Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday that he doesn’t believe lockdowns should be the “fallback position” for responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special envoy for COVID-19, said in a recent interview with The Spectator that lockdowns should not be used as “the primary means of control of this virus.”
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” said Nabarro. “The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
Gov. Walz was asked for his response to Nabarro’s comments during a Tuesday press briefing.
“I did see that. I think they’re right about that. I said early in March and I think even, you know, Dr. [Michael] Osterholm and others that it’s not sustainable to keep people locked down. That original lockdown was to slow, get us some capacity and then I think you have to figure out how to continue tweaking along this,” said Walz.
“So I think a full lockdown — we missed that opportunity and I kind of feel like that boat sailed when the entire nation didn’t just do it, but I do think there may be times depending on how bad it gets,” he said. “But no, I just don’t think it’s sustainable, I don’t think you can continue over the long haul.”
The governor emphasized that he does not believe lockdowns should be the “fallback position,” again saying they are not “sustainable.”
Walz’s stay-at-home order was in effect from March 27 to May 18, but his executive orders continue to restrict most sectors of the economy.
Nabarro warned that lockdowns have “one consequence that you must never, ever belittle.”
“That is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” he said. “Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year.”