MFA and COVID19 Update – December 6, 2020
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week, worldwide cases of COVID19 appear to be leveling off somewhat with only about 4.3 million new cases, and deaths of only about 76.5 thousand since last week. Not such good news again this week in the U.S., Brazil, and Russia where numbers of new cases and deaths continue rising, once again drawing attention to their shared virtue of autocratic and oligarchic national leaderships.
Total US COVID deaths are now at about 281,000, which is incredibly, a number close to all American lives lost in combat in World War II, and are projected even by our selectively informative current White House occupants to reach one half million by this coming March of 2021. That’s a number closer to all those lost in the entirety of the American Civil War, and all of that in just one year’s time.
Meanwhile, more and more of us are contracting the disease, whether by egregiously disregarding advisements against travel and gathering for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, perhaps thinking that we could “beat the bug” by judicious practices of quarantining and surface cleansing, or just by inadvertently letting our guards down. We now all personally are experiencing fewer and fewer degrees of separation between ourselves and friends, family, and co-workers who have contracted COVID, and we hold them of course with great concern in our hearts, as we do fear for our own selves in our hearts.
Hospitalizations in this country are on an unprecedented rise, as we all now have heard, straining not only ICU’s and ventilator capacities, but especially our medical personnel so vital to surviving a more threatening course of the disease. Estimated at 100,000 admitted hospital patients with COVID currently, their care providers ask only for the proper equipment, staffing, and personal related Healthcare needs that we would all expect them to have, not only to be able to function day in and day out, or night in and night out as they do literally around the clock, 24-seven, but also to keep their practices and the institutions in which they practice safe from becoming themselves super-spreaders of the disease.
So how is it, and especially why is it, that we’ve seen almost continuously now since COVID19 first hit our shores 8 months ago, that nurses, doctors, therapists, clinicians, hospital support staff of all kinds, have had to fight or even go on strike for these basic needs for PPE, adequate staffing, and regular COVID19 testing of both themselves and their patients? We pointed out this conundrum here in these pages months ago, that hospitals, the very institutions we trust with caring for our sickest victims of this pandemic, can’t possibly know the extent of the problem under their own roofs if they are not regularly testing all of their staff and all admitted patients, whether in the acute care or convalescent care settings.
So, I’m sure I was not the only one shocked to see just how shocked our new President-Elect Biden was when he was told in a recent public testimony by a practicing nurse and Minnesota Nurses Association leader that she had never yet been tested after treating countless COVID patients now for months and months. Mr. Biden’s response was an audible, “You’re kidding!”
No, Mr. President-Elect, she’s not kidding. And we’re not kidding. Why aren’t we all being tested on a regular basis, as is being done in those countries who are doing so much better in handling this public health crisis? If we can’t even expect our frontline health care providers to be regularly tested, can we reasonably expect those same valued persons to receive the vaccines we’re all so anxiously awaiting?
I personally want to know, just whose pockets it is that are being lined in Trumpublican America that got us to this sorry state? And I want to know who of our elected public officials are so egregiously and unscrupulously benefitting by holding back legislation that would have moved us to Universal Healthcare where ALL of the people get ALL of the care, including COVID care, especially HR1384 and S1129 the National Medicare for All Acts which have been introduced in both houses of Congress but held from advancing for a vote, yet again this year?
But of course, I also want to know, and I think we all want to know, who are the champions that can help us to find the way out of this madness, now when we need them most, and how we can support them, now when they need us most?