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.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus, health-care tech company Aetion Inc. and biotech company Illumina.