Bernie Sanders’ plan against coronavirus pandemic

This 13 March 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

How the U.S. botched its COVID-19 response

It has been seven weeks since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the U.S. The death toll from the virus continues to climb and cases continue to mount. On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, admitted publicly that the U.S. is seriously lacking when it comes to testing for the virus.

Stanford epidemiologist Steven Goodman walks us through how the government has failed to account for what may be thousands of infections because of ongoing problems with access to testing. “The original decision to use a U.S.-specific test, not the one that was suggested by the WHO — which has been used in many other countries — in retrospect, obviously, was a big mistake,” says Goodman, who affirms that those tests the CDC did manage to eventually send out were faulty. “Nationally, I don’t know what the capacity is. But as Dr. Fauci said, we are way, way behind.”

From senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the USA today:

As the coronavirus crisis expands, now is the time for solidarity. We must fight with love and compassion for those most vulnerable to the effects of this pandemic.

Add your name to support Bernie’s plan to fight the pandemic, and to support each other in this crisis, which includes:

  • Free vaccines, when it is developed
  • Free emergency doctor visits for all
  • Paid family and medical leave for all workers
  • Expanded unemployment benefits
  • More funding for community health centers
  • A moratorium on evictions

In the last few days, we have seen the crisis of the coronavirus continue to grow exponentially.

Let me be absolutely clear: in terms of potential deaths and the impact on our economy, the crisis we face from coronavirus is on the scale of a major war, and we must act accordingly.

Nobody knows how many fatalities we may see, but they could equal or surpass the U.S. casualties we saw in World War II.

It is an absolute moral imperative that our response — as a government, as a society, as business communities, and as individuals — meets the enormity of this crisis.

As people work from home and are directed to quarantine, it will be easy to feel like we are in this alone, or that we must only worry about ourselves and let everyone else fend for themselves.

That is a very dangerous mistake. First and foremost, we must remember that we are in this together.

Now is the time for solidarity. We must fight with love and compassion for those most vulnerable to the effects of this pandemic.

If our neighbor or co-worker gets sick, we have the potential to get sick. If our neighbors lose their jobs, then our local economies suffer, and we may lose our jobs. If doctors and nurses do not have the equipment and staffing capacity they need now, people we know and love may die.

Unfortunately, in this time of international crisis, the current administration is largely incompetent, and its incompetence and recklessness have threatened the lives of many people.

What we must do as a nation:

Because President Trump is unable and unwilling to lead selflessly, we must immediately convene an emergency, bipartisan authority of experts to support and direct a response that is comprehensive, compassionate, and based first and foremost on science and fact.

We must aggressively make certain that the public and private sectors are cooperating with each other. And we need national and state hotlines staffed with well-trained people who have the best information available.

Among many questions, people need to know: what are the symptoms of coronavirus? When should I seek medical treatment? Where do I go for a test?

The American people deserve transparency, something the Trump administration has fought day after day to stifle. We need daily information — clear, science-based information — from credible scientific voices, not politicians.

And during this crisis, we must make sure we care for the communities most vulnerable to the health and economic pain that’s coming — those in nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities, those confined in immigration detention centers, those who are currently incarcerated, and all people regardless of immigration status.

What we must do regarding health care:

Unfortunately, the United States is at a severe disadvantage because unlike every other major country on earth, we do not guarantee health care as a human right. The result is that millions of people in this country cannot afford to go to a doctor, let alone pay for a coronavirus test. So while we work to pass a Medicare for All single-payer system, the United States government must be clear that in the midst of this emergency, that everyone in our country — regardless of income or where they live — must be able to get all of the health care they need without cost.

Obviously, when a vaccine or other effective treatment is developed, it must be free of charge.

We cannot live in a nation where if you have the money you get the treatment you need to survive, but if you’re working-class or poor you get to the end of the line. That would be morally unacceptable.

Further, we need emergency funding right now for paid family and medical leave. Anyone who is sick should be able to stay home during this emergency, and receive their paycheck.

At a time when half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, when they need to go to work in order to take care of their family, we do not want to see people going to work who are sick and can spread the coronavirus.

We also need an immediate expansion of community health centers in this country so that every American will have access to a nearby healthcare facility.

We need greatly to expand our primary health care capabilities in this country and that includes expanding community health care centers.

We need to determine the status of our testing and processing for the coronavirus. The government must respond aggressively to make certain that we in fact do have the latest and most effective test available, and the quickest means of processing those tests.

There are other countries around the world who are doing better than we are in that regard. We should be learning from them.

No one disputes that there is a major shortage of ICU units and ventilators that are needed to respond to this crisis. The federal government must work aggressively with the private sector to make sure that this equipment is available to hospitals and the rest of the medical community.

Our current healthcare system does not have the doctors and nurses we currently need. We are understaffed. During this crisis, we need to mobilize medical residents, retired medical professionals, and other medical personnel to help us deal with this crisis.

We need to make sure that doctors, nurses and medical professionals have the instructions and personal protective equipment that they need.

This is not only because we care about the well-being of medical professionals, but if they go down, then our capability to respond to this crisis is significantly diminished.

The pharmaceutical industry must be told in no uncertain terms that the medicines that they manufacture for this crisis will be sold at cost. This is not the time for profiteering or price gouging.

Addressing this economic crisis:

The coronavirus is already causing a global economic meltdown, which is impacting people throughout the world and in our own country, and it is especially dangerous for low income and working families the most. People who today, before the crisis, were struggling economically.

Instead of providing more tax breaks to the top one percent and large corporations, we need to provide economic assistance to the elderly — and I worry very much about elderly people in this country today, many of whom are isolated and many of whom do not have a lot of money.

We need to worry about those who are already sick. We need to worry about working families with children, people with disabilities, the homeless and all those who are vulnerable.

We need to provide emergency unemployment assistance to anyone who loses their job through no fault of their own.

Right now, 23 percent of those who are eligible to receive unemployment compensation do not receive it.

Under our proposal, everyone who loses a job must qualify for unemployment compensation at least 100 percent of their prior salary with a cap of $1,150 a week or $60,000 a year.

In addition, those who depend on tips – and the restaurant industry is suffering very much from the meltdown – gig workers, domestic workers, and independent contractors shall also qualify for unemployment insurance to make up for the income that they lose during this crisis.

We need to make sure that the elderly, people with disabilities and families with children have access to nutritious food. That means expanding the Meals on Wheels program, the school lunch program and SNAP so that no one goes hungry during this crisis and everyone who cannot leave their home can receive nutritious meals delivered directly to where they live.

We need also in this economic crisis to place an immediate moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and on utility shut-offs so that no one loses their home during this crisis and that everyone has access to clean water, electricity, heat and air conditioning.

We need to construct emergency homeless shelters to make sure that the homeless, survivors of domestic violence and college students quarantined off-campus are able to receive the shelter, the healthcare and the nutrition they need.

We need to provide emergency lending to small and medium-sized businesses to cover payroll, new construction of manufacturing facilities, and production of emergency supplies such as masks and ventilators.

Here is the bottom line. When we are dealing with this crisis, we need to listen to the scientists, to the researchers, to the medical folks, not politicians.

We need an emergency response to this crisis and we need it now.

We need more doctors and nurses in underserved areas.

We need to make sure that workers who lose their jobs in this crisis receive the unemployment assistance they need.

And in this moment, we need to make sure that in the future after this crisis is behind us, we build a health care system that makes sure that every person in this country is guaranteed the health care that they need.

Please add your name to mine to say that you agree we must take action to support each other, to ensure everyone has the health care and economic support they need during this coronavirus crisis.

We must remember that we are in this together. Thank you for your support of these ideas, and of our campaign.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

This 12 March 3020 video from the USA says about itself:

Why all workers need paid sick leave amid the coronavirus pandemic

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States increases and workspaces and schools shutter across the country, more than 30 million workers lack access to paid sick leave. Labor Department data says that one in four workers have no access to paid sick leave, including two-thirds of lowest earners, and the U.S. is one of the only wealthy countries that does not require employers to offer its workers paid sick leave.

Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, says the inability for many workers in the U.S. — particularly in the service sector — to stay home when they are sick or need to care for a family member “is an important gap we need to fill with policy.” In order to cover essential care for all people, University of Massachusetts Amherst economics professor Robert Pollin suggests that Medicare should be expanded to cover everyone impacted by the coronavirus. “It is very easy to pay for it,” Pollin says. “The most important thing for people is to be able to get money in their pockets for that assurance and to recognize they have paid sick leave and full coverage for any kind of care that they need with the coronavirus.”

From Our Revolution in the USA today:

Joe Biden has a lot to answer for this Sunday.

For the first time, he’ll face off against Bernie Sanders in a one-on-one debate. With the country at a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, Joe will have to explain to the American people why he’s campaigned for the last year against Medicare for All.

Which issues do you want Bernie to ask Joe Biden about at the next Democratic presidential primary debate? Let us know before 8 p.m. ET on Sunday night.

While the corporate media wants you to believe that this primary is already over, the truth is that Bernie and Joe are only separated by about 150 delegates.

There are over 2,200 delegates still up for grabs over the next few months. We know that in every single primary state so far, Medicare for All has been supported by a majority of voters — but we’ll have to wait until Sunday to hear from Joe about why he’s vowed to veto Medicare for All if he’s president.

This 12 March 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Prominent economics expert says Biden obscures the truth on Medicare for All

Robert Pollin, distinguished university professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says the lack of universal healthcare in the U.S. is exacerbating the coronavirus crisis due to “the absurdity that people cannot feel confident that they are going to get medical treatment” when they need it most.

Despite overwhelming public support for universal healthcare, former Vice President and front-runner in the Democratic primary race Joe Biden has vowed that should he become president, he would veto Medicare for All legislation sent to him by Congress, arguing that the cost of implementation is too high. Biden’s claim “flies against all the evidence we have,” says Pollin. “We know [Medicare for All] will save money because every other advanced economy is delivering health care for all … at roughly half of what we now pay.”

The Our Revolution email continues:

Our movement’s ideas have already won — now we need a nominee who will turn them into reality. Let us know which issues you want to see debated on Sunday night by answering our short survey.

Linda, our movement’s ideas have already won — now we need a nominee who will turn them into reality. Let us know which issues you want to see debated on Sunday night by answering our short survey.

Ideas like Medicare for All aren’t just popular, they’re necessary. The coronavirus pandemic is proving that. As we face a potential global economic meltdown, millions of workers are looking for a presidential candidate who will fight for them.

Our Revolution has supported Bernie from the very beginning because he is that candidate. Our groups have been organizing to win not just the White House, but city councils and state legislatures all over the country. Now is the time for working people to unite together in solidarity and fight for each other — that’s what our movement is all about.

Answer our survey before Sunday 8 p.m. ET on Sunday night. You are an important member of our movement, and we want to know your thoughts before this critical debate.

Britain: Tories to bail capitalism out, while leaving workers and their families to die of coronavirus! Kick the Tories out now: here.

Sanders, Biden and the coronavirus pandemic

This 13 March 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Sanders vs. Biden on the Coronavirus Pandemic

Both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders criticized Trump’s weak response to Coronavirus, but Sanders’ plan made support for working and marginalized communities a priority.

20 biggest theropod dinosaurs, video

This 12 March 2020 video says about itself:

20 Biggest Theropod Dinosaurs (Only Carnivorous Theropods)

Theropoda from Greek “wild beast” or theropods are a dinosaur clade that is characterized by hollow bones and three-toed limbs. They are generally classed as a group of saurischian dinosaurs.

Theropods were ancestrally carnivorous, although a number of theropod groups evolved to become herbivores, omnivores, piscivores, and insectivores.

Theropods first appeared during the Carnian age of the late Triassic period 231.4 million years ago (Ma) and included the sole large terrestrial carnivores from the Early Jurassic until at least the close of the Cretaceous, about 66 Ma. In the Jurassic, birds evolved from small specialized coelurosaurian theropods, and are today represented by about 10,500 living species.

Pro-Big Oil Trump fights hungry people, not coronavirus

This 5 December 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

How cuts to food stamp program could increase ‘poor outcomes’ for the food insecure

The Trump administration is making some major changes to the food stamp program, known as SNAP. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture finalized a new rule expected to end access to the benefit for nearly 700,000 people by enforcing tougher work standards and limiting exemptions. The Urban Institute’s Elaine Waxman joins Amna Nawaz to discuss.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WON’T POSTPONE FOOD BENEFIT CUT Since last week, Democrats have called on President Donald Trump’s administration to delay a planned food benefit cut because of the rapidly expanding coronavirus outbreak, but administration officials have said no. Starting next month, rules will tighten for unemployed adults who don’t have minor children or disabilities, a policy that will shrink food benefit enrollment by 700,000, or about 2% annually. [HuffPost]

LOW-INCOME COLLEGE KIDS ARE WALKING A KNIFE’S EDGE A growing number of colleges and universities have canceled in-person classes this semester to combat the spread of COVID-19. For the tens of thousands of students who rely on their schools for housing and food, this disruption is going to be particularly painful. “It’s going to be so financially stressful … some of these students are not going to return to college,” said Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University. [HuffPost]

TOP DISEASE EXPERT: THE SYSTEM IS ‘FAILING’ Seven weeks have passed since the first U.S. case of coronavirus was announced, and the government is failing to account for what could be thousands of additional infections because of ongoing problems with testing. “The system is not really geared to what we need right now,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health. “That is a failing. It is a failing, let’s admit it.” [AP]

CDC ONLY TESTED 77 PEOPLE THIS WEEK An examination of state and federal records by Yahoo News finds that American states are, on average, testing fewer than 100 people per day for COVID-19 — while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had tested fewer than 100 people total in the first two days of this week. “This is not a problem we can test our way out of,” a top CDC official said. In a nation of 320 million, testing every person will be impossible. [HuffPost]

OUTBREAK COULD MAKE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WORSE The biggest piece of advice coming from public health officials amid the current pandemic is to practice social distancing and, if necessary self-isolate. For some, these measures are inconvenient but ultimately doable. But for others, such as victims of domestic violence for whom work is a necessary respite from the unpredictability of their partner’s abuse, there can be more immediate danger inside the home than outside it. [HuffPost]

Disneyland to close amid pandemic.

THE ABSURDITY OF TRUMP’S BID TO BAIL OUT OIL AND GAS The White House’s nascent effort to bail out oil and gas producers struggling with plunging oil prices could become a political boondoggle, legal and industry experts say, given the difficulty of finding congressional support for offering federal dollars to an industry plagued by reckless financing and devastating effects on the climate. [HuffPost]

More Coverage Of The Coronavirus

Britain: Coronavirus sparks fear for older and ill prisoners in overcrowded jails: here.

Britain: Kids on free school meals could go hungry if schools close due to coronavirus, charities warn: here.

Scottish landlords should not evict tenants struggling to make ends meet as a result of coronavirus: here.

China sends medical experts to support Italy and Spain’s fight against coronavirus. Rome blasts the EU for ignoring its pleas for help: here.

Trump fights Iraq war, not coronavirus

This 1 March 2020 video by the United States Democratic party congresswoman, presidential candidate, and Iraq war veteran in a military hospital Tulsi Gabbard says about itself:

Focus on war against Coronavirus—not protecting Al Qaeda-Turkish alliance!

President Trump, instead of going to war with Russia and Syria in order to protect the al-Qaeda-Turkish alliance, you should focus on the war against the Coronavirus.

Trump does not just fight a war for oil in Syria, but in Iraq as well; instead of fighting the coronavirus.

Trump’s presidency led straight to America’s epic coronavirus failure, by Alex Zeldin.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

13 March 2020

Pentagon officials announced late Thursday that US and British warplanes had launched airstrikes against multiple targets in Iraq in retaliation for a missile attack the day before on a military base north of Baghdad that killed two US troops and one British medic while wounding over a dozen other “coalition” troops. The number of Iraqi casualties from the attack was not initially reported.

According to a US official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, the targets for the US bombing raids were sites associated with the Kataib Hezbollah militia, one of the largest components of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the coalition of largely Shia-based militia groups. Baghdad designated the PMF as part of Iraq’s armed forces after the militias played the predominant role in defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which had routed government troops and overrun a third of the country in 2014. …

The attack and the US-led retaliation could reignite military conflict with Iran, threatening to drag the Middle East and the world into war. …

There is widespread speculation in the media that the US will refrain from a direct attack on Iran under conditions of the mounting crisis over the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of financial markets in the US and worldwide. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is attempting to salvage a crumbling agreement providing for a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The administration, however, may still seize on the missile attack in Iraq as a pretext for launching a major military action for the very purpose of shifting public attention from the increasingly catastrophic consequences of its criminal incompetence and indifference in the face of the pandemic.

There were no initial reports of Iraqi casualties resulting from Thursday night’s air raids. Previously, however, warplanes struck positions held by Iraqi Shia militia groups near the Syrian-Iraqi border town of Albu Kamal, reportedly killing at least 26 people. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the casualties and said that US warplanes had carried out the raid. …

This was followed by the January 3 US drone missile assassination of Gen. Qassem Suleimani, one of Iran’s most senior officials, after he arrived at Baghdad’s international airport aboard a commercial flight and passed through Iraqi customs with his diplomatic passport.

Killed in the same drone strike were Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the chief of the Kataib Hezbollah militia and deputy leader of the Popular Mobilization Forces, along with several other Iraqis and Iranians.

Initially, Trump administration officials claimed that the strike was carried out to preempt imminent attacks being prepared by Suleimani against US forces in the Middle East. This phony pretext was later dropped, with Trump claiming that he needed no such justification and that the attack was justified as an act of vengeance for attacks on US troops by the Iraqi resistance to the American occupation. It has since become clear that Suleimani was targeted because he was carrying out a diplomatic mission to Iraq as part of an attempt to defuse tensions with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Meanwhile, the Iraqi parliament is confronting Washington’s open defiance of its demand made last January, in the wake of the Suleimani assassination, that the 6,000 US troops remaining in Iraq be withdrawn.

Instead, the Pentagon has indicated that it intends to deploy US Patriot missile batteries in Iraq to counter any possible new threat from Iranian ballistic missiles. US Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of CENTCOM, told the House Armed Service Committee on Tuesday that the Pentagon was “in the process of bringing air defense systems, ballistic missile defense systems, into Iraq in particular, to protect ourselves against another potential Iranian attack.”

Last month, Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi addressed a letter to US Defense Secretary Esper warning that any deployment of Patriot missile batteries would be in defiance of the Iraqi government and would inflame popular opposition by signaling that the US has no intention of withdrawing its troops. …

There is little likelihood that Tehran ordered Wednesday’s rocket strike against the US-led occupation forces in Iraq. The country has been plunged into a deepening crisis by the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit it harder than any other country with the exceptions of China and Italy. The devastating “maximum pressure” campaign by Washington to drive the country’s oil exports down to zero and cut it off from the world market has denied it essential medical supplies. The Iranian government has issued an appeal to the International Monetary Fund for $5 billion in emergency funding to deal with the outbreak. It is hardly likely, under these conditions, to launch a military confrontation with the US.

Even as the world, and the United States itself, reels from the consequences of the pandemic and the failure of capitalist governments to either prepare for or adequately respond to its devastating effects, Washington continues to pursue its predatory interests in the Middle East and across the planet. The renewed violence in Iraq makes it clear that the threat of US imperialism dragging humanity into a catastrophic regional and even world war continues unabated.

US accused of shipping jihadists into Iraq: here.

To placate Trump, and on the advice of Pence, it looks as though Netanyahu picked the most extreme option on the table, by the Forward. Netanyahu quarantined all arrivals to placate Trump. US-Israel relations are diseased. By Abe Silberstein, March 10, 2020.

Unusual deep-sea sea cucumbers

This 12 March 2020 video says about itself:

The sea pig Scotoplanes is one of the most abundant animals found on the abyssal plain. These unusual sea cucumbers walk around the seafloor on elongated tube feet which keep them from sinking into the soft mud. They are deposit feeders, digging decaying pieces of algae and animals out of the mud using ten tentacles surrounding their mouth. Long, whip-like sensory organs, called papillae, help them find nutrient-rich food falling down from shallower waters. Their populations are directly influenced by what is happening at the surface of the ocean. For example, large groups of sea pigs can be found feasting near sunken whale carcasses and other food falls on the seafloor.

In 2016, MBARI documented a surprising relationship between sea pigs and king crabs (Neolithodes diomedeae). During a survey of an open area of muddy seafloor, 96 percent of the juvenile crabs were observed clinging to the undersides of Scotoplanes sea cucumbers, presumably for protection from predators. We don’t yet know how the hosts may be benefiting from their little hitchhikers. Our researchers are still digging up new facts about the sea pig.

Common name: Sea pig
Scientific name: Scotoplanes
Reported depth range: 1,000 meters – 6,000+ meters (3,300 – 19,500+ feet)
Size: to 17 centimeters (6.5 inches)

Editor: Ted Blanco
Writer: Kyra Schlining
Production team: Kyra Schlining, Susan von Thun, Nancy Jacobsen Stout

Today’s coronavirus update

This 12 March 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders is the president needed during the coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a major international effect, and it’s extremely clear that Donald Trump and even Joe Biden will not have the policies or leadership to effectively address the pandemic. But Bernie Sanders and his medicare for all policy shows what could be done to ensure people are safe, and his concern for workers would mean people wouldn’t be forced to choose between working sick and doing the right thing to self-isolate.

US authorities in disarray and paralysis in face of Covid-19 emergency. By Benjamin Mateus, 13 March 2020. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the globe has risen to 135,000, with sharp increases reported in major European countries and the United States. The death toll will soon pass 5,000. Health experts internationally are warning that unless urgent measures are taken, mass infections could take place and the virus could claim millions of lives. Italy has now reported over 15,000 infections and over 1,000 deaths—a shocking fatality rate of over 6 percent, nearly triple the rate registered in China where the viral outbreak began last December.

New York City declares state of emergency amid coronavirus pandemic: here.

“It’s like the workers are second rate citizens”. Fiat Chrysler keeps Indiana plant running after worker tests positive for coronavirus: here.

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

Washington governor bans gatherings of more than 250 as coronavirus spreads: here.

After weeks of delay. Major US professional sport leagues shut down seasons: here.

Patients denied care as Macron announces coronavirus lockdown in France: here.

The spread of the coronavirus has exposed the disastrous consequences of decades of the massive concentration of wealth and inequality spawned by capitalism: here.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK reached 596 on Thursday, with 10 deaths. This followed a rise of 140 confirmed cases over the previous 24 hours, the biggest increase in a single day. It is now generally believed that the country will enter a peak in cases of the disease comparable to the situation in Italy in around two weeks: here.

Since the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) was first detected regionally in Brazil two weeks ago, confirmed cases in Latin America and the Caribbean have now exceeded 300 and reached most countries. Three patients, one in Panama, another in Argentina and a third in Guyana, have died. Despite having nearly two months to prepare for the inevitable arrival of the virus, the governments and ruling classes of Latin American failed to organize any significant response: here.

Australian government hands billions to business as coronavirus worsens economic slump: here.