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The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - Printable Version

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The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - BostonCard - 06-30-2020

While I have outlined the deficits of the Trump administration and the response to the COVID-19, he is by no means solely responsible for the debacle.  Goose has frequently detailed deficits at the CDC and local health authorities that left us poorly prepared.  Myself and others have been critical of some governors and mayors for being slow to respond (and now for being to quick to open up).  This STAT article makes the case for establishing a 9/11 commission that would do a 360 review of all levels of the response and make recommendations for how to rectify it, which I fully endorse because COVID-19 will not be the last global pandemic.  Here are the issues they should evaluate:

https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/29/us-needs-federal-commission-investigate-covid19-response-where-it-should-start/

BC


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - OutsiderFan - 06-30-2020

This is inevitable. The country needs a joint House-Senate, bi-partisan effort. Don't want to see the House and Senate duplicating efforts, and under no circumstance can we have one party doing one and the other party another.


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - cctop - 06-30-2020

Covid-19 can't melt steel beams!


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - 2006alum - 06-30-2020

(06-30-2020, 08:45 AM)cctop Wrote:  Covid-19 can't melt steel beams!

Nope, just kill 40x (so far) the number of people the molten beams killed. 

This is a great idea, and sorely needed at all levels. One key stakeholder would be to get former state governors (and to some degree mayors) involved, as they know the landscape but don't have anything at stake in criticisms of various states' management and mismanagement. Goose is right that day to day, on the ground, 90% of the heavy lifting has to come at the state and local level.

I will say this though: in the event that Trump is not reelected, I think the prospects for a bipartisan 9/11-style commission will be much, much higher, because his electoral defeat will give the GOP room to distance themselves. I can't see any universe a bipartisan commission could function with Trump in charge.


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - chrisk - 06-30-2020

The American aversion to wearing masks should be added to the list.

Clearer messaging would help, but by itself it would not be enough to overcome this deep-seated aversion,


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - lex24 - 06-30-2020

How bout we get through this first?  Then we can have a commission(s). As for bipartisanship, I think that’s a pipe dream. No matter who wins in Nov.  Hope I’m wrong.


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - Farm93 - 06-30-2020

(06-30-2020, 10:57 AM)lex24 Wrote:  How bout we get through this first?  Then we can have a commission(s). As for bipartisanship, I think that’s a pipe dream. No matter who wins in Nov.  Hope I’m wrong.
Agree.   A commission would take at least a year to publish results, so best for those up for election to have a position on a commission and let voters weigh in.

Based on current polling it is entirely possible that the Executive Branch, the House and the Senate will all be able to agree to a single commission.   Best would be if the majority of both parties want a single commission, but it is possible the majorities in both the House and Senate in 2021 will agree on an investigation path.

I do worry about calling up Governors and local officials.  Which Governors?   Why those Governors?
Even selecting Governors from a particular party to testify would be tricky.  Hogan and DeWine will have very different perspectives than Ducey and Stitt.

Given that the USA did such an awful job I would be open to getting a fresh perspective from experts in countries that had a little more success with COVID.   That type of assistance is probably out of the question, which is part of our current COVID19 problem.


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - burger - 06-30-2020

(06-30-2020, 11:46 AM)Farm93 Wrote:  I do worry about calling up Governors and local officials.  Which Governors?   Why those Governors?
Even selecting Governors from a particular party to testify would be tricky.  Hogan and DeWine will have very different perspectives than Ducey and Stitt.

This alone shows that federalism like we have in the US does not work when trying to combat giant problems like covid.  If you can't even figure out how to assess what went right or wrong in our federalist system, how should we have expected it to successfully fight the virus?  In the US, there shouldn't have been 50 separate responses to covid.  In each state, there shouldn't have been [number of counties or cities] responses to covid.  This has resulted in massive duplication of efforts and putting grossly unqualified people in charge of the virus.  

(Note: I'm not saying that you can't tailor the response to local infection severity, but there should have been ONE playbook from the start to deal with this, and everyone should have been operating off of that).


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - Goose - 06-30-2020

(06-30-2020, 11:57 AM)burger Wrote:  
(06-30-2020, 11:46 AM)Farm93 Wrote:  I do worry about calling up Governors and local officials.  Which Governors?   Why those Governors?
Even selecting Governors from a particular party to testify would be tricky.  Hogan and DeWine will have very different perspectives than Ducey and Stitt.

This alone shows that federalism like we have in the US does not work when trying to combat giant problems like covid.  If you can't even figure out how to assess what went right or wrong in our federalist system, how should we have expected it to successfully fight the virus?  In the US, there shouldn't have been 50 separate responses to covid.  In each state, there shouldn't have been [number of counties or cities] responses to covid.  This has resulted in massive duplication of efforts and putting grossly unqualified people in charge of the virus.  

(Note: I'm not saying that you can't tailor the response to local infection severity, but there should have been ONE playbook from the start to deal with this, and everyone should have been operating off of that).

If you believe that Germany, Korea and Taiwan did a good job in this epidemic, you must then accept the fact that a Federalist response is potentially superior, because that is what all three have. The Taiwan system was actually designed directly by the USPHS back in the day. It is pretty much a copy of the one in the US, including "counties". Experience has shown that a distributed response can have many advantages. Consider what would have happened in the Bay Area if the counties had to wait on Newsom.  Newsom actually moved pretty fast compare to say Cuomo, no doubt pushed by the actions in the Bay Area. Imagine what would have happened in California if we were constrained to wait on what Washington DC decided to do. Remember, Trump is president. You can't hypothesize the existence of an "perfect" Federal response, because we have a living counterexample.

In Germany, Bavaria was calling for a curfew 10 days before the Federal Government moved. That was possible because they had an independent organization that didn't have to listen to the federal government.

In fairness, like almost all organizational approaches, a totally "top down" approach can be made to work. Such systems tend to be slow, because all decisions have to go up the chain. If there are competent people in every position, it probably doesn't matter how things are organized. However, if there are going to be quite a few less  than competent people involved it is pretty clear that a distributed system will not fail totally, while a top-down one may.

It is not that the Federal government does not have an important role to play. For example the USPHS is supposed to "enforce the national quarantine". They should have had people at all the airports meeting the planes from China and Europe and screening people going through immigration. It wouldn't have caught all the "sick" people, but it certainly would have detected some. There are lots of things that the USPHS used to actively do that haven't been done for years.. As an aside, until about 2012 whenever you arrived in Australia you actually spoke with a health officer who took your paperwork. I have seen them pull people out of the exit line because they looked sick or because of where they had been. After the automation of the immigration at airports, I didn't see much of that.

There are plenty of things the Feds were supposed to be doing that they didn't. There were problems at all levels, and nobody called attention to them. That isn't an organization problem, it is a personnel problem. I will just be happy if we can get the pieces we have working. It has worked well before, and others have demonstrated that it still can.


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - Genuine Realist - 06-30-2020

A commission is a great idea, if you can depoliticize it.

To my way of thinking, the issued that have to be addressed have arisen since March 10th, when the threat was fully appreciated. Some solutions simply will not work in a country as pluralistic and fractious as this. South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany all have homogenous and - candidly - more docile populations.

But what could have been avoided if the absolutely unnecessary politicization of this problem. Whatever you might think of this or that approach, it should not be related to whom you intend to vote for, for President. 

Although it takes two to tango, 99% of the blame lies with Trump. If ever it were necessary to rise above, it was here and now. But somehow he has factionalized and divided.

Which is the practical problem with a Commission. It HAS to evaluate Presidential behavior, which is the crux. I didn't find much to fault in the initial response to 19, because when I looked for seers anywhere, I didn't find them. The response since the crisis' exploded has been a disaster, at least in terms of national unity (a synonym for Presidential leadership.

Tough for a commission to address those issues in an election year


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - BostonCard - 06-30-2020

The commission should work to find solutions that are president-agnostic, and are systems-focused.  Thus, although I agree with your assessment that Trump deserves a lot of blame (perhaps less than 99%, but still substantial), the outputs of the commission shouldn’t require competence at the presidential level in order to be actionable, so I think it is possible for them to come up with a solution that is aploitical.  In practice, that may be difficult, but you want solutions that aren’t predicated on the President being someone other than Trump.

BC


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - Farm93 - 06-30-2020

Funny, I wouldn't want the commission to waste time on preparing for a Trump-level President.  I would want the commission to assume that the POTUS characteristics more common in POTUS1-44.  

Noting that German citizens are docile is really quite funny.   I think most of the citizens that have lived in Europe over the last 110 years or so would profoundly disagree with you.   Even today there are many in the EU there are very worried that the EU has transformed into a vehicle for German interests.

FWIW - The outside experts wouldn't have to be those three I suggested BTW.   The EU just allowed travelers from 15 countries to visit the EU.   So the commission could invite outside experts from any EU country or any of the 15 countries that objectively are doing better than the USA.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/06/29/revealed-draft-list-of-countries-that-will-be-allowed-to-enter-eu-when-borders-open


RE: The case for a 9/11 style COVID-19 commission - Genuine Realist - 06-30-2020

[quote="Farm93" pid='284463' dateline='1593558794']
Funny, I wouldn't want the commission to waste time on preparing for a Trump-level President.  I would want the commission to assume that the POTUS characteristics more common in POTUS1-44.  

Noting that German citizens are docile is really quite funny.   I think most of the citizens that have lived in Europe over the last 110 years or so would profoundly disagree with you.   Even today there are many in the EU there are very worried that the EU has transformed into a vehicle for German interests.

FWIW - The outside experts wouldn't have to be those three I suggested BTW.   The EU just allowed travelers from 15 countries to visit the EU.   So the commission could invite outside experts from any EU country or any of the 15 countries that objectively are doing better than the USA.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/06/29/revealed-draft-list-of-countries-that-will-be-allowed-to-enter-eu-when-borders-open
[/quote
110 years? You consider German behavior in WWI and II as exercises in civil disobedience? 

Okkkkkkkkkkkk . .  .

Whatever adjective you want to use, I believe South Korean, Taiwanese, and German publics are far more compliant than the US. 

And the present dispute over masks, social distancing, etc. is unfortunately directly related to the personal style of the present incumbent. That's the gorilla in the room. You really can't do an investigation of the societal response without evaluating that.