Top Biden advisor says national lockdown ‘measure of last resort’

first_imgThe U.S. is now reporting a weekly average of 145,401 cases every day, a more than 33% increase compared with a week ago and a record high average, according to Hopkins.More than 69,400 people were hospitalized with Covid-19, the highest number of patients with the virus at any point during the pandemic, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project, which is run by journalists at The Atlantic.Top coronavirus advisors for Biden, who named a panel of scientists on Monday to help navigate his Covid-19 response, have given differing stances on whether the U.S. should adopt lockdown measures to control the recent spike in cases.- Advertisement – Osterholm later clarified his comments in an interview with NBC News, saying, “It was not a recommendation. I have never made this recommendation to Biden’s group. We’ve never talked about it.”A Biden transition official told NBC News that a shutdown “is not in line with the president-elect’s thinking.”“We are not in support of a nationwide lockdown,” Dr. Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery and health policy at Harvard and a Biden advisor, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “You can have targeted measures building on mask wearing to include widespread testing, can include dialing up and down capacity restrictions, and those measures need to happen on a more localized basis.”Both Gawande and Murthy pointed to New York’s “micro-cluster” strategy as an example. The state has imposed tougher restrictions on specific areas depending on the level of coronavirus spread. The hardest-hit red zones would be forced to close nonessential businesses and schools for in-person learning while other surrounding areas can remain open with modifications.“On a zip code by zip code basis, you can deploy different restrictions in order to get the virus under control and it’s quite effective. We do not need to go into a nationwide, shelter-in-place shutdown,” Gawande said.More states are beginning to ease back into coronavirus restrictions and institute statewide mask mandates as coronavirus cases continue to soar ahead of the holidays. Many governors have pointed to “Covid fatigue,” or the reduced compliance with recommended public health guidance, as one reason for the swelling infections.North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican who has resisted instituting a mask mandate, ordered residents on Friday to begin covering their face when in public. On Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine reimposed a statewide mask mandate with tougher enforcement measures on businesses.“If we wear a mask, we are keeping our kids in school and we are protecting our elderly and we are protecting our hospitals,” DeWine told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “We can see the end of this, we just have to tough it out… for a few more months and do what we need to do so we can get through this.” “That’s a measure of last resort,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general tapped to help lead the group, told “Fox News Sunday,” adding that any lockdown at this stage of the pandemic would look different than the sweeping closures which states enacted in the spring to suppress the virus.“In the spring we didn’t know a lot about Covid, we responded, in a sense, with an on-off switch. We just shut things down because we didn’t know exactly how this was spreading and where it was spreading, but we learned a lot more since then,” Murthy said.Murthy’s comments come after another Covid-19 advisor to Biden, Dr. Michael Osterholm, who serves as director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told Yahoo Finance in an interview Wednesday that shuttering businesses for four to six weeks while paying people for lost wages could help suppress cases and hospitalizations to a manageable level.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – A national lockdown of businesses and schools is a “measure of last resort,” even as cases continue to surge to record-highs across the U.S., a top coronavirus advisor to President-elect Joe Biden said on Sunday.Covid-19 cases were growing by 5% or more in 47 states as of Saturday, based on a weekly average, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. reported 166,555 new cases on Saturday, the second-highest daily number of new cases so far.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Pedestrian killed by sheared lightpole in chain-reaction crash

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NORTH HOLLYWOOD – A 40-year-old pedestrian waiting to cross a street was killed after being hit by a lightpole that sheared off when a pickup truck smashed into it in a chain-reaction collision, police said today. Arsen Gevorgyan, 40, of North Hollywood was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred just before noon Sunday at Victory Boulevard and Whitsett Avenue, police said. A 1998 Dodge Ram pickup truck caromed off a 1992 Honda Civic trying to make a left turn from Victory to Whitsett. The crash caused the truck to lose control and shear a light pole at the northwest corner of the intersection where Gevorgyan was waiting to cross the street, police said. Paramedics pronounced Gevorgyan dead at the scene. No one else was injured, but a dog riding in the pickup truck was thrown from the vehicle. The dog suffered leg injuries. Neither alcohol nor drugs was a factor in the crash, said Los Angeles Police Detective Dave Millan, of the Valley Traffic Division, who was investigating the cause of the crash. Millan said there have been other serious crashes at that intersection, which does not have a northbound left-hand turn signal, something he was going to look into. “It seems right now its a tragic accident,” Millan said. “We need a left-hand turning arrow here and these are the reasons why.”last_img read more

‘I’m happy to stay at Liverpool for as long as possible’ – Sterling quashes Real Madrid talk

first_imgRaheem Sterling has handed Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers a huge boost by insisting he is happy to commit his long-term future to the club.The 19-year-old, whose current contract expires at Anfield in 2017, was said to be stalling over a new deal amid interest from European champions Real Madrid.But he has now moved to quash the speculation over his future by confirming he is ready to put pen-to-paper on an extension.That news will come as a huge relief to Reds supporters and boss Rodgers, under pressure after a less than impressive start to the season.Quoted in several national newspapers, Sterling said: “I am happy to be here for as long as possible. Hopefully I can achieve the goals I want to achieve here at Liverpool in years to come.“I am just happy to play football at this club for many years to come. The club has spoken to my representatives and hopefully something can be done soon.”Sterling found himself in the spotlight off the pitch recently after England boss Roy Hodgson revealed the player had told him he was tired ahead of the final training session in the build-up to last month’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia in Tallinn.That led to accusations the teenager had said he did not want to play, but Sterling insists nothing could be further from the truth – and says he has learned from the experience.“It was pretty difficult,” he said. “I tried to not really watch TV much or listen to things.“If I saw a conversation about me on TV, I would just turn over. It was the first time I’d had to deal with anything like that. It was different but I felt I dealt with it really well. I didn’t read too much into it.“The main thing I’ve learned is to just shut off. I was always on my phone and Instagram – things would pop up and you could not go past it without having a look. But now I’ve learned to block it all out and not read what is said.“I just love playing football for club or country. If anything I said got taken the wrong way, I’m sorry about that, but I am always happy to play football.” 1 Raheem Sterling last_img read more