Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:06 pm

Latest on the novel coronavirus outbreak | Updated: 2020-07-22 09:00
The novel coronavirus has spread across China and beyond.

July 22

Outside China


The latest figures reported by each government's health authority as of July 22, 2020.
- US records over 68,000 new virus cases in 24 hours, Trump said US virus crisis to 'get worse before it gets better' (Read more)

- True number of COVID-19 cases in US may be 6 to 24 times higher than reported: CDC study (Read more)

- China's phase 2 trial finds COVID-19 vaccine safe, inducing immune response - The Lancet (Read more)

- Iran's COVID-19 cases near 280,000, while Iraq's tally comes closer to 100,000

- New study show immunity drops quickly in mild COVID-19 cases (Read more)



Latest data released by National Health Commission by midnight, July 21, 2020.
- Chinese mainland reports 14 new COVID-19 cases, with 9 locally transmitted in Xinjiang and 5 from overseas ... 58d35.html


China: Urumqi City To Test It' Entire Population For Covid 19

Workers disinfecting the streets in Urumqi City, China, July 21, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @globaltimesnews

Published 21 July 2020

In the Xinjiang region, the origin of the community contagion has not yet been found.

Authorities of the Urumqi city, where the last outbreak of COVID-19 was detected in China, will carry out free tests on 3.5 million people to find out the origin of community transmission of the new coronavirus.

Urumqi is the capital of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR), in whose northwestern area 55 new COVID-19 cases have been detected since last week. Therefore, besides establishing strict confinement measures, the Urumqi authorities have suspended the transport service.

In many parts of the country, alerts have been activated for citizens who have been in Urumqi since July 1. Authorities require them to disclose their travel history to determine if they should be quarantined.

Since Sunday, cases of contagion originating in Urumqi have also been detected in Kashgar city and Zhejiang province.

Urumqi health authorities stated that COVID-19 tests had already been carried out on members of the medical surveillance teams and the tests on the entire population would be carried out gradually.

For now, the local government suspects that the outbreak is linked to "group activities" but its specific origin has not yet been found.

In Mainland China, the Xinjiang outbreak is the only active episode of the pandemic. In the Hong Kong autonomous region, however, there is a third wave of infections. ... -0004.html


Ministry of Public Health: Cuba reports 3 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 2,449 in the country
At yesterday's close, three new cases were confirmed, with a cumulative of 2,449 in the country. Of the 2,449 patients diagnosed with the disease, 39 (1.5%) remain admitted, 38 of them 97.4% with stable clinical evolution. 87 deaths are reported (none of the day), two evacuated and 2 thousand 321 recovered patients (94.8%) (two discharge of the day). A critically ill patient is reported

Author: Digital Writing |

July 21, 2020 09:07:24

Photo: MINSAP Official Website
At the close of yesterday, July 20, 136 patients are admitted to hospitals. Another 146 people are monitored in primary health care.

For COVID-19, 2,774 samples were studied, resulting in three positive samples. The country accumulates 232 thousand 103 samples made and 2 thousand 449 positive (1.1%). Therefore, at the close of yesterday, three new cases are confirmed, with a cumulative of 2,449 in the country.

The three diagnosed cases are Cuban. Of these, one (33.3%) was contact of a confirmed case, another (33.3%) with a source of infection abroad, and in the last (33.3%) the source of infection was not specified.

Of the three confirmed cases, two (66.6%) were women and one (33.3%) men. The most affected age groups were: 20 to 39 years old with two cases (66.6%) and one (33.3%) in the group of 40 to 59 years old. 33.3% (1) was an asymptomatic case.

Details of confirmed cases:


Cuban citizen of 53 years of age, belonging to the Bauta municipality, Artemisa province. The source of infection is investigated. Twenty contacts are kept under surveillance.

34-year-old Cuban citizen, belonging to the Arroyo Naranjo municipality, Havana province. Previously confirmed case contact. 17 contacts are kept under surveillance.
24-year-old Cuban citizen, belonging to the Plaza municipality, Havana province. Traveler from Mexico. 2 contacts are kept under surveillance.
Of the 2,449 patients diagnosed with the disease, 39 (1.5%) remain admitted, 38 of them 97.4% with stable clinical evolution. 87 deaths are reported (none of the day), two evacuated and 2 thousand 321 recovered patients (94.8%) (two discharge of the day). A critically ill patient is reported.

Critically ill patient:

64-year-old Cuban citizen. It comes from the Boyeros Municipality. Personal pathological history and obesity. Patient with fever, headache, decline, dry cough, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Yesterday, clinical, humoral and radiological deterioration was observed, moving to the Intensive Care room. It starts suddenly with frank polypnea, desaturation and respiratory distress with the need to intubate and ventilate. She is afebrile and without diarrhea. Mechanic ventilation. Hemodynamically stable. Chest x-ray Inflammatory lesions in both lung fields. It is reported in a stable critical state.
Until July 20, 185 countries with cases of COVID-19 are reported, amounting to 14 million 476 thousand 729 confirmed cases (+ 209 thousand 636) and 605 thousand 979 deaths (+ 4 thousand 045) for a fatality of 4.19 (-0.02).

In the region of the Americas 7 million 711 thousand 095 confirmed cases are reported (+ 118 thousand 012), 53.27 of the total cases reported in the world, with 311 thousand 868 deaths (+ 2 thousand 236) for a fatality of 4.04 (-0.03). ... 0-09-07-24

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"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:50 am

US: Millions Face Eviction Amid Covid-19 Pandemic, Experts

A waitress takes customers orders in California, U.S., May 21, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 25 July 2020

The end of the eviction moratorium raises concerns regarding public health.

Millions of U.S. citizens could be forced out of their homes as several states end eviction bans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several U.S. state governments introduced eviction bans in March when COVID-19 began to impact the U.S. economy, leading to high unemployment rates in the country.

The end of the eviction moratorium raises concerns regarding public health during the crisis. According to Princeton University Eviction Laboratory’s (EL) founder Emily Benter, nearly 28 million people could be evicted in the coming months.

As of this day, eviction bans have been lifted in cities including Houston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and St. Louis, EL revealed.
Clint Smith
It is infuriating to watch as millions of people sit on the brink of eviction, struggle to feed their families, and wonder if they’ll be able to afford a trip to the hospital when there is enough money to solve all of those issues. The money is there. It’s a lie to say it isn’t.
9:14 PM · Jul 16, 2020
3.7K people are Tweeting about this
In an interview for Chinese local outlet Xinhua, National Low Income Housing Coalition President Diane Yentel said that this situation could lead to a virus’ outbreak for displaced families are less able to find shelter.

"In these cases where social distancing is difficult or impossible, the likelihood of them contracting and spreading coronavirus increases exponentially," Yentel said.

The U.S. death toll has already exceeded the lowest White House’s initial estimates. In March, the Trump administration projected up to 240,000 deaths in its "best-case scenario."

As of Saturday, the country had reported 4,312,288 confirmed cases and 149,340 deaths. For over a week now, Florida is the new nation’s virus epicenter, along with Texas and Arizona. ... -0013.html

This is a crisis of capitalism. Exacerbated by the current occupant of the WH, no doubt, but would a Joe Biden have followed the Chinese lead? I doubt it. Capital is absolutely dominant here, whereas in China the Party rules the capitalists, and takes no guff. That's the big difference.
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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:48 pm

Defend, expand $600 federal unemployment subsidy
It is past time for a movement in the streets to demand the continuation and in fact the expansion of the $600/week federal unemployment subsidy!

Economy falling off cliff

The US economy in free fall, declining at a 33% annualized rate, yet congress is letting the subsidy expire. Over 30 million people are receiving these benefits, meaning a loss in income of $1.8 billion per week for the unemployed. While the Republicans are leading the way in killing this subsidy, the Democrats are not far behind. Not only is Biden silent on the issue, so are the rest of the Democrats, including their “left” wing.

Meanwhile, the eviction moratoriums that many states have enacted will be expiring, meaning millions will be facing evictions.

Nowhere is it clearer how the struggle against racism is directly tied to the class struggle than in this issue. Due to systemic racism, black and Latino people disproportionately work at those jobs which cannot be done from home – jobs such as janitors, grocery store clerks and slaughterhouse workers. Those who can work from home are more able to keep their jobs.

Added to this is the fact that in many cases social distancing is not enacted by the employers. As a result, Covid 19 has hit these communities especially hard. But what option do these workers have? On the miserly state unemployment benefits they cannot afford to take off from work.

That is why the movement against police racism and police brutality should now take up this issue. Not only should we demand the continuation of these full benefits; we should demand that all workers – including the undocumented immigrants and those who voluntarily leave their jobs out of safety fears – be covered. That would benefit us all as it would also help stop the spread of Covid 19.

Build a nationwide movement in the streets to demand keeping and expanding the $600/week federal unemployment subsidy!
Build a movement inside the unions to demand that the unions lead the fight for this!
Build a nationwide unemployed council, with the support of employed and retired workers, to lead this struggle forward. ... t-subsidy/
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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:26 am

The richest countries in the world are buying up a vaccine against coronavirus
The market decides again

The UK, the USA, Japan and the EU countries have agreed to supply more than 1.3 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines. This was reported by the Nakanune.RU news agency with reference to Airfinity analysts.


At the same time, the figure of 1.3 billion is not final. The number of doses may increase by another 1.5 billion due to the increase in unsecured supplies. Thus, the richest countries in the world pose a threat to other countries, as they will not be able to purchase vaccines in the required quantities for a long time, if they have such an opportunity at all.

The market economy once again demonstrates its "charms" to the whole world. As long as wealthy countries buy vaccines, less fortunate countries will have to put up with a raging epidemic without being able to seriously fight it. In this case, vaccines do not even have to be used - they can be resold to others at inflated prices or create an artificial shortage and dictate conditions to those in need. From a global threat, the coronavirus is slowly turning into an instrument of geopolitical pressure, and its use is only a matter of time. ... ut-vaktsi/

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COVID-19 will add 10,000 child deaths every month
Pandemic leads to hunger

The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the world will put another seven million children under five years of age at risk of severe malnutrition this year , according to the United Nations Children's Fund ( UNICEF ). According to a UNICEF report, 80% of these children will be from Tropical Africa and South Asia.


According to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fauré , seven months after the first cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the world, it is becoming more and more obvious that the consequences of the pandemic, not the disease itself, do the most harm to children.

Fauré added that 47 million young children already suffered from malnutrition before the pandemic , and now, due to the crisis that has caused food prices to rise and poverty levels, the number of such children could reach almost 54 million , which has never happened in this millennium. She also stated:

“Household poverty and food insecurity have increased. Disrupted food service businesses and supply chains. Food prices skyrocketed. As a result, the quality of baby food has declined and rates of malnutrition will continue to rise ... We cannot afford to allow children to fall unaccounted for in the COVID-19 pandemic ... We must simultaneously think in both the short and long term to go beyond pandemic and its secondary impact on children, but also to chart a course for a brighter future for children and young people. "


According to the analysis published in the of The the Lancet , 80% of children - potential victims are from the countries of South Asia (more than half) and Africa south of the Sahara. The analysis shows that the prevalence of wasting among children under 5 years of age in low- and middle-income countries could increase by 14.3% this year . This will lead to more than 10,000 additional child deaths each month. The Foundation estimates that at least $ 2.4 billion is required to help this most vulnerable group of minors .

UN agencies warn that the estimated increase in the number of children suffering from malnutrition is just the tip of the iceberg. COVID-19 will also cause an increase in other manifestations of malnutrition in children and women: stunted growth, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity from poor diet.

The International Food Policy Research Institute estimates that in 2020 another 140 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty by the pandemic and forced to subsist on less than $ 1.90 a day. According to the World Food Program (the food aid body of the United Nations), the number of people facing acute food insecurity in low- and middle-income countries will almost double by the end of 2020 to 265 million . ... emesyachn/

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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:46 am

Three scientific facts about the hot Covid-19
Mission Truth

Aug 5 · 6 min read

The mechanisms underlying the states of gravity and the nature of protective immunity against Covid-19 remain unclear, however science continues to provide data. Photo: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

Much information is available regarding the causes, processes involved and consequences of the global pandemic that has had a decisive impact on the daily lives of many countries and, definitely, until the near future.
The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in late 2019 and its subsequent global spread has led to millions of infections and significant levels of morbidity and mortality.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, can range from mild self-limited illness to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death.
The mechanisms underlying the spectrum of their states of gravity and the nature of protective immunity against them currently remain unclear. However, we present three recent scientific data.
Children and young people transmit the disease as much or more than adults
A study in South Korea showed that domestic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was high if the index patient was between 10 and 19 years old.
After monitoring 59 thousand 73 contacts of 5 thousand 706 index patients (first infected) with Covid-19 for more than a week, it was found that 11.8% of the family contacts of index patients of all ages had Covid- 19.
In households with an index patient between the ages of 10 and 19, 18.6% of their contacts had Covid-19.
Domestic contagion is higher than non-domestic, as reported by reports compiled from China, France and Hong Kong, which estimated that secondary contagion rates for close contacts were 35%.
The difference in the contagion rates of domestic contacts in different parts of the world may reflect the difference in Covid-19 containment and mitigation strategies of households and countries, which, according to experts , will divide the world in two types of countries.

Although their Covid-19 symptoms are less severe than those of adults, youth and children could play an important role in transmission of the disease. Photo: BBmundo

A survey of contacts in Wuhan and Shanghai, China showed that school closings and social distancing significantly reduced the Covid-19 rate among contacts of school-age children, children attending daycare or school also run a high risk of transmitting respiratory viruses to household members.
Although their Covid-19 symptoms are less severe than those of adults, youth and children could play an important role in transmission, another study of 597 Georgia residents, children whose average age was 12 years and attended to a camp with officials and interns aged between 14 and 59 years (17 years on average) found that, initially, 260 (44%) were positive.
The lower the proportion of those infected, the lower the contagion rate increased to 56% for officials with time in the camp, because asymptomatic infection was common and contributed to undetected transmission.
Also, monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests was performed on nasopharyngeal swabs collected from various locations in Chicago to symptomatic patients between one month and 65 years of age.
Compared to older children and adults, significantly higher amounts of viral nucleic acid were detected in the upper airways of children younger than 5 years with mild to moderate Covid-19.
After Covid-19 infection cardiac involvement remains
In a study that included 100 recently recovered Covid-19 patients, identified at a virus testing center, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78%) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60 patients ( 60%), which was independent of pre-existing conditions, severity and general course of acute disease, and time since original diagnosis.
The Covid-19 disease, which continues to cause considerable morbidity and mortality throughout the world, has neurological and cardiovascular sequelae , as revealed by case reports from hospitalized patients. Its overall impact is still unknown.

Covid-19 causes inflammatory disease in the lungs and cardiovascular system, in many cases, even if the disease is mild, it can have long-term consequences. Photo: EFE

The case in question was studied at the Frankfurt University Hospital between April and June, it consisted of comparisons of cardiac blood markers and cardiovascular magnetic resonance images between control groups of 50 healthy volunteers of similar age and sex and 57 patients with factors of similar risk.
Even though more in-depth studies are required regarding the implications of these findings, it is striking that, even if the symptoms related to the viral infection were presented acutely or not, the effects were similar.
Although its long-term health effects cannot yet be determined, several of the abnormalities described have previously been linked to a poorer outcome in heart disease.
The impact on excluded populations whose imposed eating patterns have increased the presence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease remains to be seen .
High risk in industrial food processing plants
In another study, aspects such as the chronology of infection events, the spatial relationship between workers, climatic and ventilation conditions, the distribution of housing and transportation, and the complete sequences of the viral genome recovered from the cases of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by PCR at Germany's largest meat processing plant located in Rheda-Wiedenbrücken.
Transmissions were found to occur in a confined area of ​​the plant where the air is constantly recirculated and cooled to 10 ° C. An index case transmitted the virus to coworkers within a radius of more than 8 meters during work shifts on three consecutive days.
RNA evaluation showed that all cases shared the same set of mutations in samples collected in the same time period.
Similar situations occurred in the Yaracuy and Sucre states of Venezuela. The first involved a chicken processing plant in which up to 38 cases were reported in one day; the second case a fish processing plant that exceeded 100 cases.
Both plants became sources of contagion in the respective states and deaths of at least one person were reported in each.

In confined areas of meat processing plants where the air is constantly recirculated and cooled to 10 ° C the possibility of Covid-19 transmission increases. Photo: Archive

A report released last July by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that in the United States 87% of the over 16,000 cases of Covid-19 in 239 plants in 21 states belonged to racial or ethnic minorities (61% of all workers), and that at least 86 workers had died.
Iowa, the leading pork producer in the country, registered severe outbreaks of coronavirus in various processing plants but declined to participate in the study.
Of causes and lessons
As the pandemic progresses exponentially, so do published studies to learn about its immediate and long-term implications. This will allow political decisions to be made to tackle new realities.
It would be expected that these new contributions go to the structural causes of the appearance of so many epidemics and outbreaks in such a short time and integrate the lessons that their approach leaves us as a civilization. ... 7800a85fc4

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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:34 am

Covid-19 denialists: An explanation of their thinking

The Covid-19 denialists in action

“Belief in science is the worst form of superstition ever”… a medical doctor in Germany.

“Listen up Numb nuts This whole mask thing is a psyop to condition you to comply with authority. Next is mandatory injections for ‘the greater good’. Then annual injections of who knows what by the same people who are trying to depopulate the world. You can shove your compliance badge up your ass”… a white union carpenter in the US.

“They are pushing wearing masks to chip (put a computer chip in) everybody. Showing control and showing the fear. Like in prison, if you don’t take the t.b. test, they lock you up in solitary. Out here, if you don’t take the chip, they going to lock you up. It’s just like being in prison”… an ex-con black worker who spent decades in prison.

These comments must not be dismissed as comments of some outlier viewpoint of a tiny crackpot minority. Thirty-six percent of the US population support Trump’s policies on this pandemic and 25% believe there is at least some truth in the conspiracy theories regarding Covid-19.

Below are some notes and quotes from exchanges with some who believe in the conspiracy theories regarding Covid-19. I used to think that these conspiracy theories were a peculiarly American thing, but the report below from Germany (where 17,000 marched in support of these theories), shows that it is a global phenomenon:

Some comments from carpenters, all of whom are white men and also are union members:
“Can’t hid in a bubble your whole life bubble boy!”

“Keep giving into the fear, thats what the government wants you to do so you’re used to the taste of boot polish when they come and take the rest of your rights away. This used to be a free America but now its becoming a communist China thanks to all the boot licking.”

“My rights trump your government.”

“Your health is your responsibility, not mine.”

From “P”, an ex-con who spent decades behind bars and is now out and working. (He is a black man, which is significant in that he understands Trump’s racism.)
In addition to the comment at the top of this article, he said “The govt. got them by the balls…. A lot of black people like wearing the mask because they think they hiding….. I’m not out there protesting against the mask, but they should be protesting (against it). The mask makes them sicker…” (“P” based this claim on the fact that little children need to come into contact with some germs in order for their immune system to be challenged and to develop. He jumped from there to the idea that the mask stops adults from coming into contact with germs and therefore weakens the immune system.)

I should add that this individual, with whom I used to be friends, was very aggressive in talking with me. The minute I asked him the least difficult question he became openly hostile, especially so when I asked him what he thought of the fact that his were the arguments of the Trump supporters. He also talked on and on without showing the least interest in hearing any other thoughts. I had sent him some videos which refuted the conspiracy theories, including videos of Rob Wallace. He claimed he’d watched them, but when I asked him what was in them he couldn’t say. He clearly had not watched them, meaning he has no interest in really investigating the actual facts, in hearing both sides of the argument.


From “X”, a woman who’d spent years in prison and has been out and working for about ten years now:

“All those people that are way up above in the senate and all of that… The govt., rich people…” (they are lying to us).

“I think they’re making a lot of money off of it. All of them…. If this was so dangerous, why would they give loans but why are they risking their lives to go to work for these businesses….

“A lot of the news is propaganda because they have to have a lot of chaos….

“I believe they already know who the next president will be…. They let a black man be president when the economy went to shit. The minute the economy got better, they put a white man in as president….

“Trump did whatever he wanted to do and the government let him… They’re making a lot of money off of Covid 19…. I’m not saying the virus doesn’t exist. I’m saying they’re exaggerating it…. I don’t believe they’re giving you the real numbers. I believe that some people die and they’re blaming everything on Covid 19…. I have a friend in Florida who went around to the hospitals where she lives, and she said the ER’s are empty.

“Even scientists could be in on it, and make money off of it…. Why would you want that? Are you trying to reduce the population?…

“I just think that everybody’s getting all this money to come up with a cure for it, but there might already be a cure for it. (I asked her about the capitalists who are losing billions – the airlines, the hotel industry, etc. – don’t they want a cure for it?) I don’t know if they want a cure for it or not…. All these people who are making millions off the prisons and are saying these people will only leave prison in a pine box. They don’t give a fuck about the people….Just like they made money off the prison system, now they’re making money off Covid 19…. I don’t believe the statistics they’re giving.”

17,000 marched in Berlin demanding “freedom” from wearing a mask

Report from a comrade living in eastern Germany
“It was in spring 2020 that the Corona pandemic came over us, and after it had been dominating the news for a while, the first conspiracy theories were, of course. The extreme right-wing German journalist Billy Sixx illegally entered the geriatric department of a Berlin hospital, photographed the empty corridors and then posted on his blog: “This is what the hospital’s intensive care unit looks like, everything is empty! There are no corona patients at all, because there is no corona virus!

“I commented on it to a close friend of mine who is a medical doctor.

“Yes, but it really is. That with Corona is a big tale of lies!” I was completely stunned. And the terrible number of deaths in Italy and New York? He explained to me that almost all of them were old or previouosly-ill people who would have died anyway. He subsequently sent me several videos in which popular people from the political “gray zone” express their opinions, I was almost speechless. How can the man believe such crap? When I openly confronted him with my disapproval, he wrote me an email with real nonsense. And I don’t mean an uncomfortable opinion or anything, but literally Gaga nonsense. The way I thought, just don’t let your boss read it, or you’ll get fired and go to the loony.

“I visited him a few days later. We got to talking about how the poison enters society. ‘Through ___ (one of the main news channels),’ he said. ‘This channel irradiates people with fear and hatred every night so they can be manipulated.’ It later turned out that a couple of our mutual friends also believe in these conspiracy theories. They are also into mysticism.

‘When you visited me last year, you absolutely wanted astrology to be recognized as a real science.’ ‘It’s something else’ they said. ‘Can you explain the difference to me?’ I asked. ‘No, you wouldn’t understand that,’ they said. ‘You cannot explain it so directly, you have to feel it.’ This is a point that I keep observing and that is completely new to me in Germany: People loathe science, they no longer want to hear recognized but perhaps uncomfortable facts; instead they want something new and crazy that is exciting and creates a simple enemy.”

This same comrade reports on the rise of a group that identifies as Reichsbürger. They believe that the entire German state is illegal and

Some Covid-19 myths and reality
Myth: “The number of people who have actually died of Covid-19 is greatly exaggerated.”
Reality: In fact, the number of deaths is probably undercounted. According to this study from March 1, 2020 to May 30, the total number of deaths in the US was 781,000. This is 122,300 more than would be expected for these months (based on the same months in previous years.) The number of deaths during these months that was officially attributed to Covid-19 was 95,235.
Myth: “Wearing a mask makes you sick. It’s been shown that babies need to come into contact with germs for their immune system to develop. Same for adults to keep a strong immune system.”
Reality: There is a huge difference between the development of the immune system in a baby and keeping one’s immune system healthy for an adult. Not only that, but wearing a mask when one is inside and around others in no way stops a person from coming into contact with all germs all the time.
Myth: Since the virus that causes Covid-19 is only 0.1 micrometers in size and masks only filter down to about 0.6 micrometers, they don’t block out the virus anyway, so they are useless.
Reality: The virus doesn’t float around on its own; it is contained in water vapor that is normally about one micron or larger in size. Masks filter down to between 0.6 and 0.3 microns – far smaller than the water vapor that contain the virus.
Sure, wearing a mask is not so comfortable. Get over it.

they only recognize a mythical state that returns all the way back to Bismarck! This comrade also said that their former friend is now talking about the danger of a “dark power”, but the person would not identify what that power is.

Some conclusions

Men seem to tend (note: “tend”) to be more aggressive in advocating for these ideas. That would fit with the fact that a higher proportion of men than women support Trump. who makes bullying an important part of his appeal. This, in turn, is linked with the traditions of violence in US society as well as the domination of US imperialism globally – the fact that for years the US government could, in fact, throw its power around in the world almost without check.
The decades of suppression of the class struggle also feed into this. This suppression has taken several forms, including encouraging individualism and selfishness vs. working class solidarity and simple compassion. Even the union leadership here encourages this approach. That is the meaning of the comment that “your health is not my responsibility.” What that comment really means is that since wearing a mask is uncomfortable, I’m not going to wear one and I don’t care if that makes you sick.
The individualism is also expressed in how the world is seen. “If I or somebody I know personally doesn’t see it, then it doesn’t exist,” is the thinking. So, if somebody in, say, Dallas Texas isn’t seeing hospitals overwhelmed there, then this means that they aren’t all over Texas, including in poor, rural areas.
There are several aspects to the overlap between far right politics – both in the US and elsewhere – and conspiracy theory views on the pandemic. The far right, including outright fascists, have many mystical views. What, after all, is religious fundamentalism but a mystical view of the world? And Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu fundamentalists all are deeply involved in hard right and in some cases outright fascist politics. In addition, fascism has always had a mystical and anti-science wing to it. There is also an opening to anti-Semitism in some of this. That is the meaning of the talk about a “dark power” or even the talk about what “they” want. The real failure of the mainstream capitalist media is coming back to haunt the working class. Oaklandsocialist explained in this article, that this media does not in general outright lie; it’s just that they don’t uncover underlying but inconvenient truths. This is not only true about specific issues; it’s true in how it presents the world – as a series of disconnected events. The main thing is that the media doesn’t explain the class interests involved, which means it cannot present an all-around picture. Yet most workers know that there is something deeper happening. That is the meaning of some of the comments of “X”. When the mainstream capitalist media reports on different extreme weather events, for example, it almost never make the connection between those events and global climate disruption. Never has it been more clear than in the case of Covid-19, where the underlying causes – factory farming and wild habitat destruction – go ignored. The result is that the listener comes away intuitively feeling like something else is happening, but they don’t know what it is. Instead of delving deeper, the simplest explanation is made: The media is all lying. If it were so easy to peddle a big lie like this – one in which millions of doctors, nurses and other workers are involved – then why, for example, did the US government soldiers not “find” weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after they invaded there?
And this brings us to our final point: The disastrous failure of the union leadership (in the US) and the equivalent leadership around the world. In the US, this leadership has been repressing any sort of class consciousness for at least 50 years. Unfortunately, they have been partly successful. That is what explains the support for Trump among union members (mainly the white ones).
We see this in the statements of “X”, who vaguely recognizes the role of “the rich”, but doesn’t see it as a class question. Even more so in her comments about “the government”, which is seen as some independent force, rather than as representing a particular class, the capitalist class.

This failure also includes even the left Corbyn leadership in Britain. This leadership, too, has failed to explain the environmental basis for this pandemic. In ignoring this, it is ignoring the fact that new and even more devastating pandemics are coming; it is just a matter of time.

Significantly, though, “X” did pause when confronted with an oaklandsocialist article that explains this environmental basis and how capitalism itself is to blame. (We are referring here to factory farming and wild habitat destruction.) This is what “they” are covering up. However, oaklandsocialist has no influence. If the socialist left were to take up this explanation, it would start to have a wider influence. However, it too is stuck in pragmatism and short term thinking.

It remains, then, for the movement in the streets to find its own way. Slowly, painfully, it is learning from its own experiences. Hopefully, it will start to connect the economic issues (such as the very immediate issue of the $600/week federal unemployment subsidy) with the issues around the brutality and racism of the police. In that way, some real inroads into a wider layer of the working class can be made, and it will be through direct experiences in the class struggle that a different method of thinking can emerge – a method of thinking that is based on science (both social science and natural science) rather than mysticism.

As Marxist Felicity Dowling says, “socialism and science go hand-in-hand.” ... -thinking/
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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:22 pm

The WaPo article uses as its only source for Russia's alleged "propaganda" a guy from an American foreign policy think tank. Well, why don't quote a specialist?

They also mention that the WHO website doesn't mention the vaccine as approved. This is normal, as the WHO website is slow on its updates (even the number of dead is delayed). That's why the Hopkins site was so popular for tracking the number of dead.

Also, Putin never stated the vaccine was "approved"; he clearly used the word "registered". The Health Minister's speech also included the information that the 3rd phase was starting the moment he's speaking.

The WaPo also quotes some doctors stating they "don't know nothing about this Russian vaccine". Well, no wonder, as the research will only be published next month (as was also stated with the registration announcement). The American doctors also probably didn't even bother to search for the Russian findings. And this also explains why the WHO still doesn't approve the Russian vaccine for use, as the research still isn't published.

The fact that the vaccine was "rushed" should also not be surprising for the West. Not long ago, they were propagandizing the fact that we would have a vaccine by January precisely because of the fact that, among other things, the WHO had given its tacit blessing to accelerate the protocol - among other things, by cutting corners in the trial phases. I remember the Western MSM being very enthusiastic about it, and, some days ago, Bloomberg even published an article about an Indian billionaire already building the line of production to mass produce the still not ready Oxford vaccine. The billionaire himself called it "a bet". All of a sudden, this enthusiasm is gone. Why is that?

Besides the obvious geopolitical reasons (Russophobia, etc.), there may be economic ones. In his famous "forbidden op-ed", Kirill Dmitriev stated that:

The use of two vectors is the unique technology, developed by the Gamaleya Center scientists, which differentiates the Russian vaccine from other adenoviral vector-based vaccines under development around the world. Vaccines based on adenoviral vectors also have clear advantages over other technologies such as mRNA vaccines.
Prospective mRNA vaccines, undergoing clinical trials in the United States and other countries, do not use vectors for delivery and represent an RNA molecule with coronavirus protein code wrapped in a lipid membrane. This technology is promising but its side effects, especially an impact on fertility, have not yet been studied in depth. No mRNA vaccine has yet received regulatory approval in the world. We believe that in the global vaccine race to fight coronavirus adenoviral vector-based vaccines will be the winners but even in this category the Gamaleya vaccine has the edge.

The probable case is that the USA is pouring billions of USD in companies that are going all-in in unproven (and very dangerous) technologies because they want a vaccine that can be patented and thus charge its weight in gold to other countries. My bet is the USA sees the prospect of a new vaccine as an opportunity to mitigate its huge trade deficit with the rest of the world. This came at the cost of losing a lot of time (and money).

The companies which are working with an adenoviral vaccine - Oxford, J&J and CanSino - simply have inferior know-how:

Other countries follow in our footsteps developing adenoviral vector-based vaccines. Oxford University is using an adenovirus from a monkey, which has neither been used in an approved vaccine before unlike human adenoviruses. U.S. company Johnson & Johnson is using adenovirus Ad26 and China’s CanSino - adenovirus Ad5, the same vectors the Gamaleya Center is using, but they are yet to master the two-vector approach. Both companies already received large orders for vaccines from their governments.
Note that, even though they are inferior to Gamaleya, they are still bound to receive billions of USD in vaccines by their respective governments. The point is that we're in a desperate situation: we only need a vaccine that works, not a miraculous silver bullet that will eradicate the virus once and for all.

One can explain why CanSino has inferior know-how, but why are Oxford and J&J - two big companies (and yes, I consider Oxford a company nowadays) - inferior to Gamaleya? Dmitriev answers that himself:

The Gamaleya Center used adenoviral vectors to develop vaccines against influenza and against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Both vaccines are currently in advanced stages of clinical trials. These achievements show that Russian labs did not waste their time in the last few decades while the international pharmaceutical industry often underestimated the importance of new vaccines research in the absence of global health threats prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That is: Big Pharma wasted decades in vaccine research (and thus lost know-how) simply because it was not profitable. Diseases that can be eradicated with one or two shots (and only affect poor people) doesn't concern Big Pharma. This is not surprising, as capitalism is a system that exclusively operates for profit, not for human needs.

Posted by: vk | Aug 12 2020 12:05 utc | 8 ... l#comments

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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:31 pm

Cuba to Start a Clinical Trial for a COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

The clinical trial is expected to be completed on January 11, 2021, and the first data will be published on February 15, 2021. | Photo: EFE/ Ernesto Mastracusa

Published 18 August 2020 (10 hours 34 minutes ago)

Cuba advances in the development of its COVID-19 vaccine as the country already has four vaccine candidates and one of them has already been approved for clinical trials.

The Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV) registered a clinical trial for one of its vaccine candidates on August 13 in the Cuban Public Registry of Clinical Trials. The trial, named SOBERANA 01, is on phase I and II and the first enrollment of subjects is expected on August 24.

According to the Cuban Public Registry of Clinical Trials, these phases include "randomized, controlled, adaptive, double-blind, and multicenter study to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity, of the prophylactic FINLAY-FR-1 anti-SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Candidate in a two-doses schedule."
Cuban vaccine candidate against #COVID-19 will start clinical trials.

Despite cruel blockade that US intensifies every day, the very high quality of our prestigious science, the talent of our scientists and a political will that knows no limits prevails.#CubaSalvaVidas ����

— Embajada de Cuba en Fiji (@EmbacubaFiji) August 19, 2020
During phase I the vaccine candidate FINLAY-FR-1 is expected to be safe, admitting no more than 5% of individuals with serious adverse events while during phase II The proportion of subjects with an immune response is expected to be at least 50% higher than the control group.

The vaccine candidate FINLAY-FR-1 will be administered to subjects aged between 19-59 and individuals between 60 to 80 years old as well as women of childbearing potential using safe contraceptive methods during the study.

According to the information published in the Cuban Public Registry of Clinical Trials, the two first clinical sites to participate in the study are located in Havana.

The clinical trial is expected to be completed on January 11, 2021, and the first data will be published on February 15, 2021. ... -0025.html


Russia to Start the Production of Its COVID-19 Vaccine in Cuba

BioCubaFarma facilities in Cuba, August, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @CubaStandard
Published 11 August 2020

Before being tested in 76 volunteers, the "Sputnik V" passed all the safety and efficacy tests.

Russia's Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Chief Executive Officer Kiril Dmitriev announced that Cuba could begin producing the COVID-19 vaccine, the Sputnik V, in November.

“Cuba has a large capacity to produce medicines and vaccines with highly qualified staff. We could coordinate with its government to start the vaccine production in November,” Dmitriev stated.

He also pointed out that the third stage of vaccine trials will begin in Russia on Wednesday. Later the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines will continue testing it.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko announced the registration of the world's first COVID-19 vaccine, the Sputnik V, which is named after the first artificial satellite launched into orbit by the USSR in 1957.

Before being tested in 76 volunteers, the Russian COVID-19 vaccine passed all the necessary safety and efficacy tests in several animal species.

On Tuesday morning, outlet Sputnik reported that that the Russian vaccine, which was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute, can protect a person from the coronavirus for up to two years after injection.

"Such a prolonged period of protection is possible due to the vaccine being based on viral vectors – a harmless human adenovirus delivers a portion of the COVID-19 virus to a human body forcing it to form an immune response to it," the Russian outlet explained. ... -0013.html

Remember when we used to chant,"The whole world is watching."?
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:23 pm

The global race for the Covid-19 vaccine undergoing massive testing
Mission Truth

Aug 22 · 3 min read

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that accelerating progress should not mean compromising safety. There are currently 28 vaccines undergoing clinical trials.
The University of Oxford - in partnership with the AstraZeneca laboratory - created a vaccine (called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) that was shown to be capable of eliciting a 90% immune response in the testing phase. In tests, it generated antibodies and so-called T cells that can fight the coronavirus.
This vaccine will be produced and distributed for Latin America from Mexico and Argentina. "The Oxford study is still too recent to understand how long this protection can last," according to the British medical journal The Lancet .
The American company Moderna was the first to claim that its vaccine can produce neutralizing antibodies. That vaccine injects coronavirus RNA (its genetic code), which then begins to produce viral proteins to trigger an immune response.
BioNtech and Pfizer companies have also had positive results using their RNA vaccine. However, all these attempts are practically at the absolute limit of scientific advancement and they have not been proven to work.
Russia was the first country to authorize a vaccine against the coronavirus: Sputnik V (although it had not yet gone through phase III). It was developed by the Gamaleya Institute and registered after two months of human trials. The government announced a mass vaccination after the successful trials.
The Chinese vaccine - called Ad5-nCoV - was developed by the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and the biopharmaceutical company CanSino Biologic. It uses a weakened virus from the common cold - adenovirus type 5 - to introduce genetic material from the new coronavirus into the human body.
Liu Jingzhen, president of the state-owned National Biotec Group, said the vaccine could "be mass-produced shortly." The journal The Lancet published phase II of the clinical trial - which included more than 500 people - and "showed that it is safe and generates an immune response in most recipients after a single dose." Older people may require an additional dose to induce a stronger immune response.
Both the safety and effectiveness of the CanSino vaccine will need to be confirmed in the last phase of the trial, which is scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia. The Chinese company is also in talks with Russia, Brazil and Chile to carry out phase III of its trials there.
The Cuban vaccine FINLAY-FR-1 will enter the clinical trials phase -tests in humans- as of Monday, August 24. It was developed by the Finlay Institute (which comes from the Medical Sciences detachment founded by Fidel on March 12, 1982).
The protein is based on the combination of the RBD virus antigen with the meningococcal B outer membrane vesicle platform, which is the basis of the Cuban VA-MENGOC-BC® meningococcal meningitis vaccine.
The Molecular Immonology Center and the University of Havana participate in the project. The test will be applied to volunteers between 60 and 80 years old.
This article was originally published on the investigative journalism site La Tabla on August 21, 2020. ... 9b51ffb097

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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Post by blindpig » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:47 pm

Latin America Looking Towards Russia and China Amid US Operation Warp Speed
August 20, 2020 orinocotribune China, COVID-19, Latin America, Russia, US decline, Vaccine, Warp Speed
By Lucia Barrios – Aug 19, 2020

MONTEVIDEO (Sputnik) – In May, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, true to his style, made an announcement that disturbed several experts and countries in the world: He launched Operation Warp Speed, which aims to ensure that Americans are the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The objective of the operation is to capture the largest number of immunizations for the US. That country in recent months has financed several pharmaceutical companies in the millions in exchange for committing to “reserve” the largest number of doses for US citizens if they manage to develop it successfully.

This worries several experts, who fear that other countries, especially the poorest, will not be able to access the vaccine, since it is impossible to compete with the money that Washington offers.

In the Latin American case, several countries that recently showed a greater affinity with the US have turned the page and are opening negotiations with Russia and China to access their versions of the drug. Examples of this are Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.

“The US position to monopolize vaccines pushes Latin American countries to be open to Russia and China. That is why some countries are looking for some other alternatives,” Colombian sociologist Javier Calderón, a researcher at the University of Buenos Aires, told Sputnik.

In the same vein, the president of the Parliament of the Southern Common Market (Parlasur), the Argentine Oscar Laborde, told Sputnik that “each country tries to link with the one that suits it.”

“The truth is that the attitude of the US makes Latin American countries feel empathy and affinity with China and Russia,” he concluded.

Operation Warp Speed
Operation Warp Speed aims for the US to access some 300 million doses of vaccines.

Washington announced that it would select 14 drug development projects for this operation.

For example, the Johnson & Johnson company received about 456 million dollars of federal money, Moderna Therapeutics got 500 million and the British AstraZeneca reached a settlement for 1,200 million.

The US even agreed to pay $ 1.6 billion to Novavax in exchange for 100 million doses of its vaccine, and will pay a total of $ 1.95 billion to Pfizer and the German biotech BioNTech in exchange for 100 million doses.

Meanwhile, more than 20 countries, including Mexico and Brazil, have expressed interest in purchasing the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” against the coronavirus, Denís Logunov, deputy director of the “Nikolái Gamaleya” Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology based in Moscow, told Sputnik.

Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador even said he would be willing to test Russia’s vaccine himself.

Authorities from Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia and Peru also showed their interest in it.

Meanwhile, the vice president of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo, ratified on May 14 the willingness of his country to locally produce the drug Sputnik V.

For his part, the director of the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo, Dimas Covas, announced on August 11 that Brazil could begin to immunize the population against COVID-19 with the drug produced by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac in January 2021.

In turn, the president of the Council of Ministers of Peru, Walter Martos, reported that he is conducting negotiations with China for the vaccine, and Mexico signed memoranda of understanding with the Asian country for the same reason.

Even Paraguayan Health Minister Julio Mazzoleni told Sputnik on August 7 that his country was open to receiving the Chinese vaccine even though Beijing and Asunción do not have diplomatic relations.

Commercial interest
On the other hand, Calderón told Sputnik that the opening of Latin America towards Russia and China is also of a commercial nature.

“The Chinese vaccine is going to be free for Third World countries and Russia announced a fairly affordable price. This situation is very different from the US vaccine proposal, which in two doses will cost $50. As it is a vaccine that has to be given to the entire population, it involves a lot of money, for which the governments are making an economic calculation regarding the possibilities that the US can offer us,” he said.

He indicated that he hopes that Latin American governments put the welfare of the people above all.

“I hope they acquire the vaccine, be it the Chinese, Russian or American one, which is financially affordable but also serves to immunize us against the virus. I hope Latin American governments understand that beyond Trump’s economic and hegemonic obsession, there is the people’s health,” he reflected. ... arp-speed/

The self-defeating arrogance of US imperialism is reminiscent of Athens in the decline of the Delian League.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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