The response of the ruling elite to the coronavirus pandemic: Malign neglect

The response of the ruling elite to the coronavirus pandemic: Malign neglect 14 March 2020 The global coronavirus pandemic entered a new phase yesterday, with 16,000 new cases recorded worldwide by the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker. Another 250 people died Friday in Italy, which announced 2,547 new cases. Spain’s cases nearly doubled, growing by 2,086. In the United States, nearly 572 new cases were discovered, with nine new deaths. On Friday, the New York Times published internal CDC estimates outlining various scenarios for the spread of the virus, concluding that “between 160 million and 214 million people in the United States could be infected over the course of the epidemic,” and that “as many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.” The Times continued, “2.4 million to 21 million people in the United States could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds.” In the face of this mounting disaster, a massive chasm exists between the severity of the situation and the response of world governments. On the surface, this response appears to be chaotic, disorganized, and improvised. All of this is true. But out of this chaos a definite policy emerges, which can be defined as malign neglect. That is, governments are making a deliberate decision to minimize their response, to adopt an attitude of indifference to the spread of the virus. In the late 1960s, as mass strikes, urban riots and anti-war protests spread across the United States, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the right-wing advisor of President Richard Nixon, proposed a policy of “benign neglect” of US cities—that is, a policy of ignoring the causes of massive social unrest in the hopes that this would encourage the depopulation of centers of working-class struggle. In their entirely passive response to the coronavirus pandemic, which is controllable only through massive coordinated government intervention, governments have extended the policy of “benign neglect” into something far more sinister. This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said 60 to 70 percent of the German population would likely be infected—potentially meaning the deaths of hundreds of thousands or millions of people. On Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared, “I must level with the British public: many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.” Neither the British nor the German government announced major additional allocation of funds to deal with the crisis. Rather, Johnson’s chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, insisted that the British government should not try to keep the coronavirus from infecting the public: ‘It’s not possible to stop everyone getting it, and it’s also not desirable.” There is no doubt that at least some members of the ruling class see coronavirus fatalities as desirable. British Telegraph columnist Jeremy Warner stated openly what is being discussed within ruling circles when he wrote, “the COVID-19 might even prove mildly beneficial in the long term by disproportionately culling elderly dependents.” President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, March 13, 2020, in Washington [Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci] But the most callous response has come from United States. On Friday, US President Donald Trump gave a press conference at the White House together with executives from some of the largest healthcare and retail companies in the United States. Trump announced no additional measures to stop the spread of the disease or expand treatment for the ill. Rather, he announced that virtually the entire government response would be turned over to the private corporations. Instead of testing by the Centers for Disease Control, effectively all coronavirus diagnostics would be conducted by private corporations such as Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp. Instead of treatment at hospital facilities or on public property, they will be conducted in the parking lots of major retailers, such as Walmart, Target, and CVS. Trump said the website to coordinate and requesting testing would be designed and operated by a for-profit company, Google. Google later clarified that no such website existed. Trump made clear that the pandemic is a profit opportunity for the corporate executives standing with him, who were paraded around as if they were national heroes. In fact, their mania for profit lies behind the systematic destruction and defunding of social services that has made possible this disaster. For decades, it is these oligarchs who have subordinated every social need to “shareholder value,” the phrase used to justify the ever-greater accumulation of wealth at the hands of the financial oligarchy. Trump, flanked by multi-millionaire executives, appeared as the embodiment of the corporate state. The only role he sees for government, aside from pumping Wall Street full of money, is to use the national emergency to build up an apparatus of police repression. For the ruling elites, the coronavirus pandemic was never viewed as a health care crisis, but rather as a market event. The preeminent concern has always been the impact of this disease on share prices. The response has been, as it was in 2008 and 2009, a massive infusion of money and social resources into Wall Street. Trump’s press conference followed the announcement of a $1.5 trillion bailout of the financial system by the Federal Reserve, a figure twice as large as the original size of the 2008 bank bailout and over a thousand times larger than the emergency coronavirus funding requested Friday by the World Health Organization. Trump was sending a very clear message to Wall Street: It does not matter how many people die, what hell the population is forced to live through: My government will protect your wealth. The financial oligarchy, with their private “concierge health care” and access to the best facilities—antiviral drugs, oxygenation, and emergency ventilators—know that they will get the best care even as medical workers in overrun hospitals are forced to make heart-rending decisions about who will live and who will die. Wall Street got the message. In the half-hour between when Trump started speaking and the close of the markets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up by about 1,400 points, in the largest daily stock market run-up in history. The main fear of the ruling class is not the devastating health consequences of the coronavirus, but the growth of social protests, to which they will respond with violence and repression. The eruption of strikes and walkouts by workers in Italy, protesting the fact that they are being forced to work amidst the pandemic, is only the beginning of the response of the working class. The development of a movement in the working class throughout the world must be armed with a program and a perspective. In the face of neglect and indifference by the oligarchy, the working class must fight for a massive and globally-coordinated action to fight the disease. Trillions of dollars must be allocated, not for boosting share values and the wealth of the financial oligarchy, but for ensuring universal testing for everyone who needs it, the construction of new health care infrastructure, the production of desperately needed health care equipment, and emergency assistance for all those who are unable to work because of unsafe conditions. The monstrous and inhuman response to the pandemic by the ruling class is laying bare the real nature of the capitalist system, which provides for the vast enrichment of the few at the expense of the great many.

Alex Lantier and Andre Damon

Views: 43

Comment

You need to be a member of 12160 Social Network to add comments!

Join 12160 Social Network

Comment by Central Scrutinizer on July 31, 2020 at 9:08pm

This has got to be the world's largest paragraph..... somebody get Guinness Book on the phone...stat! ;)

 ʇᵒᵒʍ~

Comment by Less Prone on July 29, 2020 at 10:15am

"Destroying the New World Order"

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE SITE!

mobile page

12160.info/m

12160 Administrators

 

TOP CONTENT THIS WEEK

Latest Activity

Central Scrutinizer posted blog posts
40 minutes ago
Aaron posted photos
49 minutes ago
Aaron posted photos
58 minutes ago
Aaron posted blog posts
1 hour ago
Aaron posted videos
1 hour ago
Central Scrutinizer posted videos
1 hour ago
MAC favorited Bob Renner's photo
2 hours ago
MAC favorited Bob Renner's photo
2 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on Central Scrutinizer's blog post SAN FRANCISCO SEN. SCOTT WIENER INTRODUCES BILL TO DECRIMINALIZE MEN HAVING SEX WITH BOYS
2 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on Aaron's blog post “IT’S A FULL-BLOWN COMMUNIST PLOT” — Whistleblower Reveals the Plan
"Where can one acquire these "Weaponized Fireworks"?? Sounds like a blast (pun intended)"
2 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on J. Patriot's video
Thumbnail

Stimulus Check 2 & Second Stimulus Package update Thursday August 13th

"OMG, you are one clueless b00b... 1.)anybody who keeps thinking these felons are there for We, The…"
2 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on Aaron's video
3 hours ago
Old Denmark posted a video

Live Beach Landing Dover we caught migrants for border force

Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.
3 hours ago
J. Patriot posted a video

Stimulus Check 2 & Second Stimulus Package update Thursday August 13th

This is your second stimulus check and second stimulus package update on stimulus check 2 news for Thursday August 13th. . On this channel I cover stimulus c...
4 hours ago
Phyllis Maka commented on Phyllis Maka's blog post New Zealand is going full-blown fascist after Tony Blair advisor installed as prime minister
"They have these new types of smoke alarms they put in just this year, in state houses, although…"
4 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters commented on Phyllis Maka's blog post New Zealand is going full-blown fascist after Tony Blair advisor installed as prime minister
"Our communist made a rule no more than 10 people in a house any time. Are their henchmen going to…"
6 hours ago
cheeki kea commented on cheeki kea's video
Thumbnail

Qanon - David Ruck Arrested & Charted With "Threatening To Kill/Do GBH" Against Jacinda Ardern #NZ Q

"My gosh, it's him again and on Youtube. I guess it won't be for long."
6 hours ago
cheeki kea posted a video

Qanon - David Ruck Arrested & Charted With "Threatening To Kill/Do GBH" Against Jacinda Ardern #NZ Q

#Qanon - #DavidRuck Arrested & Charted With "Threatening To Kill/Do GBH" Against #JacindaArdern #NZ Q Original Video: https://youtu.be/4tk2rBpNXeI
6 hours ago
cheeki kea favorited Central Scrutinizer's blog post 3 Ways Human Psychology is Being Exploited to Create an Obedient, Self-Policing Society
6 hours ago
Phyllis Maka commented on Phyllis Maka's blog post New Zealand is going full-blown fascist after Tony Blair advisor installed as prime minister
"Tony Blair is war criminal didn't know she was his adviser it makes sense now. We are not the…"
7 hours ago

© 2020   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2019 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted