Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that he expects the coronavirus outbreaks in Southern states like Texas, Florida and Arizona to reach their apex in the next two to three weeks — but warned that this would likely be followed by an "extended plateau," as seen in places like Brazil.

Why it matters: Southern states were among the first to reopen after lockdowns in March and April and are now experiencing a surge in cases. Gottlieb said that while the death rate has been lower than it was in the spring, it's likely to increase to over 1,000 new deaths a day as infections seep into older populations.

Driving the news: Florida, one of the worst-hit states in the country, reported more than 15,000 new cases on Sunday — smashing the single-day record for any state. Overall, 33 states saw their caseloads increase last week, continuing a scary nationwide trend that’s been getting worse since mid-June.

What Gottlieb is saying: "You see Google mobility data and OpenTable reservations starting to decline in these Southern states where these dense epidemics are happening, which is an indication that consumers are pulling back. And that's going to create somewhat of a backstop."

  • "New York really followed the pattern of Italy, where it was a sharp up, a huge epidemic, but it came down rapidly. I think in the South you are likely to see an extended plateau. We really don't have a national approach here. What we have is state approaches that are creating regional effects, and so those regional effects are different."
  • "The New York experience mirrored Italy. I think the Southern experience is more likely to mirror Brazil where you're likely to see more of an extended plateau once we reach that apex. And we could reach that apex in the next two to three weeks."

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Updated 11 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 20 million worldwide on Monday evening, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference as the world approached the milestone that 750,000 deaths were set to be recorded this week. "Every life lost matters," he said. "But I want to be clear: there are green shoots of hope and... it's never too late to turn the outbreak around."

17 hours ago - Health

Europe's CDC recommends new virus restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases"

Revellers enjoy an informal Bal des Pompiers next to the fire station at Point Éphémère on July 13, 2020 in Paris. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned on Monday that the continent is seeing a "true resurgence" in coronavirus cases and recommended that affected countries consider reimposing certain restrictions.

Why it matters: Many European countries, including former global hotspots Italy and Spain, were able to successfully curb the spread of COVID-19 over the summer through stringent lockdown restrictions and a phased reopening. The ECDC warned that the "recent increase" in infections is a result of countries relaxing their social distancing and other mitigation measures.

15 hours ago - Health

At least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic

Former California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell on Feb. 27 in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At least 48 local and state-level public health leaders have retired, resigned or been fired across 23 states since April, according to a review by the AP and Kaiser Health News.

Driving the news: California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell resigned on Sunday without explanation, a few days after the state fixed a delay in reporting coronavirus test results that had affected reopenings for schools and businesses, AP reports.