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Gottlieb On Omicron: ‘Epidemic Curves’ To Begin Going Down In Certain East Coast States

   DailyWire.com
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Oliver Helbig via Getty Images

On Sunday, former FDA Commissioner and current Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb appeared on CBS’ “Face The Nation” with host Margaret Brennan to discuss the latest developments pertaining to COVID-19.

During the segment, Brennan asked Gottlieb if he stands by his prediction that Omicron will begin to burn out in some major metropolitan areas by February.

“You said we’ll be past the Omicron wave by February. Do you stand by that trajectory?” Brennan asked.

Gottlieb replied by noting that despite predictions that Delta would have been the final “major wave of infection,” Omicron arrived and surprised many.

“But if you look what’s happening across the East Coast right now in New York City, Washington, D.C., Maryland, probably Florida as well have already peaked, maybe Delaware and Rhode Island,” Gottlieb stated. “You’re going to start to see that in the statistics this week. You’re going to start to see those curves, those epidemic curves bend down. You are already seeing that in New York City and Washington, D.C.”

He continued, however, saying that the Midwest is looking at rising cases, “where they aren’t in the thick of their Omicron wave yet.”

“On the good side, hospitalizations are down relative to cases, but cases are up substantially, so it’s pressing hospitals,” Gottlieb added, later noting that the “length of stay is down substantially … from four days to 1.6 days in the survey by Kaiser,” which is “allowing hospitals to turn over beds.”

However, the “sheer velocity of the spread right now and the number of hospitalizations is pressing them,” he added.

TRANSCRIPT:

BRENNAN: You said we’ll be past the Omicron wave by February. Do you stand by that trajectory? And do we get to breathe a sigh of relief at that point?

GOTTLIEB: Hopefully, we do. I mean, many people, including myself, have predicted that Delta would be the last major wave of infection. Then Omicron and came along, which was — represented sort of divergent evolution, I think surprised us that the virus was able to mutate so heavily and evade the immunity that we have acquired.

But if you look what’s happening across the East Coast right now in New York City, Washington, D.C., Maryland, probably Florida as well have already peaked, maybe Delaware and Rhode Island. You’re going to start to see that in the statistics this week. You’re going to start to see those curves, those epidemic curves bend down.

You are already seeing that in New York City and Washington, D.C. The risk right now is to the Midwest, where you have rising infection, where they aren’t in the thick of their Omicron wave yet. And you have states that had high hospitalization rates going into this. They had a lot of Delta infection. They had been coming out of their Delta wave, so their hospital census was already high.

And now they’re seeing Omicron infections pick up. On the good side, hospitalizations are down relative to cases, but cases are up substantially, so it’s pressing hospitals. Many of the hospitals on the East Coast are going to reach or surpass their previous hospitalization totals.

New York City is probably the city that’s best equipped to handle it. They’re about at 55% of the hospitalizations that they saw during that devastating first wave. But in other states, they’re more pressed. They’re close to 100% of the hospitalizations they saw in previous waves.

Finally, on the good side, length of stay is down substantially, so length of stay has gone from four days to 1.6 days in the survey by Kaiser, for example. So that’s allowing hospitals to turn over beds. But the sheer velocity of the spread right now and the number of hospitalizations is pressing them.

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