The for-profit nature of the U.S. health care system and the pain that it causes has galvanized some in support of single-payer, but has also helped seed the ground for the mistrust surrounding COVID vaccines.

By Christopher Teel, Truthout

As COVID-19 has ravaged the U.S., many progressive health care activists and organizations such as National Nurses United have illustrated how the pandemic has only made worse what was already intolerable about our for-profit medical system, and continued to demand universal, publicly financed, single-payer health care. Some on the anti-vax right have instead used the “preexisting conditions” of our health care system to discredit the people and measures which are trying to stop the pandemic, often disingenuously coopting progressive arguments in the process.

gloved doctors hands preparing COVID vaccine

The profit-driven nature of our health care system and the pain that it causes the U.S. people have not just galvanized some in support of single-payer, but unfortunately have also helped to seed the ground for the mistrust that cynical political actors have cultivated to make people hostile to public health measures. The following are examples of said cynical political actors doing just that:

  • Former President Donald Trump has claimed on more than one occasion that doctors and hospitals are part of a conspiracy to enrich themselves by saying patients died of COVID when they actually didn’t.
  • Conservative activist Candace Owens tweeted: “‘The Covid vaccine saves lives, which is why the government is making it free!’ K. So explain to me why insulin and asthma inhalers cost so much money. If the vaccines are really about the government trying to save your life — why do life-saving medicines cost so much?”
  • One of the central talking points of the anti-vax movement has been that Big Pharma was involved in inventing or manipulating the pandemic in order to push vaccines to enrich itself.
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