The coronavirus pandemic

San Francisco Bay Area school districts push to reopen schools

By Angelo Perera, 27 February 2021

On February 7, the United Educators of San Francisco union reached an agreement to allow “limited instruction.”

French government rejects lockdown as UK variant becomes dominant strain

By Samuel Tissot, 27 February 2021

The British variant now accounts for nearly half of new COVID-19 infections across France.

Biden drops minimum wage hike from COVID-19 relief bill

By Jacob Crosse, 27 February 2021

Biden seized on a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian as the pretext to abandon an increase in the federal minimum wage.

“Since school has been remote, no teachers have died.”

Montgomery, Alabama uses CDC guidelines to unsafely reopen schools

By Emma Arceneaux, 27 February 2021

The district’s announcement, and the CDC guidelines they cite, blatantly ignore one of the most important factors in determining the safety of a building: ventilation and air quality.

Restrictions placed on student gatherings after massive COVID-19 outbreak at the University of Virginia

By Dan Goranson, 27 February 2021

Cases have skyrocketed in the two weeks following the reopening of the sprawling University of Virginia campus for in-person learning on February 1.

Michigan boy, 10, loses both hands, both legs to COVID-related MIS-C syndrome

By Zac Corrigan, 27 February 2021

Ten-year-old quadruple amputee Dae’Shun Jamison from Shelby, Michigan is just one of more than 2,000 children in the US to develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children after catching COVID-19.

British Columbia school officials order windows screwed shut to stop teachers from ventilating classes amid raging pandemic

By Alexandra Greene, 27 February 2021

The school sent contractors into the building who reputedly found “safety issues” with the windows and proceeded to seal them.

Delays to Big Three auto companies’ vaccination program highlight profit motive driving pandemic response

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 February 2021

The question raised is why has the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines been left up to private corporations who are driven primarily by profit considerations?

Michigan governor pushes for school reopenings as Ann Arbor school board reverses decision to remain virtual

By Sheila Brehm and James McDonald, 27 February 2021

In a press conference Wednesday, Democratic Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer announced that 85 percent of Michigan school districts are currently open for in-person learning and that she is “pleased that 97 percent of the school districts will be reopened by March 1st.”

999 (2/25) Reopening of middle schools in NYC

27 February 2021

Major school districts press to reopen throughout Washington D.C. metro area

By Harvey Simpkins, 27 February 2021

The return to schools follows separate announcements by the governors of Virginia and Maryland calling on all schools to reopen in March.

UK government declares testing and wearing masks “not compulsory” in reopened schools

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2021

Teachers, in poll after poll and on social media, have voiced their opposition to returning to work under unsafe conditions, but are up against trade unions who are colluding in the government’s plans.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof demands immediate reopening of schools

By Evan Blake, 26 February 2021

The purpose of Kristof’s article is to pollute popular consciousness and pressure local Democrats tasked with enforcing the homicidal policy of reopening schools.

999 Montgomery, AL schools push to reopen as cases spike

26 February 2021

Canada’s indigenous population faces elevated infection rate, lack of health care as COVID-19 runs rampant

By Alexandra Greene, 26 February 2021

The COVID-19 infection rate among First Nations people living on-reserve is 40 percent higher than that of the Canadian population as a whole.

999 11-year-old suffers amputations after contacting MIS-C

26 February 2021

999 UK government to push through longer hours and summer schooling in back to school agenda

26 February 2021

999 (2/25) Reopening of middle schools in NYC

26 February 2021

999 Michigan school reopenings (focus on Ann Arbor)

26 February 2021

San Diego school districts move to resume in-person classes

By Kevin Martinez, 26 February 2021

Despite opposition from parents and the community, the San Diego Unified School District is planning to reopen schools by April.

The dominant variant of the coronavirus in California has acquired dangerous mutations

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 February 2021

A new variant of the coronavirus was discovered in California, dubbed CAL.20C. The mutation, L452R, appears to make the virus more contagious.

Unemployment, redundancies and poverty soar as UK lockdown is brought to end

By Robert Stevens, 25 February 2021

With all lockdown measures set to end by June, those who have been shielded to some extent by furlough scheme and other social support will face the class war agenda pursued by the British ruling class as it seeks to complete the post-Brexit “Thatcher Revolution.”

Calls mount for investigation of Governor Cuomo in New York nursing homes scandal

By Josh Varlin, 25 February 2021

The real scandal is not the Cuomo’s alleged “bullying,” but the massive death toll in nursing homes.

COVID-19 cases in New York colleges rise as state changes guidelines to keep schools open

By Alex Findijs, 25 February 2021

Facing an impending wave of temporary schools closures due to growing COVID-19 outbreaks, the New York government and the SUNY system have altered university guidelines to keep schools open despite rising case numbers.

Australian universities rush to enrol students and disregard COVID dangers

By Jack Turner, 25 February 2021

With the help of the unions, university managements are returning to face-to-face teaching and expanding class sizes amid the continuing global pandemic.

German federal and state governments’ plans for reopening schools threaten thousands of lives

By Gregor Link, 25 February 2021

Unless the working class intervenes independently to close factories, offices, schools and day-care centres, hundreds of thousands of deaths loom in Germany alone in an even worse wave of the pandemic.

Brazil reaches a quarter of a million COVID-19 deaths

By Tomas Castanheira, 25 February 2021

After one year of suffering and hardship imposed upon Brazilian workers, the pandemic remains totally out of control.

800,000 COVID-19 deaths in Europe: capitalism, social murder and the case for socialism

By Alex Lantier, 24 February 2021

The catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not only a tragedy, but a comprehensive political and moral failure of the existing social order.

Chicago elementary teachers begin returning to classrooms under near-total media blackout

By Alexander Fangmann, 24 February 2021

While local reporters and the Chicago Teachers Union maintain a wall of silence over the dangers facing educators and students, schools have become the number one potential exposure locations in the state, according to contact tracing.

Philadelphia teachers union endorses bogus claims of school renovations as cover for reopening schools

By Douglas Lyons, 24 February 2021

The PFT, while posing as “concerned” about certain elements of the reopening plans, claims falsely that schools can be made safe through updates to decrepit school buildings, in particular, improved ventilation systems.

Global vaccination at the mercy of competing national interests

By Jean Shaoul, 24 February 2021

Control over vaccine distribution strengthens the major powers’ political and economic influence—their “soft power”—over allies and enemies alike

Corporate media and both big business parties press to reopen schools in California

By Melody Isley, 24 February 2021

Despite the capitalist propaganda, parents have expressed overwhelming support for online learning, which they know prioritizes the health of their families, school workers and educators.

999 Cuomo nursing home deaths scandal

24 February 2021

Washington Post’s “Wuhan Lab” conspiracy theory stands exposed

By Andre Damon, 23 February 2021

The Washington Post’s claims that COVID-19 was released from a Chinese lab have been totally discredited by the findings of the World Health Organization.

Media censors British Medical Journal description of pandemic deaths as “social murder”

By Robert Stevens, 23 February 2021

Finely attuned to the threat from below, Britain’s ruling elite understands the implications of any public discussion of the issue of social murder as it prepares to end the “last lockdown,” with the virus and its dangerous mutations allowed to rip through the population once again to deadly effect.

999 Pseudo-left and Chicago school reopenings

23 February 2021

Ruling elite fears Liberal Party wipeout in Western Australian election

By Mike Head, 23 February 2021

The potential electoral landslide underscores the fragility of the federal Liberal-National Coalition government as it moves to fully reopen the economy and push jobless workers into lower-paid and insecure employment.

UK: Pandemic death toll among care home residents soars past 50,000

By Stephen Alexander, 23 February 2021

Researchers at the University of Manchester have found that COVID-19 deaths were “hugely underestimated” in the first wave.

Canada’s governments lift COVID-19 restrictions despite warnings of deadly third wave

By Frédéric Charlebois and Roger Jordan, 23 February 2021

Flying in the face of warnings from Canada’s chief medical officer and numerous other experts, Canada’s governments are accelerating the “reopening” of the economy even as more contagious variants of the virus take root.

Coronavirus raging in Germany’s factories

By Ludwig Weller, 23 February 2021

Research by BuzzFeed News and Report Mainz shows that the virus is spreading without hindrance throughout workplaces in Germany.

999 (2/22) Educators oppose drive to reopen schools

23 February 2021

Texas’ COVID-19 vaccination and testing disrupted by winter storm

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 February 2021

Freezing temperatures and mass power outages resulted in widespread disruption of COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Texas.

999 Cuomo nursing home deaths scandal

23 February 2021

Half a million dead in the US from coronavirus pandemic: Catastrophe, crime and historical turning point

By Joseph Kishore, 23 February 2021

The catastrophic loss of life in the US is the outcome of deliberate decisions made by the ruling class and its political representatives to prioritize profit over lives.

UK Prime Minister Johnson announces end of lockdown that will see “more infections, more hospitalisations… more deaths”

By Thomas Scripps, 22 February 2021

The separation of infection rates and hospital admissions is a de facto declaration that the Tories are pursuing “herd immunity” by letting the virus spread largely unchecked.

UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee opposes unsafe school reopenings

Our reporter, 22 February 2021

The UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee held a lively online meeting on Saturday, just days before yesterday’s unsafe reopening of schools across Scotland and Wales, and as the Johnson government moves to reopen all school on March 8.

Teachers in US resist demand to accept “reasonable risk” of dying

By Jerry White, 21 February 2021

The Biden administration, the corporate media and the teachers unions have ganged up against educators who are refusing to risk their lives.

How the Revolutionary Internationalist Organisation (RIO) is sabotaging the fight against the pandemic in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 21 February 2021

The German pseudo-left group seeks to subordinate workers to the deadly policies of the trade unions and the bourgeois parties.

Kroger to close at least two grocery stores in Seattle after hazard pay increase

By Kayla Costa and David Fitzgerald, 21 February 2021

Following a similar series of events in California cities, Kroger has announced the closure of two QFC grocery stores in Seattle, Washington in retaliation against the City Council imposing a $4 hourly wage increase for the remainder of the pandemic.

UK government’s policies lead to horrific COVID-19 death rates among disabled people

By Rory Woods, 21 February 2021

Disabled people have suffered a brutal disregard for life, left with woefully inadequate support throughout the pandemic by a ruling class which considers them a drain on profits.

Death on an unprecedented scale: One year since the first death from COVID-19 in the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 21 February 2021

It has been one year since the first death from COVID-19 in the US. The scale of death in that one year is unprecedented in US history.

California Republicans claim 1.7 million signatures on petition to recall Democratic Governor Newsom

By Dan Conway, 21 February 2021

The right-wing petition drive against California Governor Gavin Newsom, organized by the state Republican Party, is on track to reach the 1.5 million signature threshold required to force a recall election later this year.

999 German Morenoites sabotage struggle against the pandemic

20 February 2021

Ontario reopens all schools, delays March break ignoring warnings of a third COVID-19 wave

By Jake Silver, 20 February 2021

The growing opposition among teachers must find independent political expression in a struggle to shut down all in-class learning until the pandemic is brought under control.

Office staff at UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency ballot for strike after 535 COVID-19 infections and death of worker

By Simon Whelan, 20 February 2021

The exposure of DVLA workers to a deadly disease is just one example of the thousands of employers who have put pressure on millions of employees to go into workplaces unnecessarily.

Michigan officials confirm 121 cases of COVID-19 variant at state prison in Ionia

By Kevin Reed, 20 February 2021

The sudden discovery of a large number of cases of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant in the Michigan prison system is a warning that the pandemic is moving into a new, more infectious and lethal stage.

The Lancet reveals impact of COVID-19 on health care workers

By Kevin Martinez, 20 February 2021

The British medical journal describes how frontline workers have had to face higher than average rates of burnout, anxiety, depression and isolation during the global pandemic.

999 (2/19) Texas R&F statement on Chicago & crisis in TX

20 February 2021

Learn from the CTU’s betrayal in Chicago! Build committees nationwide to stop school reopenings!

Chicago Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 20 February 2021

The effort to reopen schools in Chicago was aimed at setting a precedent for reopening districts everywhere and shifting the relationship of class forces in the US as a whole.

Opposition mounts to unsafe opening of schools in Spain

By Alice Summers, 19 February 2021

There are growing calls by educators and parents to close schools, and strikes have broken out among students as infection rates in education centres soar.

CDC report: Biggest drop in US life expectancy since World War II

By Kate Randall, 19 February 2021

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in the first half of 2020, life expectancy dropped by more than one year as COVID-19 ripped through the population.

School and day-care centre openings in Germany—a murderous herd immunity experiment

By Gregor Link, 19 February 2021

The federal and state governments are systematically creating conditions for a third wave of the pandemic. This can be seen especially in plans to rapidly return to in-person teaching.

Teachers and health workers strike amid back-to-school campaign in Brazil

By Eduardo Parati and Brunna Machado, 19 February 2021

Faced with enormous opposition from teachers, the Brazilian ruling class fears that the return to classes will provoke a nationwide wave of struggles beyond the control of the unions and pseudo-left parties.

Risk of COVID-19 outbreak in New Zealand after government ends three-day Auckland lockdown

By Tom Peters, 19 February 2021

The source for six new cases of COVID-19 in Auckland has not been identified, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern nevertheless lifted a partial lockdown of the city after just three days.

999 Pennsylvania Educators R&F statement on Philly schools

19 February 2021

999 Kroger closes two more stores over Seattle pandemic pay measure

19 February 2021

Drive to reopen schools deepens across Los Angeles as pandemic continues to rage

By Hong Jian, 19 February 2021

Despite the fact that over the past week Los Angeles County averaged 2,339 new cases and 123.1 new deaths per day, officials throughout the region are pressing to reopen schools.

Storm and blackouts endanger Texas health system

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 February 2021

Winter storm Uri has thrown Texas into a temporary dark age. Health systems are grappling with the loss of power, potable water, and burst water mains. People are crowding warming centers and emergency rooms.

Attend online meeting on Saturday to organise fightback!

Prime Minister Johnson backed by Scottish and Welsh governments in deadly school reopenings

Thomas Scripps, 19 February 2021

The Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee calls on workers who recognise the grave danger posed by the school reopenings to attend our online meeting on Saturday to discuss the fightback

999 Young people turn to the military under pandemic economic crisis

19 February 2021

Philadelphia postpones public school reopenings to March 1

By Douglas Lyons, 18 February 2021

The decision to push back reopening is an indication that both the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the school district recognize they need more time to bring the opposition of teachers under control.

Netanyahu lifts Israel’s third lockdown despite warnings of renewed surge in March

By Jean Shaoul, 18 February 2021

With each of the second and third surges seeing a higher death toll than the previous one, 5,441 Israelis have now died. Last Saturday, there were still 992 patients in hospital—after weeks of hovering around 1,200—of whom 388 were in critical condition

Teachers in US state of Georgia herded back into unsafe classrooms

By Kranti Kumara, 18 February 2021

In spite of four teacher deaths and strident opposition, the state of Georgia is denying educators vaccinations and sending them back to unsafe schools.

São Paulo’s municipal teachers strike grows despite union sabotage

By Tomas Castanheira, 18 February 2021

A survey by rank-and-file teachers indicates that the strike has spread to hundreds of schools in the city, preventing many of them from reopening.

Amazon sues New York to claim immunity from state COVID-19 safety regulations

By Tom Carter, 18 February 2021

Amazon filed a lawsuit in federal district court Friday demanding a ruling that it is not required to comply with New York safety laws and regulations, while New York authorities filed a complaint against Amazon on Tuesday that paints a devastating picture of the callous disregard for workers’ lives by the $1.6 trillion global conglomerate throughout the pandemic.

Biden falsely downplays dangers of COVID-19 in schools

By Evan Blake, 18 February 2021

At a CNN town hall event Wednesday, Biden made his most direct intervention into the campaign to reopen schools, falsely claiming that children and their families are not endangered by the reopenings.

CDC school opening guidelines ignore the critical role of ventilation and infection control in classrooms

By Benjamin Mateus, 17 February 2021

The CDC has downplayed the role of ventilation in making schools safe for reopening. Efficiently operating HVAC systems are an important part of infection control for airborne pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2.

BBC Hospital series explores crisis faced by UK’s National Health Service during COVID-19 pandemic

By Ben Trent, 17 February 2021

The series amounts to an indictment of the government’s policy during the pandemic and the impact of decades of cuts on the NHS—facts that will not be lost on Hospital ’s many viewers.

Philadelphia Teachers Union promotes pseudo-science as it prepares deal to open schools

By Douglas Lyons, 17 February 2021

The PFT is hoping to stymie any opposition from educators and parents who have compelled the district to backpedal in reopening several times already.

SUNY colleges face rapid spread of COVID-19 just weeks into semester

By Alex Findijs, 17 February 2021

Just two weeks since in-person instruction began, more than 1,200 students have tested positive for COVID-19. Such rapid transmission is a stark warning of what may come with the spread of more contagious variants of the virus.

Los Angeles officials press to reopen schools, citing bogus “threshold”

By Tom Hall, 17 February 2021

The campaign to reopen schools in the US reached its next phase Monday night, when Los Angeles County officials declared that the second-largest school district in the country has been “cleared” to reopen.

Professional football testing and tracing regimens reveal further dangers for in-person teaching

By Bryan Dyne, 17 February 2021

If transmission of the coronavirus can penetrate the National Football League’s extraordinarily well-funded testing and contact tracing program, the vast majority of workers, who do not have access to such resources, stand no chance.

Mobilize educators and workers across Tennessee to stop school reopenings in Memphis!

Tennessee Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 17 February 2021

We appeal to educators and workers across Tennessee to mount a determined fight against the reopening of schools in Memphis and Shelby County, which are slated to begin on March 1.

Washington’s Wuhan laboratory lie

By Andre Damon, 16 February 2021

In the face of universal scientific consensus on the natural origins of COVID-19, the Biden administration and the US media have doubled down on the lie that the disease was released from a Chinese laboratory.

UK: Boris Johnson’s herd immunity government readies “irreversible” measures to end the “last lockdown”

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2021

What will be outlined next Monday is a timetable for the loss of many thousands more lives to a deadly and constantly mutating disease.

Dramatic spread of coronavirus in the Czech Republic

By Markus Salzmann, 16 February 2021

Given the dramatic spread of the coronavirus, the Czech government has extended the state of emergency that has been in effect since October and was originally set to end on Sunday.

Business as usual as the US nears a half million deaths from COVID-19

By Benjamin Mateus, 16 February 2021

The United States is approaching a horrific milestone in the course of the pandemic: 500,000 deaths. Yet, the ruling class continues to pursue the policy of herd immunity at any cost.

Oregon and other US states prioritize vaccinating educators in order to boost profits

By David Fitzgerald, 16 February 2021

Numerous US states plan to vaccinate teachers in the first phase of vaccinations as a means to reopen schools, regardless of the extent of community spread.

New York Governor Cuomo embroiled in political crisis over coverup of nursing home deaths

By Josh Varlin, 16 February 2021

The revelation that data on nursing home deaths was withheld from state legislators for months underscores the bipartisan nature of the ruling class response to the pandemic, which prioritizes profit over lives.

As infections surge, highly contagious strain of COVID-19 confirmed in Sri Lanka

By Naveen Dewage, 16 February 2021

Doctors and medical experts have warned that the country could face a health catastrophe due to inadequate health facilities and an acceleration of the pandemic’s spread.

Peru government shaken by vaccine scandal as COVID pandemic spirals

By Bill Van Auken, 16 February 2021

With infections and deaths nearing record levels, Peru’s health and foreign ministers have been forced to resign for getting early shots of the coronavirus vaccine.

Hundreds of thousands of renters at risk of losing their homes throughout the US Midwest

By Cole Michaels, 16 February 2021

Such an unprecedented situation is the byproduct of a growing social crisis in which millions have been left without jobs and financial assistance.

Johnson government plans UK National Health Service “overhaul” to streamline privatisation

By Thomas Scripps, 16 February 2021

The White Paper formalises the process of privatisation and outright cronyism that ran riot during the pandemic.

South African government puts vaccination programme on hold

By Jean Shaoul, 16 February 2021

Ramaphosa’s government faces a mounting public health crisis, widespread criticisms of its handling of the pandemic and the vaccination rollout, allegations of corruption over Covid-19 spending, near-daily electricity blackouts and soaring debt amid shrinking coffers.

999 Missouri evictions

15 February 2021

CDC’s politically motivated guidelines fuel media campaign to reopen US schools

By Benjamin Mateus, 14 February 2021

The weeks-long propaganda campaign falsely claiming that schools are not vectors for the spread of COVID-19 now has the full imprimatur of the CDC.

Australian COVID-19 vaccine roll-out still uncertain

By Martin Scott, 14 February 2021

As distribution problems mount around the world, Australia is still weeks away from receiving its first doses.

“We are being abandoned by our union and being led to the slaughter by our school system”

Teachers from Maryland’s Eastern Shore speak out against school reopenings

By Harvey Simpkins, 14 February 2021

Three teachers from the Eastern Shore of Maryland recently spoke to the World Socialist Web Site Educators Newsletter about the reopening of schools and their reasons for joining the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee. Their names have been changed to protect them from retaliation by both their school system and union.

Despite mass deaths, Poland ends lockdown

By Martin Nowak, 14 February 2021

The Polish government is gradually ending its lockdown, even though the pandemic is still raging and hundreds are dying every day from COVID-19.

Austrian government ends lockdown despite spread of coronavirus variant

By Markus Salzmann, 14 February 2021

Schools and commerce will be fully reopened despite the fact that infection and death rates remain high and very contagious viral variants are rapidly spreading in the country.