Communist parties around world issue joint call to protect people’s health and rights

In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, communist and workers’ parties around the world have issued a joint statement, demanding emergency measures to protect health and human rights. The parties recognize that, in the context of capitalism, pandemic is having a severe and multi-faceted impact on the working class, small business owners, farmers and oppressed sections of the population.

“The COVID-19 pandemic cannot conceal the danger stemming from the tragic shortages of health systems in all capitalist countries, which were known before the outbreak of the coronavirus,” states the declaration. “These shortages did not occur accidentally – they are the result of the anti-people policy pursued by bourgeois governments to commercialize and privatize health, to support the profitability of monopoly groups. This policy undermines the great scientific and technological capabilities available today to meet all prevention and healthcare needs of the people.”

The parties note that the global health crisis illuminates the failures of capitalism, as well as the necessity of socialism.

“Today’s experience highlights the superiority and timeliness of socialism and central scientific planning based on popular needs, which can secure primary healthcare and prevention, hospitals, medical and nursing staff, medicine, laboratories, medical exams and everything else needed to meet the constant as well as any emergency health needs of the people.”

The statement warns that the response by capitalist governments to the pandemic is guided by their commitment to safeguard corporate profit, and that working people will be expected to shoulder the burden of financial bailouts. “The pre-existing slowdown in the world economy is now being furtherly reinforced by the spread of the coronavirus, increasing the risk of a new crisis in the coming period. In spite of the propaganda about “unity,” bourgeois governments support monopoly groups in every possible way and will seek to throw the burden of the crisis onto the people.”

In all countries, as communist parties demand immediate action from governments to protect health, they are also urging an intensifying struggle against corporate policies. “Today, taking the necessary measures also requires the struggle of the peoples against the policy of supporting the monopoly groups, which sacrifices the satisfaction of the needs and the health of the peoples at the altar of capitalist profitability.”

The joint demands of the communist and workers’ parties including the following:

  • Immediate strengthening of public health systems through expanded government funding and recruitment of full-time medical and nursing staff with full labor rights. This includes meeting the funding and resource needs of Intensive Care Units (ICUs), as well as ensuring the infrastructure necessary for the full functioning of public healthcare and research services.
  • Immediate free provision by governments of all necessary protection – such as masks, gloves and antiseptics – and steps taken to fight against profiteering. This includes providing comprehensive protective measures to all healthcare workers, who are making great personal sacrifices and taking great risks to fight this pandemic.
  • Protections for incomes and rights of the working class and people. This includes action to prevent corporations and their allies in government from using COVID-19 as a pretext for further trampling wage rights, denying leave from work, and expanding precarious employment by reducing work time.

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