PETER’S VISION: PANDEMIC RESPONSE
Non-negotiable: The greatest country in the world can defeat this pandemic, not endure it.
There are many countries that have gone back to work, back to life, even back to professional sports without surges in cases or deaths. The greatest country in the world should be able to defeat the virus and go back to life more or less as normal. It will take a much larger investment in tools for testing and personal protection, and it will require trust in our neighbors to come together for the greater good. Right now people are fighting about masks because they know it is not a real solution.
It’s about time we have a real plan to defeat, not endure, the virus.
Continuous Testing for All, PPE for Essential Workers
Quarterly Hard Lockdown, Required Contact Tracing for Large Gatherings
All Americans would get tested for the coronavirus every two weeks, while different degrees of essential workers would be tested daily or twice-weekly. All essential employees, from nurses to first responders to grocery store workers, would be provided free, high-quality personal protection equipment. A task force of industry experts and public safety officials would oversee efforts to make more comfortable and sustainable masks. But, we would be able to largely re-open our economy.
All Americans would participate in a full lockdown for 16 days. This lockdown would be more strict than what we are used to, but we would be clearly time-limited. The very small fraction of businesses that remained open would be under stringent safety guidelines. Folks who test positive would have the option of locking down in a government paid-for hotel to avoid infecting their families. Every American would be tested during those 16 days, using pooled testing as necessary.
SOME SPECIFICS ON THE PLANS:
- Continuous Testing:
- The continuous testing plan would require a $100 billion dollar pledge to purchase COVID-19 virus and antibody tests in order to reduce the per unit testing price from the current $100/test to $10/test. Clear guidelines for pricing and guaranteed sales would drive investment into innovation.
- A similar commitment to purchasing significant quantities of personal protective equipment would give producers the certainty they need to manufacture better quality products at a higher capacity.
- Though testing would be extensive, we would be able to return to greater, more consistent economic activity, rather than riding the Phase I-II-III rollercoasters that states are currently on.
- Quarterly Lockdowns:
- The first lockdown would happen around Labor Day, and would allow schools to safely reopen in-person afterwards. Subsequent lockdowns would occur around the winter holidays, spring, and early summer.
- A clear benefit of these hard lockdowns is a return to life as normal, as cases would be limited to a small number of people.
- In between lockdowns, we would use contact tracing to identify and suppress small remaining outbreaks of the infection. Citizens would be required to download and scan a privacy-protected contact tracing app for admission to spaces holding over 20 people. Businesses and homeowners would be fined for lack of compliance.