Issue Briefs

Private Companies Getting Us Through the Lockdown

Private Companies Getting Us Through the Lockdown

By Daniel Gouré

May 02, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught all Americans about the importance of critical infrastructure and essential workers to our survival, as individuals and as a nation. Clearly, our health care system, encompassing hospitals, medical supply providers, pharmaceutical companies, scientists, doctors, nurses, technicians, support staff, and emergency response personnel, is at the top of the list. So too are the companies and people involved in the food supply chain from farm to table. Related to these two sectors is the transportation network: roads, rails and air transport, certainly, but also the delivery companies and truckers that continue to bring orders to our front doors throughout the crisis. Likewise, our communications infrastructure, particularly internet companies, cloud providers and content producers. A company that bridges virtually all of these critical infrastructure sectors is Amazon. Along with a unique class of private companies such as UPS, Walmart and Microsoft, they have been an essential part of the infrastructure that has held this country together. I have written more on this subject here.

Daniel Gouré, Ph.D., is a vice president at the public-policy research think tank Lexington Institute. Goure has a background in the public sector and U.S. federal government, most recently serving as a member of the 2001 Department of Defense Transition Team.