Learning from the Pandemic: A Case for Deregulation

A nurse works at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., May 6, 2020. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the harms of red tape.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE E arly this year, the United States faced a conundrum. Understanding and controlling the spread of the coronavirus outbreak required a massive scale-up in the ability of the country to test individuals suspected of carrying the virus, but the rules and procedures put in place by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) meant that this couldn’t happen.

The problems began in January. Germany developed a test for the virus; the World Health Organization approved the test and began to distribute it; the CDC refused to authorize it. Instead, there would be an official


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