The former head of the Food and Drug Administration said that he believes the US is nearing the end of the “pandemic phase” of the COVID-19 health crisis — thanks to more younger children getting vaccinated and new treatments.
“I think that we’re close to the end of the pandemic phase of this virus and we’re going to enter a more endemic phase,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Gottlieb, who sits on the board of Pfizer, said that he believes the surges caused by the Delta variant were the “last major wave of infection.”
“We’ve always said that two of the events that would demarcate the end of this pandemic was being able to vaccinate our children. We’re now able to do that down to age five,” he said, referring to federal regulators last week authorizing Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
He added that antiviral pills to treat COVID-19 that are in the works may also help bring the pandemic to an end.
“We now have two of those potential pills, one from Pfizer and one from Merck, and there will be more behind that,” Gottlieb said.
But he warned that all of this doesn’t mean that the country won’t see case numbers “pick up” again.
“You know, that’s what happened in the UK. In the UK we saw a spike in cases. But it’s… it’s pretty much back to normal life at pre-pandemic types of levels in the UK right now, and cases are starting to decline again,” he said.
“So as this situation improves here in the US, people are going to go out. More cases may pick up. But that doesn’t mean that we’re entering into another wave of infection.”