MFA and COVID19 Update – December 13, 2020
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week, worldwide cases of #COVID19 appear to be rising again after a few weeks of some leveling off, unfortunately that’s a slightly positive trend that did not hold for long enough. With some leveling off still of cases in France and even slightly decreasing numbers in India and Italy, the U.S., Brazil, and Russia continue to rise in numbers and the U.K., this week, joins those rightwing mostly autocratic countries with newly increasing numbers.
Total US #COVID deaths this week reached 290,000 and rapidly approached 300,000, including daily deaths of about 3,000 per day, that’s roughly equal to all of the Americans who died on 9/11 or in the battle of Gettysburg, except now it’s every day, not just that one day.
And among the states, we are seeing variations in disease prevalence and lethality, with CA being the most populous state, having the highest overall numbers, but TX leading CA by 120% in COVID deaths on a per capita basis, and NY leading CA by 160% per capita. What is going on here? We’ll return to this question in a moment.
And of course, all of this is against a backdrop of a phenomenal surge and strain on our #Healthcare infrastructure of hospitals, medical personnel, medications, and equipment needed to effectively react to this disease, while we all eagerly await the roll out of the now fully FDA-approved and soon-to-be fully CDC-approved first vaccines for COVID19. Because as we all are painfully aware, some very much so more than others, we otherwise have no national plan in place still for dealing with this national and international crisis, and it’s been glaringly apparent that there has been little or no intention by national leadership to curb the spread of this disease, especially to our most vulnerable populations and in our most traditionally underserved communities.
On the contrary, it would appear national leadership has had every intention to use the masses, the working classes, the so-called essential workers, as sacrificial workers, with those in prisons, detention facilities, nursing homes, the unhoused, and all of those caring for all of those vulnerable persons, especially those frontline hospital and first responder care givers, as cannon fodder or acceptable losses.
So how can any of us have any confidence whatsoever that the new COVID vaccines will actually get to their intended first wave targets first, as has been promoted, namely those frontline caregivers and those communities most in need? In particular, with our commercial based, both in its financing and delivery mechanisms, unique brand of Healthcare in America, how can we expect the vaccine to get to the inner city and rural communities otherwise known now as #HealthcareDeserts when hospitals, clinics, and other services have been closing and generally not available there now for years as a result of there being no markets for such products in those areas, as they treat their customers as commodities instead of as people?
And why is it that we still aren’t hearing from national and state leaders the words #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAllNow, like in the new #BidenHarris transition team or from the governors of states like TX and NY, or even CA, with their shockingly high numbers of COVID casualties, where we know that public decision-making, including prioritization and allocation of resources, is exactly what we need now to effectively get the new vaccines out to those who need it most first, and to all the rest of us after that?
Because if it’s one thing we’ve all learned in this year of mass isolation and shared pain, it’s that we’re all in this together. That the only solution to a national and international crisis is a national and international response. And that to fight a scourge that thrives on victimizing all of us, we need all of us to have all of the means to deal with it.
We clearly need #UniversalHealthcare now, where all of the people get all of the care. And we need a Single Payer expanded and improved #MedicareforAll system now, to do exactly that now, before even one more life is needlessly lost or one more dollar is needlessly squandered and goes into someone’s personal pocketbook instead of to prevent or treat another would be COVID victim.
And speaking of national leadership, how does the recent news of the Biden/Harris team’s intention to nominate CA Attorney General and former Congressmember Xavier Becerra to the post of Secretary of Health and Human Services portend to the implementation of Medicare for All, now when we need it most? Well, that could be anyone’s guess. He seems to have been both a fan and a foe on the subject in his political past.
Ultimately, the task of leadership falls back on us, we the people, #NotMeUs, to make Medicare for All and the #GreenNewDeal happen, and to make the pandemic of COVID19 just another bookmark in our national and international history, too sad for too many, but a chance to make things right. Onward.