March 18, 2020
By Naomi Lopez and Matt Miller
We usually see the best of America at times of crisis. Today’s unprecedented coronavirus crisis is no different. Private companies, sports leagues, and individual Americans are making quick and decisive decisions to not only combat the virus, but to help inform and support their fellow Americans.
If one only hears and sees social media and the news cycles’ claims that “America” is not doing anything in response to novel coronavirus, then one might mistakenly believe it is true. But neither the President nor any other part of government is “America.”
America has always been and will always be you, me and all our fellow citizens. It may not be the stuff of headlines, but there is so much that should be reminding us that America remains a robust, vibrant, and civil society. Here are some examples:
- Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers has announced that it will share its drug development tools and data on an open source platform so that the scientific community working on therapies and vaccines will be able to access them in order to help get therapies and vaccines to patients more rapidly. The company will also provide manufacturing capacity once these breakthrough vaccines and treatments move into large-scale production.
- Peloton, a fitness company, is making its online app available for free for the next 90 days. People who can no longer access their gym or who want to focus on their fitness during the crisis, can access a broad range of classes including running (both treadmill and outdoors), indoor cycling, strength, yoga, meditation, bootcamp, walking, and more.
- Uber Eats, a restaurant delivery service, is waiving its delivery fee for orders from local establishments in order to support the local restaurant business. Customers may also request that deliveries be left at the door in order to minimize direct contact. The company has also announced that they will be donated meals to first responders and medical workers.
- Countless informal groups on social media are springing up in order to help get food, supplies, and other assistance to their neighbors and communities. Mini food pantries are being set up all over the country so that people than can afford to pass along food may do so while those in need can take what they need.
In times of crisis, it is easy to feel fear and get overwhelmed with negative messages coming from social media and the news. That is why it is important to remember that America is not the government; it is our neighbors, families, and communities who are doing their part to help protect the vulnerable and less fortunate. So if someone says America isn’t doing anything, then they just aren’t looking.
This is part of an ongoing series of posts analyzing America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. For more on this topic from Goldwater Institute experts, click here.