After Coronavirus, Marco Rubio Wants to Make Drugs in America Again

As the novel coronavirus has swept the earth, nations have been left scrambling to find, and even hoard, the medical tools needed to fight the deadly disease.

For a period of days last week, India looked set to ban the export of hydroxychloroquine, an unproven but promising treatment for COVID-19. Protective equipment producers 3M and Honeywell have alleged that the Chinese government has prohibited them from exporting their products. Much of Europe has closed its nominally open border to the flow of masks and other vital medical equipment, while the EU's lack of support for Italy has the country's prime minister warning the crisis could mean the union's failure.

For a period of days last week, India looked set to ban the export of hydroxychloroquine, an unproven but promising treatment for COVID-19. Protective equipment producers 3M and Honeywell have alleged that the Chinese government has prohibited them from exporting their products. Much of Europe has closed its nominally open border to the flow of masks and other vital medical equipment, while the EU's lack of support for Italy has the country's prime minister warning the crisis could mean the union's failure.

Such defensiveness is a common feature of pandemics—during the 1976 swine flu scare, the United States refused to share vaccines, even with its close ally Canada. Nonetheless, this every-nation-for-itself moment has taken many by surprise, including American leaders now struggling to source vital resources. To Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), this surprise is an ideological failure—a belief that free trade and cosmopolitanism had so whittled away the nation-state that individual countries would not pursue their self-interest in a time of crisis.

Since Donald Trump swept into the White House, the wisdom of international interdependency has been under fire in Washington. The coronavirus crisis has prompted increasing scrutiny of America's dependence on China in particular. But for Rubio, the issue is bigger than just China: As he told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview, it cuts to the very heart of how we understand political economy.

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 Read more at The Washington Free Beacon

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