Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration during the Trump administration, compared covid to the flu, saying will continue to spread and people should learn to live with it as part of our everyday lives because it is here to stay.
In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Gottlieb said that the virus would become an endemic illness just like the common flu.
“This will continue to spread. Coronavirus is now a fact of life,” Gottlieb said, adding that if a lot of people are vaccinated, “the overall impact is going to be dramatically reduced. This is going to be like a second flu. We’re just going to have to learn to live with it.”
The U.S. has seen a resurgence of covid-19 cases in recent weeks driven by the delta variant. There has been a rise in breakthrough infections among the vaccinated, hospitalizations among the unvaccinated, and fears that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) may have acted too fast in May when it eased up on its mask and social distancing recommendations.
The U.S. is seeing more than 40,000 new cases of coronavirus infections a day, up from about 11,000 a day in June, while the vaccination rate has slowed down significantly, according to the Washington Post’s vaccine tracker.
Gottlieb said many people are tired of the waves of infections because of how intrusive they are to personal activities and businesses. He said that more businesses will start to mandate that employees and customers get the vaccine.
A number of people on Twitter, however, challenged the doctor’s comments that the coronavirus could become a “second flu”.
“I disagree with this take and the message ‘Like a second flu…’. You don’t know that. We have vaccines and NPI’s and we have the ability to fight it. We just have to live with it? With people dying unnecessarily? Disagree,” Twitter user @_TheAncientOne said.
Early in the pandemic, U.S. doctors and politicians were criticized for comparing covid-19 to the flu. “I thought only idiots compare it to the flu?” Jing Jackson Wang (@JingJacksonWang) tweeted.
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