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

Another Covid Variant, Another Failure of Capitalism

Dec 6, 2021

So now the Omicron variant of Covid is spreading around the world. First discovered by researchers in South Africa in early November, the Omicron variant has already been found to be infecting people in the United States, Europe, Israel, and other countries.

It is too soon for health officials and medical researchers to know if Omicron is more contagious or more deadly than Delta or the other strains of Covid that are already circulating. It is too soon to know or even predict whether the vaccines currently in use will offer the same protection against Omicron.

But what medical experts do know and what was completely predictable was that the longer that Covid was not brought under control, the more the virus would mutate, and more variants would emerge. What medical experts do know and have been saying for months is that the more the virus mutates, the more likely it is that a strain will emerge that will make vaccines less effective.

What we do know is that two years after the Covid pandemic started, it is far from being brought under control. What we do know is that even with vaccines that, at this point, seem to be mostly effective, thousands of people are dying from Covid every day because they can’t get the vaccine.

What we do know is that the Covid pandemic has exposed an economic system that is completely unable to protect humanity’s health and welfare, despite having access to advanced medical knowledge and technology.

In the wealthier countries of the world, vaccines are mostly available for people who want them. About 70% of the population in Europe and 60% of the population of the United States has been fully vaccinated. In the poorer countries in the world, only about 8% of the people have received even one dose. That huge disparity is due to one reason—profits. The drug companies producing the vaccine can charge more for each dose sold in the richer countries.

The drug companies’ drive for profit has also limited the amount of vaccine available to the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked over and over for the drug companies to share their patents and technical knowledge with other companies and other countries that could be producing their own vaccines. Publicly done research was shared with the drug companies to help develop the vaccines. But these drug companies are refusing the WHO’s request, in order to ensure themselves the highest possible profits.

Joe Biden, when addressing the Omicron variant said that he was “sparing no effort, removing all roadblocks to keep the American people safe.” That’s total bullshit, because the U.S. government is the main one that is blocking the WHO’s request to share the patents. Biden and this government are serving an economic system in which corporate profits come before all else.

There is a roadblock to keeping safe the people of this country and every country. It is a capitalist economic system in which the profits of a few people somehow matter more than the 5 million people worldwide who have died from Covid. This is a roadblock that needs to be removed and replaced with a system that serves all humanity.