Saving Lives and Livelihoods: Recommendations for Recovery

Saving Lives and Livelihoods: Recommendations for Recovery (National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, The Heritage Foundation, June 15, 2020, 113p)

Proposes a five-phase plan to combat COVID-19 and reopen America, following an “all of society” approach recognizing that recovery “must proceed expeditiously” and that success requires coordination among all levels of government, the private sector, and civil society, rather than a national or top-down approach.

The plan “is not about choosing between protecting lives or the economy, but about achieving prudent balance needed to protect both.”

Phase 1.  “Return to a more normal level of business activity at the regional level based on scientific data. This would be done only after stabilizing the health care system; establishing enhanced testing, reporting, and contact tracing; and continuing to follow  CDC guidelines”

Phase 2.  Expand testing, reporting, and contact tracing to slow the spread of the virus.

Phase 3.  Continue to build the science, by increasing the availability and speed of new diagnostic tests, and acceleration of proven therapeutics and vaccines.

Phase 4.  Establish U.S.  leadership in economic recovery, with risk-informed measures to reestablish international travel while limiting the threat of reinfection.  Partner with key strategic allies “to empower economic freedom and partnerships in free markets among free people.”

Phase 5.  Reduce future risks of pandemics: invest in national and state stockpiles, reform supply chains, develop strategies to adjust resource capacity, develop the supply of antiviral agents, seek vaccines for coronaviruses, and invest in an international biosurveillance network.

Note: The 13-member Commission is led by past and present heads of The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute (two of the three major conservative think tanks in the US), several retired Republican members of Congress, a retired White House physician, and leaders of business and health organizations.  No epidemiologists or public health experts appear to be on the Commission, and the Bibliography does not cite any scientific reports from these fields.  Phase 5 ignores the growing risk of pandemics from environmental causes (#10—reference number to be changed).]

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