President-elect Joe Biden pledged that he would not push for a nationwide shutdown during a press briefing on Thursday, even as the coronavirus pandemic reaches record heights in terms of cases and hospitalizations.
Prompted by a question from NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, Biden affirmed his previous statements about not pursing a lockdown policy.
“Given the death toll, more than 250,000 Americans who have lost their lives, you said that you would support a nationwide shutdown if scientists recommended it.” Welker said.
“No, no, no,” Biden broke in. “Everybody asks that question every single time I stand here. It was a hypothetical question. The answer was I would follow the science. I’m not going to shutdown the economy, period. I’m going to shut down the virus.””
“So, that’s ruled out?” Welker pressed.
“I’ll say it again. No national shutdown. No. National. Shutdown. Every region, every area, every community is different. There’s no circumstance which I can see that would require a total national shutdown. I think that would be counter-productive. There are constraints in which the degree to which businesses can be open. For example, it’s one thing to say that you can have in a state that — where the infection rate is not as high, you can have a gymnasium open. It’s another thing to say it can only be open four hours a day with X number of people. The church I go to doesn’t allow more than 40% of the people to come into the church. Those are rational decisions. It’s calibrated based on what the threat is.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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