The U.S. is currently number one in all coronavirus statistics and far ahead of all the wealthiest countries in the world; first in the number of covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths. As of June 29, the U.S. has more than two and a half million confirmed cases and more than 126,000 deaths.
This is the result of the total disregard for the health, safety and lives of ordinary Americans by those who are supposedly responsible for protecting us – the politicians of both parties on the local and state levels and especially the Trump administration. Instead of caring about us, their main concern has been the reopening of the economy – to get production up and running – to guarantee the health and safety of their profits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the most vulnerable parts of the population: elderly people trapped in nursing homes, prisoners locked in what have become death camps, immigrant families incarcerated in crowded immigration centers. Native Americans, African Americans and Latinos have been hit the hardest because they make up a disproportionate part of the poorest and working class sections of the population. They often lack access to healthcare, and live in crowded communities where it is hard to social distance. They are often the front line workers in healthcare and public services and in meat-packing plants. They often have no other choice but to risk their lives and health to go to work to pay their bills and support their families. For some of them now this means a death sentence.
The pandemic has been turned into a game of political football. The result is a public health crisis. Trump has made not wearing a mask a political statement and supposedly an issue of personal choice and not an issue of public safety. There has been very little effort by the various levels of government to carry out massive programs of public education to provide clear guidelines on how to protect ourselves and our communities. Some local health officials who have used science to set guidelines for re-opening of businesses and services have received death threats. More than 20 have have resigned.
In the midst of rising cases, Trump and Pence held indoor rallies in Indiana and Arizona, totally disregarding the guidelines of the Federal CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Almost no one at the rallies, including Trump and Pence, wore masks, and there was no social distancing. These rallies took place while the number of cases in those states was climbing. Republican governors in Florida, Arizona and Texas opened up their states, without following any guidelines and without any regard to health and safety issues. They even contradicted local authorities who tried to impose protections in their cities and counties.
And now infection and hospitalization rates are skyrocketing. Their health systems are being overwhelmed and lack adequate medical facilities, personnel and PPE. Planning for profits but not for health and safety is what drove these governors’ agendas.
Do we need any further proof about the priorities of this society, which is run in the interests of the 1%? How many more lives will be lost? How many more people will get seriously ill and be sick for months if not years to come because of the negligence committed in the name of greed?
They are just as guilty of murder as the cops who killed George Floyd. We can’t see what they did on video but they have certainly been exposed. And just as the people across the country have demanded accountability for Floyd’s murder, we also need to hold these politicians accountable for the mass murder they have committed and will continue to commit if they are not stopped.