Biden’s Pick For Coronavirus Advisor Pushes For Strict National Lockdown Measures

OPINION | This article contains commentary that reflects the author's opinion.

Dr. Michael Osterholm says a national COVID-19 lockdown is just what America needs, according to The Western Journal.

“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 or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that. If we did that, then we could lock down for four to six weeks.”

“We could really watch ourselves cruising into the vaccine availability in the first and second quarter of next year while bringing back the economy long before that.”

“To successfully drive down our case rate to less than one per 100,000 people per day, we should mandate sheltering in place for everyone but the truly essential workers.”

“By that, we mean people must stay at home and leave only for essential reasons: food shopping and visits to doctors and pharmacies while wearing masks and washing hands frequently.

“According to the Economic Policy Institute, 39 percent of workers in the United States are in essential categories.”

“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.”

“This pandemic is deeply unfair. Millions of low-wage, front-line service workers have lost their jobs or been put in harm’s way, while most higher-wage, white-collar workers have been spared.”

“But it is even more unfair than that; those of us who’ve kept our jobs are actually saving more money because we aren’t going out to restaurants or movies, or on vacations. Because we are saving more, we have the resources to support those who have been laid off.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci says, “We would like to stay away from that, Robin, because there’s no appetite for locking down the American public. I believe we can do it without a lockdown.”

“You don’t necessarily have to shut everything down. … The best opposite strategy to locking down is to intensify the public health measures short of locking down. So if you can do that well, you don’t have to take that step that people are trying to avoid, which has so many implications both psychologically and economically.”

“Help is really on the way. … Vaccines are going to have a major positive impact.”

Osterholm says, “What America has to understand is that we are about to enter COVID hell. It is happening. We have not even come close to the peak and, as such, our hospitals are now being overrun. The next three to four months are going to be, by far, the darkest of the pandemic.”

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel says, “It’ll be closer to November, closer toward the end” of 2021 noting that the re-opening would be based on the speed at which Americans are vaccinated.

“But it’ll probably be enough to begin opening colleges and universities [and] schools, again depending on how we distribute this thing and how effective we can be on that.”

From The Western Journal

Osterholm in August co-authored an Op-Ed in The New York Times with Neel Kashkari in which they said the problem with America’s past lockdowns was that they were neither long enough nor strict enough.

Osterholm and Kashkari said that if the policy they proposed were adopted in August, normal life could return by November.

Osterholm is not the only Biden adviser talking coronavirus gloom and doom.

In an interview with MarketWatch, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of the Affordable Care Act and a former special adviser for health policy in the Obama White House who is also on Biden’s Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, said a full reopening of the U.S. is not likely before late next year.