The central theme in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is the need for wide spread testing before reopening the economy and to prevent rebounding. President Trump and Vice President Pence consistently tell the American people that the state governors have all the tests they need. The governors interviewed (Republicans and Democrats, although this information should not matter) say they do not have sufficient tests, which involves many components, to do effective and wide spread testing.
During this health crisis which involves people in all 50 states, the federal government and state governments should be working as partners. The governors are working hard and using their resources to protect and provide for the welfare of all the people in their states. There is no more critical time than now for President Trump to have the governors’ “backs.”
Congress has given the president a role to play in emergency situations and the power to carry out his role. Congress passed the Defense Production Act of 1950 in response to production needs during the Korean War. It is “the primary source of presidential authority to be used during emergencies to expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base. It allows the president power to require businesses to accept federal contracts for products and allows the president to control the distribution of how those products get to people who need them.” In other words, the president, in this time of crisis, has the power to supply the needs of the states—personal protective equipment, swabs, ventilators, tests, etc. You name it and the president has the power to have it produced; plus, the president is in charge of the supply chain to the 50 states.
The sooner wide spread testing is available in the states, the sooner workers can safely return to work and all of us with confidence can support the businesses we need and love.
NANCY L. ROBISON