Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/03/27/why-usso-exceptionally-vulnerable-covid-19
Mosquitoes and smaller organisms don’t make sexy targets for War, Inc. I say this as a survivor of West Nile virus (all the way to four weeks of encephalitis) and now COVID19 (very, very mild case), but no battlefields other than Idocracy, American style.
I would say the inability to engage, understand, and use the current system of healthcare is at least part of the problem. This is something a single payer system might help with fewer decisions required. Then there is regulatory and corrupt funding practices that would need to be addressed.
When this industry is a part of your healthcare system there is more than just the problem of access.
Boeing was facing massive losses due to its unsafe aircraft and pending lawsuits. Before this crisis hit I suggested that the USA Government would find a way to bail Boeing out. This crisis gives them that opportunity.
It was not only Boeing in trouble however. A number of Corporations had focused on Stock buybacks rather than sound business practices and were in trouble. The banks again were over leveraging as they did in 2008. Oil Companies were running up debt. There was ample evidence that the entire system in trouble prior to COVID. This pandemic allows them to loot the US taxpayer once again in what they call “The Free market”.I am also interested to see what happens to PG and E. They recently agreed to pay 15 Billion plus in damages to the victims of those fires in California. Will this warrant another bailout?
If there ever a recovery and this system remains in place without changes , and I see no reason to believe a Trump or a Biden would change that , watch for another such crisis and bailout in another 10 years.
Capitalism is an extinction event.
Lee’s Law of Insurance states that “If you could understand it, you wouldn’t buy it.”
Hospital admission forms too.
There another reason the US model makes the US more vulnerable than other Countries that is often overlooked.
It is because many of the Hospitals and providers are in competition with another. What this meant is those with deeper pockets bought up a lot of the supplies much like consumers were buying up stuff off store shelves. This meant some Hospitals (in particular non profits) encountered “empty shelves” when they ordered their own supplies.
This the competitive model at work.
This isn’t the U.S. model (NSC pandemic preparation-response) this is an artifact of failed leadership by the Trump administration. (not following the U.S. Model)
Excuse me.It is a fact that a number of Hospitals in the USA purchased supplies in in bulk before others could get them. This has been reported on in a number of papers. US Hospitals operate under the Competitive model.
There was nothing in place to ensure said supplies distributed equitably.
That may be true, especially true for long-term care care that have well established deficiencies in infection control but still are required to have a plan for this. That this is happening in acute care means a lot of other things failed.
What failed was the “for profit competitive” model. It is inherent to the system.
The U.S. model is more complicated than that. What you notice is the absence of public health aspect of our system.
The biggest problems are Trump and the republican party. One- they are using this disaster to funnel 5 trillion more of our dollars to the wealthiest sector of the country. Two- that 5 trillion dollars could have been used, early on, to order testing equipment and critical medical supplies to allow us to track the virus and slow its progress. That is a deadly and continuing failure of governance from the top (I believe that republicans want those of us most vulnerable to the virus to die. Some of them have said as much publicly. Just imagine, a US with millions of its most vulnerable citizens dead. Takes care of Social Security, food stamps, Medicare, etc. all in one fell swoop. I can see republicans masturbating at the very thought of it all). Three – republicans. Four – republicans. Five and on to infinity – republicans.
It is not all that complicated unless it is MADE to be.
As example the Canada health care act was 17 pages long when it first implemented. The Obama Care fiasco was into the thousands of pages. The reason it more “complicated” in the USA is because they are trying to cater to all the special interest groups that want a cut. All of those lobbyists want to insert lines of legislation that makes sure their best interests looked after.
Well yes, your health service is regulated, ours is corrupted and more so everyday. This isn’t business as usual though it is a pandemic that identifies the results of years of neglect. Look up your infectious disease standards, they are much better than ours. Mostly, because they respond to changes better. Additionally, you have a much smaller demographic.
The question can be approached from various angles. Davies’ anti-imperialist spectacles highlight our exceptional pigheadedness problems, expressed in so many ways.
But the psychological disabilities of USAmericans are not the features most attactive to a strapping young virus. Another angle to consider is that of the bug: What does the bug like to see, physically? If USAmerica has lots of tasty bits, from the bug’s perspective, that fact provides a more direct answer to the question of our exceptional vulnerability.
Weak, shattered people, huddled in large, dense clumps for the bug’s shopping convenience. USAmerica specializes in carefully catering to this preference of the discriminating (or indiscriminating) pathogen. Homeless camps & shelters, prisons & jails, migrant concentration camps, eldercare facilities – in general: receptacles for human refuse. We have so many, because our exceptional way has a way of excreting high levels of human refuse. That’s our most attractive, vulnerable feature.
Just as the potato blight and resulting famine in Ireland exposed the systematic exploitation of the people by the landlord class. It had reduced them to subsistence living. Covid is exposing the systematic exploitation (profit before people) and willful neglect of public health (commodity not a right) by the plutocrats.
I think you are correct. Toss out the rule book, defund public health operations, and selectively fund for profit institutions. It changed the conversation to be sure and not in a good way.
The first case of Coronavirus occurred cropped up in January. China was not of what it was until it had already spread through the population. WHO did not realize the nature of this new disease until around January 11th.
It was already spreading through the population. China locked down the Province 6 days later. On January 23rd WHO indicated there no evidence the Virus was spreading outside of China. China was already in lockdown.
The USA was aware of the nature of Coronavirus from the beginning due to the information out of China. The USA had its first case january 21. By January 21 the USA was already aware of how transmissible the disease was unlike China where it took both them and WHO about two weeks to recognize how deadly it was.
Donald trump was proclaiming the Virus was just like the common flu and would disappear. When the first case detected in the USA the US had more information on this Virus than did China when China first detected it. If it your claim the Chinese should have acted immediately before they even knew this a new virus and understood its nature then why did it take the US so long to react when they already had all that information?
This is like giving doctors thousands of dollars worth of diagnostic equipment and then stipulating they have 15 minutes to determine the results for hundreds of patients. And a looney tune commander in chief to pronounce it as beautiful.