May 132020

Harris&Ewing Treasury Building, Fifteenth Street, Washington, DC 1918


Don’t Let Governors Fool You About Reopening (Yaneer Bar-yam)
GOP Rejects Pelosi’s $3 Trillion HEROES Act Package (WE)
House Bill Would Provide Some As Young As 16 With $2,000 Monthly Payments (JTN)
HEROES Act Delivers A Win To The Health Insurance Industry (IC)
US Fossil Fuel Giants Set For A Coronavirus Bailout Bonanza (G.)
US COVID19 Death Forecast Revised Upward Again (R.)
Gilead Ties Up With Generic Drugmakers For COVID19 Drug Supply (R.)
Mexico Sees 353 Deaths In Most Lethal Coronavirus Day (R.)
Cuba Begins Mass Testing For COVID19 With Fewer Than 20 New Cases Per Day (G.)
How Hong Kong Did It (Atl.)
EU Faces ‘Existential Threat’ If Coronavirus Recovery Is Uneven (G.)
China’s April Air Passenger Numbers Down 68.5% Year-on-Year (R.)
US Airlines Tell Crews Not To Force Passengers To Wear Masks (R.)
Contacts Exposed Between US Kyiv Embassy, Yovanovitch, Burisma (Solomon)
Judge Delays Flynn Dismissal Decision, Invites Outside Opinions (JTN)



• US adds 1,894 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours. Monday: 830, Sunday: 776.



Russia had its 10th consecutive day of more than 10,000 cases






Cases 4,358,220 (+ 85,116 from yesterday’s 4,273,104)

Deaths 293,236 (+ 5,615 from yesterday’s 287,621)




From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close-



From Worldometer



From SCMP:










Do the states that are doing well risk seeing their progress wiped out?

Don’t Let Governors Fool You About Reopening (Yaneer Bar-yam)

In March, I called on the US to impose a strict five-week national lockdown with internal and external travel restrictions to bring us to near zero infections. While measures were taken in many parts of the country, it was too little, too late. Now, I and many others are issuing another warning: the decisions of some US governors to prematurely ease social distancing is a disastrous mistake and citizens need to ignore them. Our research — and common sense — show that lifting social restrictions will lead to an explosion of Covid-19 cases and cause countless more deaths. The correct way to relax restrictions is to start with parts of a state that are Covid-free for 14 days and allow only essential travel to those parts of the state with 14-day quarantines for inbound travelers. Why will going along with reopening lead to catastrophe?

First, we must understand that coronavirus is very deadly. Those who claim the death rate is exaggerated are plain wrong and downplaying the emergency. While death rate estimates have varied, recent data from China, the United Kingdom and France, reflecting deaths outside hospitals, including in nursing homes, puts the Covid-19 global fatality rate at around 6.8%, based upon analysis we did at, using data from Johns Hopkins University. Second, almost all reopening states, from California to Pennsylvania, currently have a critical mass of new cases of existing infections that could see new outbreaks in the coming days and weeks. Third, without extreme preventive measures, we’ve seen how coronavirus infections doubled every two to three days at one point in different areas — which equated to about a tenfold increase per week.

That means that a state with 1,000 new cases could have well over 100,000 more in two weeks, if social distancing is loosened. States like Texas have announced precautions to mitigate harm from reopening with measures like limiting restaurants and shopping malls to operating at a 25% or 50% capacity depending on the amount of cases in their areas. But we know from months of studying this disease that communities need more aggressive measures to stop the exponential spread of Covid-19. We prevented the contagion from being much worse by putting in place protective measures throughout the US. We expanded testing capacity. We ramped up our hospitals’ capacity to care for critically ill patients. But this “flattening the curve” isn’t enough. If we lighten up on our protective measures now, all the progress we’ve made will vanish, and we’ll suffer an enormous setback. We need to push even harder to win.

Read more …

View from the right wing.

GOP Rejects Pelosi’s $3 Trillion HEROES Act Package (WE)

Senate Republicans flatly rejected a $3 trillion coronavirus aid package House Democrats introduced Tuesday and said they’ll wait to decide whether more legislation is necessary. “If we reach a decision, along with the administration to move to another phase, that’ll be the time to interact with the Democrats,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. “But what you’ve seen in the House is not something designed to deal with reality but designed to deal with aspirations. This is not a time for aspirational legislation. This is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic.” Democrats blasted McConnell’s reaction to the massive bill.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, accused McConnell of ignoring the desperate needs of people out of work and left without paychecks. “We need big, bold action, and yet, Leader McConnell seems totally divorced from that reality,” Schumer said. “We need to act in a big and bold way. The House has started the ball rolling. Republicans and the president ought to understand that and help us move in a big, bold way, not stand in the way.” The House measures are massive in both cost and scope. It provides new $1,200 cash payments to individuals and more than $1 trillion to state, local, and municipal governments. It includes a bailout for troubled state pensions and the U.S. Postal Service and “hazard pay” for healthcare workers and other workers who are unable to stay at home during the coronavirus.

Republicans have no appetite for the wide-ranging measure, they said. Congress has already enacted $2.8 trillion in federal coronavirus relief aid, and both the GOP and President Trump say they plan to wait for that funding to roll out and for economies to begin reopening before assessing the need for new federal spending legislation. Sen. John Thune, the majority whip, said the House bill “is nothing more than a messaging exercise by the House Democrats.” The South Dakota Republican said the bill “is not going anywhere” and said the Senate “will be working in a bipartisan way with the White House” when considering new coronavirus funding.

Read more …

I think we can safely label this UBI. If people making up to $250,000 are eligible, the few percent that remain are negligible.

House Bill Would Provide Some As Young As 16 With $2,000 Monthly Payments (JTN)

House Democrats are proposing a $2,000-a-month stimulus payment for individuals 16 and older to help them during the coronavirus. Reps. Ro Khanna of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio have introduced the proposal as stand-alone legislation titled the Emergency Money for the People Act. A spokesperson for Ryan’s office told Just The News on Tuesday that he is working with House leadership to include his bill in future coronavirus stimulus legislation. The Khanna-Ryan proposal would provide the monthly payments to qualified recipients for one year. To qualify, individual recipients must make less than $130,000 annually and couples filing joint tax returns would have to make less than $260,000.

The proposal has 37 co-sponsors including Reps. Rashida Tlaib, of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, and Ted Lieu, of California. Khanna’s office said 16-year-olds would not have to file tax returns to qualify for the $2,000 per month. “They would have to fill out an online form that must be accessible via mobile phone to fill out” with their Venmo, Paypal, “other mobile money or direct deposit” information, a Khanna spokesperson said. Khanna’s office also told Just The News that illegal immigrants and non-citizens who file tax returns with tax ID numbers would qualify for the monthly direct payments in the bill.

Read more …

Here’s what you get for rejecting Medicare For All.

HEROES Act Delivers A Win To The Health Insurance Industry (IC)

The Heroes Act, the new coronavirus relief bill introduced by House Democrats on Tuesday, includes protections for employer-sponsored insurance plans, which the health care industry has been lobbying Congress on for weeks. The proposed legislation includes subsidies for continued coverage for furloughed workers and people using COBRA, a continuing health coverage plan for those who have lost work, even if they don’t pay their premiums. The bill also creates avenues for premium assistance for certain categories of people who want to pay those premiums anyway and would open a special insurance enrollment period a week from the date it’s enacted into law. It also provides nine months of premium payments to health insurance plan administrators who don’t receive them during the ongoing pandemic.

The push to protect insurance premiums comes as some health care companies, like UnitedHealth, Humana, and Cigna, have reported profits during the pandemic amid record-high unemployment levels and have boasted that they don’t expect to take a financial hit. In late April, dozens of industry groups — including the influential, conservative Chamber of Commerce — sent a letter to congressional leadership asking for direct subsidies for COBRA, expanding uses for health savings accounts, and increasing eligibility to access health insurance marketplaces.

A couple of weeks earlier, the nations’ second-largest health insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, joined a congressional call with members of the conservative Democratic Blue Dog Caucus to ask for protections for employer coverage. According to two sources familiar with the April 13 call, AHIP’s CEO discussed the importance of protecting employer-sponsored plans. One person on the call, who works for an insurer and was not authorized to speak publicly about the conversation, said AHIP’s push for targeted relief to employers who pay premiums to insurance companies was puzzling, given that insurance companies have seen recent profits.

Read more …

The US is no longer capable of passing any law without both parties appropriating huge sums of money to their corporate sponsors. Every single bill that is passed increases inequality.

US Fossil Fuel Giants Set For A Coronavirus Bailout Bonanza (G.)

Fossil fuel companies and coal-powered utilities in the US are set for a potential bonanza under federal government plans for a bond bailout, part of the rescue package for the coronavirus crisis. At least 90 fossil fuel companies, many of them established giants such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Koch Industries, stand to gain from the Federal Reserve’s coronavirus bond buyback programme, alongside more than 150 utilities including coal-heavy firms such as American Electric Power and Duke Energy, according to a new analysis. The bond buyback scheme is expected to be worth at least $750bn altogether and to benefit thousands of companies by the end of September, and the size of the payout that could go to fossil fuels and utilities is as yet unknown.

The scheme is to be discussed in the US Senate on Tuesday. Jason Disterhoft, a senior campaigner at Rainforest Action Network, which conducted the study, said public money should be used to bail out companies only with strict conditions attached. “Our concern is that these recovery funds should be prioritising people and communities and they are going instead to big companies to pay down their debts,” he said. Ten out of the top 40 fracking companies would be eligible to apply, according to the analysis, which examined all US fossil fuel companies and energy utilities to check whether they would qualify under the published scheme rules. It is not known whether any of these companies will apply for the support, though many are expected to do so.

Read more …

The modeling gets more useless with each update. Just say you don’t know.

US COVID19 Death Forecast Revised Upward Again (R.)

The latest forecast here from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) reflects “key drivers of viral transmission like changes in testing and mobility, as well as easing of distancing policies,” the report said. The revision reinforced public health warnings, including U.S. Senate testimony on Tuesday from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, that prematurely lifting lockdowns could lead to more outbreaks of the respiratory virus. Fauci and other medical experts have urged caution in relaxing restraints on commerce before diagnostic testing and the ability to trace close contacts of infected individuals can be vastly expanded, along with other safeguards.

IHME researchers acknowledged that precise consequences of moves to reopen shuttered businesses and loosen stay-at-home orders are difficult to gauge. “The full potential effects of recent actions to ease social distancing policies, especially if robust containment measures have yet to be fully scaled up, may not be fully known for a few weeks due to the time periods between viral exposure, possible infection and full disease progression,” the report said. COVID-19 has already claimed nearly 81,000 lives in the United States, out of more than 1.36 million known infections, according to a Reuters tally.

[..] The projections are presented as a range, with the latest forecast – 147,00-plus deaths – representing the average between a best-case scenario of 102,783 lives lost and a worst-case scenario of 223,489 fatalities. The forecasts have fluctuated over the past couple of months, with a projected death toll as low as 60,000 on April 18.

Read more …

It’s become normal to label remdesivir an “experimental COVID-19 treatment”.

Gilead Ties Up With Generic Drugmakers For COVID19 Drug Supply (R.)

Gilead Sciences Inc said on Tuesday it has signed non-exclusive licensing pacts with five generic drugmakers based in India and Pakistan to expand the supply of its experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir. The pacts allow the companies – Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd, Cipla Ltd , Hetero Labs Ltd, Mylan NV and Ferozsons Laboratories Ltd – to make and sell the drug in 127 countries. The countries consist of nearly all low-income and lower-middle income ones, as well as several that are upper-middle- and high-income, the drugmaker said. Afghanistan, India, North Korea, Pakistan and South Africa are among the countries.

The licensees will also set their own prices for the generic product they produce, Gilead said. The licenses are royalty-free until the World Health Organization declares the end of the public health emergency regarding COVID-19, or until a product other than remdesivir or a vaccine is approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, the company said. Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir earlier this month received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization to treat COVID-19 patients.

Read more …

Rising in the charts. Close the borders.

Mexico Sees 353 Deaths In Most Lethal Coronavirus Day (R.)

Mexico’s health ministry confirmed 1,997 new cases of coronavirus infections on Tuesday, along with 353 additional deaths, the most deadly day since the pandemic began. The new infections brought confirmed coronavirus cases to 38,324 and 3,926 deaths in total, according to the official tally. Mexico’s previous highest daily death toll was on Thursday, when Mexico reported 257 fatalities.

Read more …

It’s easier for islands. And Cuba has a much better health care system than just about any country, that helps too.

Cuba Begins Mass Testing For COVID19 With Fewer Than 20 New Cases Per Day (G.)

Cuba has begun mass testing for coronavirus as it appeared to have contained infections, amid a partial shutdown that has exacerbated a shortage of basic goods. New cases have fallen to fewer than 20 per day from a peak of around 50 in April. Since the first Covid-19 illness was reported two months ago, there have been 1,804 confirmed cases, of which 70.7% have recovered and 78 people have died. Cuba has closed its borders and the tourism industry, schools and public transportation. Masks are mandatory and eating at restaurants, bars and social gatherings prohibited. Cubans have been urged to stay at home and practice social distancing.

But the public has not been confined to quarters and has taken to trudging about in search of basic supplies, waiting in long lines and even dusting off bicycles from the dark days following the fall of the Soviet Union. [..] While Communist-run Cuba’s universal and free healthcare system has proved key in containing Covid-19, the pandemic has exacerbated shortages of basic goods and a chaotic retail system caused largely by US sanctions and the centralized, state-dominated economy. Cuba’s top epidemiologist, Francisco Durán, said on Monday that mass testing would help better define the prevalence of the coronavirus as many people found to be infected showed no symptoms.

“The objective is to find new cases and then intervene, isolate, seek contacts, and take all possible measures to ensure that Cuba continues as it is now,” he said during his daily virus update broadcast to the nation. Many experts believe Cuba has managed to control the outbreak better than many countries in the region due to its well-staffed preventive healthcare system, mobilization of activists to track cases, a centralized system that allows a better focus, and willingness to quarantine large numbers of people. Cuban scientists announced last week they had adapted a computerized system developed locally to quickly detect antibodies of the new virus, allowing for mass testing in hospitals and clinics at little cost. Until now, the Caribbean island nation has used expensive tests – often donated – that take days to process, old-fashioned door knocking by health personnel and medical students to trace contacts, and isolation.

Read more …

Organizing at a small-scale level works.

How Hong Kong Did It (Atl.)

[..] there is no unchecked, devastating COVID-19 epidemic in Hong Kong. The city beat back the original wave, and also beat back a second resurgence due to imported cases. But unlike in Taiwan or South Korea, this success can’t be attributed to an executive that acted early and with good governance backed by the people. The secret sauce of Hong Kong’s response was its people and, crucially, the movement that engulfed the city in 2019. Seared with the memory of SARS, and already mobilized for the past year against their unpopular government, the city’s citizens acted swiftly, collectively, and efficiently, in effect saving themselves. [..]

On the very day the first known coronavirus case in Hong Kong was announced, the same protest team behind the candidate information sites immediately created a new website—this time to track cases of COVID-19, monitor hot spots, warn people of places selling fake PPE, and report hospital wait times and other relevant information. Many of the key information sources for Hong Kong protesters had been anonymous channels in the popular app Telegram and their own online forums. These anonymous formats protected the protesters from government repression but created a constant threat of misinformation, as someone could always pretend to be a protester or just be wrong or trolling.

Consequently, the protesters learned to become incessant fact-checkers, used to looking up multiple sources and critically analyzing information. Now they turned their powers to critical analysis to the coronavirus: criticizing their own officials, as well as the World Health Organization, which did not advise wearing masks or travel restrictions, and China, which they saw as covering up the initial epidemic (they were right on all counts). In response to the crisis, Hong Kongers spontaneously adopted near-universal masking on their own, defying the government’s ban on masks. When Lam oscillated between not wearing a mask in public and wearing one but incorrectly, they blasted her online and mocked her incorrect mask wearing.

In response to the mask shortage, the foot soldiers of the protest movement set up mask brigades—acquiring and distributing masks, especially to the poor and elderly, who may not be able to spend hours in lines. An “army of volunteers” also spread among the intensely crowded and often decrepit tenement buildings to install and keep filled hand-sanitizer dispensers. When the government refused at first to close the border with mainland China, more than 7,000 medical workers went on an unprecedented strike, demanding border closures and PPE for hospital workers. This strike was only possible because labor unions were formed during the protests. Now they came in handy for collective action.

Read more …

Since the recovery is 100% sure to be uneven, the ‘Existential Threat’ is inevitable.

EU Faces ‘Existential Threat’ If Coronavirus Recovery Is Uneven (G.)

The risk of an uneven economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis poses an “existential threat” to the European Union, one of its most senior economic policymakers has said. Paolo Gentiloni, a former Italian prime minister and now the EU’s economy commissioner, said the bloc also had a “historic opportunity” as it charts a plan to rescue Europe’s economy. In an interview a few days after the commission said Europe had entered “the deepest economic recession in its history”, Gentiloni said the EU needed a “sound recovery plan” to avoid the risks of economic division. Shuttered shops and factories, grounded planes and stay-at-home consumers as a result of lockdown restrictions mean the EU economy is expected to shrink by 7.5% in 2020, a deeper fall than the 2009 financial crisis.

Gentiloni is concerned that countries do not have the same resources to recover from this economic shock. The hardest hit countries – Greece, Italy, Spain and Croatia – face falls in economic output (GDP) in excess of 9% in 2020, while Germany’s economy is set to contract by 6.5% and Austria’s by 5.5%. Meanwhile countries have varying levels of state resources to rescue ailing companies and pay workers’ wages – emergency measures that have become easier since Brussels relaxed state aid rules to deal with the crisis. Gentiloni said state aid requests from EU member states were very imbalanced.

“What is clear is the uneven level of the recovery and the risks this creates to our single market and the necessary convergence, especially within the euro area. This is something that I could even define as an existential threat to the building of the Union,” he told a group of European newspapers, including the Guardian. “If we want to look from a more optimistic way it is not only an existential threat but also in some sense a historic opportunity to fill the void we have in common tools of economic and fiscal policies.”

Read more …


China’s April Air Passenger Numbers Down 68.5% Year-on-Year (R.)

China’s passenger numbers fell 68.5% in April from a year ago, for a drop smaller than in March, the aviation regulator said on Wednesday, pointing to a fragile industry recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as other nations reopen economies. The global tourism industry is closely watching trends in China for clues to travel patterns in other major markets as countries race to lift travel curbs. Air passengers numbered 16.72 million in April, Xiong Jie, a spokesman of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, told an online news conference. That compared with a decline of 71.7% on the year in March, when passengers numbered 15.13 million.

China’s tourism sector showed encouraging signs of recovery over the May Day holiday with 115 million trips made, many by car and by younger people emerging from weeks of virus lockdown measures. More than 30% of capacity has returned in the Chinese domestic market in the last two months, aviation data provider Cirium said on Tuesday. But the number of passenger flights in China has not yet recovered to 60% of the levels seen in past years, Jin Junhao, another CAAC official, sadi during Wednesday’s conference.

Read more …

There are few places where you’re more likely to get infected than inside a plane (or a train, subway).

US Airlines Tell Crews Not To Force Passengers To Wear Masks (R.)

The top three U.S. airlines have told their flight attendants not to force passengers to comply with their new policy requiring face coverings, just encourage them to do so, according to employee policies reviewed by Reuters. American Airlines , Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have told employees that they may deny boarding at the gate to anyone not wearing a face covering, and are providing masks to passengers who do not have them, the three carriers told Reuters. Inside the plane, enforcement becomes more difficult.

“Once on board and off the gate, the face covering policy becomes more lenient. The flight attendant’s role is informational, not enforcement, with respect to the face covering policy,” American told its pilots in a message seen by Reuters explaining its policy, which went into effect on Monday. “Bottom line to the pilots: a passenger on board your aircraft who is being compliant with the exception of wearing a face covering is NOT considered disruptive enough to trigger a Threat Level 1 response,” referring to some kind of intentional disruption by a passenger that could cause the captain to divert the flight. American spokesman Joshua Freed said: “American, like other U.S. airlines, requires customers to wear a face covering while on board, and this requirement is enforced at the gate while boarding. We also remind customers with announcements both during boarding and at departure.”

[..] U.S. travel demand has fallen by about 94% in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting carriers to slash their flying schedules to roughly 30% of normal this month. With fewer planes in the skies, some are flying near capacity. Global airlines body IATA came out last week in favor of passengers wearing masks onboard, as debate intensifies in the United States on the role that government agencies should play in mandating new safety measures for flying before a vaccine is developed.

Read more …

Certainly in 2016, there was no way to become US ambassador to Ukraine without the approval of Victoria Nuland et al. So another “hero” falls.

Contacts Exposed Between US Kyiv Embassy, Yovanovitch, Burisma (Solomon)

During President Trump’s impeachment, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testified to Congress that she knew little beyond an initial briefing and “press reports” about Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian natural gas firm that had hired Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and was dogged by a corruption investigation. “It just wasn’t a big deal,” she declared under oath on Oct. 11, 2019. But newly unearthed State Department memos obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Yovanovitch’s embassy in Kiev, including the ambassador herself, was engaged in several discussions and meetings about Burisma as the gas firm scrambled during the 2016 election and transition to settle a long-running corruption investigation and polish its image before President Trump took office.

Yovanovitch, for instance, was specifically warned in an email by her top deputy in September 2016 — three years before her testimony — that Burisma had hired an American firm with deep Democratic connections called Blue Star Strategies to “rehabilitate the reputation” of the Ukrainian gas firm and that it had placed “Hunter Biden on its board,” the memos show. She also met directly with a representative for Burisma in her embassy office, less than 45 days before Trump took office, a contact she did not mention during her impeachment deposition. The discussions about Burisma inside Yovanovitch’s embassy were so extensive, in fact, that they filled more than 160 pages of emails, memos and correspondence in fall 2016 alone, according to the State Department records obtained under FOIA by the conservative group Citizens United.

[..] The impeachment hearings last fall, which focused on efforts by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Guiliani to find evidence inside Ukraine on the Bidens and Burisma and to remove Yovanovitch from her job as U.S. ambassador, included testimony from Yovanovitch herself. During that deposition in October 2016, she made no mention of direct contact with Burisma representatives and instead suggested her knowledge about the company and its legal travails was limited mostly to a briefing she received in preparation for Senate confirmation as ambassador in summer 2016 and subsequent news media reports.

Read more …

Curious decision.

Judge Delays Flynn Dismissal Decision, Invites Outside Opinions (JTN)

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Tuesday delayed a decision on whether to dismiss Michael Flynn’s conviction for lying, indicating he plans to allow for the submission of outside opinions in the form of amicus curiae briefs. Last week, the Justice Department moved to drop the charges against Trump’s former national security advisor, but the judge’s plan to allow for the submission of friend of the court briefs means that the case will not be closed immediately. Sullivan has not issued a decision on the DOJ’s request to drop the charges. Flynn’s legal team blasted the idea of allowing for the submission of amicus briefs, which allow for parties interested in but not involved in a case to present their views.

“It is no accident that amicus briefs are excluded in criminal cases,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote in a filing according to The Hill. “A criminal case is a dispute between the United States and a criminal defendant. There is no place for third parties to meddle in the dispute, and certainly not to usurp the role of the government’s counsel. For the Court to allow another to stand in the place of the government would be a violation of the separation of powers.” Flynn in 2017 pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, but later sought to withdraw his guilty plea. Evidence that has since emerged suggested the FBI had no case against Flynn but set up an interview in hopes it would catch him lying, his lawyers and Justice officials have said.

Read more …

We try to run the Automatic Earth on people’s kind donations. Since their revenue has collapsed, ads no longer pay for all you read, and your support is now an integral part of the process.

Thank you.







Support the Automatic Earth in virustime.


Home Forums Debt Rattle May 13 2020

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Author
  • #58709

    Harris&Ewing Treasury Building, Fifteenth Street, Washington, DC 1918   • Don’t Let Governors Fool You About Reopening (Yaneer Bar-yam) • GOP
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 13 2020]

    V. Arnold

    Okay, you got me; 3D printed Möbius gears are just so, so, Escher like…
    Of note: that gear set couldn’t be made conventionally; only by the 3-D printing technology…
    3-D printing is in its infancy…buckle up…

    Dr. D

    Here’s a good one: “”The Financial System Will Have To Be Reset”: How The World’s Most Powerful And Influential People See The World After The Pandemic”

    Huh. It’s not just idiots like me. As we’ve known for 49 years.

    “Fiscal Disaster: US April Deficit Hits Record $738BN as Government Spends $1 Trillion in One Month”


    And all voluntary. But then, organic things always have a blow-off end. It’s not like we don’t know when the tides turn.

    In this case, the Public wave has reached an extreme: no production, tax base, or income, and infinite spending. That means the Private wave is starting as government go bankrupt due to the blowoff of Socialism and Totalitarianism. That may not go smoothly, and doesn’t happen all at once, but it begins, and we can see this in State bonds going bankrupt, and should they even get bailed out, the currency would fail. Regardless, the government and their assets are being discredited. As happens with great and predictable regularity in history, and we’re no exception.

    Nor any surprise. That’s why everything that’s happened has happened. Inflation, oil, Iraq, ’08, Derp v. Generals, all of it. Whitest white swan that could ever be.



    Extracts from the article posted below :

    But other nations that used basic common sense have fared so much better than us. The following comes from Vanity Fair…

    ” The day before yesterday, 21 people died of COVID-19 in Japan. In the United States, 2,129 died. Comparing overall death rates for the two countries offers an even starker point of comparison with total U.S. deaths now at a staggering 76,032 and Japan’s fatalities at 577. Japan’s population is about 38% of the U.S., but even adjusting for population, the Japanese death rate is a mere 2% of America’s.

    This comes despite Japan having no lockdown, still-active subways, and many businesses that have remained open—reportedly including karaoke bars, although Japanese citizens and industries are practicing social distancing where they can. Nor have the Japanese broadly embraced contact tracing, a practice by which health authorities identify someone who has been infected and then attempt to identify everyone that person might have interacted with—and potentially infected. So how does Japan do it?”

    It is actually very simple how the Japanese were able to accomplish this.

    Virtually everyone in the entire country is wearing a mask when they go out in public.

    Yes, it is just that simple.

    In addition, a number of studies have found that mortality rates are much, much lower for those that have a sufficient level of Vitamin D in their systems.

    Ultimately, we could have avoided so much pain and suffering if everyone had just been willing to wear masks and if everyone had been taking plenty of Vitamin D.

    But instead of focusing on these basic common sense solutions, the mainstream media continues to push the fear button, and now Congress is considering a bill which would spend 100 billion dollars “to create an army of contact tracers”…


    How to be successful, make friends,
    appear intelligent, wise, knowledgeable,
    appear to be an enabler for the elite

    1. Express what the majority believes. (Don’t tell the truth)

    2. Don’t express your true opinion. (Tell Lie)

    3. Don’t accept responsibility. (Only take credits)

    4. Be positive ( Ignore negatives)

    “to create an army of contact tracers”…

    To be hiring from the +30 million unemployed that were earning the lowest income.

    Surely, this “army of contact tracers”, will have the capability of functioning effectively with the minimum of training, instruction and supervision.

    Doc Robinson

    Prices overall went down significantly, but food prices went up significantly.

    The BLS reports consumer prices are in negative territory for the month with both the CPI and core CPI in negative territory.

    The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.8 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, the largest monthly decline since December 2008.

    Food indexes rose in April, with the index for food at home posting its largest monthly increase since February 1974.



    A novel approach from a group of doctors from across the US appears to focus on inflammation prevention, letting the body itself fight the virus, rather than the inflammation it causes. Steroids and Vit. C. Simple really. An approach that’s not even COVID specific, far as I can see.

    John Day

    Hi Ilargi,
    The right thing to do is massive testing on demand, with quick turnaround, and treatment for any sign of systemic illness, not just in the nose, but fever, diarrhea, feeling terrible, or shortness of breath.
    hydroxychloroquine and zinc early is key. I personally, would add azithromycin if there is any reduction in oxygen saturation or other sign of pneumonia.
    It’s not just China doing big testing, it’s CUBA!
    Has capitalism no reflex to save-face?

    Charles Hugh Smith reflects on our current moment in human history, and maybe, evolution…
    As Jackson Browne put it: Don’t think it won’t happen just because it hasn’t happened yet.
    ​ ​We can summarize all that will unfold in the next few years in one line:
    The way of the Tao is reversal.
    This is the opening line of Chapter 40 of Lao Tzu’s 5,000-character commentary on the Tao, The Tao Te Ching.

    ​The Reflex of Obedience:​
    ​ ​Anxiety is a widespread phenomenon that often accompanies people from the earliest days of childhood until old age. It is part of life and has many causes. When unscrupulous despots – whether medieval popes, modern dictators or so-called philanthropists – stir up this everyday fear from outside, they are concerned with satisfying their own greed for power and subjugating the peoples. In doing so they are “doing the work of the devil”.
    Most people react to this diabolical “game” of the rulers with a reflex of obedience or even with unconditional submission.

    The Diabolical “Game” with Fear as an Instrument of Domination. The Reflex of Obedience

    ​Alastair Crooke discusses what is actually the opening of political discourse in the USA:
    ​ ​Today, there are two irreconcilable visions of American life. After 1992, the two parties alternated presidents every eight years. Yet, with each succeeding administration, the political milieu has grown yet more rancorous and divided. There is no relationship between parties now — save as sworn enemies, Vlahos observes.
    ​ ​On the one side, we have ‘Unionists’, who expect public deference towards the judgements and authority of the élite technocracy (whether financial or medical), and on the other, a tradition of state sovereignty, dating back to the 1871 (the Articles of Confederacy), which grant no deference towards the Federal authorities – but rather is suffused with disdain for them. Hence the culture of (often armed) militia, ready to fight ‘the Feds’ for their ‘liberties’.
    ​ ​This latter touches a deep skein of emotion: the ancient fight against the tentacles of the British Imperial Octopus to secure America’s ‘liberties’. Thus, lockdown, and the medical world’s dire predictions necessitating economic shut-down, smack of ‘another agenda’ (the octopus agenda) – a backdoor, by which the globalists can complete their (imagined) project to feudalise an otherwise free people.

    On the Battleground of the Virus, The Fox Laughs Last

    ​The Governor of New Jersey institutes a ramp-up in contact tracing, and seems to say that people who were in contact with a coronavirus case will be confined to home, and not allowed to shop for food, if they do not submit to mandatory testing.​

    Both Marjorie and Jenny came across this very useful article about how to assess risk of airborn coronavirus spread as we traverse the microenvironments of our lives.
    When assessing the risk of infection (via respiration) at the grocery store or mall, you need to consider the volume of the air space (very large), the number of people (restricted), how long people are spending in the store (workers – all day; customers – an hour). Taken together, for a person shopping: the low density, high air volume of the store, along with the restricted time you spend in the store, means that the opportunity to receive an infectious dose is low. But, for the store worker, the extended time they spend in the store provides a greater opportunity to receive the infectious dose and therefore the job becomes more risky.
    Basically, as the work closures are loosened, and we start to venture out more, possibly even resuming in-office activities, you need to look at your environment and make judgments. How many people are here, how much airflow is there around me, and how long will I be in this environment. If you are in an open floorplan office, you really need to critically assess the risk (volume, people, and airflow). If you are in a job that requires face-to-face talking or even worse, yelling, you need to assess the risk.
    If you are sitting in a well ventilated space, with few people, the risk is low.
    If I am outside, and I walk past someone, remember it is “dose and time” needed for infection. You would have to be in their airstream for 5+ minutes for a chance of infection. While joggers may be releasing more virus due to deep breathing, remember the exposure time is also less due to their speed.

    Extra bonus picture of Jenny, garden and tomatoes at blog


    From David Crowe’s “The Infectious Myth” (pdf chapter (2020) about the SARS “pandemic” of 2003)
    Quotes I’ve chosen are from cited articles, with references provided in the chapter.

    “It was also found that the total dosage of the steroid prednisolone was the leading risk factor for osteonecrosis, the destruction of bones within the body. When it occurred it was about a hundred days after steroid therapy was terminated and often involved major bones such as the hips and femur. One study found that more than 30 percent of SARS patients experienced this devastating disorder and another found it in over 40 percent.”

    “When the patient looked like he was dying, one of the treatments given in desperation was even higher doses of methylprednisolone. One month after being quarantined with chills and a fever he was dead with fungus spread throughout his body.”

    [“Therapeutic dose of methylprednisolone includes ≤40 mg/day, 80–160 mg/day, or ≥240 mg/day (intravenously once a day)”]
    “Our results show that corticosteroids may be of limited benefit in the suppression of chemokine production by SARS-CoV-infected cells.”

    I was put on prednisone after a severe asthma attack following a bad cold.
    I HATED the stuff- it made me want to bite off heads.
    I do, however, save my lightweight asthma corticosteroid for whenever it feels like a cold has dropped to my lungs, and it works. I hope they are using minimal doses.

    Stay distant while your face is masked,
    For demons lurk in every breath.
    Seclusion is our only task:
    We give up up Life to banish death.


    John Day
    hydroxychloroquine and zinc early is key.
    Unless it is contraindicated by the specific genetic background of the individual – see my post yesterday.
    I’m reminded of the story in one of the populist books a few years back where one of the ER departments of a major US hospital (Chicago?) replaced the practice of triage based on individual MD response with a strict heuristic flowchart based on aggregated best practice and saw their stats improve.
    We have ample data by now around successful treatment strategies (not that we should stop developing new ones). We don’t actually have a medical problem – an outbreak yes, but not a problem by historical standards.
    The problems we have (in terms of creating an accurate “problem statement”) are almost entirely political and in communication. Society is hysterical. Both metaphorically and literally hysterical.

    Doc Robinson

    “hydroxychloroquine and zinc early is key. Unless it is contraindicated by the specific genetic background of the individual.”

    That article yesterday was based on this assertion:
    “I looked at the drugs that can cause severe hemolysis in G6PD deficiency and got really scared. One of the substances that is called very dangerous in all forms of this enzyme deficiency is the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).”

    A quick search for evidence indicated that this assertion is false.
    There is evidently a related problem with Chloroquine (CQ), but not with Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).

    One drug commonly associated with hemolytic anemia in G6PD deficiency is … chloroquine.

    Should this be a concern in the present debate over treating COVID-19 patients? In my opinion, yes. G6PD deficiency is rather common; in fact, it is the second most common human enzyme defect, affecting some 400 million people worldwide. It affects 1 in 10 African-American males in the U.S…

    Given the challenges of knowing who may or may not have G6PD deficiency, it would seem prudent not to use chloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients who may be at risk for this genetic condition. The last thing they need is to have a serious respiratory disease compounded by hemolytic anemia, resulting in further loss of oxygenation.

    Hydroxychloroquine, on the other hand, does not induce hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency despite the molecular similarity to chloroquine. It has shown effectiveness in inhibiting the pandemic coronavirus during in vitro testing.

    Chloroquine Is Not a Harmless Panacea for COVID-19
    — There’s a real safety concern with malaria drug

    by Dan J. Vick MD, DHA, MBA, CPE March 23, 2020

    Is Hydroxychloroquine Safe for Patients with G6PD Deficiency?

    There is no data to support the withholding of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) therapy among African American patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), according to the results of a recent review.

    The researchers conducted a retrospective chart review that included 275 patients with a measured G6PD and HCQ usage (84% of patients were female and 46% were African American).

    Of the 275 patients, 32% were diagnosed with lupus, 29% with rheumatoid arthritis, and 14% with inflammatory arthritis. Only 4% of patients were G6PD deficient, all of which were African American.

    Overall, there were no incidents of hemolysis reported in over 700 months of HCQ exposure among the 11 G6PD-deficient patients. Two G6PD-deficient patients experienced hemolysis during severe lupus flares that occurred while not taking HCQ.

    “This is the largest study to date evaluating G6PD deficiency with concurrent use of HCQ,” the researchers concluded. “These data do not support routine G6PD level measurement or withholding HCQ therapy among African American patients with G6PD deficiency.”


    Thanks for the response Doc R.
    Despite those reports, I’m not ready to dismiss this potential link just yet. 11 patients is not a bigsample set, and in context with the extreme risk aversion around Covid (ie “everyone hide in their homes..”) it would seem wise to be careful in prescribing HCQ to G6PD-deficient patients.
    Blacks and males seem to be statistically at greater risk, and this may be a contributing mechanism (noting correlation is not causality).


    So I got me test results back, negative, and therefore I am back in the office today. For 24 hours I was under a strict quarantine. Ordered not to take public transportation or a taxi. Ordered not to stop anywhere on the way home. No groceries, no pharmacy, no convenience store, no takeout, no bank, nothing. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. And once home, do not go out until the test results come out. Not even to walk the dog around the block.

    It sure did feel different for a day.

    So instead of a strict lockdown, why don’t Western countries adopt the Eastern approach? Starting with everyone wearing a mask to go inside any public establishment. Putting hand sanitizer bottles everywhere. And checking temperatures to enter hotels, offices buildings, and other confined spaces with large numbers of people. Or is it just too difficult to get everyone on the same page — like herding cats?


    Up here in Toronto the wearing of masks is about a 50:50 affair at best.

    New Canadian, mostly young, are the least likely to wear masks.

    (The very cold wintery spring weather probably played the biggest role in locking down people.)

    That is why Ontario’s lockdown has not been a great success at bending the curve.

    It was at best a half ass lockdown.

    Since the lockdown wasn’t working very well, the politicians have to open up the economy now or voters will figure out the lockdown wasn’t working and punish the politicians.


    I read a great piece on today, which I’ll quote in full:

    I guess for me the issue with a word like madness is whether we are talking about madness in the strict social psychological sense of the word, or whether this whole debacle is driven by something a little closer to textbook clinical anxiety. Le Bon’s mad crowds were driven by irrationality and active aggression. But what I see during this lockdown are crowds driven by anxiety; that is a form of hyper-rationality that causes total passivity. People who are rational (i.e. clinically normal) see risk and are prepared to live alongside it (“Okay, I COULD die of BSE; but I’m still going to eat beef because I like it”); but people who are hyper-rational (i.e. suffer from anxiety) can’t let go of that slim statistical chance that they might be the one tragic case to die/suffer from X. So rather than mad crowds full of violence and action, we’ve ended up with hyper-rational crowds that don’t want a fight… they want to hide! You can deal with mad crowds by bringing out the army. But how do you deal with hyper-rational crowds? Reasoned argument won’t work, because ultimately, they can turn any fact, model or statistic around and show you that, actually, statistically, they’re very vulnerable and could very well die/suffer at any moment. This type of thing has been bubbling away in millennial cancel culture for a while now (to “cancel” of course being to undertake an entirely passive action that prevents engagement with anything you perceive as having the potential to “harm” you). For me, what’s changed during this coronavirus outbreak is that governments have suddenly started to feed this hyper-rational anxiety like never before: “You could die. You might die. We understand. It’s okay to wet yourself. But wear PPE. Sure, stay at home. Hide. Under the bed if it makes you feel better. Here, have some free money. Bleach your carpets. Cry. Sob too. Buy a ventilator. Ebay do them. Stay safe. That’s an order.” And what’s resulted is an utterly dysfunctional society that will give some people a free pass from being proper members of society for years to come.

    Taleb’s over-promotion of his theories outside the boundary where they can be usefully applied contributes directly to the what is beautifully characterised as “hyper-rationality”.


    Huskynut, I can say that the perspective you shared is very specific to Western individualistic thinking. If you were to offer that to a Korea or a Japanese or a Thai, they would not be able to identify with it at all, and probably also have trouble understanding the point the author was trying to make. I think part of it is being in a society where it is considered wrong to think of yourself first. You have to think of the group. Your family. Your co-workers. The whole country. Although people here do take selfish actions, it is shameful to do so. So the mindset here is more on what is good for the group, for everyone.

    Among Western societies, I think the one that is the most fearful is the US, and I think that has something to do with the US healthcare system. In the US is it not just that “slim statistical chance that they might be the one tragic case to die/suffer from X” but also the risk of bankruptcy to boot. I think there is a lot more confidence in those Western countries that make an effort to protect everyone’s health.

    Dr. D

    Boogaloo, the system is no better: instead of abandoning the group for the individual, they trample the individual in favor of the group. As we see with arrests and disappearances, lives crushed and made small. They’re entitled to their ways, doesn’t bother me at all, but it works no better and possibly worse. And CV medical is already universally Federally covered for a month or more, am I wrong?

    Hyperrational people are unreachable. Clearly. Counterintuitively, facts have no effect on the hyper-rational because they are being driven entirely by emotion. That is to say, they are completely ir-rational. If you’re provably irrational, are you insane? In a way. Although we all are less than sane to some degree or another. That’s why they have to go through the process on their own, and we have to let them. Only when they’ve destroyed everything for nothing will they question, and probably not then.

    So the U.N.’s 25 Million deaths by starvation because of the response? Will that do it? Wouldn’t count on it.

    Dr. D

    Why doesn’t Marquette, Michigan, (population 20,000), use the same procedures as Tokyo?
    MI2,_Michigan#/media/File:Downtown_Marquette,_Michigan_in_Autumn_(43657514144).jpg (Will either picture load?)

    Why doesn’t Jackson, Wyoming (pop 10,000) use the same rules as NYC?


    I don’t think anyone would need to answer that question because it’s self-evident. Because the number of deaths in Wyoming is 7. 0.001% One size does not fit all. But if a tree falls in Brooklyn, 3,000 counties need to burn down, and by God they’ll come make sure it does.

    I read an article that if the lockdown ended, people wouldn’t go out. So? Fine, let them. I’m not going to MAKE them leave their homes, MAKE them shop: it’s a free country. Please don’t. However, it’s the exact opposite when you PREVENT someone from going out, putting them under house arrest without charges or adjudication. That’s the opposite of freedom and 1,000 years of western law.

    If they want to wear masks, let them. Wear them for the rest of their life if they want, doesn’t bother me because I DON’T EXIST TO TELL OTHERS WHAT TO DO. However, they do not return the favor. It’s literally impossible to be left alone. The government is then fighting the people, thinking it knows better than its own paymaster and employer. What sense does it make for the servant to order the master? They can live just fine with me, however, they won’t return the favor and allow me to live. Am I kidding? They tracked down campers in the Outback and dragged surfers out of the ocean, miles from anyone, just to control them, just to not leave them alone. They lie awake nights worrying, somebody, somewhere isn’t obeying orders. Somebody isn’t under control. Somewhere somebody is thinking thoughts. And I must find them and MAKE them. Everyone must be part of my ego. Everyone must be EXACTLY like me. Be me or I’ll kill you. That’s diversity! That’s tolerance! That’s Love! (For Narcissists with Borderline Personality Disorder)

    And what if you’re wrong and the number is 25 million deaths short? What then? Because that already just happened.

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.