MFA and COVID19 Update – December 18, 2022
photo: PDA’s Dr. Bill Honigman’s Healthcare Not Warfare Speech – We want Bernie rally 2016
By Dr. Bill Honigman, Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
COVID & MFA REALITY CHECK
1,095,074 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*
438,029 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**
Again this week, as has sadly been the case every week since the pandemic began, we must report that the United States continues to be the world leader in #COVID19 deaths.
This week, world deaths from coronavirus are being reported at over 6,660,000, with new cases of COVID19 now increasing in the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Russia, Japan, and South Korea, and leveling in France, Germany, and Italy, and declining in India. Only about 64.8% of the world’s population is thought to be fully vaccinated, and sadly only 25.1% of those in low-income countries, predominantly of the global south, have received even just a single first dose of coronavirus vaccine to date.
Google News is reporting the U.S. total COVID death toll as 1,095,074 lost souls to date, which means of course, according to the Lancet Commission study published back in February of 2021, that an estimated 438,029 Americans who have died in this pandemic already, would be alive today if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll (MFA) system in place to adequately and fairly provide the Healthcare needed for this public health challenge as well as for those yet to come, and of course our basic medical needs.
That’s an additional 1,670 who died completely unnecessarily just this week from COVID19 in the US, or approximately 238 preventable COVID deaths per day now, because policy and lawmakers in this country refuse to recognize the science of Public Health and Economics, not just the science of Epidemiology and Vaccinology, and move forward with MFA and Universal Healthcare, that will save money, lots of money, and save lives, lots of lives.
Speaking of vaccines, the overall vaccination rate in this country is a disappointing 69.4% of our total population as fully covered so far. The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, ranks us once again at only No. 50 this week in first dose only, again just behind Panama and Tuvalu, and just ahead of Kuwait and Belgium. Our inadequate system for Public Health, which has virtually zero support at the primary and preventive care level, is clearly still losing the battle against medical misinformation in this country.
And Wyoming continues to lead the pack for state worst medically educated and worst vaccinated, with just 52.8% of its population fully vaxxed. That’s just worse than Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee, who are therefore all the most uncivilized states in the U.S. in this regard.
Sadly, as was reported in U.S. News and World Reports just 2 days ago, despite widespread awareness now of new and even more contagious variants creating a new winter surge of COVID19, and evidence now that the bivalent or multivalent booster vaccines reduce risk of severe disease by 50% or more, generally, with a reported 84% effectiveness for those 65 and older in particular, still they report that “uptake of the booster remains quite low, with only 14% of the eligible population and only 36% of those eligible people aged 65 and older getting the shot” so far.
The CDC reported this week that the new Omicron subvariants, BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB are now the most dominant form of COVID here in the U.S., with their being responsible for more than 76% of current infections. These new viruses are being dubbed the “most resistant SARS-CoV-2 variants to date” and remain worrisome especially because of their mutated ability to avoid human immune systems and lab-cultivated treatments such as vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments.
Nonetheless, it’s worth noting as CNN did earlier this week, this technology has saved millions of lives, here and abroad. They quoted a recent Commonwealth Fund study that estimated that COVID19 vaccines have kept more than 18.5 million people in the U.S. out of the hospital, and have saved more than 3.2 million lives to date.
Of course, not reported here is what was accounted for by the Lancet Commission mentioned earlier. Specifically, how many more lives would be saved if the U.S. were to have not just universal vaccines with open access to primary and preventive care, and testing to include regular and repeated analysis of asymptomatic individuals and households, with contact tracing, and most importantly with medical risk reduction by comprehensive treatment of chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and asthma, as is being done elsewhere in countries of the civilized world, but not here?
This is precisely the social injustice in U.S. Healthcare that continues to set us apart from the other advanced and civilized countries of the world. The struggle for equity and humanity here in America, hasn’t been this clear since the last great pandemic of H1N1 flu in 1918 – 1919, which was closely followed by the Great Depression, and finally the implementation of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Economic New Deal and Second Bill of Rights, which of course included a MFA component, unfortunately still to be realized.
Is that where we’re headed once again? And how much worse will rising global temperatures and our Climate Emergency make things this time?
This struggle clearly continues.