Since news of the coronavirus and its potential threat first spread to America, our local, state, and federal governments have been working around the clock to stem the spread, keep people safe, and make sure that our nation’s physical and economic health remains for the most part intact. And, as is usual, many have their own ideas on this crisis should be handled, some more drastic than others.
One of those drastic options is for our executive branch to begin taking over industrial and economic means. This means nationalizing companies and industries that produce or supply masks, ventilators, hand sanitizer, and many other medical items that are critically needed.
And in truth, this could help tremendously, and our President knows it. That is why he enacted the Defense Protection Act last week, which gives him emergency war-time powers to do as he sees fit.
If you are anything like me, the idea of the government stepping and telling me when what and how to do my job or live my life is absolutely terrifying. Not because I can’t handle authority, but because as a free citizen of America, my very liberty and constitutional rights would be at stake.
However, for now, the President has made it clear that he will only actually put those emergency powers to use should he absolutely have to. And as of right now, it is doubtful that he will.
This is because day after day, companies are calling the White House and offering their services with even being asked to. And President Trump is grateful, telling them to do what they can.
Companies like Ford, General Motors, Tesla, and several other major auto factories have shut down their production of vehicles for several weeks. They have decided instead to make ventilators, by the thousands. POTUS tweeted, “Ford, General Motors and Tesla are being given the go-ahead to make ventilators and other metal products, FAST.”
Carnival Cruise Lines has also closed its doors to the public travel industry. But rather than letting their gigantic ships go unused for weeks on end, they have offered to have them re-fitted as hospitals. Carnival announced, “We will be making select ships available as temporary hospitals to treat non-COVID-19 patients freeing up additional space and expanding capacity in land-based hospitals.”
Hanes, the ever-popular clothing manufacturer, is reconfiguring several of its lines and factories to create much-needed face masks to help out. The company shared its willingness to be of assistance on Twitter last week. “With face masks in short supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team in Surin made and donated 5,000 of them to support the local community.”
Hand sanitizer, which has also become increasingly hard to find and in high demand, is now being made by many distilleries throughout the nation. Companies like Tito’s, Anheuser-Busch, and many more have answered the need and offered to make the much-needed product in many of their factories.
Big tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and more are also stepping up the plate.
Apple, according to Vice President Mike Pence, is donating 2 million N95 masks to health care workers throughout the nation.
Even delivery companies like FedEx are doing their part, making sure that rapid emergency deliveries of all these products get from the manufacturer to health care workers as quickly as possible.
All of this leads Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor to say that the DPA just isn’t needed yet.
He explained to CNN’s Jake Tapper, “We haven’t (enforced) it yet. It’s leverage to demonstrate that we can use it, the President can use it at any time. It’s really amazing to see how great America is. All these companies coming up and asking us what they can do to help. We haven’t had to use it because companies around the country, because donations, they’re coming up and saying, ‘what can we do to help you?’ and it’s happening without using that lever.”
Gaynor insists that “if it comes to the point to have to pull that lever we will.” But as of right now, they don’t need to.
America is stepping up and out in a way people haven’t seen for years. Yes, these are trying times, but America’s capitalism is showing off, proving that even amid this storm we can conquer, we can achieve much, and we can make it through if we stick together.