23 May 2020 COVID-19 Response a “Meat Cleaver” Where a “Scalpel” is Needed
In assessing governments’ performance in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, National Center President David Ridenour said in a One America News (OAN) interview:
I like to say we used a meat cleaver instead of a scalpel. This really required a scalpel, and – as a result – we’re going to be left, as a society, with a far greater scar.
To help ensure that the next crisis is handled with more regard for the preservation of the economy and constitutional liberties, David and other National Center policy experts have written “Beyond COVID-19: Blueprint for Restoring Liberty, Rebuilding the Economy, Safeguarding Public Health and Responding to Crises” – a 54-recommendation report covering domestic, international, legal and medical aspects of crisis response.
In his interview with OAN correspondent Stefan Kleinhenz, David identified the root of the problem as governments that went too far without treating people and situations equitably:
Governments – local and state – have the authority, in the interest of public safety, to close things down. But, generally speaking, they need to narrowly tailor those restrictions so that they’re the least restrictive in order to advance their objective.
And they must be neutral – which means they must apply to everyone equally.
Detailing his recommendation of scalpel-like efforts, David noted that blanket policies exacerbated problems:
What we really should have focused on from the very beginning is the most vulnerable in society.
So, instead of having government funding to help everybody stay home, why don’t we help out those really small firms. Keep those people on the payroll even though they’re not able to come in, who are at risk. Because that’s who we really want to hone in on most. And we didn’t provide for them. And that’s where we should have been focused.
Explaining one particular “Beyond COVID-19” recommendation, David detailed the idea for a special court that would handle the takings cases of those – such as small businesses – who lost all or a significant part of their investment and property due to lockdown orders. He pointed out that this innovation would provide a dual service to the American public:
They can get expeditious and inexpensive means of getting relief while – at the same time – putting pressure on these local governments to open up as quickly as they can.
The entire “Beyond COVID-19: Blueprint for Restoring Liberty, Rebuilding the Economy, Safeguarding Public Health and Responding to Crises,” report can be read here.