Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisor has suggested a near-two-month long nationwide lockdown could help control the spread of the virus across the United States.
Dr Michael Osterholm told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday that the government could shut down businesses for four to six weeks and borrow enough money to pay people for their lost wages.
“We talk about the pain and suffering of the virus, about the pain and suffering to the economy and what it does,” Dr Osterholm said. “You know, I’d refer everyone back to an Op-Ed piece in early August that Neil Kashkari, the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, and I did in the New York Times.
“Number 1, we predicted where we’d be right now. We said this would happen if we did nothing different. Number 2, is that when you look at the personal savings rate in this country it’s now gone from about 8% to over 22%.
“We have a big pool of money out there that we could borrow. The historic low-interest rates, by the Federal Government, we could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages, for individual workers, for losses to small companies to medium-sized companies, for city-states, county governments. We could do all that.
Dr Osterholm went on to say: “If we did that, then we could lockdown for four to six weeks, and if we did that, we could drive the numbers down like they’ve done in Asia, like they did in New Zealand and Australia.”
One of Biden's new coronavirus task force doctors floating the idea of a 4-6 week lockdown:— Zack Guzman (@zGuz) November 11, 2020
“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the lost wages for individual workers … if we did that, then we could lockdown for 4 to 6 weeks."pic.twitter.com/zNmuQvPpIJ