Lydia DePillis joined ProPublica in 2019. Before that, she covered national economics issues for CNN Business, Texas’ economy for the Houston Chronicle, labor and the workplace for The Washington Post, and the business, culture and politics of the technology industry for The New Republic. DePillis was also previously a real estate columnist for the Washington City Paper, where she authored its award-winning Housing Complex blog. Her work has appeared in the New York Observer, Pacific Standard, Slate and various trade publications. She’s from Seattle, and is based in New York.
To Understand the Medical Supply Shortage, It Helps to Know How the U.S. Lost the Lithium Ion Battery to China
The failed U.S. effort to dominate global production of the lithium ion battery — which is key to energy independence, automobile innovation and more — holds lessons for leaders grappling with the U.S.’s reliance on China for emergency medical supplies.
We talked to a doctor about what hospitals in the throes of the coronavirus epidemic could learn from far less developed hospital systems in times of crisis and came away with three main points.
“What good is a test if you don’t know it’s giving you reliable results?” one expert said. Concerns are mounting that a lack of accurate testing will make it more difficult for America to relax social distancing.
State data shows that New York is paying enormous markups for vital supplies, including almost $250,000 for an X-ray machine. Laws against price gouging usually don’t apply.
The Department of Health and Human Services has come under fire as several states’ requests for supplies from the emergency medical stockpile go unfulfilled. A chaotic distribution plan is buckling under a big problem: Nobody has enough.
By learning from a MERS outbreak in 2015, South Korea was prepared and acted swiftly to ramp up testing when the new coronavirus appeared there. Meanwhile, the U.S., plagued by delay and dysfunction, wasted its advantage.
The FDA’s strict guidance on test confirmations is one of several obstacles that has slowed the federal government’s response to COVID-19. The FDA could change its rules to speed things up, but hasn’t.
Washington’s influence industry, including former Trump officials and allies, has made big money helping companies get exemptions from tariffs — sometimes by undercutting small business owners like Mike Elrod.
A tariff loophole lets companies ship small boxes across the border duty free. So the huge shipments are now heading to warehouses in Canadian and Mexican border towns, instead of the U.S.
Tariffs are hurting U.S. companies’ bottom lines. Free Trade Zones, a 1930s rule which they can use to shield themselves from those costs, require expensive legal help. One Michigan manufacturer called it “a no-win situation.”
Baseball is America’s pastime, but prices on its China-made gear are about to rise as the trade war escalates. Golf, lacrosse, basketball and other sports will feel the pinch, too.
Products won exemptions from the U.S. Trade Representative for “health, safety, national security and other factors,” but the criteria remain unclear.