The perpetual pandemic of capitalism – world socialist web site

Nearly one million more Americans tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, 2,000 lost their lives and coronavirus hospitalizations hit an all-time high.

In the United States, emergency rooms are war zones. Doctors and nurses, working back-to-back shifts, are at the breaking point. They call families, one after the other, to tell them that their loved ones are deceased. Hungry, dehydrated, deprived of sleep, they scramble to keep their promise to “use my power to help the sick”.

Registered nurse Rachel Chamberlin, of Cornish, NH, right, exits an isolation room where Fred Rutherford is recovering from COVID-19 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH on Monday January 3, 2022 [Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne]

Amid this heroic effort to save lives, another effort is underway: an offensive in the media and the political establishment to deny the seriousness of the pandemic, to desensitize the population to mass death, to claim that Omicron is “Soft” and insist that nothing can be done to stop it.

New York Times columnist David Leonhardt wrote on January 5, under the headline “Omicron is sweeter“, That” Covid now appears to pose less of a threat to most vaccinated seniors than the annual flu. ” He added that “Covid looks more and more like the type of health risk that people accept every day.”

In the the Wall Street newspaper, CFO Rob Arnott reflects wryly in a column published on Jan. 2, “Should I try to catch the Omicron variant of Covid to further the cause of collective immunity? “

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has given up on pretending it seeks to stop the spread of the pandemic. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asked workers to return to work just five days after testing positive, ensuring the population continues to be infected.

Many states have already ended daily case reporting, and the CDC has discussed steps to end daily case reporting.

In an attempt to legitimize and give pseudo-scientific credibility to this policy, former Obama and Biden adviser Ezekiel Emanuel, along with other former health advisers in the Biden administration, including Michael Osterholm and Céline Gounder on Thursday called for COVID-19 to become the “new Ordinary.”

Emanuel organized the production of three opinion pieces published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The statements by these officials were praised, with front page coverage in the New York Times and Washington post, and they ran the COVID-19 segment on NBC Nightly News Thursday.

The main essay, entitled “A national strategy for the “new normal” of living with COVID“Written by Emanuel, Osterholm and Gounder, criticizes the Biden administration, not for allowing hundreds of thousands of Americans to die, but for claiming the pandemic could be over in the first place.

Even with the vaccines and “immunity to SARS-CoV-2 resulting from a previous vaccination or infection,” the pandemic will never be brought under control, the statement said.

The solution, as NBC put it in its interview with Emanuel, “means to treat Covid like other respiratory viruses”. Emanuel told NBC: “We need to refocus our focus so that we can bring it to a manageable state and we can continue with our normal lives while Covid is there, just like we do with the flu.”

In other words, just as governments do not conduct contact tracing or isolating those infected with influenza, COVID-19 should also be allowed to spread freely throughout the population.

The article argues that the number of people who have died from COVID-19 should not even be counted anymore: a new category: the overall risk of all respiratory virus infections.

Rather than taking action to end the pandemic, the US political establishment is promoting the equivalent of an accounting trick, aimed at burying and covering up the dead.

This “new normal” is based on the rejection of the “Zero Covid” policy which has allowed China, a country of 1.4 billion inhabitants, to have only 5,000 deaths from COVID-19. If China had a death rate similar to that of the United States, the country’s 3.4 million people would have died.

The authors of the JAMA article write: “The goal of the ‘new normal’ with COVID-19 does not include eradication or elimination, for example, the ‘zero COVID’ strategy … Therefore, a ‘New normal with COVID’ in January 2022 is not living without COVID-19.

Although presented as a critique of the Biden administration, the position expressed in the JAMA articles is in fact that of the US government. Biden is campaigning tirelessly to reopen schools for in-person learning. The class interests behind this policy are being proclaimed more and more openly. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said last week: “It’s time to open up and nurture our ecosystem, our financial ecosystem.

The “new normal” of perpetual COVID-19 is, in practical terms, indistinguishable from the “collective immunity” policy advocated by the Trump administration and expressed in the “Great Barrington Declaration”. The only difference is that the position of former officials in the Biden administration dispenses with the myth that “collective immunity” leads to an end to the pandemic.

All that’s left is mass death in life, or, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “no more fucking blockages: let the bodies pile up”.

The reason is not explained Why potentially saving millions of lives through an effort to eliminate COVID-19, as China has successfully done, is ruled out.

The central involvement of Emanuel, the Jack Kevorkian of public health policy, helps explain its underlying logic.

Emanuel has long promoted the idea that growing life expectancy and the provision of health care for the elderly imposes intolerable costs on society and prolongs life span far beyond what should be allowed. and tolerated. In an infamous 2014 play in the Atlantic, entitled “Why do I hope to die at 75”, Emanuel argued that“ society… will be better off if nature takes its course quickly and quickly. ”

Emanuel waged war on the sacred precepts of the medical profession: the Hippocratic Oath, the promise to “do no harm” and the belief in the fundamental duty to save lives and to treat every human life as of equal value. This oath, taken by every practitioner of medicine as a sworn duty, prevents hospitals from throwing out the sick and the elderly without resources. We must get rid of it.

Condemning the “thoroughness” and the “thoroughness” of the medical tradition, Emanuel identifies the problem of “overuse” as being rooted in the Hippocratic Oath, with its “urging to” use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment “as an imperative to do everything for the patient, whatever the cost. “

To those who argue that denial of medical care to the elderly “discriminates against the elderly” and that “age allocation is ageism,” Emanuel has a ready answer: “Unlike attribution by sex or race, attribution by age is not odious discrimination. This is because “everyone who is 65 now was 25 years ago.”

If there is a stench of fascism surrounding these statements, it is because the last society to declare war on the Hippocratic Oath was Nazi Germany, where sections of the medical profession were integrated into the state murder apparatus that has killed tens of thousands of disabled people. .

“How does the Hippocratic oath fit with an oath to the Führer”, asks doctor from German TV series Charity at war, describing the corrupting influence of the Nazi eugenics program.

The overt promotion of mass infection comes just as there is growing resistance in the working class. Thousands of teachers, from Chicago to New York and San Francisco, are taking a stand to defend their lives and the lives of their students and the population at large.

For years, the most predatory sections of the capitalist class have worked to systematically reduce the life expectancy of American workers. The pandemic, which in 2020 alone reduced life expectancy by two years, has turned out to be a godsend for the capitalist class. He does not intend to end it. He will continue to kill, primarily those past retirement age, as well as the chronically ill and disabled.

COVID-19 threatens to kill millions more people around the world if it is not eliminated and eradicated. And as terrible as Omicron’s immediate impact is, the continued spread of the virus is creating the conditions for new variants, potentially combining Omicron’s transmissibility with Delta’s lethality, which will have even more devastating consequences.

The example of China shows that COVID-19 can and must be eradicated! With the closure of schools and non-essential businesses, coupled with a massive government program to roll out widespread testing, high-quality masks, quarantine, contact tracing and isolation, the pandemic could end and life could return to normal in a matter of months.

The fight against the pandemic appears more and more openly as a question of class, that is to say a question of knowing who controls society and how it is organized. The capitalist class has fought, is fighting and will continue to fight tooth and nail against a humane and rational response to the pandemic. It is the task of the working class, organized behind a socialist program, to fight to end the pandemic.

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