The Biden administration’s recently announced restrictions on travelers from India are unlikely to play a significant role in limiting new coronavirus cases in the U.S., Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday.
“Will it have an impact? Perhaps a minor impact on the margins in terms of reducing introductions. It’s not going to dramatically affect our trajectory at this point,” the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said on “Closing Bell.” “It’s probably going to do more harm to India than any good that it attributes to us.”
Gottlieb, who sits on the board of Covid vaccine maker Pfizer, said he thinks the White House’s primary rationale for restricting travel from India is concern over the coronavirus variant known as B.1.617. It was first detected in the country and is believed to be highly contagious.
“But that variant is here anyway and the best way to reduce the risk of that variant is, frankly, to get more Americans vaccinated,” said Gottlieb, who led the FDA in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019. “That’s going to be the best backstop against the spread of that variant, not restricting travel at this point…