MFA and COVID19 Update – March 6, 2022

Mar 7, 2022 | PDA Blog

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

This week, world new cases due to #COVID19 and the #Omicron variant thankfully continued to decline, although total global deaths now approach a shocking 6 million mark.  About 56% of the world’s population is thought to be currently fully vaccinated, but still tremendous inequity exists when comparing the countries of the global north to the poorer global south.  This of course only serves to perpetuate the prevalence of the virus and its mutated offspring variants.

Meanwhile, the United States overall vaccination rate lingers at about 65.8%, which puts us back down once again ranked at #61, just behind Monaco #60, and just ahead of Sri Lanka #62.  And Alabama still holds the “worst state” status for vaccinations in the U.S. sadly at 50.3%, which is almost six percentage points less than the world average.  I guess that seems appropriate for the state with “We dare defend our rights” as their motto, but might be more apt if it could be amended to read “We dare defend our rights… to die needlessly and kill countless innocent others in the process”.

Again this week, the United States remains first in the world in confirmed COVID19 deaths, with 957,259 total COVID deaths to date.  This means of course, as we have been following here, that some 382,903 of those US COVID19 deaths or “missing Americans” as author Michael Lewis calls them, would still be alive today if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system of #UniversalHealthcare in this country, as exists especially among the other advanced countries, but even in many of the poorer countries elsewhere in the world.  And that’s according to public health and social scientists, not some dubious media source.

As mentioned, this week again saw even further continued declining numbers of Omicron and serious COVID19 related illness worldwide, although a few hot-spots still exist in places.  Mask mandates and public gathering restrictions globally have eased, with few exceptions including some very notable ones such as in major transit hubs and medical treatment settings, this while the concept of “pandemic” shifts to become “endemic”.  And our collective attention on this issue is necessarily shifting from acute strain to vigilant monitoring for signs of resurgence.

But what attention are we paying to the systems and leadership issues that have resulted in that phenomenally poor performance, and especially the despicable neglect for those most at risk in this country that we see within the statistics of our own COVID19 casualties?   In particular, how do we address the stunning impact this pandemic has had on our working poor, communities of color, and the elderly in America?

If we can now take a collective momentary breath of relief from this pandemic, shouldn’t we now also address the horrible inequities and inadequacies that led us to the sorry state of untold and unjust suffering and loss that we’ve experienced in these two years?

Bloomberg News just 2 days ago reported, that some 56% of US adults recently surveyed, now owe medical debt, and a large amount of that came now from COVID19 related care.  Also, almost a quarter of those owed more than $10,000, which they noted is “something unheard of in other developed countries”, and that “61% of respondents overall who have employer-provided insurance said that they have medical debt” most often due to ER visits and unplanned hospitalizations.  Leading Bloomberg to conclude that, “having insurance or not made little difference”.  Their words, not mine.

Clearly, for the sake of this one institution, commercial health insurance, and adding in the protection given by American politicians for the Mafia business model of predatory practices in both big insurance and big pharma, we have settled for less Healthcare, including more preventable deaths, and more personal debt for ourselves and for our families.  

When do we as a country say, “Enough!”?  And who can we call upon to lead this charge?

We are the ones, and the time is now!

RSVP HERE for the next PDA Sunday Progressive Town Hall, Sundays, 4pm ET.

Watch the previous PDA Healthcare Emergency Town Halls here.

Watch the previous PDA Sunday Progressive Town Halls here.

1 Comment

  1. Elsa Schafer

    Outstanding, yet again, Dr. Bill!