MFA and COVID19 Update – October 31, 2021
By Dr. Bill Honigman, Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week, world new cases and deaths due to #COVID19 continue with varying trends, declining status in the US, India, and Brazil, leveling in Turkey, France, and Spain, but some notable increases still in the UK and Russia.
The world’s percent vaccinated rose just another percentage point and a half, and is now estimated to be some 38.8% of the total global population, and the total global death toll is now a stunning 5 million plus.
The United States, by contrast, is thought to be at 58.57% of our total population now fully vaccinated. That’s ahead of Brazil at 56%, but just behind Lithuania, El Salvador, and Hungary. That makes us 51st in world ranking, not #1, not #2, not even in the top ten or twenty, #51. We’re number 51, we’re number 51!
And that’s not spin, that’s data per the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
And the worst state in the US this week, is now once again West Virginia at 41.01%, overtaking Wyoming which has managed this week to maintain its 43% vaccinated status from last week. They’re #51, when DC is included, as it should be.
So welcome back to the country’s worst vaccine-performing state, West Virginia, home of US Senator and lead cheerleader for big oil and big coal, Joe Manchin, proving once again how little the lives of your constituents, and the rest of the world’s inhabitants, for that matter, do in fact mean to you.
Here in the US, public health experts are optimistic that the recent declining total COVID cases and hospitalizations, with a peak this late summer and early fall thought mostly to have been caused by the Delta variant, might represent even the last major surge of this pandemic, at least for us.
And with the FDA’s approval this week of emergency authorization for use of the Pfizer vaccine in children ages 5 through 11, a full 10% of the total US population that is now eligible, this also brings great hope for further conferred community immunity, and a return to the all-important social activities possibly just in time for the winter months ahead.
Nonetheless, the US total COVID19 death toll has now reached 745,378 lost souls. And that means, as we know according to Public Health experts, that as many as 298,151 people that we have lost due to COVID19 here in the US, would still be alive today if we had a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system, instead of the commercial based non-system of big insurance and big pharma capitalist intermediaries that hold us all captive to their immoral extortion and racketeering business practices, supported by the likes of Republicans and DINOs (Democrats In Name Only), still sheltered by our very corrupt and very undemocratic political system.
This week also, progressive Democrats in Washington DC continued their vigilant position to #HoldTheLine in the reconciliation negotiations on Capitol Hill. Cutting back from the estimated 10 to 12 trillion dollars over 10 years needed according to climate scientists, down to just over one half billion for that purpose, and the apparent concessions by the White House to eliminate nearly all of Medicare expansion including drug price negotiations, remains a non-starter at least to those of us who are advocates. Incremental progress means nothing when up against death to us all as individuals or as entire populations, as we now understand the science of both climate and public health have both made all too clear.
The Manchinema doctrine continues in its unprecedented and obscenely undemocratic manner to highlight where, at least in the case of Manchin, how his positions in this process, according to WaPo, “uniquely hurt his own state” and especially as “…West Virginians are not only older, sicker and poorer than most of the nation: they are, by some measures, more reliant on the federal government than any other state.”
This political intransigence, even in the face of perhaps the greatest public health threat ever faced by any generation alive today in this country, or perhaps even around the world, is absolutely mind boggling. And as Janan Ganesh at the Financial Times said about it this week, “By far the most striking thing about the pandemic is how little it has changed politics…few have been toppled in consequence. Few have even been made to sweat.”
Nonetheless, the charge for preventing human suffering and loss of life continues. These existential threats of climate, health, poverty, racism, war, and political corruption must be addressed and acted upon.
And this struggle for peace and social justice, and the epic battle against COVID19 continues.