New Op-ed: America’s response to China’s challenge is critical
Challenges test character. In fact, challenges are necessary to develop character.
As Russian novelist and anti-communist dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn reminded Harvard's graduating class in 1978, "Even biology knows that habitual, extreme safety and well-being are not advantageous for a living organism."
This is true for nations as well as individuals.
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the coronavirus, is the challenge America faces now.
The coronavirus didn't start here, but it will end here thanks to President Trump, our doctors and nurses, pharmaceutical research companies, medical device manufacturers, thousands of workshops and millions of Americans pulling together.
How we are rising to the challenge shows everything you need to know about the American system – and the alternative.
The virus emerged from the socialized medical system of China. Remember that the next time someone demands "single-payer," "Medicare for all" or other euphemisms for government-run health care.
When Seattle doctors reported the first U.S. cases of the CCP virus to the CDC, career bureaucrats ordered them to stop testing until they recertified their lab according to the regulations – a process that would take months.
When front-line doctors reported promising results with hydroxychloroquine, an approved drug that's been used to treat malaria and lupus for decades, the blinkered bureaucratic mindset dismissed them as "anecdotal," insisting on a months-long government-mandated test before even considering the reports from the soldiers in the trenches.
Contrast the stupor and torpor of the government to the agility of American ingenuity and the unprecedented response of Americans.
After President Trump cut through the kudzu of deep state red tape, pharmaceutical companies produced millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine so health care workers could protect themselves and patients.
Researchers are racing to develop tests and treatments for the novel contagion.
Gilead Science has an antiviral drug in clinical trials right now. Pharmaceutical giant AbbVie's HIV medication Kaletra is also being tested to treat the coronavirus. The company gave up its patent rights to Kaletra, allowing other companies to mass produce low-cost versions if it proves to be effective.
Abbott Labs produced a new coronavirus test that could return results in five minutes. The FDA approved it in record time along with tests developed by private companies including LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, Roche Diagnostics and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Cellex and Biomedonics have produced high-speed antibody tests health care providers can use to determine who has been exposed to the coronavirus even if a person didn't show any symptoms. These tests will help identify who has recovered and can safely return to work.
Johnson & Johnson began researching a vaccine in January 2020 as soon as the coronavirus genetic sequence became available. It's identified a lead vaccine candidate (with two back-ups) and will progress into the first manufacturing steps in a matter of weeks. The vaccine development process typically spans five to seven years before a candidate is even considered for approval.
And the private sector response is not limited to the health care industries.
Valero Energy, an independent refiner and the world's second-largest ethanol producer, converted its Iowa ethanol plant to produce hand sanitizer for hospitals and emergency care providers. It also donated 10,000 fuel cards to community organizations that rely on transportation as a vital part of their service.
ExxonMobile enlisted its chemical, materials science and manufacturing expertise to meet the demand for protective medical gear. More than 50,000 polymer face shields have already been produced and are being distributed to hospitals in New York and Atlanta. Production facilities are ramping up to manufacture more than 170,000 shields per hour.
(Lest we forget, this is the same company the state of New York sued for $1.6 billion as reparations for climate change. We're waiting for Gov. Cuomo to return the face masks since they're made with petroleum products.)
Thousands of American doctors, nurses and health care workers, the ingenuity, innovation and industry of private enterprises and millions of Americans are meeting the unprecedented challenge of the CCP virus pandemic.
After we beat the virus, another battle lies ahead. China's rulers plan to exploit the post-pandemic chaos to displace America as the leader of the world.
America's confrontation with Communist China is this generation's rendezvous with destiny.
The virus shows we are confronting a foreign power that has the capacity to stop our way of life.
Will we continue giving them the power to do that again?
How we meet this challenge will determine humanity's fate for the next hundred years.
Going forward, we must wash our hands – and wash our hands of China.
Curtis Ellis is the Senior Policy Director for America First Policies.