Over the past few months, Coronavirus has gripped the world, starting in China, moving to other parts of Asia, and eventually to Europe and the United States. The virus has become so prevalent due to its high infection rates, it’s dangerous symptoms and the fact that someone infected can become contagious before even showing symptoms.
Because of these issues the media has become completely captured by the insanity of the situation which has caused global panic. This has caused unusual circumstances in the United States, with a majority of taking steps to close or reduce the workforce in “non essential workplaces.” (As of 3/20, Governors Cuomo of New York and Newsom of California have called for a 100% reduction of non-essential workforce). But before the closures started, panic was evident in the disappearance of toilet paper, pasta, medications and canned goods in grocery stores across the nation due to the mass panic.
The United States remains in a unique position in several ways. First, we are one of the last nations to be hit, meaning we have seen the impacts around the world. Second, we have more resources than other nations do, and have a larger surplus to provide to our citizens. But most importantly, we have a much stronger capability to produce everything we need for our people to thrive ourselves. However, for some reason we are not doing just that. That must change immediately.
While many Americans know that China produces a large amount of the worlds goods due to their cheaper costs, but what people don’t know is how much is actually impacted. In 2016, Congresswoman-elect Claudia Tenney wrote an op-ed noting that China was ripping off millions of Americans through intellectual property theft, stating that China was “stealing from the U.S. economy on a staggering scale.” Following President Trump’s inauguration only a short month after, he pursued a vigorous effort to force the Chinese to pay their fair share in US trade agreements. During Trump’s tenure he has also pushed “buy and make American” an effort to bring American manufacturing jobs back from overseas locations such as China.
However this crisis has shown just how bad China’s theft is. Currently, a number of drug manufacturers produce their drugs overseas, in China, the original location of this outbreak. In recent weeks, several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle led by Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton have called out this dangerous practice and have introduced legislation to bring drug manufacturers back into the United States.
Unfortunately it isn’t just drugs that are produced overseas, but medical equipment, vehicle parts, technology and so much more. With a global slowdown and now shutdown due to this virus, the United States is in jeopardy of not receiving full shipments from overseas, placing a higher demand on US stores that they simply do not have the supply for.
This is hazardous not only to our economy but also to our national security. If we do not get the medical supplies we need, Americans will not be properly diagnosed and treated for COVID-19 or any other disease. Currently, the Chinese are angry that President Trump has blamed China for the outbreak, and have threatened to cut off trade. Imagine the United States unable to bring in vital medications and supplies that millions of Americans need. This impact would be catastrophic, even moreso than the virus itself.
For these reasons and some even worse such as the breakout of any war impacting China, the United States must immediately view this as a national security crisis. President Trump must work with Congress and businesses to push “made in America.” This will reduce the demand on suppliers, provide more jobs to families struggling and reduce the time needed to get these supplies to the American people.
With the COVID-19 situation getting worse and worse by the day, this situation must be addressed immediately. It is a good sign that President Trump and members of Congress recognize this situation, but they must move quickly and act to put America’s health and well being back in the hands of America.
For more on American national security, check out my book, “America 2020: The Grand American Political Landscape” available today on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/America-2020-American-Political-Landscape/dp/1696126401/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=america+2020+pat+obrien&qid=1584719942&sr=8-1