May 192020

Jack Delano Engineer at AT&SF railroad yard, Clovis, NM 1943


US States’ Reopening Plans Are All Over The Map (R.)
Moderna: Early Coronavirus Vaccine Results Are Encouraging (AP)
Trump Says He Is Taking Hydroxychloroquine Despite FDA Warning (R.)
Trump Threatens To Permanently Cut Off WHO Funding (CNBC)
CDC Plans Sweeping COVID19 Antibody Study In 25 Metropolitan Areas (R.)
Coronavirus Deadliest In New York City’s Black And Latino Neighborhoods (R.)
Brazil Sees 674 New Coronavirus Deaths, World’s Third Highest Number Of Infections (R.)
India Coronavirus Infections Surge Past 100,000 (R.)
Agency Staff Were Spreading COVID19 Between Care Homes (G.)
France Sees 70 Cases Linked To Schools Days After Reopening (AP)
COVID19 Rental Hardship Kicked Down The Road To Spring Of ‘Carnage’ (
Don’t Piss Down My Back And Tell Me It’s Raining (Sirota)
The Uncle Joe-Can’t-Internet Criticism Is Mostly Malarkey (VF)
Obama, Biden Not Targeted In US Review Of Russia Probe – Barr (R.)



• US new cases on May 17 had a “good day” with 18,939, but on May 18 was up to 22,423 again

• US virus deaths fall for second day, with 759 in 24 hours, pass 90,000

• Russia 9,263 new cases from yesterday’s 9709






Cases 4,911,720 (+ 91,373 from yesterday’s 4,820,347)

Deaths 320,454 (+ 3,487 from yesterday’s 316,967)




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



From Worldometer



From SCMP:








“There has not been the slightest hint of interest on the part of Congress in creating a national uniform set of rules..”

“None of the guidelines from the White House are legally binding”

US States’ Reopening Plans Are All Over The Map (R.)

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has set some distinct goals the federal district needs to meet in order for her to feel comfortable ending a stay-at-home order, she told reporters last week. If the U.S. capital, which reported more than 7,200 cases and around 400 deaths by Monday, hits certain metrics, including a declining number of cases over 14 days and sustained low transmission rate, she could lift the order before it expires on June 8. Neighboring Maryland, home to tens of thousands who commute to D.C. for work, is looking at a different set of data to determine whether it is ready to open up. It includes a plateau in the rate of hospitalizations and the number of cases in hospitals’ intensive-care units.

Virginia, home to tens of thousands more who commute to D.C., has another metric altogether. Governor Ralph Northam said in April the state needed to see a decrease in the percentage of positive tests over 14 days, a decrease in hospitalizations, have enough hospital beds and intensive care capacity and a sustainable supply of personal protective equipment. This situation, with three different leaders using different criteria to decide how to reopen – has been replicated throughout the country, according to data here compiled by the National Governors’ Association. Luisa Franzini, chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, said every state seems to be using its own criteria to determine whether to reopen. None is really meeting all the metrics set out by the federal government, Franzini said. Instead local governments appear to be picking “what seems to be working for them.”

New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, said it would need 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 people, and 90 days of PPE stockpiles before it can “re-open.” Next-door New Jersey is looking for a “14-day trend line” of dropping cases and hospitalizations, and has already allowed some beaches to reopen. Kansas said it needed to see stable or declining case rates over 14 days, but has opened most businesses. Neighboring Missouri, which Kansas City straddles, reopened all business on May 4. South Dakota, site of one of the largest hot spots, said it could not have clusters that posed a risk to the public, and neighboring Minnesota has reopened retail shops.

[..] as with many aspects of handling the pandemic, the final say on how to reopen lies with state and local officials, who under the U.S. Constitution hold the authority here to make laws related to residents’ health and welfare. Federal lawmakers, meanwhile, have not set any new standards for workplace safety, although they could. “There has not been the slightest hint of interest on the part of Congress in creating a national uniform set of rules on business closures and re-openings,” said Robert Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas. None of the guidelines from the White House are legally binding, he noted. [..] “I hate to say it in these terms,” said Raymond Scheppach, a professor of public policy at the University of Virginia, “but I think we’re in a period of experimentation.”

Read more …

How crazy are we? Try this: Moderna’s “encouraging” results are based on tests of 8(!) people. Not an error, just 8 people. Tons of media coverage, and its stock goes to the moon. 8 people. The CEO is selling selling selling stock. And there was an IPO yesterday?!

In other news today: 8 people have now amassed 50% of all wealth of earth. Presumably they are not the same 8 people.

Moderna: Early Coronavirus Vaccine Results Are Encouraging (AP)

An experimental vaccine against the coronavirus showed encouraging results in very early testing, triggering hoped-for immune responses in eight healthy, middle-aged volunteers, its maker announced Monday. Study volunteers given either a low or medium dose of the vaccine by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. had antibodies similar to those seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19. In the next phase of the study, led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, researchers will try to determine which dose is best for a definitive experiment that they aim to start in July.

In all, 45 people have received one or two shots of the vaccine, which was being tested at three different doses. The kind of detailed antibody results needed to assess responses are only available on eight volunteers so far. The vaccine seems safe, the company said, but much more extensive testing is needed to see if it remains so. A high dose version is being dropped after spurring some short-term side effects. The results have not been published and are only from the first of three stages of testing that vaccines and drugs normally undergo. U.S. government officials have launched a project called “Operation Warp Speed” to develop a vaccine and hopefully have 300 million doses by January.

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Obesity means having a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30. Morbid obesity means having a BMI of 40 or higher.

Trump Says He Is Taking Hydroxychloroquine Despite FDA Warning (R.)

U.S. President Donald Trump, in a surprise announcement, said on Monday he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine against the coronavirus despite medical warnings about the use of the malaria drug. Trump volunteered the disclosure during a question-and-answer session with reporters at the White House as he met restaurant executives whose businesses are reeling from the impact of the virus. “I’m taking hydroxychloroquine,” Trump said. “I’ve been taking it for the last week and a half. A pill every day.” Weeks ago, Trump had promoted the drug as a potential treatment based on a positive report about its use against the virus, but subsequent studies found that it was not helpful. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about its use.

In an April 24 statement, the FDA said it was “aware of reports of serious heart rhythm problems” in patients with COVID-19 treated with hydroxychloroquine or an older drug, chloroquine. Trump, 73, who is tested daily for the virus, said he had asked the White House physician if it was OK to take the drug, and the doctor told him: “Well, if you’d like it.” The president, a well-known germaphobe, has nonetheless refused to wear a protective mask in the West Wing. White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo that Trump was in “very good health” and had been receiving regular COVID-19 testing, which has all been negative since one of his support staff tested positive for the disease two weeks ago.

Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asked on CNN about Trump’s taking the drug, said: “He’s our president. I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and his, shall we say weight group what is morbidly obese, they say.” According to the results of an annual presidential physical examination conducted in February 2019, Trump had gained weight over the past year and was now in the obese range, although remaining in “very good health overall.” Morbid obesity is generally defined as a body mass index (BMI) – a measure of weight relative to height – of 40 or higher. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is overweight and 30 or above is obese. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in an MSNBC interview that what Trump did with hydroxychloroquine was “reckless” and was giving people “false hope.”

Trump’s disclosure came as Moderna reported progress in a potential vaccine for the virus. The only drug that has emerged so far as a potential treatment is Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir.

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Tedros should simply explain the delays.

Trump Threatens To Permanently Cut Off WHO Funding (CNBC)

President Donald Trump threatened to permanently cut off U.S. funding of the World Health Organization, in a letter dated Monday that he shared on Twitter. Trump said that if the WHO “does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization.” Last month, Trump halted U.S. funding for the WHO as his administration conducted a review of the agency’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, the agency said “We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding.”

It’s not immediately clear how Trump would withhold those funds, much of which are appropriated by Congress. The president typically does not have the authority to unilaterally redirect congressional funding. The renewed threat comes as the Trump administration faces criticism for how it has handled the crisis. The United States is the worst hit country with more than 1.5 million coronavirus cases reported and at least 90,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In the Monday letter, Trump said the review “confirmed many of the serious concerns I raised last month.” It also outlines what the White House perceived as “repeated missteps” by the organization and its director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The letter echoes Trump’s previous complaint that the WHO resisted issuing a travel advisory in the early days of the outbreak. When the agency declared the situation a global health emergency in late January, Tedros advised countries against imposing “measures that unnecessarily interfere with international trade or travel.”

Trump said that if the WHO “does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization.” Last month, Trump halted U.S. funding for the WHO as his administration conducted a review of the agency’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, the agency said “We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding.” It’s not immediately clear how Trump would withhold those funds, much of which are appropriated by Congress. The president typically does not have the authority to unilaterally redirect congressional funding.

The renewed threat comes as the Trump administration faces criticism for how it has handled the crisis. The United States is the worst hit country with more than 1.5 million coronavirus cases reported and at least 90,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In the Monday letter, Trump said the review “confirmed many of the serious concerns I raised last month.” It also outlines what the White House perceived as “repeated missteps” by the organization and its director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

click to read in new tab

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In July, when the pandemic has been going for 6 months. Sweeping.

CDC Plans Sweeping COVID19 Antibody Study In 25 Metropolitan Areas (R.)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans a nationwide study of up to 325,000 people to track how the new coronavirus is spreading across the country into next year and beyond, a CDC spokeswoman and researchers conducting the effort told Reuters. The CDC study, expected to launch in June or July, will test samples from blood donors in 25 metropolitan areas for antibodies created when the immune system fights the coronavirus, said Dr. Michael Busch, director of the nonprofit Vitalant Research Institute. Busch is leading a preliminary version of the study – funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – that is testing the first 36,000 samples.

The CDC-funded portion, to be formally announced this week, will expand the scope and time frame, taking samples over 18 months to see how antibodies evolve over time, said CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund. Vitalant, a nonprofit that runs blood donation centers and tests samples, will lead the broader effort as well. Researchers aim to publish results on a rolling basis, Nordlund said. Antibody studies, also known as seroprevalence research, are considered critical to understanding where an outbreak is spreading and can help guide decisions on restrictions needed to contain it. The CDC study should also help scientists better understand whether the immune response to COVID wanes over time.

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15 times more deadly is a lot.

Coronavirus Deadliest In New York City’s Black And Latino Neighborhoods (R.)

Some New York City neighborhoods have seen death rates from the novel coronavirus nearly 15 times higher than others, according to data released by New York City’s health department on Monday, showing the disproportionate toll taken on poor communities. The data shows for the first time a breakdown on the number of deaths in each of the city’s more than 60 ZIP codes. The highest death rate was seen on the edge of Brooklyn in a neighborhood dominated by a large subsidized-housing development called Starrett City. Civic leaders had been pushing for the more granular data, which they said would show stark racial and economic disparities after New York City became the heart of one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world in March and April.

In the wealthy, mostly white enclave of Gramercy Park in Manhattan, the rate is 31 deaths per 100,000 residents, the data shows. A long subway ride away in Far Rockaway in the borough of Queens, which is more than 40% black and 25% Latino or Hispanic, the death rate is nearly 15 times higher: 444 deaths per 100,000 residents. “It’s really heartbreaking and it should tug at the moral conscience of the city,” Mark Levine, chairman of the City Council’s health committee, said in an interview. “We knew we had dramatic inequality. This, in graphic form, shows it’s even greater than maybe many of us feared.”

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Large countries such as Brazil, India, Mexico, Pakisten, Indonesia are a main concern.

Brazil Sees 674 New Coronavirus Deaths, World’s Third Highest Number Of Infections (R.)

Brazil recorded 674 new coronavirus deaths on Monday, the Health Ministry said, and announced a total of 254,220 confirmed cases, overtaking Britain to become the country with the third-highest number of infections behind the United States and Russia. There are now 16,792 people in Brazil who have died from the outbreak, the ministry said. Its daily tally does not indicate that infections and deaths necessarily occurred in the past 24 hours, but rather that the records were entered into the system during that time period.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has lost popularity over his handling of the pandemic, but he retains a resilient core of support. Last week, Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned, becoming the second top health official to leave the post since the pandemic began. General Eduardo Pazuello is the interim health chief and Bolsonaro is in no hurry to choose his replacement, sources say. According to data from the Health Ministry, São Paulo remains the worst hit by the outbreak, with 63,066 cases and 4,823 deaths. Rio de Janeiro is in second place, with 26,665 infections and 2,852 deaths.

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1.3 billion people. 100,000 ICU beds.

India Coronavirus Infections Surge Past 100,000 (R.)

India reported 4,970 new cases over the previous 24 hours, taking its total to 101,139. Deaths rose by 134 to 3,163. India’s number of cases has easily outstripped that of China, where the virus emerged late last year and which has been one of Asia’s infection hot spots. China has reported nearly 83,000 cases but has kept its daily rise in new infections to single digits for the past week. In contrast, new cases in India have risen by an average of more than 4,000 a day over the past week, according to a Reuters tally based on official data, despite a severe weeks-long lockdown. India officially extended the lockdown on Sunday to May 31, although several states indicated they would allow businesses to reopen.

Health experts and officials are worried about the strain the epidemic is placing on India’s over-stretched and under-funded hospital system. Dhruva Chaudhry, president of the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine, told Reuters last month that India probably had only about 100,000 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 40,000 ventilators. Chaudhry warned there was not sufficient infrastructure or staff in the country of 1.35 billion people to handle a sharp spike in the number of critical patients. [..] India’s death rate is less than that of some other big countries, at 3%, compared with about 6% for the United States, where some 89,000 people have died, and 14% for Britain.

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A global problem.

Agency Staff Were Spreading COVID19 Between Care Homes (G.)

Temporary care workers transmitted Covid-19 between care homes as cases surged, according to an unpublished government study which used genome tracking to investigate outbreaks. In evidence that raises further questions about ministers’ claims to have “thrown a protective ring around care homes”, it emerged that agency workers – often employed on zero-hours contracts – unwittingly spread the infection as the pandemic grew, according to the study by Public Health England (PHE). The genome tracking research into the behaviour of the virus in six care homes in London found that, in some cases, workers who transmitted coronavirus had been drafted in to cover for care home staff who were self-isolating expressly to prevent the vulnerable people they look after from becoming infected.

At least 22,000 people are estimated to have died in care homes in England and Wales directly or indirectly from Covid-19. While the peak appears to have passed, the crisis is far from over for the country’s 400,000 care home residents, with some providers reporting fresh outbreaks and hospitalisations at the weekend. [..] Results from the PHE study, conducted over Easter weekend from 11 to 13 April, have been known about inside the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) since at least the end of last month, but were only circulated last week to care home providers, councils and local directors of public health.

It was referenced as part of a £600m infection control plan, which adult social care directors said came “tragically late in the day” given the peak of deaths in care homes appeared to have already passed. The study warned: “Infection is spreading from care home to care home, linked to changed patterns of staffing, working across and moving between homes.” The infection could be introduced by “bank staff” – floating workers used to fill temporary vacancies in different homes – it said, adding that workers were often asymptomatic so “by the time local health protection teams are informed of an outbreak substantial transmission may already have occurred”.

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70 isn’t much out of millions of schoolchildren. Plus, they’s have been infected beforehand, incubation time is 4-5 days minimum. Oh wait, that means at least 70 kids have been free to spread the virus for days on end.

France Sees 70 Cases Linked To Schools Days After Reopening (AP)

Just a week after one-third of French schoolchildren went back to school in an easing of the coronavirus lockdown, there has been a flurry of about 70 Covid-19 cases linked to schools. Some schools were opened last week and a further 150,000 secondary school students went back to the classroom on Monday as further restrictions were loosened by the government. The move initially spelled relief: the end of homeschooling for many hundreds of thousands of exhausted French parents, many of whom were also working from home.

But French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer sounded the alarm on Monday, telling French radio RTL that the return has put some children in new danger of contamination. He said the affected schools are being closed immediately. French media reported that seven schools in northern France were closed. The situation highlights the precarious situation the French government is finding itself in as it seeks both to reassure the public that the country is moving forward past coronavirus and to react prudently to safeguard public health. Mr Blanquer did not specify if the 70 cases of Covid-19 were among students or teachers.

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In September all relief has to be paid back. By people who still won’t have jobs then.

COVID19 Rental Hardship Kicked Down The Road To Spring Of ‘Carnage’ (

An eviction “ban”; a mortgage pause for landlords; income support for renters: extraordinary measures by governments and banks have stopped an eviction surge, kept Australia’s 8 million renters in their homes and helped landlords struggling with loans. But the temporary measures mask a growing problem: many renters are receiving “reductions” that are really deferrals, accruing thousands of dollars in debts they will never be able to repay. [..] Half of the nation’s workforce are on income support through an increased JobSeeker payment or the JobKeeper wage subsidy. Both expire after six months. In addition, the eviction ban and the big four banks’ offer to pause mortgage repayments for landlords expire around the end of September too. Shelter WA chief executive Michelle Mackenzie dreads to think about what will happen when all those supports end within days of each other.

“The world’s going to collapse.” JobSeeker, previously named Newstart or known colloquially as “the dole”, was effectively doubled through the addition of a coronavirus supplement. The extra payment boosted the amount unemployed people receive from $550 per fortnight — below the poverty line — to $1,100 a fortnight. Ms Mackenzie wants it made permanent, along with increases to Commonwealth rental assistance and investment in social housing. “It would stop the shock at the moment,” she said. Ms Mackenzie said some of her colleagues in community housing associations, who support tenants in government-supplied housing, have almost 40 per cent of their clients in arrears. The growing debt balloon in the private market could lead to increased homelessness, she added. “It’s really just deferring what’s a huge problem down the track,” she said.

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Bernie staffer Sirota is on to something, but is there anyone left who thinks US healthcare can be salvaged?

Don’t Piss Down My Back And Tell Me It’s Raining (Sirota)

Customers pay big money to purchase health insurance policies, but when they go to actually use the insurance product they bought, almost 1 in 5 in-network claims are denied — and we accept this as just a normal part of life in the world’s richest nation. This is quite a feat — the insurance industry has created for itself a unique carveout from human civilization’s most elemental economic laws about services being delivered in exchange for payment. And now as insurers rake in huge profits during a lethal pandemic, the industry’s propagandists are going a step further, insinuating that while insurance companies may begrudgingly pay some policyholders’ claims out of a sense of altruism, they don’t necessarily have a legal obligation to do so.

“It’s Actually A Selfless Act” This was the sentiment expressed by an insurance industry front group, defending a new initiative that eschews an expansion of Medicare and instead purports to address the COVID crisis by funneling money to insurance corporations through the COBRA program. That program allows laid off workers to keep their existing health care coverage, but only if they somehow find the cash to pay both the employee and employer side of health care premiums. The COBRA provision was written by Democratic lawmakers at the request of industry trade associations — and just after insurers’ lobbyists raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for House Democrats’ campaign committee.

In response to COBRA critics like Medicare for All proponent Bernie Sanders, here’s what Heather Meade, a spokesperson for the insurance industry-backed Alliance to Fight for Health Care, told Politico: “It would be helpful for them to remember that it’s actually a selfless act of employers to do this,” Meade said. “This bill pays just for the premiums, and either the insurance companies or the employers would pay the claims for people who are no longer employees. So it’s a lack of understanding of how COBRA actually works. There’s no bailout here.”

There’s that scene in The Outlaw Josey Wales when Captain Fletcher tells a senator: ”Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.” Well, that’s exactly what’s happening here: the insurance industry is urinating on us and telling us to thank them for the precipitation. Think about it: A health insurance company’s product — the very widget that it exists to sell — is security. The entire reason you pay a health insurance premium through your job is so that you receive a health insurance policy — one that presumably grants you the security of knowing that your medical claims will be paid out if you get sick. That assurance is literally the thing you are purchasing. And yet, we are now being told to believe that “it’s actually a selfless act” when insurance corporations and employers decide to “pay the claims” that are supposed to be covered by the policy you bought.

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Stay in the basement.

The Uncle Joe-Can’t-Internet Criticism Is Mostly Malarkey (VF)

To state the obvious: Of course Biden is losing the internet. Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Yang, and Kamala Harris would all be losing the internet to Trump too, especially in the fog of a global crisis. Trump is an incumbent president who has been building a reelection campaign for almost four years. His strengths, online and off, flow from the political asymmetry he’s created for himself. Trump has little interest in the facts or decorum to which most Democrats and members of the press are still bound. His deliberate provocations lend themselves perfectly to the clickbait of the platforms and the outrage porn of cable news.

Trump is such brain poison for the media that CNN prime-time hosts now devote their entire A-blocks to breathless anti-Trump harangues, which are gleefully spun by the Trump campaign into base-rallying cries of “Fake News,” email blasts, and Facebook fundraising ads that can be tested and reoptimized thousands of times over. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have combined to raise over $700 million so far this cycle, more than Obama did at this point in his 2012 reelection campaign. In 2016, the Trump campaign was held together by duct tape, Facebook ads, and a megaphone handed to them by TV news executives. But to their credit, Trump aides took a groundbreaking risk by devoting nearly half of their advertising budget to digital rather than TV ads, which proved themselves rather useless in a campaign defined by earned media controversies.

In 2020, with a huge staff at his disposal, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale can afford to do much more, experimenting and expanding his online reach far beyond the field of view of most Beltway-dwellers. Trump has more than 1.5 million followers on Snapchat, where his campaign test-drives messaging and regularly bumps his Snapchat followers across platforms into near-daily YouTube livestreams. His supporters are so loyal that they create low-grade content on their own and share it with their own networks, through podcasts, memes, or just old-fashioned handmade signs. Trump’s knack for weaponizing culture and turning politics into a contact sport means that everyone on his team wants a red jersey.

The Trump campaign sold $4 million worth of MAGA merchandise in March and April alone, according to CBS News. Parscale even previewed a new Trump–Pence 2020 COVID-19 face mask on Twitter, which was promptly mocked by the blue-checkmark crowd, ensuring that Parscale will sell thousands of them. Biden’s armchair quarterbacks point worriedly to the Trump campaign’s bombastic fundraising texts and his app, which can feel like being inside a Las Vegas casino, with its point-collecting contests and huge fonts. But Trump’s digital program—indeed his entire campaign—works because it mirrors who Trump is.

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It depends on John Durham, or so it seems. Problem is so many roads appear to lead to the White House.

Obama, Biden Not Targeted In US Review Of Russia Probe – Barr (R.)

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Monday he does not expect a Justice Department review of the FBI’s handling of 2016 election interference to lead to criminal investigation of former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden. “As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said. Federal prosecutor John Durham is reviewing the origins of the investigation of Russia’s 2016 election interference. President Donald Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly referred to a scandal he calls “Obamagate,” saying without evidence that Obama was tied to “the biggest political crime in American history.”

Trump stepped up those claims as he faced criticism for the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 88,000 Americans, and prepares to face Biden in the November election. Barr added that the election should be decided strictly on policy debates, and that any investigation of a political candidate would need to be approved by him personally. “We cannot allow this process to be hijacked by efforts to drum up criminal investigations of either candidate,” Barr said. Barr did not rule out the possibility of others being criminally investigated, without offering specifics.

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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 19 2020

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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    Jack Delano Engineer at AT&SF railroad yard, Clovis, NM 1943   • US States’ Reopening Plans Are All Over The Map (R.) • Moderna: Early Corona
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 19 2020]

    John Day
    The pattern which seems to be governing this terrifying-pandemic is that of differential damage, imposing massive damage and losses on groups which are non-tributaries to a particular power structure.
    The US seeks to impose unlimited losses upon Chinese interests. Fear must remain in place at home, to assure compliance of the masses, so actual cures, or relief from fear are banned on YouTube for going against WHO/CDC edicts.
    WHO/CDC have been harmful, not helpful to public health, to date.
    The overarching need of the current elites is to maintain power and control through this crisis, preferably to increase it.
    That form of insecurity and grasping too hard, while obscuring or outlawing remedies they don’t control SHOULD be their downfall. We’ll see how this plays out.
    Let me clarify that I see all elites as amoral and self serving.
    None of them appear to represent the interests of life on Earth. Sociopaths all the way down…
    I’m backing cheap public health measures like vitamin-D, zinc, NAC and growing fresh vegetables.

    Craig Murray points out that only PROFITABLE “solutions” to this crisis will be considered by the financial masters.
    Please submit conforming proposals!
    …the UK and the US are attempting to hide their vaccine and treatment research results from the rest of the world to make money out of them.
    ​ ​Much has been written about the possibility for a new and better kind of world to emerge after coronavirus. Yet our governments cannot conceive of any model for fighting this threat to the whole world, other than the capitalist, money-making model. The much-touted “race to develop a vaccine” is not a race to save lives. It is a race to make billions.
    ​ ​The United States and the United Kingdom are working in all international fora to head off efforts to pool global research and to make any vaccine or medicine a good for the world.
    … the failure to set up a worldwide shared scientific database on all coronavirus vaccine and medicine research, and the failure to set up a prior agreement on free manufacture worldwide of effective resulting vaccines and treatments, is the most revealing fact about the entire coronavirus episode.

    Profiting from Coronavirus

    Donald Trump announces that he is taking hydroxychloroquine and zinc prophylactically against coronavirus.
    I hope he is also taking vitamin-D.

    [insert global trade war stories here]

    Russia’s COVID Game of Elites looks at what has happened in the last 2 months, with regional officials directing regional responses to viral pandemic, sometimes in such a way as to cripple economy, and infect more people, while extending forms of electronic control and surveillance. That went badly. Moscow’s mayor did a security check on everybody who was out in early April, causing mass crowds standing in close proximity, awaiting individual evaluations of status and assessing millions of dollars of fines. Cases boomed a week later.​ Putin was in self-quarantine after exposure to a doctor who came down with coronavirus (Did Putin have it?) He is out and completely active again. Traitorous elements in the Russian Federation have shown their unpatriotic hands. The article is long and detailed, and a little hard to read.

    Russia’s Covid Game Of Elites

    Sweden, with voluntary social distancing, approaches “herd immunity” sooner than other countries. A lot of Swedes take vitamin-D and fish oil supplements… They figure you get the same number of deaths eventually, no matter what.
    “I think there is relatively little chance of stopping this whatever measures we take.”
    ​Reminder: When the very rich are done with us, they plan to leave us behind
    (or worse, but I don’t think it will work for them. dead end)​

    Reminder: When the Very Very Rich Are Done With Us, They Plan to Leave Us Behind

    Hamsters in cages with coronavirus blown onto them by fans have 2/3 reduction in cases of infection if they wear masks.

    [picture of blogger on curing work slab at end]


    From Jonathan Turley today:

    The Perpetual Impeachment: House Democrats Tell The Supreme Court That They Are Preparing For A New Impeachment

    “The [House Judiciary] Committee’s investigation did not cease with the conclusion of the impeachment trial. … The withheld material remains central to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the President’s conduct. If this material reveals new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the articles adopted by the House, the committee will proceed accordingly — including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment.”

    Doc Robinson

    Coronavirus Deadliest In New York City’s Black And Latino Neighborhoods (R.)

    Vitamin D deficiency may play a role.

    Vitamin D deficiency is more common among African Americans (AAs) than among European Americans (EAs), and epidemiologic evidence links vitamin D status to many health outcomes… Vitamin D deficiency is common even among AAs who live in sunlight intense southern and southwestern states or who have higher dietary vitamin D intake than the longstanding recommended daily allowance (≥400 IU/day)

    Common vitamin D pathway gene variants reveal contrasting effects on serum vitamin D levels in African Americans and European Americans


    Long-term TAE reader, but first post. Regarding the following article:

    The author speaks to many points, but would one of the doctors (or other qualified individuals) who contribute to TAE, comment on the author’s contention that while perhaps useful to other groups in treating covid-19, hydroxycholoroquine may adversely affect Africans or those of African descent because of a gene deficiency?

    There have been several explanations put forth as to why this group has been much more severely affected by the virus; does this add anything to our understanding?


    Hmmm! Link in previous post not visible. Second try:

    Covid19: A case for medical detectives

    Article re complicating gene deficiency in use of hydroxychloroquine.

    Doc Robinson

    I’m not an MD, but I presented some evidence (in an earlier comment) that counters those OffGuardian claims about hydroxychloroquine and African Americans.

    That OffGuardian article 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… “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.”


    @Doc Robinson

    Sorry i missed your earlier comment. Thanks for the detailed clarification!


    Yeah, thanks Doc.

    Of course I still have a question: how does the prevalence of G6PD deficiency among African Americans sync with the use of chloroquine through the years for millions of Africans in malaria zones? Shouldn’t there be a ton of medical info collected over time? If one in 10 have the deficiency and 1 in 10 gets treated for malaria, it would seem you’re looking at very large numbers. At least potentially

    Dr. D

    I believe the case rate in the U.S. is pretty-close to the lower health of Blacks and Latinos, which is partially poverty: wealth is the single foremost indicator of health, but also blacks and native-descended Latinos (and not Spaniards) have the “efficiency gene”. This causes overweight and Type II diabetes in massive effect. Overweight, high blood pressure, and pre-existing conditions being massive risk factors.

    The irony is that a gene that should save your life and make it easier, by being better at using food, turns out to be a giant liability when the main risk is too much empty fast-carbs, even for white people to tolerate, who are dying of voluntary Type II in record numbers themselves.

    On a positive note, the Navajo (I think) did a study of returning people to traditional native diets and crushed Type II almost completely, like a light switch. Problem is, you can never go back to sugar, alcohol, fry bread, and they are always, always available, day and night, addictively calling. So far.

    So my guess is the gene, by much, and poverty and exposure, by a little, adding up to the difference in numbers you see. Which really isn’t all THAT much different. It’s not 2:1 or anything. Like men, it was like 60:40 max, and men treat themselves badly and expose themselves to more risk. I’d rather focus on the process common to all than trace the ways the virus is racist.

    Dr. D

    “There has not been the slightest hint of interest on the part of Congress in creating a national uniform set of rules..”

    This was very interesting to me since the author clearly failed out of high school and never took a civics class. This is exactly how the U.S. is supposed to be set up, since 1789, 1776, or before 1750. The States have pre-eminence. And a lot, most of our present social and economic problems have a single source in the “I know best” “One size fits all” top-down diktat we’ve been savaged under. NYC: 20,000 deaths. Wyoming: 7. One 67,000 people/square mile, one 6 people per square mile. Savage attempt at the same rules, same solutions. And Whhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyy? No reason, but you notice it isn’t Wyoming telling NYC how it’s gonna be. Only the other way around.

    This is EXACTLY why the states, federalism, is primary, and HAS to be. Rhode Island: 1,000 sq miles. Alaska: 570,000 sq miles. Hawaii is a distant island. Kansas is landlocked. Texas is a border. Minnesota is a snowdrift. NOLA is Caribbean, DC doesn’t even have locals, only transplants. They’re all one nation. And you have the “Slightest hint” that somehow, some way they could NOT have different rules? That the Feds would be able to understand and dictate to each and all?

    But why not? That’s what I’ve been hearing from these IYI delinquents and dropouts all my life. And it’s been failing all my life, and they have yet to go anywhere outside Brooklyn and talk to anyone not like them, despite that they’re reporters and it’s their literal day job. Well, it happened this time anyway, perhaps by accident. Maybe the Governors can take a clue, stop slobbering over and blaming the President for everything (Ford to NYC: Drop Dead) and re-claim the power that has always been theirs. Then Massachusetts can be small, ecological, progressive, and Texas can be big, rowdy, and conservative, or whatever they want to be, because I won’t tell them. Isn’t that fine? Isn’t that diversity? How could they possibly have diversity any other way?

    Because they hate diversity. Everyone must be like my ego. And difference, diversity, has advantages as stated above, and also disadvantages, but at the moment, that is the actual law, should anybody wish to ever follow and obey it again.

    Well, in any case, we see the states, the people, aren’t going to obey anything, take any orders any more even if you tell them to. We’re now de-centralizing, Ms. Brice from NYU, and we will be for some time.

    It would be fun to arrest the vaccine czar, but what he did was very clever: he HAD to sell, BECAUSE he was just hired. It’s not his fault his company released a super-duper press release and accidentally boosted the stock the same day the government forced him to divest! Honest!

    is there anyone left who thinks US healthcare can be salvaged?”

    It depends what you mean by “salvaged.” We’ve been saying since the first day, in 1992, that the plan was, since they couldn’t get socialized health care through, to so utterly destroy the system and ruin the people that we’d beg for socialize care. Every step over every year has borne out that accusation, especially the 10% increases the 5 years into ACA, and the 3-4 10% increases AFTER, with a DROP in care and coverage, with NO doctors trained, hired, or planned. That’s a dead giveaway the object was to murder and destroy when you add 300,000 to the system with zero resources added.

    So how do you mean “salvaged?” If we just repealed the laws back to 1992, it would improve many-fold. But what is meant is, “Although we, the insurance lobbyists, worked long and tirelessly for decades specifically TO increase costs and profits, there is no possible way removing us would fix anything. You simply must enshrine us all and our high prices into a federal monopoly.” You know, that will work as well as Amtrak, Comcast, Exxon, and Boeing. We clearly must NOT salvage it by looking at the few sectors where medical cost dropped tirelessly: Lasik, plastic surgery, and cash-only locations like Oklahoma, because then we would be picking what works instead of enriching and empowering my insider-lobbyist pals.

    Since we can’t trust these guys to give guidance that basement-dwelling idiots like me could see, like air travel and masks, can’t trust them to not screw up two massive CV test releases in a row, can’t trust them not to loose and leak anthrax, can’t trust them not to sell medical bio-weapons secrets to the Chinese, can’t trust them to not put out a new drug every year like Vioxx that kills thousands, can’t trust them not to hide, subvert, and protect Monsanto from killing millions with glyphosate, can’t start studies until 6 months too late, can’t get medical care in the VA, can’t trust them to have a safe number of beds, doctors, and nurses, but now you want to hand the whole thing – that they’ve visibly failed at, constantly, for 70 years – TO the nation’s least-trusted group, Congress, by nationalizing it? I just don’t know what to say. Go ahead. Maybe you’ll learn your lesson when they maim you and leave you for dead, or it bankrupts the entire nation and you have no care, like Finland and UK look to.

    Or we could just expand the few places in medicine that are working better than ever, your choice.

    “the govt were considering going it alone with the #Herd_Immunity strategy weeks ago,”

    They already did that, but you wouldn’t let them. So they did they easiest thing: they patted you on your little head and lied. You still don’t seem to understand that’s what happened, so I guess they did the right thing.

    With the “Three C’s” so as they say, masks may work but not for long: like for the customers, but not the workers trapped in with thousands of new customers all day.

    So…then…where are all the hundred-thousand cases of grocery workers, etc? Why aren’t they sick? Is something else going on? Because…not science, not your theory. So we need a new theory. Anybody got one?

    Bonus question: why do the new child cases include children that test NEGATIVE for CV?

    Doc Robinson

    Ilargi, this is related to your question. Primaquine (not chloroquine) appears to be the drug of choice to fight malaria. Primaquine also is problematic for G6PD-deficient patients. “In six decades of primaquine use in approximately 200 million people, 14 deaths have been reported.”

    “G6PD deficiency provides great protection from malaria infection, especially for falciparum infections. On the other hand, G6PD deficiency has been recently demonstrated to cause serious problems in fighting against malaria. Primaquine, which is the only drug currently used in the treatment of Plasmodium infections leads to severe hemolysis in G6PD-deficient patients. This drug may even cause death in G6PD-deficient patients”

    Primaquine is the only generally available anti-malarial that prevents relapse in vivax and ovale malaria, and the only potent gametocytocide in falciparum malaria. Primaquine becomes increasingly important as malaria-endemic countries move towards elimination, and although it is widely recommended, it is commonly not given to malaria patients because of haemolytic toxicity in subjects who are glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient (gene frequency typically 3-30% in malaria endemic areas; >180 different genetic variants).In six decades of primaquine use in approximately 200 million people, 14 deaths have been reported. Confining the estimate to reports with known denominators gives an estimated mortality of one in 621,428 (upper 95% CI: one in 407,807). All but one death followed multiple dosing to prevent vivax malaria relapse. Review of dose-response relationships and clinical trials of primaquine in G6PD deficiency suggests that the currently recommended WHO single low dose (0.25 mg base/kg) to block falciparum malaria transmission confers a very low risk of haemolytic toxicity.”


    What are the USA enemies saying
    Tue May 19, 2020
    8 Countries to Import Iran-Made Coronavirus Test Kits

    TEHRAN (FNA)- Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari said that Iranian knowledge-based firms have started manufacturing coronavirus test kits and eight countries have agreed to import such items from the country.
    “Iran presently has a capacity of producing 1 million serology test kits per day and 1.5 million of C-Creative Protein (CPR) test kits per month,” Sattari said on Tuesday.

    “Part of the mentioned figure is used inside the country and the rest is exported,” he added.

    In relevant remarks on May 10, Deputy head of the Iranian presidency’s office for scientific affairs Mehdi Qalenoyee said that Iranian firms are going to export serological test kits to eight more countries after a first successful cargo was sent to Germany earlier in the week.


    Has our blog host got himself into precisely the same point as most western governments?
    In March, leading every day with the Worldometer stats probably seemed like a good way to galvanise debate.
    But now? The stats aren’t remotely insightful.. in fact they just emphasise the debacle that is Covid “management”.
    But….. how does one pivot away from the focus of the previous two months?
    A rationalist might say – “well it was fascinating, but events have moved on, and so must we”
    But here, as with government responses, the sunk-cost fallacy will have it’s way.
    Abandoning the mast-head opinion and structure is a felt as loss and not simply as the tide of the time.
    Tucker Carlson nailed it here:
    And yep, I know.. most of you have absorbed from other places that Tucker is a douchebag (racist!) Strange thing is, if you stop long enough to actually listen (don’t have to agree) then, yeah, some well-made points.


    One tweet from Trump was just one word: “OBAMAGATE!”. It got over 250,000 likes. How can anyone compete with that?

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