Another Biden Coronavirus Adviser Says A Second Full Lockdown Would Be Beneficial

( If the pandemic is still raging come January, it’s possible President-Elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus team could try to force a nationwide shutdown — or at least influence governors to take local action.

Biden has said he will follow “the scientists” when he’s making decisions regarding the pandemic. He has named a few of those scientists to his new coronavirus task force panel.

One of those members, Ezekiel Emanuel, has called for a second nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the virus. And now another has backed that idea.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, who is one of Biden’s coronavirus advisors, said that shutting down non-essential businesses for four to six weeks — and paying employees for any lost wagers — would help keep the coronavirus “in check,” according to a CNBC story. Osterholm said that move would still keep the economy “on track until a vaccine is approved and distributed.”

The CNBC story reads in part:

“Osterholm, who serves as director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said earlier this week that the country is headed toward ‘Covid hell.’ Cases are rising as more people grow tired of wearing masks and social distancing, suffering from so-called ‘pandemic fatigue,’ he said Wednesday. Cold weather is also driving people indoors where the virus can spread more easily.

“A nationwide lockdown would drive the number of new cases and hospitalizations down to manageable levels while the world awaits a vaccine, he told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.”

Another lockdown, whether it be on the federal level or on the local level, is not likely to be very popular among people — both Republicans and Democrats. Many business owners who have already been hard hit by pandemic restrictions and lockdowns in the spring are going to have a tough time surviving another wide-scale lockdown.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the layoffs/furloughs these business owners do happen quicker this time if there’s a second lockdown. Plus, there are no Paycheck Protection Program funds available to help them retain employees. In other words, a second lockdown could be much more detrimental to the economy than the first.

Millions of Americans are still filing for unemployment every week. Even if the number of first-time jobless claims are going down week after week, there are still millions of families struggling to pay the bills.

It would be hard to fathom a situation where shutting the country down for a second time “get the economy on track,” as Osterholm suggests. It’s more likely that it does exactly the opposite — reversing the months of progress the economy has made since the first shutdown in the spring.

It would be one thing if the lockdowns had proven extremely effective at curbing the spread of the coronavirus and saving thousands of lives. So far, though, that doesn’t seem like it’s been the result.

While Americans want help and are willing to accept some restrictions to “stop the spread,” it’s unlikely many would be on board with another wide-ranging, full-fledged lockdown.