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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."

Go deeper ... Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2020 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Trump's sickness makes him harder to trust

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.3% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

Large shares of women, seniors and independents now say they're less likely to trust President Trump for accurate information about COVID-19 since he caught it himself, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Week 28 of our national survey has most Americans rejecting ideas that Trump has floated around hydroxychloriquine as a virus treatment, how herd immunity works or any imminent availability of a vaccine.

Oct 19, 2020 - Health

Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues amid COVID surge

Police stand guard outside of a rally with Vice President Mike Pence in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A Wisconsin judge on Monday reimposed a previous order from Gov. Tony Evers (D) limiting the number of people who can gather indoors in bars, restaurants, and other places to 25% capacity.

Why it matters: Wisconsin, a swing state for the presidential elections, is facing one of the worst coronavirus surges in the country, with a record 1,090 people hospitalized as of Sunday. The state also hit new records last week for daily COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.