Freedom Needed to Combat Coronavirus, States AAPS

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Freedom Needed to Combat Coronavirus, States Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

The coronavirus pandemic shows the effect of government interference with free-market solutions, states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Testing is widely available in South Korea, which has more of a free market, while testing remains mostly unavailable in the United States.

Convenient drive-through testing in South Korea has enabled it to react quickly and effectively to an ominous outbreak there. But for weeks, Americans were restricted to CDC test kits, which proved defective, and only if they had a known contact from an affected area. Thus, detection of community spread was impossible. Fully capable academic and sophisticated commercial laboratories dared not develop their own tests lest they lose their laboratory license under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA), AAPS states. South Korea tested 100,000 people before the U.S. reached 3,000.

Inexpensive home test-kits using throat or nasopharyngeal swabs, and quick turn-arounds, should be available by now, AAPS states. But FDA approval is notoriously slow.

Four trillion dollars was wiped off the value of our stock market in barely more than a week, despite a mere handful of U.S. deaths from coronavirus, largely because of panic and uncertainty, AAPS notes.

Long-entrenched government bureaucrats at FDA and CDC are dictating policy, tying the hands of our best and most innovative scientists. Anti-free-enterprise agencies, along with anti-Administration politicians, are sabotaging an effective response, but are immune from accountability, notes AAPS. These highly politicized organizations have long histories of waste and straying from their core missions, AAPS adds.

While specific treatment is unavailable, information about off-label use of intravenous vitamin C, of which 50 tons was shipped to Wuhan, is being blocked. Safe and once-inexpensive drugs, like chloroquine and hydroxycholoroquine, that are being used to treat SARS-CoV-2 patients in China and Korea are unavailable or soon to be in short supply here, and are not mentioned on official or AMA websites.

The coronavirus panic has revealed the folly of just-in-time, single-source inventories. Over past decades, the U.S. has become increasingly dependent on China for essential goods and components. About 90% of our drug supply, including antibiotics, depends on finished products or precursors made in China, AAPS points out. And protective gear, already in critically short supply, depends on China for restocking.

“The medieval method of mass quarantine did not stop plagues then, and it will not prevent spread of coronavirus now, although it can destroy the economy,” stated AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D. “We need freedom to innovate instead of reliance on government incompetence and red tape. And we need to end government policies that led to dependency on foreign industry. We need to bring manufacturing home.”