Biden advisers oppose US-wide lockdown

Doina Chiacu
·1-min read

The head of Democratic US president-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus advisory board says there is no plan to shut the country down and that the new administration's approach will be targeted at specific areas.

Vivek Murthy, a former US surgeon general tapped to lead the board, said doctors have learned a lot about how the virus spreads and what steps to reduce risk are effective.

"We're not in a place where we're saying shut the whole country down. We got to be more targeted," Murthy said in an interview with ABC's Good Morning America.

Another member of Biden's COVID-19 team, Michael Osterholm, suggested in a Yahoo Finance interview on Wednesday that the country could cover individual companies' and local governments' losses for a four- to six-week lockdown to drive numbers down.

Osterholm clarified in an interview with ABC on Thursday that he did not discuss a lockdown with anyone on the advisory board and he did not think there was a US consensus for it.

"Nobody's going to support it," he said.

Neither Murthy nor Celine Gounder, another Biden adviser, who appeared on CNN on Friday, embraced the idea of a country-wide lockdown.

"Right now the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad spread is taking place in a specific region," Murthy said.

Murthy cited New York City as an example where health officials are targeting COVID-19 interventions "down to the ZIP code".