U.S. and World Politics

COVID-19 “Death Panels”

By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

The elderly pay the price for the systematic destruction of the people’s public health system.

U.S. politicians have for decades privatized medical care while they defunded, cut and starved the public health system, the major institution for protecting the people’s health from infectious disease and capable of containing and eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic. When the world was notified about the pandemic, the U.S. government refused to prepare a national strategy. This homicidal policy of refusal to massively increase production of test kits, PPE (personal protective equipment), ventilators and hospital beds has already resulted in over 122,500 deaths in the U.S. alone as we head towards a quarter-of-a-million by summer’s end.1

When the economy crashed, what did the politicians do? Did they demand that the federal government manufacture 100 million COVID-19 test kits? Did they spend a trillion dollars on PPE and ventilators? Did they spend a trillion dollars to hire 250,000 people to test and track COVID-19? No. Instead they poured $9 trillion into Wall Street, buying up the debts of the largest corporations, and hedge funds while they left 50 million workers who lost their jobs without any relief from their debts.2

The murderous failure to plan and prepare for this crisis created predictable massive shortages for hospitals. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is calling for “A Framework for Rationing Ventilator and Critical Care Beds During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”3 JAMA is accommodating itself to this brutal betrayal of the people’s health. They are not calling for demonstrations in front of the White House and Congress. They are not funding TV or newspaper ads demanding resources, they are not calling for marches, demonstrations and strikes. No, they are advocating a policy to ration and deny care that will fall most heavily on those over 60 years of age. The JAMA article of March 27, 2020 recommends who should be denied care:

  1. Those least likely to survive treatment. Statistics show that death rate increases over the age of 60. (The elderly, with higher risk for minorities.)
  2. Those with other medical conditions. More common over age 60. (The elderly, with higher risk for minorities.)
  3. Those who are working and “intrinsically more worthy” will be given priority and those who are retired will be denied. (The elderly.)
  4. Those who are younger will be given priority and the elderly will be denied.

In the opinion of the racist mass murderer Adolf Hitler, the elderly and disabled were considered less worthy “useless eaters” with no right to live.

This profit driven economic system is killing our parents and grandparents. Who next will be sacrificed to support the profits of the top one percent?

When do we reject, rebel and revolt against this brutal competitive profit-driven system of the one percent and build an economy based on the needs and cooperation of the 99 percent?

The time is now.

1 As of June 21, 2020