Former Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday slammed the government approach to handling the coronavirus pandemic and advocated for a more “professional” business-led approach.
Bloomberg was interviewed by MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle on her hour of “MSNBC Live” and was asked about the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine and if “we’re doing it right.”
“I have criticized the federal government, I have criticized the state governments, and I have criticized the city governments. What I would have done, day one, is turn it over to the professionals,” Bloomberg answered. “Who are the professionals that know how to distribute drugs and vaccines and that sort of thing? They’re the big pharmacy companies. And you just hire them.”
Bloomberg criticized former President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus during the Democratic presidential primaries in early 2020 when the global death toll stood at less than 4,000 people. He later donated $40 million to train healthcare workers to fight the virus around the world. (RELATED: ‘If President Trump Did This He Would Be Getting Crushed’: MSNBC Host Questions Biden’s ‘Superspreader’ Inauguration)
Bloomberg went on to say that decisions such as how many people an owner can have in their restaurant should not be made by a governor, but by a health expert. He then said that “we know what to do,” but have been “unwilling to turn it over.”
Ruhle noted that some people might question if you should put something like that “in the hands of businesses” and asked, “Do you think that the governors don’t want what’s best for their states?”
“Capitalism really does work. If you give people an incentive to do something, they’re going to do it,” Bloomberg said. Our hospital system is based on capitalism. We charge, and then our hospitals get donations, and they improve their health care. What’s wrong with having experts who know how to distribute stuff?”
Ruhle then questioned who would help “the poorest” if we leaned on capitalism and inferred that poor people wouldn’t necessarily come first if businesses were in charge.
“That’s just not true. You can give them an incentive to deliver it to different groups, different neighborhoods, in different manners,” Bloomberg responded. “Capitalism really works. You just say to CVS or Walmart or Walgreens, and say this is what we want you to do. If you want the business, here are the rules. And they deliver enormous quantities of drugs all the time with very few errors.”