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Why daily COVID-19 infections may not be the best pandemic bellwether going forward

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Sunday suggested that it's time to process information about the coronavirus pandemic in the United States a little differently.

For example, he explained why 10,000 cases — a daily infection number he thinks the U.S. may plateau at over the summer — right now is not the same thing as 10,000 cases a year ago. "We need to think about the overall vulnerability of the population and not just the cases we're accruing on a daily basis," Gottlieb told CBS News' John Dickerson. "The vulnerability of the population has been reduced substantially because of vaccination. A lot of older Americans and people ... who are most likely to be hospitalized or succumb to the disease have now been protected" when they weren't a year ago.

Gottlieb cautioned that there will still be outbreaks going forward, but they're likely to "represent much less disease, much less death." Instead of daily infection counts, then, Gottlieb believes that focusing more heavily on hospitalization numbers will soon provide the clearest sense of where the pandemic stands. Tim O'Donnell