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May 6, 2020 - Today in the world of coronavirus news –

The U.S. may not be able to lower the transmission rate of the coronavirus below the current level, which is about 30,000 new cases per day, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Tuesday during an interview with NBC’s Today show.

“I think that we need to understand this may be the new normal,” Gottlieb said. “We may not be able to get transmission down much more. I hope we can.”

Instead, cases of COVID-19 will likely go up.

“As we go through May, we’re likely to see the case count start to creep back up again,” he said.

On Monday, a new federal document projected that COVID-19 deaths could reach 3,000 per day by June 1. The document was produced by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. The forecast also said new cases could reach 200,000 per day by the end of May.

In about 20 states, cases and hospitalizations are going up on a daily basis, Gottlieb said.

As the country begins to reopen, that will likely mean major changes to “get back to some sense of normalcy,” he added.

Vulnerable people will need personal protective equipment at work and in public, for instance. Those who work in locations where social and physical distancing isn’t possible, such as meat processing plants, will need additional precautions.

“We still have a high level of infection in this country,” Gottlieb said. “We’ve reached a plateau, but we haven’t seen the kind of declines that we were expecting to see at this point.”

WebMD Health News Brief

Sources

NBC: “‘The new normal’: Ex-FDA chief warns U.S. may not be able to lower coronavirus infection rate.”

COVID-19 HHS/FEMA document: “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Situation Update.”

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