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The coronavirus pandemic

Striking nurses in Joliet, Illinois denounce unsafe conditions at AMITA hospital

By Benjamin Mateus, 7 August 2020

Striking nurses spoke to WSWS reporters about their demands for adequate staffing and safe working conditions.

Joblessness soars as COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across US

By Bryan Dyne, 10 July 2020

Another 1.3 million people filed for unemployment for the first time last week as 18.1 million placed continuing claims.

Spain imposes regional lockdowns amid resurgence of COVID-19

By Alice Summers, 10 July 2020

After ending the national lockdown, the Podemos-PSOE government is rejecting a coordinated response, leaving regional authorities with managing outbreaks.

“This is going to kill us—not coronavirus, but how broken the health care system is”

An Illinois nurse speaks out against corporate control of health care systems

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 July 2020

The nurse spoke to the WSWS after being furloughed for speaking out against a hospital’s corporate policies that discriminated against low-income patients during the pandemic.

Victoria records highest number of cases since pandemic began, as Australian coronavirus surge intensifies

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 July 2020

Victoria's chief medical officer told the press: “We will see an increase in hospitalised and ICU cases and in deaths in the coming days because of the spike that we have seen.”

United Airlines threatens to axe 36,000 jobs

By Steve Filips, 9 July 2020

The threat by United to lay off 45 percent of its workforce is part of a widespread restructuring of the US and international airline industry.

As hundreds of scientists warn WHO of potential airborne spread

Global COVID-19 pandemic takes a new upward leap

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 July 2020

Airborne transmission would have broad implications for workers who have been forced back to their jobs facing inadequate measures to protect their health and life.

Surge in infections gives India third highest COVID-19 cases worldwide

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 9 July 2020

The surge is a direct result of the Modi government’s homicidal “herd immunity” policy, which prioritizes the profit interests of big business over the lives of workers and their families.

“A rank-and-file safety committee is exactly what we need”

Toledo Jeep workers demand action after dozens test positive for COVID-19

By Jerry White, 9 July 2020

Anger is reaching a breaking point at Fiat Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Complex after reports that supervisors, union officials and workers have contracted the disease.

Delta Airlines workers expose unsafe working conditions

By Tim Rivers, 9 July 2020

With the airlines increasing flights and slashing jobs, Delta flight crew members spoke to the WSWS about working conditions during the pandemic

“I’ve been made to feel like a criminal, but I haven’t done anything wrong”

Melbourne public housing resident denounces Australian police lockdown

By Eric Ludlow, 9 July 2020

Kat, a working-class mother, spoke with the WSWS about the conditions in the locked-down public housing towers, home to some of the most oppressed sections of the working class.

Melbourne public housing residents condemn Australian police lockdown

By Martin Scott and Oscar Grenfell, 9 July 2020

“Instead of nurses, doctors and social workers, they send us the police, which gives the wrong message among the community.”

What is behind the New Zealand health minister’s resignation?

By Tom Peters, 9 July 2020

The resignation of David Clark just months before an election, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, points to political instability in the Labour Party-led government.

Federal judge backs Democrats, rules against SEP challenge to Michigan ballot access requirements during pandemic

By Kevin Reed, 9 July 2020

A Republican-appointed federal judge sided with Michigan Democrats on Wednesday and ruled against the Socialist Equality Party in its lawsuit to block the state’s unconstitutional rules for ballot access in the 2020 presidential elections.

Oppose the Melbourne public housing towers lock-in! For a health and welfare response, not a police mobilisation!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 9 July 2020

The SEP calls for the formation of local safety committees, both within the tower blocks and more broadly, to organise measures to protect the residents and the working class as a whole.

British government’s token arts rescue package: A “back-to-work” agenda amid an ongoing catastrophe

By Paul Bond, 9 July 2020

The limited financial assistance provided is based on the Johnson government’s claim that the pandemic is on the wane and that theatre, dance and music venues will soon be able to get back to relying on revenue from the paying public.

As Trump demands full reopening of schools

US coronavirus case count soars past 3 million

By Bryan Dyne, 8 July 2020

Cities across the United States are being forced to ration coronavirus testing and are in danger of being compelled to ration treatment.

Florida orders schools to reopen as COVID-19 cases surge

By David Brown, 8 July 2020

The Florida Department of Education is ordering schools to physically open in August, threatening the lives of teachers and students.

Brazil’s fascistic President Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus

By Tomas Castanheira, 8 July 2020

Amidst the catastrophic pandemic, Bolsonaro reaffirms his criminal message: “Life goes on, Brazil has to produce, it has to put the economy to work.”

South Africa sees surge in COVID-19 as restrictions lifted

By Stephan McCoy, 8 July 2020

South Africa is now the country with the second highest number of deaths on the African continent, behind Egypt, and the largest number of cases.

UK: Coronavirus exposes Leicester’s sweatshops and government hypocrisy

By Thomas Scripps, 8 July 2020

Government ministers have struck a pose of outrage at a situation they have ignored for years and want to replicate across the country.

UK meat processing factories involved in COVID-19 outbreak back up and running

By Tony Robson, 8 July 2020

Local authorities and the trade unions have worked to conceal the criminality of the corporations so as not interfere with the premature re-opening of the economy.

Spanish unions isolate Nissan workers’ struggle

By Alice Summers, 8 July 2020

As assaults on jobs and conditions mount across Spain, the unions are trying to suppress autoworkers’ opposition to the closure of Nissan’s Barcelona factory.

Limited lockdown imposed in Melbourne as COVID-19 surges in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 July 2020

The spike in Victoria refutes the claims of federal and state governments that the coronavirus could be locally-contained as they “reopen the economy.”

New York City EMS worker commits suicide

By Ali Elhassan, 8 July 2020

The warnings by mental health experts about the traumatic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on health care workers are now being tragically borne out.

Immigrant worker with COVID-19 dies after being sent home by Tennessee hospital

By Warren Duzak, 8 July 2020

Miguel Ordoñez died last month after being told by doctors at the Erlanger Medical Center to go home with nothing else but a prescription for Tylenol.

The COVID-19 vaccine and the drive for profit

By Frank Gaglioti, 8 July 2020

As the pandemic rages across the planet, the struggle to develop a vaccine has become an urgent task. But the vaccines will be weaponized for geopolitical purposes, not to provide the treatments equitably on a global scale.

As cutoff of $600 weekly benefit and wave of evictions loom, Congress takes a holiday

By Shannon Jones, 7 July 2020

The $600 weekly federal supplement to unemployment benefits is set to expire July 25, while moratoriums on evictions have already expired in 20 states.

Coronavirus pandemic threatens lives of at least one million people at risk from AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria

By Bryan Dyne, 7 July 2020

The global distribution of preventative treatments for other deadly diseases has been severely disrupted by the pandemic.

ICE threatens international students with deportation unless their college resumes in-person classes

By Sam Dalton, 7 July 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, an ICE rule change is forcing international students to risk their lives to stay in the US

Canada’s migrant workers protest lack of COVID-19 protections

By Matthew Richter and Roger Jordan, 7 July 2020

Hundreds of migrant workers and their supporters joined protests Saturday against atrocious working and living conditions—conditions long sanctioned by government and made still worse by the pandemic.

Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases surge as oil price slump deepens social crisis

By Stephan McCoy, 7 July 2020

As of July 5, the country had recorded nearly 29,000 confirmed cases and 635 deaths, a more than sixfold increase following the government’s reopening of the economy at the end of March, just a few weeks after imposing a lockdown.

Nearly 200,000 jobs lost in the UK amid pandemic

By Robert Stevens, 7 July 2020

Workers have been laid off particularly heavily in the retail, travel, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors.

Worker at German meat processing plant dismissed for sharing critical video

By Marianne Arens, 7 July 2020

The video shows a view into a canteen, where hundreds of employees sit and eat close to each other at the tables.

Germany’s Commerzbank plans to cut 11,000 jobs

By Gustav Kemper, 7 July 2020

In common with many other businesses, Commerzbank is using the coronavirus pandemic to implement preexisting plans to shed jobs and close branches.

Growing opposition to Australian police lockdown of Melbourne public housing residents

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 July 2020

One resident stated: “We should have seen buses and cars full of healthcare and mental health workers and social workers, not the police.”

Illinois and Chicago offer paltry COVID-19 assistance program to residents

By Brian Green, 7 July 2020

As unemployment skyrockets, Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot push a return to work and COVID-19 relief programs too small to address desperately needed assistance among workers.

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer pushes unsafe reopening of Michigan schools

By Mitch Marcus, 7 July 2020

Last week, Whitmer released dangerous and unfunded mandates on schools reopening, making it clear that she is determined to push ahead even as cases spike across the state.

COVID-19 outbreak surges among Michigan farm workers in rural counties

By Brent Dylan, 7 July 2020

Over 200 Michigan farm workers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus during the last ten days of June.

Thousands more jobs destroyed in Australia

By Terry Cook, 7 July 2020

Employers are continuing to utilise the COVID-19 pandemic to restructure their operations, shedding thousands of jobs and cutting working conditions.

Organise teachers, parents and school staff committees to oppose reckless school reopening in Melbourne!

By the Committee for Public Education (Australia), 7 July 2020

The CFPE calls for the formation of safety action committees to demand the suspension of the school system as part of a comprehensive public health and safety plan to protect the working class.

Over 700 Joliet, Illinois nurses go on strike for better wages and safe working conditions

By Benjamin Mateus and Kate Randall, 6 July 2020

Strikes of health care workers are part of a growing global response of workers across industries to the dangers posed by government back-to-work drives.

The US COVID-19 toll to hit 3 million cases as Texas health system nears collapse

By Benjamin Mateus, 6 July 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases will reach 3 million today, and the pandemic surge is straining health systems across the south and southwest.

Over 300 children catch COVID-19 in Texas daycares

By Nick Barrickman, 6 July 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases among children and staff members has skyrocketed since the state began reopening facilities in May.

US labor secretary says “reopening” will proceed in face of surging pandemic

By Kevin Reed, 6 July 2020

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia declared that “Our workplaces can be very safe places to be,” even as hospitalizations broke records in states across the country.

Brazil’s coronavirus cases top 1.5 million amid record unemployment

By Tomas Castanheira, 6 July 2020

From March to May, some eight million workers lost their jobs, and more than half of the country’s working age population have become unemployed.

The future of the global cruising industry: Layoffs, pay cuts and prolonged misery for crews

By Tom Casey, 6 July 2020

Cruise corporations are cutting jobs and denying workers repatriation to save their profits.

Australian police confine Melbourne public housing residents indoors after COVID-19 outbreak

By Patrick O’Connor, 6 July 2020

The state Labor government opted for a police operation instead of having medical staff, social workers, and people in the community lead the necessary preventive measures.

As COVID-19 pandemic explodes out of control

Trump gives fascistic rant at Mount Rushmore event held in defiance of health experts

By Barry Grey, 4 July 2020

Trump sought to use recent attacks on monuments to leaders of the American Revolution and Civil War to brand protesters against police killings as "far-left fascists," while hailing the police and right-wing militia groups and pledging to crack down on opponents of his authoritarian and pro-corporate policies.

Millions in the US face catastrophe as federal unemployment relief set to expire amid surging pandemic

By Kevin Reed, 4 July 2020

The combined economic impact of the raging pandemic and the imminent cutoff of $600 weekly federal assistance is leading to a social catastrophe for millions across the US.

Pandemic spirals out of control in South Africa, India, Brazil

By Bryan Dyne, 4 July 2020

The official tallies in each country of daily confirmed coronavirus cases have become exponential, indicating that whatever containment measures were implemented to halt the spread of the virus have essentially collapsed.

Thousands of delivery workers strike across Brazil and other Latin American countries

By Brunna Machado and Letícia Silva, 4 July 2020

Thousands of delivery workers engaged in a strike on Wednesday to demand better working conditions in more than 10 Brazilian capitals, as well as in cities in Argentina and Mexico.

Zimbabwe nurses strike as economic crisis brings threat of second coup and military dictatorship

By Stephan McCoy, 4 July 2020

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is preparing to confront mounting opposition in the working class through dictatorial forms of rule and the abrogation of democratic rights—even as it is threatened by the possibility of a coup.

Naming new French prime minister, Macron coordinates austerity with unions

By Alex Lantier, 4 July 2020

Jean Castex is being brought in to coordinate with the unions the draconian austerity policies that Macron and the banks will impose amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Riverside, California: HCA nurses strike continues as coronavirus takes its toll

By Alex Johnson, 4 July 2020

According to health officials, the confirmed active case count in Riverside bloated to 10,059 on Thursday, compared to 9,532 on Wednesday. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 stands at 465.

Southeastern US continues to mark substantial rise in coronavirus cases

By Cordell Gascoigne, 4 July 2020

As with much of the country, cases continue to rise rapidly across the region as a result of the push to reopen the economy in the middle of the still raging pandemic.

HPAE union betrays New Jersey nurses’ fight for PPE and better pay

By Erik Schreiber, 4 July 2020

New Jersey nurses must not allow their struggles to be strangled by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union.

UAW and General Motors downplay outbreaks of COVID-19 at US auto plants

By Jessica Goldstein, 4 July 2020

As the UAW and auto corporations to play down the health crisis, workers’ anger is at breaking point as they demand the plants be shut down for their safety.

French unions collaborate with employers to impose mass layoffs as COVID-19 crisis deepens

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2020

As an international wave of layoffs and plant closures comes in France, the trade unions are working closely with the Macron government and employers to suppress workers’ opposition to this assault.

City University of New York lays off 2,800 adjuncts in wave of austerity

By Elliott Murtagh, 4 July 2020

These actions will have a devastating effect on the largest urban university system in the US, forcing faculty, students, and staff to bear the brunt of the current pandemic-triggered state and city financial crisis.

UK pubs reopen in “Super Saturday”: A criminal act

By Thomas Scripps, 4 July 2020

The inevitable deadly consequences of the Johnson government’s latest move will be fully revealed in the weeks and months to come.

Tories resurrect cynical “Clap for Carers” on 72nd anniversary of the NHS

By Rory Woods, 4 July 2020

Sunday’s event insults the memory of hundreds of health and social care workers who died of COVID-19 trying to save the lives of others.

Back-to-work policy accelerates spread of COVID-19 in Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 4 July 2020

The number of new coronavirus cases has doubled every 12 days over the last month and now averages more than 500 a day.

Australia: Melbourne’s coronavirus outbreak continues to spread despite localised lockdown

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 July 2020

It only took days for the Victorian Labor government’s lockdown of ten Melbourne postcodes to be exposed as an ineffectual and punitive response to the rise in infections.

Sri Lankan president orders Central Bank to give more credit to big business

By Saman Gunadasa, 4 July 2020

While providing huge financial concessions to the banks and big business, the government is imposing greater economic burdens on workers and the poor.

US unemployment rate dips, but millions remain jobless or face wage cuts

By Jerry White, 3 July 2020

Despite Trump’s claims that the “economy is roaring back,” joblessness remains at depression levels while the reopening of businesses has produced a surge of COVID-19 cases.

As pandemic accelerates in US, young people made the scapegoat of ruling elite’s malicious return to work policy

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 July 2020

The US continues to see a surge of new infections at an unprecedented rate with a single one-day high of 57,236 new cases.

“We are at our breaking point”

FCA Toledo Jeep workers support call for rank-and-file safety committees

By Marcus Day, 3 July 2020

Anger is reaching a boiling point over the refusal of management and the UAW to release information about COVID-19 cases.

Meat processing plants spread the coronavirus in North Carolina

By Rosa Shahnazarian, 3 July 2020

Both Democrats and Republicans are complicit in concealing the magnitude of the coronavirus crisis in and around North Carolina’s rural meat and poultry packing facilities.

COVID-19 danger persists in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 3 July 2020

The inability of Seoul to fully address the pandemic is a result of keeping workers on the job and businesses open.

Floods inundate Western Ukraine amid renewed spike in COVID-19 cases

By Jason Melanovski, 3 July 2020

Heavy rains and illegal logging are to blame for floods that have killed three in the country, which is rocked by a new surge in coronavirus cases.

“The company is taking risks with the lives of 5,000 workers”

As COVID-19 cases surge, Texas GM workers demand closure of factory

By Jerry White, 2 July 2020

Just days after Fiat Chrysler workers in Detroit halted production, GM workers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area are demanding the closure of Arlington Assembly.

“Chrysler was telling everybody that it was safe to come back to work, and it’s not.”

Autoworkers at FCA Trenton Engine call for rank-and-file safety committees to fight COVID-19

By Tim Rivers, 2 July 2020

Autoworkers at the FCA Trenton Engine Plant south of Detroit called on their co-workers to build rank-and-file safety committees to fight the spread of COVID-19 in factories and save lives.

Workers in Germany express their solidarity with striking Fiat Chrysler workers

By our correspondents, 2 July 2020

The strikes at two Detroit Fiat Chrysler plants in Jefferson North and Sterling Heights against intolerable health and safety conditions for production workers have met with a powerful response from workers in Germany.

Senate votes unanimously to extend CARES Act loan program despite businesses' plans to lay off thousands more

By Jacob Crosse, 2 July 2020

The corporate-government fraud known as the Payment Paycheck Protection program has done little to stave off massive job losses or small business closures while large banks and well-connected industries have profited handsomely

Arizona Department of Health Services activates plan to ration healthcare for COVID-19 patients

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 July 2020

As the pandemic surges throughout Arizona, the governor is seeking emergency support from the federal government to supplement the beleaguered hospital staff in hard-hit counties.

Unite offers support for 10 percent job losses at British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair

By Laura Tiernan, 2 July 2020

The scale of the ongoing jobs massacre was underscored by EasyJet’s announcement Tuesday that 1,900 pilots, cabin crew and ground staff will be made redundant, with Airbus announcing 12,300 job cuts worldwide by Summer 2021, including 1,700 in the UK.

Australia’s largest airline Qantas axes 6,000 jobs to slash costs

By Terry Cook, 2 July 2020

Like its competitors internationally, Qantas is seizing on the COVID-19 pandemic to carry out a further pro-business restructuring of its operations.

Riverside, California Nurses strike continues as ICU beds reach capacity

By Kevin Martinez, 2 July 2020

Nurses are protesting unsafe working conditions while county health officials announced this week that ICU beds were at 99 percent capacity

Respiratory therapist at New York’s Elmhurst Hospital describes horrors during COVID pandemic:

“The patients in March didn’t have to die like this, if we would have had more staff and better equipment to work with”

By Clara Weiss, 2 July 2020

At poor community hospitals like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, patients were up to three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than they were in facilities in the richest parts of Manhattan.

As pandemic spread accelerates

Wall Street celebrates biggest quarterly surge in more than 20 years

By Nick Beams, 2 July 2020

In the course of less than three months, the actions of the Fed—its reduction of interest rates to zero and purchases of debt across the board, including junk bonds—have put $7.1 trillion into the hands of stock investors and speculators.

Johnson pledges “New Deal” for UK as he prepares savage attack on workers

By Chris Marsden, 2 July 2020

Johnson is prime minister of a declining imperialist power, dominated politically, economically, and socially by a financial oligarchy whose sole concern is that the flood of wealth into its coffers continues.

Tens of thousands of Chinese citizens stranded overseas

By Lily Zhao, 2 July 2020

Beijing has offered little or no assistance to the thousands of Chinese students, scholars and tourists trapped overseas by COVID-19 travel bans.

The inequality pandemic: How American capitalism puts profits over lives

By Andre Damon, 2 July 2020

The resurgence of COVID-19 is the outcome of a policy, led by the Trump administration but supported by the entire political and media establishment, of subordinating society’s needs to the interests of the financial oligarchy.

Record 47.2 percent of working-age Americans without jobs

By Shannon Jones, 1 July 2020

According to the employment-population ratio, a more accurate measure of joblessness than the unemployment rate, a postwar record number of Americans were without work in May.

As COVID-19 infections explode in the US, Fauci warns of 100,000 new cases a day

By Barry Grey, 1 July 2020

Fauci's testimony underscored the grim reality that the pandemic in the US is now far more widespread than it was at its previous height in late March and early April.

Chile: COVID-19 outbreak in mining regions

By Mauricio Saavedra, 1 July 2020

Three mineworkers have died in the giant state-owned mining corporation Codelco, and some 2,528 are infected, according to the official figures of the Ministry of Mining.

Pandemic rages across South Asia as total cases near 1 million

By our correspondents, 1 July 2020

The governments of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are rushing to “reopen” their economies even as COVID-19 cases and deaths are growing exponentially.

Airbus cuts 15,000 jobs

Coronavirus crisis triggers mass layoffs, wage cuts across Europe

By Will Morrow, 1 July 2020

Having given massive state bailouts to the corporations, the ruling class is using the pandemic to effect a historic restructuring in class relations.

COVID-19 increase at UK’s 2 Sisters, Rowan and Kober meat processing factories

By Tony Robson, 1 July 2020

Inadequate and unsafe forms of transport, poor working conditions, and rundown accommodation are class issues bound up with the wealth extraction demanded by capitalism.

Hands off Fiat Chrysler workers fighting the COVID-19 disease!

By the Jefferson North and Sterling Heights Rank-and-File Safety Committees, 1 July 2020

This joint statement was issued by the rank-and-file safety committees set up by Detroit-area Fiat Chrysler workers to fight for safe conditions during the pandemic.

”I can get another job. I can’t get another life”

Food processing plants in Ohio and New York hit with outbreaks

By Alex Findijs, 1 July 2020

Outbreaks at salad and fruit processing plants in Springfield, Ohio, and Oswego, New York, show the vulnerability of food workers to the deadly disease.

Australian cancer testing declines during coronavirus pandemic

By Clare Bruderlin, 1 July 2020

The lack of personal protective equipment in hospitals and shortages of masks, gloves and sanitiser available to the public have forced many people to put off appointments.

Australian state government locks down Melbourne working class suburbs

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 July 2020

While measures are required to contain the coronavirus, the lockdown will disproportionately affect workers, the unemployed and the poor.

Pandemic profiteering: Gilead Sciences cashes in on COVID-19

By Bryan Dyne, 1 July 2020

Gilead’s declaration that it will charge over $3,000 per patient for the drug remdesivir sends a clear message that pharmaceutical companies plan to use the COVID-19 crisis to make billions of dollars.

Amazon workers in Germany strike against lack of coronavirus protection

By Marianne Arens, 30 June 2020

More than 2,000 Amazon workers are taking part in a 48-hour strike at six locations to protest the company’s refusal to provide adequate protection from the virus.

Broader reopening of UK schools leads to spread of COVID-19 infections

By Tania Kent and Tim Pearce, 30 June 2020

Recent outbreaks in schools almost doubled to 44 in one week—16 more than were recorded at hospitals

“It’s eugenics by the back door”

UK disability campaigner Doug Paulley speaks on coronavirus pandemic

By Alice Summers, 30 June 2020

Doug has recently been involved in legal action opposing the use of “scoring” systems to deny ventilator treatment to the sick, disabled and elderly.

The poor in Germany have a higher risk of falling sick from COVID-19

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 30 June 2020

The poorest people in Germany, including the long-term unemployed and recipients of Hartz IV social welfare, have an 84 percent higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and requiring hospitalization.

Dutch government exposed by disastrous handling of COVID-19 pandemic

By Harm Zonderland and Parwini Zora, 30 June 2020

When the pandemic hit the Netherlands, the Dutch government adopted a reckless wait-and-see posture, even when it was clear that COVID-19 was potentially fatal.