MFA and COVID19 Update – February 7, 2021

Feb 8, 2021

By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America

This week worldwide total cases of #COVID19 rose by only about half of last week’s total new cases, suggesting having passed a global peak of some kind, at least in the northern hemisphere, with all major countries now at leveling or declining numbers, and with over 123 million total vaccines given worldwide to date, and about 32 million of those having been given just this last week alone.  

The obvious concern here being still the race against the prevalence of the new more contagious coronavirus strains, and at this rate it would still take about 6 more months to inoculate only about one seventh of the world’s total population of 7 billion.

The U.S. is faring a bit better overall as well of late, with only 851,905 new COVID19 cases reported this week, which is the first time since early November that we’ve posted fewer than one million new cases in a week.  U.S. deaths due to the virus, which characteristically lag behind as it does take victims days to weeks to finally succumb to the illness in its most serious form, are still shockingly bad, at over 3,000 per day with a total now of 462,037 Americans who have been killed by COVID19 since the pandemic began last spring.

Hospitalizations due to COVID in the U.S. are also declining although also lagging, and even the overall trend for long-term care residents is improving.  How much of this is due to Phase 1a of the national vaccine rollout, better public health measures directed by the new CDC under the new Biden/Harris administration, or just seasonal variation past the peak of fall/winter weather and gatherings is a matter of great conjecture.

The vaccine roll outs in this country remain problematic, as we have discussed here now for weeks, not just with respect to simple supply chain issues, but also in systems communications and coordination failures, and the glaringly obvious lack of information that still exists due to not having universal testing and contact tracing in this country to know and better target for allocation of resources our communities most in need. 

The brutal reality is that only a fraction of those who need it have gotten the vaccine so far, even as we anticipate more and worse viral mutations and variants heading our way.  With the Biden/Harris goal of 100 million vaccinations to be given in their first 100 days, we’re still underachieving at about one fifth the rate needed for that.  How much better would we be doing on the treatment front for this pandemic if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system in this country?  One can only guess on that as well, but doubtless hundreds of thousands of lives, untold suffering and loss, and trillions of taxpayers’ dollars would have been saved.

On the brighter side, more vaccines now appear to be nearing completion of the evaluation process, some even possibly with significant immunity as a single-dose therapy, and in a form much more easily transported and stored in the process.  And with those better overall public health directives coming from the now better directed public health agencies like the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, and other state and local authorities, we could fare better yet in the coming months… or not, depending on whatever other political obstructions similar to those we all experienced this last year might occur in the meantime… if we let down our guard.

And so, the struggle for #HealthcareJustice continues.


 

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