The Biden administration is taking the right approach in fighting the highly contagious Covid-19 delta variant by deploying response teams to vulnerable communities, Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Thursday.
“I think that the administration is doing the right thing, in terms of shifting their strategy,” Gottlieb, the former FDA chief under former President Donald Trump, told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” about the new administration’s grassroots approach.
Gottlieb explained that the targeted response can help teams focus on vaccinating those communities vulnerable to Covid and the delta variant.
“Right now, we need to shift to a grassroots strategy and try to put resources into local communities to allow local groups to encourage people to get vaccinated, put the vaccines into the hands of doctors, and find ways to get more vaccines into the hands of small providers who can encourage their patients to get vaccinated,” Gottlieb said.
The delta variant is driving a sharp increase in new Covid cases across the nation, and currently makes up about 25% of sequenced new cases in the U.S. Officials say they expect it to become the dominant strain in the country, eclipsing the currently dominant alpha variant.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky attributed the spike, in part, to lagging vaccination rates. The CDC director added that about one-third of all counties across the nation have so far vaccinated less than 30% of their population. She said the majority of them are in the South and Midwest.
Antibiotic Prescriptions Associated With COVID-19 Outpatient Visits Among Medicare Beneficiaries, April 2020 to April 2021
Outpatient Visits for COVID-19 and Associated Antibiotic Prescriptions Among Medicare Beneficiaries Aged 65 Years or Older, by Setting, US, April 2020 to April 2021. The volume of COVID-19 visits differed by setting: emergency department, 525 608 (45.8% of all visits); office, 295 983 (25.3%); telehealth, 260 261 (22.3%); and urgent care, 77 268 (6.6%).
Source: Journal of American Medical Association Network