GOP Senator Plans to Force Vote to End COVID National Emergency Declaration

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) says he plans to force a vote to end the national emergency declaration relating to COVID-19, even as hundreds of Americans die from the virus each day. Marshall explained that his planned congressional resolution to end the declaration is in response to President Joe Biden’s comment on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program on Sunday that the pandemic “is over.” “Since President Biden used his appearance on 60 Minutes to declare COVID is over, he must immediately terminate the COVID-19 national emergency declaration and wind down other emergency authorities that his Administration continues to force us to live…

Monkeypox Is Yet Another Global Health Crisis Fueled by Governmental Neglect

It’s hard not to think about AIDS when thinking about monkeypox — the media images of otherwise healthy gay men covered in sores, the homophobic anti-sex puritanism from people across the political spectrum, and the widespread culture of blame and shame directed at queer sexual pleasure. And, as always, stigma distracts from the actual cause of the problem, which, in this case, is devastating neglect by the United States government. Every queer person lives with the ongoing trauma of the AIDS crisis, and this plays out generationally. There is a generation that experienced sexual liberation in the 1970s, and then…

17 States and DC Have Stopped Reporting Active COVID Cases Behind Bars

On July 5, Rita Deanda tested positive for COVID while incarcerated at the California Institution for Women. She was immediately ordered to pack her belongings and moved to a quarantine unit, which she referred to as “COVID jail.” That was where she spent the next 11 days. The 57-year-old doesn’t know how she got COVID; she was taking precautions, such as wearing her mask and doing her best to socially distance from others. On the day she was tested, Deanda recalled that she felt great. But the week before, she told Truthout, “I had a migraine from hell and thought…

Many Nations Have Used COVID to Impose the Tyranny of Transnational Capital

The following is an excerpt from the Introduction to Global Civil War: Capitalism Post-Pandemic, which has just been released by PM Press. Not far from my home in Los Angeles are about a hundred houses that have been boarded up for years. The houses were bought up by the city in the late twentieth century through eminent domain in order to make way for an extension of the 710 freeway that dead ends into my El Sereno neighborhood. But opposition from affluent communities further east eventually killed the project, leaving the houses to lay vacant. Meanwhile, there were on any…

Activists Say WTO Deal on Vaccine Patents Is “Sham” Dictated by Rich Nations

The World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Conference ended Friday with an agreement on patent rights that campaigners said would do virtually nothing to address vast global inequities in coronavirus vaccine and treatment access, a failure they attributed to relentless obstruction by rich countries and the pharmaceutical industry. Reached after marathon negotiations, the narrow deal clarifies governments’ ability to use compulsory licensing to ramp up vaccine production without the consent of patent-holding pharmaceutical companies. The agreement also temporarily eases restrictions on the export of vaccines produced under compulsory licenses. The final text, which is set to remain in effect for a…

Adjunct and Tenured Faculty Must Unite to Resist Pandemic Opportunism on Campus

When COVID-19 descended upon the United States, college and university administrators used the disruption caused by the pandemic to slash the jobs of adjunct faculty. Now, two years into the pandemic, these same administrators are continuing to use the conditions of the pandemic to rapidly accelerate the same neoliberal transformations they had been pushing for pre-pandemic, such as replacing “expensive” tenure-line faculty with a cheaper and more exploitable adjunct workforce. My employer, Portland State University (PSU), is just one of many schools that has used the excuse of the pandemic to place entire programs (and their tenure-line faculty) on the…

State Audit Reveals Florida Undercounted COVID Deaths by Thousands

An audit released by the state of Florida on Monday suggests that information that the state released to the public during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic was inaccurate and incomplete. The report, conducted over the past year by the Florida Auditor General, examined the state’s COVID-19 response from March to October 2020. The audit reviewed a sample of tests from three separate state-run facilities in its investigation — and ultimately came to the conclusion that data on case and death counts frequently went unreported, and that the state often failed to adhere to protocols regarding the virus. State-contracted…

“Health Care Is a Human Right”: Sanders Schedules Hearing on Medicare for All

The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the economic and social benefits of implementing Medicare for All to combat the current health care crisis, Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) announced on Monday. The COVID pandemic, which has claimed over 1 million lives in the U.S. so far, has highlighted the inequities in the U.S. health care system — which were already vast before the pandemic, Sanders wrote in a press release. The senator’s plea, which he has been making for years, is a familiar one: now, more than ever, the U.S. must catch up to…

COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 5 Could be Available in June, FDA Official Says

An official with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that coronavirus vaccines for children under the age of 5 will be considered — and likely approved — as soon as June. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, suggested that the vaccines will be available shortly in an interview published on Friday in The Washington Post. So far, only Moderna has submitted a request for emergency use authorization of its version of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 4 years old. But Pfizer and BioNTech have said that they will…

Fauci Accuses Rand Paul of Exploiting the Pandemic to Fundraise

On Tuesday, Anthony Fauci responded to accusations from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) over his handling of the pandemic, pointing out that the lawmaker is exploiting the crisis to raise campaign funds. Fauci currently serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and as Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. Over the course of the pandemic, Paul has frequently rebuked Fauci during congressional testimonies, often while peddling lies about the nature of the virus itself. In September, for example, Paul suggested that vaccines were ineffective at combating the pandemic, and claimed that better outcomes in…

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