From the start of the pandemic, bosses have demanded the government provide amnesty against lawsuits by workers and customers who get the virus because of the sloppy, unsafe ways the bosses run their workplaces. Hospital and nursing home bosses are particularly anxious for this protection because there have been so many scandals about their failure to provide adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, test kits, and so on.
Democratic Party legislators have loudly protested against the amnesty proposal by Trump and the GOP. But action by New York Democratic Party Governor Andrew Cuomo makes it clear that his party’s opposition is just a sham. He proposed, and the Democratic Party majority in the New York State legislature passed amnesty provisions protecting hospital and nursing home bosses from both monetary lawsuits and criminal complaints arising out of their decisions during the pandemic.
Defenders of Governor Cuomo say his action has nothing to do with the fact he and the New York State Democratic Party received $2.3 million in campaign contributions from health care executives in the months before the 2018 election. However, the main lobbying organization for the hospital industry in New York brags about the fact that former lobbyists and their family members hold important positions on the governor’s staff.
Nineteen states have passed one or another form of amnesty legislation. The Guardian newspaper carried a report that nursing home COVID patients are 7.5 times more likely to die in states with corporate legal immunity. It would be hard to top this example of how the politicians protect the capitalists no matter how dangerous their ruthless pursuit of profit is for the rest of us.
featured image credit: Matt Wade / Creative Commons