The coronavirus pandemic
By Emma Arceneaux, 24 December 2020
As the state death toll in Alabama surpasses 4,500, with ICU beds near capacity, Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) sent teachers a menacing memo threatening that they must be prepared to return to unsafe schools January 4.
By Robert Stevens, 24 December 2020
On Tuesday, 691 more people were announced dead from the virus. Yesterday this was topped with 744 deaths reported, the highest total since April 29.
By Katerina Selin, 24 December 2020
In the German capital, which is governed by the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party, care homes are turned into death traps for the elderly and staff.
By Gregor Link, 24 December 2020
Last week was by far the worst in the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, with officially 175,314 infections and over 4,300 deaths (against 3,050 the previous week). Across Europe, the death toll exceeded the catastrophic half-million mark on Tuesday.
By Ioan Petrescu, 24 December 2020
The World Socialist Web Site spoke with representatives of the rent strikes that began at the University of London and Goldsmiths University earlier this month.
No to forced work amid raging pandemic! All non-essential production must be shutdown with full compensation to workers!
By Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 24 December 2020
Factories, tea estates and government institutions are now dangerous hotbeds for COVID-19, a situation caused by the Rajapakse government’s defence of corporate profits.
By Roger Jordan, 24 December 2020
In hospitals in Canada’s six biggest provinces, there are, or will soon be, more COVID-19 patients needing intensive care than available ICU-beds.
By Mike Head, 24 December 2020
Limited safety restrictions have been relaxed in Sydney, despite warnings from infectious diseases experts.
By Alice Summers, 24 December 2020
Its letter to the Lancet defends a policy that led to around 50,000 COVID-19 deaths in the first five months of 2020 alone.
By Jacob Crosse, 24 December 2020
The bill includes generous tax breaks for the billionaire owners of NASCAR and international liquor distributors.
By Erik Schreiber, 23 December 2020
The closure of the Robbinsville, New Jersey facility will last for one week, but the company has not disclosed how many cases have been detected or whether the warehouse will be cleaned.
By Andrea Lobo, 23 December 2020
José Luis H., who worked in the plant’s car body area, was the last confirmed death, on December 19. The plant’s Human Resources manager, who had overseen the firing of workers for challenging the lack of protections against COVID-19, also died earlier this month.
By Benjamin Mateus, 23 December 2020
The new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the UK highlights the importance of bringing the pandemic under strict control.
By Will Morrow, 23 December 2020
No European government is proposing a serious policy to urgently address the growing death toll and advance a scientific response.
By Robert Stevens, 23 December 2020
As at every other stage in this pandemic, the Johnson government had ample time to take the necessary measures required to save lives and avoid a catastrophic situation. Yet they did nothing.
By Gabriel Lemos, 23 December 2020
Esquerda Diário has promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine after countless trials have failed to confirm its efficacy and as Bolsonaro uses it as a pretext to lift the few remaining lockdown measures in Brazil.
Dire warning from CDC on US life expectancy: “A drop of two to three years for 2020 isn’t out of the question”
By Kate Randall, 23 December 2020
The US has not seen a decline in life expectancy of this magnitude since 1943, when World War II pushed the metric down by 2.9 years. The year 2020 is on track to be the deadliest year in US history, with deaths topping three million for the first time.
By Sue Phillips, 23 December 2020
Teachers and support staff at Footscray High in Melbourne met in the final days of the school year to show their support for Jones.
Cook County public sector workers carry out one-day strike for hazard pay and safer working conditions
By Alexander Fangmann, 23 December 2020
One of the top demands is hazard pay for all essential frontline workers, as well as an additional $5 per hour for workers directly tasked with caring for COVID-19 patients or working in COVID-19 units.
By Alejandro López, 23 December 2020
While Podemos officials downplayed the dangers from COVID-19, the Spanish Ministry of Defence was buying up personal protective equipment in anticipation of a pandemic.
By Niles Niemuth, 23 December 2020
While the government spends money like water to prop up big business and the Federal Reserve funnels trillions into the stock market, nothing is being done to spare the working class.
For a general strike to halt nonessential production and alleviate strain on the health care system
By Evelyn Rios, 23 December 2020
With ICUs at zero percent and 100,000 additional hospitalizations expected in January, immediate action must be taken by the working class to save lives.
Countries impose UK travel restrictions as more infectious COVID-19 strain threatens to spread worldwide
By Chris Marsden, 22 December 2020
Even if the spread of the mutation is limited, it is already active on the continent and is only one of thousands of mutations worldwide—some of which have similar characteristics.
By Patrick Martin, 22 December 2020
The most important fact about the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill, which was moving through the US Congress Monday night, is that it is grossly inadequate to meet the vast social needs exposed by the pandemic.
By Brian Dixon, 22 December 2020
With health care systems being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases and intensive care units filled to capacity, hospitals are starting to ration care, withholding it from those deemed unlikely to survive the disease.
By Marianne Arens, 22 December 2020
Several hundred workers of the shipping giant Amazon have been infected in the last few days.
By Yasara Sooriyanayaka, 22 December 2020
A UNICEF report reveals that most Sri Lankan families do not have adequate incomes and confront many hardships in raising their children.
By Martin Scott, 22 December 2020
With tens of thousands of artists and technical crew out of work, little support is forthcoming from the federal government.
Australian COVID-19 outbreak spreads beyond Sydney, but governments reject calls for lockdowns and masks
By Mike Head, 22 December 2020
Already, the latest coronavirus “cluster” has escaped from Sydney’s northern beaches region across the city and interstate.
By Our reporters, 22 December 2020
“The pandemic has laid bare many things, including government claims that it has no money.”
By Jerry White, 22 December 2020
In line with President-elect Joe Biden’s stated aim to reopen America’s schools, Democratic mayors and governors are moving to resume in-person teaching even as infections, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 continue to reach new highs.
By Markus Salzmann, 22 December 2020
The death of Soydan A., a young teacher who taught at a community school in Berlin-Kreuzberg, is due to the reckless school opening policy amid a pandemic that has been spreading rapidly for months.
Sydney COVID-19 outbreak highlights global threat but Australian governments oppose effective safety restrictions
By Mike Head, 21 December 2020
Once again, the myth of Australia being an exception to the worldwide health emergency has been shattered.
By Jacob Crosse, 21 December 2020
The miserably inadequate social assistance is arousing popular anger. A jobless worker posted a message to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declaring: “$600 stimulus. Thanks for not delivering on what you’ve promised for 8 months. Don’t tell us you care, you don’t.”
By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 21 December 2020
An Economic and Social Science Institute (WSI) report by the trade union-sponsored Hans Böckler Foundation sheds light on the income losses workers have suffered in recent months.
By Tom Peters, 21 December 2020
Around 5,200 international students enrolled in New Zealand have been stuck offshore this year and many are facing significant financial hardship due to the country’s draconian border restrictions.
“It’s like the frontlines of a war!”
By Diana Green, 21 December 2020
Following decisions in New York City and Oregon, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee has updated the school reopening guidelines for Washington state to allow the return of at least some students in every district, regardless of the rate of infection and death.
By Carl Bronski, 21 December 2020
While the auto bosses and Unifor union have collaborated to conceal information about the outbreaks from autoworkers, workers began sharing information among themselves about the dangerous situation.
By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2020
With hospitals already overwhelmed throughout the world, scientists are sounding the alarm about a new, more transmissible variant of COVID-19 that has emerged in Britain and is leading to a major surge in infections.
By Nick Beams, 21 December 2020
The decision is another expression of how the financial system operates as an institutionalised mechanism for siphoning wealth to the upper strata in the midst of the worst economic recession in the past-war period.
By Kristina Betinis and Michael Walters, 21 December 2020
Amid record COVID-19 deaths, the Chicago Teachers Union is working with city leaders to begin bringing teachers back to school buildings January 4.
By Brian Green, 21 December 2020
A report by the Chicago Sun-Times showing 900 COVID-19 infections and eight deaths among Chicago Transit Authority employees since the start of the pandemic underscores the criminal role played by the unions in imposing unsafe conditions.
By Benjamin Mateus, 21 December 2020
Last week has seen the life-saving Pfizer vaccine rollout accompanied by a massive publicity campaign. However, immediately, issues on allotments and distribution have met with mass confusion.
By Benjamin Mateus, 19 December 2020
The present surge across the globe is a byproduct of lifting restrictions on commerce by every major nation whose economy faces stagnation. According to the World Bank, “the pandemic and global recession may cause over 1.4 percent of the world’s population to fall into extreme poverty.”
By Robert Stevens, 19 December 2020
No details were made public about the workers who died at the Tilmanstone plant.
By Daniel de Vries, 19 December 2020
The MTA postponed 9,000 layoffs and 50 percent service cuts, leaving New York’s transit system hanging by a thread.
After lawsuit revealed they took bets on spread of coronavirus in Iowa plant
By Cordell Gascoigne and Tom Hall, 19 December 2020
As the World Socialist Web Site predicted, the investigation by Holder, who made his bones as a Wall Street attorney before joining the Obama administration, is a complete whitewash, using the demented actions of the local plant supervisors to scapegoat them and shield Tyson’s top leadership from responsibility.
By David North, 19 December 2020
The Pandemic of 2020 has revealed before the entire world the irreconcilable economic, social and moral chasm that divides the capitalist drive for profit from the most essential needs of the overwhelming majority of mankind.
By Omar Ali and Roger Jordan, 19 December 2020
The companies cited in the media exposés are not the corner stores, restaurants and other small businesses touted by the government as the beneficiaries of the wage subsidy during its rollout, but large, well-known corporations with huge revenues.
By Jacob Crosse, 19 December 2020
The bipartisan bill being thrashed out in Congress lacks any significant aid to highly indebted state, local and tribal governments, setting the stage for mass layoffs of educators, transit workers, firefighters and other public service workers, as well as school closures and cuts in social programs.
By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2020
The emergence of the cluster follows a frenzied “reopening” campaign, aimed at maximising corporate profit-making, especially over the holiday season.
By Gregor Link, 19 December 2020
Conditions at German hospitals resemble those in a war. One doctor told the press that several times in the past few days “we had to decide who gets oxygen and who doesn’t.”
By Kevin Martinez, 19 December 2020
The needless suffering and death unfolding in the fifth largest economy in the world are the deliberate outcome of the ruling class’s policy of “herd immunity.”
As it keeps them in unsafe plants
By Kathleen Martin and Tom Hall, 19 December 2020
The UAW at FCA had the audacity to post advice for its members on coping with stress during the pandemic.
By Kate Randall, 19 December 2020
The staggering totals for infections and deaths show that the ruling elite’s policy of “herd immunity” is even more concentrated within prison walls, where prisoners are confined to close quarters and social distancing is nearly impossible.
Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 18 December 2020
We call on all Florida educators to come to the defense of Jones and the scientific principles for which she stands, and to build a statewide Florida Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee like ours in Texas.
By Clara Weiss, 18 December 2020
The Post piece prompted a big backlash on social media, and the paramedic’s remarkable rebuttal quickly went viral.
Socialist Equality Party (UK), 18 December 2020
It is the responsibility of the working class, organised on its own independent political programme, to put an end to the pandemic.
By Tom Hall, 18 December 2020
The pandemic is continuing its daily, life-threatening spread throughout the auto industry, generating growing outrage among workers and support for decisive measures to save lives.
“What they did to Jones—they’ll do to anyone who threatens their bottom line”
By Evan Blake, 18 December 2020
The WSWS is publishing statements of support for Jones, whose Florida home was raided last week in response to her efforts to expose the spread of the pandemic in Florida and in K-12 schools across the US.
By Pradeep Ramanayake, 18 December 2020
The dangerously low COVID-19 testing rate in factories monitored by the Board of Investment is threatening the lives of tens of thousands of workers and their families.
By Will Morrow, 18 December 2020
The day before Macron was tested, France officially ended the highly limited national lockdown that had been in place since the end of October.
By Tomas Castanheira, 18 December 2020
The two largest countries in Latin America are reporting an accelerated growth of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and are close to surpassing the peaks from earlier this year.
By Jacob Crosse, 18 December 2020
Combined state and federal new unemployment claims exceeded 1.3 million last week, the highest since September, even as Congress looked to pass another giveaway to the super-rich.
By Julia Callaghan, 18 December 2020
Several recent reports have exposed the shocking scale of poverty in the UK, as years of austerity and attacks on workers’ living standards are being compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.
By Nick Barrickman, 18 December 2020
The massive logistics hub began shipping doses of the vaccine throughout the United States on Monday, even as record numbers of its pilots contracted the deadly virus.
By Andre Damon, 18 December 2020
The massive spread of COVID-19 in the United States is the result of a deliberate policy of sacrificing lives to protect the profit interests of major corporations.
“I feel like I’m living through the apocalypse”
By Katy Kinner, 17 December 2020
The voices of nurses and other health care workers paint a vivid picture of the consequences of the bipartisan policy of “herd immunity” as they experience firsthand the breakdown of the health care system in the current surge.
By Dan Conway, 17 December 2020
The California Attorney General and former congressman has been selected to lead the federal department that will play an enormous role in the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Genevieve Leigh, 17 December 2020
The experience over the last four months in the schools, both K-12 and college campuses, has produced incontrovertible evidence that in-person learning leads to an increase in community spread of COVID-19.
By Warren Duzak, 17 December 2020
David Picklesimer, a 55-year-old high school teacher and coach, is one of hundreds of educators that have died of COVID-19.
By Patrick Martin, 17 December 2020
American workers have suffered the largest increase in poverty ever recorded as a result of the termination of supplementary federal unemployment benefits July 31.
Almost 1,000 daily COVID-19 deaths in Germany: The criminal outcome of keeping businesses and schools open
By Christoph Vandreier, 17 December 2020
Despite the horrific number of deaths, all parties in the German parliament continue to put profit before lives and health.
By Peter Ross, 17 December 2020
On Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that state officials had ordered thousands of additional body bags and 63 refrigerated trailers to store the dead, as coronavirus infections explode throughout the state.
By Robert Stevens, 17 December 2020
The “COVID-19 Marmot Review” substantiates a growing body of analysis that the disease impacts most severely on the working class.
By Steve James, 16 December 2020
The Scottish government and the Educational Institute for Scotland are working to ensure schools stay open as long as possible before the Christmas holiday to ensure maximum profits.
As pandemic rages
By Thomas Scripps, 16 December 2020
The dangers posed by keeping schools open worsen daily. London has been leading a renewed national surge of infections since the partial November national lockdown was ended.
Build independent rank-and-file safety committees!
By Kevin Martinez and Evelyn Rios, 16 December 2020
Citing short staffing levels and unsafe conditions, nurses with SEIU Local 121RN authorized a strike by 92 percent at three Southern California hospitals.
By Benjamin Mateus, 16 December 2020
Since early November, the pandemic has been surging again throughout the state, as cases began rising in a natural response to school openings that practically threw the door wide open for the virus.
By Penny Smith, 16 December 2020
Even as infections surge in schools throughout BC’s lower mainland, the province’s NDP government and its unions allies are determined to keep kids crammed into unsafe classrooms.
For emergency action to save lives! Close schools and shut down nonessential production! Full compensation for workers!
By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party, 16 December 2020
Every day that emergency action is not taken to stop the pandemic means thousands of more deaths.
By Gregor Link, 16 December 2020
Large factories can remain open without exception even if they produce nonessential goods; parents who do not get time off from work will still be able to send their children to school.
By Renae Cassimeda and Evan Blake, 16 December 2020
The central purpose of the letter is to congratulate Biden, endorse his plan to reopen schools amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic, and lobby for him to appoint a Secretary of Education committed to racialist policies.
“I’ve lost all faith that any kind of help is coming”
By Gabriel Black, 16 December 2020
Many small business owners are on the brink, laying off employees, taking on massive debts, with no hope for new aid from the government.
By Will Morrow, 16 December 2020
The government is ending the limited lockdowns announced in late October despite admitting that its own extremely high threshold of less than 5,000 daily cases is not close to being met.
By Benjamin Mateus, 15 December 2020
Even as the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States cases surges over 300,000, it is becoming clear that the actual toll of the pandemic is much greater than the official death count.
By Barış Demir, 15 December 2020
One of the world’s biggest cover-ups of the pandemic is taking place in Turkey as part of a global, criminal “herd immunity” policy in the interests of the ruling class.
By Jacob Crosse, 15 December 2020
The Democratic leadership previously endorsed the $908 billion framework released at the beginning of the month; the newest split package proposal leaves out stimulus checks and caps rental assistance, while refilling the Paycheck Protection Program
“United we stand, divided we fall.” Amazon worker speaks out on workplace conditions, calls for global struggle by the working class
By Shuvu Batta and Clare Hurley, 15 December 2020
The World Socialist Web Site International Amazon Workers Voice recently interviewed a warehouse worker in Connecticut who wanted to expose working conditions and organize within his facility.
By Shree Haran and Kapila Fernando, 15 December 2020
During his five-decade musical career, Balasubrahmanyam sought to unite musicians and artists across the Indian sub-continent.
By James Vega and Nancy Hanover, 15 December 2020
The girl had repeatedly requested to be excused from the test rather than take the chance of contracting the disease or potentially infecting her at-risk mother.
By Alexandra Greene, 15 December 2020
The threat the virus poses to residents of the sparsely populated territory, large portions of which lie within the Arctic Circle, is compounded by endemic social and health problems produced by decades of Canadian government neglect.
By James Brewer, 15 December 2020
The respite in the city’s cruel water cutoff policy is in no way a commitment by the city’s Democratic Party administration to anything of substance. The tiger has not changed its stripes.
By Mauricio Saavedra, 15 December 2020
The number of health professionals testing positive for COVID-19 has surpassed 37,500, and 72 workers have died due to the lack of resources and protective attire.
IG Metall responds to planned closure of Daimler plant in Berlin: “The main thing is that we’re sitting at the table”
By Peter Schwarz, 15 December 2020
Production came to a standstill last week when several hundred of the 2,500 employees protested against the threatened plant shutdown.
By Robert Stevens, 15 December 2020
Every one of London’s 32 boroughs is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases
“I stand with Ms. Jones, and I call on others to stand in solidarity with Ms. Jones.”
By Chase Lawrence, 15 December 2020
In response to this clear assault on democratic rights, there has been an outpouring of support by educators, scientists, and other workers in defense of Jones and the rights of whistleblowers.
By Marianne Arens, 14 December 2020
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported the second consecutive daily record of the pandemic on Friday, with almost 30,000 new infections registered in 24 hours and almost 600 COVID-19 patients dying again in one day.
US retail giants shut off pandemic hazard pay to workforce while funneling billions into share buybacks
By Ray Coleman, 14 December 2020
The Brookings Institution found that over a dozen of the US’s most profitable retailers could have quadrupled their hazard pay to workers and still made a handsome profit during the pandemic.
By Bryan Dyne, 14 December 2020
Sweden’s response to the pandemic, which involved allowing schools and businesses to stay open while most of the world enacted lockdowns, was hailed as a model by all sections of the US and European political establishment.