This Friday afternoon, March 27th, 2020, the president signed an executive order inciting the Department of Health and Homeland Security with the full authorities available under the Defense production Act. The president also established Peter Navarro, Harvard Ph. D in economics as the National Defense Production Act Coordinator for the federal government.
Navarro stated at the COVID-19 press conference in Washington that “We are engaged in the most significant industrial mobilization since WW2.”
This assertion was preceded by another strong comment from Dr. Anthony Fauci, (MD and Director of the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease) that “we are in uncharted waters.”
Regardless of the President’s consistent efforts at rationalizing the statistics regarding the increasing death toll Worldwide and the ever-growing number of cases within our nation, these statements by members of the COVID-19 task force should be very forth-telling as to how far we’ve gone into the pit of uncertainty with this disease.
The significance of the Defense Production Act is as Navarro put it, that we have “full force of the power of the government coupled with the private enterprise buried down on this problem for the American people.” The Defense production act will aid the industrial mobilization to make adequate ventilators, inciting all the power and resources of the private sector.
How it works: The DPS Act accelerations this mobilization sort of giving the Federal government power do make executive decisions, especially when the private sector does not cooperate. For example, General Motors halted the mobilization of ventilators these last couple of days by being unwilling to cooperate with the federal government. The DPS act would control for that as well as market schemes such as price gauging on medical equipment in the private sector.
Real statistics: It’s wonderful that the president wants to encourage Americans by reinforcing how determined he is to mobilize medical equipment throughout our country, however many of the deaths occurring in Italy are in victims who are attached to ventilators. Ventilators are prolonging lives, but are not necessarily saving them.
He was optimistic about lifting quarantines in most heavily affected states by Easter, but the statistics have worsened since he exclaimed his intentions for the Holiday.
I can say that it is a healthy time to take the president’s every promise with a grain of salt, as his primary job is to gain confidence of citizens and reduce panic. He has worked very hard to respond to this disease promptly and effectively, however his reluctance to stress how quickly this virus has spiraled out of control and how little prepared we were is sort of part of his role as Commander In Chief. He is going to be written in the books as a war-time president, as many politicians view this fight to gain control over the disease as a war, much like World War II.
As an individual, I believe he is making decisions that this generation has never seen necessary and I respect him for that.
We must pray for our government.
We must also pray for New York as they are now being referred to as the epicenter of the disease in the United States and a concern was mentioned at today’s press conference that some New Yorkers are still traveling. This should prepare us to be in quarantines longer than we had hoped.
Thankfully the rescue package bill which includes a $1,200 check to most Americans has won the majority vote of the Senate and has moved to the House. Congress expects the check to reach our mail boxes and bank accounts as early as late April and as late as early May, for those of us who have already filed our income taxes.
What can we expect in the coming weeks?