WASHINGTON—The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission announced a new set of recommendations today to guide governors, local leaders, federal officials, and the private sector with the steps necessary to reopen America. The commission has now put forward 179 recommendations that achieve a prudent balance to protect both lives and livelihoods.
The commission held its third meeting Tuesday, bringing together 17 top experts and thinkers with experience in government, public health, disaster response and relief, academia and education, business, and the faith community.
The newest recommendations focus on the importance of continuing to build the science to combat COVID-19 and establishing U.S. leadership to drive the free world in economic recovery. They were developed by the commissioners in consultation with Heritage Foundation scholars and leading policy experts. Hundreds of Americans submitted their own ideas at CoronavirusCommission.com.
The recommendations cover the first four phases of the commission’s previously announced five-phase approach to recovery. The first set of recommendations was released April 20 and delivered to the nation’s governors, the Trump administration, members of Congress, local officials, and civil society leaders.
The full list of 179 recommendations, organized by the sectors of government and society, can be found at CoronavirusCommission.com.
Highlights of the latest recommendations, released today, are below.
- Governors should promptly allow all medical offices to reopen, augment hospital capacity only where needed, and remove government barriers to a more flexible health care workforce.
- President Trump should require deregulatory plans from the FDA, CDC, EPA, and other relevant regulatory bodies within 30 days to help with fast-track approval for disinfectants, therapeutics, and vaccines.
- President Trump should task health agencies with developing plans for innovative ways to rapidly deploy coronavirus therapeutics and vaccines in a highly efficient and effective manner across the country.
- Lawmakers in Congress should provide legal immunity to private actors that have taken reasonable steps to ensure the safety of health-related products and services connected to the pandemic.
- The Trump administration should rescind the Section 201, Section 232, and Section 301 tariffs that it has imposed over the past two years to increase trade freedom in our economic recovery.
- Governors should waive transportation and logistical barriers that hamper the domestic and international distribution of food and agricultural products.
- The U.S. State Department should counter Chinese incentives and pressures that influence international organizations, including the World Health Organization.
- The Department of Commerce should evaluate concerns over drug sourcing from China and quality control independently of the COVID-19.
- America’s thought leaders should investigate and communicate how freedom has shaped America’s response to the coronavirus and its economic effects in contrast to the way that authoritarian regimes like China have responded.
- Private technology companies should continue their voluntary efforts to work together to develop better digital contact-tracing tools.
National Coronavirus Recovery Commission Chairman Kay C. James, president of The Heritage Foundation, said that we cannot treat the health of our citizens and our economy as competing priorities.
“Saving Americans’ lives and livelihoods go hand in hand. Treating these objectives as an either-or—when they are deeply intertwined—all but ensures failure to protect both,” James said. “It's time to move expeditiously toward reopening America while taking proper precautions. Policymakers must also consider reforms that expand our knowledge of the virus, speed up solutions, enable strategic engagement with the rest of the world in trade and travel, and leverage economic freedom for a stronger recovery.”
The commission will deliver its final report with recommendations for all five phases in the coming weeks. All recommendations are available at CoronavirusCommission.com.
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