Archive | May 13th, 2020

Poll Shows Tens of Millions of Americans Would Avoid Covid-19 Treatment Over Cost Fears

“A country that puts people in this situation is not a country upholding its responsibility to its citizens.”

by: Jake Johnson,

A medical assistant with M Health Fairview administers a Covid-19 test to a fellow Fairview employee. (Photo: Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

A Gallup poll out Tuesday indicates that tens of millions of U.S. adults would avoid seeking potentially life-saving medical treatment for Covid-19 symptoms due to fears about their ability to afford the associated costs.

The survey results were viewed as an alarming though not surprising signal that America’s uniquely expensive for-profit healthcare system—which has produced numerous horror stories of coronavirus patients being hit with massive surprise medical bills—could be forcing millions of people to forego medical care for the deadly and highly infectious virus.

“One out of every seven (14%) U.S. adults report that they would avoid seeking healthcare for a fever and a dry cough for themselves or a member of their household due to concerns about their ability to pay for it,” Gallup found. “When framed explicitly as believing to have been infected by the novel coronavirus, 9% still report that they would avoid seeking care.”

“At a time when many American families are waiting hours in food lines and are often unable to afford groceries, whatever amount of money is left in their pocket must be saved for the basic needs of their families, not exorbitant healthcare bills.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

“Adults under 30, non-whites, those with a high school education or less, and those in households with incomes under $40,000 per year are the groups most likely to indicate they would avoid seeking out care,” Gallup reported.

“This is terrifying,” tweeted Bill Sweeney, senior vice president of government affairs with AARP Advocates.

Louise Aronson, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said on Twitter “a country that puts people in this situation is not a country upholding its responsibility to its citizens.”

Augie Lindmark, MD@AugieLindmark

This is the opposite of good. https://news.gallup.com/poll/309224/avoid-care-likely-covid-due-cost.aspx …

According to a study released earlier this month by America’s Health Insurance Plans, an insurance industry trade group, the average cost of coronavirus treatment for patients admitted to intensive care could exceed $30,000.

The terror that U.S. medical costs have induced in coronavirus patients was vividly captured earlier in April by New York City registered nurse anesthetist Derrick Smith.

In a viral social media post and subsequent press interviews, Smith told the tragic story of a man dying of Covid-19 who asked, “Who’s going to pay for it?” as he was placed on a ventilator. Smith said he does not know if the patient survived but believes it is “pretty unlikely.”

“I was very sad and honestly, a little horrified,” Smith told CNN. “This demonstrates that we have a profound failure when one has to worry about their finances when they’re dealing with much bigger issues that have to do with life or death.”

The multi-trillion-dollar CARES Act that President Donald Trump signed into law last month included provisions aimed at requiring private insurers to make Covid-19 testing free for customers, but people could still be hit with large bills if they are tested by an out-of-network entity. Some major insurers, including Cigna and Humana, have vowed to waive out-of-pocket coronavirus treatment costs.

As for the tens of millions of people in the U.S. without health insurance—a number that is growing rapidly as mass layoffs continue—the Trump administration has vowed to use an unspecified amount of hospital funds from the CARES Act to cover coronavirus treatment costs for the uninsured.

Progressives argue that more systematic solutions are necessary to ensure that everyone in the U.S. is able to receive the treatment they need, for coronavirus and other ailments, without worrying about the potential costs.

In an op-ed for Politico on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made the case for his proposal to “empower Medicare to pay all of the healthcare costs for the uninsured, as well as all out-of-pocket expenses for those with existing public or private insurance, for as long as this pandemic continues.”

The Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act, which Sanders introduced alongside Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) earlier this month, would provide “comprehensive coverage to far more Americans while saving taxpayers money,” the Vermont senator wrote.

“At a time when many American families are waiting hours in food lines and are often unable to afford groceries, whatever amount of money is left in their pocket must be saved for the basic needs of their families, not exorbitant healthcare bills,” said Sanders. “When so many of our people are struggling economically and are terrified by the possibility of becoming sick with the coronavirus, the government must take the burden of health care costs off the backs of working people.”

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UN Labor Agency Warns 1.6 Billion Workers at Risk of Having Their ‘Livelihoods Destroyed’ by Pandemic

“As the pandemic and the jobs crisis evolve, the need to protect the most vulnerable becomes even more urgent,” says International Labor Organization Director-General Guy Ryder.

by: Jessica Corbett,

Alex Hernandez prepares sells a "torta de tamal" in his tamales stand at Baja California Avenue on April 17, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Alex Hernandez prepares sells a “torta de tamal” in his tamales stand at Baja California Avenue on April 17, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico. After the government suspended nonessential activities to halt Covid-19 spread, the informal food street industry suffered a drastic reduction of customers, between 60% and 80%, according to merchants. (Photo: Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)

The United Nations labor agency warned Wednesday that “1.6 billion workers in the informal economy—that is nearly half of the global workforce—stand in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed” by the worldwide economic crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic.

“For millions of workers, no income means no food, no security, and no future.”
—Guy Ryder, ILO

Lockdowns recommended by public health officials to stop the pandemic have meant business closures that have led to lost jobs and incomes. Global working hours fell 4.5%, the equivalent of 130 million full-time jobs, in the first quarter of 2020 compared with pre-crisis levels, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The ILO’s report (pdf) warns the world could see that decline hit 10.5% by mid-year, the equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs. The new numbers follow an early April report from agency detailing how lockdowns across the globe were already affecting almost 2.7 billion workers, around 81% of the world’s workforce of 3.3 billion.

While the economic fallout of the crisis is expected to continue impacting the majority of global workers, that is especially true for those in the informal economy, which generally refers to workers whose employment conditions are “not recognized, registered, regulated, or protected under labor legislation and social protection.”

International Labour Organization@ilo

Nearly half of the global workforce is in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed, according to our latest research. https://bit.ly/2YkDFD5  #covid19

As the new ILO report explains:

More than two billion people worldwide work in the informal economy in jobs that are characterized by a lack of basic protection, including social protection coverage. They often have poor access to healthcare services and have no income replacement in case of sickness or lockdown. Many of them have no possibility to work remotely from home. Staying home means losing their jobs, and without wages, they cannot eat.

As of 22 April 2020, close to 1.1 billion informal economy workers live and work in countries in full lockdown, and an additional 304 million in countries in partial lockdown

The agency estimates “almost 1.6 billion informal economy workers, accounting for 76% of informal employment worldwide, are significantly impacted by the lockdown measures and/or working in the hardest-hit sectors.” The ILO projects income losses for these workers will be “massive” and further increase income inequality.

The sectors hardest hit by current global conditions are wholesale retail, trade and the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; manufacturing; accommodation and food services; and real estate, business, and administrative activities. Other significantly affected sectors include arts, entertainment, and recreation as well as transport, storage, and communication.

“Among informal economy workers significantly impacted by the crisis,” the report notes, “women are overrepresented in high-risk sectors: 42% of women workers are working in those sectors, compared to 32% of men.”

Given the new projections about how the pandemic-related economic crisis will affect workers worldwide, the ILO urges governments to pursue “urgent and significant policy responses to protect both enterprises, particularly smaller businesses, and workers, especially those operating in the informal economy.”

 Potential impacts of the pandemic on poverty levels of informal workers

The report reiterates the ILO’s four-pillar policy framework to fight the economic impact of Covid-19 based on international labor standards: stimulating the economy and employment; supporting enterprises, jobs, and incomes; protecting workers in the workplace; and relying on social dialogue for solutions.

The ILO calls on governments to prioritize financial support for small businesses and informal economy workers, and to coordinate stimulus packages on a global scale. The report adds that “longer-term, large public investments are needed to boost employment and crowd in private investment.”

In addition to detailing the need for longer-term financial aid, the report makes a case for the necessity of improving labor conditions as part of the recovery phase, noting that “the impact of the pandemic is likely to be uneven, adding significantly to existing vulnerabilities and inequalities.”

“Greater attention should be paid to the strengthening of employment policies to support enterprises and workers,” the report says, “along with strong labor market institutions and comprehensive and well-resourced social protection systems, including care policies and infrastructure, that kick in automatically and in an inclusive way as crises occur.”

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder addressed the new report and the agency’s current focus on the informal economy in a short video shared on Twitter Tuesday:

“As the pandemic and the jobs crisis evolve, the need to protect the most vulnerable becomes even more urgent,” Ryder said in a statement. “For millions of workers, no income means no food, no security, and no future.”

“Millions of businesses around the world are barely breathing,” Ryder added. “They have no savings or access to credit. These are the real faces of the world of work. If we don’t help them now, these enterprises will simply perish.”

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The Two Numbers Trump Can’t Spin

Total deaths and job loss.

by: Les Leopold

By Election Day, we may have suffered more than 100,000 U.S. dead, twice the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War. It will be extremely difficult for Trump to spin away the horrific human cost. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Election Day, we may have suffered more than 100,000 U.S. dead, twice the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War. It will be extremely difficult for Trump to spin away the horrific human cost. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As November nears Trump will continue to bombard us with a dizzying array of statistics that he hopes will demonstrate how great a job he and his administration are doing. We do the most testing in the world. We’re making the most ventilators. We build the most hospital beds. And we will soon again have the best economy in the history of the world.

But there are two numbers Trump can’t explain away: total deaths and job loss.  He and his handlers had hoped that the final toll would follow from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model which now predicts 74,073 deaths by August 1. But as of April 28th, we have already suffered more than 56,000 deaths. Unfortunately, in less than a month, the body count is likely to surpass the updated IHME prediction. 

What is likely to be the final tally?  No one knows, of course. Maybe there will soon be a medicinal treatment. Maybe an effective vaccine will rapidly appear. Maybe summer and sunlight (even without injecting Clorox and chloroquine) will help more than expected. 

But barring such fortuitous breakthroughs it would be wise to pay close attention to the sobering estimate put forth by Dr. Micheal Osterholm, the founder of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. The math is simple and terrifying:

There are 320 million people in the United States. If half of them get infected in the next 6 to 18 months, that’s 160 million people. The 50% rate of infection over the course of the pandemic is at the low end of my colleagues’ consensus on what we can expect to see given the infectiousness of this virus.

Based on what we know from Asia, from the European Union and from the United States, about 80% of these cases will have asymptomatic, mild or moderate illness but won’t need professional medical care. About 20% of infected people will seek medical care. That’s 32 million people.

Of those, about half will be hospitalized. That’s 16 million people. Of those who are hospitalized, about half will actually require some form of critical care. That’s 8 million people. About 0.5 to 1% of the total number of 160 million infected people will die. So you have the possibility of at least 800,000 deaths in the US over the next 18 months. This is the number of deaths I’m expecting.

Let’s hope and pray we don’t get anywhere near there. But by Election Day, we may have suffered more than 100,000 U.S. dead, twice the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War. It will be extremely difficult for Trump to spin away the horrific human cost.

Unemployment

In America, given our paltry income support systems and the lack of universal health care, job loss is a near death experience.  Even with massive amounts of short-term government checks to individuals and businesses, millions of the jobless are falling through the cracks while the money and tax breaks once again find their way to the super-rich. 

While Trump’s proudly takes credit for the pre-pandemic 3.5 percent unemployment rate, he will soon claim NOT to be responsible for the Great Depression-like unemployment rates that are sure to come. He will continue to press to “liberate” the state economies and if it doesn’t happen fast enough he will blame the governors for the continued job losses. But that will be a very tough sell when the unemployment rates reach 15 to 20 percent or more. At that point virtually every family will be feeling the pain.  

But here’s the rub. The economy, even when “liberated,” is not going to snap back very quickly. Until there’s a vaccine or an excellent treatment, most of us will be very reluctant to venture out into crowds. Job loss in all industries that rely on gatherings — from baseball to bars to Broadway – will continue to suffer. It is certain that unemployment will come down much more slowly than it went up. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that the average unemployment for all of 2020 will be 11.4 percent and for 2021 still 10.1 percent, which is higher than the peak during the Great Recession. Trump will rant and rave, but at this point there’s not much he can do about it. (Those rates may have been held down had the government decided to pay to keep everyone employed in their current positions, as is the case in several European countries. But that approach was far beyond the ideological limits of Trump and the Republican Party.)

To compound the problem it is possible (if not likely) that a second wave will take place as states rush to reopen the economy. If done without an enormous contact-tracing infrastructure, the virus deaths could accelerate again, leading to another shutdown and more job loss. 

Death and unemployment should mark the end of the Trump administration as well as Republican control of the Senate. The only thing that can save them from a massive defeat is if the Democrats shoot themselves in the foot, something each of us can well imagine. 

Except for the Forever Trumpers, the rest of the world understands that our president simply does not have the necessary array of mental and emotional capacities to manage this crisis. It’s now up to Biden and the Democrats to show that they can.

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The Beginning of the End for Oil?

Energy in a post-pandemic world.

by: Michael T. Klare

It does appear that the present still-raging pandemic is forcing dramatic shifts in the way we consume energy and that many of these changes are likely to persist in some fashion long after the virus has been tamed. (Photo: Brian Katt, Wikimedia Commons)

It does appear that the present still-raging pandemic is forcing dramatic shifts in the way we consume energy and that many of these changes are likely to persist in some fashion long after the virus has been tamed. (Photo: Brian Katt, Wikimedia Commons)

Energy analysts have long assumed that, given time, growing international concern over climate change would result in a vast restructuring of the global energy enterprise. The result: a greener, less climate-degrading system. In this future, fossil fuels would be overtaken by renewables, while oil, gas, and coal would be relegated to an increasingly marginal role in the global energy equation. In its World Energy Outlook 2019, for example, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that, by 2040, renewables would finally supersede petroleum as the planet’s number one source of energy and coal would largely disappear from the fuel mix. As a result of Covid-19, however, we may no longer have to wait another 20 years for such a cosmic transition to occur — it’s happening right now.

So take a breath and, amid all the bad news pouring in about a deadly global pandemic, consider this: when it comes to energy, what was expected to take at least two decades in the IEA’s most optimistic scenario may now occur in just a few years. It turns out that the impact of Covid-19 is reshaping the world energy equation, along with so much else, in unexpected ways.

That energy would be strongly affected by the pandemic should come as no surprise. After all, fuel use is closely aligned with economic activity and Covid-19 has shut down much of the world economy. With factories, offices, and other businesses closed or barely functioning, there’s naturally less demand for energy of all types. But the impacts of the pandemic go far beyond that, as our principal coping mechanisms — social distancing and stay-at-home requirements — have particular implications for energy consumption.

Among the first and most dramatic of these has been a shockingly deep decline in flying, automobile commuting, and leisure travel — activities that account for a large share of daily petroleum use. Airline travel in the United States, for example, is down by 95% from a year ago. At the same time, the personal consumption of electricity for telework, distance learning, group conversations, and entertainment has soared. In hard-hit Italy, for instance, Microsoft reports that the use of its cloud services for team meetings — a voracious consumer of electricity — has increased by 775%.

These are all meant to be temporary responses to the pandemic. As government officials and their scientific advisers begin to talk about returning to some semblance of “normalcy,” however, it’s becoming increasingly clear that many such pandemic-related practices will persist in some fashion for a long time to come and, in some cases, may prove permanent. Social distancing is likely to remain the norm in public spaces for many months, if not years, curtailing attendance at theme parks and major sports events that also typically involve lots of driving. Many of us are also becoming more accustomed to working from home and may be in no rush to resume a harried 30-, 60-, or 90-minute commute to work each day. Some colleges and universities, already under financial pressure of various sorts, may abandon in-person classes for many subjects and rely far more on distance learning.

No matter how this pandemic finally plays out, the post-Covid-19 world is bound to have a very different look from the pre-pandemic one and energy use is likely to be among the areas most affected by the transformations underway. It would be distinctly premature to make sweeping predictions about the energy profile of a post-coronavirus planet, but one thing certainly seems possible: the grand transition, crucial for averting the worst outcomes of climate change and originally projected to occur decades from now, could end up happening significantly more swiftly, even if at the price of widespread bankruptcies and prolonged unemployment for millions.

Oil’s Dominance in Jeopardy

As 2019 drew to a close, most energy analysts assumed that petroleum would continue to dominate the global landscape through the 2020s, as it had in recent decades, resulting in ever greater amounts of carbon emissions being sent into the atmosphere. For example, in its International Energy Outlook 2019, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy projected that global petroleum use in 2020 would amount to 102.2 million barrels per day. That would be up 1.1 million barrels from 2019 and represent the second year in a row in which global consumption would have exceeded the notable threshold of 100 million barrels per day. Grimly enough, the EIA further projected that world demand would continue to climb, reaching 104 million barrels per day by 2025 and 106 million barrels in 2030.

In arriving at such projections, energy analysts assumed that the factors responsible for driving petroleum use upward in recent years would persist well into the future: growing automobile ownership in China, India, and other developing nations; ever-increasing commutes as soaring real-estate prices forced people to live ever farther from city centers; and an exponential increase in airline travel, especially in Asia. Such factors, it was widely assumed, would more than compensate for any drop in demand caused by a greater preference for electric cars in Europe and a few other places. As suggested by oil giant BP in its Energy Outlook for 2019, “All of the demand growth comes from developing economies, driven by the burgeoning middle class in developing Asian economies.”

Even in January, as the coronavirus began to spread from China to other countries, energy analysts imagined little change in such predictions. Reporting “continued strong momentum” in oil use among the major developing economies, the IEA typically reaffirmed its belief that global consumption would grow by more than one million barrels daily in 2020.

Only now has that agency begun to change its tune. In its most recent Oil Market Report, it projected that global petroleum consumption in April would fall by an astonishing 29 million barrels per day compared to the same month the previous year. That drop, by the way, is the equivalent of total 2019 oil usage by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Still, the IEA analysts assumed that all of this would just be a passing phenomenon. In that same report, it also predicted that global economic activity would rebound in the second half of this year and, by December, oil usage would already be within a few million barrels of pre-coronavirus consumption levels.

Other indicators, however, suggest that such rosy predictions will prove highly fanciful. The likelihood that oil consumption will approach 2018 or 2019 levels by year’s end or even in early 2021 now appears remarkably unrealistic. It is, in fact, doubtful that those earlier projections about sustained future growth in the demand for oil will ever materialize.

A Shattered World Economy

As a start, a return to pre-Covid-19 consumption levels assumes a reasonably rapid restoration of the world economy as it was, with Asia taking the lead. At this moment, however, there’s no evidence that such an outcome is likely.

In its April World Economic Outlook report, the International Monetary Fund predicted that global economic output would fall by 3% in 2020 (which may prove a distinct underestimate) and that the pandemic’s harsh impacts, including widespread unemployment and business failures, will persist well into 2021 or beyond. All told, it suggested, the cumulative loss to global gross domestic product in 2020 and 2021, thanks to the pandemic, will amount to some $9 trillion, a sum greater than the economies of Japan and Germany combined (and that assumes the coronavirus will not come back yet more fiercely in late 2020 or 2021, as the “Spanish Flu” did in 1918).

This and other recent data suggest that any notion China, India, and other developing nations will soon resume their upward oil-consumption trajectory and save the global petroleum industry appears wildly far-fetched. Indeed, on April 17th, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that the country’s GDP shrank by 6.8% in the first three months of 2020, the first such decline in 40 years and a staggering blow to that country’s growth model. Even though government officials are slowly opening factories and other key businesses again, most observers believe that spurring significant growth will prove exceedingly difficult given that Chinese consumers, traumatized by the pandemic and accompanying lockdown measures, seem loath to make new purchases or engage in travel, tourism, and the like.

And keep in mind that a slowdown in China will have staggering consequences for the economies of numerous other developing nations that rely on that country’s tourism or its imports of their oil, copper, iron ore, and other raw materials. China, after all, is the leading destination for the exports of many Asian, African, and Latin American countries. With Chinese factories closed or operating at a reduced tempo, the demand for their products has already plummeted, causing widespread economic hardship for their populations.

Add all this up, along with a rising tide of unemployment in the United States and elsewhere, and it would appear that the possibility of global oil consumption returning to pre-pandemic levels any time soon — or even at all — is modest at best. Indeed, the major oil-exporting nations have evidently reached this conclusion on their own, as demonstrated by the extraordinary April 12th agreement that the Saudis, the Russians, and other major exporting countries reached to cut global production by nearly 10 million barrels per day. It was a desperate bid to bolster oil prices, which had fallen by more than 50% since the beginning of the year. And keep in mind that even this reduction — unprecedented in scale — is unlikely to prevent a further decline in those prices, as oil purchases continue to fall and fall again.

Doing Things Differently

Energy analysts are likely to argue that, while the downturn will undoubtedly last longer than the IEA’s optimistic forecast, sooner or later petroleum use will return to its earlier patterns, once again cresting at the 100-million-barrels-per-day level. But this appears highly unlikely, given the way the pandemic is reshaping the global economy and everyday human behavior.

After all, IEA and oil-industry forecasts assume a fully interconnected world in which the sort of dynamic growth we’ve come to expect from Asia in the twenty-first century will sooner or later fuel economic vigor globally. Extended supply lines will once again carry raw materials and other inputs to China’s factories, while Chinese parts and finished products will be transported to markets on every continent. But whether or not that country’s economy starts to grow again, such a globalized economic model is unlikely to remain the prevailing one in the post-pandemic era. Many countries and companies are, in fact, beginning to restructure their supply lines to avoid a full-scale reliance on foreign suppliers by seeking alternatives closer to home — a trend likely to persist after pandemic-related restrictions are lifted (especially in a world in which Trumpian-style “nationalism” still seems to be on the rise).

“There will be a rethink of how much any country wants to be reliant on any other country,” suggests the aptly named Elizabeth Economy, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “I don’t think fundamentally this is the end of globalization. But this does accelerate the type of thinking that has been going on in the Trump administration, that there are critical technologies, critical resources, reserve manufacturing capacity that we want here in the U.S. in case of crisis.”

Other countries are bound to begin planning along similar lines, leading to a significant decline in transcontinental commerce. Local and regional trade will, of course, have to increase to make up for this decline, but the net impact on petroleum demand is likely to be negative as long-distance trade and travel diminishes. For China and other rising Asian powers, this could also mean a slower growth rate, squeezing those “burgeoning middle classes” that were, in turn, expected to be the major local drivers (quite literally, in the case of the car cultures in those countries) of petroleum consumption.

A Shift toward Electricity—and a Greater Reliance on Renewables

Another trend the coronavirus is likely to accelerate: greater reliance on telework by corporations, governments, universities, and other institutions. Even before the pandemic broke out, many companies and organizations were beginning to rely more on teleconferencing and work-from-home operations to reduce travel costs, commuting headaches, and even, in some cases, greenhouse gas emissions. In our new world, the use of these techniques is likely to become far more common.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is, among other things, a massive experiment in telecommuting,” observed Katherine Guyot and Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution in a recent report. “Up to half of American workers are currently working from home, more than double the fraction who worked from home (at least occasionally) in 2017-2018.”

Many such workers, they also noted, had been largely unfamiliar with telecommuting technology when this grand experiment began, but have quickly mastered the necessary skills. Given little choice in the matter, high school and college students are also becoming more adept at telework as their schools shift to remote learning. Meanwhile, companies and colleges are investing massively in the necessary hardware and software for such communications and teaching. As a result, Guyot and Sawhill suggest, “The outbreak is accelerating the trend toward telecommuting, possibly for the long term.”

Any large increase in teleworking is bound to have a dramatic dual impact on energy use: people will drive less, reducing their oil consumption, while relying more on teleconferencing and cloud computing, and so increasing their use of electricity. “The coronavirus reminds us that electricity is more indispensable than ever,” says Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA. “Millions of people are now confined to their homes, resorting to teleworking to do their jobs.”

Increased reliance on electricity, in turn, will have a significant impact on the very nature of primary fuel consumption, as coal begins to lose its dominant role in the generation of electrical power and is replaced at an ever-accellerating pace by renewables. In 2018, according to the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2019, a distressing 38% of world electricity generation was still provided by coal, another 26% by oil and natural gas, and only 26% by renewables; the remaining 10% came from nuclear and other sources of energy. This was expected to change dramatically over time as climate-conscious policies began to have a significant impact — but, even in the IEA’s most hopeful scenarios, it was only after 2030 that renewables would reach the 50% level in electricity generation. With Covid-19, however, that process is now likely to speed up, as power utilities adjust to the global economic slowdown and seek to minimize their costs.

With many businesses shut down, net electricity use in the United States has actually declined somewhat in these months — although not nearly as much as the drop in petroleum use, given the way home electricity consumption has compensated for a plunge in business demand. As utilities adapt to this challenging environment, they are finding that wind and solar power are often the least costly sources of primary energy, with natural gas just behind them and coal the most expensive of all. Insofar as they are investing in the future, then, they appear to be favoring large solar and wind projects, which can, in fact, be brought online relatively quickly, assuring needed revenue. New natural gas plants take longer to install and coal offers no advantages whatsoever.

In the depths of global disaster, it’s way too early to make detailed predictions about the energy landscape of future decades. Nonetheless, it does appear that the present still-raging pandemic is forcing dramatic shifts in the way we consume energy and that many of these changes are likely to persist in some fashion long after the virus has been tamed. Given the already extreme nature of the heating of this planet, such shifts are likely to prove catastrophic for the oil and coal industries but beneficial for the environment — and so for the rest of us. Deadly, disruptive, and economically devastating as Covid-19 has proved to be, in retrospect it may turn out to have had at least this one silver lining.

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Building Resilience in the Days of the Coronavirus: Lessons from the Great Depression

It is taking the scale of a horrific pandemic to expose flaws in the social structure that should have been corrected earlier.

By: Katherine Van Wormer

My mind turns to the Great Depression, too, but to a source that is often overlooked—to older black women who grew up during that time in the rural South. (Photo: Bettmann / Contributor)

My mind turns to the Great Depression, too, but to a source that is often overlooked—to older black women who grew up during that time in the rural South. (Photo: Bettmann / Contributor)

The word resilience comes from the Latin verb resilire, meaning “to jump or spring back. Resilience at the personal level relates to one’s ability to overcome a blow or series of blows in one’s life, accept what happened, and find strength to address the later challenges that come along. 

Resilience at the community level is much the same. It depends on tapping into internal and external resources to rediscover or rebuild what was lost. In a people who have lived through long-term adversity, a key point about resilience is that the adversity or hardships must end. 

We can take some consolation in looking at the past, to other dark periods in history that came and sometimes even left the world better off in unexpected ways. 

In the face of a global pandemic, the effects of which are both to our lives and livelihoods, people are wondering whether our nation will be able to bounce back. We can take some consolation in looking at the past, to other dark periods in history that came and sometimes even left the world better off in unexpected ways. 

Focusing on the disease aspect of the 2020 pandemic, journalists and others are considering the impacts of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic which took millions and millions of lives. Focusing on the financial aspect, commentators are turning to the Great Depression for insights and encouragement in terms of how people coped and how the government reacted.   

My mind turns to the Great Depression, too, but to a source that is often overlooked—to older black women who grew up during that time in the rural South. Preserved now in the book, The Maid Narratives, and in CD recordings at the University of Iowa, the stories of 20 of these older women take us back to a time and place when social oppression was rooted in white supremacy and Jim Crow segregation laws.  

When we (the book authors) gathered this collection of stories on life in the Jim Crow South, we were not thinking of resilience. We were studying details of southern etiquette as experienced by black servants in white homes as well as the social conditions of the times. The description provided by Annie Victoria Johnson, who migrated from the hill country of Mississippi to Waterloo, Iowa provides a typical memory: 

The WPA (Works Progress Administration) got started. Back then the black men didn’t have no jobs, didn’t have no land. So we sharecropped. Whatever man you worked for, you lived in his house and worked on his property. Whatever you made—say 200 bushels of corn, they would get half of it. Women and children would be working in the fields like the men. We didn’t have no play time, no company time. When it rained you couldn’t pick cotton so you would work in your house. 

Mrs. Johnson, who was 88 at the time of the interview, lived an active life that centered around her church and neighbors; she looked back on her accomplishments down South with pride. 

Shortly before her death, another interviewee–Pearline Sisk Jones from Oxford, Mississippi—described the time she worked in the home of William Faulkner:

At that time maids were being paid about two dollars an hour, but Mr. Faulkner paid more—about three dollars an hour. Some of the chores I had to do were: I cleaned everything, had to go over them floors, get some oil to make them floors shine, wash the dishes, clean the bathroom with Clorox and Comet, wipe them door knobs and make them shine. I worked so hard. The way I got through all this was I made poems; I wrote poetry out of them jobs. I am old now, but I have some poems at the house, and my granddaughter has some of them on tape.

An overview of the narratives of these resilient women reveals a pattern of resourcefulness, persistence in the face of setbacks, courage to take a stand, and through all the challenges, pride in family and community. All of them continued to be active in community life, and all of them were proud of what their children had accomplished when the walls of segregation came tumbling down. 

We would be remiss, however, if we did not realize that the resiliency of these women and of others of the Great Depression did not stem from inner strengths alone. Sweeping social change from the 1930’s onward alleviated some of the underlying failings in a system that the economic collapse had brought to light. 

Likewise, it is taking the scale of a horrific pandemic to expose flaws in the social structure that should have been corrected earlier. The lack of a safety net has been unnecessarily ruinous, both in terms of health care and economically. For a society and its people to be truly resilient, resources must be available for everyone—the lessons of history are clear. 

Posted in USA, HealthComments Off on Building Resilience in the Days of the Coronavirus: Lessons from the Great Depression

UN Projects ‘Staggering’ 20% Rise in Gender-Based Violence Worldwide During Pandemic Lockdowns

The new data—which also address child marriages, female genital mutilation, and unintended pregnancies—”shows the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 could soon have on women and girls globally.”

byJessica Corbett,

A resident of the Casa Nepal safe house stands in the upstairs common area on May 8, 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The shelter houses approximately 60 women and their children annually.

A resident of the Casa Nepal safe house stands in the upstairs common area on May 8, 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The shelter houses approximately 60 women and their children annually. (Photo: Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

Lockdowns around the world triggered by the coronavirus pandemic could contribute to millions more cases of gender-based violence, child marriages, female genital mutilation, and unintended pregnancies resulting from lack of access to contraceptives in the months ahead, according to a report released Tuesday by the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.

“Women’s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs. The services must continue; the supplies must be delivered; and the vulnerable must be protected and supported.”
—Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA

The new data (pdf) comes from the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), the global group Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University in the U.S., and Victoria University in Australia. It follows reporting that, as U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in early April, the world has “seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence” as communities have shut down.

“Projections show that if violence increases by 20% during periods of lockdown,” UNFPA warns, “there would be an additional 15 million cases of intimate partner violence in 2020 for an average lockdown duration of three months, 31 million cases for an average lockdown of six months, 45 million for an average lockdown of nine months, and 61 million if the average lockdown period were to be as long as one year.”

Those projections include all 193 U.N. member states and “account for the high levels of underreporting seen with gender-based violence.” The report notes that the rising rates of violence against women and girls—who are disproportionately victimized by domestic abusers—during the pandemic will come as resources to provide support, counseling, and post-rape care are strained due to the virus outbreak.

Matt Jackson@MattJacksonUK

🌏

Around domestic violence increasing under #lockdown. New @UNFPA data shows 31 million extra cases of #gender-based violence in a 6-month lockdown. Protection efforts must continue https://bit.ly/2SeX1G5  #GBV

View image on Twitter

People across the globe took to social media Tuesday in response to the new domestic violence data, calling the projections “sickening, heartbreaking,” and “staggering.” As documentary filmmaker Karoline Pelikan pointed out, “THIS was foreseeable.”

In a Devex op-ed highlighted on Twitter by UNFPA, global affairs graduate student and survivor advocate Theresa Puhr wrote last week that “with one in three women globally experiencing violence over their lifetimes, the world was already facing a crisis. Now, COVID-19 is exacerbating the problem.”

“The rampant spread of the virus has forced victims to stay at home with their abusers, leaving them with few opportunities to seek shelter or solace,” Puhr added. “Victims in the world’s poorest countries, especially those with already-existing humanitarian crises, are the most vulnerable. International development organizations must ramp up their efforts to prevent and address domestic violence in order to stop a pandemic of violence from emerging.”

UNFPA@UNFPA

Before #COVID19, 1 in 3 women were already experiencing physical or sexual abuse.

Now, many of them are trapped at home with their abusers.

We must act NOW to support survivors of violence during the #coronavirus outbreak: http://unf.pa/rou 

via @devex

Other projections from UNFPA, as a statement from the agency summarized, include:

  • 47 million women in 114 low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives and seven million unintended pregnancies are expected to occur if the lockdown carries on for 6 months and there are major disruptions to health services. For every three months the lockdown continues, up to an additional two million women may be unable to use modern contraceptives.
  • Due to the disruption of programs to prevent female genital mutilation in response to COVID-19, two million female genital mutilation cases may occur over the next decade that could have been averted.
  • COVID-19 will disrupt efforts to end child marriage, potentially resulting in an additional 13 million child marriages taking place between 2020 and 2030 that could otherwise have been averted.

“This new data shows the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 could soon have on women and girls globally,” said UNFPA executive director Dr. Natalia Kanem. “The pandemic is deepening inequalities, and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health.”

Kanem expanded on her comments in an interview with the Guardian:

“It’s a calamity. Totally calamitous,” said Kanem. “It is so clear that COVID-19 is compounding the no longer subterranean disparities that affect millions of women and girls.”

She said the pandemic “threatened the gains carefully eked out” over recent years. “We are very worried indeed.”

She said UNFPA teams in the Arab states and east and southern Africa had reported that “people were rushing to marry their daughters” already, while deaths in childbirth in one east African country had tripled this year.

In the UNFPA statement, Kanem emphasized the importance of providing programs for these issues amid the outbreak. As she put it: “Women’s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs. The services must continue; the supplies must be delivered; and the vulnerable must be protected and supported.”

That call for continuing crucial health services for women and girls was echoed by other individuals and organizations worldwide. “The closing of safe spaces and limited mobility means women are unable to access critical services,” the International Rescue Committee’s U.K. branch tweeted Tuesday. “Women’s social services are essential and should be prioritized during the pandemic.”

Traci Baird, president of the D.C.-based global group EngenderHealth, told the Guardian that the UNFPA had “put numbers to things that we have been discussing for weeks.” She called for immediate an immediate mobilization and said that those organizations working on these issues must be “prepared to manage and support countries, and partners, and families, in catching up after.”

EngenderHealth@EngenderHealth

Our CEO @TraciLBaird spoke to @LizFordGuardian about @UNFPA data showing #COVID19’s dangerous impacts on #SRHR, #familyplanning, #GBV, #FGM: “The magnitude of the problem is absolutely enormous and that should motivate and mobilise us to take action now.” https://bit.ly/35bAXkE

“We know what works, we have best practices that have impact,” said Baird. “We have to do things better and faster and smarter. We don’t have time to do learnings and ramp up phases, or workshops, and meetings. We have to get back to work.”

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and a live chat service is available at www.thehotline.org. Those seeking support can also text LOVEIS to 22522. All services offer 24/7, free, and confidential support.

Posted in Human RightsComments Off on UN Projects ‘Staggering’ 20% Rise in Gender-Based Violence Worldwide During Pandemic Lockdowns

‘Demoralizing’ New Michael Moore Film Attacks Climate Movement at a Time When Solutions Should be at the Forefront, Say Critics

“Throughout, the filmmakers twist basic facts, misleading the public about who is responsible for the climate crisis.”

byEoin Higgins,

The new film from Michael Moore is coming under fire from climate activists.

The new film from Michael Moore is coming under fire from climate activists. (Photo: POTH/publicity still)

A new film produced by documentarian Michael Moore is angering environmental activists who say filmmaker Jeff Gibbs plays fast and loose with the facts, attacks the wrong targets, and even ends up arguing for ecofascist solutions to the climate crisis.

“Throughout, the filmmakers twist basic facts, misleading the public about who is responsible for the climate crisis,” wrote University of California Santa Barbara professor Leah Stokes of the film for Vox.

“We are used to climate science misinformation campaigns from fossil fuel corporations,” she continued. “But from progressive filmmakers? That’s new.”

Leah Stokes@leahstokes

Michael Moore’s new climate film is full of misinformation about clean energy and climate activists.

Given the film’s loose relationship to facts, I’m not even sure it should be classified as a documentary.

My latest in @Vox.https://www.vox.com/2020/4/28/21238597/michael-moore-planet-of-the-humans-climate-change …

In “Planet of the Humans” (POTH), Gibbs focuses on what he sees as the false promises of renewable, green energy solutions to the climate crisis and a dismissal of the climate activist movement as the hurdles for decisive action to address the crisis.

Climate science writer Ketan Joshi, in a scathing review of the film, wrote that the film’s “outright lies about wind and solar are serious and extremely harmful.”

“Wind and solar aren’t just technological tools with enormous potential for decarbonization,” wrote Joshi. “They also have massive potential to be owned by communities, deployed at small scales with minimal environmental harm, and removed with far less impact on where they were than large power stations like coal and gas. They do incredible things to electricity bills, they decentralize power (literally and figuratively), and with more work they can be scaled up to properly replace fossil fuels.”

Naomi Klein@NaomiAKlein

Thank you for writing this. It is truly demoralizing how much damage this film has done at a moment when many are ready for deep change. There are important critiques of an environmentalism that refuses to reckon with unlimited consumption + growth. But this film ain’t it. https://twitter.com/KetanJ0/status/1253805911665188864 …

Ketan Joshi@KetanJ0

Folks, I had to do it. A big blog / fact check on @MMFlint and @jeffgibbstc spectacularly bad #PlanetoftheHumans film. It’s lazy, wrong, old and harmful.

It is dot points from climate denier blogs from 2012, and it’s horrific how widely it’s spread. https://ketanjoshi.co/2020/04/24/planet-of-the-humans-a-reheated-mess-of-lazy-old-myths/ …

View image on Twitter

Heated newsletter writer Emily Atkin, in a post enumerating questions on the film for Gibbs and Moore, wondered why POTH avoids backing up its claims on energy.

“This movie repeatedly claims that humans are better off burning fossil fuels than using renewable energy,” said Atkin. “But it also fails to cite any peer-reviewed science on lifecycle emissions, which show the cumulative impact of different renewable energy sources. Why?”

In a more disturbing move, Gibbs promotes population control as the best answer to the warming of the planet. 

“There’s a reason that Breitbart and other conservative voices aligned with climate denial and fossil fuel companies have taken a shine to the film,” Earther‘s Brian Kahn wrote last week. “It’s because it ignores the solution of holding power to account and sounds like a racist dog whistle.”

That sentiment was echoed by Joshi, who noted that the film’s emphasis on prioritizing white American voices was in line with its argument on population control.

“The film features a parade of—solely—white Americans, mostly male, insisting the planet has to reduce its population,” wrote Joshi. “There is no information provided on which people in the world need to stop fucking, but we can take a guess, based on the demographics of the people doing the asking.”

Films for Action, in a post on POTH, said that while questions of population growth are “complicated,” the movie’s proposal of poulation degrowth does not acknowledge those complexities.

“It’s true we can’t keep growing forever, in the same way we can’t keep consuming the Earth forever, but in high-consumption countries, populations are already declining, and in areas where populations are still growing, the ‘impact on Earth’ is still low compared to the impact of ‘rich’ nations,” the group wrote. “The truth is, pinning our problems on population lets industrial capitalism off the hook—what Daniel Quinn called the culture of maximum harm.”

POTH has also been criticized for its treatment of climate activists. As Stokes wrote for Vox, the timing of such an argument seems counterproductive to solving the climate crisis. 

“Perhaps the most insulting thing is that this film comes at a time when the youth climate movement is finally gaining momentum,” wrote Stokes. “Young women like Greta Thunberg and Varshini Prakash have helped climate change break into the mainstream. Rather than bolster the work of the Sunrise Movement, Fridays for Future, or Zero Hour, it undermines these activists’ achievements by sowing confusion and doubt.”

Posted in Environment, PoliticsComments Off on ‘Demoralizing’ New Michael Moore Film Attacks Climate Movement at a Time When Solutions Should be at the Forefront, Say Critics

Amid Dual Crises of Climate and Covid-19, World Leaders Told ‘Empty Words Will Not Help Us’

“Despite promising statements, the [Petersberg] dialogue did not result in firm commitments to a green and just recovery.”

by: Jessica Corbett,

German Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze participates in the Petersberg Climate Dialogue XI.

German Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze participates in the virtual Petersberg Climate Dialogue XI on April 24, 2020. (Photo: BMU/Christoph Wehrer)

As the year’s first major meeting of climate ministers—held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic—wrapped up Tuesday, climate campaigners welcomed world leaders’ calls for a “green recovery” from the ongoing public health crisis but demanded that the lofty rhetoric be matched by ambitious, detailed plans and actions.

“This pandemic has upended climate diplomacy and climate meetings until next year but countries, especially major emitters, must continue working to deliver strong commitments on climate ambition this year that put the world on a 1.5°C degree pathway.”
—May Boeve, 350.org

Ministers from a few dozen countries came together online for the Petersberg Climate Dialogue (PCD) XI. The two-day annual meeting was co-hosted by Germany and the United Kingdom. The U.K. will also host the next U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26), which was set for November but is postponed because of the outbreak.

The German and British hosts announced last week that the livestreamed event would “focus on how we can organize economic recovery after the acute crisis management, and how countries can proceed with ambitious climate action despite the postponement of COP26. The goal is a green recovery.”

May Boeve, executive director of global environmental advocacy group 350.org, said in a statement Tuesday that “despite promising statements, the [Petersberg] dialogue did not result in firm commitments to a green and just recovery. The climate crisis has not taken time off so our response to the COVID-19 pandemic must also be up to the challenge of climate breakdown.”

Boeve, whose organization has joined with hundreds of groups fighting for a just recovery, added:

This pandemic has upended climate diplomacy and climate meetings until next year but countries, especially major emitters, must continue working to deliver strong commitments on climate ambition this year that put the world on a 1.5°C degree pathway. This must go alongside efforts to regenerate economies and social welfare measures. In fact they reinforce each other—it’s possible to make economic recovery measures that put people and the planet first.

The choices being made right now will shape our society for years, if not decades to come. Solutions for economic and social recovery must center on principles of justice, care, community empowerment, and international solidarity for the safety and long-term resilience of the most vulnerable. The choices must put people first, and accelerate our action against the climate crisis. We need a truly interconnected global approach which first and foremost invests in the safety and health of all people.

Fridays for Future Germany, the country’s chapter of the global youth climate movement launched by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, tweeted a demand for bold action ahead of a speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to PCD Tuesday.

“What we need is a clear commitment to increased climate goals that are in line with [1.5°C] degrees,” the group declared. “Empty words will not help us here—with the voice of hundreds of thousands of strikers we say: #FightEveryCrisis!”

EU Climate Action@EUClimateAction

Day of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue.
Tune in at 15.10 CET to follow live speeches by Chancellor Merkel, @antonioguterres , @TimmermansEU , @AlokSharma_RDG & more on #GreenRecovery plans and next steps to tackle the #ClimateCrisis
https://www.bmu.de/en/press/live-broadcast/ … #PCD11

View image on Twitter

In her address, Merkel reiterated her support for raising the European Union’s emissions reduction target for 2030 to as high as 55%. According to Euractiv:

The chancellor also said it was now time to “prove our steadfastness,” because the climate must not be excluded from the economic stimulus packages currently being put together.

Merkel’s speech came after officials from Germany and the U.K. promoted a green recovery in comments to the Associated Press. As Britain’s Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The world must work together, as it has to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, to support a green and resilient recovery, which leaves no one behind.”

However, Jennifer Morgan, executive director of advocacy group Greenpeace International, told the AP that “we are seeing the internal documents from industries indicating that they are trying to use this moment where public money is being put back into the economy to prop up their industries.” She specifically pointed to the oil and aviation industries.

“It’s just really important, particularly with the oil industry, to note that this type of volatility that we’re seeing right now, it’s a rehearsal for what climate chaos will bring to the oil market in the future,” she said. “These are risky investments. They were risky investments before this crisis, and they are risky investments moving forward.”

Jennifer Morgan@climatemorgan · Apr 28, 2020

As @antonioguterres said “The highest cost is the cost of doing nothing.”

The #ClimateCrisis does not stop for #Covid19.

Alongside a just, low carbon, green and sustainable recovery – needed for all of our sakes – we must have system change to #BuildBackBetter.
#PCD11 (1/2)

Jennifer Morgan@climatemorgan

(2/2) This unprecedented time calls for unprecedented action, reform, courage and hope. And brave collaborative leadership.

No doubt the biggest challenge in the long careers of @antonioguterres and Chancellor #Merkel, with people’s support, they will fulfil this task.#PCD11

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, who also delivered a speech to PCD Tuesday, similarly emphasized the importance of moving away from energy practices that have contributed to the climate crisis.

“Looking forward, public funds should invest in the future, by flowing to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and climate,” said Guterres. “Fossil fuel subsidies must end, and carbon must have a price and polluters must pay for their pollution.”

Guterres’ speech, which outlined “six climate-related actions to shape the recovery,” echoed his public remarks on the 50th annual Earth Day last week as well as a Tuesday op-ed he published the New York Times.

“For years, we have failed our young by damaging the planet and failing to protect the people most vulnerable to crises,” he wrote for the Times. “We have a rare and short window of opportunity to rectify that—by rebuilding a better world, not reverting to one that is good for only a minority of its citizens.”

“We must act now to tackle the coronavirus globally for all of our sakes,” he declared, “and, at the same time, pursue immediate ambitious climate action for a cleaner, greener, more prosperous, and equitable world.”

Posted in Environment, Health, Human Rights, Politics, UN, WorldComments Off on Amid Dual Crises of Climate and Covid-19, World Leaders Told ‘Empty Words Will Not Help Us’

After US Suspension of Funding, WHO Expected to Cut 80% of Humanitarian Aid to War-Torn Yemen

“Trump deflecting blame for his handling of the pandemic onto the WHO and making Yemenis pay for it in the end.”

by: Julia Conley,

Medical personnel check people’s temperature on the street as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 on April 5, 2020 on the outskirts of Sana’a, Yemen. (Photo: Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Monday that the World Health Organization would likely impose drastic cuts to humanitarian aid in Yemen this week, a move that follows the Trump administration’s slashing of funds for the global health agency. 

Lise Grande, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said WHO is expected to suspend about 80% of its funding for Yemen’s hospitals, primary healthcare programs, and other healthcare needs.

The announcement at a panel hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies came two weeks after Yemen reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Although the official number of cases remains lowAl-Monitor reported last week that many cases may have been kept secret from the public and from global health organizations.  

The emergence of COVID-19 in the war-torn country—where five years of U.S.-backed war and Saudi intervention has have led to the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with 22 million in need of assistance—has led to fears among human rights groups that an outbreak could quickly overwhelm the country’s healthcare system.

As international relations researcher Guy Burton wrote on social media, the timing of WHO’s drawdown “could not be worse.”

Guy Burton@guyjsburton

The timing could not be worse. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/04/yemen-trump-coronavirus-covid-19-who-houthi-saudi.html?utm_campaign=20200427&utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%20Newsletter …32:05 PM – Apr 28, 2020

Grande said at the panel discussion that WHO is “facing a funding crisis of gargantuan proportions” and will likely need to make cuts. The statement came days after the U.S. halted funding for the organization, with President Donald Trump accusing WHO of “mismanaging” the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. contributed $400 million to the agency in 2019, more than any other nation.

Grande said WHO’s “donors have lost confidence” in the agency’s efforts in Yemen, echoing the Trump administration’s reasoning for pulling its own healthcare aid from Yemen last month. U.S. officials said it was suspending the aid because the Houthis, who control northern Yemen, have imposed restrictions on organizations delivering humanitarian assistance.

WHO’s suspension of aid is expected to “reduce” or “more likely” suspend operations entirely in 189 hospitals in Yemen as well as 200 primary care facilities.

The U.N. Children’s Fund will also have to scale back or shut down its services throughout the country in 18 major healthcare centers and more than 2,000 doctors’ offices.

As Al-Monitor reported, efforts to suppress the coronavirus pandemic in Yemen could be directly impacted as the distribution of hygiene products will be reduced or eliminated. More than 140 camps for displaced Yemenis will also lose services. 

About 250,000 children suffering from malnourishment will lose healthcare services as a result of the expected cuts. 

Intercept journalist Murtaza Hussain wrote on Twitter that Trump’s decision to “deflect blame” for the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. onto WHO will result in the continued suffering of Yemenis.

Murtaza M. Hussain@MazMHussain

Trump deflecting blame for his handling of the pandemic onto the WHO and making Yemenis pay for it in the end: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/04/yemen-trump-coronavirus-covid-19-who-houthi-saudi.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter …

The United States’ suspension of aid in Yemen and for WHO follows the Trump administration’s decision to continue imposing sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, and other nations even as the pandemic threatens millions of lives in the hardest-hit countries.

“From Tehran to Sanaa,” wrote Defense Priorities fellow Shahed Ghoreishi, “cruelty seems to be the point.”

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on After US Suspension of Funding, WHO Expected to Cut 80% of Humanitarian Aid to War-Torn Yemen

Plandemic Documentary: The Hidden Agenda Behind COVID-19

By Dr. Judy Mikovits

Humanity is imprisoned by a killer pandemic. People are being arrested for surfing in the ocean and meditating in nature. Nations are collapsing. Hungry citizens are rioting for food. The media has generated so much confusion and fear that people are begging for salvation in a syringe.

Billionaire patent owners are pushing for globally mandated vaccines. Anyone who refuses to be injected with experimental poisons will be prohibited from travel, education and work. No, this is not a synopsis for a new horror movie. This is our current reality.

Click picture to access the video documentary

The window of opportunity is open like never before. For the first time in human history, we have the world’s attention. Plandemic will expose the scientific and political elite who run the scam that is our global health system, while laying out a new plan; a plan that allows all of humanity to reconnect with healing forces of nature. 2020 is the code for perfect vision. It is also the year that will go down in history as the moment we finally opened our eyes.

To view the documentary: 

Posted in HealthComments Off on Plandemic Documentary: The Hidden Agenda Behind COVID-19

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