Tag Archives: Dr. Scott Gottlieb

COVID Roundup: Rizzuto’s; Coffee An’; Plant Sale; More


It’s nice to hear that Westport restaurants are reopening.

It’s also nice to hear that town and civic officials are doing all they can to help.

Rizzuto’s and The Lobster Shack were back in business Friday. Owner Bill Rizzuto says, “our Planning and Zoning people and fire marshal were fantastic. And a big hats-off to Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell, who worked tirelessly to support us all.”

Rizzuto’s offers outdoor dining Monday through Thursday 4 to 9  p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. They’re continuing curbside service and delivery too. Click here to order.

The Lobster Shack is open for curbside pickup and delivery Monday through Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, 12 to 8 p.m.


Also reopening tomorrow at 7:30 a.m.: Coffee An’!

(Photo/Katherine Bruan)


Aspetuck Land Trust — whose 40+ preserves have provided area residents with healthy, mood-lifting walking trails throughout the pandemic — is sponsoring its first-ever native plant sale.

It’s simple: Order online, and reserve a curbside pickup time. Plants can be picked up at Gilbertie’s Organics in Easton in 2 weeks.

Up to half of the purchase price is a tax-deductible contribution to Aspetuck Land Trust!

Choose from pollinator herb variety packs; pollinator garden kits; mailbox garden kits; shrubs and trees, and eco-type plants (plugs) for containers and gardens.

Prices range from $9 to $80.

Click here to order. To join a webinar this Wednesday (May 27, 10:30 a.m.) about the importance of planting natives, click here, then scroll down.


What’s a Sunday without former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb on “Face the Nation”? At least this week his live-remote hometown got a shout-out on the chyron. (Hat tip: Alan Shinbaum)


And finally … sing it, Dionne!

Dr. Scott Gottlieb Advises Westport Reopening Team

The Reopen Westport Advisory Team kicked off its first meeting this morning with a presentation by someone who knows as much about COVID-19 as anyone in the country: former FDA commissioner (and neighbor) Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

A frequent guest on news shows throughout the pandemic, the Westport resident spoke for more than half an hour — first presenting his own thoughts, then answering questions.

Dr. Gottlieb said:

Reopening the country is taking place against a backdrop of “much more spread than we initially expected.” However, the tri-state areas as seen “sustained reductions.”

Live, from his Westport home office, it’s Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Cablevision Channel 79.

When local communities open, they’ll face both opportunities and challenges. It helps that the weather is getting better. Outdoor activities are better than indoor ones. That includes not just restaurant seating, but even businesses that can move activities into parking lots and “onto Main Street” (he used the term generically, rather than specifically our own).

Businesses will want to show customers and clients that they are doing robust testing.

There may be less of a spread of COVID-19 this summer, but there is risk of a new outbreak — maybe even another epidemic — in the fall. The good news is, there will be better screening, robust testing, and some forms of treatment — perhaps even an experimental vaccine — then.

In terms of children, “we don’t know if millions of kids have had this yet, or hundreds.” There are two schools of thought: youngsters are not getting sick, or they are but show no symptoms. More and better testing will lead to a better understanding of risks of, say, opening summer camps and summer school so that parents can return to work.

Regarding the May 20 date of Phase One for the state’s reopening, Dr. Gottlieb said that although nationally we’re not where we wanted to be in terms of numbers of infections, “regionally we are. Connecticut has seen sustained declines. We may be at a low level of sustained infections.

“There will always be risks and transmissions. There may be a bump in new cases as we reopen. But people will move outside. People will be cautious. They won’t move around as much.”

Marpe: “A Good Week In Westport”

1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:

This has been a good week in Westport. The rate of growth for confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to slow, and across the state the number of hospitalizations continues to fall.

The RTM passed the town and school budgets for fiscal year 2021, resulting in an overall increase of less than half of a percent. The town’s AAA rating from Moody’s has been reaffirmed. We are also pleased to announce that the town’s tax collections this fiscal year are on target and have not been significantly impacted by the virus. As a reminder, you have until May 22 to apply for a COVID-19 related tax deferment on your April installment payment.

The state is working toward reopening much of the private sector. Later today, we expect new guidance from the state Department of Economic and Community Development, which will cover aspects of reopening salons, barbershops, restaurants, offices and other businesses.

Businesses like Joe’s Pizza, Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates, Ron’s Barber Shop and Westport Wellness Massage look forward to new “reopening” regulations.

Westport will largely follow the state’s reopening strategy, as communicated by Governor Lamont. We have launched the ReOpen Westport Advisory Team, which held its first public meeting on Wednesday. Liaisons were named for each local business segment, and are actively reaching out to business owners.

The team is pleased to have Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Westport resident and former FDA commissioner, share his perspectives on reopening at the Monday, May 11 meeting (11 a.m.). Westport’s state legislative delegation will also attend, to update the team on the state’s plan. You can watch this meeting via live streaming on our website, or Cablevision channel 79.

A week from today we will open the parking facilities at Compo Beach at 50% capacity, and the Longshore golf course will be open for play (with certain restrictions). This is an opportunity to get out of the house, enjoy the warmer weather, and perhaps get some physical activity. But remember the importance of maintaining a social distance of at least 6 feet at all times, and you must bring or wear a mask if you anticipate difficulties achieving that.

Compo Beach, this week. (Photo/Yvonne Claveloux)

In the coming week we will announce the specific rules and regulations related to the beach opening. We encourage you to follow them, and remind you that everyone in town is relying on your compliance. Social distancing and wearing masks is imperative if we are to keep the beaches and golf course open.

Public health experts have determined that wearing a cloth face covering may prevent transmission by an infected person. The use of appropriate personal protective equipment in public places is of critical interest to all of us. If you are in a public place and cannot maintain a safe social distance of at least 6 feet, then you must cover your nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering. The best advice is to have a mask available at all times if you are outside of your home, and most certainly when you are at our beaches and parks. I keep mine around my neck when I step outside so it’s ready to go if necessary.

The town of Westport has procured 25,000 face masks, with the help of the Grace Farms Foundation in New Canaan. We plan to distribute them to the general public Tuesday morning.  Further details will follow on Monday.

Please continue to stay connected with the town as the COVID-19 response and reopening evolves. For updates, please check the town website or the ReOpening site.

I want to wish all of you a great Mother’s Day weekend. Don’t forget: You’re not stuck at home; you’re safe at home.

COVID-19 Roundup: Staples Class of 2020; Sherwood Island; Dr. Scott Gottlieb; Ron’s Barber Shop; More

It’s increasingly unlikely that Staples High School seniors will have a traditional graduation. That includes everything from caps and gowns, to coming together as a class in the final weeks, reveling in each other’s achievements.

To stay connected and celebrate, a group of seniors created an Instagram account (@shsgrads2020). Everyone in the Class of 2020 is invited to direct message a baby picture, and post-graduate plans.

The admins will create a post, with information about what’s ahead and congratulations on their decision.

Seniors can also send any major achievements from this year — awards, accomplishments, whatever.

COVID-19 has taken away many things. But it can’t stop the spirit of Staples’ soon-to-be graduates!


Sherwood Island was busy yesterday — so busy that rangers turned people away. It was reopened later in the afternoon.

Most people practiced social distancing. Two state parks — Kent Falls and Seaside in Waterford — have already been closed, because of overuse and lack of social distancing.

This morning, Amy Schneider spotted members of the National Guard based in Connecticut, and representatives of the estate Department of Public Health, handing out essential equipment to nursing homes and emergency workers:


Meanwhile, the Compo Beach area was busy yesterday, with runners, walkers and joggers along South Compo, Hillspoint and Soundview. The sand itself wsa empty. Many people — though not all — practiced social distancing.

Over in Fairfield, Sasco Creek Beach closed weeks ago. However, a number of people yesterday broke the yellow caution tape, and parked there. Police cleared them out.

Compo Beach, earlier this spring. (Photo/Sarah Menninger)


Several times in the past few weeks, Westporter/former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb has appeared on Sunday morning talk shows.

Yesterday — newly appointed to President Trump’s Opening Our Country Council — he and publishing executive/former presidential candidate Steve Forbes appeared on the Ben Shapiro Show.

The hour-long “Sunday Special” format allowed Gottlieb to speak in depth about consequences of the lockdown, the risk of returning to work, the effectiveness of testing and contact tracing, how asymptomatic carriers affect others, and more.

Click below to view:


Ron Provenzano is the lively, talkative and very popular owner of a Westport barber shop, in the space previously occupied by Sally’s Place.

He’s the father of 6 — including newborn twins — and great friend to many. His shop is closed by the pandemic. He was unable to get a small business loan before that program’s funds ran out.

Currently, he’s $18,000 behind in rent. A GoFundMe page has been started to help Ron. Click here to donate.


Kim Penwell spotted this on the I-95 overpass, at the Sherwood Island Connector:


You’re never too old for Kermit.

He knows the importance of staying healthy. Rachel Halperin keeps him at home, reminding her constantly to be safe and stay positive.


And finally … back in 1967, Jim Morrison predicted the future:

BONUS WESTPORT CONNECTION: The back cover of the Doors’ “Strange Days” — released just 4 days after they played at Staples High School — featured model Zazel Wilde. She grew up across the street from me here, and had graduated from Staples a few years before. She’s on the left below, obviously.

COVID-19 Roundup: Family Fun; What If?; Podcast Answers; Beechwood Arts; Holiday Meals, And More

Marley Brown is a clever — and now homebound — Staples High School freshman.

Last week she challenged her family to a week of “theme nights.” Everyone had 30 minutes to create their own costume. Then they took a photo together, and ate dinner dressed up.

Themes included Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Gala, Movies and Broadway. “Gala night” ended up with a dance party. On Sunday her brother, Pierce, picked the winner. (It was his 13th birthday.)

“It was a great idea to break up the monotony of our days, and give us a way to jump start our creativity each evening,” says her mom, Shandley McMurray.

What’s your family doing to break up routine? Email dwoog@optonline.net!

A typical night in the Brown house.


Years ago, Miggs Burroughs wrote a book. The What If? Book of Questions is a quick and simple read — but it’s hardly quick and simple. The thought-provoking, inspirational work gets you thinking in random, odd ways. You think about things you’ve thought of often, and things you never imagined would enter your brain. For example:

What if the most important moment in your life is this one? Can you handle the power it gives you to choose how you will spend the next one?

Westport knows Miggs as a brilliant graphic artist and photographer. He is the go-to guy for designing company and non-profit logos, t-shirts, even the town flag. He is very generous with his pro bono work.

Once again, Miggs’ generosity knows no bounds. Though What If? is still available on Amazon he’s now providing a free digital version. It’s “a way to offer a small distraction and meditation on our current situation.”

Click here to download, at no cost. Then, What If you have your own questions about the crisis? Just click “Comments” below!


Like many of us, Peter Saverine knows the importance of wearing a mask.

His day job is director of development at STAR Lighting the Way. But he may have a second career as a designer.

He created his own (very) inexpensive mask using a cheap coffee filter, 2 rubber bands and scotch tape. Then he let his imagination run wild.

The result is below. Enjoy — and to show off your own creations, email dwoog@optonline.net.


Staples High School 2004 graduate Brittney Levine hosts a podcast: “Be My Neighbor.”

Yesterday, her guest was Rebecca Boas — a neighbor, and a Staples 2005 grad.

What makes this particularly COVID Roundup-worthy is that Rebecca is now Dr. Boas. She’s an assistant professor of medicine at NYU.

These days, she’s very busy. But she took time out of her Sunday to answer all kinds of listeners’ questions about treatment, masks, etc., etc., etc. Click below for the fascinating segment.


Beechwood Arts’ next immersive, interactive event is this Wednesday, April 8 (6 to 7 p.m.). The theme is “Homebodies,” which should resonate with every Westporter. There’s live music, art and special guests. For more information — including how to log in — click the video below.


Still wondering where to order a Passover or Easter meal? Click on the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s 2 great lists of restaurants, grocery stores and markets that may offer them (scroll down on the home page). OneWestport is another site with similar information.

Statewide, CTBites has its own lists too (including a few caterers).

The crowd may be smaller this year. But the food can be as good as ever.


They should call it “Face the Nation Featuring Scott Gottlieb.” For the 2nd straight week — and 3rd time in 4 — the former FDA commissioner was on the CBS Sunday morning show.

Once again, he appeared live from his Westport home. Click below; jump to 5:58 to see our neighbor. (Hat tip: Dennis Jackson)


And finally, an opera singer serenaded residents of a retirement community in Santa Cruz, California. But he wasn’t the only one there who could sing!

 

COVID-19 Roundup: Farmers’ Market Supports Vendors; Aid For Small Businesses; Videos, Art, And More

The Westport Farmers’ Market is between seasons. But they never stop helping their shoppers — or their farmers.

At a time when healthy, fresh food is especially important; when supermarket shopping carries risks, and purveyors — like all of us — have been rocked by COVID-19, the Farmers’ Market has a plan.

Just click here. Scroll down; click on a logo to select a vendor (there are 8: Calf & Clover Creamery, Seacoast Mushrooms, Wave Hill Breads, Farmers & Cooks, Two Guys from Woodbridge, Paul’s Custom Pet Food, Herbacious Catering and Ox Hollow Farm).

Place your order. Pay directly on their site, by Wednesday noon.  You’ll receive info about your scheduled pickup time by 8 a.m. Thursday. (Delivery is available too — but only in Westport.)

If you’re picking up, at the appropriate time head to the Winter Farmers’ Market site: Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens, 7 Sylvan Lane South. Your order will be bagged and waiting outside. Only the vendor and you will touch your bag.

Bring your own totes, if you’ve ordered several bags. “Bring your patience too,” the Farmers’ Market says. “We will figure this out together.”

Seems like the Farmers’ Market has already figured out most of it. Now all we have to do is order — and thank them, and their awesome farming partners.


Alert reader Marshall Kiev passes along a great summary of the relevant small business relief portion of the recently enacted CARES Act.

“This relief package should be an important  lifeline to many small businesses in Westport – coffee shops, butchers, hair salons, etc.,” he says. “Let’s get the word out to everyone. Many of these businesses are shut down, and owners may not be aware of the available funding.”

Click here to view — then forward far and wide!

Many shuttered Westport businesses can benefit from recent legislation. (Photo/Katherine Bruan)


I’ve written before about Cup of Sugar: the fantastic local group providing deliveries of food, medication and anything else for people in need. (Just click here, then click “Request a Delivery.”)

Nick Ribolla was ready to graduate this spring, from Columbia University. He’s finishing online, but wants to help his home town. He signed up with Cup of Sugar. Still, he is eager to do even more.

He has a lot to offer. He’s sharp, multi-talented, funny and fun. (He’s also got plenty of experience with kids, as a longtime camp counselor).

Nick can help youngsters via Zoom with humanities (“especially English and creative writing”), and Spanish. He’ll also help them manage their workloads. “Whatever I can do, I’ll do,” he says simply.

Call or text: 203-451-9453. And of course, say “gracias.”

Nick Ribolla


The Westport Police Department has put together some great videos. A variety of Westporters (see how many you know!) offer messages — “stay strong!” “keep your distance!” “keep buying local!” — via their Facebook page.

Just search on FB for “Westport Police Department.” Or click here for the latest (with a cameo by yours truly); click here for another, and click here for the first.


Once again, Dr. Scott Gottlieb appeared on a Sunday morning news show, direct from his Westport yard.

This morning, the former FDA commissioner told “Face the Nation” that coronavirus restrictions should remain in place ahead of a “difficult April,” and that the US might have “millions” of cases over the next few months.

Click here for the interview.


Coleytown Elementary School art teacher Deb Goldenberg is working with her colleagues around town to help every school share positive messages — through art, of course.

Students are drawing or making designs, then adding brief ideas like “Spread kindness and love.” They’re encouraged to experiment with patterns and fonts. Messages will be included with the school’s Morning News.


In today’s Persona interview, Jimmy Izzo discusses why shopping local is more important than ever. Click here for a clip, then download the app for the full Q&A.

Jimmy Izzo


And finally, if you’re missing a loved one — well, in a pandemic, just follow doctor’s orders.

PS: Sure, get up and dance. No one’s watching!

COVID-19 Roundup: Neighbors Rally; Face Mask Collections; Informative Videos, And More

Someone’s doing great things in the Gorham Avenue/Evergreen neighborhood.

They’re distributing notes in residents’ mailboxes, along with colored paper. The notes ask residents to put the appropriate color in a street-facing window. Green indicates “all ok.” Red means “need supplies.” Yellow is for “elderly/living alone or isolated/mobility issues.”

The note promises that neighbors will monitor the signs, and act as needed. It also offers a phone number to call or text if supplies are needed. Residents can also call that number if they want to help others.

What a great idea — and easy to replicate, in any neighborhood! (Hat tip: Mark Mathias)


Westporter Stephanie Webster’s CTBites is always a great way to keep up with restaurants and bars all around the state. This week’s edition offers comprehensive coverage of places that are open for pickup and delivery throughout Connecticut. There’s also a story about chefs doing good things, and ways everyone else can help them and others.

Click here for details. There are tons of them!


Greens Farms Congregational Church worship, meetings and religious school are now held online.

But yesterday congregants gathered together — 6 feet apart, of course — at a drive-thru food drive for Inspirica in Stamford (where homeless families struggle without the usual supply of donated food and volunteers to help), and Pivot Ministries (a men’s recovery mission in Bridgeport). It’s social distance — and social support — at its best.


The Yale New Haven Health System needs disposable head covers and caps; disposable gowns, gloves and face masks; N95 respirator face masks; powered air purifying respirators; face shields and goggles; coveralls and scrubs; shoe covers; disinfection wipes and liquids, and general purpose hand cleaners.

All should be in original, unopened packages. Email donationsppe@ynhh.org. Include contact information so staff can respond.


Meanwhile, Elizabeth Newman — a physician assistant at New York Presbyterian / Weill Cornell — is collecting face masks because of the critical shortages at all hospitals in the are, including hers.

She  has already picked up hundreds in the area, and can pick up tens to hundreds more from doorsteps in the evenings. Email elizabeth.h.newman@gmail.com. Anyone with access to larger quantities shoud contact masks@nyp.org to ship them directly.

Elizabeth notes, “I don’t want to take supplies from local hospitals if they need them. If anyone has any to spare they can also try to donate to the local hospital or EMS station. If they don’t need them I’m happy to bring them into the city.

“Also if owners of spas, tattoo parlors, salons, etc. that are shutting down can spare theirs, I know Governor Cuomo is willing to purchase masks at a premium,which could help offset their business losses.”


Garelick & Herbs offers 20% off for any orders of in-kind donating to elderly, low-immune deficiency or in need neighbors. Contact them to help coordinate this; also contact if you are interested in helping in other ways: social distancing delivery, phoning those who are isolated, etc. Email Garelickandherbs@gmail.com or pgarelick@aol.com; call or text 203-913-9737.


As students adjust to distance learning, Staples High School principal Stafford Thomas is a clear, calming presence.

This morning he offered his second video update. He discussed next steps for students and staff, AP tests, social distancing and more. You don’t have to be a high schooler or parent to appreciate today’s news. Click here, then scroll down under “Announcements” to March 23, and click on the video.


Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb appeared yesterday on CBS-TV’s “Face the Nation.” He spoke “outside his Connecticut home” — which, as “06880” readers know, is in Westport.

Click below for the informative interview.

(Hat tip: Dennis Jackson)


As visitors to Aspetuck Land Trust’s 44 trailed preserves increase dramatically — particularly Trout Brook Valley — the non-profit reminds visitors to leave dogs at home. Unfortunately, they create too many opportunities for close human contact. In addition, Aspetuck will closely monitor all areas, to make sure there is proper social distancing. Click here for information on all the preserves.

—————————————

Back to face masks.

Lea Kaner is the mother of former 2nd Selectman Avi Kaner and fellow Westporter Celia Offir. When the virus hit, over 1,300 employees in her family’s business — Morton Williams supermarkets — had no face masks.

Unpacking shipments, stocking shelves and checking out customers, those men and women are on the front lines. So Lea — an expert seamstress — stepped up.

Kaner and his wife Liz found pattern cut sheets and instructions on the internet. They drove to a store in Milford, and filled the car with fabric and ribbons. Then Lea went to work.

She’s still working almost non-stop to make sure every employee is protected. Plus, they’re the best looking face masks around.

 

Scott Gottlieb Faces The Nation About COVID-19

Yesterday morning — just an hour or so before local officials convened a community forum on the COVID-19 virus — our neighbor Dr. Scott Gottlieb was in a TV studio.

President Trump’s former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration was interviewed on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Here’s what he said.

MARGARET BRENNAN: For a closer look at how prepared we are for the coronavirus here in the U.S., we turn to former FDA commissioner and physician Dr. Scott Gottlieb. Good to have you here.

DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Thanks.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You served in the Trump administration. What do you think the administration is doing now that is right, wrong in its handling of the virus?

DR. GOTTLIEB: Right. Well, certainly expanding the diagnostic capability is the right move. We’re going to have the capacity by the end of this week to diagnose probably 10,000 people a day or screen 10,000 people a day with the public health labs. Hundred labs doing hundreds of tests a day. By the end of the week after that, we’ll probably bring on another 10,000. So we’ll have testing capacity of perhaps as much as 20,000 a day by the end of the next two weeks. Once we bring on the academic labs, that was really a critical step, bringing on those academic labs and leveraging their capacity. These are the major medical centers. What we need to do now is make a real concerted effort to get a therapeutic. We know when this started, but we don’t know when this is going to end. And what’s going to end it is our technology. Our savior here is going to be our technology. And we need to make a really robust effort to try to develop a therapeutic.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Meaning a treatment?

DR. GOTTLIEB: A  treatment or a vaccine. But a- a therapeutic- a treatment is going to be more likely to be available in the fall. A vaccine is a much longer way off. And we always knew when that once in a generation strain came along, and this might be that strain, that what we were going to have to depend on was our science and something to stop it like a treatment or a vaccine. A treatment, again, we could have by September, October, potentially.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But more testing means more positive results. I mean, you’re saying basically expect the number of those who’ve been diagnosed with the virus to also increase?

DR. GOTTLIEB: It’s going to increase. This- right now, there’s probably hundreds or low thousands of cases. Everyone’s–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Hundreds or low thousands of coronavirus cases–

DR. GOTTLIEB: In the U.S.–

MARGARET BRENNAN: –in the U.S. that aren’t that aren’t reported yet?

DR. GOTTLIEB: –that aren’t reported yet. It’s a big country 3- 340 million people, 330 million people, so anyone’s individual risk is- is still very low. But we need to get those cases diagnosed and identified so we can start getting people quarantined and into treatment and prevent more spread. We need to start mitigating the implications of the spread. There was an analysis out today by Trevor Bradford, very good researcher out of the Hutch, looking at the genetic strains in Washington state. And by looking at the strains and the drift between the different strains for the people who have been diagnosed there, he’s suggested that there’s perhaps hundreds and maybe low thousands of cases. It’s an interesting analysis. There probably are more cases. We have community spread now in Washington state, California, perhaps Illinois or Oregon. So certainly hundreds of cases.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, has the administration been slow in its response?

DR. GOTTLIEB: Well, look, I think the decision the administration made to block the travel, which was controversial at the time, clearly bought us time. It- it slowed the introduction of the virus into the country. Virus was probably here at that time, but it slowed additional cases. The question is, what do we do with that time? I think there’s some things we did that were very smart. We got the country prepared. One of the mistakes, one of the challenges was getting the diagnostic testing in place. I think what we should have done and I don’t want to, you know, armchair quarterback this, we relied on the CDC. We always rely on a CDC in a public health emergency. But simultaneous to that, we should have also been reaching out and trying to get the laboratory developed tests into the game and the manufacturers who have diagnostic capability. We’ve done that. You know, a couple weeks went by and they did that. And that is now in place. And those labs are going to be coming online. So we course corrected. I think what it teaches us, if you’re looking back, what is the teachable moment? It’s don’t take a linear approach to these crises, take an all of the above approach. And we need to do that now in a therapeutic. We- we can’t put all our eggs in the vaccine basket. We need to be looking at antibody based prophylaxis treatments, vaccines and all of the above approach. If case one doesn’t work out, we have other options.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you’d suggest that’s the conversation the president should have tomorrow with the pharmaceutical companies–

DR. GOTTLIEB: Tomorrow is the vaccine manufacturers.

MARGARET  BRENNAN: –when he brings those executives?

DR. GOTTLIEB: I think we need to look at the companies that- that can develop antibody based prophylaxis as well. We did that against Ebola. That is actually what we could potentially have for the fall- fall or a small molecule drug that’s currently on the shelf, trying to repurpose it for this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The NIH director, Anthony Fauci, a doctor, said that from what he’s seen, if you get infected, you likely won’t get reinfected. But there seems to be so much we don’t know. If someone has just sort of mild or moderate symptoms, how do they last? How do you know to go and get tested?

DR. GOTTLIEB: That’s the challenge here. You don’t. You know, there isn’t- the spectrum of disease here is very wide. A lot of people are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, but they shed virus and they’re still infected. They can still transfer the virus and a small percentage get very sick. And so, it’s probably the 80 percent that are mildly symptomatic or even asymptomatic that are the ones that are spreading it. The other thing is that people who get very sick, don’t get very sick right away. The time to hospitalization in- in different studies was nine to 12 days. So they start off with cold-like symptoms and then they progressively get more ill. And it’s in that phase that people are spreading it. There was a very interesting analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine about two weeks ago that looked at viral load and viral shedding across a spectrum of disease. And the people who are mildly symptomatic shed as much virus as the people who are very sick and that’s atypical. Typically, the amount of virus you have and shed to- in- in some diseases comports with how much- how much of virus you have.

MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. Doctor, thank you very much for coming on and giving us–

DR. GOTTLIEB: Thanks a lot.

MARGARET BRENNAN: –your analysis. We’ll be back in a moment with a look at Super Tuesday and more.

Click below for the full CBS segment on COVID-19, including Dr. Gottlieb’s appearance.

[OPINION] Westport Mom: Boycott Stores That Promote Vaping

An alert — and concerned — “06880” reader writes:

The other day my daughters and I walked by the Merritt Country Store. The small shop sells food, candy, cigarettes, magazines, lottery tickets — and all kinds of vaping cartridges. The most well-known are Juuls.

We were on our way to Coffee An’, one of our favorite places in town. I noticed the bright, bold posters in the windows of the Merritt store. All but one advertised vaping. All are placed at children’s eye level.

Ads at the Merritt Country Store. The one on the left is for lottery tickets; all the others are for Juuls.

It reminded me of a great presentation that Dr. Ruth Potee gave recently at Staples High School about drug and alcohol use. She described the e-cigarette campaigns that companies utilize to advertise directly to kids.

They use bold, colorful print to draw attention to products in an effort to get kids attracted, and addicted, early.

There’s even a term for this generation of nicotine-addicted children: “Nic Kids.” There may be fewer smokers in this generation, but nicotine use via e-cigarettes or vaping, is clearly on the rise.

According to former FDA Director Scott Gottlieb — a Westport resident — 3.6 million teenagers (middle and high school students) vaped in 2017. That’s a 40% increase since 2011.

Companies market kid-appealing flavors, such as “fruity” vape cartridges (Juul) via online ads, and cool colorful posters in store windows where kids buy candy, gum and soda,

The federally mandated warnings tell one story. The colorful graphics and alluring text tell quite another.

Teenagers’ developing brains quickly become addicted to nicotine via e-cigarettes and other pod-based nicotine delivery systems. E-cigarette use affects brain development, lungs and future addictive behavior.

A new FDA report connects e-cig devices and vaping with seizures.

As the mother of 3 children, I speak openly about addiction and the undermining of their brains by means of these “ends” (electronic nicotine delivery systems).

I urge every adult to avoid patronizing any store that advertises these drugs to our kids. The only ones who benefit are the drug companies and the stores that advertise and sell their products.

Our kids pay the price.

Scott Gottlieb Resigns; One Less Westporter In Washington

Dr. Scott Gottlieb — commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and a strong critic of e-cigarettes and vaping — has resigned. A Westport resident with a background as a health policy analyst, he was appointed to the post 2 years ago by President Trump.

According to the New York Times, his wife and 3 children still live here. The paper said he was “weary of the commute and missed his family.”

However, the paper added, “he has also been subject to increasing pressure from Republicans in Congress and his former associates in the conservative movement for his tough stance against youth vaping and traditional cigarettes.”

The Washington Post noted, “While Gottlieb had some policy disagreements with the White House, he is well respected, and could be invited back to another post, two officials said….

“The move came as a surprise to some FDA officials because he has recently hired senior staff and was aggressively pushing a host of new initiatives.”

Gottlieb was the highest-ranking Westporter in Washington, following the resignation and subsequent move of FBI director James Comey.

When he was nominated to head the FDA, Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s profile page proudly displayed a photo of Westport.