Lead Story: The First Real U.S. Lockdown
A member of President-elect Biden’s Covid task force is suggesting full lockdowns for 4-6 weeks. Dr. Michael Osterholm is one of 12 members on this team that is ramping up plans to take on the pandemic right after the inauguration.
Before you panic, Dr. Osternholm also has a plan for paying for it. He points out that banks have record-high savings balances. See the story below for more about that. This means that banks could lend to the federal government in order to pay out a stimulus package that keeps people home.
In his own words
“We have a big pool of money out there that we could borrow at historic low-interest rates,” he said in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies to medium-sized companies. For city, states, county governments. We could do all of that. If we did that, then we could lockdown for 4-6 weeks, and if we did that we could drive the numbers down. Like they’ve done in Asia, like they did in New Zealand and Australia. And then we could really watch ourselves cruising into the vaccine availability in the 1st and 2nd quarter of next year and then bringing back the economy long before that.”
Would that really be so bad? If a lockdown is imposed under a Biden administration, it won’t be until January 21, the dead of winter. So you could conceivably get paid to stay home and stay warm for the good of us all, missing out on no holiday other than maybe Valentine’s Day, which is a commercial holiday anyway. So don’t panic. Maybe just dream about all-day pot roasts on a cold day at home.