Is the Cure Worse Than the Virus?

On Monday, President Trump suggested that he’d lift the current shutdown and quarantine recommended by the Federal government on March 31. This is against the advice of top health officials in Trump’s own administration! But according to Trump, “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.” This is insane! The government is willing to risk the deaths of millions of people – especially the elderly and those with weakened immune systems – all because corporations and banks aren’t making all the money they want.

It’s certainly true that millions of people would suffer in an economic crash – and millions of people already are suffering because of coronavirus quarantines. Millions of workers have been fired or seen their hours cut as a result of the coronavirus – even as bills and rent still pile up. But none of this is the fault of the coronavirus – it’s the brutal logic of capitalism itself. We’re not losing wages because of the coronavirus, we’re losing wages because it’s not profitable for corporations to offer us paid time off for illness. We’re not being forced to pay rent because of the coronavirus – we’re being forced to pay rent because the logic of this system that says that those who have private property can extort others who don’t. The problems we’re facing – no paid time off, unemployment, unaffordable rent, a crumbling health infrastructure – are ingrained in the capitalist system itself.

Featured image credit: Mandel Ngan, AFP via USA Today