Coronavirus Covid-19 Research History – March 2020

These are excerpts of July 2021 articles. For a quick sense of information and faster summary just read the red marked texted.

My primary source is the extremely well researched RFK jr.’s “Children Health Defense” organization. The CHD is suffering some severe censorship on social media because they are exposing government/corporate media inconsistencies, distortions and censored facts about the Covid pandemic!

2020-03-31 On The Front Line Of COVID-19: Doctor Calls For System Change    What really struck me about that was the day that we saw that massive increase in unemployment applications—three million applications—was also a record day for the stock market to go up. It was the largest increase since 1933 for the stock market, the same day we had these massive unemployment applications. So it really showed the contradictions in the US economy, where the wealthy seem to benefit when the working class suffers. And that bill really that was signed by Trump and passed by Congress, the coronavirus bill, really showed that as well. Big business benefits and the working class survives. It’s a class war? It’s much more sharpened and clarified than it’s ever been before. And I really think these are laying the seeds for significant class conflict in this decade.

2020-03-31 Hospitals tell doctors they’ll be fired if they speak out about lack of gear

2020-03-31 Europe sells medicine to Tehran in first bypass of US sanctions, as Iran grapples with coronavirus outbreak

 2020-03-31 San Diego rent strike: Who’s participating and why

2020-03-31 Can I Get Fired for Talking about Virus Risks?

2020-03-30 A president unfit for a pandemic Much of the suffering and death coming was preventable. The president has blood on his hands.

2020-03-30  Our nativist freakout about China hides the real origin of the coronavirus. It’s political, global, and made in the USA.     Since the coronavirus started making news here in America, it’s been portrayed as a foreign pathogen. It’s not just Donald Trump and his the MAGA fan club. Starting with the Chinese bat soup meme, all kinds of nativist political theories and racist conspiracies have been oozing out of centrist, rightist, and progressive media and political circles — making it seem like the virus is primarily a foreign problem and quite possibly a foreign conspiracy against the United States.

But this nativist blaming isn’t just happening here.   China’s been trying to pin the virus on the American government, and so has Russia. A few weeks back, Russian state news broadcast a segment that tied the virus to an American plot against China.

And really, who knows? Maybe the virus is some shadowy American warfare program that backfired. It wouldn’t the first. See: lyme disease.

Rob Wallace – Looking at how our neoliberal globalized industrial economy pumps out deadly pathogens with increasing frequency.   Rob’s work shows that the real driver of corona isn’t China — it’s our oligarchic, hyper-industrial mode of food production. This monopolized, vertically integrated system was perfected here in America and then exported to every corner of the world. It paves over everything and prioritizes concentration of wealth and maximum profitability for a tiny elite, while offloading the death and destruction it causes to everyone else.    It has created perfect conditions for producing deadly pathogens.

2020-03-30 In Fighting the Coronavirus Pandemic in the US, Nothing Beats Traditional Medicare When it comes to health insurance, older Americans with traditional Medicare and supplemental coverage are the luckiest Americans.

The 36 million people with traditional Medicare have few if any financial or procedural barriers to care, so long as they have insurance that fills gaps in coverage—Medigap, Medicaid, or retiree coverage from a former employer. They can use virtually any doctor or hospital without a referral or prior authorization, their costs are fully covered, and they have no risk of losing their coverage.

What about older adults who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, a health plan run by a corporate health insurer? Unfortunately, they have far less comprehensive coverage than people with traditional Medicare and supplemental insurance. Older adults and people with disabilities in Medicare Advantage plans face huge out-of-pocket costs if they need COVID-19 treatment or any other costly care.

2020-03-30 Reality Has Endorsed Bernie Sanders The debate over the role of government in addressing income inequality, housing insecurity, debt accumulation, and health care continues, now against the grim backdrop of the raging coronavirus. It is difficult to articulate the speed with which the U.S. and, indeed, the world, has descended into an existential crisis. We are experiencing an unprecedented public-health event whose diminution and potential resolution rests with a series of prescriptions, including settlement-in-place orders, that will annihilate the economy. The deadly spread of COVID-19 demands enclosure as a way to starve the searching virus of bodies to inhabit. The consequences of doing so removes workers from work and consumers from consumption; no economy can operate under these conditions.

American life has been suddenly and dramatically upended, and, when things are turned upside down, the bottom is brought to the surface and exposed to the light.

Thus far, the Trump Administration has predictably bungled the response to the coronavirus. But the Democratic Party’s response has been hampered by its shared hostility to unleashing the power of the state, through the advance of vast universal programs, to attend to an unprecedented, devolving catastrophe. About half of American workers receive health insurance through their employer. As job losses mount, millions of workers will lose their insurance while the public-health crisis surges.

Dismissing the necessity of universal health care also shows an obliviousness to the power of medical expenses to alter the course of one’s life. Two-thirds of Americans who file for bankruptcy say that medical debt or losing work while they were sick contributed to their need to do so. The costs of medical treatment become a reason for postponing visits to the doctor. A 2018 poll found that forty-four per cent of Americans delayed seeing a doctor due to its cost. Already, half of Americans polled have said that they worry about the costs of the testing and treatment of COVID-19.

The case has never been clearer for a transition to Medicare for All, but its achievement clashes with the Democratic Party’s decades-long hostility to funding the social-welfare state.

2020-03-30 Biden says coronavirus’ impact on health system hasn’t changed his mind on single-payer

 2020-03-30 Hydroxychloroquine proves ineffective against coronavirus in small Chinese trial

2020-03-30 COVID-19 and the Neoliberal State of Exception  How do neoliberal governments act in emergency situations when the interests of the private sector top their agenda?  For the millions of Americans whose lives and livelihoods will be seriously upended by the time the virus slows down or a vaccine becomes available, this chaotic state of exception is also the moment of waking up to the dangers of living in a country that is wholly dependent on the volatilities of a thoroughly privatized economy, especially since the average American has no control over its fluctuations.

Politicians and TV anchors love to talk about the “American people” as lovers of “freedoms” afforded by the free market. The American people living through this faltering state of exception might actually start changing that perception.  As Naomi Klein has recently argued in her video on “Coronavirus Capitalism” , while impossible ideas can become possible in times of crisis, it matters whose ideas are deemed possible: those of the dispossessed and the vulnerable or those of the already wealthy and the privileged.

This state of exception can be an opportunity for change for the people in the US and elsewhere, but only if we mobilize for comprehensive people-centric safety nets and refuse to be content with trickle-down measures and pro-market corporate bailouts.

2020-03-29 As nations refuse to open ports,10,000 people remain stranded on cruise ships around the world

2020-03-29 Why Coronavirus Is Humanity’s Wake-Up Call  Seeing now the profound failure of our existing institutions, we also awaken to the truth of our possibilities and interconnections with one another and with Earth.  The rapid spread of novel coronavirus is a demonstration of our ability, when the imperative is clear, for deep and rapid global cooperation and change at a previously unimaginable speed and scale.

At the same time, the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic focuses attention in the United States on the disastrous deficiencies of a profiteering health care system.

2020-03-29 Mondaire Jones: How I Would Respond to Coronavirus

Cash Assistance Americans urgently need cash assistance. As a member of Congress, I would support Rep. Maxine Waters’ proposal to guarantee six monthly payments of $2,000 per adult and $1,000 per child to every American. These payments should be disbursed via check, not tax credit. People need this money now, not a year from now, when a hypothetical tax credit would finally be processed. Moreover, the money should be sent to all Americans so that the program can be administered quickly and is guaranteed to reach everyone who may need it before it is too late.

Housing Relief No one should lose their home in this crisis. Nearly 200,000 households in Rockland and Westchester are considered “burdened” by housing costs, as they pay more than 30 percent of their income towards rent or mortgage payments. We must implement a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures and evictions; New York State’s moratorium on foreclosures and evictions is a good model to apply nationally. We must also provide emergency rental assistance to ensure those hit by the economic shock do not fall hopelessly behind on their rent during the moratorium.

Student Debt Forgiveness We must not forget America’s current and former students, 45 million of whom collectively owe $1.6 trillion in student debt. Since before the pandemic, I have strongly supported full forgiveness of college debt, which would liberate an entire generation of young adults to buy a home or pay rent, start a family, and otherwise fully participate in our economy. As part of their response to coronavirus, Senate Democrats have proposed forgiving $10,000 in student debt per person. That is a good start. In the meantime, we must also suspend debt collection and prohibit interest from accruing on that debt.

Pro-Worker Conditions on Corporate Bailouts Any corporate bailout–currently being considered for the airline and financial services industries– must be structured in a way that benefits workers, not corporate CEOs who will be just fine. That means any cash assistance for corporations should have conditions. First, the money should be used to maintain payroll at a mandatory $15 minimum wage, so all workers keep their jobs and continue to be paid on time. Second, any company that receives payment should be prohibited from engaging in share buybacks, a form of financial engineering that rewards executives and financial institutions. (Indeed, share buybacks are a reason why these companies need bailouts in the first place. Airlines have spent 96 percent of their available cash in the last decade on share buybacks, rather than saving that cash for a rainy day, raising worker pay, or investing in their business.) Third, executive compensation at these companies must be capped at 50 times that of their median employee. Fourth, the companies should be required to allow a workers’ representative onto their boards of directors.

Support for Small Businesses If we are prepared to bail out big businesses, we must also take care of small businesses, many of which have taken massive hits as people have hunkered down indoors. Any small business impacted by coronavirus should be entitled to cash assistance to cover expenses like rent and payroll. In the meantime, we must also protect our small businesses from evictions and utility shutoffs. Main Street must emerge from this crisis no worse for wear.

Humane Decarceration People who are incarcerated face particular risks in this pandemic because they are confined in unsanitary, crowded facilities. We have already seen cases in various prisons and jails right here in New York State. Just as other countries have temporarily released certain people from prisons and jails as a humanitarian gesture, we must do the same to allow sufficient space for quarantining within prisons and jails. We can manage this, at no risk to public safety, by beginning with people who are either elderly, have underlying health conditions, or are incarcerated for non-dangerous offenses.

Strengthening the Safety Net I have written at length about how the U.S. government’s failure to provide an adequate social safety net made today’s crisis more severe than it would have been. In particular, I have observed that “[n]owhere is this clearer than in a healthcare system that leaves 87 million people uninsured or underinsured, federal law that does not require paid sick leave, and the continued refusal of government to end poverty.” In times of crisis, it is crucial that we support one another while calling on our representatives in government to work for all of us. Time and again, the American people have shown that no one rises to a challenge quite like we do. Of course, to ensure that everyone is included in our recovery, we need leaders who will fight for real people–not corporations–so that no one is left behind, and everyone is made whole. coronavirus/

2020-03-28 Noam Chomsky: Coronavirus – What is at stake? | DiEM25 TV

2020-03-28 Drugs in a Pandemic Ralph talks drugs with two experts, first Katherine Eban about how we can expect the coronavirus pandemic to affect the supply chain for every drug we import. And Jamie Love about how the government needs to keep pharmaceutical companies from gouging American taxpayers in a crisis, especially when the research and development of the drugs was done with taxpayer money.

2020-03-27 Why Is the U.S. so Exceptionally Vulnerable to Covid-19?   The United States has become the new center of the global coronavirus pandemic, with over 86,000 cases, more than China or Italy. More than a thousand Americans have already died, but this is surely only the very beginning of this deadly collision between the U.S.’ uniquely inadequate public healthcare system and a real pandemic.

On the other hand, China and South Korea, which both have universal public health systems that cover the bulk of their people’s healthcare needs, have already turned the tide on Covid-19 through targeted quarantines, mobilization of public healthcare resources and testing programs that quickly and efficiently test everyone who may have come into contact with the virus. China sent 40,000 doctors and medical staff, including 10,000 respiratory specialists, into Hubei province in the first month or two of the epidemic. It has now gone up to 3 days in a row with no new cases and is starting to lift social restrictions. South Korea quickly tested over 300,000 people, and only 131 of its people have died. 

Researchers in Italy have experimentally confirmed that up to 3 out of 4 Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic and therefore undetectable by testing only people with symptoms. After a series of deadly missteps, the U.S., which had its first case on January 20th, the same day as South Korea, has over two months later only just begun widespread testing, when we already have the most cases and the 6th highest death toll in the world. Even now, the U.S. is mainly limiting testing to people with symptoms, not doing the targeted testing of new case contacts that was so effective in China. This ensures that otherwise healthy, asymptomatic carriers will unknowingly spread the virus and keep fueling its exponential growth.

2020-03-27 Capitalism Is America’s Religion. The Virus Makes That Clear    President Trump has said he wants the United States to be “opened up and just raring to go” by Easter, in less than three weeks. Why Easter? “I think it’ll be a beautiful time,” he told reporters on Tuesday, even as the Pope was instructing bishops to help Catholics celebrate Easter from home. “Wouldn’t it be great to have all the churches full?” said Trump.

Let’s be real: Despite his recently adopted pro-life views, our twice-divorced, oft-philandering president has never been religious. What he really wants is to end the lockdown quickly in order to save “the economy.” Politicians keep suggesting we forgo public health advice and get back to work for the sake of this “economy” thing; the ironic hashtag #DieForTheDow trended on Twitter after the 69-year-old lieutenant governor of Texas suggested he’d risk dying from the virus to keep the stock market chugging. (But would he be resurrected on Easter?)

2020-03-27 Cuba Leads by Revolutionary Example “We have more physicians working abroad than practically any other country in the world, not because we are exporting anything but simply because we want to participate in building a world with better health conditions and living conditions,” Cuban doctor Luis Herrera declared in an exclusive interview with TeleSur.  Dr Herrera is credited with developing the Interferon Alpha 2B 40 years ago, which is being used to prevent medical complications that could arise from contracting the COVID-19 strand of coronavirus.  Cuba is now receiving international requests to supply the Interferon Alpha 2B. The neoliberal West is seeking the aid of a communist country under blockade to solve its problems and true to its revolutionary spirit, Cuba will be complying with the requests.

As governments worldwide dedicated to neoliberalism struggle to contain the virus spread, closing borders and imposing military control, Cuba has maintained its internationalist approach, leading by revolutionary example. Cuba has been able to take such decisions knowing the country is well prepared in preventive medicine to keep any possible virus transmission under control. And yet, the West often reminds us that socialism doesn’t work; to justify, perhaps, the incessant forms of foreign intervention designed to maintain the West’s supremacy. COVID-19 has exposed the exploitative systems of capitalism and neoliberalism.

2020-03-26 The Coronavirus Effect: Pandemic Exposes Structural Violence of US Ruling Class  The inadequate preparation for and callous response to the unfolding health and economic crises puts brutal inequalities and distorted priorities on full display.  The U.S. power elite’s response to the coronavirus crisis has been delayed, halfhearted, and skewed. In an act of criminal negligence, the Trump administration initially ignored coronavirus throughout January and then Trump referred to criticism of his lethargy on the issue as a hoax in late February before spending the first part of March downplaying the severity of the threat that it posed, thus squandering precious time to adequately prepare. Only in the past couple of weeks, in the wake of the widespread diffusion of COVID-19 and reports that inaction could result in potentially as many as 2.2 million individuals dying in the U.S. alone, has the Trump administration been forced to gradually acknowledge the reality—and gravity—of the situation.

Nonetheless, even after declaring a national emergency in mid-March, the enormity of the problem still did not stop Trump from indicating his intention to proceed with cuts to the SNAP program and to prevent states from expanding Medicaid coverage, despite the inevitable spike in demand for healthcare resulting from coronavirus. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that was drafted to provide emergency paid sick leave, one of the measures proven to be effective in reducing the spread of infectious disease and yet something that nearly 70% of low-wage workers in the U.S. (i.e. the people preparing and serving our food) lack. Not to be outdone, when asked what he would do if a Medicare for All bill were to reach his desk as president, Joe Biden refused to commit to signing it due to its “cost” (given Ronald Reagan’s deadly indifference to HIV-AIDS, it should be a much larger scandal that the leading Democratic presidential candidate reaffirmed his commitment to Reaganism in the midst of a public health crisis). During the most recent debate, Biden also referred to the coronavirus-related loss of life in Italy to disingenuously question the efficacy of universal healthcare, as if the death rate would not be worse in an ad hoc, for-profit system.  At the same time, however, there has been plenty of typical right-wing opportunism in the face of this crisis, an expression of disaster capitalism that Naomi Klein has documented under the rubric of the ‘shock doctrine’. One-sided bailouts of the U.S. oil and airline industries are pending, there are revanchist proposals to implement draconian border security and union-busting policies, and investment bankers who are salivating over the lucrative potential of COVID-19 have been pressuring health care firms to increase prices on drugs and critically needed medical supplies.

And of course, there is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently passed by the Senate. This hotly debated $2 trillion package is tilted heavily in favor of corporate rescue rather than working class relief (with weak terms for preventing stock buybacks, limiting executive compensation, and retaining workers).

2020-03-26 The Coronavirus Aid Package Could Harm Disabled People  A provision denying small-business loans to disability support services could damage a fast-growing and urgent piece of our care sector.

2020-03-25 Coronavirus: The Jonathan Swift Solution  The Journal, egged on by Wall Street worthies panicked about losing their shirts, has been arguing that it’s better to lose a few million people than to damage the economy. I counted five columns or articles making variants of this argument in today’s Journal alone.

One piece argues that the fatality rate is exaggerated—better for everyone to just catch the virus and get it over with. According to the WHO and the CDC, this contention is total hooey.

Another calls for a much more relaxed form of sheltering in place, ignoring the fact that the only way we have for hospitals to catch up with the escalating pandemic is to “flatten the curve” and slow down the spread.

2020-03-25 Don’t Let Big Pharma Make a Killing by Profiteering Off COVID-19 Treatments These treatments should be available to everyone who needs them at no cost.

There’s much we don’t yet know about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. We don’t know how long the pandemic will last, when a vaccine will be developed, or how many lives antiviral medications can save. But there’s one thing we know for sure: U.S. taxpayers have already paid for the research and testing of the most promising treatments.

These treatments should be available to everyone who needs them at no cost. But the Trump administration’s drug policy is led by two former pharmaceutical executives, and that is having devastating consequences for potential access to treatments and vaccines for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump talks up big pharma corporations and thanks them for their work on COVID-19 treatments and a potential vaccine.  Trump fails to mention that taxpayers have spent nearly $700 million on coronavirus research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Nor does he mention that big pharma corporations spend more money enriching themselves through stock buybacks than they do on research and development.

One medication currently being tested on coronavirus patients is the antiviral remdesivir. It’s still too early to say if remdesivir will prove broadly effective at helping patients with COVID-19.  Remdesivir was developed with research funded by a $37.5 million NIH grant. Trump administration granted Gilead, a giant pharmaceutical corporation, “orphan” drug status for remdesivir. That means that Gilead is free to charge outrageous prices for the drug, with their government-granted exclusivity ensuring that there will be no competition for years to come.

Nor is remdesivir an outlier. This is how all new medications work. Taxpayers always fund the riskiest and most crucial research and development. Then, pharma gets the patent monopolies and uses them to charge outrageous prices. American families are going bankrupt paying four- and five-figure prices for drugs that their taxpayer dollars already paid to develop!

2020-03-25 Joint Statement From Elected Prosecutors on COVID-19 and Addressing the Rights and Needs of Those in Custody  Overcrowded jail, prison and immigration detention facilities force people together in close quarters without access to proper hygiene or medical care.  

“People over the age of 55 make up the fastest growing demographic of those imprisoned.” Similarly, jails and prisons house disproportionately large numbers of people with chronic illnesses and complex medical needs that many facilities are already ill-equipped to treat. And at least 57 ICE detention centers have already experienced outbreaks of infectious diseases like mumps that have presented challenging health issues.

If these facilities become breeding grounds for the coronavirus, it will not only impact those incarcerated, but our entire community. Jails and prisons cycle large numbers of people in and out of close, unsanitary quarters on a daily basis. Many people are arrested and booked into jail on the same day, while others are released within a short time back to their community. People leave immigration detention and return to communities in the US or to vulnerable refugee shelters and encampments along the border. All of these facilities rely on services and support from vendors and medical professionals, employ staff who come and go, and appropriately provide access for legal counsel and family members to visit. And people with severe conditions who need intensive medical treatment are often removed from these facilities to be treated in local hospitals. 

First and foremost, we urge local officials to stop admitting people to jail absent a serious risk to the physical safety of the community.   Adopt cite and release policies for offenses which pose no immediate physical threat to the community, including simple possession of controlled substances.  • Release all individuals who are being detained solely because they can’t afford cash bail, unless they pose a serious risk to public safety.  • Identify and release the following people immediately, unless doing so would pose a serious risk to the physical safety of the community: ○ Individuals who are elderly; ○ Populations that the CDC has classified as vulnerable (those with asthma, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes); ○ People in local jails who are within 6 months of completing their sentence; and  ○ People incarcerated due to technical violations of probation and parole. • Put in place procedures and advocate for reforms that enable past lengthy sentences to be revisited and support release for those individuals who can safely return to the community.

We need to Protecting Immigrant Communities and Reducing Immigration Detention. Additionally, the federal government should take the following actions to end the spread of COVID-19 among immigrant communities: 

For those who must remain incarcerated, every effort should be made to ensure they have access to good healthcare, as defined by public health officials, and that their basic human rights are being met. It is critical to balance the precautions necessary to protect against any spread of the virus with the constitutional rights of those in custody.

2020-03-25 Economists Demand Trump Immediately Lift Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela Sanctions That Are ‘Feeding the Coronavirus Epidemic’ “This policy is unconscionable and flagrantly against international law. It is imperative that the U.S. lift these immoral and illegal sanctions to enable Iran and Venezuela to confront the epidemic as effectively and rapidly as possible,” Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs said in a statement  just hours after the Trump administration intensified sanctions against Iran , which has been devastated  by COVID-19. 

Economist Francisco Rodríguez, a leading expert on the Venezuelan economy, said that U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and other nations have severely hindered their ability to respond to the pandemic, which has infected nearly 220,000 people worldwide.  “This has dramatic consequences on the lives of their citizens and exacerbates a major global health risk,” said Rodríguez.

2020-03-24 COVID-19: Our Leaders Are Terrified. Not of the Virus — of Us   A worldview that has crowded out all other thinking for nearly two generations is coming crashing down. It has no answers to our current predicament. There is a kind of tragic karma to the fact that so many major countries — meaning major economies — are today run by the very men least equipped ideologically, emotionally and spiritually to deal with the virus.   The political and media class’s current desperation has a substantive cause — and one that should worry us as much as the virus itself.

Twelve years ago, capitalism teetered on the brink of the abyss, its structural flaws exposed for anyone who cared to look. The 2008 crash almost broke the global financial system. It was saved by us, the public. The government delved deep into our pockets and transferred our money to the banks. Or rather the bankers.

We saved the bankers — and the politicians — from their economic incompetence through bail-outs that were again mystified by being named “quantitative easing.”  But we weren’t the ones rewarded. We did not own the banks or get a meaningful stake in them. We did not even get oversight in return for our huge public investment. Once we had saved them, the bankers went right back to enriching themselves and their friends in precisely the same manner that stalled the economy in 2008. 

The bail-outs did not fix capitalism, they simply delayed for a while longer its inevitable collapse.  Western governments will conclude that it is time to shore up capitalism’s immune system against their own publics. The risk is that, given the chance, they will begin treating us, not the virus, as the real plague.

2020-03-23 Class and the Challenge of COVID-19   In the weeks ahead, the class lines that divide today’s America might become most visible around who must still venture out to work and who can work from the safety of home.

There is no escaping the class dimension of the COVID-19 outbreak, for working people are most likely to be affected by both the virus and efforts to contain its spread. The way they earn their livings necessarily exposes many workers to the risk of contracting the disease. Some—such as nurses and homecare workers—put themselves at risk on the front lines caring for those who are ill.  

Manufacturing and service workers worldwide cannot “telework” as many white collar or professional workers worldwide are now beginning to do. Hourly workers are far more likely to lose income than salaried workers during the coming weeks of “social distancing.” The relief bill enacted by the House on March 14 guarantees sick leave to only 20 percent of American workers, according to the New York Times. Those still vulnerable include independent contractors or gig workers.

Although we have not chosen this moment, it is within our power to decide how to meet it. We could deepen divisions and set off on the fool’s errand of building a “Fortress America,” as our wall-obsessed president urges by cynically labeling the contagion a “foreign virus.” Or we could use it as an opportunity to build community, forge solidarity, revive internationalism, and renovate the crumbling edifice of democracy.

2020-03-23 COVID-19 Threatens the Lives of Billions: Statement of Socialist Action National Committee     As the devastating novel coronavirus (COVID-19) literally threatens the lives of billions of the earth’s people, two truths about the contagion remain unchallenged: All nations are ill prepared for the arrival of the virus and once it lands, despite herculean efforts in some cases, little can be done to stop its spread.

World science does not yet fully grasp the underlying causes of virus formation. It is suggested that ongoing deforestation around the world, including China, has been the result of the expanding need of capitalist-based industrial agriculture to find sufficient lands to grow crops profitably in that mode of production. The deforestation in turn, combined with human encroachment, has altered the existing ecosystems and displaced numerous species. This greater interaction between animals and people is occurring and with it a more serious opportunity for disease transmission.

At the same time a connection is being made between the origin and spread of infectious diseases and an international agribusiness that has bent science to its quest for greater, faster profits. Millions of industrial animals – poultry and pigs, particularly — are being produced with altered genetics, cramped into factory-like quarters, and then slaughtered and shipped long distances in ever-shorter periods of time. Accompanying these industrial farming practices of contemporary capitalist agriculture are the deadly pathogens that mutate and come out of the agri-factories. Today, science has already linked some of the most dangerous viral diseases in humans to modern day food systems, shielding American agribusiness from charges of complicity.    Capitalist agribusiness has shown no interest in alternatives to its profitable production models.

And Big Pharma, the giant largely monopolized conglomerates that dominate agribusiness and pharmaceutical manufacturing, has no interest in participating in efforts to find healthy and  sustainable environmental solution when antiviral vaccines provide a handsome profit in their own right with orders from captive buyers such as governments, hospitals, and drug store chains.

In a socialist society government institutions scientific research would be conducted for the common good, not capitalist profit. All discoveries would be immediately made known to the scientific community worldwide. International collaboration and coordination as opposed to competition would be the norm. Funding and coordinating research would be public and massive with the resulting solutions and vaccines the common property of all humanity.

The proverbial chickens have come home to roost. The international capitalist system has registered only minimal efforts to solve the problem of infectious viral diseases. In this century alone the planet has encountered over two dozen new strains and “near nothing real was done about any of them,” according to Dr. Rob Wallace, author of the groundbreaking book, Big Farms Make Big Flu: Dispatches on Infectious Disease, Agribusiness, and the Nature of Science. Monthly Review Press, 2016.

2020-03-20 Capitalism is an Incubator for Pandemics. Socialism is the Solution.  It is only going to get worse. The spread of the virus is impossible to stop — and this is due to social reasons more than biological ones. While doctors recommend that people stay home when they are feeling sick in order to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus, working-class people just can’t afford to stay home at the first sight of a cough.

Suggestions from government leaders show their disconnect from the working class. 58% Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings and around 40% of Americans could not afford an unexpected bill of $400. So, for many, staying home or not using public transit is simply not an option.

Even more people avoid the doctor when we get sick. With or without insurance, a trip to the hospital means racking up massive medical bills. The Guardian reports that 25% of Americans say they or a family member have delayed medical treatment due to the costs of care. In May 2019, The American Cancer Society found that 56% of adults report having at least one medical financial hardship. Medical debt remains the number one cause of bankruptcy in the country. One third of all donations on the fundraising site GoFundMe go to covering healthcare costs. That is the healthcare system of the wealthiest country in the world: GoFundMe.

Of course, these costs will be no problem for some. The three richest Americans own more wealth than the bottom 50% of Americans. The concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer capitalists is part of capitalism’s DNA. But as Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkson highlight extensively in their book The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, people in more equal societies are healthier. They live longer, have lower infant mortality, and have high self-ratings of health. Inequality leads to poorer overall health. 

A central aspect of socialism is a democratically run planned economy: an economy in which all resources are allocated according to need, instead of ability to pay. Need is decided democratically by both producers and consumersWith the means of production under workers’ control, we would be able to quickly increase production of these products in an emergency.

2020-03-22 Emergency Economic Rescue Plan in Limbo as Democrats Block Action Emergency     Democrats voted against moving forward on a plan expected to cost $1.8 trillion or more, seeking stronger protections for workers and stricter rules for bailed-out businesses.  Republicans and Democrats, as well as President Trump, have agreed that the plan is crucial to cushioning the economic blow of the rapidly spreading disease, which has shuttered entire industries, forced workers to stay at home and wreaked havoc in the global markets. It would send $1,200 direct payments to millions of Americans and additional jobless benefits and aid to states and provide hundreds of billions of dollars for loans to businesses.

But as its outlines emerged on Sunday, Democrats denounced the package as a corporate giveaway that favored big business over workers and failed to ensure that bailed-out companies would not enrich themselves after receiving government aid. They were particularly incensed at the inclusion of a provision that would give the Federal Reserve access to $425 billion that could be leveraged for loans to broad groups of flailing companies, leaving Congress with little or no say in which businesses could receive assistance or how it could be used.

Democrats also said the measure provided insufficient unemployment aid — offering only three months while they have insisted on at least four — and lacked adequate funding for state and local governments, emergency food assistance and relief from student loans.

Democrats complained that the Treasury secretary would have too much discretion on how to allocate the industry-specific funds loans, and that it would not outright require that recipients hang on to their employees. And they were concerned that the bulk of the money — $425 billion to guarantee potential losses on Federal Reserve programs — would be available to prop up companies with few restrictions.

They were also pressing for additional safeguards to prevent companies from taking federal funds and then laying off workers. Democrats have proposed restricting eligibility for the government aid to companies that promise to maintain 90 percent of their staff.  Democrats were also balking at imposing limits on paid-leave benefits that were part of a program enacted last week to respond to the coronavirus crisis.  “It’s not big enough, it’s not bold enough,” said Senator Doug Jones, Democrat of Alabama. “It doesn’t get to the cities, into the communities. It doesn’t get to individuals. It’s a start, but it is not there — it’s not even half a loaf, it’s a couple of slices.”

Mr. Mnuchin estimated that the total economic impact of the aid to Americans and distressed industries would ultimately be more than $4 trillion, with the Federal Reserve helping amplify the effects. Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” he said the federal government hoped the stabilization effort could buttress the economy for 90 to 120 days so that when the virus was contained businesses could quickly reopen and the economy could rapidly rebound.

Negotiators have taken to calling it the “Phase 3” plan, since Congress this month has already passed and Mr. Trump has signed two other rounds of emergency aid to respond to the coronavirus crisis: an $8.3 billion package of funding for federal health agencies and a second measure to provide paid leave, jobless aid, and food and health care assistance.

The agreement would also provide $350 billion to establish lending programs for small businesses, $50 billion more than the Trump administration had initially proposed. But the money would apply only to those who keep their payrolls steady through the crisis — which means hundreds or thousands of firms that have already laid off workers would not be eligible for assistance.

Small businesses that pledged not to lay off their workers would receive cash-flow assistance structured as federally guaranteed loans — potentially as much as they needed to stay in business for six weeks without layoffs. Those loans would be forgiven if the employer continued to pay its workers for the duration of the crisis.

2020-03-21’We Need to Act Now and Act Fast’: Nurses, Health Workers Warn of Protective Gear Shortage as Coronavirus Crisis Grows  NBC News reported that around 250 doctors and nurses responded to an informal survey request and painted a bleak picture of a healthcare system already on the verge of collapse with at least a month to go before coronavirus cases peak in the U.S.—citing in particular a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Calls for the federal government to step in and order manufacturers to produce equipment increased Friday, with the union National Nurses United issuing a demand for immediate action to protect healthcare workers.  It’s not just PPE. Testing kits are near-impossible to obtain for hospitals and health professionals, leading to difficult decisions on who to treat, when to treat them, and how to track the virus.

2020-03-21 Coronavirus: The Unfolding of an Epistemic Crisis

2020-03-21 Congressional Letter asking to reduce Student debt because of Covid -19

2020-03-20 Prof. Richard Wolff on Pandemic Economics

2020-03-20 Coronavirus pandemic: U.S. doctors demand immediate release of prisoners and detainees    Doctors and medical workers across the U.S. raise the alarm about the coronavirus’s risk to prison populations. Thousands of medics have signed an open letter calling upon the immigration authorities to release individuals and families from detention.

The letter, which at the time of writing had been signed by more than 3,000 people, is addressed to the director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

2020-03-20 America needs to be on a war footing – Here We Go Again: 9/11, Coronavirus and Another ‘New Pearl Harbor’ The nation-wide and global effects of the COVID-19 contagion are massive and very real, just as were the wide-ranging effects after Sept. 11th, 2001. So too does the current crisis replicate the vast discrepancy between the 9/11 official story and actual pre-9/11 facts. These disturbing parallels show up in the current crisis in the fact that in the last 3 months 13 million people died worldwide of various ailments. We are told by official sources that just over 11,000 of these 13,000,000 deaths are due to coronavirus.

Now Trump is repeating the lie over and over again in every White House Coronavirus briefing that “No one could have known” what was coming.” He makes this declaration while it is a matter of well-documented public record that a U.S. Navy Admiral and top leaders from U.S. business and government conducted a Coronavirus crisis scenario involving hypothetical emergency responses in an exercise called Event 201. Under the direction of vaccine-czar Bill Gates, the 201 Event took place last October shortly before the claimed origin date for the virus in Wuhan China. The origin date keeps being moved backwards, by some estimates into the United States during the summer months of 2019.

This supposed coincidence between the timing of Event 201 and the Coronavirus outbreak in China has caused some to become suspicious of what is really going on. This issue of timing and possible foreknowledge causes me to take seriously evidence brought forward by the world-renowned bioterrorism expert, Prof. Francis Boyle. He along with other researchers have posited that COVID-19 may have some origins in the bioweapon program of China or maybe of the United States itself.

2020-03-20 Coronavirus Just Might Help Us Save the Planet  The last recession brought us the fracking boom, and this one might end our addiction to cheap oil.  So if the Obama administration used the 2008 financial crisis to help expand global oil consumption considerably, and entrench us further in our reliance on fossil fuels, the current economic crisis brings with it an opportunity to undo those mistakes. The Trump administration has indicated it will intervene to save American oil companies, a move which, in the midst of an accelerating climate crisis, should be condemned as a criminal proposition. But given how steep their losses are, how much debt those companies have already piled up, and that the price war shows few signs of abetting, it would take a gargantuan financial package to save them over the long term. The opportunity exists, instead, to invest in renewables, which could easily pick up the slack once the economy returns to full bore, and initiate the process of managed decline of the fossil fuel sector, an environmental imperative that will happen one way or another if we want to keep the Earth from burning.

The environmental benefits of doing so, beyond just lowered CO2 levels, have been showcased immediately in this coronavirus shutdown. All over China, air quality is better than it’s been in years. The story is similar in the United States. Because of lessened car traffic, Los Angeles, Seattle, and other American cities are seeing a drop in smog and an improvement in air quality, simultaneously proving that an expansion of telework and a return to more locally focused economic activity could play a role in climate policy going forward.

2020-03-19 COVID-19: A Lesson Coronavirus is About to Teach the World   Coronavirus has an important, urgent lesson to teach us. As never before, coronavirus will bring into focus the depraved inefficiency of this system – the model of profit-driven health care, of market forces that look out for the short-term interests of business, not the long-term interests of us all.

The question is: are we ready yet to listen?The U.S. health system is by far the most expensive in the world, but also the most inefficient. The vast bulk of “health spending” does not contribute to healing the sick but enriches a health industry of pharmaceutical corporations and health insurance companies.  Analysts describe a third of all U.S. health spending – $765 billion a year – as “wasted.” But “waste” is a euphemism. In fact, it is money stuffed into the pockets of corporations calling themselves the health industry as they defraud the common wealth of U.S. citizens. And the fraudulence is all the greater because despite this enormous expenditure more than one in 10 U.S. citizens has no meaningful health cover.

There are alternatives. Right now, Americans are being offered a choice between a democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders, who champions health care as a right because it is a common good, and a Democratic party boss, Joe Biden, who champions the business lobbies he depends on for funding and his political success. One is being marginalized and vilified as a threat to the American way of life by a handful of corporations that own the U.S. media, while the other is being propelled towards the Democratic nomination by those same corporations.

2020-03-19 Coronavirus Is Exploiting an Underlying Condition: Our Epidemic of Insecurity As hosts to the pathogen, we Americans are uniquely susceptible because of lack of health coverage, precarious jobs and skewed economics.

2020-03-19 In Coronavirus Crisis, 575 Groups Urge Halt to Electricity, Water Shutoffs  Letter to Governors, Utility Regulators Also Calls for Distributed Clean Energy, Equitable Water Payment Systems

2021-03-16 Rebuttal: The ‘Not-So-Hidden Agenda’ Behind Bossche’s Concern Over COVID Mass Vaccination    In her rebuttal to Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche’s open letter to the WHO, Rosemary Frei, MSc, outlines what she says are “a few of the dozens of clues” suggesting that Bossche’s argument “is a continuation of the overall COVID deception.”

I do agree that we should stop the use of the current vaccines. But we also need to stop production and use of antivirals and antibodies and all other parts of the COVID-industrial complex.   COVID has an extremely high survival rate. So why develop yet another expensive, invasive and experimental solution to a problem that barely exists, if it does at all?

Report 9: Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to
reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand
The global impact of COVID-19 has been profound, and the public health threat it represents is the most serious seen in a respiratory virus since the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Here we present the results of epidemiological modelling which has informed policymaking in the UK and other countries in recent weeks. In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, we assess the potential role of a number of public health measures – so-called non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) – aimed at reducing contact rates in the population and thereby reducing transmission of the virus. In the results presented here, we apply a previously published microsimulation model to two countries: the UK (Great Britain specifically) and the US. We conclude that the effectiveness of any one intervention in isolation is likely to be limited, requiring multiple interventions to be combined to have a substantial impact on transmission.

Two fundamental strategies are possible: (a) mitigation, which focuses on slowing but not necessarily stopping epidemic spread – reducing peak healthcare demand while protecting those most at risk of severe disease from infection, and (b) suppression, which aims to reverse epidemic growth, reducing case numbers to low levels and maintaining that situation indefinitely. Each policy has major challenges. We find that that optimal mitigation policies (combining home isolation of suspect cases, home quarantine of those living in the same household as suspect cases, and social distancing of the elderly and others at most risk of severe disease) might reduce peak healthcare demand by 2/3 and deaths by half. However, the resulting mitigated epidemic would still likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over. For countries able to achieve it, this leaves suppression as the preferred policy option.

2020-03-15 Yanis Varoufakis on the economic and political impact of the coronavirus | DiEM25  Growth economics is reaching a tipping point. It fuels consumerism, it drives the climate crisis, and without radical change, will kill us all.  I always felt that the people in control of society were at least competent albeit greedy and selfish. It’s becoming very apparent they are not even competent, they have no idea what they’re doing, outside of filling their pockets.

2020-03-13 From Big Pharma to Jeff Bezos, Corona Profiteering Goes Viral    When Congress put together an $8.3 billion Coronavirus spending package earlier this month, drug companies who received federal funding to develop treatments for the illness under the legislation successfully fought off attempts by some Democratic lawmakers to control the price of the medications.

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard the stories of vacant drug store shelves and hundred dollar hand sanitizer. Mass hoarding is threatening to prevent people who need these supplies most from acquiring them and attorneys general in multiple states are seeking to fight price-gouging of coronavirus-related supplies.

The Jim Bakker Show was among seven entities sent cease and desist letters by the federal trade and drug administrations on March 9 for hawking products that they claim treat or prevent coronavirus without a factual basis. Teas and essential oils have also been marked as supposed cures. Bakker, who has already spent years in prison for defrauding Christian television viewers out of millions of dollars in the 1980s…

Meanwhile, the anti-vaxxer and HIV-denialist Gary Null has used his daily radio broadcast, which airs on WBAI-99.5 here in New York and on other platforms, to suggest colloidal silver, echinacea, astragalus and vitamins can guard against corona   

 2020-03-11 Medical Industrial Complex And Coronavirus The medical industrial complex that dictates the health policies today has been exposed with the spread of the Corona virus, experts point out.  This complex, medical practitioners and the public need to recognize that health is not just an individual patient, doctor, hospital issue. There are wider socio economic and climate issues that affect health, and which are being ignored, experts point out. 

Some people funding and running healthcare systems recognize the impotence of the systems when it comes to health as opposed to treating sickness and the capacity of health systems to swallow resources while producing ever less “value. So, they create a façade of social health care which is very inadequate.

2020-03-11 Coronavirus Fearmongering Demonstrates U.S. Imperialism is a Drag on Humanity  The US is the most profit-oriented, business-controlled society on Earth, and therefore the least able to cope with a national health emergency, which requires sacrifice of profit for the greater good. 

The corporate media has predictably used the outbreak to demonize China’s system of economic and political governance. Yet as fear of the coronavirus’ spread increases, it becomes clearer that U.S. imperialism is the true drag on humanity, not China’s market socialist model.

The U.S. corporate media has lamented over its assessment that China’s “authoritarian” government is behind why the country has been able to address the coronavirus outbreak with such strength and vigor. This is a cynical admission that the United States and its imperialist allies are not prepared to effectively address a similar outbreak.

2020-03-13 CDC’s ‘worst-case scenario’ estimates for coronavirus spread in U.S. obtained by the New York Times   The Times article reveals the worst-case scenario, but emphasizes that this is what would occur only if there were no mitigation measures taken.

Between 160 million and 214 million people in the U.S. could be infected over the course of the epidemic, according to one projection. That could last months or even over a year, with infections concentrated in shorter periods, staggered across time in different communities, experts said. As many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.

And, the calculations based on the C.D.C.’s scenarios suggested, 2.4 million to 21 million people in the U.S. could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds. Fewer than a tenth of those are for people who are critically ill.

To be clear, despite the paucity of guidance being provided at the national level, state and local communities are beginning to take action. And the CDC is revising its modelling accordingly, based on the degree and extent of those mitigation efforts.  The “worst-case” scenario, described above, is therefore not what will occur.

The Times notes that researchers are relying, in part, on data from the 1918 “Spanish Flu” pandemic, which caused an estimated 675,000 deaths in the U.S. The Institute for Disease Modeling has calculated that the transmission rate of COVID-19 is similar to that virus. Measures taken by major different cities during that time, such as closing of public places, theaters and schools, varied widely  and their effectiveness varied accordingly.

Fortunately, we are not living in 1918. Modern medicine, facilities and diagnostic tools are available to us that simply did not exist at that time. But, as the Times article points out, the U.S. population has exploded, “with 10 times as many people over 65 and 30 times as many over 85.” These are the people most vulnerable to the virus.

2020-03-10 Taiwan has millions of visitors from China and only 45 coronavirus cases. Here’s how.

2020-03-09 How to Combat the Coronavirus Recession It is time to get serious about the economic policy response.   Simply put, smart responses must be tailored to the type of recession the outbreak could cause if policymakers didn’t act.  The three key elements of a potential COVID-19 recession are:

  • If it comes it will come fast,
  • It will hit lower-wage workers first and hardest, and
  • It will impose even faster and larger costs on state and local governments than recessions normally do.
  • It is time to get serious about the economic policy response.   Simply put, smart responses must be tailored to the type of recession the outbreak could cause if policymakers didn’t act.  The three key elements of a potential COVID-19 recession are:

Each one of these should be targeted directly. Any economic relief package should come online quickly, it should be even more targeted to help lower-wage workers than usual, and it should rapidly boost state and local government capacity on both the public health and economic fronts.

2021-03-08 Fact Check: Have 966 People Died After Receiving the COVID vaccine?   The U.S. COVID vaccine rollout has seen over 90 million people receive at least one dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data as of March 7.  Scientists told Newsweek on February 24 that serious side-effects from the vaccine were rare at a time when 65 million doses had been given. Some examples of common reported side-effects include pain at the site of injection and tiredness.

Our VAERS result showed 970 people died after being given a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine shot. Of those deaths, 495 occurred following a Moderna shot, and 475 occurred following a Pfizer shot.   However, it is false to say that COVID vaccines have caused 966 deaths, because the VAERS database is not designed to give this information.

2020-03-06 Abbas declares state of emergency as coronavirus spreads to West Bank      Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas declared a month-long state of emergency in the West Bank on Thursday after seven cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in the Bethlehem area.      the World Health Organization says the West Bank and Gaza Strip are at “very high risk.”

2020-03-04 Trump’s Economy Goes Viral The U.S. faces its most severe economic collapse since 2008, on several fronts. One is the economics of quarantine—canceled schools, conventions, business travel, tourism, and all the knock-on effects on the consumer and producer economy; in short, the collapse of normal daily economic life. The second is the collapse of global supply chains on which far too much of the U.S. economy has come to depend. The emblematic factoid here is that most surgical masks are made in Wuhan.

Neither the collapse of demand nor the collapse of supply lends itself to the usual economic remedies. The Fed could cut rates to zero and that will not restore travel to Italy or cause the resumption of canceled conferences.

The only entity with the reach to stem some of the damage is the same one on which we are relying to guide us through the public-health catastrophe—the U.S. government, which is not exactly in good hands. In the short run, we will rely on the residual competence of the deep state that Trump keeps trying to destroy.

If we can just replace Trump in November, the lessons of the pandemic will demonstrate the case for more robust and competent government. The absence of universal health insurance will make this calamity more severe than it had to be, as sick people failed to seek medical help.

2020-03-03 U.S. public health departments scramble against coronavirus, decimated by funding cuts  “In the last 15 years, public health, the country’s frontline defense in epidemics, lost 45% of its inflation-adjusted funding for staff, training, equipment and supplies. The Public Health Emergency Fund, created for such disease or disaster relief is long depleted. And much of the money the federal government is racing to come up with now to combat the COVID-19 outbreak will be pulled from other often-dire health needs and likely will arrive too late to hire the needed personnel.

“‘Once again, we’re not that prepared,’ said Dr. Boris Lushniak, a former deputy and acting U.S. Surgeon General who spent 13 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is now dean of University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. ‘When those (basic public health efforts) aren’t supported well, in the time of emergency you don’t have the infrastructure to shift gears and go into emergency mode.’”


Coronavirus Covid-19 Research History – Index


Specific Issues Index

from Creating Better World

About mekorganic

I have been a Peace and Social Justice Advocate most all of my adult life. In 2022, I am again running for U.S. Congress in CA under the Green Party. This Blog and website are meant to be a progressive educational site, an alternative to corporate media and the two dominate political parties. Your comments and participation are most appreciated. (Click photo) .............................................. Paid for by Michael Kerr for Congress with Peace and Justice C00803577
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1 Response to Coronavirus Covid-19 Research History – March 2020

  1. More precisely does not happen


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