March 21, 2020
What We’re Standing For
Over the past week, our economy has ground to a halt in an effort to stop the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Businesses of all sizes and American workers are hurting – badly. It’s clear we need to do something, and Congress has to act quickly, but not all “solutions” are created equal.
In the rush to get much-needed aid to the American people, Congress should be smart about what that aid looks like. Here is some advice:
→ DO expand our hospital capacity, produce more medical equipment, and protect our health care providers. We will only really start recovering when the American people get back to work, and that needs to happen as soon as is safely possible.
→ DON’T bail out individual industries, pick winners and losers, or pass a bloated stimulus package. The entire economy is affected, and no single sector should receive preferential treatment.
→ DO focus on helping small and medium-sized American companies – not just corporations. Increasing liquidity will make the difference for these businesses to get through the crisis.
→ DON’T impose new federal mandates and costs on already struggling businesses. Expensive mandates will only push companies to lay off workers.
→ DO expand unemployment insurance (temporarily), making it available immediately to employees who are granted temporary leave.
→ DO provide relief for needy families through existing government safety nets, rather than creating new bureaucracies, and focus on giving states the flexibility to meet the needs of their citizens.
At a time when Washington has never seemed more toxic, it’s a positive sign that Congress has been so quick to work together to take action. Looking ahead, elected officials need to prioritize helping Americans immediately without harming taxpayers long-term.
And it’s important for us all to remember: Americans have faced many crises in our history. Not only do we always overcome them, we come out stronger. We will win this battle too.
Cutting red tape
Federal and state governments are getting creative – cutting onerous regulations that slow us down at a time when we need to move quickly and decisively to help the economy and keep Americans healthy. Here are just a handful of examples big and small.
→ Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker allowed medical professionals who are licensed in other states to become licensed in Massachusetts within a day to combat a shortage of medical workers.
→ Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb relaxed restrictions governing truck drivers’ hours, so they can deliver food to grocery stores.
→ South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster waived regulations so nursing and medical students can help out in overwhelmed hospitals.
→ Texas Gov. Greg Abbott changed rules to allow work-study students to continue to receive funding even as campuses empty out and colleges move classes online.
→ The Trump administration lifted Medicare restrictions on telehealth visits, allowing seniors to visit with their doctors by phone or videoconferencing. The administration also granted HIPPA waivers that will allow doctors to share important information and treat patients faster.
Read more: Here are more regulatory reforms that can help people during this crisis.
what we’re standing against
Doubling down on socialism
During Sunday night’s debate, Bernie Sanders doubled down on socialism, using coronavirus to push for socialized medicine.
“This coronavirus pandemic exposes the incredible weakness and dysfunctionality of our current health care system… One of the reasons we are unprepared and have been unprepared is we don’t have a system. We’ve got thousands of private insurance plans.”
Sanders has been joined by other liberals, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But Biden’s decisive win in Tuesday night’s primaries – after rejecting Medicare for All – should put the nail in that coffin (though Biden’s health care solutions are not much better).
Chinese propaganda machine
After withholding vital information about the spread of coronavirus in China, the Communist government is now engaged in a widespread propaganda effort to erase China’s fatal missteps and lack of transparency.
The New York Times analyzed thousands of tweets from Chinese state-owned media and diplomats and found a deliberate effort to push a rosy view of China’s coronavirus response. Tweets reveal a narrative that paints China as a “selfless leader” in the fight against the virus. At the same time, China is actively working to deny the origin of the virus in Wuhan and eliminate criticism from its own people. Watch the New York Times video here.
Silver lining: Journalists in China are fighting back.
Our take: This is par for the course for Chinese Communist leaders who have a long history of stifling critical speech and engaging in aggressive propaganda campaigns. But this time, there are widespread deadly consequences – the likes of which the modern world has never seen. It’s up to each one of us to call out the propaganda and set the record straight.
→ Read more: In an effort to control its message, the Communist regime continues to banish foreign journalists from China.
what we’re smiling about
In the middle of a crisis, people still find a way to smile, even laugh. These folks are finding all kinds of creative ways to entertain themselves – and us.
Finding new ways to stay fit…
Sometimes, it’s okay to hide from your kids…
Finding creative ways to stay safe…
A very Kentucky solution to taking hand sanitizer on a plane… Thanks Rep. Yarmuth for this gem.
And if you’ve run out of Netflix ideas, here’s a new way to pass the time…