MFA and COVID19 Update – January 9, 2022

Jan 10, 2022 | PDA Blog

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

Hello everyone, Dr. Bill Honigman here, retired Emergency Room physician from Tongva and Kizh land in Orange County CA, and just a few words on the ongoing #COVID19 pandemic and the struggle for #HealthcareJustice.

This writing is for our 100th 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 US remains in first place in the global competition for COVID19 deaths.  That’s despite our not being the most populated country in the world, by far.  If you’re with us on Zoom, I’ve posted some basic stats for you in the Chat.

We are currently at 835,961 total COVID deaths in the US today according to the Harvard University Daily Tracker, and we know according to public health and policy experts, that means that 334,384 Americans who have died from COVID19 so far would be alive today if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system in place to deal with this massive public health crisis.  President Biden should follow that science.

The US stands today at only 63% of our population fully vaccinated, and that puts us ranked according to the Johns Hopkins Resource Center, at only #58 in the world – hey, 58 is great, right?  That’s just behind Sri Lanka, and just ahead of Morocco, with Idaho once again this week ranking the worst state in the nation at 46%, even farther yet this week behind the global average.  And if it were a nation-state, Idaho would rank #80 in vaccinations given so far, that’s just behind Mexico and Tunisia, but still ahead of Russia, India, and most of the global south.

This week the #Omicron variant continues to cause the largest wave yet of case and test positivity of the pandemic to date, although with fewer hospitalizations and deaths per capita reported than last year’s winter surge, prior to the vaccines, but only in areas of general vaccine acceptance.  

Illness among the workforce due to Omicron, continues to be an enormous issue, although the property of less transmissibility following mild infection has led to more relaxed isolation recommendations in return-to-work guidelines, and a very anxious public awaits news that we will soon pass this variant peak, hopefully within the next couple of weeks, if not sooner.

COVID19 testing, tracing, and treatments of various kinds including managing all medical conditions that increase risk for worse outcomes, is still falling outrageously short in the United States of America.  If there’s no big profit to be made in any of it here, sadly, too many of our leaders continue to show us that they won’t pursue it, at least not in any capacity likely to save the lives of all those who deserve it most, especially those disaffected and chronically underserved by commercial Healthcare markets in this country.

A possible and very hopeful exception could be from political news we saw this week in California, where Single Payer bill AB1400, or CalCare, was reactivated, had a state constitutional amendment bill ACA11 added to cover proposed financing, and was passed through Assembly Rules Committee now with the support of dentist Assemblymember Jim Wood from Northern CA.  Dr Wood is now expected to usher AB1400 through the Assembly Health Committee, of which he is the Chair, and on to Appropriations, for a very much anticipated floor vote by the end of this month.  The eyes of the entire US, and of a hopeful rest of the world, should now be focused here.

Nonetheless, COVID19, here and abroad, continues to be the most imminent bold-faced harbinger of threat to all of our personal lives, liberties, and happiness.  Onward then to #MedicareForAll #EndVaccineApartheid and a global #GreenNewDeal now, before more lives and resources are needlessly lost.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for all that you’re doing.

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Watch the previous PDA Healthcare Emergency Town Halls here.

Watch the previous PDA Sunday Progressive Town Halls here.