Healthcare

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.

New Zealand businesses, media call for lifting of lockdown measures

By John Braddock, 18 April 2020

Sections of NZ’s business elite are demanding an end to the month-long COVID-19 lockdown and for working people to risk their lives to defend the capitalist economy.

US rural hospitals close amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Gary Joad, 17 April 2020

Since 2010, 128 rural hospitals have closed, with 19 closures taking place last year alone.

Coronavirus toll reaches two million worldwide, nearly 30,000 US dead

By Benjamin Mateus and Patrick Martin, 16 April 2020

Despite preparations by the Trump administration and various state government to relax anti-virus measures, the US death toll hit record levels on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

World famous Mayo Clinic cuts pay, furloughs employees amidst COVID-19 pandemic

By Matt Rigel, 16 April 2020

To date, 117 hospitals and hospital chains have imposed cuts.

“We have the technology and knowledge, but it won’t work under capitalism”

An interview with a foreign-trained doctor prevented from fighting COVID-19 in Canada

By Janet Browning, 16 April 2020

“Politicians,” said Dr. Wijesooriya, “talk endlessly about the economy, stock markets and oil price. Meanwhile, the hospitals are understaffed.”

Canada: Thousands of foreign-trained medical staff prevented from assisting in COVID-19 fight

By Janet Browning, 16 April 2020

Canada recorded its thousandth death due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, yet thousands of foreign-trained medical staff are not being mobilized in the fight against the deadly virus.

COVID-19 deaths break US record as virus spreads through every state

By Benjamin Mateus, 15 April 2020

Over 2,300 people died from COVID-19 in the United States Tuesday, in the highest recorded daily death toll of any country.

As pandemic deaths continue to rise

Trump calls on states to move quickly to reopen their economies

By Barry Grey, 15 April 2020

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday congratulated both Trump and the Democratic governors for moving to lift the restrictions on profit-making.

COVID-19 devastating the elderly at nursing homes across the US

By Kevin Reed, 15 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exploded in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, exposing the catastrophic circumstances facing large numbers of elderly working class people.

A letter from a concerned UK nurse to the WSWS

15 April 2020

“I urge employees not to be silenced by ruthless and reckless employers and to stand together and speak out.”

Deaths continue to soar as European governments step up back-to-work plans

By Alice Summers, 15 April 2020

Another 27,531 Covid-19 cases in Europe were reported Tuesday, bringing the total to nearly one million.

Greek medical workers demand funds to combat coronavirus pandemic

By John Vassilopoulos, 15 April 2020

Greece only had 560 intensive care unit beds as the pandemic began, 6 per 1 million inhabitants compared to 29.2 in Germany.

Ugandan government touts malarial drug chloroquine as a COVID-19 cure

By Stephan McCoy, 15 April 2020

Uganda’s government has taken a leaf from US President Donald Trump’s playbook in promoting the untested drug as a potential lifesaver.

Germany: Hesse politicians and employers expose workers to risk of COVID-19 infection

By Marianne Arens, 15 April 2020

Refuse workers report how they are given no protection and are expected to travel home in their dirty overalls.

North Carolina sanitation workers demand increased protection after co-worker’s death

By Matthew MacEgan and James Langley, 15 April 2020

As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina was 5,024, with 108 deaths recorded.

Modi extends India’s coronavirus lockdown till May 3

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 15 April 2020

Modi offered no plan to deal either with the health emergency or the socio-economic calamity triggered by the sudden, unplanned lockdown.

Coronavirus exposes Chilean two-tiered health system as deathtrap

By Mauricio Saavedra, 15 April 2020

It is the policy of sustained socio-economic shock therapy initiated under Pinochet that lay the groundwork for incalculable loss of life today

With anger mounting over pandemic response, unions make pitch to save American capitalism

By Jerry White, 15 April 2020

In a joint comment published by USA Today, the leaders of four major unions urge corporate America to use their services to “restore profits and economic growth.”

Boris Johnson’s praise for the National Health Service: Hypocrisy without limit

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 14 April 2020

It will not be long before Johnson’s words of praise for the NHS will be nothing but a bitter memory, cited by angry doctors and nurses as the Tories resume their efforts to destroy it.

UK NHS workers speak to the WSWS: “Is it worth clapping the NHS without ensuring the safety of frontline workers?”

By our reporters, 14 April 2020

Several NHS workers have contacted the WSWS following the attacks by Conservative Health Minister Matt Hancock, who accused NHS staff of wasting personal protective equipment resources.

A letter from a frontline nurse at the UK’s Royal Bournemouth Hospital

14 April 2020

The WSWS received the following letter in response to the statement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson following his discharge from hospital.

Five Michigan grocery and retail workers die from COVID-19

By Stephen Fuller, 14 April 2020

Evidence is emerging that the pandemic is sweeping through workers at grocery and retail establishments, which have been kept open and identified as part of the critical infrastructure workforce in most states.

New York City digging mass graves for coronavirus victims

By Josh Varlin, 11 April 2020

Victims of the pandemic are being buried en masse on Hart Island off the coast of the Bronx, just 16 miles from Wall Street, the center of world finance.

The COVID-19 crisis in New York City

Interview with Bronx emergency room nurse: “Some critical patients are not getting the medication and IV pumps they need"

By Clara Weiss, 11 April 2020

Hospitals throughout New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, are running out of medication and equipment.

German hospitals become COVID-19 hotspots for health care workers

By Markus Salzmann, 11 April 2020

According to the Robert Koch Institute, more than 2,300 doctors and nurses have been infected with coronavirus in Germany.

Australian hospitals lack ventilators and staff to deal with pandemic

By Clare Bruderlin, 11 April 2020

A ventilator manufacturing deal this week highlighted the shortage of urgently-needed intensive care medical equipment.

The COVID-19 crisis in New York City

Nurses at Elmhurst Hospital speak out: “I’ve never seen so many young people die”

By Clara Weiss, 9 April 2020

With hundreds of COVID patients, the hospital is running low on PPE, medication, ventilators and staff.

Police in Pakistan beat and arrest health care workers protesting over Coronavirus safety concerns, lack of PPE

By Dr. Zayar, 9 April 2020

Police brutally attacked several hundred medical staff after they marched to the house of the Balochistan Chief Minister in Quetta to protest the lack of personal protective equipment or PPE.

UK social care system faces collapse amid spike in coronavirus deaths

By Stephen Alexander, 9 April 2020

Mass deaths and runaway infections have begun to rip through UK residential and nursing home facilities, bringing adult social care services to the brink of collapse.

Alberta doctors protest UCP government’s funding cuts amid coronavirus pandemic

By Janet Browning, 9 April 2020

More than 800 doctors signed an angry open letter to the hard-right United Conservative Party government protesting cuts to doctors’ fees that will result in reduced services at hundreds of rural clinics across the province.

World Health Organization warns against premature ending of social distancing measures

By Bryan Dyne, 8 April 2020

The warnings come as the number of deaths worldwide approaches 82,000 and the number of officially confirmed cases burst past 1.4 million.

US automakers planning return to work before coronavirus danger subsides

By Tom Hall and Jessica Goldstein, 8 April 2020

Automakers are planning a return to work that would endanger workers and their families.

Worker revolt spreads, demanding protections from coronavirus

By Marcus Day, 8 April 2020

Expanding layers of the working class throughout the world are being drawn into the struggle for lifesaving necessities.

British prime minister: A victim of his “herd immunity” policy

By Robert Stevens, 8 April 2020

Whatever Johnson’s personal fate, the herd immunity policy that landed him seriously ill in hospital has already contributed to many infections and thousands of deaths nationwide.

New York records worst death toll in pandemic, as 731 die in one day

By Josh Varlin, 8 April 2020

The official figures must be considered substantial underestimates, since there has been a reported surge in people dying in their homes, rather than in hospital.

Grocery worker dies from COVID-19 infection in suburban Maryland

By Nick Barrickman, 8 April 2020

Grocery workers have been increasingly falling ill as the coronavirus spreads through the population.

Africa’s refugees and internally displaced: The weakest link in the human chain

By Jean Shaoul, 8 April 2020

As the pandemic spreads to Africa, Asia and Latin America, the coronavirus will hit the world’s most vulnerable even harder.

Africa’s elite build VIP hospitals for themselves, leaving workers to die

By Stephan McCoy, 8 April 2020

The response of the African ruling elite has been to cocoon itself in luxury, distancing from the impoverished masses it views with hostility and fear.

UK: Health workers threatened for wearing PPE and reporting danger to their lives

By Tony Robson, 8 April 2020

The threats to health workers have been particularly directed at any use of social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

Canada’s health minister promotes “herd immunity,” after admitting government’s coronavirus failure

By Laurent Lafrance, 8 April 2020

Health Minister Hajdu acknowledged that if Canada’s hospitals lack vital equipment it is because the government has been “underfunding” healthcare “for decades.”

Thai government introduces lockdowns amid criticisms of its pandemic response

By Owen Howell, 8 April 2020

Within a month, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Thailand has leapt from a few dozen to over 2,000.

The deadly consequences of the gutting of America’s public health infrastructure

By Gary Joad, 7 April 2020

Politicians and media pundits have accepted that mass sickness and death are the inevitable product of the COVID-19 outbreak.

US hospitals raise prices, cuts costs and lay off staff in midst of COVID-19 crisis

By Warren Duzak and Douglas Lyons, 7 April 2020

Funds to purchase necessary health equipment and increase operating capacity to battle the coronavirus will come from raising hospitals’ already extortionist rates for procedures, while cutting vital staff.

BREAKING NEWS

Detroit nurses forced to leave hospital after protesting understaffing

By Evan Blake, 6 April 2020

At around midnight Monday morning, seven night shift nurses at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit were sent home after refusing to work in unsafe, understaffed conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the coronavirus tolls soar worldwide

Deaths from COVID-19 in New York double in three days

By Bryan Dyne, 4 April 2020

While New York is the most seriously hit, many other regions in the United States are facing a similarly catastrophic situation.

Mounting opposition among German health care, industrial workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 4 April 2020

The German government has implemented a bailout program for major companies and banks, but health care and industrial workers are forced to work under catastrophic conditions.

UK: Elderly will be left to die as coronavirus plunges care sector into crisis

By Stephen Alexander, 4 April 2020

It is estimated that up to a fifth of all COVID-19 deaths in the UK have occurred in care homes, hospices, and individual households.

US health care workers face retribution for criticizing unsafe hospital conditions

By Benjamin Mateus, 4 April 2020

The shortage or entire absence of personal protective equipment (PPE) is driving health care workers to voice their concern over the danger of becoming infected.

An interview with four Chinese physicians at the epicenter of the pandemic in Wuhan

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 April 2020

Four doctors who went through the worst of the COVID-19 epidemic in China recently spoke with the WSWS about their experiences and the lessons for the wider world.

Statistical lies used to justify continued inaction, paint the US epidemic as nearly over

By Don Barrett, 2 April 2020

The US ruling class turns to bad statistics to justify its continued inaction and paint a picture that the worst is just ahead.

UK: Communication Workers Union seeks unity with Royal Mail against postal workers

By Thomas Scripps, 2 April 2020

That the CWU is now appealing for the most basic sanitary protections is an admission of the desperately unsafe conditions it volunteered its membership into when calling off the planned national strike.

Cuomo presses forward with Medicaid cuts as New York City health care system overwhelmed by pandemic

By Josh Varlin, 2 April 2020

Even though New York City’s hospitals and medical workers are overwhelmed by the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing forward with planned cuts to Medicaid.

Tennessee governor’s delay in issuing stay-at-home order means thousands more will die, physicians warn

By Warren Duzak, 2 April 2020

“This is not a mandated shelter in place order, but it is a strong urging for Tennesseans to stay at home,” Gov. Lee said during his daily media briefing.

New Zealand workers speak out on unsafe conditions, wage cuts

By Tom Peters, 2 April 2020

Workers spoke to the WSWS about the lack of personal protective equipment and other safety measures.

19,000 ambulance workers strike in Northern India to demand protective gear

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 2 April 2020

The strike by Indian ambulance workers is part of the militant class response by the working class against the capitalist governments that have endangered the lives of workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The working class, socialism and the fight against the pandemic

By David North, 1 April 2020

The wildcat strikes and protests by Instacart, Amazon and Whole Foods workers are in response to the criminal subordination of workers’ safety to corporate profits.

Coronavirus deaths in US nearing 4,000 as Trump washes his hands of responsibility

By Benjamin Mateus and Patrick Martin, 1 April 2020

More than 800 people died Tuesday of COVID-19 in the United States, the highest death toll so far, with nearly 25,000 new cases.

With 30,000 dead in Europe from COVID-19: Workers strike to demand safe working conditions

By Robert Stevens, 1 April 2020

The most basic health and safety measures are being flouted by employers throughout the continent.

As Detroit surges past 2,000 cases, COVID-19 pandemic spreads throughout Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 1 April 2020

Given that there is no systematic and mass testing of the public for the presence of the virus, the reported numbers of confirmed cases are very deceptive.

St. Louis Fed says 50 million Americans could be unemployed by July

By Gabriel Black, 1 April 2020

The massive bipartisan bailout of corporations and banks will not protect the jobs of US workers.

Ukraine passes IMF-backed land reform bill, social cuts as coronavirus spreads

By Jason Melanovski, 1 April 2020

The policies of the Zelensky government threaten the working class with a social and medical disaster of immense proportions.

Brazilian stadium turned into field hospital as ruling class closes ranks behind corporate bailouts

By Miguel Andrade, 1 April 2020

Shocking images of stadiums transformed into concentration camps for the sick and dying stand in stark contrast to Bolsonaro’s criminal denial of the seriousness of the pandemic.

Covid-19 pandemic poses gravest threat to world’s poorest countries

By Jean Shaoul, 1 April 2020

Hundreds of millions of people across the globe live in homes that were detrimental to their health and safety even before the onset of the coronavirus.

UK warehouse and distribution workers protest exposure to COVID -19

By Tony Robson and Dan Richardson, 1 April 2020

Britain’s new “Satanic Mills” are a byword for low pay, casualisation and sweat shop conditions, which have only worsened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Canada’s governments exempt sections of industry from lockdowns, imperilling workers’ lives

By Roger Jordan, 1 April 2020

Placing profits before workers’ lives, Ontario and Quebec have declared businesses “essential” that have nothing to do with providing healthcare, food, power or other life necessities.

Hundreds wait in mile-long line at Pittsburgh area food bank

By Samuel Davidson, 1 April 2020

The situation in Pittsburgh is being repeated throughout the US as more than 3.5 million workers filed for unemployment last week and millions more are expected to do so this week.

Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. issue shelter-in-place orders

By Dmitri Church, 1 April 2020

The shutdown of nonessential travel affects over 15 million residents, with the Maryland Governor warning residents not to leave the state unless “absolutely necessary.”

Bangladesh: Garment workers strike over safety amid COVID-19 crisis

By Wimal Perera, 1 April 2020

The anger of Bangladeshi factory workers is mounting because they are unable to practice “social distancing” in their plants or during transit.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold online event: “COVID-19 pandemic and capitalist barbarism”

1 April 2020

The event will be live-streamed through the SEP’s official Facebook page.

An ominous warning ignored by governments

Netflix’s Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak

By Toby Reese, 1 April 2020

As the US became an epicenter of the current pandemic last week, the series jumped into the top ten most-viewed on Netflix.

Millions of Europe’s health care workers endangered by government neglect

By Thomas Scripps, 31 March 2020

The crisis is taking a particularly heavy toll on health care workers fighting on the front lines of the pandemic.

“We cannot abandon the nurses”

Nurse suicides rise in Europe amid stress of COVID-19 pandemic

By Allison Smith, 31 March 2020

Last week, 34-year-old nurse Daniella Trezzi, who worked in the COVID-19 intensive care ward of San Gerardo hospital at Monza, near Milan, committed suicide.

Trump administration and Mexican government collaborate to deny life-saving care to refugees with HIV

By Joe Williams, 30 March 2020

HIV-positive immigrants seeking asylum in the United States, who face a growing shortage of key medication in Mexico to maintain their compromised immune systems, must now also contend with a growing coronavirus epidemic.

Coronavirus cases in United States surpass 100,000

By Bryan Dyne, 28 March 2020

Hospital systems in the most affected regions, including New York City, Chicago, Detroit and others, face imminent collapse.

Pandemic death toll in Europe rises to 19,000 as savaged health care systems are overwhelmed

By Thomas Scripps and Alice Summers, 28 March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is preying on Europe’s 500 million-plus population whose health care services have been decimated by years of government austerity and private sector looting.

Coronavirus in Europe: Overworked hospitals become death traps

By Gregor Link, 28 March 2020

The criminal inactivity of European governments has led to a murderous and vicious circle of overwork, infection and work absences in hospitals throughout the continent.

UK government buried 2016 report exposing catastrophic NHS failings during flu pandemic

By Steve James, 28 March 2020

Exercise Cygnus has been buried for years for fear it would give rise to demands for an end to health care cuts.

UK health care assistant: “There’s a fear that if we are tested for COVID-19, most of us will come back positive and the NHS will collapse”

By our reporter, 28 March 2020

A senior health care assistant spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about his experiences at work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian governments reject calls for lockdown despite rising COVID-19 danger

By Mike Head, 28 March 2020

The “national cabinet” is determined to keep as many workers as possible on the job in order to shore up corporate profits.

Australian medical workers speak on the growing crisis in the health system

By our correspondents, 28 March 2020

Health workers are increasingly being forced to source their own supplies to ensure they and their colleagues have masks, goggles, gowns and gloves.

Sri Lankan doctors speak out over coronavirus dangers facing health workers

By Sakuna Jayawardena, 28 March 2020

Hospital workers are making a huge effort to treat the rising number of patients, but they lack the protective gear they need.

Ohio, Texas and Mississippi ban abortion under guise of fighting coronavirus

By Isaac Finn, 28 March 2020

Over the last two weeks Ohio, Texas and Mississippi have effectively banned abortion, claiming that personal protective equipment is needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.