For months, the president has downplayed the severity of the pandemic, overstated the impact of his policies and potential treatments, blamed others and tried to rewrite the history of his response.
Also, new studies highlight virus shedding and before-symptom transmission.
A new website for the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, spearheaded by Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, launched today.
The site attempts to coalesce information for providers and researchers on using blood plasma collected from recovered COVID-19 patients—rich in antibodies against COVID-19—to treat those currently ill. It will be tested on patients in New York City’s Mt. Sinai hospital, just 3 days after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the compassionate use of convalescent plasma.
All of a sudden, it is the things you cannot buy that become worthy of envy. The old woman happily sunning herself on her balcony. The bopping shadow of a father carrying his newborn around in a sling at night. The sound of the family next door laughing over a game of Monopoly. And you never knew your neighbor could play the piano so beautifully! Domestic contentment has acquired the credentials of a currency. What other insights can we garner from this disaster? That there is a correlation between populist leaders and the time taken to accept reality. The extra days and weeks Trump, Johnson et al needed to bust the myth of their own exceptionalism have already cost lives. Meanwhile, as countries including the United States rush to introduce the biggest economic stimulus packages in their history, it is worth considering that if small government offers no cure in a pandemic, it may not be the healthiest option in ordinary times either. In the weeks and months ahead, normality will return to one country at a time. Goods will once again roll off assembly lines. Shops will reopen. The rat race will resume. But maybe, just maybe, if we take this opportunity for self-reflection, thi
The US president always was capricious and vengeful, but now that character flaw is a matter of life and death. State governors are crying out for federal help, not for themselves but for the people they represent: the nurses and doctors who need protective equipment and testing kits, the patients who need ventilators. But instead of leaping to their aid, Trump tells the governors it’s their responsibility, even though they have a fraction of the procurement power of the US government – adding that if they want help, they’d better grovel. “It’s a two-way street,” Trump said this week. “They have to treat us well.” Even when lives are on the line, his ego with its paper-thin skin comes first. Americans are paying the price for his lack of foresight, his closure of a pandemic task force for no better reason than it was established by Barack Obama – he hates anything with his predecessor’s name on it – and his failure to heed the warnings of a pandemic preparedness exercise, codenamed Crimson Contagion, that identified glaring gaps as recently as last October.
1.3+ million people infected and the president does not think we need those ventilators because they are too expensive.
Think about that!
Remember those stories of death panels?
Looks like Donald of Orange is the head of those panels.
No expense can be spared in making testing for the coronavirus available immediately in every country. Trillions of dollars must be invested internationally in testing regimes, the manufacture of protective clothing, the purchase of oxygen machines and other necessary technology, the construction of new hospitals and the expansion of existing hospital facilities.
From this standpoint we raise the following demands:
Accessible and universal testing: There is no way to combat the spread of coronavirus without testing that is accessible to all those who show symptoms. It is essential that testing be made available immediately throughout the United States and the entire world.
Free high–quality treatment: Stopping the spread of the coronavirus is impossible in a society where only those with money can see a doctor. In a country like the United States, where the average household cannot afford to pay cash for a $400 expense, providing free treatment is inseparable from controlling the spread of the disease.
Every country must immediately begin to provide free testing and treatment, and pay all medical costs associated with the coronavirus. Medical care is not a privilege, it is a right!
Paid sick leave for all workers: It is vital to ensure that workers do not feel pressured to work when they are sick. Corporations and governments must immediately begin providing paid sick leave for all employees.
Equality of care: In the United States, a vast and disproportionate share of medical resources is monopolized by the financial oligarchy. Reports abound of the V.I.P. emergency rooms in Manhattan and the Hamptons for the super-rich, and the massive emergency bunkers and private medical treatment centers being constructed by the oligarchs in their own mansions.
There can be no preferential treatment in combating this pandemic! Equality of care is not only a moral question, but an urgent social necessity. The private doctors of the rich and those engaged in vanity procedures must be immediately drafted to treat the general population. Access to care must be determined by necessity, not wealth. The rich have the right to the same treatment as anyone else—but no better.
Protect refugees, prisoners and the homeless: Around the world, millions of people are homeless, millions more are fleeing war and poverty, and countless others are imprisoned under conditions that make them vulnerable to infectious disease. Everything must be done to improve the conditions of prisoners, refugees and the homeless and provide these vulnerable populations with access to hygiene and the best quality medical care.
Stop price gouging: Medical supplies and sanitary products must be made available to households and medical workers, and all those profiting from the crisis should be held criminally liable.
Safe working conditions: Employers and the government must be responsible for providing all employees—from medical workers to factory, warehouse, retail and service workers—with a safe work environment.
The supervision of safety cannot be left to the employers. Workers should form rank-and-file committees to make sure that safety codes are being observed by the employers and measures are being taken to combat the spread of the disease. These committees will ensure that workers are not compelled to work in an unsafe environment and that coworkers who become ill receive the necessary treatment and support.
Support the ill and the quarantined: No one should fear that being designated and quarantined means neglect and ostracism. Workers should form neighborhood committees to ensure that those who are sick and quarantined are safe and have social support and the necessary food and supplies.
For international collaboration: US economic sanctions against Iran are causing severe medical shortages in a country with over 3,000 coronavirus cases, and the US political establishment has been waging a campaign to demonize Chinese scientists and doctors. All sanctions must immediately be lifted and all restrictions on international medical collaboration ended!
In responding to this dangerous disease, one principle must guide us: that human need is primary. Combating an epidemic that threatens millions of lives cannot be subordinated to considerations of private profit.