01 May 2020

Americans have collectively done better than anyone expected; a great credit to how much we can accomplish when we put aside the things that divide us and work together.  Now as we move to reopen, we have to face and overcome some unfortunate facts if we want to win on the next front.

The virus doesn’t care about our economy or civil liberties so without a vaccine or treatment intervention, there are no easy answers.  The authorities’ plan is solid given the options – but it relies on testing saturation that is still not reality.  Public safety redundancy, supply chain hardening, and domestic PPE production remain critical needs.

The economic implications of shutting down are a very real concern but if reopening goes wrong, capital markets and consumer confidence will collapse to new lows.  If we don’t respect this virus and the US healthcare system is overwhelmed, we will end up with a more significant economic disaster than what we are already facing today.

Here are five keys to success:

> Achieve sufficient testing saturation – we essentially had to shut down because of our inability to test (and isolate, like Taiwan from the start or South Korea when it ramped up) so we need testing capacity that meets the demands of all phases plus margin; nationwide access to drive-through testing with rapid results is perhaps our best tool to stay open until a vaccine or treatment.

> Harden the supply chain – guaranteed sick leave, PPE, preventive screening, and disinfectants to 100% of our workforce keeping essential goods flowing into American homes.  We are six weeks into a nationwide shutdown – how has the “Great Arsenal of Democracy” failed to accomplish this simple objective?

> Expand medical capabilities – maximally lift the breaking point where our healthcare system would be overwhelmed via stand-by deployment of military pop-up hospitals and medical personnel; states authorize PAs and NPs for certain physician-level duties and open interstate licensing reciprocity for new form of emergency planning.

> Bolster security and order – while the majority of Americans are working together as part of the solution, the honor system will not be good enough to reopen now.  We have to stop those taking advantage of the situation in various ways that tread on the decent majority, prepare for recidivism among the thousands of felons released from jail over recent weeks, and reverse the flawed soft on crime policies of major cities across the US.

> Boldly pursue the solution – medical intervention through vaccine and/or treatment is our light at the end of tunnel; we must cut all red tape and pursue any plausible ideas. This is the first commercial mobilization since WW2, let’s be bold with it and win.

Authorities on both sides of the aisle must not politicize the issue of shut-down orders.  Until a medical intervention brings this battle to an end, there is a very real chance certain regions or even the entire country might need to shut down again in the future.

 

Steve Yen is Founder of Dux Advisors, he has career experience in Finance, Consulting and as a former Army Captain. He was educated at Georgetown Preparatory School then as a BBA (Finance) with graduate-level coursework at business schools in the United States, England and Germany. Follow him on Twitter @DuxAdvisors.

Disclosure: This is an opinion article not intended as investment advice – any opinions expressed are as of the date of publication.