Lessons America must learn from coronavirus

By Jerry Kotyuk

The article below appeared as a letter to the editor in the Marietta Daily Journal (Marietta, Georgia).





Jerry Kotyuk, of Marietta, is a former board member of Franklin Roundtable and serves on the Franklin Roundtable Advisory Board.

Near the end of any crisis, we must search for lessons. Here are seven I discovered.

First, we must control our supply chain, especially medicines and national security-based materials like steel. We depend on China for 95% of our pharmaceuticals. This production must be brought home.

Second, we must never trust the Communist Chinese government again. COVID-19 became a global pandemic because the Chinese government delayed, lied and denied access. America must lead the world in punishing the Chinese government.

Third, regulations that slowed down delivery of health care were temporarily waived. They must be permanently removed. These include Certificate of Need, Occupational Licensing requirements, and Telemedicine impingements. The FDA must speed approval of testing and deployment of treatments and vaccines. They must allow doctors “right to try” off-label use of medicines.

Four, companies must increase teleworking that proved effective during lockdown. In addition to reducing vehicle traffic congestion and costs, it minimizes environmental pollution.

Five, many families learned they had K-12 educational options for their children. Some learned the ease of distance learning; others home-schooled or taught in co-ops. We must increase options for parents, allowing their tax money to follow their child rather than their zip code. Also, university tuition is high; annual increases exceed the inflation rate. Colleges know government will continually increase grants and loans to students. Excessive tuition drives up loan costs, causing graduates decades of loan payments. Expand distance learning: It can reduce room and board costs, plus loan payback costs.

Six, return to Federalism, that balance of federal, state, and local government duties. The saying is true, “Government is best which is closest to the people.” The national government has grown bloated; its bureaucrats sit thousands of miles from us, in both distance and mindset. The federal government should block-grant highway funds, environmental regulation, and education decisions to States. Since state governments better understand local needs, they can more cost-effectively manage those programs.

Finally, we must secure our borders. We cannot have illegals that come from countries with poor health care bring communicable diseases here. If there was a severe outbreak of COVID-19 in Mexico and Central America, millions would migrate to the better health care system of America. We cannot risk this.

Let’s learn from this crisis, and if you agree with my lessons, let your U.S. representative and two U.S. senators know what you want to see happen.