COVID & MFA REALITY CHECK
By Dr Bill Honigman – National Outreach Lead – Progressive Democrats of America
975,519 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*
390,207 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**
*Harvard Univ Daily Tracker, https://geographicinsights.iq.harvard.edu/coviduscongress
**Lancet Comm, Feb 2021, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32545-9/fulltext
This is our 111th weekly PDA Online Town Hall since #COVID19 first hit the US in the spring of 2020, and today we must report once again that the United States continues as the world’s leader in epic poor responses to our global public health crisis.
A tragic total of 975,519 have now died from COVID19 in the U.S., and even more tragically that means that an estimated 390,207 of those lost Americans would be alive today, if we had a Healthcare system in this country capable of responding to public need, namely a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system, now when we need it most.
The U.S. currently is thought to be only 65.9% fully vaccinated. That puts us ranked this week at only No. 62 in the world — just behind El Salvador, and just ahead of Nepal. Once again, we fall well behind the advanced countries of the world, most notably those civilized countries that do value Healthcare as a Human Right, such as the U.K. with 73.8% fully vaccinated, that’s almost 10 percentage points higher than ours, Germany with 75.9%, France 78.2%, Canada 82.8%, and Spain 85.2%, that’s a 19.3 percentage point higher vaccination rate than in this uncivilized but obscenely wealthy country of ours, the dis-United States of America.
And the U.S. state most refractory to this basic tenant of public health care, Alabama, remains the least vaccinated state in the nation, still at only 50.6%, which is now shamefully 7+ points behind the global average of a reported 57.9% of the world’s population fully vaxxed to date.
The current lull in COVID cases in this country is being cautiously celebrated by many of us, even as attention is being drawn to a springtime surge now of the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron elsewhere in the world. Most notably, bellwether countries like the U.K., Italy, and Germany, are all showing increasing cases, prompting U.S. health officials to consider early approval of a second booster vaccine for those over 50 years of age. And, there is now concern that the U.S. government may no longer have the funding needed to match the previous nearly universal vaccines and expanded household testing, and certainly no mention of going further yet with full contact tracing or guaranteed full anti-viral therapies, and perhaps most importantly still without full treatment of comorbid medical conditions that put us all at risk for worse outcomes and preventable death from COVID19.
The sad fact remains, whether as regards the challenge of this current public health crisis, the COVID19 pandemic, or the many more yet to come due to rising global temperatures, the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the world, is poised to continue to respond pathetically with the worst health outcomes, in particular for those most underserved and most in need. All because a select few have made it that way.
It’s past time for the many to have their turn. It’s past time for Healthcare Justice and Medicare for All.
Speaking of which, HR1976 the current National Medicare for All Act of Representatives Jayapal and Dingell, and their fellow 122 Democratic cosponsors, is scheduled to be heard by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform this coming Tuesday March 29 at 9a ET, which makes it a great time for you to call your Member of Congress to voice your support for the bill.
Thanks as always, and onward!