Biden Willing to Shut Country Down Over CCP Virus

Biden Willing to Shut Country Down Over CCP Virus
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks inside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 20, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would close the United States down over the spread of the new virus from China if health experts recommended to do so.

"I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,” Biden, a former vice president, said in an interview with ABC News.

“I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving, until we control the virus,” Biden added. “That is the fundamental flaw of this administration's thinking to begin with. In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing, and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.”

The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus., which began spreading in China last year, causes COVID-19, a disease. The World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11 because of the spread of the virus.

Tim Murtaugh, the director of communications for President Donald Trump's campaign, knocked Biden for his promise.

"The economy has taken off like a rocket ship, yet Biden is critical of job losses inflicted by the Covid lockdown. But now he says he’d shut the country down again for the virus," he said in a statement.

"Under Biden, the economy would collapse and cause its own health problems," he added.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force issued guidelines in March that recommended states where community transmission of the virus was occurring largely shut down, including closing bars, restaurants, gyms, and other places people congregate. The recommendations were promoted by Trump, and extended by the president until April 30 based on recommendations from health experts.

Trump in early August suggested he wouldn't issue similar recommendations again.

President Donald Trump talks to reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Aug. 20, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump talks to reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Aug. 20, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images)

“It’s important for all Americans to recognize that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path forward producing the result that you want or certainly not a viable path forward and would ultimately inflict more harm than it would prevent,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

"As we’re seeing in foreign countries around the world where cases are once again surging—you have many places where we thought they were under control and doing a great job, and they are doing a great job, but this is a very tough, invisible enemy—lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future. They just don’t. It comes back. Many times, it comes back. The purpose of a lockdown is to buy time to build capacity, especially as it respects to—with respect to hospitals; learn more about the disease; and develop effective treatments, as we did in the United States. We’re doing very well with the vaccines and the therapeutics."

The focus in the current phase of the pandemic response is protecting people at highest risk from the new illness while letting younger and healthier Americans resume work and school, with precautions, the president said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a podcast this month that a misconception exists "that either you shut down completely and damage a lot of things, mental health, the economy, all kinds of things, or let it rip and do whatever you want."

"You don't have to lock down again, but everybody has got to be on board for doing these five or six fundamental public health measures," including wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and avoiding crowds, he added.

Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) spoke to ABC for their first joint sitdown interview. It will air in full on Sunday night, but some portions were released Friday. Biden and Harris have repeatedly avoided questions during campaign appearances since Harris's selection, apart from two shouted ones that were given brief answers.
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