Turns out that the best weapon against the COVID-19 virus was, and still is, the N95 face mask. If this wasn’t known from the start, it should have been. We, the greatest nation on earth, the greatest nation that has ever been, were, and still are, dependent on China, and South Korea, for N95 masks. Couldn’t even get enough N95s in those early days of the pandemic for our front-line healthcare workers. During those early weeks, doubling 1,000 new daily infections meant 2,000 infections could be expected soon. We have just watched November 2020’s 67,000 become January 2021’s 260,000. Yet, we haven’t tooled up. Still, we aren’t self-sufficient for N95 face masks. Yet, we are not handing out free N95 face masks. How many lives would have been saved if we, the greatest nation ever, had tooled up and produced enough N95 masks for every one of us by last April? And, if we had required their wearing? How many front-line healthcare workers’ lives could have been saved? How many American lives would be saved if every American had access to free N95s and wore them?

Now, one year in, it seems obvious that it is better to be self-sufficient when it comes to vaccines. Looking back, it is obvious that we would have been better off to have been able to produce our own N95 masks in sufficient quantities.