Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) listens during a House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2018.
Toya Sarno | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Monday lamented the persistent spread of the coronavirus in the U.S., suggesting the nation’s response pales in comparison to other places around the world.
“The entire Pacific Rim has less than 1,000 infections a day. Having a raging epidemic is not inevitable,” Gottlieb said on “Squawk Box,” referring to countries such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and Australia.
“People want to say China is lying about the two dozen cases that they’re reporting a day, which I don’t believe they are [lying]. Certainly, the entire Pacific Rim isn’t in on the conspiracy. It isn’t inevitable that we have a raging epidemic,” added the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner under President Donald Trump.
Gottlieb’s comments come as some states and cities in the U.S., particularly those in the Midwest and some neighborhoods in New York City, are experiencing growing outbreaks of Covid-19, and while Trump is hospitalized with the disease. The European continent also began to see increasing cases last month, with Paris and its surrounding suburbs being put on “maximum alert” Monday.
“This seems to be something in Western democracies where things like masks have become part of a political debate over individual liberty and we just can’t bring ourselves to wear them,” Gottlieb said. “People talk about the importance of opening schools, and then they argue against masks.”