As I write, approximately 736,000 people are infected with coronavirus, 80,000 hospitalized and 40,000 dead in the United States. These numbers probably do not reflect an accurate representation; the numbers are probably much higher. A number of epidemiologists have also opined that the models on which the government has been basing their projections on infections and death are probably inaccurate and should not be used as guidance for when to re-open the country.
There is no vaccine and probably won’t be one for another 12 to 18 months. There is no current universal protocol or drug remedy for coronavirus. While the stock market has recovered gradually, small business and Main Street have not. Over 22 million people have applied for unemployment in the last four weeks.
Many citizens, spurred by the president’s tweets, have started to protest and demand that the economy be reopened. The president’s tweets are a contradiction of his self announced policy on the reopening of the economy where he emphasized following the guidance of his health experts.
So what to do?
The president has created an economic task force that includes his daughter and son-in-law. There are no doctors or scientists on this task force. Honestly, a bunch of lightweights both intellectually and talent wise are not going to inspire confidence or leadership that we badly need. Extraordinary times require extraordinary people to accomplish extraordinary results. It’s time to get extraordinary people on board and save this country.
I have my own ideas on the right people to form a coalition to address coronavirus issues and create a plan and timeline for people to return to work. Now all the starts with one huge move. When a CEO of a company is under performing, incompetent or has lost the confidence of the market, they need to be replaced. Sometimes when a company is experiencing these types of issues, they will bring back a past CEO to right the ship. We have four former presidents that are available. But only one has been battle tested and experienced with issues and resolutions related to pandemic, financial and economic crisis. Ideally, Barack Obama would serve as a temporary CEO of the United States.
I have created an imaginary org chart (below) of smart, talented, battle ready men and women to call upon and serve their country in this unusual crisis. There are both Democrats and Republicans on this team – – but they must put aside party affiliations and act solely as Americans.
The thinking and policies that took place before March 1, 2020 are dead. It’s a new world. We need new perspectives. Ideas that worked in the past probably will not work today or in the future.
I kept some members of the Trump administration including Mike Pence and Steve Mnuchin. There would need to be some continuity between the current task force and the one that I would propose. I have added Condoleezza Rice and Chris Christie. You may wonder why. Essentially Miss Rice’s job would be to act as Secretary of State and repair our relations with our allies in Europe and coordinate a united response to the coronavirus pandemic. Chris Christie would serve as attorney general and does have experience dealing with disruptions and damages spawned by Hurricane Sandy.
The mandates for this coalition would include the following:
- Mitigate, monitor and manage the spread of coronavirus among American citizens. Ensure that required equipment, staffing, funds and assistance are provided to keep our citizens safe.
- Conduct required research, studies and due diligence to create effective protocols and drugs to treat those afflicted with coronavirus.
- Conduct required research, studies and due diligence to create and effective vaccine for coronavirus by January 2021.
- Establish timelines and priorities for the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine by June 2021.
- Ensure protection and integrity of critical supply chain items, particularly food, clothing and medicine during this pandemic.
- Develop strategies, safeguards, funding and planning for the reopening of American businesses, particularly small businesses. Ensure availability of adequate credit, resources and assistance to keep businesses open.
- Develop strategies, safeguards, planning and financial assistance for those who are unemployed. Minimize economic dislocations (foreclosures, loss of health insurance etc.)
- Ensure fair elections in November 2020. Develop protocols for mail-in ballots.