Service of Competition Taking a Back Seat

May 4th, 2020

Categories: Competition, Research

Photo: cdc.org

Competition is the lifeblood of American business. We’re capitalists: It’s in our DNA. It may explain our addiction to professional sports. According to one survey six in 10 Americans identify themselves as fans.

However, under unusual circumstances such as this pandemic we need to put aside the traits that spell success in a free market system.

The other week on Face the Nation Margaret Brennan asked Scott Gotlieb, MD if we or the Chinese will be first to discover a coronavirus vaccine. I’m as chauvinistic as the next person but if it works, I don’t care who comes in first. Currently Oxford University, in partnership with AstraZeneca, has its medical focus turned to a promising front-runner vaccine–let’s hope they are on to something.

Yesterday New York Governor Cuomo announced a coalition of states to help prevent price-gouging and increase market power. According to NBC, “Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are launching a regional purchasing consortium to jointly get items including personal protective equipment, tests, ventilators and other medical equipment.”  They are not all Democrats–the Governor of Massachusetts is a Republican.

We’re Americans. Coronovirus is an equal opportunity disease.

Photo: redskinswire.usa.com

And even though the country is more divided by politics now than in my memory it’s a good time for both sides in the rest of the country to follow the lead of the Northeast purchasing consortium and to desist from throwing down their gauntlets. It’s not the time for Democrats to point fingers and place blame nor for Republicans to recommend withholding funding from states that have sanctuary cities, larger numbers of coronavirus cases or that generally vote blue.

There’s danger in politicizing what science has proved to help mitigate the virus’s spread such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and sheltering at home. And if we follow these cautions it doesn’t mean we hope for a crash because it would reflect poorly on the administration.

Remdesivir shows promise of helping Covid-19 patients recover faster by four to five days.  In addition to a hasty vaccine discovery aren’t we all rooting for successful trials of drugs like this? Don’t we need each other to get out of this rocky boat?

Photo: thehill.com

 

 

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7 Responses to “Service of Competition Taking a Back Seat”

  1. JBS Said:

    I just got my hair cut. My beautician came to the house. It was her idea. She wore a mask. We have Covid-19 here but not like NYC.

  2. Lucrezia Said:

    There’s a difference between competition and politicizing. Competing is a healthy exercise, and in the case of seeking an antidote for an illness, is a good thing. Using a disease and/or any negative issue for political gain, should be a formula for removal from office on election day. Sadly, that’s not always the case.

    A much more ignorant society survived the Black Death which wiped out a huge percentage of the population. Today’s scientific advancement, along with a good helping of common sense, should bring this epidemic to heel. In the spirit of good sportsmanship, those coming up first with an effective cure, should be praised to the skies, and the politics be damned.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    JBS,

    It will be a l o n g time before I see my hair stylist if ever. She told me which hair dye to buy and shared tips for attacking just the roots. It’s not nearly the same as when she does it and I’d better have improved my technique on my second try. One side of my head was perfect; the other not so much.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    We will all be cheering so loud for the man, woman or team that comes up with curative meds and a vaccine for this dastardly virus–it will be a sound heard ’round the world. Obviously each lab is in a race for the cure and they expect the pharmaceutical company they work for to be appropriately compensated by huge orders but I suspect, given the situation, most want to contribute to the cause and arrest the appalling toll taken by Covid-19. It won’t harm their reputation to get research money in future either–a good thing.

  5. Martha Takayama Said:

    With a pandemic there is no room for secrets or hoarding of information. Any and all information should be shared insofar as possible since the fate of the whole world is at stake. One would like to think that all medical and scientific personnel would be rushing to collaborate, Thinking about exploiting the virus for profit is equally stupid and disgusting. The ridiculous manipulation of a government policies claiming that preventive measures interfere with individual liberties is actually murderous. We can only lament the lack of a national government that can guide our nation through this overwhelming plague. Most important is to think about this as everybody’s problem to be solved by sharing knowledge and consideration.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    You are right to move the discussion up a notch from not competing to collaborating. I too hope that scientists and researchers from around the world are working together to cobble together, from their collective findings and trials, the vaccine and antidotes we all need and pray for to fight this scourge.

    VP Pence learned in a flash the symbolic importance of a mask when he refused to wear one at the Mayo Clinic. The outcry got through to him and, I wager, to DJT who recently said he doesn’t object to wearing one. Pence has since revised his views and in another symbolic photo op wore one at a GM plant that is making ventilators. Unfortunate for him the timing and implication that he is willing to wear a mask at a major corporation and not at a hospital. Bad luck.

  7. Martha Takayama Said:

    Actually think it was Pence’s arrogance, stupidity and Invariably bad judgement that were responsible for his actions rather than bad luck!

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