OpEd Intro to PDA Healthcare Emergency Town Hall #32 Sept 6, 2020
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
So far in this year of global public health nightmare, we are seeing little if any sign of COVID19 disappearing in the summer heat as was predicted by our own Liar-In-Chief back in the spring, with another one and a half million new cases added globally just this week alone to what is believed to be approximately 26 million worldwide, and with the US still leading the pack in known cases and deaths due to COVID19, with 5,798 new deaths this week and overall fatalities of 188,409 which is about the size of the entire city of Mobile AL. This is also by the way, more than 10 times the deaths per week here in the US than were seen in even the worst week of US casualties during the entire Vietnam War.
TX and FL continue to lead on deaths per capita of all the states, although we’re now seeing a surge of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states.
A bit of good news in the midst of all of this, we did see a few brave progressive Democrats including a great friend of PDA [Progressive Democrats of America], Rep. Jim McGovern of MA, this week sign onto HR6906 the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act of Sanders/Jayapal, which brings the total still to only 28 cosponsors in the far too corporate dominated US House of Representatives.
Again the Trumpublicans’ response to all this is to elevate more COVID deniers or #COVIDIDIOTS to positions of importance like the latest addition, Dr. Scott Atlas, a Neuroradiologist and fellow at the rightwing think tank, the Hoover Institute, who believes that all we need to do is to protect the most vulnerable such as those over 60 years of age, and those with comorbid medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer survivors, etc. – in other words protect about a full half of the entire US population, from those children now being sent back to school too soon, or from those continuing to refuse to practice common sense public health measures like wearing a mask and social distancing. All for the sake of opening more businesses, like bars and amusement parks, that despite everyone’s desire to see active again, would by nobody’s definition be considered essential.
This move is clearly designed more as an attempt to bolster their re-election prospects than anything vaguely resembling concern for those most affected. It’s a feeble attempt to gloss over the horrific economic realities of more permanent layoffs, overwhelmed social support services, and a critically divided Congress unable to pass even a renewal for basic economic relief to those who need it.
And of course, it does nothing at all to alleviate the mass insecurity of Healthcare tied to employment and commercialized to the point of priorities based on shareholders’ interest, instead of the interests of the real stakeholders in a public health emergency, we the people.
Again, as we’ve been saying now for weeks, this COVID19 pandemic is not just a giant wake up call for better leadership but also for the systems we need our leaders to put into place, like #MedicareForAll and the #GreenNewDeal.
With all of that in mind, the focus of today’s PDA Healthcare Emergency Town Hall will honor Labor Day by once again bringing forward voices within the Labor Movement who get it and are advocating on behalf of #MedicareForAll and the #GreenNewDeal to bring more and better health security as well as more and better job security to their membership in this way.