As thousands of Americans die every single day from COVID-19, the Biden administration carries out a campaign, through media propaganda and manipulation of data, to cover up the pandemic and accustom the population to mass death in perpetuity.
Every day for the past week, an average of 2,700 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19. It is as if seven Boeing 777 passenger aircraft crashed into the ocean each day, with everyone onboard dead, or two Titanics sank each day.
Over 900,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 to date, according to official death reports, but in reality the figure has already passed 1 million, according to “excess death” statistics compiled by The Economist.
But rather than doing anything to stop mass infection and mass death, the US government has used the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant as a pretext to abandon all measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
It is allowing virtually the entire American population to become infected and re-infected with COVID-19 into the future indefinitely, meaning that hundreds of thousands of people could die every year from a preventable disease, and millions more will be permanently disabled by Long COVID.
In order to force the policy of mass infection onto a public that remains highly concerned about the dangers posed by the pandemic, the US government and media have launched a systematic and deliberate effort to cover up the massive death toll through a media blackout and the manipulation of data.
The motto is: Hear no deaths, see no deaths, speak no deaths. But people keep on dying.
This policy is driven not by science, but by the social interests of America’s financial oligarchy. In what amounted to a devastating condemnation of US policy, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned this week:
We’re concerned that a narrative has taken hold in some countries that because of vaccines, and because of Omicron’s high transmissibility and lower severity, preventing transmission is no longer possible, and no longer necessary. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The strategy of the Biden administration was detailed in an article published by Politico yesterday, titled “So long, Omicron: White House eyes next phase of pandemic,” based on interviews with a “half-dozen administration officials.”
“The Biden administration is plotting a new phase of the pandemic” aimed at “conditioning Americans to live with” COVID-19, Politico reported. The administration is planning a “conscious messaging shift meant to get people comfortable with a scenario where the virus remains widespread.”
According to Politico, this shift is to be called the “new normal,” a tagline pioneered by former Biden adviser Ezekiel Emanuel in a series of articles published January 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In order to “condition” public sentiment and make the public “feel differently” about the pandemic, the Biden administration has determined that “the best political strategy is not to have it dominate the news every day,” Politico wrote.
There is no other country in the world where the media is as directly under government control as in the United States. In the month since Emanuel announced the “new normal,” reporting on COVID-19 fell exactly in inverse proportion to the rising death toll.
In early January, as the 7-day average death toll stood at under 1,500, the pandemic regularly led the nightly news. But as the death toll reached 2,000, it slipped to second, then third, then fourth place. By the end of the month, there was regularly no reporting of the pandemic in the first half of the nightly news, and, more often than not, not a single mention of the pandemic in the “headlines” section of Google News.
On Thursday, there was no mention of the pandemic during the entire broadcast of NBC “Nightly News.” Three inches of snow received a hundred times more news coverage than the deaths of 3,000 people in one day.
But the effort to “condition” public consciousness and make the public “feel differently” cannot be achieved by means of media manipulation alone. For this reason, there is a systematic campaign to end reporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officially ceased its program for hospitals to report the number of COVID-19 deaths, ending what a federal health whistleblower told the WSWS was “the only consistent, reliable and actionable dataset at the federal level.”
The only remaining source of reporting of COVID-19 deaths now flows through the coroner system, which is subject to political manipulation and which will be aggregated by states that are slashing daily reporting one after another.
This cover-up is being carried out on an international level. On Wednesday, the same day that HHS ended daily reporting of COVID-19 deaths in hospitals, the administration of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that it planned to end the daily reporting of COVID-19 cases by Easter, if not earlier.
But even slashing reporting is not enough. Testing is itself under attack. On Thursday, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan announced that it will end “COVID-19 PCR testing for the general public, thereby stopping most efforts to trace the spread of the virus in the community,” wrote journalist Zak Vescera.
Commenting on the move, virologist Angela Rasmussen warned, “It’s the public health equivalent of gouging your eyes out because you don’t want to see bad news.”
But the province is acting in accordance with the demand of Emanuel, who on January 26 called on the United States to end PCR testing in favor of rapid tests. Unlike PCR tests, rapid tests cannot be used for COVID-19 contact tracing and are not reported in daily case counts, meaning that positive COVID-19 cases that are not confirmed with PCR tests effectively disappear.
The American government, speaking in the interests of the financial oligarchy, has concluded that the death of hundreds of thousands of people, year after year, is acceptable. What Charles Dickens’ Scrooge called “decrease[ing] the surplus population” is being accomplished by government policy, calculating that those who die will disproportionately be the elderly, the disabled and the poor.
The campaign to make COVID-19 perpetual is a declaration of war on the population, an absolutely criminal act of mass murder.
There is growing opposition to the ruling class policy of mass infection. Poll after poll has shown that the public consistently favors public health measures to protect lives from COVID-19. The most recent YouGov poll showed that the American public, by a very substantial margin, favors “protecting Americans from the health effects of the coronavirus outbreak” over protecting “the economy.”
All over the world, the working class has begun to mobilize in opposition to the ruling class’s policy of mass death and demand the elimination and eradication of COVID-19. The central political task is to arm this growing movement with a political leadership based on the perspective of international socialism, whose central aim will be to end the capitalist system--a system that profits from and feeds on human death and misery.