Former FDA commissioner urges Congress to do its part in reopening America: Report

A former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner has a plan to get the American economy back up and running — and soon.

In a letter to congressional leaders last Monday, ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb and a host of other top medical officials outlined a plan to reopen America as soon as possible, and urged Congress to do its part in making that happen, the Daily Caller reported.

“It is imperative”

According to Gottlieb et al., any plan for reopening will have to have at least two things: namely, measures to encourage self-isolation and measures to protect Americans’ income.

“To begin to safely ease at-home measures, it is of paramount importance to be able to provide broad, timely testing for COVID-19; diagnose COVID-19 positive cases; enable infected individuals to self-isolate at home or voluntarily in other facilities; trace and alert those who have been exposed to an infected individual; and enable those exposed contacts to voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days after their last exposure to the infected person,” the letter read, according to the Daily Caller.

The full text of the letter was shared by NPR.

According to the letter’s authors, self-isolation measures could include the government providing hotel rooms to those who are infected so they can safely self-quarantine. The authors are confident that with such measures, and with more reliable tracing and increased testing for COVID-19, America could soon get back to work.

“We believe the direct impact of this investment, along with an adequate testing and containment infrastructure that links in health care providers and businesses, will have a significant economic impact, allowing Americans to get back to work safely and quickly, create employment, stabilize our healthcare system, and stimulate the hospitality sector,” the letter reads.

It goes on: “It is imperative that states and metropolitan areas are able to quickly begin and scale this important work, and we urge you to make this commitment as a part of the next stimulus legislation.”

Looking forward

Of course, a question that always comes up is how much all that is going to cost.

In total, the plan has an estimated price tag of $46.5 billion, according to the Daily Caller. This would include $12 million for a tracing program, $4.5 billion for self-isolation assistance, and $30 billion for income protection that would be provided during self-isolation.

The plan and its funding would cover a period of 18 months, the Daily Caller reported.

As the Daily Caller points out, the plan laid out in the letter is fairly similar to the one being put forth by the White House coronavirus task force, though it’s unclear what will happen going forward. But one thing is for certain: the American people are ready to move on from the coronavirus crisis, and, at this point, any plan to make that happen will probably gain widespread support.

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