MFA and COVID19 Update – April 10, 2022

Apr 11, 2022 | PDA Blog

By Dr. Bill Honigman, Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America


983,748 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*

393,499 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**

*Harvard University Daily Tracker

**Lancet Commissions, Feb 2021


This is our 113th 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 tragically poor responses to this existential crisis.

In just over 2 years, a nearly incomprehensible total of 983,748 of us in this country have now died from COVID19.  And once again, according to public health experts, that means that an estimated 390,207 of those deaths would have been prevented, if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system, not just to face this challenge, but to face all of the medical challenges of daily life, as well as those public health catastrophes yet headed our way, especially with rising global temperatures. 

The U.S. currently is thought to be only 66% fully vaccinated.  That puts us ranked this week still at a disgraceful No. 63 in the world — just behind Nicaragua and just ahead of El Salvador. 

And the worst U.S. state in total population fully vaccinated is still Alabama, at only 50.9%, which is now shamefully 8+ points behind the global average of a reported 59% of the world’s population fully vaxxed to date.

The recent surge in COVID19 cases, thought to be caused by the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron, seen especially in Europe and China, is thankfully showing signs of leveling off or even declining in most of these countries, and even more thankfully, has not, at least as of yet, shown as much prevalence here in the U.S. for some unknown reason.  And the emergence of the hybrid variants known as Delta-cron and Omicron XE also have not yet taken off here in the U.S., according to those experts who are tracking these variants.

Of particular note this week, that affirmed the case that we have made here now since the very beginning of this pandemic, was the publishing of U.S. life expectancy data for this past year, 2021. They compared the same figures, not only in contrast to all of the other advanced, and unlike ours, truly civilized countries of the world, all of whom have some form of Universal Healthcare, where ALL of the people get ALL of the care.  Specifically, it showed how life expectancy once again improved in those other countries but continued to decline in the U.S. in 2021, despite the implementation of universally available and death-preventing vaccines.

All of this means of course, that even with a focused approach to disease prevention such as this, it is both narrow minded and pennywise and pound foolish to ignore those other political determinants of health that must be addressed, and will be provided for when, not if, we finally have Medicare for All.

Or as Dr. Steven Woolf, co-author of this new study on life expectancy during COVID19, said, 

“While other high-income countries saw their life expectancy increase in 2021 [as was expected after release of the vaccines in 2021], recovering about half of their losses, U.S. life expectancy continued to fall,” Woolf said. “This speaks volumes about the life consequences of how the U.S. handled the pandemic.”

Adding to that, “It was shocking to see that U.S. life expectancy, rather than having rebounded, had dropped even further.”

Yes, we should all be shocked, but not surprised.

Onward to #HealthcareJustice and Medicare for All!

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Watch the previous PDA Sunday Progressive Town Halls here.