Apr 20, 2020 - Technology

Marc Andreessen: The West's "complacency" fueled coronavirus pandemic

Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen. Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Marc Andreessen, a tech pioneer who is cofounder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, is out with a rare window into his thinking, "It's Time to Build," arguing that Western institutions' failure to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic "will reverberate for the rest of the decade."

The takeaway: "Every step of the way, to everyone around us, we should be asking the question, what are you building?"

What he said:

"In the U.S., we don’t even have the ability to get federal bailout money to the people and businesses that need it. ...
"Medical equipment and financial conduits involve no rocket science whatsoever. At least therapies and vaccines are hard! Making masks and transferring money are not hard. We could have these things but we chose not to — specifically we chose not to have the mechanisms, the factories, the systems to make these things. We chose not to *build*.
"You don’t just see this smug complacency, this satisfaction with the status quo and the unwillingness to build, in the pandemic, or in health care generally. You see it throughout Western life, and specifically throughout American life."
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