Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb warns of a Delta-driven virus peak at the end of September

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Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb warns of a Delta-driven virus peak at the end of September
FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb Reuters
  • Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb warned of a COVID-19 peak at the end of September.
  • The Delta variant would drive up cases over the next few months, he said.
  • "The worst is yet to come," Gottlieb told Squawk Box on Wednesday.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head at the Food and Drug Administration, warned Wednesday that a Delta variant-fueled pandemic peak could hit the US in September.

Gottlieb told Squawk Box that modeling showed the highly infectious Delta variant would "move its way through the country over the course of August and September maybe into October."

"We expect the peak to be sometime near the end of September," he said.

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Gottlieb was commissioner of the FDA between 2017 and 2019, and now holds various roles, including on the board of drug and vaccine maker Pfizer.

The Delta variant is now dominant in the US. It is at least twice as infectious as the formerly-dominant Alpha variant, which caused infections to spike in the US in January. It also has mutations that help it to avoid the immune response.

There was an average of 188,332 new daily cases in the US in early January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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This is far higher than current levels: On Monday, the country recorded 20,473 new infections in a day, up from 11,791 on June 12.

"Unfortunately it's going to get worse before it gets better in terms of the spread of this infection right now," Gottlieb said.

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