Infectious Disease

Rethinking the institutional public health response needed to prevent the next pandemic

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Gottlieb S. Part I: Guest speaker. Presented at: Meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery; 23-27 July 2021; Las Vegas.

Disclosure:
Gottlieb does not disclose any relevant financial information.

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LAS VEGAS – The United States is currently further in the delta variant epidemic wave than is measured, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said during a presentation.

“Investigations across the country are currently very little and testing is in decline,” Gottlieb said at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting. “Many of the tests performed are antigen tests that are not recorded in the system.”

Scott Gottlieb

In the future, most COVID-19 reinfections will be mild and challenges will arise in older age groups, Gottlieb said. He predicted the US will have 200 million vaccinations by the fall and that the virus is likely to become endemic and require booster vaccinations.

“If we want to think about it [boosters], we have to start soon, ”he said.

One of the shortcomings in the country’s pandemic response is the inability to involve manufacturers in the test game early on. The goal in the future is not to make the next pandemic “not so bad”, but to ensure that it does not repeat itself. He called this goal “achievable,” but said it will require rethinking overall pandemic responsiveness.

“We need to think about public health from a national security perspective,” he said. “It will also mean our secret operators like the CIA will become more involved in the public health mission of overseeing the world.”

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American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting

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