The pace of the spread of Covid-19 and the vaccination rate over the next few weeks are key factors in whether the US can avoid another surge in coronavirus infections, said Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Monday.

“If we could just buy a few more weeks and not really see an increase in infections somewhere in the country, we would have got to the point where we have enough vaccines in the population … it will.” was a pretty significant setback – combined with the warming weather – against really a fourth wave of infections, said Gottlieb, noting that states are significantly expanding immunization rights.

“I think we will achieve that,” added the former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who is now on Pfizer’s board of directors. “It’s a little touch and goes for the next two weeks because we’re seeing some increases in some parts of the country, but it will likely be regionalized. It will likely only be certain states where their cases are increasing.”

Approximately 28% of the US population have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, and 15.5% were fully vaccinated on Sunday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots for full immunity protection, while Johnson & Johnson’s is a single dose. These are the only three emergency approved in the US

“When Israel hit about 25% of its vaccinated population, they started to see that [case] Declines attributed to vaccination. We are right at this tipping point, “Gottlieb said in an interview on CNBC’s” Squawk Box “.

The moving average of new infections is increasing in 30 states and Washington, DC in seven days, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. Gottlieb pointed to Michigan and the Tristate area of ​​New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as “we see problems” regions.

Overall, the most recent weekly average of new Covid cases in the country is over 63,000, a 16% increase from the previous week. This is evident from the analysis by CNBC. That remains well below the nation’s high in early January of around 250,000.

In the seven-day period ending Friday, hospital admissions for Covid patients increased 4% from the previous week, but fell more than 71% from early January, according to the CDC.

The US recorded an average of 970 Covid deaths per day for the past week, a 3% decrease from the previous year, according to CNBC’s analysis.

Last week, White House chief medical officer Dr. Anthony Fauci, at a press conference that America was “on the corner” in the fight against Covid instead of going around the corner.

– CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the boards of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion, and biotech company Illumina. He is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean’s Healthy Sail Panel.

Correction: The latest weekly average of new Covid cases in the country of the country is over 63,000, according to CNBC analysis, an increase of 16% from the previous week. An earlier version incorrectly characterized the characters.