Regarding the coronavirus, Chomsky discusses how the United States is ill-prepared to deal with the global pandemic due to the longstanding pattern of the U.S. Government prioritizing corporate interests over providing affordable and widely accessible healthcare. Chomsky details how approaching healthcare through a business framework results in neglecting preparedness for a potential health crisis. Pondering the question of why hospitals do not have enough beds for the expected surge in coronavirus patients, Chomsky explains how hospitals emphasize being economically sound and extremely efficient. Therefore, this business practice translates to hospitals maintaining just enough beds for what is commonly needed and disregarding being properly prepared for a future crisis.
“There’s a concept of economy and efficiency. You should have just enough beds for what you need tomorrow. You shouldn’t prepare for the future. Right? So the hospital system’s crashing. Simple things like tests which you can easily get in a country like South Korea, you can’t get here. So the coronavirus, which should be controlled in a functioning society, is going out of hand here. We’re just not ready for it. What we’re good at, what our leaders are good at, and have been very good at for the last 40 years, is pouring money into the pockets of the rich and the corporate executives while everything else crashes”