Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been tapped by the incoming Biden administration to be chief medical advisor, has not ruled out a nationwide lockdown to curb COVID contagion.
Speaking to Meet the Press, Fauci said that a national lockdown is "not out of the question."
Chuck Todd asked "Are we looking at a campaign, when President Biden, President-elect Biden becomes president, are we gonna need to do another 15 to 30 days, stop the spread, maybe do a partial lockdown? Between that issue and obviously what's happening now, and it looks like hospitals, they were overwhelmed in November, Dr. Fauci, what's gonna happen at the end of January?"
"I hope we don't have to do the lockdown," Fauci said. "Because we all know, Chuck, how much COVID-19 fatigue there is, of people just being worn down with this. But we certainly need to enhance and make more uniform our public health measures.
"President-elect Biden has called for 100 days of everybody wearing a mask uniformly throughout the country. That's really a start. The idea about locking down is something that you might have to do but you want to avoid.
"In certain areas of the country, such as in California, which is really being stressed, with regard to the hospital beds and the personnel, who are really getting exhausted with the number of cases that are coming in. You may have to have, and they already have decided, on some form of lockdown in specific areas of the state of in specific regions of the country.
"So that's not out of the question," he said. "We hope we don't have to do it countrywide because we feel that if you adhere to the public health measures you can turn things around short of a uniform lockdown."
California has been in a state lockdown most recently since Dec. 4, with businesses closed and citizens prevented from gathering. Those restrictions have been tight, but infections continue to rise.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proclaimed that it was time to "cancel everything." He was later named to Biden's inauguration team, along with fellow lockdown enthusiast Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
It was reported that the nation as a whole would be on a downturn. This despite the fact that California has been in lockdowns and under heavy restrictions for months.
Advocates for lockdown measures do not appear to even consider any alternative measures of controlling the virus. Other experts have. The infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists who penned the Great Barrington Declaration recommend Focussed Protection.
This would mean "Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19." They went on to say that "Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold."
Californians have not proved to be easy to lockdown. Many have objected to the restrictions, such as restaurants who refused to close, those who blockade state officials, and those who can see the hypocrisy of regulations that allow some businesses, like movie studios, to stay open while shutting restaurants to outdoor dining. Governor Gavin Newsom faces recall for his poor handling of both the coronavirus and the economy in his state.