Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday he believes the coronavirus is significantly more widespread in the U.S. than official case counts reflect as the highly contagious delta variant sweeps the nation.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if, on the whole, we’re infecting up to a million people a day right now, and we’re just picking up maybe a 10th of that or less than a 10th of that,” the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said in an interview on “Squawk Box.” Gottlieb now serves on the board of Covid vaccine maker Pfizer.
The current seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. is roughly 67,000, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. That’s up 53% compared with a week ago, as the country grapples with a surge in new infections driven largely by delta, first discovered in India and now the dominant variant in the U.S.
“What it reflects is a reality where you have a highly transmissible variant that’s widely spread across the U.S. right now that’s spreading mostly in a population that’s either vaccinated and developing mild symptoms or no symptoms at all; or spreading in a younger population that’s also less likely to develop symptoms because they’re younger, healthier,” Gottlieb said, when asked by “Squawk Box” co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin how the physician arrived at his “staggering” estimation of 1 million new infections a day.
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Source: Kevin Stankiewicz, CNBC