Covid-19 Crisis: May Day Coalition Statement
BOSTON MAY DAY COALITION
STATEMENT ON THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
For over two and half years, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world illness, suffering and death. The impact has been aggravated by capitalism, racism, poverty and imperialism.
On May 5, 2022 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that many countries had deliberately undercounted the pandemic’s gravity. Instead of about 6.5 million reported deaths, the real number was close to 15 million. On that same day, a Boston University study reported that the nearly one million estimate for the U.S. was also undercounted; their estimate of a more accurate number is at least 1.22 million fatalities.
Those of us who have suffered the most in this country and around the world have been low-income working people of oppressed nationalities.
As long as Covid-19 Apartheid continues, the world population will not be sufficiently vaccinated, and new variants will continue to mutate and spread unnecessarily. No one knows how infectious and deadly these new variants may become. The costs for working people and the poor have already been horrendous!
The U.S. was grossly unprepared for Covid-19 because of the grossly inadequate healthcare system. For decades, the U.S. privatized health insurance system has enriched corporate profiteers at the expense of public health. On top of that, the government at the federal level was in a state of denial for months when a massive program of testing and contact tracing was necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus. Tens of thousands died unnecessarily!
The reactionary campaign against vaccinations and masks has added greatly to the death and devastation suffered by working people. Today, almost 80 million people in the country have chosen to refuse to take a single vaccination shot. This “defense of freedom” is a denial of science’s most fundamental principles. Families, friends, and communities have been directly harmed because of this.
Public officials continue to be politically attacked for attempting protect public health. And in contrast to the U.S., most countries of the world recognize healthcare as a human right.
Before Covid-19, most people in the U.S. have been repeatedly vaccinated to prevent the spread of any number of diseases, since vaccination is a successful health measure. The WHO has reported that, “Immunization currently prevents 2-3 million deaths every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza and measles.”
The major reason for the severity of this pandemic is not the ignorance and irresponsibility of our neighbors. Rather, the major cause is capitalism’s ravenous drive for profits and the ongoing ecological destruction of our Planet. The headquarters of this system is on Wall Street and in Washington, D.C.
Some of the wealthiest people have benefited enormously from the pandemic and the wealth polarization has generally intensified! While the masses have suffered, the Billionaire Class has become much richer. According to research from the Poor People’s Campaign, the billionaires’ wealth has ballooned by $1.7 trillion since the pandemic began.
Despite being the world’s wealthiest nation, in the U.S. income inequality, privatization, capitalist austerity, and gross incompetence have made the effects of this disease much worse.
Whether the president be Trump or Biden, Austerity Capitalism’s interests continue on unabated. We do not forget that Oxfam reported five years ago that, “Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity.”
Significant public funds have been given to Pfizer and Moderna, which is to say the pandemic has manufactured new billionaires. These two companies and pharmaceutical companies in Europe have refused to share their vaccine recipes with the rest of the world. Corporate profits trump human life!
While millions of people in this and other countries have refused to be vaccinated, many of the world’s poorest countries have NOT YET RECEIVED A SINGLE SHIPMENT of any vaccine! Among them is Haiti, right across the Florida Straights from the U.S. – a case of the Empire ironically endangering itself!
As long as Covid-19 Apartheid continues, the world cannot be vaccinated. New variants will continue to mutate and spread. And no one knows how infectious and deadly new variants may become.
1. The working class in our country needs a Major Relief Plan including …
• Monthly relief checks for those who have become or will become medically harmed
• An Eviction and Utility Shutoff Moratorium until the pandemic ends
• Rent and Mortgage Forgiveness
• The U.S. must join with the rest of the world in recognizing health as a human right, and therefore institute government health care so that no single person suffers, nor needlessly infects others.
2. We need a comprehensive public health effort to curb and hopefully eradicate Covid-19. This includes free and sufficient high quality masks, personal protection equipment (PPE) and vaccinations. We support major improvements to treat and filter indoor air.
3. Patents by the Pharma-Industrial-Complex must be cancelled on all vaccines in order to aid rapid global distribution, aiming to stop the rise of even more transmissible and deadly Covid variants.
4. Abolish capitalism, racism, and patriarchy! Power to the working class!