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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

Updated Feb 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: 1 in 3 Americans know someone who died from COVID-19 — Axios-Ipsos poll: Biden's window of opportunity on COVID — Nursing home COVID cases have drastically declinedU.S. death toll tops 500,000.
  2. Vaccine: Pfizer and Moderna expect to double vaccine shipments by spring — Fast-spreading misinformation on COVID vaccine and infertility worries health experts — Modified vaccines for variants would not require large clinical trials, FDA says.
  3. Economics: Small businesses say even second round of PPP loans not enoughU.S. growth expectations are going through the roof.
  4. Local: Denver breaks from Colorado's vaccine plan Twin Cities and some Midwest metros fare better economically than rest of U.S. — Federal vaccine distribution arriving in Tampa.
  5. World: Boris Johnson unveils roadmap to fully reopen England's economy by June.
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.