It is "very disturbing" to hear Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden say he would be willing to put the country through another costly economic shutdown this winter if elected due to a combination of seasonal flu and coronavirus, Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Friday.
"First of all, we're not even predicting a severe flu season because in the Southern Hemisphere, we're not seeing it," Siegel told host Tucker Carlson.
"But that aside, what about all of the costs of another lockdown imposed?"Siegel added. "Kids that can’t then get their teeth taken care of [or] eyeglasses? No nutrition, problems with mental health, problems with physical health, operations that are put off. Many more people will die of heart disease and cancer from extended lockdowns then will ever die of COVID-19. That’s not to mention the depression and the suicide."
In an ABC News interview that will air in full on Sunday, "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir asked the former vice president: "If you're sworn in come January and we have coronavirus and the flu combining, which many scientists have said is a real possibility, would you be prepared to shut this country down again?"
"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 in this administration's thinking to begin with," Biden answered. "In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing and people employed. You have to fix the virus. You have to deal with the virus."
"So if the scientists say, 'Shut it down'? Muir pressed.
"I would shut it down," Biden responded. "I would listen to the scientists."
In response, Siegel asked, "How can you superimpose something on Florida right now, which has done so well and is actually down in terms of the case rate of positivity to 8%? Or California, down now, rates are going down [to] 6.6% meaning that if you're tested, there’s only a 6% chance you’re even going to be positive?"
Many U.S. states are in the sixth month of restrictions on gatherings, public events and other economic activity to combat the pandemic, which has killed more than 175,000 Americans.