Americans don’t need to worry yet about a new coronavirus wave from the BA.2 variant, according to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

The news: Gottlieb told CNBC Tuesday that he believes the United States will avoid a spring coronavirus wave from the BA.2 variant, which is a subvariant of the omicron variant.

What he said: “It’s probably not going to be a national wave of infection,” Gottlieb told CNBC.

  • “It’s probably going to be centered in the Northeast, maybe Florida. I think by the time it starts to spread nationally, we’ll already be deep into the summer, and that’ll provide a seasonal backstop,” he said.

Yes, but: Gottlieb said there’s a chance COVID-19 cases are higher right now than believed, since people can get COVID-19 testing at home, which limits data collection of the national numbers.

  • “I think we’re further into this than we perceive,” he said.
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The bigger picture: Experts have been debating whether the new BA.2 subvariant will cause a wave in the United States since it started to break out in Europe and Asia, as I reported for the Deseret News.

  • Dr. Eric Topol, head of Scripps Research Translational Institute, told The Associated Press: “It’s inevitable we will see a BA.2 wave here.”
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the coronavirus, said he doesn’t expect there to be another wave of the coronavirus just yet due to natural immunity and the vaccine.