In Biden, COVID-19 Corona virus, Radhika Desai, Russia, Ukraine, USA

Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg’s temporary art installation, “In America: Remember,” in remembrance of Americans who have died of COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., U.S., September 17, 2021. /CFP

The U.S. proxy war against Russia over Ukraine has helped the Joe Biden administration. By taking up much of the airtime and content in media news reporting, American voters have largely forgotten about the damning indictment of Biden’s record on handling COVID-19. President Biden has failed to meet the high expectations that his campaign had aroused on in 2020.

By Radhika Desai

Published on CGTN, May 7, 2022
_________________________________

The U.S. proxy war against Russia over Ukraine has helped the Joe Biden administration. By taking up much of the airtime and content in media news reporting, American voters have largely forgotten about the damning indictment of Biden’s record on handling COVID-19. President Biden has failed to meet the high expectations that his campaign had aroused on in 2020.

Two years into the pandemic and more than a year into the Biden presidency, the graph of U.S. COVID-19 deaths has crossed the one million mark, according to data compiled by NBC News. COVID-19 has reduced life expectancy in the U.S. by nearly two years. Unlike many European countries, which also experienced drops in life expectancy in 2020, the U.S. never bounced back from it.

Although this is rarely discussed, the staggeringly bad performance could be on account of the “capitalist strategy” on COVID-19 which places capitalist interests above people’s interests, ensuring that restrictions are used as sparingly as possible to permit continued capital accumulation and strategies are chosen according to whether they benefit corporations. That is why Biden’s strategy focused on vaccines alone.

Apparently, the vaccination circumstances in the U.S. are far from good. A combination of anti-vaccine sentiments have spread to alarming levels, while rich business people, social media disinformation, lack of access and distrust of the mostly private health care system have resulted in about 66 percent of the eligible U.S. population getting fully vaccinated and only 30 percent have received a booster dose. Consequently, COVID-19 continues to rage through the U.S population, causing high numbers of deaths, illnesses, losses and much grief.

City residents waited in a line to receive free at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits in Philadelphia, U.S., December 20, 2021. /CFP

Having refused to adopt China’s “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy, and having attacked it for being too costly, and unable to advance even vaccination with any vigor, let alone taking the other steps necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Biden admiration has hit a dead end. All it can do is to urge the people to get vaccinated while it lifts all COVID-19-related restrictions to please employers. The U.S. Center for Disease Control has issued new guidelines dispensing with mask mandates.

What should be a social and government responsibility has been transferred onto individuals. They must, it is now said, learn to “live with COVID-19.” “Die with COVID-19” is more like it. For that is what this means for working people.

In the new public discourse around COVID-19, many are looking forward to it becoming “endemic.” But in fact, that only means it will become another disease of poverty, such as Tuberculosis and AIDS. Thriving as it does in overcrowding, co-morbidities, stress, poor nutrition and other such conditions in which the poor and uneducated people disproportionately live, COVID-19 has already affected these groups the worst. Most frontline and essential workers belong to them. The well-to-do, meanwhile, already spared the worse, have better access to COVID-19 protections and treatments.

Accordingly whether and when COVID-19 will become an “endemic” in the U.S. remains unclear. It could remain the leading cause of death for some time to come. And the economic costs would not be small.

Already the labor force has shrunk as some groups have departed from the workforce, unable to commit to jobs given their increased and unpredictable care responsibilities. These have been further increased in many communities where grandparents who provided childcare have fallen victim to COVID-19. This is already driving up labour costs, negatively affecting productivity as new entrants cannot match the productivity of experienced workers and is a major factor in the inflation that has returned after almost four decades of near absence. The ever-present possibility of outbreaks means that disruptions of transport, services and supply chains remain common. Long COVID-19, a condition in which the symptoms of COVID-19 persist for weeks and months – from which health care workers and teachers are more likely to suffer – comes with fatigue, pain and breathlessness and its effects on productivity cannot be underestimated.

The one million mark may be psychologically important, but perhaps the more important thing is that the graph is still headed upwards and new waves of new variants of Omicron are already being warned about.

*****

EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search