MFA and COVID19 Update – July 11, 2021
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week worldwide reported new cases of #COVID19 rose by another 4 million, which is almost double that of recent past weeks, and the cumulative global death count surpassed the very tragic 4 million milestone. Thankfully, the overall death rate has leveled off or declined in previously ravaged countries like India and in South America, although there has been some recent spiking in case numbers in the UK and Russia, and even here in the U.S., which remains the international leader in case numbers overall, but the incidence of hospitalizations and deaths are now lower at least in these regions where vaccines have been made available and culturally acceptable.
The Delta variant of the COVID19 virus, is still thought to be the dominant strain around the world, present now in more than 100 countries, and is generally believed to be twice as transmissible as the original novel coronavirus. And according to the most recent publication in the Journal Science, “All the vaccines approved in the U.S. likely work against the delta variant, although exactly how well still isn’t clear.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to under-fund international vaccination efforts, while incidentally and unwisely promoting destructive military and other commercial interests abroad. And all the while, we can’t seem to find our way out of a political culture war that has resulted in almost half of its own states still being under-vaccinated and those states are now spiking in new cases, hospitalizations, and needless deaths due to COVID19.
The Delta variant here in the U.S. is now known to be responsible for over half of new cases, and particularly spiking in states that voted for Trump. It is straining hospital and ICU capacities especially in those states, as was generally the case nationwide last summer and this last winter prior to any vaccine general availability that has now almost completely transformed the Biden-voting states. And sadly, according to data published just this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation, that gap in vaccinations between the red states and blue states is widening, not narrowing.
Or as New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy recently put it, “The simple reality is that we do not have a pandemic among the vaccinated. This is only, right now, a pandemic among the unvaccinated.” And the unvaccinated have not availed themselves of what has now become the single universal aspect of our public health response to the pandemic, where vaccines are free to all and for the most part now universally available.
So, if we look at the now cumulative US COVID19 death toll of 606,301 lost souls to date, we see a full 242,520 lives lost or an average of about 557 preventable deaths per Congressional District if those in Congress and others in elected office who oppose a #Single Payer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system were to give up their resistance and simply follow the science of public health and economics that we here know will save so many lives and save so much money.
This is basic science, just as vaccinology and epidemiology are basic science. But the cultural and political divide that is so apparent in this country shows that we have a long way to go in making that case to a critical mass of voters, and that we will need exceptional leaders to help us get there.
Ultimately, we know that we are only as healthy as the least healthy among us. That letting a rampaging public health menace like COVID19 and its newer more deadly variants, or gun violence for that matter, or racism, or rising global temperatures, war, poverty, or political corruption, or letting any of these existential threats go unmitigated permits too much unhealthiness threatens society as a whole, impacting us all, not just select communities or regions, be they red, blue, or otherwise.
Or as the late great Sen. Paul Wellstone was known to have said, “We all do better when we all do better.” Perhaps knowing what we all now know, we should all now say, “We all do better ONLY when we all do better.”