Join the Socialist Equality Party

 

The coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus cases surpass six million globally

By Bryan Dyne, 30 May 2020

New epicenters in Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent are rapidly causing massive public health crises.

Detroit autoworkers report unexplained illness at Jefferson North Assembly as COVID cases mount

By Shannon Jones, 30 May 2020

Several B Crew workers at Fiat Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit fell ill from unknown causes during work on Thursday.

UK: Official figures inflate COVID-19 testing rate by more than a million

By Alice Summers, 30 May 2020

The Johnson government is again seeking to cover up criminal inaction that has led to tens of thousands of deaths.

German and French trade unions back Merkel and Macron’s recovery programme

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2020

Trade union support for the recovery programme is a signal to Paris and Berlin that they can rely on the unflinching support on the unions in combating rivals on the global market and implementing attacks on the working class.

Workers in Germany report on corona virus infection risk in workplaces

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 May 2020

Workers highlight the lack of safety measures in public transit and factories.

Bangladesh COVID-19 deaths soar past 500

By Rohantha De Silva, 30 May 2020

The death and infection curves are still rising, but the Awami League government is reopening the economy in the interests of big business.

After ignoring migrant workers’ plight, the Indian Supreme Court now acknowledges unfolding social tragedy

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 30 May 2020

The court’s intervention reflects concerns fear by India’s legal authorities that mounting mass anger will erupt against the entire capitalist elite and its state.

“When push comes to shove to make cuts, education is on the cut list.”

Massachusetts school district gets rid of art, music and PE teachers for coming school year

By Will McCalliss, 30 May 2020

The drastic cuts at Randolph and Brookline schools are a foretaste of what will befall many districts, teachers and students across the US.

Trinity Health to terminate psychiatric beds in Massachusetts in midst of pandemic

By Ben Oliver, 30 May 2020

If approved by the state, the closure will eliminate 74 beds for adults, the elderly, and children, along with 202 jobs.

Australia’s “national cabinet” declared permanent

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 May 2020

The purpose of the new body is to suppress widespread social and political opposition, and create the conditions for a further pro-business restructuring of the economy.

Pandemic intensifies social crisis in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 30 May 2020

More than a third of the population is in financial difficulty, as the Ardern Labour Party-led coalition government presides over tens of thousands of job cuts.

No to the reopening of schools! Build action committees to safeguard children and teachers!

Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 30 May 2020

The “phased” return of school children is a criminal policy that places children, teachers, families, and communities open to the risk of serious illness and death.

Indian autoworkers strike for COVID-19 safety measures; Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers demonstrate

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

30 May 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Rise in deaths attributed to pneumonia suggests official US coronavirus death toll is grossly undercounted

By Bryan Dyne and Benjamin Mateus, 29 May 2020

The actual number of COVID-19 dead in the United States is likely to be at least 150,000, 50 percent more than what has been officially reported.

White House considers expelling Chinese graduate students and researchers

By Shuvu Batta, 29 May 2020

The Trump administration is reportedly planning to expel some three to five thousand Chinese graduate students and researchers.

Local television stations broadcast fake news stories scripted by Amazon

By Douglas Lyons and Nick Barrickman, 29 May 2020

Reporters at nearly a dozen local news stations in the US dutifully read from scripts prepared by Amazon while broadcasting public relations videos prepared and edited by the company.

California Governor Gavin Newsom ramps up reopening despite serious public health threats

By Norisa Santa Cruz and Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 29 May 2020

The Democratic governor is accelerating the re-opening of the state, allowing resumption of business for shopping malls, dine-in restaurants, and large gatherings, despite the enormous dangers of COVID-19.

New York governor exempts nursing home operators from criminal liability after taking millions from the industry

By Philip Guelpa, 29 May 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo took millions in donations from hospital and nursing home executives and then protected them from responsibility for deadly criminal actions regarding COVID-19.

Nursing union NYSNA provides cover for Cuomo’s push to reopen the economy

By Ali Elhassan, 29 May 2020

The New York State Nurses Association is promoting the illusion that the political establishment responsible for jeopardizing the health of the population and frontline health care workers can be pressured into adopting socially responsible policies.

Russia’s right-wing opposition tries to gain from COVID-19 crisis

By Andrea Peters, 29 May 2020

As President Vladimir Putin’s poll numbers fall to historically low levels, right-wing opposition leader Alexei Navalny seeks to present himself as a defender of health care workers and “the people.”

Amid worsening economic downturn, European Union moves to set up bailout fund

By Nick Beams, 29 May 2020

The move to establish the new fund comes amid warnings that the effects of the pandemic on the European economy are far more serious than had been initially anticipated.

UK: Weston General Hospital shuts due to coronavirus outbreak among staff

By Robert Stevens and Ben Trent, 29 May 2020

The outbreak reveals the enormous dangers to the health and lives of National Health Service workers.

UK: Johnson government forced to retreat over attacks on migrant NHS workers

By Tony Robson, 29 May 2020

The government had insisted that only doctors, nurses, and paramedics would be made exempt from the NHS surcharge and that only their families qualified for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) in the event of their death.

Child poverty and hunger set to spike in Puerto Rico

By Alberto Escalera, 29 May 2020

Even before the pandemic, the island was reeling from a decade-long economic recession, chronically low labor force participation rates and a public debt crisis that served as a pretext for years of severe austerity policies.

With support from the teacher unions, Trump demands the unsafe reopening of schools “ASAP”

By Nancy Hanover, 29 May 2020

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in 24 states, Trump is recklessly demanding the immediate reopening of schools, while the American Federation of Teachers has pledged its full support.

Letter from an American teacher: “In a pandemic, no one is safe unless we are all safe.”

29 May 2020

The WSWS Teacher Newsletter has received this letter from a high school AP Biology teacher in the Bay Area, California for publication.

City University of New York to lay off thousands of adjunct faculty amid financial crisis

By Elliott Murtagh, 29 May 2020

The City University of New York system is beginning to implement sweeping budget cuts triggered by New York state’s estimated $13.3 billion loss in tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial press hails Australian government’s union-employer offensive against workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 May 2020

The unions have committed to a sweeping pro-business overhaul of workplace conditions and industrial relations on the pretext of the pandemic.

Sri Lankan government responds to rising COVID-19 infections by abandoning expatriate workers

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 May 2020

The Rajapakse government’s ruthless attitude towards the stranded migrant workers is matched by its hostility to ordinary people inside Sri Lankan.

American ruling class exploits the pandemic to escalate assault on jobs and wages

By Jerry White, 29 May 2020

Major US corporations that have received billions in government bailout money are slashing thousands of jobs while protecting their corporate executives and biggest shareholders.

Automakers expand US production, even as COVID-19 cases increase

By Shannon Jones, 29 May 2020

The almost daily exposure of new COVID-19 cases in auto plants has not slowed the rush to increase production by North American carmakers, who face enormous pressure from financial markets.

Over 62,300 US health workers infected and 291 dead from COVID-19

By Katy Kinner, 28 May 2020

Widespread employer and governmental neglect of basic safety protections are to blame for the massive increase in infection rates and deaths among health care workers.

Trump threatens to close social media platforms after Twitter puts fact-check warnings on his tweets

By Kevin Reed, 28 May 2020

President Trump issued a threat to shut down social media companies on Wednesday after Twitter placed a fact-checking label on two of his tweets making unsubstantiated claims about mail-in ballots.

Yemen’s health care system collapses under weight of pandemic

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2020

The UN has warned that if its programmes close, “the world will have to witness what happens in a country without a functioning health system battling COVID-19”.

British ruling class fears Dominic Cummings crisis undermines “social contract”

By Thomas Scripps, 28 May 2020

Johnson used the phrase “move on” five times in 20 minutes when appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee.

UK: Johnson government to unveil second multi-billion bailout of big business

By Robert Stevens, 28 May 2020

Project Birch follows on from the handing over of nearly a trillion pounds in the form of quantitative easing of £645 billion and £330 billion in business loans.

UK students threatened with eviction during coronavirus pandemic

By Peter Reydt and Laura Tiernan, 28 May 2020

Eighty percent of students are worried about how they will cope financially. Even before the pandemic, soaring rents were creating social distress.

With US states facing a $230 billion loss in education funding, Betsy DeVos channels public assets to private schools

By Evan Blake, 28 May 2020

Facing an unprecedented budget crisis in every state, the ruling class is working to impose the full burden of the pandemic on the working class through massive austerity, including an evisceration of K-12 public education.

Mumbai health care system overwhelmed as COVID-19 surges across India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 28 May 2020

”It’s a war zone,” said a doctor employed at one of the main hospitals in India’s second largest city.

COVID-19 destroys almost half a million tourism jobs in Sri Lanka

By our reporters, 28 May 2020

Big tourist companies demand more funds to revive their businesses, not out of sympathy for workers, but to boost profits.

Oppose the rush to reopen Australian schools! Form safety action committees of teachers and staff!

By the Committee for Public Education (CFPE), 28 May 2020

At stake is not just the immediate public safety concerns in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but the future of the education system.

As Brazil leads world in new COVID-19 deaths, Workers Party and pseudo-lefts rally behind capitalist state

By Miguel Andrade, 28 May 2020

The so-called opposition has brought impeachment articles against Bolsonaro for harming “internal security” in his handling of the pandemic.

Dow Jones hits 25,000 as pandemic death toll reaches 100,000

By David North, 27 May 2020

The Wall Street surge anticipates the shutdown of all restraints on corporate operations and capitalist profiteerring.

Reports question undercounting of COVID-19 deaths in US and globally

By Bryan Dyne, 27 May 2020

There is increasing evidence that the actual fatalities caused by the pandemic are up to three times the numbers officially reported.

US corporations, government cover up workplace infections and deaths

By Jerry White, 27 May 2020

Recent reports on the meatpacking, logistics and other industries document a systematic effort to conceal the number of COVID-19 cases in workplaces.

UK: Johnson government crisis worsens after Dominic Cummings press conference

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 27 May 2020

Cummings has emerged as the near universally despised embodiment of a hated and crisis-wracked government.

Sweden’s “herd immunity” policy produces one of world’s highest fatality rates

By Jordan Shilton, 27 May 2020

Sweden’s policy has been praised by reactionary political forces and the corporate media internationally to bolster their criminal back-to-work campaigns.

JBS meatpacking plant reopens in Brazil as Latin America becomes COVID-19 epicenter

By Gabriel Lemos, 27 May 2020

Workers Party governments financed JBS’s transformation into a transnational, whose plants have become COVID-19 hotspots in both Brazil and the US.

Protests by medical workers grow as hospitals overwhelmed across Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 27 May 2020

The protests are part of an international wave of unrest among medical workers demanding personal protective equipment, medicines, respirators, testing and staffing.

East Africa: Millions face triple disasters of floods, locusts and COVID-19

By Stephan McCoy, 27 May 2020

With water levels rising, some 40 million people living in major cities are at a heightened risk of flooding and infrastructure damage.

Indonesia experiences major surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases

By Owen Howell, 27 May 2020

The Indonesian government is blaming the sharp rise in confirmed cases on ordinary workers and peasants for not adhering to social distancing measures.

Australian PM launches union-employer offensive against workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 May 2020

The unions have signalled their readiness to enforce a corporate drive to exploit the pandemic to mount a major assault on jobs, wages and conditions.

Quebec Premier accelerates return to work in Montreal—Canada’s COVID-19 epicenter

By Richard Dufour, 27 May 2020

Acknowledging that it is “taking a gamble” with workers’ lives, the Quebec government is intensifying its drive to “reopen” the economy.

With his poll numbers falling, Trump denounces November election as “rigged”

By Patrick Martin, 27 May 2020

The president and his son-in-law Jared Kushner are laying the basis for declaring an election defeat in November to be illegitimate.

Thomson Reuters actively helping Trump administration target immigrants

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 27 May 2020

The parent company of the Reuters news agency has been aiding Immigration and Customs Enforcement with the targeting of immigrants for arrest, detention and deportation.

US state and local budget crisis looms

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 May 2020

The full cost of the massive corporate bailout and the collapse in state and local tax revenues will be borne by the working class.

Unemployment skyrockets among youth

By Genevieve Leigh, 27 May 2020

A large body of research shows that young people, especially those without a college degree, are particularly vulnerable during economic downturns.

Pennsylvania reopens despite gross mishandling of COVID-19 data

By Ben Collyer, 27 May 2020

Figures released this week paint a horrific picture of the suffering and despair caused by the pandemic among the elderly and infirm.

Cruise ship workers protest government and cruise line inaction

By Tom Casey, 27 May 2020

While repatriation plans have been arranged for ship workers after significant delay, thousands still remain trapped on board.

Tech giants discuss restructuring amid mass layoffs and pay cuts

By Mike Ingram, 27 May 2020

Close to 60,000 workers at more than 450 startups worldwide have been laid off since March 11.

British Trotskyists issue call for working class action against pandemic

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 27 May 2020

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) opposes the reckless back-to-work campaign and the reopening of schools and non-essential workplaces as the pandemic continues to spread.

Cultural resources wiped out by COVID-19 crisis: 13 percent of museums worldwide may never reopen

By Clare Hurley, 27 May 2020

Some 95 percent of the world’s museums are currently closed, and more than 11,000 institutions may remain closed after the pandemic recedes.

US exploits Hong Kong protests for anti-China campaign

By Peter Symonds, 27 May 2020

Once again, US imperialism is using the banner of “human rights” to advance its economic and strategic interests.

Coronavirus spreads into rural America

Trump cheers on mass gatherings as US pandemic death toll hits 100,000

By Barry Grey, 26 May 2020

Despite certain tactical differences, the entire political establishment, including the Democratic Party, accepts the basic framework of an unsafe return to work that is articulated most brutally and crudely by Trump.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans face homelessness during pandemic as states begin lifting restrictions on evictions

By Trévon Austin, 26 May 2020

Across the US, moratoriums on eviction proceedings and home foreclosures, set in place during the onset of the pandemic, have either been lifted or are set to expire early next month.

After French bailout, Renault-Nissan announces global jobs massacre

By Alex Lantier, 26 May 2020

Four plants in France, three in Spain and tens of thousands of jobs worldwide are targeted amid a savage restructuring of the global auto industry.

Germany’s Left Party spearheading deadly back-to-work drive

By Johannes Stern, 26 May 2020

After voting for the multi-billion-euro coronavirus bailout package in the federal parliament, the Left Party is now supporting the grand coalition’s reopening of the economy.

Thyssenkrupp in Germany to be broken up

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 26 May 2020

With the approval of hedge funds and the IG Metall trade union, the supervisory board of Germany’s Thyssenkrupp company has decided to break up the industrial group.

Romanian harvest workers in Germany strike for promised wages

By Marianne Arens, 26 May 2020

The workers ’ protests and a demonstration on May 18 shed further light on the unspeakable working conditions facing e astern European seasonal workers.

Postal workers stop work in Peterborough and High Wycombe, England, over COVID-19 safety fears

By Paul Lee, 26 May 2020

The threat to safety in the two offices are replicated in delivery and sorting offices all over the country and internationally.

UK: Johnson government opposes pay increase for nurses

By Rory Woods, 26 May 2020

Boris Johnson and other ministers busy hailing nurses and doctors as “heroes” have again made clear they are bitter enemies of all health care workers.

Reopened schools close across France as coronavirus found among students and staff

By Will Morrow, 26 May 2020

Two weeks after the reopening of schools began in France, more than 70 schools have been forced to close as coronavirus cases have been found among students and teachers.

Maryland Democratic Party officials cite coronavirus crisis to impose sweeping budget cuts on workers

By Ray Coleman, 26 May 2020

Democratic Party officials in Montgomery County seized upon the COVID-19 crisis to impose austerity upon county employees, many of whom are working on the front lines of the pandemic.

Nearly 1,200 workers contract COVID-19 at remote Siberian goldmine

By Andrea Peters, 26 May 2020

About 20 percent of the workforce at the Olimpiada mining and processing plant, which is owned by the 24-year-old son of a Russian oligarch, have contracted coronavirus.

Washington state farmworkers fight unsafe conditions as unions move to shut down strikes

By Kayla Costa, 26 May 2020

The conditions in which agricultural workers are forced to live and work have heightened their risk of transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19.

Brazil surpasses 350,000 cases as politicians promote rapid reopening of economy

By Tomas Castanheira, 26 May 2020

For the first time, Brazil announced a larger number of deaths from COVID-19 in a single day than the United States.

Washington’s criminal deportations to Haiti threaten to ignite pandemic

By Alberto Escalera, 26 May 2020

In addition to slating coronavirus-positive detainees for deportation, Washington is seeking to ship back infamous death squad leader and CIA “asset” Emmanuel “Toto” Constant.

“This is not a game that I want to play with my life”: US autoworkers denounce premature return to work

By our reporters, 26 May 2020

In the last week alone, cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at several auto plants in Detroit, Chicago, Kentucky, New York and Indiana.

Online meeting reveals union complicity in attacks on Australia Post workers

By Jim Franklin, 26 May 2020

Union officials prevented workers from speaking or moving motions, in a warning that they are preparing to enforce the management’s sweeping pro-business restructure.

Sri Lankan Everbest garment workers protest job and wage cuts

By our reporters, 26 May 2020

The trade unions, like the counterparts around the world, are assisting the government and the employers.

Automakers, Unifor and Ontario government push plant reopenings as COVID-19 continues to spread

By Carl Bronski, 26 May 2020

The premature back-to-work drive in Canada’s auto industry is being spearheaded by hard-right Ontario Premier Doug Ford, in concert with the automakers, the financial oligarchy and the union Unifor.

The global pandemic and global war on immigrants and refugees

By Bill Van Auken, 26 May 2020

As with attacks on the working class as a whole and the drive to war, capitalist ruling classes the world over have responded to the pandemic by intensifying the brutal assault on migrant workers.

Executives of vaccine developer Moderna cash in, cut corners

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 May 2020

In March, while the global economy was facing an implosion, CEO Stéphane Bancel became a billionaire based on the valuation of his nine percent stake in the publicly traded company.

220 Warren takes back support for Medicare for all

26 May 2020

Australian governments rush to end lockdowns in line with business demands

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 May 2020

Thousands of students and teachers are returning to schools, crowded public transport services are operating and millions of workers are being herded back onto the job.

COVID-19 spreads, deaths rise in US following return to work

By Marcus Day, 25 May 2020

Tens of thousands of workers have been infected with the coronavirus at grocery stores, meatpacking plants, Amazon warehouses, and in other industries.

South Asian countries ease COVID-19 lockdowns despite sharp rise in infections

By our correspondents, 25 May 2020

The absence of health care infrastructure across the region means that huge numbers of cases are going undetected, and many are dying due to a lack of basic medical care.

White House coronavirus task force labels Washington, D.C. area a hot spot as region begins reopening

By Nick Barrickman, 25 May 2020

On Friday, Dr. Deborah Birx noted the “ongoing cases” throughout the region even as state and local officials have begun reopening their economies.

Minnesota buys a warehouse to store bodies of expected COVID-19 victims

By Gary Joad, 25 May 2020

The 75,000-square foot refrigerated produce warehouse has the capacity to store 5,100 bodies of persons expected to succumb to the COVID-19 surge in the coming weeks.

Central Michigan flooding exposes criminal neglect of dam safety

By Lily Zhao, 25 May 2020

While the Democratic and Republican parties and the media point to Boyce Hydro's long history of safety violations, why was nothing done to stop the dam’s decay?

High COVID-19 infection rates among doctors and nurses in Germany

By Markus Salzmann, 25 May 2020

According to the public health body Robert Koch Institute, more than 20,000 workers in German hospitals, doctors’ practices, nursing homes and care services are now infected.

Boris Johnson defends key adviser over flouting UK lockdown rules

By Robert Stevens, 25 May 2020

Cummings was one of the chief advocates for Britain’s “herd immunity” policy, based on the mass infection of the population with coronavirus.

Minnesota nurses oppose retaliation over demands for protective equipment

By Anthony Bertolt, 25 May 2020

The determined demands by nurses and health care workers for the necessary protections, equipment and staffing levels has thrust them into a political struggle.

US juvenile detention centers record 474 COVID-19 cases

By Sam Dalton, 25 May 2020

As more information about COVID-19’s effects on minors emerges, the virus’s unchecked spread in the juvenile prison population is leading to deadly consequences.

More US grocery workers die from COVID-19

By Bill Frost, 25 May 2020

An employee of Kings Soopers in Denver, Colorado, one of hundreds of supermarket workers who have been infected across the country, died last week.

Dozens of Nashville, Tennessee, construction workers test positive for COVID-19

By Warren Duzak, 25 May 2020

Last week it was confirmed that 74 construction workers at an exclusive Tennessee prep school building site had tested positive for coronavirus.

Canadian medical experts warn COVID-19 will spike due to back-to-work push

By Roger Jordan, 25 May 2020

All Canada’s provinces—including those where widespread community transmission of COVID-19 continues—are now lifting lockdown measures that slowed the pandemic’s spread.

Memorial Day in America: 100,000 COVID-19 deaths surpass combined US combat fatalities in Korea and Vietnam

By Barry Grey, 25 May 2020

A false narrative dominates the entire coverage of the expanding pandemic—that human life must be balanced against the “economy,” by which is meant the economy of the rich.

Coronavirus pandemic spreads across the US South

Hospitals overwhelmed in California and Alabama as national death toll approaches 100,000

By Bryan Dyne, 23 May 2020

The spike in cases in such divergent areas of the country is another indication that, contrary to official policy, the spread of the coronavirus pandemic is not slowing but increasing.

South America a “new epicenter” of COVID-19 pandemic, WHO warns

By Bill Van Auken, 23 May 2020

The number of new deaths on the continent is surpassing Europe, and Brazil is rapidly overtaking Russia as the country with the second most infections after the US.