EDITOR, Daily News:

The Washington Post in Tuesday’s edition of the Ketchikan Daily News reported the following on coronavirus. My concerns and questions are noted.

“However, much is still unknown about this virus and the disease it causes.” For a jump ahead, was a longer quarantine for those with no symptoms warranted or did public opinion and/or “better for business” sway their release?

The story describes the “fast evolving nature of the crisis confronting the administration.” Russell Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, was quoted as writing that: “To this point, no agency has been inhibited in response efforts due to the resources or authorities.” However, the “administration believes additional federal resources are necessary to take steps to prepare for a potential worsening of the situation in the United States.” How was it determined no agency was inhibited in their response? And is there the possibility it would be even reported and done accurately?

“The new funding would be spent on all aspects of response to the virus, including lab testing and quarantine costs; vaccine research and development; public health preparedness and support for affected states.” Significantly stronger precautions and preparations with a wider scope, will allow for slim or no future regrets. Eminent increasing disease, quarantine numbers and countries requires new approaches. The additional funding may need a mandate of a team of new experts to brainstorm for better risk management beyond the known anticipated developments.

“The virus has spread to more than two dozen other countries (as of this writiing), with new cases in South Korea and Italy popping up over the weekend. The number of cases of coronavirus in the United States now stands at nearly five dozen, a figure that greatly increased when passengers returned from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.” Are efforts made now to gather released passengers’ secondary exposures as advance preparedness for the time when new research/developments dictate? Planning for many scenarios is integral to limit the virus spreading.

To “Buy American” for provisions seems imbalanced with the timeliness needed for a pandemic on the near horizon. This requirement will delay stockpiling necessities prior to the crucial demand. Is this tentative requirement a tactic to help U.S. pharmaceutical industries and developers?

The question for me: With dysfunction in many areas of federal government, is it capable of this challenge? Augmented management, for a greater approach beyond the current, may need to be considered and will help to improve the public’s confidence.

JUDY HOGBEN

Ketchikan