MFA and COVID19 Update – September 26, 2021
By Dr. Bill Honigman, Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week, global new cases of #COVID19 grew to over 231 million and cumulative deaths are believed now to be over 4.7 million. Thankfully, at least all developed countries are now showing leveling or declining numbers.
And global vaccinations continue to gain, now with an estimated 33% of the total world population thought to be fully vaccinated, compared to last week’s 31.8%. Again, that compares with the U.S.’ total percentage vaccinated estimated now at 55.6%, with the red states still only in the lower 40s percentage range for their populations vaccinated.
For example, West Virginia reports now still only 40.2% of its population vaccinated to date, that’s up only 0.1% higher from last week for that state, despite the crisis of the moment there with the Delta variant, and a record 340 COVID deaths in that state so far in the last three weeks, alone.
This week, the US surpassed the 675,000 believed to have died from the flu epidemic of 1918, with a total COVID19 death toll here reported now of 687,876. That’s with 14,239 Americans who died from COVID19 just this week.
And as we know, an estimated 40%, or some 275,150 of those who have died in the US due to this pandemic, it is believed by public health experts, would be alive today if our elected policy-makers saw fit to put into place a #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll system of #UniversalHealthcare. That’s 5,695 victims of COVID this week alone who would still be alive today if we had Medicare for All, now when we need it most.
Sadly, we still have status quo politicians fighting against even the very modest and very incremental steps of Medicare Expansion proposed in the President’s own reconciliation plan currently before Congress.
And sadly as well, medical misinformation continues to mislead a sizable constituency away from available vaccinations, including a third shot “booster” now recommended by the FDA and the CDC for 65 and older and others at risk who are now 6 months past their Pfizer mRNA second shot received last spring. And a small but boisterous cultural revolution opposing public health measures, seen as tyrannical rather than life-saving, sadly persists as well.
Those of us who believe in and wish to follow the science of epidemiology and virology, of course, eagerly await the booster shots for everyone else, and the initial vaccines for our largest as yet unvaccinated cohort of the population, the smallest and most vulnerable among us, those 11 years old and younger, our children.
And as believers in science, we await the Single Payer Medicare for All solution that supports the universal testing, contact tracing, and treatment of pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma, COPD, substance use, and others that put us all at risk for COVID19 and other diseases, that would allow us to undo what has made us the worst performing country in the global Olympics of this pandemic.
And those of us who further understand and believe in the science of public health and economics, eagerly await not just the expansion of Medicare to include life-sustaining essential services for all seniors and the disabled including full dental, vision, hearing, and negotiated drug prices, to stop the extortion model business practices of not just big pharma but also of big insurance that price their products based on what our lives are worth to us, not on what it costs them to produce and distribute their products and services.
We also eagerly await the reintroduction by Senator Bernie Sanders of his Medicare for All bill to compliment that of Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s HR1976, and going the next step to Healthcare equity and Healthcare Justice.
So once again, we ask, are there just too many bought-off politicians in America to make progress on this existential issue of Healthcare as a Human Right, whether at the federal, state, or local level?
What other arguments need to be made to compel more to the side of saving money and saving lives as we know that science tells us a Single Payer Medicare for All system will do? And who else needs to be recruited to lead in this struggle?
I believe, once again, the answer is to look within ourselves.