Lewis Releases Call to Action Amidst Chinese Coronavirus Outbreak

Lewis Releases Call to Action Amidst Chinese Coronavirus Outbreak

March 20, 2020

WOODBURY, Minn. — U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis released the following statement on America’s continuing efforts in combating the coronavirus:

“As Americans and Minnesotans face severe, but temporarily warranted, disruptions to our daily lives, it’s important we stick together and adopt best practices. Guidelines are in place to halt the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable among us. I intend to follow them as you should. 

I laud the Trump administration’s efforts in fighting the Chinese virus as well as the bipartisan approach of some of our nation’s governors on the front lines. I would also urge us, as a great nation putting the interests of its own citizens first, to do the following: 

Adopt an Economic Buffer 

The government has been forced to shut down the economy. Though necessary, there is also a responsibility to help those who are negatively affected. That means, among other things, getting families through the next few months with readily available emergency care, penalty-free withdrawals from retirement accounts, and early tax rebates and filing delay. The federal government must avoid a liquidity crunch for cash strapped businesses by immediately opening direct lines of credit. This could be directed through the Small Business Administration, the Treasury, or even the Federal Reserve itself. Ultimately, the best way to fix the economy is to beat the virus. But no corporate ‘bailout’ funds should be available for share-buybacks or bonuses.

Expand ‘Right to Try’ 

As a cosponsor of the first successful law reducing regulations for the terminally ill, I have been a steady advocate for reducing regulations and giving patients more control over their health. We must focus on streamlining the FDA and ridding the medical bureaucratic red tape for all patients—particularly with regard to new and existing off-label drugs and therapies is already showing promise. Innovations like telehealth—which I discussed in-depth, including HIPPA restrictions, in a January Sanford Medical roundtable in Luverne—should be rolled out immediately along with redirecting our ‘arsenal of democracy’ towards a medical infrastructure crash program manufacturing test kits, medical supplies, and increasing hospital capacity.   

Buy American, Now. 

This virus has revealed the other side of globalism. We’ve outsourced critical industries like electronics, medical supplies and devices, prescription drugs, and antibiotics to China. We should immediately end the outsourcing of key industries to our adversaries—especially a Communist country so emboldened they’ve already threatened to cut off the U.S. drug supply, plunging America “into the hell of a novel coronavirus epidemic.” Ending this dangerous supply chain dependence starts with Defense Protection Act but should eventually include directives that all federal agencies buy American-made supplies in vital areas affected by a public health or national security crisis. 

Control Human Migration

This virus has migrated across the globe. Thankfully the Administration cut off direct travel to China early, and now it has been extended to other hotspots. We must not only control our northern and southern borders but also reconsidering the cavalier way in which international travel takes place to and from the United States. We are set to endure a weeks-long self-quarantine to help contain just one zoonotic virus. Adopting a practice of enhanced medically screening of all international travelers on a permanent and routine basis amounts to far less inconvenience. We did it for terrorism; it’s now time to do it for the third leading cause of death in the United States, infectious disease. 

No Rationing of Health Care

We cannot tolerate what we’ve witnessed in Italy or other countries. Disturbing reports of health care rationing and even medical officials suggesting they must let people die by evaluating the “presence of comorbidities” is unacceptable in America. This cruel triage is a direct result of scarce medical resources coming from a government-led system that underprices the value of providers. America should end any flirtation with single-payer ‘options’ that a recent Navigant study showed would devastate rural hospitals and clearly lead to rationing of care to our most vulnerable.

Finally, authorities say the novel outbreak started in a live animal market in Wuhan, China. It should accurately be labeled as such. It is hardly ‘xenophobic’ to state the obvious unless you ignore the names of every other international virus. Names that help us identify important aspects to the origins of disease. Some politicians and pundits can’t help themselves—but that is no excuse for the more serious among us for refusing to speak the truth. This is a Chinese virus and we should not be putting political correctness above the health of Minnesotans.”