Photo credit: UNICEF Teachers and students were able to return to school in Lao Cai, Viet Nam, in May 2020
A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that worries about the COVID pandemic in the United States are at their lowest level since it began. Only half of Americans are either “very worried” (15%) or “somewhat worried” (35%) about the virus, while the other half are “not very worried” (30%) or “not worried at all” (20%).
But the news from around the world makes it clear that this pandemic is far from over, and a story from Vietnam highlights the nature of the danger.
Vietnam is a COVID success story, with one of the lowest rates of infection and death in the world. Vietnam’s excellent community-based public health system prevented the virus from spreading beyond isolated cases and localized outbreaks, without a nationwide lockdown. With a population of 98 million people, Vietnam has had only 8,883 cases and 53 deaths.
However, more than half of Vietnam’s cases and deaths have come in the last two months, and three-quarters of the new cases have been infected with a new “hybrid” variant that combines the two mutations detected separately in the Alpha (U.K.) and Delta (India) variants.
Vietnam is a canary in the pandemic coal-mine. The way this new variant has spread so quickly in a country that has defeated every previous form of the virus suggests that this one is much more infectious.
This variant must surely also be spreading in other countries, where it will be harder to detect among thousands of daily cases, and will therefore be widespread by the time public health officials and governments respond to it. There may also be other highly infectious new variants spreading undetected among the millions of cases in Latin America and other parts of the world.
A new study in The Lancet medical journal has found that the Alpha (U.K.), Beta (South Africa) and Delta (India) variants are all more resistant to existing vaccines than the original COVID virus, and the Delta variant is still spreading in countries with aggressive vaccination programs, including the U.K.
The Delta variant accounts for a two-month high in new cases in the U.K. and a new wave of infections in Portugal, just as developed countries ease restrictions before the summer vacation season, almost certainly opening the door to the next wave. The U.K., which has a slightly higher vaccination rate than the United States, had planned a further relaxation of restrictions on June 21st, but that is now in question.
China, Vietnam, New Zealand and other countries defeated the pandemic in its early stages by prioritizing public health over business interests. The United States and Western Europe instead tried to strike a balance between public health and their neoliberal economic systems, breeding a monster that has now killed millions of people. The World Health Organization believes that six to eight million people have died, about twice as many as have been counted in official figures.
Now the WHO is recommending that wealthier countries who have good supplies of vaccines postpone vaccinating healthy young people, and instead prioritize sending vaccines to poorer countries where the virus is running wild.
President Biden has announced that the United States is releasing 25 million doses from its stockpiles, most of which will be distributed through the WHO’s Covax program, with another 55 million to follow by the end of June. But this is a tiny fraction of what is needed.
Biden has also agreed to waive patent rights on vaccines under the WTO’s TRIPS rules (the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights), but that has so far been held up at the WTO by Canada and right-wing governments in the U.K., Germany, Brazil, Australia, Japan and Colombia. People have taken to the streets in many countries to insist that a WTO TRIPS Council meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 8-9, must agree to waive patent monopolies.
Since all the countries blocking the TRIPS waiver are U.S. allies, this will be a critical test of the Biden administration’s promised international leadership and diplomacy, which has so far taken a back seat to dangerous saber-rattling against China and Russia, foot-dragging on the JCPOA with Iran and war-crime-fueling weapons-peddling to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Ending international vaccine apartheid is not just a matter of altruism, or even justice. It is a question of whether we will end this pandemic before vaccine-resistant, super-spreading and deadlier variants fuel even more toxic new waves. The only way humanity can win this struggle is to act collectively in our common interest.
Public Citizen has researched what it would take to vaccinate the world, and concluded that it would cost only $25 billion – 3% of the annual U.S. budget for weapons and war – to set up manufacturing plants and distribution hubs across the world and vaccinate all of humanity within a year. Forty-two Progressives in Congress have signed a letter to President Biden to urge him to fund such a plan.
If the world can agree to make and distribute a People’s Vaccine, it could be the silver lining in this dark cloud, because this ability to act globally and collectively in the public interest is precisely what we need to solve so many of the most serious problems facing humanity.
For example, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) is warning that we are in the midst of a triple crisis of climate change, mass extinction and pollution. Our neoliberal political and economic system has not just failed to solve these problems. It actively works to undermine efforts to do so, granting people, corporations and countries who profit from destroying the natural world the freedom to do so without constraint.
That is the very meaning of laissez-faire, to let the wealthy and powerful do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences for the rest of us, or even for life on Earth. As the economist John Maynard Keynes reputedly said in the 1930s, “Laissez-faire capitalism is the absurd idea that the worst people, for the worst reasons, will do what is best for us all.”
Neoliberalism is the reimposition of 19th century laissez-faire capitalism, with all its injustices, inequality and oppression, on the people of the 21st century, prioritizing markets, profits and wealth over the common welfare of humanity and the natural world our lives depend on.
Berkeley and Princeton political theorist Sheldon Wolin called the U.S. political system, which facilitates this neoliberal economic order, “inverted totalitarianism.” Like classical totalitarianism, it concentrates ever more wealth and power in the hands of a small ruling class, but instead of abolishing parliaments, elections and the superficial trappings of representative government as classical totalitarianism did, it simply co-opts them as tools of plutocracy, which has proved to be a more marketable and sustainable strategy.
But now that neoliberalism has wreaked its chaos for a generation, popular movements are rising up across the world to demand systemic change and to build new systems of politics and economics that can actually solve the huge problems that neoliberalism has produced.
In response to the 2019 uprising in Chile, its rulers were forced to agree to an election for a constitutional assembly, to draft a constitution to replace the one written during the Pinochet dictatorship, one of the vanguards of neoliberalism. That election has now taken place, and the ruling party of President Pinera and other traditional parties won less than a third of the seats. So the constitution will instead be written by a super-majority of citizens committed to radical reform and social, economic and political justice.
In Iraq, which was also swept by a popular uprising in 2019, a new government seated in 2020 has launched an investigation to recover $150 billion in Iraqi oil revenues stolen and smuggled out of the country by the corrupt officials of previous governments.
U.S.-backed former exiles flew into Iraq on the heels of the U.S. invasion in 2003 “with empty pockets to fill,” as a Baghdad taxi driver told a Western reporter at the time. While U.S. forces and U.S.-trained Iraqi death squads destroyed their country, they hunkered down in the Green Zone in Baghdad and controlled and looted Iraq’s oil revenues for the next seventeen years. Now maybe Iraq can recover the stolen money its people so desperately need, and start using its oil wealth to rebuild that shattered country.
In Bolivia, also in 2019, a U.S.-backed coup overthrew its popular indigenous president, Evo Morales. But the people of Bolivia rose up in a general strike to demand a new election, Morales’ MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo) Party was restored to power, and Luis Arce, Morales’ former Economy Minister, is now Bolivia’s President.
Around the world, we are witnessing what can happen when people rise up and act collectively for the common good. That is how we will solve the serious problems we face, from the COVID pandemic to the climate crisis to the terminal danger of nuclear war. Humanity’s survival into the twenty-second century and all our hopes for a bright future depend on building new political and economic systems that will simply and genuinely “do what is best for all of us.”
How did we ever get to this point … to the point where, as I put it in The Covidian Cult, “instead of the cult existing as an island within the dominant culture, the cult has become the dominant culture, and those of us who have not joined the cult have become the isolated islands within it?”
To understand this, one needs to understand how cults control the minds of their members, because totalitarian ideological movements operate more or less the same way, just on a much larger, societal scale.
I had a job helping people get jobs. Individuals with developmental disabilities. Brain injured, too. That job ended because I sent in a bunch of grievances about hostile work environment, a supervisor who threatened me and yelled at me, and an amazing half year of the most unprofessional work atmosphere I have ever experienced!
With the Covid Madness in my state, in this county, some of these clients landed jobs as janitors/custodians in the schools in Lincoln County.
Oregon is one of those states that is full of trembling “liberals” and “holed up 2nd Amendment lovers.” The state is in an economic spiral, and like Washington State, run by the new dictators of the Democratic Party breed.
It’s the state with a history of Sundown Towns, and one that has a governor who touts herself as being bi-sexual and ready to slay those anti-LGBTQA dragons, but when it comes to the citizens of Oregon now in lockdown hell, with suicide rates doubling for young people, businesses going belly up, housing shortages, evictions on the horizon, you can just hear Kate Brown’s smarmy ameliorating.
The solutions to the problem of heightened risk among unvaccinated people range from very difficult to extremely easy. Very difficult: Convince unvaccinated people that — notwithstanding the general optimism — they may, in fact, be at higher risk than before. Particularly if they’re planning to be vaccinated, now is the worst possible time to let down their guard. They should continue to wear their masks, keep their distance and avoid risky situations — even as they see their vaccinated brethren enjoying their newfound freedom. Equally challenging: Require proof of vaccination (so-called immunity passports) to access places that don’t require masks and social distancing.
Easy: Everyone gets vaccinated when their number comes up. Problem solved.
This is the way of Washington State’s governor, Inslee, and our state’s, Brown.
So, fires, or, Covid Cult? This is the state of Capitalism, where criminal operations — Big Pharma — have got the ear of Gods like Fauci and the boot-lickers like our governors. All governors when it comes to the rapacious stupidity of believing in privatizing everything, throwing profits (taxpayer money) at the corporations, and then tying up the purse strings (taxpayer money, and uncollected millionaire and billionaire illegal loot) when it comes to housing and food and medical clinics for all.
The world’s largest firefighting plane has been shut down just as Western states prepare for a wildfire season that fire officials fear could be worse than the average year.
Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, said via email Friday that the state’s Department of Natural Resources was alerted to the shutdown of the worlds’ largest firefighting plane called the Global SuperTanker.
This is one fat example (one of a million) of the fall of the capitalist empire, that is, the fall of one million people and hundreds of communities at a time. A firefighting tanker, privately owned, costing taxpayers up to $250,000 a day. Imagine that, our fire season is now 12 months, and we are in megadrought 3.0 here, and the governors are mandating those Covid shots, but imagine this — smoke, particulates, evacuations, immolation. In this great trillion-dollar-a-year-thrown-at-the-military mighty country, we pay for one effing jet. We get fire fighters from Australia, man, and Mexico. Use prisoners to be on-the-ground hot-shots. All those jets and planes and copters, and we have one privately held jet that now is out of service.
This hubris of it all. Yes, this all ties into the Covid Cult and the trillion-dollar giveaway to the Covid War Profiteers.
Back to my Oregon, the Intel and Nike State.
Old Nike, you know that Nike, the one run by Phil Knight.
The New Rulers Of The World: Through secret filming, Pilger shows how cheap labour in an Indonesian sweatshop produces goods such as Nike, Adidas, Gap and Reebok running shoes that are sold for up to 250 times the amount received by workers, about 72p a day. Almost 70 million Indonesians live in extreme poverty, many in labour camps housing the workers, where children are under-nourished and prone to disease. Inside the sweatshops, mostly young women are crowded together under the glare of strip lighting in temperatures of up to 40°C, some doing 24-hour shifts.
Observing the parallel between modern-day globalisation and old-world imperialism, Pilger recalls that Indonesia has been “plundered by the West for hundreds of years”. Globalisation in Asia began in Indonesia, where Western governments backed dictator General Suharto after he seized power in the mid-1960s. “Within a year of the bloodbath,” says Pilger, “Indonesia’s economy was effectively redesigned in America, giving the West access to vast mineral wealth, markets and cheap labour – what President Nixon called the greatest prize in Asia.” In 1997, the World Bank had called the country a “model pupil” of the global economy.
I bring this up because, well, the people who I landed jobs for within the school system arem of course, exploited by the Lincoln County School District and the contractor, Sodexo. Nike or Sodexo, all those transnational and sweatshop condition loving companies are all the same — socialism for the CEOs and stockholders, capitalism (low wages, whatever the market can bear) for the workers! Profits for Nike, and hell for the foreign workers, the foreign economies, the foreign soil! Nike swoosh!
THAT Sodexo —
For around ten years, Sodexo, a French company that is one of the world’s largest multinational corporations, has provided Saint Peter’s with cafeteria food. But Sodexo does more than just provide food services to universities— they also run private prisons and detention centers abroad.
Up until 2001, Sodexo owned one of the largest stakes in the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a company that now controls nearly half of the private prisons in the United States.
After Sodexo’s ties with CCA were made public, six universities dropped their contracts with Sodexo, and continued activist pressure led Sodexo to sell its shares in CCA.
But since then, Sodexo has vastly expanded the number of detention centers it operates overseas. As of 2016, Sodexo managed 122 prisons in eight countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. They also run prisons and immigrant detention centers in the United Kingdom.
So, because of the Covid Cult, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Governor who is Ms./Mr. Kate Brown, these jobs at $12 an hour are not being filled by many job seekers (low pay) but are getting scarfed up by adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
The jobs are absurd — spraying down/wiping off walls, handles, desks, everything, even on the days no students were attending classes. One of my former clients had to use a metal saw and saw off all the book baskets that are on some of the desk-table combinations. That was 34 in one day.
You know, the jumping Covid-19 Fort Detrick Virus.
Social “distancing” makes the schools create six foot lines in the sand, and then three foot separations as schools came back in full-force (sic). Still, with three feet between desks, 360 degrees around, that is, not all returning students can be accommodated in the classroom.
My clients were so hyped up that they constantly asked me about “the shot”, “the vaccine”, and when it might be coming to the county and town near them. They asked me about my opinion about the shots. They have to wear masks on school property doing their tasks, and even going outside, as well as taking a smoke break and Rockstar drink break on a slab of land just outside the view-shed of the school. Mask madness.
My clients have been so worked up into a lather of fear, with stories saying, “Adults with Developmental Disabilities Have Three Fold Higher Risk of Getting Covid-19”; “Adults with Developmental Disabilities Have a Higher Rate of Death with Covid-19.”
The rush to get jabbed has been on, and Oregonians like my former clients rushed to the clinics and pharmacies to get something that definitely is not a vaccine. A chemical shot, sure. And, of course, they asked me about my take on things, and I had to thread the needle, balance my learned opinion with their frightened take on things.
There were teachers who used the tattletale method of complaining to my clients’ leads if a little bit of dirt was left on the floors. Some teachers resorted to their own classroom stings, putting tiny itsy-bitsy piles of sugar on desks to see if the entire surface had been wiped down.
The clients have less than 15 minutes to clean a classroom, and that can be tough with food and drink messes on floors, and all the garbage. This is the state of paranoia and Nazism.
Oh, those runners. Imagine, the extreme stupidity and compliance of Oregonians, having cross-country student athletes wear heavy masks during their runs.
Here, from a column in the Oregonian, from parents and others complaining about the Governor and his/her health authoritarians mandating masks for outdoor, even solo, sports:
Thank you so much for your column highlighting the ridiculousness and dangers of masks on youth runners. As parents of a ninth grade cross country and track athlete, we have been extremely frustrated with this rule. Our child was told that if she pulls the mask down for a minute just to get some air, she will be DQ’d and possibly kicked off the team if it’s a repeated ‘offense’. We are forced to make a decision to either keep her on the team for her emotional and social well-being while jeopardizing her physical health with lack of oxygen, or pull her off the team and back into social isolation and inactivity. I feel the state is abusing our children.
So, we have Nike, with Knight funding in the tens of millions, cancer research and with that company, NIKE, doing the dirty deeds of not only employing sweatshop slavery, but supporting violent military thugs in those respective “developing south” countries. Watch John Pilger’s short documentary above.
We get to all sorts of inanities in this Covid-19 mess. More and more conversations get shut down, when someone like me questions that “I got my jab and why haven’t you” bullshit that comes out of people’s mouths — friends and foes alike, family and co-workers, too.
And those masks, man. Every teacher, student and custodian I was around did everything 100 percent wrong in terms of keeping the germ theory in place — noses exposed, sides of masks leaking, taking them off and leaving them face-out touching surfaces. People with a blue plastic mask on, running their hands through thick strands of their own hair, and then touching everything.
You know, Ebola, man. That SARS-CoV2 thing, man. Antibacterial fluids on everything, on hands 20 times a day. Masks off to chew up a Subway sandwich, but masks on for 16-year-olds running through the woods fox X-Country practice.
Yet, the trust, again, in those jabs, those companies producing those jabs —
It’s been eight months since Big Pharma executives faced a grilling by the Senate Finance Committee over their pricing decisions. But the scrutiny is far from over—and now, the committee is digging into pharma funding for patient advocacy groups, which have been known to speak in tunes that are music to the industry’s ears.
Emergent BioSolutions has faced a number of back-to-back PR crises since production issues at its Baltimore facility placed the company under intense scrutiny. The CDMO’s stock price has tumbled as a result, but it appears CEO Robert Kramer cashed out some of his shares just in time. — Source
That company, the dirty one, producing contaminated and brown sediment laced J&J “vaccines.” That one where 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 hypodermic chemical has to be dumped because of “an ingredient mix-up” at its Baltimore plant. J&J has since taken control over the facility and AstraZeneca, which was also making its vaccine there, was forced to move out.
That Johnson and Johnson —
AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Merck & Co., AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson together contributed more than $680 million to hundreds of patient groups and other nonprofits last year, according to a Bloomberg examination of data the companies sent to the Finance Committee.
The total tally more than doubled the $321 million the six companies handed out in 2015 and significantly exceeded what the industry itself spent on lobbying. In 2018, the entire pharmaceutical and health products industry—including pharmaceutical benefit managers—spent $283 million in lobbying U.S. lawmakers, according to the independent research group OpenSecrets.
But all’s well, uh? Big Pharma is one of the most powerful industries in the world. The global revenue for pharmaceuticals was over $1 trillion in 2014. But nowhere else in the world do the drug and medical device industries have as much power and make as much money as in the U.S.
Six of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies for 2017 have their headquarters in the U.S. These include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck, Gilead, Amgen and AbbVie.
Back in the good old days, oh, March 2020, just 28 percent of Americans polled had a good opinion of Big Pharma. Big Pharma is the second most hated industry in America: second to none, but right behind the tobacco industry and the oil, gas and chemical industries.
Add to the criminal enterprises Big Pharma is embroiled in, it is also the biggest defrauder of the Federal Government under the False Claims Act, according to consumer watchdog group Public Citizen.
Sure, a history of fraud, bribery, lawsuits and scandals is the American way, for sure, and also, despite criminal charges and fines, no less, Big Pharma companies continue to do business. To the tune of a trillion a year, or more, in profits.
Pablo Escobar is rolling in his grave in envy.
I have had some close relationships with people in the “drug” business, and that includes Merck, when it was MSD. And a friend of my mom’s who was a Pharm D working on all sorts of research on the drugs that drug companies came out with that either did not work, or did their damage in spades.
I taught English classes in Juarez, and I toured the Johnson and Johnson twin plant and talked to workers there. Like everything else in American Capitalism, the Mexicans were treated like crap, from the fabricators to the technical engineers. The reason J & J was sited there was for the profit margin, man, low pay, no unions, no taxes, desperate Mexican women (mostly) workers, and the ability to skirt environmental and OSHA laws. Each year I went by the maquiladora, more and more security was posted outside. Photos of J&J by me (a journalist) were questioned, until a series of “no photo” signs were posted all over.
Then, of course, the Gates Foundation and Planned Parenthood. Who would have thought I’d be up against Planned Parenthood, up against Gates and Merck and the HPV vaccination?
Here, a story, mine, “Death by a Thousand Cuts: Vaccines, Non-Profits, and the Dissemination of Medical Information.” The crux of which is that I was kicked out of day two of a mandatory sex ed class for things I did not do, but for positing a few questions to the instructors. Then, the nonprofit I worked for summarily made up their mind to pink slip me. You see, I was at the training in Seattle, at the Planned Parenthood headquarters, and the nonprofit I was working for was located hundreds of miles and a state away, south of Portland, Oregon.
I asked the trainer what might happen when some of my rural clients’ parents and the young clients themselves personally just Googled “Gardasil and vaccine injuries” and then confronted me, case manager and now a sex ed trained trainer, and others with the evidence. This colonized trainer got mad, raised his voice, and stated, again, the voice of God, here, “The Jury is Out on Gardasil. It is one hundred percent safe.” Here at Dissident Voice, “My Fate as a Social Worker Sealed by a Vaccine named Gardasil.”
Just read on, and see how Planned Parenthood gets money from the Gardasil makers (Merck) and gets money from Gates Foundation for the youth vaccination (HPV especially) propaganda machine, also called, instruction.
This madness is ratcheting up, and, oh, that supposed rough, rugged, independent American is caving and caving to the most crass and simplistic propaganda. My wife’s daughter, at Oregon State University, is being bombarded (she and the entire student body, the staff, the faculty, and, yes, the food service and custodial staff) with messages, emails and bulletins — “Well, we want all of the OSU (Beavers) Family safe, and while we are not making the vaccination mandatory now, but, but, but . . . .”
Those but’s are indeed not just but’s; rather, they are mandates, as this school, like the rest of the country’s schools, mostly, will make that “deadly” shot mandatory, err, the Covid-19 shot. OSU makes students show proof of the meningitis vaccination, so Covid-19 shots are the next logical step in this Sundown law state. This list is big, and expanding as of today: What Colleges Require the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Oh, that is it, no, laws, mandates, community “standards,” what goes goes, and what isn’t allowed, isn’t allowed here. More on the Oregon racism.
Oh, I know about mandatory medical laws, mandatory medical procedures, which the Covid-19 shot is, a medical experiment procedure. Oregon and forced vaccinations, err, I mean, forced sterilizations: In 1917 the Oregon State Legislature, in Salem, Oregon, passed a bill titled, “To Prevent Procreation of Certain Classes in Oregon.” Passage of the bill created the Oregon State Board of Eugenics.
“We can and must protect our nation from insanity, epilepsy, and the varied train of abnormalities that follow in their wake.” Dr. Bethenia Adair Owens said in 1915.
Oregon’s 1923 law targeting people deemed “feeble-minded, insane, epileptic, habitual criminals, moral degenerates, and sexual perverts.”
The state set up a Board of Eugenics that had the final decision over who would be sterilized. The board ordered its last forced sterilization in 1981. In 1983, Oregon’s eugenics law was repealed.
Oh, that Oregonian, still around, supporting the Governor’s forced “vaccination” and lockdown mandates —
The largest newspaper in Oregon, the Republican-controlled Oregonian, supported Eugenics and used its power to inflame public opinion. In a news article headlined “Fecund Mental Derelicts of Oregon Called Menace by State Health Official,” Dr. Floyd South, a member of the Oregon State Board of Health and the Board of Eugenics, stated on June 17, 1938, “Feeble-minded, insane, and otherwise mentally and physically incompetent persons in Oregon are reproducing twice as fast as normal persons.” He went on to state that within 200 years half the state’s population would be confined to public institutions if rigid sterilization laws were not enforced. This applied to the insane as well as “mentally weak persons.”
And, lest I leave out the “scientists” and medical experts (sic):
In 1940 Dr. Richard B. Dillehunt, dean of the University of Oregon Medical School and chairman of the committee appointed by Governor Charles H. Martin to analyze Oregon’s responsibility to the insane, wrote a series of articles for the Oregon Journal reporting his findings. He believed mental illness could be prevented by marriage laws and sterilization. He stated, “Idiots, imbeciles and morons are singularly moved by the primitive biologic impulses and spawn prodigiously. Here is a place where social groups and others might get together and make an effort: for, mark my word, with the prolificacy and multiplication of the feeble-minded, such social groups might soon find themselves on the defensive instead of in a position to help.”
Forced experimental and untested and unapproved shots, or maybe shots that have the gifts that keep on giving: sterilization, blood clot-inducing, heart attack-creating, miscarriage-providing, total immune system compromising Pizer and J&J madness.
The propaganda, the arm twisting, oh, the fancy foot PhD wording, but still, a forced chemical shot, and who knows what the medical consequences shall be (read, COVID-19 Vaccine Reactions):
Again, regardless of whether OSU implements a vaccination requirement, we hold an expectation that each of us will take every precaution to increase the level of community protection from COVID-19, which includes each of us obtaining the vaccine as soon as possible.
Sincerely, Dan Larson, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, OSU Coronavirus Response Coordinator
The unvaccinated cannot marry the vaccinated! The new normal!
“There you have it — At-will, AKA at the beckon call, beckon abuse, beckon exploitation, beckon denigration, beckon injurious behavior and workplace environment. These employers are thugs, and from the top down, with their lawyers and MBAs and institutional misleadership yahoos at the executive level, the worker is doomed by this sick system. Forced vaccinations for schools, colleges, workplaces. The systems need to burn!”
Of course, I am asked not to identify the person who wrote this to me. We all are being surveilled by these Stasi folk, whether we work for a governmental agency, school systems, private college, for-profit business, mom and pop lowbrow joint, nonprofit, you name it.
They (bosses, agencies, pre-employment interviewers) sign up for Google search notifications — any time their company is named in the media or on digital platforms, they get notifications. They track what’s said about their business, corporation, nonprofit, agency, school. That is also for anyone they want to put into the Google-Palantir search engine, for a price, monthly rate, be it a person’s name. Like mine, hmm.
This is what these Stasi Americans want in their lives — complete control. Damage control against the truth-sayers speaking truth to power. Damage the messenger, or kill him or her with constant threats of litigation, fines, subpoenas, more. Imagine one writer, me, getting hooked into the Google Gulag, but then, what about anyone with my name? Hmm, children, siblings, spouses? This is how they play their mole game.
Below, an example of the blithe and dangerous bullshit fake journalism of the mainstream imbeciles. That the State of Oregon can force vaccinations onto people really is the issue: the state just pushes that onto the overlords running businesses or nonprofits. That’s it, no argument, hands down the policy of the land, man.
The news (sic) story below will not contain push back, and it will be vacant of civil rights thinkers/libertarians cited, will allude to no one pushing back on these Draconian measures. In fact, the story will not frame these measures as Draconian. The journalist from the Oregon paper of record (Oregonian) is already colonized and co-opted. Then you get some “law” professor (sic) from a for-profit private university pulled into the article, to come on board to yammer on. This is the new normal that’s been pretty old normal — mainstream media faking it, looking like it’s in the hunt for balance, when it’s all false balance, false and manufactured consent. The goal is to question the prevailing party-bureaucratic-company line, and question all governments’ actions. Read here:
“I think ultimately most employers would be able to require it,” said Henry Drummonds, a Lewis & Clark Law School professor specializing in labor and employment law. “But I think most employers probably wouldn’t want to require it. I think employers could first encourage and educate employees about the safety of the vaccine and the desirability of it in terms of protecting yourself and your coworkers.”
Drummonds said that at-will employment standards allow private businesses to dictate and change the terms of employment at any time and fire employees for any reason, as long as they don’t discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age or any other protected category.
In practice, this means that employers probably could require employees to receive the vaccine to remain employed or return to the office. Both the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries have released guidance stating that employers can mandate that employees get vaccinated.
Already, idiocy prevails: just recently, I witnessed a manager of a nonprofit ask her employee in front of another employee in a public place within lots of people’s earshot: “Well, Rick, got his vaccination. So did I. Most everyone in the company has. But John hasn’t.”
I knew this was a nonprofit this manager was a member of because I was within earshot. I offered an unsolicited response, trying to equate calling someone out in public for not having this experimental and not FDA-approved chemical shot. “How’s your BMI? You looking overweight? How’s your hypertension? You looking pink in the face? How’s your probable lung cancer? You just finished off a cigarette. Come on, shaming people for not agreeing to an untested chemical compound with that jab in the arm is unethical, and in public so I can hear your conversation?” She just clammed up and scooted her two employees away.
Imagine, fewer and fewer tough guys and gals can actually make it in USA (elsewhere too) with the power of what they can and cannot decide upon, that is, what they either want to and do not want to be injected into their bodies. Mind you, the jury is far from out on these chemical shots —
On February 27, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it had “issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the third vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the Janssen (Johnson&Johnson) Covid-19 vaccine.
This announcement is virtually identical to the EUAs previously issued for Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna.
In each of the EUAs, the FDA has been careful to avoid any claim that the vaccines provide protection against infection or transmission of the virus. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have each publicly stated that the vaccines have NOT been shown to prevent infection or transmission.
All of their regulatory documents and commentary addressing the issue state clearly that there is no evidence that the vaccines affect either infection with or transmission of the virus, nor do they prevent symptoms of Covid-19 from appearing.
— Source: “Covid Vaccine Nonsense” [US-based human rights lawyer breaks down the contradictory claims of “effectiveness”, the incomplete studies and legal minefield of forced use of experimental vaccines] JP Jerome
Let’s shift to some compare and contrast between vaccine makers and cigarette makers. I just read a short but cogent article on the menthol marketing, how 45,000 black Americans die each year from tobacco related illnesses (mostly throat, tongue, and lung cancer). Talk about cool — mentholated cigarettes’ make the poisons go down easier. Everything goes down smoother with a little bit of throat deadening. And this is legal stuff. No massive “take all the cigarettes’ and Juul’s and pipes and cigars and chew cans away.” “Menthol Marketing Exposes Institutional Racism” by Michael Schwalbe, Counterpunch.
But forced vaccinations, and then this pact with the devil — at-will, zero protection: screw up and you get the pink slip bullshit about American capitalism. Sort of buyer beware, user beware, consumer beware, worker beware.
In the long run, the solution to the ongoing global pandemic of tobacco-related disease is to abolish tobacco companies. Short of that, we now have an opportunity to significantly curtail the industry’s ability to profit from the destruction of Black lives. If Black lives matter, we must not let the opportunity pass.
— Michael Schwalbe, professor of sociology at North Carolina State University Source.
Low income, lots of working class people, workers in the developing world. Slick multimillion dollar a year ad campaigns: Slick, and Scientific (sic). Data driven. Imagine, tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. Of these deaths, 1.2 million are caused by secondhand smoke exposure. Talk about an epidemic, pandemic. You know that every rotting Southern pol and every single tobacco lobbyist and every grower and CEO, they pooh-pooh these stats. “Prove it. If it’s that deadly, then why’s it legal?”
The internet seems great at scrubbing information, but the reality is that when Ray-Gun left his criminal enterprise throne, he did some hucksterism stuff for the tobacco industry. He and Edwin Meese did a talking tour overseas to push cancer sticks.
Talk about killing people from his cold-ass grave, Reagan and the long arm of his contra mentality, still with us:
But the industry did not launch its campaign for new overseas markets alone. The Reagan and Bush administrations used their economic and political clout to pry open markets in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and China for American cigarettes. At a time when one arm of the government was warning Americans about the dangers of smoking, another was helping the industry recruit a new generation of smokers abroad.
Asia is where tobacco’s search for new horizons began and where the industry came to rely most on Washington’s help. U.S. officials in effect became the industry’s lawyers, agents and collaborators. Prominent politicians such as Robert J. Dole, Jesse Helms, Dan Quayle and Al Gore played a role. “No matter how this process spins itself out,” George Griffin, commercial counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, told Matthew N. Winokur, public affairs manager of Philip Morris Asia, in a “Dear Matt” letter in January 1986, “I want to emphasize that the embassy and the various U.S. government agencies in Washington will keep the interests of Philip Morris and the other American cigarette manufacturers in the forefront of our daily concerns.” Source.
Why the harangue by yours truly against tobacco in a piece about how rotting the at-will mentality of big, small and loser companies run by bigger losers than anyone following the Peter Principle 2.0 [well, Peter Principle update: the worse you are as a human, with no ethics, no character, well, you go up the ladder, food chain, corporate manure pile!] can imagine forcing vaccines onto workers?
Think hard about an experimental mRNA chemical put into a syringe and then forcefully delivered to the global population. Hmm, would this have been acceptable in 2019? 2001? 1990? The year I was born, 1957?
Of course not, and yet, this is it, with people being shamed or called out for reluctance on an experimental, emergency authorized, untested chemical and DNA morphing drug being forcefully put into one’s body. Not once, but with a booster, and then, now, as the world burns, yearly or bi-yearly boosters for the “new” variants of a corona cold virus.
Here, this is science and capitalism, science/capitalism/politics, like leprosery and it’s host —
One way the tobacco industry has manipulated cigarettes to increase addictiveness is by loading cigarettes with chemical compounds. Bronchodilators were added so that tobacco smoke can more easily enter the lungs. Sugars, flavors and menthol were increased to dull the harshness of smoke and make it easier to inhale. Ammonia was added so that nicotine travels to the brain faster.
Specifically, increasing the amount of nicotine was of paramount importance to tobacco company executives. Experts found that Big Tobacco companies genetically engineered their tobacco crops to contain two times the amount of nicotine and adjusted their cigarette design so that the nicotine delivered to smokers increased by 14.5 percent. As Phillip Morris Principal Scientist W.L. Dunn said in 1972, “No one has ever become a cigarette smoker by smoking cigarettes without nicotine.” — Source
Bronchodilators and ammonia added? Come on, my students at UTEP were finding more dirt on big tobacco and the collusion with the FDA, keeping secret under governmental lock and key all the ingredients they sprayed on tobacco before becoming the stuff of rolled cigs, cigars, pipe filler and chew. Think of secret doses of anti-convulsant drugs, since the higher nicotine content and the other burning chemicals cause many people to get ticks, minor tremors; i.e., seizures. Best keep the seizures down and the sales up.
Shoot, this is just the minor list of smoke by-products — Nicotine (the addictive drug that produces the effects in the brain that people are looking for), Hydrogen cyanide, Formaldehyde, Lead, Arsenic, Ammonia, Radioactive elements, such as polonium-210, Benzene, Carbon monoxide, Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
These Satan’s, these big and little Eichmann types, these Mad Men, these PR spinners, these profiteers and cancer mercenaries, come on, the story is bigger — 600 ingredients can be used in cigarettes, but the actual combustion of the cig produces over 4,000 chemical compounds. And, when burned, these cigarette ingredients mix together and create deadly substances, 69 of which are carcinogenic.
Yeah, how’s that pandemic and pandemic and pandemic on the horizon. SARS-CoV2, 3, 5? Remember, there is no outright statement that declares cigarette smoking causes cancers or any number of other co-occurring diseases or terminal cancers.
So, if Big Tobacco and Gore and Reagan and Clinton and Trump, et al can stump just for this singular felonious Mafia outfit, what do you think might be happening behind closed doors and inside labs and at the top of the heap tied to exactly what this experimental vaccine’s (sic) side effects might do today, next month, a year from now, etc.?
For the good of the world? The economies? For life saving ethos? You got the memo yet? You want life saving? Shit, one product, tobacco, done with, hmm, what’s that life saving factor? Banned from planet earth, more or less. And how much for all the lost labor of huffing and puffing cig smokers . . . all the flagging physiologies, all the damage, slow and fast, caused by cigs, et al? Ya think there will be a ban tomorrow?
Hmm, NEVER. Now, multiply that a million fold with all the deadly chemicals and toxins and fumigants and fungicides and off-gassing crap in all manner of clothes, combustible materials, food, drinks, drugs. Then multiple one times two, and then factor up. How do these work, hmm, twelve together, the impossibility of really studying the synergistic effects of one chemical interacting with another, or a dozen or 4,000? Hmm, those 4,000 chemicals in one good Marlboro man drag, what’s the toll?
You think there are governmental and private financed studies on that? Think.
According to comments from vaccine scientists in September 2020 (prior to the Covid-19 EUA issuances), no vaccine had ever before been distributed on an EUA basis.
“We don’t do EUAs for vaccines,” [Dr. Peter] Hotez said, “It’s a lesser review, it’s a lower-quality review, and when you’re talking about vaccinating a large chunk of the American population, that’s not acceptable.”
Three months later, the FDA issued EUAs for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but with explicit guidance that the vaccine “has not undergone the same type of review as an FDA- approved or cleared product.”
The idea is that if there are injuries and deaths because of the experimental and untested drugs-chemicals in these shots, well, who foots the bill? Who is responsible? Hmm, in the USA, it’s the US taxpayer.
I have a friend whose niece would not take “death by any other means” as the last answer. She is pushing for an investigation into her father’s death after the vaccine was given to him. He was 74, healthy, but he did have aging issues, like we all do. Blood clots occurred rapidly, hmm, and, then he checked out in a stroke like manner. This is after, right after, vaccination. The county coroner will not do an autopsy, and alas, there are no watchdog agencies in our corner. A simple autopsy would be $6,000. This is a suspicious vaccine-related death, and she has now gone on-line and gotten more people to email her about similar deaths after vaccination. She can’t put it on Facebook, too long or too detailed like, so she is getting contacted through GoFundMe. She’s doing this surreptitiously. There will be no Ralph Nader’s or RFK, Jr.’s coming to her family’s aid.
Just like you can’t sue successfully the big tobacco and their technicians and chemists and MD’s and lawyers and CEO’s and the politicians and marketers for selling a dangerous product to a billion people, let alone the second and third hand smoke of these cancer sticks.
Some of the truths the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing about the United States are its racial disparities in health and access to health care. Black and Indigenous people are more likely to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 than white people. They are two to three times more likely to be hospitalized and two to two and a half times more likely to die than white people. There are a number of factors that contribute to this.
Another related truth that is being exposed by the pandemic is the relative failure of capitalist countries to contain the virus and limit deaths when compared to socialist countries. Even some relatively poor countries, many of which are targeted by the US’ illegal economic warfare, are outperforming wealthy countries because they have socialized systems.
This shouldn’t be surprising because capitalism as a system is designed to profit from emergencies, not provide for people’s needs. The response, or lack of it, to the winter storms in the South last week was a stark example. Millions of people froze without power and water because Texas failed to invest in its infrastructure to prepare for an emergency and those who had electricity are now facing energy bills of thousands of dollars because the market prices for energy soared.
But all in all, the Global South, mainly composed of Indigenous, Black and other people of color, is struggling during the pandemic as are their brothers and sisters in the United States. Wealthy western nations are hoarding more supplies than they need. They are protecting the profits of their corporations at a cost of human lives and allowing the pandemic to rage across the planet, mutating into more infectious and deadly strains as it goes.
People are organizing to end this medical apartheid. This is an important opportunity to address the longstanding causes of these disparities and build systems that uphold all of our human rights to health. This is a struggle that calls for solidarity from people in the US with the Global South.
People hold up a banner while listening to a news conference outside San Quentin State Prison Thursday, July 9, 2020. (ERIC RISBERG AP.)
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on the overall health of people in the United States, but Indigenous, Black and Latino people are impacted the most. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that life expectancy in the United States fell by a year in the first half of 2020, and it is likely to be a larger decline once the data for the entire year has been analyzed. Black people lost almost three years and Latino people lost almost two years of life while the decline for white people was less than a year. The CDC did not report on the life expectancy of Indigenous people.
There are multiple reasons for the disparity. As the Economic Policy Institute found last year, Black workers are suffering more during the pandemic in part because they are less likely to be able to work from home than white workers. Black people are more likely to have lost their job or to be an essential worker where they risk contracting COVID-19 and introducing it to their families and communities.
Prisons, where Black people are more likely than white people to be incarcerated, are sites of a high proportion of COVID-19 cases. As Marc Norton writes, prisons are super spreader sites infecting not only inmates but the surrounding community as well. One inmate who was involved in protests over the conditions at the Justice Center in St. Louis Missouri explains that inmates are not being tested, are not being given adequate access to what they need to protect themselves and are being housed with infected people. Although it is difficult to find data for prisoners who have COVID-19 categorized by race, the ACLU of West Virginia reports that the percent of Black inmates with COVID-19 in a number of states is nearly twice as high as the percentage of them in the prison population. For example, in Missouri, Black people are about a third of the prison population but are 58% of the COVID-19 cases.
Racial disparities are present in long term care facilities too, another site of high numbers of COVID-19 infections. Less than one percent of the population is in a long term care facility, but that is where five percent of the infections are occurring. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that there were more COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes with a high percentage of non-white residents than in nursing homes with a low percentage of non-white residents.
And rural areas, which in the South and Southeast tend to be majority Indigenous, Black and Brown, also contribute to the racial disparities in COVID-19 cases and deaths. For the last decade, rural communities have been losing their hospitals and with that, their health professionals. There is also less access to telehealth services. But cities are problematic too.
The authors of this article in the Gothamist explain that, in New York City, “Black and Latino residents by and large suffer the highest death rates, which are attributable to inequitable access to health care and housing.” They also find great disparities in vaccination rates. White residents are being vaccinated at three times the rate of Black and Latino residents.
Disparities in vaccination rates exist elsewhere too. In Philadelphia, 44% of the city residents are black but they make up only 12% of those who have been vaccinated. To change this, the Black Doctors COVID-9 Consortium is taking vaccines directly to Black neighborhoods to immunize people. In Baltimore, while more than 60% of the people living in the city are black, only 5% of the people who have been vaccinated are black.
In the United States, a big reason for the racial disparities in who is being vaccinated has to do with the lack of a coordinated plan to make sure that those who are most impacted are vaccinated first. The US lacks the public health infrastructure to administer a mass vaccination campaign. There are different guidelines and methods of getting vaccinated in different parts of the country.
If the United States had a universal healthcare system like national improved Medicare for all, then vaccination programs could be run through primary care practices where the patients and health professionals know each other. Practices would know who in their patient population needs the vaccine most and could contact them. In the current environment, people have to sign up online, which disadvantages those who do not have access to the internet, and in some areas people can only get vaccinated in drive-through centers that exclude people without cars.
Instead of primary care practices doing the vaccinations, vaccines are being distributed through for-profit pharmacy chains. In California, healthcare workers have to go to a pharmacy chain or Costco to get vaccinated instead of getting the vaccine at work. This creates another barrier for workers. In Florida, the Governor has politicized the vaccine rollout by prioritizing zip codes that are mostly Republican and allowing the grocery chain Publix to be the sole distributor. Publix donated heavily to the Governor’s campaign.
As Margaret Kimberley explains, the underlying problem is capitalism. She writes, “Donald Trump was blamed for the poor response in 2020 but it is clear that Americans are in trouble regardless of who occupies the White House because profits determine the response to a health care crisis.”
Funk Rally in DC (Nicolas Moreland)
Recently, Popular Resistance co-hosted a webinar called “COVID-19: How Weaponizing Disease and Vaccine Wars Are Failing Us.” It featured some of the authors and editors of the book, “Capitalism on a Ventilator,” who gave an update to it. It is clear that countries that treat health care as a public good and that have socialized governments, such as China, Vietnam, Cuba, and Nicaragua, were able to take immediate steps to control the pandemic. They had the healthcare system and infrastructure in place to get information to people about how to protect themselves, to identify people who were infected and to provide what they needed to quarantine or receive medical treatment. They were able to coordinate getting health professionals and supplies to the areas where they were needed. And they are treating immunization as a public health necessity instead of a profit-making venture.
The situation in the United States has been the opposite. There was no centralized plan. City and state governments scrambled to put in place what was needed and engaged in bidding wars with each other for basic supplies and equipment. Some areas were overwhelmed and could not provide necessary care to everyone. Health professionals and others on the front line worked in hazardous conditions. People who needed care delayed seeking it out of fear of the cost. Hunger and poverty are now growing as the government failed to provide needed support financially and in other ways such as housing, health care and food.
In the United States, immunizations are being treated as a profit-centers instead of public goods. The United States government spent $12.4 billion on “Operation Warp Speed” to produce vaccines using private corporations that are now reaping the profits. Spending on the vaccine delivery side was only in the hundreds of millions while the actual cost is billions of dollars. States are struggling to afford their vaccine programs as they wait for Congress to pass another spending bill. This is likely a factor in driving states to turn to for-profit entities like pharmacy chains to administer the vaccines.
The United States and other wealthy western nations have also been acting on a global scale to thwart the efforts of other countries to handle the pandemic. Early on, as countries worked together by sharing information, supplies and health professionals, the United States withdrew from these efforts and increased its economic warfare in the form of sanctions on countries such as Venezuela and Iran. The results have been devastating.
This week, the United Nations special rapporteur on the impact of unilateral coercive measures on human rights, Alena Douhan, released her preliminary report on the dire situation in Venezuela. In an interview with Anya Parampil, Douhan said that the economic blockade shrunk Venezuela’s government revenue by an astounding 99%. On top of that, the United States, United Kingdom and Portugal are withholding $6 billion of Venezuela’s assets, money that Venezuela had agreed to use to purchase food, medicine and other necessities from the United Nations. The sanctions are also preventing Venezuela from purchasing vaccines through the COVAX program. Douhan is calling on the US and others to end the sanctions and give Venezuela access to its money, but so far the Biden administration has refused.
Sign the petition telling the Biden administration to end the sanctions. Register for the Sanctions Kill webinar to learn more about what sanctions are, who they impact and what we can do to end them at bit.ly/SKtoolkit.
When Russia announced its COVID-19 vaccine last August, a vaccine produced by state agencies, the United States quickly moved to impose economic sanctions on those research centers seemingly out of spite. Similar sanctions were forced on China, which has produced five different COVID-19 vaccines and plans to share its vaccines with less developed countries at a low cost to them.
The United States and other wealthy western nations are responsible for the global vaccine apartheid. Instead of putting policies in place to make sure that all people, especially in the vulnerable Global South countries, have vaccines, they are buying up the vaccines in quantities greater than they need, causing scarcity and driving up prices.
In These Times reports that ten wealthy countries have administered 75% of the vaccine doses given so far to their people while 130 countries have not given any doses. African countries are struggling to buy vaccines even through the COVAX program, which is short on supplies. Hadas Thier writes, “AstraZeneca, despite claiming a ’no-profit’ pledge during the pandemic, is charging South Africa $5.25 per dose and Uganda $7 per dose. The European Union, by contrast, has paid just $2.16 per dose.” Doctors who are on the front lines are dying from COVID-19 because they aren’t protected, leaving African countries that already lack sufficient doctors in a worse situation.
Another issue that is driving the vaccine apartheid as well as limiting access to lifesaving medications is corporate monopolization of patent information. If other countries had access to that information, they could produce the vaccines and therapeutics themselves. Pressure is being put on the World Trade Organization (WTO) by 40 countries and 200 organizations to exempt COVID-19 medications and vaccines from patent restrictions, called a “TRIPS waiver,” at their meeting next month but the US and other wealthy nations are blocking it. Your organization can sign onto their letter here (deadline is Feb. 24).
The G7 nations met on Friday and agreed to provide a small portion of their vaccines to developing nations. Global Justice Now, one of the organizations pushing for open access to the patents for medicines and vaccines, says the G7 nations’ offer is a ‘fig leaf’ that is inadequate to address the problem: “Promising donations ‘at some point in the future’ fails to tackle the real problem: urgent lack of supply caused by Big Pharma’s patents.”
A stark example of vaccine apartheid is occurring in the Occupied Palestinian Territory where Israel, which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, is refusing to give the vaccine to Palestinians. The United States could use its power to pressure Israel to stop this practice, but it isn’t. The United States has been a strong supporter of Israel’s genocidal actions.
The People’s Vaccine Alliance, a group of organizations pressuring the WTO to lift the patents, states that if the situation doesn’t change, “90% of people in poor countries won’t be able to get the vaccine in 2021.” Some countries in Latin America are taking matters into their own hands. Cuba is developing its own vaccine, the Sovereign 2, and plans to produce 100 million doses this year, far more than it needs, so that it can make it available to other countries at no or low cost. Argentina and Mexico are working with Astra Zeneca to start producing its vaccine together. The manufacturing process will begin in Argentina and be finished in Mexico.
Nurses and health care workers outside at a hospital in New York City demand better protection against the COVID-19 virus (Giles Clarke)
The COVID-19 pandemic and global medical apartheid affect all of us. The more the virus is allowed to proliferate, the more likely there is to be mutations, like the ones in the strains coming from the UK and South Africa. The UK strain is more infectious than the original strain and appears to be more lethal. It is widespread in the US now and may cause another surge of cases in the coming weeks or months. The South African strain is also in the US. It is more infectious and seems able to evade the body’s immune system.
If the world does not get the pandemic under control, all of our lives are at risk. It is in our interest to make sure that enough people are vaccinated quickly to stop the spread before new strains arise that are resistant to the vaccines. It is also critical that people who need medications to treat COVID-19 have access to them no matter where they live.
The Biden administration claims to be concerned about racial inequities. If that is the case, it must address these inequities wherever they occur or be called out for failing to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to transform the world in a way that ends the great inequities that exist.
Health care must be viewed worldwide as a public good, not a profit-making venture.
Instead of competition, there must be an open sharing of information to tackle the healthcare crises we face.
The Global South, which comprises the most vulnerable populations, must be prioritized for access to medications and vaccines so it can resolve the crisis quickly with less impact on its struggling economies.
And, the United States must end its illegal actions around the world including economic sanctions, military interference and support for major human rights abusers such as Israel.
We in the United States can hasten this transformation by putting pressure on our government to change. This is a way to show solidarity with people around the world who, like us, are struggling for the right to a life of dignity and prosperity. What our government does abroad, it also does at home because we all suffer under the capitalist system. Together, we can create a better world.