MFA and COVID19 Update – September 27, 2020
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week, the world is up another 2 million known cases to over 32 million now, and deaths due to COVID19 this week are up by 11,000 more globally than last week’s increase.
And, here in the US, what had been recognized as a flattening or declining curve that we experienced in August and most of this month, is now appearing to increase once again, at least slightly so far. Or as one COVID19 watchdog source described the national pandemic outlook this week, “…As Trump tries to change the subject to culture wars and continues his assault on election integrity, the U.S. death rate sails past the 200,000 mark with no reasonable hope for mitigation in the foreseeable future.”
Notably, the CDC this week was caught reversing itself for what appears to be entirely political purposes after first acknowledging then taking down from their website note of the World Health Organization’s concern that transmission of the virus may actually exceed the generally recommended 6 feet of social distancing, and does so via respiratory droplets such as with talking, singing, and shouting. That’s a major setback for the CDC, a formerly revered institution, in its ability to act as a credible resource to a very frightened nation.
In the various states, the five with the highest death rates in the last week are Arkansas, Mississippi, Virginia, Florida, and North Dakota. So far in the U.S., the virus has a nearly 3 percent case fatality rate. More than 90 percent of deaths involving COVID-19 were people over the age of 55. And more than 40 percent of deaths occurred in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
And of course, it continues to take a disproportionate toll on communities of color in this country. Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans are more than two-and-a-half times more likely to get the virus than whites. Those same groups are roughly five times more likely to be hospitalized. And Black Americans, in particular are twice as likely to die.
This week as well, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that found that states are still facing shortages of protective equipment and testing supplies because of high global demand and the limited production of those items within the U.S. This of course impairs our ability to deal with this national health emergency, and to expect even a hope of doing as well as all of the other major countries of the world, most of whom have MFA-like systems in place to allocate resources where needed, especially once it’s determined by testing and tracing exactly where they are needed.
All of this is crying out for leadership, and again, if this COVID19 pandemic is not a giant wake up call for #MedicareForAll, then I don’t know what is.
In case you missed it, here’s the recording of 9/27 Healthcare Emergency Town Hall here.