Nov 1, 2020 - Health

Former FDA head: Thanksgiving will be a COVID "inflection point"

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who served under President Trump, said on "Face the Nation" Sunday that his "view is the inflection point will be Thanksgiving" on the coronavirus as the virus has surged through out the country.

Why it matters: President Trump insists that the country is turning the corner in response to the pandemic, yet the number of cases keeps rising nationwide.

Reality check: "As we get into the next two or three weeks, it's going to be unmistakable what is happening around the country," said Gottlieb.

  • "We're right at the beginning of what looks like exponential growth in a lot of states — the Midwest, the Great Lakes region, even in states like Texas, where you see 6,000 cases, Illinois, 8,000 cases, Florida 5,000 cases, Wisconsin 5,000 cases reported on Friday."
  • "There are about 23 states that are accelerating the spread right now. The positivity rate is above 10% in 15 states. And all of the states are above 1, which means they're an expanding epidemic right now."

What's next: While Gottlieb doesn't believe the country will lock down like Europe is currently doing, states will start taking local action. He forecasts that the inflection point will be Thanksgiving and December will be the slow month, but the hospital systems will be pressed again.

Go deeper