The weekly average of cases, deaths and hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 are all down in the past week, according to figures from the CDC.
The drop comes after cases slightly increased earlier this month. It also comes as more and more Americans get vaccinated against the virus.
As of Monday, the CDC reports that about 54% of all adults in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That figure includes 81.7% of people 65 and older — the group most vulnerable to the virus.
With the new downward trend, Scott Gottlieb, who served as the FDA under President Donald Trump, says that's a sign that governments should ease up on some restrictions.
“I think often times ... we need to lean more aggressively forward and look at ways to try to relax some of the provisions that don't really make as much sense anymore," Gottlieb said. "And probably the ones that we should be looking at the hardest are things done outside."
In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Gottlieb cited two studies that show transmission of the virus rarely comes from contact while outside.
Gottlieb says that given the sacrifices Americans have made, health officials need to accept a small level of risk to let people get back outside without a mask.
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