Gottleib says pandemic could end in January regardless of vaccine mandates

Virus will likely become endemic by that point, he claims.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Former U.S. Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottleib claimed this week that the pandemic is likely on a trajectory to end with the turn of the year, drawing to a close even without measures such as vaccine mandates.

“I think the bottom line, though, is that these mandates that are going to be put in place by Jan. 4 really are coming on the tail end of this pandemic,” Gottleib told CNBC.

“By Jan. 4, this pandemic may well be over, at least as it relates to the United States after we get through this delta wave of infection,” he added. “And we’ll be in a more endemic phase of this virus.”

Many experts have argued over the past two years that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is likely to eventually become a regular part of seasonal virus season, and that efforts to eradicate it completely are extremely unlikely to succeed. 

The Biden administration’s nationwide vaccine mandate for employers is set to go into effect Jan. 4.