Scott Gottlieb says “very aggressive surveillance” is needed to track the future spread of coronaviruses

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Washington – Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said Sunday that a return to normal in the United States once the spread of the coronavirus slows down should be accompanied by “surveillance aggressive ”which allows for intervention-based response to new outbreaks.

“Nothing is a home run here, but we don’t need a home run,” said Gottlieb on “Face the Nation.” “What we need is a better toolbox, a good medicine cabinet coupled with very aggressive monitoring. That might be enough to really change the contours of risk in the fall and allow people to feel comfortable to leave. ”

Gottlieb, who led the FDA under President Trump until 2019, said a “massive surveillance system” would quickly detect infections and said the country should have such a system in place.

“We will be able to identify cases when there are small outbreaks in the fall and use case-based intervention,” he said. “It is essentially a matter of isolating the infected and their relatives. “

There are more than 312,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 8,500 people have died.

Public health officials warn that the coming week will likely be painful for many Americans as the death toll continues to rise. While New York is currently the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, Louisiana, Michigan, Illinois and Georgia, among others, should be the next hot spots.

Gottlieb said “mitigation works clearly”, but predicted that the South will likely see an increase in the number of new cases.

“We are seeing cases slowing in the northeast and the northern states,” he said. “The Sun Belt is going to be in a difficult week. We will see cases in the Sun Belt start to accelerate. “

Gottlieb praised efforts by public health officials in New York, saying they are undertaking a “historic effort”, and said he does not expect the state to be short of fans .

“I think New York’s health care system is going to be brought to the brink, but they are not going to stop,” he said.

Gottlieb also urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to educate physicians helping coronavirus patients about the nationwide collective clinical experience to help them make decisions.

“What we should have is documentation released by the CDC that delineates what works and what doesn’t so that doctors can take a more systematic, data-driven approach to these things,” he said. -he declares.

Gottlieb said that until there is a drug to prevent infection or treat those exposed to the coronavirus, the economy is unlikely to return to normal.

“Without it, it will be an 80% saving,” he said. “There are things that do not come back. People are not going to crowd into conferences. They are not going to hurry in the arenas. The marginal customer does not return to cinemas and cruises and Disneyland. And we have to accept it. . Now what changes this equation is technology. But we need a deliberate approach to get this technology quickly. ”

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