President-elect Joe Biden has claimed he will not invoke a national lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, but, for Dr. Anthony Fauci, it’s still a good option.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he would like to see more top-down, “uniform” government edicts regarding the spread of COVID-19.
“We certainly need to enhance and make more uniform our public health measures,” he told host Chuck Todd. “President-elect Biden has called for 100 days of everybody wearing a mask uniformly throughout the country. That’s really a good start.”
Fauci claimed he doesn’t want a nationwide lockdown, but quickly noted he would support such government overreach if people didn’t comply with other orders.
“We hope we don’t have to do it countrywide, because we feel that, if you adhere to the public health measures, you can turn things around short of a uniform lockdown,” he said.
Like many health experts and political advisers throughout this pandemic, leaders with the World Health Organization have flip-flopped on issues. Initially, lockdowns were the only way to contain the virulent spread of COVID-19, then, in October, a WHO official advised against such draconian measures.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the WHO argued lockdowns aren’t enough. By the fall, WHO special envoy Dr. David Nabarro said he and his colleagues at the organization “do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” noting such measures do, in fact, leave societies and economies entirely decimated.
“This is a terrible, ghastly, global catastrophe, actually,” Nabarro admitted. “And so we really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method.”
He said the “only time” lockdowns are “justified” is “to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted.”
“But by and large,” Nabarro emphasized, “we’d rather not do it.”
As for Fauci, Biden has asked the doctor to serve as his chief medical adviser.