Dr. Scott Gottlieb warns the United States is "a week off of a rapid acceleration in cases" of Covid-19 as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations rise.
In an interview in CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith" on Monday evening, the former FDA chief of the Trump administration stated that the country had no more pandemic setbacks.
"Summer was a kind of setback for the spring surge, and we don't have a therapeutic setback," said Gottlieb. "This coronavirus will want to spread in the autumn and winter seasons."
Based on similar comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, told Gottlieb that the holiday season and family get-togethers are particularly precarious for the coronavirus to spread as people give up their vigilance. He was
While Gottlieb noted that he is optimistic about vaccine trials, he said that the first patients given emergency vaccinations will not have protective immunity until early 2021 if granted.
"We can look to happier days but there are going to be some difficult months ahead," he said.
At the "Squawk Box" on Monday morning, Gottlieb said: "We have to survive this next wave without the benefit of protective immunity against a vaccine."
According to the Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide was over 40 million as of Monday, given the flare-ups in the US and Europe.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the boards of directors of Pfizer, the genetic testing startup Tempus, and the biotech company Illumina. Pfizer has signed a manufacturing agreement with Gilead to manufacture Remdesivir. Gottlieb is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean's Healthy Sail Panel.