June 8, 2020 — In response to the horrible crime committed in Minneapolis, we received the following message from Ambassador Jacques Bacamurwanko, former Ambassador of the African nation of Burundi to the U.S.
“I’d love to mention that the protest activists following George Floyd’s heinous killing by the MN police officer need to be told that it’s the same anti-America system that was responsible for the strangulation of Lyndon LaRouche Jr.. Lyn’s neck was literally choked up by the same white supremacist gang that would not want him to exercise his right to vote, to move around or travel abroad freely.
“The good news is, the murderous gang did not manage to stop the flow of LaRouche’s Freedom and ideas far and wide.
“The world would be freer today if Mr. Trump could cause by an historic Presidential Order signed in the Oval Office urging the anti-America gangsters to get their knee off Lyndon LaRouche’s ‘neck.’
“That’s what our insistent plea and global advocacy ‘to exonerate LaRouche’ actually means. If LaRouche were exonerated, mankind would usher in a beautiful era of sustainable dialogue for peace, civil rights and socioeconomic development.”
The world death rate from famine this year could reach 300,000 people a day, unless we mount a food mobilization to stop it. This threat far exceeds the 315,000 death toll so far from COVID-19. We face a hunger pandemic “of biblical proportions,” David Beasley, Director General of the UN World Food Program (WFP) warned the UN Security Council April 21.
At the same time, farmers in the U.S. are mass destroying their meat animals, milk and other food. By September, 10 million hogs may have been put down. Millions of eggs and chickens have been destroyed, and millions of gallons of milk dumped. It is known why farmers are forced to do this, and yet it continues. Farmers themselves are facing ruin. This must stop.
We have to have a crash program to save farmers and agriculture capacity, and to deliver the food to all who need it. With this emergency mobilization, we can launch the replacement of the globalist cartel system which caused the vulnerability to disease and scarcity in the first place. It is a policy failure. There is nothing “natural” about this disaster.
In Africa and South Asia, the desert locust plague is ravaging cropland in a second wave of devastation, when it was known ahead of time, and could have been stopped.
It is a crime against humanity to allow this destruction to continue. Farmers want to produce food. Millions of lives are at stake.
Save Farmers, Stop Food Destruction!
In the United States, butchering capacity, monopolized by a cartel of five multinational commodities firms, has been consolidated into fewer than 300 mega-processing facilities accounting for 80% of the meat, while another other 2,000 facilities provide only 20%, in contrast to 30 years ago, when over 9,000 facilities of all sizes were in operation. Workers at today’s mega-plants are underpaid, work in slave labor-like conditions, and are commonly undocumented and fearful.
The situation is the same in Germany, in Spain, Brazil, and many other producing regions. In Germany in May, large meat-processing facilities were shut in Schleswig Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia, with hundreds of workers down sick, and others quarantined in their squalid barracks. They are low-paid labor from Hungary, Bulgaria, and Poland. Their situation is the norm everywhere for the global meat cartel.
When COVID-19 swept through the giant U.S. packing plants, thousands of workers were stricken; dozens have died. Plants shut. A Federal order was issued April 27 for them to re-open—under safe protocols—but no Federal intervention was made. No adequate corporate measures have taken place. Dozens of the slaughtering houses remain closed, or are only partially open. The backlog of “stranded” animals—ready for market—numbers in the millions. Farmers have no means to warehouse livestock, and they have received no income support for their losses. Farm country suicides are the highest in the nation. The U.S. stands to lose a quarter or more of its farm and ranch producers in the coming months.
There are severe disruptions to milk and other perishables, the processing and retailing of which are also cartel controlled, and concentrated in the same vulnerable way.
Deploy emergency measures now. In the U.S., this means Federal financial aid immediately to the farmers, and Federal intervention by forces of the Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other agencies, to sanitize and reconfigure all food-processing facilities for safety and maximum throughput. Create proper working conditions and wage levels; organize additional work teams. Locate contingency processing capacity; provide credit and aid for expansion. Locate extra freezer and locker capacity at closed institutions such as schools for expanded storage.
The principle involved is to save all possible food from destruction, and to defend farmers and ranchers everywhere in the world. Get the food to everywhere it is needed. Milk capacity is in crisis. Expand every way to process milk for longer storage and distribution, including cheese, powder, ultrahigh-temperature pasteurized products, as well as to maximize fresh fluid milk. Pay the farmers properly; preserve the herds. There is no “glut” of milk, nor pork, nor grain, nor any other food, as the “markets” talk of supply-and-demand would have you believe.
Deliver Food Aid, Double Agricultural Capacity
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the world already had 821 million people who chronically have no reliable daily food, which is now labeled as “food insecurity.” The World Food Program had been providing food aid directly to 100 million people in acute need of food, who would have perished without it. But now, the WFP foresees this number of people in acute need of food, shooting up to 265 million people this year, and possibly many more. Their locations include: 194 million people in 37 nations in Africa; 62 million people in 10 nations in Asia; 33 million people in 6 nations in South America and the Caribbean.
Start a production mobilization. The tonnage of food aid for this number of people, considered just in terms of cereals grains, is 50 million metric tons this year. This is fully 20% of all the grains traded annually on the world market in recent years. The land area required to yield this much grain is the size of Belgium. More food must be produced. The WFP has put out a donations appeal for $12 billion for food aid this year, way above last year’s $8 billion appeal. But even if pledges miraculously come through, will the food be there?
Deploy for the goal to double world food production as soon as possible. Instead of the current annual grains harvest of 2.5-2.7 billion metric tons (bmt), a world harvest of 5 bmt will provide a quality diet for all, support population growth, and enable food reserves for security.
The Schiller Institute had called for this 12 years ago, and had it been achieved by now, there would be no threat of a hunger pandemic today. On May 3, 2008, Schiller Institute founding President Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued a call, that
“it will be fatal for the world as a whole, if we do not succeed immediately, in the coming days and weeks, to declare globalization a failure, and to set everything into motion to double agricultural production capacity in the shortest possible time!”
But the cartel monopoly system has only tightened its control since the 2007-08 financial crisis. The cartel’s lying narrative is that producing abundance means low prices and bankruptcy for farmers, and that cartel global food sourcing serves populations better than national food self-sufficiency. Today’s crisis exposes those lies.
Use every means now to support production of the needed volumes of food for the pandemic and hunger emergency, especially by making calculated use of the Southern Hemisphere harvest, and Northern Spring planting seasons now underway, and their alternating crop cycles ahead.
Stop Africa’s Locust Plague
Deploy all resources to stop the second wave of desert locusts that now extends from East Africa across to India. The crop losses are terrible. In one day, a small swarm can consume the food in a square kilometer of crops—the food 35,000 people would eat in day. At harvest time in June and July is just when the hopper stage of the second swarms of the locust will mature to young adults, capable of vast destruction; 42 million people in ten nations are in the affected zone from Yemen south to Tanzania. The Food and Agriculture Organization has succeeded in helping save 720,000 tons of food in the region, pre-positioned for 5 million people for a year.
Expedite the provision of needed aircraft, chemicals and personnel for aerial spraying, the mainstay for killing the insects. The FAO has appealed for $150 million, but pledges remain under that amount. If not stopped, the locusts will spread westward into the Sahel this summer. Between commercial crop sprayers, drones and military expertise, this scourge can be ended. Allowing it to proceed is genocide.
Declare debt moratoria and cancellation for the whole continent of Africa. No scarce national resources can go to debt payments at this time of need for anti-pandemic and anti-hunger operations.
The next step is credit for launching the development projects to realize the vast agriculture potential of the continent. Africa has half the world’s arable land still remaining to be brought into cultivation and pasture. It will be the farm belt of the whole world.
But the African agro-industrial economy has been deliberately kept down by the City of London/Wall Street monetarist system. The continent went from being 25% dependent on outside imports of staple grains, 30 years ago, to now 40% dependent. The cartels dominate that trade, while profiteering off cheaply produced African food sent to Europe—fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish. The same cartel trade pattern in the Americas ships food to the United States from economies kept poor, and desperately needing food aid, such as Guatemala and Haiti. As of 2019, the first beef from Africa went to Europe, and this year, into the United States. Namibia, 60% import dependent for its basic consumption, is now exporting beef, which capacity belongs for Africa.
Start the great projects. The Transaqua project, a continental priority, will resupply water to the Lake Chad Basin, benefiting the entire Sub-Saharan region, by diverting flow from the Congo River Basin, which will benefit from new transportation, power, agriculture and water management systems. Nuclear power and desalination on the Mediterranean and other littorals will create vast new water supplies. These programs will end the grounds for national conflict over how to use scarce resources.
Sovereign Government Action
Food is a human right. If governments assert sovereignty over food and farming, we will defeat the hunger catastrophe, and open a new era of food sufficiency for all.
Three areas of action: Anti-Trust: First, break up the food and agro-monopolies (chemicals, fertilizer, seeds) and cartels. Invoke national security in the short term, to override cartel practices blocking emergency food measures. Then use full-scale anti-trust laws and executive orders. Every nation has this authority, and most have precedent. Some governments may nationalize food enterprises. Restore nation-serving policies of food reserves, and regionally dispersed food processing, advanced food preservation—including irradiation—and diversified farming. Abandon the World Trade Organization, whose premises are designed to oppose national sovereignty over food.
The world grain trade has come to be dominated by ABCD, the cartel accounting for 90% of all grain traded: ADM, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus. In the course of their consolidation of control, sovereign national grain boards were eliminated; nationally controlled food reserves eliminated; single-crop monoculture became widespread. A world meat cartel of mega-multinationals also dominates in most nations. In the U.S. the five main firms controlling meat processing and marketing are JBS (Brazil-headquartered); Cargill (U.S.A.); Tyson Foods (U.S.A.); National Beef (Marring, based in Brazil); Smithfield (WH Holdings, China). Their standard operating procedures created a disaster.
Take measures to end all other kinds of financialization of food and farming. Stop food commodity speculation on the world’s major exchanges. Stop lenders and trading cartels demanding that poverty-stricken nations export food to earn foreign exchange.
Support family farmers: Secondly, supply emergency income support to farmers. No foreclosures. Declare debt moratoria, and reorganization during this emergency. Indemnify farmers and ranchers for livestock and related losses. Establish a parity-based farm commodity pricing system. Utilize laws already on the books, but ignored under the cartel dominance: in Europe, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); in the U.S., the Commodity Credit Corp. (the CCC from the 1930s), and other models and initiatives.
End the anti-farming “green” rules and harassment, done wrongfully in the name of protecting the environment from climate change. Launch the overdue infrastructure projects on every continent, to provide vast new amounts of water, power and transport, essential to productive agriculture.
Create the required credit through either scaling up one or more of the existing development-oriented multilateral banks with multi-nation membership—e.g., the New Development Bank, or the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), or create a new vehicle in FDR’s tradition of agencies mandated by the 1944 Bretton Woods conference. Today’s epochal crisis makes such a strategy realistic.
A million new farmers on every continent. Organize special means to widely expand the family farm system, especially young farmers and ranchers starting out, through direct grants, tax benefits, ample credit and land availability. Use the spirit of President Abraham Lincoln’s initiatives, e.g. the three-page Homestead Act, which settled farm families throughout the vast Midwest. The ingenuity and mission of family farm members, with the living standard, education and science to go along, are the best guarantees of food security for every nation and worldwide.
Spread the model of the “astronaut farmer,” equipped with global positioning, data keeping, mechanization, and scientific practices. Farmers-as-ambassadors are ready and willing to go and spread space-age agriculture and space-age brotherhood.
International collaboration: Launch the international collaboration to make all this work, to provide the needed food relief in the coming weeks and save millions of lives; and to start the shift to a new paradigm of economic functioning and great power relations. China is already active in Africa with water, power and rail projects in the Belt and Road Initiative, aligned with the African Union’s Agenda-2063 program. Russia is active with Egypt’s nuclear power and desalination plans, and other projects. Add what the United States can do, being the largest food donor in the world, and a new era of strategic cooperation opens.
We call on the leaders of the great powers to initiate collaboration against the hunger pandemic. Include this on the agenda of their earliest possible summit: Presidents Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and others who are willing.
“Give Us This Day, Our Daily Bread” is a universal plea. Let us answer this prayer.
We, the undersigned, support Schiller Institute Founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s call for global health and economic infrastructure to address the coronavirus pandemic and the conditions of underdevelopment (both economic and scientific) that caused us to be vulnerable to it.
The coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world — and the economic effects of the health measures taken to crush it — reveal the inexcusable lack of development of the human species, and demand a global approach to curing, not only the coronavirus presently menacing us, but that underdevelopment that leaves us susceptible to the pandemic’s taking a terrible toll.
When health systems even in developed regions, such as Northern Italy, have been filled beyond capacity, what is the outlook for less developed nations that have an immense shortage of health infrastructure and lack secure access to clean water, sanitation, and nutritious food? How can a person who relies on daily income to support the family remain at home for weeks on end? How can people without clean water practice good hand hygiene? If no ICU beds are available, can doctors save the life of a victim of severe Covid-19 symptoms?
While the acute suffering from the coronavirus claims our attention, what of the 800,000 children under the age of 5 who die from diarrheal diseases every year? How can the health of the hundreds of millions of people currently afflicted with food insecurity be ensured?
We call for a global health infrastructure, in its fullest sense. The world requires more hospitals, new ICU beds, additional ventilators, many more trained physicians, increased manufacturing capacity for PPE, and orders of magnitude more testing equipment than existed at the beginning of this outbreak. But it also needs much more. Poverty, malnutrition, lack of access to improved water and sanitation — these are health issues too. Our shared dignity as members of the human race calls upon us to cooperate in eliminating poverty, through development. The entire world must be made safe from diseases that threaten us all.
Barriers to the cooperation of the United States, China, Russia, and India must be overcome to ensure that the world is never again terrorized by such a threat.
To make all of this possible requires a New Bretton Woods — international agreements on economic development in the model of Franklin Roosevelt’s outlook at the end of World War II, as advanced by the studies and proposals of Lyndon LaRouche.
Today, Schiller Institute Founder and Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued the following statement regarding the vicious anti-China campaign being promulgated in the West, especially in the United States:
April 16—I think this anti-China campaign comes from a deep-seated geopolitical view that the rise of China necessarily means the downfall of the United States and the West in general. And I think that that view is a wrong view. China has at no point threatened to replace the United States as the hegemonic power. They have offered cooperation on the basis of a win-win cooperation. They have offered the United States a special great power relationship. And it is an absolutely absurd idea that one can prevent a country of 1.4 billion people, which has determined that it wants to go forward on the road of scientific and technological progress—and has proven that that method functions, by lifting 850 million people out of poverty, and then, is starting to offer the advantage of such an approach to others through the Belt and Road Initiative—that you can stop that, other than by nuclear war! And that is, obviously, unfortunately, what some people are willing to toy with.
China is not an aggressive force. But naturally, it does threaten the idea of a unipolar world order, which some neo-con and British elements had tried to impose in the period after the collapse of the Soviet Union, through interventionist wars. The Bush Administration and then also Obama conducted all of these interventionist wars, with the idea of regime change and color revolution, and that has gotten us to the crisis we have now in Southwest Asia and the refugee crisis.
But the idea that you have to stop the rise of China is very dangerous. And we see it right now, that this campaign is absolutely led by British intelligence. As a matter of fact, after President Trump, unfortunately, cancelled the U.S. funding of the WHO, by blaming them that they have been responsible for many deaths, because they misinformed the United States—I don’t even want to comment on that, because it’s just factually not correct—then, the former head of MI6 came out yesterday and said that Trump should not have focused on the WHO, but on China. And the Henry Jackson Society [in the U.K.], which is totally neo-con and one of the worst reactionary institutions you can imagine, put forward a proposal that the West should sue China, so that China would have to pay for all the costs which have resulted from the pandemic!
Now, the fact that the German tabloid Bildzeitung published this concept today, on page 2, the full story, quoting the Henry Jackson Society, having a long list of proposed bills—what was the cost for the taxi drivers, the hotel owners, just 20 categories—that China should have to pay. And after yesterday, when they had Pompeo on page 3 listing all the arguments against China—that is the final proof that this Bild tabloid is part of the Integrity Initiative, the British intelligence operation controlling the Western press. Formally or not, I don’t care—but de facto they’re spreading the propaganda of the British Empire. They just proved that in the last days, if such proof was still necessary.
But they are trying to hype up the population against China, and it is factually absolutely not true! I’ll just cite some figures, because, when they say that China was “hiding” information about the virus, it is factually not true.
• The first cases of some new, unknown disease became known in Wuhan on the December 23, 2019.
• Then, on December 30th, they reported a suspicious number of people having pneumonia.
• Then on January 3rd, the Chinese National Health Commission issued guidelines on how to treat these cases.
• And already on January 4th, those medical people in Wuhan contacted their U.S. counterparts and the WHO, and informed them about that.
• Then, only three days later, on January 7th, the medical scientific personnel in Wuhan were able, for the first time, to isolate the coronavirus strain. The extraordinary speed in which they succeeded in isolating this new strain was praised by the whole international medical community.
So, I think that that is the record. And I remember, because we were following this closely when it happened.
At that point, already, given the fact that there had previously been SARS and MERS, the Western governments could have absolutely mobilized their production of masks, ventilators, hospital beds, and so forth; but they didn’t do it! Instead, they kept repeating for weeks and weeks, “No, masks are absolutely of no use.” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said, “Oh, the virus will never come to Germany.” He kept repeating that into February, saying the German health system is perfectly prepared for any eventualities. They really did not take it seriously until March, when the whole thing erupted with a speed which left everybody breathless. And even then, they kept saying, you don’t need masks. They did not say: You do need masks, you do need mass testing, let’s produce everything which is necessary. Instead they kept adjusting the line about what was medically necessary to what their meager resources were. And that is a fact. You can say that for all European countries, and it’s still going on, to a certain extent, now.
So, I think that the attack on China is the most foolish, most immoral, lying operation, because if there is one country which did succeed, at least for now—because it’s a pandemic, you never know what will happen down the road—but they were able to contain and stamp out the virus in the hotbeds of Hubei Province and the city of Wuhan. And rather than thinking: maybe it was the centralized government system which China has, which was the reason why they were able to react so quickly, to gear up the production of the entire country; and maybe it was the extreme liberalism of the West which was the reason why it was not possible; maybe one should think that the liberal/neo-liberal system has some inherent flaws. Rather than discussing that, they go into this deflection and attack China.
I think it’s very dangerous, and it’s very stupid. And I think it should stop, and people should really not be led by the nose by these lying mass media, which have nothing to do with journalism. They’re really just the forefront of the intelligence community, trying to feed propaganda in order to further their aims. But it has nothing to do with honest journalism, at all.
April 11, 2020 — At the time this urgent call to build a World Health System was published, the world had confirmed over 1.75 million cases of COVID-19, and the number of deaths attributed to the pandemic was over 100,000. This disease, first active in humans in December or November 2019, has spread, within a matter of months, to nearly all nations of the world, with a ferocious rate of growth in populations not taking strong measures to arrest its advance. The mortality rate among those infected is estimated to be an order of magnitude greater than that of the seasonal flu. At the time you are reading this call to action, the numbers will be greater, possibly much, much greater.
Gravest of all, we could be witnessing an explosion of infections and deaths in the so-called less-developed sector or Third World, especially in Africa — whose underdevelopment is the Achilles Heel of the entire human species, which requires special attention, as we specify below.
Defeating this deadly virus will require immediate, coordinated global action: intensive public health measures, including extensive testing and isolation of those found to be infected; a huge increase in the availability of healthcare facilities and equipment; significant investment and resources devoted to finding cures and a vaccine; great strides in sanitation measures, especially in less-developed nations; and an end to the historically unnecessary lack of development — and outright looting — in the world. This global pandemic emphatically requires a global response, as reservoirs of the virus in any part of the world could cause resurgences for years.
It requires a World Health System covering every part of the planet.
Such a global response requires, most centrally, the coordination of the United States, China, Russia, and India, a Four Powers alliance open to all nations of the planet. The leaders of those four nations should hold a summit as soon as possible to work out common approaches to addressing the enormous health, material, and infrastructural needs of the world, as a first step towards creating an entirely New Paradigm to replace the bankrupt old system.
There is no other way, no lesser course, that will actually defeat the pandemic.
Although COVID-19 is the disaster currently inflicting itself on humanity, it is only one of many to which the world is susceptible, due to a failure of the international order over the past fifty years, most especially the deadly looting of developing sector nations. A solar coronal mass ejection could knock out most of the world’s electricity grids — why have they not been hardened against such an event, even in the so-called “developed” countries? An as-yet-undiscovered asteroid or comet could destroy an entire continent — why have we developed no defenses against this threat? There are 800 million people on this planet who lack adequate food — why has this been tolerated? A plague of locusts currently menaces the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions. Another disease could spring up any week — why do we not have better defenses against viruses?
The world community must create a resiliency for successful long-term survival, not just in the short-term while hoping that no unusual events occur, but prepared for true safety and security. This cannot occur under the neo-liberal economic paradigm that is now failing. It cannot occur under a regime of bailout and treating financial values as sacrosanct. That system, with its $1.8 quadrillion speculative bubble, is now thoroughly bankrupt, and must be put through a process of bankruptcy reorganization long specified by the American economist Lyndon H. LaRouche, along with the simultaneous requirement to build a new Hamiltonian credit system, nationally and internationally, to put humanity back on the track of science-driven physical-economic development. The long-term successful survival and flourishing of the human species requires a world system that recognizes the divine spark of potential genius in each individual and which seeks to foster that potential through economic, cultural, and scientific development.
Here, we take up the task of delineating the needed World Health System. This is a first approximation of the requirements, which we hope will be enriched by input from international experts and concerned people in the immediate weeks ahead.
We begin by posing, and answering, two questions:
What is the cause of this, possibly the worst crisis humanity has ever faced?
What is the full set of measures that should be taken on all fronts, both in the United States and worldwide, to defeat the pandemic?
We do not start by listing all the bottlenecks and shortages, and try to work from the bottom up. We start instead by figuring out what is required: We must use this existential crisis to finally overcome the underdevelopment of large sections of mankind, a condition that is not worthy of the human species. Then, we determine the physical economic requirements to achieve each step along the way, including the bills of materials and manpower requirements, as defined from the standpoint of industrial engineering. We then return to the bottlenecks and figure out how we are going to break through them, on schedule or earlier. We will find that, to achieve that trajectory, we will be on a forced march requiring constant technological breakthroughs; we will find that we are in the domain of the science of physical economy, where Lyndon LaRouche’s work is our only guide and road map.
We will also find that such an approach requires full international cooperation, especially between the United States and China, to achieve these common aims of mankind. Anyone opposing such cooperation should be scientifically classed in the same genus and species, politically, as the coronavirus itself.
That approach is how Franklin D. Roosevelt mobilized the nation to defeat fascism in World War II. That is how NASA engineers turned the looming Apollo 13 catastrophe into success. And in our current endeavor to defeat the coronavirus across the planet, here too failure is not an option.
This Is a Crisis Fifty Years in the Making
The coronavirus was not caused by a Chinese proclivity to feast on bats. Nor was it cooked up in a secret military lab in the United Kingdom or the United States (although Prince Philip’s public promotion of his desire to be reincarnated as a virus to help reduce the planet’s population, gives pause for thought). It was caused by an underlying physical-economic process that has been underway for at least a half century. In fact, Lyndon LaRouche forecast the current pandemic nearly 50 years ago, first in 1971 in his public warning about the end of the Bretton Woods system; and then repeatedly beginning in 1974 testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee where he warned of the danger of an impending biological holocaust, due to misguided economic policies.
“Sustainable economic (and population) growth, is measured as an (ideally) constant rate of increase of the potential relative population-density of that society. This is the measure of the average potential for growth of the society as a whole, and is also the absolute measure of per capita productivity of labor in that society.” LaRouche explained that achieving a rising PRPD requires that the economy produce “free energy” above the “energy of the system,” and he specified:
“In economic processes, the ‘energy of the system’ is represented by the interdependency among three ‘market-baskets’ of consumption. Each of these ‘market-baskets,’ corresponds to a minimum value, required to maintain the economic process at a constant level of negentropic potential. These three are: 1) The ‘market-basket’ of households’ consumption, per capita; 2) The ‘market-basket’ of producers’ goods; 3) The ‘market-basket of ‘basic economic infrastructure: energy production and distribution, water management, transportation, etc.”
When do pandemics erupt?
“The ‘ideal’ case, at which economies are to be examined for economically-determined eruption of pandemics, is the case for which the potential relative population-density falls below the level of the existing population… [such as] the instance in which the average consumption is determined by a fall of potential relative population-density, below the level of requirements for the existing population.”
But there is also the case, LaRouche emphasizes, where “the differential rates of distribution of the households’ ‘goods market-basket’ falls below the level of ‘energy of the system’ for a large part of the population. We are most concerned with the effects on health, as the nutritional throughput per capita falls below some relative biological minimum, and also the effect of collapse of sanitation and other relevant aspects of basic economic infrastructure upon the conditions of an undernourished population… [In this case], the undernourished population might become a breeding-culture for eruption of epidemic and pandemic disease,..”
That is precisely what has occurred during the last 50 years of deadly looting of Third World populations, especially Africa, through the policies of the City of London, Wall Street, and of course the International Monetary Fund.
The full impact of such policies, LaRouche concluded, can only be understood by locating man’s development (or what Vladimir Vernadsky referred to as the noösphere) within the total biosphere.
“Society is an integral part of the biosphere, both the biosphere as a whole, and regionally… Rather than viewing a deep fall of the potential relative population-density, as merely a fall in the relative value for the society as such; let us examine this as a fall in the relative level of the biosphere including that society… This must tend to be adjusted, by increasing the role of relatively lower forms of life… [which] ‘consume’ human and other higher-level forms of life as ‘fuel’ for their own proliferation… In that variant, human and animal pandemics, and sylvatics, must tend to resurge, and evolve, under certain kinds of ‘shock’ to the biosphere caused by extreme concentration of fall of population-potential.”
Current Global Inventory
The world as a whole possesses a current inventory of 18.63 million hospital beds. This constitutes a tremendous deficit, rendering country after country incapable of defeating the novel coronavirus. To consider the needed level of beds, consider the United States 1946 Hill–Burton Act, which set a standard of 4.5 hospital beds per 1,000 people, per county, in order to ensure the health and well-being of the population. Current levels are 2.8 for the United States, 0.7 for South Asia, 0.7 for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, and 0.5 for Nigeria, which has one-fifth of the population of sub-Saharan Africa.
To meet the standard of 4.5 beds per 1,000 people, the world would have to increase its hospital bed inventory to 35 million beds, nearly double the current level. This would require the construction of 35,200 new modern hospitals, especially in Africa, Ibero-America, and Asia, where the new beds would be immediately put to necessary use.
Beds themselves do not save lives. Medical staff are required, and acute cases demand additional equipment, such as ventilators.
The total global inventory of ventilators is hard to determine, but there are certain figures that point to the problems of dealing with COVID-19 in impoverished nations lacking health infrastructure. The United States has a total of about 170,000 ventilators for its 330 million people, which is about 500 ventilators for every million people. Germany has about 25,000 ventilators for its 83 million people, about 300 ventilators per million — the highest per capita level in Europe.
The picture in Africa, however, is absolutely devastating. According to an April 7 article in Time magazine, there are 500 ventilators for the 200 million people of Nigeria, which comes out to 2.5 ventilators for every million people — about 200 times less than the United States on a per capita basis. In Sudan, there are 1.9 ventilators for every million people. The Central African Republic (population nearly 5 million) has a total of three ventilators, and Liberia, with a population of 4.7 million people, has none.
Estimates by the Brookings Institution and the Financial Times are that India has approximately 20,000 ventilators, which would be 15 ventilators for every million people.
For the entire world to be at the United States’ per capita level of ventilators would require a global inventory of 4 million.
Current Understanding of COVID-19
COVID-19 attacks the body in at least two ways. First, it has effects very much like the flu as it multiplies within the body. Fevers, body aches, headaches, and fatigue are common, as well as a cough, especially a dry cough. The cough is due to a specific characteristic of the virus: its targeting of lung cells and the immune system response it elicits. At the time of writing, it is believed that in many patients reaching the second stage of the disease, ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), the body itself is attacking the lung cells as a “storm” of cytokines created by the body trigger an escalating response against the virus and cells infected with it, as well as healthy cells.
The death rate for those afflicted with the disease ranges from 0.5% to over 5% and depends on the physiology of the individual and the capacity of the local healthcare system. The death rate is also uncertain, due to low testing rates. The percentage of infected persons requiring hospitalization ranges from 10% to 30%.
It is possible to target the following areas of disease transmission and morbidity: reducing the transmission rate through social distancing, hygiene, masks, and business closures; reducing the infection rate through vaccinations; treating the virus itself with antiviral medications; and preventing the acute respiratory distress syndrome that the virus causes in acute cases. These methods will be discussed in greater detail below.
Africa: A Case Study
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 1.1 billion people, 14% of the total population of the planet. Due to their colonial past and present, the nations of the region suffer extreme poverty, lack of electricity, and slum conditions in its urban centers, at anywhere from 2–5 times the average global rate. Sub-Saharan Africa has:
14% of the world’s population
60% of the world’s extreme poor
70% of those worldwide lacking access to electricity
20% of urban dwellers worldwide living in slums.
Measures of Underdevelopment
Total Population (billions, 2020)
Population in Extreme Poverty
Lack Access to Electricity (%, 2017)
Urban population in slums* (%, 2014)
Data Source: World Bank, which defines a slum* as a housing unit lacking one or more of the following: running water, adequate sanitation, sufficient living area, or durability of housing.
This is a part of the human race where the potential relative population-density has clearly plunged way below the actual population, courtesy of the genocidal policies of the British Empire and their Wall Street sidekicks.
Consider also the case of Haiti, by far the poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean, with conditions similar to those of the most immiserated African nations. Haiti has a population of 11.1 million. Health experts have estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic could claim about 800,000 lives in Haiti — over 7% of the population.
Nigeria, with about a fifth of Sub-Saharan Africa’s total population, has key poverty and related indicators that are typical for the whole region. The problems that Nigeria faces in combating the coronavirus are emblematic of not only Africa, but the entire Third World.
In the developing sector in general, including countries like Nigeria, large percentages of their populations live in inhuman squalor. The majority of their workforces are in the “informal economy,” surviving from day to day on street activities that range from the gray to the black economy. In many cases, up to 70–80% of their workforce is part of the informal economy. “Sheltering in place” or locking down without work means literal starvation for very large numbers of people, as well as certain infection with COVID-19 in the slums where they live. Wash your hands repeatedly? This is a cruel joke to the millions and millions of Africans, Asians, Latin Americans and others who do not even have running water.
So how should the pandemic be addressed in such nations?
1) There must be a totally centralized national approach, in many countries centered on the military, which is often the only institution capable of organizing and carrying out such an approach. In many cases, for good or bad, they are also the only remaining national institution still standing, and with popular credibility.
2) The population, especially in the cities, has to be fully tested and segregated into two broad groups: Group A, who do not have COVID-19; and Group B, those who tested positive, even if they are asymptomatic. The health care and other public officials conscripted to perform the tests must be supplied with advanced testing equipment in sufficient supply, along with adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other protection.
3) “Group B” must be immediately quarantined in separate housing units, whether hotels, converted office buildings, sports and convention centers, or quickly constructed new modular housing units. Those new facilities must have work and recreational facilities in situ, for those well enough to use them, as well as necessary staffing of skilled personnel, including nurses and doctors. Those health professionals will also have to be quarantined, so as to not infect their own families and friends.
4) Sick and very sick patients must be hospitalized. New hospitals have to be built with sufficient beds to handle the patient load, and dedicated exclusively to COVID-19 cases. Adequate staffing by doctors and nurses has to be organized, including by nationally conscripting them.
5) “Group A” must be quickly formed into education and work brigades, both in industry and agriculture, much like FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps project in the Great Depression in the United States. They must produce food, housing and clothing sufficient to feed themselves, as well as “Group B.” This will require a return to national food self sufficiency, which in turn will necessitate the importation of the capital inputs for modern agriculture — such as fertilizer, pesticides, tractors and irrigation. The local workforce must also start building the housing, hospitals, and other required infrastructure to get the job done. This will require on-the-job training and large-scale transfer of modern technologies
What China is already doing in Africa with the construction of new rail lines and other infrastructure is exemplary. The extension of the World Land-Bridge into Africa is essential, and will benefit enormously from in-depth cooperation between China and the United States in particular, as well as other countries.
But more must immediately be done by the world community to address the African situation, as we elaborate at the conclusion of this report.
In Part I, we laid out our overview of tackling the global pandemic from a global standpoint. Here in Part II, we will discuss necessary health measures in more detail. Part III will take up the physical, economic, scientific, and political changes needed to make these measures possible on a global scale.
Health Care for Serious Cases
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (University of Washington School of Medicine) estimates, as of April 8, that a peak of approximately 100,000 hospital beds, 20,000 ICU beds, and over 16,000 ventilators will be required, based on current rates of spread and medical care. According to a survey by the American Hospital Association, in 2018 there were just shy of 800,000 staffed beds in U.S. community hospitals, and around 70,000–80,000 adult ICU beds. Since these beds are not typically empty, just waiting for patients to need them, the large number of beds does not mean that there will not be shortages, especially local shortages, as the number of hospitalized patients reaches its peak.
The current level of total hospital beds in the United States, in its broadest measure, is 2.8 per 1,000 people, barely one-third the 1970 level of 7.9 beds. On the basis of “community hospital beds,” which most of the population uses, there are only 2.4 beds per 1,000 people.
Consider the power, water, sanitation, and transportation requirements of hospitals. Using the United States as a case study, an additional 575,000 beds would be required to bring the national average to 4.5 per 1,000 people. According to a 2007 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the largest 3,040 hospitals, with approximately 915,000 beds (at the time of the study), used about 458 trillion BTUs of energy per year: 194 trillion BTUs in the form of electricity (57 billion kWh) and the remainder in the form of natural gas, district heating, and fuel oil.
Using this figure, hospitals with an additional 575,000 beds would require about 36 billion kWh of electricity per year. That translates into power plants supplying 5,000 MW at an 80% capacity factor. This would be the equivalent of five large nuclear reactors or two Grand Coulee Dams (running at average capacity). And that doesn’t even take into account the natural gas requirements!
In the same report, EIA estimated that these 3,040 large hospitals used 133 billion gallons of water per year. Hospitals with an additional 575,000 beds would require an additional 84 billion gallons per year. For a sense of perspective, the world’s largest proposed desalination plant, located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, would provide about 100 billion gallons of desalinated water per year.
To bring online another 15 to 20 million hospital beds — to bring the world hospital bed count to the Hill–Burton level of 35 million hospital beds — would require about 100,000 MW of generating capacity, as could be supplied by 100 large nuclear power plants or nearly 2,000 small scale modular nuclear plants. Global water requirements for these new hospitals would require about 4 trillion gallons annually, which is about half the volume of water contained by the Three Gorges Dam.
Hospital beds aren’t much good without doctors and nurses. The current crisis is seeing retired health care workers coming back to work, and there are cases of medical schools offering early graduation for students in their final year if they are willing to immediately go to work as doctors. As virus hotspots move around the world, healthcare providers able to travel should be encouraged to work in other regions and countries.
Using influenza pandemic scenarios considered in a 2005 planning study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there could be several million hospitalizations in the United States, with up to a million or more patients requiring ICU treatment and half a million requiring mechanical ventilators. Projecting from these figures to the present world population, 10 million people could require ventilators, with an estimated 1 million each in Africa, Latin America, and India.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is used at health care facilities to prevent patients from transmitting disease to health care workers or other patients. This includes gloves, respirators and masks, face visors, goggles, gowns, hair coverings, and full-body suits. Without the high-quality filtration afforded by a N95 (or equivalent) certified mask, workers are put at serious risk of catching the disease themselves. Shortages are causing enormous price increases and tensions among nations seeking to produce or to import equipment from those nations that manufacture it.
An industrial gear-up is required to ensure that adequate supplies of PPE are available.
The physical layout of a hospital or other care facility can have an enormous impact on the quantity of PPE required. In a healthcare setting that includes only confirmed COVID-19 cases, care need not be taken to avoid transmitting the disease from one patient to another, and health care workers can wear protective equipment through an entire shift. But if nurses must attend to patients of mixed COVID-19 status, best practices mandate that they equip themselves with PPE before entering a COVID-19 patient room, and then dispose of the equipment immediately upon leaving, to avoid carrying the virus to the uninfected patients they will next be visiting. With this setup, ten sets of PPE could be consumed per day per patient room. Thus, health care facility arrangements that separate COVID from non-COVID patients can permit significant savings of PPE. Accurately separating these patients requires testing.
A properly fitted N95 respirator protects the wearer from 95% of particles over 0.3 microns in size. While the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus itself is smaller than this size, the virions do not float around entirely on their own and are effectively blocked by N95 respirator masks.
A 2015 study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, examining three scenarios of demand, estimated that if 20–30% of the U.S. population were to become ill, some 4 billion N95 respirator masks would be required. Extrapolating this figure to the world’s population, the global requirements would be on the order of 100 billion N95 masks for the duration of the outbreak: some 15 billion in Africa, 10 billion in Latin America, and 20 billion in India.
Rapid Point-of-Care Testing
Developments in testing technology now allow for thousands of tests to be processed per day by a single piece of equipment in a dedicated laboratory (high-throughput) as well as for rapid test results at the point of care. The development by Abbott Laboratories of a portable testing unit capable of delivering a positive result in as little as 5 minutes or a negative result within a quarter hour greatly speeds the process of processing patients presenting with possible COVID symptoms, allowing them to be sent to the appropriate COVID-only or non-COVID facility or hospital wing.
Health Care for Mild or Asymptomatic Cases
Everyone confirmed to have the novel coronavirus should have the opportunity to be isolated from their neighbors, roommates, and families. This means that asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic individuals must be offered free room and board accommodations in facilities designed to keep them isolated and healthy. Hotels — which have occupancy rates in the single digits — could be repurposed to this effect, with adequate PPE supplies and training for a reduced hospital staff. The types of shelter arrangements provided following natural disasters would also be appropriate for these individuals.
This was the approach taken in Wuhan, in which every positive confirmed case was isolated under medical supervision, whether in a hospital, gymnasium, or hotel. Mild and asymptomatic cases could then socialize and engage in group exercise classes — far better for their mental health than hiding in a room at home, fearful of infecting their loved ones! Two negative nucleic acid tests for the virus, taken 24 hours apart, were required before people could leave the isolation facilities. This form of isolation, going beyond staying (and infecting) at home, helped drive Wuhan’s eventual victory over the virus.
In fact, China’s achievement in Wuhan remains the most successful model to date for combating the coronavirus.
Since anywhere from one-quarter to one-half of those infected with the coronavirus display extremely mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, it is impossible to rely on symptoms to locate all cases of the disease. Large-scale community testing — emphatically including for those without symptoms — will make it possible to isolate cases in an effective and targeted way and make contact-tracing more manageable. South Korea tested one in 170 people and used this knowledge to trace contacts, alert residents via text messages of nearby cases and hotspots, and reduce the spread of the disease.
The large-scale shutdowns currently used to crush the spread of the coronavirus do carry a toll, both economic and social. While these shutdowns are appropriate given a relatively low level of testing, truly large-scale testing will make it possible to make intelligent decisions about lifting restrictions.
To test the world at the South Korea level of one in 170, would require 45 million tests. But many people will require more than one test: Examples include a person who has tested negative but who has had recent potential exposure or a person in an isolation facility who is being tested to make sure it is safe to discharge them. To perform 60 million tests (factoring in some people being tested multiple times) at current worldwide testing rates would take the better part of a year.
The nasal swab tests most widely used at present operate by detecting components of the virus’s genome. These are referred to as PCR tests, named for the polymerase chain reaction process by which the genetic material is multiplied by 1,000,000 to 1,000,000,000 times to allow it to be detected.
Another kind of test would use blood, rather than swabs, and would detect, instead of the virus itself, antibodies produced by the body to fight the disease. These antibodies are present in people who were once infected but have since recovered. A virus test would come back negative, but an antibody test would be positive. With these tests, it will be possible to identify potential blood plasma donors (for convalescent blood serum therapy) and identify people who are no longer infected and likely to be immune. If further research reveals that the immunity enjoyed by those who have recovered is long-lasting, perhaps such people could be allowed to return to work, or be recruited to serve in the community as coordinators of meal deliveries, workers in isolation facilities for mild cases, etc.
Yet another form of testing could use samples of untreated sewage to detect the general presence and prevalence of the virus in a community.
Treatments and Vaccines
Pharmaceutical interventions can save lives and reduce disease in several ways. Vaccines “teach” the immune system about a pathogen, allowing it to immediately fight it when encountered in the future. Antiviral medications can target the virus itself, by preventing its entry into cells or its replication. Antibodies, derived from the blood of recovered patients or produced in a laboratory, can help the immune system fight the virus. Combating cytokine storms is a fourth approach, which could reduce the deadly respiratory effects of the virus, while not fighting the virus itself.
Vaccines are used in advance to protect people from contracting a disease, by “priming the pump” of the immune system to get practice in defeating something that is similar to the pathogen but does not itself cause harm. People who are vaccinated against a disease are able to quickly fight it off if they come in contact with it, since their bodies are already prepared to do so.
The first phase of research is to establish the safety of the new vaccine. Researchers must make sure that the vaccine doesn’t itself cause problems. If study results are promising, the next phases of study will determine the effectiveness of the vaccine. Then manufacturing capabilities must be developed to produce the specific treatment. These multiple stages are the reason that a timespan of 12-18 months is given for vaccine development and production.
Once the virus has taken hold in the body, treatments can prevent it from entering cells, prevent it from replicating, or target it for destruction by the immune system.
Several already existing medications are undergoing testing:
Avigan (favilavir / favipiravir) — an anti-influenza drug developed by Fujifilm in Japan, it is now included in China’s treatment plan and is being studied in several countries, including the United States, China, and Japan.
Remdesivir — undergoing trials in several nations, this drug was originally developed to combat Ebola by Gilead Sciences in the U.S., a company with significant experience treating other viral infections.
Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) and chloroquine — originally used to treat malaria, these drugs have been used for auto-immune disorders as well. Trials are underway around the world, and many hospitals are already using hydroxychloroquine for their COVID-19 patients. Hundreds of millions of tablets are being produced even as its effectiveness is being studied.
Antibodies are structures created by the human immune system, which attach to pathogens, deactivating them, preventing their entry into cells, or marking them for destruction by the immune system. They can be created in the laboratory by using yeast, mice, or other animals as “factories.” At least a dozen groups are working on developing antibodies against the coronavirus.
Plasma of Recovered Patients
When someone recovers from the coronavirus, their blood continues to contain antibodies created by their own immune system to defeat the virus. Their donated blood can be transfused into severely ill patients to help their bodies fight the disease. U.S. hospital use of this technique began in the last weekend in March, and appeals on social media are now recruiting recovered COVID-19 survivors to donate their blood to help others.
Preventing Lung Problems
There are some drugs that do not target the virus itself, but seek to reduce the death rate and symptoms of COVID-19.
An advanced stage of the disease, in which severe and life-threatening respiratory problems develop, is associated with an excessive response by the body’s own immune system, in which the patient’s body damages healthy lung cells in addition to those harboring the virus. Two antibody drugs already approved for other conditions — Kevzara (sarilumab) and Actemra (tocilizumab) — are being studied and used to reduce this excessive immune system activity. Entirely new antibodies are also being developed for this purpose.
Steroids can be used to reduce the immune auto-response, although they have the side effect of weakening the immune system. They are also becoming widely used by physicians.
Society must maintain stability, and people who are ill must be able to follow public health measures.
Sick leave, unemployment benefits, basic income stipend payments
It is impossible to require people to remain at home if they rely on their daily work to supply their necessities of life. It is impossible to require homeless people to remain at home.
Employees must be provided with sick leave time to allow them to quarantine themselves to arrest the spread of the virus. Loans and grants must be made to businesses to allow them to continue to pay employees unable to work. Unemployment protection should be expanded to include those in nontraditional employment situations. To protect those who work informally and could not be expected to benefit from such programs, direct assistance in the form of basic income payments and the supply of necessities such as food and basic supplies is required. It is important that the isolation facilities for positive cases include people without homes, and that food and other necessities be included to allow everyone to isolate safely.
Moratorium on foreclosures, evictions, and utility shutoffs
Basic income to ensure the necessities of life will not be sufficient to pay mortgages, rent, utilities and car payments. A moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs (including internet and telephones) must be implemented during the time of lockdown, and payments on mortgages and personal loans should be made optional. Businesses negatively affected by these policies will be able to apply for aid.
Securing financial system stability
The world’s financial system, particularly that in the trans-Atlantic world, includes quadrillions of dollars in financial instruments that can never be settled. There should be no general attempt to maintain the values of financial markets. The financial collapse now occurring may have been triggered by the coronavirus, but the conditions for the blow-out have been laid by decades of disastrous policies. As Lyndon LaRouche expressed concisely with his triple-curve image, the physical productivity of many so-called “western” nations (including the United States) has decreased in per capita terms over the last several decades, in a way that accelerated with the collapse of the Soviet Union, while financialization has increased at a rapid and accelerating rate.
The required summit of the leaders of the United States, Russia, China, and India must take up the need for an orderly bankruptcy-style reorganization of the financial markets, to set the stage for banking to play a useful role in financing a global economic and health gear-up.
Social Distancing / Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
Closing of non-essential businesses
People whose daily work is not truly essential for the functioning of society should stay home. Financial and logistical arrangements required to support their livelihood must be implemented. ideas
Everyone should wear masks when they are among other people (which should be kept to an absolute minimum). This will provide the wearers themselves some protection against infection and reduce the potential for wearers to spread the disease. They also reduce face-touching. Read why here. (Note that the CDC now does recommend wearing masks.)
Hand washing / sanitation
Frequent hand washing with soap can help reduce the spread of coronavirus, as does the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
But there are over three-quarters of a billion people on this globe without access to improved water. Two and a half billion people lack access to improved sanitation infrastructure. The costs to health and well-being are staggering. According to a fact sheet issued by the CDC, citing research published in the Lancet, every year 800,000 children under five years of age die from diarrheal diseases. Lack of sanitation and of water for drinking and hygiene contributes to 88% of deaths from diarrheal diseases worldwide.
Urging a community without sanitary facilities to practice frequent handwashing is both insulting and foolish. A crash program to develop sanitary facilities must be implemented, supplemented with the provision of hand sanitizer for hygiene purposes.
In the United States, the NSA’s intimate knowledge of the whereabouts of everyone with a cellphone can be put to good use! As one example, it could be used to provide text alerts to people who have been in the vicinity of someone who later tests positive. This approach was used in South Korea to help people get a better sense of their risk of exposure, and is part of the relative success that nation has seen in reducing the spread of coronavirus.
When testing is performed at a high enough level to give a sense of the different incidence of the virus in different areas, travel restrictions may be sensible to prevent its spread from areas with significant community transmission. This may make more sense as the first wave of the pandemic is crushed.
This is the third part in a three-part series. In Part I, we gave a road map for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic from a global standpoint. In Part II, we discussed the necessary health measures in more detail.
Providing the health measures in Chapter 1 will require major investments into manufacturing and into basic economic infrastructure. Here in Part III, we take up the physical, economic, scientific, and political changes needed to make these measures possible on a global scale. The inexcusable condition of the world, in which poverty still exists in the year 2020, must be remedied. This is eminently possible, as China’s experience in eliminating poverty over the past four decades has shown.
The platforms of physical improvements we make to our surroundings provide the human species with a synthetic, nurturing environment far superior to the “natural” environment we share with the apes. By controlling water flows, draining swamps, irrigating fields, building canals, railroads and roadways, developing water and wastewater systems, creating electrical and communication grids, and improving the flora and fauna, the human species has a unique power to make this Earth a garden. This infrastructure includes such soft infrastructure as an educated and culturally uplifted populace. Much of the investment into eliminating poverty will be of the form of basic economic infrastructure. And the current coronavirus pandemic points to the particularly urgent need of health infrastructure. But can a hospital be built where there are no roads or electricity? What are the requirements for the provision of health services?
Numerous companies have expressed interest in retooling for the production of ventilators, from automakers to aerospace companies. The list includes:
Automakers General Motors (which will work with Ventec Life Systems to produce 10,000 units a week), Ford Motor Company (which has committed, with General Electric, to produce 50,000 by July 4), McLaren, Jaguar Land Rover, and the VW Group.
Aerospace companies such as Brazil-based Embraer, Europe-based Rolls Royce and Airbus, and the American firm SpaceX.
Current producers are ramping up production:
Philips is doubling production to 2,000 per week, and Getinge will increase production to 3,750 per week. Drager, Vyaire, and the Smiths Group are all working to produce additional ventilators for governments.
If all goes according to projection, the companies listed above would supply at least 300,000 ventilators by July. An April 9 Politico article reports that estimated demand solely from the United States and several Western European nations was for one million ventilators; the world’s needs will be higher.
Honeywell Industries has upgraded a facility in Rhode Island and is revamping its aerospace facility in Phoenix as part of their overall increase in production to 120 million per year.
Required Global Policy Changes
The coronavirus pandemic now afflicting the world is only one of the deadly viruses we face. The financial virus chiefly centered in the City of London and in Wall Street has proven to be no less deadly over the past decades. The cultural virus infecting the addled minds of foolish politicians still fighting the Cold War threatens to wreck the potential for precisely the kind of collaboration required to defeat the other viruses.
A summit discussion involving President Donald Trump, President Vladimir Putin, President Xi Jinping, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is urgently required to achieve the cooperation needed in the short term to address the menacing health crisis. Such a summit is also the means by which, according to Lyndon LaRouche, a new and just economic system can be put into place globally.
The world must join forces as a single humanity to stop the impending mass-death in Africa, in particular, as the coronavirus spreads. Brigades of engineers, medics, and other skilled personnel from scores of nations must be mobilized, deployed and coordinated under the United Nations and African Union, and with full respect for the sovereignty of all nations. Building health and sanitation infrastructure, assisting in supplying necessary medical and protective equipment, and assisting with administration of health systems are among the urgent jobs at hand.
African nations must also be granted an immediate cancellation of their foreign debts; the world must choose life over debt.
Similarly, all sanctions, armed conflict, border disputes and the like must stop internationally. Much better to use those resources for the common battle of mankind against the coronavirus.
A Paradigm Shift
Lyndon LaRouche warned nearly fifty years ago that President Nixon’s August 15, 1971 takedown of the Bretton Woods system would lead to devastating economic effects that would result, in the end, in fascism. This is seen today in, among other places, the green outlook whereby people supposedly concerned about the world’s future act to deny energy development to the world, condemning millions to early deaths. Some few years later, in 1974 and 1975, LaRouche warned that worsening economic conditions would create the conditions for the rapid spread of diseases, including new diseases, threatening a biological holocaust. While it may seem that China and major developed countries are bringing the current pandemic under some form of control, what will the next months bring to the developing world if there is not a radical and sudden change?
To create an economy resilient in the face of such crises as the emergence of new diseases, requires enormous investments in basic economic infrastructure, as well as a reconceptualization of economics.
Lyndon LaRouche was adamant that economics is not about money, or about values that could be expressed in monetary terms. Rather, the secret of economic growth is the ability of the creative human mind to discover and develop new physical principles that expand the capabilities of the human species. As a rough measure of the value of a discovery, or of a cultural outlook, Lyndon LaRouche used the metric of increase of potential relative population density — a measure of what the population density could be, relative to the quality of land and improvements made to it. That is, how many people could be supported, per square kilometer, on the basis of a certain repertoire of discoveries, technologies, and culture? And what sort of culture could act to increase that value? That is the location of economic value.
In one of his last policy papers, Lyndon LaRouche demanded the immediate implementation of four laws that he said were necessary for the United States. They are needed for the world as well. First, a banking reform based on principles of the 1933 Glass–Steagall law, to deny speculative investment the protection of government while ensuring commercial banking could play its useful role. Second, national banking arrangements whereby governments can make long-term credit available for physical economic purposes, rather than for financial stability as has been the practice of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank. Third, metrics for the application of the needed credit, based not on financial gain but on physical economic growth. Fourth, the new discoveries needed for human growth over the next fifty to a hundred years: nuclear fusion, space research, and fundamental breakthroughs in biology, to name three powerful examples.
By unlocking the true economic potential of our current repertoire of scientific discoveries and the potential to further expand it, poverty and hunger can be entirely eliminated within a generation, or even within a decade. Nuclear fusion power will change our relationship to energy, water, and resources. Fusion-powered rockets will keep us safe from any asteroids threatening to careen into our planet. Biological advancements will cure disease and allow for the rapid eradication of newly emerging threats. And, most importantly, the fear of large-scale international conflict can be overcome as we come to realize our common aims, here on Earth, and beyond!
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Economic sanctions mean a death sentence for millions of people, as needed medical supplies, electricity, clean water, food, infrastructure, tools and other life saving essentials are prohibited, as is the economic access required for development. Whether in Russia, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Gaza, Cuba, or elsewhere, innocent people suffer and die unnecessarily, while the strategic impact of sanctions on the targeted country is the opposite of what is supposedly intended.
Now, with the worldwide financial blowout, the rapid spread of COVID-19, and the locust plague devastating some nations’ food supplies, the time has come for urgent policy changes. Full cooperation is required among all nations, and a global solidarity must replace old-style British Empire geopolitics and genocidal policies.
Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche on March 18 called for closing down the financial markets for several days, to have time to enact urgently needed reforms, beginning with a (global) Glass–Steagall banking reorganization, a prerequisite for carrying out a bankruptcy reorganization of the present financial system, and ending the “geopolitical” system. Respect for sovereignty must be reestablished, and ending sanctions is a necessary step towards such a new system of international affairs.
A summit meeting of President Donald Trump, President Xi Jinping, President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi — and possibly others — can start the process of replacing this degenerate system with a New Paradigm, based on the policies developed by the late American statesman and physical economist Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., which he called his “Four Laws.”
Peace through economic development, the “American System” policy, must once again become the U.S. government’s approach to the world.
Tuesday, March 31 at 10:00 am EDT (16:00 CET). The world is in a grave crisis which is unlike anything before. The good news is that, given that it is the terrible policies of the past decades that have put us in this situation, it will be impossible to “go back to normal.” Helga Zepp-LaRouche has called on young people of the world to take leadership at this moment of great change to fight the two deadly viruses now threatening humanity—the coronavirus pandemic and the meltdown of the global financial system. The world must emerge from this crisis with an entirely New Paradigm of peaceful relations among nations, and a new economic system based on cooperation for the progress of all humanity. As is becoming more and more stark with the coronavirus pandemic, an urgent priority will be to build a modern global health system to ensure the right to life of all people on the planet.
This video conference is an opportunity for young people across the world to speak with Helga Zepp-LaRouche and join the fight for this New Paradigm. After opening remarks by Helga, representatives from each nation will give a 2-4 minute report on their organizing, and a Q&A will follow.
The following resolution is being circulated internationally by the Schiller Institute.
At a time when we are witnessing growing mindless violence, the degeneration of cultural values, an almost unrivaled dumbing-down of popular taste, and the brutalization of interpersonal relations, we nonetheless still have a crucial source from which a cultural and moral regeneration can be spawned: classical art! The magnificent image of man that is associated with the poetic works of Dante, Petrarch, Lessing or Schiller, or the sublime compositions of Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann or Brahms, is still a reference point for the way in which we define ourselves as a society.
But when we consider the role of the artist in contemporary culture, and apply the yardstick given by Schiller:
The dignity of man is in your hands,
It falls with you! With you, it will rise!
A degraded picture emerges. Our education system hardly conveys any knowledge of classical culture, our so-called youth culture is dominated by a cult of ugliness, and classical culture itself is under massive attack. For decades now, post-war theater companies have invented new abysses of hideousness, productions of Shakespeare or Schiller have become unrecognizable, opera stages have also become battlefields for some time, on which the perverse fantasies of various directors are played out, and now self-styled modern composers are even molesting the compositions of Beethoven, evidently because they are unable to create anything themselves.
This must be stopped! The time has come to launch a counter-offensive!
The Year of Beethoven, in which many Beethoven compositions will be performed all over the world, offers a wonderful occasion for us to recall the best of our cultural tradition in western culture and to oppose it to the moral downward trend of the past decades. We can no longer leave a theater and music mafia, that has ruined classical art, at the helm. Therefore, we call for the creation of a Renaissance movement for the defense and revival of classical art. As Friedrich Schiller demonstrated so incontrovertibly in his Aesthetical Letters: It is only in great art that we can find the inner force to develop our own creativity and to improve ourselves as persons.
The world is currently in the midst of an epochal change in which the previous era, dominated by trans-Atlantic countries, is clearly coming to an end, and the focus of development is shifting to Asia, where there are several peoples who are rightly proud of their civilizations, some of which are more than 5,000 years old, and foster them. If the West has anything to contribute to shaping in a humanist spirit the emerging new paradigm in the world, it is our advanced culture of the Renaissance and the Classics.