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Biden says he would shut US down amid pandemic if scientists said it was needed

Biden says he would shut US down amid pandemic if scientists said it was needed
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE, fresh off of formally accepting the Democratic Party’s 2020 nomination, said he would shut down the U.S. to blunt the spread of the coronavirus if scientific advisers said such a move was necessary. 

“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 told ABC News's David Muir in an interview that will air in full Sunday.

“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,” Biden said.  

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“I would shut it down, I would listen to the scientists,” he added.

The remarks come after a virtual Democratic National Convention in which speaker after speaker criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE’s handling of the coronavirus. Democratic lawmakers and supporters who participated in the event said that the pandemic could have been more effectively handled and that the death toll did not need to be as high as it is now.

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“The tragedy of where we are today is it didn't have to be this bad,” Biden said in his Thursday speech.

Recent polling has shown that the majority of voters disapprove of the way Trump has tackled the coronavirus. The White House and Republican allies on Capitol Hill urged for more aggressive reopening plans earlier this year, while Democrats have been apprehensive to take the same approach.

Several states, such as Florida, Arizona and California, that were more forceful in their reopenings ultimately had to backtrack and reimplement business closures and other measures in July. Those states have since seen a reprieve in new coronavirus cases.  

There have been more than 5.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 175,000 fatalities, figures that lead those of any other nation in the world.