Dr. Scott Gottlieb says travel restrictions on India will have little impact on U.S. Covid cases

Dr. Scott Gottlieb says travel restrictions on India will have little impact on U.S. Covid cases | Latest News Live | Find the all top headlines, breaking news for free online May 1, 2021 [ad_1]

The Biden administration’s recently announced restrictions on travelers from India are unlikely to play a big function in limiting new coronavirus cases within the U.S., Dr. Scott Gottlieb informed CNBC on Friday.

“Will it have an impact? Perhaps a minor impact on the margins in terms of reducing introductions. It’s not going to dramatically affect our trajectory at this point,” the previous Food and Drug Administration commissioner mentioned on “Closing Bell.”  “It’s probably going to do more harm to India than any good that it attributes to us.” 

Gottlieb, who sits on the board of Covid vaccine maker Pfizer, mentioned he thinks the White House’s major rationale for limiting travel from India is concern over the coronavirus variant often called B.1.617. It was first detected within the nation and is believed to be extremely contagious.

“But that variant is here anyway and the best way to reduce the risk of that variant is, frankly, to get more Americans vaccinated,” mentioned Gottlieb, who led the FDA within the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019. “That’s going to be the best backstop against the spread of that variant, not restricting travel at this point.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki earlier Friday introduced the travel restrictions, which go into impact Tuesday. India has been experiencing a serious surge of Covid cases in current weeks, straining its health-care system as every day demise counts hit new records.

The travel order is anticipated to use to non-U.S. residents or everlasting residents who have not too long ago been in India, based on an individual acquainted with the matter. That means the restrictions will take an analogous format to those who been applied on a lot travel to the U.S. from China, Brazil and the European Union, successfully barring most guests from India to the U.S.

“There are some studies that show when you implement travel restrictions — and most of the studies that have been done have looked at this in the context of an influenza pandemic — that you can delay introduction of a virus into a new region, that you slow the introduction and maybe reduce the peak of the epidemic that another country is going to experience,” Gottlieb mentioned.

If the U.S. would have put in place travel restrictions “that weren’t so leaky” earlier within the pandemic, Gottlieb mentioned, it is attainable that it might’ve taken longer for the coronavirus to enter into the nation and restrict the severity of the outbreak.

“But at this point, we have enough virus here in the United States that we’re not going to prevent introduction of the virus from India,” he mentioned.

The White House didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark on Gottlieb’s remarks.

Coronavirus cases within the U.S. have continued to say no as extra Americans are vaccinated in opposition to Covid. On Friday, information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that more than 100 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.

The tempo of latest vaccinations every day has been slowing down, nevertheless, and states are working to seek out methods to enchantment to Americans who are usually not notably wanting to get a Covid shot.

“I think we can continue to chip away at it,” Gottlieb mentioned, suggesting {that a} drop off in common pictures per day “doesn’t mean we’re doing a bad job.” He added, “I think it’s inevitable that it’s going to start to slow as you get into softer demand.”

“Things like vaccination buses where they just drive up into communities and people can show up and get vaccinated on site with no wait. That’s the way we’re going to get more people vaccinated,” Gottlieb added. “Also delivering vaccines through worksites, that’s going to help as well.”

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus, health-care tech firm Aetion Inc. and biotech firm Illumina. He additionally serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Sail Panel.”

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