The US likely won’t see a ‘true’ fourth wave of COVID, but cannot yet facilitate prevention efforts, says Gottlieb

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The United States is unlikely to face a “true” fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks, but the country should wait a few more weeks before relaxing mitigation efforts, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. Speaking to CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” Gottlieb acknowledged that young people were causing new coronavirus outbreaks in many states, but that vaccination efforts should prevent another devastating wave of the virus.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in 27 states and the District of Columbia, with more outbreaks seen as schools reopen. But more than 100 million Americans, and about 40% of all adults, have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, and that effort is accelerating, with a record of more than 4 million doses administered on Saturday. “The infection is changing its contours in terms of who is being affected by it right now,” Gottlieb said, according to a CBS News transcript.

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“There are about 200 million Americans who already have some level of immunity. I think there is enough immunity in the population not to see a true fourth wave of infection. “” – Dr. Scott Gottlieb

“I think we need to stick to strict mitigation in schools,” Gottlieb told CBS News, adding that maintaining mask requirements and social distancing measures are crucial to avoid intermingling in large groups. “If you’re taking those steps in schools, I think schools can be safer and I think the benefits of being in school outweigh the risks.” In a Twitter thread later Sunday, Gottlieb said public health officials should balance mitigation measures with recognition of the population’s growing desire to “get back to normal.” Several states have removed mask mandates in recent weeks, and places like covered restaurants, movie theaters and sporting events are opening up to small crowds again. “While we must remain a bit more cautious, the situation should improve dramatically this spring,” he said on Twitter. “We have withdrawn prematurely from some mitigations like masks. We are near a tipping point for the vaccine, but we have not yet achieved it. We need another 2 or 3 weeks … Better days are ahead. ”