Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the US is “right back where we were” when the first peak in coronavirus infections occurred earlier this year and noted concerning distinctions about the new surge.
“We’re right back where we were at the peak of the epidemic during the New York outbreak,” Gottlieb said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “The difference now is that we really had one epicentre of spread when New York was going through its hardship. Now we really have four major epicentres of spread: Los Angeles, cities in Texas, cities in Florida and Arizona. And Florida looks to be in the worst shape, and Georgia is heating up as well, and that’s concerning.”
His remarks come as many states reported record spikes in cases and hospitalisations, and some reversed reopening plans. On Saturday, Florida recorded 11,458 new cases, surpassing the New York epicentre’s previous one-day high of 11,434, recorded in mid-April. Over the past week, 21 states set new all-time case records, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Texas, South Carolina, Arizona, Nevada and California have reported record numbers of current coronavirus-related hospitalisations, the Washington Post reported. Despite the troubling spikes, Donald Trump has downplayed the situation, saying the virus will “just disappear” and blaming the increases on improved testing. He has also fixated on the falling mortality rate, claiming falsely at a Fourth of July event that 99% of coronavirus cases in the US “are totally harmless.”
GRIM WARNING: “The total number of deaths is going to start going up again,” @ScottGottliebMD tells @margbrennan as #COVID19 epidemics in places such as Florida and Arizona worsen and more Americans are hospitalized pic.twitter.com/lAR6CDu2Zx— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 5, 2020
“The number of deaths has gone down because the number of infections went down for a period of time and more of the new infections...