COVID + Capitalism = Death – Liberation News
In a shocking new report, the Centers for Disease Control just announced the biggest drop in single-year life expectancy in the United States since World War II. The life expectancy of people in the United States dropped an astonishing year and a half from 2019 to 2020.
The life expectancy of blacks and Latinos has dropped by three years, double the average drop. The projected lifespan of blacks is now less than 72 years, its lowest level in more than 20 years. This is the biggest drop in black life expectancy in the United States since the Great Depression. The life expectancy of whites is now less than 78 years, which is also a low of almost two decades. Lifetime projections for Latinos in the United States now stand at just under 79, making it the biggest drop on record for that community.
More than 3.3 million people in the United States died last year, the highest number in US history. About 11% of these deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. However, the coronavirus was not the only factor in the astronomical decline, with record drug overdoses also factored into the fall.
Inequality in access to health care as well as to livable and affordable housing puts many working class people in general at an increased risk of becoming ill and has contributed to gaps in life expectancy for blacks and of Latinos compared to the population as a whole. Access to jobs, especially those that pay a living wage, is another major factor in this catastrophic decline – many black and Latino workers were and are employed in “essential” industries. Combined with the fact that many of these jobs pay less, members of these communities have had no choice but to continue working during the worst of the pandemic.
Each of the factors, from deaths caused directly by COVID-19 to lack of adequate housing and health care to drug overdose deaths, can be attributed to the government’s failure to take the right action and fight back properly. against the pandemic. If the government had not mismanaged the situation from the start, if it had indeed distributed personal protective equipment to frontline workers, if it had met the needs of the population so that they could take action. quarantine safely and not having to work to feed family or pay rent, countless lives could have been saved. They could have provided universal health care and quickly built a medical infrastructure so that those who fell ill with COVID-19 could be adequately cared for. Their failure to do so has prolonged the pandemic, leading people with drug addiction to use substances in isolation, where fatal overdoses are much more likely.
Instead, they groped their response every moment, doing less than the bare minimum in the form of meager “survival” checks that barely covered the average monthly rent, and moratoriums on evictions that might see. a large number of people find themselves homeless shortly thereafter. They expire. As they always do, these so-called “representatives” in government put their own greed and that of other capitalist elites before the needs and lives of the working people. The responsibility for the decline in life expectancy caused by the massive number of deaths in 2020 rests entirely in their hands, and in order to go beyond the contempt for life inherent in the current system, the power to proceed with these changes and decisions needs to rest with the people.