Opinion: Federalism and the Private Sector Rock!

Opinion: Federalism and the Private Sector Rock!
(National Archives via AP)

This photo made available by the U.S. National Archives shows a portion of the United States Constitution with the title of Article V. For the past two centuries, constitutional amendments have originated in Congress, where they need the support of two-thirds of both houses, and then the approval of at least three-quarters of the states. But under a never-used second prong of Article V, amendments can originate in the states. (National Archives via AP)

A short while ago, I published a piece that promoted the concept that the major Wuhan Virus fight is going to be won by logistics. The longer this current crisis goes on, the more I am convinced of that.

Read: Opinion: Beating the Wuhan Virus Will Be More of a Logistical Fight Than a Medical One

As most of you know, some governors are actually returning assets that are either no longer needed, or turned out not to be needed in the first place. In one example, the Governor of Washington requested the removal and return to the Army, a Field Hospital originally set up and staffed at his request. From the KUOW news and information site.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s office on Wednesday announced that the state will be returning a field hospital deployed to CenturyLink Field Event Center to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The 250-bed facility, for which setup began on March 30, was intended to help Washington state’s health care system tend to non Covid-19 patients in the event of a hospital surge. But just three days after announcing the facility was ready to receive patients, officials say they’re returning the hospital to the federal government.

Read: Army field hospital for Covid-19 surge leaves Seattle after 9 days. It never saw a patient

In another article, I mentioned that America has a lot of capacity that could be moved around to deal with surge situations. That Army Field hospital, along with the hospital ships USNS Comfort and Mercy, are just three examples.

Read: Opinion: We Have Excess Capacity, No Need to Panic

As I noted in my previous pieces, once we get the behemoths that are our military and commercial supply chains focused on something, we can kick out supplies, equipment and trained personnel like no other nation on Earth. As the President quipped during one daily briefing, “By the time we get through, ventilators will be going for five bucks apiece.” And he’s correct. Washington State’s experience is just one example.

Along the way, I noticed something else, something pretty darned neat. I’ve always considered President Trump to be a typical Manhattan “limousine liberal.” Yes, I know he has governed far more conservatively than either of the Bushes. But I believed at heart he likes more government than less (ethanol subsidies…eminent domain anyone?).

During one of the afternoon briefings a few days ago, there was this exchange between a reporter and The President regarding the manufacture and distribution of masks.

Reporter…Don’t you want one National Standard?

Trump: No. If a state can get masks faster than we can, then do it. No need for a national standard at this point. The states know better.

One of my commenters on another thread (hat tip “empty pockets”) happened to notice the same thing and his response was…

I have to say I was very surprised and glad to hear Trump praise our system’s Constitutional structure where state leaders are front line in disasters/crises and the fed is only facilitator and temporary gap filler if needed (and IMO it’s “needed” far too much). Our President was no constitutional scholar but he has gained a college level degree as he’s had to fight for every inch every breath of his 1st term.

I couldn’t have put it any better myself. I saw that in action again during yesterday’s mid-afternoon/Good Friday brief. The press kept going after President Trump about who would make what decision in regards to “re-opening America.” Their idea was to try and get him to commit to letting Dr Fauci make that decision. He was having none of that. While clearly stating he would take advice from all stakeholders, made sure everyone there knew that he would be responsible…but then there was this.

At the end of his response, he deferred the ultimate decision to the State Governors severally, citing not only huge differences between New York City and let’s say, Needles, California, but also the Constitutiona. He clearly came down on the side of the Governors to make these final decisions on behalf of their constituents and on the side of the Constitution.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Beautiful words.

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