Louisiana and Alabama are seeing increases in COVID-19 infections and deaths

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the United States government has been on the front lines of downplaying the seriousness of the deadly disease and allowing the virus to spread, initially by promoting the pseudoscience of “herd immunity” and the Back to School/Workplace campaign and currently the absurd Spreading lies that “the pandemic is over”. As a result of these bipartisan policies, COVID-19 has been allowed to mutate into more virulent, infectious, and vaccine-resistant strains over the past three years.

Registered nurse Kyanna Barboza (right) cares for a COVID-19 patient while Kobie Walsh dons her PPE at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California in this file photo dated Jan. 7, 2021. [AP Photo/Jae C. Hong]

The newest strain, Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, accounts for at least 43 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to Reuters. In the United States, outside of densely populated areas like Sacramento, California, and New York City, the hardest-hit region is the southeastern United States.

The state of Louisiana is facing a surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations after the holiday. “We certainly saw a bump from the holidays,” reported Dr. Joe Kanter, an official with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), on Thursday. “It’s nothing overly dramatic, but no question the transmission has picked up from the holidays.”

Hospital admissions are up nearly 60 percent in the last month, from 289 about a month ago to 456 last week. More than 60 deaths have been recorded in the past seven days, compared with 14 a month earlier. But that hasn’t prompted the state government to take action to shut down non-essential manufacturing and schools, or try to slow or stop transmission.

According to the LDH website, 6,849 new infections and 42 deaths occurred between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8. The total number of registered cases currently stands at more than 1.5 million out of a population of 4.6 million and the total number of deaths in the state is 18,436. According to Kanter, coronavirus infections are distributed “fairly” and “evenly” geographically. Such language, while poor choice of words, indeed demonstrates the intent of the ruling financial and corporate oligarchy to implement mass extinction policies through their back-to-work/school campaigns and vaccine-only strategy. The latter was supported by Kanter and Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

Currently, the XBB.1.5 subvariant accounts for 17 percent of infections in the region, which includes Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In the Northeastern United States, the variant dominates with more than 70 percent of cases attributed to it. “I would absolutely expect it to be the dominant strand here within two to three weeks,” Kanter said.