The Heritage Foundation Convenes the New National Coronavirus Recovery Commission

Fellow Conservative,

The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime. Not since 9/11 have we faced such a grave threat to our lives and livelihood.

This is a test of the American spirit and of American ingenuity in the face of an invisible enemy.

It is because of you, a devoted member of The Heritage Foundation, that we are able to rise to this unprecedented challenge.

Today, I am pleased to announce the formation of the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission. This Heritage-led group of nationally renowned experts from a range of disciplines will produce specific recommendations that all levels of government and the American people can use to navigate the difficult months ahead.

In a series of meetings beginning this week, the new commission will identify what it will take to get American life back to normal, get Americans back to work, and get the economy going again.

You will be able to find these recommendations shared in real time on the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission's website ( The commission will also produce a final report for policymakers and the American people.

The commission will provide a roadmap for the hardships and challenges of the day – in health, economy, and culture – and determine what a post-pandemic America might look like.

Charting a plan for recovery while the battle is still raging is an extremely complex task. That's why the commission includes top experts and thinkers from government, public health, business, disaster response and relief, academia, and the faith community.

As Heritage president, I will act as the commission's chairman. Other commission members include:

  • The Honorable George Allen – Former Governor and U.S. Senator, Commonwealth of Virginia

  • John A. Allison IV – Retired Chairman and CEO BB&T, Retired President and CEO Cato Institute

  • Lawrence J. Blanford – Director, Steelcase Inc.; President & CEO, Green Mountain Coffee (Retired)

  • Kevin P. Chavous – President of Academics, Policy, and Schools, at, and former Education Committee Chair of the Council of the District of Columbia

  • Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. – Founder and former President of The Heritage Foundation

  • Timothy E. Flanigan – Chief Legal Officer, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

  • The Honorable William H. Frist, M.D. – Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Health Service Private Equity Firm Cressey & Company

  • Noe Landini – Managing Director, Junction Bakery & Bistro

  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez – President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)

  • Nelson J. Sabatini – Managing Director Berkeley Research Group, Former Secretary of Health State of Maryland

  • Joni Eareckson Tada – Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

  • Frances F. Townsend – Executive Vice President at MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings, LLC

  • Brig Gen Richard J. Tubb, MD – Retired Brigadier General; White House Physician Emeritus

  • The Honorable J.C. Watts – Former Member of U.S. House of Representatives; Founder & Chairman, J.C. Watts Companies

  • Gail Wilensky, PhD – Economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE

  • Robert L. Woodson, Sr. – Founder and President, Woodson Center

The committee's executive directors are Paul Winfree, director of Heritage's Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and our Richard F. Aster Fellow; and Charmaine Yoest, vice president of Heritage's Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity. Heritage Vice President of Communications and Daily Signal Executive Editor Rob Bluey will serve as the committee's spokesman.

The committee's goal is to save both lives and livelihoods. The decisions policymakers make today will determine how COVID-19 affects our nation – the scope of the crisis, the duration of social restrictions, the resulting economic hardship, and potential permanent changes to our national life.

We all want to know what it will take to "get back to normal," and what a new normal in American life might mean. The Heritage Foundation is here to answer those tough questions.

I cannot stress enough how important this commission is, and how grateful I am to have your support at this moment.

Many Heritage members recall that in the wake of 9/11, The Heritage Foundation formed a Homeland Security Task Force – of local and state officials, counterterrorism specialists, and former high-ranking military officials. The Bush and Obama administrations adopted almost three fourths of the task force's recommendations.

The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission is poised to be even more influential.

In the coming weeks, the commission will be guided by a simple principle: Good public health policy is good economic policy. A physically healthy America is an economically strong America. These priorities go together – they aren't in competition.

I urge you to follow regular updates from the commission on COVID-19 response and recovery, as well as the commission's recommendations, available on the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission website

I believe in my heart that America can weather this storm. Thank God you have enabled The Heritage Foundation to step up now, when we are needed the most.

We must take the courage and the patriotism in all of us (and especially in Heritage members) and point that toward recovery. We can do it!

Stay well, stay inside, and know that I am praying for you and for this great country.

All the best,

Kay C. James
The Heritage Foundation

P.S. – We will hold a conference call for all Heritage members about the commission this Wednesday at 3 p.m. EDT. Please be on the lookout for an email tomorrow with more details.

The Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation | 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE | Washington, D.C. 20002 | (800) 546-2843

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