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Mobilizing to Defeat COVID-19 by Christopher Armitage

COVID-19 presents an unprecedented threat to our nation. Dealing with it requires a bold response on par with the actions taken during World War II. As we observed from the rapid spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 in other nations, the result of continued inaction will be the death of millions domestically. This is a summary of how we can mobilize all resources at our disposal a nation to create a united front and save lives as a national community. We must unite against these threats if we are to save more than just our economy.

COVID-19 Domestic Response

Utilizing the Defense Production Act

Temporarily nationalize the medical supply chain using the Defense Production Act.

  • Create or augment medical fluid, gear, and equipment production lines with active duty military. Research long-term supply chain disruptions and bring some of this production capacity back to the US permanently.
  • Use military transportation assets and personnel to condense time between production stages and reduce the time between production and market.
  • Mandate production of required medical protective gear and equipment (masks, gowns, gloves, ventilators, etc.) from companies with the capability and provide grants to do so.
  • Mandate production of medical fluids (hand-sanitizer, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) from companies with the capability and provide grants to do so.
  • Provide grants to companies building 3D printers capable of mass producing medical gear and equipment.
  • Make current 3D printer designs for medical gear and equipment open-source and mandate production from companies with the capability.
  • Begin a competition similar to Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) to design a 3D printed cost-effective ventilator on an accelerated timeline (30-60 days).
  • Provide grants to companies to build and deploy mobile hospitals
  • Will generate tens of thousands of jobs.

Economic Recovery for aLL

Heavily subsidize or even temporarily nationalize the renewable energy industry in the US, creating tens of thousands of jobs in the process.

  • Saudi Arabia and Russia were able to further crash the US and world economy by infighting over oil supply. Thousands of Americans in oil and shale companies are losing their jobs.
  • Federally contract the erection of solar energy infrastructure across the country with immediate start dates.
  • Provide substantial grants to companies to build and expand production o renewable energy storage (a.k.a. batteries).
  • Use military engineers and planners to identify ideal areas for solar farm placement and use the resources of the federal government to begin purchase of required land.
  • Workers in the oil and shale industry will get dual-priority placement in new renewable energy jobs, the shared priority will be paired with current subject matter experts in the relevant fields.
  • Provide grants to companies that can create online courses to certify people in operation and maintenance of solar systems.

Corporate Accountability

Stipulate that a bailout of the Airlines is contingent on activation of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) to help transport all the supplies and equipment we will create.

  • Suspension of CEO/Executive Pay Increases during crisis, Suspension of Stock Buybacks for duration of crisis
  • Mandate Paid Sick Leave, Freeze Layoffs
  • Turn diminished demand for passenger travel to increased cargo traffic.
  • nsures support crews can keep their jobs.
  • Ensure we don’t diminish readiness by overburdening our vital military airlift assets and crews.

Centralizing Experts and Our Response

Create a new Joint Task Force or the 1st Homefront Support Wing (HSW), primarily comprised of Civil Engineers, Supply Chain Managers, Vehicle Fleet/Transportation Specialists, Aircraft Mechanics.

  • This would be an extended deployment for all personnel assigned. Families would remain at home station. If the requirement extends beyond 1 year, begin rotations.
  • Place a well qualified Air Force Logistics Officer in Charge. (i.e. Brigadier General Hurry or Brigadier General David J. Sanford).
  • Put logistics officers (Army and Air Force) in charge of procurement and disbursement of goods.
  • Model off of Supply Chain Operations Squadrons (SCOS) and Vehicle Supply Chain Operations Squadrons.
  • Establish a rapid response cell that sends military logistics experts to hard-hit areas or companies in need to diagnose logistics problems and implement solutions.
  • Place an Army Logistics Officer in charge of a geographically dispersed vehicle fleet comprised primarily of long-haul tractor trailers and pickup-trucks. Ensure sufficient drivers are attached to the fleet.

Place civil engineering officers in charge of rapid engineering responses within the United States, modeled off the 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group (ECEG) in CENTCOM. Place a former 1 ECEG Commander in charge.

  • Begin constructing field hospitals outside hard hit areas or where needs are projected.
  • Create designs for hospitals that can be rapidly executed by civilian construction companies.
  • Rapidly repurpose government buildings into hospitals. Many states are also mobilizing plans to convert unused dormitories (from closed universities) and hotels into temporary housing for quarantine or medical care. Kuwait is using several resorts as quarantine facilities, for example.
  • For people who've been exposed but are not yet symptomatic.

Include a rapidly deployable Services Squadron to respond to dire need throughout the country.

  • Provide with specialized, mobile kitchens, tents, and beddown equipment.

COVID-19 Foreign Policy Response

Part of the reason we are in such a precarious position as a nation, with vulnerabilities left unattended, is because the U.S. has degraded our standing and relationships with the international community for years. Whether through endless wars, trade deals that enable human rights abuses, or backing out of agreements previous presidents have entered into; these are not behaviors that would gain our nation support during challenging times. If we hope to receive a helping hand when we are in need, we must be ready to extend the same kindness to others. Selfishness begets selfishness, and a nation that has no true allies is a nation that is lost and alone like any individual person who has spurned friends, family, and community members.

Mobilizing the global community

Organizing a multilateral response

  • Call for virtual UN Security Council Meeting
  • Call for virtual UN General Assembly Meeting
  • Call a joint virtual meeting with Canada and EU

Immediate humanitarian relief

  • Immediately remove sanctions on Iran, Venezuela and North Korea on a temporary basis (i.e. 60 days), except for weapons. Include automatic renewal of relief at intervals dependent on the status of the COVID-19 situation.

Bolstering fair trade to support American worker

  • Declare global free trade if countries reciprocate.
  • Immediately remove tariffs on Chinese goods if they agree to reciprocate.

Leading a truly Global response

Afghanistan

  • Express support for the Ghani government.
  • Facilitate negotiations with the Taliban for an immediate, indefinite ceasefire between Taliban and Government Forces.
  • Begin airdropping food and medical supplies to tribes, Afghan government forces, and particularly hard-hit regions.

China

  • Immediately begin coordination between American, Chinese, and International Scientists on COVID-19 origins, containment, treatment, vaccines, etc.
  • Take initiative to end all tariffs if China reciprocates.
  • Coordinate with China on measures the international community can take.

Iraq

  • Express support for the Alawi government.
  • Begin airdropping food and medical supplies to villages, government forces, and particularly hard-hit regions.

Iran

  • Temporarily remove all sanctions on non-military equipment.
  • Facilitate humanitarian aid to Iranian people.
  • Begin trading in food and sustenance items with Iran without restriction.

North Korea

  • Temporarily remove all sanctions on non-military equipment, contingent on humanitarian aid and organizations being allowed into the country.
  • Coordinate with China and South Korea to begin humanitarian aid shipments to North Korea.

Venezuela

  • Immediately remove all sanctions and enter into talks with the Maduro government to allow flow of humanitarian aid.

About Chris Armitage

Christopher Armitage is a progressive running for US Congress in Washington State’s 5th Congressional District, because he believes it’s time the working people of Eastern Washington have a voice that doesn’t sell them out to the highest bidder.

Chris served abroad in the US Air Force, was a small business owner and is a stand-up comedian. He uses his experience (and his humor) to break the stalemate of our politics to engage with people to get stuff done.

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