TOMS RIVER, NJ – New Jersey has been a state that has suffered like no other from extended coronavirus lockdowns. New Jersey leads the nation in COVID-19 deaths per capita and the state’s economy is in shambles after Governor Phil Murphy’s extended lockdowns that at one point had the Garden State was the only state in the nation that kept restaurants, gyms and movies theaters closed. It was a state where police arrested businesses owner, even putting one local gym owner in jail, for refusing to follow the governor’s executive orders.
“I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,” @JoeBiden told @davidmuir Friday of the country, to stop the spread of COVID-19, in his first joint interview alongside his running mate, @KamalaHarris.
— Molly Nagle (@MollyNagle3) August 21, 2020
On Tuesday night, Vice President Joe Biden doubled down on his ongoing campaign threats to institute a national lockdown and facemask mandate if elected president. Biden in an ABC news interview earlier this year said that if America experiences another bout of coronavirus, mixed with a seasonal flu outbreak, he would shut the entire country down. That shut down could bring financial ruin to millions who just barely made it through the now seven-month shutdown here in New Jersey.
In August, when asked about the national lockdown, Biden said, “I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives, because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus. That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with. I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists.”
During his first debate with President Donald J. Trump, attacked Biden’s stance on a national lockdown should a “Twindemic” scenario occur.
Biden opposed the President’s support of reopening schools across America this fall.
“This is a national emergency. But President Trump still does not have a real plan for how to open our schools safely,” Biden said during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.”He’s offered us nothing but failure and delusions from start to finish and American families and our children are paying the price.”
Biden said he would not be opposed to shutting down schools again, should the “Twindemic” scenario occur and has criticized the manner in which Trump reopened schools this year.
“It’s unacceptable. We can’t go on like this,” Biden told his handful of supporters at the event. “We all want our schools to reopen, safely. With a plan that prioritizes the health of students and educators alike.”
The former Vice President faulted Trump for leaving the reopening of schools as a state-level decision, saying the President still has not offered the country a plan to reopen schools safely.
“Why aren’t schools open? Because it costs a lot of money to open them safely. They were going to give, his administration going to give the teachers and school students masks, and then they decided no, couldn’t do that because it’s not a national emergency. Not a national emergency,” Biden said during the debate Tuesday night. “They’ve done nothing to help small businesses. Nothing. They’re closing. One in six is now gone. He ought to get on the job and take care of the needs of the American people so we can open safely.”
Trump said Americans want their lives back and most are willing to work without the safety guidelines set forth by the CDC, knowing there is a heightened health and safety risk.
“No, people want their schools open. They don’t want to be shut down,” Trump said. “They don’t want their state shut down. They want their restaurants. I look at New York. It’s so sad what’s happening in New York. It’s almost like a ghost town, and I’m not sure it can ever recover what they’ve done to New York. People want their places open. They want to get back to their lives.”
“People want to be safe,” Biden barked back at Trump.
When it comes to a national mask-wearing mandate, in September, Biden said if elected, he believes he would have the power to implement a national face mask mandate and said he would enforce it through an executive order.
“Our legal team thinks I can do that, based upon the degree to which there’s a crisis in those states, and how bad things are for the country,” Biden said.
During his debate with Trump, Biden said Americans should wear face masks until at least January.
“Well, masks make a big difference…if we just wore masks between now, if everybody wore a mask and social distanced between now and January, we’d probably save up to 100,000 lives. It matters. It matters,” Biden said.