On Friday, CNBC’s Jim Kramer consoled himself with Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s prediction that the Covid pandemic phase could end by January.
“Dr. Gottlieb basically said the war was over and that was incredible,” Kramer said. Gottlieb, who served as head of the FDA under former President Donald Trump, is currently a member of Pfizer’s board of directors.
“By January 4, this pandemic may well be over, at least for the United States, after we get through this delta wave of infection,” Gottlieb told Squawk Box. “We’ll be in a more endemic phase” after that.
Gottlieb cited January 4 because it is the new deadline for the Biden administration’s mandate for large American companies to ensure full vaccinations or regular testing of their employees for Covid.
“The end of the war is just around the corner,” Kramer said.
Gottlieb’s comments, made on CNBC earlier Friday morning, were more important than the strong October employment data, the Mad Money presenter said.
“They talked about employment, I don’t even care about the employment numbers – the pandemic is over,” Kramer said. “It looks like it’s over.”
“Today is a good day,” Kramer said, citing Pfizer’s statement that internal data showed his oral Covid pills – when administered with a widely used HIV medication – indicated an 89% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death in adults. who have been exposed to the coronavirus. Pfizer shares rose more than 8% on Friday morning.
“The only people who are unhappy are the people who own the shares, who demanded that you stay inside,” Kramer said. So-called economic recovery stocks rose on Friday morning, while household stocks came under pressure.
According to internal data released early last month, Merck’s Covid antiviral pill, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid by 50%. Merck’s shares fell nearly 9% on Friday and the company faced competition in the healthcare industry.
Unlike Pfizer, Merck does not have a Covid vaccine.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC member and board member of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, healthcare technology company Aetion, and biotechnology company Illumina. He is also co-chairman of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Sail Panel”.