The coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus cases in United States surpass 100,000

By Bryan Dyne, 28 March 2020

Hospital systems in the most affected regions, including New York City, Chicago, Detroit and others, face imminent collapse.

Detroit mayor confirms denial of treatment to “extremely sick” patients: “What they put out is honest”

By Kevin Reed, 28 March 2020

One ICU nurse at a local hospital posted a video to social media from her car in tears as she described the COVID unit in her hospital, saying that “it felt like I was working in a war zone.”

House passes Senate “rescue” bill

Democrats unite with Trump to enact massive corporate bailout

By Barry Grey, 28 March 2020

The bill amounts to virtually unlimited funding for the corporate and financial aristocracy, with no real strings attached.

Pandemic death toll in Europe rises to 19,000 as savaged health care systems are overwhelmed

By Thomas Scripps and Alice Summers, 28 March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is preying on Europe’s 500 million-plus population whose health care services have been decimated by years of government austerity and private sector looting.

Coronavirus in Europe: Overworked hospitals become death traps

By Gregor Link, 28 March 2020

The criminal inactivity of European governments has led to a murderous and vicious circle of overwork, infection and work absences in hospitals throughout the continent.

UK government buried 2016 report exposing catastrophic NHS failings during flu pandemic

By Steve James, 28 March 2020

Exercise Cygnus has been buried for years for fear it would give rise to demands for an end to health care cuts.

UK health care assistant: “There’s a fear that if we are tested for COVID-19, most of us will come back positive and the NHS will collapse”

By our reporter, 28 March 2020

A senior health care assistant spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about his experiences at work during the coronavirus pandemic.

European Union summit on coronavirus ends in acrimony

By Peter Schwarz, 28 March 2020

The 27 European Union heads of government met via video conference on Thursday evening to discuss the coronavirus crisis.

COVID-19 pandemic spells no truce in US imperialism’s global aggression

By Bill Van Auken, 28 March 2020

Far from declaring a humanitarian truce as COVID-19 threatens the lives of millions, Washington has sought to weaponize the death and disruption spread by the disease.

Coronavirus death toll extends to New York transit workers

By Daniel de Vries, 28 March 2020

The two deaths Thursday are the direct result of the criminally negligent response by the MTA in collaboration with the union.

Kroger warehouse workers walk out in Memphis over coronavirus concerns

By Warren Duzak, 28 March 2020

About 400 Kroger warehouse workers in Memphis walked off their jobs yesterday to protest mind-numbing work shifts of up to 96 hours a week and unsafe working conditions as COVID-19 spreads through the state of Tennessee.

Australian governments reject calls for lockdown despite rising COVID-19 danger

By Mike Head, 28 March 2020

The “national cabinet” is determined to keep as many workers as possible on the job in order to shore up corporate profits.

Australian medical workers speak on the growing crisis in the health system

By our correspondents, 28 March 2020

Health workers are increasingly being forced to source their own supplies to ensure they and their colleagues have masks, goggles, gowns and gloves.

Coronavirus crisis in Sri Lanka: A program for the working class

By the Socialist Equality Party, 28 March 2020

The Rajapakse government is exploiting the pandemic to prepare a presidential dictatorship and impose even deeper attacks on the working class and the poor.

Sri Lankan doctors speak out over coronavirus dangers facing health workers

By Sakuna Jayawardena, 28 March 2020

Hospital workers are making a huge effort to treat the rising number of patients, but they lack the protective gear they need.

Big business in South Korea exploits pandemic to carry out massive assault on jobs

By Ben McGrath, 28 March 2020

The trade unions are aiding the government and corporations use the health crisis to implement deeper attacks on the working class.

Workers remain at risk during New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown

By Tom Peters, 28 March 2020

A state of emergency has been imposed, parliament suspended and the military placed on standby, but many workers remain at risk of contagion.

Mexico’s government seeks to place burden of virus crisis on the backs of the working class

By Don Knowland, 28 March 2020

Mexican President López Obrador has belittled the threat and done nothing in terms of health spending or financial support to workers.

Ohio, Texas and Mississippi ban abortion under guise of fighting coronavirus

By Isaac Finn, 28 March 2020

Over the last two weeks Ohio, Texas and Mississippi have effectively banned abortion, claiming that personal protective equipment is needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fears grow that coronavirus is taking hold among immigrants in US custody as three children test positive

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 28 March 2020

Adult and child detainees living in cramped quarters, herded into cafeterias and denied basic sanitation are facing the very real possibility of an escalated rate of contagion.

New York Democratic governor finally suspends construction projects after criminal delay

By Elliott Murtagh and Sandy English, 28 March 2020

Andrew Cuomo suspended all “non-essential” construction projects as opposition to unsafe working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic began to mount.

”Obviously there has to be a revolt”

US teachers speak out on the coronavirus epidemic

By our reporters, 28 March 2020

Teachers across the country spoke on the impact the epidemic is having on education and the way forward.

Canada’s parliament approves coronavirus bailout for corporations and austerity for workers

By Keith Jones, 28 March 2020

While billions are being handed to big business, Canada’s health system, ravaged by decades of austerity, has no "surge capacity."

Israel: Gantz paves way for national unity government with Netanyahu

By Jean Shaoul, 28 March 2020

The move signifies an agreement among Israel’s politicians to impose a dictatorial regime on both the Israeli and Palestinian working class.

As General Motors demands profits, ventilator shortage in US threatens tens of thousands of lives

By Andre Damon, 28 March 2020

The capitalist system has proven entirely unable to provide the most basic necessities to fight the COVID-19 pandemic—including ventilators and protective equipment—threatening hundreds of thousands of lives.

Democratic Socialists of America, Haymarket Books hold online event to boost Democratic Party amid coronavirus crisis

By Eric London, 28 March 2020

The event was called to paper over the role of the Democratic Party in creating conditions for the coronavirus to wreak havoc on the population of the US.

Coronavirus crisis “devastates” US museums, arts organizations, many of them for good

By David Walsh, 28 March 2020

The bipartisan corporate “rescue” package passed by the US Congress this week provides only $232.5 million for cultural organizations, one-sixteenth of the $4 billion for which the American Alliance of Museums had lobbied.

Strong response to Nick Beams’ IYSSE (Australia) online lecture on coronavirus pandemic

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 March 2020

The refusal of governments to take the necessary measures to address the pandemic, Beams stated, was inextricably tied to the systematic social attacks on the working class.

As US cases of COVID-19 surpass all other countries

Trump’s “Get back to work” demagogy aids the spread of the pandemic

By Joseph Kishore, 27 March 2020

Amidst an expanding pandemic, which is still in its early stages, the Trump administration is intensifying its efforts to force a return to work, which would endanger the lives of millions of workers.

New US unemployment claims hit 3.28 million as pandemic produces economic catastrophe

By Shannon Jones, 27 March 2020

The number of new weekly claims for state unemployment benefits reached the staggering total of 3.28 million, an increase of 1,000 percent over the previous week, and the largest such total in history.

Following deaths of three autoworkers due to COVID-19

Fiat Chrysler and Ford set April 14 target to re-open US plants

By Tom Hall, 27 March 2020

The rush to re-open the plants collides with elementary public health considerations and will expose tens of thousands of autoworkers to the risk of infection and death.

Wall Street rise continues as coronavirus infections accelerate

By Nick Beams, 27 March 2020

The extreme volatility of the markets is such that the Dow, having entered a bear market—defined as a fall of 20 percent—has now returned to bull market status, all in the space of just six weeks.

Total coronavirus cases in United States surge past Italy, China

By Don Barrett, 27 March 2020

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US has risen tenfold in a week, to 85,594.

“There’s such a cruelty about the situation”: New York City hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus surge

By Clara Weiss, 27 March 2020

New York hospitals confront skyrocketing numbers of patients, a rising death toll, medical staff falling ill and critical shortages of Personal Protective Equipment and ventilators.

Bipartisan corporate bailout gives $17 billion to Boeing

By Bryan Dyne, 27 March 2020

The top executives who oversaw the cost-cutting, layoffs and cover-ups that resulted in two crashes and the deaths of 346 people are being rewarded with billions in taxpayer money.

Profits before lives: German parliament passes emergency package for large corporations and the rich

By Johannes Stern, 27 March 2020

All parties in parliament, from the Left Party to the extreme right AfD, are working together to defend capitalism and to shift the burden of the COVID-19 crisis onto the working class.

Europe’s COVID-19 death toll reaches over 16,000

By Robert Stevens, 27 March 2020

Years of slashing health and social care budgets, together with government inaction, have taken a grim toll, with health workers forced to make decisions as to who lives and dies.

COVID-19 pandemic: Doctors sue French government for criminal negligence

By Anthony Torres and Jacques Valentin, 27 March 2020

Lawyers representing hundreds of health-care professionals are filing a suit charging Prime Minister Édouard Philippe and other top officials with criminal negligence.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro threatens dictatorship over COVID-19 crisis

By Miguel Andrade, 27 March 2020

Leading Brazilian businessmen have terrorized workers with threats of “40 million unemployed” unless state quarantines are lifted.

Detroit hospitals warn many “extremely sick” patients will be denied lifesaving treatment

By Kevin Reed, 27 March 2020

As COVID-19 cases throughout the metro Detroit area soared, the Henry Ford Health system has warned patients that “because of shortages,” patients who are “extremely sick” may be “ineligible for ICU or ventilator care.”

Reported COVID-19 cases exceed 1,200 in Washington, D.C. region as public health disaster looms

By Nick Barrickman, 27 March 2020

The coronavirus has exposed the fragility of the social infrastructure throughout the region surrounding the United States’ capitol city.

Canada: Vancouver homeless left to fend for themselves amid coronavirus pandemic

By Penny Smith, 27 March 2020

The Canadian ruling elite’s policy of malign neglect in the face of the lethal coronavirus pandemic is exemplified by the failure of all levels of government to do anything to protect homeless people.

Australian school system in chaos after coronavirus semi-closures

By Patrick Kelly, 27 March 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s insistence that schools remain open as usual reflected economic, not health, considerations.

Australia’s imprisoned refugees plead for release as coronavirus risk increases

By Max Newman, 27 March 2020

Detainees have protested at being held “in a potential death trap in which we have no option or means to protect ourselves.”

Australian unions and employers demand workers stay on building sites despite pandemic

By Terry Cook, 27 March 2020

The unions are determined to utilise the coronavirus crisis to prove themselves indispensible to big business.

East Timor records first confirmed coronavirus case amid floods

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 March 2020

A Dili worker told the WSWS: “With the inadequate condition of public hospitals, I fear that the spreading of the virus… could be like a wildfire.”

What the coronavirus calamity means for intellectual and cultural life

By David Walsh, 27 March 2020

A Rubicon has been crossed. The existing order, in the eyes of tens of millions, will be seen from now on as illegitimate and an immediate threat to their continued existence.

Pittsburgh sanitation workers strike to demand safe working conditions

By a WSWS reporter, 26 March 2020

Several hundred sanitation workers in Pittsburgh walked off the job Wednesday to demand protective gear, part of a growing wave of workers who are striking in opposition to demands that they work in unsafe conditions.

How many must die for Wall Street?

By Andre Damon, 26 March 2020

Amid growing evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading through American workplaces, powerful representatives of finance capital are demanding that the country be “open for business.”

“They don’t care about our health”

Strikes, protests spread as US workers demand protection from COVID-19

By Jerry White, 26 March 2020

Even as Trump rushes to resume full production, tens of thousands of workers in the US and around the world are refusing to die for the sake of corporate profits.

US Senate passes massive economic “rescue” bill

By Patrick Martin, 26 March 2020

The $2 trillion bill allocates the bulk of its funds to loans and grants to corporations and businesses, with some emergency aid to workers.

Strikes mount across Europe against official response to coronavirus pandemic

By Allison Smith and Alex Lantier, 26 March 2020

There is growing mistrust and social anger among workers against governments, trade unions and financial markets trying to force them back to work amid the pandemic.

Governor Cuomo pleads for assistance as New York state plunges into an unprecedented health crisis

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 March 2020

The governor is asking for more ventilators and beds, as New York faces a near collapse of its healthcare infrastructure.

Norwegian parties grant government emergency powers as coronavirus leads to record rise in unemployment

By Jordan Shilton, 26 March 2020

The agreement, which suspends parliament for up to six months, means the right-wing coalition can make changes to laws without consulting deputies.

“We are not going to die in our cubicles!” – Wildcat strikes erupt at call centers across Brazil

By our reporters, 26 March 2020

Workers have rebelled against unsafe conditions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging transnational corporations like AlmaViva.

Nashville, Tennessee mayor issues business-friendly “safer at home” order in face of coronavirus pandemic

By Warren Duzak, 26 March 2020

The state’s Governor Bill Lee also suggested that workers and their families seek solace in prayer during the growing public health disaster.

First immigrant in ICE custody tests positive for coronavirus in New Jersey

By Erik Schreiber, 26 March 2020

This development highlights the criminal lack of basic sanitation that the Trump administration maintains in immigrant detention centers, as well as the ruling class’ callous disregard for public health.

Johnson’s “herd immunity” strategy and the London Conference on Intelligence whitewash: Britain’s ruling class and eugenics

By Thomas Scripps, 26 March 2020

Innumerable posts on social media have drawn the connection between the reactionary ideology of eugenics and the British government’s criminally delayed and negligent response to the pandemic.

German investor Dibelius: Big business must take priority over health care

By Peter Schwarz, 26 March 2020

It will only be a matter of days before Dibelius and his ilk will demand that workers who refuse to risk their health by going back to work should be forced to do so.

Africa records over 2,400 cases of COVID-19

By Stephan McCoy, 26 March 2020

An international and coordinated struggle against the spread of coronavirus on the African continent is an urgent necessity.

After downplaying COVID-19 pandemic, Japan forced to postpone Olympics

By Emiri Ochiai, 26 March 2020

Facing a growing public outcry over his indifference to public health, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the Olympics had been moved to the summer of 2021.

Leaked government report warns of tens of thousands of deaths in one Canadian province

By Roger Jordan, 26 March 2020

An internal Saskatchewan Health Authority report has warned that the rapid spread of the coronavirus would overwhelm the province’s health care system and result in 9,000 to 15,000 people dying due to COVID-19.

Warnings that hundreds of thousands of Indonesians may already have COVID-19

By Owen Howell and Oscar Grenfell, 26 March 2020

There are fears that the archipelago may become “the Italy of south-east Asia,” with experts warning that 135 million may be infected by mid-May.

Australia unprepared for surge as coronavirus infections, fatalities mount

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 March 2020

Even before a dramatic spike in hospitalisations, there are shortages of protective masks and other essential equipment.

Indian prime minister’s coronavirus lockdown threatens social disaster for millions

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 26 March 2020

Modi has not outlined any comprehensive program to deal with enormous difficulties that millions of workers and rural poor will face.

Pop star Britney Spears social media posts go viral after telling public to “re-distribute wealth” and “strike”

By Nick Barrickman, 26 March 2020

The Instagram post has been shared millions of times in a widespread reaction to the coronavirus pandemic and efforts by the ruling elite to dump the crisis on the back of the working class.

Peru deploys army in the streets to enforce COVID-19 curfew

By Cesar Uco and Don Knowland, 26 March 2020

The quarantine and curfew imposed by President Vizcarra are aimed at protecting the interests of the wealthy and preparing the repression of a likely social explosion.

As big business parties near deal on $2 trillion corporate bailout

Trump calls for lifting COVID-19 restrictions by Easter

By Barry Grey, 25 March 2020

With the US death toll from COVID-19 nearing 700 and infections surging, President Trump on Tuesday pledged to “open up” the country and force workers back to work by Easter.

Two Fiat Chrysler workers die from COVID-19 in US

By Marcus Day and Shannon Jones, 25 March 2020

The deaths, at FCA Sterling Heights Assembly in the Detroit area and at Kokomo Transmission in Indiana, are the predictable outcome of the combined effort by the auto companies and the UAW to keep the plants running up until last week.

As more workers test positive for COVID-19, Amazon ignores demands to close warehouses

By Tom Carter, 25 March 2020

At least three Amazon workers in Shepherdsville, Kentucky tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, following the discovery of COVID-19 cases in New York, Florida and Michigan warehouses.

Despite White House claims, Roche CEO says US COVID-19 testing capacity continues to be limited

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 March 2020

Swiss diagnostics company Roche says that broad testing capacity for COVID-19 infection in the US remains limited due to the rapid spread and growth of the contagion.

Wall Street surges on prospect of government corporate bailouts

By Nick Beams, 25 March 2020

Markets were also boosted by Trump’s push to have major lockdowns lifted regardless of the health consequences for the mass of the population.

Detroit-area hospitals reach capacity as coronavirus infections in Michigan surge past 2,000

By Kevin Reed, 25 March 2020

The escalating number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan are concentrated in the tri-county area around and especially within the city of Detroit.

Death toll over 12,000 in Europe as coronavirus infections escalate

By Thomas Scripps, 25 March 2020

WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom insisted it was still possible to “change the trajectory,” but warned that governments were failing to devote the necessary resources to the crisis.

German government’s coronavirus bailout: Billions for the rich, rations for the poor

By Peter Schwarz, 25 March 2020

It is a continuation of the policy of enriching the wealthy at the expense of the poor that the grand coalition has been pursuing for years.

Boris Johnson’s coronavirus measures: Political criminality that will cost tens of thousands of lives

By Chris Marsden, 25 March 2020

For those millions seeking guidance from the government, Johnson’s message—in announcing a national lockdown Monday evening—was one of calculated contempt.

NHS staff contract COVID-19 as UK government refuses to provide testing and protective equipment

By Tony Robson, 25 March 2020

In London, three junior doctors have been taken into critical care and are on ventilators. In the West Midlands, a staff nurse is in intensive care and on a ventilator.

Coronavirus spreads across the Balkans

By Markus Salzmann, 25 March 2020

The number of victims affected by the COVID-19 virus is rising rapidly in the countries of Southeast Europe.

Aviation industry laying off thousands during pandemic while seeking bailouts

By Steve Filips, 25 March 2020

Holding the jobs of 750,000 airline workers for ransom, the group, representing ten major US airlines, threatened that they will be “forced to take draconian measures” unless the funds are disbursed “immediately.”

COVID-19 begins to rip through homeless population as 30 test positive in New York City shelters

By Sam Dalton and Clara Weiss, 25 March 2020

The homeless are at heightened risk of infection and death from the coronavirus.

Coronavirus spreading at faster rate in Louisiana than anywhere in the world

By J. L’Heureau, 25 March 2020

The number of confirmed cases has grown by 73.9 percent per day since the first case was identified, even faster than New York City which is one of the main epicenters of the pandemic.

Canada’s trade unions back Liberal “coronavirus plan” to bail out big business, place workers on rations

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 25 March 2020

The government has responded to the pandemic with policies predicated on the subordination of society to corporate profit that will have a devastating impact on working people, including multiplying many times over the pandemic's cost in human lives.

Federated Cooperatives uses virus to demand concessions from locked-out Saskatchewan refinery workers

By Carl Bronski, 25 March 2020

FCL has rejected the procompany recommendations of a government-appointed mediator and is now demanding even bigger concessions on pensions, work rules, benefits and staffing levels.

Chilean government seizes on COVID-19 pandemic to declare state of catastrophe

By Mauricio Saavedra, 25 March 2020

Far from fighting the coronavirus, the measure is aimed at militarizing Chile in the face of the mass demonstrations and strikes that have rocked the country.

Latest Australian COVID-19 measures driven by concern about profits, not health

By Mike Head, 25 March 2020

Prime Minister Morrison channeled Donald Trump and insisted on keeping “the economy” going, regardless of the mounting danger to the health and lives of millions of people.

Nepal declares one-week coronavirus lockdown

By Rohantha De Silva, 25 March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic will have dire consequences in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in Asia.

A tale of two surges: Wall Street soars amid New York City’s coronavirus toll

By Bill Van Auken, 25 March 2020

As billionaires gorged themselves on the prospect of trillions more being poured into the financial markets, the pandemic was wreaking havoc in America’s largest city.

Socialist Alternative town hall injects racial politics into COVID-19 pandemic

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 March 2020

The event was an attempt to cover over the conventional Democratic Party politics of Socialist Alternative and the DSA with anti-capitalist rhetoric and empty slogans. This was combined with the foul injection of racial politics, a hallmark of the Democratic Party.

Message from big business on coronavirus pandemic: Save profits, not lives

By Andre Damon, 24 March 2020

As the death toll from the coronavirus soars and hospitals fill up, the White House and the US media are insisting that the profits of the corporate-financial elite must take precedence over the lives of millions.

Europe’s coronavirus death toll passes 10,000

By Robert Stevens, 24 March 2020

The coronavirus crisis has exposed how Europe’s health and social care services face collapse after decades of being underfunded, privatised and de-staffed.

UK: NHS frontline staff and patients at risk through government negligence over pandemic

By Tony Robson, 24 March 2020

NHS doctors and nurses have been battling against the government’s refusal to provide testing and adequate Personal Protective Equipment.

Germany: Appalling lack of protective equipment in COVID-19 outbreak

By Markus Salzmann, 24 March 2020

It is still virtually impossible to be tested for the life-threatening virus and there is a lack of protective marks and other urgently needed equipment for health care workers.

US soon to pass Italy and China in coronavirus cases

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 March 2020

The total number infected in the United States is approaching 50,000, with nearly 600 dead.

New Zealand health workers speak out on lack of preparation for COVID-19 pandemic

By Tom Peters, 24 March 2020

One nurse told the WSWS: “All the health workers are just going to get infected themselves, and then there’s going to be nobody to look after anybody.”

The quiet before the surge: US physicians speak on the COVID-19 pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 March 2020

The WSWS spoke to three physicians as the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate in the United States.

US Fed unveils further massive financial intervention

By Nick Beams, 24 March 2020

The central bank’s program of quantitative easing, involving the purchases of government bonds, is now virtually unlimited.

US Congress moves toward massive bailout of big business

By Patrick Martin, 24 March 2020

The wrangling between Democrats and Republicans in Washington is political theater to disguise the highway robbery being carried out by corporate America.

Attorney general requests suspension of habeas corpus

Military, Trump administration ready plans for domestic crackdown as virus spreads across US

By Eric London, 24 March 2020

The Justice Department has asked Congress to suspend habeas corpus and due process, even as the military develops plans to deploy troops on US soil to suppress “riots” and “civil disobedience.”

Palestinians face humanitarian catastrophe from coronavirus

By Jean Shaoul, 24 March 2020

This foreseeable and foreseen disaster comes after Israel’s 13-year-long siege that has rendered Gaza almost uninhabitable.

Michigan issues statewide lockdown, exempting auto industry as “critical infrastructure”

By Tom Hall, 24 March 2020

The order exempts “critical manufacturing” as defined by the federal Department of Homeland Security, setting the stage for a return to work in the plants weeks before the lockdown order expires.