The coronavirus pandemic

Study of New York City transit workers spotlights pandemic’s ongoing physical and emotional toll

By Daniel de Vries, 26 October 2020

The findings were dismissed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in an effort cover up the risk of a full-scale reopening of the city.

White House makes clear, “We’re not going to control the pandemic”

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 October 2020

In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” talk show, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made clear that the Trump Administration has abandoned any efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID’s deadly toll on people with Alzheimer’s and dementia

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 October 2020

Deaths from dementia have been catastrophic as the isolation and lockdowns of nursing homes have led to cessation of vital support and treatment for this vulnerable layer of the population.

Australia: New COVID-19 infections follow reopening of Melbourne schools

By Patrick Kelly, 26 October 2020

The infection clusters underscore the dangers of reopening schools amid continued community transmission of COVID-19.

Ontario’s reckless reopening of workplaces and schools producing disastrous conditions in child care facilities

By Omar Ali, 26 October 2020

At big business’ behest, governments across Canada and of every political stripe have starved child care of public funds for decades.

COVID-19 “long-hauler” phenomenon presents in children and teens as schools reopen against expert advice

By Katy Kinner, 26 October 2020

New data is surfacing that suggests children can be saddled with chronic and debilitating post-viral illness after even mild cases of COVID-19.

With nearly a half-million COVID cases daily, WHO warns world is at a critical juncture

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 October 2020

With daily COVID-19 cases reaching nearly one-half million, the WHO warns if measures are not immediately taken to stem the exponential growth of the pandemic the health crisis will become catastrophic.

UK COVID-19 deaths surge to more than 1,100 over last week

By Robert Stevens, 24 October 2020

It was the premature ending of the national lockdown from June onwards, and the opening of schools, colleges and workplaces to facilitate the profitmaking of big business, that produced this disastrous situation.

Thousands of furloughed US aviation workers see no relief from US Congress

By Steve Filips, 24 October 2020

Tens of thousands of airline workers remain furloughed as relief remains stalled in by US Congress.

As COVID-19 hospitalizations spike by over 80 percent statewide

“Entire healthcare system at risk of another capacity crisis,” warn leading Michigan doctors in open letter

By Zac Corrigan, 24 October 2020

The letter was signed by 28 Chief Medical Officers and Chief Clinical Officers across Michigan, representing 110 of the state’s 137 hospitals.

Catastrophic increase of coronavirus infections in Germany

By Gregor Link, 24 October 2020

Since January, over 380,000 people in Germany have been infected with COVID-19, more than one in ten within the last seven days.

“The forming of rank-and-file committees in schools is so important as the voices of teachers, students, carers, administration and many others are being ignored”

Worker in UK speaks out on the unsafe reopening of schools

By Our reporter, 24 October 2020

Colin spoke to the WSWS after participating in a recent meeting of the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee in the UK.

Chicago officials plan to reopen schools for 20,000 students

By Michael Walters, 24 October 2020

The plan to shift from online learning to a daily in-person schedule was announced as Illinois’ seven-day average COVID-19 testing positivity rate surpassed five percent for the first time since early June.

Catastrophic job losses continue in the US as nearly 800,000 new unemployment claims reported

By Jacob Crosse, 23 October 2020

Over 65 million claims have been filed since mid-March as state and federal assistance expires for millions.

“The plant is a powder keg”

Fiat Chrysler covered up dozens of infections and two deaths at Jefferson North Assembly Plant

By Shannon Jones, 23 October 2020

According to a leaked report, there have been about 60 COVID infections at the FCA Jefferson North plant and at least two workers have died since May.

UK parent speaks out about catastrophic “herd immunity” policy of Johnson government

By Our reporter, 23 October 2020

“Achieving herd immunity properly means protecting people through vaccination. It has never been shown that herd immunity can be achieved by allowing people to catch a virus and die.”

New Zealand markets, business welcome Labour’s election victory

By John Braddock, 23 October 2020

Labour and the Greens both used the election to reassure the corporate elite they would continue to meet their demands.

Germany’s Left Party embraces “herd immunity” policy

By Johannes Stern, 23 October 2020

“I am preparing myself for the fact that we must learn to live with coronavirus,” Left Party State Premier Bodo Ramelow said last week.

Over 100 teachers launch wildcat sickout strike in Houston

By Chase Lawrence and Evan Blake, 23 October 2020

The drive by Texas Democrats to reopen Houston schools coincides with the platform of the Biden-Harris campaign, which fraudulently claim that this can be done “safely” while the pandemic spirals out of control.

Sri Lankan workers must rally the rural poor against Rajapakse’s “herd immunity” policies

By Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) statement, 22 October 2020

The true situation was hidden from the outset because the government refused to implement rigorous anti-COVID-19 measures when the virus first impacted on the country in late January.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold online meeting on a socialist program to fight COVID-19

By The Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 22 October 2020

The event will discuss the policies necessary for workers, the rural poor and youth to combat the coronavirus disaster and the Rajapakse administration’s austerity and anti-democratic measures.

Ten percent of US households face eviction by year’s end

By Katy Kinner, 22 October 2020

As the CDC eviction moratorium order reaches its expiration date on January 1, the eviction and homelessness crisis in the US is heading toward an explosion of unprecedented proportions.

GM victimizes Mexican worker for quarantining after catching COVID-19

By Andrea Lobo, 22 October 2020

After 26 years working for GM, Sergio Contreras was fired after he quarantined, challenging the efforts of the corporation to cover up COVID-19 outbreaks and continue production.

Australian corporate elite demands lifting of all coronavirus safety restrictions

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2020

A hysterical campaign is underway, insisting that any public health measures are an unacceptable impost on the wealth and profits of the financial aristocracy.

COVID-19 pandemic surges despite limited curfew measures across Europe

By Anthony Torres, 22 October 2020

With 700,000 new cases and 8,000 deaths from the virus last week, health officials are warning mortality this winter could reach four to five times that in the spring of 2020.

Houston schools reopen as COVID-19 surges in Texas

By Emma Arceneaux, 22 October 2020

The push to reopen the largest district in the state, and seventh-largest in the country, takes place as the coronavirus pandemic is raging in Texas, which has over 881,000 confirmed cases and 17,646 deaths, the second highest numbers in the country.

As coronavirus infections spike across Midwest

Excess US deaths during COVID-19 pandemic top 300,000

By Benjamin Mateus, 22 October 2020

The estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is nearly 50 percent higher than the official coronavirus death toll of 220,000 in the United States.

999 Left Party embraces "herd immunity"

22 October 2020

Woman died from COVID-19 on Spirit Airline flight in July

By Chase Lawrence, 22 October 2020

The case was just confirmed this weekend, meaning that the whole cabin, medical crews and many people in the airport were, unbeknownst to themselves, potentially exposed to the deadly pathogen.

Washtenaw County issues stay-at-home order at University of Michigan campus in the wake of campus COVID outbreak

By Jesse Thomas, 21 October 2020

The rise in cases at the University of Michigan follows the shutdown of the graduate student strike last month, which was waged in opposition to the university’s unsafe reopening policy.

Missouri coronavirus infection rates spike, creating havoc in schools, economy

By Cole Michaels, 21 October 2020

As in the Midwest more generally, Missouri hit another record level number of COVID-19 infections over the last week, driven by the White House’s “herd immunity” policy.

School nurse dies from COVID-19 as officials in Baltimore–Washington region reopen schools

By Harvey Simpkins, 21 October 2020

The push to reopen Democrat-controlled districts throughout the region is part of a nationwide trend that has been spearheaded in New York City, the largest district in the US.

Workers’ struggles grow as Turkish government pursues “herd immunity” policy

By Ulaş Ateşçi, 21 October 2020

This homicidal policy is provoking growing anger and opposition within the working class to the ruling class’ response to the pandemic.

Nursing home workers take strike action in Detroit suburb

By Kevin Reed, 21 October 2020

Employees at Four Seasons Rehabilitation and Nursing in Westland, Michigan walked out Monday morning to demand better wages, increased staffing and safe working conditions.

Europe on course for double-dip recession

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2020

The IMF’s forecast for a global recovery in 2021 is looking increasingly shaky in the face of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Northern Virginia Community College faculty and staff speak out about loss of work due to budget crisis

By Dominic Gustavo and Nick Barrickman, 21 October 2020

Professors and student workers in the Virginia Community College System spoke to the IYSSE about their loss of work related to the pandemic

Trump steps up fascist agitation, targeting Fauci

By Barry Grey, 21 October 2020

Fauci has already become a target of far-right Trump supporters. He and his wife have received death threats by email, phone and text message.

Further signs of the “devastating impact” of the pandemic on arts and artists: What are the implications?

By David Walsh, 21 October 2020

The ongoing destruction of the jobs, incomes and aspirations of tens of thousands of artists of every kind in the US and elsewhere has a significance that goes beyond the immediate cultural sphere.

999 USPS Update

21 October 2020

999 Fed data show over 100 million Americans out of work

21 October 2020

Federal Reserve data shows over 100 million in US out of labor force

By Jacob Crosse, 21 October 2020

The number reveals that despite claims of a falling unemployment rate, millions remain out of work as Congress refuses to pass coronavirus relief.

UK Labour and Tory politicians support herd immunity in Greater Manchester feud

By Thomas Scripps, 21 October 2020

What is animating Burnham’s opposition to the government are tactical differences and conflicting interests between different groups of capitalists, rather than any consideration of principle

SUNY Cortland continues pause on in-person instruction following continued outbreak

By Alex Findijs, 20 October 2020

Cortland has already been in a two-week pause after recording more than 100 cases of COVID-19 in a two-week period. School plans to reopen were foiled after a major outbreak days before the end of the temporary pause

UK COVID-19 “alert” system overseen by UK spy chiefs

By Julie Hyland, 20 October 2020

The decision to invest in this secretive body, rather than the National Health Service, is part of the policy of herd immunity, while using the pandemic to restructure economic and social relations and strengthen the state apparatus.

Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee demands two-week shutdown to stop coronavirus spread

By Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 20 October 2020

In response to the emergence of a new cluster of coronavirus cases at the factory last week, the Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee, founded in August to oppose the spread of the contagion, inhumane working conditions and the systematic victimization of whistleblowers, has issued the following statement.

US health insurance companies see profits soar while mounting medical bills bankrupt Americans

By Alex Johnson, 20 October 2020

Insurance companies saw their profit margins soar during the first half of this year, while millions of American families are being sent into bankruptcy under the weight of massive medical debts during the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 resurgence devastates Spanish working class

By Alice Summers, 20 October 2020

Despite the devastation caused by COVID-19, the Socialist Party-Podemos government is refusing to take any serious measures to contain the pandemic.

IG Metall union demands state involvement at German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 20 October 2020

The billions in state funds being called for are aimed not at saving jobs, but preserving the fortunes of the big shareholders.

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation facilitates reckless reopening of schools that puts teachers and students’ lives at risk

By Matthew Richter, 19 October 2020

While the teachers union has connived with the NDP provincial government to reopen schools, popular opposition is mounting. As of tomorrow, more than 800 parents across British Columbia plan to keep their kids at home to protest the unsafe conditions in the classrooms.

As safety protocols vanish, Fiat Chrysler advises workers “protect your pets from COVID”

By Shannon Jones, 19 October 2020

Management advises workers to protect their pets from COVID-19 as it junks safety measures.

Tennessee educator dies of COVID-19 after governor touts “strong safety measures” in schools

By Our reporters, 19 October 2020

Fifty-three-year old Susan Keener, an educational assistant at Walter Hill Elementary School in Rutherford County, Tennessee, died after being placed on a ventilator due to the contraction of COVID-19 in August.

COVID-19 infections soar in US

By Kate Randall, 19 October 2020

The massive spike in COVID-19 cases is an indication that the US ruling elite’s policy of reopening businesses and schools is already resulting in the surge predicted by public health experts for the fall and winter.

COVID-19 pandemic surges in Turkey as government continues to hide data

By Barış Demir and Ulaş Ateşçi, 19 October 2020

The government is allowing the virus to spread, citing false data to refuse any demands for lock-downs and suppress growing anger and concern within the working class.

“The pandemic is not over yet”

Brazilian nurse speaks out against closure of COVID hospital and firing of 300 employees

By Tomas Castanheira, 19 October 2020

The workers of the Castanhal Regional Hospital carried out a protest last Thursday demanding their jobs back and the payment of overdue salaries.

German parents’ associations protest against dangerous school openings

By Gregor Link, 19 October 2020

More and more workers and young people in Germany and Europe as a whole oppose the policy of herd immunity decreed by ruling circles, a policy that will result in the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

999 COVID-19 deepens South Asia economic crisis

17 October 2020

Alarming spike of COVID-19 infections in Michigan amid ruling class push for “herd immunity”

By Valery Tsekov, 17 October 2020

Several Republican state senators in the Michigan Senate held an online meeting last Saturday, where they discussed steps towards the lifting of mandates to wear masks indoors despite a clear resurgence of the disease.

Sri Lankan free trade zone employees told to keep working as infections rise

By Wimal Perera and Kapila Fernando, 17 October 2020

“The lives of workers have been thrown to the wolves in order to protect the profits of the big capitalists,” one worker told the WSWS.

999 Reports on Insurance profits/medical bills

17 October 2020

Mobilize the working class against the European Union’s “herd immunity” policies!

By Alex Lantier, 17 October 2020

As Europe emerges as an epicenter of a global resurgence of COVID-19, the EU is pursuing a policy leading to deaths on an unprecedented scale, far surpassing the 200,000 deaths this spring.

7,000 new infections in 24 hours: Germany’s highest COVID numbers since beginning of pandemic

By Marianne Arens, 17 October 2020

The German chancellor and leaders of the federal states are maintaining their policy of herd immunity despite the eruption of a second wave of coronavirus cases.

Brazil’s COVID-19 deaths pass 150,000 mark amid back-to-school campaign

By Eduardo Parati and Gabriel Lemos, 17 October 2020

After reaching the grim milestone, state governments are following Bolsonaro’s homicidal back-to-school policies with the support of the unions.

UK’s local lockdown system in disarray as COVID-19 cases surge out of control

By Robert Stevens, 17 October 2020

This dispute been the local Labour authorities and central government confirms that combating the spread of this deadly disease cannot be left in the hands of any faction of the ruling elite, and their political representatives.

The Great Barrington Declaration: A manifesto of death

By Andre Damon, 16 October 2020

The White House’s embrace of “herd immunity” is a statement of malicious intent to allow hundreds of thousands more people to die amid a global resurgence of the pandemic.

Global surge in COVID-19 cases as governments abandon efforts to contain the pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 16 October 2020

The policy of “herd immunity,” effectively allowing a killer disease to run rampant, threatens to overwhelm hospitals and lead to a rising tide of deaths and suffering.

Trump administration tipped off wealthy investors about coronavirus while it downplayed threat in public

By Jacob Crosse, 16 October 2020

The revelations reveal the overriding concern of the US government was the protection of the financial aristocracy at the expense of the health and safety of the population.

Nearly 900,000 new jobless claims in US as benefit cutoffs lead to spike in poverty

By Shannon Jones, 16 October 2020

New unemployment claims reached 898,000 last week as researchers report that the cutoff of federal supplemental unemployment benefits has fueled a surge in poverty.

Amnesty International condemns Johnson government for thousands of UK care home deaths

By Simon Whelan, 16 October 2020

What occurred in care homes was mass murder due to the policy of herd immunity.

Protests against police brutality in Nigeria amid economic catastrophe

By Stephan McCoy, 16 October 2020

The protests were sparked by the killing of a young man in Delta State, in southern Nigeria, during a stop-and-search operation on October 3, although the police denied that Special Anti-Robbery Squad officers were involved.

New York University defies state COVID-19 guidelines and continues in-person classes

By John Conrad, 16 October 2020

The decision to not immediately halt in-person classes and work at NYU amid a resurgence of the pandemic underscores the recklessness of the university administration.

New cluster of COVID-19 hits Faurecia Gladstone factory in Columbus, Indiana

By Tim Rivers, 16 October 2020

In spite of stonewalling by management, auto parts workers have been able to verify the infections of at least five individuals, including equipment drivers who move throughout the plant.

Faculty union abruptly ends strike at Youngstown State University

By Isaac Finn, 16 October 2020

The faculty union at YSU announced a shutdown of a three-day strike after an “understanding” was reached with the administration.

University of Michigan cafeteria workers oppose reopening of dining halls as coronavirus continues to spread on campus

By Jesse Thomas, 16 October 2020

In the weeks following the sellout of the graduate student strike, multiple COVID-19 clusters have been confirmed on campus, demonstrating the complete inadequacy of the university’s testing regime.

San Diego educators force delay in school reopenings as COVID-19 spreads in the region

By Melody Isley, 16 October 2020

The delay to school reopenings stems directly from the actions of rank-and-file educators and parents, who have organized car caravan protests and have been increasingly outspoken on social media.

UK at “perilous moment” with NHS unable to cope

By Rory Woods, 15 October 2020

Treatment and care for the victims of the government’s herd immunity strategy is under threat, with the NHS facing a “triple whammy” of staff burnout, a massive backlog of treatment built-up during the pandemic, and a huge surge of COVID-19.

Macron hails herd immunity, rejects lockdown as COVID-19 surges in Europe

By Alex Lantier, 15 October 2020

In a national interview, Macron said non-essential work and in-person schooling would continue and that he is aiming for 90,000-150,000 monthly new COVID-19 cases in France.

French, Spanish hospital workers protest as COVID-19 spreads across Europe

By Will Morrow, 15 October 2020

Protests are driven by demands for desperately-needed resources for hospital workers to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Tripling of new coronavirus infections in Germany in only one month

By Marianne Arens, 15 October 2020

Anger is growing among workers at the herd immunity policy being imposed by big business, as the government is using the pandemic as an excuse to deploy the army within Germany.

Pandemic fuels class struggle across Africa

By Jean Shaoul, 15 October 2020

The working class is manifesting its discontent with the situation in a resurgent wave of political radicalisation that had briefly abated after the onset of the pandemic.

Trump’s “herd immunity” policy and right-wing terror

By Andre Damon, 14 October 2020

On Tuesday, Newsweek reported that two Trump administration officials said the White House supports the Great Barrington Declaration, a statement advocating for the mass infection of the population with COVID-19 through a policy of “herd immunity.”

Michigan Supreme Court overturns governor’s executive orders on COVID-19 pandemic

Benefits for hundreds of thousands of jobless workers in jeopardy

By James Brookfield, 14 October 2020

The rulings coincide with the demands of the ruling elite that workers return to work under dangerous conditions so that profitability can be restored.

“If they don’t figure out what’s really going on there, people are going to continue to die”

Whistleblowers: Colorado meatpacking plant used threats and lies to keep potentially infected workers on the job

By Cordell Gascoigne, 14 October 2020

Two former health screeners at the JBS beef processing facility in Greeley, Colorado after a coronavirus outbreak have blown the whistle on flagrant violations of basic safety measures by management.

The Great Barrington Declaration: Capitalism’s global policy of herd immunity

By Benjamin Mateus, 14 October 2020

Super spreading events are the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 infections. The recent declaration at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, attempts to establish herd-immunity as a global policy that will have catastrophic consequences for the working class.

Johnson UK government rejected scientific advisers’ call for temporary national lockdown in September

By Robert Stevens, 14 October 2020

The measures advised by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies fell way below a full lockdown, but such was the Tories’ determination to enforce their herd immunity agenda that every measure was rejected bar one.

Polish high school students strike to demand end to in-person classes

By Clara Weiss, 14 October 2020

Schools have become the main vector for the second wave of the pandemic, with at least two teachers and one 20-year-old student dying over the past week alone.

Teacher death toll mounts as districts across the US push forward with school reopenings

By Emma Arceneaux, 14 October 2020

At least eight more educators across the US have died from COVID-19 in the past two weeks alone.

COVID-19 outbreaks erupt in Florida public schools as state demands further reopenings

By Alex Johnson, 14 October 2020

Public schools in Florida are experiencing a dangerous growth of COVID-19 infections as the state government aggressively pursues in-class instruction in locations ravaged by the pandemic.

Australia: New South Wales wage freeze approved by Industrial Relations Commission

By Martin Scott, 14 October 2020

Growing numbers of workers are demanding industrial action while the unions are advocating impotent appeals to big business politicians.

More than three-quarters of event workers have lost all of their income

Live music industry in the US faces “massive collapse” due to pandemic

By David Walsh, 14 October 2020

The devastation has implications that go beyond even the immediate economic situation, as desperate as that is. The coronavirus crisis is threatening to wipe out a considerable portion of cultural life in the US.

COVID-19 outbreak exposes Sri Lankan government claims that pandemic is under control

By Naveen Dewage, 13 October 2020

The previous, relatively low number of COVID-19 infections in Sri Lanka is mainly the result of the government’s refusal to carry out systematic testing.

Coronavirus infections in Germany threaten to overload hospitals

By Markus Salzmann, 13 October 2020

In the last months, protective measures against the virus have been almost completely dismantled. The government has done nothing to prepare hospitals for the inevitable rise in serious cases.

Cuts to healthcare system responsible for Victoria’s coronavirus resurgence

By Margaret Rees, 13 October 2020

Mass health worker infections are the direct outcome of the gutting of the sector by successive state and federal governments, Labor and Liberal alike.

UK jobs cull continues as thousands more redundancies are announced

By Margot Miller, 13 October 2020

The pandemic is having a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods, thanks to the disastrous policies of the Johnson-led Conservative government—fully supported by the Labour opposition and trade unions.

Poverty in Germany: Power cuts for 289,000 households

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 13 October 2020

Hundreds of thousands had no lights, no warm water, could use neither stoves nor refrigerators, could not do laundry and had no access to radio, television or the internet.

Irish government rejects medical experts as coronavirus infections spiral out of control

By Dermot Byrne, 13 October 2020

Ireland's coalition government has scorned advice from scientists and medical experts to impose a full lockdown.

Australian citizens stranded by COVID-19 measures denounce Morrison government

By John Harris, 13 October 2020

“The rich are having no trouble circumnavigating the globe because they can still travel first class. It’s no big deal to them. Everyone who flies economy class is stuck and with no chance of getting in.”

New Jersey projected to face disproportionate growth in food insecurity

By Erik Schreiber, 13 October 2020

The Community Food Bank predicts that the number of food-insecure New Jersey residents will surpass 1.2 million—a staggering 13.5 percent of the state’s population.

As COVID-19 claims the life of London bus driver Kofi Opoku, Unite mounts fake “safety campaign” to stem drivers’ anger

By Laura Tiernan, 13 October 2020

Unite is seizing on a second wave of COVID-19 to deepen its corporatist partnership with Transport for London and the bus companies.

The Green Party of Canada chooses a new leader—multiple political frauds for the price of one

By James Clayton and Keith Jones, 12 October 2020

Anamie Paul, the candidate favoured by the Green Party establishment, narrowly prevailed over the “eco-socialist,” Palestinian-rights activist, and one-time Wall Street lawyer, Dimitri Lascaris.

State and federal governments conceal COVID-19 outbreaks in US schools

By Chase Lawrence, 12 October 2020

Across the US, the location of coronavirus outbreaks in schools are being deliberately hidden from the public, in order to prevent teachers and parents from drawing the conclusion that face-to-face instruction should stop.