Feb 212020

Jack Delano Cafe at truck drivers’ service station on U.S. 1, Washington DC 1940


Coronavirus Kills Young Wuhan Doctor, 100s Infected In China’s Prisons (G.)
Whopping Rise In Infections At Beijing Hospital Puts Capital On Alert (GT)
South Korea Coronavirus Cases Jump To 156 (SCMP)
South Korea Designates Daegu, Cheongdo As ‘Special Care Zones’ (Yonhap)
Woman Returning From Iran 6th Case Of COVID19 in British Columbia (NP)
Australia Cruise Evacuees Test Positive Only After Arriving Home (G.)
China Says January-February Trade To Take Sharp Hit From Virus Outbreak (R.)
China Supply Chains Pummelled From All Sides (SCMP)
NYT Secret Sources Claim Russia Backing Trump Re-Election (ZH)
‘Disgusted’ Judge Jails Roger Stone (BBC)
Defense Lawyers Say They Will Seek French Asylum For Assange (AP)
Parts Of UK Have One Airbnb Listing For Every Four Properties (G.)



The virus has started spreading in places other than Wuhan and Hubei. Clusters are forming. It looks like a perfectly normal pattern.

Cases 76,790 (+ 1,033 from yesterday’s 75,757).

Yesterday’s increase was “only” 560

Deaths 2,247 (+ 117 from yesterday)

• Large increase in South Korea cases. Cities of Chengdo, Daegu under quarantine (“special care”)

• Large increase in cases in Chinese prisons (or did they start testing just now?)

• Positive case in British Columbia, visited only Iran

• Positive cases in Australia from cruise ship, confirmed only after arrival



From Worldometer:



A second graph from Worldometer:





Groups of people in close proximity. What’s the alternative in the case of prisons and hospitals?

Coronavirus Kills Young Wuhan Doctor, 100s Infected In China’s Prisons (G.)

A 29-year-old doctor in Wuhan has become the latest victim of the coronavirus as China reported infections in prisons in three provinces, as well as clusters in Beijing. Wuhan health authorities said Peng Yinhua, who worked in respiratory and critical care at Jiangxia district’s First People’s Hospital, had contracted the infection while working on the “front line”. Peng, who had been featured in state media previously for delaying his wedding to continue working, was admitted to hospital on 25 January. His condition dramatically worsened by 30 January, when he was sent to the Jinyintan hospital in Wuhan for emergency treatment. He died on Thursday at 9.50pm, according to a statement from his hospital.

[..] more than 500 cases have been confirmed in prisons across China. On Friday, Hubei province revised its number of newly confirmed cases to add 220 infections from the province’s prison system. Officials did not say when those infections took place but said that a total of 271 cases, of which 51 had already been counted, had been diagnosed. Of those, 230 were in Wuhan’s women’s prison. The head of the women’s prison has been dismissed. In Rencheng prison in the eastern province of Shandong, 200 prisoners and seven guards tested positive as of Thursday, after infections among correctional officers were first detected last week.

At Shilifeng prison in the southern province of Zhejiang, a total of 34 prisoners have been confirmed to have contracted the virus, including 27 new cases as of Thursday. According to state media, two prison officials have been fired over the incident in Shilifeng. In Shandong, seven prison officials as well as the party secretary for the province’s department of justice have been removed. Officials said 2,077 people in Rencheng prison had now been tested. Authorities said they were setting up a specialist hospital and sending inspection teams to other prisons and detention centres.

Meanwhile in Beijing, 36 people at Fuxing hospital have tested positive for the virus, prompting renewed anxiety about the virus as residents in the capital were slowly returning to work. The hospital had already been partly under lockdown after cases there were confirmed earlier this month. At another hospital, Peking University People’s Hospital, three people were confirmed to have contracted the virus, according to state media. The three patients are family members. One had been hospitalised for kidney problems and may have contracted the illness when her daughter and son-in-law, who had recently travelled to Xinjiang, visited her in hospital.

Read more …

Global Times is an “official” paper. So this is the news that’s allowed to spread.

Whopping Rise In Infections At Beijing Hospital Puts Capital On Alert (GT)

A central Beijing hospital reported 36 novel coronavirus cases as of Thursday, a sharp increase from nine cases from two weeks earlier, leading many to fear a potential explosion of infection numbers in the capital. Among the infected at Fuxing Hospital in Xicheng district were eight medical workers, nine cleaning staff and 19 patients along with their families, the Beijing government’s leading group for COVID-19 prevention and control work said at a press conference on Thursday. “Considering 36 confirmed cases were found in Fuxing Hospital, it is more about one case of multiple infections rather than an epidemic of the whole area,” Wang Guangfa, director of the department of respiratory and critical care medicine at Peking University First Hospital, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Another major hospital, Peking University People’s Hospital, on Thursday for the first time reported confirmed cases of infection. Three patients at the hospital were confirmed to have the novel coronavirus on February 17 and were sent to designated medical institutions for treatment, authorities at the press conference said. A total of 164 people including medical staff at Peo-ple’s Hospital who have had close contact with the patients have been put under close medical observation. The hospital also conducted coronavirus tests on 251 personnel and nine environments, and the results were all negative. The hospital has sterilized places that the patients may have touched, and hemodialysis rooms were sterilized when each shift was completed.

The three patients are from one family. Tian, a patient in the geriatrics department, had been hospitalized for six months for a kidney illness and had to undergo hemodialysis regularly. After her daughter and son-in-law came back from Xinjiang, they visited Tian separately. The couple became infected on February 17.

Read more …

Clusters ‘R’ Us. Cruise ships, prisons, hospitals, and cults.

South Korea Coronavirus Cases Jump To 156 (SCMP)

South Korea confirmed 52 more cases of novel coronavirus infection on Friday as the number of infections linked to a religious sect in Daegu spiked, making it the worst-infected country outside China. Thirty-nine of the new cases were linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southern city of Daegu, the Korean Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said, taking the country’s overall figure to 156. More than 80 members of Shincheonji have now been infected, starting with a 61-year-old woman who developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four church services before being diagnosed.

The mayor of Daegu – South Korea’s fourth-biggest city, with a population of over 2.5 million – has advised residents to stay indoors, while access to a major US base in the area has been restricted. Residents wore masks to go about their daily activities on Friday, but the streets remained active. Outside the Shincheonji church in the city, Seo Dong-min, 24, said: “With so many confirmed cases here I’m worried that Daegu will become the second Wuhan,” referring to the Chinese city where the virus first emerged. Shincheonji is often accused of being a cult and claims its founder, Lee Man-hee, has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on the day of judgment.

Read more …

There’s a new term in town. Quarantine sounds so negative, we’ll go for “Special Care” instead.

South Korea Designates Daegu, Cheongdo As ‘Special Care Zones’ (Yonhap)

South Korea designated the southeastern cities of Daegu and Cheongdo as “special care zones” over infectious disease Friday, as a cluster of new coronavirus cases has been reported there in recent days. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun vowed government efforts to take “strong and swift” measures to prevent further spread of the virus, calling the latest development an “emergency” situation. “The government will take special measures by declaring the Daegu and Cheongdo areas as special care zones as a sudden rise in confirmed cases was reported there,” Chung said at the start of a pan-government meeting over the virus.

The country confirmed its first death of a COVID-19 patient in Cheongdo on Thursday, with the total number of confirmed cases in the country surpassing 100 since its first outbreak on Jan. 20. Concerns about community spread have mounted as 70 new cases were reported this week in Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city and home to 2.4 million people, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang Province. “It is urgent to find people who have contacted infected people and cure patients,” Chung said. He said the government is ready to “fully” support necessary resources, including sickbeds, health workers and equipment. The government has so far focused on curbing infections coming from outside the country. From now on, the government will further prioritize preventing the virus from spreading locally,” Chung said.

Read more …

She travelled only to Iran. Which announced its first cases yesterday. But how many are there really?

Woman Returning From Iran 6th Case Of COVID19 in British Columbia (NP)

A sixth case of the novel coronavirus has been diagnosed in British Columbia after a woman in her 30s returned to the province this week from travel in Iran. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday the woman’s presumptive case is relatively mild and a number of her close contacts have already been put in isolation. She said health officials are working on a detailed investigation of the woman’s travel and when her symptoms started to help determine if they need to notify those who travelled with her on the same aircraft. Henry said the woman lives in the Fraser Health region, which is located east of Vancouver.

“This one, clearly, is a bit unusual in that the travel to Iran is something new,” she told a news conference at the B.C. legislature. “Iran has recently started reporting cases and we’ll be working with our national and international colleagues to better understand where she may have been exposed to this virus prior to her return to Canada.” It is a presumptive case of the virus until positive test results come back from samples sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. Henry said the woman went to a local hospital concerned about influenza-like symptoms. She was examined and released, Henry added. “My understanding, from initial discussions with the clinician who saw her as well as the patient herself, was they did think it was influenza,” Henry said.

She said the woman’s novel coronavirus diagnosis was surprising, primarily because of her travel only to Iran. “That could be an indicator there’s more widespread transmission,” said Henry. “This is what we call an indicator or sentinel event. A sentinel event means it’s a marker that something many be going on broader than what we expect. She said B.C. has reported the case to the Public Health Agency of Canada and it will also be reported to the WHO. Henry said the diagnosis shows B.C. has a robust system for identifying people who have the virus. “We still believe the risk in Canada and here in B.C. is low,” she said.

Read more …

As I said: false negatives is the big story going forward. We need to know more about the tests. Are they all the same? Is there an international standard? The topic is far too vague so far.

Australia Cruise Evacuees Test Positive Only After Arriving Home (G.)

Two Australians evacuated from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan have tested positive to the disease in Darwin. The two, one young person and one elderly, remain well and are being housed in a separate isolation unit inside the Manigurr-ma village outside Darwin, Australia’s chief medical officer said Friday morning. Public health authorities from their home states were organising medical transfers for the patients and their partners. Australia’s chief medical officer, Prof Brendan Murphy, said all of the 164 Australian citizens and permanent residents evacuated from the Diamond Princess on Thursday, and flown to Darwin, were health screened before boarding the Qantas flight out of Japan. None of those allowed to board returned positive tests or displayed any symptoms of the disease.

The passengers were screened again when they landed in Darwin and six showed minor respiratory symptoms and fevers. They were isolated from others in the group. Four of those patients have returned negative tests. “Given there was continued evidence of spread of infection on board the Diamond Princess in recent days, the development of some positive cases after return to Australia is not unexpected, despite all of the health screening before departure.” Murphy said. “Fellow passengers and crew on the Qantas flight which returned people trapped on the Diamond Princess can be assured all measures were taken to ensure their protection.” Murphy said there was no public health risk from the new infections. “This development poses no risk to the broader community.”

Read more …

How about we call it zero percent?

China Says January-February Trade To Take Sharp Hit From Virus Outbreak (R.)

China’s exports and imports will fall sharply in January and February as the coronavirus outbreak severely disrupts activity in the world’s second-largest economy, the commerce ministry said on Friday, adding more measures are being studied to support companies. “The outbreak has posed severe challenges to China’s current foreign trade development,” Li Xingqian, director of the ministry’s foreign trade department, told a news conference that was held online. “We expect January-February import and export growth to decline sharply,” he said, citing delays in business reopenings and logistics issues in addition to seasonal holiday factors.

With transport restrictions still in place in many parts of the country to contain the spread of the virus, many companies are struggling to resume production due to a shortage of workers and raw materials, while others can’t get their finished products out. Parts shortages are starting to cascade through supply chains worldwide. China is the world’s largest exporter of goods, with shipments accounting for nearly 20% of China’s gross domestic product (GDP). Analysts forecast the supply and demand shocks from the crisis could cut first-quarter GDP growth by up to half from 6% in the previous quarter. The outbreak has also brought considerable pressure on the country’s services trade, especially in the tourism and transport sectors, said Xian Guoyi, director of the ministry’s department of trade in services and commercial services.

To cushion the impact on companies, the ministry is speeding up a study of new fiscal, tax, financial, insurance measures to further support companies with other government entities, said Chu Shijia, director of the ministry’s comprehensive department. He did not give details. The ministry expects foreign companies in most parts of the country to resume production by the end of February. It has advised 32 South Korean auto parts companies in eastern Shandong province to fully resume work before Feb. 15, said Zong Changqing, director of the ministry’s department for foreign investment.

Read more …

It’s the entire economy, not just supply chains.

China Supply Chains Pummelled From All Sides (SCMP)

Choked off from suppliers, workers, and logistics networks, China’s manufacturing base is facing a multitude of unprecedented challenges, as coronavirus containment efforts hamper factories’ efforts to reopen. Many of those that have been granted permission to resume operations face critical shortages of staff, with huge swathes of China still under lockdown and some local workers afraid to leave their homes. Others cannot access the materials needed to make their products, and even if they could, the shutdown of shops and marketplaces around China means demand has been sapped. Those who manage to assail the challenges, meanwhile, have found that trucking, shipping and freight services are thin on the ground, as China’s famed logistical machine also struggles to find workers and navigate provincial border checkpoints that have popped up across the country.

“It really is death by a thousand cuts,” said John Evans, managing director of Tractus Asia, a company that has 20 years’ experience helping firms move to China, but which over the past two has had more enquiries from businesses looking to leave. “This is a black swan event and I don’t think we’ve seen anything like it in recent history, in terms of the economic and supply chain impact in China and across the globe.” Australian company B&R Enclosures, which makes units for protecting industrial equipment, said the outbreak has cut it off from suppliers and delayed the return of its migrant workers from their hometowns, following the extended Lunar New Year break. Only 15 per cent have come back, B&R China general manager Marko Dimitrijevic said.

“All supply chains are having trouble, it’s very serious,” he said. “Even if we declare force majeure [to avoid paying hefty damages for late deliveries], we will not be delivering and that means many of us will risk losing our customers. For many companies, this could mean bankruptcy.” Dimitrijevic said he had to charter special buses to transport his workers from other parts of China back to Suzhou, a city west of Shanghai. When they returned, he had to book hotel rooms to house them for another 14 days in quarantine as their neighbours “will not let them go home”. He was paying about 350 yuan (US$50) in accommodation for each employee. [..] Based on the Baidu Migration Index, analysts at Nomura estimated that only 25.6 per cent of migrant workers had returned to work across 15 sample cities by February 19, compared to 101.3 per cent a year earlier.

Read more …

Is this America’s own virus, or is it just Groundhog Day? The damage done to the country by this entirely false narrative will take a very long time to heal.

And it’s cross-platform, everyone’s in on the delusion.

NYT Secret Sources Claim Russia Backing Trump Re-Election (ZH)

The New York Times would like everyone to know that if Trump is re-elected in November, it wasn’t because of his accomplishments, the economy, or packed stadiums full of dedicated supporters. Nope – Putin’s at it again! In an unbelievable Thursday report, the Times claims that five anonymous sources leaked the details of a Feb. 13 briefing to House Lawmakers by intelligence officials warning that Russia has already been interfering in the 2020 election. So – the Kremlin wants the president who, according to political analyst Ian Bremmer, has been tough on Russia – instead of, say, Bernie Sanders – the Democratic socialist who honeymooned in Moscow and would likely crash the US economy, thus weakening it, with his draconian socialist policies.

The Times report gets better; the House briefing reportedly angered President Trump so much that he berated outgoing director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, and that he was particularly irritated that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was included in the session. The report implies that Maguire was replaced with pro-Trump ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, as a result of the incident.

“During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Trump’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that Mr. Trump has been tough on Russia and strengthened European security. Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying that had the official who delivered the conclusion spoken less pointedly or left it out, they would have avoided angering the Republicans. That intelligence official, Shelby Pierson, is an aide to Mr. Maguire who has a reputation of delivering intelligence in somewhat blunt terms. The president announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Mr. Maguire with Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany and long an aggressively vocal Trump supporter”. -New York Times

Moments after the Times report was published, CNN immediately picked it up for their dozens of viewers.

Read more …

“US intelligence officials have concluded the messages were stolen by Russian hackers.”

It’s all based on a big fat lie. The lies Stone told about it vanish in comparison. He’s being used to keep a false narrative alive.

Is it normal for a judge to be “disgusted”, or is this just a way to avoid talking about what actually happened?

Also, she sentences him pending a new trial request. that she has to decide on?!

‘Disgusted’ Judge Jails Roger Stone (BBC)

A judge has expressed “disgust” at US President Donald Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone, as she sentenced him to 40 months in prison. Stone, 67, was found guilty in November on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. The judge said Stone threatened her, but Mr Trump said he should be cleared. He is the sixth Trump aide convicted on charges linked to a justice department inquiry that found Russian attempts to boost Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign. Stone was found guilty of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his attempts to contact Wikileaks, the website that released damaging emails about Mr Trump’s 2016 Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton. US intelligence officials have concluded the messages were stolen by Russian hackers.

Stone will serve two years’ probation after his custodial sentence. He has also been fined $20,000 and must serve 250 hours of community service. He will not have to report to prison until the judge rules on a pending defence appeal. Stone’s sentence fell short of an initial seven- to nine-year recommendation from prosecutors. Speaking in her Washington DC court on Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Stone had engaged in “threatening and intimidating conduct” towards her. She said Stone “knew exactly what he was doing” when he posted an image on social media last year of a gun’s crosshairs next to her head.

Stone had claimed he thought the crosshairs were a Celtic cross. “This is intolerable to the rule of justice,” she said. “The court cannot just sit idly by and say ‘that’s just Roger being Roger.'” Judge Jackson also said Stone “was not prosecuted for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president”. She continued: “The dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party.” “At his core, Mr Stone is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention.” She said the politics surrounding the case did not inform her ultimate decision. “The truth still exists. The truth still matters,” she said.

Read more …

Interesting twist. They must have had at least some communication with Paris before going public with this.

Defense Lawyers Say They Will Seek French Asylum For Assange (AP)

Julian Assange’s European defense team said Thursday it will try to seek asylum in France for the Wikileaks founder, whose full hearings for extradition to the United States on spying charges start next week in London. French team member Eric Dupont-Moretti said Assange’s case placed at stake “the fate and the status of all journalists. “We consider the situation is sufficiently serious that our duty is to talk about it” with French President Emmanuel Macron, the lawyer said. He was one of a team of lawyers lined up at a Paris news conference to explain why they view the case against Assange as unfair, citing his poor health and alleged violations of his rights while in jail in London.

French members of the team said they have been working on a “concrete demand” for Macron to grant Assange asylum in France, where he has children and where Wikileaks was present at its founding. “It is not an ordinary demand,” lawyer Antoine Vey said, noting that Assange is not on French soil. Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish coordinator of Assange’s team, reiterated his client’s plan to claim that the Trump administration offered him a pardon. The alleged condition was that Assange must agree to say that Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign. Garzon insisted that Assange was “pressured by the Trump administration” but resisted and “the order was given to demand the extradition of Julian Assange,” he said.

The White House has firmly denied the claim. However, Garzon said that both testimony and “documentary proof” of the claim will be offered to the court at the full hearing that opens Monday. [..] Assange, who is Australian, has received backing from numerous quarters. The council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Dunja Mijatovic, added a voice of opposition Thursday, citing both concerns over Assange’s eventual treatment in a U.S. prison and the impact on press freedoms were he to be extradited. “I think this is one of the most important and significant political trials of this generation, in fact longer,’ senior Labour Party official John McDonnell said in London. The father of Assange, an Australian, insisted at the Paris news conference that his son was not a criminal. “I can’t for the life of me understand why he’s still in prison,” said John Shipton.

Read more …

Airbnb kills cities and communities. And we just let them. Homes are for people to live in. Any other us comes far far behind that.

Parts Of UK Have One Airbnb Listing For Every Four Properties (G.)

Airbnb has become so prevalent in Great Britain that some parts of the country now have one listing for every four properties, prompting concern that the rapid expansion in short-term lets is “out of control” and depriving communities of much-needed homes. Exclusive analysis by the Guardian identified Airbnb hotspots in both rural areas and inner-city neighbourhoods, where the ratio of active Airbnb listings to homes was more than 20 times higher than the average across England, Scotland and Wales. The highest incidence of Airbnbs was in Edinburgh Old Town, where there were 29 active listings for every 100 properties.

The north-west of Skye had the second-highest concentration, at 25 listings per 100 properties, including a seafront bothy (£50 a night), a modern cottage clad in corrugated tin (£190) and an isolated cottage with ocean and mountain views (£160). In England, the area with the highest rate of Airbnb lets was Woolacombe, Georgeham and Croyde, in Devon, with 23 listings for every 100 properties. In one area of the Lake District: Windermere North, Ambleside and Langdales, there were 19 listings per 100 properties. Local MP Tim Farron described the growth of Airbnb in an area already dominated by second home owners as “a really disturbing issue”.

Read more …




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Home Forums Debt Rattle February 21 2020

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    Jack Delano Cafe at truck drivers’ service station on U.S. 1, Washington DC 1940   • Coronavirus Kills Young Wuhan Doctor, 100s Infected In China
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle February 21 2020]

    V. Arnold

    Jack Delano Cafe at truck drivers’ service station on U.S. 1, Washington DC 1940

    A snap shot of the past; history for the few.

    The Cornona is already beyond any human control; may the gods help us…

    As to the rest? Who knows…only time will tell…for the few…


    Jack Delano Cafe at truck drivers’ service station on U.S. 1, Washington DC 1940

    A snap shot of the past; history for the few.

    Striking how little has changed, other then the 30c for a full lunch, and the fast food competition. In most old time diners the menu will still be pretty much the same.

    V. Arnold

    Striking how little has changed, other then the 30c for a full lunch, and the fast food competition. In most old time diners the menu will still be pretty much the same.

    Isn’t it though…
    Some could surmise quite a bit from that…


    One could surmise that the American diet has always been bland, for one thing, strange considering the multitude of nationalities and kitchens that make up the country. Britain was saved from 100% blandness by the introduction of curry (it’s now only 95% bland). The US has introduced Mexican food, but only in the tasteless Anglo tradition, spiked with GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics and chlorine chicken and wholesale obesity.

    No, Americans will die from their food, if nothing else gets them first. The richest country on earth went only for an increasing quantity of calories, and never thought of the quality of food as a whole, what it does to their bodies, that it can heal them, make them fit and even happier. They chose the exact opposite, because somehow there’s more money in feeding people what will decrease their quality of life and ultimately kill them.

    The philosophical implications boggle every thinker’s mind. There are forces stronger than us, be it it our heritage or our market models.


    I use Ben Garrison’s cartoons only sparingly, right wing and all that, but this one is pretty much perfect (click for large version in new tab/window):



    I’m not the biggest Gloria Allred fan, but driving this bus past Buckingham Palace is pretty cool (click for larger in new tab):



    Raul:. These are the joker’s clearing the way for Hillary!

    After a year of these crazy folks, Hillary looks positively sane!

    But will crazy communist Bernie spoil the wicked witch’s evil plans?

    Stay tuned for to next week’s episode as the DNC’s undemocratic world turns!


    30 cent went exponential

    7% doubles in 10 years. 10% doubles in 7 years

    I want to go looking for info on the cost of “testing for the virus”
    This will be a major factor, world wide, in trying to get a control on what action should be taken by the decision makers.
    Are we going need chickens and eggs to make the test kits?
    Are chickens and eggs only needed for the flue shots?
    There will be a supply and demand constraint. Someone is going to see this as an opportunity to become filthy rich.

    Here are my first finds.


    The cost of testing include the costs of test kits, labor, and sample processing. In some cases, storage and delivery costs would need to be added. It’s unclear what the costs of the test kits are, or ancillary items, as CDC and others haven’t revealed figures. For the sake of argument, let’s say that on the low end of the scale each test, including ancillary items such as labor and sample processing, costs $250, and at the high end it’s $1,500. This translates to a range of roughly a half billion to close to three billion dollars.

    Some coronavirus testing kits sent around the world are not working properly
    By Yasemin Saplakoglu – Staff Writer 9 days ago

    As experts hustled to create diagnostic testing kits for the novel coronavirus, something went awry. At least some of the testing kits that were sent across the U.S. and to dozens of other countries aren’t working properly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced during a news conference today (Feb. 12).

    Last week, the CDC had begun to ship about 200 testing kits to labs across the U.S. and 200 more to over 30 other countries so that more facilities could conduct testing for the new coronavirus. Each kit could test about 700 to 800 samples, the CDC announced last week.


    19 FEBRUARY 2020
    Coronavirus and the race to distribute reliable diagnostics
    International teams worked at speed to make tests for the virus available in record time.
    Cormac Sheridan

    This follows a breakneck effort by several research groups to identify and sequence the virus, sharing several viral genomes in open databases over recent weeks. As infections continue to mount — 74,185 people were reported to be infected across China as of midnight local time on 18 February — and authorities seek to accurately diagnose and document infections, the need for rapid and reliable diagnostics increases. Although many clinics still lack access to a robust, accurate and sensitive SARS-CoV-2 test, impressive progress has been made in a matter of weeks. In contrast, it took almost six months to identify and to establish assays for the coronavirus responsible for the 2002–2003 SARS outbreak.
    The group verified the test in the absence of SARS-CoV-2 isolates or patient samples but confirmed its specificity against 297 clinical samples from patients with various other respiratory infections. This formed the basis of shipments of 250,000 kits, which the World Health Organization (WHO) dispatched to 159 laboratories across the globe in recent weeks.

    The above article contains too much relevant info to cut and paste. Go read it.)

    Việt Nam successfully develops quick coronavirus test kit
    Update: February, 10/2020 – 14:59

    The quick test kit shortens the testing time to 70 minutes instead of four hours. — Photo courtesy of Hà Nội University of Science and Technology
    According to the doctor, a test costs about VNĐ350,000 (US$15). The price to produce a RT-PCR test kit is VNĐ1 million ($44).

    The product has not been tested on the real virus but when it has been tested on samples, the result is accurate, Dr Hòa said.

    Because of its short time and simple process, the kits can be applied at district-level healthcare facilities.

    “We hope that the health ministry and the Ministry of Science and Technology will support the research team to verify the product and apply it in testing the virus in the future,” he said.

    There will be a lot of money to be made from test kits.
    I expect that health care cost will soar.

    Doc Robinson

    “Striking how little has changed, other then the 30c for a full lunch, and the fast food competition.”

    Something else has changed, as shown in the Debt Rattle photo from a few days ago (which I presume was taken by Jack Delano at the same diner in Washington DC)

    Jack Delano, Entrance to colored drivers’ lunchroom at truck service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue) 1940


    Judge Jackson’s behavior in sentancing Stone before reviewing his request for a new trial shows just how corrupt justice can be in Washington D.C.

    She is the one who selected the politically tainted jury foreperson to lead the jury in Stone’s trial. She is the one who gagged Stone. She was the judge selected by insiders to try Manford and Stone. Out of 25 judges, what are the odds Jackson would get both? Next to zero! thanks o

    As for rushing to sentence Stone, Jackson wanted to ensure Stone lost 3 basic legal rights, making it more difficult for Stone’s lawyers to defend him going forward.

    Jackson, like Judge Sullivan for Flynn, ruled to minimize Stone’s legal rights.

    Hardly the actions of a judge wanting to conduct a fair trial!


    Don’t piss off your cook


    WHO Chief Warns “Window Of Opportunity Is Narrowing” As Coronavirus Spreads To Lebanon, Iran & Israel; China Orders Millions Back To Work


    Zerosum:. We know Japan was only able to test about 100 per day on the Diamond Princess.

    So test kits are in short supply everywhere!

    Ken Barrows

    Ben Garrison’s cartoon is silly, Ilargi. You know, although he doesn’t, that we are in a world of competing socialisms. What’s the alternative? Austerity? You don’t like that, either.

    There are the capitalist true believers out there. Ok, but just think how many people a pure capitalism will help in a system with declining surplus energy. Not many at all.



    As I mentioned yesterday the deadliness of the virus is dependent on race. Here is a chart with a patchy indication as to risk.


    Most at risk are the Japanese and Chinese, although I would imagine most far eastern countries will be high risk. There is a gap to lower risk countries, which I would say in descending order is the Indian sub-continent, possibly South America, Africa, and lowest is Europe [Caucasians].

    The disease seems to spread in every way possible : by air, contaminated surfaces, touch, and it appears anything leaving the body will be contaminated [Sputum, blood, stools].

    China may be massaging the figures but that is justified if it is meant to prevent panic. China is in a horrific position. No matter what the figures are it is still just a tiny fraction of the population, and they are already overwhelmed, as any country would be.

    Given that the Japanese are equally at risk it will be interesting to see how they cope, even with the advantage of the knowledge gained so far. I think the chance of the Tokyo Olympics going ahead will be slim.

    * Will Airbnb survive the virus? How many people will want to, or be allowed to, travel.


    “* Will Airbnb survive the virus? “
    Good observation.
    Change is in the air.
    hehehhe virus
    “we are in a world of competing socialisms”

    – Republican corporate socialism (CORPORATE AND BANK WELFARE)
    Democrat socialism (minimum living income)
    Enemies of USA are capable of spitting in the soup.


    I dare the USA to match this effort

    China’s Wuhan to build 19 more makeshift hospitals
    Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/2/21 20:41:41

    Upon their completion, all the makeshift hospitals in Wuhan are expected to offer 30,000 beds on Feb. 25, said Hu Yabo, deputy mayor of Wuhan at a press briefing on epidemic prevention and control.

    To date, Wuhan has converted 13 existing venues into temporary hospitals, with a total of 13,348 beds, and about 9,313 beds have been put into use to treat patients with mild symptoms, said Hu.

    To improve their medical treatment capability, every makeshift hospital will be supplied with CT scanners and other medical equipment including ECG monitors, Hu added.

    About 72 medical teams from other regions of China have been dispatched to these temporary hospitals to aid local colleagues to treat patients and contain the virus spread.

    The total number of confirmed cases in hard-hit Wuhan has reached 45,346 as of Thursday.

    Maxwell Quest

    “NYT Secret Sources Claim Russia Backing Trump Re-Election (ZH)”

    We all know that this is just a rerun of the 2016 Russiagate narrative, but let’s stop for a moment for a little thought experiment and assume that Russia would prefer to see Trump in the White House. What exactly is the problem? Why should this be of any concern?

    And while we’re at it, Russia is really just another name for Putin, the real boogieman of the US empire. There I said it. Putin, the subduer of oligarchs and the reconstitutor of the Russian Federation. Putin, the Harry Potter who stopped the Dark Lord and his rapacious hordes from assuming their rightful place as rulers of the world. Not that long ago Russia was just dandy when good ol’ Yeltsin was at the helm. He was our man in Moscow don’t you know, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

    I have an idea, let’s have Putin fly to DC and address a special session of Congress. Maybe he could talk some sense into them, as he appears to be one of the few world leaders that really knows what’s going on. Maybe he could convince them to give up their dream of world conquest and settle for a multi-polar world of mutual cooperation. Good luck with that!

    “Defense Lawyers Say They Will Seek French Asylum For Assange (AP)”

    If I were wealthy, I’d have Assange pick out a beautiful office complex in the heart of Paris where he could continue his work with WikiLeaks. Then I’d buy it and let him use it rent free, without even the customary pet and cleaning deposits.


    With the virus spreading for real now, the scariest thing for me is probably the 4 deaths in Iran. Because our governments have done all they could to antagonize the country, and at this point in time communications would be real useful. Two of the deaths were in Qom, not far from Tehran, and the country has borders with Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey etc. But yeah, it’s a huge country. A major outbreak in that environment though, scary. Unless you’re a virus.

    Cases reported in Lebanon too. Not that far from Iran, but a whole different story. Bordering on Israel and Syria, which has much too much warfare to halt a virus. Lebanon has access to the entire Mediterranean.

    And then there’s Lombardy, the Italian province where Milan is. 6 cases in the town of Cordogno, 40 miles from Milan, 250 people in quarantine, entire town being locked down. But at least Italy has an ace healthcare system.


    Meanwhile in Canada — A point to your ending cartoon.

    Wet’suwet’en protests: Here’s what’s happening across Canada


    Impossible /s

    International Banks and Law Firms Are at the Heart of South Africa’s Corruption

    International Banks and Law Firms Are at the Heart of South Africa’s Corruption
    February 21, 2020

    In South Africa, corruption is called state capture. A new report by Shadow World Investigations reveals how world bankers, lawyers, and accountants manipulate politicians. We speak with Andrew Feinstein, the report’s author.


    Only China lies. Only China is incompetent /s.
    Update (1645ET): Earlier this week, we reported that a Japanese man who had recently visited the US state of Hawaii, a popular destination among Chinese and Japanese tourists.
    Since then, things have been oddly quiet. For those who have been hoping that this is because authorities found no evidence that the patient was infected in Hawaii or spread the virus to anyone else he came into contact with, well, we’re sorry to disappoint you.

    Because journalists with the Star Advertiser discovered that the reason that officials haven’t had any news is because nobody has been tested.

    And nobody has been tested, because the state doesn’t have any kits.

    During the 12:15pm ET update, the organization warned that it had centralized ‘surge’ virus response due to a lack of testing kits and the fact that every state but three is unprepared for the epidemic.


    FAKE NEWS – kiss of death


    US officials told Bernie Sanders Russia is trying to help him win the Democratic nomination
    Sonam Sheth

    The revelation comes after an election security official told lawmakers in a classified briefing that the Russians are also working to help President Donald Trump get reelected.


    Zerosum:. Your comment reveals the shortage of test kits in Japan that we saw with the Diamond Princess.

    This just seems hard to believe that nobody was doing anything! But government will save us!


    “But government will save us!|


    The collapse of the Diamond Princess quarantine pretty much says it all. The WaPo last night reported that the CDC didn’t sign off on flying the 14 positive patients on the same flight to the US with those who tested negative due to the risk of infecting them. In confined crowds coronavirus super spreaders will start hot spots of contagion.

    The Federal US Government is out of its depth. The White House is filled with science deniers. No future planning or mass purchasing of PPE has been reported. Yet, planning based on sound science is the only way society will survive the coming epidemic. If Donald Trump loses the November election he will be indicted in New York. He has every reason to downplay the threat, hide the number and areas infected. I doubt he can make rational but economically harmful decisions that will keep Americans alive and society intact. Democrats aren’t any better. They will blame the Russians. It is everybody for themselves.


    “It is everybody for themselves.”
    Stay home, take an aspirin. Be nice to the dog.


    I grew up during the cold war. We lived in northern Labrador/Quebec and we had a DEW radar station nearby. As a kid I remember a B-52 bomber coming in low over the town testing the DEW station’s radar readiness. Awesome sight!

    So naturally we were raised to be afraid of the big bad Russians!

    Later while working as a service engineer for a Milwaukee mining equipment manufacturer, I spent 6 months living and working in a Siberian coal mine in 1983.

    Going to Siberia was like stepping back in time to maybe 1930s to 1940s!

    The Russians were still using churn drills something we ditched before 1950! Bulldozers still used cable pulleys to raise and lower their blades! Russian mining equipment had availability well below 50%! 150 ton sized cranes could only lift 25 tons! Whole rows of Russian made mining trucks never moved because they didn’t work! They parked them so the CIA could count them!

    To say I was shocked, is an understatement!

    By living in Siberia I soon found that everyday consumer items were in short supply! Grocery store shelves were always bare! I remember some expanded cans of fish that nobody would touch!

    One day, determined to buy something Russian, I bought a plastic thermos! Well that was quite the adventure! First nothing fitted together quite right! The cup at the top won’t thread on at all! The stopper at the top wouldn’t keep the liquid inside from leaking out if put on it’s side! Actually it was made so horribly that it was comical!

    In Russia, quality was non-existent! I soon discovered that went for everything made in Russia including their mining equipment!

    This was all due to the communist’s quota system! Everybody had a monthly quota to meet! If you were making shoes, and had no shoe laces, you shipped the shoes anyway to meet your end of month quota! So shoe boxes with 2 left shoes wasn’t uncommon. Did you buy them, hoping next month you would get 2 right shoes?

    Bottom line is I realized the Russian communists could produce guns but no butter! So when I left Russia, I was no longer afraid of the big bad Russians!

    First of all there are 2 Americans for every Russian! So how can these poor Russians be hiding behind every tree? How can they be responsible for everything happening in America? They simply can’t! They have enough of their own troubles to be bothered with America’s problems!

    So now, whenever the deep state bring out the Russian bogeyman, I just laugh! Oh, look! A squirrel!

    V. Arnold

    No, Americans will die from their food, if nothing else gets them first. The richest country on earth went only for an increasing quantity of calories, and never thought of the quality of food as a whole, what it does to their bodies, that it can heal them, make them fit and even happier. They chose the exact opposite, because somehow there’s more money in feeding people what will decrease their quality of life and ultimately kill them.

    The philosophical implications boggle every thinker’s mind. There are forces stronger than us, be it it our heritage or our market models.

    We’re trapped by our ethnocentric projections; the downside of having belonged to racist/elitist cultures; all inclusive. The only escape is a genuine education in the humanities/liberal arts. Mine came from two very progressive parents; both of whom were well read and traveled.
    The rest is ongoing still; well shut of my American identity and pov. Language is a window into culture and my grasp of Thai, albeit poor, is still illuminating in ways which most westerners utterly fail to grasp.
    Even after almost 20 years away; the depth and grasp of culture, still boggles my mind.
    My only regret is that I waited so long to leave…


    In all your incessant articles on coronavirus, why isn’t the fact t hat only East Asians are dying from it and the average age of those dying is 75 mentioned prominently n every single one of your posts?

    Instead I would think that tomorrow 10 million Americans are going to drop dead by the commentary you make to your astoundingly prolific posts on this non-event.

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