“Is COVID-19 as Deadly as They Say?” was a headline in the Wall Street Journal on March 25, 2020.
One year later, over 2.8 million people around the world have died of the coronavirus. In the United States, the pandemic killed 551,638 people as of March 31.
Even Dr. Deborah Birx, who was on Trump’s coronavirus panel, admits hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved if safety measures had been taken earlier. That’s what socialist China did in Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province starting in January 2020.
The 58 million people living there had their companies and schools closed for several weeks. Seniors weren’t left to die in nursing homes, as they did in New York state and across the U.S.
No one in Wuhan went hungry. While U.S. cops murder poor people like George Floyd, China’s socialist police delivered meals to people in their homes.
The result is that China suffered 4,636 deaths, less than one percent of the U.S. total.
China’s actions were unthinkable for capitalists like those at the Wall Street Journal. They can’t imagine putting people’s lives ahead of corporate profit.
Now a fourth wave of the virus may be starting. Cases in Michigan have increased five-fold since February. Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said she had a feeling of “impending doom.”
At this point, it seems the only answer being pursued by the U.S. government is to hope vaccinations outpace a possible virus upsurge. Ultra-right elements, like those at Fox News, want all the remaining safety measures dismantled.
Racism and the virus
Under capitalism, the coronavirus is not an equal opportunity killer. The Navajo Nation had the highest per capita rate of covid cases in the United States last year. As of April 1, some 1,252 members of the Navajo Nation have died from COVID-19.
That’s almost three times as many deaths as suffered by socialist Cuba, whose population of 11.3 million people is 50 times as large.
Before the 1959 revolution, when Cuba was a sugar colony for Wall Street, it couldn’t even manufacture an aspirin. Now the socialist country is testing different vaccines against COVID-19. It’s sharing them with Iran and other countries around the world.
Big pharmaceutical outfits like Pfizer don’t foresee vaccinating a billion Africans until 2024 or later. That’s vaccine apartheid, similar to the denial of retroviral therapies for HIV-AIDS to Africans for a decade after they were being used in the U.S.
Millions of people died as a result. Andrew Natsios ― the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development under President George W. Bush ― thought it was useless to provide help to Africa. The drugs were to be taken at certain times of the day and Natsios claimed in 2001 that Africans ”don’t know what Western time is.”
So what’s the excuse for the East Elmhurst neighborhood in Queens, N.Y.? One out of 160 people in the 11369 zip code have died there of COVID-19. That’s almost four times the overall U.S. rate.
Malcolm X and his family lived in East Elmhurst at 23-11 97th Street in the Black and Latinx neighborhood. Two hundred ten people have died of the virus in the community of 33,000 people.
That’s six times the 35 people who’ve died of COVID-19 in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a country of 98 million people.
The U.S. dropped thousands of napalm and phosphorus bombs on Vietnam, burning alive children and older folk. The Pentagon dropped even more bombs on Vietnam’s neighboring country of Laos. Hundreds of thousands of people had to live in caves in order to survive.
No one has died of the coronavirus in the socialist Lao People’s Democratic Republic, a country of 7.1 million people. But in New York City ― the capital of capitalism with 8.6 million people ― 31,262 people have died of COVID-19 as of April 1.
Please remember this whenever you hear somebody claim that “socialism doesn’t work.”