Ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb warns that most unvaccinated people WILL get Indian Covid Delta variant and it could be the most ‘serious virus of their lifetimes’
- Gottlieb, 49, says Delta variant is ‘at risk of putting them in the hospital’
- He warns that current case numbers are undercounted, as those with mild or no symptoms are likely to skip testing
- High-quality N95 masks are crucial for ‘vulnerable individuals,’ he says
- The former FDA head sits on the board of vaccine manufacturer Pfizer
- The Delta variant, first identified in India in December, is 50 percent more contagious than the British ‘Alpha variant’
- The stark prediction came as Delta variant is set the become the most dominant in the nation within weeks
Ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb warned that ‘most’ unvaccinated Americans will contract the COVID Indian ‘Delta’ variant and it will be the ‘most serious virus of their lives’.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, 49, warned that those without a vaccine are risking hospitalization as data show those that are vaccinated are staying clear of the ER.
‘This virus is so contagious, this variant is so contagious that it’s going to infect the majority — that most people will either get vaccinated or have been previously infected or they will get this Delta variant,’ Gottlieb said on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.
Ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb warned on Sunday that ‘most’ unvaccinated Americans will contract the Covid ‘Delta’ variant and it will be the ‘most serious virus of their lives’
‘And for most people who get this Delta variant, it’s going to be the most serious virus that they get in their lifetime in terms of the risk of putting them in the hospital.’
Gottlieb estimates that 97 percent of hospitalizations, along with most deaths, are among the un-jabbed.
With 50 percent of the population vaccinated and about a third of Americans previously infected with the virus, those who are unvaccinated and who have never before had Covid remain most at risk.
On Sunday, Los Angeles County became the first to scrap its reopening and require masks again as the Delta variant, first identified in India in December, spreads throughout the United States.
The country has seen an increase in cases based on a seven-day average, climbing to 29,604 cases on July 16 from 12,325 on June 16. The variant is 50 percent more contagious than the Great Britain-identified Alpha variant, which itself was 50 percent more contagious than the original strain of the virus, according to Yale Medicine epidemiologist F. Perry Wilson.
Gottlieb stressed that cases are likely to be undercounted.
‘The people who tend to be getting tested right now are people who are getting very sick or people who are developing telltale symptoms of Covid like loss of taste or smell,’ he said.
‘And that’s only about 15 or 20 percent of people who will become infected.
‘We’re not doing a lot of routine screening right now,’ he said.
‘Unless you work for the New York Yankees, you’re not getting tested on a regular basis. So I think that this Delta wave could be far more advanced than what we’re detecting right now in our ascertainment.’
He pressed for more high-quality masks, such as the N95 kind.
‘Quality of mask is going to make a difference with a variant that spreads more aggressively like Delta does, where people are more contagious and exude more virus,’ he said.
‘Trying to get N95 masks into the hands of vulnerable individuals in places where this is really epidemic I think is going to be important, even in cases where they’re vaccinated, if they want to add another layer of protection.’
The Mount Sinai-educated doctor also warned that certain regions are more vulnerable than others.
‘If you’re in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low and there hasn’t been a lot of viruses spread, and that’s a lot of parts of the rural South, I think it’s much more vulnerable,’ he said.
The former FDA chief, a Republican nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017, sits on the board of Covid vaccine maker Pfizer.