MFA and COVID19 Update – October 2, 2022
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
COVID & MFA REALITY CHECK
1,055,536 Total COVID19 deaths in US to date*
422,214 US COVID19 deaths prevented with MFA**
This is the PDA Progressive Online Sunday Town Hall for October 2nd 2022, which is, as we now have just begun the last full month of midterm campaigns, our 138th weekly town hall meeting that we have convened since the COVID19 pandemic began back in the spring of 2020.
This week, world new cases of #COVID19, were reported to be declining in areas like the U.S., Russia, Japan, and South Korea, but increasing in others like France, Germany, Italy, and the U.K. With world deaths due to the virus at an estimated 6.54 million, only about 63.7% of the world’s population is thought to be fully vaccinated. Only about 68% have received at least one dose of vaccine, and sadly only 22.7% of those in low-income countries, predominantly of the global south, having received even just a single first dose of vaccine.
The United States continues to be the world leader in COVID19 deaths, with the Harvard University Daily Tracker today reporting that the U.S. total death toll is 1,055,536 lost souls to date. And, as we’ve been following here since the Lancet Commission study on this subject was first published in February of 2021, this means that an estimated 422,214 Americans now have died from this pandemic to date, whose deaths would have been prevented if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll (MFA) system in place to adequately and fairly provide the Healthcare needed for this public health challenge as well as for others.
That’s an additional 1,262 who died unnecessarily just this week from COVID19 in the US, approximately 180 preventable COVID deaths per day now, because policy and lawmakers in this country refuse to move forward with MFA and Universal Healthcare.
I mean, I hate to sound like Margie Greene here, but Republicans and establishment Democrats are quite literally killing us for the sake of campaign cash from their medical industrial shareholders. Don’t you just hate that term “shareholders”, I know I sure do. As if a share of stock is somehow more valuable than a share in one’s own life, either in quality or in quantity, or both. It’s just unbelievable.
Anyway, the overall vaccination rate in this country remains at only 68.4% of our total population, and that ranks us globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, once again at #43 this week, just behind Thailand and Israel, and just ahead of Panama and Laos.
And Wyoming continues to hold the status of worst vaccinated and therefore most uncivilized state in the U.S. at just 52.1% fully vaxxed.
Sadly, despite the roll out just these last couple of weeks of the new multivalent COVID19 booster shot, that would attack especially the more infectious and more virulent newer Omicron variants, and which was made available once again to all in this country 12 years of age and older, it was reported this week that a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found more than half of those eligible for the new vaccine even knew very little or even anything at all about this new booster vaccination. And CBS News reported just yesterday that only 7.6 million Americans so far have received the updated shots, which is a paltry 4% of the 209 million people who are in fact eligible for them.
The NYT is calling this a “visibility problem”. I would call it a commercial shareholders systems inadequacy problem.
The new variants and subvariants do pose a serious threat as we enter the colder fall and winter months, with especially the newly emerging Omicron BA.2.75.2 which has been characterized as having a high level of “immune escape” making it a more deadly disease, and the Omicron BA.220.127.116.11 or BF.7 as it is otherwise known, which is apparently more transmissible than the COVID19 that we have dealt with up until now.
And according to UC San Francisco infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong , once again, it is older Americans and those with chronic diseases of any kind that will most likely catch and succumb to these more infectious and more serious forms of COVID this season, in particular if they don’t get the latest boosters. As Dr. Chin-Hong says, “And as more people get infected, the older people will have an easier time getting infected,” and “their immune system needs to be prodded more frequently through booster shots.”
Meanwhile horror stories abound dealing with personal costs extracted from the medical industrial complex, not only from death and disability due to COVID19, or even long-COVID, but also from other public health issues such as obesity and chronic disease, trauma in our homes, in our schools, and in our streets, climate catastrophes, poverty, systemic racism, and unrecognized and untreated mental health illnesses. If our present non-system of commercial shareholders-directed priorities can’t even handle getting booster shots into the arms of those who need them, which is everyone, how can we ever expect them to protect us from all of the rest?
No, that can only come about when Public Health needs are met by public priorities, not commercial shareholder interests.
And when our elected officials respond to their public constituencies by implementing policy that meets those public needs, that’s when they can expect to be re-elected. Otherwise, we must turn to replacing the status quo with new thinkers and new leaders who are ready, willing, and able to turn the tide of public thinking, and direct us away from the interests of commercial shareholders and move us toward personal and public interests that will protect us from these existential threats, provide us with real domestic tranquility, and the ability to live our lives with the freedom and justice that we all deserve.
And expanded and improved MFA will, as we know, save money and save lives. It’s past time, and especially now in these midterm elections, now is the time for us to elect more champions to make that happen.
Thanks again, and onward!