Despite coronavirus cases surging across the country, Vice President Mike Pence doubled down on the Trump administration's policy of not supporting additional national lockdowns or the closure of schools.
“President Trump wanted me to make it clear that our task force, this administration and our President, does not support another national lockdown. And we do not support closing schools,” Pence said Thursday, at the first White House coronavirus task force briefing since July.
“And you’ll hear from Dr. Robert Redfield of the CDC that, actually the CDC never recommended that we close schools at any point this year.”
Pence’s remarks come one day after the New York City public school system, the largest in the country, ended in-person learning until further notice due to the coronavirus positivity rate in the city.
Trump politicized the issue of lockdowns during his failed reelection campaign, repeatedly telling supporters that now President-elect Joe Biden wants to institute another national shutdown. Biden did not say that however, and he reiterated at his own news conference on Thursday that he does not plan on instituting a national shutdown.
“I'll say again, no national shutdown. No national shutdown, because every region, every area, every community can be different,” Biden said, explaining that because the circumstances and infection rates are different throughout the country, custom rules and restrictions would be implemented.