Does it appear there are two different Coronavirus Strategies taking place? There is a growing disconnect between the Federal government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic versus the state responses? There are still 9 states that have not issued a shelter-in-place style directive. Reviewing the other 41, there are states that issued this order weeks later than others, yet access to what appears to be limited availability of PPP funding is being distributed across the country on a first come, first service basis. The hardest hit areas may need this funding much sooner than others. It is likely that all areas will suffer economic loss during this pandemic, however certain areas are likely to be coming out of the worst of it when other states may be weeks away from a surge.
Separation between Federal & State Focus. Two Different Coronavirus Strategies
There seems to be a separation of responsibilities and focus that is not helping us move forward. Our elected officials seem to be using two different Coronavirus strategies.
Federal Government Focused on Economic Indicators
The Federal government seems concentrated primarily on the economics of the pandemic. The states seem to be solely focused on the health aspect of the Coronavirus. It may be better if the two governing bodies could find some middle ground. It appears almost inarguable that, regardless of fault, there was a shortage of ventilators and other supplies which appears to fall to the federal level. Had President Trump not focused so largely on the economy and highlighting the daily stock market gains, we may have been able to heed advice and experience of other countries, and better prepared our nation before the outbreak became so rampant.
State Level Governments Ignoring Economics
On the opposite side, it is baffling that there is little, to no, advertised or available economic aid being delivered to shuttered businesses at the state level. The states have taken an opposite approach. Simply closed down businesses and flipped the ‘off’ switch on commerce. This two prong approach does not function efficiently at this point. The states with the dire health concerns cannot seem to get the ventilators and other needed supplies and the businesses who are bleeding cash cannot get any relief in a timely fashion.
Federalist System Shortcomings
It would appear our federalist system needs to find a way to work together more cohesively and eliminate the two different Coronavirus strategies. Rather than each try to tackle one issue while almost ignoring the other. Likewise, as small businesses are hamstrung by shelter-in-place orders, can we not incorporate some of these firms into assisting in building ventilators? The numbers spoken about in the current hot spots do not seem to be huge demands. While the likes of Ford & General Motors seem more apt to produce scaleable quantities, is it true there are no small, nimble firms that can produce these items in the immediate term? Even 10-12 units a day would seem worthwhile. On day 24 of our quarantine that would be 240 units produced and shipped already. Multiplied by 7-10 firms this may have already solved our immediate need.
Small Business can Lead Manufacturing to Fight Coronavirus
What are the other hindrances currently taking place? It would appear likely that as a nation we do not have the raw material supply chain or the individual component production currently being manufactured within our borders. Yet our state department authority is vast, and our diplomatic corps should be able to assist with getting these parts on planes.
In addition to parts on planes, we need to move down to the local level. We need governors, state senators, and state assembly people to put boots on the ground. Find the local firms capable and willing to assist in this crisis. This cannot be completed by the Federal government. This cannot be completed by using two different Coronavirus strategies. The Federal level needs to focus on the bigger overall issues. The local representatives need to contact local firms and build a model of responsibility, duty, and involvement.
Just as the President called on the vertically integrated firm, MyPillow, local state leaders need to engage in the same process. It does not necessarily matter what firms are currently producing, it matters what they are capable of producing. Show these firms you value their abilities, are willing to pay a fair price, and the local community needs their help.
The success of our nation is built on small business. Assist small business by finding parts, and these firms will help us find success.