On Monday, September 19 at around 6:50 p.m., a nurse was stabbed outside the emergency room of Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City, California. The 49-year-old nurse was approaching the hospital to start his night shift when he was stabbed multiple times in the neck and injured in his right hand.
The nurse was airlifted to a nearby trauma center in critical condition. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the assailant pulled out a knife and stabbed him repeatedly. No words were exchanged between the nurse and the attacker before the stabbing. Police believe it was a random attack by a homeless man.
The hospital temporarily closed while a search was conducted for the suspect, who escaped. Police believe the attacker may be living in a nearby homeless encampment, but are not releasing security footage at this time.
The nurse was listed in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery. Mission Community Hospital released a statement saying it has tightened security, but the statement does not go into specifics. However, increased security will not solve the problem of increasing violence, which is rooted in the deepening social crisis produced by an economic and political system dominated by a corporate oligarchy and prioritizing profit over human life, i.e. capitalism.
The increased presence of police and security guards in health facilities actually increases violence against patients, who can and have been victims of police abuse and shooting.
In response to the September 19 attack, other healthcare workers immediately ran to help the injured nurse. “Everyone stepped in, brought him inside and took him somewhere to take care of him,” said Dr. James Higgins, a cardiologist at Mission Community Hospital. “It’s just scary, it’s really sad that this is happening in a place where you’re really trying to help people and save them. Instead, it’s almost the opposite… It shows you just sometimes what happens in the world.
In August, this writer wrote about the increase in violence against health care workers in the United States. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have become places of mass death and frustration, with patients and family members being denied adequate care as the number and severity of hospitalizations soar. . The violent act against the Southern California nurse is a disturbing expression of the objective and malignant contradictions of American capitalist society.
Violence is being exerted against the working class in the form of preventable mass deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, which could be contained and eliminated were it not for the interests of the ruling class, which rejects any health measures public that runs through his maniacal drive for ever more personal wealth.
Social violence also takes the form of poverty, food and housing insecurity, endless war and the growing risk of nuclear war, and the existential threat of climate catastrophe. All of these social crimes are linked to the assault of the capitalist class on the standard of living and the democratic rights of the working class.
Last May, a 40-year-old mental health technician in South Carolina was attacked by a patient and succumbed to his injuries three days later. Last June, a patient in Tulsa, Oklahoma killed three healthcare workers before committing suicide. In October of last year, a registered nurse in Florida was attacked by a patient and suffered a miscarriage as a result of the attack.
Individual violence and homelessness are the consequences of deliberate policies pursued by the ruling class. In an effort to cut costs and increase profits, governments and corporations at all levels have gutted social, public health and mental health services for the working class, driving down social position and real wages. workers over the past four decades.
In the past decade, there hasn’t been a single day that the United States hasn’t been at war. Regardless of their differences, Democrats and Republicans have joined hands to allocate trillions of dollars to fund America’s military machine.
In the Los Angeles metro area, there is an explosion of homelessness, making it the epicenter of the housing crisis in California and the United States. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority study, “Preliminary Estimate of Homelessness in LA County,” there are 83,347 homeless people on the streets and in shelters across Los Angeles County each night.
The numbers are higher if the cities of Long Beach (6,000), Pasadena (1,200) and Glendale (400) are included, bringing the total to more than 91,000. The same study reports that 224,203 people are without shelter at least one day a year.
When mass death is normalized in the United States and abroad by perpetual war, preventable pandemic, and mass shootings, it inevitably impacts the psyches of even the most sensitive individuals. The same goes for mass poverty, homelessness and ever-higher levels of exploitation of workers at work.
The working class is the only social force that can put an end to the capitalist system, which breeds all these social ills. This can only be done through the unity of the working class in the United States with its international working class brothers and sisters, building rank-and-file committees in every workplace, and fighting for socialism.