An open letter on the Coronavirus crisis

BY: Rossana Cambron And Joe Sims| March 22, 2020
An open letter on the Coronavirus crisis


Our class and people are faced with a health, economic, and political crisis of unprecedented proportions. The Trump Administration’s denial and inaction in response to the rapid spread of the new Covid19 coronavirus have made an almost unimaginably bad situation far worse.

A few days ago, our National Board received a briefing on the situation from a public health expert. The main take away from that report is that from a public health perspective, the most important thing is to first slow the spread of the virus in order to prevent health care resources from becoming overwhelmed and then stop it. Because of the lack of widespread testing, we do not yet know the degree and extent of the crisis. Countrywide testing has become a national imperative.

To slow the spread of the virus, physical distancing which means staying at home, only going out when absolutely necessary, and then staying six or more feet away from others. Is necessary. In order to reverse and end the crisis, quarantines of the sick and developing a vaccine are necessary.

China was the first country to face the coronavirus. Under the leadership of its  Communist Party with an orientation to public health and not profits, was able to get a handle on the crisis by taking extraordinary measures, implementing mass testing, quarantining the city and province where the first outbreak occurred, and mobilizing the entire nation’s resources to support those regions. By responding early with strong science-based public health measures, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, according to news reports, have managed the epidemic without overwhelming their health care systems, even while experiencing acute illnesses and deaths. .

With the stock market crashing, mass layoffs and the economy grinding to a halt, the main issue before us in the U.S. is addressing the crisis by putting people before profits.

Unsurprisingly, the stimulus proposals put forward by the GOP favor big business. We must reject this in no uncertain terms: we must lend our voices to the trade unions and mass democratic movements that are demanding paid sick leave, unemployment benefits, free testing and medical care for those infected.

Urgent on-line mobilizations are underway demanding that all workers be included, especially frontline, tip, contract workers, undocumented workers and those without a job many of whom are women and people of color and youth. This should also be applied to immigrants.

We must demand emergency measures to ensure protective equipment to health care personnel.  We should also embrace more far-reaching and transformative demands being put forward to meet the needs of people. Needless to say, soon we will add our own unique perspective and demands.

Make no mistake: there are political dangers as well. The Republican right is making proposals to restrict democratic rights and Trump’s attacks are ongoing. Primary elections have been postponed in seven states and the impact on the upcoming national election are at this point unknown.

The CP National Board is meeting on Wednesday, March 25, to address our Party’s response to the crisis and to put forward a program to address it. The National Committee is meeting on Sunday, March 29.  A party statement on the crisis is being developed.

We feel strongly that the Party must remain active and involved as the crisis unfolds. Club meetings can be held by conference calls and using social conferencing platforms like Zoom. We have a Zoom account that can be utilized on request.

Stay-at-home conditions do not mean that we become immobilized. Social media and social networks, like Facebook and Twitter provide a means to interact, engage and struggle. Webinars are being organized to demonstrate the needed tools. We encourage our clubs and districts to check them out.

If there ever was a time to utilize, along with our Facebook and Twitter platforms it is now. Sharing articles, commenting on them, circulating petitions, making phone calls, sharing images, videos and podcasts is so important. Now is the time to share our This Week @cpusa YouTube production along with the young communist Specter podcast.

Our role is to provide our unique working-class revolutionary “plus” and counter Trump lies, while supporting science, truth, and solid public information.

Proposals are under development for a national membership-and-friends Zoom meeting on the crisis. Organizing national schools and local study groups is under consideration. During these difficult days, it is extremely important to be in touch with our members, particularly our older veteran comrades to ensure they do not feel isolated and are safe and healthy.  Please do not take this for granted. In many communities mutual aid groups are forming to help with groceries and other needs.

And everyone should take every measure to stay safe and healthy by remaining indoors and observing the public health directives. This includes our young comrades. While seniors are most vulnerable, everyone is at risk. Our working class, in the first place nurses, doctors, and other caregivers are on the frontlines of this life-and-death struggle against the new coronavirus. We must give them every support. Please reach out to the organizations and movements that we are involved with and share with us their ideas and proposals as we will share ours.

Together we will win this fight. Of this we are certain!











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