U.S. media counts the dead in “America,” meaning the United States, leaving deaths uncounted and mostly not noted, in the rest of the globe, save Europe and other “allies.”
But when we think of the pandemic, our thoughts go to those globally in most danger: people in prisons and detention, those without homes to shelter in, those who have to work everyday, the refugees and people in war zones who have no protection.
Coronavirus has been found in Yemen, so far in few people, but there are few tests. Consider what happens in a country whose infrastructure has been bombed and cynically destroyed by the “Saudi coalition” of 7 reactionary countries, all backed by the United States government, the biggest seller of arms in the world. Most of Yemen’s health care system has been gone after almost 6 years of war. Health care comes from international aid groups whose hospitals have been targeted for airstrikes. There have been years of famine, malnutrition and high rates of child death. Imperialist economic blockades came with a cholera epidemic as well as dengue fever and diptheria, all highly contagious.
It’s all the biggest humanitarian crisis on earth. And now, here come cuts in U.S. aid. The New York Times Post reports “Dozens of U.N. programs that assist millions of impoverished Yemenis could shut down by the end of the month largely because of major cuts in U.S. aid, humanitarian officials warn, just as the country has seen its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.”
The Trump/Pence regime is raising threats toward Iran – another country whose economy has been devastated by US sanctions – linking the rebels in Yemen to Iran.
Nothing, the Trump/Pence regime says, should get in the way of “America first.”
But we say, “Humanity and the planet come first.”