stat counnnter

Friday, April 17, 2020

Regulatory failure.

Today my Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer announced steady as she goes with her economic and political shutdown. Although she hopes for an end soon, she said we have to rely on the scientific facts. Well, I say no. We should be relying on the Constitution and its founding principle of inalienable individual rights. The economy should have been left running while people were encouraged to self protect.

The alleged reason for the shutdown was to prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed. But our hospitals have been overwhelmed before from things like tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc. and they simply did their best. Yes some people died unable to be attended to as happens in all such overloads.

These can be managed better if the health care industry were privatized. A private market in medicine means hospitals, clinics even doctors offices would have their own stockpiles. I can see a chain of private warehouses stockpiling vast amounts of test kits, ventilators and other PPEs and rotating them as needed.

But our health care industry is heavily regulated by government. Did you know that the Center for Disease Control wrote regulations forbidding private companies from making test kits without getting permission from the CDC?

 There were hundreds of testing labs and diagnostic clinics across the country asking for permission to make testing kits. The CDC said no. It required them to use the CDCs own kits. In another massive failure of government, those kits were flawed. They didn't work. So people died as a result.

I don't know if President Trump was aware of this or even knew that the National Strategic Supply had been depleted fighting the swine flu during the Obama administration and never fully restocked. If he did he should have been outraged at the gross incompetence of the regulators.

In my view he should have issued an executive order temporarily suspending the permission granting powers of the CDC and the FDA (with a view toward making them permanent) and then unleashed all those private labs to go full blast creating test kits. We would have been drowning in them in a week or two.

Then we could have had a massive testing campaign (like South Korea did) to see who tested positive and quarantined them while letting the negatives go about their lives but still practicing protective measures. Alas, that did not happen here.

Next post on why the economy should have stayed running.

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