Biden says ‘NO NATIONAL SHUTDOWN’ despite COVID surge | Daily News

Biden says ‘NO NATIONAL SHUTDOWN’ despite COVID surge

US registers over 251,000 deaths, cases top 11.6 mn
Americans urged to stay home for Thanksgiving
US President-elect Joe Biden arrives for a virtual meeting with the National Governors Association’s executive committee in Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday.
US President-elect Joe Biden arrives for a virtual meeting with the National Governors Association’s executive committee in Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday.

US: US President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday he would not order a nationwide shutdown to fight the Covid-19 pandemic despite a surge in cases.

States and cities have been imposing their own restrictions, including home confinement, the closure of indoor dining and a limit on gatherings as infections soar across the country.

“There’s no circumstance in which I can see that would require total national shutdown. I think that would be counterproductive,” Biden, who takes office on January 20, told reporters.

He said however that rules for when and how businesses and other establishments can open would have to be calibrated based on the threat in the area in question, noting the varying levels of spread throughout the country.

America has now registered over 251,000 fatalities and over 11.6 million reported cases, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University, by far the highest reported national death toll.

America was hit by a spike of over 200,000 new infections and 2,239 fatalities -- the worst death toll since May -- over the past 24 hours, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The surge in cases has alarmed authorities to the point that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged 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 in charge of the day-to-day management of the agency’s pandemic response, told reporters.

Thanksgiving is the busiest US holiday in terms of travel. Walke said coronavirus cases rose sharply in the US after long holiday weekends for Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September.

This year the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to stay home and be with the people in your household, said Erin Sauber-Schatz, another CDC official, in charge of making pandemic-related recommendations.

“If people have not been actively living with you for the 14 days before you’re celebrating, they are not considered a member of your household, and therefore you need to take those extra precautions, even wearing masks within your own home,” she said. - AFP