A new viral threat is a game-changer, but there’s time to act

Dr. Scott Gottlieb was one of the first experts to call out the slow development of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Now he's sounding the alarm again, and Americans ought to take heed.

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Opinion

January 20, 2021 - 9:28 AM

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb testifies at an hearing on Capitol Hill on Oct. 5, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who headed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under President Donald Trump until 2019, was one of the first experts to call out the slow development of COVID-19 testing in the United States.

Now the prescient Gottlieb is sounding the alarm again, and Americans ought to take heed. This time, it’s about a new, more transmissible variant of the COVID virus. It has sent cases surging in Britain and could do the same on this side of the Atlantic.

“As current epidemic surge peaks, we may see 3-4 weeks of declines in new cases but then new variant will take over. It’ll double in prevalence about every week,’’ said Gottlieb in a grim Twitter thread on Sunday. “It’ll change the game and could mean we have persistent high infection through spring until we vaccinate enough people.”

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