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- Covid vaccinations are not the only reason U.S. coronavirus cases keep falling, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday.
- Other factors include warming weather, cautious behavior and the fact that a portion of unvaccinated Americans have been previously infected, according to the former FDA chief.
- “I think we’re going to have a very quiet summer with respect to coronavirus spread and then have to contend with it again as we head into the winter,” Gottlieb said.
In an interview on “Closing Bell,” the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said additional factors contributing to declining infection levels include warming weather and the fact that a portion of the unvaccinated population has already been infected with Covid.
Gottlieb’s comments Friday came as the country’s seven-day average of daily new coronavirus infections fell below 30,000 for the first time in almost a year; in late March, that figure was around 66,000.
The case decline has coincided with an expansion of vaccine availability. As of Friday, nearly 50% of the U.S. population has received at least one Covid vaccine dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In late March, that number was slightly less than 30%.
However, the percentage of Americans who have some immunity against coronavirus is higher than the vaccination rates, Gottlieb said, estimating that at least one-third of the population has been infected. The U.S. has had around 33 million total confirmed Covid cases, but Gottlieb has repeatedly said the official tally is an undercount.
“We don’t have data on this, but my guess would be that the infection level among the unvaccinated population is probably higher because a lot of people probably aren’t getting the vaccine because they knew they were previously infected,” Gottlieb said.