TechNet’s members have powered America during COVID-19 by producing personal protective equipment and ventilators, helping scientists to discover drug treatments and research vaccines, reducing barriers to telework options, connecting students and teachers, enabling food delivery, providing emergency transportation, and facilitating contact tracing. As the country has gained more control over the pandemic, TechNet’s members have worked to spur our economic recovery and help Americans safely return to work, school, and an open society. TechNet believes:
- The top priority of the Administration and the Congress must continue to be getting the pandemic under control and eradicating COVID-19 as a public health crisis.
- Vaccinations, nationwide testing, and contact tracing, coupled with mask wearing and social distancing, are critical steps toward the nation’s economic recovery.
- Long-standing systemic health inequities have disproportionately placed certain racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19. The federal government should continue to identify and work to remove these barriers so that all Americans have access to both vaccinations and treatment for COVID-19 exposure. TechNet believes these health disparities are directly tied to other social and economic inequities which should be addressed by lawmakers. TechNet’s principles on diversity, inclusion, and racial justice can be found here.
- The consistent, reliable, and transparent release of data is key to protecting public health and spurring our economic recovery. Data communicated from and to public health officials should include both leading data, such as early warning data, to identify areas of outbreak and potential spread, and lagging data, such as hospitalization rates and ICU capacity, so that health officials and policymakers can continue to focus on preparedness, containment, targeted responses, and mitigation.
- Given the technology industry’s experience using innovation to address health challenges, sustain business operations, and protect jobs during the pandemic, the Administration should consult top experts from the private sector on how to operate more safely and build a stronger public health system for the future.
- COVID-19 has laid bare the digital divide and the barriers faced by too many Americans who have had to transition crucial aspects of life online. The economic recession spurred Congress to address the critical need for a massive federal investment designed to catalyze U.S. innovation. The Administration should swiftly implement these historic federal investments in broadband, 5G, other emerging technologies, and digital literacy and skills training programs, as well as job training for the installation of these technologies, to support the American recovery and cement our global competitiveness for the future.
- Supporting innovation and growth of third-party delivery services remains critical to providing increased earning opportunities for drivers and delivery workers, supporting restaurants, retail stores, and small businesses, and ensuring the equitable delivery of goods and services during our economic recovery.
- Federal regulators should encourage the expansion of virtual care and ensure access to safe and secure telehealth and digital health technologies, especially in areas with limited access to health care providers.
- When considering employment rights and obligations in the future, legislators should keep in mind the impact of remote working; office-specific health and safety standards, for instance, may not be easily applied to virtual, home-based working.