The following is a transcript of an interview with former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb airing on CBSN on Sunday, September 26, 2021.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who also sits on the board of Pfizer. He's the author of a new book, "Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID 19 Crushed US and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic." Dr. Gottlieb, good to have you. You know, we rolled through examples with the CDC director to try to pin down exactly who should consider going out and getting that third Pfizer dose now that those considered at high risk of exposure are included in the language. How do you think the CDC handled this rollout?
DOCTOR SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, I think that the criticism has been that it looked messy. The process, though, was designed to create conflict. We need to recognize that we used a process for adjudicating what vaccines should go into pediatric vaccine administration schedule to define who should get an adult vaccine in the setting of a public health emergency. The process that we use intentionally creates conflict between FDA and CDC. Because you want that process to be highly deliberative, you want to be slow. You want it to reflect very careful analysis because decisions about what vaccines should be mandated for pediatric population across the country are very weighty decisions. But a slow, deliberative process that creates conflict that's visible to the public isn't optimal in the setting of a public health emergency, where you need to move quickly, and you want to show that public health officials are unified. We should have brought the CDC and FDA together, I believe, from the outset. I think in terms of how they handled it, though, I think they handled it well within the confines of the process that they were using by announcing, you know, about a month ago that they were going to pursue boosters. It gave the administration time to get the logistics in place with the pharmacies to be able to deploy these shots very quickly. Once that decision was ultimately reached, which is what they were able to do within 24 hours. The boosters were available.