U.S. and World Politics

Appearance of Pandemic Protection and the Reality of Betrayal

By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

The U.S. government established pandemic preparedness programs while simultaneously eviscerating the necessary capacity to effectively respond, potentially allowing millions of Americans to die.

Scientists around the world had been warning the government since 1980 that the chance of a new pandemic was on the rise. Most come from animals and are called zoonosis. They have been rising for decades, tripling in the last 20 years while becoming more deadly.1

Industrial animal farming combined with destruction of ancient forests and their ecology along with capturing, selling, and eating wild animals has made it easier for unknown viruses to spillover and affect humans. Nature in itself has no value to corporations; it must be converted into commodities for profits. Years of sustained destruction of the Earth’s ancient forests, by increasingly deregulated profit driven agribusiness corporations, has created conditions for the emergence of pandemics.

Ebola and SARS (a corona virus) are recent lethal zoonosis. A new mutation of the SARS virus could kill 30 million Americans. A highly contagious mutation of the Ebola virus could kill 150 million Americans. Scientists have been warning us for years that a pandemic is highly probable and its lethality will be unknown.

Over the last 40 years, scientists and public health experts urged the U.S. government to establish pandemic preparedness and a worldwide surveillance system to quickly contain, suppress and eradicate any new deadly virus. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) created a Special Pathogens Branch, and the WHO (World Health Organization) developed the Global Outbreak Alert Response Network. The major infrastructure for such protection is the public health system, which has over one hundred years of experience in testing, tracking and quarantining patients. A robust public health system infrastructure, such as exists in Taiwan and Singapore, comprised of thousands of clinics with tens-of-thousands of employees across the country has the capacity to protect us from pandemics.

Yet the tragic reality is that during the last 40 years, the U.S. government has carried out a silent war on the public health system. The very infrastructure necessary to carry out the directives of the pandemic preparedness organizations was systematically dismantled. Our public health system has been defunded by some $150 billion since 2009.2

This savage underfunding resulted in cutbacks, hospital closures and privatizing medical care. There is now only a skeleton public health system, unable to carry out the protective measure needed to stop a pandemic. The dismantling of the Pandemic Response Team in 2018 and the April 2020 suppression of the CDC’s Covid-19 pandemic report are only the latest anti-scientific nails in the coffin of the peoples’ public health system. The generals devised a battle plan, but the guns were made of paper and the troops have been sent home.

June 2020

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, where the number of dead is over 122,5003 and heading towards a-quarter-of-a-million, corporate America, anxious to start making profits again, is pushing “get back to work.” Dr. Fauci, lead of the White House Corona Task Force asked, “how many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to what you want to be some form of normality, sooner rather than later?”4 The U.S. federal and state governments were aware that the lethality of any new pandemic would be unknown, and yet they systematically weakened the critically important public health system, leaving millions of Americans defenseless.

We have been riding the profit system into the valley of death. It is time to rise up in solidarity and build a society powered by the health needs of the 99 percent.



3 As of June 21, 2020