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Biden, Pence both reject lockdowns to save lives as coronavirus pandemic explodes


At press conferences held only minutes apart Thursday afternoon, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence each flatly rejected any possibility of a lockdown of the US economy to save lives, despite the impending catastrophe from the coronavirus pandemic.

The twin statements amounted to a joint, bipartisan declaration that hundreds of thousands of Americans must die rather than sacrificing the profits of Wall Street and giant corporations, which demand that workers stay on the job no matter how hazardous the workplace has become as COVID-19 spreads uncontrollably in virtually every American state.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden meets with residents of Kenosha at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wis., Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Pence’s statement was merely the reiteration of the longstanding policy of the Trump administration. He appeared at the first public briefing by the White House coronavirus task force in many months, only in order to make it emphatically clear that there was no change in Trump’s policy of back-to-work and back-to-school.

The timing of the press conference seemed to be determined by the announcement the day before that schools in New York City, the largest US school district, would end in-person instruction and revert to online instruction only because of a sharp increase in the positivity rate in COVID-19 tests administered to city residents.

Pence declared that the policy of the Trump administration remained that all schools should reopen for in-person instruction, even though this will mean a horrific toll in disease and death among teachers, students and school workers.

The Biden statement had more political consequence, since it was a declaration by what is still expected, by the media and corporate America, to be the next administration, one which was elected in large measure because of popular outrage over the indifference and callousness evinced in Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

Biden was therefore at pains to demonstrate that he would be as obedient a servant of big business as Trump, so that there would be no reason for the financial aristocracy to seek to overturn Biden’s clear-cut victory in the Electoral College and the popular vote.

Appearing side-by-side with his running mate Kamala Harris, Biden offered his usual mixture of vague and mushy responses to questions about economic policy, the transition process and Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. But on the lockdown question he was categorical and definitive.



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