We Need Private Industry in The Battle Against COVID-19

We are now living in a reality where we don’t have enough hospital beds to treat patients, doctors are forced to work with little or no PPEs while handling infected persons, and physicians have to make tough calls as to who should receive proper care. Now, if that doesn’t sound like a dystopian scenario to you, I’m not sure what does.

The gravity of this situation is exacerbated even further as a result of the government not realizing the simple fact of the matter that it’s not capable of mitigating this crisis on its own. And the mess is made even worse thanks to the sweet time the FDA takes in approving potentially lifesaving treatments. Let me tell you something: once people start collapsing on the streets left and right, the FDA will become an afterthought.

Always, we act when the time is late. We must act now, and we must mobilize private enterprises in order to dampen this pandemic. It is the only way. The Federal Government lacks the capacity to fight Coronavirus on its own, and long regulatory procedures only help to add salt to the wound. And yet, in light of all the constant begging and crying from the medical community, the government continues to show how inept it is in dealing with this crisis.

Just the other day, President Trump instituted the Defense Production Act (DPA), which grants the federal government full jurisdiction over private industry for the purpose of national defense. In the case of this pandemic, private industry would be directed to churn out masks, respirators, and other critical elements in the war against COVID-19. However, for some odd reason, Trump has yet to invoke a call to action. During a press briefing with President Trump, the following altercation ensued:

   Mr. President, when it comes to the Defense Production Act, we know that governors across the country all day today were pleading with you to utilize the DPA, saying that they need it —

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, it depends which.  It depends which governors you’re talking about.

Q    — specifically for that allocation piece that you mentioned, Mr. Navarro.


Q    Why not use is now if that would answer their pleas for help?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we are using it now.  The fact that I signed it, it’s in effect.  But, you know, we’re a country not based on nationalizing our business. Call a person over in Venezuela; ask them how did nationalization of their businesses work out.  Not too well.  The concept of nationalizing our business is not a good concept.

What can we gain from this small excerpt of information? Well, Trump is clearly concerned that invoking the DPA will transform the US into a socialist country. Worrying about socialism at this point is a fool's thought. Regardless of political affiliation, all citizens of the US agree that Coronavirus is a common threat and enemy, and it will not be vanquished with political jabber. No. This is not the time for politics or waiting for incredulous periods of time for the FDA to nod their head of approval. Private industry must be mobilized if we are going to fight this virus head on. And the government knows this. The government knows perfectly well that its archaic structure of checks and balances and legislation is far too slow to combat a biological foe that can mutate overnight. What is going on right now is the textbook definition of "moving at a leisurely pace." As far as I'm concerned, this is a losing strategy, and one that is doomed to fail.

Without the mobilization of every single private organization out there, and without flipping the bird to the FDA that has already squashed so many potential remedies to this crisis, we will all get infected, and people will die by the hundreds, thousands, and hundreds of thousands––if not millions.

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