The bureaucratic catastrophe at the heart of the remdesivir debacle
This story flew in under the radar last week, but Axios reported that about 32,000 doses of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir were sent to the wrong hospitals due to bureaucratic incompetence and confusion.
Remdesivir is a promising therapeutic for coronavirus and was recently given emergency approval by the Food and Drug Administration. But after Gilead Sciences donated thousands of doses to help fight COVID, tens of thousands of those doses were sent to "less impacted communities," according to Axios.
In other words, the hospitals that needed the drug the most didn't get it.
Axios blames the "Trump administration" for the debacle, but the true culprits are members of the permanent bureaucratic state:
HHS was supposed to work with FEMA to allocate and distribute remdesivir to coronavirus hotspots around the U.S., but as the problems became apparent to the wider team on Wednesday, neither agency took responsibility.
HHS was supposed to be the brains of the operation, using clinical expertise to allocate the drug to the places and hospitals around the country most in need, according a senior administration official, while FEMA was supposed to be the "arms and legs" putting that plan into action.
But somewhere along the way, communication broke down. Thousands of doses were maldistributed, but as of Thursday, nobody was willing to put their name on this situation.
Obviously, we can't trust the bureaucratic state to save us from COVID-19. The ultimate responsibility lies with We the People, but our state and local governments must also be involved. While these levels of government haven't perfectly responded to the crisis (in some cases, they've responded horribly), they're still in a better position than the federal government.
As one administration official told Axios, "[the confusion] highlights the reason why the administration continues to push a locally-executed response effort, because they [the local jurisdictions] know the data and the distribution better than the federal government."
Self-governance is about making sure power resides as close to home as possible. That's what we're working on at the Convention of States Project, and it's why we're pushing during this crisis to bring decision-making power back home -- literally.
Individuals and families should be able to use their common sense to stay safe during this time. They shouldn't be restricted by heavy-handed lockdown orders that have nothing to do with the virus -- whether those orders come from state or national governments.
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