Healthcare

US soon to pass Italy and China in coronavirus cases

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 March 2020

The total number infected in the United States is approaching 50,000, with nearly 600 dead.

The quiet before the surge: US physicians speak on the COVID-19 pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 March 2020

The WSWS spoke to three physicians as the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate in the United States.

Boeing closes Seattle-area plants after worker’s coronavirus death

By Hector Cordon, 24 March 2020

Two weeks after the first emergence of a coronavirus infection in its Everett, Washington, plant, Boeing has shut down production in the region.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ message to warehouse workers: Keep working despite coronavirus threat

By Nick Barrickman, 24 March 2020

After strikes by US and European Amazon workers over the danger to their health, the company’s billionaire CEO feigned concern while insisting that workers keep pumping out profits.

Under pressure from online protests over coronavirus concerns, GameStop shutters California stores

By Luke Galvin, 24 March 2020

The half-measure concessions, which went into effect Sunday, also included keeping stores in the rest of the United States operating with “delivery-to-door” service.

Florida residents on COVID-19 pandemic: “There is no way we can go longer than a month at this rate.”

By Matthew MacEgan, 24 March 2020

Workers and students spoke with the WSWS about lack of supplies, limited testing, and growing concerns over the economic, social, and health impact on their families and friends.

COVID-19 hits Nevada: Catastrophic job losses coupled with woefully inadequate health care infrastructure

By Jacob Crosse, 24 March 2020

Hundreds of thousands of workers have been laid off and Nevada’s sparse health care infrastructure is buckling as community spread of coronavirus takes hold.

US officials use economic fallout from pandemic to slash school funding

By Phyllis Steele and Jerry White, 24 March 2020

Even as school districts deliver free meals to millions of low-income students, state governments have already begun slashing school spending and reneging on promised pay raises to teachers.

New Zealand government warns tens of thousands could die, imposes lockdown

By Tom Peters, 24 March 2020

Medical professionals have warned that the country is unprepared for a significant outbreak of coronavirus and New Zealand “will look like Italy or the US” without extreme measures.

Coronavirus crisis in New York: As doctors warn of “our Chernobyl,” state government plans Medicaid cuts

By Clara Weiss and Ali Elhassan, 23 March 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been calling for the deployment of the military, warned on Sunday that between 40 and 80 percent of the population of New York state (roughly 19.5 million people) would be infected.

German government prepares for internet censorship and deployment of the armed forces

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 March 2020

The social democratic state premier of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, has called for a clamp-down against those contradicting official government propaganda about the coronavirus epidemic.

COVID-19 outbreak in New York prisons threatens lives of thousands

By Sam Dalton, 23 March 2020

Thirty-eight people in the New York prison system test positive for COVID-19 as reports emerge that Harvey Weinstein has also been infected by the virus.

UK: Sheffield health care students demand placements suspended to limit COVID-19 spread

By Julie Hyland, 23 March 2020

The students’ petition to university bosses highlights the widespread opposition to the disastrous course of the Johnson government, which has already forced a shift in its reckless policy of allowing the spread of COVID-19.

Catastrophic worldwide medical ventilator shortfall despite years of warning

By Steve James, 23 March 2020

World productive capacity of medical ventilators is far below peak requirements during the coronavirus outbreak.

Australian state of Victoria shuts down school system, other states remain open

By Patrick Kelly, 23 March 2020

The chaotic situation reflects the wider disarray and criminal neglect in the ruling elite’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

COVID-19 health disaster and political crisis intensify in Australia

By Mike Head, 23 March 2020

Yesterday the soaring rate of infections triggered an open rift in the self-styled “national cabinet” and forced governments into partial economic shutdowns.

No corporate bailouts! Direct financial resources to the working people, not the capitalist elite!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (US), 23 March 2020

The ruling class is seeking to exploit this crisis to engineer another multitrillion-dollar redistribution of wealth, on a scale even greater than the 2008 bank bailout.

Entertainment industry in North America devastated by layoffs

By Penny Smith, 23 March 2020

The entertainment industry across the US and Canada has effectively shut down, leaving hundreds of thousands of already precariously employed workers suddenly without an income.

Facing mask shortage, US doctors told to use bandanas

By Benjamin Mateus, 20 March 2020

The CDC recommends that when facemasks are no longer available, health care workers may have to improvise, using scarves or bandanas to protect themselves when treating patients suspected of or confirmed with COVID-19.

California governor orders statewide lockdown as US coronavirus deaths top 200

By Patrick Martin, 20 March 2020

The number of Americans with coronavirus is nearing 15,000, and more than 200 have died.

Retired UK welfare advice worker Terry Craven: “If they are going to build a herd immunity, they already know it’s going to kill thousands of people”

By our reporters, 20 March 2020

Retired welfare advice worker Terry Craven contacted the WSWS to express his concerns about the lack of provision for people in the UK on social security benefits showing symptoms of Covid-19.

New York City now the epicenter of coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Josh Varlin, 20 March 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is considering a “shelter in place” order in response to the skyrocketing COVID-19 case numbers.

Drivers shut down Detroit bus system with sick-out over health and safety concerns during coronavirus outbreak

By Kevin Reed, 20 March 2020

Bus drivers took matters into their own hands in Detroit on Tuesday morning and shut down the city’s public transportation system to demand sanitary conditions.

Qantas spearheads mass layoffs in Australia as pandemic worsens

By Mike Head, 20 March 2020

The federal and state governments are handing billions of dollars to the banks and corporate elite as they unleash massive job losses.

Media blackout of wildcat strikes in US auto industry

By Tom Hall, 20 March 2020

Within hours after wildcat strikes in Fiat Chrysler plants in Michigan and Ohio forced a temporary shutdown of much of the North American auto industry during the coronavirus pandemic, the corporate media entered into full cover-up mode.

German Chancellor Merkel’s address to the nation: A declaration of criminal irresponsibility

By Johannes Stern, 20 March 2020

The central message delivered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her address to the nation Wednesday evening was that the federal government will do nothing to avert a catastrophe for the population.

Front-line nurses and doctors face dire shortages of personal protective equipment

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 March 2020

There are mounting fears among health care workers that they are running unacceptable risks because of the lack of equipment.

Life for immigrants in the US during COVID-19 pandemic

ICE raids continue, asylum seekers turned away, and detention facilities remain potential hotbeds for coronavirus

By Genevieve Leigh, 19 March 2020

“We do not have access to hand sanitizer or masks, or anything else that could protect as we are all stuck together in close quarters.”

Australian doctors condemn government response to COVID-19 “disaster”

By Mike Head, 19 March 2020

Letters, signed by thousands of doctors, warn that a catastrophe “worse” than Italy’s can only be averted by a lockdown and the urgent pouring of resources into hospitals.

Doctors condemn Australian government’s refusal to defend Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 March 2020

Doctors4Assange has restated its demand that the Australian government immediately fulfil its obligations to Assange, under conditions in which his life is imperilled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Temporary work stoppage at Fiat Chrysler’s Warren Truck plant as wildcat strikes spread in global auto industry

By Jerry White, 17 March 2020

Actions against continued production during the coronavirus pandemic have spread from Italy to Spain, Canada and now the United States.

UK: NHS anticipates year-long coronavirus crisis and 8 million hospitalised

By Thomas Scripps, 17 March 2020

The UK, along with much of the rest of the world, faces a prolonged social emergency which will affect the lives of millions.

UK doctors speak out on coronavirus pandemic

By our reporters, 17 March 2020

Reporters for the World Socialist Web Site spoke to two medical doctors on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting Britain’s National Health Service and their concerns for the future.

Democratic Party debate dominated by coronavirus pandemic

By Patrick Martin, 17 March 2020

The exchanges between the candidates had been rendered largely irrelevant by consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden, making him the presumptive nominee.

Health official warns that 150,000 Australians could die in coronavirus pandemic

By Mike Head, 17 March 2020

Many of these people will die as a direct result of the failure of the governments, both federal and state, to take the urgently needed action and allocate the necessary medical resources.

Australian governments invoke emergency powers amid COVID-19 disaster

By Mike Head, 17 March 2020

These laws contain powers only previously used in wartime, such as arbitrarily detaining, imprisoning or imposing massive fines on people, to be imposed now in the name of protecting public health.

After handful of tests, West Virginia officials claim zero coronavirus cases

By Naomi Spencer, 17 March 2020

The state has, by many metrics, the unhealthiest and poorest adult population in the US, putting a majority in higher risk categories for COVID-19.

New York City declares state of emergency amid coronavirus pandemic

By Josh Varlin, 13 March 2020

New York City and New York state have announced new measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, of which there are now 328 cases statewide.

“It’s like the workers are second rate citizens”

Fiat Chrysler keeps Indiana plant running after worker tests positive for coronavirus

By Jerry White, 13 March 2020

The decision by Fiat Chrysler, which has been backed by the United Auto Workers union, is imperiling the lives of workers.

Massachusetts health care professionals warn of Covid-19 testing shortage and lack of worker protections

By Kate Randall, 13 March 2020

Doctors and nurses are frustrated over the lack of testing kits for the coronavirus as well the lack of protective equipment for health care workers in hospitals.

Washington governor bans gatherings of more than 250 as coronavirus spreads

By Hector Cordon, 13 March 2020

The virus continues to infect residents and employees of a nursing home at the center of the outbreak in Washington state and in the US.

Australian government hands billions to business as coronavirus worsens economic slump

By Mike Head, 13 March 2020

Within hours, Morrison’s “stimulus” package was swamped by the deteriorating economic news from around the world and share prices plunged.

After weeks of delay

Major US professional sport leagues shut down seasons

By Alan Gilman, 13 March 2020

The shutdown has extended to college and university athletics, including the NCAA national basketball tournament.

Coronavirus threatens to overwhelm UK National Health Service

By Thomas Scripps, 13 March 2020

As of Thursday morning, just 29,764 people had been tested nationally in the UK for coronavirus.

Growing opposition to company-union attacks at Qantas Australia

By Terry Cook, 13 March 2020

The attempt by Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar to slash the conditions of pilots and ground crews is part of a global onslaught against airline workers.

Ontario’s “Roadmap to Wellness” continues austerity for youth mental health services even as demand spikes

By Penny Smith, 13 March 2020

The Ford government is refusing to provide tens of thousands of children and adolescents with ready access to mental health care services that they urgently need.

Australian health professionals speak on lack of preparation for coronavirus pandemic

By our reporters, 12 March 2020

“There is a perception that the government does not care about the interests and safety of healthcare workers, and trust in authorities is low.”

Life expectancy growth stagnates in England for first time in 120 years

By Margot Miller, 12 March 2020

Life expectancy decreased in the most deprived 10 percent of neighbourhoods—the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the East of England.

Italy emerging as the new epicenter for the Covid-19 pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 11 March 2020

Italy’s health care system is being overwhelmed by the growing number of serious respiratory illnesses that are filling the emergency rooms and hospitals throughout the Lombardy region.

Market turbulence continues in day of swings

By Nick Beams, 11 March 2020

The main factor behind the Wall Street rise appears to have been the announcement of a “major” US economic relief package, prompting the belief there are profits to be made out of such measures.

US nurses decry lack of planning and communication, equipment shortages in midst of COVID-19 spread

By Katy Kinner, 11 March 2020

A nationwide survey shows that a vast majority of hospitals are underprepared for COVID-19 outbreak as WSWS interviews with nurses across the country confirm.

Negligent Australian government response threatens widespread Covid-19 infection

By James Cogan, 11 March 2020

The great risk is that the virus is spreading, largely unknown and unchecked, via transmission within Australia—as took place in Italy and elsewhere.

Julian Assange’s mother, doctors warn he is at heightened risk due to coronavirus

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 March 2020

In comments to the WSWS, Dr Stephen Frost warned that “the UK government is effectively playing Russian roulette with Julian Assange’s life” and demanded that he be released from Belmarsh Prison immediately.

WHO warns again of Covid-19 pandemic as Italy imposes nationwide lockdown

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 March 2020

At a press conference yesterday, WHO Director General Tedros raised the concern that governments and authorities are “not taking the deaths of elderly and senior citizens as a serious issue.”

Australian PM makes a desperate pitch to avert economic disaster

By Mike Head, 10 March 2020

Morrison’s speech shows that his main concern is to protect corporate profits and prop up his discredited government, not protect people from the coronavirus.

As US coronavirus cases top 500, Italy initiates mass quarantine

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 March 2020

The World Health Organization has emphatically stated that the international community needs to take immediate action to curb the impact of the pandemic.

Opioid-related deaths in Columbus, Ohio area up 45 percent from last year

By Katy Kinner, 9 March 2020

The Franklin County coroner recently released data showing a shocking increase in overdose, suicide and homicide deaths in the first two months of 2020.

World Health Organization warns of need for urgent response as coronavirus cases surpass 100,000

By Bryan Dyne, 7 March 2020

If the current trends continue, the total number of cases outside China will surge past the number of cases within China by the end of the month.

Local transmission of coronavirus increasing in Australia

By James Cogan, 6 March 2020

Frustration and anger are rising over the lack of pre-emptive action by federal and state governments.

First Amazon worker at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters tests positive for coronavirus

By Mike Ingram, 5 March 2020

An Amazon employee, the first at the company’s Seattle headquarters, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Two of the company’s employees in Italy had contracted the virus and are in quarantine.

Coronavirus outbreak takes hold in New York

By Josh Varlin, 5 March 2020

There are now 11 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in New York state, which is likely a significant underestimation given indications of community spread.

High cost of health care, lack of paid time off, leave US workers vulnerable to coronavirus outbreak

By Jerry White, 4 March 2020

The Trump administration, primarily concerned with the impact on the stock market, has sought to downplay the seriousness of the threat to public health.

Lack of preparedness puts US health care workers at greatest risk from coronavirus

By Kate Randall, 3 March 2020

The risks facing health care workers are bound up with the lack of preparedness of US hospitals and other health care facilities, the underfunding of public health and the subordination of medical care to profit.

British Tory government’s general practitioner contracts intensify assault on healthcare

By Ben Trent, 27 February 2020

Over a 12 month period, 55 million patients had to wait longer than a fortnight to see a GP.

New study reveals growing health crisis in Greece

By George Gallanis, 27 February 2020

The health of Greek workers continues to deteriorate after years of austerity measures imposed by Syriza and previous capitalist governments.

Australian bushfire inquiry: Damage-control, cover-up and a push for military powers

By Mike Head, 27 February 2020

The central purpose of the royal commission is to absolve the federal and state governments of responsibility for the disaster, and to introduce unprecedented national emergency powers.

Waiting times for aged care in Australia quadruple over past decade

By Clare Bruderlin, 25 February 2020

Such is the contempt of the ruling elite for the working class that many elderly people have died while waiting for a home care package.

Las Vegas Culinary Workers Union stumps for “anybody but Bernie”

By Adam McLean, 22 February 2020

The CWU’s attack on Sanders’ proposal for “Medicare for All” is motivated by its financial interests in the health care fund that it operates.

US evacuates Americans from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 February 2020

The US evacuated more than 300 Americans, including 14 confirmed infected with coronavirus, from a cruise ship in Yokohama harbor.

The Lancet publishes letter from doctors: “End torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange”

By Laura Tiernan, 18 February 2020

The world’s pre-eminent medical journal carries a letter from 117 doctors in 18 countries calling for urgent action to save the life of the WikiLeaks publisher.

Australian universities slash jobs in response to coronavirus travel ban impact

By Mike Head, 18 February 2020

As well as students having their lives and futures severely disrupted, thousands of casual academics are having their hours slashed.

John Pilger’s The Dirty War on the National Health Service screening on Australia’s SBS this Sunday

By our reporters, 15 February 2020

The WSWS urges all our readers to watch this powerful documentary on SBS television, at 8.30 p.m. Sunday night, February 16.

Recession warnings fuel political instability in Australia

By Mike Head, 12 February 2020

The bushfire and coronavirus disasters have had an enormous economic and social impact.

Thousands of students affected by New Zealand’s anti-Chinese travel ban

By Tom Peters, 11 February 2020

A student who spoke to the WSWS described the travel ban, ostensibly aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus, as a “dream come true” for the NZ First Party and other right-wing nationalists.

Trump outlines massive cuts in Medicaid and Medicare in 2021 budget plan

By Kevin Reed, 10 February 2020

The Trump administration is scheduled to release a 2021 budget plan on Monday that includes deep reductions in entitlement programs and other mandatory spending while increasing funding for the military and the Department of Homeland Security.

Australian coronavirus travel ban blocks thousands of Chinese students

By Eric Ludlow, 8 February 2020

The blanket ban by the Morrison government affects any foreign national trying to enter Australia from mainland China.

UK: Tory health secretary signals ditching Accident and Emergency targets as crisis in NHS worsens

By Ajanta Silva, 7 February 2020

Research by the Patient Association found that 5,500 NHS patients died over the past three years due to spending so long on a trolley in overcrowded hospital A&E units.

Democrats cover up extent of hexavalent chromium poisoning at public meeting in Detroit suburb

By Kevin Reed, 6 February 2020

At an informational meeting Monday evening in the Detroit suburb of Madison Heights officials sought to contain growing public anger over chemical contamination by a local industrial operator.

UK: Errol Graham starved to death after withdrawal of benefit payments

By Laura Tiernan, 5 February 2020

Errol weighed just 30kg, or 66 pounds, when his body was found by bailiffs after they broke down his front door to evict him for rent arrears.

Trump administration announces major attack on Medicaid, capping benefits

By Kate Randall, 1 February 2020

The Trump administration’s proposed Medicaid changes could slash benefits for millions of recipients, while opening the door for a broader assault on other entitlement programs.

Nominal rise in US life expectancy reported after three years of decline

By Kate Randall, 31 January 2020

It is a stain on the record of the US, that in a country that spends more per person on health care than any other, more people die prematurely than in the vast majority of the world’s industrialized and growing economies.

Almost half of cancer patients in the US deplete entire life assets by second year of treatment

By Katy Kinner, 31 January 2020

A recent study in the American Journal of Medicine found large decreases of net worth among those with worsening as well as improving cancer status.

More than 7,800 nurses and hospital staff strike for third day at Seattle hospitals

By Dan Conway, 31 January 2020

More than 7,800 nurses and caregivers at Swedish medical centers in Seattle struck for a third day Thursday against short staffing levels and inadequate compensation.

Wuhan coronavirus accelerates while concerns over limited resources may prove catastrophic

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 January 2020

The Wuhan coronavirus epidemic is accelerating while Chinese officials attempt to mitigate the rising social tensions.

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and the global threat of infectious diseases

By Bryan Dyne, 28 January 2020

The outbreak in China has exposed the vulnerability of contemporary society to new strains of infectious disease, dangers for which no capitalist government has adequately prepared.

Second case of coronavirus confirmed in the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 January 2020

Since the virus was first identified, more than 1,000 people have now been infected worldwide, and in the latest report the death toll has climbed to 41, all having died in mainland China.

At Davos, Trump announces plans to cut Medicare and other social programs

By Trévon Austin, 24 January 2020

In an interview at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Trump said social programs would be targeted to reduce the federal deficit.

Australia: NSW Ambulance staff forced to do overtime to cover under-staffing

By Clare Bruderlin, 23 January 2020

The pressure on over-worked paramedics and other ambulance workers is the result of years of budget cuts and understaffing.

Rich in US and UK live nearly ten more healthy years than the poor

By Kate Randall, 18 January 2020

Wealthy men and women generally have eight to nine more years of “disability free” life after age 50 than the poorest American and English adults.

Smoke haze from Australian bushfires pose serious public health threat

By John Mackay, 18 January 2020

The fine particulates in smoke from fires has been known to contain a toxic mix of chemicals that are a concern to public health.

Australian fires leave tens of thousands in financial hardship and stress

By James Cogan, 17 January 2020

The fires have most severely affected low-income workers and welfare recipients, self-employed contractors, small-business owners and family farmers.

Australia: Kinglake residents speak on government inaction 11 years after Black Saturday blaze killed 173

By our reporters, 14 January 2020

One resident stated: “I don’t care which party they are from—Labor, Liberal, whatever—these politicians only look after their pockets.”

Australia: Gospers Mountain fire survivors denounce government cuts in firefighting and bush management

By our reporters, 13 January 2020

One resident stated “With regards to government policy, it’s all about the bottom line. It’s all about money.”

Inadequate government relief for Australian bushfire victims

By James Cogan, 9 January 2020

With his government under siege, Prime Minister Morrison announced that $2 billion in assistance will be provided over the next two years.

Australian bushfire victims speak-out: “What is our government doing at the moment?”

By our reporters, 9 January 2020

One resident of Balmoral, a village in NSW, stated: “We’ve been through tough times before but nothing like this. The size of fires is unprecedented. All the resources are stretched to breaking point.”

Australian bushfire catastrophe exposes the contempt of the ruling elites for working people

By James Cogan, 8 January 2020

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will go down in history as the political leader who secretly went on holiday to Hawaii while the country burned.

NHS London crisis deepens due to cuts, understaffing and privatisation

By Thomas Scripps, 7 January 2020

Overall, NHS trusts in the United Kingdom’s capital and largest city are expected to post a combined deficit of over £150 million.

After another weekend of devastation, Australia faces weeks more of unprecedented fires

By James Cogan, 6 January 2020

A discernable shift is underway in how masses of people view the political parties and institutions that have downplayed or denied the reality of climate change.

Samoa lifts measles state of emergency

By John Braddock, 6 January 2020

Despite denials by the prime minister, Samoa was warned repeatedly to improve measles vaccination rates months before the arrival of a deadly epidemic.

UK refusal to accept Scotland’s supply of haemophilia drugs resulted in thousands of deaths

By Robert Stevens, 4 January 2020

Blood supplied from contaminated sources led to thousands of people being infected with diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, and the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in the UK.