UMMC Vice Chancellor: Avoid Lockdown “at all costs”

Last week, Governor Tate Reeves said that Mississippi would not be participating in a nationwide lockdown if President-elect Joe Biden were to enforce one, and now, it seems as if one of the state’s top health experts is backing that same notion.

In a Monday morning radio interview, University of Mississippi Medical Center Vice Chancellor Dr. LouAnn Woodward was asked if she believes a four to six-week lockdown would be beneficial for the United States, which is currently in the midst of its largest COVID-19 surge yet.

“If you just look at the spread, lockdowns as a way to get people to quit gathering in large groups, et cetera are helpful,” Woodward replied. “Do I think we want to go in that direction? I would avoid it at all costs. We need our schools to stay open. We need our businesses to stay open. We need the world to continue to go on.”

Currently, another lockdown does not appear to be in the works as Dr. Atul Gawande, who is considered one of Biden’s top advisor, told ABC’s This Week that there are more sensical ways to slow the spread of the virus.

“We are not in support of a nationwide lockdown,” Gawande said. “You can have targeted measures building on mask-wearing to include widespread testing, can include dialing up and down capacity restrictions, and those measures need to happen on a more localized basis.”

Governor Reeves recently extended and amended his most recent executive order, which places a mask mandate and additional social distancing guidelines on 15 Mississippi counties.