KEY POINTS

  • Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he believed around 25% of New York City's population had likely been infected with coronavirus at some point during the pandemic
  • Gottlieb's comments follow a report released Monday by Mount Sinai Health System saying around 19% of New York City's population was infected with coronavirus by April 19
  • Gottlieb said the report is a "good result" as it is consistent with other studies conducted in New York about the coronavirus infection rate in the city and the state

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Tuesday that roughly 25% of residents in New York City “probably” contracted coronavirus.

Gottlieb’s comments follow a report from researchers working at New York City’s The Mount Sinai Health System released Monday. The report suggests around 19% of the city’s population had already been exposed to the coronavirus by April 19. It notes this is well below the 67% infection rate accepted by the scientific community to potentially create “herd immunity” to the virus for the broader public.

Gottlieb suggests the rate has likely gone up since April 19.

“If you probably took that out to now, you did a seroprevalence study now, you’d probably see that the infection-fatality rate’s a little higher because more people succumbed to the infection over the course of time from April to now,” Gottlieb told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “And you’d probably see that the seroprevalence is a little higher because more people have gotten infected, so my guess is probably around 25% of New York has now been infected with Covid.”

Gottlieb does caveat it by saying the case-fatality rate, which measures the percent of people with COVID-19 who die from the virus, is likely much lower at around 1.2%.

Despite the potential higher infection rate, Gottlieb said Mt. Sinai’s findings fall in line with other studies in New York state and about the coronavirus as a whole.

“I think it’s, probably, a good result because it’s very internally consistent with other studies that we’ve seen,” Gottlieb said.

Appearing Sunday on the CBS News program "Face the Nation," Gottlieb said that any decline in COVID-19 deaths, even while the number of cases spike, is likely temporary.

“We’re likely to see total daily deaths start to go back up again," Gottlieb said.

A T-shirt with the famous "I (Heart) NY" logo designed by Milton Glaser is on display at a Times Square store in New York City A T-shirt with the famous "I (Heart) NY" logo designed by Milton Glaser is on display at a Times Square store in New York City Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / SPENCER PLATT