Former Vice-President Joe Biden on Thursday said he would not implement a nationwide shutdown as part of his effort to combat the coronavirus.
“I’m not going to shut down the economy, period. I’m going to shut down the virus,” Biden said at a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware. “I’ll say it again. No national shutdown.”
However, he added that capacity restrictions in businesses, restaurants, and other venues would still be necessary.
Biden’s statement followed a meeting by videoconference he had with the executive committee of the National Governors Association, made up of five Republican and five Democratic governors to come up with a plan to address the covid-19 virus.
The former V.P. said “there was widespread agreement about getting economic relief to the states, delivering a free vaccine to everyone and providing additional funding for the National Guard” The Hill reports.
Biden also said there’s support for a national mask mandate, according to The Hill.
“We discussed the implementation of a national mask mandate — 10 governors, Democrats and Republicans, have imposed requirements and recognized the need for universal masking,” Biden said. “North, south, east and west. It’s not a political statement. It’s a patriotic duty.”
The former Vice president’s statement contradicts what he said in August, that he would do “everything possible to get COVID-19 under control” including shutting the country down.
This past week numerous states have begun issuing new restrictions and shutdowns on restaurants, businesses and public venues amid rising COVID-19 numbers.