|Vol. 15 No. 8
APRIL 20, 2020
Columns & Features
by Heidi M. Pascual
by Jamala Rogers
Sometimes, one has so much to write about that it’s hard to come up with anything to write about.
When I turn on my TV, most of the national commercials have transitioned to COVID-19 themed
messages. Almost all of them feature medical personnel and rightfully so. We are seeing time and time again
of COVID-19. And as we saw in the early days in China, some medical staff are catching the virus and some succumb to it.
They have continued their work knowing that people’s lives are hanging in the balance. They are making the difference between life and death. And we are sending
them into this risk situation inadequately prepared with not enough personal protection equipment. It’s like sending soldiers into battle without flak jackets, leaving it up
to chance and where the droplets fall to decide whether they stay healthy or get ill.
And this great country, after a month, can’t seem to get us an adequate supply of N95 masks and other protective gear to wear. This seems to show two flaws in the
global economic system that we have created. During normal times, it’s quite natural to produce goods where they can be made the cheapest. In the case of our
medical equipment, it appears that most of it is made in China. While the economy is international, in many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic is national — although
there should have been a national response.
And so does a country make sure that its domestic need is adequately met before it shares the needed supplies with the rest of the world? Or should it just let the
marketplace take over with the masks going to the higher bidder no matter what the domestic need is, leaving states to bid against each other regardless of where the
most severe need is.
And apparently the U.S. fell asleep at the wheel in letting its own national reserve of N95 masks and ventilators become depleted, not protecting the U.S. from the
extreme impact of a sudden surge in demand for these strategic materials. It’s like letting all of the national oil reserve get depleted and so the U.S. would be vulnerable
to OPEC, Russia and other oil producers — regardless if the U.S. is the number one oil producing country in the world — and would not control its own destiny. We
have not been in control of the health of our nation.
Our national effort has also been hurt by having a narcissistic leader who never grew up in the White House, someone who can’t take responsibility for anything
although he has run the government for over three years and clearly had the ability to meet any of the COVID-19-related problems we now face if he had any vision of
America beyond his own narrow self-interests and obsession with getting reelected.
This is not the time to have a Capitalist as President of the United States who believes that if everyone follows their narrow self-interests and desires, it will somehow
result in the common good. That is clearly not working as Trump has been loath to implement the Defense Procurement Act to ensure an adequate supply of medical
equipment. Instead of working for the betterment of the U.S. people, Trump is more concerned about the rights of a few companies in deciding whether or not they
will produce the goods that we need. Trump keeps looking for market solutions to a global pandemic that needs a collective response in order to defeat this
microscopic foe. They seek to preserve their hegemony and power even at the expense of American lives. -- READ MORE
by Jamala Rogers
By Andrew Gramling
that some very talented and compassionate people enter the medical field because they want to help people, help them get and feel better.
These medical personnel are giving up a lot putting themselves in harm’s way. They are selfless people on the frontlines of stemming the tide