During the pandemic, many workers deemed “essential” were nevertheless denied access to even the most rudimentary social safety net. How did this cruel paradox become possible? And how should we make sense of the antagonistic terms of the law in the lives of workers during this moment of extreme crisis?
Luke Herrine, Noah Zatz, Veena Dubal, Blake Emerson, Diana Reddy, Nate Holdren, Caroline Grueskin, and Charlotte Garden offer their initial reactions to the Court’s decision blocking OSHA’s vaccine-or-test mandate.
On Oct. 13, 2021, the LPE Project and the Global Health Justice Partnership sponsored a panel discussion about How to Vaccinate the World. In the following excerpt, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity, the panelists discuss the development of mRNA vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa and whether the U.S. government has done enough to encourage pharmaceutical companies to transfer their vaccine technology to countries that need it.
Economists who insist that the “value of a statistical life” can be determined solely by looking at the preferences of individual economic agents in a market overstate their case and miss crucial alternatives. The pandemic has shown that democratic determinations of value for non-market goods (like human life) deserve greater consideration.
Last week, the Supreme Court struck down the Biden Administration’s most recent moratorium on evictions. The decision, along with an anemic federal rental assistance effort, has put millions of people at risk of being removed from their homes. To offer our readers different ways into this important ruling, we asked Amy Kapczynski, Nikolas Bowie, Tara…
In a previous post, one of us described why we need global cooperation to achieve massively scaled up production of COVID vaccines. The United States must play a key role in this process, because it has the ability to mobilize resources, and powerful leverage over companies that have so far resisted serious participation in global efforts – especially Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J. Some commentators question whether the US has the power to compel this cooperation. Others have doubted the relevance of the demand coming from developing countries to temporarily waive the requirements of the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Agreement to facilitate more manufacturing. In this post, we explain why existing US law gives the Biden Administration the power to mandate sharing and overcome IP barriers, and how the TRIPS waiver can contribute importantly to efforts to scale up production at a global scale.
The shortage of vaccines is a manmade problem, brought on by the false promise of innovation-by-monopoly and by reproduction of colonial dynamics. Our global R&D system layers privatized control and profits for huge firms based in rich countries atop a vast regime of open science and public subsidy. We can scale up production if we force pharma to share.
Throughout this pandemic, transnational corporations and white parents alike have been sounding the “achievement gap” alarm under the guise of concern for “voiceless” Black and Brown children, but in service of their own neoliberal agendas. The students they speak of, however, can speak for themselves — and as they struggle through this time, with a fierce resilience that no young person should be forced to cultivate, their realities and their words call for more radical solutions.
Suing China for the harms wrought by COVID may seem in contrast to a global justice approach of shared responsibility. But there’s no way to assess blame for COVID–or anything else–independently of how to allocate the burdens of prevention and mitigation.
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, interlocking structural inequities in health, employment, and racial justice have buffeted vulnerable populations. The looming “eviction apocalypse” sits at the nexus of these three ills. Black and Latinx people have the highest COVID infection, death, and unemployment rates nationwide. Mass evictions would only worsen this situation, preventing these households from sheltering in…
Two pandemic policy stories have been coming to a head: (1) the push for another relief bill as a key CARES Act unemployment insurance benefit expires on July 31, and (2) the ongoing national child-care crisis as school closures for the fall are announced amidst the virus’ resurgence. What connects them is kids’ needs for care and families’ needs for economic support when they—predominantly mothers, of course—perform that caring labor. A little-noticed feature of the CARES Act supports care for children who must stay home due to school closures.
As the COVID-19 crisis rages on, individuals around the world are now thrown into a work-from-home, digitally-enabled “new normal” of the workplace. For most white-collar workers, homes have become offices, and boundaries between work and domestic life are being reshuffled. This shift, however, is just an acceleration of prior developments well under way since the beginning…
Cities across the country are in turmoil after the cold-blooded killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. While the protests are motivated by and calling for a range of solutions to the ongoing problem of police brutality, the loudest call is for accountability in the form of criminal charges against the officers involved in Floyd’s death. Already, these calls have born fruit.
Over the past week, there has been unprecedented acknowledgment of the physical violence that Black people in America have faced, for generations, at the hands of police. While this is an important development, the work to eradicate police violence will not be complete if the public remains concerned only with the most visually and viscerally jarring forms of police violence, and those for which police seem most responsible. The public must realize that violence—not only of the physical sort, but also the structural and symbolic variety—is endemic to much of the routine work police do in communities across America.
“We’re all in this together” has become a familiar call for strengthening our sense of community and social responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this phrase can obscure deep social inequities, this recognition of our interdependence presents an opportunity to connect economic justice and public health. COVID-19 has instilled a new public understanding that our…