Obama-era CDC director talks COVID-19 vaccine & Thanksgiving restrictions

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Dr. Richard E. Besser was nominated by former President Barack Obama to serve as the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control in January 2009. Little did Dr. Besser know that in April of that year, an outbreak of the swine flu in North America would take the country by storm.

Now with the coronavirus pandemic reaching unprecedented surges in cases and hospitalizations, Dr. Besser joined ABC7 Mornings anchors Reggie Aqui and Kumasi Aaron to share his thoughts on what the country needs to do the COVID-19 virus, particularly during the winter months.

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"This winter is the most dangerous period of this pandemic, and we need to double down," said Dr. Besser regarding the newly-imposed restrictions from California Governor Gavin Newsom.

RELATED: CA building vaccine distribution framework, but mass vaccination still months away

Dr. Besser was also asked to react to the recent news from major pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, releasing promising results of their late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trials. He shared his thoughts on when Californians might see a vaccine distributed to the mass public, as well as the CDC guidance to avoid travel during the Thanksgiving holiday.

RELATED: CDC updates Thanksgiving guidance, recommends that Americans do not travel
Click the above video to watch Dr. Besser's full interview, and make sure to watch ABC7 Mornings weekdays at 5 & 6 a.m., and weekends at 5, 6 and 9 a.m.
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