The coronavirus will heighten to a stage where more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths will occur a day, Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned. 

Gottlieb made the announcement Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” where he said, “We’re probably going to see significant spread across the entire United States in a confluent epidemic that we’re much better prepared to deal with, so I don’t think that we’re going to see the excess death that we saw with the first wave of this pandemic when it struck New York.”

The U.S. has reported nearly 9.3 million positive cases of the coronavirus, with over 231,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The data from the university also indicated that more than 84,000 new positive cases of the coronavirus were reported along with 557 new COVID-19 deaths on Monday alone.

Gottlieb said the next couple of months will be critical and could be the “densest phase of the pandemic.”

He continued, “But the sheer fact that we’re going to be infecting so many people right now is probably going to mean that the death tolls get well above 1,000 for a sustained period of time.”

However, it wasn’t all bad news from Gottlieb: “2021 will look better.”

The virus has been surging in the Southern and upper Midwest parts of the U.S., with new cases up at least 5% in 38 states and the District of Columbia, Johns Hopkins data said. Only six states are seeing a decline in daily new coronavirus cases while hospitalizations are only down in the states of Delaware and Hawaii, CNBC reported.

Ambulance A representational image of an ambulance pictured in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images