President-elect Joe Biden said after his first coronavirus briefing this week that he would “do everything possible to bring COVID-19 under control”, which he described as “the worst wave of this pandemic yet.
Biden expressed similar sentiments in August, saying he will “do whatever it takes to save lives,” including a nationwide lockdown if COVID-19 infections skyrocket in January, exacerbated by the flu season.
“I would shut it down [the country]; I would listen to the scientists,” Biden told ABC newscaster David Muir.
“I would be willing to do whatever it takes to save lives, because we cannot move the country until we have the virus under control. That is the fundamental flaw in the thinking of this [Donald Trump] administration that we are starting with.
“To keep the country going and keep it moving – and to keep the economy growing and people employed – you have to fix the virus,” Biden told Muir.
In early September, Biden clarified his position and declared, “In my opinion, it will not be necessary to shut down the entire economy.
“David Muir asked me a question about whether I would be asked to turn everything off. I took that as a general question about whether I was going to pursue science,” he noted.
Last month Biden said in a Philadelphia City Hall: “I don’t think there is a need to shut everything down… I have a plan [about]how you can open stores. You can open businesses and schools if you give them the advice and money to do so.
But President Donald Trump claimed during the presidential debate in September that Biden wanted to “close the country.
Trump added that “more people would be hurt by a lockdown because of business closures. “The states [that are being closed]are not doing well.
Earlier this week, Biden outlined his COVID 19 strategy.
“We will follow science. Let me say this again: We will follow science. And we will be ready for new data as it comes in,” Biden said on Monday, noting, “The challenge we face is still immense and growing… bold measures are needed to combat this pandemic.
“The bottom line is that once we [Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris] are sworn in on January 20, I will spare no effort to reverse this pandemic so that our children can go back to school safely, our businesses can grow and our economy can get back on track to produce an approved vaccine and distribute it free of charge to as many Americans as possible as soon as possible,” he said.
Biden said the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. is 10.3 million, with nearly 240,000 reported deaths as of Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. marked another grim milestone on Tuesday with more than 60,000 current COVID-19 hospitalizations, breaking the record of 59,940 that was set in April.
Tuesday also saw the highest daily case count in the country since the outbreak began, with more than 136,000 new infections – the seventh day with more than 100,000 new cases, according to Johns Hopkins.
Daily case numbers first exceeded 100,000 cases the day after the 2020 election, when millions of people went to the polls.
The seven-day moving average of daily new cases has risen sharply since the beginning of October. The average daily number of deaths has also been rising since mid-October, after falling since the beginning of August, according to Worldometer.
The overall picture
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 51.5 million people worldwide since it was first reported in Wuhan, China.
More than 1.2 million people have died worldwide, while more than 33.5 million are reported to have recovered on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins.
The chart below, created by Statista, shows the distribution of COVID-19 in the USA.