MFA and COVID19 Update – May 15, 2022
By Dr. Bill Honigman, Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
COVID & MFA REALITY CHECK
998,327 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*
399,330 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**
This is now our 118th consecutive weekly PDA Online Town Hall since #COVID19 first hit the US in the spring of 2020, and today once again, we must report that the United States continues as the world’s leader in total deaths due to this public health tragedy.
In fact, as of this writing, nearly one million Americans are thought to have died of the disease. Both the Johns Hopkins and Harvard University tracking centers are placing today’s figure at just about 1500 below that mark, so an estimated 998,327 COVID19 cumulative deaths in the US to date is the number at least this week to try and wrap our heads around. That’s a number that conservative estimates say would be about equivalent to the size of the crowd that assembled for the first Obama inauguration in 2009, as seen in the photo below.
And as Electoral-Vote.com noted this week, “if you were to compile a bibliographic encyclopedia of all the deceased [due to COVID19], and give each a 1,000-word entry to document their life stories, the encyclopedia would be about 650,000 pages, would fill over 1,500 volumes, and would weigh about 3 tons.”
Similarly, we must report as we have done here regularly that according to public health scientists and health policy experts some 40% of those American COVID19 deaths, or 399,330 victims to date would still be alive today if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll (MFA) system in place to deal with this crisis.
The U.S. currently is thought to be only 66.9% fully vaccinated. That puts us ranked in the world at No. 63 – just behind Sri Lanka and just ahead of Mongolia. Nowhere close to the level of protection provided in the other advanced countries of the world.
And Wyoming now is the worst U.S. state in total population to be fully vaccinated, at only 51%, a full 10 percentage points below the world’s average of population fully vaxxed.
Be that as it may, and despite the Republican efforts in Congress and around the various states where they have control, to try to make the pandemic outcomes even worse yet, as a means to further discourage Democrats and others from turning out to vote in these upcoming midterm elections, there are champions still determined to lead on the pathway to correct all of this.
Just this week, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders reintroduced his companion Medicare For All Act, S.4204, with a sizable number of original cosponsors, including two Senators each from HI, MA, and NM, respectively. And he did so with less fanfare than in past years but with clear determination, by conducting a hearing on the bill in the Senate Budget Committee, which he now chairs, bringing in the voices of health care providers, policy leaders, and in particular officials from the Congressional Budget Office to corroborate what is well known fact, that MFA will save money, lots of money, and save lives, lots of lives, especially at times of dire need such as these.
Finally, it must be noted that in these politically trying times in America, there are innumerable inspiring voices being heard on this issue, in particular from candidates now running for office at all levels of public service. These champions get it, articulate it, and are mobilizing communities and voters as we speak, to be the change that we need, to see this atrocity be forever a thing of the past.
Of course, all we can do is all we must do.
Thanks for that, and onward!