CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday took comfort in a prediction by Dr. Scott Gottlieb that the pandemic phase of Covid could be over by January.
“Dr. Gottlieb basically said the war’s over, and that’s just incredible,” Cramer said. Gottlieb, who had served as FDA chief under former President Donald Trump, is currently a Pfizer board member.
“By Jan. 4, this pandemic may well be over, at least as it relates to the United States, after we get through this delta wave of infection,” Gottlieb said on “Squawk Box.” “We’ll be in a more endemic phase” after that.
Gottlieb referenced Jan. 4 because that’s the new deadline for the Biden administration’s mandate for larger U.S. companies to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid.
“The end of the war is in sight,” Cramer said.
Gottlieb’s comments made on CNBC earlier Friday morning were more important than the strong October jobs numbers, the “Mad Money” host said.
“They were talking about employment, I don’t even care about the employment numbers — the pandemic ended,” Cramer said. “It sounds like it’s over.”
“Today is a good day,” Cramer said, referring to Pfizer’s announcement that internal data showed its oral Covid pill — when administered with a widely used HIV drug — indicated an 89% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death in adults who’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. Pfizer shares were up more than 8% on Friday morning.
“The only people who are unhappy are the people who own the stocks that required you to stay inside,” Cramer said. So-called economic reopening stocks advanced Friday morning while stay-at-home names came under pressure.
Merck’s antiviral Covid pill, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, was shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid by 50%, according to internal data released early last month. Merck shares were down nearly 9% on Friday, with the company facing competition in treatments.
Unlike Pfizer, Merck does not have a Covid vaccine.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus, health-care tech company Aetion and biotech company Illumina. He also serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings′ and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Sail Panel.”