Dangerous new COVID-19 variants threaten massive fall-winter surge

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One month into the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere, it is clear that the next global wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has begun.

Due to the dismantling of testing and data reporting throughout much of the world, official infection figures are now largely worthless. The most accurate estimate of the real number of daily COVID-19 infections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) shows that 21 million people were infected globally on Wednesday, up 23 percent from the most recent trough of 17 million infections on September 27.

Amid this deepening crisis, the ruling elites throughout the world have discovered the perfect cure for the pandemic: Simply ignore it and cover it up. At most, the broadcast news has brief segments on the pandemic once per month, while the print media just echoes the lies of the capitalist politicians.

This propaganda has had a terrible impact on mass consciousness, and global society is wholly unprepared for the current surge. Having been told, in the words of US President Joe Biden, that “the pandemic is over,” many are failing to take even the most elementary precautions. As one observes the careless actions of the misled public, the image comes to mind of Pieter Bruegel’s famous painting “The Blind Leading the Blind.”

But the political leaders are not blind. With malice aforethought, they have ignored the repeated warnings of epidemiologists and prioritized the profit interests of the corporate-financial elite over life. From the beginning of the pandemic, far-right figures have sowed deep confusion within the population, while over the course of the past year ostensibly liberal governments throughout the world have embraced the homicidal “herd immunity” strategy pioneered by the far right. The consequences of these policies are being realized as the world enters an even more dangerous situation.

The growing wave is unlike anything seen since the start of the pandemic and has many scientists deeply concerned. As a result of the unhindered spread of COVID-19 over the past year, the Omicron variant has spawned hundreds of subvariants with different mutation profiles, creating what experts have termed a “variant soup.”

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