Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has called on Texas and Florida to do more to contain the spread of Covid-19. Dr. Gottlieb told CNBC that the states’ governors needed to take action.
“I think the real wild card here and the decision point on whether or not we’re gonna have the bad outcome that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx talked about is what populous states like Texas and Florida do,” he said.
“[They] really haven’t taken aggressive steps even now,” Gottlieb said.
“They’re large states, they have large urban areas that have very dense populations and if they don’t get more aggressive, then we could be on the cusp of some of these bad outcomes.”
Gottlieb said Texas and Florida should act ‘very aggressively right now’ in order to keep the number of infections low.
He went on to explain how the federal government had limited authority to impose restrictions on states.
Watch the video:
Dr. Scott Gottlieb says he’s worried that large states like Florida and Texas have not been aggressive enough in combatting the coronavirus outbreak. “I don’t understand why those governors have not acted more forcefully.” https://t.co/jB8m6i5yyO pic.twitter.com/IqAMbhKQ4h
— CNBC (@CNBC) April 1, 2020
“It’s really up to these governors,” Gottlieb said. “I just don’t think you’re gonna see anything more from the federal government trying to force these states to take these actions.”
“They’ve said what they’ve said and now it’s on the governors,” he said.
“I don’t understand why those governors have not acted more forcefully right now.”
Gottlieb particularly highlighted Florida and Texas. Both states have Republican governors closely allied to President Donald Trump. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has resisted a statewide shutdown as cases have soared.
Not all Republican governors have been reluctant to act. Maryland’s Larry Hogan has criticized the President for acting too slowly during the outbreak.
Gottlieb was Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from 2017 to 2019.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media