The Politics of Covid, Vaccines and Healthcare Profiteering

by | Jan 5, 2022 | Money and Politics, Opinions

Photo by Camilo Jimenez

The Politics of Covid, Vaccines and Healthcare Profiteering

by | Jan 5, 2022 | Money and Politics, Opinions

Photo by Camilo Jimenez
Covid is a boon for healthcare profiteering. It costs a hell of a lot more to care for a sick person who needs ICU care than it does to vaccinate someone and have people wear masks and remain six feet apart.

In the summer of 2019 the possibility that the world would soon be in the grip of a pandemic would have been considered as remote as a lottery win. But in hindsight, the seeds of disaster had already been laid.

The former guy was on his quest to make an impact for his core supporters—white supremacists—to secure his re-election. One method he used to ingratiate himself with this crowd was by erasing the legacy of Barack Obama, dismantling segments of government established under that administration. One target was the pandemic response unit.

The Obama administration’s pandemic response unit was built as a result of the Ebola outbreak that scared the hell out of people, and quite rightly. In terms of percentage of fatalities per number of people infected, Ebola makes Covid look like a wimp. With this focused unit and its fully developed response playbook gone, we were totally unprepared for the arrival of Covid 19.

Per USA Today,

In 2016, President Barack Obama expanded the National Security Council to include the Directorate of Global Health Security and Biodefense.

The unit, which focused in large part on pandemic preparedness, was formed in response to criticism of how his administration handled the Ebola outbreak in 2014-15, according to USA TODAY.

In May 2018, former national security adviser John Bolton restructured Trump’s National Security Council and disbanded the global health unit. Its former head, Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, resigned from the administration and was not replaced.

Aside from the intent he displayed, this is a fatal error in management style. It is called “the new broom.” A new executive comes in and starts getting rid of parts of the organization he does not understand or want for any reason and then the problems those things were designed to handle no longer had ready and waiting solutions.

Early in 2020, Trump stood up and said there was nothing to worry about. Covid would disappear on its own, and of course that it was a hoax foisted on us by the Democrats. All the while, he knew better and that was documented—unfortunately the irrefutable evidence that he was lying was in the hands of a journalist who cared as little about the American people as Trump.

Meanwhile an estimated 25 million people entered the United States from overseas during the beginning of the Covid pandemic with not a single health check. After all, why would TSA, a Homeland Security department, bother to check when the boss said there was nothing to worry about and that it would be gone shortly. So of course reports of a couple TSA agents somehow getting ill with Covid in San Jose in early 2020 didn’t register on the national attention meter.

Why do Republicans Hate Vaccines?

Fast forward to the start of the vaccination program at the very tail end of Trump’s stay in the White House. The equally virulent virus of vaccine disinformation went into high gear. The foil-hat crowd said that 5G towers were the real cause of Covid and that Bill Gates wanted to inject us all with tracking chips and Covid was just the excuse. Of course, most of these bozos were typing their posts on smart phones that already had GPS chips—but don’t get facts involved here.

At the current count over 62 percent of the US population has been fully vaccinated against Covid. But that leaves over 100 million people still vulnerable and the new infections being reported daily are topping half a million. It is certain that some of these are breakthrough infections of vaccinated people. But that vast majority are unvaccinated people and nearly one hundred percent of Covid hospitalizations come from this group.

As recently as yesterday, Wisconsin Senator and Trump sock puppet Ron Johnson issued a statement “Why do we think that we can create something better than God in terms of combating disease?”

Some have called Trump radicalized Republicans a death cult. That description is not far off the mark. The vast majority of the unvaccinated population of the United States are right wingers that buy into the various conspiracy theories and insanity preached by people like Ron Johnson or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The latter is stuck in a groove of harping about “early treatment” of Covid using expensive monoclonal antibody treatments from Regeneron—which just happens to make his largest campaign donor a ton of money. Meanwhile DeSantis has worked to weaken prevention methods and his “Surgeon General” has been harping about the uselessness of testing while the state endures record numbers of new cases.

The cold-bloodedness of these right wing positions against obvious and prudent science and the simple technologies of prevention make one wonder if there isn’t another motive afoot. We have published a few articles about the fairly obvious profit river that results from people get ill with Covid. It costs a hell of a lot more to care for a sick person who needs ICU care than it does to vaccinate someone and have people wear masks and remain six feet apart. Maybe it is that simple—and that evil. To some people the importance of profits trumps the importance of people. And those profits must be protected by political action. After all, healthcare makes up a staggering portion of GDP. Where you find a river of money being generated by any circumstance, there will be a cold-blooded profiteer waiting to collect it.

Maybe we should be looking more deeply into the campaign contributions of people like DeSantis, Ron Johnson, Margorie Taylor Greene and the like. Because by their actions and advocacy they favor the Covid profiteers among us.

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