COVID Is Still Rampant, But Big Pharma Will Soon Charge for Shots and Treatments

Back when this whole COVID thing started with the first wave of closures and lockdowns, I offered a prediction of sorts: “How long will it be before some rich person goes on TV and starts quacking about ‘getting the country going again’ because they’re losing money? Flash-forward to this past Sunday morning, and wouldn’t you know it, some self-satisfied capitalist was on one of the cable networks arguing that ‘low-risk,’ low-wage workers (who These areEven though they are rarely in the economic benefit From the economy) should go back to work and just let the virus ‘burn through’ their ranks.”

It was March 2020. In the intervening years, capitalism’s engine has struggled to breathe in certain areas, roared elsewhere, but it has managed to remain The First Priority above everything else. This supremacy was announced once againThis Thursday, the pages of The Wall Street Journal: “The Biden administration is planning for an end to its practice of paying for Covid-19 shots and treatments, shifting more control of pricing and coverage to the healthcare industry in ways that could generate sales for companies — and costs for consumers — for years to come.”

This announcement is what one would expect to hear after a pandemic is contained. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is making sure that the COVID show is over. “Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced key changes to its nationwide Covid-19 guidelines,” reports CNN. “Among them was the end of required quarantine after someone is exposed to a close contact with the coronavirus. The CDC also revised isolation guidance for people infected with Covid-19.”

Despite the grim state of national COVID testing, numbers can be difficult to calculate. However, it is important to start somewhere. We will start with CDC. According to their accounting the daily average number of new infections is over 93,000. The average daily numberThe number of new hospitalizations is nearly 6,000. The average daily death count is just under 400 It may be “residual brain fog,” saysCharles Pierce, a COVID patient recently recovered Charles P. Pierce Esquire, “but this doesn’t seem to be the time to relax restrictions?”

Indeed. Much of the nation is broiling, burning or drowning in our annual summertime dance with climate doom, but the kids go back to school soon — from kindergarten to college — and winter is coming. On the eve the November midterms, President Biden and the Democrats could use some positive news to pacify an extremely grumpy electorate. But there will still be hell to pay if the thing explodes again before then.

Rochelle Walensky, CDC director began railing against the press microphones at the shabby work done by the CDC during most of the pandemic. “To be frank,” said Walensky, “we are responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes, from testing to data to communications.” Her demand for strict new guidelines and practices comes just in time for the agency to bungle the growing monkeypox crisis.

Live music and performances will be available again, but are not currently available. sparsely attended. The pages of the elite press are filled with dueling perspectives on what to do next: the “I will continue to wear my mask and practice distancing” people vs. the “I’ve had it / kiss my ass, COVID / I want to live” people. The rest of us are somewhere in between, as uncertain as ever and twice so wary. Katherine J. Wu reportsFor The Atlantic:

This new relaxation of COVID rules is one of the most substantial to date — but it wasn’t spurred by a change in conditions on the ground. Omicron subvariants still burn across most states. COVID deaths remain at a stubborn, too high plateau for months. The virus won’t budge. Americans will not either. Instead, the administration is changing its stance. No longer will people be required to quarantine after encountering the infected, even if they haven’t gotten the recommended number of shots; schools and workplaces will no longer need to screen healthy students and employees, and guidance around physical distancing is now a footnote at best. All of this is happening as the Northern Hemisphere barrels toward fall — a time when students cluster in classrooms, families mingle indoors, and respiratory viruses go hog wild — the monkeypox outbreak balloons, and the health-care system remains strained.

However, it makes perfect sense to capitalism. COVID has not been completed, but we will continue to feed the health care industry with new infections. The industry is about start charging us for these treatments. They win again.