MFA and COVID19 Update – June 19, 2022

Jun 20, 2022 | PDA Blog

photo: PDA’s Dr. Bill Honigman’s Healthcare Not Warfare Speech – We want Bernie rally 2016


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


1,010,145 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*

404,058 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**

*Harvard University Daily Tracker

**Lancet Comm, Feb 2021

This is now our 123rd consecutive weekly PDA Online Town Hall since #COVID19 first hit the U.S. in the spring of 2020.  Today on this Juneteenth Father’s Day Sunday, once again, we must report that the United States continues as the world’s leader in denying life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to all of its people, specifically in the world’s highest death count for any country on Earth for this ongoing pandemic. 

The Harvard University tracking center now reports 1,010,145 COVID19 U.S. total deaths to date.  Which means of course, that according to public health experts an estimated 404,058 of those 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 crisis.  

Again, that’s about 1,000 COVID19 more unnecessary deaths just this week because too many of our elected officials don’t have the political courage to break away from the big money interests in American Healthcare and follow not just the science of virology and vaccinology but also sociology, public health, and economics, and implement MFA, now when we the people, need it most.

The U.S. currently is believed to be only 67.37% fully vaccinated.  That puts us ranked in the world this week at No. 64 – still just behind Sri Lanka, and still just ahead of El Salvador, still nowhere close to the other advanced countries of the world.

And Wyoming is still the worst state in COVID vaccination rate, this week at only 51.3%, now 15 percentage points below the world’s average of 66.3% of population fully vaxxed.  

It should be noted from the above, that the world average of 66% will soon overtake the overall U.S. average of 67% percent fully vaxxed.  And shamefully as well, we should note that still only 17.8% of the world’s low-income countries are believed to be fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, this current “phase” of the pandemic, described this week in a New Yorker interview with Dr. Ashish Jha, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, of “new variants, intermittent surges, and breakthrough infections”, is believed by experts like Dr. Jha to be likely soon controlled by what he calls “more complex immunity” and more to be done to slow the spread, including improved indoor air quality, more widespread testing, and better vaccines.  

Of course, those of us who recognize that the basic need from Day 1 in this pandemic for universal testing, contact tracing, and treatments including all comorbidities like diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions, that put us all at risk for worse COVID19 outcomes, especially those in our underserved communities of color and “Healthcare deserts”, we see that resolution of this crisis could not come about without first eliminating the corrupting commercial interests especially of big insurance and big pharma, and the waste fraud and abuse (including systemic racism) in our non-system of U.S. medical care.  

In fact, by contrast, this outlook from Dr. Jha looks all too much like the steer-the-Titanic-away-from-the-iceberg approach that Dr. Deborah Birx is suggesting she wanted to do but was blocked while serving under then President Trump.  Incremental progress in their thinking, at best.

One bit of shining light this week, did come from the FDA, and just yesterday the CDC’s approval of COVID19 vaccines for children 5 years of age and under, expected to begin this coming week.  This measure alone should lower viral transmission and mutation rates substantially in areas ready to roll them out.  

Sadly, however, according to the McClatchy news service, not all 50 states in the US placed their orders in time with the federal government for vaccine delivery in anticipation as soon as regulators authorized their use in this new cohort.  Florida, it appears, missed the Tuesday deadline. 

So, Florida, the state with their 11th Congressional District represented by Republican Daniel Webster having the highest number of COVID19 deaths of any CD in the country to date, 4,363 of them in fact, also the home state of the GOP governor presumed to be the second-most front-runner seeking their party’s nomination for president in 2024, will now be delayed in getting this life-saving and death-preventing COVID19 treatment out to its people.

Well, if that doesn’t tell us now is the time for new political leadership and MFA, I don’t know what would.

Thanks, and onward!

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Watch the previous PDA Sunday Progressive Town Halls here.