500,000 Americans have died of Covid. Will we wake up to our own callousness? | Rev William Barber

500,000 Americans have died of Covid. Will we wake up to our own callousness? | Rev William Barber

The Guardian

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During a global pandemic, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. Many are frontline workers who cannot practice social distancing

As the United States marks the terrible milestone of half a million souls lost to Covid-19, these deaths demand a grown-up conversation about the policies that shape our public life. When we look at the impact of this pandemic on other wealthy nations around the world, the disproportionate death toll we have sustained in the US exposes a basic failure of national security. Though we spend more than the next several nations combined on our military budget, our government was unable to protect its citizens against a deadly pathogen.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this week that, during the first six months of the pandemic, life expectancy for the average American dropped by a full year. For African Americans, the impact was nearly three times as severe, exposing persistent systemic racism that was not corrected when corporations agreed to say “Black Lives Matter”. We have not simply suffered a disaster. This disaster has unveiled dysfunction in our society.

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