“Heads we Win, Tails you Lose”

Timir Basu

Bad things can be turned into good. But the Chinese have failed to turn Mao’s popular dictum into reality. Americans, however, never allow a ‘good crisis’ go to waste as the Corona pandemic sweeps the world. America’s top 1 per cent have taken profitable advantage of the proverbial saying, “heads we win, tails you lose”, in letter and spirit. The Rich in America are minting billions without much hassle as `the Trump administration has handed out trillions of dollars to prop up an economy it shuttered amid Corona virus pandemic. True to American tradition, the billionaire class has reportedly added $ 308 bn to its wealth in four weeks --even as a record million lost their jobs and more than 56,000 died while 10  lakh affected.

Pandemic had exposed fault lines further in US body politic, widening the gap between the super-rich and rich and the rest over decades. For one thing Corona virus has made Amazon a public utility which was unthinkable even six months ago. No doubt Corona has tipped the US economy in favour of asset owners against everyone else. For Black Americans and Lations the situation is worse, Corona has permanently damaged their lives and livelihoods. The Black-White income gap is larger today than they were in 1979.  When the pandemic struck, those at zt the apex of the wealth pyramid is better positioned than ever to take advantage of the crisis. The in their super profit they never thought of in normal timed. They won’t die, they would survive to  enjoy  the  next  bonanza.  The profit the American business class is earning is mind-boggling, albeit they have to take no trouble for it. About 150 American public companies managed to bag more  than  $600 m  in  forgivable  loans  before  the  funds  ran out. According to a new report from the Institute for  Policy  Studies,  a  progressive  think  tank, between  March  18  and April  22  the  wealth  of  America’s  plutocrats  grew  10.5  per  cent.  Eight of America’s super billionaires have recently seen their wealth surge by over $ 11 bn,  including the Amazon boss, Jeff  Bejo. Maybe, the American corporates are thanking the Chinese in private for creating the chaos world-wide. 

The deadly virus  which  was  originated  in China in mid-November has so  far  killed  more  than  2  lakh  people  and  infected  over  30  lakh  globally.  What a horrible scenario!  Most scientists and medicos believe that the unfortunate deaths and and  spread of  virus  in  humans  and  destruction  of  the  global  economy  could  have  been  avoided,  if  China  had  shown  transparency  about  the  virus  in  its  early  phases.  But China didn’t.

Now the affected by the virus are demanding compensation from China because China cannot avoid the responsibility.  Germany is planning to send a bill to China for Euro 130 billion for the damages. And Trump has a larger  bill  in  his  pocket. China is being held accountable by all, rich and poor alike. But the accused --China--has so  far  been  silent  about  the  Compensation  cry. Trump says, they are  doing  very  serious  investigation  in  spreading  the  pandemic  but  investigation   results  are  yet  to  be  made  public.

Right now 184 countries, including India and other poor Asian countries in general  are  passing  through  hell  they  never  experienced  before.  America’s imported-oriented economy is mainly dependent on China.  So it won’t be that easy to punish Beijing  for spreading the  disease. Meanwhile, China’s grandiose investment project OBOR is in limbo, at least for the time being.

Different reports indicate that for years the Wuhan Institute of Virology used to get American funding from the US National Institutes of Health for  secretive  and    dangerous  laboratory research on Corona virus -  infected  bats.  Both China and America are in the same boat---they should made accountable equally.  There is every reason to believe that China  has  lied  and  covered  up  information  about  Covid-19  since  the  beginning.

Due to the presence of a robust public health infrastructure coupled with rigorous spirited training in community medicine Cuba  has  been  not  only  successfully  tackling  the  spread  of  Corona  virus,  they  are  reaching  out  to  Italy,  Bolivia, Haiti,  in  their  hour  of  crisis.  They have mobilized in massive numbers of doctors, nurse, health workers, third, fourth and  fifth  year  medical  students  who  are  going  door  to  door  to  record  their  history,  screen  the  susceptible  people  by ‘on the spot’ tests and  the  confirmed  cases  to  the  regional  tropical  medical  centre.  With the cruelest embargo on shipment of oil and other essential goods imposed by US existing for more than six decades Cuban people have been undergoing terrible hardship, but  they  refused  to  back  down. They are the true representative of communist spirit in this hour of grave crisis.

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May 5, 2020

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