DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA: During a Sunday evening Coronavirus press conference, President Donald Trump answered one particular question brilliantly. A liberal reporter asked why President Trump doesn’t use the Defense Production Act even though he passed it.
Forget for a moment the irony of liberal reporters begging a Republican president to use unchecked power.
The question is a fair one, and Trump hit it out of the park. First, he brought up Venezuela and how nationalizing industries worked there. That is a powerful visual, but his explanation was more powerful.
In a calm, quiet voice, Trump sensibly explained something that far too many liberals still cannot grasp. The private sector often knows how to do things that the government has no idea how to do. Regarding ventilators, Trump replied that “Many companies have no idea what a ventilator is.”
President Trump should not be ordering businesses to make ventilators.
People who run McDonald’s know better than anyone how to make hamburgers. That does not mean they know how to make ventilators. Americans trust Coca-Cola to make soda, not ventilators. To just order companies to make ventilators would be crazy.
However, several corporations have pro-actively contacted the White House and basically said, “We know how to make ventilators. We have the capacity to make them. Let us get it done.”
The President was reluctant to name names of the companies, but he did say General Motors (GM) was one to step up.
Also in short supply are face masks. There are anecdotal reports of Americans sewing and donating masks from online DYI instructions (see below). On a larger scale, fashion designer Christine Siriano has offered his sewing teams talents to the state of New York:
We’re in contact with @CSiriano. Appreciate his help so much.
Let’s do this together, NY! https://t.co/4B43SKguVO
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 20, 2020
And there are others. The furniture maker in Washington who not only is switching production to making safety masks but who has created a digital how-to he can share with other manufacturers. (Washington manufacturer switches from making couches to surgical masks to help hospitals)
“It looked like a furniture factory on Thursday and today it looks a little different.” says owner Jeff Kaas
With a design in hand, he sent that off to a connection in Europe. From there, a digital play-by-play of how to put them together was created. Kaas says that video and the information it contains has been sent out to at least 25 states where manufacturers there can begin helping their local hospitals.
People and companies that want to help can visit Kaas Tailored for instructions on how to make the masks, including patterns, for companies and individuals.
This is the right approach. You get the people who know how to do things to do them. The American left is stubbornly wedded to the notion that government “experts,” often academics, know how to do everything.
Being an expert with a PhD in 18th century Russian footwear does not qualify one to build a ventilator.
It drives the left crazy, but of course, President Trump is better suited than Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton to handle business matters. Hatred of Trump blinds them to the reality that people who have spent their life in the business world know more about business than people who spent their entire life in government.
Obama was qualified to go to the blackboard and tell you what words in what civilization ventilators came from. He would order people to build ventilators in the same way he ordered BP to just “plug the damn hole.” He was a professor postulate.
Unlike the Obama academics, Trump knows what he knows and more importantly knows what he does not know.
He has no idea how to build a ventilator, and he knows this. It would be foolish of him to order people to do something that he would have no idea how to do himself. He is smart enough to put his ego aside and ask the private sector for help.
He put out a public call asking for people who knew how to make ventilators. Several businesses answered his public equivalent of an online ad. It was a tiny moment of his press conference, but it was significant.
The top-down government approach does not work. If it did, Trump would still be in the private sector. Instead, he is the President of the United States, working with the private sector to fix the mess caused by decades of public sector mistakes.
It does not take a village to raise a child, and it does not take a bureaucrat to build a ventilator. It takes a businessman.
A great resource for additional information is Calling All People Who Sew And Make: You Can Help Make Masks For 2020 Healthcare Worker PPE Shortage
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