Biden’s COVID-19 advisor suggests six-week lockdown, contradicts himself
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November 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Michael T. Osterholm, Joe Biden’s new adviser on coronavirus strategy, suggested locking down the entire country for up to six weeks during an interview on Wednesday, contradicting his own position from March. After Wednesday’s interview, he clarified that he “never discussed any of this” with Biden.
Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said Wednesday, “We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the 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 and if we did that, we could drive the numbers down,” he added.
According to ABC News, Osterholm clarified after the interview that there is no popular or political support for a lockdown lasting up to six weeks. “Nobody’s going to support it. It’s not going to be supported out of the administration. It’s not going to be supported in Congress,” he said.
Back in March, Osterholm had written an op-ed for the The Washington Post titled, “Facing covid-19 reality: A national lockdown is no cure.” In it, he argued that science pointed to better solutions to the crisis than lockdowns, and that their economic and social costs were too high.
Osterholm had written, “the best alternative will probably entail letting those at low risk for serious disease continue to work, keep business and manufacturing operating, and ‘run’ society, while at the same time advising higher-risk individuals to protect themselves through physical distancing.
“With this battle plan, we could gradually build up immunity without destroying the financial structure on which our lives are based,” he emphasized at the time.
Osterholm was appointed a COVID-19 adviser to Biden on Monday. Immediately after most media outlets called the race for the Democrat, he went about assembling a transition team and getting ready for the inauguration in January. President Donald Trump, however, has so far refused to concede, instead launching a number of lawsuits challenging the vote in several battleground states.
“What America has to understand is that we are about to enter Covid hell,” Osterholm told CNBC on Monday. “It is happening.”
Even the World Health Organization, however, has argued that lockdowns should not be “a primary means of control” for COVID-19.
An ever-growing number of experts oppose closures as well. Approximately 12,000 medical and health public scientists and 34,400 medical practitioners signed The Great Barrington Declaration in early October to express the danger of locking down.
“The response to the pandemic in many countries around the world, focused on lockdowns, contact tracing and isolation, imposes enormous unnecessary health costs on people,” the document stated. “In the long run, it will lead to higher COVID and non-COVID mortality than the focused protection plan we call for in the Declaration.”