The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The U.S. Did Nothing to Prepare

Mar 30, 2020

We are witnessing the surge of coronavirus (COVID19) illness in major U.S. cities like New York, Chicago and Detroit, with New Orleans not far behind. Following a worldwide model, the virus is also spreading at a more and more rapid rate.

The virus worldwide took three months to reach a total of 100,000 confirmed cases. Twelve days after, there were 100,000 more cases. Then, in four days, 100,000 more. Finally 100,000 more were added in one and a half days to bring a total of 400,000.

In the just over three months that it took to reach these staggering totals, the world witnessed the death and destruction brought in its wake; first in Asia and then in Europe.

The first U.S. case was identified in Chicago 47 days before the World Health Organization declared an international pandemic on March 11.

The U.S. authorities, given a precious lead of months, did nothing to prepare for what was ahead. Precious lessons learned from suffering and death in Asia and Europe, went without comment. Trump used the time to make his racist, xenophobic propaganda, calling it the Chinese Flu and worse; pretending that closing borders would keep the flu “over there.”

But one man does not run the U.S. show. Where were the more sane government officials, local and state? Where were the heads of hospitals and corporations who cost-analyze every penny? Instead of sounding the alarm for preparation and action, they mostly sat quietly, waiting to see what happened.

They knew that sicker and older people were at risk.

They knew that the U.S. health system had been chopped down to nothing, not just under Trump, but under administrations before his.

They knew that Italy had a higher death count than Asia because older people comprised 23% of the population.

They knew and did nothing!