This, from Greg Ip’s Wednesday piece in the Wall Street Journal, is a fresh reminder of what needs to be done as we see a new round of virus variants, potential lockdowns, and illnesses on the horizon: “[Northeastern University scientist] Mr. Vespignani added, ‘We need an infrastructure in place so that whatever goes wrong, we are much better prepared than in March, April and even now.’ That means more widespread genomic surveillance for dangerous variants; the capacity to quickly update and administer vaccines to the entire population; and widely available cheap and rapid testing to contain outbreaks.”
Shutting down again is not an option — that would indicate a failure to prepare. The pandemic lit a spotlight on our country’s infrastructure, supply chain, and production gaps. And as Leader McCarthy wrote 10 months ago, addressing these cracks by prioritizing “our PPE stockpile and critical supplies, such as pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, food, and critical minerals, and [growing] domestic and diverse sourcing so we are less vulnerable when the status quo supply chains fail — like they did within China,” is paramount to assuring we aren’t playing defense next time something like this happens.
The mission has not changed in the span of these two articles — get Americans back to work, back to school, and back to life. That is achieved in part by supporting and preparing each arm of our country’s infrastructure systems, and we will not allow the Biden administration to distract from these essential priorities.