to overtake any political dialogue very quickly.” Fauci accused Trump of unwillingness to hear public health reviews that contradicted his desire to get past the virus.
“I think when we get into the next two or three weeks it will be unmistakable what is happening across the country and we will have to start taking tough steps,” argued Gottlieb, although he added that he wasn’t The type of shelter-in-place approach that many states adopted this spring.
He noted that he did not believe that there was political support for such drastic measures “even at the state level” and instead suggested a more targeted approach.
Gottlieb urged Trump to focus on bringing resources to states that need them, which also includes another stimulus package through Congress. Talks on such a package between the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have stalled after months of back and forth, despite Trump’s promises that an agreement can be reached after the election, regardless of whether he is wins or loses.
Gottlieb also urged the president to use his position to get Americans to adhere to damage control measures like wearing face masks – a practice that has mocked Trump – arguing that the president will win or not in Tuesday’s elections will lose toughest moments of the pandemic.
“That will largely affect itself in the next two months,” said Gottlieb. “If a president is resurrected in January, we will likely go through the most acute stages and go through the epidemic curve.” So it will really be under the leadership of the President. What he does in the next two months will be very important. “