Quote Originally Posted by jk View Post
preparedness isn't sexy, isn't cheap, and doesn't produce visible results. americans won't vote for it.
it's hard to run on the basis of a theoretical n lives NOT lost. it requires a more thoughtful electorate than we have.

and i agree with you, grg, that the tendency will be to revert to established supply chains instead of investing in more expensive ones. the only way the latter will happen is if there are laws passed with national security justifications, requiring certain products to be produced domestically or in a handful of "reliable" partner countries. this is the case with defense goods already, no?
This is half the battle. The other half concerns changing the priorities of companies that exist for the profits of their executives and shareholders. It doesn't matter where this stuff gets made if there's no will to spend money on purchasing and storing it. Too many companies used their profits for share buybacks instead of investing those profits in their communities. The for-profit medical industry is no exception. These companies could have spent a portion of their profits to stockpile masks and other gear for their hospitals, clinics and the safety of their employees. They chose not to.

Non-profit hospitals dependent on federal and state funding got short shrift, too. Pres. Bush ordered a stockpile of masks and protective gear back in 2005 (?) IIRC. It mostly got used up in the swine flu epidemic in 2009. It was never replenished.

After 9/11 I started asking friends who work in hospitals if their hospital was preparing for, say, a bio-weapon attack. Could they sustain being locked down for a period of time? Did they have enough masks, gloves, food, etc? The answer was always, "No. Nothing's changed." Of course, there was plenty of will on the part of our lawmakers to treat each and every one of us like a potential terrorist under the guise of keeping us safe. But this epidemic shows how much our lives really matter to TPTB.