MFA and COVID19 Update – January 10, 2021
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week, while here at home we both celebrated unprecedented wins in the GA US Senate runoffs, and recoiled in horror at a violent insurrection at our nation’s capital, worldwide total cases of #COVID19 rose by another 5 million new cases, with a total COVID19 death toll to date of nearly 2 million, and the US, Russia, and the UK especially still showing the most new coronavirus cases overall.
It should be of a particularly shameful note to us as Americans this week, as in all weeks so far in this pandemic, that the COVID cases per capita for the US remains about 5 times that of the global rate.
And the US greeted this second week of the new year with a total of 372,651 COVID19 deaths to date, with a new record daily death toll this last Thursday January 7th, of 4,080 lost souls. The well-publicized onslaught of COVID19 victims and medical needs in areas like Los Angeles CA continues, but also reports are now emerging from other parts of the country like Kentucky, where Gov. Andy Beshear recently reported that they were experiencing a “…real and significant increase in cases and our positivity rate from people’s gatherings around the holiday.”
And Colorado’s state epidemiologist reported similarly on the effect of the holidays, concluding that it’s believed to now be about one in 105 residents in their state that are currently contagious as a result.
Indeed, this week’s insurrection event at the Capitol, much like last summer’s South Dakota gathering of science-deniers and live-free-or-die-ers, is largely being viewed now as having been, among other things, itself a super-spreader event. With Dr. Robert Redfield, the current Director of the CDC saying this about it, “You had largely unmasked individuals in a non-distanced fashion, who were all through the Capitol…then these individuals all are going in cars and trains and planes going home all across the country right now.”
This is the height of arrogance and irresponsibility, at least to those of us who do believe in science and the sanctity of human life.
How then are we to reconcile the policy, process, and personality that we all witnessed in America this week, that will bring us closer to the ultimate goal of recognizing #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll (MFA) and the #GreenNewDeal as necessities in confronting the existential threats of health, climate, racism, poverty, war, and political corruption in this country?
This week also saw the re-election of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, to the US House Speakership position, despite a popular push to #ForceTheVote on MFA. Most here would likely agree that this was a tactical error in that progressives in the House didn’t have the strength to propose a strong enough alternative as the House leader, and that pressure applied to fellow progressives was misplaced, when it’s non-progressives that need to be pushed to join the cause.
So how then do we transition back from #ForceTheVote to #MoveTheVote, or like the Bernie Sanders delegates said during the Democratic National Convention this past summer, #PassTheDamnBill? And in particular, how do our national maladies of pandemic and political upheaval set the stage for our movement going forward?
And, how then do we best seize this particular political moment to help bend the arc of the moral universe toward MFA and #HealthcareJustice.