Pablo Picasso The blue room 1901
There is never a single source of truth. Other than in dictatorships.
WATCH: New Zealand Prime Minister goes full third world dictator: “We will continue to be your single source of truth.” pic.twitter.com/btvGErybVZ
— Election Wizard (@ElectionWiz) July 17, 2021
At what point can this no longer be ignored?
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, despite being vaccinated – and he is far from alone. The latest ZOE data shows that, as of July 12th, infections in the vaccinated (with at least one dose) in the U.K. now outnumber those in the unvaccinated for the first time, as the former continue to surge while the latter plummet (see above). (Note that 68% of the population has had at least one vaccine dose, so there are still at this stage disproportionately more new infections in the unvaccinated, though on current trends that may soon change.) At what point will the Government accept that these vaccines have limited efficacy in preventing infection and transmission, and thus the whole rationale of being vaccinated to protect others – vaccine passports, compulsory vaccination, and so on – is suspect?
The above graph was in yesterday’s report, so I downloaded today’s report (you can get it by signing up to the app and reporting your symptoms) to get the new update. I was dismayed to find the graph was gone. At the bottom, a note explains: Removed incidence graph by vaccination status from the report as there are very few unvaccinated users in the infection survey, the Confidence Intervals are very wide and the trend for unvaccinated people is no longer representative. Which I would say is very convenient, just as infections in the vaccinated became the majority. Perhaps ZOE should try to recruit some more unvaccinated people for its survey, so it can continue to report on this as well as have a control group for its vaccine data? That would seem the scientific thing to do, rather than just stop reporting it because it is suddenly “no longer representative”.
It’s doubly odd because Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE app, made the decline among the unvaccinated a feature of his video this week. So the realisation that the trend is “no longer representative” appears to have been rather sudden, even invalidating the contents of a ZOE ‘data release‘ two days earlier.
Britain has opted against mass COVID-19 vaccinations for all children and teenagers, with ministers instead preparing to offer doses to vulnerable 12 to 15-year-olds and those about to turn 18, the Telegraph newspaper reported late on Saturday. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is believed to have advised ministers against the rollout of vaccines to all children until further evidence on the risks is available, the report added. Under guidance the newspaper said are due to be issued on Monday, vaccine doses will be offered to children between 12 and 15 who are deemed vulnerable to COVID-19 or who live with adults who are immunosuppressed or otherwise vulnerable to the virus.
They will also now be offered to all 17-year-olds within three months of their 18th birthday, according to The Telegraph, which reported that the committee would keep the possibility of vaccinating all children “under review.” In response to the report, Britain’s Health Department said that “no decisions have been made by ministers on whether people aged 12 to 17 should be routinely offered COVID-19 vaccines.” Britain on Saturday reported 54,674 new COVID-19 cases, a rise on the 51,870 new cases reported on the previous day to post a fresh highest daily total in six months.
On June 23, an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met to discuss, among other topics, vaccine-related cases of myocarditis, which have hospitalized hundreds of adolescents. Evidence of a correlation between the condition, an inflammation of the heart muscle, and the vaccines had been mounting for months. Numerous countries had altered or withheld recommendations for pediatric vaccination, with some citing an ambiguous risk-benefit. One day after the committee meeting, however, CDC director Rochelle Walensky went on TV and calmly reassured viewers that there was nothing to worry about: Vaccinating kids age 12 and up, at the full dosage and same schedule as adults, should continue with alacrity.
Walensky cited a string of statistics that showed “the benefits of vaccination far outweigh any harm.” But some epidemiologists, public health experts, pediatricians, cardiologists, and other scientists dispute the CDC’s numbers, characterizations, and conclusion. The agency, they variously contend, is both exaggerating the risks of Covid-19 to young people and underplaying the potential risks of the vaccine to them. Much data that would support the CDC’s declarations are either unknown, unrevealed, or far messier than the agency and its director portray. And the data that are known and clear have been projected through a specific lens with blunt certainty. The absolute risk of the vaccine still appears to be extremely small for young people but, on balance, when the data are seen through a different frame, the relative individual risk from vaccination, particularly for healthy young males, may be higher than it is to not be vaccinated at this time.
There is no debate among most experts critical of the CDC about the value of vaccines on a societal level to help usher in the end of the pandemic, which is the ultimate goal of the vaccine. Rather, the matter at hand is the CDC’s messaging, which fails to help parents and children make properly informed decisions about the vaccines on an individual level. As Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist and physician at Johns Hopkins, recently tweeted, “One can be both very pro-Covid-19 vaccination and also be worried about the individual risk:benefit profile of Covid-19 vaccines in <16 yo.”
First, the link between the mRNA vaccines and myocarditis, particularly in young males, is sufficiently clear that the FDA revised its vaccine fact sheets to include a warning about it. As of June 11 (the latest date most data were collected for the meeting), 128 cases within seven days of the second dose had been reported in boys aged 12 to 17, when the CDC’s expected number for that same population was zero to four cases. VAERS, the reporting database for vaccine-related adverse events that these statistics are drawn from, has limitations. Some portion of the events reported may be unrelated to the vaccines. But the differential between expected and observed cases within certain cohorts is the statistical equivalent of a blaring siren. (A detailed analysis in Israel estimated the incidence of myocarditis following vaccination in young males to be around one in 5,000, equating to 200 cases per million.)
It took Salk 7 years to get a real vaccine, which you still don’t have, and maybe never will. Nuff said. How did this crazed loose cannon become the most trusted voice, and what does that tell us about America?
Top US scientist Anthony Fauci on Saturday blasted commentators who sound an anti-vaccination theme, saying America might still be battling smallpox and polio if today’s kind of misinformation existed back then. The comments from the country’s leading infectious disease expert reflected mounting frustration over the sharp slowdown in the Covid-19 vaccination rate in the United States, even as the disease has been surging in states with low rates. It also came days after President Joe Biden expressed his own visible frustration, saying social media that carry widely heard misinformation about vaccines are “killing people.”
Fauci was responding to a CNN interviewer who asked if he thought “we could have defeated the measles or eradicated polio if you had Fox News, night after night, warning people about these vaccine issues that are just bunk.” Fauci said: “We probably would still have smallpox and we probably would still have polio … if we had the kind of false information that’s being spread.” Initial vaccine skepticism in many areas has increasingly evolved into outright hostility, a message magnified by baseless conspiracy theories regularly aired on Fox and other conservative networks. “Maybe it doesn’t work and they’re simply not telling you that,” Tucker Carlson, one of Fox’s most popular commentators, said recently.
“Biden is accusing these companies of actually killing people for refusing even more extensive censorship of speech. The statement equates free speech with death itself.”
President Joe Biden slammed Big Tech companies this week for “killing people” by failing to engage in even greater censorship of free speech on issues related to the pandemic. It was a surprising condemnation of companies who have been loyal allies of Biden, including killing stories embarrassing to his family like the Hunter Biden laptop scandal before the election. It also has censored stories questioning his victory in 2020. Nevertheless, Biden denounced the range of uncensored free speech as the cause of death for many — the ultimate anti-free speech trope for those seeking to convince people to embrace their own censorship. Biden was asked by a reporter what his message was to “platforms like Facebook” on the subject of “COVID misinformation.”
He responded “They’re killing people. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people.” This comes as these companies have been criticized for censoring debates over the origin or treatment of Covid-19. For a year, Big Tech has been censoring those who wanted to discuss the origins of pandemic. It was not until Biden admitted that the virus may have originated in the Wuhan lab that social media suddenly changed its position. Facebook only recently announced that people on its platform will be able to discuss the origins of Covid-19 after censoring any such discussion. The White House recently admitted that it was flagging “misinformation” for censorship by companies like Facebook. Moreover, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has called for people to be banned from all social media if any one company bans them.
Biden is accusing these companies of actually killing people for refusing even more extensive censorship of speech. The statement equates free speech with death itself. We have seen this type of reckless rhetoric in other areas where disagreement with a policy or proposal is treated as de facto racism or hate speech. That was the case recently with the NAACP official who denounced those of opposing what is commonly referred to as critical race theory lessons as haters of a long litany of groups from the disabled to children to “help people.” This was followed by the chilling words “Let them die.”
Rather than seek to convince the skeptical, Biden wants to silence them and use these companies to control what is read and discussed about the pandemic. What is chilling is the degree to which reporters and academics have supported the massive censorship system in the United States. However, that system is clearly not (to use Sen. Blumenthal’s words) “robust enough” for Biden who wants these companies to carry out a more complete censorship of opposing views.
Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH about censorship
Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH about censorship pic.twitter.com/gDRbj4RvTo
— Camus (@camus37) July 17, 2021
A sheriff who can read. They didn’t count on that. How much did John Wayne ever read when he played one?
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has made waves and caused outrage by refusing to enforce the city’s reinstated mask policy, saying the decision is “not backed by science.” Los Angeles County health officials shocked many this week when they announced that their mask mandate would be returning. Similar to the restriction in place before the county began reopening last month, residents have been told to wear masks in indoor settings and large gatherings, regardless of one’s vaccination status. County officials reinstated the mask mandate due to new Covid-19 daily cases reaching over 1,000 every day for a week. Health officials also cited the Delta variant as a reason why people “need to reduce our risk of infection and our risk for potentially infecting others.”
Villanueva, who is up for reelection next year, was quick to respond to the mandate, and made it clear that he and his officers would have no part in helping the county enforce the new rule. “Forcing the vaccinated and those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors is not backed by science and contradicts the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines,” he said in a statement. The “underfunded” department, the sheriff added, will not be using their “limited resources” to make sure people are in compliance, though he made sure to say they “have the authority” to enforce if they wanted to. The sheriff is asking for “voluntary compliance” from residents instead.
All fully vaccinated.
Six players on the New York Yankees have tested positive for Covid-19, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Thursday, in the second instance this year of breakthrough cases occurring among some members of the baseball team. “We have three positives, and we have three pending that we’ve had rapid tests on,” Cashman said, saying the three positive rapid tests are being confirmed with additional lab work. The players with confirmed positive tests are pitchers Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Wandy Peralta, according to the team. The three unnamed players have results pending.
The three named players were all vaccinated, according to the team. Two of the players received Johnson & Johnson vaccines and the other was from either Pfizer or Moderna, Cashman says. The pitchers are “doing well thus far,” Cashman said, while he declined to comment on the unnamed players until final confirmation of their positive tests are received by the team. Earlier this season, eight positive tests were recorded among coaching and travel staff, all of whom had previously taken the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Of the team members who tested positive, only one showed mild symptoms and his condition improved, the Yankees said.
He’s as crazy as she is.
Emhoff spoke to the 44-year-old man as if he was a toddler at the doctor’s office. “Don’t be nervous. It won’t hurt. I’ve had it. I can take it. So don’t be scared,” Emhoff told Posadas. The immigrant then stood off to the side while Emhoff shook hands with doctors and medical staff from Ochsner Health. After posing for photos, Emhoff turns back to Posadas. “Gustava, thank you so much. Muy importante,” Emhoff said in English-accented Spanish. “What do you have to say to people? And you’re going to tell a bunch of people…?” “I tell everybody,” Posadas said in Spanish-accented English. “I don’t want this before. But now I think this is real…” “This is real,” Emhoff says, completing his sentence. “And it’s the only thing that is going to prevent you, your family and others from dying or getting really sick.”
Say what? A vaccine is the only thing that is going to prevent people from dying from COVID? Is this what the Biden administration’s door knockers are telling people in private? The recovery rate for COVID is 98 to 99 percent. Almost all the deaths are due to age or underlying conditions. Johns Hopkins currently has the rate at 98.2 percent in America. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before Congress that the survival rate is actually 99 percent because asymptomatic cases are under counted. Emhoff seemingly doesn’t care to give the facts to Posadas and put the success of the media stunt at risk. “I’m so grateful you’re doing this in front of the cameras so you can tell everyone it’s okay,” said Emhoff. Posadas nods his head. “Everything – my people – I thinks, we want the shot. This is real. I not believe you before, but I feel it now.”
No reporter asks questions. But the obvious one is: How long ago did Posadas not “believe” Emhoff? Who convinced him to take the vaccine? What was told to him in English or Spanish? Emhoff wastes no time with Posadas’s hesitancy. “Well let’s do it!” said the Second Gentleman while the medical staff and clergy applaud. Posadas is put in a white, folding chair. He keeps on the mirrored sunglasses. A woman in scrubs tells him to pull the mask over his nose. He rolls up his sleeve as the woman comes in with the needle. Posadas looks in the opposite direction. “Look at me! Look at me!” Emhoff tells him, while the shot is administered. The crowd applauds. Emhoff holds out his fist, and Posadas bumps him after he stands.
“Thank you for doing this,” Emhoff says, while Posadas rubs his arm and says something in Spanish. “Thank you for telling everyone to do this.” Emhoff walks away to do media interviews while a woman is heard off camera saying, “Gustava, did you get your card with your vaccination on it?” The Second Gentleman tells reporters that, “On the Covid piece, on the vaccinations, I’m not going to stop. This administration is not going to stop until we continue to get the word out here.” Emhoff continues but seems to not remember Posadas’s name. “You heard what he said – it’s real. He didn’t believe it. He believes it now….” Harris’s husband does a hard sell of the vaccines and adds, “We’re going to go door to door, bring the vaccines out to the people until we get this done.”
Here’s a mashup of VACCINE MISINFORMATION from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Does Jen Psaki want Big Tech to CENSOR this?pic.twitter.com/vqnucmZjnj
— Kyle Martinsen (@KyleMartinsen_) July 16, 2021
Ha ha ha! Think they installed a “misinformation” filter?
With summer uprisings in Cuba, the communist government has discovered ways to cut the internet off to millions of residents, so organized protesting on social media is near impossible. Let’s take a step back to early last week when reports of the Cuban regime used China-made technology systems to block internet and cell phone service to prevent pictures and videos of what was happening on the ground published online near impossible for the outside world to see. The regime also blocked popular social media channels that would make organized protesting impossible. Remember, a decade ago, during Arab Spring, Facebook and Twitter were critical for organizers to orchestrate uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Bahrain.
The Biden administration is finding ways to provide anti-censorship tools to Cubans to access social media during the blackouts. According to Bloomberg, the U.S. government supports a censorship circumvention tool designed to unblock content in Cuba and is powered by a company called Psiphon Inc. As of Thursday, Psiphon tweeted, “1.389 Million daily unique users accessed the open web from Cuba through the Psiphon network. Internet is ON; circumvention tools ARE working.” Psiphon uses proxy servers that disguise internet traffic so Cuban authorities cannot tell if people are accessing social media platforms. The Toronto-based nonprofit has received money from the U.S. government. Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn tweeted Saturday that the proxy service is working well:
The Biden administration has been strategizing on other ways to provide the people of Cuba with internet access. “They have cut off access to the internet. We are considering whether we have the technological ability to reinstate that access,” President Biden said on Friday. Biden commented after Florida Governor Ron Desantis told the president the federal government should restore internet on the island located in the northern Caribbean Sea. Desantis said there’s a technology that would allow the U.S. to broadcast internet access into Cuba remotely. “Technology exists to provide Internet access into Cuba remotely, using the innovation of American enterprise and the diverse industries here,” the governor wrote. He said this reminds him of the Cold War when the U.S. funded radio stations to broadcast information into the Soviet Union.
A bunch of tiny islands and a dispute that no-one ever bothered to resolve. But now if the US wants to stand with Japan, it must stand against Taiwan. And the Chinese are thinking: let’s have that fun.
Statements made by Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister about his country’s need to defend Taiwan have raised the specter of a “Japan exception” to China’s no-first-use policy on nuclear weapons. In April this year, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide became the first foreign leader to visit the White House after the swearing in of Joe Biden as America’s 46th President. After private discussions, Yoshihide and Biden issued a joint statement entitled “US-Japan Global Partnership for a New Era.” What made it stand out from similar joint releases over the past decades of US-Japanese relations was the fact that, for the first time in over 50 years, the Japanese and American leaders made mention of Taiwan, declaring “we underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.”
While the statement was, on the surface, rather innocuous, the Chinese Embassy in the US immediately reacted, declaring Beijing’s resolute opposition to what it deemed to be interference in China’s internal affairs, and noting that the talks had gone beyond the scope of normal bilateral relations, harming third-party interests and threatening peace and stability in the region. While most observers might think the Chinese objection was centered on its long-standing claim on Taiwan proper, the trigger point was, more likely, the specific reference made in the statement to a tiny cluster of uninhabited rocky islands situated some 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Taiwan and around 400 kilometers (248 miles) due west of Okinawa.
These islands, known in Japan as the Senkaku Islands and in China as the Diaoyu Dao Islands, are located not only in rich fishing waters, but also on top of economically viable underwater oil and gas deposits. While their ownership is a matter of ongoing legal dispute, with China viewing them as constituting part of Taiwan, and Japan as part of the Okinawa prefecture, at the present time the islands are administered by Japan. The US-Japanese joint statement reiterated Washington’s “unwavering support for Japan’s defense under the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, using its full range of capabilities, including nuclear.” It then went on to reaffirm “the fact that Article V of the Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands,” adding that both the US and Japan “oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands.”
Left to its own devices, the Sino-Japanese dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Dao Islands should have remained low-key. But on July 6, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso, reportedly stated that “If a major problem took place in Taiwan, it would not be too much to say that it could relate to a survival-threatening situation [for Japan],” citing language which specifically triggers Japan’s Constitutionally-mandated right of collective self-defense, where it would be permitted to deploy its armed forces in support of an ally who had been attacked. A “survival-threatening situation” occurs when an armed attack against a foreign country allied with Japan poses a clear risk of threatening Japan’s survival.
“We need to think hard that Okinawa could be the next,” Aso was quoted as saying, indicating the specific nature of the “survival-threatening situation” he spoke of. While China has never expressed any territorial interest in either Okinawa or the other populated islands contained in the Okinawa prefecture, the fact that Japan views the Senkaku Islands as part of Okinawa, and China views the Diaoyu Dao Islands as part of Taiwan, means that any Chinese move on Taiwan would, as a matter of course, include asserting its claim over the disputed islands. This, in turn, would trigger Article V of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation, which is backed by the nuclear arsenal of the United States.
We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.
The Greek Freak is one win away from the NBA title.
“When you focus on the past, that’s your ego.” pic.twitter.com/XKiRMA8Ux2
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 17, 2021
Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.