All That and a Bag of Mail: Will Joe Biden Lock Down the Country Again?

It's Friday, and thanks to a 17 yard punt -- IN AN NFL GAME -- the Titans fell apart in the final twenty minutes against the Colts and are now 4-19 in their past 23 games in this division "rivalry."

I should have stayed retired and not gone and watched this game in person.

It's the same story every year.

It's why I retired from this game last season.

We've got a cool offer for gamblers out there this weekend. For every 250 people who bet on Vanderbilt against Kentucky this weekend, the line is moved by a point. Right now, Vanderbilt is +20.5. (The line is 17.5 everywhere else). It doesn't matter when you bet, you get the final number. Can we get this thing driven up past 30 points by noon tomorrow when the game kicks? I hope so. Go get your bets in now, and let's see how many points we can get for Vandy.

Okay, here we go with your questions:

Knox writes:

"Odds the Biden administration mandates a nationwide lockdown? Or does that responsibility fall on state and local governments?"

I don't think there's any doubt that the Biden administration will try to implement nationwide lockdowns.

I'd make it nearly a 100% certainty. The only thing to keep this from happening, honestly, would be if we could get the vaccine rolled out and start delivering it before he's inaugurated.

One of Biden's top COVID advisors is already saying he's in favor of a four-to-six-week lockdown. I'd be shocked if he doesn't try this. That's despite the fact that Biden lied and said he wouldn't lock down the country in the debates.

The eminently predictable Biden lockdowns were one of the five primary reasons I told you I was voting for Donald Trump.

Here's the deal, remember "15 days to stop the spread"? That was back in March. We're in November now. Unless you're an island that can restrict all travel to your island kingdom -- like New Zealand -- or you are going to lock people in their homes and not allow them to go outdoors for several weeks -- like China -- lockdowns don't work.

They just don't work in democracies.

Look at Europe, which is the best comparison to the United States.

All major European democracies have implemented lockdowns for a second time and, generally speaking, those countries have all fared worse than the United States when you compare per capita death rates and their economic statuses at this point in time.

What lockdowns do is drive down the number of infections in the short term -- while destroying most "nonessential" businesses -- and then viral infections come back just as virulent as ever before as soon as the lockdown orders are lifted. I mean, come on. This isn't complicated. The evidence is overwhelming.

We've already seen exactly this in the United States.

So if the Biden administration attempts to implement a four-to-six-week lockdown -- which, let's be honest, it will end up turning into way longer than that because inevitably the lockdown orders just keep getting extended -- our unemployment rate will surge back up to twenty percent or so, and we'll be right back where we were in March, eight months behind in the recovery.

What's more, many schools will be forced to shut down, effectively ending the school year for all the kids across the country, locking in over a year of inequality, with the poorest among us suffering the most.

Remember, the lockdown overwhelmingly harms the poor and disadvantaged far more than it does the wealthy. The privileged among us can continue to work from home. Remote work is hugely slanted towards higher education levels. People who make the least have to work in person.

There are only two ways to end this COVID mess: herd immunity or a vaccine.

That's it!

Lockdowns are not a solution.

My hope is this Pfizer vaccine -- and others -- can be rapidly deployed to the elderly and immuno-compromised in this country. Those are almost all the people dying of COVID. If we can take care of vaccinating those people first, then the risk of the virus diminishes rapidly because most healthy people under the age of seventy aren't at risk from this virus, even if they get it.

And if you're under the age of fifty, which most people reading this article are, you're at a greater risk of dying from driving to work than you are from the virus.

So we need to roll out this vaccine to the vulnerable populations and work our way towards the young people last.

But unfortunately, I think the Biden administration will attempt to order a nationwide lockdown. I'd make it a virtual certainty.

T. writes:

I own a small butcher shop in Ohio and the shutdowns are crushing. These are our busiest months of the year. I am anti mask, anti lockdown and I won’t be waiting in line to get a rushed vaccine when it comes out. However, I feel like my hands are tied at times. Between the Karens, the Coronabros and government oversight, what are my family and I supposed to do that will be actionable and make a difference? Are there politicians or organizations that we should write or support? Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated."

Look, when I say I'm not going to participate in any lockdown, I mean it.

I'm going to continue to live my life exactly as I normally would.

I did my best to "flatten the curve" during that stage of the virus back in March, but since April I've been living my normal life. We went down to Florida for the month of May. We've been eating in restaurants indoors for months. I've been going to my gym for months, attending sporting events, going to the movies, flying on airplanes, you name it and I've been doing all of that.

And I'm not going to change any of that behavior.

I hope the small businesses I support now will stay open and never close again. Because I fundamentally reject the notion of "essential" and "nonessential businesses." If you own a business, or work there, there's no such thing as a nonessential business.

As I've said from the start of this COVID madness, if you're afraid of COVID and don't want to leave your house until there's a vaccine, that's your right. You can make that choice. But your fear shouldn't dictate my life choices.

And it's not going to dictate my life choices going forward.

For those of you reading this right now who own a small business, I think you have to simply refuse to close down your businesses and force local government authorities to show up and shut you down. And if that happens, I think you all need to band together and file lawsuits in your communities arguing that lockdown rules are arbitrary and capricious.

I believe there are likely to be many judges who will, at this point, agree that the government's attempt to mandate "essential" and "nonessential" businesses is not permissible under our Constitution or under their local authority.

Back in March, there was a great deal of uncertainty and fear surrounding COVID. That's when the initial lockdown was implemented for much of the country. I don't believe that same level of fear exists today, and I think courts are going to be much more likely to protect the rights of individual small business owners now.

If I owned a small business, I'd already be consulting with a lawyer and getting my lawsuits prepared to file, in the event that the government attempted to shut me down.

Lauren writes:

"I am a small business owner in the South. How do you see a Biden presidency affecting us going forward?"

As I just said above, I believe nationwide small business owners need to band together and refuse to shut down your businesses again.

I mean that seriously.

Most small businesses, already struggling, can't survive a four-to-six-week shutdown.

It's unbelievable to me that the government would even consider mandating that everyone return home and not work for, potentially, multiple months again.

So I think individual small businesses need to form collectives to fight, not just on behalf of themselves, but on behalf of everyone together.

Steve writes:

"Put on your lawyer/politician hat. A Biden COVID task force member is already pushing for a 4-6 week national lockdown. Biden has also called for a national mask mandate. Both would be unconstitutional, but yet if they are being floated, it means they think they can implement both.

With that in mind, how could Biden/Dems circumvent the Construction to impose a national lockdown? Tie participation into federal funding for states? Declare martial law? Restrict interstate travel and ground planes? What about people flying into the US? Also, what legal recourse do states have if they want to fight it?"

First, I don't care about the masks angle.

I think the way mask regulations are implemented in public businesses is nonsensical -- does anyone really think it makes sense to wear a mask into a restaurant and then take it off as soon as you sit down to eat and drink? -- but I'm not going to lose my mind over it.

If that's the price to pay to keep small businesses open, I'm fine putting on a mask and engaging in this absurd ritual of cosmetic theater.

The bigger issue, as you hit on it, is attempting to use the federal government to mandate an action to the states.

For everyone who calls Trump a tyrant or a dictator, he respected the principles of federalism when it came to responding to COVID. He left it to mayors and governors to determine the appropriate responses on the ground in their communities. That's the exact opposite of what a tyrant or a dictator would do.

I think all a president, regardless of who he is, has the authority to do is make suggestions to state and local governments when it comes to COVID. I don't believe he can mandate any action to all fifty states.

If Biden tried to implement martial law, I believe there would be an immediate lawsuit filed by many red state attorneys general -- and maybe some blue state ones as well -- which would rapidly advance to the Supreme Court, which I'm confident would shoot down the president's attempt to implement martial law in relation to COVID.

That would be a disaster on all fronts for Biden.

Plus, I just find it incomprehensible that Biden is going to attempt to disallow travel across state lines or shut down air travel. Leaving aside the sheer absurdity of this decision, do we even have the resources to police state border crossings and shut them down? Heck, we can't even stop crossings on international borders in this country, and we think we could do it inside the country between states? I mean, I understand you could probably pull that off for major interstates, but think about all the ways across state lines outside of interstates. I don't think it would be remotely possible to block all of this travel.

We just don't have the manpower.

Furthermore, how do you think goods reach consumers in this country? Mostly via trucks on interstates, trains crossing state borders and airplanes flying across the country.

Shutting down these methods of transportation is just an impossibility and would lead to complete chaos and, frankly, a nationwide crisis of starvation.

I don't think a president can do much more than what Trump did.

What I think we are headed for, unfortunately, is Biden arguing that we need a nationwide shutdown and Democrats using that as justification to make local decisions to shut down businesses in their communities. The result? A patchwork system where blue cities and blue states shut down, and red cities and red states mostly stay open.

So you'll see draconian rules for cities and then right across a county line just outside the city, where the voters are Republicans, things will be much closer to normal. The same thing will happen, again unfortunately, for many schools. The more left-leaning your community, the more likely your schools will shut down once Biden is inaugurated.

I'm legitimately afraid that, with the onset of a Biden presidency, many school districts, if they are open now, will elect to return to remote learning for the spring semester after Christmas.

This will be a disaster for poor kids across the country.

My hope is that a substantial majority of reasonable people will rise up to oppose these lockdowns, but so far we haven't seen it happen.

Maybe without Trump involved, these lockdown ideas will become less political, but I'm not optimistic this will be the case.

Which is why I think many of these issues will end up being resolved by the courts. Fortunately, I think the courts will be much less reticent to check executive power now that we know the worst case COVID scenarios laid out by all the "experts" back in March are not actually going to come to fruition.

The courts, as always, are our best protection against political overreach in this country.

George writes:

"Any chance the Titans can save this season? Kidding ourselves if we think they can make a deep playoff run."

The Titans are headed for a fifth straight 9-7 season and, if they make the playoffs, a first round drubbing there.

I think they lose to the Ravens and the Colts the next two weeks to fall to 6-5. Bounce back to beat the Browns and Jags to get to 8-5. Beat the Lions and then lose to the Packers before finishing the season with a loss to the Texans just because they're the Titans.

That would be 9-7.

Look, the fatal flaw of this team is they can't get any pressure whatsoever on the quarterback. The Titans added Vic Beasley and Jadeveon Clowney, spending over $20 million this year on the duo, with the idea this would solve their pass rush issues.

But it hasn't.

Beasley isn't even on the team any more, and both guys have combined for zero sacks on the season.

They've been colossal busts.

As a result, every decent quarterback the Titans play is going to pick them apart on defense.

Last night, the Titans barely touched Philip Rivers, and the Colts didn't punt until their final drive of the game.

You think you're going to beat any decent quarterback without any pass rush at all? Of course not.

Add in the fact that the Titans totally whiffed on their first round draft pick, Isaiah Wilson, who hasn't even dressed so far this year, and this team isn't as good as last year's team was.

Right now, I expect them to make the playoffs as a six or seven seed and lose on the road in the first round, probably getting completely destroyed by the Chiefs in Kansas City.

It's just more of the same from the Titans, sadly.

They thought they had a window to contend for a championship, and they whiffed on that opportunity, thanks to all their offseason moves.

Rinse and repeat.


Thanks for reading OutKick.

Go drive up that point spread as high as you can in the Vanderbilt-Kentucky game.

Written by
Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.