MFA and COVID19 Update – September 21, 2020

Sep 21, 2020

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


This week, the world continues to deal with this global public health crisis, up another 2 million known cases to over 30 million now, with almost 1 million known total deaths.  Also, there are now known resurgences of the disease in Europe, probably prompted by summer vacations and the return especially of the youth to school and work environments, and where especially some of the more economically challenged countries of Eastern Europe are seeing rising death rates, prompting new national lockdowns.

Meanwhile, the US numbers continue to lead the world in both known cases per million and deaths per million by about 10 times the world average.

Our total now is about 199,000 deaths in the US due to COVID19, up by 5,597 from last week.  Sadly among the various states, we are still seeing per capita death rates higher in those states known even prior to the pandemic as “Healthcare deserts” which includes those red states with large rural areas that are not only challenged with adverse social determinants of health, but also state and national leadership that promotes disrespect for the admonitions of public health scientists, thanks especially to Fox News and the incessant Trumpublican disinformation campaign surrounding COVID19 as well as Healthcare as a Human Right more generally.

New case records have been set now in Montana, North Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  Of concern also is Puerto Rico that is now showing record numbers of new deaths, and disease investigators have now released a list of hotel-casinos in the Las Vegas area thought to have significantly contributed to new exposures.

All of this is crying out for leadership, not just on the national level, but also at the state and local levels to effectively deal with this pandemic, and ready us for more to come with rising global temperatures.  Here we are 6 months into it, and still no clear direction forward.  Or as Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota has said, “Where is our national plan?”  And, ”How are we this far along and we don’t have one?”

Again, if this COVID19 pandemic is not a giant wake up call for better leadership as well as for the systems we need to have in place to deal with it, like #MedicareForAll, then I don’t know what is.

And this week, reports of medical abuses perpetrated against women in detention centers came forward, at a time now closely associated with a nation grieving for the passing an icon for gender justice and justice overall, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

With all of that in mind, the focus of Sunday’s PDA Healthcare Emergency Town Hall will be on the fight for Medicare for All, as one such plan to achieve #HealthcareJustice…

1 Comment

  1. Barbara Warren

    Thank you for your on-going and relentlessly excellent work, Dr. Bill!
    Yesterday’s town hall was very interesting and engaging.
    Let’s not forget our Community Health Centers, Public Hospitals, the VA and military health care, all of which are already nationally funded and do excellent work for many who are uninsured and have the greatest need. The health care providers who work in these systems and agencies are long term unsung heroes! The systems of care they serve in are also under the radar and models for future health care for all.
    P.S. The free clinic that I helped start when I was in NW medical school is now the largest federally funded Community Health Center in the country and cares for the most health care neglected community members in Chicago! “Never doubt…..” as Margaret Mead said about our work!