In January, as career politicians in Washington, D.C. and their media allies smothered the American public in a sham impeachment, President Trump was working to establish a coronavirus task force with little to no fanfare. Primarily composed of healthcare professionals, that task force has led the way in the battle to "flatten the curve", advise the public, and gain private sector cooperation to produce more personal protective equipment for front-line healthcare workers.
As a practicing family physician (married to an ER doctor), I applaud the actions this task force has taken to follow the science and save lives. As Chairwoman of the Arizona GOP and a former two-term state senator, I equally applaud the president for taking great care to ensure the federal government empowers, rather than impedes, states to lead at the local level—as they should under our Constitution.
But as a physician, I am also a former small business owner. And like so many small business owners all across the country, I have watched the devastation caused by China's exported pandemic. Businesses are shutting down, millions of jobs have been lost, and years of savings have been completely wiped out.
Just as in World War II, when our nation was forced to fight a two-front war, the present crisis requires fighting on two fronts as well—one against the virus and the other to revive the greatest economy the world has ever known. America can be—we must be—up to the task.
At Friday's daily coronavirus briefing, the president indicated he plans on announcing the formation of a second task force to better fight the second front of this war. Mr. President, not only do I endorse the formation of an economic task force, I strongly urge that you empower it to open up our country, ahead of schedule and defying the experts and the skeptics in the process.
Just as first task force identified places where our medical regulations sometimes hindered the swift action required (such as forcing the FDA to rapidly approve clinical trials for potential life-saving medicines), the new task force needs to identify the abundance of regulatory obstacles standing in the way of an economic jump start. From the start, the Trump Administration has done an exceptional job removing burdensome regulations to foster a booming economy. As America returns to work post-coronavirus, it is imperative that we finish the job by eliminating every remaining shred of unnecessary red tape that holds our economy back.
It's also critical that the task force represents diverse sectors of our economy, starting with a robust delegation of small businesses. In addition to mom-and-pop small businesses, the travel, hospitality and food service industries have been clobbered and all deserve to have a seat at the table. Other considerations should be given to restaurants, live events and sports leagues, as well as all other entertainment and leisure industries.
Furthermore, the task force should avoid making one-size-fits-all pronouncements on entire cities, states and regions. As someone who lives in flyover country, I can tell you that many Arizonans have felt inundated by a big-city-only perspective on the crisis. While our hearts are with our fellow citizens in New York City, I can assure you some parts of the country can and would reopen now if given the opportunity. The same approach should be applied to entire sectors of the economy. Many industries will have to enact new protocols to ensure the worker safety in order to restart. The second task force can and should provide guidance on those protocols.
But the task force should also set its sights beyond just our immediate crisis. The pandemic has amplified the necessity of ensuring that America's strategic manufacturing and production priorities—food, medicine and weapons—are brought back to U.S. soil as a matter of national security. Our nation's manufacturers and producers must have a very large voice on the task force, and they should be incentivized to bring their production capacity back the United States.
With the right approach, the task force will be instrumental in America defeating the coronavirus enemy on the second front of this terrible war. Victory will mean restarting the economic engine that powers the world's economy and making changes that have both immediate and long-term benefits to the health and security of our nation. We can ensure the comeback will be nothing short of an economic revival, the likes of which has never been seen before.
There's no time to lose. It's time to put America back to work.