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BIDEN COVID Counselor Calls for Strict Nationwide Lockdown for 4-6 weeks

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BIDEN COVID Counselor Calls for Strict Nationwide Lockdown for 4-6 weeks
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One advisor to the assumed President-elect Joe Biden says the nationwide COVID-19 lockout is exactly what America wants.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, was elected to Biden’s COVID-19 Transition Advisory Board on Monday.

Osterholm claimed that closing down companies across the country for four to six weeks—because the government had to underwrite all missed wages—would regulate the transmission of the outbreak while not throwing the economy off the tracks, according to CNBC.

“They should arrange for a bundle right now to offset all benefits, missed earnings for actual employees, losses for small businesses, medium-sized firms or city, state, county governments. We will do all that,” he added. “If we did so we’d be able to shut things down for four to six weeks.”

Osterholm believed that such a move would work “as it did in New Zealand and Australia.”

“We should really watch the supply of vaccinations cruising in the first and second quarters of next year while taking the economy back a long time before that he said.

Osterholm co-authored Op-Ed in The New York Times with Neel Kashkari in August, saying that the trouble with America’s previous lockdowns was that they were neither long enough nor tight enough.

Are you in favour of a tight lockout as promoted by Osterholm?

“To successfully minimise our case rate to less than one per 100,000 people per day, we should be required to provide accommodation for all but the genuinely important workers,” Osterholm and Kashkari wrote. “They say that people have to stay at home and leave only for important reasons: grocery shopping and trips to doctors and hospitals while wearing masks and washing their hands regularly.

“According to the Economic Research Institute, 39% of jobs in the United States are in main groups.

“The issue with the March-to-May lockout was that it was not universally strict around the world. Minnesota, for example, found 78 per cent of its employees to be necessary. In order to be successful, the lockout must be as thorough and tight as possible.”

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

Op-Ed also called for a massive amount of discretionary investment.

“This pandemic is fundamentally unjust. Millions of low-wage, front-line service employees have lost their jobs or have been put in harm’s way, whereas most high-wage white-collar workers have been spared. But it’s much more unjust than that; those of us who have kept our jobs are really spending more money because we’re not going to restaurants or movies or on holiday,” they wrote. “Because we save more, we have the ability to help those who have been laid off.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, does not fit Osterholm’s zeal for tight lockout. He appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday, and was asked by host Robin Roberts if such action is needed now.

“We’d like to steer away from it, Robin, because there’s no appetite to close down the American public. I assume we can do this without a lockout,” Fauci said.

“You don’t actually have to close it all down. …The safest opposite approach to lock-up is to speed up public health interventions short of lock-up. So if you can do it well, you don’t have to take that step that people are trying to stop, which has so many psychological and economic consequences.”

He said, “Support is on the way. Vaccines would have a big positive effect.”

But Osterholm said the worst is yet to come.

“What America wants to realise is that we’re going to get into COVID hell,” he said on CNBC Monday. “It’s moving on.”

“We’re not yet close to the summit and as such, our hospitals are getting overwhelmed,” Osterholm said. “The next three or four months will by definition, be the darkest of the pandemics.”

Osterholm is not the first Biden advisor to write about coronavirus gloom and doom.

In an interview with MarketWatch, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, founder of the Affordable Care Act and former Obama White House Health Policy Special Advisor to Biden’s Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, said that a complete reopening of the U.S. is impossible until late next year.

“It’s going to be closer to November, closer to the end” of 2021, he said, saying that the opening will be crucial to the pace at which Americans are vaccinated.

“But it would actually be enough to start opening colleges and universities[and] schools again, based on how we spread this thing and how successful we can be,” Emanuel said.

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