The Science behind COVID19 & The Pandemic of Capitalism

As the current COVID-19 pandemic drives economic and social unrest, we see the racist, sexist, and classist social fabric of imperialist governments weakening under the buildup of centuries of systemic violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

This fabric needs to be torn if we aspire to witness the liberation of all peoples within this lifetime.

~SWC~

Statement on the response to COVID-19

The rapid pace at which capitalism is ravaging our world has contributed to the emergence of many pandemic-causing diseases during the 21st century. While advancements made by scientific and medical work have helped mitigate outbreaks like the Zika virus and Ebola, we have not, in recent memory, seen this massive of an infectious spread and capitalistic negligence such as that seen in the times of SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2), the virus responsible for causing COVID-19.

With the emergence of COVID-19, imperialist governments and private industries are in disarray. Unfortunately for them, the response in the face of biological phenomena is not one that can be shot, bombed, or bought. As global capitalism continues to propel the climate crisis forward at a distressing pace, the scientific workers are warning that such catastrophic environmental changes are guaranteed to increase animal-to-human transfer of fatal bacteria and viruses. Despite this, corporate greed and corruption continue to endanger species, destroy ancestral land, and cause the suffering of people at large. Neo-colonial governments stay systematically suppressing resistance to benefit the wealthy few and maintain control through the prison and military-industrial complexes. As the current COVID-19 pandemic drives economic and social unrest, we see the racist, sexist, and classist social fabric of imperialist governments weakening under the buildup of centuries of systemic violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This fabric needs to be torn if we aspire to witness the liberation of all peoples within this lifetime. 

Just as the capitalist agents of climate change show no regard for human life, the same greed has been demonstrated by biomedical industries exploiting the fear and panic of the people they deviously claim to be helping. Present long before the pandemic with the inflation of insulin, we now see Big Pharma’s policies of price-gouging in Gilead Sciences’ COVID-19 treatment called Remdesivir. Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum antiviral, meaning that it can be used to reduce the spread of viruses throughout the body, including that of SARS-CoV-2. Despite being a drug that was developed with public funding and collaboration, it is held to a 42,000% markup for government-sponsored insurance programs and a 55,000% markup to the privately insured.

The conscious negligence we are witnessing is not only contained to legalized theft by Big Pharma. Despite a mandate requiring COVID-19 testing and associated costs to be fully covered for insured American citizens and be reimbursed for those that are uninsured, the healthcare system has yet again found another way to profit off of sickness that is primarily caused by our material conditions. Determined to satisfy their profit motives, numerous healthcare businesses masquerading as “well-meaning” public institutions tack on hidden fees: the cost of a COVID-19 test could exceed $800 or even $1,800 when emergency room visits. 

Beyond the role that Big Pharma, corporations, and healthcare organizations are playing during this pandemic, the neglect of workers deemed “essential” has revealed the expendability of human lives under capitalist governments. It is no coincidence that these essential worker positions are often occupied by BIPOC. The absence of material support provided for their labor and the exorbitant profiting of the wealthy few during this COVID-19 pandemic has exposed two key principles of how the U.S government operates:

  1. By chaining people to their debt as a way to systematically subjugate us to unsafe mental and physical conditions.
  2. That the exploitation of workers, driven by imperialist, racist, and patriarchal forces, has been deeply intertwined into every facet of U.S. society.

As we bear witness to the empty words of politicians and spokespersons proclaiming disdain for human suffering, we also see that their capitalistic greed is bottomless. Daily record-breaking cases of COVID-19 are mere background noise to those holding power positions in imperialist countries. Their concern is financial, either turn a profit amidst the pandemic or return to the undisturbed routines that feed their revenue. If we want to come out of this pandemic, we must give the tools of research, scientific knowledge, and self-sustainability back to the people.

The Scientific Workers Collective (SWC) calls anyone that is interested in community sustainability to join us as we work towards a more equitable and liberated future. SWC centers people power first and is committed to dismantling the infrastructures and policies that lead to the medical and scientific apartheid we are experiencing in this present moment.

If you would like to read more about the points we brought up above, here are some key summarized examples: 

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