MFA and COVID19 Update – February 27, 2022
By Dr. Bill Honigman, Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
COVID & MFA REALITY CHECK
946,730 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*
378,692 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**
This is our 107th weekly PDA Online Town Hall since #COVID19 first hit the US in the spring of 2020, and today while the world is suffering through new horrors in eastern Europe, we are nearing a new landmark of 6 million total COVID19 global deaths, and once again we must report that the U.S. continues to lead the world’s nations in global pandemic deaths to date.
A total of 946,730 have now died from COVID19 in the U.S., and that means that an estimated 378,692 of those precious lost souls did not have to die, and would still be alive today, if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system in place today. That’s according to social scientists and public health experts of the Lancet Commission Study published just one year ago. That’s science, not politics, that the status quo in this country refuses to do anything meaningful about.
The U.S. remains a slacker in percentage of its population vaccinated compared to the other advanced nations of the world at only 65.1% of our population fully vaccinated, and that puts us ranked at No. 60 now in the world — just behind Monaco, and just ahead of El Salvador and Sri Lanka. And Alabama is still the worst state in the nation, at only 50.2% fully vaccinated, which is shamefully a full 6 points behind the global average of 56.2%.
The pandemic including Omicron is generally declining now globally, at least in the developed world. And here in the U.S., health and governmental authorities have seen fit to relax restrictions in particular, for mask use in indoor public settings, including in schools, at least for some 70% of areas newly designated as low to medium risk that had previously been considered as high or substantial risk.
While this respite is welcome news, we should be mindful that we are very much still living with the tragic outcomes of this pandemic, now turned endemic, and very much should heed the warnings again of scientists that more pandemics are headed our way with rising global temperatures.
For example, a recent study looked specifically at the impact of these COVID deaths on children, and noted that even before Omicron some 2.7 million children globally have experienced death of a parent or caregiver due to COVID19. That’s about one child every six seconds facing heightened risk of lifelong adversity as a result.
And the impact on children of color has been even worse of course, with a reported 65% of children who lost a parent or caregiver having been children of color. In fact, the study notes that indigenous children have suffered most, with about 1 in every 168 Native American children losing a caregiver, compared to 1 in every 753 white children.
Clearly, COVID19 has proven that we are still far from having Healthcare as a human right both globally, and especially here in the United States. Those of us who have survived so far must first recognize the inequity, then realize the imperative to act.
We must acknowledge that a threat to Healthcare justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We must demand nothing less than universal Healthcare that provides ALL of the care to ALL of the people. While at the same time, we must continue to address the other existential threats of climate, poverty, racism, war, and political corruption.
Thank you, and onward!