In the midst of the angst over the coronavirus, there’s one takeaway over which no one ought to disagree: Government really is here to help. Virtually every newspaper article, every cable news story and every online update routinely mentions the professionals from the U.S Public Health Service and the scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Here in Washington, the Department of Health has deployed investigators and supervised quarantine procedures, while county health officials, school district leaders and first responders continue to serve on the front lines to limit exposure to the virus.
All of them are government “bureaucrats,” to reference a pejorative too many of us casually embrace. We proudly vote for tax cuts, we insist that government is too expensive and we’re convinced that many agencies could be scaled back or even eliminated altogether; until a crisis hits, and then we demand that government solve the problem immediately, if not sooner.
Maybe we ought to demand with equal fervor that we fully fund our public health agencies, our federal research initiatives and our state, county and local “bureaucrats” working with diligence to protect the rest of us.