MFA and COVID19 Update – May 30, 2021
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week worldwide new cases of #COVID19 rose by a third less than last week’s rise and global deaths declined slightly. Again, this is welcome news, although India in particular is still in dire trouble, and other countries in the region such as Vietnam are now showing new and possibly more transmissible variants, and unfortunately only less than 1% of their population so far has been fully vaccinated.
COVAX, the global alliance for vaccine equity, remains undersupplied and unfortunately poorly managed as well. According to at least one global public health critic who wrote this week in the New York Times and said about it, “…and what supply it does get is allocated according to national population, not the seriousness of outbreaks. This needs to change. Our fire department needs more water, and should direct it to where the fire is burning, not every house on the street.”
Here in the US, COVID19 new cases thankfully dropped somewhat week-over-week with the total cases increased by about 1 million less than last week’s increase. However, US COVID deaths, lagging behind the declining case numbers, did reach the tragic milestone of 609,421 total who have died here due to the pandemic, to date.
And, the ongoing missed opportunity to save 40% of those lost lives by having a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system in place, even now because it’s never too late to do so, translates into a stunning 5,693 lives that would have been saved just this week alone, that’s 813 lives saved per day, and some 243,768 mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles who would otherwise have survived this scourge and would still be alive today, had our political leaders done the right thing by now and listened to the needs of the people they were elected to serve instead of listening to those of their corporate donors.
All of this because with Single Payer Medicare for All we would have had not just universal vaccinations, but also universal COVID testing, provision of adequate PPE to our frontline workers, comprehensive contact tracing, and yes, universal treatment of all of the complicating medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and immunocompromising diseases that we know have contributed to the unnecessary and inequitable loss of life and the untold suffering that we’ve seen here in the US due to COVID19.
All of this for the sake of corporate welfare, especially directed at big insurance and big pharma, who continue to operate under the guise of their Mafia-like extortion model of business practice. They offer their services based not on the cost to them to operate and provide those services, but pricing their products to you based on what your life is worth to you. It’s unscrupulous. It’s predatory, and they know it, and they just don’t care that we all know it, too.
And where is the leadership that brings into focus the solutions to all of these criminal business practices and the unjust social determinants of health, that have created “Healthcare deserts”, and justifiably focused attention on the tremendous inequities of race and poverty that have been allowed to plague our ability to respond to any public health challenge, whether of natural or unnatural cause?
And to whom can we point as being most outspoken in addressing these and other existential threats including climate, war, and political corruption, that need to be addressed now, not years or decades from now, before it’s too late to alter the disastrous outcomes predicted by physical and social scientists alike?
For the answers to these questions, as always, we must at least start by looking inside ourselves.