This is where we are in the United States of America. The novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc on major cities across the country. No one knows if it’s too late to stop the worst of the tsunami-like wave to come. By the end of March, if current rates of growth do not drop significantly, the US will have more than double China’s official total.US President Donald Trump has now called himself a “wartime president”. He signed into force the Defence Production Act, which gives him broad authority to direct private-sector production of critical supplies and set prices to combat price gouging. He has chosen not to use it, and that will put frontline medical workers at risk of illness and ultimately cost lives.
It is high time he applied the leverage of the federal government to fight this crisis with all the power it possesses. Hospitals are already begging the public for medical supplies and overpriced equipment is busting budgets.
New York City, which alone has over 10,000 cases, is on the verge of running out already. New York State governor Andrew Cuomo has highlighted the crushing effects of states competing with each other to purchase supplies. N95 masks that are essential protective equipment now cost US$7 each, up from US$4 only days ago and a mere 85 cents before the crisis began.