President Trump’s deregulation efforts have saved a lot of lives

I’ve maintained for many years that government regulations do far more harm than good.  Unfortunately the Coronavirus crises has more than proved me right.  Government red tape cost the lives of many Americans early on during this pandemic and the deregulation efforts by President Trump will have saved a substantial number of Americans before the crisis is over.  If you think I’m being melodramatic check out the Townhall article The Red Tape Pandemic by John Stossel.

The number of test kits available when the crisis began to unfold was disgrace and directly attributable to government regulations.  This had a major impact on how far and how fast the virus spread across the United States.  The Townhall article explains how a much larger number of test kits in South Korea resulted in a much less dire situation than we now face here.

Coronavirus deaths leveled off in South Korea.

That’s because people in Korea could easily find out if they had the disease. There are hundreds of testing locations — even pop-up drive-thru testing centers.

We can compare that to what happened here due to the low number of test kits.

In America, a shortage of COVID-19 tests has made it hard for people to get tested. Even those who show all the symptoms have a difficult time.

Why weren’t there enough tests?

Because our government insists on control of medical innovation.

The shortage of test kits was caused by government regulations.

When coronavirus appeared, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made its own tests and insisted that people only use those CDC tests. But the CDC test often gave inaccurate results. Some early versions of the test couldn’t distinguish between coronavirus and water.

Private companies might have offered better tests, and more of them, but that wasn’t allowed. The World Health Organization even released information on how to make such tests, but our government still said no. Instead, all tests must go through the government’s cumbersome approval process. That takes months. Or years.

Hundreds of labs had the ability to test for the virus, but they weren’t allowed to test.

As a result, doctors can’t be sure exactly where outbreaks are happening. Instead of quarantining just sick people, state governors are forcing entire states to go on lockdown.

At the same time, many people who show no symptoms do have COVID-19. Without widespread testing, we don’t know who they are, and so the symptomless sick are infecting others.

The shortage of test kits was relieved by President Trump relaxing regulations.

A few weeks ago, the government finally gave up its monopoly and said it was relaxing the rules. There would be quick “emergency use authorizations” replacing the months- or years-long wait for approval. But even that took so long that few independent tests were approved.

So President Donald Trump waived those rules, too.

Now tests are finally being made. But that delay killed people. It’s still killing people.

Doctor and nurse shortages have also impacted the Coronavirus crisis.  This issue was solved by a combination of President Trump and the governors of many states.

In some states, there’s a shortage of doctors or nurses. That, too, is often a product of bad law — state licensing laws that make it illegal for professionals licensed in one state to work in another. Trump said he would waive “license requirements so that the doctors from other states can provide services to states with the greatest need.” Then it turned out that he could only allow that for Medicare; he didn’t have the power to override stupid state licensing rules.

Fortunately, many states finally waived harmful licensing laws on their own.

It’s good that governments finally removed some rules.

This National Review article Deregulate to Help the Private Sector Fight Coronavirus also proves that government regulations have been costly in the fight against Coronavirus.

Amid the humanitarian and economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, an intelligent policy response can save lives and livelihoods. In addition to the many measures being introduced and passed into law, including economic-stimulus measures and funding for testing, one critically important government response is to cut red tape and regulatory burdens that stand in the way of a quick and impactful response from businesses that can meaningfully help in the crisis.

The level of food and necessities has stabilized in the past few days.  One deregulation effort by President Trump’s administration helped bring that about.

since 1938, federal regulations limit most commercial truck drivers to eleven hours of driving time in a 14-hour workday. The restriction is intended to reduce accidents caused by highway fatigue. The rule doesn’t necessarily encourage safety, however, as truckers may be forced off the road at the end of their workday in areas not hospitable to truckers…Last Friday, after the president’s declaration of a national emergency, the Department of Transportation announced a nationwide exemption to the 82-year-old rules. Now truckers can help deliver badly needed supplies more quickly and efficiently while still safely splitting their required ten-hour rest period into two separate breaks instead of having to all take it at once.

Hopefully when the Coronavirus pandemic is over we will remember that government regulations made the crises worse and relaxing the regulations had very positive results. When it comes to getting rid of government regulations we need to go much further

Thoughts When it Ends Under the Fedora

One of the biggest questions in everyone’s minds is what will be happening once the official “social distancing” business is gone.

Will people still be too afraid to go to bars and restaurants? Will they be willing to go to sporting events? How spooked will people remain?

That will be a real consideration.

How about buffet restaurants like Golden Coral or even the lunch Buffet at Happy Jacks or the Chinese buffet at Chopsticks? Will people be willing to go? Will there be an insurance liability? Will it be worth it?

If there is one thing that might return it’s the Drive ins. You have social distancing and with cell phone these days you can call the snack bar and have things delivered to your car. There is one in Milford NH and I suspect it will be packed once it opens this year.

There is also the alternative, that once people figure out that it’s safe to go back in the water so to speak, and the reality is that it’s actually fairly safe now in the sense that the vast majority of people who get this virus will have moderate flu like symptoms at worst that people can’t wait to pack bars and restaurants and other places, where they are dying for human contact. I think this will really be big.

The biggest change of course will be in terms of trade. The reality is that virus’ have a limited life on various surfaces so if you have a cargo that has come via ship, there is almost no chance of any transmission but already we have people worried about unloading ships. The effects on China deserve a full post on it’s own but given the situation in Italy and other countries the effects on Trade will not be confined to them.