Sep 14, 2020

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


This week, as the US turned to remembrances of one tragic public health nightmare that took place 19 years ago on September 11th, 2001, the world continues to deal with the global public health nightmare of COVID19, as a new record number of cases in one week worldwide hit the 2 million mark.  And, the weekly increase of COVID19 deaths this week is 42% higher than last week’s increase, globally.  With the US numbers having decreased slightly, new cases and deaths especially in India have now surpassed those of the other “leaders” competing for the title of worst outcomes, including the US, Brazil, Russia, and several other Latin American countries in particular.

In the US the total now is about 194,000 deaths which would be the equivalent of about 64 9/11 attacks.  All in less than 7 months’ time.  And we are on tract to reach 200,000 total deaths from COVID19 by the middle of next week.

Among the various states, we still see per capita leaders of COVID19 casualties in those states with fewer resources for Healthcare and poor social determinants of health, specifically.  In raw numbers, TX has now surpassed CA in total deaths despite having only three-fourths the population size, and FL coming in a close third place in this matchup despite having only about half the population of CA.  In a country void of national leadership on this public health crisis and that is void of a national health system like MFA, is it any wonder that those states taking more initiative would be having better outcomes?

The national science experiment, allowed by one such state showing exceptionally poor leadership on this issue, that was the recent Sturgis South Dakota motorcycle rally is now recognized as a “super-spreader event”, with as many as about half of the estimated 500,000 participants, now thought to be COVID19 infected, and costing the public at large likely about $12B in adverse effects, which I suspect is a very conservative estimate.

And this week saw further set-backs in the development of a vaccine for the virus, leading public health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci to predict that we likely won’t see a return to pre-pandemic socializing until late into next year.

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.