Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden said during an interview on Friday that he is prepared to shut down the whole country to stop the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden made the remarks during an interview with ABC News host David Muir, who asked Biden, “If you’re sworn in come January and we have coronavirus and the flu combining—which many scientists have said is a real possibility—would you be prepared to shut this country down again?”
“I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus. That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with,” Biden claimed. “In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing and people employed, you have to fix the virus. You have to deal with the virus.”
“So, if the scientists say, ‘shut it down’?” Muir pressed.
“I would shut it down,” Biden said. “I would listen to the scientists.”
Biden’s remarks come as millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and new research has found that the lockdowns have had devastating impacts on people’s mental health.
The CDC conducted a survey of 5,412 people between June 24 and 30 and the collected data on suicides is alarming. Roughly 25% percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 say they’ve considered suicide because of the pandemic. About 30.9% of the respondents said that they “had symptoms of anxiety or depression” and about 26.3% reported trauma and stress-related disorders caused by the outbreak. Over 13% said that they have used alcohol, prescription and/or illegal drugs to deal with their pandemic-induced stress and anxiety.
The amount of Americans reporting anxiety symptoms is triple the number of this time last year. The CDC reported that 11% of adults surveyed had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days. The study showed “19% of Hispanics reported suicidal ideation” and “15% of Blacks reported suicidal thoughts.” As it relates to young adults, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said, “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from [Covid-19].”
The U.S. economy is also showing signs of recovery as it “added 1.8 million jobs during the month of July, sending the unemployment rate down for the third straight month — a drop that fell in line with economist predictions and pointed to the recovery that began before infections started ticking up,” The Washington Post reported. “The unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent.”
#BREAKING: Here's the clip from the @ABC News exclusive of @DavidMuir asking @JoeBiden if he would shut the country down again: "I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives…You have to deal with the virus…I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists." pic.twitter.com/nAcF924QsO
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 21, 2020