“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a tale of two Americas: one of the people who stood ready to solve our problems quickly, and one of federal bureaucrats whose ineptitude severely delayed access to vital testing. The solution is to remove red tape and regulations so that consumers can get treatments and test products as quickly as possible
As we entered the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, federal lawmakers passed the CARES Act, giving away trillions to corporations and special interests and thwarting our long-term recovery. This will cost the average taxpayer much more than they get in short-term cash, and will make it harder for small businesses to recover. Instead, we must get government out of the way so businesses can rebuild as quickly as possible and allow Americans to get back to work.”
Over the last several months, our nation and world have dealt with a crisis unprecedented in our lifetimes, as COVID-19 has infected nearly 23 million people.
Here in the United States, the pandemic has revealed a tale of two Americas: the one driven by career politicians in Washington, and the one created by the American people.
The American people have risen to the occasion: Essential workers have delivered necessary goods and services, and neighbors have looked after one another to make sure they remain safe.
Unfortunately, the federal government cannot say the same. In what has too often been the rule rather than the exception, Washington bureaucrats and politicians have shown gross negligence and ineptitude, thereby lengthened the pandemic.
This is most evident when it came to testing. From the time that coronavirus was first discovered, it was of utmost importance that we be able to identify those who had been exposed.
One American did just that. In January, as part of the Seattle Flu Study, Dr. Helen Chu had collected nasal swabs from those experiencing flu-like symptoms.
But the CDC told Dr. Chu they could not test the samples unless her test was approved by the FDA. The FDA refused to approve Dr. Chu’s test because her lab “was not certified as a clinical laboratory under regulations established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a process that could take months.”
The CDC required that the only diagnostic test that could be used was the one that they themselves designed; a test that ultimately did not work. As all of this bureaucracy stalled progress, the infection rate accelerated.
Eventually, on February 25, Dr. Chu took both initiative and risk, going forward without government approval. She was thus able to identify the first case of COVID-19 community spread in the United States.
Dr. Chu’s initiative provided the vital information to our country that the virus had hit our shores. This happened only because she defied government orders. We got our first jump on the pandemic in spite of the government, not because of it.
The program following Dr. Chu’s flu study, the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN), was the first to roll out tests in the US that could be conducted outside of hospitals.
Over the course of ten weeks, SCAN had processed 20,000 tests and helped to reveal which communities in Seattle were being hit the hardest. In part due to funding from Bill Gates, it had already navigated a host of regulations and gotten approval from the state.
But again, the FDA had other plans. On May 12, it stopped SCAN from further testing and said they needed “further assessment.”
Government hurdles also limited who could get tested. In Massachusetts, the state’s first major outbreak was linked to a conference in February. Despite multiple attendees exhibiting symptoms, the federal government imposed extremely specific requirements and refused to allow tests for most of those who requested them.
Simply put, it was the failures of government that left Americans in the dark on COVID-19 and led us to months of torment.
Meanwhile, South Korea confirmed its first coronavirus within a day of ours and quickly jumped ahead in testing, containing the spread. As infections in the US skyrocketed, South Korea nearly eradicated COVID-19, and they did it without any lockdowns.
Instead of leading the way, our federal government blocked the path. Now, thousands more have been infected, and that same government has scrambled for answers, imposing mask mandates and stay-at-home orders with hopes that we will forget that they are the reason we got here.
Also because of these government failures, tens of millions of Americans have been laid off and thousands of businesses have closed. In both cases, those changes could be permanent.
Then, in the wake of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Americans were again let down. As families have had to stretch their dollars, the federal government has been more fiscally irresponsible than ever.
They $2.2 trillion CARES Act, in our country’s most dire time of need, was filled with waste and gave away billions in corporate handouts.
While some Americans received a $1200 check and extra unemployment benefits, nearly 90% of the stimulus spending this year went to government cronies and special interests.
Now, Congress is considering spending another $1-3 trillion in taxpayer dollars. It doesn’t take much imagination to realize who will receive most of that spending.
Multi-trillion dollar bailouts aren’t going to “create” American jobs or re-open businesses that have been permanently shuttered.
On the other hand, retailers and local communities stepped in where government failed. They delivered hand sanitizer, personal protective equipment, food, and water to those in need. While the pandemic brought out the worst in government, it brought out the best in everyday people.
When I am President, I will make sure that the federal government does not bungle and worsen a situation like this ever again. We must reduce red tape and regulation so that medicine and treatments, as well as testing, can get to patients at all times, but particularly in the most dire of times. As we have seen, days, weeks, and months can mean dozens, hundreds, and thousands of lives saved or lost.
When I am your President, I will get rid of the efficacy requirement of the FDA, if not the FDA entirely.
In the meantime, we cannot stimulate the economy through more taxing, borrowing, and spending. I instead would simply let Americans keep more of their money. What we are experiencing now is much more than just a “rainy day.” But Americans have shown that they can save and invest for emergencies much better than any government.
Government failures may have created this situation, but as seen throughout history, it is the people who will find the solutions. Covid-19 Issue.