MFA and COVID19 Update – September 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…