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The coronavirus may "spread more aggressively" in the winter, leading to a spike in cases in those months, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

What he's saying: "In the wintertime, you see respiratory pathogens spread more aggressively, in part because people are indoors more, they're in congregate settings," Gottlieb said.

  • "[T]here is some impact of the cold weather on your ability to protect your upper airway from respiratory pathogens."
  • Gottlieb said coronaviruses are typically not summer pathogens, but a seasonal one that "really manifests itself in the fall and winter."

Worth noting: Gottlieb said there's an "extremely low" likelihood a coronavirus vaccine is available for widespread use before the end of the year, following reports the CDC has requested governors "urgently" speed up permit applications so vaccine distribution sites are operational by early November.

  • If a vaccine is available this year, Gottlieb said, it would likely be a "very staged introduction of the vaccine" for select groups that are at high risk for contracting the virus or for people who would be expected to have the worst outcomes from the disease.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

Nov 23, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking records

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. has reached new record highs every day since Nov. 10.

Why it matters: Governors in states like North Dakota and Illinois have been warning about overburdened hospitals and limited beds for weeks.