MFA and COVID19 Update – September 6, 2021
By Dr. Bill Honigman, Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week, world cases of #COVID19 were up by another 3.4 million reported new cases, that’s about 1.2 million less than last week’s rise in new cases, and total global deaths rose by another 52,788, an increase of about 19 thousand lower than last week’s rise, which is relatively good news. Case numbers overall were still rising slightly in the US and in India this week, while leveling in the UK, and declining everywhere else in most of the world.
And global vaccinations again improved this week, with an estimated 27.9% of the total world population now thought to be fully vaccinated compared to last week’s 26.9% overall. Again, that compares with the US’s worst state for percentage vaccinated of Alabama, which has improved its vaccination rate this week to 38.6% from last week’s 37% of its total population. But sadly, much of the world’s global south as yet remains completely unvaccinated.
The US death rate due to COVID this week surpassed the ten thousand per week mark for the first time since last winter’s peak, with 10,821 reported new lost souls nationally, for a total now for the pandemic here on our shores of 647,887, still the world’s leader in COVID19 deaths of any nation on earth.
That is shameful indeed, especially knowing that public health and other social scientists agree that some 259,154 of those lost lives, as well as trillions of personal and public dollars, and countless bankruptcies, foreclosures, and evictions would have been spared if we had #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll throughout all of this.
In fact, what has the overall human cost of this pandemic without universal healthcare been here in the US, while billionaires flourish under corporate welfare provided to them by our lobbyist-fueled seats of public policy? Incalculable, to be sure.
An example of how bad things got this week comes to us in a report from the state of Idaho, which describes their having reached a trifecta of record ER visits, hospitalizations, and ICU patients due to COVID19 and the Delta variant.
And looking at the red state – blue state divide once again, we see how the politics of division has played misinformation against trusted sources of medical information in the anti-vax and unconventional treatments craze, to a point where almost every county in the US this week was considered to have “highly transmissible” status by the Delta variant.
And, we saw community resources in Idaho and those other red states in particular strained to the point of local public health officials begging their fellow inhabitants to reject the dogma presented as fact on cable news and the internet rather than to accept advice from trusted medical providers, if indeed that were made available to them, in favor of the science behind vaccine safety and wisdom of following basic public health measures.
Public health in the US is a travesty in so many ways, and largely a result of corporate largess. Inadequate medical care, as we know, puts us all at risk, as comorbidities such as poorly treated diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity, allow infectious diseases like COVID19 to better take hold in the population at large.
Toxic exposures, also allowed all too often because of corporate and industrial influence, are particularly injurious in our lower income and BIPOC communities. Deaths due to gun violence and over-policing are entirely preventable with better regulation and more directed nonviolent interventions, again highly political and yet highly moral in consequence.
On the plus side, the Biden administration announced this week that the Department of Health and Human Services is preparing to launch an office that will treat climate change as a public health issue designed to address the health risks including those that “disproportionately affect poor and minority communities”.
Nonetheless, this week saw the highly political Public Health issue of abortion rights take a monumental legal hit, threatening to throw us back well before the modern era of Women’s Rights to the bygone age of the Salem Witch Hunts, with neighbors pitted against neighbors, incentivized with cash rewards to drag sympathetic souls into court to defend their actions and their life savings. All of that because someone might have felt compelled to help a pregnant person who knew in her heart of hearts that she would do whatever it took to not bring a new pregnancy to term, at least not at that time in her life.
And make no mistake about it, this is a Public Health issue because prior to Roe v. Wade we had a Public Health menace in this country called Septic Abortion — that’s an infection created by an attempted termination of a pregnancy generally performed in unsterile and unsafe surroundings, and women died from it in significant numbers. That essentially disappeared after Roe v. Wade, just as deaths among children due to overdoses from domestic products essentially disappeared after the advent and implementation of safety-caps on medicine bottles and other domestic products were forced into place.
Abortion rights must be defended, just as all Public Health rights must be defended and advocated for, to save lives. #DefendAbortion #CodifyRoe
The Hyde amendment must be repealed, to further save lives. #RepealHyde
Medicare must be expanded and improved, and made available to everyone living in these United States, or we can’t expect to ever rank among those advanced, and even civilized countries of the world who uniformly outperform us in every category of health outcome and health equity, from life expectancy, infant and maternal mortality, and now COVID19 deaths, as well.
And now is the time for our leaders, and for all of us, to step up once again for these human rights and address these Healthcare emergencies.