No Defeat of COVID-19 without Winning a New Economic System, and Collaboration Leading the Way
One expression of the status of spread of COVID-19 and response, is the estimate that at least over a quarter of the world’s population is now under stay-home/lockdown mode, since India’s order on March 24. At the same time, from place to place, the degree of logistics mobilization is on a wartime scale. This point was dramatized in the United States over the weekend, for example, by President Donald Trump personally standing dockside for the departure from Norfolk—the U.S. NATO center—of USNS Comfort hospital ship for New York City to arrive tomorrow. Similarly, on Friday, March 27, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held his daily press briefing onsite at the mid-Manhattan Javits Center, converted in four days into a 2,900-bed hospital and opening tomorrow. Cuomo profusely thanked the National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers for their work.
But make no mistake. The decades of takedown of medical delivery infrastructure and public health systems in the trans-Atlantic, and prevention of build-up in Africa, in large parts of the Western Hemisphere, South Asia, and elsewhere, means that huge gaps remain in the capacity to protect life.
As we fight like hell to save lives, we must further the fight that can win the establishment of a new, humanity-serving economic system. This was discussed in yesterday’s LaRouchePAC webcast, “An Apollo Mission To Save Mankind: Building the Health Silk Road,” keynoted by Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche. She reiterated her call to suspend the out-of-control stock markets, and take emergency financial reorganization measures. Do this in the context of deliberation among great power leaders, Presidents Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the earliest possible summit.
In opposition to any such moves for a new system, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin today repeatedly stressed that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank would pump liquidity into the Wall Street/City of London dead system, like gasoline on a fire. Mnuchin said, “I talk to (Fed Chairman Jerome) Powell every day. He tells me what he needs. I have never turned him down.” Mnuchin continued, “We have $4 trillion of liquidity ... that is being rolled out in these (Fed) programs.” In other words, while Mnuchin talks the talk of helping “Mainstreet America”—and Federal assistance is truly in order to workers, farmers, aid to hospitals, local and state governments and so on, in the new CARES Act that Trump signed on Friday—Mnuchin is really walking the walk to Hell.
Impetus for a new world economic system is coming from calls for debt relief and reorganization in Africa and South America. This weekend, for example, Alicia Bárcena, Director of UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said, “We have to re-think what type of development model should emerge from this crisis.” It is necessary to “re-think globalization.” The Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (CELAG) called for forgiveness of the sovereign debt of Ibero-American nations by the multilateral lenders, such as the IMF, World Bank, etc., and by private creditors too.
From Africa, the Bureau of the African Union Heads of State and Government issued a Communiqué March 26, before the G20 Summit, calling for taking the necessary economic measures to deal with COVID-19 and all diseases. Only since January 2017 has Africa even had a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and five regional sub-units.
These calls can be answered. The existing neo-British Empire monetarist system that created vulnerability to disease and suffering can be shut down forevermore. And on defeating the virus, a symbol of hope came today, in the personal visit Xi Jinping made to two big ports in Zhejiang Province, south of Shanghai, and other locations where post-COVID 19 economic activity is now resuming. Vigilance against disease resurgence is still required, but that can be done.
Internationally, China is playing a leading part in providing aid to dozens of countries in their battle against COVID-19, and there are other critical instances, e.g. Russian assistance in Italy.
This collaborative spirit is present between Xi and Trump, as shown in their phone call last Thursday. Today, at the White House meeting with business leaders on supply chain questions, Trump pointed out that medical supplies are now being flown to the U.S. from China, and feeding into “Project Airbridge,” delivering supplies across the U.S. A planeload touched down in New York City from Shanghai this morning, the first of 20 such deliveries through April.
Across the United States, there is a deepening collaborative spirit, which the governors and President Trump and the White House showed in many ways over the weekend in the several virus hotspot zones. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Chairman of the National Governors Association, said on Fox News, there may be “big pinch points” in lack of test kits, masks, and ventilators, and “there is frustration out there,” but, “We’re all in this together.”