Healthcare

Saving Wall Street, not lives

US pandemic cover-up responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands

By Andre Damon, 22 May 2020

On Wednesday, researchers from Columbia University posted a study showing that the massive US death toll, now approaching 100,000, is a direct consequence of decisions made by the Trump administration.

New analysis predicts US coronavirus deaths will triple by end of year

By Bryan Dyne, 20 May 2020

There is evidence that the Florida government, and possibly others, are censoring the data needed to accurately study the development of the pandemic.

UK: Johnson’s criminal “back-to-work” drive depends on the trade unions

By Chris Marsden and Thomas Scripps, 20 May 2020

The reopening of schools and non-essential workplaces must be opposed until they are made safe.

Letter from UK teaching assistant against reopening of schools

20 May 2020

Sarah, who works in a primary school in south Yorkshire, wrote to the WSWS about the Johnson government’s plans to reopen UK schools from June 1.

Capitalism vs. science: The lessons of the 36-hour Moderna vaccine frenzy

By Benjamin Mateus, 20 May 2020

It took just 36 hours for the media’s frenzied promotion of a “breakthrough” treatment for the coronavirus to collapse under its own weight.

US health care system devastated by COVID-19 as the markets clamor to reopen the economy

By Benjamin Mateus and Clara Weiss, 19 May 2020

Health care workers throughout the US have been furloughed as health care systems are facing economic devastation caused by the pandemic. A second surge in economically hard-hit areas will confront an equally devasted health care infrastructure.

Millions of Americans, including front-line workers’ families, face loss of employer-sponsored health insurance in pandemic

By Alex Johnson, 19 May 2020

The families of health care workers, first responders and other workers deemed essential who have died from COVID-19 now face the prospect of losing their health coverage due to the cut-off of their loved ones’ employer-sponsored insurance.

SEIU pushes through sellout contract after blocking strike by Illinois nursing home workers

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 May 2020

The Service Employees International Union pushed through a deal with poverty wages and no guarantee of health and safety measures as the deadly coronavirus continues its rampage.

“There will be a human cost from this. Everyone knows that.”

Drive to reopen auto plants in North America threatens thousands of lives

By Shannon Jones, 16 May 2020

As the Detroit-based auto companies prepare to restart their North American factories, opposition is growing among workers to a deadly return to work.

The murderous pseudoscience of “herd immunity”

By Andre Damon, 16 May 2020

Proponents of “herd immunity” argue that measures to contain COVID-19 should be abandoned, allowing the disease to infect billions of people and kill countless millions.

As Global coronavirus death toll tops 300,000

US whistleblower warns premature return to work will bring “unprecedented illness and fatalities”

By Bryan Dyne, 15 May 2020

Dr. Rick Bright warned yesterday that the pandemic “has the potential to eclipse the devastation wrought by the 1918 influenza, which globally claimed over 50 million lives.”

“We are not going back to unsafe conditions”

After FCA Sterling Heights Assembly workers contract COVID-19, anger mounts over premature return to work

By Shannon Jones, 15 May 2020

Anxiety over a premature return to work has been heightened after reports that several workers in the Detroit area have already been sent home with suspected COVID-19 infections.

Russia ends federal COVID-19 shutdown measures as it surges to second place in infections worldwide

By Andrea Peters, 15 May 2020

There are now more coronavirus infections in Russia than anywhere else in the world, with the exception of the United States and Spain.

Rushed relaxation of coronavirus measures in Germany puts thousands of lives at risk

By Marianne Arens, 15 May 2020

With the general relaxation of the coronavirus measures, cases in schools, retirement homes, local transport, industry and the entire working population are inevitably on the rise again.

Amid charges of unsafe conditions, Puerto Rico’s governor issues back-to-work orders

By Alberto Escalera, 15 May 2020

Businesses have been left to supervise themselves in all matters related to worker safety as the government’s regulatory agencies essentially wash their hands of the matter.

US grocery stores and retailers move to cut pandemic pay to workers

By Zachary Thorton, 15 May 2020

Kroger, Starbucks and other companies plan to end hazard-related bonuses, including pay increases and paid work leave, even as the number of new COVID-19 infections and deaths in the US continues to rise.

The 2003 SARS epidemic: How Canada’s elite squandered the chance to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

By Omar Ali, 15 May 2020

Canada’s disastrous response to the pandemic is all the more criminal given the impact of SARS and the repeated government vows that the country’s health system would be well-prepared for any future novel virus.

Over 90,000 health care workers worldwide have been infected with COVID-19

By Gary Joad, 14 May 2020

The International Council of Nurses estimates that over 260 health care workers have died from the virus, while acknowledging that the figures are a severe underestimate due to the refusal of governments worldwide to adequately track this data.

UK: Exercise Cygnus leak confirms Tory government’s criminal inaction over pandemic threat

By Richard Tyler, 13 May 2020

The publication of a version of the report in the Guardian makes clear that the Johnson government tried to hide evidence of its criminal lack of preparation.

California nurses denounce lack of access to PPE

By Brian Dixon and Kimie Saito, 13 May 2020

“We don’t know how many medical workers have died here because of COVID-19 because neither the hospital nor the union tells us.”

Nurse fired by Detroit Sinai-Grace Hospital for refusing to work in unsafe conditions

By Stephen Fuller, 12 May 2020

Sal Hadwan, a nurse who participated in a job action along with five other co-workers at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit last month, was fired by the company in retaliation for speaking out against management policies.

US nursing students discuss impact of the pandemic on medical education

By Harry Matthews, 12 May 2020

With overwhelmed hospitals and the immense pressures now exerted on health care workers, the quality of the education of medical and nursing students has been greatly affected.

China, South Korea and Germany report new COVID-19 outbreaks

By Bryan Dyne, 11 May 2020

In all three countries, the new coronavirus cases have come after the partial lifting of lockdown measures.

As US House returns to Washington, Democrats signal readiness to grant companies immunity for worker deaths

By Barry Grey, 11 May 2020

It is already clear that any “Phase IV” stimulus bill that emerges will further enrich the financial aristocracy at the expense of the jobs, the wages and the very lives of the working class.

UK: Johnson’s “phased” return to work puts millions of workers at immediate risk

By Chris Marsden, 11 May 2020

Johnson tried to portray his six-week plan as “cautious” because of the massive opposition in the working class to ending the lockdown.

Hardship for UK carers worsens during coronavirus pandemic

By John Stryder, 11 May 2020

A carer of an elderly family member wrote to the WSWS about the problems faced by carers during the pandemic.

Governments globally reopen schools, ignoring scientists’ warnings of coronavirus impact on children

By Will Morrow, 11 May 2020

Governments see reopening schools as essential as a false symbol of a return to normal, and so that they can herd parents back into their workplaces.

Podemos pushes “back to work” as Spanish army expects new COVID-19 outbreak

By Alejandro López, 11 May 2020

The state is placing the lives of millions of workers going back to work in danger, putting corporate profits above workers’ lives.

Hundreds of COVID-19 infections in German meatpacking plants

By Marianne Arens, 11 May 2020

Immigrants from Romania, who are the main workers in the German meatpacking industry, are now being struck down by COVID-19.

Seventy-five years after the end of World War II

Right-wing ideologues in Germany demand sacrifice of human lives in coronavirus pandemic

By Christoph Vandreier, 11 May 2020

Three-quarters of a century after the end of the most brutal war in world history, the German ruling elite is returning to authoritarian and ultimately fascist policies to enforce militarism and inequality.

For collective strike action against the end of the COVID-19 lockdown!

By the National Committee of the Socialist Equality Party (France), 11 May 2020

The mass opposition of workers against the return to work in France and internationally, which threatens millions of lives, must be politically mobilized.

Children in US and UK dying from syndrome linked to COVID-19

By Jacob Crosse, 9 May 2020

At least two children in the US and one in the UK have died from the newly identified Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which is believed to be related to COVID-19.

NHS staff condemn UK health worker deaths and government herd immunity strategy

By our reporters, 9 May 2020

The UK has registered the highest number of fatalities in Europe from the virus, including at least 200 health and social care workers.

Mental health crisis erupts among health care workers confronting coronavirus

By Alex Johnson, 9 May 2020

Countless testimonials have emerged documenting the psychological harm being inflicted on nurses, doctors and other health workers as a result of the pandemic.

New Zealand nurses’ union embroiled in factional crisis

By John Braddock, 9 May 2020

The simmering crisis has erupted as nurses and other health workers are carrying the brunt of the struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

UK government covers up PPE shortages leading to health care worker deaths

By Alice Summers, 8 May 2020

Inquests into medical worker deaths from coronavirus will not address government failure to provide personal protective equipment, even as many health care workers still lack adequate equipment.

US nursing home catastrophe: Increasing numbers of the elderly fall victim to COVID-19

By Kate Randall, 6 May 2020

The wiping out of large numbers of the elderly population is seen by the ruling elite as a convenient and positive byproduct of the coronavirus pandemic.

At “reopen the economy” event, Trump confirms plans to shut down coronavirus task force

By Barry Grey, 6 May 2020

Trump made a point of calling the American people “warriors,” implying that they had to be prepared to die. And to die, moreover, for Wall Street.

Playing Russian roulette with hundreds of thousands of lives

German big business demands end to lockdown

By Peter Schwarz, 6 May 2020

Two weeks after the initial lifting of some of the coronavirus lockdown's restrictions in Germany, demands for its total abandonment have reached fever pitch.

UK coronavirus death rate at record high in Europe as fatalities pass 32,000

By Robert Stevens, 6 May 2020

Deaths reach record levels as thousands of new coronavirus cases continue to be reported daily in Britain—with another 4,406 yesterday and a total of 194,990.

UK: TUC and Labour attempt damage control after Tories push murderous “back to work” strategy

By Chris Marsden, 6 May 2020

The attempt by Labour and the trade unions to feign concern for the working class is laughable, given that they have functioned in a de facto national unity government with the Tories.

French unions complicit in Macron’s May 11 return-to-work policy

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 6 May 2020

The CGT is refusing to call any strike action as Macron is pushing workers back into their workplaces next Monday.

Coronavirus, the NHS and the charity shakedown

By Julie Hyland, 6 May 2020

Social care provision in the UK increasingly resembles that of the Victorian period when the lives and wellbeing of millions depended on philanthropy.

Trump administration sends federal strike force to keep meatpacking plants open

By Anthony Bertolt, 6 May 2020

Texas health officials confirmed that they were investigating over 159 cases tied to a JBS meatpacking plant in the state’s northern panhandle.

US teachers union provides political cover to Trump’s demand for the reopening of schools

By Nancy Hanover, 6 May 2020

The AFT’s “Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities,” released on April 29, is entirely in line with the demands of Wall Street.

Canada: Form rank-and-file committees to oppose COVID-19 back-to-work drive

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 6 May 2020

Absent the independent intervention of the working class, workers face a ruinous choice between risking their health and lives by returning to work or being driven into destitution.

Teachers, parents and students defy order to reopen schools in Chile

By Mauricio Saavedra, 6 May 2020

The push to reopen schools is part of the back-to-work campaign waged by the ultra-right Piñera government in complete disregard of the costs in terms of sickness and death.

Australia’s national cabinet pushes return to work despite ongoing COVID-19 dangers

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 May 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison bluntly admitted that the reversal of lockdown measures would lead to increased infections.

The Trump administration’s war against society

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 6 May 2020

Amidst the expanding coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration is implementing a socially criminal “open up the economy” policy that will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Over 2,000 doctors infected with COVID-19 in Ukraine amid growing protest by medical workers

By Jason Melanovski, 5 May 2020

Opposition grows among Ukrainian medical workers as they are left to combat the disease while lacking both essential equipment and funding.

Human challenge trials are being pushed to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus

By Benjamin Mateus, 5 May 2020

Purposefully exposing volunteers to the coronavirus after they have been given an experimental vaccine is fraught with tremendous risks to the patients themselves and the population at large.

UK Nightingale field hospitals to be “mothballed” as coronavirus death toll reaches 28,446

By Alice Summers, 4 May 2020

The new Nightingale facilities were meant to provide overflow capacity to overwhelmed hospitals, but patients have been turned away due to a lack of suitable equipment or staff.

UK: Delays to medical treatment during pandemic will cost thousands of lives

By Jean Gibney, 2 May 2020

Reports claim that deaths due to the disruption of cancer services alone are likely to outnumber deaths from the coronavirus itself over the next five years.

Russian workers protest animal-like conditions at oil field as prime minister hospitalized with COVID-19

By Andrea Peters, 1 May 2020

Hundreds demonstrated against Gazprom at a Siberian oil field, demanding safe working conditions and proper care for sick workers

Brazilian nurses fired for striking in Manaus over PPE

By Tomas Castanheira, 1 May 2020

Thirteen Brazilian nurses were fired after striking on Monday, along with hundreds of their colleagues at the 28 de Agosto Hospital, in the Amazonian capital of Manaus.

Remdesivir as “miracle drug”: Back-to-work propaganda vs. science

By Bryan Dyne, 1 May 2020

The media’s adulation of this “breakthrough” takes place in the midst of an increasingly frenzied effort to create the impression that the virus is “under control” and the crisis is all but over.

With over 1 million coronavirus cases and 60,000 fatalities in the US, markets eager to get back to business

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 April 2020

The markets are clamoring for a rapid reopening of businesses, regardless of concerns about the impact of a second wave of the coronavirus.

COVID-19 infection at sporting fixtures underscores criminality of Johnson government’s herd immunity policy

By Barry Mason, 29 April 2020

It was only due to growing opposition that the government was forced to impose a lockdown. But much of the damage had already been done, as evidenced by its allowing three sporting events to take place.

Coronavirus pandemic surges across South Asia, even as governments push for a return to work

By our correspondents, 29 April 2020

The response of South Asia’s governments to the pandemic underscores the contempt of the national bourgeoisie for the lives of hundreds of millions of working people and rural toilers.

Jaffna health workers complain of poor facilities as pandemic spreads in Sri Lanka

By Subash Somachandran, 29 April 2020

Health workers in northern Sri Lanka insist that the insufficiency of tests and shortcomings of health facilities has made the province vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump orders meatpacking plants to remain open, as coronavirus sickens thousands of workers

By Christopher Davion and Marcus Day, 29 April 2020

Trump’s executive order is aimed squarely at shielding the profits of Tyson Foods and other corporate firms, not at defending the food supply chain or the safety of workers.

Cuban working class facing disaster due to coronavirus-related tourism collapse

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 April 2020

While Cuba appears to have effectively slowed the spread of COVID-19, the collapse of tourism has left huge numbers of workers unemployed and threatens imports of needed goods.

COVID-19 cases increase across Illinois as many counties push to reopen

By Brian Brown, 29 April 2020

The pandemic poses enormous problems for rural areas where public health programs and hospitals have been greatly defunded over the last decade, leaving vulnerable residents in greater danger.

Quebec government threatens thousands of lives with precipitous return to work

By Richard Dufour, 29 April 2020

Quebec Premier François Legault has announced the reopening of the province’s elementary schools and daycares.

Australian health workers infected with COVID-19 but governments cover up full picture

By Margaret Rees, 29 April 2020

Even according to the officially-reported cases, Melbourne’s health system is one of the worst-affected in Australia.

Despite anticipating more deaths, Australian governments demand return to work

By Mike Head, 28 April 2020

The New South Wales state premier said she expected an increase in virus cases as her government lifted restrictions.

Coronavirus antibody tests lack validity and sufficient accuracy to offer reliable guarantee of immunity

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 April 2020

One of the most well-known attempts to justify sending workers back to offices and factories, based on a supposed antibody count, comes from the discredited Santa Clara study, as it has come to be known.

As mass layoffs intensify, tens of millions in US stand to lose health insurance

By Alex Johnson, 27 April 2020

An Economic Policy Institute blog reveals that some 9.2 million Americans lost their health insurance coverage over the previous four weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

US nursing homes: A goldmine for real estate and private equity firms

By Isaac Finn, 27 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized large sections of the nursing home industry, which have become controlled by corporate operators at the expense of residents’ quality of care.

At least 130 US health care workers dead from COVID-19

By Clara Weiss, 25 April 2020

Every single one of these deaths and the vast majority of infections were preventable.

US elderly care devastated by the profit system

By Isaac Finn, 25 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the failure of the American health care system, and the inability of the wealthiest country on Earth to take care of its elderly and infirm.

Henry Ford Health System lays off 2,800 as COVID-19 continues to ravage Detroit

By Kevin Reed, 25 April 2020

Following Beaumont Health, which laid off 2,475 employees and permanently eliminated 450 positions on Tuesday, HFHS told workers they were being put on temporary furlough.

Tennessee state government plans to lift social-distancing measures as health care crisis looms

By Warren Duzak, 25 April 2020

While Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Lee claims the number of cases were leveling off, physicians have described the virus trajectory as “saw-toothed” with no real sign of flattening or subsiding.

UK: Millions of pounds donated to the National Health Service as coronavirus crisis continues

By Alice Summers, 25 April 2020

A fundraising page for the NHS, set up by 99-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore, received overwhelming public support, raising more than £28 million in two weeks.

Coronavirus sweeps through Russian medical facilities

By Andrea Peters, 25 April 2020

Hospitals and clinics in several cities have been placed under quarantine, as COVID-19 infects staff and patients alike.

Australia: Fifth resident dies at Sydney aged care home

By Martin Scott, 25 April 2020

Unable to visit, families fear their elderly relatives are suffering neglect.

Japan’s medical system collapsing as COVID-19 cases surge

By Ben McGrath, 24 April 2020

As many as 400,000 people could die in Japan without serious preventative measures as many lack access to tests and treatment.

South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee reopening as coronavirus deaths mount

By Matthew MacEgan, 22 April 2020

The actions amount to a death sentence for thousands of working people, and particularly the elderly.

US health care workers protest government back-to-work demands

By Trévon Austin, 22 April 2020

Nurses countrywide are opposing the government’s bank-to-work demands and insisting they be provided with proper protective gear on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beaumont Health lays off 2,500 and eliminates 450 jobs in Metro Detroit

By Kevin Reed, 22 April 2020

Michigan’s largest health care provider, Beaumont Health, announced the layoff of 2,475 employees and the permanent elimination of 450 positions at its Detroit-area facilities.

Death toll rises at veterans hospital in Massachusetts

By Julian James, 22 April 2020

Roughly 1-in-4 COVID-19 fatalities in the entire Veterans Affairs care system have taken place at a single facility in Massachusetts.

As COVID-19 deaths pass 17,000, UK corporations scramble for bailout funds

By Robert Stevens, 22 April 2020

In what it described as a "conservative estimate", the Financial Times concluded that its analysis of official data reveals "The coronavirus pandemic has already caused as many as 41,000 deaths in the UK".

Thousands view online meeting of UK SEP outlining a socialist perspective on the pandemic

By our reporter, 22 April 2020

Around 500 viewers took part in the event with participants from Britain joined by others from Australia, Sri Lanka, Germany, France, Canada and the US—underscoring the international interest in the meeting.

US safety agencies bow to corporations as workers file record number of complaints

By Jessica Goldstein, 22 April 2020

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reportedly received 3,000 complaints related to the pandemic, with state agencies receiving many times more.

India: Modi government moves to “reopen” economy as virus cases surge

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 22 April 2020

Modi and big business have cynically sought to justify their push for a premature return to work by pointing to the desperate plight of hundreds of millions of day labourers.

Kazakhstan: Hospital workers demand resignation of government official over spread of COVID-19

By David Levine, 22 April 2020

Hospital workers demanded that the city’s chief public health officer, who accused medical workers of being responsible for the spread of the virus, be removed from office.

Australia’s national cabinet continues back-to-work push

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 April 2020

State governments are moving ahead with an easing of restrictions, including through the reopening of schools, creating the conditions for major coronavirus outbreaks.

Amazon workers in Italy strike over coronavirus cover-up

Worker resistance grows internationally as governments push premature return to work

By Shannon Jones, 18 April 2020

The reckless drive by the Trump administration and governments in Europe to resume production despite health warnings will produce a social explosion.

Brazilian nurses strike over deadly conditions as COVID-19 deaths mount

By Tomas Castanheira, 18 April 2020

This week, after a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in Brazil, protests and work stoppage spread to hospitals and other health care units.

As US deaths soar, bipartisan back-to-work drive guarantees the explosive spread of pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 18 April 2020

Trump and the political establishment are seeking to enforce a return to work despite the warnings of medical experts that the US is nowhere near prepared to reopen safely.

Detroit-area hospitals slash jobs and close facilities to cut costs during COVID-19 crisis

By Kevin Reed, 18 April 2020

Corporate health care providers in the Detroit area are attempting to impose financial losses associated with the health crisis onto the working class.

Nurse who exposed conditions at Massachusetts nursing home dies from COVID-19

By Andrew Timon, 18 April 2020

Maria Krier’s death is another tragic outcome of the appalling conditions in nursing homes throughout New England and the US.

Seventeen bodies found piled in a New Jersey nursing home

By Erik Schreiber, 18 April 2020

This ghastly discovery is symptomatic of the disaster unfolding at nursing homes in the state, across the US and internationally.

Florida orders National Guard to assist in nursing home COVID-19 testing

By Matthew Taylor, 18 April 2020

There has been no push for mass testing, with only 236,000 of the state’s more than 21 million residents tested to date.

UK government’s herd immunity policy denounced by leading scientist

By Robert Stevens, 18 April 2020

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives pursued a policy which envisaged the mass infection of tens of millions of people and the deaths of possibly hundreds of thousands.

Big business representatives defend hospital closures in Germany

By Markus Salzmann, 18 April 2020

Economist Boris Augurzky claims that there are too many hospitals, and has called for the crisis to be used to further reduce the number of facilities.

Ukrainian capital Kiev engulfed in smog from wildfires near Chernobyl

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 18 April 2020

The fires expose the fact that the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe remains unresolved and continues to threaten the health of the population.

Sri Lanka: Oppose return to work in unsafe pandemic conditions! No to job destruction!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 18 April 2020

The criminal actions of the Rajapakse government and big business will accelerate the spread of the deadly virus and lead to a further loss of workers’ lives.

Australian ruling elite seizes on pandemic to demand harsh economic restructuring

By Mike Head, 18 April 2020

Governments and big business are using the COVID-19 crisis to accelerate the decades-long assault on social spending and workers’ jobs, wages and conditions.

Authorities seeking to force coronavirus-stricken ship out of Australian waters

By Martin Scott, 18 April 2020

More than 160 Ruby Princess crew members have tested positive for COVID-19, but most of the 1,056 workers are being refused the right to leave the ship.