ON TUESDAY, the UK officially recorded 100,000 deaths from Covid-19 with half of these deaths being recorded since November 2020.
Even this terrible number of deaths is set to be surpassed in the coming weeks and months with Chris Witty, chief medical officer for England, telling the press: ‘Unfortunately, we are going to see quite a lot more deaths over the next few weeks.’
At his press conference on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson dealt with this record number of deaths by claiming that the Tory government ‘truly did everything we could to minimise loss of life’.
This remark by Johnson will inflame workers who have born the tragic brunt of the majority of these deaths. They know that the Tories put profits and the capitalist economy before anything else.
Far from minimising deaths, every single Tory policy since the pandemic took a grip has increased the death toll. Right from the start of the pandemic in March last year, the Tories and their advisors made no secret that they would never have a total lockdown as in China to throttle the virus and definitively defeat it.
It was in March 2020 that the government’s chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance told MPs that 20,000 UK deaths from coronavirus would be a ‘good’ outcome.
He openly promoted the completely discredited theory that the way to deal with coronavirus was to build ‘herd immunity’ by letting the virus tear through the population virtually unchecked. This ‘theory’ of herd immunity was adopted openly by the Tories right from the start as it justified their overriding principle of keeping capitalism open for the profit of the bosses and bankers.
Workers were to be forced to work; schools were forced to remain open acting as centres for the spread of the virus in order to release parents back to their jobs. Only when the working class and the teachers’ trade unions rebelled were the Tories forced in the summer to implement a partial lockdown which they lifted as soon as they could get away with it.
Instead of following the examples of how China and south-east Asian countries dealt with the pandemic through rigorous lockdown and effective test-and-trace programmes, the Tories insisted on only a partial lockdown while handing test and trace to private companies like Serco, with the most disastrous consequences.
Multi-million pound contracts were handed out for personal protective equipment that didn’t arrive or was medically unsuitable in thousands of secret contracts to companies with no record of medical provision while the NHS was sidelined.
When the first lockdown rules were relaxed, immediately infection rates started to rise again, and again the Tories refused to react.
In September, Johnson overruled government scientists in SAGE who pressed for a further national lockdown and were warning that failure to take this measure could result in ‘a very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences’.
When eventually forced by rising infection rates, as predicted by SAGE, to order a second lockdown in November, Johnson made sure that it was even more partial than the first. The message was go out and spend over Christmas to save the economy, with predictably deadly results.
Even after passing the appalling death toll milestone, Tory MPs are clamouring for Johnson to come up with a plan for ending lockdown and reopening schools and industry.
Herd immunity for the capitalist class hasn’t gone away. Instead, now it is being linked with the rollout of vaccine despite the fact that even those vaccinated are still capable of passing the infection on to others.
Placing profits first, the capitalist class and the Tories refused to follow the example of the Chinese deformed workers state that was able to shut down, with no loss of wages and conduct a massive test-trace and isolate campaign that defeated coronavirus.
Capitalism is responsible for the 100,000 deaths and the only way to defeat coronavirus and prevent another 100,000 or more deaths is to put an end to capitalism with a socialist revolution, and then advance to a socialist planned economy that will put all the resources of the country into carrying out the measures required to eradicate Covid-19.
This is the only way forward.