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Issue #1908      March 23, 2020

COVID-19 and the CPA

Comrades and Guardian readers the safety and health of Party members is our priority; therefore, the whole organisation must prepare to confront the coronavirus.

The capitalist system has failed the people time and time again. The system is trying to survive at the expense of workers worldwide. This period is very dangerous as capitalist greed has no limits and makes profit out of workers’ misery and poverty.

The world is witnessing the approach to the pandemic by socialism, where China’s successful drastic measures stopped the spread, with workers and families subject to social distancing being looked after.

We are also becoming aware that China successfully used Cuba’s Interferon Alpha 2b as one of the medicines. For several years now Cuban biotechnology has provided to the world a number of vaccines and other medicines despite the US blockade.

Interferon 2b is now the medicine of choice for many countries approaching Cuba for supplies. Two weeks ago, we learnt about the Chinese, Cuban, and Venezuelan doctors who are currently in Italy, providing care and medicines to the Italian people. Unfortunately, capitalism has also let down the European people whose governments decided to save the economy at the expense of the people.

In China, Cuba, Vietnam, and Venezuela the interests of the people have been put first, and those governments have ensured safety and health ahead of profit. Workers have a guaranteed roof over their heads, free access to medical aid, and income to stay put once the call is made to isolate.

In Australia, governments have been caught unprepared to deal with the crisis. Lack of logistical planning and last-minute decisions have contributed to the spread.

Unions have done a great job demanding legislation to guarantee special sick leave for all workers regardless of whether they are permanent, casual, labour-hire or in the gig economy. This is a priority. Workers have already been hit by the misinformation and the lack of action. A young worker, who I met on Sunday, was fearful of the possibility of a shutdown. Despite being a permanent employee, some workers don’t have enough sick leave accrued, and most people live week by week. The government’s role is to ensure workers are protected, and unions are not criminalised respecting the right to organise.

The Communist Party of Australia stands with the working class and will work with other forces to ensure the rights of workers and their families are upheld (see CC Statement page 3).

While the Guardian and other Party activities might be suspended, postponed, or delayed the Party and its members will not go into hibernation. All-Party organisations must discuss the continuity of Party work, taking care of the most vulnerable and ensuring the 100 years’ old Party continues to operate.

I wish all readers and comrades a successful fight against the COVID-19,

We shall overcome!

Vinnie Molina is the President of the Communist Party of Australia.

Next article – CPA CC Statement – The COVID-19 Pandemic

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