What's my wish list here? What do I think is right? I keep hearing all sorts of things about reopening America for business, for canning social distancing, for not worrying about getting Covid-19.
As someone who lives in the area that is the single most impacted in the country, Brooklyn, I am not in favor of business as usual. You want these people locked down, believe me.
But let me give you what I would like to see happen here.
First, I think we have to crush this virus like they crushed it China. The way to do this? National lock-down. Nobody can leave their homes for 30 days. I know it sounds extreme; believe me my daughter who lives in Madrid is getting a real dose of it replete with a spare trip to the supermarket accompanied by a policeman. But we want to win over Covid and that's how you do it.
Two, we aren't sure about the efficacy or the safety even of giving people hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug, let alone with a Z-Pak. But we have some scientific evidence that if you give it to people early on then they have a much better chance of recovery. Why not just get giant stock piles of the stuff. Tell the pill makers who gave us the wonder of opiates that they have a responsibility to make them. Then we will be ready when we get the dosing right. Remember there are cardiac arrhythmia issues for some.
Three, while we wait for the federal money let's get executives to take at least a 30 day pledge to pay and not to lay off people. Kevin Johnson challenged execs this morning. He's having great success with it at Starbucks (SBUX) . We all can emulate him.
Four, it's time to call Elon Musk (Tesla: (TSLA) ) and say, "Look you came up with 1000 ventilators. I don't care about Ford Motor's (F) pledge. Musk should be asked to run all the needs to beat this. I bet he can be like the people who ran GM (GM) and Ford in World War Two. Just call him; he will have this shortage cured in two weeks.
And what he can't get? I agree with Marc Benioff from Salesforce (CRM) who says that we have to call President Xi and have him send us the surplus because they have beaten the scourge. We can have a huge plan about how to wean ourselves off of the Chinese supply chain which has been revealed as a terrible Achilles heel for all sorts of businesses, especially pills. Puerto Rico used to be the pill making capital for the U.S. Time to bring it back.
Fifth, where the heck is the military? No one is more dedicated and more able than the military in getting things done. But they have been called in only piecemeal. I would task a general who knows logistics and supply to run this whole apparatus. I would bring in some of the 125,000 medical professionals that the army has. I would use the bases as places of convalescence. Who knows better about how to build something than the Army Corps of Engineers?
I am sick and tired of hearing how we can't do it as well as China or South Korea. Yes, we were late. Yes, we have a real problem. But we have really great resources: Elon Musk, the Army, and anyone who can augment the output of 3M (MMM) for the correct masks, let's get them in, let's get this done.