Former FDA Commissioner: We Should Have Literature by the CDC to Delineate What Is Working

By Melanie Arter | April 6, 2020 | 6:57pm EDT
Senior press officer Bernadette Burden briefing at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) headquarters, Atlanta, Georgia, 2009. Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control / James Gathany. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
Senior press officer Bernadette Burden briefing at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) headquarters, Atlanta, Georgia, 2009. Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control / James Gathany. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should provide literature to doctors on what methods are working when dealing with the coronavirus.

“We need to get literature to inform what is working and what is not. You heard 70% to 80% of people who get intubated succumb to their infections. Doctors are experimenting with more fluids," Gottlieb said.


"They're experimenting with high-flow oxygen. They're experimenting by putting patients in the prone position, meaning laying them on their stomachs when intubated. We should have literature published by the CDC to delineate what is working and what is not, so doctors take a more systematic, data-driven approach to these things,” he said.

Gottlieb said that “mitigation is clearly working” as evidenced by the slowing of cases “in the Northeast and the northern states.”

“The Sun Belt is going to be in for a tough week. We're going to see cases in the Sun Belt start to accelerate. I think the New York City health system is going to be brought right to the brink, but they're not going to go over. They're expanding their capacity to keep pace with their surge of demand, really a historic effort, and I don't think they're going to run out of ventilators,” he said.

“They're doing things to convert existing devices into ventilators, and I think they'll keep pace with it, but it's a historic effort that's underway in New York right now, and we should make no mistake what they're doing to keep pace with the increased demand. The demand will likely peak in the next week or two, so we'll see a severe strain on the New York City health care system at the same time that the cases in the south start to accelerate,” Gottlieb said.

When asked about some of the lessons we’re seeing in New York right now, Gottlieb said that the virus is not just causing severe outcomes in older Americans, a lot of young people are having bad outcomes and being intubated.

“There are pregnant women intubated and in hospitals right now. We need to understand that. There has been no serious publication by the CDC of the collective clinical experience in the United States right now. So doctors are making decisions based on anecdotes and their own experience,” and there’s really no excuse for that, he said.

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