Special Edition 5 Can America Cut Through Red Tape to Jumpstart Its Economy in the Wake of the Pandemic?

Much has been, and will be, written about government’s delays in containing the deadly COVID-19 corona virus. We hear the names CDC, FDA, HHS and a tangle of bureaucracies named during the Administration’s daily briefings. To what extent did the many regulations governing the actions of each layer of government play a role in delaying a timely response to testing, procurement and a host of other issues? The testing delays were, perhaps, most troubling and costly as public health officials across the country were prevented from using their own tests, buying them overseas, or using local labs. Philip K. Howard and founder of the non-profit organization, Common Good, has been writing about the need for sensible and smart regulation which provides for human judgment to override reams of written rules. He feels that this crisis has exposed the dangers of relying too heavily on hidebound regulations in the face of fast moving events. Think about it. In the span of a few weeks, governors designed their own testing regimes, loosened restrictions on telemedicine and occupational licensing was waived to allow medical professionals to come across state lines to meet the surge head on. He also argues for a Recovery Authority as the public health emergency recedes so that getting American business up and running can occur with more pace. For an example, restaurants are the lifeblood of New York City. Many have shut down. New ones will emerge. Starting a restaurant in the City requires permits from upward of eleven agencies. Really? Will streamlining of archaic rules allow commerce to return more quickly? And will changes to medical regulation in a crisis lead to more permanent changes? We’ll discuss on today’s episode.