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Context

A week ago or so, Romania observed a conflict between the central authorities dealing with the pandemic (who want more restrictions) and the local authorities in a county (who want fewer restrictions). This has escalated to fighting in courts.

The claim

An argument brought by a Romaniancentral figure was that the US uses restrictions to tackle the pandemic because the economy cannot come first:

He only looks at the economic aspects. They are very important, but there is a saying in the USA: "If you don't sort out the biology, you won't sort out the economy." If you do not solve the problem of biology during the pandemic, the economy will suffer. [Google Translate]

I tried finding a source for this to confirm the claim, but I could not find it (also searched for variations).

Has any US public figure ever expressed this idea (variations also count)?

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    An ok question for this site, but if you want a political analysis, you should ask on politics.stackexchange.com. On Skeptics we'll only verify the claim. The claim is a bit vague, but I'm sure there's plenty of Americans to quote expressing this idea. – fredsbend Mar 31 at 14:56
  • @fredsbend I am only interested in the claim, not its political side. – Alexei Mar 31 at 15:36
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A lot of people have been saying this, but your quote may be referring to when Biden said it in the 2020 presidential debates, as mentioned by CNBC:

"You can't fix the economy until you fix the Covid crisis." Joe Biden slams President Trump's economic policies around the coronavirus pandemic.

Similar quotes appear in Yahoo Finance, The Washington Post, and Politico but none are from current US officials.

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