In states that have imposed restrictions in response to the increase in cases, Gottlieb said, “The action is much weaker than a stay order.”
“I think these states have tough weeks ahead,” added Gottlieb, saying that Florida in particular “seems to be rocking into exponential growth. ”
“Thinking that over the next few weeks, we will know how pervasive the spread is” in several states, he said.
Gottlieb said the problem in many states is not necessarily a premature reopening, but rather an insufficient delay between stages of the reopening.
“The speed of opening in some of these states … they didn’t really stop between the stages of reopening for enough time to see if it had any untoward effect,” he said.
Asked about the measures taken by the European Union to restrict the entry of travelers from the United States, Gottlieb added: “I think that the states which have crushed their epidemic will start to impose stricter restrictions on travel. Also indicating New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which has instituted a quarantine period for travelers from states experiencing epidemics.
“The simplest thing we can do is universal masking and I don’t know why we can’t … that alone could reverse the epidemic,” added the former FDA chief, noting that it was the best solution, especially in the coming months.
“After about 6 or 7 months, we will move on to a vaccine or a therapy…. But it will be an event in 2021, ”he added.