COVID, Capitalism, & Survival

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COVID-19 has become one of the most polarizing social phenomenons of our time. Today we bring you stories of workers struggling with the pandemic and scientific perspectives from people who do not necessarily agree with one another. We do so to encourage open minds, debate, scientific study, and the best medical and public health strategies for the global community. 

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, Wall Street tells its workforce to continue working remotely and Congress’s physician advises it to do the same. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control tightens the screws on essential workers by cutting quarantine time from ten to five days as the workforce scrambles to find testing. Bob Hennelly, host of WBAI’s What’s Going on, spoke to Joe Pulleo of New York City District Council 37, Local 983.

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Next, the corporate media and Democratic politicians at all levels are demanding that kids return to schools regardless of whether they test positive for COVID or not. In Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot has called the Chicago Teachers Union to return to the classrooms even though many teachers and students have have tested positive for COVID and the school district does not have a protocol for mass testing or masking for students, teachers, or staff.  On Saturday, January 8th, the Chicago Teachers Union held a press conference where the union’s Chief of Staff Jennifer Johnson explained their demands. 

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Pacifica’s Steve Zeltzer interviewed San Francisco public health worker Ludwig Leota in May 2020, before he died of COVID. At the time of the interview, the city was forcing him to stop telecommuting and go back to work on site, despite underlying conditions that put him at high risk. Zeltzer also spoke with SEIU 1021 San Francisco public health workers Brenda Barros and Cheryl Thornton.

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Dr. Nayvin Gordon, a public health expert, has championed the public health strategy known as Zero COVID, which is practiced in China. The New York Times has demanded that China abandon its Zero COVID policy and follow US and European strategies, as though the US and Europe have done an excellent job handling the pandemic. Gordon read this public letter to the New York Times on the YouTube on January 7, 2022.

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Dr. Jay Battacharya and Dr. Martin Kulldorf, two authors of The Great Barrington Declaration, spoke with Grayzone Editor Max Blumenthal on his Foreign Agents podcast during the final week of December. Battacharya and Kulldorf advocate for a public health strategy that emphasizes prevention efforts focussed on the most vulnerable populations worldwide. They also assume that COVID will, like other coronaviruses, remain with us. 

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Dr. Robert Malone has been banned from Twitter for his departure from dominant narratives about COVID and vaccines. WPFW’s Thomas O’Rourke reports. 

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Lastly, thousands of members of the National Union of Mental Healthcare workers have gone on strike at Kaiser-Northern California. The company had agreed to give them the Martin Luther King Day Holiday, but then reneged. Ixayanne Baez, a marriage and family therapist at Kaiser in Oakland, talked about why they were striking on MLK day.

Credits:

Produced by Steve Zeltzer with assistance from Ann Garrison
Host: Ann Garrison
Editing: Polina Vasiliev
Exec. Producers: Akua Holt, Polina Vasiliev, and Steve Zeltzer

Music:

“I Don’t Need No Doctor” by Ray Charles 

“Dirty Little Virus” by Iggy Pop