dr Scott Gottlieb considers it unlikely that the subvariant omicron BA.2 will trigger a “national wave” in the United States

dr Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Tuesday that he believes the U.S. will avoid a “national wave of infections” related to the more contagious subvariant omicron BA.2 this spring.

However, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said on Squawk Box that he thinks cases are “dramatically” underreported in some parts of the country. With home testing now relied on, he estimates that in the Northeast only one in seven or one in eight infections actually shows up in official case counts.

“I think we’re further along in this than we realize,” Gottlieb said, pointing to Germany and the UK, where cases have been falling rapidly from their recent BA.2-related peak.

In the US, BA.2 is the dominant version of Covid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some expect that within two weeks it could displace the earlier version of omicron, which caused a spike in cases and hospitalizations late last year and into 2022.

Both Covid infections and hospitalizations have fallen by more than 90% since their peaks in January during the Omicron wave.

“It probably won’t be a national wave of infections,” predicted BA.2 Gottlieb, who headed the FDA in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019 and now sits on the board of Covid vaccine maker Pfizer. “It’ll probably be centered in the Northeast, maybe Florida. I think by the time it starts to spread across the country we will already be deep into summer and that will provide a seasonal hold.”

The picture could change once fall is over, for a number of reasons, Gottlieb said. “We’ll have to deal with that in the fall,” he said. “If [BA.2] While it’s still the dominant variant in places in the country it really hasn’t invaded now, it will spread in the fall as people’s immunity wanes, they move further away from their vaccination and previous infection with Omicron.”

Disclosure: Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and serves on the boards of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion, and biotechnology company Enlightenment. He also serves as co-chair Norwegian Cruise Line holdings‘ and royal caribbean‘s “Healthy Sail Panel”.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/05/dr-scott-gottlieb-believes-omicron-bapoint2-subvariant-unlikely-to-cause-national-wave-in-us.html dr Scott Gottlieb considers it unlikely that the subvariant omicron BA.2 will trigger a “national wave” in the United States

Gary B. Graves

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