MFA and COVID19 Update – June 5, 2022
By Dr. Bill Honigman, Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
COVID & MFA REALITY CHECK
1,005,300 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*
402,120 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**
This week, world new cases of #COVID19 and the #Omicron variant were reported as with still rising numbers most notably in the U.S., India, and Brazil, with leveling in Russia, and declining numbers mostly elsewhere. Global deaths have now surpassed 6.3 million, and some 61% of the world’s population is thought to be currently fully vaccinated, although still many more remain unvaccinated in the poorer global south.
In fact, despite the continued rising numbers in the US and elsewhere, the Chinese are now reporting dramatic decreases in new cases of COVID19 and Omicron variants. They have begun a gradual reopening from their two-month complete lockdown that has had hundreds of millions of their residents confined to their homes.
Meanwhile, this week here in the U.S., we saw the public health issue of gun violence capture the attention of Americans, with some 14 incidents of mass shootings over the 72 hours of the Memorial Day weekend alone, ironically enough. And this despite, as reported by The Guardian, the U.S. “being in its fourth biggest COVID surge, according to official case counts”, and the Washington Post reporting the U.S. “with new coronavirus cases at least five times higher than this point last year” for the first of the summer holiday weekend.
The Harvard University Daily Tracker is now reporting 1,005,300 total U.S. COVID19 deaths to date. This means, as we know, that an estimated 402,120 Americans who have died from this pandemic, according to the public health experts of the Lancet Commission, would still be alive today if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll (MFA) system in place to correct those inadequacies and inequities of our American Healthcare system, which as we also know, provides for the wealthy and the medical profiteers just fine, and screws everyone else.
Meanwhile, the overall vaccination rate in this country remains at a paltry 67.2% of our total population. That ranks us still at #63 this week in the world, just behind Sri Lanka, and just ahead of El Salvador. And Wyoming once again earns the “worst state” title for vaccinations in the U.S. at just 51.2%, which is 10 percentage points below the world average of 61%. That’s rugged individualism, bordering on barbarism, I would say.
Elsewhere, in the civilized world, there’s good news now that COVID19 vaccines might be released domestically for small children, aged 5 years and younger, as soon as June 21st. This is very welcome news especially for families, and extended families, and caregivers and educators, in particular, who have been dealing first hand with the issue of viral transmissibility all of these many months now. So, we can ALL literally breathe a bit easier by reducing the spread and the development of new variants by extending vaccines to this important cohort.
Unfortunately, this week is also seeing bad news for prospects of continued government subsidies for COVID relief, through Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA assistance, as well as to programs for ongoing testing and the various forms of anti-viral treatment. These lifelines are being held up primarily by Senate Republicans and a couple of status quo Democrats in a not-too-subtle attempt to show a weakened Democratic leadership team from the White House on down, and to appease their corporate donors, of course.
When the solution to the existential threats of climate, health, poverty, war, racism, and political corruption is more progressive change, so clearly exemplified in legislation like MFA, the Green New Deal, gun safety measures, and the codification of Roe v. Wade, and the Equal Rights Amendment, how is it that Democratic leadership continues to box itself into a corner, suppressing enthusiasm, resulting in what’s likely to be an abysmal voter turnout in these midterm elections?
And just who is it that leadership is protecting in doing so? Clearly not those likely to suffer or die, as we’ve seen from a lack of interest in providing the public with needed Healthcare during this COVID19 crisis, instead of moving forward with the obvious solution of MFA.
And just who and how many more in leadership, who so adamantly defend the status quo, do we need to replace to effect this change?
And most critically, how quickly can we make this change happen to prevent even more wanton suffering and loss of life, or worse yet, mass extinction?
Clearly, the time to act is now.
Thanks, and onward!