Life could return to "normal" this spring and summer as COVID-19 starts to make its transition to being more of a wintertime illness, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Monday, while disagreeing with Dr. Anthony Fauci's estimation that Americans could need to be wearing masks into 2022.
"I think that there might be circumstances where some of us will want to wear masks but I don't think this is going to be linear," Gottlieb said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "Dr. Fauci also said that he thinks things will be normal by December. I think things will be normal in the spring and the summer of this year."
But by fall, Gottlieb, now a medical contributor for CNBC, said the nation will still have to "take certain precautions, but we're going to be back doing stuff."
Then, as winter comes and COVID starts to circulate again, "we may start to pull back" but even then, Gottlieb said he doesn't think that will mean shutdowns will be needed.
"I think if there's going to be a normal time over the next 12 months, it's likely to be this spring and summer," he said.
Meanwhile, he said he's not quite sure if he agrees with Johns Hopkins Dr. Marty Makary who argued in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal that the United States could achieve herd immunity by April.
"About 120 million Americans have had this and when you start layering on the additional Americans we're vaccinating, we probably have more than 40% of the American population with some form of protective immunity right now," said Gottlieb. "When you're getting to 40 to 50% of the population with some form of protective immunity you don't have herd immunity but you have enough immunity in the population that this just doesn't transfer as readily."
He also said he doesn't think the variants, such as the one from Britain, will greatly change the overall trajectory of the disease, even if there will be some parts of the country with higher rates than others.
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