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The Morning Briefing: Bloated Bureaucracy Is Going to Have a Coronavirus Body Count

N95 FFRs contaminated by aerosol exposure in the HPV decontamination chamber (via FDA.gov)

With friends like this…

A couple of stories emerged over the weekend that brought back my lifelong distrust of the federal bureaucracy. They reminded me of a story from 2010 that I’ve written about before but is worth repeating.

I was being interviewed by a progressive writer who was genuinely interested in what conservatives thought about Obamacare, and government involvement in health care in general. She asked, “So you don’t think the government should be in charge of health care?”

I replied, “No, I don’t think it can be in charge of health care.”

What ensued were my thoughts about the inherent inefficiency of bureaucracy, especially at the federal level.

The federal bureaucracy exists solely to bloat and perpetuate itself. I think I first wrote that twenty years ago. There is no premium whatsoever placed on being efficient or expeditious.

Paula wrote yesterday about the Food and Drug Administration’s absolutely insane hamstringing of an Ohio company that has a faster way to sterilize N95 masks:

What’s the problem? Yost says the FDA is limiting the number of masks that an Ohio Company, Battelle Memorial Institute, can sterilize for reuse. The company has pioneered a technology that uses hydrogen peroxide vapor to make N95 masks safe for reuse and wants to ramp up production at their facility so they can send the masks where needed, but the FDA essentially shrugged and seemed to say, ‘what’s the big hurry?’

“The Food and Drug Administration — after dithering all week — finally gave Battelle approval to sterilize a measly 10,000 masks a day,” Yost said. “They could be doing 160,000 per day.”

The FDA finally relented later yesterday, but it shouldn’t have had to in the first place. The bloat that required the change of heart is baked in. It has, and always will be, a problem. The FDA takes far too long to get life-saving drugs to market. This particular faux pas was particularly galling in light of the current situation. This brief moment of clarity will not become the norm.

Matt had a post yesterday that proves that even when one part of the bureaucratic behemoth is doing the right thing, it doesn’t mean that other cogs in the federal machine will respond in an efficient manner.

As far back as George W. Bush’s first term, various federal factions were warning about our lack of preparedness for a pandemic such as we’re experiencing now — specifically a shortage of ventilators. The detailed reports and warnings were routinely ignored, especially during the Obama years.

Trump is basically in the position of an NFL quarterback who’s being blamed for two decades of management and franchise failures that preceded him.

There are those of us who aren’t given to placing a lot of trust in the federal government in the best of situations. What is most frightening during a crisis like this is that, despite being presented daily with various federal failures, there are people who clamor for more and bigger government in response.

Just no.

Checking Priceline…

Quarantine Fun

There are some fun, distracting replies to this:

PJM Linktank

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Reduct This

The Kruiser Kabana

Big Joe Diffie fan back in the ’90s so I just had to share this one today.

Most people don’t look as good hats as they think they do.

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PJ Media Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.”