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The coronavirus pandemic

Mounting opposition against school openings in Germany

By Carola Kleinert and Gregor Link, 14 August 2020

While many teachers, parents and students are opposed to opening schools under unsafe conditions, administrators and politicians are arrogantly ignoring their concerns.

Australia: Residents left to die as COVID-19 sweeps through Victorian aged care facilities

By Clare Bruderlin, 14 August 2020

Aged care workers are being denied admission to hospitals, in a policy that amounts to social murder.

US health insurance companies reap billions as COVID-19 pandemic inflicts death and destitution

By Alex Johnson, 14 August 2020

The largest healthcare chains, including Anthem, Humana, and UnitedHealth Group, have reported second-quarter earnings at double the rate from the same period last year.

Wisconsin immigrant meat packing workers fired in retaliation for protesting over unsafe working conditions

By Rafael Azul, 14 August 2020

After employing the workers for years, management suddenly informed the targeted workers that they were not authorized to work in the US.

How the American oligarchy profited on death

By Andre Damon, 14 August 2020

The United States set two milestones on Wednesday: 1,503 people died from COVID-19, and the S&P 500 stock index reached a new high.

Growing wave of protests across the US against school openings

By Evan Blake, 13 August 2020

Across the US, thousands of teachers, education workers, parents and students are mobilizing to oppose the unsafe reopening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wall Street continues to feed on death and economic devastation

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2020

Since the crisis of mid-March when the market plunged and the financial system froze, Wall Street’s S&P 500 index has risen by 50 percent on the back of government corporate bailouts and the pumping out of trillions of dollars by the Fed.

Diversions, posturing as school board votes to reopen school in small-town Massachusetts

By Joseph Mario, 13 August 2020

Scituate, a small coastal town south of Boston, is one example of broader situation in the state, where Governor Baker has pushed for schools to fully reopen in the fall.

“This is a modern-day sweatshop”

Amazon workers speak out against inadequate safety measures

By our reporters, 13 August 2020

As the company makes money hand over fist from the pandemic's boost to online retail sales, hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers labor for long hours in unsafe conditions at Amazon's fulfillment centers.

Washington, DC transit system faces massive budget shortfall as it resumes near pre-pandemic service levels

By Harvey Simpkins, 13 August 2020

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is currently losing $2.5 million in revenue each weekday because of a 90 percent drop in ridership on its bus and rail lines.

New outbreak of COVID-19 in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 13 August 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government failed to undertake mass testing and left the country unprepared for a second outbreak of COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic and capitalism

Russia’s vaccine intensifies global struggle for profits and geopolitical advantage

By Barry Grey, 13 August 2020

Vladimir Putin’s announcement Tuesday that Russia has officially approved a COVID-19 vaccine has intensified the global conflict between national powers and pharmaceutical giants to be the first to mass produce and market a vaccine for the deadly virus.

After White House, Congress cut aid to unemployed, evictions and food lines spread across the US

By Jacob Crosse, 12 August 2020

As eviction filings increase to pre-pandemic levels, workers and their families are left to fend for themselves.

Analysis shows 54,000 “excess deaths” in US, pointing to coronavirus death toll of 200,700

By Kate Randall, 12 August 2020

A new analysis shows that the number of deaths from the coronavirus has likely been undercounted by 37 percent.

Reject Johnson’s lies that UK schools are safe! For a general strike to block the reopening of schools

By Tania Kent, 12 August 2020

Johnson made clear that the reopening of schools was “integral to kick starting the economy.”

Schools make students sign liability waivers acknowledging risk of death

By Sam Wayne and Usman Khan, 12 August 2020

Colleges and K-12 schools across the US have sent letters to parents and students, requiring liability waivers be signed before students can return for in-person classes.

Ford Chicago Assembly workers launch Rank-and-File Safety Committee to save lives

By the Ford Chicago Assembly Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 12 August 2020

Our coworkers are falling ill and even dying, but management and the union refuse to tell us the truth about how many have been exposed to or become infected with COVID-19.

French government ends social distancing requirements in schools as classes set to resume

By Will Morrow, 12 August 2020

An analysis of the back-to-school plans makes clear the fraudulent and essentially homicidal character of the Macron administration’s policy.

Australia: Rising number of COVID-19 infections in Sydney schools

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 August 2020

Experts have warned that the school clusters are likely the “tip of the iceberg,” signalling broader community transmission in New South Wales.

Over a million jobs lost in Spain amid coronavirus pandemic

By Alice Summers, 12 August 2020

Another 1 million workers are still furloughed in Spain, and will likely be cast onto unemployment rolls when this scheme comes to an end in the autumn.

The ruling-class conspiracy to reopen schools: Profit versus science

By Genevieve Leigh, 12 August 2020

The science is clear: the reopening of schools under the current conditions will lead to countless deaths among students, parents, teachers, and more broadly in the working class.

New York educators and students denounce Governor Cuomo’s push to reopen schools

By the World Socialist Web Site Educators Newsletter, 11 August 2020

Teachers and students spoke to the WSWS to express their opposition to New York state Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to allow all schools to reopen in the coming weeks.

Germany reopens its schools: An experiment in herd immunity

By Marianne Arens, 11 August 2020

Although there are currently more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections per day in Germany, all of the country’s state governments are ruthlessly enforcing the reopening of schools after the summer break.

Peru reopens economy as thousands of miners contract COVID-19

By Mauricio Saavedra, 11 August 2020

With 478,024 coronavirus cases, Peru has the third most infections in Latin America, and with over 21,000 fatalities, it has the highest per capita death toll in the region.

“They spout in the news ‘thank you to health care heroes’ but what thanks do we get?”

US nurses’ poll shows appalling working conditions in the pandemic

By Julian James, 11 August 2020

The NNU study shows that only 24 percent of nurses think their employer is providing a safe workplace.

“They have a multi-billion dollar corporation, and they work us to death”

Indiana Faurecia workers denounce unsafe conditions, forced overtime

By Tim Rivers, 11 August 2020

Auto parts workers at the Faurecia plant in Columbus, Indiana, have described forced overtime at their factory, the spread of COVID-19 and other grueling and dangerous conditions.

As US cruise industry delays operations until November, thousands of seafarers remain stranded

By Tom Casey, 11 August 2020

Some 12,000 seafarers remain stranded in US waters five months after the shutdown of the cruise line industry due to coronavirus.

Indonesian economy contracts for first time in over two decades

By Owen Howell, 11 August 2020

As the economic crisis in Indonesia escalates, threatening social upheavals, the government’s efforts to reopen the country are growing more desperate.

Why is the US doing less and less COVID-19 testing?

By Bryan Dyne, 11 August 2020

Without any serious explanation by the government, the number of tests being done every day in the United States has dropped significantly over the past two weeks.

Producers push reckless resumption of North American film production in face of pandemic

By Lee Parsons, 11 August 2020

In an indication of the studios’ disregard for the health and safety of workers, now showing up in film production contracts are waivers designed to give the employers legal immunity from suits over failure to provide protection against the virus.

US hits five million COVID-19 cases as testing declines and schools reopen

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 August 2020

The number of daily COVID-19 tests in the US has dropped significantly in recent weeks in line with the increasingly feverish drive to reopen the schools.

Georgia teachers and students force temporary closure of North Paulding High School over COVID-19 outbreak

By Genevieve Leigh, 10 August 2020

The cluster of COVID-19 cases at the school emerged as a direct consequence of the decision to reopen schools for in-person instruction amid a surge in infections.

“A game of Russian Roulette with the lives of children”

As statewide cases hit half a million, opposition mounts in Florida to school reopening

By Nancy Hanover, 10 August 2020

Teachers from across Florida marched on Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ mansion Saturday to protest his statewide mandate for fully in-person instruction.

Rising popular anger over Nepali government’s response to COVID-19

By Rohantha De Silva, 10 August 2020

The Kathmandu government has reacted to youth protests over its failure to contain the coronavirus pandemic by arresting demonstrators.

Fiat Chrysler workers speak out on COVID-19 outbreak at Belvidere Assembly Plant

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 August 2020

The company's so-called "safety measures," implemented with the support of the UAW, have been completely ineffective at halting the spread of the virus.

Trump executive orders set stage for tens of millions of evictions

By Jacob Crosse, 10 August 2020

An analysis released Friday by the Aspen Institute estimates that between 28,900,000 and 39,900,000 tenants in the US are at risk of eviction by the end of the year.

COVID-19: A blessing for Bezos and a nightmare for workers

By Shuvu Batta, 10 August 2020

While workers fight for safe working conditions and adequate pay, Amazon has taken advantage of the business opportunities opened up by COVID-19.

Local lockdowns in West Yorkshire following UK workplace outbreaks

By Barry Mason, 10 August 2020

The Kirklees area has had several workplace-based outbreaks of COVID-19, including at the Kober meat processing plant in Cleckheaton.

Iranian oil workers mount wave of strikes as COVID-19 rages across the country

By Ulaş Ateşci, 10 August 2020

According to reports, at least 10,000 workers have participated in walkouts at nearly 30 oil and petrochemical facilities, including the Abadan, Parsian and Qeshm refineries.

Twenty percent of Australian health workers lack PPE as infections in the sector soar

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 August 2020

Some 400 more health workers in Victoria have contracted COVID-19 over the past two weeks, prompting warnings of a looming staffing crisis in the hospital system.

Trump’s illegal power grab and the specter of American Bonapartism

By Andre Damon, 10 August 2020

Trump’s usurpation of the congressional prerogative to tax and spend is the latest act in his years-long effort to destroy all Constitutional guardrails on the power of the presidency.

Workers have a right to know about COVID-19 in their plants!

Statement of the Autoworker Rank-and-File Safety Committee Network, 10 August 2020

Autoworkers are being deprived of the most basic information about the spread of infections in their workplaces.

New York Governor Cuomo sanctions statewide reopening of schools

By Evan Blake, 8 August 2020

Cuomo’s mandate provides crucial political support for the Trump administration’s drive to reopen schools irrespective of the cost to human life.

No masks, crowded hallways

Georgia highschoolers use social media to expose disastrous conditions as schools reopen

By Genevieve Leigh, 8 August 2020

Two students from Georgia’s North Paulding High School were suspended after photos of hallways packed with crowds of unmasked students went viral on social media.

Texas attorney general orders in-person education as state cases top 500,000

By Tony Jackson, 8 August 2020

The attorney general and governor of Texas are endangering the lives of teachers and students with a patently unscientific back-to-school pandemic plan.

“It’s a recipe for disaster”

Autoworkers denounce bipartisan drive to reopen schools

By Tim Rivers, 8 August 2020

Opposition is growing among autoworkers and other workers to the back-to-school campaign, which is threatening the health of teachers, students and their families.

German schools reopen despite increase in coronavirus infections

By Marianne Arens, 8 August 2020

In order to ensure the capitalists can turn a profit, all established parties, from the Christian Social Union to the Left Party, are pushing for a return to regular in-person teaching.

UK: For a general strike against the reopening of schools

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 8 August 2020

The SEP calls for the development of an interconnected network of rank-and-file committees to prepare for a general strike against the opening of schools and the murderous policy of the ruling class.

As July report shows no let-up in mass joblessness

White House, Congress combine to cut off supplemental unemployment benefits

By Jacob Crosse, 8 August 2020

Driven by social interests irreconcilably opposed to those of the working class, congressional leaders from both parties adjourned Friday without restoring jobless pay.

US coronavirus death toll predicted to reach 295,000 by December

By Bryan Dyne, 8 August 2020

The IHME projection of nearly 300,000 deaths by December exposes the lie that it is safe to reopen the schools.

Columbia University pressures faculty into teaching in-person classes, triggering backlash

By Elliott Murtagh, 8 August 2020

Faculty and graduate instructors have denounced university demands they teach in-person classes during the planned fall campus reopening.

GM Spring Hill workers speak out against unsafe conditions amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Zac Thorton, 8 August 2020

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter has received comments from a number of workers at the Tennessee plant.

Africa’s one million coronavirus cases “the tip of the iceberg”

By Stephan McCoy, 8 August 2020

Between June and July, the number of cases grew by 500 percent indicating that COVID-19 is more widespread than the official figures suggest.

Reject whitewash report into London bus driver coronavirus deaths! For rank-and-file health and safety committees!

By Laura Tiernan and Miles Driver, 8 August 2020

There is nothing remotely “independent” about University College London’s review into bus driver deaths.

Over a third of indigenous Canadians struggling to pay for essentials during pandemic

By Alexandra Greene, 8 August 2020

If anything, the figures presented by Statistics Canada understate the horrific social conditions facing most indigenous people.

Australia: Woolworths lifts lockout as union pushes through sell-out deal

By Terry Cook, 8 August 2020

The United Workers Union has brokered a sell-out deal that maintains the exploitative conditions and low-pay regime at Woolworths’ Wyong distribution centre.

The politics of oligarchy: Federal appeals court blocks SEP challenge to anti-democratic ballot access laws in California

By Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US President, 8 August 2020

The response of the ruling class and its state to the SEP's legal challenge has been determined by one political motive: Keep socialists off the ballot!

As Senate adjourns for weekend

New US unemployment claims top 1 million for 20th straight week

By Jacob Crosse, 7 August 2020

Indifferent to the plight of millions of jobless workers and their families, senators from both parties adjourned Thursday with no agreement on extending expired unemployment benefits.

“A nationwide strike is what needs to be done”

Angry educators and parents across the US protest the reckless return to classrooms

By Nancy Hanover, 7 August 2020

From Florida to California, teachers and parents are caravanning, protesting and petitioning against a reckless return to school as demanded by Wall Street and the entire political establishment.

Health Commissioner forced out as New York City prepares to reopen schools amid national pandemic surge

By Josh Varlin, 7 August 2020

Dr. Oxiris Barbot’s ouster indicates a more open return to the herd immunity strategy that guided the city’s disastrous early response to the pandemic.

Dangerous conditions in Melbourne quarantine hotels helped cause Australia’s COVID-19 resurgence

By Martin Scott, 7 August 2020

Victoria’s state Labor Party government presided over the hiring of poorly-paid security guards with no infection control training.

Theater on your personal device

The Line movingly conveys health care workers’ struggles during the pandemic

By Erik Schreiber, 7 August 2020

A powerful play based on interviews shows how New York City’s health care workers battled the pandemic as the health care system collapsed around them.

Mounting opposition by teachers against drive to reopen schools

By Benjamin Mateus, 6 August 2020

Evidence is growing that the reopening of schools will lead to a massive resurgence of the pandemic, with deadly consequences for teachers and students.

Altered CDC guidelines provide unscientific basis for reopening schools

By Mitch Marcus, 6 August 2020

The CDC guidelines were adjusted in mid-July to suit the demands of the Trump administration that schools reopen, as part the broader campaign to reopen the economy.

Two Florida teenagers die from COVID-19 as schools push to reopen

By Alex Johnson, 6 August 2020

These harrowing deaths come a month after a 9-year-old, Kimora Lynum, from Putman County, became the youngest child added to Florida’s COVID-19 death toll.

COVID-19 outbreaks at four workplaces in Swindon, UK

By Tony Robson, 6 August 2020

Local officials in Wales and England have sought to minimise any disruption to the operations of the corporations as outbreaks of the virus have flared up.

As negotiations stall on federal coronavirus relief bill

Florida governor admits state unemployment system purposefully designed to pay out “least number of claims”

By Jacob Crosse, 6 August 2020

Republican governor Ron DeSantis had previously claimed nearly all applicants had been paid and blamed jobless workers for incorrectly filling out forms.

Far-right protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Berlin: A put-up job

By Peter Schwarz, 6 August 2020

The protest in Berlin was a predictable, put-up job, which closely resembled the scenario of the Pegida demonstrations held five years ago.

Resuming college football driven by financial interests

By Andy Thompson, 6 August 2020

In order to protect billions in revenue, US universities are resorting to threats and cover-ups to keep their plans to play football in the fall on track.

Australia: Victorian hospital admissions soar amid warnings COVID-19 surge will continue for weeks

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 August 2020

It is clear that the Victorian government only introduced sharper lockdown measures, after the state was already on the precipice of a healthcare catastrophe.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to hear Socialist Equality Party candidates’ appeal in California voting rights case until after ballots are printed

By Shuvu Batta, 6 August 2020

The decision effectively deprives Joseph Kishore and Norissa Santa Cruz of the right to have their appeal heard on the merits before the ballots are printed.

US teachers defy threats to cut funding for schools that delay in-person learning

By Phyllis Steele, 5 August 2020

Republican-controlled legislatures in several states are moving to cut funding and outsource the jobs of teachers if schools do not open with full in-person learning.

New York educators oppose city and state school reopening plans

By Sandy English, 5 August 2020

Teachers in New York are determined to prevent the unsafe reopening of schools by the Democratic mayor and governor.

Lancet warns of massive resurgence of coronavirus after UK school reopening

By Thomas Scripps, 5 August 2020

Medical professionals warn that schools cannot be reopened safely when testing and tracing are grossly inadequate and there is already a resurgence of the pandemic.

Brazilian teachers oppose back-to-school drive

By our correspondents, 5 August 2020

Amid intense opposition from teachers and parents, private schools were reopened last month in the state of Amazonas and this week in Rio de Janeiro.

As COVID-19 surges, infected Turkish workers forced back to work

By Barış Demir, 5 August 2020

The coronavirus is again spreading unrestrainedly in Turkey due to the criminal back-to-work policies of the ruling class.

“A lot of people really don’t think we should be working right now”

GM Fairfax worker speaks out on spread of COVID-19

By James Tatsch, 5 August 2020

Last week saw the highest number of new recorded cases for the Kansas City metro area since the start of the pandemic.

Amazon violates its own health and safety rules in COVID-19 coverup

By Nick Barrickman and Patrick Smith, 5 August 2020

Amazon continues to withhold the number of reported coronavirus infections from its own workers and the public, placing countless lives in danger.

Australian meatworks emerge as centres of COVID-19

By Steve Strietberg, 5 August 2020

Amid growing infections throughout the industry, cold storage workers at the JBS plant in Melbourne refused to begin work last week, demanding safe working conditions.

From Medicare-for-All to “Masks-for-All”: Bernie Sanders and the incredible shrinking “political revolution”

By Genevieve Leigh, 5 August 2020

Under conditions of the greatest political, economic, social, and health catastrophe in US history, Sanders’ proposal amounts to less than a Band-Aid for a bullet wound.

Victoria’s COVID-19 catastrophe: An indictment of Australian governments and capitalism

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 5 August 2020

The surge in coronavirus deaths and infections is the outcome of the pro-business reopening of the economy enforced by governments, the corporations and the trade unions.

Anger grows across the US as closed-door talks continue on expired unemployment relief

By Jacob Crosse, 4 August 2020

Millions of American workers don’t know how they’ll pay rent or where their next meal will come from.

“Most people here think the plant should be shut down”

Workers describe unsafe conditions at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant

By Tim Rivers and George Kirby, 4 August 2020

Members of the new Ford Rouge Rank-and-File Safety Committee spoke to the WSWS to describe the lack of safety protections at Ford’s flagship F-150 factory, while management backed by the union is attempting to restore full production.

Who decides the fate of the US Postal Service?

By Kayla Costa and Shuvu Batta, 4 August 2020

The assortment of former Wall Street executives, private CEOs, union financial advisors and major Republican and Democratic Party donors who sit on the USPS Board of Governors is the clearest sign of the ruling class’s plans to privatize the USPS.

Stricter lockdown reimposed in Philippines as cases top 100,000

By Joseph Santolan, 4 August 2020

The Duterte administration has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with authoritarianism and anti-scientific nonsense.

Britain’s jobs massacre continues

By Margot Miller, 4 August 2020

Many have no jobs to go back to, with young people especially hard hit in hospitality and retail.

Mass unemployment to worsen in Australia following Victorian lockdown

By Mike Head, 4 August 2020

Workers, especially those in casual and insecure employment, will bear the burden of the sweeping “state of disaster” COVID-19 restrictions announced by Victoria’s Labor government.

Amid COVID-19 “disaster,” Australian state government announces limited workplace closures

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 August 2020

The measures were only announced after the Victorian surge of infections had spiralled out of control, sparking fears of a collapse of the healthcare system.

New COVID-19 infections take hold in first week of attempted cruise industry restart

By Tom Casey, 4 August 2020

Among the first ship operators to resume sailings, Norwegian-owned Hurtigruten suspended operation of two ships this weekend after 36 passenger and five crew tested positive for coronavirus.

COVID-19 takes hold in Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 4 August 2020

A surge of new COVID-19 cases has been recorded in the past 14 days, threatening to overwhelm the impoverished country’s ill-equipped healthcare system.

One month of the coronavirus pandemic: 7.2 million infected, 165,000 dead

By Bryan Dyne, 4 August 2020

July was the worst month yet in terms of new cases of COVID-19, as the pandemic continued to tear through the global population.

Drive to reopen US schools continues despite mounting evidence of deadly consequences

By Evan Blake, 3 August 2020

More scientific research shows the immense dangers to the health and lives of teachers, students and parents by reopening schools while the pandemic continues out of control.

Scottish government prepares to reopen schools as new COVID-19 spikes emerge

By Steve James, 3 August 2020

The government intends to re-open all primary and secondary schools by August 18, despite COVID-19 outbreaks in call centres, distribution centres, pubs and care homes.

The July days of the COVID-19 pandemic wreak havoc on the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 August 2020

The month of July saw over 2 million cases of COVID-19 and rising fatality rates in the Sun Belt states, and the pandemic is shifting to the Midwest.

Vietnam struggles to contain rapid resurgence of COVID-19

By Owen Howell, 3 August 2020

After three months of no confirmed cases, Vietnam is witnessing a nationwide spread of the virus due to a new outbreak in the city of Da Nang.

105 Philippines COVID-19 update

3 August 2020

COVID-19 “state of disaster” imposed across Australian state of Victoria

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 August 2020

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton characterised the sweeping measures as “shock and awe.”

Major League Baseball season on brink of collapse as COVID-19 continues to spread

By Alan Gilman, 3 August 2020

New positive cases have continued to emerge since the first outbreak in the Miami Marlins, causing postponement of 20 percent of last weekend’s games.

Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center intensive care unit head physician dies of COVID-19

By Dominic Gustavo, 3 August 2020

Health care workers have been placed on the front lines of the pandemic as safety precautions such as social distancing have been lifted.

140 Interview with parts worker

3 August 2020