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Lockdown of 4-6 Weeks Pitched by Biden Coronavirus Advisor

  • Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, suggests that a nationwide lockdown of four to six weeks could bring the coronavirus under control until a vaccine is ready
  • Proposal would include borrowing money to cover lost incomes for individuals, businesses, and governments
  • COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in the United States, exceeding 100,000 a day in the past week

A member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board is suggesting that a stringent nationwide lockdown of four to six weeks could help the United States to get the coronavirus under control and stabilize its economy.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, has said the nation is heading toward “COVID hell” as a third wave of infections has led to surging numbers of cases as well as increasing hospitalizations and deaths. Osterholm posits that a nationwide lockdown would create a more manageable caseload, and that the U.S. is capable of borrowing enough money to cover lost incomes as well as lost sale and tax revenues for businesses and governments.

The U.S. has logged more than 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day over the past week, and several states are responding with renewed restrictions. While Connecticut had proceeded to Phase 3 of its reopening plan, it rolled back to a modified version of Phase 2 after about a month. The state’s latest daily positivity rate for COVID-19 stood at 4.76 percent.

Osterholm said restrictions during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic varied considerably from state to state, limiting their effectiveness. He suggested that the recent explosion of cases is due to a variety of factors, including cold weather bringing more people indoors where it is easier to spread the virus and people growing fatigued of social distancing and mask requirements.

Osterholm said a restrictive lockdown now would allow the U.S. to better contain the virus heading into the first and second quarters of 2021, when a COVID-19 vaccine might be available. He suggested that it would also help sustain the economy and promote its growth in advance of a vaccine’s availability.

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