Dr. Vivek Murthy, co-chair of President-elect Joe Biden’s newly formed coronavirus task force, told “Fox News Sunday” that a broad national lockdown would “exacerbate the pandemic fatigue” already happening in the country.
Instead, Murthy argued for a “scalpel” approach to be taken “depending on severity” as COVID-19 rates spike across the country.
“Can’t you honestly say, if things get bad enough, aren’t we going to need a national lockdown?” Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked after pointing out some states that have introduced new lockdown measures.
“Well, that’s a measure of last resort,” Murthy responded. “The way we think about lockdowns I think is different now than it was in the spring. In the spring when we didn’t know a lot about COVID, we responded in a sense with an on/off switch. We just shut things down because we didn’t know exactly how this was spreading and where it was spreading.”
Citing New York City as an example, Murthy suggested a “better way” to consider restrictions would be “as a dial that we turn up or down depending on severity.”
After arguing for a national alert system to “help states and localities determine when to dial-up and down these restrictions,” Murthy went on to make a case against a broad national lockdown.
“If we just lock down the entire country without targeting our efforts, then we are going to exacerbate the pandemic fatigue people are feeling,” he said. “We are gonna hurt jobs and the economy. We’re gonna shut down schools and hurt the education of our children. So we’ve got to approach this with the precision of a scalpel rather than the blunt force of an axe.” (RELATED: Dr. Fauci Suggests Masks, Social Distancing Measures Should Continue Even After Vaccine)
Another Biden task-force member, Dr. Michael Osterholm, suggested this week that a four to six week lockdown may be needed in order to curb COVID-19 spikes.