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COVID-19: Former FDA Chief Who Lives In Fairfield County Warns CT Schools Could Close Again

Dr. Scott Gottlieb
Dr. Scott Gottlieb Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

While Connecticut has seen success in battling the spread of COVID-19, some leading health officials are warning that even if schools reopen in the fall, they could be subject to another shutdown.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration who lives in Fairfield County and has children in Connecticut public schools, said during a briefing with Gov. Ned Lamont this week that there could be potential interruptions during the school year due to the virus.

“I’m very concerned that at some point we’re going to see a national epidemic,” Gottlieb, who lives in Westport.

“This is a virus that wants to infect 50 or 60 percent of the population. Only a small portion of the population at this point has been infected. And as you get into flu season, this is going to spread more widely.”

The formal plan for reopening Connecticut schools in the fall was released in the last week of June.

Lamont said that the state will provide additional guidance to districts in August.

“I think at this point, many of us hoped that the infection level would be much lower, and we would be heading into the fall with much lower levels of infection,” Gottlieb said.

“But when you have this much of infection around the country, those systems become overwhelmed,” he continued. “I think there is a significant risk that we’re going to have more wide-spread infections across multiple states, multiple regions.”

Gottlieb said that while the majority of the country continues to see surging COVID-19 numbers, there’s a better-than-good chance that travelers and visitors could bring the virus back to Connecticut, causing a spike in cases.

“The reality is we have six more months of COVID,” Gottlieb said. “This is going to be touch and go.”

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