MFA and COVID19 Update – April 11, 2021
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week worldwide #COVID19 showed a discouraging increase in week-over-week case rate by over 400,000 new cases more than last week, although we are now seeing leveling and even declining numbers at least in most northern hemispheric countries and even some of the hardest hit southern hemispheric countries, like Brazil.
Brazil still continues as the international pariah in pandemic mismanagement, especially now with the prevalence of what is known as the P.1 COVID-19 variant still wreaking havoc there, causing at least one WHO official to just yesterday refer to their situation as “a raging inferno” of a national disaster.
Some new international journalistic reporting is now also citing Russia and China in particular as perhaps doing much more poorly in their COVID-19 responses than the world community has likely been previously led to believe. While China has recently admitted that their most commonly used vaccines are thought now to be perhaps much less effective than what were previously advertised, on the order of 50.4 percent for the Sinovac vaccine, which compares to 97 percent for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Russia meanwhile is now being cited to have underreported their overall death rate for 2020 as some 28 percent lower than actual figures, likely to have avoided criticism of their particular COVID-19 response.
Meanwhile, the call to #VaccinateTheWorld only strengthens, with a stunningly low global percentage of only 2.1 percent of the world’s population fully vaccinated, so far.
And here in the U.S., the “4th wave” or “surge” continues with new total cases of COVID-19 for the week up from last week’s approximately 450,000 to now 485,000, and total U.S. deaths due to COVID-19 for the week are back up from 5,924 last week to 6,929 this week. That brings us to a total of U.S. COVID-19 deaths for the entire pandemic now of 561,231, and a still mind-boggling figure of 224,492 people who have died from COVID-19 in America that would still be alive today if we had had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system in place to deal with this national and international public health emergency.
And once again, this is in spite of the fact that the U.S. continues to lead the world in vaccinations, with some 17 million doses given this week alone, and a total figure of approximately 20.7 percent of the entire U.S. population now stands fully vaccinated, compared to the global figure of only 2.1 percent mentioned above.
Notwithstanding the relief to that almost one-fifth of the U.S. population, now feeling that extra layer of protection for themselves and for those that they may have some degree of contact with, the experts are still concerned with the degree of penetration of the COVID variants causing this new surge.
This concern is causing public health officials and leading expert authors to advise persistent vigilance. Dr. Paul Dorsey, Ph.D., who writes his “COVID Diaries” for Electoral-Vote.com, lists his concerns as the following:
- COVID-19 is still a “hoax” to a large percentage of the population
- Fewer people are worried about contracting COVID, a trend that could and will lead to careless behavior
- Lots of people (male Republicans, anti-vaxxers, some religious groups) will not get vaccinated
- Variants may become a huge issue, if they are not already
- And the biggest negative: The number of daily new cases is not going down
So, are we winning the race by vaccinating the masses and continuing public health measures despite the naysayers versus the insurgency of the variants that threaten to overwhelm all of that progress?
And is any of that even possible if we continue as we have to put all of our faith in just one form of treatment, the vaccinations, without applying the same level of resource allocation to the other COVID-care needs of testing, contact tracing, the treatment of other risk-creating epidemic medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity in this country, long neglected because of our profit-first commercial Big Insurance- and Big Pharma-favored form of healthcare?
And of course, what have we learned from this tremendous exercise in futility and human loss to prepare ourselves for those pandemics yet to come due to rising global temperatures?
The answers clearly point to the need for #HealthEquity and #HealthcareJustice that can only come in this country with Medicare for All, and #ClimateJustice that requires us to have a #GreenNewDeal. Anything less leaves us at the mercy of these national catastrophes, both natural and unnatural.
Clearly, it’s up to the U.S. as the wealthiest of world nations to lead on both Health and Climate, to alter its profile of military dominance, to promote #VaccinesNotBombs and exercise vaccine diplomacy, and to lead the effort to #VaccinateTheWorld.
Clearly, the struggle continues.