U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday he would not order a nationwide shutdown to combat the Covid-19 pandemic despite a surge in cases.
States and cities have imposed their own restrictions, including restricting home ownership, closing indoor restaurants, and limiting gatherings as infections rise across the country.
“There’s nothing I can see that would require a full national shutdown. I think that would be counterproductive,” Biden, who will take office on Jan. 20, told reporters.
However, he said the rules on when and how businesses and other entities can be opened need to be calibrated based on the threat in the area in question, taking into account the different prevalence across the country.
America has now recorded over 251,000 deaths and over 11.6 million reported cases. This comes from a running list from Johns Hopkins University, which is by far the highest reported national death toll.
The surge in cases has alarmed authorities so much that the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked Americans not to travel for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday.
“It’s not a requirement. It’s a strong recommendation,” Henry Walke, a CDC doctor responsible for the day-to-day management of the agency’s pandemic response, told reporters.
Thanksgiving is the busiest US holiday in terms of travel. Since it falls on a Thursday, many Americans take Friday off and turn it into a long weekend to visit families in other states.
“Need to take extra precautions”
President Donald Trump has been subdued in his public responses to the current surge in cases and largely stayed out of the public eye as he pressured his baseless fraud claims in the elections he lost to Biden.
Vice President Mike Pence, head of the White House pandemic task force, made no mention of wearing masks or Thanksgiving travel during a briefing Thursday.
“America has never been more ready to fight this virus than it is today,” he said.
“This government and our president don’t support another national lockdown. And we don’t support school closings.”
Trump has consistently downplayed the impact of the virus and its severity, and urged Americans to improve the situation.
However, CDC doctor Walke said coronavirus cases in the US rose sharply after long vacation weekends for Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September.
“We have seen these walks on certain occasions and now we wanted to get out and talk about the upcoming holidays and warn people to be safe,” he said.
This year is the safest time to celebrate Thanksgiving, stay home and be with the people in your household, said Erin Sauber-Schatz, another CDC official in charge of pandemic-related recommendations.
“If people haven’t actively lived with you in the 14 days leading up to the partying, they’re not considered members of your household. So you need to take these extra precautions and even wear masks around your own home,” she said.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)