Fmr FDA Head Gottlieb: ‘We’re Certainly Going to See Transmission’ of Coronavirus Coming Out of Protests

Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said transmission of coronavirus is likely to have occurred at the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Partial transcript as follows:

BRENNAN: Dr. Fauci said in an interview on Friday said that these protests are a perfect setup for the spread of the virus. So even though these protesters are young and wearing masks, you believe this will ignite more of an outbreak?

GOTTLIEB: Well, look, we’re certainly going to see transmission coming out of these gatherings. There’s no question about that. The prevalence in the United States of infection right now is about one in two hundred people so you can estimate how many people probably have the infection in these gatherings. I think the- the- the idea of reducing the risk from these protests is a shared responsibility. There’s steps that the protesters can take and you see many of them wearing masks in these protests and understanding the risks. There’s also things authorities can do, I think, to reduce the risks in terms of how they de-escalate these situations. The best science we have on this question comes from a recent study that came out of Germany, where there are large gatherings in Germany in a small region there, and they looked at what the spread was coming out those gatherings. Now, mind you, these were festive gatherings, but there were large outdoor gatherings nonetheless. And the science showed that there was about a two and a half times increase in the rate of transmission as a result of bringing people together in large gatherings. So we have some scientific basis to understand that these- these kinds of settings do create risk.

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