President-elect Joe Biden said he will not impose a national lockdown in response to the rising coronavirus numbers in the United States. As much speculation has surrounded the 46th president's efforts to control the spread of the virus as a resurgence has killed more than 250,000 Americans, Biden stated at a news conference on Thursday in his home state of Delaware that there is no way he will shut down businesses.
"I am not going to shut down the economy, period," Biden said at the virtual conference in Wilmington, attended by 10 governors — five Republican and five Democratic officials. "I'm going to shut down the virus, that's what I'm going to shut down. I'll say it again: No national shutdown. No national shutdown."
This is not the first time Biden has affirmed his response of no national shutdown. Throughout his campaign, the Pennsylvania native has given similar answers, stating he would follow the advice of medical experts as the virus progresses and pursue any public-health measures to keep the economy from running smoothly and the virus under control. "Everybody asks that question every single time I stand here," Biden said. "It was a hypothetical question. The answer was, I would follow the science."
President-elect Biden says he has no plans for a national shutdown, because the COVID-19 situation will be different across various communities: "There is no circumstance which I can see that would require a total national shutdown. I think that would be counterproductive." pic.twitter.com/OEiUJd4FOC— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 19, 2020
Biden went on to say that while "every region, every area, every community can be different," he does not see a circumstance that would require a "total national shutdown." The 46th president said he and the governors also discussed mandates requiring Americans to wear masks, stating it "shouldn't be a partisan issue" as it's "not a political statement," but rather a "patriotic duty." He further added how space restrictions in businesses, restaurants, and other venues would still be necessary to flatten the curve.
Biden called on Americans to "step up and do their part on social distancing, hand washing and mask-wearing" to protect themselves and others in a press conference on Friday. He also made an appeal to Congress for expediting a coronavirus stimulus relief bill that would help the estimated 11 million unemployed Americans, as well as businesses currently struggling during the pandemic.
The fictitious idea of Biden shutting down the economy has become a repeated talking point from Donald Trump's campaign, as the sitting president continues pushing baseless fraudulent claims on his Twitter account over false election results and refuses to concede.
When asked by a reporter on Thursday about Trump extending a White House invitation to Michigan state lawmakers to overturn the results in which Biden won 16 electoral votes with more than 50.6% of the vote, Biden appeared dismayed while stating that the questions surrounding the legality of such votes were an "outrageous" claim. "It's hard to fathom how this man thinks," he said.