Healthcare

Australian paramedics under mounting pressure

By Margaret Rees, 28 November 2020

Even before they were placed on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, paramedics reported the highest rates of workplace injury of any occupation.

UK government pandemic policies lead to several suicides among students

By Danny Knightley, 28 November 2020

As if the stress and fear of living away from family and support networks, many for the first time in their lives, in the middle of a deadly pandemic was not bad enough, students and young people have been targeted by the right-wing media and government as being one of the primary reasons for the spread of COVID-19.

Michigan COVID-19 hospitalizations pushing medical facilities to occupancy limits

By Kevin Reed, 28 November 2020

The exponential surge in coronavirus cases in Michigan during the months of October and November has resulted in an alarming increase in the number of patients entering hospitals across the state with 53 facilities at 75 percent or higher bed occupancy.

Layoffs leave New York City-area nursing homes unprepared as the pandemic intensifies

By Erik Schreiber, 27 November 2020

Faced with increased costs, care facilities are cutting staff, jeopardizing the lives of elderly residents.

US CDC plans to reduce quarantine time after potential COVID-19 exposure

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 November 2020

The purpose of reducing the isolation period to as little as seven days is to ensure workers will be back on the job faster, even though the CDC admits this will increase the transmission of the virus.

Greece’s hospitals face collapse in the second coronavirus wave

By Katerina Selin, 26 November 2020

With death and infection figures skyrocketing, doctors and nurses are sounding the alarm over the crisis in Greece’s health care system.

What the rich are thankful for

By Andre Damon, 26 November 2020

Amid mass unemployment, hunger and death, America’s financial oligarchy is celebrating a bumper year.

“I think school should be closed until the virus is brought under control”

UK student nurse and her daughter speak out on impact of pandemic

By our reporter, 26 November 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with Elizabeth, a student nurse in her final year in Manchester, and her daughter Claire, aged 15, about their experiences during the pandemic.

UK mother whose children all contracted COVID-19 speaks out to demand school closures: “I agree you must close schools and universities to save lives”

By our reporters, 25 November 2020

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to Linda, a parent of three school children, who all tested positive for coronavirus at the end of October.

Amazon announces the opening of its online pharmacy

By Patrick Smith, 25 November 2020

Amazon’s entry into the pharmaceutical industry underscores the conglomerate’s accelerating domination over sector after sector of the US and global economy.

Chicago nursing home workers launch strike against poverty wages, lack of protection from COVID-19

By Alexander Fangmann, 24 November 2020

Nearly 700 certified nursing assistants and other workers walked out Monday morning for higher pay, more staffing and protections against COVID-19.

Boris Johnson announces end of national lockdown, prepares surge of COVID-19

By Thomas Scripps, 24 November 2020

From Wednesday next week, all non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers and other personal care businesses in England will be allowed to reopen, along with places of worship.

Why are millions of Americans traveling for Thanksgiving as the pandemic rages?

By Niles Niemuth, 24 November 2020

Even as travel this week is expected to decline from last year, with many citing concerns over COVID-19 as a reason to stay home, the movement of tens of millions across the country threatens to massively accelerate the spread of COVID-19.

650 bodies stored in freezer trucks for months in New York City disaster morgue

By Josh Varlin, 24 November 2020

Hundreds of people, mostly victims of the pandemic, have been stored in freezer trucks in Brooklyn for months as city authorities struggle to identify their next of kin and make funeral arrangements.

Mass opposition among healthcare workers as estimated deaths exceed 20,000

By Katy Kinner, 23 November 2020

Over 800 St. Mary’s nurses in Pennsylvania returned to work on Sunday with no evidence of a contract deal, just one example of various unions strangling strikes as health care workers face death on a massive scale.

All intensive care beds occupied in Switzerland after COVID-19 infections explode

By Marianne Arens, 23 November 2020

Triage—treating some but not others—is now a major topic of discussion in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are being called on to make a living will and forgo treatment.

Iowa hospitals overwhelmed, Wisconsin health care system on brink of collapse amid exponential rise in COVID-19 cases

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 November 2020

Nearly every intensive care unit bed and every medical-surgical bed is full in the majority of hospitals throughout the state, and over a third of all hospitals in Wisconsin are operating at peak capacity and are unable to admit new patients.

Australia: Union shuts down nurses’ strike at Sydney’s Blacktown Hospital

By Clare Bruderlin, 23 November 2020

Nurses and midwives walked out because of the deaths of five babies at the hospital in under two years, ongoing staffing shortages and concerns about patient safety.

US hits record 200,000 new daily COVID-19 cases as hospitals fill to capacity

By Benjamin Mateus, 21 November 2020

To date, there have been 12.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and more than 260,000 deaths.

Frontline nurse at UK’s Royal Bournemouth Hospital speaks out as COVID-19 cases surge

21 November 2020

The following letter was sent to the WSWS from a frontline nurse at the UK’s Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

As Canada’s ruling class lets pandemic run rampant, workers must fight to shut down nonessential production and schools

By Laurent Lafrance and Roger Jordan, 21 November 2020

Canada’s Public Health Agency warns that new COVID-19 infections will rise to 20,000 per day by the end of December—the equivalent of 200,000 per day in the United States—if social contacts remain at current levels.

As winter sets in Portland’s homeless face exposure to the cold, lack of beds and COVID-19

By David Fitzgerald, 21 November 2020

The city has resorted to urgently asking the general public for help in locating structures that can shelter the homeless from the cold while protecting them from COVID-19.

Pandemic-related surge of mental health issues continues in Australia

By John Mackay, 21 November 2020

A recent report found that the mental health of three out of four people has been negatively affected by COVID-19, while calls to crisis and suicide lines have soared.

As Europe’s governments preside over mass death, workers must fight for the shutdown of nonessential production and schools

By Jordan Shilton, 20 November 2020

Growing numbers of workers and young people support the demand for the shutdown of nonessential production and ending of in-person teaching in schools to contain the pandemic.

Youth suicides and mental health disorders on the rise amid pandemic depression

By Genevieve Leigh, 20 November 2020

One of the impacts of the pandemic is a rising mental health crisis, particularly among youth, for which no faction of the ruling class proposes any solution.

UK city of Hull becomes new COVID-19 epicentre fuelled by unsafe schools

By Harvey Thompson, 20 November 2020

In Hull, 57 of the city’s 97 schools have been affected, while in the wider East Riding area, cases have been reported in 103 of 150 schools.

“The wolf is at the door”: Missouri hospital heads plead for state action to stem the pandemic

By Cole Michaels and Kristina Betinis, 19 November 2020

As the St. Louis area sees record hospitalizations, local mitigation measures have been partial and limited, and Republican leaders are scheming to prevent workers from suing their employers for COVID-19 exposure.

Whitmer keeps Michigan K-8 schools and factories open despite record COVID-19 surge

By Zac Corrigan, 19 November 2020

New restrictions on public gatherings exclude K-8 in-person education as well as all factories and workplaces, all major vectors for the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

Germany’s schools remain open despite a massive second wave of COVID-19

By Marianne Arens, 19 November 2020

Governments at the national and state levels are keeping schools and day care centres open, ensuring that the pandemic will continue to explode, pushing up death rates.

New York City educators and parents must take control over online learning! Schools must stay closed until the pandemic is contained!

By New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 19 November 2020

Our committee warns that the closure of schools is a temporary maneuver and we call on educators, parents and students to demand no resumption of in-person learning until a proven vaccine has been verified and distributed free of charge.

Over 800 nurses strike Philadelphia area hospital for improved staffing

By Samuel Davidson, 19 November 2020

The strike by nurses at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania is the latest to demand safe staffing levels during the pandemic.

Turkey adopts inadequate restriction policies as COVID-19 surges

By Ulaş Ateşçi, 19 November 2020

The Turkish government is committing to a “herd immunity” policy in the interests of the ruling class, regardless of how many lives are lost.

Growing support among workers for shutdown of nonessential production as US death toll tops 250,000

By Jerry White, 19 November 2020

Anger among workers is boiling over as corporations keep operating even though COVID-19 infections are spreading uncontrollably throughout factories and other workplaces.

Number of children diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US surpasses one million

By Alex Findijs, 19 November 2020

Most of the infections have come after the reopening of schools, highlighting the dangers of in-person instruction during the pandemic.

South Australian COVID-19 outbreak highlights dangers of “reopening” campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 November 2020

The infections in Adelaide underscore the risk of a rapid spread of the virus as governments seek to lift all remaining safety restrictions.

Second wave of coronavirus pandemic hits New York and New Jersey

By Josh Varlin, 18 November 2020

Amid the worst-hit regions in the world during the spring, COVID-19 is resurging in New York and New Jersey.

As Mexico records 1 million coronavirus cases, 53 percent of tests are coming out positive

By Andrea Lobo, 18 November 2020

Mexico has reached 1 million cases and is expected to reach 100,000 deaths this week, while the country reports the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in the world.

New York Governor Cuomo keeps schools open despite rising COVID-19 positivity rate

By Alberto Escalera, 18 November 2020

Schools will remain open in New York City Wednesday despite the positivity rate reaching 3.2 percent Tuesday, with the latest data showing a 2.74 percent seven-day rolling average infection rate in the city.

Austria to tighten lockdown, but factories remain open

By Markus Salzmann, 18 November 2020

Only when the infection figures reached five times the peak of the spring — as more and more experts sounded the alarm and outrage in the population became unmistakable—has the government enacted some disjointed and half-hearted measures.

As COVID-19 spreads in workplaces, US autoworkers call for emergency action to save lives

By Shannon Jones, 17 November 2020

US auto plants have become major vectors for the spread of COVID-19, yet auto executives, the UAW union and government officials at every level are determined to continue full production no matter what the cost to life.

Macron government opposes full lock-down as coronavirus deaths climb

By Will Morrow, 17 November 2020

Hundreds of people are continuing to die every day in France as tens of thousands of new coronavirus infections are being reported.

Utah teachers stage wildcat sickout to demand COVID-19 testing, online instruction as cases soar

By Kayla Costa and David Fitzgerald, 17 November 2020

Teachers in Utah conducted a sickout strike opposed by the union to demand an end to in-person instruction as the pandemic spreads uncontrolled.

As US COVID-19 cases top 11 million, Biden aides reject new lockdown to save lives

By Patrick Martin, 16 November 2020

The United States is entering the winter season with coronavirus numbers hitting records in 45 states.

Toledo Coca-Cola workers continue strike over unsafe conditions and rising health care costs

By Katy Kinner, 16 November 2020

While the union wants to limit the strike to a set of minimal and vague demands, anger is growing among workers over low wages, unsafe conditions amidst the pandemic and rising health care costs.

Australia: Obstetricians at Sydney’s Blacktown Hospital threaten to resign amid the deaths of four babies in 18 months

By Clare Bruderlin, 16 November 2020

Doctors take a stand as understaffing crisis highlights the fragility of the public health system even without a COVID-19 resurgence.

Prisoners load bodies into mobile morgues in El Paso, Texas as COVID-19 infections skyrocket

By Benjamin Mateus, 16 November 2020

The winter surge in the US is well underway, with fatalities climbing as hospital systems from one region to the next reach capacity.

Coronavirus spreads throughout Germany’s schools and businesses

By Gregor Link, 16 November 2020

The federal and state governments are responsible for a situation in which the virus is running out of control nationwide.

US health care workers demand strike action to address understaffing, low pay as pandemic crisis deepens

By Alex Johnson, 14 November 2020

Mass resistance among nurses and other health care workers against the criminal policies of hospital conglomerates and governments is erupting across the United States.

Record breaking surge of the pandemic pushing US health care workers to the edge

By Benjamin Mateus, 14 November 2020

The mounting surge in new infections is placing immense strain on health care workers and the health systems as they scramble to manage a rapidly growing number of new admissions to hospitals across the nation.

Close all nonessential workplaces! Full compensation for workers and small businesses!

By Andre Damon, 14 November 2020

All sections of the ruling class are opposed to taking measures necessary to contain the pandemic. That is why workers must take emergency action.

The mental health of young adults is being ravaged by the pandemic—the suffering needs to stop

By Kate Randall, 13 November 2020

Many months into the pandemic, with a surge in COVID-19 cases affecting virtually every US state, a new study shows that there is a veritable tsunami of depression flooding over the nation’s young adult population.

“Why do I, an EMT, have to sob, plead with you to take a patient?!”

Overstretched Russian hospitals turn away COVID cases

By Andrea Peters, 13 November 2020

Desperate health care workers and family members of those infected with the coronavirus are finding that there are no more beds in the country’s medical facilities, even as the government insists that the situation is “under control.”

As San Diego County coronavirus cases surge, schools and non-essential businesses remain open

By Melody Isley, 13 November 2020

While San Diego has entered into California’s supposedly more restrictive ‘purple tier,’ officials are appealing the designation, business owners are pledging to defy orders and schools remain open.

Nurses in North Dakota pressured to work despite being infected with COVID-19

By Benjamin Mateus, 13 November 2020

Nurses in North Dakota infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic will be “allowed” to continue working rather than quarantine, regardless of the hazards posed for both patients and nurses.

Switzerland in the coronavirus pandemic: “We are on the verge of a medical catastrophe”

By Marianne Arens, 13 November 2020

Particularly in southern and western Switzerland, infections have skyrocketed over recent days. Intensive care units in the hospitals are full, and doctors and nurses on the verge of collapse.

Worker at Canadian senior care home describes COVID-19’s horrific impact in a system where “the profit motive is paramount”

By Louis Girard, 13 November 2020

The first wave of the pandemic last spring saw a catastrophic loss of life in Canada’s long-term care facilities. The second wave now underway threatens to exact a similar horrific toll, because Canada’s governments have done next to nothing to improve the situation.

Over 300,000 coronavirus deaths in Europe: Capitalism’s crime against humanity

By Will Morrow, 13 November 2020

The thousands of deaths now occurring every day were not inevitable; they are the product of a deliberate policy by the European ruling class.

Sri Lankan government lifts limited lockdown despite rising infections

By W.A. Sunil, 12 November 2020

From the beginning of October, the grossly understated official number of cases has increased dramatically by more than 10,000, while the death toll has risen by 33, or more than tripled.

Maryland governor re-imposes restrictions as COVID-19 cases reach record levels in the Washington, DC region

By Nick Barrickman, 12 November 2020

Daily COVID-19 cases have more than doubled in the past month throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan region.

Flint, Michigan nurse dies from COVID-19

By Sheila Brehm, 12 November 2020

Santa Staples, an operating room nurse at McLaren Hospital who died Saturday, was much loved and respected by co-workers.

North Dakota reaches 100 percent hospital capacity, tells health care workers to continue working if infected with COVID-19

By Alex Findijs, 12 November 2020

North Dakota is facing a critical health emergency, with hospitals at full capacity. The state’s herd immunity policy has resulted in a crisis so dire that infected health care workers are being told to continue working to avoid staff shortages

Metro Detroit hospitalizations rise sharply as second wave of COVID-19 cases surges across Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 12 November 2020

An alarming surge in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is underway in metropolitan Detroit and throughout the state of Michigan, threatening to overrun the capacity of the health care system.

As COVID-19 cases surge across Canada, governments press forward with “reopening” of the economy

By Roger Jordan, 12 November 2020

That Canada’s governments are pursuing a “herd immunity” policy that will result in mass death is increasingly being admitted even within the corporate media.

German schools become coronavirus hotspots: 300,000 students in quarantine

By Gregor Link and Markus Salzmann, 12 November 2020

Although studies show that the closure of schools, day-care centres and non-essential businesses effectively slow down the increase of infections, governments in Germany and Europe generally reject such closures.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, named to the Biden coronavirus taskforce, calls for a national lockdown

By Benjamin Mateus, 12 November 2020

President-elect Joe Biden has refused to call for a national lockdown despite Dr. Osterholm’s declaration that this is the only way to bring the pandemic under control.

US coronavirus hospitalizations hit new peak

By Bryan Dyne, 11 November 2020

The seven-day average of daily deaths in the United States surpassed 1,000 on Monday for the first time since August 22.

COVID-19 cuts through Missouri and Kansas uncontrolled

By Cole Michaels and Kristina Betinis, 11 November 2020

Hospitalizations again hit another high Tuesday at 2,055 across Missouri, and some St. Louis-area hospitals are postponing elective procedures to free up capacity.

US Supreme Court justices signal support for upholding Affordable Care Act

By Kate Randall, 11 November 2020

Most of the justices gave a skeptical hearing to arguments that Obamacare should be struck down in its entirety because Congress eliminated the tax penalty for those who did not purchase insurance.

UK National Health Service on the precipice due to COVID-19 surge

By Ben Trent and Rory Woods, 10 November 2020

The burnout of staff, backlog of non-COVID patients and the surge of the pandemic are the responsibility of the deliberate and criminal policies of the Tory government, carried out with the tacit support of Labour Party and the trade unions.

Coronavirus pandemic spreads in France despite partial lockdown policies

By Jacques Valentin, 10 November 2020

In a press conference Monday, health director Jérôme Salomon warned that the “peak” remained “ahead of us,” and “the second wave is continuing.”

Coronavirus infections in Germany hit a new record

By Markus Salzmann, 10 November 2020

The situation is particularly tense in the capital. For the first time, Berlin is registering more than 15,000 active coronavirus cases.

COVID-19 pandemic creating a social disaster in India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 10 November 2020

Contrary to Modi’s lies, a humanitarian crisis is being generated in the world’s second most populous country.

Long-COVID post-viral syndrome: Lessons from the Russian Flu of 1889 for the COVID pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 November 2020

The post-viral syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection has been recognized in the SARS and MERS pandemic. The scope of this disease will have lasting impact on health care systems.

Hospitalization crisis across the US as coronavirus infections surge

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 November 2020

The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 is rising dramatically across the nation, with 43 states seeing a rise in cases.

Alberta’s Conservative government slashes health care amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Riksen Stewart, 6 November 2020

Even as Alberta is experiencing a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections, the UCP provincial government is moving to eliminate 11,000 public health care jobs.

Hospital fire in Brazil exposes criminal neglect of workers’ lives

By Brunna Machado, 5 November 2020

A fire at a hospital in the state of Rio de Janeiro resulted in the deaths of eight people, at least three of them COVID-19 patients.

Over 850 dead in 24 hours

After delayed and inadequate lockdown measures, COVID-19 second wave overwhelms France

By Jacques Valentin, 5 November 2020

The government’s policies are dictated by its willingness to tolerate catastrophic levels of death.

Surge in coronavirus pandemic produces deadly situation in hospitals throughout Europe

By Markus Salzmann, 5 November 2020

Experts are warning of the consequences of a shortage of staff and intensive care beds as a massive increase in COVID-19 infections pushes hospitals throughout Europe to their limits.

Cases in El Paso, Texas spike as coronavirus hospitalizations surge nationwide

By Bryan Dyne and Marty Robbins, 5 November 2020

There are currently a record 3.2 million active coronavirus cases in the United States, a number that has been steadily growing over the past two-and-a-half weeks.

Sri Lankan government rejects total lockdown amid surging COVID-19 infections

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 5 November 2020

The Rajapakse regime’s decisions are aimed at continuing corporate operations, particularly factory production for exports, forcing workers to stay on the job.

As Boris Johnson’s partial lockdown begins: The working class must intervene to prevent COVID-19 catastrophe

By Thomas Scripps, 5 November 2020

The Labour Party and the trade unions stand exposed by this crisis as accomplices of the Johnson government. Opposition to the government is growing, but it can only go forward by developing a new political programme and leadership.

COVID-19 cases spike across US as health care workers struggle with understaffing in hospitals

By Alex Johnson, 5 November 2020

Nurses in California and Connecticut have held protests and strike votes to fight unsafe staffing levels as infections and hospitalizations rise across the US.

Highest one-week increase in US child cases since onset of COVID-19 pandemic

By Genevieve Leigh, 4 November 2020

More than 61,000 children in the US were diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, more than in any other week during the pandemic.

New Zealand to legalise euthanasia following referendum

By John Braddock, 4 November 2020

The move to legalise euthanasia was championed by the far-right ACT Party amid growing demands among ruling elites for the elderly to be sacrificed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Turkish government rejects lockdown as pandemic spirals out of control

By Barış Demir, 4 November 2020

President Erdoğan’s government insists on continuing its back-to-work, back-to-school policy as thousands fall ill and deaths mount.

Thirteen-year-old eighth grader in Missouri dies of COVID-19

By Genevieve Leigh, 3 November 2020

The sudden and tragic death of such a young child has sent shockwaves through the community and across the US.

Who bears responsibility for the Canadian ruling elite’s catastrophic handling of the COVID-19 pandemic?

By Roger Jordan, 2 November 2020

By systematically prioritizing corporate profit and investor wealth over human lives, Canada’s governments have created conditions for a second wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths even bigger than the first.

“The WSWS has not only commented on the struggles of the working class it has been an active participant in them”

By Jerry White, 2 November 2020

In the vast archive of the WSWS, the working class will find the most critical lessons from the history of the global class struggle and an international socialist perspective needed to conduct its fight against world capitalism today.

French students denounce inadequate partial lockdown

By Samuel Tissot, 2 November 2020

Students denounce abrupt, inadequate second lockdown as confusion and precarity loom large.

Johnson government forced into new national lockdown, but schools, universities and factories must stay open

By Robert Stevens, 2 November 2020

The lockdown was forced on Johnson because coronavirus has escalated out of control since the economy was reopened in May, threatening to swamp the National Health Service and result in deaths on a scale dwarfing the height of the pandemic in spring.

Missouri hospitals face being overwhelmed in latest surge of COVID-19 infections

By Cole Michaels, 2 November 2020

Hospital administrators across the state are raising the alarm, demanding the governor take action to limit the spread, including mandating masks, even as plans remain to reopen schools.

Amid explosive rise in new COVID-19 cases

White House attacks Fauci for suggesting Trump does not take pandemic “seriously”

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 November 2020

The White House denounced Dr. Anthony Fauci for “playing politics” after the top infectious disease expert warned that Trump’s policies were leading the US into “a whole lot of hurt.”

Union suppresses Albany, New York nurses’ fight for coronavirus protections

By Erik Schreiber, 2 November 2020

For two years, the New York State Nurses Association has allowed its members to work without a contract while opposing a genuine fight for the minimum safety measures needed to protect nurses against infection.

United States rockets past 100,000 daily cases

By Bryan Dyne, 31 October 2020

There were more than 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States over the past seven days, measured both by the daily new case counts and the seven-day running average.

Australian ruling elite again demands premature lifting of pandemic restrictions

By Mike Head, 31 October 2020

The similar ending of safety measures caused the COVID-19 catastrophes, now engulfing hospitals throughout Europe, the US and many other parts of the world.

Health systems in the United States are facing growing strains with the surge in COVID-19 cases

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 October 2020

The number of US COVID-19 cases surpassed nine million yesterday, with 500,000 of these cases added to the ledger just in the last week.

Russian government issues mask mandate, opposes shutdown as COVID cases spike

By Andrea Peters, 29 October 2020

With coronavirus cases far outpacing their May peak, outbreaks are hitting medical facilities and cultural institutions across the country.

As COVID-19 surges in Europe, governments protect profits over lives

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 29 October 2020

If the resurgence of COVID-19 across Europe is not halted, it is a matter of only a few weeks before hospitals are overrun and masses of people cut off from treatment.

Half of India’s population could be infected with COVID-19 by next February

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 October 2020

A government appointed committee has warned of a potential second wave of infections in winter leading to a sharp rise in the percentage of the population hit by the coronavirus.

Alberta health care workers stage wildcat strike in opposition to job cuts and privatizations

By Roger Jordan, 28 October 2020

The walkout by the poorly-paid health care workers expressed growing class anger against Alberta’s right-wing UCP government and the Canadian elite’s ruinous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.