Former head of FDA says he won’t dine inside due to Covid risk

Physician’s comments come after CNBC colleagues got  into heated on-air argument

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 07 December 2020 19:08 GMT
Former head of FDA says he wont dine inside due to Covid risk

The former head of the Federal Drug Administration says he will not dine indoors because of the Covid risk.

Dr Scott Gottlieb say that although he will shop in large retail stores with a mask on he refuses to eat inside at restaurants because of safety concerns.

“On a personal level, I’ve gone to many big-box stores properly masked, and I wear a high-quality mask when I go out. I will not eat indoors in a restaurant,” said Dr Gottlieb on CNBC.

"I’ve been eating outdoors since the summertime and wouldn’t eat indoors in a restaurant.

“I think the risk is too high to be in a confined space without a mask on with other people eating in that same location right now.”

Dr Gottlieb, who was the commissioner at the FDA, was asked by Andrew Ross Sorkin whether shopping and indoor dining carried similar risks.

Mr Sorkin was involved in a fiery on-air argument last week with CNBC colleague Rick Santelli on the subject.

Dr Gottlieb told him that indoor dining was significantly more risky than shopping in a big box store.

“I think it’s hard to debate that,” Gottlieb said.

“People who eat indoors are talking loudly in many cases, and again you’re not wearing a mask. You’re in a confined space. I think there’s no question that’s a higher risk," he said.

The US has seen an estimated 15.2 million confirmed cases and more than 289,000 people have died during the pandemic.

And Dr Gottlieb warned that things will only get worse over the next few weeks.

"We need to understand what we’re looking at right now is going to get progressively worse over the next four to six weeks.

“Infections are going to continue to grow for at least four weeks, and the number of deaths and hospitalizations are going to continue to grow for probably the next six weeks.”

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