PRIORITIZING AMERICANS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
While COVID-19 rages through the United States, now having claimed over 50,000 American lives, with over 15,000 right here in New York, the seriousness of the pandemic is not in question. COVID-19 is costing American lives, harming our way of life and crippling our economy. But there is cause for hope.
Deaths, while tragic, are a trailing indicator of the human toll of the disease and the rates of hospitalizations do seem to be declining in certain areas. While there is hope that the tides of the outbreak may be turning, Americans may now begin to shift our attention to returning to normalcy, albeit a new normal, and rebuilding the economic devastation this COVID-19 pandemic has caused. While it would be irresponsible of us to just stop social distancing protocols and reopen the economy without a plan and serious infection mitigation efforts in place, it would be amiss for us to develop a comfort level within our current state.
In taking steps to reopen our American economy, policy leaders must balance (i) disease mitigation efforts, such as social distancing, to limit new infections, (ii) restoring American jobs and economic output, (iii) reducing our long-term vulnerabilities to China and future disease outbreak and (iv) holding China accountable for their role in the deaths and economic devastation caused by this disease.
At all times, the federal government should take an advisory role and allow our states, local governments and national regions to drive the most directed and responsive solutions using data.
- Encourage continued social distancing, wearing masks or other face coverings when in public and remote work where possible.
- Provide federal funding for both active infection and anti-body tests and test and retest a significant portion of the population, particularly in areas with greater risk and known outbreaks like New York City, Westchester County and Rockland County.
- Mine test data to track infection rates and immunity by as many factors as possible, including risk, region and business sector.
- Use test results and information to build a database tracking herd immunity and different policy decisions so state and local leaders can see what has been tried and its effects.
- Provide federal funding for research and development for new medical breakthroughs, including both anti-virals and vaccines and fast-track FDA approval processes to make sure these are widely available.
- Offer a significant bounty for the first research team or business to create an effective and scalable vaccine and an effective and scalable anti-viral.
- Invest in additional education and training of medical personnel, increase medical equipment and supplies, and enable extensive COVID-19 testing.
Opening the Economy and Restoring American Jobs
- Phase in any reopening over time, beginning after 14 days of decreasing new infections. Focus first on re-opening low-touch businesses and move on to later re-opening high-contact businesses.
- Put safety protocols in place for both employees and customers of re-opened businesses.
- Even after re-opening, allow flexibility for individuals with comorbidities and increased risk of infection, fatality or other harm from the virus to remain distanced.
- Create a bridge program to provide additional funding as well as new skills and retraining for workers unable to return to their jobs.
Reducing American Dependence on China
- Rare earth minerals are vital for American commercial and military needs. We must review regulations preventing or limiting domestic rare earth mineral extraction in the United States and seek to foster domestic sourcing to reduce our dependence on China.
- America currently depends on the Chinese for a significant percentage of our pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical components and medical supplies. We must diversify our supply chain for these vital supplies, both re-building our domestic capacity to produce our needed pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical components and medical supplies and sourcing from a variety of countries and regions so that the supply chain is robust and resilient.
- Vigorously enforce the intellectual property rights of American companies.
- Rebuild our domestic manufacturing by streamlining regulation and approval processes and drastically reducing federal regulations that make the United States unattractive for manufacturing.
- Allow states and localities more control with respect to safety, labor and environmental regulation so they can choose what is right for their citizens and compete to attract manufacturing business.
- Provide tax incentives and federal grants to repatriate and diversify manufacturing from China.
Holding China Accountable
- Publicly call out the lies and failures of China and the Chinese Communist Party that had caused or worsened the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Lift China’s statutorily-granted sovereign immunity to allow individuals and businesses to sue China and its ruling Communist Party for their role in the damages cause COVID-19, particularly those related to the cover-up.
- Insist on China taking responsibility for not adhering to the International Health Regulations, 2005, and for refusing the close the exotic animal wet markets which have been the origin of many serious diseases.
- Cancel or pressure china to forgive the $1.1 trillion in U.S. government debt that it holds.
- Reduce foreign influence over American politics and media by requiring any publication, advertisement or other media made for public consumption to clearly and obviously disclose its foreign sponsor if it is controlled, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by a foreign nation or political party.
- Label China a currency manipulator and take appropriate national action.
- Strength the American position and military capabilities in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and the South China Sea.