This 3 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:
This video says about itself:
Today I discuss a new case in my particular area and it’s significance to my assertion that cases are being imported and underreported. The handling of this by the authorities expose government ineptitude even at this point. The censorship is blatant now. The USA swimming team for the Olympics want the games to be cancelled. I found a disinfection site and it doesn’t fit the narrative Japan is pushing.
By Kevin Reed:
Why is the World Socialist Web Site banned from the subreddit r/coronavirus?
3 April 2020
On Thursday, March 19, users attempting to share the latest World Socialist Web Site articles on the subreddit r/coronavirus were notified that the wsws.org domain had been banned and labeled as an unreliable source by moderators. The message said, “wsws.org may not be reliable. Your post has been automatically removed. If possible, please resubmit with a link to a reliable source, such as a reliable news organization or an [sic] recognized institution.”
The label also says, “I am a bot, and this action has been taken automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.” Efforts by the WSWS to contact the r/coronavirus moderators have gone unanswered.
Significantly, the notices banning the WSWS began appearing less than 24-hours after Reddit users shared our article “Mounting anger as workers demand protection from unsafe conditions” which subsequently received thousands of upvotes and hundreds of comments. Although no new WSWS article links can be posted and this article is labeled as “removed by moderators of r/coronavirus” for “off-topic political discussion”, it has been “locked” and remains available to readers. It has more than 21,000 upvotes and 2,500 comments from workers.
Given that references to “reliable” and “recognized” sources are well-known euphemisms for the corporate media and our article had already received a widespread response on r/coronavirus, the banning of the WSWS by subreddit moderators is unmistakably an act of political censorship designed to block our analysis of the unfolding crisis from reaching the public.
The following timeline of events leading up to the WSWS domain ban confirms this assessment:
- On March 11, the White House hosted a video conference call chaired by US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios which included the participation of major technology companies and “other administration officials”. Although the reported details of the tech conference call are limited, it is clear that a major topic of discussion was shutting down so-called “misinformation” and the implementation of a censorship regime aimed controlling online and social media information about the coronavirus.
- On March 16, a group of eight major tech platforms—most of whom were in attendance at the White House call—published a joint industry statement which says, “We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts. We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe.”
- Reddit was one of the signers of the joint industry statement and posted it on the Reddit Twitter account at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 16 with the following comment, “Together with @Facebook, @Google, @LinkedIn, @Microsoft, @Twitter and @YouTube, we are committed to keeping our communities informed.”
By signing the joint industry statement—although there is so far no evidence that Reddit participated directly in the White House tech conference—the social news aggregation site that identifies itself as “The Front Page of the Internet” is demonstrating its collaboration with online censorship of content about the coronavirus that does not conform to the narrative developed by the US political establishment and faithfully repeated by the corporate media.
Reddit—which was founded by college roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005—is owned today by Condé Nast, a subsidiary of the Advance Publications conglomerate which is owned by the Newhouse family publishing and news empire that dates back to the early twentieth century. Condé Nast acquired Reddit from its founders and others, including Aaron Swartz, in 2006 for an estimated $10 to $20 million.
Beginning in 2014, a series of private and institutional investors injected hundreds of millions of dollars into Reddit and transformed it into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. With just 500 employees and an estimated valuation of $3 billion, Reddit is one of the most valuable assets in Silicon Valley.
The presence of the billionaire Peter Thiel—cofounder of Pay Pal and right-wing technology advisor to the Trump administration—on the list of private investors in Reddit is an indication of the types of figures who are playing a role in the organization and directing its collaboration with the White House censorship initiative.
Due to the way that Reddit is organized—with subreddit moderators given autonomy in making decisions about the activity of users, posts and shared links—there is no way to know for certain what role, if any, is being played by the management or owners of the company in preventing WSWS content from being posted on r/coronavirus.
Frequently, subreddit moderators are Reddit users who sign up and volunteer for the role and are then granted significant authority over the activity of users within the community and the content that is posted there. The Reddit structure allows for different levels of moderators with various degrees of permission. The top level has “Full Permissions” including the ability to remove posts and ban users among many other rights.
Like all Reddit users, subreddit moderators enjoy a degree of anonymity and their identity is often concealed behind obscure usernames. Despite this feature of the platform, it is possible to develop a picture of individual moderators based on the subreddits that they moderate as well as their own posting activity on Reddit.
In the case of the subreddit r/coronavirus, there are 67 moderators. The top ten moderators listed on the subreddit all have the top level “Full Permissions.” As an example, one of the r/coronavirus moderators with Full Permission named “justcool393” is also a moderator of 206 other subreddits. Among these are sexually-explicit subreddits, including one called r/porn_cringe and one specifically political subreddit called r/radicalcentrism.
Significantly, on another subreddit called r/subredditcancer, the moderator “justcool393” was asked why Reddit had abandoned its commitment to freedom of speech, to which the moderator replied, “It’s a multi-faceted answer that requires a lot of history and has a lot to do with the complexities of reddit’s situation. Firstly and foremostly, it’s a company that needs to make a profit. Is not exactly that shocking of a revelation but it’s probably the biggest reason.”
With such people having the authority to make the decision to label the World Socialist Web Site as an “unreliable source,” our characterization of the banning of our domain from the subreddit r/coronavirus as political censorship is entirely justified.
Therefore, the World Socialist Web Site is demanding the r/coronavirus moderators provide an explanation: Why are our reports and analysis of the global pandemic coronavirus being labelled “unreliable”? We further demand that all links from the wsws.org domain be restored, and users be permitted to share them on the subreddit immediately.
The WSWS has been published daily for twenty years by the International Committee of the Fourth International and is recognized internationally as a major source of authoritative Marxist journalism and analysis. We are quoted in numerous books and dozens of academic papers. Some of the leading historians of American history have been interviewed on and published statements on the WSWS.
Meanwhile, links from the WSWS have been posted on Reddit for years and our content is whitelisted on r/politics.
The WSWS is currently playing a decisive role in telling the public the truth about one of the greatest global disasters to ever confront mankind. Since January we have published nearly 300 articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by writers based in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. Throughout this coverage, we have sought to educate the public about the details and dangers posed by the pandemic.
Earlier than other news sources, the WSWS recognized the significance of the emergence of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China and its global implications:
- On January 24, we pointed to the growing danger in an article entitled, “Major Chinese city on lockdown as novel coronavirus spreads internationally.”
- On January 25, we raised the question, “One must ask, how prepared would the United States be should an epidemic similar to that presently developing in China affect it?”
- On January 28, we wrote, “It must be noted that while the situation in China is dire, the so-called first-world countries are no more prepared to deal with an outbreak on the scale currently occurring in Wuhan.”
- On January 29, we raised the impact on the world economy and stated, “The underlying fragility of global share markets, which have been boosted to record levels by the injection of trillions of dollars from the world’s central banks over the past decade and more, was underscored by the sharp falls on Monday and Tuesday in response to the coronavirus crisis.”
As these warnings made by the WSWS were being fully vindicated, the political establishment on every continent was seeking to conceal the implications of the unfolding crisis from the public.
Our reports throughout the month of February—including “Coronavirus to have deep impact on global economy” on February 8, “The coronavirus pandemic: A global disaster” on February 11 and “The coronavirus pandemic and the need for global socialized medicine”—focused on the expanding international crisis, its impact on the working class in countries around the world and on the global capitalist economy.
The WSWS analysis proceeded in direct opposition to the incompetent statements and actions of political figures around the world—including US President Donald Trump—about how the crisis was “under control” and public risk was “extremely low.”
On February 28, the WSWS published a statement from the International Committee of the Fourth International “For a globally coordinated emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic” which stated, “The working class must demand that governments make available the resources required to contain the spread of the disease, treat and care for those who are infected, and secure the livelihoods of the hundreds of millions of people who will be affected by the economic fallout.”
Throughout the month of March, our articles and statements continuously urged independent action by the working class in the face of the criminal negligence of the ruling class. These included, “Capitalism’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic” on March 4, “What must be done to fight the coronavirus pandemic” on March 6, “The response of the working class to the coronavirus pandemic” on March 11 and “Capitalism is at war with society” on March 13.
It was during the second week of March—as workers around the world began to take action in defense of their own health and safety—that the state, media and tech corporations came together in an effort to control of the flow of online and social media information about the coronavirus crisis.
Given these facts, it is clear that the banning of WSWS content from r/coronavirus is political censorship which only serves those, like US President Trump, who seek to downplay the disease and disorient the public about the meaning of the unfolding crisis.
We demand immediate action by moderators to restore access to our coronavirus pandemic reports, articles and analyses on the subreddit r/coronavirus and the removal of the label on our content as coming from an “unreliable source”.
This cartoon by Henry Beaumont from Britain shows United States President Donald Trump running away from the coronavirus disaster which he helped to cause with his policies. The wave symbolizing the coronavirus pandemic is inspired by Japanese artist Hokusai´s depiction of a big wave.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain
Friday, April 3, 2020
Fears of pogroms in India as Muslims blamed for Covid-19 outbreak
More than 300 cases of Covid-19 have been linked to a recent week-long Islamic gathering in Delhi, which attracted thousands from India and overseas, and officials are trying to contact attendees and their secondary contacts.
But the news has led to fears of a repeat of the communal violence seen in recent months following the introduction of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
El-Sisi uses coronavirus pandemic to tighten grip on Egypt. By Jean Shaoul, 3 April 2020. Egypt did nothing to prepare for the onset of the virus, despite being identified in early February, along with Algeria and South Africa, as one of the African countries most at risk.
An interview with four Chinese physicians at the epicenter of the pandemic in Wuhan: here.
Over the past week, state and federal governments have demanded that nine cruise ships in Australian waters near major ports depart immediately, despite the risk of mass coronavirus outbreaks on board. As many as twelve other cruise liners are in or near Australian waters. The dictates have placed at risk the safety and lives of the 11,000 people on board the nine vessels, the majority of whom are low-paid workers: here.
This 3 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:
‘There is a direct correlation between the way the Trump administration handles this crisis and how many Americans will die’ — This doctor slammed Trump for his response to COVID-19 after she contracted the disease on the job.
In US news and current events today, this doctor was infected with COVID-19 while on the job. Now, she’s calling out Trump for jeopardizing our nation’s health. Dr. Dara Kass is an emergency medicine doctor in New York City. While she is recovering, Kass says she has growing concerns for how the Trump admin is responding to the pandemic.
Navy fires captain who warned of COVID-19 spread on aircraft carrier. By Jessica Goldstein, 3 April 2020. The move is a clear statement that saving lives in the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be allowed to interfere with the war aims of US imperialism.
More Ford, FCA workers die from COVID-19 in Detroit area. By Tim Rivers and Marcus Day, 4 March 2020. The workers were hourly employees at Ford’s Livonia Transmission Plant and FCA’s MOPAR parts distribution center in Center Line.
GE Appliances and GE Aviation workers fight unsafe conditions in Kentucky and Massachusetts. By Jerry White, 3 April 2020. Anger is boiling over at the GE Appliances Park in Louisville, Kentucky and at GE Aviation, where the companies are keeping workers in infected plants.
Louisiana ranks fourth in the US for coronavirus deaths: here.
Coronavirus hits Seattle, Washington homeless shelters. By Julio Patron, 3 April 2020. As the pandemic rips across the United States, COVID-19 cases are beginning to be reported among the homeless population in Seattle.
As schools close down amid COVID-19 pandemic. Marist and SUNY Geneseo students face homelessness. By Alex Findijs, 3 April 2020. The crisis that has emerged at schools and colleges around the country in the face of the pandemic has laid bare the harsh realities of life for millions of youth and students.
Mounting protests in Canada’s construction industry over lack of safety measures to counter COVID-19. By Penny Smith, 3 April 2020. A petition launched by a construction worker in Ontario calling for the shutdown of the entire industry quickly secured over 50,000 signatures.
Honduran doctor warns of “collapsed health care system” as coronavirus toll grows. By our reporter, 3 April 2020. “Now we face this COVID-19 pandemic which demonstrates tragically that the armored tanks of the police and warships of the Navy are incapable of saving lives”: here.
‘CLOWN PRINCE’ CRASHES CORONA PRESSER Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser, appeared for the first time at a coronavirus briefing after taking on a central role in the federal government’s response to the pandemic despite having no medical experience. Kushner said that he was working with the “supply chain” task force led by Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, who is heading federal efforts to get much-needed medical equipment to states and hospitals to treat patients with COVID-19. Meanwhile, Politico reported Kushner’s family business could reap major benefits from bailout legislation signed by Trump. [HuffPost]
FAUCI ‘DOESN’T UNDERSTAND’ LACK OF NATIONAL LOCKDOWN Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said he doesn’t know why the United States hasn’t instituted a nationwide stay-at-home order amid the spread of COVID-19, saying the country “really should be” doing so to protect American lives. About 297 million people in 38 states and a bevy of cities are under some form of stay-at-home guidelines, although some states have not yet announced any such measures. [HuffPost]
UNEMPLOYMENT EXPLODES, MILLIONS WAITING FOR HELP A record number of Americans who are out of work because of the pandemic. The Labor Department announced that 6.6 million people applied for jobless benefits last week alone. That number is expected to rise ―ultimately, the unemployment rate may hit 32% because of the economic shutdown required to slow the spread of the virus. [HuffPost]
Doctor hailed for truth-telling on Fox News now in isolation.
NEW YORK PAYING 15 TIMES NORMAL PRICE FOR SUPPLIES With the coronavirus outbreak creating an unprecedented demand for medical supplies and equipment, New York state has paid 20 cents for gloves that normally cost less than a nickel and as much as $7.50 each for masks, about 15 times the usual price. It’s paid up to $2,795 for infusion pumps, more than twice the regular rate. And $248,841 for a portable X-ray machine that typically sells for $30,000 to $80,000. The shortage of key medical equipment is driving up prices. [HuffPost]
The New York death industry is on the verge of collapse.
Navy hospital ship docked in New York is “a joke” with just 20 patients.
CUOMO USES BUDGET TO CUT MEDICAID, SETTLE SCORES New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose daily press conferences about the COVID-19 pandemic have turned him into a national media darling, has plans to take $2.5 billion a year out of the Medicaid program. He has struck a deal with state lawmakers to enact a budget that not only cuts billions from social programs, but also punishes his political enemies in the progressive Working Families Party. [HuffPost]
TRUMP’S LABOR DEPT. TAKES HACKSAW TO PAID SICK LEAVE What started out as a valiant effort to provide Americans with paid sick leave during an unprecedented health care crisis has ended with a paltry measure that will barely cover anyone who is still working in the COVID-19 economy. The law made 10 days of paid sick time and 10 weeks more of longer-term leave available to those working at companies with fewer than 500 employees. Millions were left out. [HuffPost]
CONGRESS WANTS DO-OVER ON CORONAVIRUS DEBACLE House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) describes her work on a legislative response to the coronavirus crisis as “Phase Four.” This is misleading. What Pelosi wants, and what seems to be taking place, is a do-over. The bill that she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rammed through last week misjudged both the nature and scope of the coronavirus calamity, and failed to offer anything approaching an adequate remedy. [HuffPost]
NAVY AXES CAPTAIN AFTER FLAGGING CORONAVIRUS CASES The U.S. Navy relieved the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote a scathing letter that leaked to the public asking the Navy for stronger measures to control a coronavirus outbreak onboard the ship. The removal of Capt. Brett Crozier from the command of the 5,000-person vessel, which was first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who said the commander exercised poor judgment. [Reuters]
New England Patriots jet brings 1.2 million N95 masks from China.
FLORIDA EXEMPTS RELIGIOUS SERVICES FROM LOCKDOWN Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) undercut his own stay-at-home order by exempting religious services from that necessary step to slow the spread of the coronavirus. His order carved out a large exception for religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and other houses of worship. deeming them “essential”. [HuffPost]
This 1 September 2020 video from the USA is called Bernie Sanders Calls On Wisconsin To Delay Primary So People Don’t ‘Risk Their Lives’ Voting | MSNBC.
WHY IS WISCONSIN HOLDING AN ELECTION? Judge William Conley’s assessment was blunt. “The state of Wisconsin’s Legislature and governor are not willing to step up and say there’s a public health crisis and make it absolutely clear that we should not be allowing poll workers and voters to congregate on April 7,” the U.S. district judge for Wisconsin’s Western District said at the end of a four-hour hearing. Still, he said he was powerless to postpone the election, which is set to take place Tuesday. [HuffPost]
This 2 September 2020 video from the USA is called Wisconsin Is Doing WHAT During Coronavirus?
UN UNANIMOUS ON RESOLUTION FOR GLOBAL EFFORT AGAINST COVID-19 The U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution recognizing “the unprecedented effects” of the coronavirus pandemic and calling for “intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat” the COVID-19 disease. It was the first resolution adopted by the 193-member world body on the pandemic that is sweeping the world and reflects global concern at the fast-rising death toll and number of cases. [AP]
This 2 April 2020 video was made by a drone flying over the Netherlands. Empty streets, empty railway stations, no tourists at attractions, because of the coronavirus.
The world has passed several grim milestones overnight in the coronavirus pandemic. The total number of people infected worldwide has hit one million. More than 50,000 people have died, and in the United States, where COVID-19 seems to be spreading most rapidly, there were more than 25,000 new cases and the death toll passed 5,000: here.
European countries, including Spain and the UK, announced record-high daily coronavirus death tolls Thursday. With the 4,199 new deaths yesterday, 37,864 have already perished in Europe. There have been more than 521,000 cases of COVID-19 infections on the continent including 33,661 new cases. In Spain, 950 died—the third consecutive day of a record high: here.
For emergency action against the destruction of jobs! Full financial and social support for all working people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: here.
WILDCAT strikes by postal workers at three Scottish sorting offices over serious health and safety issues has forced Royal Mail to change its policy on delivering junk mail during the coronavirus crisis. Further walkouts are on the cards as issues surrounding protective equipment have not been resolved: here.
This photo shows striking postal workers, CWU members ‘safe distancing’ on the picket line at the Alloa Royal Mail sorting office, Scotland.
From the World Socialist Web Site, 3 April 2020:
This week, postal workers walked out of the Royal Mail delivery office in Alloa in Clackmannanshire, Scotland. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) members were protesting the lack of protective equipment and failure of Royal Mail to ensure safe social distancing of workers in the office. They were also protesting having to deliver unnecessary junk mail leaflets, increasing their risk and that of the public to coronavirus exposure. One striker talking to the Daily Record explained, “We work on top of each other in the sorting office and it hasn’t got any better since the outbreak. The managers don’t seem to be bothered by it and just want us to continue working as normal”.
Fifteen postal workers at the Lochgelly delivery office in Fife went on strike over the same issues.
French lorry drivers threaten walkout over coronavirus
From Monday, French lorry drivers may walk out because of fears around the coronavirus outbreak.
The CFDT, FO and CFTC union members are concerned over lack of facilities to eat and clean up, as many roadside service facilities have closed as a result of the infection. They are also worried about not having protective clothing when carrying out deliveries. To date, only a few drivers have refused to take out their lorries.
Health staff at Spanish coronavirus hospital speak out against lack of resources
Staff at a 6,000-bed capacity field hospital set up at the Ifema convention centre in Madrid to deal with coronavirus patients have spoken out over conditions at the site. They told El Pais newspaper there is inadequate protection equipment and patients are confined within less than two metres of each other.
A nurse explained, “The patients are overcrowded…there are barely two steps between beds…There are no stands to hold up drips, we are using broomsticks.”
The health and administrative staff at the field hospital have voluntarily offered to work there rather than their usual workplaces. However, many are now reconsidering their decision, alarmed at the terrible conditions.
A doctor said, “[The] first day was devastating… it is a sad site, a grey concrete hangar…We are all volunteers except for the internists who coordinate… we came to give our all.” A nurse added that “enthusiasm doesn’t protect you and willpower doesn’t cure.”
Portuguese medics coronavirus concerns
Portuguese doctors are concerned at the level of coronavirus infections among health staff. According to a theportugalnews website article of April 1, 853 Portuguese health professionals, including 209 doctors and 177 nurses, have contracted the disease. There are also concerns over the lack of PPE.
The National Federation of Doctors (FNAM) and the Independent Doctors Union (SIM) have requested an urgent meeting with the Health Minister to raise the medics’ concerns.
Italian supermarket workers stressed out over coronavirus
Supermarket workers in Italy are worried over conditions as they try to cope with the impact of coronavirus. The virus claimed the life of a 48-year old cashier at a supermarket in Brescia in northern Italy last month. A 33-year-old supermarket guard has also died.
Some supermarkets have now installed Plexiglass shields and dispensed disinfectant gel and gloves, but workers know more should be being done.
Reported in the AFP/The Local news website April 1 a Rome supermarket cashier explained, “We’re also stressed out, but we can see they’re [the customers] pretty stressed too… You start thinking Oh God I have just touched my face, you get kind of paranoid.”
The report noted staff numbers at some supermarkets had been cut by a third because of sickness.
Britain: VENTILATORS are to be rationed, using tactics employed on the battlefield, where army medics choose who to treat and who to leave to bleed out depending on patients’ survival odds, doctors warn. New guidance from the British Medical Association (BMA) which will mean doctors deciding who will live and who will die states: ‘Health professionals may be obliged to withdraw treatment from some patients to enable treatment of other patients with a higher survival probability’: here.
Julian Assange still held on remand as coronavirus spreads through UK prisons. By Thomas Scripps, 3 April 2020. The WikiLeaks founder, held in Belmarsh prison and facing extradition to the US for exposing war crimes, has a chronic lung condition and has had his health destroyed by a decade of mistreatment by the British state: here.
Polish government insists on holding presidential elections in May despite coronavirus lockdown. By Clara Weiss, 3 April 2020. In polls taken last week, 73 percent opposed holding the elections as planned.
Experts criticise Swedish government for failing to prevent COVID-19 spread. By Jordan Shilton, 3 April 2020. As the government refuses to issue shelter-at-home orders, medical personnel are asking how many lives it intends to sacrifice to keep up production and profits: here.