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FDA commissioner says a wintertime coronavirus nightmare is coming

Published Nov 4th, 2020 5:04PM EST
Coronavirus Update Winter Cases
Image: stnazkul/Adobe

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  • The next few months will likely be the worst of the pandemic, according to former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
  • With the coronavirus rising rapidly across the U.S., some states have started implementing tighter coronavirus restrictions.
  • Dr. Fauci recently said that new coronavirus hotspots are emerging all over the country.

Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently appeared on CNBC and said that the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. will likely worsen over the next few weeks. Hardly a controversial position, a number of health experts over the past few weeks have warned that colder weather, coupled with flu season, will likely lead to a massive spike in coronavirus infections.

The only silver lining, according to Gottlieb, is that the U.S. today is more adept at handling an influx of coronavirus patients than it was earlier this year.

“We’re probably going to see significant spread across the entire United States in a confluent epidemic that we’re much better prepared to deal with,” Gotlieb explained, “so I don’t think that we’re going to see the excess death that we saw with the first wave of this pandemic when it struck New York.”

So while the coronavirus death rate may not increase, the sheer volume of new infections might still yield an overall uptick in coronavirus-related deaths.

“But the sheer fact that we’re going to be infecting so many people right now,” Gotlieb added, “is probably going to mean that the death tolls get well above 1,000 for a sustained period of time.”

As it stands now, the U.S. is currently seeing about 800 coronavirus deaths per day. Note that during the first coronavirus peak back in mid-April, the daily average of coronavirus deaths hovered over 2,000 for a short while.

While Gotlieb concedes that the next coronavirus resurgence will likely be “the last acute phase of this pandemic,” getting to the end of the pandemic will certainly not be an easy road. You might recall that Dr. Michael Osterholm, who currently heads up the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, recently said that the next 6 to 12 weeks “are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.”

Dr. Fauci in recent days has also warned that a tough winter lies ahead.

“As we enter into the cooler months,” Fauci said, “much of what is going to be done is going to be done indoors. So I’m concerned that unless we do something to turn this around, we’re going to have a very difficult winter.”

The reason why colder weather is likely to bring about a huge increase in new infections is two-fold. For starters, colder weather will drive people indoors and increase the number of indoor gatherings that can easily turn into superspreader events. Second, a virus like the coronavirus tends to spread more easily in colder environments.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.