MFA and COVID19 Update – January 16, 2022

Jan 17, 2022 | PDA Blog

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


835,961 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*

334,384 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**

*Harvard University Daily Tracker,

**Lancet Commission, Feb 2021, 


Hello everyone, Dr. Bill Honigman here, retired Emergency Room physician from occupied Tongva and Kizh land in Orange County CA, for a quick update on the ongoing COVID19 pandemic and the struggle for Healthcare Justice, for January 16, 2022.

This is our 101st weekly PDA Online Town Hall since #COVID19 began for us all in the US in the spring of 2020, and today once again, we must report that the U.S. remains in first place in the global competition for COVID19 deaths.  Yes, be ashamed, and be outraged about that.  

We are currently at 835,961 total COVID deaths in the US, according to the Harvard University Daily Tracker, and we know according to the public health and policy experts of the Lancet Commission study published last February, that means that 334,384 Americans who have already died from COVID19 would be alive today if we had a #Single Payer expanded and improved #Medicare for All system in place to deal with this massive public health crisis.  Once again, President Biden should follow that science, as we have here.

The US stands today at only 63.6% of our population fully vaccinated, and that puts us ranked according to the Johns Hopkins Resource Center, back at #59 in the world again – hey, 59 is fine, right?  That’s just behind Iran, and just ahead of Sri Lanka, with Idaho still ranking the worst state in the nation, still at only 46% fully vaccinated, falling further yet this week behind the global average.

Globally, the Omicron variant appears to be peaking or even declining now in many locations, although there is concern that continued increasing cases in the west could yet cause a “west to east resurgence” of new cases yet again.  And the strain on Healthcare systems has also been universal.  

Nonetheless, most universal Healthcare countries are now positioned to once again relax public health restrictions, and some taking even more reparative or proactive measures, such as in Quebec, Canada which is now moving ahead this week with new “health taxes” on the unvaccinated.  By the way, it was also reported this week that first-dose vaccinations quadrupled in Quebec ahead of a newly imposed vaccine passport requirement at all liquor and cannabis outlets there.

Now that’s what I call knowing your community.

Here in the U.S., it appears that while some states especially in the northeast might now be peaking in Omicron case positivity and hospitalizations, most of the country is still contending with unprecedented numbers of infections.  This week having surpassed last winter’s pre-vaccination surge.  

Thankfully, the death rate has been less, due to vaccines and better anti-COVID care.  However, as a country, we continue to underperform in all other categories of widespread contagion management, universal testing, contact tracing, and mitigating the risk of chronic disease by controlling such common conditions as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, asthma, and others.

And the Supreme Court this week continued in its conservative anti-science activism, by blocking Biden’s mandate for vaccines-or-testing in the workplace by a 6 to 3 vote, but allowing a vaccine mandate in medical workplace settings by a 5 to 4 vote.  At least they’re consistently inconsistent.

The promised roll out for free home COVID Rapid Antigen Test Kits has just begun with a commitment of insurers to reimburse individuals and households under highly qualified circumstances in a highly contentious process that given our track record for dealing with these profit-first intermediaries, most believe will be unlikely to be anywhere near the universal standard that is still needed, and that we saw implemented on Day 1 of the pandemic in countries with advanced health systems elsewhere around the world like South Korea, Taiwan, and Cuba.

Or as Ted Rall of RallBlog says…

“…If we had a national healthcare system instead of a medical Wild West in which the ailing are jostling against each other fighting over $24 testing kits like shoppers rushing into Best Buy on Black Friday, testing would be handled through clinics and doctor’s offices in coordination with the federal government—which would instantly compile the results…”

Only a system like expanded and improved Medicare for All can accommodate all of those needs.

Nonetheless, free at-home test kits with online ordering beginning Jan 19th is now being promoted at

And for those keeping track, California just this past week, got a step closer to having its own Single Payer Universal Healthcare system, by having AB1400 pass the Assembly Health Committee on a strictly partisan vote of 11 in favor to 3 against.  Hurray!  It now goes on to the Appropriations Committee this coming week, and hopefully then to a floor vote by January 31.  So, stay tuned everyone, and…


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Watch the previous PDA Healthcare Emergency Town Halls here.

Watch the previous PDA Sunday Progressive Town Halls here.