Tag Archives: CDC

US Govt Prepares Its State-Run Media to Open Up New Propaganda Barrage Blaming China For Collapse Of Privatized Capitalist US Medical “System”

[NOTE: Just as I was writing this it was announced that in the face of the “deadly COVID-19 pandemic” and as it begins to affect the impoverished people of India and Africa and the rest of the southern hemisphere, US War Criminal President Donald Trump has decided to cut off funding to the World Health Organization because it isn’t anti-communist enough! As we have always said: the capitalist class of the United States and its vicious, worker-hating neo-fascist government are the #1 obstacle to the advancement of human progress! The desperate need for workers in the USA to “Dump the Republicrats” and “Build A Workers Party” has never been more obvious!  Join us!  – IWPCHI]

“Better ‘Dead’ than ‘Red'”, you say? “Your” capitalist class stands ready to make your dream come true!

In the face of the near-complete collapse of the US capitalist health care and economic systems the New York Times today strongly hinted that the US Government’s state-run media propaganda networks are about to attempt to cover up their massive incompetence in the face of the minor #COVID-19 epidemic by… blaming “Communist” China!

The #COVID-19 epidemic – a typical global viral epidemic entirely comparable to the annual flu epidemics that hit the world year after year – has been one of the few ways in which the world has had the opportunity to compare the socialist and capitalist systems in a side-by-side comparison in real time. Socialist China’s response to the #COVID-19 was as fast as any massive bureaucracy could have been expected to respond: China’s entire planned socialist national health care network and relevant government agencies harnessed the power of the socialist command economy to slow down the spread of COVID-19 on 30 December when China had around 50 known cases nationwide. Chinese scientists had identified the new virus, isolated it and published the first scientific papers on its genome and case histories of the initial handful of patients within a few weeks.

In stark contrast, the US and European governments, who had almost 2 months to prepare for a wave of COVID-19 patients on top of their already-huge numbers of “common flu” cases – in almost every case did little or nothing at all. While the European death tolls have remained in the range of the annual death tolls from “common flu” thanks to their comprehensive socialized health care systems, the years of budget cuts to health care throughout Europe, imposed by socialism-hating conservative governments, exposed the enormous shortcomings of the capitalist version of “socialized medicine(TM)” compared to the capabilities of China’s ACTUAL socialist system. Shortages of everything – virus testing kits, masks, gloves, face shields, hospital beds, ICU units, ventilators and more – plague ALL of the capitalist “socialized medicine(TM)” systems. While socialist China was able to build enormous “pop-up” hospitals in just two weeks to treat their COVID-19-infected citizens, the capitalist world, always putting profits before human lives, hesitated to do any such thing and in most cases procrastinated for crucial weeks during which the highly-predictable spread of this slightly-nastier-than-normal coronavirus took the lives of thousands of workers. While socialist China – a nation of 1.4 billion – has been able to stop the spread of the virus inside China so well that they have suffered only 3,355 deaths (as of this writing), many nation-states in the “advanced” capitalist world, plagued by critically-needed medical supplies and equipment, are seeing much higher fatality rates.

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles: the longer the working classes of the capitalist world allow the capitalist system to exist the more workers are going to die from preventable diseases and lack of proper medical supplies and equipment. Under capitalism, human life is cheap – especially the lives of migrant workers, immigrants and minorities. In the USA, quite predictably, the section of the working class suffering the highest fatality rates are the African-American workers. The deadly combination of capitalist greed, racism and hatred of anything that smacks of “socialism” has led to the deaths of over 20,000 US workers already. COVID-19 is a challenge to those backward workers who still think they’re “better dead than Red”! If you’re a member of the working class in any capitalist nation-state you may soon BE dead if we don’t “go Red”!: if not from the “common flu” or a novel coronavirus then via the capitalists’ endless wars – or the lack of healthcare services millions of workers suffer from here in the arch-capitalist “Land of the Free(TM)”!

Today (14 April 2020) one of the US Government’s key de facto state-run propaganda outlets – the New York Times – published yet another scurrilous piece of anti-communist anti-Chinese propaganda entitled  “China’s ‘Donation Diplomacy’ Raises Tensions With U.S.” in which we are supposed to believe that somehow socialist China’s donations of $1.4 BILLION dollars of life-saving medical supplies to needy countries around the capitalist world suffering from the (including the USA) is somehow nothing but an evil scheme to “help China’s propaganda efforts”! 

You see, under US capitalist propaganda rules every action undertaken by any socialist workers state must be portrayed as something evil. It doesn’t matter if it’s Castroist Cuba sending thousands of doctors all over the world for free or reformist socialist Venezuela massively reducing poverty in that nation or Deng-ist China sending free medical supplies during a “deadly” viral epidemic – EVERYTHING the “communists” do must be portrayed in the WORST POSSIBLE LIGHT! These are the rules handed down from the US capitalist class “intelligence agencies” for all government propaganda and dutifully implemented by EVERY capitalist-owned de facto US Government propaganda outlet, from CNN and Fox to Time and Newsweek, the Washington Post and New York Times, Deutsche Welle and The Guardian. When it comes to “fighting communism” the entire bourgeois press of the world takes its cue from their heroes in the US Government.  US government propaganda messaging is relayed daily by the intelligence agencies to the editors of major bourgeois press outlets and constantly rears its repulsive head in articles like this one. Let’s take a closer look at how this works in practice.  I’m not going to go through the entire piece, just the first few examples, and then you can take it from there.

The authors – Edward Wong and Paul Mozur – have carefully crafted a fine piece of anticommunist propaganda here, using talking points undoubtedly passed along to them by the editors of the New York Times, who get their anti-communist marching orders directly from the CIA.  The long-running links between the owners and editors of US government propaganda outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, Time and the major TV news networks and the CIA are so well established it would be a waste of time to repeat them here. Suffice it to say that almost every sentence of this anti-communist propaganda piece contains at least one lie or a major distortion of the facts.

For people who just glance at the headlines the Times makes sure that the subheads convey the gist of the article beneath it. Thus we get this subhead: “New regulations in China are delaying its shipments of medical supplies around the world. And some American officials worry accepting donated gear helps Chinaʼs propaganda efforts.”  Get it? If you don’t bother to read the entire piece and read it carefully between the lines and just glance at the headline you’ll still get the lying message: all those donations of medical supplies and doctors and nurses China has been sending around the world are NOT “good things” they are BAD THINGS!  And even if these donations might save your life you should NOT accept them because if you do you’ll only be “helping the Communists’ propaganda efforts”!  NEVER FORGET THE US NATIONAL MOTTO: “Better dead than Red”!

“When President Trump spoke with Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, late last month to reach a truce to the sniping over the coronavirus pandemic, he did so partly to pave the way for steady shipments of much-needed medical supplies from China.”  This is a beauty, completely ignoring that the US government has been launching vicious and deadly attacks against China of all kinds ever since the Chinese Revolution in 1949.  The USA has done all it could do to cripple the development of socialism in China, through everything from trade and technology embargoes to outright war; these attacks have been carried out by successive Democratic and Republican governments since the end of WWII.  The Trump administration unilaterally launched a trade was against China two years ago. That’s an act of war, by the way!  But here the NY Times propagandists want to erase all that history from your memory and only focus on the Trump Administration’s incessant anti-communist attacks on China that occurred in the past 3 months!

“But as the death toll in the United States has surpassed 25,000 and hospitals still struggle with equipment shortages, American officials and executives point to new problems in buying equipment or taking donations from China.

“Shipments have run into unexpected delays as Chinese officials impose new regulations in response to complaints of low-quality products. And some American officials remain reluctant to accept gifts of gear because they fear giving the Chinese Communist Party a propaganda win.”  Amazing how many lies and distortions of truth can be crammed into just two paragraphs!  The reason why there are shortages of medical equipment and supplies in the USA and Europe – in other words in the nations of the so-called “advanced” capitalist world – is NOT because the shitty politicians in these countries have been cutting social spending and in the USA closing down hospitals – or because the capitalist-owned politicians in the “advanced capitalist world” never BOTHERED to order extra supplies in case this entirely predictable situation with COVID-19 arose! No! IT’S ALL THE FAULT OF THE COMMIES!  See how easily all that workers blood just washes off the hands of the corrupt capitalist politicians thanks to the amazing cleaning power of anti-communist propaganda?

US Centers for Disease Control estimates of mortality from influenza-like illnesses (common flu) 2010-2019. The death toll from the “deadly” COVID-19 virus is not even as bad as from the “common flu” in many recent years. This is why we call it “The Great Coronavirus Fraud of 2020”. Source: CDC, with editing by IWPCHI.

The Great Coronavirus Fraud of 2020: An Anti-Communist Propaganda Operation Against Socialist China That Backfired… And Keeps On Backfiring

The truth is that the entire “Great Coronavirus Fraud of 2020” was based on a US anticommunist propaganda operation attacking China for its allegedly “bungled” initial response to COVID-19. Starting in late December the US government’s propaganda outlets of the bourgeois press began a campaign of vilification and slander against socialist China over the Chinese Communist Party’s “slow” and “inept” response to the emergence of a new coronavirus there.  Initially, when the Chinese government swung into action, locking down Wuhan the US capitalist press universally attacked the “draconian” “police-state” quarantines that were part of the (in retrospect, massively over-reacting but effective) response of the “evil Communists” to COVID-19.  Everything the Chinese were doing was wrong-headed said the talking head “experts” on US and European capitalist news outlets.

But when China started building two huge new quarantine hospitals to take care of those who had been infected with the virus – IN JUST TWO WEEKS – and the first reports from the World Health Organization on what they termed the “very commendable” and “impressive” response of the Chinese Communist Party government to the epidemic, public opinion in the capitalist world began to swing in favor of the Chinese government’s response.  Seeing the thousands of Chinese doctors and nurses selflessly traveling to Wuhan to participate in the enormous effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 touched the hearts of millions of workers in the capitalist world.  The US was losing the propaganda war!

Ironically, the US propaganda effort to highlight the heavy-handed “evil communism” response to COVID-19 was so successful in drawing the attention of the workers of the capitalist world to what was going on in China, when the virus inevitably began to appear in the West – first in the USA and then in Europe – and the right-wing politicians attempted to downplay the danger of COVID-19 and delay taking action, the response of the working class was furious!  Convinced by the US/European anti-communist propaganda barrage against “Communist China” that COVID-19 was indeed a “deadly virus” – workers in the capitalist world DEMANDED that their governments follow the by that time hugely successful efforts of China TO THE LETTER!  Workers had been so brainwashed by the US propaganda on the “deadly” “bat virus” “from China” that they would not accept anything less than the complete shutdown of the capitalist economies to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 epidemic!  What a surprise for the likes of idiots Boris Johnson and Donald Trump!  It’s one of the worst cases of what the so-called “Intelligence Community(TM)” calls “blow-back” of a propaganda operation in world history!  The effectiveness of their propaganda FORCED the capitalists to shut down the entire capitalist world’s economy, precipitating a global depression that will almost certainly kill far more people than this piss-poor COVID-19 will!  Nice job… assholes!

The “unexpected delays” of medical shipments from China to the US and Europe were ALSO a result of anti-communist propaganda efforts.  When a small percentage of the FREE supplies shipped from China to European nations were found to have been below the “high standards” of those European government officials, they rejected the shipments and this became yet another source of a round of anti-communist propaganda against China!  Justifiably embarrassed by the screw-up, the Communist Party of China ordered the bureaucrats tasked with inspecting exports for quality to refuse to export “sub-standard” or defective medical supplies and equipment. And NOW they are being attacked by the bourgeois press for being TOO CAREFUL to ensure that everything shipped from China meets the standards of the country it’s being shipped to!  AS I said before: when it comes to socialist countries, they can’t win no matter WHAT they do!

Even the head of the US-China Business Council had to admit that the delays had been made unavoidable by the earlier rejections of “substandard” medical supplies and the anti-communist propaganda barrage against China that followed: “Jacob Parker, the senior vice president at the U.S.-China
Business Council, said [the new Communist Party-imposed inspections of all medical exports] were ‘the top issue for
some of the biggest companies in the world.  It is a good intentioned policy that has a variety of unintended consequences across a variety of areas.'”

The article continues: “In some cases, the Chinese authorities eventually helped
untangle the snarls. But the bureaucratic bungling has
exasperated American officials, who say the red tape has held up
equipment at a desperate moment.”  YES! The red tape DEMANDED BY THE US and Europeans to ensure that all shipments are “up to their high standards” has come at a desperate moment – for the corrupt government officials in the US and Europe whose careers are at stake as the death tolls in their nations steadily mount – because they only ordered these supplies IN THE LAST MONTH!

This is how the capitalist system ALWAYS fails the working class in times of emergency!  They refuse to spend the money necessary to PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME for these predictable natural disasters.  Because of their greed they NEVER maintain the necessary stocks of ANYTHING needed to respond to a hurricane, earthquake or a newly-emerged virus – or even the obscene annual death tolls from the “common flu”!  And yet the US capitalist government is going to spend $500 billion in the next few years TO MODERNIZE THE US NUCLEAR ARSENAL!  Can you IMAGINE how lousy their response would be to a hundred million casualties after a “limited” nuclear war?  

The article contains an implied threat of an upcoming propaganda campaign about to be launched by the US: “’Beijing may come to regret its rapid pivot from domestic crisis to international triumphalism, for there is already a rising tide of
nationalist anger coming its way as citizens from countries around the world face prolonged economic hardship and are in search of culpable parties,’” said Jude Blanchette, a China scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.” [Emphasis added by IWPCHI]

So workers need to be prepared for a new wave of anti-communist propaganda in which the corrupt, lying, political tools of the capitalist classes of the world try to escape the blame for the inexcusably poor state of their medical systems response to COVID-19 with a wall-to-wall “BLAME CHINA FOR EVERYTHING” campaign!  We’re not going to let the capitalist politicians get away with murder again, are we? Socialist China is not to blame for the COVID-19 deaths! US CAPITALISTS AND THEIR BOUGHT-AND-PAID-FOR CORRUPT POLITICIANS ARE GUILTY AS HELL:

“But it is American officials who are responsible for the stalling of
one batch of gear. For weeks, officials in Washington have
debated whether to accept a donation of masks from the Chinese
Foreign Ministry, American officials said. Though medical
workers are desperate for the masks, some officials argue that
taking the donation would aid China’s propaganda campaign.” [Emphasis by IWPCHI]

So there you have it!  In the eyes of the neo-fascist, anti-communist US capitalist class and their corrupt, bought-and-paid-for politicians, if doctors and nurses and their patients must die in order that the capitalist USA may “look good” compared to socialist China, then so be it! “BETTER DEAD THAN RED!” This is why we say: #CAPITALISMKILLS!  #ANTICOMMUNISMKILLS!

A socialist USA – “socialism with American characteristics” – would be a multi-party socialist workers state where all human needs – food, clothing, shelter, health care, education and jobs’ would become “inalienable rights” that could never be denied to anyone because they could not pay for them.  Unemployment benefits would equal 100% of a workers pay and would last until that workers found a new job in her or his old trade or was trained (for free) for a new one.  Emergency medical supplies would be maintained in permanent stockpiles located around the nation and all over the world.  That way, in the event of a natural disaster, supplies could be immediately shipped to where they were needed – and as soon as they were shipped replacements would be immediately ordered. This is what they do in socialist China and what they will never and CAN NEVER DO UNDER CAPITALISM!  Unless the workers of the world overthrow the capitalist system we can expect to be forced to suffer through disaster after disaster until the capitalists finally commit the ultimate “blunder”: World War III!  “Better dead than Red”, you say? Keep on defending the capitalist system and you may get your wish sooner than you think!

#SOCIALISMWORKS!  #CAPITALISMSUCKS! DUMP THE REPUBLICRATS!  BUILD A WORKERS PARTY! FIGHT FOR A WORKERS GOVERNMENT!  FIGHT FOR A SOCIALIST FUTURE! Because THERE IS LITERALLY NO FUTURE FOR THE WORKING CLASS UNDER THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM!

—- IWPCHI

 

The Great Coronavirus Scare of 2020: Capitalism Can’t Handle It

US Centers for Disease Control estimate of disease burden for influenza for the USA’s 2019-20 flu season.  They don’t even bother to count the cases!  They don’t have a clue how many US workers die each year from influenza! What do we pay them for? “22,000 – 55,000 flu deaths”? Meanwhile, the entire capitalist world is going crazy over 5,000 GLOBAL COVID-19 deaths!   Source: US Centers for Disease Control

The capitalist classes of the world – and especially of the USA – are proving once again that they and their crappy capitalist system can’t handle natural disasters. From Katrina to the Coronavirus there is one bright green thread running through the US Government’s responses to natural disasters: they don’t want to spend the money necessary to protect the lives of the working class!

Every winter half of the planet experiences what we call “flu season”; in the USA it runs roughly from October to May. This year the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated that there have been “at least 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths from flu.” The annual US death toll from common flu has an *estimated* range of from 20,000 to 80,000 – no one knows exactly how many die – because our capitalist government doesn’t give a damn! And every year these statistics are COMPLETELY IGNORED by the US capitalist press and our bought-and-paid-for Republicrat politicians! No one knows or cares why tens of thousands of US citizens are dying every year from the common flu – a disease whose mortality rate is allegedly 10 times lower than that for the COVID-19 epidemic. Does this have something to do with the fact that the USA is the ONLY nation in the modern industrialized world in which the citizens do not enjoy a socialized medical care system? No one knows and no one cares except the socialist left apparently. Neither of the twin capitalist-owned-and-operated political parties of the USA has said a word about it. We believe this is because it’s mainly poor workers who have no health insurance who die from it; and the capitalist classes of the world can’t make money off poor people so as far as they are concerned poor workers might as well just die anyway.

Latest COVID-19 data from World Health Organization’s “Situation Report 53” (13 March 2020).  Why does a “pandemic” of 132,000 cases of flu virus and less than 5000 deaths cause global panic while in the USA a “mere” “epidemic” of 36 MILLION cases of flu and 22,000 deaths doesn’t even make the headlines?  Capitalism is *not* a rational system.  Source: World Health Organization

So what makes the COVID-19 flu epidemic (now “pandemic” according to the World Health Organization) any different from the common flu virus epidemic? So far there have been a mere 5,000 deaths WORLDWIDE from COVID-19. The total number of confirmed cases WORLDWIDE are estimated to be under 150,000 (which is a flat out LIE, by the way; the number of cases is at the very least ten times higher than that)! [NOTE: all stats as of 13 March 2020 – IWPCHI] If we were to average out the death toll for COVID-19 by subtracting the number of cases and deaths from Wuhan, China, (which experienced the highest number of deaths of any region in the world) and the death toll from the country with the lowest number of cases and deaths (we could pick from dozens of countries with no deaths or just a handful) the death toll would instantly drop from 5,000 to around 2,000 worldwide, and the mortality rate would drop down to a level not all that different from the common flu. Also, no one seems to be attempting to estimate how many people have acquired the COVID-19 virus but have not become so ill that they required hospitalization. If we did such an estimate, the total number of cases would be in the millions, and the case-fatality and mortality rates would also decline to a flu-like number. THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN A VERY NASTY FLU VIRUS, FOLKS! So WHY is it that THIS flu virus is producing the level of panic that hasn’t been seen since the 1918 flu pandemic? And in countries where the number of confirmed cases are still very manageable, why is the working class facing increasing pressure to stay home from work until this epidemic is over? HOW THE HELL ARE WORKERS IN CAPITALIST NATIONS SUPPOSED TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES AND PAY THEIR RENTS, MORTGAGES, CAR PAYMENTS AND UTILITY BILLS IF WE CAN’T WORK FOR A MONTH OR TWO?

The capitalist world isn’t Socialist China! There, thanks to the Chinese Revolution that overthrew the capitalist system in 1949 the workers are essentially guaranteed jobs, food, clothing, housing and health care. No Chinese worker will be made homeless or made to starve if he or she must take a month or two off of work! CAPITALISM DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! If the workers in capitalist countries are forced to take a month or two off work, we will lose our cars, we’ll have our utilities disconnected, we’ll be thrown out of our apartments and houses by landlords and bankers, and many of us will also lose the health insurance we’re being forced to pay way too much for which we will need if we or our kids get sick! What makes these stupid-ass so-called “leaders” of the capitalist nations of the world think it’s no big deal if they decide to shut down the entire global economy because 5,000 people died? The workers in the capitalist world will be facing the loss of everything we own if we miss even just a few paychecks! If you needed proof that the rich capitalists like Donald Trump and his cabal have no idea how the workers live, this idiotic coronavirus panic is providing all the proof you’ll EVER need!

These greedhead capitalists like alleged billionaire Donald Trump have never given a moment’s thought to how to develop any kind of rational public policy initiative ever in their lives. Capitalists spend their lives trying to do one thing and one thing only… no scratch that! The capitalists spend their lives trying to do two things only: get laid and steal as much money from “their” workers as they possibly can! You can rest assured that born-with-a-gold-spoon-in-his-mouth real-estate and casino swindler Donald Trump and his kind have never lost a nights sleep worrying about how his tenants are going to afford to pay him the rent they owe him. Workers are given two options: you can either pay or be evicted. That’s it! Trump has never spent a moment of his life until now trying to develop any kind of rational public policy of any kind. He and those in his capitalist class are as perfectly incapable of understanding the struggles of the working class as your dog is. And he and his “team” of capitalist criminals are proving it to you in their pathetically inadequate response to this stupid coronavirus scare.

The bourgeois press’ weeks-long newspaper and advertising sales fest spreading fear and loathing about COVID-19 have scared the greedhead world so badly that they have triggered one of the worst economic crises since 1987 – all over practically NOTHING! The fundamental irrationality of the unplanned capitalist system has been on full display this past week as what SHOULD have been a rationally-managed response to a relative handful of cases of COVID-19 outside of China was handled so badly by the capitalists that panic was spread throughout the capitalist world to such a degree that it even got the attention of the Wall St. money-grubbers. Suddenly made aware of the possibility that the shutdown of Chinese cities would have a very bad effect on their stock portfolios, they reacted as they always do when someone threatens to take their money away: they freaked out! They started dumping stocks like crazy, driving the US markets to one of their worst performances on record, erasing a couple trillion dollars in fictional “value” in a week’s time and precipitating a global economic meltdown. If you needed proof that the capitalist system is not even close to being an ideal system to depend upon when you try to plan your family’s future, you just got another couple of cruise ship loads of it dropped right in front of you! Are you going to remember it this time and do what’s necessary to prevent capitalism from destroying your family’s lives for the second or third time in the past 20 years? Fellow workers: the capitalist system has got to go! We need a revolutionary socialist planned economy, not this chaotic capitalist horror movie on perpetual rerun!

12 March 2020: US markets collapse, ostensibly over a coronavirus “pandemic” that has so far killed 0.000064% of the world’s population and 0.00001% of the US population. We had NO IDEA the US capitalist class cared so much about human life! Or is it really just proof that they freak out over ANYTHING that threatens their wealth?   Source: MarketWatch

New viruses have always emerged from time to time; some like Ebola are truly deadly, killing 80% or more of the people who become infected with them; but most, like the flu, are far less lethal, killing the old and those with serious life-threatening illnesses already. As Socialist China proved, under a socialist system a calm and rational science-based response to novel emerging diseases can be achieved with a minimum of disruption of the lives of the working class. Under a system where the basic human needs of the working class are guaranteed, taking an unscheduled month or two off work does not threaten to destroy the lives of millions of workers in order to save the lives of a few thousand workers. Under socialism even if this happened each and every year it would be a manageable problem. This is not the case with capitalism!

The capitalist system is based on an anarchic economic model where the kind of centralized planning that is absolutely essential in the event of a major natural disaster simply does not exist! The motto of the socialists is of universal cooperation among all the workers of the world, uniting for the common good as sisters & brothers, harnessing all of our individual strengths for the benefit of all. “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need” is the credo of the socialist workers movement.

Under capitalism the motto is: EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF! Whether or not the rich help the poor or the strong help the weak is up to each individual to decide under capitalism. Capitalist society upholds the primacy of the individual over collective humanity. Capitalism is based upon a philosophy the exact opposite of socialist philosophy. “Look out for #1” is the capitalist credo! This is why the response to natural disasters you see in the capitalist world – as with Hurricanes Katrina and Maria and to the current COVID-19 epidemic – demonstrates none of the calm cohesiveness we saw with the Socialist Chinese societal response. Socialism defends the interests of the working-class majority; capitalism works only for the wealthy minority. This is why the capitalist world’s response to COVID-19 has been a wide range of responses, from almost adequate to completely inept. There is no rationality in the capitalist system, it’s just “every man for himself”, “save yourselves” and “pray for a cure”.

Getting back to public policy: in our opinion it is neither necessary nor rational to shut down the world’s economy over a novel flu virus that has a average 98% survival rate for those who get it. A rational socialist response would make certain that every flu season we would have enough testing kits and equipment to quickly convert empty arenas and buildings into quarantine centers to handle the overwhelming numbers of cases we have seen with this COVID-19 epidemic. We KNOW that these kinds of emerging illness events will occur on average once a decade. Under socialism we would be prepared to handle an outbreak like this each and every year; we would simply allocate the funds necessary because it must be done to prevent the kind of social upheaval we’re seeing in the capitalist world. In a socialist society that prioritizes the guaranteeing of every fundamental human need of the working class over all else it would be easy to become prepared for and to remain prepared for this kind of challenge.

The excellent response to COVID-19 we saw in China had its flaws no doubt. We think one of them was a massive over-reaction when it came to shutting down Wuhan and Hubei. Was it really necessary to quarantine non-symptomatic but COVID-19-positive people in order to control the spreading of the virus? How much did that really stop the spread of it? Is it necessary to shut down schools and workplaces if the workers there aren’t in close contact with each other? Obviously Wuhan’s epidemic was out of control for a while; but the rest of China was hardly affected at all by it. This question needs to be closely studied in the next year.  There is no “one size fits all” response to these kinds of things, but shutting down a metropolitan area of 58 million people to postpone the deaths of a few thousand very frail elderly citizens by a few months might not be the best way to do it.  If it was an Ebola- or bubonic-plague-like illness, that would be a different story, obviously; but COVID-19 is not even close to that level of lethality.

The US capitalist class and their political puppets in the Republicrat parties tell workers the USA “can’t afford” a socialized “healthcare for all” system; but when Wall St. catches a cold, the sky’s the limit to what they can “afford” to spend on a cure.                      Source: Wall St. Journal

In the capitalist world, where most countries are only seeing a relative handful of cases: why can’t we simply institute mandatory quarantines of everyone who tests positive for the virus as well as their close contacts? If we did this, we would not have to shut down huge sections of the economy just out of fear for what might happen. Unless the capitalist countries are going to pass laws guaranteeing that workers will be able to be paid their usual wages while they are under quarantine, how can governments – or individual capitalists like $130-billion-dollar swindler Jeff Bezos of Amazon – propose that workers be laid off for anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months? It’s easy for THEM to do! But unlike Jeff Bezos or Donald Trump workers don’t have a billion-dollar-cushion to protect us from the loss of a couple of months’ pay! It’s going to destroy the lives of millions of workers for no rational reason! The capitalist politicians – who in the USA were quick to approve $1.5 trillion in aid to provide “liquidity” for the US bond markets – will not provide that kind of aid for the workers who will lose weeks or months of paychecks! We saw that during the US housing market crash, where trillions were used to shore up capitalist enterprises but not a dollar was spent in comparison to prevent workers from losing their homes! Workers can not permit the bought-and-paid-for political puppets of the US capitalist class to declare state and national emergencies that will keep us from going to work while doing NOTHING to guarantee our pay in the meantime! And if they would simply impose quarantines on those who get sick and their contacts, we wouldn’t have to miss work at all! It’s only because of the fundamentally selfish and greed-based nature of the capitalist system that our nations are completely incapable of handling a few hundred or a few thousand cases of COVID-19. They can’t just shut down the economy to cover THEIR asses and let we, the workers suffer the consequences! If we, the workers, are going to be forced to take two months off to stop the spread of COVID-19 we are going to have to get PAID FULL WAGES for that “time off”!

It’s easy for a capitalist swindler like $130-billionaire Jeff Bezos of Amazon to show how much he “cares” about the lives of “his” underpaid non-union workforce by laying them off until his irrational coronavirus fear subsides, but how are they supposed to survive until he deigns to let them return to work?  Source: Forbes

The vast majority of the deaths from COVID-19 have been elderly people (60s and up) who also had pre-existing serious health issues, including things like lung cancer, organ failure, etc. These folks have one foot in the grave already; it’s highly likely that many of them would have died COVID-19 or NO COVID-19. The common flu would be enough to kill them, unfortunately. So does it make sense to make hundreds of millions of workers suffer by shutting down the economy to save the lives of literally , what? 5,000? 10,000? people who are frail and not long for this world anyway? It’s not an either/or kind of decision; obviously as many lives should be saved as possible. But laying off workers by the millions is going to cause a lot of suffering as well – including deaths by suicide & homicide and domestic abuse – and no one of our wonderful capitalists or their politicians seem to be making any plans to deal positively with that side of the question. Epidemiologists and virologists like Dr. Anthony Fauci – who literally looks at the world through a microscope and thus literally does not see the “big picture” – can propose “solutions” to the spread of COVID-19 that make perfect sense to an epidemiologist who looks at the world through a microscope but which will raise holy hell when examined from a “big picture” panoramic societal perspective!

If workers are forced to stay home from work and receive no pay or any compensation from the government, there are going to be literally tens or even HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of workers who will lose their cars, homes, their families will break up… there will be divorces and there will be suicides. Shutting down the world’s economy – or large sections of it – is going to have severe repercussions on the lives of MILLIONS of people in ways that will have little to do with mere money. The half-witted policy-makers of the capitalist world, fearing that their own careers will be jeopardized if they don’t “DO SOMETHING!!!” can be counted upon to do the WRONG thing, ruining millions of workers lives workers lives without giving it the least thought in a futile attempt to cover up their vast incompetence! Many of these impromptu “cures” for the COVID-19 epidemic being promoted by capitalists and the politicians they own could very well cause more far-reaching damage in workers lives than the loss of a beloved grandparent. This is not a simple calculation of “save as many lives as possible” in a capitalist world where human lives have never been held in very high value to begin with. If the US capitalist class and their bought-and-paid-for Republicrat politicians actually gave a damn about workers’ lives we’d have a socialized medicare system already!

In conclusion: we are pretty certain that once this COVID-19 epidemic is over it is going to look a lot more like a slightly-more-nasty-than-usual flu outbreak, and a lot of clueless capitalist politicians and government officials are going to be exposed for their incompetence and lunatic over-reactions to this really trivial health care and economic crisis largely manufactured by the capitalist class and their antiquated third-rate system itself. We can’t shut down the world every time a new flu virus emerges unless we overthrow capitalism and build a socialist system in its place where going without a paycheck for a couple of months won’t wipe out our life savings and make us and our families join the ranks of the homeless. Capitalism sucks! #Build A Workers Party; fight for a workers government! We need to overthrow capitalism and build a working-class-run planned socialist economic system “with American characteristics”!

— IWPCHI

Zika Virus: Capitalist Press Spreads Inaccurate, Fear-Mongering Unscientific Information [UPDATED 17 Apr 2016]

Countries with reported cases of Zika virus as of December 2015.

Countries with reported cases of Zika virus as of 4 December 2015.  Source: ECDC, “Rapid Risk Assessment: Zika virus epidemic in the Americas: potential association with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome -10 December 2015”

[UPDATE (17 April, 2016): The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have now BOTH announced that they believe that the latest scientific evidence DOES IMPLY THAT A CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION AND BIRTH DEFECTS EXISTS.  We agree with this statement made by World Health Organization’s Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan: “Though the association [between Zika virus infection and birth defects] is not yet scientifically proven, [researchers have] concluded that there is now scientific consensus that Zika virus is implicated in these neurological disorders. The kind of urgent action called for by this public health emergency should not wait for definitive proof.” We plan to write a new article incorporating this latest information; in the meantime you can review the latest announcements here:

World Health Organization (WHO): (22 March 2016)  http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/zika-update-3-16/en/

WHO:  Zika Virus – Questions and Answers  http://www.who.int/features/qa/zika/en/

CDC:  (April 13, 2016)  http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/t0414-zika-update.html

New England Journal of Medicine:  (April 13, 2016)  http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMsr1604338

—IWPCHI]

[Author’s note: this article, though slightly revised today, Mar 15th was originally written on 3 February 2015.  In a fit of uncharacteristic timidity we hesitated in publishing it due to the rather broad declarations made by the author, who is not a medical professional.  Having seen very little to date in the scientific literature that contradicts the gist of the author’s arguments we have decided to “let this bird fly”. We have appended links to latest peer-reviewed preliminary studies on Zika virus released this past week by the New England Journal of Medicine.  – IWPCHI]

As usual, the bourgeois press are eagerly trumpeting the latest health scare news in order to increase their profits, with little or no regard for the accuracy of their statements about the disease or the impact their horror stories will have on the public.

We were doubtful about the first scare stories we heard late last year (2015) as they were big on spreading fear and contained little useful information – as usual. It seems that it is beyond the ability of the capitalist press to report any science story without gross distortion of the facts or, in the case of “emerging diseases”, scare-mongering. But after all, the purpose of the capitalist press is not to educate but to make money. And so we are being bombarded by a flood of absurd and inaccurate fear-inducing articles about Zika virus and its possible effects.  We hope that this article will shed some light on the subject.

Our research into this topic took us to the websites of the New York Times, the Guardian (UK), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as a number of scientific papers on the subject. The links you’ll find throughout the article will take you to many of the sources we used to compile this review of the current status of the Zika virus epidemic.

No scientific evidence exists at this time proving a link between Zika virus and microcephaly

We are happy to report that our investigation of the Zika virus reveals little that should terrify anyone. A Zika virus infection almost never leads to death; in Brazil, where somewhere between 440,000 and 1,300,000 cases of Zika virus infection are belived to have occurred in 2015, fewer than a dozen people had died as of 30 November 2015.  [Source: ECDC – Zika virus epidemic in the Americas 10 December 2015 (see pages 3 and 8)]  Only an estimated 1 in 5 people who are exposed to the virus will even develop any noticeable symptoms! The Zika infection itself usually causes either no symptoms at all or mild illness (such as fever, rash and sometimes vomiting) and is over without any lasting complications usually in less than 2 weeks after onset of symptoms. In other words: Ebola it ain’t!

The loudly and irresponsibly spread stories comparing Zika virus to AIDS and linking Zika virus infections in Brazil to birth defects including microcephaly are – so far as we can determine at this time – utterly without foundation.

A note about how science suffers in the hands of the capitalists

All of these organizations are products of capitalist society and bourgeois science. They exhibit all the weaknesses inherent in all governmental and corporate endeavors in the “for-profit” capitalist world. The governmental and quasi-governmental scientific organizations of the capitalists are forced to justify their existence and the expenditures made in their support to a capitalist ruling class that would much prefer to keep the money in their own pockets rather than spend it on scientific inquiry. In order to keep the government channeling money into their bureaucracies, even “scientists” running organizations like the World Health Organization must remind the world from time to time just how important it is to keep the funding flowing in their direction. Epidemics like Ebola and Zika virus can be expected to be exploited for this purpose by national and international health organizations as well as by the for-profit news media. This is why we often see the supposedly “impartial” scientific bodies of the capitalist world exaggerating or understating the dangers of emerging diseases – depending on which way the political winds are blowing in the capitalist nation-states in which these scientific organizations are based.

The World Health Organization was severely criticised for its slow response to the Ebola outbreak in Africa. That is a major reason why we think they may be “bending the stick too far” in the opposite direction, overreacting to an alleged microcephaly “epidemic” which is in fact merely coincident to the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil. As with everything else, greed-based capitalism poisons scientific inquiry and the news media reportage on scientific topics. The scientific truth is buried under political and economic imperatives of a profit-mongering ruling class that places its own petty self-interest above all else. Political appointees to important governmental posts responsible for the health of millions or even billions of people have proven over and over again to have placed their careers ahead of the public welfare. We’ve seen this with the AIDS epidemic, the Hurricane Katrina fiasco, the Ebola outbreak, the Flint, Michigan (USA) water scandal, the “debate” over global warming and now once again with the Zika virus.

Added to this weakness inherent in bourgeois press reportage on scientific subjects in general and the motivations behind the sensationalist claims made by national and international medical organizations we must add the current hatred of the United States Government and its proxies for the government of Brazil, which is partner to a new economic union of the nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (known collectively as the “BRICS” nations) which represent a serious threat to the current domination of the world’s economy by the United States.  Elements of the Zika virus hysteria appear to be motivated by the US desire to do anything it can do to weaken the government of Brazil economically (Brazil of course being the “B” in “BRICS”).  By exaggerating the impact of Zika virus the US hopes to reduce tourism to Brazil, in particular during the upcoming Olympic Games to be held there this year, thereby putting severe economic pressure on the increasingly unstable current left-reformist capitalist government of Dilma Rousseff of the corruption plagued and grossly misnamed “Partido dos Trabalhadores” (“PT”: in English: “Workers Party”).  This campaign by the US and European press is already bearing its malignant effects; sales of tickets to this summer’s Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro are reportedly going very poorly, and tourism is generally down as well.

The longer the working class allows the capitalist greedheads to run the world, with each passing day the more serious become the environmental and economic problems we all have to face. It is just a matter of time before these idiots destroy the planet through a combination of wars, epidemics and environmental destruction.  While workers pretend that there is nothing they can do to change the world, the capitalists, constantly focusing on satisfying their mad lust for money, will make our lives more and more difficult to bear.  With their new, idiotic campaign against Zika virus, they have undertaken to pointlessly scare the crap out of the world’s expectant mothers over something which has been demontrated for decades to be relatively harmless.

As a revolutionary Trotskyist political party we are not here to make money selling newspapers – we are here to tell the working class the truth about what is going on in the world as best as we can. We don’t benefit by spreading scare-stories like the bourgeois press does; that is one of the benefits of having a political party like ours solely dedicated to defending the rights and interests of the working class.  Sensationalizing such an important story would only bring discredit upon our political party – we have nothing to gain from such chicanery.  So here’s what we’ve been able to discover so far about Zika virus and its alleged link to microcephaly.

Brief historical background on Zika virus

Millions of people have been infected by Zika virus since 1947 and NEVER had there been a related outbreak of microcephaly reported anywhere – until late last year. Is there any reason to believe that something new is happening with Zika virus all of a sudden?  We think it is unlikely.  We could be wrong – we’re not doctors or virologists, and viruses can undergo evolutionary changes that transform harmless viruses into very dangerous forms.  Thankfully, that doesn’t happen very often – if it did, the human race would have been wiped out long ago. 

The Zika virus was first detected in Uganda in 1947; starting in 1951 the virus was detected in humans throughout Africa and, later on, in Asia. In Nigeria in the late ’60s – early ’70s it was found that antibodies produced in response to Zika virus infection were present in the blood samples of 40% of the people tested – meaning that human exposure to the virus was extremely common and that chances of long-term survival after exposure were very high. [Source: Edward B Hayes – Zika Virus Outside Africa]  During all this time that the virus was causing illness in human beings in many countries on two continents NO ONE reported cases of birth defects caused by the virus, nor were there any accompanying epidemics of microcephaly reported anywhere until in the recent Brazilian outbreak of 2015.  In a Zika virus epidemic in French Polynesia during 2013-14 there were reports of Zika virus illness accompanied by the development of Guillain-Barre syndrome  but those reports have not yet been confirmed as it is quite difficult to diagnose accurately.

News reports from Brazil, where an apparent epidemic of cases of microcephaly is now occurring, have screamed that the Zika virus is responsible for these microcephaly cases. BUT AS OF THIS WRITING, THERE IS NOT A SHRED OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION CAUSES BIRTH DEFECTS IN HUMANS!  Something very unusual appears to be happening in Brazil… but it’s so very new that scientists simply don’t yet know what exactly is going on with the apparent birth defect outbreak there.  A closer look at the evidence indicates that the reported microcephaly outbreak may be greatly overstated.

Distribution of microcephaly cases in Brazil as of 28 November 2015. Source: ECDC

Distribution of microcephaly cases in Brazil as of 28 November 2015. Source: ibid., ECDC

Notified - NOT confirmed - cases of microcephaly reported in Brazil, 2010 - 2015. Source: ibid., ECDC

Notified – NOT confirmed – cases of microcephaly reported in Brazil, 2010 – 2015. Source: ibid., ECDC  Scary-looking graph – but over half (66%) of the reported cases of microcephaly examined so far turned out to have been falsely diagnosed, according to Brazilian health authorities quoted in the New York Times (see story below).

Over half of reported microcephaly cases in Brazil proven to have been wrongly diagnosed so far

The hysteria generated in Brazil by the idiot bourgeois press in their lust for profits has led to overstating of the number of actual cases of microcephaly in newborn Brazilian babies. The New York Times reported this past week that in well over half (462 out of 700 cases, or 66%) of the reported cases of microcephaly either no microcephaly was found, or it was equally likely to have been caused by something other than an infection like alcohol or drug abuse by the mother during pregnancy” according to the Brazilian Health Ministry.

Microcephaly is not always easy to diagnose in newborns, as many children are born with slightly smaller heads; in some cases, the parents themselves simply have slightly smaller skull sizes in comparison to the “average” – which is, by itself, not indicative of any brain abnormality at all. The “average” human skull is the median size between the largest and smallest – there is variation in human beings’ “normal” skull sizes. Except in extreme cases it is often necessary to wait for some time – months – before it becomes clear that a baby’s growth rate is not progressing normally.  Since many of the people whose babies are suspected of suffering from microcephaly are poor, their ability to obtain the proper medical care necessary to provide an early and accurate diagnosis is lacking – thanks to the crappy capitalist system which only provides quality health care to those who can pay for it.

Microcephaly cases in Brazil concentrated in northeastern provinces

The current hysteria over Zika and the perceived increase in Microcephaly cases in Brazil may well be leading to overdiagnosis of microcephaly by overly cautions medical personnel. It would be more accurate to say that what we are seeing in Brazil is not necessarily an increase in microcephaly, but an increase in the number of cases diagnosed as microcephaly.   Only time will tell how many actual cases there are.  As these suspected cases of microcephaly are studied over the next few months, it is highly likely that many of the babies will turn out to be developing normally.  It is crucially important at this stage of the investigation into this apparent unaccountable increase in microcephaly cases that all potential causes are looked into, not just Zika virus.  The distribution of microcephaly cases may be indicative of regional exposure to environmental toxins, contaminated food or milk or water or any number of other things.   Focusing solely on Zika could prove to be a costly mistake if it turns out that something else is causing the alarming rise in microcephaly cases.

SOMETHING is going on in northeastern Brazil which is causing a significant number of babies to be born with measurably smaller skulls.  The fact that never before have there been reports of increased incidence of microcephaly accompanying Zika infection – even after hundreds of millions of people having been exposed to it – is very good news and hopefully this long-term trend of no Zika virus-microcephaly link will continue.

 The Brazilian government seems to be focusing on eradication of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. This may turn out to be a waste of time and money as well as a wild goose chase that may have deleterious impacts on the environment. A very broad investigation encompassing all possible ways that pregnant women whose babies are confirmed to have microcephaly may have been exposed to chemicals or toxins known to cause such birth defects must be undertaken. It appears to us to be doubtful that Zika virus is in fact the cause of any actual microcephaly outbreak taking place in Brazil.

Adding to our suspicions that the world is going off on a wild goose chase is the latest data coming in from an even more recent outbreak of Zika infection in Brazil’s next-door neighbor, Colombia. There, additional thousands of people have come down with Zika virus illness – but as yet, thankfully! – no increase in the number of microcephaly cases has been reported there so far (as of 3 February 2016).  That is very good news!

Since the virus and its infection run their course so quickly it is impossible to say for certain whether or not a woman was infected with the Zika virus during her pregnancy unless blood and perhaps even spinal fluid samples were taken from her during the time she was suffering from a Zika infection. Reports that Brazilian women had been infected with Zika virus during their pregnancies were often based on surveys conducted with the women after they have given birth – months after their alleged Zika-related illness may or may not have occurred. It’s quite possible that many of these women whose babies have been born with severe birth defects and who THINK they may have been exposed to Zika virus during their pregnancy were not in fact exposed to the virus while they were pregnant. The media-induced hysteria could be creating create “false memories” in people who are only now, retrospectively “remembering” experiencing symptoms of the disease that were caused by other things.

Intensive studies of the apparrent microcephaly epidemic are underway now and we expect that the scientists investigating this mysterious outbreak of birth defects will be able to determine its cause over the next year.  At this time there is no reason for pregnant women to fear for the health of their babies due to the spread of the Zika virus. Health agencies are urging women living in or traveling to countries where the Zika virus outbreak is ongoing to take basic precautions to prevent exposure to the mosquitoes that carry the virus.  Since the mosquitoes that carry the virus are active in the daytime as well as night, pregnant women are urged to use insect repellent all day as well as mosquito netting while sleeping or resting.   

Based on our survey of the available literature from the WHO, PAHO, and the CDC and ECDC there is no solid scientific evidence at this time indicating that Zika virus definitely causes microcephaly or Guillain-Barre syndrome. The Zika virus has infected millions of people all over the world since the late 1940s and has proven so far to be as harmless as the common cold for the vast majority of people who are exposed to it. Zika is nowhere near as dangerous as “Ebola”.  There is at this time absolutely no reason for people to panic over the spread of this relatively innocuous virus.  We advise people to continue to monitor the situation as it develops over the next year.  Panicking does no one any good – unless you happen to be an owner of a print or broadcast media empire – or the head of state of a declining imperialist power like the United States.

—IWPCHI

[UPDATE 15 Mar 2016:  The latest information on the developments in Brazil relating to the Zika virus and its possible links to microcephaly cases that we have found was published over the past two weeks in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The titles and links are available below.  — IWPCHI

“Zika Virus Associated with Microcephaly” (reporting on ONE confirmed case);  New England Journal of Medicine, 10 Mar 2016

“Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro – Preliminary Report” NEJM 4 Mar 2016.  This article relates the findings of the first 88 pregnant women who have been enrolled in a study of the effect of Zika virus in them and their babies.  While prenatal ultrasound exams indicated microcephaly in 4 of the 88 babies examined so far, those results were only confirmed in just one case; two predicted cases of microcephaly based on ultrasound proved UNFOUNDED at birth.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, "Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro - Preliminary Report", 4 March 2016 NEJM (4 Mar 2016) at http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1602412#t=article

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, “Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro – Preliminary Report”, 4 March 2016
NEJM (4 Mar 2016) at
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1602412#t=article