As the U.S. moves toward winter, it is looking at the possibility of a twindemic, a double threat of both COVID and the flu, which the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said may be more than Americans can endure.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNN, “I think the twin threats of this pathogen and the flu circulating every winter, as coronaviruses settle into a more seasonal pattern, is going to be too much for society to bear.

“I think we're going to have to readjust how we live our lives,” he added.

Gottlieb believes that while the highly contagious Delta variant has been driving COVID cases up, this is the last significant wave of the virus that the country will see, but he said last week it depends on people getting protection either through infection or vaccination, CNN reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Wednesday that over 185.2 million Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, accounting for 55.8% of the U.S. population.

It is unclear what percentage of the U.S. population would need to be fully vaccinated against the virus to manage the spread of COVID-19, but the nation’s infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has previously said it would have to be the “vast majority” of the population.

Gottlieb maintained that as the seasons change, so will the way that schools and workplaces handle the virus. Taking steps to winterize against COVID and the flu is critical.

“We're going to have to improve air filtration and quality indoors," Gottlieb told CNN. "People will be wearing masks. I think, optionally, we're going to probably try to de-densify offices in the wintertime to try to reduce the risk, probably move conferences that might be held in the wintertime to the fall (or) the spring.

“We've been too complacent about the spread of respiratory diseases in the wintertime,” he continued. “With a twin threat of flu and COVID circulating, we're not going to be able to enjoy that complacency anymore.”

The CDC has said that it is safe to get the flu shot the same day as the COVID vaccine.

The agency estimated during the 2019 to 2020 flu season that 38 million infections and 22,000 deaths occurred in the U.S. due to the virus.

Fauci also agreed with this recommendation, telling CNN on Monday, “What you should do is get it as soon as you can and in the most expeditious manner. If that means going in and getting the flu shot in one arm, the COVID shot in the other, that's perfectly fine.

“There's nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, that might make it more convenient,” he added.

flu-shot-1719334_1920 Representation. Denis Varaka, 43, is at risk of losing his job as a nurse after his Sputnik V jab failed to qualify him as fully vaccinated. Photo: Pixabay