Biden Team Pushes a New Theme on COVID

Think 'dimmer switch,' not on-off switch, when it comes to restrictions
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2020 11:10 AM CST
Biden Team Pushes a New Theme on COVID
Dr. Vivek Murthy, former surgeon general and a member of Joe Biden's COVID advisory team.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Last week, a member of Joe Biden's COVID advisory team caused a little controversy by talking about the idea of a national lockdown of six weeks. Now, however, it seems Biden's advisers are not only united in walking back that idea but in how to describe an alternative strategy. Think "dimmer switch." Details:

  • A dial: "I think the more important way for us to think about restrictions is not as a switch that we flip up and down, but more as a dial that we increase and decrease as the situation dictates," former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy tells NPR.

  • Ditto: "As a group, the consensus is we need a more nuanced approach," says another adviser, infectious-disease specialist Celine Gounder. "We've learned a lot since the spring, and we can be much more targeted geographically," she told CNBC. "So I think of this as a dimmer switch, not an on-and-off light switch."
  • Fauci: Dr. Anthony Fauci is not on Biden's advisory panel, though he conveyed a similar message over the weekend when downplaying the idea of a national lockdown. "It's not going to be a light switch," he said on CNN, per Politico. "We are not going to turn it on and off, going from where we are to completely normal." He spoke of "surgical type of restrictions" in localities experiencing surges.
(One of President Trump's COVID advisers urged people to "rise up" after Michigan's governor announced new restrictions.)

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