Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is "jumping the gun" by gradually reopening the state's economy, claiming that the state is "certainly not out of the woods."

Why it matters: The criticism from Gottlieb, who has become a trusted voice in the coronavirus response outside of the government, echoes President Trump's own accusation that Georgia is violating White House guidelines on lifting coronavirus restrictions.

  • Trump said at a press conference on Wednesday that he "strongly" disagrees with Kemp reopening Georgia's nonessential businesses, including close-contact establishments like gyms and barbershops.
  • Gottlieb served as FDA commissioner under Trump until April 2019. He resigned in March 2019, citing his desire to spend more time with his family.

What they're saying:

"Georgia's certainly not out of the woods. They're only testing about 1% of the total population. They have 23,000 cases. They may have plateaued in their epidemic — maybe — but they're still accruing a lot of new cases. ... Georgia's certainly jumping the gun I think here, getting started too early relative to where they are in their epidemic."
— Scott Gottlieb

Go deeper: Stacey Abrams says Trump "incited" Georgia governor into reopening state

Go deeper

Aug 3, 2020 - Health

Former FDA chief: MLB virus outbreaks should be warning sign for schools

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC’s “Squawk Box" Monday that coronavirus outbreaks in the MLB, which declined to use the "bubble" strategy employed by the NBA, are "a warning of what could potentially happen if we aren't very careful with the schools."

Why it matters: Gottlieb's comments underscore questions about how schools, especially underfunded public schools, will be able to cope with reopening when a corporation with almost unlimited wealth is overwhelmed in a matter of days, as Axios' Shane Savitsky points out.

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.
Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.