As the United States surpasses a record for new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, one of President-elect Joe Biden's advisers has suggested a nationwide lockdown.
The U.S. has recorded over 240,000 deaths and more than 10.3 million confirmed infections, with new cases soaring to all-time highs of well over 120,000 per day over the past week.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, a coronavirus adviser to Biden, said the drastic move could help bring the pandemic under control in the United States and even revive the economy.
"We could lock down for four to six weeks, and if we did that, we could drive the numbers down," Osterholm said. "Then we could really watch ourselves cruising into the vaccine availability in the first and second quarter of next year, and bringing back the economy long before that."
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Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday that vaccines being developed "are going to have a major positive impact" once they start being deployed in December and early into next year. He says he hopes by April, May and June "the ordinary citizen should be able to get" a vaccine.
In the meantime, Fauci says there are fundamental things Americans can do to stem the spread of the deadly virus. They include "universal and uniform" wearing of masks, avoiding crowds, keeping social distance and washing hands. He says that sounds simple against a very difficult challenge but "it really does make a difference."
Fauci's message echoes that of President-elect Joe Biden, who this week signaled strongly that fighting the raging pandemic will be the immediate priority of his new administration.
The U.S. leads the world with more than 241,000 deaths and 10 million coronavirus cases.
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