Scott Gottlieb, the Trump administration's former FDA commissioner, told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that he thinks local governments will need to mandate face masks for the general public as infections surge in a number of states, arguing that they're "losing precious time."

Why it matters: With significant community spread in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona, some sort of mitigation is necessary in order to stop the outbreaks from tipping into "exponential growth" in the next week, Gottlieb said. And unlike in March and April, states are no longer going to be willing to shut down parts of the economy.

  • California, one of the states that has seen a spike in infections, issued a statewide order requiring people to wear face coverings in public last week.

Between the lines: Facial coverings have become part of a political and cultural debate, with few people seen donning masks at the Trump rally in Tulsa on Saturday night. Gottlieb dismissed the idea that masks should be a partisan issue, calling it a "collective action we can all take to help protect our fellow citizens."

  • "It's something that we can do, collectively, to try to reduce the spread. It's really all we have, and it's not a very robust tool at that. But it's a tool that we have and it's a tool that's been demonstrated to have an impact if everyone does it, or most people do it," Gottlieb said.

Flashback: Opponents of masks have pointed to public health guidance at the very start of the pandemic that did not advise individuals to wear facial coverings, leading conflicting messages.

  • Anthony Fauci has explained this by noting that health officials were concerned about potential mask shortages, and Gottlieb added that health officials were worried that "by telling people they could wear a mask, you're telling them they could go out."
  • "I think that could have been messaged appropriately ... We should have been recommending masks from the outset," he noted.

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Coronavirus cases rise in 22 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Texas added a backlog of cases on Sept. 22, removing that from the 7-day average Texas' cases increased 28.3%; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus is surging once again across the U.S., with cases rising in 22 states over the past week.

The big picture: There isn't one big event or sudden occurrence that explains this increase. We simply have never done a very good job containing the virus, despite losing 200,000 lives in just the past six months, and this is what that persistent failure looks like.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Sep 24, 2020 - Health

Cuomo: New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Thursday that the state will move forward with its own review process of coronavirus vaccines even if the Food and Drug Administration approves one or more for distribution and public use.

Why it matters: The motion could sow further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives rather than safety and efficacy.