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Biden Adviser Says Nationwide Lockdown of 4-to-6 Weeks Could Slow Pandemic

The United States in the grips of yet another spike in coronavirus cases, but a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming coronavirus advisory board says a four-to-six-week shutdown would get things untracked.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday that the federal government can afford to pay workers throughout the country to stay home and cover the losses for small businesses.

“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that,” said Osterholm, who was named to Biden’s 12-person advisory board Monday. “If we did that, then we could lock down for four to six weeks and if we did that, we could drive the numbers down.”

On Wednesday alone, the U.S. reported a record-high 144,133 new coronavirus cases — the ninth straight day that the daily total has hit six figures.

The country on Monday also hit the grim milestone of 10 million reported cases since the onset of the pandemic this spring.

As of Thursday, the U.S. has roughly 10.5 million coronavirus cases and more than 242,000 related deaths — both tops globally — according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

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