MFA and COVID19 Update – July 17, 2022
photo: PDA’s Dr. Bill — Sacramento Single Payer Rally 6-15-21
By Dr. Bill Honigman, Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
COVID & MFA REALITY CHECK
1,020,409 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*
408,163 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**
This is now our 127th consecutive weekly PDA Online Town Hall since #COVID19 first hit the U.S. in the spring of 2020. And today, we must report that due to the Omicron B.5 variant, in particular, as World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week, “New waves of the virus demonstrate again that COVID19 is nowhere near over.”
The Harvard University tracking center is reporting the U.S. COVID19 total death toll today at 1,020,409 lost souls. As we know, that means an estimated 408,163 Americans who have died in the U.S. from COVID19 would still be alive today if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll (MFA) system of Universal Healthcare in place to deal with this and other ongoing medical crises.
Once again, that means the U.S. remains the world leader in COVID19 deaths, and that also means about 1,000 more Americans died unnecessarily from COVID just this week, as U.S. politicians, mired in the blame game on the economy, gun violence, and abortion rights, continue in absentia to support the Healthcare status quo.
This week saw continued rising or spiking numbers of cases in most of the wealthier countries of the world, with the exception of France, currently showing some declining numbers. The global vaccination rate continues to slowly rise, now at an estimated 62.3% of world population, while the U.S. currently is rising even more slowly at 67.6% fully vaccinated. That puts us ranked in the world this week at No. 63 – just behind Lithuania and Sri Lanka now, and just ahead of Rwanda and India, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
And Wyoming continues as the state with the lowest vaccination rate, again this week at only 51.4%, about 10 points below the world average.
As the B.5 variant continues infecting even those already recovered from infections due to the earlier strains, racking up subsequent increasing hospitalizations and deaths, it is noted that some 80% or more of those more serious cases, are among the unvaccinated. So, public health experts around the world are still advocating for completion of the entire vaccination series, including boosters and second boosters to those who qualify, and still advocate for reducing public exposure, including the wearing of masks in all crowded settings, especially indoors.
This week also saw more Democratic members of Congress, reporting themselves as newly COVID19-positive, including such notables as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Congressional Progressive Caucus Dep. Chair, Katie Porter. This would appear to be paradoxically skewed in favor their less compliant Republican counterparts, at least until it’s considered that their partisan opponents are also known to be testing themselves less, and therefore reporting results less overall than the more Public Health compliant Democrats.
Finally, in COVID19 news, as the U.S. awaits release of a vaccine that covers more of these newer more contagious variants, and the White House now is asking that second booster shots be expanded to include all adults instead of just those considered to be at higher risk, there continues to be little or no progress on expanding Healthcare at the national level that would further mitigate the suffering and loss of life that continues due to this and other ongoing medical crises still affecting our country, and in particular its most underserved communities.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday of this week that “Roughly 13 million Americans could see their health insurance costs rise next year – and millions more may not have care at all – unless congressional Democrats can reach agreement over their long-stalled economic spending legislation”. This, they contend depends on some kind of deal to be struck with none other than, you guessed it, West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, the chief defender of the corporate status quo.
None of us should hold our breath for that to happen, and once again it begs the question of new leadership needed, and better Democrats, not just more Democrats, to bring about these much-needed changes.
Thanks again, please stay healthy everyone, and onward!