Discover more from Teams Human
💉 Teach-in “Whose Property: A Discussion on IP, Labor, and Technology” 📰 Letter to the editor: "The pandemic is not over" 🖊️ Letter Campaign: Defend Medicaid and CHIP!
Some Democrats voted with the GOP to cut the emergency measures.
- Events, Actions, & Campaigns
- Pandemic field notes & “Living with the virus”
- In the News (virus & adjacent media, science, news, and op-eds)
- This is NOT Fine section (gaslighting & other outrages)
- He(a)rd Scuttlebutt (the pandemic grapevine)
USA Letter Campaign: Tell Congress: Defend Medicaid and CHIP!
By Coalition On Human Needs: Eliminating the health insurance of millions of people with low incomes is unconscionable. Access to health care is an inalienable right. We cannot allow one political party with the slimmest of majorities -- that’s controlled by an extreme faction -- to cruelly deny health coverage to millions of people.
USA Petition: Tell Congress: Permanently expand SNAP benefits!
By Daily Kos: At least $2.5 billion in monthly emergency food benefits have expired nationwide, leaving millions of people facing a sudden financial cliff.
Join Justice is Global on Saturday 4/8 at 2pm ET for the teach-in “Whose Property: A Discussion on IP, Labor, and Technology” to learn more about this movement
This is a battle for our present (the climate crisis and compounding pandemics), and it’s also a battle for our future. As new medical and green technologies are discovered, we need them to be public goods, not privatized scarce commodities. From the free software and right to repair movements, to the pushes for equitable access to HIV treatments, there is a rich history of people pushing back against the ever-expanding commodification of knowledge, information, and technology. Now, a group of scientists, engineers, and tech workers are organizing to tackle this issue head-on.
Washington Post Letter to the Editor by James G. Lertola
The false narrative that the “pandemic has receded” is actually a symptom of politicians ignoring its ongoing toll. The White House still needs to lead our covid fight; the tools are there. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid Data Tracker shows that those with the updated booster are 14 times less likely to die of covid than the unvaccinated. Paxlovid appears to reduce the chance of death and severe disease by 51 percent or better. Data still shows that air-quality measures such as better ventilation, opening bus windows, upgrading indoor air filtration and masking all help control the spread of the coronavirus. Having just 16 percent of the U.S. population with the updated vaccine is not “mission accomplished.” Uptake of Paxlovid is pitifully low. Schools fail to use covid relief funds to improve safety. More than 1.1 million Americans have perished from covid, and we must do better. The pandemic is not over, and our leaders need to say so.
🗞️ In the news
🇺🇸 Business Insider: Former GOP Senator James Inhofe retired because of long COVID symptoms. Other colleagues have it but keep it secret, he said. by Isobel van Hagen Feb 26, 2023 (He said "five or six" other political colleagues have long COVID, "but I'm the only one who admits it." Inhofe left office before the end of his term last February, and Senator Markwayne Mullin took his place. The 88-year-old repeatedly voted against COVID protections for Americans during his time in office. In March 2020, Inhofe voted against the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which broadly expanded benefits for those affected by the pandemic. In 2021, he also voted against the American Rescue Plan — which included a $1,400 stimulus check, improved vaccine distribution, and extended unemployment benefits. He did, however, vote in favor of the CARES Act — which offered a $1,200 stimulus check — and generally offered conflicting opinions on the pandemic during his time in office.)
🇩🇪 Peoples Dispatch: Public sector health workers across Germany go on warning strike. Public health sector employees in Germany have been concerned about the fall in real wages over three consecutive years. They are demanding fair contracts, an increase in wages, and more staff and resources. March 15, 2023 (According to reports, around 8,500 people demonstrated in front of the Town Hall in Hanover on Tuesday as part of the strike. The underfunded public health system in Germany, pushed to the brink by COVID-19, faces another round of crises in these times of soaring inflation.)
🇺🇸 The Hill: Senate votes to end COVID-19 national emergency. by Nathaniel Weixel - 03/29/23 7:33 PM ET (The initial declaration allowed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to mobilize personnel to support state and local agencies as they worked to combat the virus. The move also allowed FEMA to access billions of dollars. Ending the national emergency early could also terminate some of the flexibility that COBRA has been able to exercise.)
🇺🇸 Curmudgucation - Independent Women's Forum Performs Some Covid Theater, by Peter Greene, March 28, 2023 (But for people who are already anti-public school, the pandemic has turned into a golden opportunity to go after public education.)
💵 Walker Bragman: Pfizer Spends Big on IP Lobbying With Billions On the Line. The pharmaceutical giant spent big bucks amid key international negotiations last year to protect record earnings. - Important Context Mar 9 (The pharmaceutical industry and Pfizer, in particular, have fought hard to prevent any proposed waivers of IP protections. According to an October 2022 report from The Bureau of Investigation Journalism, days after the Biden administration announced its support for an IP waiver for vaccines, Pfizer met with UK trade policy minister Greg Hands, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi, and international trade secretary Liz Truss.)
This is NOT fine
Roll Call: Senate votes to overturn COVID-19 national emergency order. Biden opposed measure but plans to sign it, White House official says. By Mary Ellen McIntire and Niels Lesniewski, Posted March 29, 2023
Sen. Roger Marshall, who has led the effort in the Senate to roll back the national emergency, said it was time for Congress to end the designation, which he said “allowed the administration to justify increased spending and push harmful mandates.”
What mandates? This isn’t the first time Bob Casey has been a big disappointment in the pandemic, but it’s a SHOCKING number of Democrats who voted with the GOP to cut emergency response items. Some of the stuff in the National emergency order is probably best ended, but we really should have permanent fixes for some of this stuff before tossing this emergency order out.
He(a)rd Scuttlebutt… pandemic grapevine 🍇🌱
I don’t know who needs to hear this but in person meetings are not inherently superior and are often an unnecessary risk in a pandemic. The idea that everything is done better in person is anti-remote work bullshit that is pushed by fossil fuel interests, corporate real estate interests, and the convention & catering industry.
One of the comments to Jim Lertola’s WaPo LTE is just jam packed with all the covid denial propaganda, including the assertion mitigations aren’t needed because covid is “endemic” - which I guess that person doesn’t use deet where WNV is endemic, and would not use a mosquito net where malaria is endemic. Endemic doesn’t mean you want that. Endemic means permanent mitigation measures are needed.
Rebecca Watson has a video out on Long Covid and Physics Girl. She points out that people should be angry that government leadership have decided this is ok and therefore abandoned masking in public places and booster shots more than once a year. I find it troubling that some of Rebecca Watson’s fans were “skeptical” about Long Covid. Further evidence of what I have noticed as science spaces being permeated with covid disinfo and right wing bullshit.
Concerned about the pandemic? What do you wish the experts would do? If you fill out this form I’ll try to get your interests and asks in front of some scientists and doctors, or at least publish your ideas here.
“When you boil all of this down what you get to is an inevitable conclusion that these men do not want any real meaningful government action in the face of the pandemic. That it should be left to individual choice and the choice of businesses and the private sector. That is fundamentally when you take all their statements and you look at them, that’s what it is. And I’m sure that they’ll deny that and say, “Nope, that’s not what we’re advocating,” but you know.”
— Walker Bragman on Debunk the Funk with Dr. Wilson, talking about the GBD people testifying in Congress