This tweet is a huge relief to us who appreciate the benefit of having a working group in times of crisis. Removing it would have been a dangerous move that would have made it even more difficult to contain this virus for weeks and months to come.
We fight for fatigue and complacency
Dismissal of the working group would have completely reinforced this message and left state leaders with even less top coverage. It would also signal that the virus is no longer a top priority, which could make it more difficult for some heads of state to emphasize that the virus is a very real and ongoing threat.
Coordination and decision-making are crucial right now
This is not a new phenomenon. Having served in leadership positions in both federal and state government, I can attest to how difficult it is to achieve seamless collaboration among the most competent and well-meaning public servants even in the best of times. Often agencies will have different ideas on how to solve a problem – and someone at a higher level must quickly make a decision on how to proceed.
Covid-19 spreads at a frightening rate
As everyone who has worked in government knows, it is a chain of command. Important decisions must often be approved by agency leaders or the White House. These processes are usually slow and it is too easy for key insights or pieces of information to get lost along the way, even accidentally. Therefore, a working group structure that enables subject matter experts to come together, share information and brief political leaders is the most effective way of informing decisions in times of crisis.
The crucial importance of how we observe the day of remembrance
As more states loosen the restrictions, we can enter an even more dangerous phase of this pandemic, potentially facing serious outbreaks across the country.
Many restaurants and businesses also closed. By mid-March, the situation had turned the corner; The health crisis stabilized largely and the pressure from companies to reopen began to grow. In response, the governor of Hokkaido lifted the state of emergency March 19, but asked residents to continue social distance and stay home if they felt ill.
The upcoming Memorial Day weekend in the United States is not only a national holiday to honor those who have died in military service, but it is also the start of the summer season. Many Americans are planning travel and leisure activities that weekend, which could lead to further spread of the virus. Then some states will also have relaxed constraints for several weeks, enough time for an outbreak to occur, provided testing is in place to detect fast enough.
It is quite possible that the continuation of the working group will lead to new national guidelines for protection measures when the summer begins. We can only hope this is the case, or we may face a second wave of the pandemic – and countless more deaths to come.