We Are WAY Behind (Plus The 4 Things)
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
The federal coronavirus response, being touted by the media as something that will be lovely and helpful, is ramping up way later than it should have.
One of the many, many problems with the extreme delay in federal response to this emergency is that ramping up the military for a domestic response is SLOW. There's no way around that. I've watched fast responses, and then I've watched the military.
This isn't a criticism of the military. Some of the reasons for the delays are quite rational. It's a fact.
Anyone in federal response, say, who would be running FEMA, or DHS, or the National Security Council, or the Pentagon, knows this. Good advisors would have pushed for these activations LONG AGO. Good leaders would have followed them.
Activation of the Defense Production Act today should have happened LONG AGO. The Defense Production Act allows high-priority production of goods and materials in a national crisis to be directed by the federal government. More on the Google. The Stafford Act declaration, which only happened Friday, helps make the Defense Production Act happen. It certainly could have happened 6 days ago, at the same time as the Stafford Act declaration. But it should have happened LONG AGO.
And as for the rest of the federal response... with the Stafford Act only activated Friday, that's not exactly going to move at lightning speed either.
Ramping up the entire freaking federal government is no easy task. And we've never activated everything everywhere all at once. Not in modern times. This is brand new. You might think you would have done it already. Weeks ago.
We are WAY behind.
The four things we'll need in light of all this chaos: connection, community, problem-solving, and resilience.
Also, this is all happening with an administration that's pushing authoritarianism, which includes the erosion of institutions. It's super critical that we keep the institutions that we do have functional. That includes state and local government.
There are ways through. We find them together.
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