According to the US government’s COVID-19 response plan, the Coronavirus pandemic could last 18 months with multiple waves of illnesses afflicting the American people.
Last week, President Donald Trump, after downplaying the gravity of Coronavirus disease for weeks, declared a national emergency following a spike in Coronavirus cases in the US. The 100-page plan has been devised after the declaration of a national emergency.
The COVID-19 response plan prepared by the Coronavirus task force, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, reveals that Coronavirus pandemic is going to overwhelm the healthcare system of the country and would result in an acute shortage of essential supplies for the government and American people.
To ensure the supply of essential equipment during the crisis, the response plan has also decided to vest the powers to invoke the Defense Production Act 1950 on President Trump.
Defense Production Act is a Korean War-era law that allows US President to compel the American industry to ramp up the production of essential medical equipment such as respirators, ventilators, protective gear for frontline healthcare staff.
Other significant options mentioned in the COVID-19 response plan for the President to enforce are:
- Provide medical and other essential equipment to hospitals from Strategic National Stockpile
- Disburse money to states enabling them to meet their demands during the pandemic
- Prioritize provision of essential resources to areas most affected by the Coronavirus
According to the latest statistics, the US has reported 9,464 cases of Coronavirus and 155 deaths so far.
All US states have now confirmed cases of the COVID-19. New York has the most number of confirmed cases with 3,086. Washington is the state worst hit by the Coronavirus, with 68 deaths.
Pakistan should also prepare such plans in advance before the number of cases get out of hand as seen in some European countries and the US.