A member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board has admitted that excessive lockdowns across the country in the spring were a mistake.
Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota told Bloomberg that shutting down businesses in places with very few cases, particularly in the middle of the country, was counterproductive to fighting the coronavirus pandemic. He reportedly compared the situation to hurricane warnings, which people usually take seriously because they’re almost always right and not overused.
Credit to @mtosterholm for acknowledging this,👇
At some point we will need to reckon not just with incompetence we suffered in government and administration but also the deficit, from the ID epi community, in realistic and strategic long-term thinking.https://t.co/ap4RX4w7EE pic.twitter.com/SnggfKRZET
— Wes Pegden (@WesPegden) December 30, 2020
“Was it appropriate to shut down so many things back then when there was so little, if any transmission? I think you can argue now that probably was not the best use of resources … it clearly alienated the very populations that we needed to have work with us,” Dr. Osterholm admitted.
He adds that public trust and valuable time was “squandered” by many places going into emergency mode at the wrong time.
A number of states are implementing new rounds of lockdown measures as the country experiences a winter surge of COVID-19 cases, but data shows that Americans are less willing to comply than in the spring. Fewer states have implemented stay-at-home orders than earlier in 2020, according to the New York Times.
Osterholm is just one of a number of medical professionals named to Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board. Biden has also said he will retain the services of top infectious disease expert and current White House adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci. Biden’s coronavirus response plan includes invoking the Defense Production Act to produce vaccines faster, encouraging mask usage for his first 100 days in office, and opening most public schools within his first 100 days.
Story cited here.