The coronavirus pandemic

American Federation of Teachers shuts down University of Michigan graduate student strike

By our reporters, 17 September 2020

The end of the strike occurred less than 24 hours after the American Federation of Teachers assumed control of negotiations and produced an agreement that was virtually identical to the one overwhelmingly rejected just a week ago.

Big Ten universities announce football will resume

By Andy Thompson, 17 September 2020

After an earlier decision to postpone the season, the Big Ten football conference has announced games will begin October 24.

“We’re going to keep fighting”

Opposition mounts as thousands of University of Illinois at Chicago nurses and workers continue strike

By Kylie Rose, 17 September 2020

The university administration and the Democratic Party are increasingly nervous over the support striking workers have elicited.

Students return to UK universities: Build campus safety committees!

By Danny Knightley, 17 September 2020

Campus safety committees must ensure safety procedures are put in place to protect the health of students and staff alike, and fight for increased testing on campuses.

Strikes mount as COVID-19 breaks out in hundreds of Spanish schools

By Alice Summers, 17 September 2020

Spanish unions have refused to call out education workers in a unified struggle against the reopening of schools, limiting action to sporadic, short-term protests.

Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee calls for plantwide shutdown to guarantee safety during pandemic

By Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 17 September 2020

The Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee has issued a statement calling for equal treatment to protect against COVID-19.

Surge in COVID-19 infections as in-person classes resume at many Illinois college campuses

By Fabian Salgado, 17 September 2020

Illinois State University is experiencing a horrifying explosion in the rate of COVID-19 infection as in person classes resume at many of the state’s campuses.

University of Wisconsin-Madison and La Crosse quarantine students after infections

By Brian Green, 17 September 2020

The affected students were given the choice of returning to their families or remaining on campus in the crowded and COVID-infested residence halls.

COVID-19 outbreaks force switch to online learning at New Jersey schools

By Erik Schreiber and Robert Milkowski, 17 September 2020

At least eight districts have switched their entire district or individual schools to fully remote instruction after confirmed infections.

As US death toll hits 200,000, Trump calls for herd immunity

By Andre Damon, 17 September 2020

“Herd immunity” has been the guiding principle of Trump’s response to the pandemic, underlying his efforts to downplay the virus, handicap testing and get workers back on the job as quickly as possible.

Australian ruling elite moves to junk coronavirus safety measures—the working class must intervene to answer the pandemic threat!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 17 September 2020

Sections of the ruling class have concluded that any further safety restrictions can no longer be tolerated, regardless of the danger to working class lives.

“I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp”

Nurse alleges forced sterilizations, medical malpractice at Georgia immigrant detention center

By Niles Niemuth, 16 September 2020

The chilling report provides further evidence of the sadistic abuse meted out by the Trump administration in its fascistic war on immigrants.

Schools at epicentre of UK’s coronavirus explosion

By Robert Stevens, 16 September 2020

The virus is resurgent in workplaces, schools, and communities, with the R (reproduction) value rising above 1 across the UK.

COVID-19 cases escalate with school re-openings: Build educators rank-and-file safety committees!

By Tom Pearce and Julie Hyland, 16 September 2020

With Labour Party support, the National Education Union is complicit in abandoning its 450,000 members and those they teach to the government’s policy of “herd immunity”.

France imposes return to school without protections against COVID-19

By Jacques Valentin, 16 September 2020

With over 1,200 schools and universities affected, France faces a resurgent pandemic provoked by the reopening drive by the highest state authorities.

“It’s immoral and irresponsible to bring students to campus and to conduct in-person classes”

NYU faculty and students denounce unsafe reopening of campus

By IYSSE at New York University, 16 September 2020

The reopening of NYU, the largest private university in the US, is utterly reckless and places the lives of students, workers and residents in the area in immense danger.

San Diego State University seeks to shift blame to students for coronavirus outbreaks following reopening

By Melody Isley and Norissa Santa Cruz, 16 September 2020

As the virus spreads on campus, students have watched in horror as peers are taken away to isolation dorms by staff dressed in hazmat gear.

“It is really up to the teachers to take their safety into their own hands.”

One-third of schools in Knox County, Tennessee have at least one positive COVID-19 case

By Isaac Finn, 16 September 2020

The growing spread of the deadly virus is the direct outcome of the “herd immunity” policies that have been pursued by every level of government in the US.

The precedents for disease eradication through international cooperation

Part two

By Frank Gaglioti, 16 September 2020

Vaccines have been successfully developed for both polio and the measles, but global elimination of the diseases lags.

New cases of COVID-19 reach a one-day high of nearly 308,000 worldwide

By Benjamin Mateus and Patrick Martin, 15 September 2020

The number of new cases of COVID-19 hit a new one-day high of nearly 308,000 worldwide, bringing the global total to almost 30 million cases and 930,000 deaths. The United States alone will reach 200,000 deaths by mid-week.

Israel becomes first country to impose second national COVID-19 lockdown

By Jean Shaoul, 15 September 2020

Israel now tops the world rankings in the number of new COVID-19 cases per capita.

University of Michigan president seeks court injunction to force graduate student instructors back to work

By Sam Wayne and Genevieve Leigh, 15 September 2020

The University of Michigan is responding with a new round of threats and intimidation to the overwhelming vote Sunday by graduate students to extend their strike.

Four thousand University of Illinois at Chicago staff join striking nurses

By Kristina Betinis and Marcus Day, 15 September 2020

The now nearly 5,000 university health and staff workers are locked in a battle against the Democratic state leadership and must expand their struggle for health and safety.

Attend SEP (Australia) online forum: The COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis of capitalism and the way forward for health workers

15 September 2020

The safety and well being of health workers must be taken out of the hands of governments and unions who have no interest in this task.

Indian workers speak out against Modi, trade unions on COVID-19 pandemic

By Sasi Kumar and V. Gnana, 15 September 2020

WSWS reporters interviewed workers in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu on the situation facing Indian workers during the pandemic.

US farmworkers labor under unsafe conditions as West Coast fires continue to rage

By Rafael Azul, 15 September 2020

Nearly 500,000 field workers have been severely affected by the ongoing wildfires as they continue to labor in California’s Central Valley and in the wine region, picking lettuce, strawberries, citrus, grapes, and other crops.

The University of Iowa and Iowa State University students and staff unite to oppose in-person learning

By Andy Thompson, 15 September 2020

The demands of those involved in the protest are to end all in-person classes and have all learning be done online until the pandemic is under control.

Mounting opposition to school reopenings as 55 New York City teachers test positive for COVID-19

By Alberto Escalera, 15 September 2020

Public school educators in New York City have conducted protests and written petitions in the last several days to oppose the reckless reopening of schools by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Dangers mount as Detroit implements a “hybrid” return to school

By the Detroit Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 15 September 2020

The re-opening of schools in Detroit is threatening the lives of teachers, support staff, children and parents.

Washington, DC mayor calls for reopening of public schools amid pandemic

By Nick Barrickman, 15 September 2020

The announcement comes despite a late-July decision banning in-person teaching throughout the fall.

Exposure of Trump’s lies on COVID-19 implicates Spain’s Podemos party

By Alejandro López, 15 September 2020

Though it had access to intelligence briefings on the deadly danger posed by the pandemic, Podemos adopted a criminally negligent policy.

Dramatic spike in Philippines’ coronavirus death toll

By Owen Howell, 15 September 2020

The official death toll reached 4,371 on Saturday, but the record of incorrect figures suggests that the real total could be much higher.

Working-class resistance mounts to back-to-work campaign

By Jerry White, 15 September 2020

On Monday, nearly 4,000 service workers at the University of Illinois walked out, joining strikes by 800 nurses at a UI hospital in Chicago and nearly 2,000 grad student instructors at the University of Michigan.

The precedents for disease eradication through international cooperation

Part one

By Frank Gaglioti, 15 September 2020

An examination of the historical record demonstrates that infectious diseases like COVID-19 can be eliminated.

University of Michigan graduate students vote to extend strike as opposition erupts at campuses throughout the US

By Genevieve Leigh, 14 September 2020

The reopening of campuses is driving an expansion of the coronavirus pandemic, with 19 of the 25 largest outbreaks in communities with colleges that have started in-person learning.

“In the end, it is all about profit"

University of Illinois Hospital nurses strike over staff shortages, unsafe conditions

By Benjamin Mateus and George Gallanis, 14 September 2020

UIH nurses in Chicago walked out Saturday to demand patient limits and safe work environments.

Wildcat strike over COVID-19 at Lear auto parts plant in Indiana

By Marcus Day, 14 September 2020

Lear workers refused to work for several hours Friday night after learning of potential COVID-19 cases in the facility, halting production also at the nearby Ford Chicago Assembly Plant.

Australia: Unions silent as dozens of New South Wales schools are affected by COVID-19

By Martin Scott, 14 September 2020

Even teachers over the age of 70, or with serious health conditions, have been forced back to front-line teaching since late May.

Australian government exploits family funeral to push for end to coronavirus border restrictions

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 September 2020

The government aims to shift public opinion against border restrictions, which corporate Australia now wants scrapped.

COVID-19 outbreak at Virginia migrant detention center caused by repression of anti-police brutality protesters

By Joe Williams, 14 September 2020

The outbreak at the Farmville detention center demonstrates the capitalist class’s disdain for democratic rights and the lives of the entire population.

Stop the dangerous “routine operation” of schools in Germany! Prepare a nationwide general strike!

Set up independent action committees for the safety of teachers, pupils and parents!

By the Action Committees for Safe Education, 14 September 2020

The completely unsafe routine operation of schools threatens the health and lives of millions of educators, parents, children, young people and their families.

University of Michigan grad students set to extend strike as opposition grows to the US back-to-school drive

By Genevieve Leigh, 12 September 2020

Nineteen of the 25 hottest outbreaks in the US are in communities with colleges that have reopened for in-person learning, sparking growing anger over the homicidal back-to-school campaign.

University of Michigan strikers speak out: “We need to resist going back to normal. Normal no longer exists”

By our reporters, 12 September 2020

The strike is quickly turning into a focal point of a much broader opposition to the reckless reopening of both K-12 schools and college campuses everywhere.

Revelation of US government conspiracy on COVID-19 exposes EU herd immunity policy

By Alex Lantier, 12 September 2020

Revelations that US officials conspired to lie to the public about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic also expose the politically criminal role of the EU.

Latin America, epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, on the brink of social explosion

By Tomas Castanheira, 12 September 2020

Latin America this week reached the grim milestones of 300,000 COVID-19 deaths and more than 8 million infections.

As Congress rejects renewal of unemployment benefits

US jobless claims top 884,000 for second week in a row

By Jacob Crosse, 12 September 2020

With no congressional relief in sight, millions of workers are seeing meager unemployment benefits expire while layoffs continue to mount.

“I don’t want to be a typhoid Mary!”

Jacksonville, Florida teacher speaks out against deadly school reopenings

By Nancy Hanover and Matthew MacEgan, 12 September 2020

A teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, reached out to the WSWS to speak about the spread of the coronavirus across the state just two weeks into the new school year.

Why did so many poor New Yorkers die of COVID-19?

By Josh Varlin, 12 September 2020

Inequality, including in-hospital care, determined whether thousands of people in New York City would die of COVID-19.

Mexico runs out of death certificates with 122,765 “excess deaths” reported during pandemic

By Norissa Santa Cruz and Carlos Reed, 12 September 2020

The Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has done nothing to prevent the virus from claiming the lives of tens of thousands, most of them poor workers.

Hundreds of new COVID-19 cases raise fears of uncontrolled outbreaks across the Pacific

By John Braddock, 12 September 2020

The surge in cases across the Pacific is causing a deepening health and social crisis, underscoring the global reach of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full classes, full buses—German schools are becoming a coronavirus trap

By Marianne Arens, 12 September 2020

With schools re-opening without social distancing and the wearing of masks, new infections are increasing. Throughout Germany, hundreds of facilities have been affected.

Infected students denounce administration guidelines, amidst rising COVID-19 cases at Southern California universities

By Melody Isley and Emiri Ochiai, 12 September 2020

Infected students report callous treatment from school administration, being thrown into isolation rooms without bed sheets, food or sanitizing equipment.

State University of New York scapegoats students for COVID outbreaks, prepares repressive measures

By Alex Findijs, 12 September 2020

Refusing to take any responsibility for this catastrophe, the SUNY system is punishing groups of students for gathering and laying the ground for further police repression on campuses.

UK government’s “Operation Moonshot”—a trojan horse for herd immunity policy

By Thomas Scripps, 12 September 2020

Under the cover of a non-existent mass testing programme, the government plans to encourage as much intermingling as possible.

Russia holds regional elections amidst growing political crisis

By Andrea Peters, 12 September 2020

Balloting in 83 regions ends Sunday, and Kremlin-backed candidates are facing challengers in a number of areas.

As pandemic death toll approaches 200,000, American oligarchs celebrate their wealth

By Niles Niemuth, 12 September 2020

According to Forbes’ list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, the super-rich now possess $3.2 trillion, enough to pay for an entire year of public education, health care, nutrition and disaster relief for millions of people.

University of Michigan graduate students take a stand for life against profit

By Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, 12 September 2020

Opposition to the resumption of classes at the University of Michigan is part of a broader struggle of workers against the homicidal policy of the ruling class related to the pandemic.

Smoking in the age of COVID: Some immunological considerations

By Henry Hakamaki, 12 September 2020

Smoking and e-cigarettes are directly associated with increased risk of infection by the novel coronavirus.

The human cost of school reopenings: Six teachers dead in the US in the past month

By Renae Cassimeda, 11 September 2020

All of these deaths were absolutely unnecessary and are the direct result of criminal policies carried out by Democratic and Republican politicians at every level in the interest of protecting the profits of the financial oligarchy.

Over 10,500 Florida children test positive for COVID-19 after schools reopen

By Matthew MacEgan, 11 September 2020

Cases of COVID-19 among school-aged children in Florida have increased by 34 percent since schools started to reopen on August 10.

“Practically all children, one way or another, will be infected”

Spanish government demands schools reopen as COVID-19 deaths surge

By Alice Summers, 11 September 2020

The PSOE-Podemos government is deliberately implementing a reckless and criminal policy that will lead to an explosion of cases and many unnecessary deaths.

State University of New York scapegoats students for COVID outbreaks, prepares repressive measures

By Alex Findijs, 11 September 2020

Refusing to take any responsibility for this catastrophe, the SUNY system is on a crusade to punish groups of students for gathering and lay the ground for further police repression on campuses.

University of Michigan graduate students take a stand for life against profit

By Joseph Kishore - Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, 11 September 2020

Opposition to the resumption of classes at the University of Michigan is part of a broader struggle of workers against the homicidal policy of the ruling class related to the pandemic.

US universities emerge as battlegrounds as students and faculty fight back against reckless reopening plans

By Genevieve Leigh, 11 September 2020

Students and university workers are being thrust into a fight as outbreaks of COVID-19 spread across US campuses.

University of Michigan graduate student strike wins wide support

By Sheila Brehm, 11 September 2020

On Wednesday, graduate students rejected an offer from the university that met none of their demands and voted to continue their strike in the face of threats of retaliation.

University of Iowa students and staff respond to one-day sickout

By Brian Brown and Andy Thompson, 11 September 2020

University of Iowa faculty and students continue to protest against the administration’s reluctance to transition to 100 percent online learning, despite an additional 220 students who tested positive for COVID-19 in one day.

University of California, San Diego students, staff and faculty issue open letter opposing reckless reopening plan

By Peter Ross, 11 September 2020

The appeal calls on the university to cancel in-person classes, limit campus housing to those with no other viable options and cancel layoffs and furloughs.

Turkish government prepares to reopen schools as pandemic escalates

By Barış Demir, 11 September 2020

Under deadly conditions, the government plans to reopen schools across Turkey on September 21, backed by official opposition parties and allied trade unions.

Iraqi health care workers threaten nationwide strike to demand resources to fight pandemic

By Jean Shaoul, 11 September 2020

Iraq had initially contained the pandemic with lockdown measures, but cases and deaths have more than doubled since early July, when the government began the gradual lifting of restrictions.

The coronavirus conspiracy: What did they know, and when did they know it?

By Andre Damon, 11 September 2020

While Trump is the first US official to admit to having deliberately lied to the American population about the dangers posed by the pandemic, he did not act alone.

“We have lit a match that could unite a global wave”

University of Michigan grad students reject administration offer, continue strike against unsafe conditions

By Jerry White, 10 September 2020

Striking graduate student instructors voted by more than 700 to 400 to reject the blackmail proposal from the administration and continue their strike to demand the shutdown of in-person learning amidst the pandemic.

New York City educators launch safety committee to halt the reopening of schools

By the New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 10 September 2020

In launching this committee, we stand wholly independent of both the Democrats and Republicans, as well as the United Federation of Teachers and its backers, all of whom have conspired to enforce the reopening of schools.

Austria: No protection for population despite rising coronavirus infections

By Markus Salzmann, 10 September 2020

Austria has played a leading role in Europe’s lifting of protective measures against the coronavirus, with infections rising sharply as a result.

UK government blames young people as COVID-19 surges

By Thomas Scripps, 10 September 2020

The government’s new and tokenistic six-person rule does not apply to workplaces or schools, and groups of six can continue to visit pubs, bars, and restaurants.

Australian study reveals rise in mental health problems during COVID-19 pandemic

By John Mackay, 10 September 2020

The data shows that services remain woefully inadequate to deal with the impact of the pandemic and its aftermath.

The plot against America and the world: How the US government and the media suppressed the truth about the COVID-19 pandemic

By Bryan Dyne and Andre Damon, 10 September 2020

Newly released recorded conversations between Donald Trump and reporter Bob Woodward make clear that the White House, abetted by the media, made a calculated decision to suppress information about the pandemic that has cost nearly 200,000 lives.

Human disturbances of wild areas increase the likelihood of future pandemics

By Philip Guelpa, 10 September 2020

Deforestation and other human incursions into wild areas decrease biodiversity and promote the growth of species that are reservoirs of potential zoonotic diseases.

The University of Michigan graduate student strike: A significant step forward for workers and students

By Matthew Brennan and Luke Galvin, 9 September 2020

On Tuesday morning, approximately 1,000 graduate student workers went on strike in opposition to the dangerous health and working conditions they face in the pandemic.

India now second only to US in number of COVID-19 cases, yet continues to expand “reopening”

By Deepal Jayasekera, 9 September 2020

With 90,802 new infections on Monday, India registered more COVID-19 cases just on one day than China has recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.

As US Senate returns from summer recess

Republicans, Democrats block restoration of jobless aid

By Barry Grey, 9 September 2020

Both parties have a common interest in using the threat of destitution and homelessness to pressure workers into returning to COVID-19-infected factories and unsafe schools.

COVID-19 outbreaks spread within a week of England and Wales schools reopening

By Tony Robson, 9 September 2020

Virtually no part of the UK has been left unscathed, with teachers and pupils testing positive in both primary and secondary schools.

University of Illinois Hospital nurses poised to strike over unsafe staffing conditions

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 September 2020

UIH nurses in Chicago are set to begin a week-long strike over unsafe staffing ratios, which have provoked several stoppages by nurses across the country during the pandemic.

Wealth of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos surpasses $200 billion

By Tom Carter, 9 September 2020

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the world’s 500 richest people have accumulated an additional $809 billion so far this year, increasing their total wealth by around 14 percent.

“It’s not safe for my kids but they are forcing me to send them to school”

UK Educators Rank-and-File Committee holds initial meeting

By our reporter, 9 September 2020

Teachers and parents from Britain and internationally attended the initial meeting of the Educators Rank-and-File Committee.

Health disaster and class conflict on horizon as millions of students return to US schools

By Evan Blake, 8 September 2020

Following the Labor Day holiday, the vast majority of schools have now reopened in the US, sending millions of students and educators back into schools and threatening a massive spread of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the country.

Global coronavirus death projections point to policy of herd immunity being pursued with impunity

By Benjamin Mateus, 8 September 2020

The IHME has provided startling and horrific coronavirus death projections around the globe for the next three to four months.

Texas educators launch safety committee to save lives

By the Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 8 September 2020

The following is a statement from the Texas Educators Rank-and-file Safety Committee, which has been established to mobilize opposition to the increasingly unsafe conditions in Texas schools and the draconian demands placed on educators and other school workers.

West Virginia schools return to in-person instruction

By Naomi Spencer, 8 September 2020

As West Virginia public schools reopen, all but nine of the state’s 55 counties are beginning in person.

Anger erupting as union paves way to open New York City schools

By Alberto Escalera and Sandy English, 8 September 2020

Teachers are returning to work today to prepare for the full reopening of the schools on September 21 brokered by the United Federation of Teachers and the Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Mexican medical workers, facing highest death toll in the world, protest layoffs and lack of protective gear

By Andrea Lobo, 8 September 2020

The most damning indictment of the the López Obrador government’s response to the pandemic, are the deaths of 1,410 health care workers, the highest number in the world.

Oppose the unsafe reopening of New York University!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at NYU, 8 September 2020

Over 10,000 students, faculty and staff have been tested for COVID-19 and are now returning to the buildings and classrooms in the city this week.

Open letter in Le Soir: Belgian ruling class calls to spread COVID-19

By Jacques Valentin, 8 September 2020

Calls for a policy of “herd immunity” underline the indifference of the ruling class to the number of deaths caused by its health policy.

Ontario teachers union leader emphatically opposes job action to stop reckless school reopening

By Matthew Richter, 8 September 2020

The federal Liberal and provincial governments are determined to reopen the schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic so that parents can be forced back on the job to produce profits for big business.

San Diego, California school districts plan reopenings based on dangerous new state guidelines

By Renae Cassimeda and Jake Dean, 7 September 2020

The move to reopen schools will place thousands of students, educators and their families at risk of infection, and exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the region.

“Schools should not be opened if it puts people at risk”

Australian teachers back US educators’ fight for independent rank and file safety committees

By our correspondents, 7 September 2020

Australian school teachers denounce re-opening of American schools and support the formation of rank-and-file safety committees.

In Europe, COVID-19 cases surge and deaths mount following end of lockdowns

By Robert Stevens, 7 September 2020

Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, warned that the virus was starting to infect as many people as in March.

Alarm bells as London bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

By Laura Tiernan, 7 September 2020

Neither Metroline nor Unite has issued any statement to alert more than 500 drivers at Cricklewood about the reappearance of COVID-19.

Teen in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania linked to 40 new COVID-19 cases

By Isaac Finn, 7 September 2020

The rapid spread of the virus in this case points to the danger of school reopenings for teachers, students and communities throughout the US.

Virginia’s Democratic governor calls for drastic budget cuts amid growing social crisis caused by COVID-19

By Dominic Gustavo and Nick Barrickman, 7 September 2020

The cuts would effectively gut the few gains that were given to workers in the previously planned budget.

Australian governments demand full economic “reopening” by December

By Mike Head, 7 September 2020

This reckless agenda is driven solely by the rapacious demands of big business for the lifting of all restrictions on profit-making.