On Monday, after drug companies asked the Food and Drug Administration for approval of tablets to treat people with mild to moderate Covid symptoms, Dr. Scott Gottlieb is optimistic about Merck’s COVID antivirals. Explained.
“It can make a real difference, as the top-line data from this Merck study was probably the best therapeutic effect of orally administered antivirals in the treatment of respiratory pathogens.” The former FDA chief of the Trump administration said.
If the agency approves the drug, it is the first pill shown to combat COVID-19, and Americans could have it by the end of the year.
Gottlieb told CNBC’s Shepard Smith News that Merck’s pills are “one of the overall significant improvements to the treatment toolbox for this virus, not only with vaccines and treatments, but with more accessible clinical trials.” He said it was a club.
Host Shepard Smith also asked Gottlieb about national masking rules. Gottlieb told Smith that he believes the decision will be made locally, given the changing epidemic of delta variants across the United States.
“Because of the sharp decline in the delta-dominated southern part, the number of cases has declined very rapidly in populous states such as Texas and Florida, but it is a much denser epidemic in the Midwest and Plains states. We still do not know what will happen to the northeastern and northern states. ”
He predicted that the COVID-19 delta wave could affect states in the northern United States, despite high vaccination rates and high past infection rates.
“I still think delta waves are widespread in the northern states and in the northeast. It’s not as dense as you’ve seen in the south, but we’re probably ready to spread out more. “I’m doing it,” Gottlieb said. said.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, healthcare technology company Etion Inc., and biotechnology company Illumina. He is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Sail Panel”.