MFA and COVID19 Update – January 31, 2021
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week worldwide total cases of #COVID19 rose by nearly another six and a half million new cases, and past the 100 million total mark, and with total deaths up by another 160,000 just this week, for a total of 2,219,889 reported worldwide deaths due to the now not-so-novel coronavirus. Total vaccines given is a new metric and is believed to be about 91 million to date, and although the UK with its more contagious variant has now surpassed Russia in total cases, even they are at least now showing some leveling off in new cases and hospitalizations as is most of the rest of the world, coming off of the fall/winter peak that we all experienced so traumatically, some countries worse so of course than others.
And speaking of some countries having done worse than others, the US numbers are still only slightly decreasing in incidence and mortality, with over a million new cases this last week alone, and over 430,000 total deaths, 22,031 of those just this last week.
Total US hospitalizations for COVID19 did drop below 100,000 this week for the first time in nearly 2 months. And despite the hardest hit areas during this fall/winter surge, like Southern California, still being in the throes of its wake, there is universal new hope with the rollouts of vaccines, problematic as they already have been, at least so far.
And just how problematic have the vaccine rollouts been? Beyond the very well publicized and oft-used as excuse issues of supply chain dynamics for the vaccines, here’s a few more examples courtesy of Electoral-Vote.com:
- There is a literal 100% difference between “1.5 million vaccinations per day” and “1.5 million people vaccinated per day,” since the latter accomplishment requires two shots, and thus 3 million shots in total.
- It is unclear whether children are included in projections, since the vaccines have not been approved for use on people under 16.
- It is not known what percentage of the population will need to be inoculated in order to achieve herd immunity. Could be as little as 70% or as much as 95%.
- Finding the necessary number of vaccine doses, around 600 million, is no small feat, especially since there is a wee bit of worldwide demand right now.
- Nobody really seems to have thought very hard about what will be done when all the voluntary vaccine recipients are taken care of, and it’s time to move on to the anti-vaxxers and other resisters.
- The Trump administration left something of a mess behind.
But putting aside the whole issue of vaccinations for the moment, because when doing so aren’t we really putting the cart way before the COVID horse, what about the universal testing, contact tracing, and latest best anti-viral treatments, like monoclonal antibodies, that we all know should not be a matter of privilege but a matter of human right for us all to receive in this time of critical need?
And before that even, what about the critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and staffing needed for our frontline and essential workers, including those providing care in congregate living facilities, nursing homes, schools, detention centers, jails, and prisons?
And what about the treatment of chronic conditions that put us all at risk, especially for those who have for far too long already received far too little primary and preventive care because it hasn’t suited the commercial interests in particular of big insurance and big pharma especially in certain ethno-geographic areas to do so rather than serving the public good throughout the entirety of this country of ours?
Doesn’t this demand at least a discussion of #UniversalHealthcare as it would apply to this Healthcare emergency, where ALL of the people get ALL of the COVID care? And shouldn’t that include discussing a proposed mechanism for such care which has already been agreed upon by a multitude of economists and social scientists, that of a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system that will save vast sums of money and preventable deaths, to at least be taken up by our leaders at all levels of government, national, regional, and local?
Well, if the politicians won’t talk about it, we will, and we’ll continue to do so, right here.