On March 11, 2020 the U.S. imperialist-backed World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19 had reached pandemic proportions.
A pandemic is when a local or regional epidemic disease outbreak goes global.
This pandemic has moved with dramatic speed: it took more than three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases but only 12 days to reach the next 100,000.
Mysteriously appearing in China at the end of last year at a time the U.S. was politically attacking China around the world, COVID-19 continues to spread in nearly every country around the world.
U.S. society, economy in crisis
Most major cities across the U.S. are looking like ghost towns.
Businesses are laying off millions of workers.
Hospitals can’t get enough test kits or respirators and many have run out of beds.
Makeshift facilities such as large tents in schoolyards and off-shore military hospital ships are being used to house the sick.
Supplies of protective gear like face masks are in such low supply that hospital workers have begun to reuse them and to buy materials to sew their own masks.
The stock market has plummeted.
Africans bear the brunt
In recent weeks African People’s Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela has gone live on several web broadcasts to discuss the current crisis.
He explained, “The reality is that Africa and African people will be affected more severely perhaps than anybody in the world from this virus.
“In the U.S.—a highly industrialized country—they’re talking about a possible 1-2 million people dying from this virus.
“The U.S. is industrialized because of all the resources it sucks out of Africa and other colonial territories.
“This theft deprives us of infrastructure and health care.
“It drains the brains, the nurses, the doctors out of Africa, out of the Caribbean, out of other areas of the Americas, bringing them to places like the United States and Europe.
“So, if we can anticipate a possible 1-2 million people dying in the U.S. you can assume that this coronavirus has the most severe kind of implications for Africa and African people and other colonized peoples throughout the world.”
Coronavirus is a colonialvirus
Chairman Omali continued, “African people are colonized every place we live.
“In many ways the Coronavirus could be called a colonial virus.
“The fact of the matter is that colonialism is the worst violence you can have.
“You take an entire continent of Africa, some 12 million square miles, and see that all of the human beings on that continent face starvation all the time and face the most serious kinds of insecurity all the time.
“Rape and pillage is a natural condition. Children are dying every place.
“In Sierra Leone one out of every eight pregnant women die in childbirth and the average life span is 37 years.
“The majority of people in Africa do not have clean water or access to electrical power.
“In this era, in 2020, that is ridiculous. It’s because of the relationship that Africa and African people have to imperialism.
“On the continent of Africa we have a neocolonial set-up imposed on us.
“So hospitals don’t get built. When people get sick they have to take their own medicine to the hospital. They have to take their own sheets and what-have-you.
“When neocolonial stooges—who work for white power, whose purpose of existence is to shovel our resources to the imperialists, to white power—get sick, they travel to Europe.
“No hospitals get built for our people.
“Every cop on the street corner in every African community, certainly in the U.S., is a coronavirus, a colonial virus that threatens us all the time.
“This is our reality.”
China wages People’s War on COVID-19
The Novel Coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
Wuhan, the largest city in the central region’s Hubei province, has 11 million residents—more than all five boroughs of New York City put together that total under 9 million.
Beginning with Wuhan, the Chinese government proceeded to lock down over 900 million citizens, prohibiting them from leaving their homes even for groceries.
Thanks to the legacy of a strong communist government and nationalized economy from the era of Mao Zedong, China has the centralized infrastructure and collective approach that allowed them to handle this crisis quickly and effectively.
Echoing Mao’s call that mobilized the masses to win victory for the Communist Party in 1949, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a “People’s War” to defeat the pandemic.
Immediately more than 42,000 medical workers from across China were rushed to the Hubei province. Equipment and supplies were mobilized and a new hospital rapidly constructed.
Putting people before profit, they didn’t delay closing businesses out of concern for lost revenues.
More than 10,000 people in Wuhan and thousands more from throughout China joined a volunteer effort to deliver food, supplies and medical services to the quarantined residents.
Chinese scientists quickly sequenced the virus’ genome and shared the information with the World Health Organization and other countries.
They employed all possible methods of treatment including traditional Chinese medicine.
By the third week of March, China was reporting no new locally transmitted cases and had begun lifting quarantines, easing domestic travel restrictions and reopening businesses.
Their centralized governing structure will allow for a resumption of quarantines if a second wave of infections emerges.
China’s early and rapid response gave breathing space for the whole world to prepare.
Now that they have accumulated expertise in fighting the pandemic, China has sent medical staff and supplies to countries around the world to assist them in the fight.
Imperialism in deep trouble
China didn’t run out of masks or ventilators or hospital beds.
The U.S., leader of parasitic capitalism, richest country in the world, did.
Parasitic capitalism, colonialism, imperialism is brutal and violent. It is also anarchistic. Putting profit first, it can’t solve a problem such as the Coronavirus.
Chairman Omali says, “Right now, during the height of this electoral season in the U.S. virtually every contradiction is being exposed to the world.
“The contest, the war, between sectors of the ruling class, is being exposed to the world.
“And it is becoming clearer and clearer that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between a democrat and a republican.
“We see the serious stress that’s been occurring within these political formations because of a shrinking capacity for the bourgeoisie to steal the resources of the oppressed peoples around the world.
“That’s why you see the contest inside the republican party between Trump and some of the so-called moderates.
“That’s why you see this huge struggle within the democratic party where everybody ganged up on Bernard Sanders, who himself is a representative of colonial white power but has uttered the word socialism.
“He allowed the word socialism to come out of his mouth because he’s one of the most advanced thinking representatives of the white ruling class and recognizes that all the people in the world see that capitalism is the enemy of humanity, destroying the people, destroying the planet.
“In anticipating the antipathy that the masses of people around the world and inside the U.S. to capitalism, the only alternative to capitalism is communism.
“And communism in its earliest stage is called socialism.
“Except the socialism that Bernie Sanders is talking about is not a socialism that turns into communism, it’s a benign socialism that doesn’t even require a contest with capitalism.
“If you look at what’s happening with the Coronavirus and the ability for them to shovel all these resources to the capitalists and the capitalist corporations, it’s very clear that this whole set-up is for them.”
No time for despair
Chairman Omali put the current crisis into historical context. “We have been under assault now for over 600 years.
“The Coronavirus is nothing new in terms of aggressions being imposed on Africa and African people.
“We can’t expect any imperialist power—whether it’s in the U.S. or Canada or in Europe—to give the kind of attention to African people that they will give to their own.
“This time however, facing this crisis, we have the advantage of an international organization of African people. Not just conceptually, but in fact.
“Today, Africa is not totally unorganized. Africa is not helpless nor hopeless. We do have organization.
“Africa will survive this colonial virus as a consequence of having in our possession, for the first time in history, an international revolutionary organization rooted in the African working class and poor peasantry with the mission of liberating and uniting Africa and African people around the world in alliance with other oppressed peoples.
“This time we have the advantage of the African Socialist International (ASI) that has provided us with revolutionary cadre in various places throughout the world that will look out for the interests of Africa in general and for the interests of the African working class and poor peasantry who in almost every instance pays the worst price for the crisis that imperialism imposes upon us.
“Africa brought civilization to the planet Earth.
“We are helping Africa to be re-introduced to itself as something other than some simpering welfare-besotted people on the planet Earth.
“Virtually everything that we do as the ASI, which is simply the APSP writ large, is to take us toward self-determination, towards self-government, so that we can solve these problems.
“We are building the incipient government that a united and liberated Africa will need to function.
“We are ubiquitous. We are every place.
“And every place we are, we are building and constructing our own capacity to be self-governing and to be a self-reliant people.
“We are winning!”