A self-reliant nation can sustain itself and its allies.

One of the key takeaways from the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus is that the United States lacks self reliance in two aspects.

The COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, a nation that supplies the U.S. with most of its rare earth elements and personal protection equipment.

The rare earth elements are used to build electronics and equipment, particularly for the U.S. armed forces.

Some of these elements, by chance, exist at Bokan Mountain on the southern tip of Prince of Wales Island, among other places in the United States.

China also is the United States’ main source for personal protection equipment, which is needed for the medical and emergency personnel responding to COVID-19.

When the virus reared in the U.S., the nation had an insufficient supply of PPE for the gravity of the situation. That resulted in the nation and the states shutting down the economy, with businesses closing and employees being furloughed. The jobless rate is at its greatest since the Great Depression.

The United States should be developing its own supplies of rare earth elements. It also should be encouraging the production of PPE in the states.

Both of these endeavors would create jobs and help to revive the economy. They also would protect the health and well-being of Americans and the American way of life.

The United States wouldn’t be at the mercy of China’s or any other nation’s whims in a time of crisis.