A KEY member of President-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus task force has also clashed with another doctor on the panel, saying that the US needs "targeted" restrictions to contain the virus – not a national lockdown.
During a Friday morning appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, Dr Vivek Murthy pushed back on the nationwide lockdown suggested by task force member Dr Michael Osterholm earlier this week.
"We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down. We got to be more targeted," said Murthy, a former surgeon general for the US.
"If we don’t do that, what you’re going to find is that people will become even more fatigued. Schools won’t be open to children and the economy will be hit harder, so we’ve got to follow science, but we’ve also got to be more precise."
The suggestion from Murthy, who was recently named a co-chair on Biden's newly-formed Covid task force, comes after Osterholm suggested a four- to six-week total lockdown as the daily US infection rate hit a record high of more than 145,000.
Osterholm said on Wednesday that the US is headed toward "Covid hell," and suggested shutting down businesses and paying people for four to six weeks could help control the widespread deadly virus.
Murthy pointed to the targeted approach used in New York City, where businesses and schools in hot-spot zip codes were shut down.
"I think that’s how we thought about it in the spring, but I think we’ve learned a lot since then about how this virus spreads and what we can do to reduce risk," he said of a more widespread lockdown.
"And right now, the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad spread is taking place in a specific region."
Murthy's comments echoed those made by Dr Anthony Fauci on Thursday, when the nation's top infectious disease expert also pushed back on the idea of a national lockdown.
During an interview with GMA, Fauci said it will not be necessary if Americans continued to wear masks, wash their hands, and socially distance.
"We would like to stay away from that because there's no appetite for locking down the American public," Fauci said.
"You don't necessarily have to shut everything down. The best opposite strategy to locking down is to intensify the public health measures.
"If you can do that well, you don't have to take that step [lockdown] … which has so many implications both psychologically and economically."
The US recorded more than 168,000 Covid cases on Thursday, just over a week after the country hit 100,000 cases in a single day for the first time, according to the New York Post.
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