National safety was in jeopardy because too much military equipment relied on components made in China when Brigadier General John Adams in 2015 tried to warn the Pentagon and politicians in Washington. He noted that 50% of circuit board components are built in China! But who listened?
US soldiers rely far more on technology in the battlefield than we did as soldiers 30 years ago. Who listened to Gen. Adams? Top economists in major universities preached that globalization is good for the world and that we should not worry about outsourcing production and supply lines to other countries. This Corona Virus crisis has shown the grave consequences of such economic approaches.
I believe in what Machiavelli stated centuries ago: countries have no allies but only friends for the moment, and when it’s in another country’s best interest, it will pursue policies that will hurt or destroy yours. That’s why India, a major exporter of the drug Chloroquine, stated they will no longer export it and will be saving it for domestic use.
Gen. Adams spoke about military readiness. We now see how it can affect our entire country. The general public now learns that 80% of our medicine or its ingredients is made in China. Most health care protective gear is made there, exacerbating the crisis in hospitals as government did not stockpile enough critical supplies to fight this pandemic. “Bean counters” created an inventory method relying upon all supply chains working perfectly. In a crisis situation it never does!
Too many bureaucrats and politicians don’t contemplate what disasters really require. I know this firsthand because in the late 2000s, I was a member of the New York City wireless committee under Mayor Bloomberg. I tried to warn leaders of that committee that putting every emergency service on wireless networks was a mistake. I reminded them of the electrical outage of 2003, which lasted for a few days, and that we are responsible for the lives and safety of New Yorkers.
Naturally they ignored my warning. When super storm Sandy hit, huge sections in New York went without electricity. Cell phone towers only lasted 24 to 48 hours.
I’m not saying that we have to bring all manufacturing back to the U.S., but anything that deals with defense equipment must be either manufactured in the US or in friendly Canada and Mexico. We have a computer component facility sitting empty in upstate New York!
Just as important, we must bring a large portion of healthcare manufacturing back to the U.S. Our politicians should fight to get companies to manufacture in New York State again. New York and Puerto Rico used to be major producers of pharmaceuticals. It was sent offshore to China. It’s time to bring it back!
Our country was founded upon self-reliance and over recent decades we’ve been told it is an outdated ideology. This crisis shows this is wrongheaded. It is time for us to rise to the occasion and learn from this experience. We must be self-reliant once again.
Mike Zumbluskas is a U.S. Air Force brat who served as a petroleum supply specialist in the U.S. Army’s Second and Third Cavalry units, charged with transporting and refueling tanks and helicopters, from 1984 to 1987 in Nuremberg, Germany, and Fort Bliss, Texas. As a civilian, Mike works as a resource management analyst for the New York City Department of Transportation.
For 25 years, he’s led voter registration and party enrollment drives and worked as a campaign adviser for Republican and Independent candidates, beginning with H. Ross Perot’s race for the presidency in 1992. Mike believes in “practical government that works for all” and reforming the electoral system. He is running for New York State Senate District 28 (New York City’s Upper East Side and Midtown East.) Follow his campaign.