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Gottlieb sees ‘transition year’ for COVID

Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
 

Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Sunday that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over and that this is only a “transition year,” predicting that the virus will settle into a more “seasonal pattern.”

During an interview on CBS News’s “Face The Nation,” Gottlieb told host Margaret Brennan that the pandemic has not yet reached the endemic phase.

“I think this year is really a transition year,” he said. “I think this is going to be the year when this becomes more of an endemic illness. There’s not going to be a defined point in time when that happens.”

He added that COVID-19 will likely settle into a “seasonal pattern,” adding that he expects prevalence levels to begin to fall in the summer but rise in the fall.

“The question is what re-emerges, is it a new strain of omicron?” he continued. “And that’s what’s going to drive decisions around the vaccine.”

Gottlieb also said the decision to lift mask mandates from public settings is a “difficult situation,” as it tells people to “take matters into their own hands in terms of protecting themselves.”

“We are no longer applying mandates on the entire population, but asking people to individually assess their own risk but not giving everyone the tools they need to do that,” he said.

He pointed out that young kids are “now are going to be made vulnerable in these public settings” as they “can’t get the vaccine that could provide them some baseline immunity.”

Gottlieb also said that he expects the FDA to hold an advisory committee meeting in June aimed at reviewing Moderna and Pfizer’s data on a pediatric vaccine.

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