Are COVID Deaths the Result of ‘Social Murder’?

February 5, 2021 – Should someone be blamed and punished for 2.2 million COVID-related deaths worldwide?

An editorial in an influential UK medical journal says politicians who have failed to react aggressively enough to control the coronavirus pandemic should be held accountable for these deaths, which the editorial said could be called ‘murder social”.

“Politicians must be held accountable by legal and electoral means, and even by any necessary national and international constitutional means,” wrote Kamran Abbasi, MD, editor-in-chief of BMJ.

Abbasi writes that the term “social murder” was coined by the philosopher Friedrich Engels to describe the conditions created by the privileged classes in 19th century England which “inevitably led to a premature and” artificial “death among the classes. the poorest.”

Today, the phrase can describe “the lack of political attention to the social determinants and inequalities that make the pandemic worse,” he writes.

“When politicians and pundits say they are ready to allow tens of thousands of premature deaths in the name of public immunity or in the hope of supporting the economy, isn’t it indifferent premeditated and reckless to human life? “

Among the politicians mentioned in the editorial are former US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – all leaders of nations with high death tolls.

Nearly 2.3 million people have died from COVID-related reasons, according to Johns Hopkins University, many of them in developed countries. Over 445,000 people have died in the United States and 110,000 in the United Kingdom.

According to the editorial, global courts, like the International Criminal Court, should broaden their definitions of murder “to cover state failings in the event of a pandemic.”

In a related editorial titled “What went wrong in the global governance of covid-19?” Clare Wenham, PhD, of the London School of Economics said politics had motivated governments’ response to the pandemic, and she called for blaming specific people.

“We need a focused review that names and shames governments, rather than obscuring them with generalizations,” she said.

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Jothi Venkat

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