“Six hospital evacuations in NY-NJ. Hospitals closed for a Drone weapons site
The storm that hit the U.S. East Coast Oct. 29 exposed the harm done by capitalist priorities in the crucial areas of essential health care and electric power for millions.
Some 400 available industrial-scale generators sat unused while four major New York City hospitals located in flood zones and two New Jersey hospitals were forced to evacuate on an emergency basis. In the hospitals both the main energy source and emergency backup generators failed, providing the clearest possible example of bone- deep hospital and infrastructure maintenance cuts.
Meanwhile, high-rise apartment houses and entire neighborhoods went for days without electric power. That meant days without drinking water, flush toilets, heat or functioning elevators. This creates life-threatening conditions, especially for seniors, the disabled and infants.
Every decision in this capitalist society is based on the necessity to maximize profit, even when conditions for tens of thousands of people hang in the balance. The response to Hurricane Sandy exposed callous disregard, years of neglect and complete lack of planning.
Wall Street up quickly
In contrast to the neglect elsewhere, the Wall Street Stock Exchange was up and running with backup generators in 36 hours. Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared this a major victory. For the corporate rulers, it was.
$ spent on warfare, not health care
The problem is not that new facilities geared for more severe weather and safe for high-tech equipment can’t be built in New York City or that existing infrastructure can’t be reinforced.
Bloomberg has focused attention on converting the Coler-Goldwater Hospital complex on Roosevelt Island into a special high-tech weapons lab and science center run by the Israeli Institute of Technology, better known as Technion. That means closing a major long-term care hospital to open an Israeli weapons plant to make drones. It’s a profitable choice.
Technion was also given the land of the Goldwater Hospital site — 2.1 million square feet on Roosevelt Island. Last year the city budgeted $100 million in New York taxpayer funds to rebuild the infrastructure on the Technion site. (New York Times, Dec. 19, 2011)
Many long-term care patients at Goldwater Hospital are immigrants who cannot get treatment at private hospitals. If there is no room for them at other city hospitals, these sick patients will be deported.”