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“We must protect the health and lives of adults and children everywhere”

American workers speak on the significance of the WSWS webinar, “How to end the pandemic”

On Sunday, October 24, the World Socialist Web Site and the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC) hosted a webinar, “How to end the pandemic,” which brought together scientists, teachers, parents and other workers who share a common goal of eliminating COVID-19 worldwide. The event has been viewed by thousands of workers in over 100 countries on every habitable continent.

The event represented the culmination of efforts throughout the pandemic to unite and elevate opposition to the homicidal dictates of the ruling elites. Its success illustrates the extent to which this opposition is developing within the working class. Across the US and internationally, a wave of strikes is burgeoning and workers are increasingly drawing the connection between the drive for profit and the reckless endangerment of their lives and livelihoods.

The comments from American workers below are samples of the widespread support among workers for the October 24 webinar.

Donna, a teacher from Tennessee, participated in the webinar and spoke at length about the insufficiency of limited mitigation measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in schools, while denouncing the “herd immunity” policies pursued throughout the US South. Donna praised the event afterwards, stating:

The international panel of doctors, scientists, and workers who discussed the state of the COVID-19 pandemic on Sunday was a glimpse into the future when workers and scientists will work shoulder to shoulder to solve the problems that humanity will face.

Workers asked the experts questions that most pertained to their direct experiences on the front lines of the pandemic—questions that governments and the media will never answer because it will reveal the true motives of the homicidal policies that are killing thousands of workers across the globe every day. I am looking forward to more opportunities like the webinar on Sunday to continue to build the partnership between science and the working class in order to build a society built on knowledge and not the drive for profits.

Donna

A Deere worker from Iowa, who is currently on strike alongside over 10,000 of his coworkers, watched the webinar and was struck by its forthright character. He told the WSWS, “First time so far I’ve seen viable info about COVID and how to deal with it. I’ll give you credit on that, it wasn’t based on hype or BS.”

Further commentary along these lines came from James, a hospitality worker from Massachusetts, who noted the serious and forward-looking perspective of the webinar. He stated, “The time has come for a frank discussion on the eradication of COVID-19. I have been employed in the tourism industry on Martha’s Vineyard and I was face to face with a ruling class that subordinated the wellness and health of the working class throughout the pandemic to a decadent desire for vacation and self-satisfaction.

“At no point has the issue of eradication been raised by the mainstream media, but this is not surprising given their support from pharmaceutical companies who are more interested in their own profit interests rather than a cure. Gathering together top voices in epidemiology and making a case for eradication proves that the Socialist Equality Party has the experience and credibility to provide the political leadership to lead this effort.”

Lisa, a nurse in New York City and a member of the New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, offered her support for the meeting alongside a prescient diagnosis of the political situation, stating, “The online conference on ‘How to end the pandemic’ is critical information for working class people worldwide. It is clear to me when listening to the scientists speak that lock-downs of nonessential business, closing schools along with vaccines and boosters, as well as N95 mask use are absolutely necessary to stop COVID in its Delta variant form. We must protect the health and lives of adults and children everywhere.

“David North, chairman of the WSWS Editorial Board, made clear that the working class worldwide can stop these needless deaths by mobilizing working people everywhere to carry out this task. I think we should spread this information to working people we know and don’t know to stress the urgency to save lives.

“There is a very definite link between Deere, Dana autoworkers, Volvo, Kellogg workers fighting against attacks on pay, for an eight-hour day and 40-hour week, nurses fighting for low patient/nurse ratios, teachers and parents fighting to close schools. Our class enemy is the ‘unions,’ politicians and their corporate, financial elite backers like Gates, Buffett, Blackrock, Carlyle and others that only care about their profits and not human life.

“Building Rank-and-File Safety Committees internationally with the courage and energy to fight back is necessary to wipe out COVID and its variants.”

Vanessa, a healthcare worker from Ann Arbor, Michigan, also attended the event. She weighed in on the significance of “Long COVID” and the ineffectiveness of nationally-focused initiatives, stating, “There needs to be a global solution. Instead we’re in the midst of divisions and there is no one coming together to make it a global commitment to end the pandemic.

“The scientists were great. They were so clear. Why aren’t we approaching COVID from this scientific point of view? I’m going to push the material from the webinar out and I’m going to look at things from a different angle now. It was very informative, one of the very best I’ve seen from the WSWS.

“I’ve heard about Long COVID. A nurse I know at St. Joe’s Hospital had to fight every step along the way with it. She had a basket of problems—so much fatigue and two years with it. The report [by Dr. Deepti Gurdasani] explained about Long COVID in children and how it can last three months. How lethargic they are. How it is attacking and debilitating young people in their 30s and 40s. We can’t brush this under the carpet.

“Governments haven’t addressed this. The fact is before the pandemic we had austerity cuts. In the UK, they disassembled the National Health Service. They eliminated the agency that is supposed to keep up disease-free.

“Lisa was spot on, she is ready for the fight. It is appalling that she had to go to such lengths to organize a strike and face the possibility of three months in jail for not sending her children to school. It is very courageous. I have a friend in England with seven children and she has a hard time sending them to school. I told her to keep an eye on Lisa for me. I told her ‘You need to follow Lisa and what she’s doing, not what the government is doing. Keep your kids safe.’”

Vanessa asked, “What can you do without resources? But the resources are going to politicians’ back pockets, when they give out contracts. So much so, the rich are going into space with Captain Kirk, Bezos, Musk, Branson—they are selling tickets to go to space. They are annihilating the universe with their greed. Now we are threatened with war with China over Taiwan. We have to stop this.

“I also liked David O’Sullivan. You might not think about the taxi drivers, bus drivers, train drivers, but they are putting themselves in harm’s way all the time. They do it for the greater good. Look at Ann Arbor, Michigan, they just closed three schools because there’s no bus drivers, no teachers.

“Fauci has done such a disservice to science, just propagandized. He could have done something. Instead we’ve been given so much propaganda. We’ve been in and out of lock-downs, bubbles, etc. I saw all the hardships workers went through during lockdowns. Why not just lock down, eradicate and go back to living?

“The WSWS forum was far more instructive, cleared up so much stuff. The relief of clarity! This all makes sense, why aren’t we following these procedures the scientists outlined? Look at New Zealand, they eliminated it.

“I’ve long thought we need rank-and-file committees. Especially after I worked at an acute dementia facility. I saw the way the staff were treated. I’d never seen such awful conditions, the caretakers and staff came in every day, worked and cared for the residents. Then they’d get fired. It was ‘nonprofit’ and a church status, so they paid no taxes. But the profits were high. It was criminal.”

The WSWS encourages all of our readers who attended the October 24 webinar or have viewed it afterward to send us your comments on the event, which we will publish throughout the week, and get involved in the fight to end the pandemic today!

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