You would think that to fight the coronavirus, the government would pull together the best minds among relevant researchers and health care providers, decide what needs to get done, get industry to make the necessary supplies, and work with logistics experts to get it all done as efficiently as possible.
But no! That’s not how it’s being done. The companies making the essential face masks, ventilators, and other supplies and equipment have the 50 states and the federal government in a bidding war, raising prices and making it take longer than necessary to get things done. The federal government, led by Trump, says the states should have the main responsibility, which means they have to compete with each other for life-saving resources. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also bidding on these scarce resources, driving up the prices and profits of the private sector.
This is insane. Let the health care professionals talk with the workers in industry who make what we need. Let them work with health workers across the country – and the world – to get the resources where they are most needed, not where some big corporations can make the biggest profits.
Featured image credit: Axel Heimken / Pool via AFP