COVID-19 pandemic, United States update

This 1 July 2020 Reuters news agency video says about itself:

U.S. coronavirus cases hit new record

More than 47,000 new coronavirus cases were announced across the United States on Tuesday – the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic.

That was yesterday. Today, 2 July, Reuters reports:

New U.S. COVID-19 cases rose by nearly 50,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, marking the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic.

As COVID-19 infections explode in the US, Fauci warns of 100,000 new cases a day. By Barry Grey, 1 July 2020. Fauci’s testimony underscored the grim reality that the pandemic in the US is now far more widespread than it was at its previous height in late March and early April.

Pandemic surpasses 10 million COVID-19 cases and over 500,000 deaths globally. By Benjamin Mateus, 29 June 2020. COVID-19 cases in the United States have careened out of control, with health care systems in Texas, Florida and Arizona nearing collapse.

“Back to work” campaign in the US has led to surge in COVID-19 : here.

The inequality pandemic: How American capitalism puts profits over lives. 2 July 2020. The resurgence of COVID-19 is the outcome of a policy, led by the Trump administration but supported by the entire political and media establishment, of subordinating society’s needs to the interests of the financial oligarchy: here.

“The company is taking risks with the lives of 5,000 workers”. As COVID-19 cases surge, Texas General Motors workers demand closure of factory. By Jerry White, 2 July 2020. Just days after Fiat Chrysler workers in Detroit halted production, GM workers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area are demanding the closure of Arlington Assembly.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Tesla worker Branton Phillips talks about his six years working at the auto company on Fremont, California. Frontline assembly workers have a forced overtime schedule of 72 hours a week. Many of the workers also have many hours of commute time since they live in California’s Central Valley.

Branton also discusses his concern about the health and safety of Tesla workers in the time of Covid pandemic and how there are no Cal-OSHA investigators going into the plant to investigate the health and safety protocols. He reports that when he contacted Cal/OSHA they said he should go to the Alameda Department of Public Health.

He expressed concern over the possibility of contaminating his wife who is vulnerable due to health conditions.

This interview was done on 6/28/20.

Autoworkers initiate new wave of struggles in fight against COVID-19 pandemic: here.

Chrysler was telling everybody that it was safe to come back to work, and it’s not.” Autoworkers at FCA Trenton Engine call for rank-and-file safety committees to fight COVID-19. By Tim Rivers, 2 July 2020. Autoworkers at the FCA Trenton Engine Plant south of Detroit called on their co-workers to build rank-and-file safety committees to fight the spread of COVID-19 in factories and save lives.

“It’s up to workers to fight this virus”. Fiat Chrysler threatens to fire workers who stop production over COVID-19 concerns: here.

Workers in Germany express their solidarity with striking Fiat Chrysler workers. By our correspondents, 2 July 2020. The strikes at two Detroit Fiat Chrysler plants in Jefferson North and Sterling Heights against intolerable health and safety conditions for production workers have met with a powerful response from workers in Germany.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Kim Cordova, the president of UFCW Local 7 in Colorado talks about the deaths of 6 workers at the JBS meat butchering plant in Greeley, Colorado from Covid-19. A memorial for these six workers was being held on June 28, 2020 and the UFCW had placed billboards to memorialize the workers and their lives.

She also reports on the failure of OSHA to protect the workers and also the systemic racism against the Latinos and immigrant workforce at these meat butchering plants. President Trump while ordering the plants to continue production made only guidelines on the protection of the health and safety of workers that have been ignored by companies.

Cordova also talks about how the profits of the companies are being put ahead of the workers’ health and safety.

This interview was done by Steve Zeltzer on 6/28/20 for Pacifica Network.

“It’s back to the way it was before I made things public,” says whistleblower. As flights increase, airline workers face more COVID-19 dangers. By Steve Filips, 2 July 2020. Even as the pandemic continues to surge, airlines continue to push for increased flights. American Airlines has resumed booking its flights to capacity on July 1. United Airlines, which never blocked out seats or limited capacity, will be adding 25,000 flights in August.

Pandemic profiteering: Gilead Sciences cashes in on COVID-19. 1 July 2020. Gilead’s declaration that it will charge over $3,000 per patient for the drug remdesivir sends a clear message that pharmaceutical companies plan to use the COVID-19 crisis to make billions of dollars: here.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 30 July 2020:

Disneyland workers protest unsafe conditions for reopening theme park in virus-ridden California counties

A caravan of Disneyland Resort workers in cars drove around the company’s Anaheim, California complex June 27 to protest conditions under which the facility is to be reopened. Originally, the entertainment resort, owned by the Walt Disney Company, was slated to open July 17, but the date has been delayed while six of the 26 unions representing 17,000 workers are still in negotiations with the company.

Disney, which was already hurting financially from its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, has been further impacted by the shuttering of its facilities three months ago due to coronavirus. Overall, the company has seen a 37 percent drop in income from $3.8 billion last year to $2.4 billion in the current year. In addition, the company was forced to cancel a $1.6 billion semiannual dividend, due in July, and this no doubt is compelling it to reopen operations to recover profitability without concern to workers’ health.

According to press reports, the company has not agreed to minimal conditions requested by labor unions before opening, those being testing guidelines for COVID-19, higher staffing levels aimed at deep cleaning standards, electrostatic cleaning of rooms and acceptance of guidelines from the Center for Disease Control. Further, the state of California will not be unveiling its guidelines for the reopening of theme parks until after the 4th of July holiday.

Disney’s Anaheim complex is located within one hour of Los Angeles County, which currently has a mass of COVID-19 cases. Anaheim, located in Orange County, has the most cases in that county. Unemployment benefits for workers will run out in July, creating an economic cudgel to force workers to return to work under unsafe conditions.

Florida nursing home that denied cases of coronavirus despite workers’ warnings, now faces outbreak

The Florida Department of Health reported 34 cases of COVID-19 last week at a Fort Myers, Florida nursing home, giving it the highest total in Southwest Florida. Heritage Park Rehabilitation and Healthcare, which is owned by Consulate Healthcare, has not commented on the increase in coronavirus cases, but the outbreak is not surprising after nursing assistants reported in May their fears about coming to work after discovering management was concealing cases of COVID-19.

The United Healthcare Workers union filed complaints the same month with the state’s Healthcare Administration and the Occupational Safety Hazard Administration about workers’ concerns and a story published in Wink News brought the public’s attention to the outbreak, leading management to provide additional personal protective equipment.

According to a worker who spoke to Wink News, the nursing home’s executive director told staff there were no cases of coronavirus in the facility, but on April 22, workers found online data that revealed two residents and two staff members tested positive.

At the time, nursing assistants were requested to attend to patients in isolated rooms, but were not informed why residents were being isolated. While attending these patients, workers were not provided face shields or goggles to avoid infection.

COVID-19 cases surging rapidly in Florida. By Alex Johnson, 29 June 2020. The swelling of cases demonstrates the disastrous and homicidal nature of the back-to-work campaign and lifting of social distancing measures.

Arkansas continues to be ravaged by COVID-19. By Cordell Gascoigne, 29 June 2020. The state government has been pressing forward with reopening the economy at the expense of worker safety even as confirmed infections and deaths have been rising.

Arizona Department of Health Services activates plan to ration healthcare for COVID-19 patients. By Benjamin Mateus, 2 July 2020. As the pandemic surges throughout Arizona, the governor is seeking emergency support from the federal government to supplement the beleaguered hospital staff in hard-hit counties.

Respiratory therapist at New York’s Elmhurst Hospital describes horrors during COVID pandemic:. “The patients in March didn’t have to die like this, if we would have had more staff and better equipment to work with”. By Clara Weiss, 2 July 2020. At poor community hospitals like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, patients were up to three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than they were in facilities in the richest parts of Manhattan.

4 thoughts on “COVID-19 pandemic, United States update

  1. Pingback: Coronavirus disaster, worldwide news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  3. Pingback: COVID-19 in the USA, update | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Police brutality, workers’ resistance in Trump’s USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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