When will social distancing end? When will life return to “normal”? And what will it take to get there? Scott Gottlieb is a physician and public health expert who served as Donald Trump’s first FDA commissioner, where he was the rare Trump appointee to win plaudits from both the left and the right. Now he’s a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where he’s emerged as a leading voice on the coronavirus response. Gottlieb is one of the lead authors of a comprehensive roadmap for what it would take to end social distancing and reopen the American economy. The report divides coronavirus response into four distinct phases (we are currently in phase one, which requires the strictest social distancing measures) and documents key “triggers” that states need to meet if they want to advance to a phase with less intense social distancing and a somewhat normal economy. It’s exactly what we need right now: a specific proposal for what comes next that we can actually analyze and debate. Two themes drive this conversation. First, what are the challenges to simply getting out of lockdown? Why don’t we have enough tests yet? What’s stopping us from making more? And second, what does the world look like out of lockdown but before we get to a vaccine? What’s being imagined here isn’t a return to normal, either socially or economically, but a kind of limbo that it’s not clear we have the political will to sustain and that has few answers for the most vulnerable among us. For more on this topic, I looked at not just the AEI plan but three others for this piece. I thought immersing myself in the plans to reopen the economy would be some comfort. Boy, was I wrong. Resources:"A road map to re-opening" by Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark McClellan, Lauren Silvis, and Crystal Watson, AEI"I’ve read the plans to reopen the economy. They’re scary." by Ezra Klein, VoxThe Weeds - How does this end?Want to contact the show? Reach out at email@example.comPlease consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webbyNew to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)Credits:Producer/Editor - Jeff GeldResearcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dr. Scott Gottlieb is the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he continues his work on improving public health through entrepreneurship and medical innovation and on expanding regulatory approaches to maintain patient and physician autonomy. We talked about regulatory approaches to making prescription drugs more affordable. Learn why price controls, like those which would be implemented in the Democrats’ drug pricing bill HR3, have terrible consequences for the development and innovation of prescription drugs.
Scott Gottlieb was nominated to run the FDA in March 2017. Two years — and nearly 500 press announcements — later, the productive and high-profile commissioner is preparing to step down in early April 2019.
Gottlieb joined POLITICO's Dan Diamond to discuss why he's leaving FDA (starts at 1:30), his regulatory and communications strategy (4:40), his work on medical device safety (10:30), digital health (16:30), opioid abuse (19:15), the Trump administration's approach to science and the choice of Ned Sharpless as acting FDA commissioner (24:25), what Gottlieb would've pursued if he had more time at FDA (26:30) and if he'll ever return to government (28:30).
MENTIONED ON THE SHOW
As commissioner, Gottlieb has received bipartisan praise for his activist agenda.
Gottlieb's aggressive moves as commissioner came as a surprise, given his pre-Trump administration reputation as someone with a free-market background.
The conservative Washington Times cheered Gottlieb's departure, suggesting that he became "an avenging angel for the Nanny state" and pushed too much regulation on vaping.
Before rejoining FDA in 2017, Gottlieb was a frequent critic of its actions, such as in a 2010 AEI column where Gottlieb urged FDA to become more transparent on drug company letters.
Gottlieb steered numerous reforms at FDA, including pushing an overhaul of medical device reviews.
FDA recently approved a powerful painkiller called Dsuvia, drawing some criticism.
Gottlieb's January 2018 and November 2018 appearances on "Pulse Check."