Scott Gottlieb in 2017.
  • Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner from 2017 to April 2019, appeared on "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
  • During the interview, he said that the 1.8m rule recommended by the CDC is "arbitrary."
  • Gottlieb also said no one knows where it came from, as the original proposal was 3 metres.
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During a September 19 "Face the Nation" appearance, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb made some claims regarding the CDC guidelines that we all stand 1.8m apart to prevent the spread of Covid-19 via social distancing.

"The six feet rule was arbitrary in and of itself," he told interviewer Margaret Brennan. "Nobody knows where it came from. Most people assume that the six feet of distance, the recommendation for keeping six feet apart, comes out of some old studies related to flu, where droplets don't travel more than six feet," he added.

Gottlieb, who published the "National Coronavirus Response: A Road Map to Reopening" with several other public health experts, a guide on how to manage the disease, also said the original recommendation was to keep people 3m apart, but that was shut down.

"The initial recommendation that the CDC brought to the White House ... was 10 feet, and a political appointee in the White House said we can't recommend 10 feet," he said. "Nobody can measure 10 feet, it's inoperable, society will shut down. So the compromise was around six feet," Gottlieb continued.

According to the CDC website, social distancing and staying six feet apart is still an official recommendation to stop the spread of Covid-19.

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