As the coronavirus vaccine roll out accelerates, some health experts are warning states against lifting restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the virus for fears that doing so too soon could lead to another wave of new infections.
However, on Sunday, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan, “Well, I don’t think we’re going to have a fourth wave.”
“I think what we’re seeing around the country is parts of the country that are plateauing, and we’re seeing upticks in certain parts of the country,” he continued.
“Even if you account for the fact that maybe about 30 percent of the people being vaccinated previously had Covid, we’re talking about some form of protective immunity in about 55 percent of the population. So there’s enough of a backstop here that I don’t think you’re going to see a fourth surge.”
He said the U.S. may see a “plateauing” of new cases because of the variants of the virus and what he argued was the decision of some states to lift mitigation measures too soon.
“But I still don’t think that it’s going to be enough to create a true fourth wave,” he added.
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Gottlieb’s comments come as the number of new cases of the virus has sharply declined from a high of around 300,000 infections per day in early January to around 60,000 new cases per day. However, the drop in the number of new infections appears to have leveled off for now.
Additionally, more than 81 million Americans have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 44 million have been fully vaccinated.
As the number of new cases across the country dropped, several states announced that they are easing their restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
Still, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned during testimony before the Senate’s Health committee on Thursday “that if we pull back in our enthusiasm for the fact that vaccines are rolling out, and things look good, if we pull back prematurely, we may trigger another surge. And that would really set us back in all the things that we’re trying to do.”
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