Joe Biden’s new Health Advisor, Dr. Michael Osterholm, head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota, found out the hard way that scientists do not and should not decide public policy. Osterholm’s recommendation of a 4-6 week national lockdown got a major smackdown and is off the table. At least for now.
The ferocious pushback came from all directions: the American public, Republican governors, and even fellow health advisors and members of the Biden administration itself.
Dr. Osterholm briefly explains his desire to enforce a national lockdown and put the economy on the dole:
Pushback Against Lockdowns:
But fellow Health Advisor Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday that Osterholm’s idea “is not the opinion of the Biden-Harris team”:
Also pushing back against Osterholm’s recommendation was Osterholm himself, according to his own op-ed in the Washington Post on March 21:
“Consider the effect of shutting down offices, schools, transportation systems, restaurants, hotels, stores, theaters, concert halls, sporting events, and other venues indefinitely and leaving all of their workers unemployed and on the public dole,” Osterholm and co-author Mark Olshaker wrote.
“The likely result would be not just a depression but a complete economic breakdown, with countless permanently lost jobs, long before a vaccine is ready or natural immunity takes hold. We can’t have everyone stay home and still produce and distribute the basics needed to sustain life and fight the disease,” the authors stated.
Like fellow flip-flopper Anthony Fauci, Osterholm also spoke against masks’ effectiveness before speaking in favor of them. So it’s no surprise he did a 180 on his lockdown stance as well.
Dr. Fauci even pushed back against a lockdown, saying, “There is no appetite for locking down on the American public, but I believe that we can do it without a lockdown. I really do.”
Republican Pushback Against Lockdowns:
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) drew a line in the sand. She said her state will not abide by any lockdown or mask mandate issued by a Biden administration. The Sioux Fall Argus Leader reported:
“It’s a good day for freedom. Joe Biden realizes that the president doesn’t have the authority to institute a mask mandate,” said Ian Fury, communications specialist for Noem. “For that matter, neither does Governor Noem, which is why she has provided her citizens with the full scope of the science and trusted them to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones.”
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) also said he would refuse to comply with any mandatory lockdowns, calling it “totally and completely beyond reasonableness.” As Reeves’ 8-year old daughter is recovering from COVID-19 he realizes a totalitarian style lockdown is not the answer. As reported by The Hill:
“We’re not going to participate in a nation-wide lockdown,” Reeves said during a Facebook Live COVID-19 update on Thursday, citing a Biden adviser’s suggestion that a collective effort to quell the coronavirus for longer than a month could prove successful.
World Health Organization Against Lockdowns:
MergeRightMedia.com reported on Oct. 14 that the highly respected World Health Organization itself recently denounced lockdowns as a way to fight the pandemic. The WHO cited the harmful effects of lockdowns on economies and poor people in particular:
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as a primary means of control of this virus. The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to re-organize, re-group, re-balance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted. But by and large, we’d rather not do it”, he said.
“We really do have to learn how to co-exist with this virus, in a way that doesn’t require constant closing down of economies,” Nabarro told the Spectator’s Andrew Neil in a video interview.
Basic Freedoms On The Line:
Ironically, all of these experts pushing back against lockdowns have one thing in common: they ALL agree with Donald Trump. Throughout the pandemic, Trump has defended freedom while urging individual safety choices and the protection of vulnerable Americans.
“I will not go–this administration will not be going to a lockdown”, said President Trump during a press conference yesterday.
Our basic freedom of association as Americans appears to be safe for now. What happens after Jan. 20 is anyone’s guess.