Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Michael Waltz (R-FL)will introduce a bill creating the National Public Health Corps (https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/11/politics/national-public-health-corps-proposal/index.html). This organization will conduct testing and contact tracing, and will eventually help administer a vaccine one it is completed. The NPHC will also help relieve the economic burden for many Americans, employing 200,000 - 300,000 and would only cost in the millions (an amount that pales in comparison to the trillions already allocated to COVID-19 relief).
The NPHC serves as an outstanding example of bipartisanship amid the ever increasing partisan politics that have arisen during this pandemic. It will address both health and economic concerns, and could provide even more job opportunities by making data available that could allow more areas to reopen and businesses to resume. This could be a step in the right direction towards returning to normal, or at least establishing a new normal.
This is not the first time the government has created organizations to provide employment and serve the general public. In 1935 FDR established the Works Progress Administration, an organization focused on getting Americans back to work through public works projects. Millions of men and women served in the WPA, building all sorts of infrastructure including roads, bridges, and dams. The WPA's largest project was the Tennessee Valley Authority which setup dams and waterworks to help prevents flooding and provide power to the surrounding area. The WPA ended in 1943 as unemployment subsided thanks to increased demand for wartime production.
While the creation of the NPHC is well intentioned and thought out, it will probably still receive some criticism, especially depending on its implementation and long term cost. The government is often criticized for its lack of efficiency and focus, especially amongst its various agencies. Will the NPHC follow suit or will it serve as much needed relief for Americans looking to get back to work and remove some of the uncertainty created by this virus?
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