Congressman Introduces $25M Blockchain Bill To Fight Covid-19
US Congressman Introduces $25M Blockchain Bill To Fight Covid-19
US Congressman Introduces $25M Blockchain Bill To Fight Covid-19…
During the current coronavirus pandemic, blockchain is really making a mark for itself. It has already become a part of the economic recovery plan of so many countries and corporations. Governments of the world are also using this tech for voting purposes and to record essential data. Just recently, a US Congressman introduced a $25M blockchain bill to monitor their Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). This would help them better fight the pandemic.
On April 23, Congressman Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts introduced the bill to establish a special blockchain network. It would be capable of overseeing the distribution of personal protection equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other critical equipment. During times like these, real-time and accurate data is of utmost importance. It can make the government’s response smoother and faster.
The bill is called the “Strategic National Stockpile Enhancement (SNS) and Transparency Act” or H.R. 6607. It seeks to create a private (permissioned) blockchain called the National Emergency Biodefense Network.
The goal is to regulate the supply of essential medical equipment like vaccines, drugs, and other supplies. It would also monitor the availability of supplies for individual states. This could solve many coordinating problems. A sum of $25 million has been proposed through fiscal 2022 to build this private blockchain. The congressman explained why he wanted to build this blockchain in a statement.
He said, “Many have been forced to work without sufficient equipment and supplies. Unfortunately, when states have sought help from the SNS, their requests have gone unanswered. We depend on the SNS to supplement state reserves of biodefense supplies and equipment. And H.R. 6607 will ensure the readiness of the SNS to respond to future crises. By adopting a private blockchain system we can verify the status of our biodefense capacity in real-time which will allow us to be better prepared.”
Politicizing The Pandemic
A few weeks ago, the Trump administration politicized the SNS. Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior advisor implied a few days ago that the stockpile belonged to the federal government. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services took a U-turn on their earlier stance too. Initially, their website stated that the equipment from the stockpile would go to those who need it the most. Now, they say that the stockpile is a short-term stopgap buffer.
The Congressman’s bill is a response to such an act. He wishes to provide integrity to the whole operation. The states should have unfettered access to the equipment that they need. And there is no better way to achieve that than blockchain technology.
In fact, many politicians and government officials throughout the world are looking at blockchain technology. The tech has already been used for voting recently. The Center for Disease Control is also working to develop contact tracing platforms using blockchain. It might just serve as one of our most prominent weapons in our fight against COVID-19.