Ex-FDA Head Predicts 'Improvements' In Southern States'But Possible Surges In North As School Starts

ToplineScott Gottlieb, an ex-commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), stated Sunday that he believes the delta-driven coronavirus epidemics that are ravaging parts of the South could start to ease by this week. However, infections in the more vulnerable Northern states may begin to rise as schools reopen.WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 05: FDA Commissioner-designate Scott Gottlieb testifies during a Senate ... [+] Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on April 5, 2017 at on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images) Getty ImagesThe Key FactsGottlieb, who was the FDA's chief from 2017 to 2019, under President Trump, said that the pandemic is getting worse but that the concern-driven surges caused by the delta variant could be slowing down in some Southern states. This prediction was based on evidence that cases are starting to decrease in states such as Louisiana and Missouri. Data compiled by The New York Times indicates that infections are not increasing as rapidly as last month. The infection rate is not declining at the same pace in Arkansas and Florida, which have reported staggering hospitalizations over the past week. Gottlieb believes that this week, you might see some states that were once the most affected by the disease start to show less cases per day. This is despite the fact that the majority of Northern states are more vaccinated and will see a spike in cases when schools reopen in fall. Gottlieb stated that school reopenings in the Northern states will increase the risk of spreading the disease. This is based on infection increases in Illinois and Indiana, which have seen cases jump at least 100 percent in the past two weeks.Important QuoteGottlieb stated that while I believe the northern states are less susceptible to the same spread as the south, they are not totally impervious. If you plan to give your child a vaccine in the spring, now is the time.Important BackgroundThe massive rises in hospitalizations and cases caused by the delta variant have been a problem across the U.S. However, many of the most severe outbreaks have occurred in the south. According to the White House Covid-19 Response Team, Florida and Texas account for over a third of all hospitalizations in the country. In Florida, hospitalizations increased at an unprecedented rate for six consecutive days in the past week. Although they are still below their winter peak levels, deaths, hospitalizations, and cases nationwide have been steadily increasing. Deaths reached an average of 500 by Friday.Continue readingDirector of the NIH: There are some evidence that child hospitalizations are increasing and children are more seriously ill, but the U.S. Lacking Rigorous Data (Forbes)Teachers Union President Supports Vaccine Mandates for EducatorsBut Biden Administration Declines to Go That Far (Forbes).Live updates and coverage of the Coronavirus