TAMPA (NBC News) – Newly-minted Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that he would shut down the country to combat the coronavirus pandemic if scientists said it was necessary.

“I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus,” Biden said in a snippet of an interview aired on ABC’s “World News Tonight.” “That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with. 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.”

And if scientists said it was necessary to shut the country down to do so, Biden said, “I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists.”

The virus has killed over 175,000 Americans and infected over 5.6 million.

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