When asked whether he had ruled out future shutdowns, Biden said no, but added that there should be standards governing potential closures.
“If you have a reproduction rate in a community that’s above a certain level, everybody says ‘slow up,’ more social distancing, do not open bars and do not open gymnasiums. Do not open until you get this under control,” Biden said, adding that schools and businesses also need the capacity and support to allow safe reopenings.
“I’m going to shut down the virus, not the country,” Biden said.
President Trump criticized Biden’s viewpoint on shutdowns, alongside policies enacted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which he said were killing businesses.
“All [Biden] talks about is shutdowns, no we’re not going to shut down,” Trump retorted.
The president also called New York a “ghost town,” adding that restaurants were “dying” and businesses had no money.
“Everyone’s leaving New York,” Trump said.
On the other hand, Biden noted that New York has done a good job of flattening the curve.
Trump has been regularly critical of governors, like Cuomo, in states that have been slow to lift coronavirus-related restrictions.
Many states throughout the U.S. are experiencing an uptick in confirmed coronavirus cases, including in North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.
As of Thursday more than 8.4 million people had been infected with the virus.