National Lockdown to Contain COVID ‘Measure of Last Resort,’ Biden Health Advisor Says

Nation­al Lock­down to Con­tain COVID ‘Mea­sure of Last Resort,’ Biden Health Advisor

Dr. Vivek Murthy, a top coro­n­avirus advi­sor to Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden, said on Sun­day a nation­al lock­down of busi­ness­es and schools is a “mea­sure of last resort” and that any lock­down that would occur now would look dif­fer­ent than those of the spring.

“In the spring we didn’t know a lot about COVID, we respond­ed, in a sense, with an on-off switch,” Murthy, a for­mer U.S. sur­geon gen­er­al, said in an appear­ance on Fox News Sun­day. “We just shut things down because we didn’t know exact­ly how this was spread­ing and where it was spread­ing, but we learned a lot more since then.”

Murthy’s com­ments come as the nation strug­gles with a third surge of coro­n­avirus, with cas­es grow­ing by 5 per­cent or more in 47 states as of Sat­ur­day, based on a week­ly aver­age, accord­ing to a CNBC analy­sis. The U.S. has seen a week­ly aver­age of 145,401 cas­es each day, a more than 33 per­cent increase over the week pri­or and a record high aver­age, accord­ing to data from Johns Hop­kins University.

More patients are cur­rent­ly hos­pi­tal­ized with the virus than at any oth­er point in the pan­dem­ic — 69,400 — accord­ing to the COVID Track­ing Project.

A num­ber of states and cities have begun insti­tut­ing new coro­n­avirus restric­tions in light of the surge, includ­ing New Mex­i­co, Ore­gon, and Chicago.

Some began to expect Biden would insti­tute a nation­wide lock­down as pres­i­dent after Dr. Michael Oster­holm, also on Biden’s coro­n­avirus tran­si­tion advi­so­ry board, told Yahoo Finance last week that clos­ing busi­ness­es for four to six weeks while pay­ing peo­ple for lost wages could help bring down case num­bers and cre­ate a more man­age­able sit­u­a­tion for hospitals.

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