Former FDA Chief: Social Distancing 'Didn't Work as Well as We Expected'

Posted: May 03, 2020 9:35 PM
Former FDA Chief: Social Distancing 'Didn't Work as Well as We Expected'

Source: AP Photo/Kathy Young

On CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said social distancing and other mitigation measures put in place to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus don't appear to be working as much as public health experts had hoped. 

"When you look across the country, it's really a mixed bag," Dr. Gottlieb explained. 

The former FDA chief said while New York is really driving the national statistics, other areas of the country are continuing to see a rise in the number of coronavirus cases. 

"[W]hen you back out what’s happening in New York ... around the nation, hospitalizations and new cases continue to rise. There are about 20 states where we see a rising number of new cases. Illinois, Texas, Maryland, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, have a lot of new cases on a daily basis," Gottlieb said. 

The commissioner stopped short of declaring the mitigation efforts a failure but said the numbers don't reflect the results that experts were hoping to see.

"While mitigation didn’t fail, I think it's fair to say it didn't work as well as we expected. We expected we’d start seeing more significant declines in new case and deaths around the nation at this point, and we’re just not seeing that," Gottlieb said.

The former FDA commissioner said there may be 100,000 U.S. deaths related to the coronavirus by June, adding predictions beyond June were really hard to make.

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