The summer spike in COVID-19 cases, due primarily to the delta variant, was the final significant wave of the pandemic to hit the United States, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said Monday.
Cases are increasing in some states, but they are decreasing across the southern states, and this wave of the pandemic has run its course throughout most of the country, he said.
“I think this Delta wave is probably the last major surge of SARS-CoV-2 infection that we have in the U.S., barring something unexpected happening,” said Scott Gottlieb, author of Uncontrolled Spread, in a book on the U.S. response to the pandemic.
“It’s largely coursed its way through the U.S., and so maybe by Thanksgiving , on the back-end of that, we’ll start to see prevalence levels nationally decline in a more uniform scale,” Gottlieb said .
A signal of the pandemic’s direction is how it will affect the northeastern states, where cases are expected to rise despite that region being the most heavily vaccinated, Gottlieb added.
“I still think that Delta is going to sweep through the Northeast,” he said.
The difficulty is getting the rest of the world vaccinated , Gottlieb, a member of the Pfizer Inc. board of directors, said.
“The challenge is going to be getting the distribution on the ground in hard-to-reach settings, and that’s where there really isn’t any focus,” he said.