COVID-19 Is the Real Insurrection

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By James Fortin

January 10, 2021

Over the past days the major media has talked incessantly about the Trump-directed mob violence in the Capitol Building, labeling the event instigated by the sociopathic narcissist of a President a coup or insurrection.

While thousands of Trump supporters attended his rally in Washington, it should be noted that only several hundred at most participated in the invasion and ransacking of the Capitol itself. The majority noisily watched and then left after a few hours leaving the guy with the animal horns on his head, a few Proud Boy neo-Nazis, Confederate flag wavers,  and others of the most hardened-core ransackers at the scene.

Encouragement of mob action by Trump, his son Eric, and lawyer/official-apologist Rudolph Giuliani illustrated their fundamental lack of understanding that Trump had now placed himself clearly out of his element, and that he had no idea of his designated role in the capitalist government.  The accidental president actually thought he had the power to overturn the election, an action far from sanctioned by his defacto boss, the U.S. ruling class!  (See article “Ruling Class Installs Biden Over Trump” at socialistaction.org.)

Ruling class closes ranks against Trump

The U.S ruling class is not ready to give up its duopoly rule by democratic illusion in favor of the likes who attacked the Capitol.  Instead, the ruling class, already disaffected with Trump, now has closed ranks further to get rid of him. Former defense secretaries, prior Presidents and Senators, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mitch McConnell, numerous business leaders and corporate associations, the editors of both the Wall Street Journal  and New York Times, and so many others, are calling—either outright or behind the scenes–for Trump to go.  Whether Trump likes it or not he will be gone by Jan. 20, or possibly even sooner.

Given the overwhelming state power of the U.S. ruling class, neither several hundred protestors including Proud Boy neo-fascists, avid anti-Semites, and other racists, nor even several thousand of deluded Trump supporters providing applause for them in the streets, would be able, after a short-term disruption to the counting of electoral votes, to keep the Presidential Baby Boy in power.

The saddest parts of the events at the capital are two-fold.  First that five human lives were sacrificed in an event prodded by a pathetic, accidental President thinking that he could instruct the ruling class on who would be the next President. Second, that less attention was given to the 4,000 lives lost to the Covid-19 pandemic on the very same day, emblematic of a system that cares less about these victims than the shredded contents of Capitol building offices and meeting chambers.

The hypocrisy is legion among the office holders in the Capitol, their media hype-sters, and capitalist officialdom far and wide.  The event was “an assault on the citadel of liberty” offered Joe Biden, a desecration of the “alter of our democracy” fumed David Brooks, syndicated columnist, and evidence of “a democracy in crisis” pontificated Chuck Todd, host of Meet the Press.

The outpouring of self-righteousness in condemning the attack was to be expected.  Yet these very same supposed defenders of democratic norms do not flinch when the bi-partisan cabal in Congress approves a trillion-dollar “defense” budget, and billions more for secret CIA operations that routinely use the same and even worse techniques to de-stabilize, overthrow, or otherwise interfere with governments across the globe.  Or when they try to quash any attempt to expose U.S. crimes abroad as with the arrest of Julian Assange, or to silence domestic dissent via the so-called Patriot Act.

Profit-gouging health care monopolies

These same bi-partisan cabals of officialdom are also the traffic cops at the cruel intersecting crossroads of the COVID-19 pandemic with the plights of the uninsured, the unemployed and marginally employed, the hungry, the oppressed communities of Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples, women, and others. In their defense of the capitalist system of private for profit health care their actions predicate who will be sickened and who will die from all manner of illness, including COVID-19. 

The enablers and defenders of the profit-gouging health care monopolies will claim that we are served by one of the best systems in the world, or that it may just need a little tinkering to be made better. To the misfortune of millions of Americans this is wholly untrue as the current COVID-19 pandemic cruelly confirms.  

383,000 U.S. COVID-19 dead: 2nd highest rate in the world 

Since the official discovery in the U.S. of the novel coronavirus in January, 2020, nearly 25 million of us have been infected and 383,000 have died. The rate of death, now often over 4,000 each day, is rising even as this article is being written, notwithstanding the introduction of the first vaccines. According to researchers at the University of Oxford the U.S. death rate per million stands at 827.3, the second highest rate in the world only slightly behind that of the United Kingdom. At the other extreme, nearby tiny Cuba has a rate of only 32.2 per million, testimony to their absolutely heroic efforts to contain the disease in the face of crippling economic sanctions by the U.S.  

The dismal record of U.S. healthcare points to a disproportionate infection and death rate among African American, Indigenous and Latinx populations.  In California, one-half of all COVID-19 deaths are Latinx. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Indian and Alaskan Native people were nearly twice as likely to die from COVID-19 compared to non-Hispanic Whites. And again the CDC states that overall African Americans are nearly 3 times more likely to die from the coronavirus than Whites. Four out of every 10 COVID-19 deaths occur in a nursing home.

In the over-filled intensive care units across the nation, health care providers go home at night and weep because they do not have the human or physical resources to save their patients. And in dozens of communities the COVID ill are transported as far as hundreds of miles away from their families to the nearest hospital.  Their small hospitals were among the 113 closed since 2010 with as many as 430 more on the brink of folding.  Contrary to their crocodile tears about concerns for our health, medical conglomerates are closing these centers in the name of “efficiencies.” Joining them have been ideologically led states that would have a hospital close before “socializing” any part of their existence. Now, in the face of overwhelming COVID-19 cases, deathcare rationing has been forced upon the very organizations pledged to save lives.

10.1 million have lost health care

Since the pandemic began early last year 10.1 million people have lost their health insurance in the U.S. together with their jobs, bringing the total uninsured to over 30 million Combined with the estimated 44 million who are underinsured because of unaffordable deductibles and co-pays we have further evidence of a profit gouging healthcare system that puts profits way before people. Uninsured and underinsured individuals encounter severe financial hardship when infected by COVID-19, rising to staggering costs for those admitted to intensive care units for successive weeks at a time.

The U.S. health care system is dysfunctional, even catastrophic – except, of course, for those individuals and corporations making a profit off it.  The twin capitalist parties and their Presidents have long defended the interests of their corporate benefactors, only occasionally doling out a benefit to us when confronted by masses of people demanding change or to keep potential votes in line. 

The bi-partisan effort to “keep it as is” featured a George W. Bush protecting the monopolistic high-priced markets for patented medicines; Obamacare continued to protect this generous corporate welfare.  Obama carefully kept health insurance companies at the center of the health equation (and profits) rather than pushing — at even a minimum — for a rational single payer health system let alone a publicly funded system. The result, corporate pockets continue to be lined, life expectancy and infant mortality in the U.S. continues to fall and dramatically trails that of the European Union, while health care costs are the highest in the world without a corresponding benefit.

It was Trump who first denied a COVID-19 problem and then failed to procure in a timely manner lifesaving ventilators, masks, gowns, and gloves for the national stockpile.  It was Obama that handed over an empty stockpile at transition. Contributing to all of this of course were the bi-partisan, smiley-face tax cuts between 2001 through 2018, reducing revenue by $5.1 trillion, with nearly two-thirds of that flowing to the richest fifth of Americans, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

COVID-19: Nature’s insurrection against inadequate U.S. health care

For the working class American, COVID-19 has taken on and defeated the capitalist health care system. It is an insurrection of nature against an inherently incapable medical system to care for all lives it is charged with protecting. Aiding and abetting in this assault have been the self-righteous political mouthpieces for the ruling class who reside in Congress, living off the take from pharmaceutical giants and health care conglomerates, and deciding what we need and don’t need in the way of care.

Socialist healthcare program

Socialists have long said that the health of working people is more important than the profits of the super-rich. In prior articles we have stated:

“Let us not hesitate for a moment to state that the novel coronavirus is a capitalist virus – born and bred in the rapacious land uses of capitalist growth and agriculture, and fed by the inaction and denial of the likes of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and other “leaders” serving the needs of the ruling rich.  It is unacceptable that in the face of the COVID contagion American workers are either uninsured or under-insured; that hospitals across the country have been closed in name of profit while communities’ needs are the greatest; that lack of PPE and ventilators has become the benchmark of government inaction in the face of growing numbers of infections; and that the inhabitants of nursing homes, homeless shelters, prisons, and schools are now the fodder for the disease.  All of this while the rich retreat to their yachts and second homes to avoid infection.” We must take the profit motive out of health care and demand:

*Free health care for all, for life, including virus testing, PPE, and vaccines!

*Nationalize the health care industry including hospitals & pharmaceutical giants!

*Re-open the closed hospitals and clinics & place them under worker & community control!

*For a massive expansion of medical facilities serving the communities of the oppressed!

*For an all out crash campaign to make life-saving vaccines available to everyone! 

*Whatever it takes – tax the rich, defund the military – people before profits!

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