Weekly Review Apr11

TWO DEADLY VIRUSES

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The horrors of Covid-19 and the brutality of racism recently displayed in the U.S. has created the “perfect storm” to utterly disrupt the economy and the country.

Event:

“At this point in the pandemic, the disparities between the size of the black population and the percentage of black people infected with, or dead from COVID-19 appear to be the most severe.”

Impact:

“While everyone is susceptible to Covid-19, black Americans are at higher risk, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said during an appearance on CBS,” reports CNN.

“To explain the disparities in the mortality rate,” states The Atlantic, “too many politicians and commentators are noting that black people have more underlying medical conditions but, crucially, they’re not explaining why. Or they blame the choices made by black people, or poverty, or obesity—but not racism.”

“A combination of structural factors means that black people are getting infected more and dying more of coronavirus, said Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, a family physician and epidemiologist.”

Outlook:

“Higher unemployment rates for minorities and young workers is primarily because the sectors in which they typically work will be more affected by current lockdown policies…

“Coronavirus spreads faster in locations with higher density, such as cities. Black Americans are more likely to live in urban counties… And within those areas, black Americans are more likely to have lower incomes, which may press them into crowded living situations, CNN’s Van Jones writes.”

With “black people’s higher rates of unemployment, mass incarceration, chronic preexisting medical issues, poor housing, homelessness and less reliable access to quality health care… they’re more vulnerable to increased viral transmission, infection and death during a pandemic.”

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BERNIE DROPS OUT

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Initial Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders, after disappointing primary results, has withdrawn from the race, leaving Joe Biden to face President Trump in November.

Event:

Sanders, a dedicated progressive, was limited by the pandemic lockdowns and social distancing restrictions but less affected by an earlier heart attack from which he had quickly recovered.

Impact:

From an original Democratic field of seventeen candidates campaigning for the nomination, it’s now down to one, the presumptive nominee.  But Biden must now unite the disparate elements of the party to assure that there will be an exceptionally turnout come election day.

The former Vice President must reunite the coalition that backed President Obama, including Blacks, Latinos, suburban housewives and the workers from industrial states who formed the crux of Reagan Democrats.

In contrast to recent strategies, Biden needs to reach Bernie’s progressive left, the moderate center and even disenchanted Republican voters.

Outlook:

“In a statement after Sanders left the race, Biden said his former rival has “created a movement” and “changed the dialogue in America.” While he acknowledged that he and Sanders have different views on how quickly to move toward policy goals, he said he would continue dialogue with the senator and his supporters.”

It is the time for the Democrats to come together and pound out a platform that will represent a positive compromise to achieve a common goal for a positive change in government in both the White House and the U.S. Senate.

One of the keys to a Democratic success will be the minority vote to rekindle the diversity that has made America great since day one.

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FRENCH LOCKDOWN

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Thanks to the extended Covid-19 lockdown, inhabitants of Paris minority-packed suburbs, have been restricted and confined as if in a wall-less ghetto.

Event:

“The combination of cramped quarters, acute economic stress and tough policing has made Paris’s poorer suburbs a more dangerous place for the virus to spread and a source of tension during the epidemic.”

Impact:

“Our objective is to identify anyone who could have symptoms of COVID-19.

“A hotline with nurses has been set up to receive support requests from various collective accommodation shelters, whether they are hostels for foreign workers, undocumented migrants, the homeless, or others. They all have in common that they receive people in precarious situations in places where the containment and isolation of people suspected of having the virus is not easy or even not feasible.

“It’s simply not possible to isolate people suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus who should be accommodated in single rooms… This is what MSF… [has] been asking the authorities for.”

Outlook:

In contrast to most American cities where immigrants and workers are usually concentrated in inner city tenement housing and middle class has fled to the track homes of suburbia, in France, the immigrants and workers are confined to the dilapidated less than desirable structures in the suburbs.  The historic inner city structures remain elite and expensive.

“The epidemic and lockdown can increase anxiety in many migrants and refugees who, during the long journeys from their home countries, endured extreme trauma.  On top of all this, some migrants and people living in the street don’t have any income.

“So many factors contribute to making already-fragile people even more vulnerable.”

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