Friday, March 13, 2020

Trump Will Unleash the Power of the Private Sector to Counter the Coronavirus Threat


President Donald Trump speaks in the Brady press briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March, 9, 2020, about the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

On Friday, President Donald Trump declared the threat of the coronavirus to be a national emergency, clearing the way for the federal government to spend billions of dollars to fight the spread of the virus. He also announced a new partnership with the private sector in this crucial effort.

"We’re announcing a new partnership with [the] private sector to vastly increase and accelerate our capacity to test for the coronavirus," the president said. "We want to make sure that those who need a test can get a test very safely, quickly, and conveniently, but we don’t want people to take a test if we feel that they shouldn’t be doing it. And we don’t want everyone running out and taking, only if you have certain systems."

NEW: After scrutiny over lack of readily available tests for COVID-19, Pres. Trump says a private sector partnership "will vastly increase and accelerate our capacity" to test.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 13, 2020

Trump specifically mentioned Google, noting that the Big Tech company has nearly 2,000 engineers working on the problem of connecting Americans who need a coronavirus test with the test kits available. The president even got in a dig against the infamous 2014 Obamacare website flop in his announcement.

"I want to thank Google, Google is helping to develop a website, it’s going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past, to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location," Trump said. "Google has 1,700 engineers working on this right now."

"Our overriding goal is to stop the spread of the virus and to help all Americans who have been impacted by this," the president explained.

BREAKING: President Trump says Google will develop a website to determine whether a #coronavirus test is warranted. #CheddarLive
— Cheddar?? (@cheddar) March 13, 2020

This public-private partnership is extremely important at a time when Democrats are advocating for socialized medicine and an expansion of the federal government into health care. Rather than pushing a government solution to the coronavirus, President Trump is partnering with the private sector to come up with innovative solutions. He has adopted a pro-free-market all-hands-on-deck approach to the problem at a time when Democrats are going all-in on one-size-fits-all government approaches.

Tyler O'Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.