Biden COVID-19 adviser: We can get pandemic under control without another national lockdown
Atul Gawande, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, on Sunday appeared to shoot down claims that the former vice president would order a national lockdown to stop the virus’s spread.
“We are not in support of a nationwide lockdown and believe … there simply isn’t a scenario because we can get this under control,” said Gawande on ABC’s “This Week.”
Gawande said the nation needs a “clear voice from the top backing a national, comprehensive plan” and that the country has so far lacked one, resulting in “disarray” and “confusing messages.”
“That will change,” Gawande said.
Dr. Atul Gawande, a member of Pres.-elect Joe Biden’s transition COVID-19 advisory board, underscores the importance of the transition, saying the team is “ready to go.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 15, 2020
“The critical parts are understanding what we’ve learned since we did a nationwide lockdown in early April,” Gawande told ABC host Martha Raddatz. “And that is that you can have targeted measures building on mask-wearing to include widespread testing, to include dialing up and down capacity restrictions, and those measures need to happen in a more localized basis.”
Gawande also commented on the need for information and contact with the White House coronavirus task force as the transition to a Biden administration begins.
“It is in the nation’s interest that the transition team get the threat assessments that the team knows about, the — understand the vaccine distribution plans, need to know where the stockpiles are, what the status is of masks and gloves. There’s a lot of information that needs to be transmitted. It can’t wait until the last minute,” he said.
It was announced last week that Gawande, a surgeon, would be joining the Biden COVID-19 advisory board along with former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler. Gawande previously served as an adviser for the Clinton and Obama administrations.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.