No national shutdown. No national shutdown.’ Joe Biden rules out nationwide lockdown over COVID as he holds talks with governors on mounting crisis
- ‘I say it again. No national shutdown. No national shutdown,’ Biden said
- He spoke to reporters Thursday in Wilmington
- One advisor floated a four-to-six week lockdown, but two other advisors shot down the idea
- He marked ”tragic milestone’ of 250,000 COVID-19 deaths
‘Everybody asks that question every single time,’ Biden said, flashing some annoyance when asked if he would order businesses around the country to close as the pandemic raged.
He referenced his own earlier comments on the subject, and said: ‘The answer was I would follow the science. I am not going to shutdown the economy, period.’
‘No national shutdown’: President-elect Joe Biden said a nationwide shutdown was not on the table, as the nation hit the ‘tragic milestone’ of 250,000 COVID-19 deaths
To underline the point, he said: ‘I say it again. No national shutdown. No national shutdown.’
‘There’s no circumstance which I can see that would require total national shutdown. I think that would be counterproductive,’ he said.
He spoke as a range of states were tightening measures and limiting capacity at bars and restaurants while limiting the size of gatherings amid a relentless surge in coronavirus infections.
But he said states needed to be tailored by states based on what is going on there.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving, although Vice President Mike Pence’s coronavirus task force, which met Thursday and held an hour-long White House briefing that did not allow questions, was formally silent on the subject.
The comments came after Biden advisor Dr. Michael Osterholm said a four to six week lockdown accompanied by a system to pay people during the disruption might rein in the virus, although other advisors said it was not on the table.
Biden advisors Dr. Vivek Murthy and Dr. Atul Gawande each have pushed back on the idea of a national lockdown.
Biden’s words came as he marked the ‘tragic milestone’ of 250,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths, and talked up a call with governors to brainstorm policy.
‘There was a real desire for real partnership between the states and the federal government,’ Biden said.