Issued October 31, 2023
Approved by membership-wide vote.
Since the discovery of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) there have been a multitude of studies done, both within the CDC and without. Through the collaborative efforts of global and national health organizations, we discovered as early as 2020 that COVID-19 is not only an airborne pathogen, but that it can affect nearly every major organ in the body. A significant percentage of all people infected with COVID-19 develop Long COVID, which can be severe enough to cause people to leave the workforce indefinitely. These findings show this pandemic is not just killing people outright, but it is also a mass disabling event.
The CDC has performed internal studies that show just how dangerous the COVID-19 virus is. Dangers such as brain shrinkage, blood clots, death and exhaustion of immune T-Cells, and so on. Having access to this data, the CDC has come to the conclusion that with the development of vaccines we no longer need robust, systemic public health protections such as use of respirators in public health.
This verdict effectively shifts the onus away from the government and corporations to create a safe environment during this public health crisis onto the individual. These cruel and inhumane policy shifts are not to be taken as an absolution of guilt. They should be seen as acts of collusion with the ruling class in the pursuit of greater wealth and power at the expense of working class lives.
In defiance of all reason, the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), a subcommittee of CDC that is responsible for providing infection control guidance to healthcare facilities, is considering reducing standards across the board, not just for COVID-19. The intentional failures on COVID-19 are now used as the justification for reducing standards for other diseases too in order to give corporations more flexibility.
A major point of contention has been getting access to the isolation work group meetings, which determine a framework of the recommended guidelines for the CDC and public health, and are held by HICPAC. Previously, these work group meetings were held behind closed doors and voted on without public input by labor or other experts in the field. Through the determination and militancy of the National Nurses United (NNU) we now have access to the isolation work group meeting summaries for the first time. Unfortunately, having access to this information is not enough. We echo NNU’s demand that the draft recommendations be released before the next HICPAC meeting on November 2-3.
HICPAC is still lacking sufficient and diverse expertise outside of infectious disease medical personnel from big providers. We need more input from organized labor who represent staff that are on the front lines of the pandemic along with experts on ventilation and filtration to develop a working plan to end this crisis. There is a clear ruling class intention to minimize when it comes to developing policy surrounding the pandemic. Without the help of organized labor, we wouldn't have the little transparency we have, and we need to stand with the NNU and organize for further transparency and protection from the pandemic and the dangerous classist policies being pushed by HICPAC and the CDC.
Over the course of the pandemic, billionaires saw a gain of over 58%. The wanton disregard for the health and well-being of working people for the purpose of corporate gain is cold-blooded and barbarous, and the CDC is complicit in leaving us all to rot in this plague. This is absolutely unacceptable.
Every epidemiologist and medical professional who has signed off on any of these policies should have their licenses revoked for complicity in the social murder of over one million people and the disabling of tens of millions more and counting over the course of the pandemic.
We all deserve COVID safety and we are not getting it with the current infection control guidance from the CDC.
Join National Nurses United's call to action: https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/cdc-hicpac-work-group
Join us at Socialist COVID-19 Organizing, Resistance, and Education to organize, educate and get educated, and fight for a COVID-19 free future.