On January 18, the Global Workers’ Inquest into the COVID-19 Pandemic heard testimony from autoworker Randall James of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Like millions of families across the US and around the world, Randall’s family has suffered death, illness and trauma due to the criminal response of the ruling elite to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Randall’s brother Adam Williams died of COVID in October, 2021, when he was a worker at Michigan Manufacturing Inc. (MMI) in Saline, Michigan. Adam was mandated to work, meaning that he could be fired for refusing to work due to COVID-19 fears.
As Randall explains, auto workers like himself and Adam were told they could protect themselves by wearing a mask of any kind, even ones made of cloth that actually do nothing to stop the spread of aerosol viruses like COVID-19.
Tragically, Adam not only died, he brought the virus home, where it infected his 80-year-old grandmother Annie, who was vaccinated. Adam was her sole caretaker. Annie now suffers from Long COVID, depending on an oxygen tank to breathe, and lives with Randall and his family.
Randall himself suffered a horrifying bout with COVID-19 at the Washtenaw County Jail. During his 14-day quarantine at the jail, he was held in inhuman conditions and medically mistreated as he became violently ill and the virus infected his testicles. Prisoners, as Randall explains, were also given only cloth masks.
Now, the principal of Henry Ford Early Learning Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan has threatened that if Randall and his fiancée choose not to send their 5-year-old daughter to school, citing COVID-19 fears, they will face charges of truancy. Truancy charges can mean fines, jail time and even the removal of children from their home by Child Protective Services.
Randall’s story is shocking, but millions of workers and parents around the world are going through the same experience.
To participate in the work of the Global Workers’ Inquest, go to wsws.org/covidinquest, or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.