Reopening the World: Coordinating the International Distribution of Medical Goods   [open html - 0B]

From the Article: "Like other countries around the world, the U.S. is beginning to re-open while coronavirus transmission persists in many communities and before a vaccine has been discovered. This suggests demand for key medical goods--including medicines, coronavirus tests, ventilators, and crucial personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks--will remain high, both as precautionary measures and to respond to localized flare-ups or a possible second wave of the virus. Supply of such goods has and will continue to increase. But even with an aggressive push to increase production, supply is unlikely to be sufficient to meet the 20-fold increase in demand. During the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, the federal government struggled to get medical goods to the people and places that needed them. It initially left distribution to market mechanisms--sparking price spirals and accusations of gouging by profiteers as state governments and hospital systems bid against one another, desperately seeking supplies. More recently, the government began blocking the export of certain medical goods, cutting off trade flows to countries in need."

Brookings Institution
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