FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2021
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., shared insights from the frontlines of healthcare policy today at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan moderated the discussion which focused on the prospective progress of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Gottlieb says he is “optimistic” that Americans will gradually return to a normal level of activity as more people receive vaccinations and the infection rate drops among the most vulnerable segments of the population.
Gottlieb, who led the FDA from 2017-2019, helped create a phased roadmap for navigating COVID-19 and has been a frequent media resource on pandemic-related topics.
“With a better therapeutic toolbox,” he said. “Americans can relieve much of the pent-up demand for activity as the weather becomes warmer throughout the country.”
About 20 million doses of the vaccine will enter the market in the next three weeks, which will translate into about 12 million new people vaccinated every week. Gottlieb projected that by the end of March, about 120 million Americans will be vaccinated.
Gottlieb stressed the importance of guidance from public health officials during the vaccination rollout. He cautioned that an overly conservative approach risks alienating the public.
“You need to give guidance that’s practical within the context of what the public is willing to do and maybe push them a little bit, but not too much,” Gottlieb says. “There’s a risk that if the guidance is overly conservative it becomes irrelevant. That’s the risk we face—that the policymakers lag where the public’s sentiment is.”
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