COVID-19 Crisis: Total Lockdown, Military-style?
By Massoud Nayeri
Global Research, March 23, 2020

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The COVID-19 virus outbreak is taking lives around the world while at the same time exposing the weaknesses and absurdity of the capitalist system. The most advanced capitalist countries have already shown that they are unprepared and helpless in swiftly managing to control the inevitable public health emergencies; just as they are incompetent to take preventive measures and respond to the natural disasters such as Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and Earthquakes. Capitalism as an economic system is obsolete, destructive and pernicious.

With the news of COVID-19 virus outbreak, at first, the “leaders” downplayed the seriousness of the situation, then in a chaotic manner, they made people fearful of an unknown future while preaching for them to be calm!

So far, to different degrees, this scenario has been repeated in every capitalist country. In the United States, at daily White House briefings, authorities in charge toss around one solution after another just to contradict themselves the next day. For days they kept promising that soon everybody would be able to be tested for COVID-19 virus, while in fact only a few wealthy people had access to these tests and the lab results. The only constant advice has been to wash your hands and “Social Distancing”.

But “Social Distancing” which does prevent the spread of the virus to a certain degree, also exasperates other underlying and excruciating problems for the majority of people. It is unclear how long this could last. This temporary solution actually raises more questions for the average American with extended family that live in one household.

How is a single mother with two school-age children, who lives paycheck to paycheck suppose to deal with “Social Distancing”? Is a voluntary quarantine, “Social Distancing” and not going to work really practical for the low income working families? Abigail Hess, CNBC Reporter in her article titled “Widespread school closures mean 30 million kids might go without meals” reminds us the sad reality that “Amidst school closures, many fear that millions of students will go hungry.” Undoubtedly any temporary solution even in the best circumstances, such as financial aid and relief programs (stimulus package), would not change the unprecedented inequality, the underlying 21st-century problem.

The ruling elites in the U.S. have already concluded that the current system of governing is a dead-end path that demands a new system of governance. On March 18th, President Trump declared himself as the “Wartime President” to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

That is a day after Defense Secretary Mark Esper assured everyone that “the U.S. military, including the National Guard, is actively seeking ways to help dampen the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. …In that context, our second focus has been on supporting the president and the whole-of-government approach to the Coronavirus [emphasis added].” 

This will be the first time that the U.S. military is helping the government by putting its “medical foot” on U.S. soil to “protect” the lives of the American people. But by admission of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Jonathan Rath Hoffman “the U.S. military’s skills are not best suited for treating respiratory diseases [emphasis added]”! It is needless to remind readers that historically when the U.S. military is assigned to “help” and “protect” people from their enemy, the first casualty will be the freedom and the democratic rights of the very people who are being helped!

In this regard, the fascistic-minded “Wartime President” did not waste a moment to invoke the cold war “Defense Production Act” which gives him power over production decisions and economic direction under the guise of fighting the Coronavirus “pandemic”.

Now that the fear factor has shaped the American public opinion to accept that they are in a dire situation of an uncontrollable global “PANDEMIC” (which in fact is only an outbreak based on the minute number of people who have lost their lives to COVID-19 virus).

Now that corrupt media instead of reporting the facts and focusing on the real issues are distracting Americans with their sensational “journalism”, The prospect of a total military lockdown is conceivable. 

Today’s crisis, in many ways, resonates with the experience of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. At that time, the American people were shocked by a series of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. In 2001, the majority of people accepted the official narrative about these attacks, the origin and those who committed these heinous crimes. But soon many contradictions became apparent and did not support the official narrative. Honest people did not accept the official story as to why “building seven” in the World Trade Center complex (which was not hit directly), collapsed in a controlled demolition style! They were puzzled about the attack against the Pentagon at that time and still are perplexed regarding what happened to the airplane that supposedly hit and made a small hole on the side of the building, without a trace of any plane wreckage or remains of its passengers?

In this light, it is not farfetched nor unreasonable to speculate about the origin of this virus. Mr. Trump insists that this virus is “Chinese”. Mr. Pompeo repeatedly referring to the new Coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus”. The Trump Administration and commercial media, in full force, are spreading the xenophobia against Chinese people in general and Chinese-American citizens in particular. Just like September 11, once again a group of people have been singled out and terrorized through unsubstantiated and fake news, in this case, Chinese-American communities.

Honest and democratic-minded people are not convinced of the government narrative about the outbreak of COVID-19 virus. There are many credible documents and studies available that suggest this virus did not originate from the market in the city of Wuhan in China.

Among those scientists who are working diligently to find a cure for COVID-19 virus, many are not surprised by the emergence of this virus. Coronaviruses generally have been a major focus of scientific research for the past four decades. Scientists already had experience with the famous human disease known as SARS- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. But SARS was only a warning shot. Susan Weiss, PhD, a professor of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine who has been researching in this field since 1980 says: “It is gratifying to see how those years of research and mentoring can aid during health crises. One lesson to be learned is that it is crucial to support basic research that may not seem to have an immediate impact on human health.”(1)

Many scientists, investigative journalists are writing and talking reasonably about the factual issues surrounding this outbreak. Professor Michel Chossudovsky in his article “Coronavirus COVID-19: ‘Made in China’ or ‘Made in America’?” explains the economic objective of the U.S. propaganda: “While the ‘Made in China’ Coronavirus label served as a pretext, the unspoken objective was to bring the Chinese economy to its knees. … It was an act of ‘economic warfare’, which has contributed to undermining both China’s economy as well as that of most Western countries (allies of the US), leading to a wave of bankruptcies, not to mention unemployment, collapse of the tourist industry, etc.”(2)

Larry Romanoff in his latest article “Why Is the US Apparently Not Testing for the COVID-19 Coronavirus?” writes:

The “US has done only around 450 tests while … a Chinese firm has put into mass production a highly-accurate test for COVID-19 that has received the highest level of European certification and that is now being marketed worldwide.”(3)

The politicians and “pundits” are busy these days comparing today’s crisis with World War II and how the capitalists in the U.S. at that time succeeded to transfer the entire industry to a wartime industry – an industry for destruction!

However, since the end of the last world war, not one capitalist has invested in building specialized non-profit hospitals equipped with the latest modern medical technology and training a large number of medical specialists free of charge to be ready for operation at the time of outbreak public health crisis like today! It is obvious now that the health system in the U.S. is starving and ill. It is impossible to contain this virus by a nationalistic ideology and closed border policy. This is a global crisis and it needs a global solution. The unproductive trade war measures and insane sanctions against Iran, Venezuela and other countries must end now.

More than ever, working people need to rely on their own organizations to change the current miserable situation that is created by a few wealthy people. With the upcoming election, working people should not put their trust and energy in the 1% candidates of either Democratic or Republican parties. Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden with their far-right agenda represent Wall Street and are in conflict with the interest of hard working people. Mr. Sanders the “Socialist” once again like his Social Democrat ancestors, has shown his loyalty to the 1% capitalists and has successfully delivered the enthusiastic avant-garde youth to the political slaughterhouse of the Democratic Party as he did in 2016 Presidential Election.

Today, besides the COVID-19 crisis, the entire world economy is facing a major meltdown. Capitalists for centuries have exploited humans and nature to the point of extinction. Only the real producers are able to create prosperous democratic societies and flourishing environment that humans and all other species would enjoy the infinite natural sources in harmony. An economic system that puts profit over people actually functions like a deadly virus that gradually would destroy human societies and makes much of the world uninhabitable. It is time to organize for a radical change.


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Massoud Nayeri is a graphic designer and an independent peace activist based in the United States. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.


1- “The Biology of Coronaviruses: From the Lab to the Spotlight” – by Rachel Ewing



Featured image is from the author

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