(UnitedVoice.com) – The coronavirus is still rapidly spreading. As of March 5, 2020, over 95,000 people have been infected and more than 3,200 have died worldwide. Eleven of the victims in the United States.
Not only is the virus making people sick, but it’s also exposing an issue that the US has allowed to snowball: we are at China’s mercy for our medicines and medical supplies.
As the coronavirus ravages China, the country has shut down many of its factories in an attempt to contain the virus. Even more concerning, US officials have said there will be medical supply shortages because of the virus. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) contacted dozens of medical device manufacturers who produce products in China to see if they’re experiencing shortages.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said, “several of these facilities in China are adversely affected.”
Not only does the country make practical things like devices, but it also provides most of the raw material US drug manufacturers use to make medications. For example, Chinese manufacturers provide the active ingredient for Tamiflu — a drug used to treat the flu.
Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chief Julie Gerberding said she’s very worried about a shortage of antibiotics. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told the New York Post that the US is “dependent on China” for its supplies.
Why hasn’t anything been done to protect our country?
China’s Monopoly on Medical Supplies
The federal government has known for a long time that China has power over the medical supply chain. They hold the lives of millions of Americans in their hands because of this monopoly.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) spoke to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last month and said it was “shocking” lawmakers have allowed this.
Texas company Prestige Ameritech makes more surgical masks than any other business in the US. The company’s vice president, Mike Bowen, said he has long seen this coming and tried to stop it.
Fifteen years ago, Bowen started sounding the alarm.
“What I’ve been saying since 2007 is, ‘guys, I’m warning you, here’s what is going to happen, let’s prepare,’” Bowen said. Now the time has come and the US did not prepare for it. The businessman explained that he isn’t going to ramp up production, “A lack of planning on their part is not an emergency on my part.”
Now, lawmakers in Washington are left with the realization that we’re out of time to plan for a crisis. It’s already here, and our medical supplies are in real danger.
Copyright 2020, UnitedVoice.com