Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday the U.S. still needs to expand and improve its coronavirus testing and contact tracing to bring its epidemic under control — even if it will never be able to employ an operation as rigorous as China.

"We don't need to have their level of surveillance state to have better testing and tracing in place, and we could be doing a lot better at calling on collective action for people to wear masks on a more routine basis," Gottlieb said on "Squawk Box."

The former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner pointed to recent developments in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, which is home to nine million people. After 12 cases were reported, the city now plans to test all of its residents over the next five days, according to the BBC.

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