Coronavirus: A U.S. Systemic Crisis

By Pasqualina Curcio Curcio on March 23, 2020

Cuban doctors arriving in Italy to fight the Corona Virus

“The System Failed”, these were the words spoken on March 12 of this year by Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the country’s leading authority on infectious diseases. He made the statement at a hearing he was called to by Congress on the subject of the Corona Virus pandemic. He was referring to the U.S. health care system. Among the issues he highlighted was the problem with access to COVID-19 screening tests.

The US health system is private both in its provision and its financing, and those who do not have health insurance do not have access to health services. There, health is not a human right, it is a commodity that is bought and sold in the insurance markets, a concept that is absolutely coherent within the capitalist framework, that neoliberal and savage system that rules supreme in that “world power”.

Fauci told members of Congress, “The idea that someone can easily get tested like people do in other countries… we’re not ready for that. Do I think we should be? Yes. But we’re not.”

Of the 327 million Americans, 27.5 million are uninsured and another 44 million are underinsured – that is, not covered for the cost of care – and another 10 million are undocumented and cannot access the system at all in fear of deportation. At least 40% of the population is excluded from the health system.

The guarantee of containment of the spread of the pandemic, in addition to the proven social isolation, is the importance of timely diagnosis of cases of the virus in order to immediately isolate and treat the patient.

Another risk that the US system poses to humanity is the possibility of isolation. A quarter of all workers do not have access to paid sick days. Therefore, the likelihood that they will stay home in the face of calls for social isolation is low.

As of March 11, 2020, 696 cases of the Corona Virus and 25 deaths had been reported in the United States. Today, March 23, 2020, the number of cases, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is 33,337 and 415 deaths, registering an increase of 133,248% in diagnosed cases. To date, and according to reports from the same organization, the United States registers 82% of the cases in the region and 84% of the deaths. The virus is now present in all 50 states of the country.

A Systemic failure that not only puts at risk the American people, but also the region and the entire world.

Suspicious skepticism

Donald Trump’s statements seeking to minimize the progress and effect of the pandemic, in addition to being irresponsible to the US people themselves and to humanity as a whole, should be suspect. To describe them as “hasty” and dismiss them as coming from Trump’s “explosive personality” could be naive, knowing that historically the actions of all the presidents of the United States have followed the script written by the great capitalists of their time.

The calm with which the tenant of the White House, on February 12, contradicted the director of the CDC and affirmed: “In theory, when April arrives, when the climate is a little warmer, the virus will leave in a miraculous way”, generates suspicions about the possibility that the vaccine against the virus is available, gaining strength the thesis of the CORONAVIRUS, raised by Noam Chomsky, as a biological weapon created in U.S. laboratories.

Since January, intelligence agencies, including the CIA, have been alerting Donald Trump to the spread of the virus, but he has taken no action, instead dismissing the reports.

On March 18, Donald Trump said that “the development of the vaccine in his country against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) will be the fastest in history. He also said that if they do a good job, the pandemic could last until July or August.”

By March 13, the U.S. had begun testing the vaccine for humans. Spokespersons for the U.S. Health Institutes reported, “Phase 1 of the clinical trial to evaluate an investigational vaccine designed for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Institute for Health Research in Seattle (KPWHRI),” said the NIH, which funds this project through one of its centers, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The vaccine is called RNA-1273 and has been developed by scientists at NIAID and the Modern biotechnology company.

It is what we could have expected from the US president, a speech in which he calls for the tranquility and calm of his people, especially since he is one of the leading powers in the world. But to hear him assure us that in April the pandemic will disappear, magically no less, to challenge the head of the Center for Communicable Diseases (CDC) of the United States that it is only a flu; to dismiss the intelligence reports that were presented to him by the CIA; and also to say with such certainty that they practically have the vaccine ready, all at the very least generates suspicion.

Either Trump’s statements are out of focus; or they are very irresponsible to Americans and to all of humanity; or some information is being held by Trump who does not handle either the head of the CDC or the CIA. Or all of the above.

Meanwhile, an anti-China campaign is sweeping the social networks and media, seeking to hold them accountable for “causing” the pandemic.

The hypothesis that the coronavirus is a biological weapon is based on the urgency of U.S. imperialism to affect China while generating a global chaos that allows it to continue making invisible the crisis and collapse of the capitalist system and therefore the loss of their hegemonic power.

For some time now, China has displaced the United States as an economic power. The US not only has the largest foreign debt on the planet, which exceeds $21 trillion (White House data), but also its international reserves, which do not exceed 450 billion dollars (according to World Bank data), are not enough to pay even 2% of the total foreign debt, which, by the way, is mainly in the hands of the Chinese. The international reserves of the United States, are sufficient for 1.4 months of imports, also data from the World Bank.

The US needs 64 times the amount of gold it has available in its international reserves to pay off all its foreign debt commitments.  It needs about 430,629 tons of gold to pay off its entire debt. There is not that much gold in the world; on the ground there are 193,472 tons of gold, under the ground there is an estimated 54,000 tons, according to the World Gold Council, or 245,472 tons worldwide. To pay off the debt to China, it needs 4.8 times the gold it has in reserves, that is, more or less all the gold in the Central Banks of the world, 32,107 tons.

For its part, China, with its international reserves totaling $3.1 trillion according to the World Bank, covers 189% of its total external debt and has 14 months of imports. China’s external debt, according to the World Bank, amounts to $1.7 trillion.

In contrast to the United States, since the 1970s, the Chinese trade balance has been in surplus, that is, exports have been greater than imports, for example, by 2018, according to World Bank data, China’s trade balance was 106.623 billion dollars, that is, by adding up all exports and subtracting all imports they have a balance in favor of more than 100 billion that year. On the other hand, in the case of the United States, adding up all the exports and subtracting all the imports for the same year left a negative balance of 578 billion dollars. And on top of that the fact that most of the US imports come from China.

While the Chinese economy has grown 10% on average year-on-year over the past 50 years, the US economy has grown at 2.7%, even below the world average of 3%.

The New Silk Road and Strip proposed by China, which aims at a multipolar and multi-centric world, with new marketing channels, but also new payment clearing systems other than the SWIFT system dominated by the US and therefore using currencies other than the dollar, turned out to be, in this scenario of economic decline in the US, a hard blow for the northern country. A proposal for a new commercial, financial and monetary order has been added to at least 125 countries.

In addition to the commercial proposal presented by China, there is another threat to the American power referring to the creation of the petro yuan gold versus the petro dollar paper. China announced in March 2018 to back its currency in gold, but also announced that from that moment on oil purchases would be made in Yuan, remembering that it is the country that imports the most oil in the world, 11 million barrels per day according to OPEC.

Meanwhile, the dollar is plummeting and plummeting non-stop in contrast to the rise in the price of gold, which both China and Russia have been responsible for hoarding (worth the redundancy) in recent years.

In terms of technology, the Chinese have already surpassed the US and in terms of arms power, they have close relations with the Russians, who have demonstrated their superiority at the world level. On the other hand, China maintains very good relations with the North Koreans and the Iranians, countries that have advanced in terms of their arms development.

In the field of energy, the Chinese have strengthened their alliances not only with Iran and Russia, countries with large reserves of oil and gas, but also with us Venezuelans who have the largest reserve in the world. Incidentally, we also have the world’s first gold reserve.

Within the United States, a latent social injustice is present. According to data from Piketty Thomas, inequality in the United States has only increased since 1970. The increase was 135% between 1970 and 2018, when the greatest inequality was recorded in 50 years. It is estimated that there are at least 40 million people suffering from hunger in the supposedly most developed country in the world, to which we must add the flagrant violation of human rights that is registered daily even though the UN Human Rights Council does not show it.

The United States has long been at a disadvantage with respect to the Asian country, which adds to the suspicion as to why the Corona virus, a possible biological weapon, has had its epicenter in Wuhan.

The undeniable economic, energetic, technological and armament situation of the United States, in addition to placing it in a situation of clear disadvantage with respect to China and its allies, implies a greater desperation manifested in the speeches and actions of the spokespeople and presidents of the United States, and therefore making it a greater danger for humanity.

Saving the Capitalists

While humanity is suffering the effects of the pandemic, the US Federal Reserve, the world’s monetary authority, approved the aid to the big capitalist corporations that are suffering from the debacle that has involved the Corona Virus and that has manifested itself in the collapse of the stock markets.

In order to guarantee monetary liquidity in the markets, they decided to lower interest rates to 0% to encourage credit for both companies and individuals to buy assets for an amount of US$ 700 billion.

This $ 700 billion is equivalent to 13,084 times the resources that, according to PAHO estimates, are needed over the next 6 months to combat the pandemic in Our America.

Saving Lives

The government and the Cuban people have set an example and shown solidarity by making available to humanity Interferon Alpha 2B, a drug developed on the island that has proved effective in treating people who have acquired Corona Virus. It is worth mentioning that it was discovered despite 60 years of criminal blockade by the United States.

While the United States cannot find a way to save its capital, the Chinese and Cubans are seeking ways to save lives: they are exporting doctors, knowledge, technology, supplies, medicines and hope. In other words they are extending supportive and friendly hands to humanity.

While China and Cuba are sending us supplies, medical and surgical material, medicines and doctors to fight the pandemic, the United States is attacking the Venezuelan people with an inhumane and criminal blockade.

In this regard, we continue to join the world campaign against the criminal blockade that U.S. imperialism has decreed against the Bolivarian people.

Before these two models, the one that through solidarity seeks to save lives versus the one that in a buried and criminal way seeks to save capital and attacks entire populations by blocking them, let us reflect on this.

Let us dedicate the time of social quarantine to contrast both systems, let us think what world we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.

Let’s contribute our efforts to making humanity more human.

Source: Abre Brecha, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau