To rid the world of coronavirus capitalism must be overthrown and replaced by socialism

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AMERICA, the wealthiest capitalist country in the world, on Wednesday recorded its highest daily level of Covid deaths with 3,157 new deaths recorded.

This exceeds the previous high of 2,607 deaths on 15 April at the start of the pandemic.

New cases of coronavirus infection across the US reached a staggering 200,070 with the total number of infections on course to reach a world record of 14 million yesterday.

According to Dr Robert Redfield, director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of US hospitals are at breaking point.

He said: ‘We are at a very critical time right now about being able to maintain the resilience of our health-care system. The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that’s going to be put on our health-care system.’

At the start of the pandemic in April infection cases and deaths were mostly concentrated in a handful of states, mainly New York and New England, but since then thanks to the herd immunity policy dictated by president Donald Trump and endorsed by both Republican and Democratic parties the infection has spread like wildfire across the entire country with no signs of slowing down.

Both the main bourgeois parties opposed any lockdown in their drive to keep US capitalism open at any cost in human life with predictable results.

In Britain, the Tories followed the same policy of herd immunity and were only forced into a lockdown through the refusal of workers to put their lives on the line for the profit of the bosses.

When this lockdown prematurely ended it led to the disastrous second wave that proved even more deadly than the first. Now of course all hopes of the capitalist class are being pinned on the new vaccines to control the virus and reopen their shattered economies.

This week, Britain gave emergency approval of a vaccine developed by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German BioNTech company, a decision greeted by Boris Johnson as ‘fantastic news’ while he enthused about the ‘biological ju-jitsu’ of the scientists involved.

What is clear however is that this vaccine will not be available to the overwhelming majority of the world. According to research by Global Justice Now, the wealthiest countries have been buying up the vast majority of coronavirus vaccine doses leaving poorer countries out in the cold.

They claim that Moderna, one of the other large producers of vaccines, has sold 78% of their doses to wealthy nations while Pfizer has sold 82% to countries that cover less than 15% of the world population.

Research by Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Centre found the US has agreements to buy enough doses for 455 million people – more than its population – while the UK has reserved more than needed to vaccinate the entire population.

The effect of leaving 85% of the world’s population largely unprotected from the coronavirus inevitably means that far from eradicating the virus internationally it will continue to rage across the world.

At the root of what epidemic specialists are calling ‘vaccine nationalism’ are the massive profits that the wealthy capitalist countries are desperate to make from a rapid reopening of their economies.

The giant pharmaceutical industries that will make billions out of selling vaccines are not interested in making them available except at a price that the poorer nations cannot afford to protect their populations.

It is no accident that the contagion and death rates across the world are at their peak in the leading capitalist countries.

Equally it is no accident that the capitalist nations are scrambling for control of the vaccine while the people of the world are left to their fate.

The vaccine is a major scientific development but under a world capitalist system that puts profit before human life it will not be used to eradicate the virus.

To rid the world of coronavirus capitalism must be overthrown through socialist revolution.