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Pending the resolution of several legal actions taken by the Trump administration, it seems like the new president of the US is going to be Joe Biden.
One of the major issues that Biden ran on was a commitment to better handling the coronavirus pandemic.
This has a lot of people wondering what type of policies a Biden administration will implement and how will they differ from the Trump administration?
Firstly, we know that Biden is in favor of a very large stimulus relief bill likely priced around $3 trillion.
(Unless the Democrats sweep the runoff in Georgia, however, a package like that stands little to no chance of actually getting through Congress.)
But we may have just gotten a sneak peek at what is in store for us if Joe Biden is sworn in as president.
His coronavirus advisor, Dr. Michael Osterholm, has suggested a nationwide lockdown for 4 to 6 weeks.
During this lockdown, he states that the government could cover people for lost wages.
“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 or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that,” he said.
“If we did that, then we could lock down for four to six weeks.”
This would allow us to buy some time for the vaccines to get widely distributed and would be a way for us to curb the spread of the virus during the winter with some people predicting a pretty massive second wave (that we are basically already in).
“We could really watch ourselves cruising into the vaccine availability in the first and second quarter of next year while bringing back the economy long before that,” he said.
There are a couple of issues with this plan in my opinion.
First, some experts state that we will not have vaccines widely available until possibly Q2 of 2021.
That means it could take up to six months in 2021 for the majority of Americans to be vaccinated.
This plan calls for covering lost wages for 4 to 6 weeks which is essentially a month to a month and a half.
So it seems like there is a large gap here of possibly several months.
This seems like it could lead to a situation where a lockdown is put into place initially for only a few weeks but then it is extend it out after every month.
This route of doing a lockdown causes a lot of frustration and distrust among the public and so I’m not sure I am very optimistic about that route.
I like the idea of covering lost wages, though.
Based on the budgets that have been tossed around over the past few months, I don’t doubt that the government could cover lost wages for 4 to 6 weeks or possibly even longer.
The thing is, lockdowns also produce other unwanted results such as domestic abuse, depression, and they prevent people from going out and getting checked for routine health issues that could be prevented.
So there are some definite drawbacks to a nationwide lockdown, even if it is only for a month and a half.
I think the key during a time like this is to just make sure that the hospitals are not overwhelmed like is starting to happen in some places again.
As long as we can avoid putting an unsustainable strain on the healthcare system, I think we should allow people to participate in society to the degree in which they feel comfortable.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.