Joe Biden said before Election Day that he would not seek another coronavirus lockdown, but it looks like the Democrat is already walking that back.
A member of Biden’s coronavirus advisory team said that a national lockdown of up to six weeks could get control of the virus and revive the economy as well, the Washington Examiner reported.
Dr. Michael Osterholm told Yahoo Finance that the government could cover the economic losses of a lockdown until a vaccine is available.
“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies to medium-sized companies, for cities, states, county governments. We could do all of that,” he said, as the Examiner reported. “If we did that, then we could lock down for four to six weeks.”
Osterholm pointed to a New York Times piece he co-authored in August, in which he took the bold position that there is “no trade-off” between the economy and public health.
“There is no trade-off between health and the economy. Both require aggressively getting control of the virus. History will judge us harshly if we miss this life- and economy-saving opportunity to get it right this time,” the doctor wrote.
He continued: “The problem with the March-to-May lockdown was that it was not uniformly stringent across the country. For example, Minnesota deemed 78 percent of its workers essential. To be effective, the lockdown has to be as comprehensive and strict as possible.”
Biden team ambivalent on lockdown
Osterholm’s comments seem out of place with Biden’s admittedly bizarre claim that he would “shut down the virus, not the country.” But there seems to be some confusion as to what Biden wants to do exactly.
After Osterholm’s comments caused a stir, other members of Biden’s coronavirus team dismissed the idea of a lockdown, with one calling it a “last resort,” Fox News reported. Osterholm himself said he doubts there is national support for a lockdown and that he had not talked to the rest of Biden’s team about it.
“Nobody’s going to support it. It’s not going to be supported out of the administration. It’s not going to be supported in Congress,” Osterholm told ABC News.
Indeed, a recent Gallup Poll found that less than half of Americans are “very likely” to comply with another lockdown, a drop since the spring, which may explain some of the Biden team’s ambivalence.
Is Uncle Joe already breaking promises?