Aug 312021
 


Vincent van Gogh Courtyard of the hospital in Arles 1889

 

SARS-COV2, Vaccines Accelerate Biological Age (France Soir)
Open Letter to CDC (Steve Kirsch)
Anti-Androgens As Promising Therapies For Covid-19 (Cadegiani)
Why Covid-19 Is Not So Spread In Africa: How Does Ivermectin Affect It? (medRxiv)
Schools Across Europe Must Stay Open, Say WHO And Unicef (G.)
Mandatory Vaccines Will Be ‘Applied In Full’ As Deadline Looms (K.)
Ohio Judge Orders Hospital To Treat Covid-19 Patient With Ivermectin (JTN)
750,000 US Households Are About To Be Evicted (ZH)
A Heedless Aftermath (Kunstler)
Julian Assange’s Warning: Humanity’s Last Stand (Hayase)

 

 

 

 

Truck driver revolt

 

 

Google translate.

All too short part of a fascinating article in France Soir that shows, among other things, why spike proteins from vaccines do more damage than those in the virus. Telomeres.

SARS-COV2, Vaccines Accelerate Biological Age (France Soir)

Are the spike proteins from RNA vaccines more harmful than the spike protein from the SARS-CoV2 virus? The following three experimental and then theoretical explanations allow us to answer in the affirmative. The “apprentice living technologists” thought to make the RNA of vaccines more stable by doping it with G bases, without modifying the corresponding amino acids, something made possible thanks to the “mode of operation” of the universal genetic code which allows several triplets to be produced. separate codons to encode one and the same amino acid. Unfortunately, in the context of vaccine RNAs, this leads to a diametrically opposed result since the latter become more unstable, more fragile and more brittle.

1 – The article “vaccine-induced Covid-19 mimicry” syndrome (Marschalek et al., 2021) shows how this doping in G bases of the spike RNA can cause changes in the reading frame of codons, therefore partial sequences of different amino acids, which may ultimately lead to thromboembolic events in patients immunized with covid-19 vaccines.

2 – In addition, it has been demonstrated how this excess of bases G of the RNA of the spike of the vaccines reduces to zero the megastructures according to AU / CG proportions defined by Fibonacci whereas, on the contrary, the spike of the virus and especially that variants see the complexity and quantity of such structures enriched. To put it simply, this means that the RNA of the vaccines is only a stack of nucleotides without the slightest backbone ensuring it a megastructure at medium and long distance, while the variants acquire day by day a greater solidity and cohesion. overall of their RNA. ( Perez JC 2021 )

3 – This inconsistency can also be visualized in the figure below as a kind of “fractal roughness” which is much more unstable and inharmonious in the RNA of the vaccine spike (Pfizer more particularly) than in the RNA of the spike of the vaccine. virus . This has been shown using the master code method.

[..] To date, the health response to the management of the crisis consists of the injection of substances still being tested, still in phase 3 at the time of this article’s publication, for which the definition of the word “vaccine” had to be. modified by the WHO itself. In addition, it is accepted that injection with messenger RNA technology results in increased production of the spike protein while not reducing transmission (Pfizer treatment reported only 42% effective against the delta variant). This vaccine barrier would also promote the creation of variants that seek to bypass it. In countries which have massively vaccinated, the data published by the authorities tend to show that a high percentage of people hospitalized are people whose vaccination course is complete.

[..] Several questions arise about the virus: 1 – Is it better to catch the disease randomly and develop a natural global immune response or to try the vaccine experience by incurring the many side effects reported by pharmacovigilance, as well as a risk of increased cell senescence? 2 – Is the deterioration in biological age the same in Covid patients and in vaccinated people? Is one worse than the other? At this stage, no one can give a precise answer to these questions. In any case, this virus causes an increase in the biological age in people who contract the disease, the effect of which is probably accentuated by the vaccine injection. With the decrease in efficacy on contamination, it is therefore essential to prevent the worsening of the disease and for this, early management is imperative.

By letting the disease progress beyond the first few days and using vaccines as the only solution, there is a risk that the lifespan of both adults and children will be reduced . At a time when women and men alike are looking to age in the best possible conditions and stay young as late as possible, do we want to take the risk with regular injections of ruining all these efforts? Faced with the desire to vaccinate children who are not affected by SARS-CoV2, the remedy should not be worse than the disease . Faced with the feelings of some patients who have contracted the Covid and / or some vaccinated people testifying that they have the impression “of having taken ten years at once”, science would bring it at the right time, once again , evidence for a response in favor of early treatment? A final step, which some will not hesitate to take, is to declare that the acceleration of biological age would lead to a decrease in life expectancy.

Read more …

“.. one of the world’s top pathologists ascribed at least 30% of all deaths to the vaccine.”

Open Letter to CDC (Steve Kirsch)

I am the founder of the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund (www.treatearly.org). Our work in funding early treatments for COVID was featured on 60 Minutes. I have been vaccinated and my entire family has been vaccinated. However, shortly after I was fully vaccinated, I began to hear stories from my friends that were very troubling. For example, one friend had three relatives who were formerly healthy die after getting the vaccine. Another friend had a heart attack 2 minutes after the injection and is now disabled, apparently for life. I assembled a team of over 19 doctors and scientists listed at the end of this comment to investigate the available evidence. Using the VAERS database and other official government data sources from the US and around the world (covering 35% of the world’s population), we found evidence that clearly demonstrates that the current vaccines are significantly more dangerous than has been previously believed.

Our most important findings include:

1/ The “real world” fatality data from VAERS does not match the fatality data from the Phase 3 trials. They aren’t even close. Using multiple independent methods, we estimate that over 150,000 Americans have already been killed. It is urgent to resolve this discrepancy as soon as possible as we strongly believe that the real world data is right and the vaccines should be immediately stopped.

2/ None of the COVID vaccines reduce all-cause morbidity. It’s the opposite: they all significantly increase all-cause morbidity by as much as 4.2 times baseline (p<=0.00001). The CDC must know this since this information is hiding in plain sight in the published literature. What is the point of offering an optional medical intervention which significantly increases all-cause morbidity when safer alternatives such as early treatment are available?

3/ There is an error in the adverse event detection formula used by the CDC that appears to have prevented the CDC from seeing the safety signals that were obvious to our VAERS experts.

4/ Early treatment and prophylaxis protocols are a superior option to the current vaccines, yet have been inexplicably ignored by the NIH:
• Higher relative risk reduction (over 99%)
• Greater safety (minor temporary side effects, known safety profile)
– They lower both all-cause mortality and all-cause morbidity
– They work equally well on all variants
– They do not promote escape variants
– They do not cause vaccine enhanced infectivity/replication
– They do not cause prion diseases
– They prevent long-haul COVID syndrome nearly 100% of the time
– They enable people to acquire recovered immunity which is both 13 times stronger and more durable than vaccine-induced immunity

We recommend the committee take the following actions:
• Require autopsies for all deaths within 4 weeks of any COVID19 vaccination so that data is available to compute an estimate of the true all-cause mortality.
• Make available the analysis of the 11,000 deaths investigation in VAERS for public inspection. It’s important for the public to understand why the CDC couldn’t attribute a single death to the vaccine whereas one of the world’s top pathologists ascribed at least 30% of all deaths to the vaccine.
• Explain publicly why there is a death peak on the second day after vaccination if the vaccinations are perfectly safe and not causing deaths.
• Explain publicly why the severe adverse side effects are dose dependent

[..] • Recommend that vaccine mandates should not be issued without evidence of a statistically significant all-cause morbidity decrease (which there is not in this case).
• Define a COVID vaccine stopping condition after which that vaccine should be halted until the stopping issues are addressed. In 1976, the stopping threshold was 35 deaths.

Read more …

Twitter thread.

Anti-Androgens As Promising Therapies For Covid-19 (Cadegiani)

Studies with proxalutamide resulted from a solidly constructed scientific knowledge pathway. In this thread, I briefly describe the process from the beginning. Since the beginning of the pandemics, men were found to be at higher risk for severe COVID-19, irrespective of other risk factors. In March 2020, overrepresentation of bald men was found in among patients in ICU due to COVID-19 in Spain. This finding was consistent across several countries, which was further confirmed to be an independent risk factor for COVID-19. How could we justify male alopecia (baldness) to be a risk factor for COVID-19? The justification was not only found to exist, but was strong. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, enters into cells through a protein called ACE2.

However, in order to couple to ACE2 and enter into cells, the virus must be ‘prepared’ by another protein, an enzyme called TMPRSS2. Without this ‘preparation’, the ability of the virus to infect cells becomes much weaker. The point is that the only known regulator of TMPRSS2 are the androgens (hormones with ‘testosterone actions’). Male baldness is a sort of maximized biological expression of high androgen activity, resulted from the in-tissue ratio between androgenic hormones and sensitivity of androgen receptors (more sensitive receptors lead to more testosterone action). The resulting equation can be called as ‘level of androgen activity’. Bald men has therefore ‘high androgenic activity’ (which does not necessarily correlates with sex drive, muscles, etc).

High androgen activity leads to high TMPRSS2 expression. Consequently, the COVID-19 virus gets ‘more prepared’ to couple to ACE2 and gets more easily into cells. This leads to increase in SARS-CoV-2 infectivity (ability to infect) and pathogenicity (ability to cause harm). Further epidemiological data reinforce the hypothesis. Pre-pubertal children have way less severe COVID-19, while babies under 1 y/o have relatively higher risk of severe COVID-19 than pre-pubertal children above 1 y/o. This likely happens due to a physiological phenomenon called ‘mini-puberty’: babies under 1 y/o may have unblocked steroid hormonal production.

Although women have much lower testosterone and overall androgen levels than men, their androgen receptor tends to be more sensitive. That’s why females may present severe COVID-19, in special women with higher androgen activity.
While men are at higher risk of severe COVID-19, those at androgen deprivation therapy for severe prostate cancer, supposedly to be at higher risk due to the frailty of sarcopenia and metabolic disorders due to lack of testosterone action, were actually protected.

Read more …

March 26 2021

Why Covid-19 Is Not So Spread In Africa: How Does Ivermectin Affect It? (medRxiv)

At least for now, it seems that Africa will be in completely different situations under the coronavirus infections. Some scientists have cited a higher proportion of young people [1,2], a warmer climate [3], and widespread BCG vaccination [4] as possible factors. While these are positive theories, they do not provide scientific evidence to explain why the spread of new coronavirus infections in Africa appears to be at a slower pace than in other parts of the world. In the meantime, based on a growing data of recently reported data on a large number of published and unpublished trials, it is suggested that ivermectin being a well-known antiparasitic agent with antiviral activity and anti-inflammatory effects, has activity against SARS-CoV-2 [5]. On the other hand, ivermectin has been administered in Africa for onchocerciasis under the WHO strategy.

In 2012, WHO’s neglected tropical diseases (NTD) Roadmap set a goal of elimination where feasible by 2020, and the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control advanced the goal to elimination in 80% of countries by 2025 [6]. The community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) is the basic strategy to eradicate onchocerciasis in Africa. More than 99% of the infections have occurred in the 31 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa listed below: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa, Chad, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Tanzania. In the rural populations of sub-Saharan Africa where health systems are weak and under-resourced, the community-directed treatment strategy is proving to be one of Africa’s most successful in reducing disease at low cost [7].


If ivermectin has an antiviral effect on SARS-CoV-2, the morbidity, mortality, recovery, and fatality rates caused by COVID-19 would be reduced in the community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) countries compared to non-endemic untreated ones. Therefore, epidemiological analyzes of the two groups are necessary. These results will validate the effect of ivermectin intervention on COVID-19. This study aims to evaluate the impact of ivermectin interventions for onchocerciasis on morbidity, mortality, recovery rate, and fatality rate caused by COVID-19.

Read more …

So they can jab all the kids?

Schools Across Europe Must Stay Open, Say WHO And Unicef (G.)

Schools across Europe must stay open and be made safer for staff and children, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Unicef have demanded, as a new term gets under way with the highly transmissible Delta variant still dominant in the region. “The pandemic has caused the most catastrophic disruption to education in history,” said Hans Kluge, the head of the WHO’s Europe region. “It is vital that classroom-based learning continues uninterrupted.” Kluge said that while the pandemic continued, “educating children safely in a physical school setting” was of “paramount importance for their education, mental health and social skills”, and must become “a primary objective” for governments.

Forty-four out of 53 countries in the WHO’s Europe region closed their schools nationwide at the height of the pandemic’s first wave in April 2020, and while most reopened that September, surging infection rates sparked new restrictions and more closures in dozens of countries during the autumn and winter. Mass absences and frequent school closures have continued in several countries through the spring and early summer, with more than 1 million children, or 14.3% of the age group, out of school for Covid-related reasons – either self-isolating or because their school was closed – in England in late July.

“We encourage all countries to keep schools open, and urge all schools to put in place measures to minimise the risk of Covid-19 and the spread of variants” throughout the new school year, Kluge said in a joint statement with the deputy regional director of the UN children’s fund for Europe and central Asia, Philippe Cori. The two organisations said teachers and other school staff must be primary target groups for national vaccination programmes, adding that all children aged 12 and over with underlying health conditions should also be inoculated.

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Greece threatening everyone who’s not vaccinated.

Mandatory Vaccines Will Be ‘Applied In Full’ As Deadline Looms (K.)

With the deadline for health workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or face suspension without pay expiring Tuesday, the government is sending a “clear” message that the law will be strictly applied – with all that entails. “The law will be applied in full. The salary paid [to unvaccinated workers] in advance at the end of August will also be returned,” government spokesman Yiannis Oikonomou said Monday, noting that there are no guarantees that suspended health workers, “even when they choose to get vaccinated, will return to the same positions, given that the character, needs and organization of the national health system will to a degree have changed.” “The epidemiological burden in our country remains at high levels and the next period will be extremely crucial in the evolution of the pandemic,” he said.

Echoing the same sentiment regarding the enforcement of the law, Minister of State Akis Skertsos stressed earlier that the government is not going to back down on the issue of mandatory vaccinations for health workers, emphasizing that “it is a matter of protecting the healthcare workers themselves and the health of the patients.” He added there is still time for those few thousand that did not get their jabs to do so Monday or Tuesday, “so that there are no problems with their work or with the operation of the national health system.” Meanwhile, the application platform for the recruitment of auxiliary staff will open Tuesday as final data on the unvaccinated are expected.

Concerned with a new surge of cases expected in the fall, the government is keen to increase vaccination rates and testing. To this end, pharmacies will supply free self-test kits to eligible groups this week and mobile vaccination teams from the Health Ministry will be parked on public squares and outside churches. “Data from the National Public Health Organization show that the pandemic at this stage mainly threatens our unvaccinated fellow citizens,” said Oikonomou, noting that the need to shield the public from the possibility of new universal restrictions is dictating the nature and content of the safety measures to protect both vaccinated and unvaccinated.

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With horse dewormer, you said?

Ohio Judge Orders Hospital To Treat Covid-19 Patient With Ivermectin (JTN)

An Ohio judge ordered a Cincinnati hospital to administer Ivermectin to a COVID-19 patient at his wife’s request, as he has been in an intensive care unit (ICU) for over a month. Last week, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard ordered West Chester Hospital to treat 51-year-old COVID-19 patient Jeffrey Smith with Ivermectin, Ohio Capital Journal reported. Smith’s wife of 24 years, Julie, filed a lawsuit on behalf of her husband, requesting that he be given 30mg of Ivermectin every day for three weeks as prescribed by Ohio physician Dr. Fred Wagshul.


Smith tested positive on July 9 for COVID-19, was hospitalized and admitted to the ICU on July 15, and on Aug. 1 was sedated, intubated, and and placed on a ventilator. He has since developed another infection. Julie found out about Ivermectin and contacted Wagshul, who is a founder of the nonprofit Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, according to the Journal. He prescribed Ivermectin for Smith but the hospital would not administer it. Ivermectin was first developed for deworming livestock animals prior to doctors using it to fight parasitic diseases in humans, the Journal reported. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn against using Ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

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2 or 3 times that, I would think.

750,000 US Households Are About To Be Evicted (ZH)

Goldman estimates that the number of housing units at risk of eviction, based on uncollected tenant revenues in 2021Q2 for large property managers, representing 20mn tenant-occupied housing units, and based on survey data reporting the share of consumers who owe back rent and also “lost employment income” during the pandemic, representing the remaining 25mn units. Because the moratoriums also deferred hundreds of thousands of evictions unrelated to the pandemic, one should also add an additional backlog to reflect these missing filings.

Together, the bank estimates that 2½-3½ million households are significantly behind on rent and at risk of eviction without policy support. Since roughly half of eviction filings historically result in eviction (47% over 2006-2016), Goldman assumes that barring a new eviction ban from Congress or a much faster pace of ERA distribution, 750k households will face eviction in the fall and winter months. With 8-9 million Americans currently unemployed and emergency unemployment programs winding down, the sudden loss of tenant protections could plausibly generate an eviction episode of this magnitude.

Translating these figures to a dollar amount of back rent based on the stock and flow of bad tenant debt among residential REITs, implies 4.4 months of rent payments outstanding on average across tenants who are behind on rent. This is consistent with research from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimating average tenant debt at 3 months rent. Taken together, some $12-17 billion of bad tenant debt accumulated during the crisis.

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“They know we no longer produce things of value. What are we good for, exactly? Absurd ventures in gender confusion and race hustling? Drugs and pornography? Is that what stands behind the dollar?”

A Heedless Aftermath (Kunstler)

We will not submit. We’re nearing the end of this medical reign of terror. The trouble is, the medical establishment won’t survive it. They’ve perverted and undermined what used to be called science — truth-driven inquiry into what’s real and what is not — and, anyway, the medical system had already poisoned itself with racketeering so outlandish and cruel that it makes the old Mafia look like a charity organization. Not only do Americans get a Covid virus whose development was funded and guided by America’s chief public health official, Tony Fauci, but if it puts them in the hospital, their doctors deny them treatment with efficacious medicines, and, if the patients happen to survive the ordeal, they’re hit up with million-dollar bills. This conduct exhibits a kind of sadism that goes beyond just adding insult to injury.

Half the country is also paying attention to the invasion of border-jumpers coming in from Mexico with the assistance of the Deep State. They’re also noticing “Joe Biden’s” failure to comply with the recent US Supreme Court decision that he must enforce the standing procedure to return “asylum-seekers” to Mexico to await any decision on their eligibility. Many of these migrants come from the farthest corners of the world, including places full of people who don’t like us or our country. How many of them are coming here to blow things up and shoot American citizens? Nobody knows. The Deep State doesn’t want to know and they don’t want you to find out.

Finally, there is the question of the financial system which, lately, has become the proxy for what used to be the productive US economy, its Potemkin false front. The various plans to spend about $8-trillion in non-existent money on more social experiments such as paying citizens to be idle, would have been enough to sink American money, the US dollar. Now that the world has witnessed the humiliating withdrawal of the US from our 20-year-long war in Afghanistan, the process will accelerate. The world sees that we can’t be depended on in any foreign crisis. They know we no longer produce things of value. What are we good for, exactly? Absurd ventures in gender confusion and race hustling? Drugs and pornography? Is that what stands behind the dollar?

Read more …

It’s all connected.

Julian Assange’s Warning: Humanity’s Last Stand (Hayase)

As the U.S. loses face in the Afghanistan debacle, a video of Julian Assange speaking in 2011 about the goal behind the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan went viral on social media. While war criminals walk free, Assange who exposed the U.S. government’s war crimes in the Middle East and its illegal torture in Guantanamo, is in jail – tortured, suffering and isolated. The U.S. government’s attempted prosecution of the WikiLeaks publisher is an unprecedented attack on press freedom. With this celebrated journalist behind prison walls, this war on free speech now continues to expand, turning the internet into a battleground.

As the Covid-19 crisis has progressed, censorship has become rampant. From the onset of the pandemic, tech companies – pressured by the U.S. Congress – have been aggressively removing content that is deemed ‘inaccurate’ and/or ‘harmful’ by designated health authorities such as the WHO and CDC. In the name of protecting public health, social media networking services like Facebook and Twitter have silenced physicians and scientists whose views counter the official pandemic narrative. This includes credible medical professionals such as Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of mRNA vaccine technology and Dr. Pierre Kory, chief medical officer of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance [FLCCC], who has been censored for discussing documented benefits of Ivermectin for early treatment of COVID-19 and the medical establishment’s cover-up of its efficacy.

Assange, now silenced inside London’s maximum-security prison, warned us about the censorship via private corporations that is moving our society into authoritarianism. In January 2018, a little over a year before the UK police illegally arrested him inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange predicted “the future of humanity is between humans that control machines and machines that control humans”. He continued: “While the internet has brought about a revolution in our ability to educate each other, the consequent democratic explosion has shaken existing establishments to their core. Burgeoning digital super-states such as Google, Facebook and their Chinese equivalents, who are integrated with the existing order, have moved to re-establish discourse control. This is not simply a correction action. Undetectable mass social influence powered by artificial intelligence is an existential threat to humanity.”

In this ‘cancel culture’, now the ‘new normal’, civil liberties are suspended through algorithmic control. From stay home orders to lockdowns that destroyed small businesses, with the aid of social media conglomerates, the government has imposed their top down solutions on the public. As our economy has yet to recover from the pandemic crisis, changes in the system that could usher in the machine takeover of a society are now quietly taking place.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 292021
 


Eugène-Louis Boudin Beach at Étretat 1890

 

Covid Cases In England Are 26 Times Higher Than A Year Ago (G.)
Vaccine-Resistant Viruses Are Driving ‘Breakthrough’ Covid Infections (MN)
Antibody-Resistant SARS-CoV-2 Variants In Vaccine Breakthrough Cases (Medrxiv)
Impact Of Daily High Dose Oral Vitamin D Therapy On Covid 19 Patients (Nature)
1 in 4 COVID Patients Hospitalized While Vitamin D Deficient Die – Study (ToI)
Is It Time To Stop Obsessing Over Covid Figures? (DM)
Differentiation of Long-Lived SARS-CoV-2-Specific CD8+ T Cells (JoI)
Contaminant In 1.63m Moderna Vaccine Doses In Japan Believed To Be Metal (R.)
Covid Vaccine Doubter Alex Berenson Permanently Banned From Twitter (NYP)
Escapes From Afghanistan, Coordinated From A Home Office In Connecticut (CTM)

 

 


A full page ad in the Wall Street Journal paid for by the owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

 

 

Sleepy Joe

 

 

Paris

 

 

So what happened? Well, we vaccinated everyone…

Covid Cases In England Are 26 Times Higher Than A Year Ago (G.)

Coronavirus infections in England are now 26 times the levels that were experienced this time last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Scientists described the figures as “sobering”. They warned that the reopening of schools in England this week was likely to trigger further rises in Covid cases – with more to follow when students return to universities and colleges. A fresh wave of infections could, in turn, lead to new social restrictions being imposed as winter approaches. As a result, pressure is mounting on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to approve the deployment of booster jabs for vulnerable people and the extension of vaccinations to most 12- to 15-year-olds.

The latter move would bring the UK into line with the US and most large European nations and is backed by most ministers. Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at Reading University, said that in the week ending 20 August, the ONS estimated that 756,900 people in England were infected with Covid-19, which equated to one person in 70. “This time last year, the ONS estimated that 28,200 people in England were infected. That is the equivalent of one person in 1,900 being infected with Covid-19. That means that community infections are 26 times more common now than they were a year ago, when the population was unvaccinated and the country was three months into its reopening.”

The fact that deaths and hospital admissions from Covid-19 are a fraction of their levels in August 2020 demonstrates the protective power of the vaccines – more than 60% of the UK population has had two jabs. “The last time infections were at their current level in England was late January,” said Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at the Open University. “There were around 2,300 daily hospital admissions and 1,100 deaths a day then. By contrast, the most recent daily figures for England are about 770 hospital admissions and about 80 deaths.”

Read more …

“People who never develop symptoms during a “breakthrough” infection carry very low levels of virus..”

Vaccine-Resistant Viruses Are Driving ‘Breakthrough’ Covid Infections (MN)

Waning immunity and ferocious contagion are known to be fueling the troubling surge in “breakthrough” COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people. But a new UC San Francisco analysis of 1,373 Bay Area cases reveals a third, and more ominous, problem: The coronavirus is learning to outsmart our immune system. Variants with antibody-resistant mutations are playing an ever-larger role in our highly vaccinated region’s pandemic, according to research by prominent virologist Dr. Charles Chiu. His team found that 78% of infections in fully vaccinated people among the study were caused by variants with these mutations, compared to 48% of the cases among unvaccinated people, who remained an easier target for earlier generations of the virus. Overall, the proportion of cases linked to these variants more than doubled between February and June.

The findings add to a growing list of studies that are unraveling why the vaccinated are still so susceptible to infection — and provide a deeper understanding of what we may encounter in the future. Vaccinated people are still much more protected from serious illness, hospitalization and death than unvaccinated people, the study confirmed. “But I worry that as long as the virus is circulating, it will continue to mutate and evolve, which will, in turn, allow it to continue spreading,” he said. The study suggests that new iterations of the virus will likely become even more resistant, over time, “until, eventually, you’re going to see the vaccine not work, or its efficacy will be reduced significantly,” he said. Our vaccines won’t suddenly become useless, he added. So far, it appears to be a gradual process. The resistant variants will slowly dominate over time, he predicted.

The team’s second major finding was more reassuring: People who never develop symptoms during a “breakthrough” infection carry very low levels of virus – a finding that should ease concerns that vaccinated people are unknowingly fueling the pandemic. However, vaccinated people who do have symptoms had the same levels of virus as infected unvaccinated people – so can spread the virus. This confirms a finding first revealed weeks ago by a CDC study in Provincetown, Massachusetts. “You’re essentially as infectious as someone who was unvaccinated,” he said. [..] Vaccination is not to be blamed for the increase in variants with these mutations, Chiu said. Because we naturally produce antibodies in response to exposure and infection, the virus is constantly changing to survive. “The virus is going to evolve to become antibody resistant, whether or not you deploy a vaccine,” he said. “But because we have a vaccine, there’s a way to prevent the virus from spreading and evolving further.”

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“Fully vaccinated were more likely than unvaccinated persons to be infected by variants carrying mutations associated with decreased antibody neutralization [..] but not by those associated with increased infectivity..”

Antibody-Resistant SARS-CoV-2 Variants In Vaccine Breakthrough Cases (Medrxiv)

Associations between vaccine breakthrough cases and infection by SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants have remained largely unexplored. Here we analyzed SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequences and viral loads from 1,373 persons with COVID-19 from the San Francisco Bay Area from February 1 to June 30, 2021, of which 125 (9.1%) were vaccine breakthrough infections. Fully vaccinated were more likely than unvaccinated persons to be infected by variants carrying mutations associated with decreased antibody neutralization (L452R, L452Q, E484K, and/or F490S) (78% versus 48%, p = 1.96e-08), (L452R and/or N501Y) (85% versus 77%, p = 0.092). Differences in viral loads were non-significant between unvaccinated and fully vaccinated persons overall (p = 0.99) and according to lineage (p = 0.09 – 0.78).


Viral loads were significantly higher in symptomatic as compared to asymptomatic vaccine breakthrough cases (p < 0.0001), and symptomatic vaccine breakthrough infections had similar viral loads to unvaccinated infections (p = 0.64). In 5 cases with available longitudinal samples for serologic analyses, vaccine breakthrough infections were found to be associated with low or undetectable neutralizing antibody levels attributable to immunocompromised state or infection by an antibody-resistant lineage. These findings suggest that vaccine breakthrough cases are preferentially caused by circulating antibody-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variants, and that symptomatic breakthrough infections may potentially transmit COVID-19 as efficiently as unvaccinated infections, regardless of the infecting lineage.

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May 2021

60,000 IU per day.

Impact Of Daily High Dose Oral Vitamin D Therapy On Covid 19 Patients (Nature)

COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus has created an unprecedented hardship in the recent times1,2. Serious consequences of COVID-19 were attributed to the immune dysregulation leading to the enhanced production of pro inflammatory mediators (cytokine storm). In the absence of a specific vaccine or a treatment, strategies to minimize the effects of COVID-19 have become extremely important. Recent observational studies have reported that the patients with higher levels of serum vitamin D (vit.D) had less severe symptoms and vice versa and have postulated the usefulness of vit.D in prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The beneficial effects of vit.D in COVID-19 were attributed to be mediated through its multiple actions on the immune system.

Vit.D is known to enhance the production of various anti-microbial peptides by the immune cells and vit.D modulates the immune system according to the internal milieu. It reduces the dysregulated production of self-damaging pro-inflammatory cytokines and promotes the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines by immune cells. The dynamic role of vit.D can be of immense value in the context of immune dysfunction observed in COVID-19 patients with cytokine storm and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Though the protective immuno-modulatory effects of vit.D were explored in many autoimmune diseases and respiratory tract infections, there is a dearth of information from the randomised clinical trials in COVID-19.

Pulse D therapy is a targeted approach to increase the serum vit.D level by using high dose (60,000 IUs) oral supplementation of vit.D daily for a specific period of time determined by the individual’s BMI, initial level of vit.D and the formulation19. This study aims to objectively investigate the role of vit.D and the impact of Pulse D therapy in reducing the inflammatory biomarkers of COVID-19.

Read more …

June 2021

Anyone seen any vit. D campaigns yet?

1 in 4 COVID Patients Hospitalized While Vitamin D Deficient Die – Study (ToI)

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are far more likely to die or to end up in severe or critical condition if they are vitamin D-deficient, Israeli researchers have found. In a study conducted in a Galilee hospital, 26 percent of vitamin D-deficient coronavirus patients died, while among other patients the figure was at 3%. “This is a very, very significant discrepancy, which represents a big clue that starting the disease with very low vitamin D leads to increased mortality and more severity,” Dr. Amir Bashkin, endocrinologist and part of the research team, told The Times of Israel. For much of the pandemic, many scientists have suggested that the so-called sunshine vitamin may help people fight the disease. The new study represents one of the most compelling pieces of supporting research yet.

“In short, after conducting this study I would say to people that during this pandemic, you certainly want to make sure that you have adequate vitamin D, because if you contract the coronavirus it will help you,” said Dr. Amiel Dror, who led the research. He analyzed data on 1,176 patients admitted to the Galilee Medical Center, 253 of whom had vitamin D levels on record, for a study that has been published online but not yet been peer-reviewed. Half of those with recorded levels were vitamin D-deficient. “We were very interested to see just what a big difference this made, with these patients some 14 times more likely, on average, to end up in severe or critical condition,” said Dror, who, like Bashkin, is a physician at Galilee Medical Center, as well as a researcher at Bar Ilan University.

Numerous studies have been conducted on the association between vitamin D levels and the SARS-CoV-2 infection, and they have produced mixed results. Most of them measured vitamin D levels once patients were already sick, which can complicate interpretation of the results. Israel’s centralized health record-keeping has allowed Bar Ilan researchers to easily access patient vitamin levels that are on record from before infection. This data led to an important study that lauded vitamin D’s prospects for fighting the disease last year, as well as the new study.

“This study is important because of the results, because of the fact that it uses data from before admission, and also because we were careful to isolate all factors like age and diabetes,” Dror said. “We saw that vitamin D deficiency is an independent factor that significantly influences the status of the patient.” Dror added that the fact that such a large proportion of patients were vitamin D-deficient in Israel, despite the abundance of sunshine, highlights the value of people around the world monitoring and potentially boosting their levels.

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So soon?

Is It Time To Stop Obsessing Over Covid Figures? (DM)

They’re the figures that have ruled our lives for the past 18 months; decided our freedoms; deepened our fears. The Covid dashboard published on the UK Government website has offered the public a window into the state of the UK’s epidemic, displaying daily Covid cases, hospitalisations and deaths, both nationally and regionally, since April 2020. Some people have avoided looking at the figures – published at 4pm every day, including weekends. But a surprising number of us have become secretly addicted to poring over them. Back in January, the dashboard attracted 76 million views in a single day. In more recent months, the dashboard has offered a source of celebration, thanks to the addition of the vaccination tally.

Scientists and politicians alike agree the UK’s Covid dashboard has been a resounding success, allowing the public to draw their own conclusions about the level of threat the virus poses to them. It’s also been a crucial yardstick for how stretched the NHS is, providing exact figures of how many Covid patients are in each hospital around the country. But now, with nearly eight in ten Britons protected against getting seriously ill, thanks to the vaccine, are daily Covid figures still necessary? After all, as Health Secretary Sajid Javid said of the virus earlier this summer: ‘We cannot eliminate it, instead we have to learn to live with it.’ There is growing concern from experts that the endless figures do more harm than good. Some have declared the tally of daily infections ‘completely meaningless’.

‘It shouldn’t really matter how many people are catching the virus – as long as they are protected,’ says Professor Jackie Cassell, public health expert at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Other scientists have warned of the psychological impact of constant reminders of how many people are still catching Covid. ‘There’s a worry, that in the scramble to get out these daily updates, we’re alarming people disproportionately,’ says Professor Robert Dingwall, sociologist at Nottingham Trent University and former Government scientific adviser. ‘People see spikes in the data, and this is often the cause of great anxiety, which might lead them to limit their daily activities unnecessarily.

‘It stops people being able to acclimatise to a post-vaccine world, which is exactly what the jabs were intended to do. And if you look more widely you’ll find the majority of infections are in the younger, festival-going age groups, and didn’t reach the vulnerable or elderly.’ Others argue that the continued obsession over Covid figures overshadows the record-high demands on the NHS.

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Journal of Immunology.

Differentiation of Long-Lived SARS-CoV-2-Specific CD8+ T Cells (JoI)

CD8+ T cells can potentiate long-lived immunity against COVID-19. We screened longitudinally-sampled convalescent human donors against SARS-CoV-2 tetramers and identified a participant with an immunodominant response against residues 322 to 311 of nucleocapsid (Nuc322–331), a peptide conserved in all variants of concern reported to date. We conducted 38-parameter cytometry by time of flight on tetramer-identified Nuc322–331–specific CD8+ T cells and on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells recognizing the entire nucleocapsid and spike proteins, and took 32 serological measurements. We discovered a coordination of the Nuc322–331–specific CD8+ T response with both the CD4+ T cell and Ab pillars of adaptive immunity.


Over the approximately six month period of convalescence monitored, we observed a slow and progressive decrease in the activation state and polyfunctionality of Nuc322–331–specific CD8+ T cells, accompanied by an increase in their lymph node–homing and homeostatic proliferation potential. These results suggest that following a typical case of mild COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2–specific CD8+ T cells not only persist but continuously differentiate in a coordinated fashion well into convalescence into a state characteristic of long-lived, self-renewing memory.

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It reacts to magnets. Welcome to graphene oxide.

Contaminant In 1.63m Moderna Vaccine Doses In Japan Believed To Be Metal (R.)

A contaminant found in a batch of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccines delivered to Japan is believed to be a metallic particle, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing sources at the health ministry. Japan on Thursday suspended the use of 1.63 million doses shipped to 863 vaccination centres nationwide, more than a week after the domestic distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical, received reports of contaminants in some vials. NHK, in a report published late on Thursday, cited ministry sources as saying the particle reacted to magnets and was therefore suspected to be a metal. Moderna has described it as “particulate matter” that did not pose a safety or efficacy issue. A health ministry official said the composition of the contaminant has not been confirmed.

In a statement, Takeda said it asked Moderna to investigate the issue and that it would work with the health ministry to replace the affected vaccine supply. News of the contaminant could provide a fresh setback for Japan’s inoculation drive as it struggles to persuade many – particularly young people — to get vaccinated. On Friday, eight more prefectures entered a state of emergency meaning about 80 per cent of Japan’s population is under coronavirus restrictions. The government reported nearly 25,000 new infections and severe cases at a record 2,000 for Thursday. The ministry has said the suspension of the Moderna batches was a precaution but it prompted several Japanese companies to cancel worker vaccinations and the European drugs regulator to launch an investigation.

Airline ANA Holdings Inc said it had secured more Moderna supplies and would resume inoculations on Saturday after a two-day suspension of the shots. Spanish pharma company Rovi, which bottles Moderna vaccines for markets other than the United States, said the contamination could be due to a manufacturing issue on a production line. A spokesperson said the company could not say anything more while it was investigating. Moderna put the lot in question and two adjacent ones on hold. Another health ministry official said it would take “some time” to confirm how many shots from the contaminated batch had been administered in Japan. Kyodo News reported that at least 176,000 shots have been used based on its own tally of figures reported by municipalities.

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Misinformation? Really?

Covid Vaccine Doubter Alex Berenson Permanently Banned From Twitter (NYP)

Conservative commentator and vaccine doubter Alex Berenson has reportedly been permanently suspended from Twitter for violating the social media platform’s COVID-19 misinformation rules. Berenson’s account was banned Saturday after “repeated violations” of the rules, a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News in a statement. Berenson, a one-time New York Times reporter, addressed the suspension in a Saturday night post to his Substack page, blaming his removal from Twitter on a recent post where he was critical of the coronavirus vaccine. “It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine,” the tweet read.


“Think of it — at best — as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS.” Berenson, in his Substack post, defended the tweet in question as “entirely accurate.” In a statement to The Post, the Yale-educated writer and novelist blasted Twitter’s decision. “We have reached a dangerous moment. Social media companies that have audiences which dwarf any other are now actively censoring reporters at the behest of governments,” he said. “I will continue to fight to get out the truth and am considering all legal options.”

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In the wire.

Escapes From Afghanistan, Coordinated From A Home Office In Connecticut (CTM)

Across the hall from his twin daughters’ sun-splashed bedroom, where Mickey Mouse and a menagerie of stuffed animals stand watch from bunk beds, Alex Plitsas typed furiously on his iPhone, relaying encrypted messages to a terrified Afghan family outside the airport at Kabul. The Afghan father had been beaten the previous day by the Taliban, his pregnant wife whipped across the back. Plitsas sent a signal to them to flash to American personnel who would admit them to the airport gate. To the Americans at the airport gate, he relayed a photo of the family, a hollow-eyed selfie. They were just four meters from the gate, an exit from Afghanistan.

Improbably, they had been guided there by Plitsas, an Army veteran and suburban dad standing in stocking feet in a home office in a tidy neighborhood on the other side of the world. He is one of the many players in a crowd-sourcing exercise that, at least for Plitsas, would reach a crescendo Thursday night. An interpreter he helped already had flown to safety. The pregnant woman was under the care of American medics. And a more difficult case, coordinating the rescue of four unaccompanied minors whose plight had been the subject of a CNN story, had found a happy ending. At 11:07 p.m., a text message arrived with a picture of four children and three words: “In the wire.”

The wire was the fence separating the American-controlled portion of Hamid Karzai International Airport from the chaos and carnage of Kabul. On a day when suicide bombers killed 13 U.S. troops and scores of Afghan civilians outside the airport gate, four kids were saved. There were others, their stories certain to unfold over time. All were beneficiaries of a network of military veterans and others with contacts in Afghanistan. They used social media, off-the-shelf encryption communication apps and satellite maps in what’s been dubbed the “Digital Dunkirk,” a nod to the civilian flotilla that evacuated trapped British troops after the fall of France. As midnight approached, the end of a frenetic 36 hours, Plitsas struggled to explain what he felt. It had been a day of frustration, false starts, grievous losses and scattered gains. Finally, he said, “I could throw up right now.”

Killed by US

Read more …

 

 

 

Eric Clapton – This Has Gotta Stop

 

 

 

 

Geese
https://twitter.com/i/status/1431521290922479616

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Aug 232021
 


Vasily Polenov Moscow courtyard 1878

 

The FDA Is Begging You Not to Take Horse Dewormer for Covid-19 (RS)
How Does Covid-19 Affect The Brain? (NatGeo)
Potential Use Of Ivermectin For Treatment And Prophylaxis Of SARS-CoV-2 (SD) /span>
Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection (AJT)
Stop The Mandates Or People Die (Denninger)
Molecular Determinants of SARS-CoV-2 Variants (Cell)
Biden Team’s Misguided And Deadly Covid-19 Vaccine Strategy (WT)
100s Of Doctors Sign Open Letter: Need Debate On ‘Flawed Covid Guesses’ (Exp.)
Rescue Dogs Shot Dead By NSW Council Due To Covid-19 Restrictions (SMH)
Afghan Staff At US Embassy Losing Faith In Evacuation Efforts (NBC)
White House Announces They’ve Lost Kamala Harris (BBee)

 

 

 

 

A drug safely used by an estimated 3 billion people has been relabeled a horse dewormer. This is a dangerous campaign. Lives are being lost.

The FDA Is Begging You Not to Take Horse Dewormer for Covid-19 (RS)

“You are not a horse. You are not a cow,” the Food and Drug Administration tweeted on Saturday alongside a link to a page on their website explaining “Why you should not use Ivermectin to treat or prevent Covid-19.” Why? Because Ivermectin, a medication usually reserved for deworming livestock, is responsible for a spike in poison control calls in Mississippi as people duped by conspiracy theories have purchased the drug and ingested it, hoping it will treat or prevent Covid-19 — something the drug is not proven to do. According to an alert issued by the Mississippi Department of Health on Friday, 70 percent of all recent calls to poison control in the state “have been related to ingestion of livestock or animal formulations of ivermectin purchased at livestock supply centers.”

Although most callers (85 percent) only reported mild symptoms, one person was advised to seek additional treatment. “Animal drugs are highly concentrated for large animals and can be highly toxic in humans,” the alert said. Ivermectin is sometimes used in humans to treat parasites or scabies, but in much smaller doses than are given to livestock. The calls have clearly baffled health officials in the state. “I think some people are trying to use it as a preventative which is really kind of crazy,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s state health officer, said. “So please don’t do that.”

“You wouldn’t get your chemotherapy at a feed store,” Dobbs added. “You wouldn’t treat your pneumonia with your animal’s medication. It can be dangerous to get the wrong doses of medication, especially with something meant for a horse or a cow.” But the obvious risks of humans ingesting Ivermectin haven’t stopped people at Fox News — including hosts Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson — from dangerously suggesting that it is a safe and effective treatment for Covid-19, as Rachel Maddow pointed out on her Friday night show where she showed clips of Fox personalities pushing the drug consistently over the last six months.

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Very little is clear. Only thing to do is keep people from being infected. And the vaccines don’t do that:

..an internal document from the C.D.C. states that some 35,000 vaccinated people experience symptomatic coronavirus infections each week..

How Does Covid-19 Affect The Brain? (NatGeo)

If SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t infect brain cells, how is so destructive to cognition? There are two leading hypotheses. The first is that the infection somehow triggers inflammation in the brain. Some COVID-19 patients have suffered encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, which can cause confusion and double vision, and in serious cases, speech, hearing, or vision problems. If left untreated, patients can develop cognitive problems. Viruses like West Nile and Zika can cause encephalitis by directly infecting the brain cells, but how COVID-19 may lead to brain inflammation is less clear. An immune response run amok, known as autoimmunity, might be to blame for some instances of inflammation throughout the body, including the brain.

When the immune system is fighting a disease like COVID-19, it unleashes antibodies to do battle against the infection. But sometimes a person’s immune system becomes hyperactive and instead starts making self-attacking antibodies, known as autoantibodies, which can contribute to inflammation and blood clots. These autoantibodies have been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms. In the Columbia study, researchers found clusters of microglia—special immune cells in the brain whose job is to clear out damaged neurons—that appeared to be attacking healthy neurons. The phenomenon is called neuronophagia. Most of these rogue microglia were in the brain stem, which regulates heartbeat, breathing, and sleeping.

The researchers think these microglia may get activated by signaling molecules called inflammatory cytokines found in patients with severe COVID-19. These molecules are supposed to help regulate the immune system, but some people’s bodies release too many inflammatory cytokines in response to a viral infection. When researchers at Stanford looked at brain tissue from eight patients who died of COVID-19, they also observed signs of inflammation compared to 14 control brains. Using a technique called single-cell RNA sequencing, they found that hundreds of genes associated with inflammation were activated in brain cells from COVID-19 patients compared to controls.

They also noted molecular changes in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain involved in decision-making and memory that suggested signaling imbalances in neurons. Similar imbalances have been seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The results were published in Nature in June. A second explanation for cognitive issues is that COVID-19 may restrict blood flow to the brain and deprive it of oxygen. In patients who have died of COVID-19, researchers have found evidence of brain tissue damagecaused by hypoxia, or the lack of oxygen.

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Slow but sure take-up by serious medical journals.

Science Direct (Elsevier). Current Research in Translational Medicine
Volume 69, Issue 4, October 2021, 103309

Potential Use Of Ivermectin For Treatment And Prophylaxis Of SARS-CoV-2 (SD)

Ivermectin performs its function mainly through inhibition of nuclear transport mediated by the imported heterodimer a/b1 , which is responsible for the translocation of proteins of several viral species (Human Immunodeficiency Virus, type 1- HIV1, and Simian Virus 40 – SV40; a known oncogenic DNA), and such translocation is, in turn, essential for viral replication [7,8]. This inhibition appears to affect a considerable number of RNA viruses. It has recently been shown that ivermectin inhibits the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in vitro [8, 9], although it is not clear how this occurs. However, since the causal agent of COVID-19 is an RNA virus, the interference with the same proteins and molecular processes described above can reasonably be expected.

However, these studies were conducted at concentrations substantially higher than expected in the plasma and lungs of humans who receive the approved dose of ivermectin. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies suggest that in order to achieve the plasma concentrations required for in vitro antiviral efficacy, it would be necessary to administer doses up to 100 times higher than approved for human use. However, increasing the dose/kg of body weight may be a strategy to increase efficacy, the increase of the risk of toxicity is not conclusive. Currently, there is a noteworthy absence of efficacious treatments for patients with early infection. Although most patients present mild or moderate symptoms, up to 5-10% may have a bad disease progression, so there is a pressing need for effective drugs to be administered early in the course of infection, even before the appearance of severe symptoms, i.e. when the course of the disease is more modifiable to prevent disease progression and longer-term complications.

In fact, it is known that the earlier the antiviral therapies are started, the greater the benefits for patients, in both influenza [15] and SARS infections [16], as well as, more generally, for all infections. Given the need to find an effective drug that can mitigate the harmful consequences of COVID-19, a large number of studies are being carried out in order to assess the effectiveness of different existing drugs, including ivermectin, with promising results. This narrative review summarizes and outlines the evidence-based effectiveness and safety of ivermectin in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, recommending the drug for the treatment of COVID-19 especially in the early stages of the disease.

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American Journal of Therapeutics: July/August 2021

Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection (AJT)

Ivermectin is a well-known medicine that is approved as an antiparasitic by the World Health Organization and the US Food and Drug Administration. It is widely used in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to treat worm infections. Also used for the treatment of scabies and lice, it is one of the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines. With total doses of ivermectin distributed apparently equaling one-third of the present world population, ivermectin at the usual doses (0.2–0.4 mg/kg) is considered extremely safe for use in humans. In addition to its antiparasitic activity, it has been noted to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, leading to an increasing list of therapeutic indications.8

Since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, both observational and randomized studies have evaluated ivermectin as a treatment for, and as prophylaxis against, COVID-19 infection. A review by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance summarized findings from 27 studies on the effects of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection, concluding that ivermectin “demonstrates a strong signal of therapeutic efficacy” against COVID-19.9 Another recent review found that ivermectin reduced deaths by 75%. Despite these findings, the National Institutes of Health in the United States recently stated that “there are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19,”and the World Health Organization recommends against its use outside of clinical trials.

Ivermectin has exhibited antiviral activity against a wide range of RNA and some DNA viruses, for example, Zika, dengue, yellow fever, and others.13 Caly et al14 demonstrated specific action against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro with a suggested host-directed mechanism of action being the blocking of the nuclear import of viral proteins that suppress normal immune responses. However, the necessary cell culture EC50 may not be achievable in vivo.16 Other conjectured mechanisms include inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro activity(a protease essential for viral replication), a variety of anti-inflammatory effects,19 and competitive binding of ivermectin with the viral S protein as shown in multiple in silico studies. The latter would inhibit viral binding to ACE-2 receptors suppressing infection. Hemagglutination via viral binding to sialic acid receptors on erythrocytes is a recently proposed pathologic mechanism that would be similarly disrupted. Both host-directed and virus-directed mechanisms have thus been proposed, the clinical mechanism may be multimodal, possibly dependent on disease stage, and a comprehensive review of mechanisms of action is warranted.

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You can’t force people. And you shouldn’t be trying.

Stop The Mandates Or People Die (Denninger)

Better watch this one folks and let it sink in.

“If I don’t show up for my job, as I just explained to you, people die. On Saturday night at 10 p.m. I got a page. I did not want to go to work. Somebody was having a very critical problem, they were dying. I worked until 6 a.m. the next day. If I had not of showed up, there would have been nobody to do my job. These guys can’t show up to their job, and I’m sorry, your jobs are not as important as mine.” There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people just like him They’re everywhere in the health care system. They have unique skills without which the system does not function, and when you need those skills you need them now, not later. There is no “later”; there is either now or death. Take someone on dialysis. This is not a “robotic procedure”; each patient has specific levels of various drugs and their specific metabolic reactions to them that must be individually managed.

The people who do that job are not replaceable on short notice, if at all. If you need dialysis and do not get it, you die. This is not a “maybe” or “might die” you WILL die with absolute, 100% certainty. Things happen at odd hours of the day and night. Most real medical emergencies are not scheduled — heart attacks, strokes, car wrecks, gunshots and similar. They happen when they happen and either someone is there to respond to it and deal with it or the person in question dies. Those hundreds of thousands of people who are utterly essential to people not dying every single day — hundreds if not thousands who will otherwise die if those employees refuse to show up — and exactly zero of those people can be compelled to work. This is America. It is not the Soviet Union. It is not North Korea.

NOBODY is a slave and EVERYONE has the right to say “**** you” and walk out. EVERYONE. ALL THE TIME. Then there are of course both cops and firefighters. You want someone to put your house out if its on fire, right? What if the firefighters say “**** you” to a jab mandate and quit? Who’s going to put the fire out? Do you even have a wrench to get the hydrant open, say much less the correct fittings and hose? What happens when your child is in that burning house and there is no firefighter to put it out? He or she dies. You cannot arrest and jail someone for quitting their job or refusing a mandate and being fired. All employment is voluntary, no matter how “essential” the position. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS and there is no way to replace the people who do these jobs without which hundreds of people per day WILL DIE.

Therefore you have a choice to make America and you have to make it NOW. You will stand up and stop these mandates. You will do it now. You will do it or every single person who dies as a result of your failure to do so, and the refusal of others to consent, is YOUR responsibility. Not their person who quits — YOURS. THEY are not slaves. THEY cannot be compelled to consent. THEY have NO obligation to put up with your bull****. You’d better get this through your thick ******n skull RIGHT NOW. YOU are why that person who needs dialysis will be dead. YOU are why the person who is in critical trouble in a hospital and there is no perfusionist available right now will die. YOU either stop this madness, right now, by whatever means are necessary, without exception from top to bottom or YOU are responsible for those deaths and those deaths WILL come.

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“While replication-associated mutations generate small changes in the viral genome, recombination may introduce more important modifications, leading to dramatic changes in the phenotype of SARS-CoV-2..”

Molecular Determinants of SARS-CoV-2 Variants (Cell)

Accumulation of genomes with replication-associated random mutations within the same cell has the potential to generate a heterogeneous mix of viral proteins, including spike protein, which brings into question the true diversity of the spike on the surface of individual virions and subsequent tissue-level spread of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. If a more orderly molecular process to regulate the homogeneous distribution of spike protein variants on individual virions exists, it remains to be identified. Regular RNA sequencing analyses are unable to identify these differences since they can only be captured by ultra-high-resolution single-virion protein sequencing, the technology for which is in its infancy.


The SARS-CoV-2 genomic mutation rate in humans is estimated at 0.8-2.38 x 10-3 nucleotide substitutions per site per year largely based on analysis of sequencing data archived in public repositories. Emerging studies are attempting to confirm this mutation rate using experimental investigations. By comparison, mutations rates for influenza A virus and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) are 2.3 x 10-3 and 1.12 x 10-3 nucleotide substitutions per site per year, respectively. Human CoVs (HCoV)-OC43 and HCoV-229E have an average mutation rate of 3-6 x 10-4 nucleotide substitutions per site per year. Emerging experimental data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is capable of mutating and accumulating changes when facing a new cell type, albeit in the absence of immune surveillance in a single-cell-type infection model. A clinical study also reported the rapid evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants in the presence of antibodies from convalescent plasma therapy. While random errors during replication may induce genetic mutations in SARS-CoV-2, multiple extrinsic factors, such as individual and population-level immunity, play a vital role in the selection of these variants. More research is warranted to fully understand the cellular and molecular drivers of genomic mutation and selection in SARS-CoV-2. As SARS-CoV-2 accumulates new genetic changes, we shall need to reassess the mutation rate to better understand the contribution of replication-associated random mutations and its impact on SARS-CoV-2 transmission and emergence of new variants.


Figure 1 Replication-Associated Generation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Variants.

While replication-associated mutations generate small changes in the viral genome, recombination may introduce more important modifications, leading to dramatic changes in the phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 (Figure 2). Discontinuous transcription of CoV genomes enables recombination in a cell coinfected with more than one CoV species or variant via ‘strand switching’ by the viral RdRp (Figure 2A). This process leads to the production of chimeric subgenomic RNA and proteins. Chimeric proteins may have consequences for the fate of infected cells and for cellular and tissue tropism of progeny virions. As technology evolves, we might be able to track the spread of individual virions, along with deciphering the heterogeneity of their composition.


Figure 2 Recombination-Induced Variants.

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Dr. Robert Malone and Peter Navarro.

Biden Team’s Misguided And Deadly Covid-19 Vaccine Strategy (WT)

The Biden administration’s strategy to universally vaccinate in the middle of the pandemic is bad science and badly needs a reboot. This strategy will likely prolong the most dangerous phase of the worst pandemic since 1918 and almost assuredly cause more harm than good – even as it undermines faith in the entire public health system. Four flawed assumptions drive the Biden strategy. The first is that universal vaccination can eradicate the virus and secure economic recovery by achieving herd immunity throughout the country (and the world). However, the virus is now so deeply embedded in the world population that, unlike polio and smallpox, eradication is unachievable. SARS-CoV-2 and its myriad mutations will likely continually circulate, much like the common cold and influenza.

The second assumption is that the vaccines are (near) perfectly effective. However, our currently available vaccines are quite “leaky.” While good at preventing severe disease and death, they only reduce, not eliminate, the risk of infection, replication, and transmission. As a slide deck from the Centers for Disease Control has revealed, even 100% acceptance of the current leaky vaccines combined with strict mask compliance will not stop the highly contagious Delta variant from spreading. The third assumption is that the vaccines are safe. Yet scientists, physicians, and public health officials now recognize risks that are rare but by no means trivial. Known side effects include serious cardiac and thrombotic conditions, menstrual cycle disruptions, Bell’s Palsy, Guillain Barre syndrome, and anaphylaxis.

Unknown side effects which virologists fear may emerge include existential reproductive risks, additional autoimmune conditions, and various forms of disease enhancement, i.e., the vaccines can make people more vulnerable to reinfection by SARS-CoV-2 or reactivation of latent viral infections and associated diseases such as shingles. With good reason, the FDA has yet to approve the vaccines now administered under Emergency Use Authorization. The failure of the fourth “durability” assumption is the most alarming and perplexing. It now appears our current vaccines are likely to offer a mere 180-day window of protection – a decided lack of durability underscored by scientific evidence from Israel and confirmed by Pfizer, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other countries.

Here, we are already being warned of the need for universal “booster” shots at six-month intervals for the foreseeable future. The obvious broader point that militates for individual vaccine choice is that repeated vaccinations, each with a small risk, can add up to a big risk. It’s an arms race with the virus.

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Still not sure what they’re mad about, other than lockdowns.

100s Of Doctors Sign Open Letter: Need Debate On ‘Flawed Covid Guesses’ (Exp.)

A hundred and thirty three doctors, nurses, psychiatrists paramedics and midwives signed the letter released today which states that despite a “complete lack of widespread approval among health professionals,” of the pandemic policies, “no attempt” has been made to measure the harms of lockdown policies. The letter, also addressed to the Health Secretary and First Ministers for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland states: “You have failed to engage in dialogue and show no signs of doing so. You have removed from people fundamental rights and altered the fabric of society with little debate in Parliament.” The signatories, from a broad range of specialities, came forward despite the risk of doing so to both their jobs and reputations.

Founding signatory Dr Ros Jones, a retired paediatric consultant said: “We wrote the letter as a group of healthcare professionals, connected only by our deep concern and shared commitment to “first do no harm.” We can no longer stand by in silence. We are not the first group of medically and scientifically qualified professionals to write in such terms to the Government. In March, 22 eminent scientists publicly called for drastic policy change. We sincerely hope we will be the last who feel the need to write such a letter.” Dr Alan Mordue, another founding signatory said: “To move forward now our governments urgently need to facilitate a wider and open debate within the medical and scientific community, for the short term as we lift restrictions, and the longer term to improve how we manage winter respiratory viruses and pandemics in the future.”

Concerns voiced in the letter include accusations that no Minister responsible for policy “has engaged in an open and full discussion of alternative ways of managing the pandemic,” despite being aware of other medical and scientific viewpoints. It adds the pandemic response policies have caused “significant, permanent and unnecessary harm” to the UK and “must never be repeated.” The letter focuses on 10 areas where the UK’s approach to COVID failed. It argues the nature of the covid threat has been exaggerated, it claims the use of behavioural science to generate fear was “inappropriate and unethical” and it argues the role of asymptomatic spread has been overplayed and used to promote public compliance with restrictions.

Finally it states that restrictions have been imposed with an overreliance on modelling data whilst ignoring real world data. The signatories called for a “sea change within the Government “which must now pay proper attention to those esteemed experts outside its inner circle who are sounding these alarms.”

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New normal. I see videos every day from Australia that make me want to vomit.

Rescue Dogs Shot Dead By NSW Council Due To Covid-19 Restrictions (SMH)

Several impounded dogs due to be rescued by a shelter have instead been shot dead by a rural council in NSW under its interpretation of COVID-19 restrictions, alarming animal activists and prompting a government probe. Bourke Shire Council, in the state’s north-west, killed the dogs to prevent volunteers at a Cobar-based animal shelter from travelling to pick up the animals last week, according to council’s watchdog, the Office of Local Government. “OLG has been informed that the council decided to take this course of action to protect its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” a spokesman from the government agency said.

The spokesman said the agency was examining the circumstances of the incident to find out whether companion animal and cruelty prevention laws had been broken. The Herald attempted to contact the council administration multiple times, but received no response, and a member of Rural Outback Respite/Rescue – the shelter that was supposed to receive the dogs – declined to comment. A source who is familiar with the arrangement said the shelter volunteers are distressed and had COVID-safe measures in place to handle the dogs, one of which was a new mother. According to NSW Health, there have been no recent locally acquired COVID-19 cases in Cobar, although fragments of the virus have been found in the area’s sewerage system.

The Office of Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock, who has previously faced questions in Parliament over the shooting of animals in council pounds, did not comment. However, animal liberation campaigner Lisa Ryan called for an urgent investigation. “We are deeply distressed and completely appalled by this callous dog shooting and we totally reject council’s unacceptable justifications that this killing was apparently undertaken as part of a COVID- safe plan,” Ms Ryan, Animal Liberation’s regional campaign manager, said.

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“It would be better to die under the Taliban’s bullet” than face the crowds again..”

Afghan Staff At US Embassy Losing Faith In Evacuation Efforts (NBC)

Local staff members at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul are “deeply disheartened” by U.S. evacuation efforts and have expressed a sense of betrayal and distrust in the U.S. government, according to a State Department diplomatic cable obtained by NBC News. The cable, which was sent Saturday, said memos were sent Wednesday inviting Afghan staff members at the embassy to head to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. It told them to take food and to prepare for difficult conditions. “However, no one anticipated the brutal experience that occurred,” the cable said.

Staffers reported being jostled, hit, spat on and cursed at by Taliban fighters at checkpoints near the airport, it said, adding that criminals were taking advantage of the chaos while the U.S. military tried to maintain order “in an extremely physical situation.” Some staff members reported that they were almost separated from their children, while others collapsed in a crush of people and had to be taken to hospitals with injuries, the cable said. Others said they had collapsed on the road because of heat exhaustion, it said. “It would be better to die under the Taliban’s bullet” than face the crowds again, a staff member was quoted as saying in the cable.

“Happy to die here, but with dignity and pride,” another said, while a third accused the U.S. of prioritizing Afghan government elites with contacts in the U.S., who already had the correct paperwork and other ways to flee the country. A local embassy staff member reported that his home had been tagged with spray paint — a tactic the Taliban have used in the past to identify homes’ occupants for further questioning, the cable said, adding that the family had been forced to flee their home but was unable to get to the airport. Others shared concerns about conditions in Qatar, where many refugees have been flown before they make their way to other locations.

The U.S. began evacuating its citizens, diplomatic staff members and Afghans who aided its mission in the country last week after the Taliban seized control of much of Afghanistan before they finally walked into Kabul last Sunday without firing a shot. A State Department spokesperson said the U.S. has a “special commitment” to local embassy staff members who “have suffered hardship, pain and loss because of their dedication to working with us to build a better future for all Afghans.”

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… But They’re Also Not Looking For Her Very Hard

White House Announces They’ve Lost Kamala Harris (BBee)

In an interview with Morning Joe, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield revealed they have lost Kamala Harris and have no idea where she’s gone, although she admitted nobody is really looking for her all that hard. “Yeah, I dunno. She’s somewhere, I guess. I mean, she didn’t just disappear,” said Bedingfield. “We have some people looking for her I think, but we’re not too worried, honestly. I’m sure she’ll turn up sooner or later.” “Wait, wait, wait,” said the show’s host. “You mean to tell me that in this time of crisis, you have literally no idea where the Vice President of the United States is?”

“Well, it sounds bad when you put it that way,” replied the Communications Director. “I don’t really see how this is a big deal. It’s been kind of nice and quiet around here since she left… we’re not even quite sure what she does, anyway,” she said with a shrug. Anonymous sources have suggested Kamala may be somewhere around Camp David, as locals reported the sound of cackling through the night.

Read more …

 

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Aug 202021
 


Henri Matisse Music 1910

 

People With 2 COVID-19 Shots Fully Vaccinated Without Booster: Surgeon General (ET)
Top Doctor: Mass Vaccination Program One Of The Most Deadly Mistakes In History (LSN)
Now Is The Time To Use Ivermectin: Chairman Of Tokyo Met Medical Ass’n
Supreme Court Knocks Down ‘Covid Passport’ In Andalucia (EW)
Spain Court Orders End To Barcelona Virus Curfew (B’s)
Greek Gov’t Not Backing Down On Health Worker Vaccinations (K.)
US Promises Not To Charge Americans To Fly Out Of Afghanistan (RT)
Biden State Dept Halted A Trump-Era ‘Crisis Response’ Plan 2 Months Ago (NP)
Leaked State Department Memo Warned Of Afghanistan Collapse (ZH)
The Worst Presidential Dereliction in Memory (Noah Rothman)
The Ides of August (Sarah Chayes)
Assabiya Wins Every Time (Lee Smith)

 

 

 

 

In the EU, as of 14.8.21, 826,000 have had 2.07 million adverse reactions to the jab, of which 21,776 died.

 

 

It’s official: anything goes.

People With 2 COVID-19 Shots Fully Vaccinated Without Booster: Surgeon General (ET)

Americans who have received two COVID-19 vaccine doses are considered fully vaccinated, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Wednesday. “I think what’s very important for people to know is that if you’ve gotten both shots of your mRNA vaccine, you are fully vaccinated right now; you have full—you have a high degree of protection against the worst outcomes of COVID-19,” Murthy told reporters during a virtual briefing. The definition of fully vaccinated could prove key in the coming months. More and more jurisdictions are requiring proof of vaccination to enter businesses. At some point, people could be required to show proof of having received three doses, especially if health officials signaled their support.

Murthy suggested that could come later, pending authorization from the FDAvand a recommendation from the CDC’s vaccine advisory panel, known as ACIP. “Our recommendation down the line, pending the advice and the review of the FDA and ACIP … is that we believe that that third dose will ultimately be needed to provide the fullest and continual extent of protection that we think people need from the virus,” Murthy said. Experts are keeping a close watch on whether vaccine mandates will transition into requiring booster.

“Haven’t heard this debated yet… but in case the Covid events of the past month aren’t messy enough, wait for this one: When—and how—do vaccine mandates transition into booster mandates?” Bob Wachter, chair of the University of California San Francisco’s Department of Medicine, wrote on social media this week. Asked later on CNBC if CEOs should consider mandating boosters, Murthy said, “In my mind this doesn’t change what workplaces are doing.” “Right now, if you’re a business that’s thinking about putting in requirements for vaccines, if you’re a university that’s considering that, nothing in today’s announcement should change what you’re doing,” he added.

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“..about 88 percent of hospitalizations and deaths can be avoided with early treatment.”

But there still is no early treatment.

Mass Vaccination Program One Of The Most Deadly Mistakes In History (LSN)

The forced mass vaccination of Americans will be regarded as one of the most deadly and costly medical mistakes in history, renowned pioneer in the early treatment of COVID-19, Texas cardiologist and internist Dr. Peter McCullough, has said. Citing recent data from U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and from Israel and Britain, where COVID cases are multiplying among the vaccinated, McCullough, who is editor-in-chief of two medical journals and author of over 600 peer-reviewed studies, including 46 dedicated to COVID-19, said he is “deeply worried” about the future of America. “Americans are going to bear the brunt of what invariably is going to be a failed mass vaccination program that will go down as one of the most deadly, one of the most injurious and costly in human history,” McCullough said in a recent podcast.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in April that it has stopped tracking COVID cases among the vaccinated that do not result in hospitalizations or deaths. The agency is now assuming that new cases are among the unvaccinated unless otherwise advised, which skews numbers to paint the unvaccinated as spreaders of disease. “This intentional misinformation and propaganda scheme has been used to drive an incredible fury of vaccine mandates” for government agencies, veterans administrations, and hundreds of schools and colleges, even though here have been no outbreaks in these places, McCullough said. Israel was the first country to mass vaccinate its population under an agreement with Pfizer to exchange vaccine supply for public health data in an experiment on the people “to evaluate whether herd immunity protection is observed during the Product vaccination program rollout.”

Eighty percent of adults are fully vaccinated there, yet COVID cases and serious hospitalizations have risen 20-fold since early July. The media has highlighted that most serious new cases have been among the unvaccinated, while neglecting to report that the majority (more than 80 percent) of new cases reported by the Israeli Health Ministry are among vaccinated individuals. In response, Israel introduced a third “booster shot” of Pfizer’s vaccine which has been administered to more than one million people as of August 16. In the United Kingdom, more than three-quarters of the adult population (76 percent) have received two doses of vaccine and almost 90 percent of adults have received at least one dose. Yet, the number of COVID patients hospitalized has soared sevenfold since early June this year.

The most recent U.K. report on “variants of concern” revealed that 54 percent of COVID deaths are among the fully vaccinated. A further 12 percent of deaths are among the partially vaccinated who have received one dose. That data, McCullough said, “is basically showing that the vaccines are failing.” Vaccinated individuals can acquire and transmit the pandemic coronavirus and become and die of COVID-19. “Completely vaccinated individuals are passing it to one another,” McCullough said. Nonetheless, citing the new, circulating Delta variant, the Biden administration is expected to follow Israel’s example and introduce a third booster shot for all nursing home residents and healthcare workers for September.

The vaccines were never tested for the Delta variant, and their protection has lasted only months. “It’s clear we can’t vaccinate our way out of this,” McCullough said. COVID-19, no matter what the variant, is easily treatable at home with simple, available drugs, according to McCullough, who has stated that “about 88 percent of hospitalizations and deaths can be avoided” with early treatment.

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Odd Google translate, but lots of info between the lines. IVM for Covid is legal, but not available.

Now Is The Time To Use Ivermectin: Chairman Of Tokyo Met Medical Ass’n

Why is Japan not trying to use ivermectin, which has few reports of side effects and has been reported to be effective in clinical trials in other countries? On August 5, we had an urgent interview with Mr. Ozaki, chairman of the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Association, who had been proposing effective uses of ivermectin from early on.

[..] Ivermectin generic drugs are also manufactured in large quantities in China and India. If Merck doesn’t come out, there should be a way to import and supply it.

“That’s right. If the” Special Measures Bill for Designation and Use of Specified Drugs for the Treatment of New Influenza, etc. “(Japanese EUA * Maintenance Bill), which was submitted to the House of Representatives by Representative Nakajima, who is also a doctor, is passed, generic products But I think the government isn’t working at all at this point. ”

“The other problem is that ivermectin has already been used in many countries around the world, and its dosage, dosage, safety and efficacy have been confirmed, but it has not yet been done in clinical trials in Japan. For this reason, ivermectin is not covered by the drug side effect relief system. This makes it difficult for doctors to use. However, even in such anxiety and disadvantageous situations, doctors who are convinced of the effects of ivermectin. Some of us are prescribing ivermectin at our own risk. I hope that the Japanese version of the EUA maintenance law will be enacted as soon as possible. ”

EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) A system of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that permits the use of unapproved drugs in an emergency and expands the indications for approved drugs. The FDA is <1> a life-threatening disease <2> a certain degree of effectiveness is recognized in the treatment of diseases, etc. <3> The benefits of using it outweigh the potential risks of the product <4> Other diseases It is approved for use if it is determined that there is no suitable alternative to diagnose, prevent, or treat.

Since you admitted that it is not applicable, Japan is classified as an “Ivermectin user country” in the world, but it is a system that can not be used in reality.

“That’s right. In short, the government has not built a system that can supply ivermectin, so it is not a promotion system. If the Japanese version of EUA is prepared quickly and it becomes a system that can be used by doctors in the field, As Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Tamura replied in the Diet, it can actually be administered to patients who are waiting at home or undergoing medical treatment, but with the current system, virtually nothing can be done. However, if we remain cautious in the event of such an emergency, we can only understand that we are sacrificing the safety of the people. “

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Nice, but not on principal.

Supreme Court Knocks Down ‘Covid Passport’ In Andalucia (EW)

Supreme Court knocks down ‘covid passport’ to enter bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Andalucia The Supreme Court knocks down ‘covid passport’ to enter bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Andalucia. The Andalucian Government had hoped to use a COVID passport, but the Supreme Court has prevented this. The Andalucian Government had hoped to use a COVID passport control entry to hotels, nightlife venues and nightclubs across Andalucia. The Supreme Court has now rejected this request. The court believes that the proposed measure “does not pass the proportionality test” and that it shows a “justification deficit”. Therefore, it has decided to stand by the decision previously taken by the Superior Court of Justice of Andalucia.

This basically means that anyone in Andalucia will not have to show a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test which was taken in the last 72 hours in order to enter nightclubs, restaurants and bars. The government of Moreno Bonilla had requested these measures, but Supreme Court have decided to overturn the request. The decision was made on two main arguments. The first is that the measure is not sufficiently justified. For the measure to be justified the government in Andalucia would need to prove “that the so-called fifth wave originates precisely in nightlife venues.” The second argument is one of being proportionate. The measure was intended to apply “over a large territory and in very different situations”.

This meant that the measure would be used across the whole of Andalucia, and the local coronavirus situation within each territory would not be considered. The measure failed the proportionality test. If applied the measure would have hit the hospitality sector without it ever having been proven that the main source of coronavirus infections came from this sector. As reported 20 minutes, “Finally, the court argues that it is not possible to restrict the fundamental rights of citizens with a preventive measure such as the ‘covid passport’: ‘It is not a measure that is punctually indispensable to safeguard public health (…), but rather a preventive measure when it happens that, for the restriction of fundamental rights, mere considerations of prudence or precaution are not sufficient’, the Supreme Court argues.”

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Same in Catalunya.

Spain Court Orders End To Barcelona Virus Curfew (B’s)

A Spanish court on Thursday lifted a coronavirus curfew imposed on most of Catalonia, including the capital Barcelona, leaving it in place in just a fraction of the northeastern region. Catalonia’s government in mid-July imposed a nightly curfew between 1:00 am and 6:00 am in most municipalities to fight a surge in virus cases, and the region’s top court then gave the green light to extend it three times. But on Friday, faced with a request by the regional government to keep the curfew in place in 148 municipalities, the High Court of Justice of Catalonia said the measure was “not justified” in 129 of them, because infection rates there had improved. “In these circumstances, the measures are not so much justified on health grounds, but for reasons of security or public order,” the court said in its ruling.

The Catalan government said in a statement it was “analysing” the court’s ruling, but added it “regrets that once again judges are acting as epidemiologists”. The curfew is intended to discourage social gatherings on beaches and in parks after nightclubs close at 12.30 am, which was suspected of fuelling a spike in cases of the highly-contagious Delta variant, especially among unvaccinated young people. Images of large groups of youths gathering on Barcelona’s beaches or in popular nightlife districts have become common since Spain lifted a nationwide night-time curfew in early May. The court did however keep in place for one more week a ban on public or private gatherings of more than 10 people throughout Catalonia.

Like the rest of Spain, the region which is popular with tourists has seen its number of infections drop in recent weeks. When Catalonia imposed the curfew in mid-July it had an infection rate double Spain’s national average, with more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days. But on Wednesday that figure had fallen to 328, lower than the national average of 378, according to the health ministry’s latest figures.

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Game of chicken alright. People keep telling me they think vacciation rate here is 10% or so, gov’t says over 60%.

So they threaten them with poverty and exclusion. And many Greeks say: Bring it! We’ve seen hard times before!

Greek Gov’t Not Backing Down On Health Worker Vaccinations (K.)

Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis insisted on Thursday there is no room for postponements, either official or informal, of the suspension of health workers who refuse to get vaccinated. “All of society is grateful and we appreciate the work of our health workers and the results so far in managing the pandemic. And we are optimistic that the small percentage of unvaccinated health workers will get their shots by the deadline,” said Kontazamanis. His announcement came 12 days before the expiration of the deadline given to hospital staff and workers at health facilities around the country to get inoculated with at least one dose of the vaccine. “For those who are not vaccinated, I want to be clear and unequivocal that the law will be implemented. The Greek Parliament has legislated… and the obligation of the state to implement the law is self-evident,” he said.

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ha ha ha

US Promises Not To Charge Americans To Fly Out Of Afghanistan (RT)

Americans looking to leave Afghanistan first have to promise to repay the government for the cost of their evacuations to the tune of “$2,000 or more per person,” but the State Department says it will waive the fee. It is estimated anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 American citizens, permanent residents and their family members may still be in Afghanistan, and presumably hoping to leave the country – under Taliban control since Sunday – via Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul before the end of August. Before they brave Taliban checkpoints and hope to get a seat on a US troop transport or chartered civilian jet, however, they must promise to repay the US government for the privilege of their rescue.

One journalist did some digging and found the website of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), a State Department partnership with the “corporate, non-profit, academic, and faith-based groups.” OSAC’s security alert for Afghanistan, posted on August 14 – the very day the Taliban took over Kabul from the disintegrating US-backed government – clearly states that “repatriation flights are not free.” Passengers “will be required to sign a promissory loan agreement & may not be eligible to renew their US passports til the loan is repaid,” the advisory says, adding that the cost “may be $2,000 or more per person.”


The promissory note is apparently demanded in the Repatriation Assistance Request form, which is required for every single person hoping to get onto an evacuation flight, according to instructions sent out by the US embassy in Kabul – now operating out of HKIA. Anyone hoping to leave will need to fill out the form and wait for the embassy email, before braving Taliban checkpoints to reach the airport, at which point they will have to hope a seat will be found for them on a departing plane on a first-come, first-served basis. Hand luggage only, no pets allowed.

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They left behind over 2,000 U.S.-made armored vehicles, between 30 and 40 aircraft, and enough weaponry to start an army from scratch.

France started preparing an evacuation in April, and executing it in June. Everybody knew.

But rumors have it that some 15,000 Americans are still there. Once they start dying or being taken hostage, Biden’s problems go up by an order of magnitude.

Biden State Dept Halted A Trump-Era ‘Crisis Response’ Plan 2 Months Ago (NP)

Joe Biden’s State Department moved to cancel a critical State Department program aimed at providing swift and safe evacuations of Americans out of crisis zones just months prior to the fall of Kabul, The National Pulse can exclusively reveal. The “Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau” – which was designed to handle medical, diplomatic, and logistical support concerning Americans overseas was paused by Antony Blinken’s State Department earlier this year. Notification was officially signed just months before the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. “SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED,” an official State Department document from the Biden State Department begins, before outlining the following move the quash the Trump-era funding for the new bureau.

The document is from the desk of Deputy Secretary of State Brian P. McKeon, confirmed in March by the United States Senate. The document is dated June 11, 2021, though The National Pulse understands the decision to pause the program may have come as early as February, both undermining the original Trump-era date for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and certainly giving the Taliban time to threaten American assets and lives on the run up to Joe Biden’s September 11th date of withdrawal. The subject line reads: “(SBU) Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau,” and the body of the document recommends: “That you direct the discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR), and direct a further review of certain associated Department requirements and capabilities.”

It goes on: “That you direct the discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, CCR, consistent with the applicable legal requirements, necessary stakeholder engagement, and any applicable changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual and other requirements.” The document reveals the recommendations were approved on June 11th 2021. Speaking exclusively to The National Pulse, former President Donald J. Trump blasted Biden’s irresponsible move: “My Administration prioritized keeping Americans safe, Biden leaves them behind. Canceling this successful Trump Administration program before the withdrawal that would have helped tens of thousands Americans reach home is beyond disgraceful. Our withdrawal was conditions-based and perfect, it would have been flawlessly executed and nobody would have even known we left. The Biden execution and withdrawal is perhaps the greatest embarrassment to our Country in History, both as a military and humanitarian operation.”

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It’s not that they didn’t know.

Leaked State Department Memo Warned Of Afghanistan Collapse (ZH)

Around two dozen State Department officials at the US embassy in Kabul warned of a potential collapse following the Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing a ‘person familiar with the cable.’ Using a special ‘dissent channel’ within the State Department, the cable – sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and another top State Department official – warned of ‘rapid territorial gains by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of Afghan security forces,’ and offered suggestions on how to speed up evacuation and mitigate the obvious crisis slated to ensue, two people told the WSJ. In total, 23 US Embassy staffers – all Americans, signed the July 13 cable, which was given a rush status ‘given the circumstances on the ground in Kabul.’ In addition to Blinken, it was sent to the Director of Policy Planning, Salman Ahmad.

Blinken received the cable and reviewed it shortly afterwards according to the report. The cable, dated July 13, also called for the State Department to use tougher language in describing the atrocities being committed by the Taliban, one of the people said. The classified cable represents the clearest evidence yet that the administration had been warned by its own officials on the ground that the Taliban’s advance was imminent and Afghanistan’s military may be unable to stop it. -WSJ According to the report, some 18,000 Afghans and their families who had applied for special US Immigrant Visas remained in Kabul in areas under Taliban control, while efforts to reach the airport have become increasingly difficult.

US intelligence officials have sparred with the White House over who was warning of what, and when. And as the Journal notes, the existence of this confidential State Department memo warning of impending doom adds a crucial piece to our knowledge of how this all went down. Why Blinken and Biden didn’t take immediate action despite receiving a ‘dissent channel’ emergency communication from their staff on the ground in Kabul is unknown, however Blinken is apparently so bad that John McCain called him “dangerous to America” in a 2014 Senate speech, adding that he was “one of the worst selections of a very bad lot” as Obama’s nominee for Secretary of State.

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“We are dependent on the beneficence of a theocratic militia that has demonstrated no capacity for mercy. And the U.S. government has no intention of remedying this condition.”

The Worst Presidential Dereliction in Memory (Noah Rothman)

Gen. Mark Milley is right. “There’ll be plenty of time to do AARs,” or after-action reports, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a Wednesday press conference alongside Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin. There will be time to learn why neither he nor “anyone else” anticipated the collapse of the Afghan “army and this government in 11 days.” We will one day have the luxury of looking back on this crisis to determine what led to the evacuation of the military before civilians and the surrender of versatile Afghan-based control points. Right now, a crisis of almost unprecedented proportions is upon us. And to judge from what Austin and Milley are telling us, they have neither the means nor the will to resolve it.

As the Washington Post reported on Tuesday night, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 U.S. citizens are still in Afghanistan, and there was “no plan to evacuate the Americans who are outside Kabul.” And there still isn’t. In a most dispiriting display of resignation, Austin and Milley explained that the hellish circumstances to which they’d consigned American citizens and their allies in Afghanistan were all but irresolvable. While thousands of Americans and allied Afghans have been evacuated since Tuesday, we are at the mercy of the Taliban who have surrounded Kabul’s single-runway airport—the only means by which allied nations can evacuate their people. But you have to make it to the airport on your own and by whatever means possible. If you are not presently in U.S. custody in the airport—even inside Kabul—there is little the American military can do for you.

“We don’t have the capability to go out and collect large numbers of people,” Sec. Austin confessed. Indeed, the U.S. military cannot even mount the kind of rescue operations in which British and French special forces are already engaged. “I don’t have the capability to go out and extend operations currently into Kabul,” Austin added. What’s more, there are no plans to address that deficiency. “We know that we got to have the right mix of capabilities on the ground,” Austin insisted. “We don’t want to put excessive materials on the ground that are not relevant to what we’re doing.” According to the Pentagon chief, our powerlessness in the face of a disorganized militia is by design.

We have placed the fate of untold thousands of Americans and our Afghan allies in the hands of the Taliban. They dictate the terms and tempo of our operations. We depend on the Taliban to allow foreign nationals and credentialed Afghans into Hamid Karzai International Airport. According to what remains of the American diplomatic presence in Kabul, “the United States government cannot ensure safe passage” into the airport. We are dependent on the beneficence of a theocratic militia that has demonstrated no capacity for mercy. And the U.S. government has no intention of remedying this condition.

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Some good background articles.

The Ides of August (Sarah Chayes)

I covered the fall of the Taliban for NPR, making my way into their former capital, Kandahar, in December 2001, a few days after the collapse of their regime. Descending the last great hill into the desert city, I saw a dusty ghost town. Pickup trucks with rocket-launchers strapped to the struts patrolled the streets. People pulled on my militia friends’ sleeves, telling them where to find a Taliban weapons cache, or a last hold-out. But most remained indoors. It was Ramadan. A few days later, at the holiday ending the month-long fast, the pent-up joy erupted. Kites took to the air. Horsemen on gorgeous, caparisoned chargers tore across a dusty common in sprint after sprint, with a festive audience cheering them on. This was Kandahar, the Taliban heartland. There was no panicked rush for the airport.

I reported for a month or so, then passed off to Steve Inskeep, now Morning Edition host. Within another couple of months, I was back, not as a reporter this time, but to try actually to do something. I stayed for a decade. I ran two non-profits in Kandahar, living in an ordinary house and speaking Pashtu, and eventually went to work for two commanders of the international troops, and then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (You can read about that time, and its lessons, in my first two books, The Punishment of Virtue and Thieves of State.) From that standpoint — speaking as an American, as an adoptive Kandahari, and as a former senior U.S. government official — here are the key factors I see in today’s climax of a two-decade long fiasco:

Afghan government corruption, and the U.S. role enabling and reinforcing it. The last speaker of the Afghan parliament, Rahman Rahmani, I recently learned, is a multimillionaire, thanks to monopoly contracts to provide fuel and security to U.S. forces at their main base, Bagram. Is this the type of government people are likely to risk their lives to defend? Two decades ago, young people in Kandahar were telling me how the proxy militias American forces had armed and provided with U.S. fatigues were shaking them down at checkpoints. By 2007, delegations of elders would visit me — the only American whose door was open and who spoke Pashtu so there would be no intermediaries to distort or report their words.

Over candied almonds and glasses of green tea, they would get to some version of this: “The Taliban hit us on this cheek, and the government hits us on that cheek.” The old man serving as the group’s spokesman would physically smack himself in the face. I and too many other people to count spent years of our lives trying to convince U.S. decision-makers that Afghans could not be expected to take risks on behalf of a government that was as hostile to their interests as the Taliban were. Note: it took me a while, and plenty of my own mistakes, to come to that realization. But I did.

For two decades, American leadership on the ground and in Washington proved unable to take in this simple message. I finally stopped trying to get it across when, in 2011, an interagency process reached the decision that the U.S. would not address corruption in Afghanistan. It was now explicit policy to ignore one of the two factors that would determine the fate of all our efforts. That’s when I knew today was inevitable. Americans like to think of ourselves as having valiantly tried to bring democracy to Afghanistan. Afghans, so the narrative goes, just weren’t ready for it, or didn’t care enough about democracy to bother defending it. Or we’ll repeat the cliche that Afghans have always rejected foreign intervention; we’re just the latest in a long line. I was there. Afghans did not reject us. They looked to us as exemplars of democracy and the rule of law. They thought that’s what we stood for.

Read more …

‘Assabiya’ is the engine of history. With it, the most primitive tribe can overturn the mightiest of civilizations; without it, a people will wither in the desert.”

Assabiya Wins Every Time (Lee Smith)

[..] military strategists, political pundits, foreign correspondents, and even historians will spend the next several decades wondering how a gang of rough Pashtun tribesmen galvanized by a fundamentalist version of Islam managed to defeat the most advanced military in the world. And that’s precisely the point: The problem with the American establishment is not simply that after 20 years in Afghanistan it did not understand the country or foresee what its opponents were likely to do after withdrawing forces. More importantly, our ruling class is so alienated from its own roots that it no longer understands the character of the country it purports to lead, and what makes it different, even exceptional.

The evidence is that our elites sought to graft the effects of a civilization built by and for its own people—democracy, a military and police force, girls’ schools, etc.—onto a primitive society that had to be bribed to accept what we were offering. There is no mystery about why the U.S. experience in Afghanistan ended in failure, embarrassment, and scandal. Nor is it a mystery why the Taliban took over Kabul so quickly. They were fighting for primacy. Their victory was foreordained. The medieval Arab historian Ibn Khaldun explains the dynamic in his 14th-century masterwork, Al Muqaddima. History, he shows, is a repetition of the same pattern seen throughout the ages—a group of nomadic tribesmen overturn an existing sedentary culture, a civilization that has become weak and luxurious.

What drives the success of the rising tribe is its group solidarity, or assabiya. Its awareness of itself as a coherent people with a drive for primacy is frequently augmented by religious ideology. The stronger the tribe’s assabiya, the stronger the group. Assimilating the conquered by imposing its will and worldview on them, the victor lays the foundations of a new civilization. But since, as Ibn Khaldun writes, “the goal of civilization is sedentary culture and luxury,” all groups carry the seeds of their own demise. And so the struggle begins anew.

Ibn Khaldun’s most important contribution to political theory was to show that assabiya is the engine of history. With it, the most primitive tribe can overturn the mightiest of civilizations; without it, a people will wither in the desert. As an Arab, and one who claimed as an ancestor a companion of the prophet of Islam, it was natural that his main focus was the physical and spiritual environment of the Bedouin. It was the harsh desert conditions that bred the Bedouin tribes and the ideological conviction, Islam, that bound them together, and which gave rise to the Arab empire, at its height one of the largest in world history. “Since desert life no doubt is the source of bravery, savage groups are braver than others,” he wrote. “They are, therefore, better able to achieve superiority and to take away the things that are in the hands of other nations.”

Read more …

 

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Robert Malone: “OK – this video has a super powerful message and a lot of it rings true. I don’t agree with all of it – but it is worth watching and thinking hard about. Detangling the hyperbole from just how bad things actually are – is difficult now for me.”

THE NARRATIVE IS CRUMBLING. SOMETHING BAD AND BIG IS GOING ON.

 

 

 

 

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Aug 192021
 


Henri Matisse View of Nôtre Dame 1914

 

Early Covid-19 Therapy Significantly Improved Covid-19 Outcomes (SD)
Up To 100 May Already Be Infected In New Zealand Covid Outbreak (G.)
Jabbed Adults Infected With Delta ‘Can Match Virus Levels Of Unvaccinated’ (G.)
Get Ready for a Nationwide Eldercare Shortage (CTH)
Former Purdue Pharma Chair Denies Responsibility For US Opioid Crisis (AP)
How Americans View Government Restriction Of False Information (Pew)
New US Air Force Secretary Wants To “Scare” China (Antiwar)
Fire The Military And Intelligence Bigs Who Bungled Afghanistan – Now (NYP)
We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around (Taibbi)
IMF Suspends Afghanistan’s Access To Resources (Hill)
Taliban To Reap $1 Trillion Mineral Wealth (DW)

 

 

 

 

Polysaccharides may work. I think I like the illustration.

 

 

Science Direct is an Elsevier publication. We’re getting serious. The shift is slow but real.

Early Covid-19 Therapy Significantly Improved Covid-19 Outcomes (SD)

In a prospective observational study (pre-AndroCoV Trial), the use of nitazoxanide, ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine demonstrated unexpected improvements in COVID-19 outcomes when compared to untreated patients. The apparent yet likely positive results raised ethical concerns on the employment of further full placebo controlled studies in early-stage COVID-19. The present analysis aimed to elucidate, through a comparative analysis with two control groups, whether full placebo-control randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on early-stage COVID-19 are still ethically acceptable. The Active group (AG) consisted of patients enrolled in the Pre-AndroCoV-Trial (n = 585). Control Group 1 (CG1) consisted of a retrospectively obtained group of untreated patients of the same population (n = 137), and Control Group 2 (CG2) resulted from a precise prediction of clinical outcomes based on a thorough and structured review of indexed articles and official statements.


Patients were matched for sex, age, comorbidities and disease severity at baseline. Compared to CG1 and CG2, AG showed reduction of 31.5–36.5% in viral shedding (p < 0.0001), 70–85% in disease duration (p < 0.0001), and 100% in respiratory complications, hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, deaths and post-COVID manifestations (p < 0.0001 for all). For every 1000 confirmed cases for COVID-19, at least 70 hospitalizations, 50 mechanical ventilations and five deaths were prevented. Benefits from the combination of early COVID-19 detection and early pharmacological approaches were consistent and overwhelming when compared to untreated groups, which, together with the well-established safety profile of the drug combinations tested in the Pre-AndroCoV Trial, precluded our study from continuing employing full placebo in early COVID-19.

[..] Drugs offered included azithromycin 500mg daily for five days for all patients, in association with one of the following: hydroxychloroquine 400mg daily for five days, nitazoxanide 500mg twice a day for six days, or ivermectin 0.2mg/kg/day in a single daily dose for three days, In addition, repurposed drugs, including dutasteride 0.5mg/day for 15 days and spironolactone 100mg twice a day for 15 days, were optionally offered. Vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, apibaxan, rivaroxaban, enoxaparin and glucocorticoids were added according to clinical judgement, the risk for thrombosis and progression of the disease to the inflammatory stage. Patients that decided to adhere to any treatment were included in the AG. All patients of AG and CG1 groups were followed longitudinally for 90 days for the occurrence of a new-onset or persistence of physical or mental manifestations.

Of the 585 subjects, all patients used azithromycin. A total of 357 patients used NIT, 159 used HCQ and 110 patients used IVE, alone with azithromycin or in combination with other drugs. Of the 357 patients that used NIT, 69 used the same in combination with HCQ, 46 used in combination with IVE, 146 used in combination with SPIRO, and 27 males used in combination with DUTA. Of the 110 patients that used IVE, 22 used in combination with HCQ, 82 used in combination with NIT, 66 used in combination with SPIRO and four males used in combination with DUTA. Of the 159 patients that used HCQ, 21 used in combination with IVE, 113 used in combination with NIT, 86 used in combination with SPIRO and seven males used in combination with DUTA.

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Not one word on how severe their cases are. Typical.

Up To 100 May Already Be Infected In New Zealand Covid Outbreak (G.)

New Zealand’s coronavirus cluster has grown to 21, with a strong link discovered to a case at the border, as the country began day two of a national lockdown. On Thursday, New Zealand reported another 11 cases of the Delta variant in the community, all in Auckland. The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, also announced that children between the ages of 12-15 would now also be eligible for the vaccine, from 1 September. “My message to parents who will need to of course provide consent for the children, is that I would not have been a part of a process and approving this, unless I believed it was safe, because around that table, we are parents too, all affected by these decisions, so we take them very seriously,” she said. The first case, a 58-year-old man from Auckland, emerged on Tuesday, prompting the government to put the entire country into a level 4 lockdown – the highest level of restrictions.

Ardern said genome sequencing has linked the cluster to a returnee from Australia. A New Zealander returned from Sydney on a managed red-zone flight and tested positive for the Delta variant on 7 August before being moved to quarantine the next day. After becoming unwell, they were transferred to Middlemore hospital, on 16 August. “This is a significant development and means now we can be fairly certain how, and when, the virus entered the country, and that based on timelines, there are minimal, possibly only one, or maybe two, missing links between this returnee and cases in our current outbreak,” Ardern said. The period in which cases were in the community is relatively short, she said, adding that it was unlikely the virus was spread at the hospital because the case was transferred there just one day prior to the first positive local case being discovered.

Ardern thanked the 58-year-old man for getting tested when he did. “If it wasn’t for you getting tested when you did, this could be a much, much more difficult situation. Having said that, I know we’re all prepared for cases to get worse before they get better. There is always a pattern with these outbreaks.” The prime minister cautioned that the country would need to remain open to other possibilities, but that the new information gives officials the confidence to focus on how the virus was transmitted, with a particular focus on the isolation and quarantine facilities. “Today we believe we have uncovered the piece of the puzzle we were looking for, and that means our ability to circle the virus, lock it down and stamp it out generally has greatly improved.”

Read more …

In real life, we’ve seen levels of 4-5 times higher (get me a booster!). But the Guardian brings it to you gently.

And stupidly: “But the fact that they can have high levels of virus suggests that people who aren’t yet vaccinated may not be as protected from the Delta variant as we hoped.”

Jabbed Adults Infected With Delta ‘Can Match Virus Levels Of Unvaccinated’ (G.)

Fully vaccinated adults can harbour virus levels as high as unvaccinated people if infected with the Delta variant, according to a sweeping analysis of UK data, which supports the idea that hitting the threshold for herd immunity is unlikely. There is abundant evidence that Covid vaccines in the UK continue to offer significant protection against hospitalisations and death. But this new analysis shows that although being fully vaccinated means the risk of getting infected is lower, once infected by Delta a person can carry similar virus levels as unvaccinated people. The implications of this on transmission remain unclear, the researchers have cautioned.

“We don’t yet know how much transmission can happen from people who get Covid-19 after being vaccinated – for example, they may have high levels of virus for shorter periods of time,” said Sarah Walker, a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Oxford. “But the fact that they can have high levels of virus suggests that people who aren’t yet vaccinated may not be as protected from the Delta variant as we hoped.” Positive tests, hospitalisations and deaths linked to Covid have been rising slowly in the UK recently. In the week to 18 August, 211,238 people had a confirmed positive test result, an increase of 7.6% compared with the previous seven days. Over the same period, there have been 655 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, a rise of 7.9% versus the previous seven days.

Hospitalisations have also risen slightly, with 5,623 going into hospital with coronavirus between 8 August 2021 and 14 August 2021, a rise of 4.3% compared with the previous seven days. The study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, found vaccine performance has waned against Delta versus the previously dominant Alpha variant. The analysis did not directly investigate whether the lower level of vaccine protection against Delta affected jabs’ ability to prevent severe disease. However, Dr Penny Ward, a visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London, noted: “The low incidence of hospitalisation seen to date suggests that in this respect at least the vaccines are protecting individuals from developing severe Covid.”

Read more …

“.. as Biden Forces Mandatory Vaccines For Any Worker Paid by Medicare and Medicaid Money..”

Get Ready for a Nationwide Eldercare Shortage (CTH)

…As predicted, and the ‘next step’ will be colleges, universities, students and anyone receiving federal education funding, loans or grants. Today, the White House occupant announced a federal regulatory requirement that all nurses and healthcare workers who work in facilities funded by Medicaid and/or Medicare will be required to be vaccinated. Ironically Joe Biden noted that nurses, those professionally trained in healthcare systems – who understand the issues of vaccination, are at a lower vaccination rate than the less trained and educated population. “Vaccination rates among nursing home staff significantly trail the rest of the country“, Biden said; while never questioning ‘why’. As pointed out recently, a large subset of the vaccine resistant population are the most educated.


[Speech Transcript] – […] “Today, I’m announcing a new step. If you work in a nursing home and serve people on Medicare or Medicaid, you will also be required to get vaccinated. More than 130,000 residents in nursing homes have sa- — have sadly, over the period of this virus, passed away. At the same time, vaccination rates among nursing home staff significantly trail the rest of the country.” The downstream consequence from this action will be a shortage of healthcare providers in nursing homes. This has already become an issue for hospitals coast to coast who require vaccinations of their staff. CTH has been warning about the Chicago network behind Biden and their objective. We have accurately predicted their moves, but what we cannot determine is how the larger American electorate will respond to these encroachments.

Read more …

As go the Sacklers, so goes Pfizer.

Former Purdue Pharma Chair Denies Responsibility For US Opioid Crisis (AP)

The former president and board chair of Purdue Pharma told a court Wednesday that he, his family and the company are not responsible for the opioid crisis in the United States. Richard Sackler, a member of the family who owns the company, was asked whether each bears responsibility during a federal bankruptcy hearing in White Plains, New York, over whether a judge should accept the OxyContin maker’s plan to settle thousands of lawsuits. For each, he gave a one-word answer: “No.” Richard Sackler’s denial of responsibility for the opioid crisis comes a day after another Sackler family member said the group wouldn’t accept a settlement without guarantees of immunity from further legal action.

The previous words of Richard Sackler, now 76, are at the heart of lawsuits accusing the Stamford, Connecticut-based company of an outsized role in sparking a nationwide opioid epidemic. In the 1996 event to launch sales of OxyContin, he told the company’s sales force that there would be “a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition”. Five years later, as it was apparent that the powerful prescription pain drug was being misused in some cases, he said in an email that Purdue would have to “hammer on the abusers in every way possible”, describing them as “the culprits and the problem”. For those reasons, the activists crusading against companies involved in selling opioids often see Richard Sackler – who was president of the company from 1999 to 2003, chair of its board from 2004 through 2007, and a board member from 1990 until 2018 – as a prime villain.

[..] Sackler, whose father was one of three brothers who nearly 70 years ago bought the company that later became Purdue Pharma, didn’t recall emails he wrote a decade or more ago; whether Purdue’s board approved certain sales strategies; whether a company owned by Sackler family members sold opioids in Argentina; or whether he paid any of his own money as part of a settlement with Oklahoma to which the Sackler family contributed $75m. Often, he answered questions with more questions, asking for precision. When Edmunds asked him if he knew how many people in the US had died from using opioids, Sackler asked him to specify over which time period. Edmunds did: 2005 to 2017. “I don’t know,” Sackler said. He said that he had looked at some data on deaths in the past, though. (The US Centers for Disease Control has tallied more than 500,000 deaths in the US to opioid overdose, including both prescription drugs and illicit ones such as heroin and illegally produced fentanyl, since 2000.)

Read more …

How did that country get so scary so fast?

And how can a government or Big Tech restrict false information when they are the biggest source of it? You know, just in theory …..

How Americans View Government Restriction Of False Information (Pew)

Amid rising concerns over misinformation online – including surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, especially vaccines – Americans are now a bit more open to the idea of the U.S. government taking steps to restrict false information online. And a majority of the public continues to favor technology companies taking such action, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Roughly half of U.S. adults (48%) now say the government should take steps to restrict false information, even if it means losing some freedom to access and publish content, according to the survey of 11,178 adults conducted July 26-Aug. 8, 2021. That is up from 39% in 2018. At the same time, the share of adults who say freedom of information should be protected – even if it means some misinformation is published online – has decreased from 58% to 50%.

When it comes to whether technology companies should take steps to address misinformation online, more are in agreement. A majority of adults (59%) continue to say technology companies should take steps to restrict misinformation online, even if it puts some restrictions on Americans’ ability to access and publish content. Around four-in-ten (39%) take the opposite view that protecting freedom of information should take precedence, even if it means false claims can spread. The balance of opinion on this question has changed little since 2018. Partisan divisions on the role of government in addressing online misinformation have emerged since 2018. Three years ago, around six-in-ten in each partisan coalition – 60% of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents and 57% of Democrats and Democratic leaners – agreed that freedom of information should be prioritized over the government taking steps to restrict false information online.


Today, 70% of Republicans say those freedoms should be protected, even it if means some false information is published. Nearly as many Democrats (65%) instead say the government should take steps to restrict false information, even if it means limiting freedom of information. Partisan views on whether technology companies should take such steps have also grown further apart. Roughly three-quarters of Democrats (76%) now say tech companies should take steps to restrict false information online, even at the risk of limiting information freedoms. A majority of Republicans (61%) express the opposite view – that those freedoms should be protected, even if it means false information can be published online. In 2018, the parties were closer together on this question, though most Democrats still supported action by tech firms.

Read more …

Washington hasn’t processed its defeat yet.

New US Air Force Secretary Wants To “Scare” China (Antiwar)

Researching and developing new weapons technologies is a key part of the Pentagon’s strategy to counter China. In an interview with Defense News, President Biden’s new Air Force secretary said he’d like to see the US military field the type of new technologies that “scare China.” Frank Kendall, who was sworn in as Air Force secretary on July 28th, made it clear in the interview that he is focused on China. “I’ve been obsessed, if you will, with China for quite a long time now — and its military modernization, what that implies for the US and for security,” he said. Hyping up the threat of China’s military serves the Pentagon to justify more spending, and Kendall hinted that he believes the Air Force doesn’t have a sufficient budget. “The Air Force has been overly constrained,” he said.


“I think we’ve not been allowed to do things we really need to do to free up resources for things that are higher priority. We’ve had a very hard time getting the Congress to allow us to retire older aircraft.” One project that Kendall discussed is the B-21 bomber, which is currently being developed. “I think that’s going to be something that will be intimidating, it’s going to be very capable. And there are a few others like that that are coming down the pipeline. … But I think we have to be continuously thinking about other things that will be intimidating to our future enemies.” The Pentagon budget requested by President Biden prioritized spending on new weapons technology. The budget request asked for over $112 billion for research, development, testing, and evaluation, known as RDT&E. Besides new long-range bombers, US military leaders are calling for investment in technology like artificial intelligence, robotics, space and cyber capabilities, and hypersonic missiles.

Read more …

And then you will have what?

Fire The Military And Intelligence Bigs Who Bungled Afghanistan – Now (NYP)

This is the biggest foreign failure in most Americans’ lifetimes, and there needs to be an accounting. The normal course of business after government bungling nowadays is that everyone involved tut-tuts a bit, then gets a raise and a promotion, while the government goes back to business as usual. But in a sane nation, failure would be punished. To begin with, Milley must resign or be fired. And the same for our triple-masking defense secretary, Lloyd Austin. This was a failure that happened on their watch, and it happened through bad management. We could have pulled out without nearly the level of chaos, confusion and terror.

But Milley and Austin weren’t on top of their jobs. They may feel that firing is unfair, but they’d be getting off light by the standards of military history: In the 18th century, the British executed an admiral, John Byng, for failing to “do his utmost” in combat. It was harsh, but the Royal Navy became more aggressive. Likewise, the intel agencies and officers who provided the bad, er, intelligence need to go. Many others who failed, from contractors to lower-level officers and bureaucrats, need to go, too. You punish a bureaucracy by shrinking its staff and cutting its budget. That needs to happen here. The brass and agencies will complain that it was Biden who ultimately made the call. Indeed, they are already furiously leaking to that effect to the press.

Maybe they’re right. But it’s up to voters to fire the president at the ballot box. If they thought what Biden planned was disastrous, they should have resigned in protest. But they didn’t. Meanwhile, we also need a probe, with independent investigators with strong powers. That should be followed by deep structural changes in a military that hasn’t really won a war since well before I was born. Bottom line: Our military must be disciplined to win wars, rather than promote gender ideology and postmodern race theories (at home or abroad). None of this will transpire, of course. Our society is run by a technocratic-managerial class that never pays a price for failure. Democracy is a glossy finish over an unelected administrative state that isn’t really accountable to anyone and measures success or failure in terms of budgets, p.r. and power, not results.

Read more …

$300 million per day for 20 years.

We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around (Taibbi)

On MSNBC the other night, Rachel Maddow told a story about visiting Afghanistan a decade ago. She described being taken on a tour of a new neighborhood in Kabul of “narco-palaces,” what she called, “big garish, gigantic, rococo, strange-looking places” that hadn’t existed before the Americans arrived. This was said to be symbolic of the “fantastically corrupt elites” among the Afghan political class who put themselves into position to siphon off big chunks of the “billions of dollars per month” we sent into the country. Noting that, “the U.S. effort and expenditure in that country did build some stuff, roads and waterways and schools,” Maddow decried the fact that “so much of what we put in by the boatload was shoveled off by a fantastically corrupt elite.”

She showed video of Taliban conquerors lounging around in the tackily furnished homes of former Afghan officials in Kabul, pointing out that, “dictator chic is the same the world over.” In a not-so-subtle dig at Donald Trump, she added, “And they really like gold fixtures.” From Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan, the pattern of American officials showering questionable political allies abroad with armfuls of cash is a long-established practice. However, the idea that this is the reason the “missions” fail in such places is just a continuation of the original propaganda lines that get us into these messes. It’s a way of saying the subject populations are to blame for undermining our noble efforts, when the missions themselves are often preposterous and, moreover, the lion’s share of the looting is usually done by our own marauding contracting community.

It’s bad enough that Maddow/MSNBC played a big part in delaying the withdrawal last year with hype of the bogus Bountygate story, which gave one last (false) dying breath to the war rationale. This latest criticism of theirs ignores the massive amounts of corruption that were endemic to the American side of the mission. Contractors made fortunes monstrously overcharging the taxpayer for everything from private security, to dysfunctional or unnecessary construction projects, to social programs that either had no chance for success, or for which metrics for measuring success didn’t exist. The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) some years ago identified “$15.5 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse… in our published reports and closed investigations between SIGAR’s inception in 2008 and December 31, 2017,” and added an additional $3.4 billion in a subsequent review.

All told, “SIGAR reviewed approximately $63 billion and concluded that a total of approximately $19 billion or 30 percent of the amount reviewed was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse.” Thirty percent! If the overall cost of the war was, as reported, $2 trillion (about $300 million per day for 20 years), a crude back of the envelope calculation for the amount lost to fraud during the entire period might be $600 billion, an awesome sum. It could even be worse than that. SIGAR for instance also looked at a $7.8 billion sum spent on buildings and vehicles from 2008 on, and reported that of that, only $343.2 million worth “were maintained in good condition.” They added that just $1.2 billion of the original expenditure was used as intended. By that metric, the majority of the monies spent in Afghanistan might simply have gone up in smoke in bogus or ineffectual contracting schemes.

Read more …

Either the IMF distances itself from the US, or it becomes irrelevant.

IMF Suspends Afghanistan’s Access To Resources (Hill)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday announced it was suspending Afghanistan’s access to its resources due to what it called a “lack of clarity” surrounding the recognition of the country’s government after the Taliban took control of the capital city of Kabul. “As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community,” a spokesperson for the IMF said in a statement, according to Reuters. “There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access SDRs or other IMF resources.” This move by the IMF comes after the Biden administration reportedly froze Afghan government reserves held in U.S. banks, blocking the Taliban from accessing billions in funds.

“Any Central Bank assets the Afghan government have in the United States will not be made available to the Taliban,” one administration official told The Washington Post. It is currently unclear whether the Taliban will be recognized by the international community, though China has indicated that it is open to establishing formal relations, being one of the few countries that did not evacuate its embassy when the Afghan government fell. Shortly after the Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if the U.S. would ever recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government. “A future Afghan government that upholds the basic rights of its people and that doesn’t harbor terrorists is a government we can work with and recognize,” Blinken said.

“Conversely, a government that doesn’t do that, that doesn’t uphold the basic rights of its people, including women and girls, that harbors terrorist groups that have designs on the United States, our allies and partners, certainly, that’s not going to happen,” he added.

Read more …

No boycott possible. There will always be customers.

Taliban To Reap $1 Trillion Mineral Wealth (DW)

The Taliban have been handed a huge financial and geopolitical edge in relations with the world’s biggest powers as the militant group seizes control of Afghanistan for a second time. In 2010, a report by US military experts and geologists estimated that Afghanistan, one of the world’s poorest countries, was sitting on nearly $1 trillion (€850 billion) in mineral wealth, thanks to huge iron, copper, lithium, cobalt and rare-earth deposits. In the subsequent decade, most of those resources remained untouched due to ongoing violence in the country. Meanwhile, the value of many of those minerals has skyrocketed, sparked by the global transition to green energy. A follow-up report by the Afghan government in 2017 estimated that Kabul’s new mineral wealth may be as high as $3 trillion, including fossil fuels.


Lithium, which is used in batteries for electric cars, smartphones and laptops, is facing unprecedented demand, with annual growth of 20% compared to just 5-6% a few years ago. The Pentagon memo called Afghanistan the Saudi Arabia of lithium and projected that the country’s lithium deposits could equal Bolivia’s — one of the world’s largest. Copper, too, is benefiting from the post-COVID global economic recovery — up 43% over the past year. More than a quarter of Afghanistan’s future mineral wealth could be realized by expanding copper mining activities. While the West has threatened not to work with the Taliban after it effectively seized control of Kabul over the weekend, China, Russia and Pakistan are lining up to do business with the militant group — further adding to the US and Europe’s humiliation over the fall of the country.

As the manufacturer of almost half of the world’s industrial goods, China is stoking much of the global demand for commodities. Beijing — already Afghanistan’s largest foreign investor — is seen as likely to lead the race to help the country build an efficient mining system to meet its insatiable needs for minerals. “Taliban control comes at a time when there is a supply crunch for these minerals for the foreseeable future and China needs them,” Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, told DW. “China is already in position in Afghanistan to mine these minerals.”


One of the Asian powerhouse’s mining giants, the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), already has a 30-year lease to mine copper in Afghanistan’s barren Logar province. Some analysts, however, question whether the Taliban have the competence and willingness to exploit the country’s natural resources given the income they generate from the drug trade. “These resources were in the ground in the 90s too and they [the Taliban] weren’t able to extract them,” Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director at the Counter Extremism Project, told DW. “One has to remain very skeptical of their ability to grow the Afghan economy or even their interest in doing so.”

Read more …

 

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Aug 182021
 
 August 18, 2021  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  137 Responses »


Salvador Dali Meditative rose 1958

 

Leaky Vaccines, Super-spreads, And Variant Acceleration (Gato Malo)
A Grim Warning From Israel: Vaccination Blunts, But Does Not Defeat Delta (SM)
Delta Spike P681R Mutation Enhances SARS-CoV-2 Fitness Over Alpha Variant (Bx)
Here’s Your (Dead) Canary (Denninger)
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Resigns Amid Skyrocketing COVID-19 Cases
The Authoritarian Takeover of Australia (Spiked)
Growing New Zealand Covid Cluster Linked To Sydney Delta Outbreak (G.)
Vaccine Mandate Protest Letter (Barnes Law)
One Of The Most Dangerous, Unpredictable Times In Modern History (BDW)
My Heart Is Broken by Biden’s Afghanistan Failure (Michael Flynn)
Biden’s Polling Takes Massive Hit Following Collapse Of Afghanistan (JTN)
Kamala Harris Is The Most Unpopular Vice President In 50 Years (DW)
Biden To Increase Food Stamp Benefits By 25%, Largest Hike In History (ZH)
US Gov’t Tells Americans In Afghanistan It ‘Can’t Guarantee’ Their Safety (DW)
Every American Stuck In Afghanistan To Receive A Mail-In Ballot (BBee)

 

 

DATA SHOWS COVID VARIANTS BEGAN AFTER VACCINATIONS STARTED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..you keep its host alive with a vaccine, then it can transmit and spread in the world. So it’s got an evolutionary future, which it didn’t have before.”

Leaky Vaccines, Super-spreads, And Variant Acceleration (Gato Malo)

The rule of evolution is simple: make a copy of me and pass it on. Any species still around to notice is very, very good at this. That’s the test and it’s as simple as it is daunting. This evolutionary selector creates pressures and these pressures shape evolution. Useful traits are conserved, traits that work against replication and propagation are selected against. This creates a simple evolutionary gradient for viruses: become more contagious, spread further, infect more hosts. Many viruses and bacteria are incredibly good at this. The good news is that harming the host is maladaptive. It’s like burning down your own house and your car with it. You soon have nowhere to live and no way to move around easily. So the selection process drives viruses away from being deadly. Ebola is a fearsome virus, but poorly evolved. It kills too quickly and spreads too slowly. That’s why outbreaks are small, rare, and (relatively) easy to manage.


People who feel sick stay home, they stop mingling and carrying the virus to where others are. It’s a built in societal and species level trait to mitigate pandemic. But what if you could break that trait? What if you could prevent a carrier from realizing it was infected? Well, then you’d spread virus far more effectively, wouldn’t you? You could do a lot of damage and the natural brake on the spread, harm, and lethality of a viral evolutionary vector would be removed. You’d supercharge a pandemic. This is a long discussed and hypothesized problem with “leaky” vaccines. A leaky vaccine is one that lacks sterilizing immunity. It prevents severe infection and perhaps death, but it does not stop infection and colonization by virus. So, the vaccinated become a carrier but remain unaware of it. This is a massive accelerator of disease spread and possibly/probably of overall fatality rates. You can see discussion here: (from 2015)

This is another example of “science we tossed out the window this year” and is exactly the sort of thing the fda should have been laser focused on from day one. “But a chicken virus that represents one of the deadliest germs in history breaks from this conventional wisdom, thanks to an inadvertent effect from a vaccine. Chickens vaccinated against Marek’s disease rarely get sick. But the vaccine does not prevent them from spreading Marek’s to unvaccinated birds. “With the hottest strains, every unvaccinated bird dies within 10 days. There is no human virus that is that hot. Ebola, for example, doesn’t kill everything in 10 days. In fact, rather than stop fowl from spreading the virus, the vaccine allows the disease to spread faster and longer than it normally would, a new study finds. The scientists now believe that this vaccine has helped this chicken virus become uniquely virulent.”

Stop for a minute and absorb what this means. By turning the vaccinated into essentially perfect carriers of virus, it transformed them into a set of plague rats to infect the rest. A disease so deadly it would burn itself out rapidly becomes one capable of endemic spread so long at there are more vaccinated carriers around. ““Previously, a hot strain was so nasty, it wiped itself out. Now, you keep its host alive with a vaccine, then it can transmit and spread in the world,” Read said. “So it’s got an evolutionary future, which it didn’t have before.”

Read more …

Even Science Mag. joins in.

“There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated..”

A Grim Warning From Israel: Vaccination Blunts, But Does Not Defeat Delta (SM)

Israel is being closely watched now because it was one of the first countries out of the gate with vaccinations in December 2020 and quickly achieved a degree of population coverage that was the envy of other nations— for a time. The nation of 9.3 million also has a robust public health infrastructure and a population wholly enrolled in HMOs that track them closely, allowing it to produce high-quality, real-world data on how well vaccines are working.

Israel’s HMOs, led by CHS and Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS), track demographics, comorbidities, and a trove of coronavirus metrics on infections, illnesses, and deaths. “We have rich individual-level data that allows us to provide real-world evidence in near–real time,” Balicer says. [..] Now, the effects of waning immunity may be beginning to show in Israelis vaccinated in early winter; a preprint published last month by scientists at MHS found that protection from COVID-19 infection during June and July dropped in proportion to the length of time since an individual was vaccinated. People vaccinated in January had a 2.26 times greater risk for a breakthrough infection than those vaccinated in April. (Potential confounders include the fact that the very oldest Israelis, with the weakest immune systems, were vaccinated first.)

At the same time, cases in the country, which were scarcely registering at the start of summer, have been doubling every week to 10 days since then, with the Delta variant responsible for most of them. They have now soared to their highest level since mid-February, with hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions beginning to follow. How much of the current surge is due to waning immunity versus the power of the Delta variant to spread like wildfire is uncertain. What is clear is that “breakthrough” cases are not the rare events the term implies. As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19, a 31% increase from just 4 days earlier. Of the 514, 59% were fully vaccinated. Of the vaccinated, 87% were 60 or older.

“There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,” says Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) who has consulted on COVID-19 for the government. “One of the big stories from Israel [is]: ‘Vaccines work, but not well enough.’” “The most frightening thing to the government and the Ministry of Health is the burden on hospitals,” says Dror Mevorach, who cares for COVID-19 patients at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and advises the government. At his hospital, he is lining up anesthesiologists and surgeons to spell his medical staff in case they become overwhelmed by a wave like January’s, when COVID-19 patients filled 200 beds. “The staff is exhausted,” he says, and he has restarted a weekly support group for them “to avoid some kind of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] effect.”

Read more …

The picture is getting painfully clear.

Delta Spike P681R Mutation Enhances SARS-CoV-2 Fitness Over Alpha Variant (Bx)

SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant has rapidly replaced the Alpha variant around the world. The mechanism that drives this global replacement has not been defined. Here we report that Delta spike mutation P681R plays a key role in the Alpha-to-Delta variant replacement. In a replication competition assay, Delta SARS-CoV-2 efficiently outcompeted the Alpha variant in human lung epithelial cells and primary human airway tissues. Delta SARS-CoV-2 bearing the Alpha-spike glycoprotein replicated less efficiently than the wild-type Delta variant, suggesting the importance of Delta spike in enhancing viral replication. The Delta spike has accumulated mutation P681R located at a furin cleavage site that separates the spike 1 (S1) and S2 subunits.


Reverting the P681R mutation to wild-type P681 significantly reduced the replication of Delta variant, to a level lower than the Alpha variant. Mechanistically, the Delta P681R mutation enhanced the cleavage of the full-length spike to S1 and S2, leading to increased infection via cell surface entry. In contrast, the Alpha spike also has a mutation at the same amino acid (P681H), but the spike cleavage from purified Alpha virions was reduced compared to the Delta spike. Collectively, our results indicate P681R as a key mutation in enhancing Delta variant replication via increased S1/S2 cleavage. Spike mutations that potentially affect furin cleavage efficiency must be closely monitored for future variant surveillance.


Read more …

Saw the article Karl talks about, on an outlet called Wesh(?!). But “Not available in your region”.

Here’s Your (Dead) Canary (Denninger)

She said, up until two weeks ago, she was able to successfully treat every patient who contracted COVID-19. But, since then, she said seven fully vaccinated patients died from complications, such as pneumonia or stroke, caused by the virus. “They were all fully vaccinated, which was disturbing… For one, I got to the hospital, the initial report, he was doing well. 2 liters of oxygen, sitting up, good saturation rate, crashed in 72 hours and died,” Seemann said. This sort of ridiculous acceleration of disease progression is a screaming safety signal. It strongly implies, but does not prove, that the vaccine turned on the recipient and when later exposed made the progression of disease worse.

This was repeatedly demonstrated in animal testing with the original SARS virus when vaccine development was attempted. It was believed the cause of it was evaded by the current vaccines developed for Covid-19 but the only way to know for sure was to take years of testing to make certain that the ordinary mutational patterns that all viruses undergo did not result in such an outcome down the road. This is one of the many reasons it takes 10+ years to qualify a vaccine; you can’t un-take the shot, and if something like this happens and then you get infected you’re ****ed. She said the vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective and there is a 4 percent chance of failure, but she still recommends it.

She has no evidence to support that these patients had an actual failure to build an effective antibody response. None. Zero. Determining that would require a fairly significant amount of lab and pathology work, which simply can’t be done that fast. These people need to be autopsied and exactly what happened determined. It won’t be done because if it is, and it turns out that they had circulating titers of binding antibodies for Covid in their system then it will be scientifically-irrefutable evidence that there are millions of Americans walking around with ticking bombs in their veins and there is nothing that can be done about it. The reason you don’t short-time vaccine studies, ever, is that THE VIRUS ALWAYS BATS LAST.

Read more …

“..despite a seven-month state of emergency and a lockdown since June to tackle the crisis..”

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Resigns Amid Skyrocketing COVID-19 Cases

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin resigned less than 18 months into his tenure Monday, becoming the country’s shortest-ruling leader after conceding that he lost majority support to govern. Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin wrote on Instagram that “the Cabinet has tendered our resignation” to the king, shortly after Muhyiddin left the palace after meeting the monarch. Deputy Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal also thanked Muhyiddin for his service and leadership in a Facebook message. Muhyidddin’s departure will plunge the country into a fresh crisis amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic. Political leaders have already begun to jostle for the top post, with his deputy Ismail Sabri rallying support to succeed Muhyiddin and keep the government intact.


His resignation comes on the back of mounting public anger over what was widely perceived as his government’s poor handling of the pandemic. Malaysia has one of the world’s highest infection rates and deaths per capita, with daily cases breaching 20,000 this month despite a seven-month state of emergency and a lockdown since June to tackle the crisis. Local media said the national police chief, the Election Commission chairman and the attorney-general were also summoned to the palace Monday before Muhyiddin arrived. Muhyiddin, who chaired a Cabinet meeting at his office earlier Monday, waved at reporters at the palace gate and left 40 minutes later.

Read more …

“Some of us thought: who the bloody hell is this sheila? Not only had I never heard of her, I hadn’t listened to anything anyone like her had said since I’d been kicked out of high school.”

The Authoritarian Takeover of Australia (Spiked)

People who once thought they’d won the lottery of life by being born in Australia now wake in fright every day to the sudden realisation that they are living in a 21st-century penal colony. The country they once loved has been replaced by something they barely recognise. The restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic are just the start of it. People have been confined to their houses, prevented from going to school or work, denied the freedom to cross state borders even to see a dying relative, and coerced to take a vaccine in order hopefully to regain the freedoms that were once their birthright. Worse, these restrictions are being imposed by authoritarians who have seemingly come from nowhere and now dominate all of Australia’s positions of power, from the government to big business.

These people are unlike any ruling elite Australia has ever known. There were, to be sure, harsh authoritarians in middle levels of power during the nation’s initial 19th-century incarnation as a penal colony, especially at Port Arthur and Norfolk Island. But they never actually ran Australia. [..] Australians have, like the original settlers, never felt the need to explain the ideas on which their nation was founded. They have simply believed their version of Enlightenment truths to be self-evident in the standard of living they enjoyed and the audacious disrespect they showed for other, older cultures. I grew up in a country where such confidence was ubiquitous. A lack of academic achievement was never an impediment as long as you worked hard. Obstacles that were insurmountable to people from other countries were mere challenges to us. And we approached it all with a fatalistic humour that seemed all our own.

New South Wales chief health officer Kerry Chant became world famous recently when a video of her went viral. In it, she said, in the patronising tone of a school matron: ‘It is human nature to engage in conversation with others, to be friendly. Unfortunately, this is not the time to do that. So even if you run into your nextdoor neighbour, in the shopping centre, at Coles, Woolworths or Aldi or any other grocery shop, don’t start up a conversation.’ Some of us thought: who the bloody hell is this sheila? Not only had I never heard of her, I hadn’t listened to anything anyone like her had said since I’d been kicked out of high school. My robust upbringing among ratbags and larrikins in the Australian suburbs had instilled in me an instinctive and entirely rational distrust of anyone who, like her, placed an undue significance on obedience above personal freedom and responsibility. My life has been, and continues to be, all the better for it.

New South Wales residents were surprised to learn they had been paying Chant’s wages since she joined the public service in 1991. Like many of her fellow neo-authoritarians, she had spent her entire career cloistered away from the freely enterprising general population, biding her time until the opportunity arose to exercise the powers none of us knew she had. Now she and her type are all around us, telling us what to do every minute of the day. She is emblematic of Australia’s new elite, from the cops who told me to ‘move on’ when I was enjoying the sunshine by myself at Bondi Beach recently, to prime minister Scott Morrison, who peppers his updates on the latest panicking policies with reminders that ‘we are all in this together’. No, we’re not.

Read more …

Weirdest thing is they stopped vaccinations. Don’t really believe in those, I guess?

But also, what is the idea here? That they can have zero cases? And then? Lock the door?

Growing New Zealand Covid Cluster Linked To Sydney Delta Outbreak (G.)

New Zealand’s coronavirus cluster has grown to 10, with genomic sequencing linking it to the Delta outbreak that began in Sydney, as the country woke up to day one of a snap lockdown stemming from just one case. The prime minister’s office confirmed three new cases on Wednesday evening. The Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, told broadcaster RNZ “we’re seeing more cases coming through, I don’t have details of those cases. But yes, I can confirm that we have further positive test results since the press conference today.” He expected more cases to emerge overnight. The country went into a snap level four lockdown – the highest level of restrictions – on Tuesday night, after detecting one case with no obvious links to the border.

New Zealand has not had a level four lockdown in more than a year, and the case is the country’s first instance of Delta transmission in the community. The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, warned on Wednesday that there would be more cases given the activity of those infected and that a link to the border had yet to be established, adding “there is more to be done to help piece together this puzzle”. “Our ability to narrow down that this is a case that is linked to New South Wales outbreak, gives us a lot of leads to chase down as quickly as we can,” she said. The seven community cases are all linked to the 58-year-old man who tested positive on Tuesday. One person is a fully vaccinated nurse at Auckland city hospital and another is a teacher at an Auckland high school.

[..] The vaccine rollout will also continue from Thursday morning, after momentarily being paused. The country’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout has faced scrutiny. As of Monday, 22.9% of the population had been fully vaccinated, with 40% having had at least one dose. The numbers are lower for fully vaccinated Maori (14%) and Pasifika (20%) populations, and New Zealand has the lowest vaccination rate in the OECD, according to the World Health Organization.

Read more …

Attorney f @barnes_law i has put together a warning letter for people to use (free of charge) when their employers force them into getting the jab.

Vaccine Mandate Protest Letter (Barnes Law)

No authorship claim or copyright asserted…this letter just came to me in a bottle, and I have no idea who might have penned it, nor can I possibly vouch for it, and what you fine folks do with it is entirely in your own hands, as the Gentlemen of the Bar remind me I can proffer no general legal advice in the matter, and must officially disclaim proffering any such advice here…edit and excise as you see fit, amend and append as you desire, and claim authorship or anonymity as may best befit you…as always, as you wish…

Dear Boss,

Compelling any employee to take any current Covid-19 vaccine violates federal and state law, and subjects the employer to substantial liability risk, including liability for any injury the employee may suffer from the vaccine. Many employers have reconsidered issuing such a mandate after more fruitful review with legal counsel, insurance providers, and public opinio n advisors of the desires of employees and the consuming public. Even the Kaiser Foundation warned of the legal risk in this respect. (https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/key-questions-about-covid-19-vaccine-mandates/)

Three key concerns: first, while the vaccine remains unapproved by the FDA and authorized only for emergency use, federal law forbids mandating it, in accordance with the Nuremberg Code of 1947; second, the Americans with Disabilities Act proscribes, punishes and penalizes employers who invasively inquire into their employees’ medical status and then treat those employees differently based on their medical status, as the many AIDS related cases of decades ago fully attest; and third, international law, Constitutional law, specific statutes and the common law of torts all forbid conditioning access to employment upon coerced, invasive medical examinations and treatment, unless the employer can fully provide objective, scientifically validated evidence of the threat from the employee and how no practicable alternative could possible suffice to mitigate such supposed public health threat and still perform the necessary essentials of employment.

At the outset, consider the “problem” being “solved” by vaccination mandates. The previously infected are better protected than the vaccinated, so why aren’t they exempted? Equally, the symptomatic can be self-isolated. Hence, requiring vaccinations only addresses one risk: dangerous or deadly transmission, by the asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic employee, in the employment setting. Yet even government official Mr. Fauci admits, as scientific studies affirm, asymptomatic transmission is exceedingly and “very rare.” Indeed, initial data suggests the vaccinated are just as, or even much more, likely to transmit the virus as the asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Hence, the vaccine solves nothing.

Read more …

Twitter thread. Bryan Dean Wright is a former CIA Ops. officer.

One Of The Most Dangerous, Unpredictable Times In Modern History (BDW)

Former US intelligence colleagues are angry and deeply worried at what has happened in Afghanistan. Here’s what I’m hearing, and why there’s nearly universal belief that America and the world are in for one of the most dangerous, unpredictable times in modern history. Afghanistan has shown the world — enemies & allies alike — that our military & intel assets are largely irrelevant because we can’t deploy them successfully. The blame lays at the feet of multiple Presidents. The Generals. The Spies. The Congress. America’s Elites are trash. China knows it. They will become emboldened, covertly & overtly. War over Taiwan and contested islands in the S. China Sea and E. China Sea is now more likely. Russia will consider similar covert & overt moves, focused on Crimea, & former Soviet satellites. The fear is that China & Russia will act in concert.

Why? America was whipped by a tiny rebel force and couldn’t even retreat properly. Meanwhile, the American people are angry, COVID weary, & divided. If there were ever a time to push American hegemony aside, this is it. If Cold War III grows hot, America will need to quickly build up & work with foreign counterparts. But who will trust America after Afghanistan? Who believes we have the leadership to use our military might well? Who will trust us when we say “We Will Stand With You”? Beyond China/Russia, others will take gambles too. Terror orgs like al-Qa’ida & ISIS are degraded but not dead. Their ideology is very much alive. Iran’s Hizballah — with terror cells throughout the US — may see an opening to create chaos too. Meanwhile, the disaster inside Afghanistan is only just beginning.

The Taliban will launch a terror campaign against American collaborators. The pictures will shock the conscience of the world, further degrading American moral authority. Biden & Co will struggle to respond. There’s also the nightmare of tactical weaponry now awash in Afghanistan, in the hands of the Taliban and — soon — on the global black market. These arms will fuel chaos around the world for decades. The Pentagon has no idea where this stuff is and no plans to destroy it. Finally, if Afghani refugees pour into the US, there are profound implications for security, culture, the economy, & politics. Are they properly vetted? Do they hold Western / tolerant values re: women, gays? Do they bring skills / education? Which party will they support?

The existential problem is that America needs good leadership to right its ship but there is none. Our federal bench is weak. Biden is a corrupt old man. Impeachment is a long shot; VP Harris is an unpopular paperweight. The Legislature is a feckless cabal of empty suits. Leadership could come from a state Governor, it’s true, but not soon enough. The above threats by China, Russia, & Co will metastasize well before the 2024 elections, and even a heroic new President will need years to clean things up. Again, our enemies and allies know this. Upshot: There is fear and outrage streaming through former intel officers over the Afghanistan debacle. America is rudderless. And the world now knows it. Grave dangers lie ahead, some predictable, others unimaginable. Keep your loved ones tight. Pray. And vote for change.

Read more …

The military comes to resent Biden, because he squandered all their efforts, and also to avoid being thrown under the bus.

My Heart Is Broken by Biden’s Afghanistan Failure (Michael Flynn)

My heart breaks as I see the Afghan people flood the Kabul airport in the hope of escaping the Taliban. President Biden’s assurances — supposedly based on what he was told by his intelligence community — that the Afghan Armed Forces were fully able to defeat the Taliban proved to be colossally wrong. Americans want to know whether President Biden and Defense Secretary Austin’s military-wide “stand-down” order to root out insufficiently woke “extremists” in the armed forces has caused our Defense Department to ignore what is unfolding in Afghanistan, as well as other real threats to our nation. After Afghanistan, I believe we can no longer rely on neocon senior military leaders, talking heads and politicians.

We have allowed military and civilian lawyers (read: rules of engagement restrictions) to become all-powerful, and many of our generals have been so indecisive and risk-averse that they are acting as little more than career-seeking politicians. We have been trained at participating in wars but untrained at winning wars since WWII. Afganistan is a tragic situation, much like the Kurds in Iraq, but at least President Trump drove up our respect internationally, which proves that being tough and smart is better than being tough and stupid. Today I don’t believe America is respected the way we were only a few short months ago. More countries visit China these days than come to the U.S., and China is prepped to recognize the Taliban once they declare the Islamic State — if only to embarrass us.

Seeing our defeat, my sense is Taiwan is having some incredibly uncomfortable internal discussions — as are a lot of U.S. allies in Europe. I also believe China is doing a lot of wargaming of costs and benefits with respect to future moves in the South China Sea and Europe. America is now in a fully engaged information war. Soon it may be worse. I pray our senior military leadership is intensely planning all options; the best plan offers the most options at the last possible moment. Trust me, our enemies are not waiting. They plan and they don’t care about stupid mask policies or fake insurrection show trials. Our enemies will be working on the next three vulnerabilities we haven’t even thought about. I believe Russia and China have a clear-eyed understanding of our corrupt political leadership that they and many other nations no longer respect or fear. America will come back soon, but it will come at a cost.

Read more …

46% approve? Of what?

Biden’s Polling Takes Massive Hit Following Collapse Of Afghanistan (JTN)

According to several new polls, President Biden is in trouble following the collapse of the Afghan government as U.S. and western troops withdrew from the troubled country after 20 years. A Rasmussen Reports poll illustrates the president’s approval index is currently 17 points down from where he started in January – the lowest it’s been since he took office. A total of 46% of Americans approve of Biden’s performance while 53% disapprove – also the highest that number has been. A new report from Convention of States Action in conjunction with the Trafalgar group shows that 69.3% of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of military operations – a supermajority of the population. Just 23.1% approve, and 7.5% have no opinion.


Even among Democrats, 48.2% disapprove, compared to just 39.8% who approve of Biden’s Afghan strategy. Among GOP voters a stunning majority at 88.8% disapprove, while just 7.1% of Biden’s actions. Numbers for political independents tilt closer to GOP figures, with a total of 74.8% disapproving of the handling of military operations, and 19.8% giving a nod of approval. Democrats in Congress are speaking out against the actions of the president, and though National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is set to brief the press corp today alongside Jen Psaki, none of Biden’s military leaders appeared alongside the Commander-in-Chief yesterday, as he deflected blame for the Afghan collapse during a brief speech.

Read more …

I had to look this up, but sure, maybe Spiro Agnew was at one point less popular than Kamala. Close call no doubt.

Kamala Harris Is The Most Unpopular Vice President In 50 Years (DW)

Vice President Kamala Harris has only been in office for six months, but she is already the most unpopular vice president since at least the 1970s, according to recent polls. The Los Angeles Times on Monday reported that as of July 27, “45% of registered voters had a favorable opinion of Harris and 48% had an unfavorable opinion — a net rating of -3 percentage points, according to a Times average.” The most recent YouGov tracking poll shows that Harris’ unfavorability rating has hit 49%, while her favorability rating sits at just 45%. Harris’ unpopularity is worse than former Vice President Mike Pence’s was six months into his tenure, according to The Telegraph.


The outlet reported that around this same time in 2017, Pence’s unfavorability rating sat at 41.9%, while his favorability rating was 42.1%. Pence may have been helped by a massive media focus on then-President Donald Trump and false accusations that he was a Russian agent who colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. During the Biden administration, much more focus has been on Harris since she’s the first black female vice president. President Joe Biden, however, has put her in charge of some nearly impossible tasks, including handling the situation on the southern border. As the Times reported, Harris’ approval ratings started to decline after she was assigned the task, though Biden also received a small decline in job approval.

Read more …

Buying votes.

Biden To Increase Food Stamp Benefits By 25%, Largest Hike In History (ZH)

Having solved domestic problems like inflation and foreign problems like the complete and total collapse of Afghanistan in minutes after the U.S. withdrew from the country, President Biden is now focused on offering the largest long-term increase in food stamp benefits in the program’s history. The program adds “billions of dollars in costs” to the government, Bloomberg noted in a writeup this weekend. But, in Biden’s defense, what are dollars anymore, after all? Benefits are set to rise more than 25% from pre-pandemic levels for some 42 million people enrolled in the program. Average monthly benefits will rise $36 per person, from $121, according to the report.


Yet despite the rise, there are still “anti-hunger advocates” that believe it isn’t enough. The Agriculture Department is responsible for the hike in benefits – which can be done without congressional approval – but adjusting the estimated costs of food. The USDA makes a “shopping list” to determine benefits which, when updated, can adjust the amount of benefits issued to recipients. The basket of food items used for the list was started in 1961 and then updated in 1975. Its latest review was in 2006. Benefits were set to drop prior to the planned update as a result of a September 30 expiration of a 15% boost in pandemic relief. Even with the boost, the USDA budget for a family of four amounts to about $22 in food per day. As Bloomberg notes, food stamps used to be bipartisan common ground, but have since “evolved into a partisan flashpoint”. Biden’s plans stand at odds with how President Trump attempted to limit eligibility for the aid. Trump’s attempts were overturned by courts.

Read more …

Most popular president.

US Gov’t Tells Americans In Afghanistan It ‘Can’t Guarantee’ Their Safety (DW)

President Joe Biden’s administration told American citizens trapped in Afghanistan that the administration cannot guarantee their safety if they travel to the airport in Kabul to be evacuated. The news comes as thousands of American citizens remained trapped as Taliban terrorists have now taken control of the country. The Biden administration sent the following message to Americans trapped in Afghanistan: “To American Citizens, Thank you for registering your request to be evacuated from Afghanistan. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has confirmed that an undefined number of U.S. government provided flights will begin soon. Please make your way to Hamid Karzai International Airport at this time. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SECURITY AS YOU MAKE THIS TRIP.”

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“The Air Force will conduct a daring airdrop at night to deliver hundreds of pallets of paper ballots..”

Every American Stuck In Afghanistan To Receive A Mail-In Ballot (BBee)

Congress passed emergency legislation today to address the thousands of U.S. citizens still trapped in Afghanistan. The new legislation will mobilize the Air Force to drop much-needed absentee ballots for Americans eager to vote in the 2022 election. “Our heart goes out to the helpless Americans still stuck in Taliban-controlled Kabul,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “We know they are eager to vote for us in the upcoming elections, and we will not rest until they receive the ballots they deserve. To our American friends overseas, help—in the form of easy-to-fill-out ballots—is on the way!” The Air Force will conduct a daring airdrop at night to deliver hundreds of pallets of paper ballots into the waiting hands of American citizens, eager to vote for their favorite Democrat politicians. To make things easy, Democrats have ensured all the ballots will be pre-marked for Democrats.

Read more …

 

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Aug 172021
 


Pablo Picasso Family of Saltimbanques 1905

 

New Zealand To Enter Nationwide Lockdown After 1 Local Covid Case (Axios)
Uttar Pradesh Logs Lowest Ever Daily Covid Figure at 17 (N18)
NSW Police Fine 600 People On First Day Of Covid Crackdown Blitz (AAP)
Lockdowns Widen In China As Locals Doubt Official COVID-19 Data (ET)
Association of Vaccine Type and Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection (JAMA)
Harvard Med Professor Censored For Contrarian Covid Posts (JTN)
Afghans Fleeing Taliban Need Negative PCR Test For Now-suspended Flights (RT)
Tsitsipas Refuses To Take Vaccine Unless It Becomes Mandatory On Tour (R.)
Afghan Abandonment A Lesson For Taiwan (Global Times)
Kabul Has Fallen – But Don’t Blame Joe Biden (Ron Paul)
Afghanistan: We Never Learn (Taibbi)
When The Penny Drops It’s You And Your Portfolio On That Kabul Tarmac (Every)
Strange Days Ahead (Kunstler)

 

 

Biden condensed

 

 

The CIA gets a large part of its off the books funding from poppies.

The Taliban banned poppy growing. The CIA moved its poppy farms to Colombia. Over the past years, much has been moved back.

Afghanistan GDP is $20 billion; the UNODC estimated the country’s overall illicit opiate economy in 2017 at $6.6 billion.

Will the CIA make a deal with the Taliban this time?

 

 

Shut you entire country down for one case, after 20 months, and people call you a success story.

New Zealand To Enter Nationwide Lockdown After 1 Local Covid Case (Axios)

New Zealand will enter a snap nationwide lockdown at its highest level on Tuesday night after a 58-year-old man from Auckland tested positive for COVID-19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced. This is the first coronavirus case detected in NZ’s community for 170 days and officials are concerned the man may have the highly contagious Delta variant. New Zealand has only experienced a level 4 nationwide lockdown once before. This is only the second lockdown for communities outside Auckland, NZ’s most populous city, since the pandemic began. Ardern noted at a news conference Tuesday that although it was unknown what strain of the virus the man had, most of the infections in managed hotel quarantine had the Delta variant.


The level 4 national lockdown will last for three days, from 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, which the recently man visited, will likely experience this for seven days. New Zealand has largely contained COVID-19 cases to managed hotel quarantine facilities. Under alert level 4 restrictions, schools move to remote classes and non-essential businesses close — including food delivery services. Only essential travel is permitted, and water activities like swimming are banned. People must remain at home unless they’re exercising outdoors and locally and within their household “bubbles.” The country has paused vaccinations for the duration of the lockdown.

Read more …

This is the real success story.

Uttar Pradesh Logs Lowest Ever Daily Covid Figure at 17 (N18)

Uttar Pradesh on Monday witnessed the steepest decline in the number of fresh cases as the state limited the infections to just 17, making it the lowest ever daily-case count. Uttar Pradesh has restricted the daily-case count below 100 for over 5 weeks now. The downward trajectory of the virus has continued for the consecutive 14th week. In another significant achievement, the state registered a drop in the daily Covid test positivity rate (TPR) — the number of positive cases against the total tests done — to 0.01 percent. This rate was at its highest at 16.84 percent on April 24 and now remains even lower than the lowest post the first wave of Covid-19. The active caseload in the most populous state now stands at 419, from its peak at 3,10,783 cases on April 30.


On the contrary, sparsely populated states like Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu account for a heavy active caseload of 1,78,640, 64,219 and 20,458, respectively. In another major relief, none of the 75 districts reported fresh infections in double-digits, indicating signs that the pandemic is receding. Uttar Pradesh is rapidly moving towards being coronavirus-free as active and fresh cases in as many as 17 districts have declined to zero. In its bid to become self-reliant in terms of producing life-saving medication, as many as 317 of the 556 oxygen plants have already been established and are functional, while work on the remaining plants is going on in Uttar Pradesh.

Read more …

From inside the jail.

NSW Police Fine 600 People On First Day Of Covid Crackdown Blitz (AAP)

New South Wales police issued nearly 600 infringement notices to people flouting tough new health orders on the first day of a three-week crackdown designed to get the state’s escalating Covid crisis under control. The deputy commissioner, Mal Lanyon, said some people were still not complying even after a 5km travel rule came into effect for greater Sydney and the state reported a record 478 new local Covid-19 cases and eight deaths on Monday – the state’s worst day of the pandemic. “Yesterday we issued 579 infringement notices which is disappointing. It shows that people are still not complying. Thirty-four people received court attendant notices,” he told the Nine Network on Tuesday. Police also conducted 3,800 welfare checks to see if people were following stay-at-home orders.

Seven weeks of lockdown in Sydney (NSW)

One Covid-positive man from the hotspot of Fairfield in Sydney’s south-west wasn’t home when police arrived and was later unable to provide an excuse for his actions, Lanyon said. The entire state is now locked down and a 21-day police blitz came into effect on Monday to enforce new regulations, with almost 18,000 police officers supported by 800 members of the Australian defence force. Tougher noncompliance fines of up to $5,000 are in place with people in greater Sydney confined to within 5km of their homes. Police commissioner Mick Fuller warned that officers have been told to adopt “a no-nonsense approach” to people deliberately flouting laws.

OzStudents

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“All of us have been fully vaccinated (with two doses),” “All of us have been tested for COVID this week. And all of us have to take the second test tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,”

Lockdowns Widen In China As Locals Doubt Official COVID-19 Data (ET)

A spokesperson for the Chinese National Health Commission Mi Feng said at a press conference on Friday: “As of now, the diagnosed local [COVID-19] cases have risen for 19 consecutive days, and involved 16 provinces.” On Saturday and Sunday, the regime announced more infections but many people interviewed by the Chinese-language Epoch Times said they didn’t believe the numbers because of the regime’s past underreporting on COVID-19. The regime has reported relatively small-scale local outbreaks this year until July 20, when Nanjing in eastern Jiangsu Province announced airport workers were diagnosed with COVID-19. Since then, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, has spread to dozens of cities across the country.

In its counting of COVID-19 cases the Chinese regime doesn’t include infected people not showing obvious symptoms. The regime also claims that anyone found to have COVID-19 who travelled overseas in the past month must have contracted the CCP virus when they were out of China, and count them as imported cases. Local cases end up being those who haven’t visited other countries in the past months and have symptoms. In Zhengyang County in central Henan Province, the regime only announced one person diagnosed with COVID-19 in recent weeks, but have locked down residential compounds and villages. The regime even planned to test all residents in the county again on Friday, although it didn’t report any infections in a first round of tests carried out two days earlier.

As of around midday Monday local time, Zhengyang County government had only announced that it had found one case that tested positive on Aug. 9 and another that was counted as an individual showing symptoms on Thursday. However, the county has strictly controlled people’s movements. On Saturday, local residents in the county said lockdown measures meant they couldn’t leave home and many believed the real infection figure must be larger than what the authorities are admitting. “All of us have been fully vaccinated (with two doses),” Wang, a staff member of Zhengyang train station, said in a phone interview on Saturday. “All of us have been tested for COVID this week. And all of us have to take the second test tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,” Wang said. “The outbreak is very severe here.”

The Zhengyang City government announced that no private or business vehicles were allowed on roads from Saturday. Only ambulances, garbage trucks, and other emergency vehicles were allowed to use the roads. A Zhengyang farmer told the Chinese-language Epoch Times on Saturday that even farmers aren’t allowed to leave their homes or work their fields. “If there’s only one infection [in Zhengyang], the regime shouldn’t be so nervous, and shouldn’t ask us to test at night. They said we will be tested again,” the farmer said. “They [the regime] don’t allow us to farm our lands, don’t allow us to visit the city, don’t allow us to visit our friends and relatives. All schools and after-school classes were closed,” she said.

Read more …

Berenson: “New @JAMA_current paper says @moderna_Tx caused 2.3x the number of “significant” symptoms compared to @pfizer in a sample of 950 people.


Moderna also produced more antibodies. Raising the question of what a third dose, which produces still MORE, will do.”

Association of Vaccine Type and Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection (JAMA)

In June 2020, HWs in the Johns Hopkins Health System provided oral informed consent to participate in a longitudinal study of S1 spike antibodies in which serum samples and survey responses were collected every 3 to 4 months. Ethical approval was obtained from the Johns Hopkins University Institutional Review Board. The HWs who participated for a study visit between March 10 and April 8, 2021, were included in this analysis if their serum sample was collected 14 or more days after receiving dose 2 of either mRNA vaccine. Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Euroimmun), IgG antibody measurements were determined based on optical density ratios with an upper threshold of 11 based on assay saturation.

Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection was defined as having (1) a positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test result prior to 14 days after dose 2 or (2) S1 spike IgG measurement greater than 1.23 prior to vaccination.5 Participants self-reported symptoms following vaccination as none, mild (injection site pain, mild fatigue, headache), or clinically significant (fatigue, fever, chills). Logistic regression models were used to explore the association of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccine type with symptoms following each dose, adjusting for sex and age. A linear regression model was used to explore the association between magnitude of antibody response (log-transformed) and age, sex, prior infection, vaccine type, symptoms, and time after 2 doses of vaccine. Analyses were performed in R, version 4.0.2 (R Foundation).

Results
A questionnaire and serum sample were collected 14 or more days following dose 2 for 954 HWs. Clinically significant symptoms were reported by 52 of the 954 (5%) after dose 1 and 407 (43%) after dose 2. After adjusting for prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, age, and sex, the odds of clinically significant symptoms following either dose were higher among participants who received the Moderna vs the Pfizer vaccine (dose 1: odds ratio [OR], 1.83; 95% CI, 0.96-3.50; dose 2: OR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.73-3.40) (Table). Prior SARS-CoV-2 exposure was associated with increased odds of clinically significant symptoms following dose 1 (OR, 4.38; 95% CI, 2.25-8.55) but not dose 2 (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.36-0.99), after controlling for vaccine type, age, and sex.

Regardless of symptoms, the vast majority of participants (953 of 954, greater than 99.9%) developed spike IgG antibodies 14 or more days following dose 2; 1 participant who was taking immunosuppressant medication did not develop IgG antibodies. Reporting clinically significant symptoms, age younger than 60 years, female sex, receipt of Moderna vaccine, and prior SARS-CoV-2 exposure were independently associated with higher median IgG measurements, after adjusting for time after dose 2.

Read more …

Kulldorff is next.

Harvard Med Professor Censored For Contrarian Covid Posts (JTN)

Martin Kulldorff started relying on LinkedIn to share news and views on COVID-19 policy after Twitter suspended the Harvard Medical School professor for a month for questioning the protective power of masks. Now the Microsoft-owned professional social network is scrutinizing his posts, going so far as to remove two for violating its misinformation policy. It’s at least the second action LinkedIn has taken this summer against a vaccine scientist who questioned COVID-19 orthodoxy. It suspended Robert Malone, who credits himself as the inventor of mRNA vaccine technology, for alleging dangers from the “spike protein” in mRNA vaccines, citing heart-inflammation reports in some vaccinated young people and highlighting Big Tech censorship and conflicts of interest. A LinkedIn “senior executive” personally apologized to him for wrongful removal, Malone said.

Kulldorff made a similar cost-benefit argument against mandatory COVID vaccinations for young people in a June op-ed. He directed Twitter followers to find the op-ed on his LinkedIn page because “Twitter does not allow vaccine scientists to freely discuss vaccines.” Now he’s directing Linkedin followers to find him on Twitter, though the scientist confirmed to Just the News that he is concerned about further censorship there, “so I self-censor on Twitter.” One of Kulldorff’s Harvard Med colleagues spoke against LinkedIn for the censorship. “The point is not whether a minority viewpoint is right,” bioethics professor Jonathan Darrow, who cowrote a journal article with Kulldorff last year, wrote in an email. If such views are silenced, “public health options may be closed off prematurely, matters may be erroneously believed to be settled, and needed research may never be conducted.”


[..] COVID-19 orthodoxy has “unjustifiably tarnished” the reputations of scientists such as Stanford University’s John Ioannidis, “one of the most well-respected luminaries” in evidence-based medicine, Darrow said. Ioannidis lost that respect “because he publicly presented data about COVID’s infection fatality rate that were politically unpopular.” Censorship is also “communicable,” according to Darrow, “potentially tipping the scales of public judgment one way or the other and leading to a downward spiral of intolerance in which minority views are increasingly suppressed.”

Read more …

When one insanity meets the other.

Afghans Fleeing Taliban Need Negative PCR Test For Now-suspended Flights (RT)

The suspension of flights leaving Kabul has left countless civilians at the mercy of the Taliban. But even if flights resume, Afghans fleeing the country will still need to test negative for Covid, according to a baffling report. Soon after the Taliban seized the Afghan capital on Sunday, hundreds of civilians began to pour into Kabul’s international airport in hopes of being airlifted to safety. But by Monday morning, commercial airlines had halted operations in the Afghan capital due to gunfire around the air hub – caused at least in part by US soldiers firing warning shots at civilians gathering on the tarmac. But the suspension of regular outbound flights is just one of several hurdles facing Afghans seeking a one-way ticket out of the country: airlines operating in the Afghan capital ask for passengers to provide a negative coronavirus test.


The arguably ill-timed flight requirement was spotted at the end of an Atlantic article chronicling the frustrating story of an Afghan interpreter, Khan, and his family as they try to secure safe passage out of the country. “Today, Sunday, the Taliban are in Kabul… The neighborhood where Khan was renting a room has become dangerous, and he and his family have fled, walking six miles to another hiding place. He needs to find a facility that will administer the Covid-19 tests required by the airlines. He needs to get his family to the airport. He needs two more days,” reads the last paragraph of the article.

Read more …

Bubbles.

Tsitsipas Refuses To Take Vaccine Unless It Becomes Mandatory On Tour (R.)

World number three Stefanos Tsitsipas said he would only get the Covid-19 vaccine if it became mandatory to compete in tennis. While the men’s ATP Tour has publicly encouraged players to get vaccinated, the 23-year-old Greek is among those who still have reservations. “No one has told me anything. No one has made it a mandatory thing to be vaccinated,” he told reporters, when asked if he would seek a vaccine while competing in the US. “At some point I will have to, I’m pretty sure about it, but so far it hasn’t been mandatory to compete, so I haven’t done it, no,” added Tsitsipas, who received a first-round bye in the Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati.

He reached the French Open final in June but suffered a shock, first-round exit at Wimbledon, where he told reporters he found it challenging to live and compete in the Covid-19 “bubble.” The Covid-19 vaccine has divided opinion within tennis. World number one Novak Djokovic said in April he hoped the Covid-19 vaccine would not become mandatory for players to compete and has declined to answer questions regarding his own vaccination status. However, fellow 20-time Grand Slam winners Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal feel athletes need to play their part to get life back to some form of normality.


Federer said in May that he received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, while Nadal said: “The only way out of this nightmare is vaccination. Our responsibility as human beings is to accept it. “I know there is a percentage of people who will suffer from side effects, but the effects of the virus are worse.” Spectators will not be allowed to attend qualifying rounds at this month’s U.S. Open due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) said last week. The USTA previously said it would allow full fan capacity for the main part of the tournament.

Read more …

China knows.

Afghan Abandonment A Lesson For Taiwan (Global Times)

The geopolitical value of Afghanistan is no less than that of Taiwan island. Around Afghanistan, there are the US’ three biggest geopolitical rivals – China, Russia and Iran. In addition, Afghanistan is a bastion of anti-US ideology. The withdrawal of US troops from there is not because Afghanistan is unimportant. It’s because it has become too costly for Washington to have a presence in the country. Now the US wants to find a better way to use its resources to maintain its hegemony in the world. Taiwan is probably the US’ most cost-effective ally in East Asia. There is no US military presence on the island of Taiwan. The way the US maintains the alliance with Taiwan is simple: It sells arms to Taiwan while encouraging the DPP authorities to implement anti-mainland policies through political support and manipulation.

As a result, it has caused a certain degree of depletion between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. And what Washington has to do is only to send warships and aircraft near the Straits from time to time. In general, the US does not have to spend a penny on Taiwan. Instead, it makes money through arms sales and forced pork and beef sales to the island. This is totally a profitable geopolitical deal for Washington. Once a cross-Straits war breaks out while the mainland seizes the island with forces, the US would have to have a much greater determination than it had for Afghanistan, Syria, and Vietnam if it wants to interfere. A military intervention of the US will be a move to change the status quo in the Taiwan Straits, and this will make Washington pay a huge price rather than earn profit.


Some people on the island of Taiwan hype that the island is different from Afghanistan, and that the US wouldn’t leave them alone. Indeed, the island is different from Afghanistan. But the difference is the deeper hopelessness of a US victory if it gets itself involved in a cross-Straits war. Such a war would mean unthinkable costs for the US, in front of which the so-called special importance of Taiwan is nothing but wishful thinking of the DPP authorities and secessionist forces on the island.

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“Unless there is a major purge of those who lied and misled, we can count on these disasters to continue until the last US dollar goes up in smoke.”

Kabul Has Fallen – But Don’t Blame Joe Biden (Ron Paul)

This weekend the US experienced another “Saigon moment,” this time in Afghanistan. After a 20 year war that drained trillions from Americans’ pockets, the capital of Afghanistan fell without a fight. The corrupt Potemkin regime that the US had been propping up for two decades and the Afghan military that we had spent billions training just melted away. The rush is on now to find somebody to blame for the chaos in Afghanistan. Many of the “experts” doing the finger-pointing are the ones most to blame. Politicians and pundits who played cheerleader for this war for two decades are now rushing to blame President Biden for finally getting the US out. Where were they when succeeding presidents continued to add troops and expand the mission in Afghanistan?

The US war on Afghanistan was not lost yesterday in Kabul. It was lost the moment it shifted from a limited mission to apprehend those who planned the attack on 9/11 to an exercise in regime change and nation-building. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks I proposed that we issue letters of marque and reprisal to bring those responsible to justice. But such a limited and targeted response to the attack was ridiculed at the time. How could the US war machine and all its allied profiteers make their billions if we didn’t put on a massive war? So who is to blame for the scenes from Afghanistan this weekend? There is plenty to go around. Congress has kicked the can down the road for 20 years, continuing to fund the Afghan war long after even they understood that there was no point to the US occupation.

There were some efforts by some Members to end the war, but most, on a bipartisan basis, just went along to get along. The generals and other high-ranking military officers lied to their commander-in-chief and to the American people for years about progress in Afghanistan. The same is true for the US intelligence agencies. Unless there is a major purge of those who lied and misled, we can count on these disasters to continue until the last US dollar goes up in smoke. The military industrial complex spent 20 years on the gravy train with the Afghanistan war. They built missiles, they built tanks, they built aircraft and helicopters. They hired armies of lobbyists and think tank writers to continue the lie that was making them rich. They wrapped their graft up in the American flag, but they are the opposite of patriots.

[..] Political control in Afghanistan has returned to the people who fought against those they viewed as occupiers and for what they viewed as their homeland. That is the real lesson, but don’t expect it to be understood in Washington. War is too profitable and political leaders are too cowardly to go against the tide. But the lesson is clear for anyone wishing to see it: the US global military empire is a grave threat to the United States and its future.

Vet

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Well, we have to make some money, c’mon!

Afghanistan: We Never Learn (Taibbi)

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, when asked months ago about the possibility that there might be a “significant deterioration” of the security picture in Afghanistan once the United States withdrew its forces, said, “I don’t think it’s going to be something that happens from a Friday to a Monday.” Blinken’s Nostradamus moment was somehow one-upped by that of his boss, Joe Biden, who on July 8th had the following exchange with press: “Q: Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse. BIDEN: That is not true, they did not reach that conclusion… There is going to be no circumstance where you see people lifted off the roof of an embassy… The likelihood that you’re going to see the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”

[..] The pattern is always the same. We go to places we’re not welcome, tell the public a confounding political problem can be solved militarily, and lie about our motives in occupying the country to boot. Then we pick a local civilian political authority to back that inevitably proves to be corrupt and repressive, increasing local antagonism toward the American presence. In response to those increasing levels of antagonism, we then ramp up our financial, political, and military commitment to the mission, which in turn heightens the level of resistance, leading to greater losses in lives and treasure. As the cycle worsens, the government systematically accelerates the lies to the public about our level of “progress.”

Throughout, we make false assurances of security that are believed by significant numbers of local civilians, guaranteeing they will later either become refugees or targets for retribution as collaborators. Meanwhile, financial incentives for contractors, along with political disincentives to admission of failure, prolong the mission. This all goes on for so long that the lies become institutionalized, believed not only by press contracted to deliver the propaganda (CBS’s David Martin this weekend saying with a straight face, “Everybody is surprised by the speed of this collapse” was typical), but even by the bureaucrats who concocted the deceptions in the first place.

The look of genuine shock on the face of Tony Blinken this weekend as he jousted with Jake Tapper about Biden’s comments from July should tell people around the world something important about the United States: in addition to all the other things about us that are dangerous, we lack self-knowledge. Even deep inside the machine of American power, where everyone paying even a modicum of attention over the last twenty years should have known Kabul would fall in a heartbeat, they still believe their own legends. Which means this will happen again, and probably sooner rather than later.

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“..if you don’t see this US policy debacle increases the risks of ‘red-line’ incidents in the Asia/Indo-Pacific, perhaps you should look for a desk job at the CIA.”

When The Penny Drops It’s You And Your Portfolio On That Kabul Tarmac (Every)

The US Beltway experts who six weeks ago said the Taliban could not establish an Islamic Emirate for at least a year, and then suddenly revised that down to six weeks, and then to 72 hours, still got it wrong: it happened on Sunday evening. The Afghan president has fled, along with his artificial $88bn “army”, but the actual weapons are now in the hands of the Taliban. Crowds of desperate Afghans are flooding the runway of Kabul airport –requisitioned by the US Army because it surrendered Bagram airbase without warning weeks ago, and the Taliban now control it– in scenes that look like Saigon in 1975. Or, tragically, like the Khmer Rouge entering Phnom Penh in ‘The Killing Fields’ (in Cambodia, a few years later); and there seems a very real risk the comparison won’t stop there.

Yes, markets will try to brush this geopolitical earthquake off: It’s just Afghanistan; It’s a long way away; We never wanted to go on holiday there anyway; They don’t even buy much cheese. There will probably be attempts to talk of a ‘New Taliban’, as we did with New Labour in the UK, brushing over the fact that the latter ‘New’ was vs. 1970’s socialism, and the former is vs. 7th century fundamentalism. Indeed, the Taliban seem to now realize which Western memes make it look more palatable, and are promising to be “inclusive”. They may only need to throw in “diverse”, “equity”, “green”, and “sustainability” for Wall Street to perk up and ask “Are you in favour of free trade and QE?”, and for EU foreign policy representatives to sit next to them.

But what to do? Michael Bloomberg has already penned an editorial that says “The US Can’t Walk Away From Afghanistan”, which is correct: the US *ran* away in the eyes of Afghans. He then Bloombergs that: “Words are easy. Solutions are hard,” and suggests the US continue to fund the Afghan government and army as long as viable (too late!), help people to flee (where?), and use airstrikes and special forces to keep terrorism at bay, which will involve “Cajoling neighbouring countries for intelligence support and basing rights.” (Neighbours like China; Turkmenistan; Tajikistan; Uzbekistan; Iran; and Pakistan.) Hey, words *are* easy! And solutions hard. Yet Bloomberg is right in that this geopolitical nightmare is almost certainly only just beginning.

As noted here on Friday, if you don’t see this US policy debacle increases the risks of ‘red-line’ incidents in the Asia/Indo-Pacific, perhaps you should look for a desk job at the CIA. The US now looks like it is flailing around like a social-media influencer discovering not just a micro-aggression, or that life contains people who don’t agree with you, but that there are people who aren’t even on Twitter that can punch you in the face and break your nose and teeth (and far, far worse). Geopolitically, opportunists of all stripes may now be considering if they may not be able to earn theirs, so to speak, by kicking the US while it is down. And yet the US is clearly swinging most of what is still the world’s most formidable military muscle squarely towards the Asia/Indo-Pacific region, and will almost certainly not want to be seen to ‘do a Kabul’ in that jurisdiction too. Or a Nord-Stream 2. Or an Iran.

Read more …

“Floundering. Friendless. Broke. Broken!”

Strange Days Ahead (Kunstler)

Well, we’ve become an ossified, administrative nomenklatura of Deep State flunkies as the Soviets were, and lately we’re just as lawless as they used to be, constitution-wise — e.g., the abolition of property rights via the CDC’s rent moratorium… the prolonged jailing in solitary confinement of January 6 political prisoners… the introduction of internal “passports.” The USA is running on fumes economically as the Soviets were. Our dominant party leadership has aged into an embarrassing gerontocracy. Is it our turn to collapse? Kind of looks like it. The days ahead are liable to be a rough ride. Surely China has taken the measure of our Woke military and is weighing the seizure of Taiwan in our moment of signal weakness.

No more computer chips for you, Uncle Sam! Do we come to Taiwan’s defense with guns blazing, or perhaps nukes? And what if that doesn’t work out so well? I’ll tell you what: a major geopolitical reordering of things, leaving us… where? Unable to enforce our will around the world as has been the case for eighty years. Floundering. Friendless. Broke. Broken! Of course, the domestic situation in our land has not been so fraught and overwrought since 1861. Everything is politicized, which is to say: used as a truncheon to beat-up adversaries and, let’s face it, mostly in the sense of Left against Right. This is especially true for the Covid-19 soap opera, which more and more pits the sanctimoniously vaccinated “progressives” against the recalcitrant conservative no-vax free-choicers — that is, coercive government trying to force supposedly free citizens to accept a pretty dubious experimental medical treatment.


Since when did the American Left become so pro-tyranny, and how’d that even happen? I have friends and relatives — I’m sure you do, too — who knocked themselves out in the 1960s protesting against the war, the government, the FBI, and the CIA… who fought in the streets for free speech and raged against official propaganda — and today they can’t get enough of coercing, punishing, brain-washing, and cancelling their fellow citizens. They’re going so far now as to engineer their vicious narrative to brand their opponents as “domestic terrorists.” Think that’s going to work?

Read more …

 

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Aug 162021
 
 August 16, 2021  Posted by at 9:37 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  93 Responses »


Roy Lichtenstein Hopeless 1963

 

Ultrapotent Antibodies vs Diverse & Highly Transmissible Covid19 Variants (Sc.)
Vaccine Inventor Dr. Robert Malone Ruined “His Chances For A Nobel Prize” (TSU)
Shedding of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Despite Vaccination with Delta (Mx)
Here Comes Nosocomial DISASTER (Denninger)
A Message From France (TBP)
French Covid Permit Scheme Extended To Paris Department Stores (G.)
UAE Covid-19 Death Toll Exceeds 2,000 For First Time, 1,189 New Cases (AlA)
Biden Offers Cash To Florida Schools That Defy Gov. Ron DeSantis (NYP)
China, the WHO and the Powergrab That Fuelled A Pandemic (Times)
The Clocks Are Wrong or Biden’s Camp David Photo Was Taken Months Ago (GP)
White House Twitter Account Apparently ‘Outs’ Intel Officials, Locations (RT)
CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack (BBee)

 

 

Biden “may talk in a few days”, Kamala is AWOL, and Jen Psaki is gone until August 22.

What do you think when you’re in Hong Kong, or Taiwan, Ukraine, Lithuania? That America’s got your back?

This damage is forever. The US gave itself all away in 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

10% have had 3rd vaxx. Israeli PM Bennett is a confused man.

 

 

 

 

“Our study demonstrates that convalescent subjects previously infected with ancestral variant SARS-CoV-2 produce antibodies that cross-neutralize emerging VOCs with high potency.”

Ultrapotent Antibodies vs Diverse & Highly Transmissible Covid19 Variants (Sc.)

Our key defense against the COVID-19 pandemic is neutralizing antibodies against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus elicited by natural infection or vaccination. Recent emerging viral variants have raised concern because of their potential to escape antibody neutralization. Wang et al. identified four antibodies from early-outbreak convalescent donors that are potent against 23 variants, including variants of concern, and characterized their binding to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Yuan et al. examined the impact of emerging mutations in the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein on binding to the host receptor ACE2 and to a range of antibodies. These studies may be helpful for developing more broadly effective vaccines and therapeutic antibodies.

Blood from 22 convalescent subjects who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 WA-1 infection was screened for neutralizing and binding activity, and four subjects with high reactivity against the WA-1 variant were selected for antibody isolation. SARS-CoV-2 spike (S)–reactive antibodies were identified through B cell sorting with S protein–based probes. WA-1 live-virus neutralization assays identified four RBD-targeting antibodies with high potency [half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) 2.1 to 4.8 ng/ml], two of which were derived from the same IGHV1-58 germline but from different donors. Antigen-binding fragments (Fabs) of these antibodies exhibited nanomolar affinity to S (2.3 to 7.3 nM).

Competition assays and electron microscopy indicated that two of the most potent antibodies blocked angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and bound open conformation RBD, whereas the other two bound both up and down conformations of RBD and blocked ACE2 binding. Binding and lentivirus neutralization assays against 13 circulating VOCs or variants of interest—including B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1.427, B.1.429, B.1.526, P.1, P.2, B.1.617.1, and B.1.617.2—indicated that these antibodies were highly potent against VOCs despite being isolated from subjects infected with early ancestral SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Cryo-EM studies of the two most potent antibodies in complex with S revealed that these antibodies target a site of vulnerability on RBD but have minimal contacts with mutational hotspots, defining the structural basis for their high effectiveness against the emerging VOCs and further delineating an IGHV1-58 antibody supersite.

To investigate potential mechanisms of escape, we applied antibody selection pressure to replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus (rcVSV) expressing the WA-1 SARS-CoV-2 S (rcVSV-SARS2) and identified S mutations that conferred in vitro resistance. We evaluated these antibodies individually or in combinations for their capacity to prevent rcVSV-SARS2 escape and discovered that antibody combinations with complementary modes of recognition to the RBD lowered the risk of resistance. [..] Our study demonstrates that convalescent subjects previously infected with ancestral variant SARS-CoV-2 produce antibodies that cross-neutralize emerging VOCs with high potency. Structural and functional analyses reveal that antibody breadth is mediated by targeting a site of vulnerability at the RBD tip offset from major mutational hotspots in VOCs. Selective boosting of immune responses targeting specific RBD epitopes, such as the sites defined by these antibodies, may induce breadth against current and future VOCs.


Isolation and characterization of convalescent donor antibodies that effectively neutralize emerging SARS-CoV-2 VOCs.

Antibodies isolated from donors infected with ancestral SARS-CoV-2 viruses showed ultrapotent neutralization of emerging VOCs. The two most potent antibodies shared usage of the IGHV1-58 gene and targeted the RBD with minimal contact to VOC mutational hotspots. Cocktails of antibodies with complementary binding modes suppressed antibody escape.

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“This was a conscious decision to take risk.”

Vaccine Inventor Dr. Robert Malone Ruined “His Chances For A Nobel Prize” (TSU)

This afternoon, The Atlantic wrote a fair piece titled, “The Vaccine Scientist Spreading Vaccine Misinformation.” The article started out with the author, Tom Bartlett, asking: “Robert Malone claims to have invented mRNA technology. Why is he trying so hard to undermine its use?” Again, we think the article is fair and objective. Unlike Logically.AI, which categorically said Dr. Malone was not the original inventor of the vaccine, Mr. Bartlett credited Dr. Malone for being the first person to “demonstrate how RNA could be delivered into cells using lipids.” Below is how Mr. Bartlett describes Dr. Malone’s body of work:

“The abridged version is that when Malone was a graduate student in biology in the late 1980s at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, he injected genetic material—DNA and RNA—into the cells of mice in hopes of creating a new kind of vaccine. He was the first author on a 1989 paper demonstrating how RNA could be delivered into cells using lipids, which are basically tiny globules of fat, and a co-author on a 1990 Science paper showing that if you inject pure RNA or DNA into mouse muscle cells, it can lead to the transcription of new proteins. If the same approach worked for human cells, the latter paper said in its conclusion, this technology “may provide alternative approaches to vaccine development.””

Mr. Bartlett’s piece is not really the purpose of this article. The question is, what did Dr. Malone say or do to jeopardize his chances of winning a Nobel Prize? To answer this question, we need to go back to his TV appearance on June 23. During the interview, Dr. Malone stated that he was not discouraging the use of the vaccine that the government is not being transparent with us about what those risks are. “[O]ne of my concerns are that the government is not being transparent with us about what those risks are. And so, I’m of the opinion that people have the right to decide whether to accept a vaccine or not, especially since these are experimental vaccines,” Dr. Malone said, pointing to the fact the vaccines are not formally approved but instead being administered under Emergency Use Authorization.

Dr. Malone added: “This is a fundamental right having to do with clinical research ethics,” he said. “And so, my concern is that I know that there are risks. But we don’t have access to the data, and the data haven’t been captured rigorously enough so that we can accurately assess those risks — and therefore … we don’t really have the information that we need to make a reasonable decision.” Immediately after the interview, the news about what he said quickly travel across the mainstream media, News York Times, Washington Post, and now, The Atlantic. Since then, Dr. Malone has been under attack. About a month later, Logically.Ai wrote a piece claiming that Dr. Robert Malone did NOT invent mRNA vaccines. Just as Mr. Bartlett said in the Atlantic story, “Whether Malone really came up with mRNA vaccines is a question probably best left to Swedish prize committees, but you could make a case for his involvement.”

Which leads us to Dr. Malone’s chances of getting a Nobel prize. In a tweet this afternoon, Dr. Malone shared a statement from a cellular immunologist Stan Gromkowski who did work on mRNA vaccines in the early 1990s. According to the tweet, Gromkowski said this about Dr. Malone: “He’s fucking up his chances for a Nobel Prize.” In the same tweet, Dr. Malone added that he was well aware of the potential impact on a possible Nobel. “I made a choice,” he wrote. That’s not all. In a follow-up tweet, Dr. Malone said he was “very aware of this risk and discussed it with Bret and Steve right before the infamous Dark Horse podcast, indicating that the stakes were too high to worry about a Prize when trying to save the lives and health of our children. This was a conscious decision to take risk.”

Read more …

“68% of individuals infected despite vaccination tested positive with Ct <25, including at least 8 who were asymptomatic at the time of testing.”

Shedding of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Despite Vaccination with Delta (Mx)

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant and its sublineages (B.1.617.2, AY.1, AY.2, AY.3; [1]) can cause high viral loads, are highly transmissible, and contain mutations that confer partial immune escape [2,3]. Using PCR threshold cycle (Ct) data from a single large contract laboratory, we show that individuals in Wisconsin, USA had similar viral loads in nasal swabs, irrespective of vaccine status, during a time of high and increasing prevalence of the Delta variant. Infectious SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from 51 of 55 specimens (93%) with Ct <25 from both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, indicating that most individuals with Ct values in this range (Wilson 95% CI 83%-97%) shed infectious virus regardless of vaccine status.

Notably, 68% of individuals infected despite vaccination tested positive with Ct <25, including at least 8 who were asymptomatic at the time of testing. Our data substantiate the idea that vaccinated individuals who become infected with the Delta variant may have the potential to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. Vaccinated individuals should continue to wear face coverings in indoor and congregate settings, while also being tested for SARS-CoV-2 if they are exposed or experience COVID-like symptoms.

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“Viral loads of breakthrough Delta variant infection cases were 251 times higher than those of cases infected with old strains detected between March-April 2020.”

Here Comes Nosocomial DISASTER (Denninger)

“Methods: We studied breakthrough infections among healthcare workers of a major infectious diseases hospital in Vietnam. We collected demographics, vaccination history and results of PCR diagnosis alongside clinical data. We measured SARS-CoV-2 (neutralizing) antibodies at diagnosis, and at week 1, 2 and 3 after diagnosis. We sequenced the viruses using ARTIC protocol.

Findings: Between 11th–25th June 2021 (week 7–8 after dose 2), 69 healthcare workers were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. 62 participated in the clinical study. 49 were (pre)symptomatic with one requiring oxygen supplementation. All recovered uneventfully. 23 complete-genome sequences were obtained. They all belonged to the Delta variant, and were phylogenetically distinct from the contemporary Delta variant sequences obtained from community transmission cases, suggestive of ongoing transmission between the workers. Viral loads of breakthrough Delta variant infection cases were 251 times higher than those of cases infected with old strains detected between March-April 2020. Time from diagnosis to PCR negative was 8–33 days (median: 21). Neutralizing antibody levels after vaccination and at diagnosis of the cases were lower than those in the matched uninfected controls. There was no correlation between vaccine-induced neutralizing antibody levels and viral loads or the development of symptoms.”

Reasonable conclusions drawn from this data:
• The vaccines do not prevent health care workers from getting infected; the antibodies are ineffective.
• When health care workers get infected post-vaccination with Delta they are not becoming infected from the community; they are passing it among each other.
• Their viral loads and thus infectiousness are extremely high; in other words they become a reservoir of extreme infection risk to other employees in the facility and, it must be assumed to the patients in their care.
• A reasonable hypothesis (but not proved) is that the vaccines are in fact potentiating viral replication via ADE-type effects, specifically given the paper I pointed to yesterday. That is the act of encouraging or even forcing medical workers to take the jabs is leading to higher viral loads and thus greater infectiousness — that is, greater risk to patients rather than less.

Congratulations folks — you just turned hospitals into death traps for anyone who is medically compromised, particularly if they were either unable to be vaccinated themselves for medical reasons or, far worse, they were vaccinated but due to immune compromise failed to build an effective response. PS: Want to know why this sort of study hasn’t — and won’t — be done here? Because the instantaneous freak-out factor, never mind the nasty words “malpractice” or even “depraved indifference” — would start getting thrown around immediately, that’s why.

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A message of hope. Everything comes to a standstill. Tons of pics of empty cafes and restaurants.

In the US, tens of millions soon’t can’t fly. Will that make the airlines happy?

A Message From France (TBP)

Here in France it has gone to the extreme with the “Health” Pass. Last week on the 21st ALL restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and any leisure activities like sporting events, theaters, cinemas, museums, were closed to anyone without “the pass” and all staff at these places are mandated to get the jab to keep their job. It is now a 6 Month prison sentence if you are caught inside any of these places without the pass (the man who slapped the president in the face got only 3 months prison time). Business owners will get a fine of 45,000 euros and 1 year prison sentence if they do not comply with the use of “the pass” and force all their employees to get the jab. (If you know France, you can commit murder and have less of a sentence)

So the result? All the low paid employees quit, they can make more on welfare here (for now). We can still technically “get take out food” but I just tried last night and every restaurant in our town (that is dine in with take out) has closed their doors due to the lack of staff. As of last week ALL doctors, nurses and health industry workers have been mandated to get the jab or lose their license, practice, job, business etc. (ALL health care here is Govt paid positions and there are no private health care Doctors or Hospitals etc.) Since the Health care system is state run and funded, it has been run into the ground. All the good doctors left France 5 Years ago, all the hospitals look like they are 3rd world hospitals since there is no money to repair them, half of the equipment doesn’t work and not every hospital is stocked with supplies needed for daily needs (masks, gels, disposable gowns etc).

For 5 years Nurses have been understaffed and doing double the work because the Health care system is nearly bankrupt…. So add to this the mandatory jab. So the result? Well they took to the streets by the millions and now all the hospitals just lost another 50% of staff capacity. My doctor just went into early retirement (a.k.a. he quit) and I have yet to find a replacement. As of Aug 1st ALL large malls, retail stores and grocery store owners and their staff need to be jabbed and the health pass is required to enter for employees and customers. This would be the equivalent to closing ALL Targets, Walmarts, Costcos, Home Depots, and all major grocery stores. (basically any building over 20,000 squre meters) to those without “the pass”. Result.?? Aug 15th Truckers will be going on strike nation wide; Blocking all access roads in and out of Paris.

Yesterday an entire airport in Northern France closed due to the majority of staff quitting. As of Sept 15th All public areas and access will be off limits. No farmers markets, no parks, no national parks, lakes, rivers, beaches, recreation areas, campsites etc. and no gathering over 100 people, no churches, no weddings, etc. As of Oct 1st ALL small vendors such as, delis, pizza trucks, sandwich shops, butchers, bakers, vegetable stands etc. So as of Oct 1st I will only be able to purchase food by internet and pick up (if allowed). Food shortages, Truckers strike, hospitals and airports shutting down unemployment going through the roof. Its going to be a bumpy ride folks. Is it me or does all this seem a bit extreme for a “pass” that isn’t exactly working? America, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, you’d better wake up.

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Close those too.

French Covid Permit Scheme Extended To Paris Department Stores (G.)

France’s pass sanitaire health permit system will be extended to more than 120 major department stores and shopping centres on Monday in areas where levels of Covid infection are causing concern, including Paris and the Mediterranean coast. The decision to extend the measure restricting entry to customers who can prove they have been vaccinated, have had a negative Covid test or have recovered from coronavirus was made by local officials. The pass will be required for shoppers entering Paris department stores such as Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, BHV, Le Mon Marché and La Samaritaine, and others mainly in the south of the country.


Several large shopping centres around the Channel ports popular with British tourists had feared being included but were given a reprieve as the local Covid infection rates are lower than the national average. Local prefects are imposing the pass on large stores and shopping malls in areas where the infection rate is above 200 per 100,000 people. Although Paris has not reached this level, officials are concerned about the high number of cases especially among young people in the neighbouring areas of Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne. The worst-hit areas are in departments along the Mediterranean coast. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, which includes the popular holiday areas of Provence, the Côte d’Azur, Marseille, Arles and Aix-en-Provence, the rate has reached 693 per 100,000.s

The French bring their own chairs, table, food. No pass required.

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Most vaccinated country on earth. They work great. UAE=9.7 million people.

UAE Covid-19 Death Toll Exceeds 2,000 For First Time, 1,189 New Cases (AlA)

The United Arab Emirates on Sunday recorded 1,189 new coronavirus infections, 1,419 recoveries and four deaths in 24 hours, the country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) reported. Health authorities conducted 218,163 COVID-19 tests to determine Sunday’s numbers which indicated another daily decline in infections from Saturday’s 1,206. The UAE’S COVID-19 death toll now sits at 2,001, while total recoveries increased to 679,760, according to NCEMA. The country has recorded a total of 701,776 coronavirus cases since the pandemic’s onset. There are currently 20,015 active cases within the country. As of yet, over 81 percent of the population has received at least one vaccine dose and around 72 percent have been fully inoculated against COVID-19.

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They love hurting DeSantis for 2024.

Biden Offers Cash To Florida Schools That Defy Gov. Ron DeSantis (NYP)

The Biden administration is offering cash to Florida school districts that defy Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mask ban as COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations rose in the state. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Friday sent a letter to DeSantis and the Florida education commissioner saying school districts can at their “sole and complete discretion” use federal funds to pay the salaries of administrators and board members withheld by the state for defying the order. “We are eager to partner with [the Florida Department of Education] on any efforts to further our shared goals of protecting the health and safety of students and educators,” Cardona wrote. “If FLDOE does not wish to pursue such an approach, the Department will continue to work directly with the school districts and educators that serve Florida’s students.”


A DeSantis spokeswoman blasted the Biden administration for wanting to spend federal funds “on the salaries of superintendents and elected politicians, who don’t believe that parents have a right to choose what’s best for their children, than on Florida’s students, which is what these funds should be used for.” The Republican governor last month signed an executive order banning school districts from making face masks mandatory for students and staff defending “parents’ freedom to choose.” The order came days after the CDC recommended all students and staff wear masks when they return this fall. On Monday, the governor’s office threatened to withhold the salaries of school board members and superintendents who did not comply with the ban. DeSantis has also threatened to withhold state funding from districts as well.

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“Beijing had been instrumental in installing Tedros as the £170,000-a-year head of the agency by pulling strings and calling in favours during the 2017 election for the job.”

China, the WHO and the Powergrab That Fuelled A Pandemic (Times)

Barely eight months after taking charge, the director-general of the WHO gave a speech that would prove extraordinarily prophetic. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that all nations were facing the ever-present threat that a new respiratory illness, such as the Spanish flu, might emerge and spread across the globe in weeks or months, killing millions. It was why, the Ethiopian told the audience at his keynote speech in Dubai in February 2018, he had made it his daily priority since becoming the WHO’s chief to make sure he was up to date on the thousands of reports the health body received every month that might flag up signs of an outbreak The WHO, a Geneva-based United Nations agency with a £5 billion budget from 194 member states, was on a war footing.

Tedros said it would act fast and decisively, because ignoring the signs of an outbreak could “be the difference between global spread of a deadly disease and rapid interruption of transmission”. So far this “new tighter focus” was working, he added. So when the first alert of a mysterious respiratory illness in China, exactly as Tedros had described, was reported by health monitors in Taiwan at the end of December 2019, the health agency should have been prepared and ready for action. In fact the WHO would receive considerable criticism for failing to help stop the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 virus in the opening weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only did the organisation fail to act but it also promulgated misinformation about the virus originating from China and even discouraged other nations from taking steps that might have contained the spread.

For all his foresight, Tedros would be accused of being ineffective when the big test came. The world paid a heavy price for the WHO’s inaction. As Tedros predicted, the virus has killed more than four million people, and there will be many more. The body that is charged with looking after the world’s health seriously malfunctioned in those opening weeks, when humanity most needed it to come to the rescue. Why? Our investigation reveals today how a concerted campaign over many years by Beijing to grab power inside the WHO appears to have fatally compromised its ability to respond to the crisis. It raises serious concerns about the extent of Beijing’s influence over the WHO and its director-general, and how this undermined the organisation’s capacity — and willingness — to take the steps necessary to avert a global pandemic.

Its leadership put China’s economic interests before public health concerns. The results have been nothing short of catastrophic. It is a story that stretches back many years before the Covid-19 crisis. After being strongly criticised by the health agency for attempting to cover up the 2003 Sars crisis, China set out to increase its influence over the WHO. By applying financial and diplomatic leverage over some of the world’s poorest nations, Beijing won a global power struggle to get its favoured candidates installed at the very top of the organisation. As a result, years later, a body that was set up with the lofty goal of “attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health” has been co-opted into aiding the Chinese state’s campaign for global economic dominance.

Its leadership began to speak differently, espousing statements and pursuing policies that were markedly convenient to China — even praising Beijing’s questionable allies such as North Korea, despite its appalling health and human rights record. Beijing had been instrumental in installing Tedros as the £170,000-a-year head of the agency by pulling strings and calling in favours during the 2017 election for the job.

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Or months into the future?

The Clocks Are Wrong or Biden’s Camp David Photo Was Taken Months Ago (GP)

Either the clocks in Camp David are wrong or the photo taken of Joe Biden as Kabul fell to the Taliban is several months old. Former Fox News producer Kyle Becker noticed the time errors and pointed them out in a tweet late Sunday evening. “Recent White House photos show a 3-hour time diff. b/w London & Moscow. There are a few good explanations for this. Either Camp David’s clocks are wrong or the photos are from before March 28, when London went ahead on Daylight Savings Time, but Moscow didn’t. This is *fine,*” Becker wrote. “Also, Tehran is an hour and a half difference from Moscow currently, which is why I circled it when I was checking it out. (And yes, that half-hour difference is right; India has a time zone with a half-hour difference as well.)” — Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) August 16, 2021

“Also, Tehran is an hour and a half difference from Moscow currently, which is why I circled it when I was checking it out. (And yes, that half-hour difference is right; India has a time zone with a half-hour difference as well.)” Becker added. “This morning, the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the draw down of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul. — The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 15, 2021

The photo discrepancy is particularly odd as Biden has been MIA and did not address the nation as the chaos unfolded. Instead, it was reported that he will do so “in the next couple of days.” Additionally, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will be taking the entire next week off. Questions sent to Psaki are being met with an autoreply saying that she will be out of the office through August 22. “I will be out of the office from August 15th-August 22nd,” the auto reply email being sent to reporters reads.

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What an incredible mess. There should be awards for this.

White House Twitter Account Apparently ‘Outs’ Intel Officials, Locations (RT)

A White House tweet showing President Joe Biden appearing to be on top of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan may also have inadvertently revealed the faces and locations of intelligence agents. The official White House Twitter account posted a photo on Sunday of Biden meeting by video conference with intelligence officials to hear updates on the drawdown of civilian personnel, “the ongoing security situation in Kabul,” and evacuations of Afghan allies, including interpreters who helped US and NATO forces during the 20-year war. The picture showed other meeting participants on a large screen, including CIA officials and three men at the “Doha Station.” Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence in the Trump administration, called out the apparent blunder, tweeting, “Who took this picture outing intel officials? Dear God.”

One Twitter user quipped, “Umm, is the public supposed to see the faces of the CIA agents? Are we supposed to know there is a Doha Station?” The White House tweet may have been meant to portray Biden as actively involved in the evacuation from Afghanistan amid criticism that he was silent and on vacation while the Taliban was recapturing the country and triggering a rushed evacuation of Americans and allied Afghans from Kabul. Supporters of the president used the photo to brush off the criticism, insisting it shows that Biden is preoccupied with the crisis. Some eagle-eyed commentators suggested that the photo might not even be recent, pointing to the time difference between London and Moscow on the clocks in the conference room. The current difference is two hours, while the clocks above the conference screen show a three-hour difference. This would have been possible before March 28, when the clocks in the UK were moved forward by one hour.

The planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan has turned into a disaster for the Biden administration after the Taliban overran 26 provincial capitals out of 34 in the weeks after last US troops left Bagram’s airfield, their main military base in Afghanistan. Biden has faced backlash for apparently gravely underestimating the Taliban and overestimating the ability of the US-trained Afghan forces to withstand the assault. In July, Biden predicted that the Taliban wouldn’t overrun the country and that the evacuation would be nothing like the fall of Saigon in 1975, when US embassy staffers had to be plucked from the rooftop to escape North Vietnamese forces. On Sunday, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters were seen evacuating US embassy staff in Kabul as Taliban fighters entered the city and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

The White House video conference tweet became more fodder for mockery. Biden supporters argued that identities of the people who appeared on the video-conference screen weren’t necessarily secret, but other observers said the existence of the Doha Station was not publicly known. “Heck of a job, White House communications shop,” National Review contributor Jim Geraghty said. “I figure you would want to crop out the teleconference screens labeled CIA and Doha Station – you panicking, amateur idiots.”

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Not sure we should be laughing.

CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack (BBee)

Approximately twelve minutes after U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, Taliban fighters have completely taken over the entire country. “Woah, that’s a bummer,” said the Biden Administration’s foreign policy team. “We didn’t see that one coming.” As the Taliban began its campaign of shooting and killing, as is their time-honored tradition, CNN anchors gushed with praise after noticing all the Taliban fighters were responsibly wearing masks to protect themselves and others from COVID. “Wow! In the midst of the battle and bloodshed, these noble desert knights of Islamic superiority are wearing masks! Bravo!” said Brian Stelter.


TV anchor and world-renown polemicist Don Lemon was also quick to weigh in. “All things considered, we ought to be praising the COVID-safe masks these majestic mujahideen warriors are wearing,” he said. “They are showing all of us the proper way to behave during a pandemic—something those horrible idiot Trump supporters don’t seem to get.” Inspired by their example, the Biden Administration has invited the Taliban to the White House to record TikTok videos in hopes of convincing Trump supporters to get vaccinated.

Read more …

 

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Werner Great Reset

 

 

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Jul 142021
 
 July 14, 2021  Posted by at 9:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  93 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Courtesan (after Eisen) 1887

 

Natural Infection vs Vaccination: Which Gives More Protection? (INN)
“It Needs To Be Hard For People To Remain Unvaccinated” (Turley)
I Told You It Would Fly Apart. It Is. (Denninger)
Third of England Still Without Any Covid Immunity, Scientist Warns (G.)
UK’s Return To ‘Freedom’ : Masks, Tracking And Vaccine Passports (SN)
UK’s ‘Awful Experiment’ Will Threaten NZ (NR.nz)
UK Covid Vaccines Deaths In 6 Months 4x Higher Than All Others In 11 Years (DE)
Holy Synod Of The Greek Church Recommends “Free Choice” For Vaccinations (KTG)
New York Takes Conservative Approach Counting Virus Deaths (AP)
New ‘Great Game’ Gets Back To Basics (Escobar)

 

 

We have a lot of concerns, and rightly so, about doctors and others who get banned and deleted on (social) media for saying things about Covid, vaccines and more that don’t fit the Trusted News Initiative’s stated goals. But that same treatement of reality also means that everyday people have no idea what is going on in their world. For instance, they have no clue that most people have immune systems that will fight off Covid with ease.

They have been told there are 2 kinds of immunity: from infection or from vaccination. And they believe what they’re told. Natural born immunity is anathema to control. If people know they are not under threat, how do you control them? You have to dumb them down. And then set them against others who have other ideas.

 

 

 

 

Children and Covid
https://twitter.com/i/status/1414252048716124160

 

 

 

 

Who dumbed these people down?

Natural Infection vs Vaccination: Which Gives More Protection? (INN)

Coronavirus patients who recovered from the virus were far less likely to become infected during the latest wave of the pandemic than people who were vaccinated against COVID, according to numbers presented to the Israeli Health Ministry. Health Ministry data on the wave of COVID outbreaks which began this May show that Israelis with immunity from natural infection were far less likely to become infected again in comparison to Israelis who only had immunity via vaccination. More than 7,700 new cases of the virus have been detected during the most recent wave starting in May, but just 72 of the confirmed cases were reported in people who were known to have been infected previously – that is, less than 1% of the new cases.


Roughly 40% of new cases – or more than 3,000 patients – involved people who had been infected despite being vaccinated. With a total of 835,792 Israelis known to have recovered from the virus, the 72 instances of reinfection amount to 0.0086% of people who were already infected with COVID. By contrast, Israelis who were vaccinated were 6.72 times more likely to get infected after the shot than after natural infection, with over 3,000 of the 5,193,499, or 0.0578%, of Israelis who were vaccinated getting infected in the latest wave. According to a report by Channel 13, the disparity has confounded – and divided – Health Ministry experts, with some saying the data proves the higher level of immunity provided by natural infection versus vaccination, while others remained unconvinced.

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This is exactly why there is the Nuremberg code. Exactly.

“It Needs To Be Hard For People To Remain Unvaccinated” (Turley)

Dr. Leana Wen, CNN analyst and Distinguished Fellow at the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute of Health Workforce Equity at George Washington University, has caused a stir due to her recent declaration on CNN that “it needs to be hard for people to remain unvaccinated.” With France implementing a mandatory “health pass” and private companies like Morgan Stanley requiring vaccinations for employees to return to work, we can expect more protests and challenges around the world. Those cases are likely to focus on whether mandatory requirements are based on medical or political imperatives. Wen’s comment is likely to be repeated in many filings as another case of “saying the quiet part out loud.” She appears to advocate measures defined to coerce people to take vaccinations due to the continuing refusal of a sizable number of people.

Wen is a well-known medical analyst and the former head of Planned Parenthood. She is a visiting professor at George Washington University. Wen made clear that health measures should be used to make life hard for people who refuse the vaccine so that they yield to public demands: “[b]asically, we need to make getting vaccinated the easy choice.” In the Washington Post, Wen also called for “Biden to make the case for vaccine requirements.” There is already open pressure from the White House on private companies to require vaccinations. Morgan Stanley responded by doing just that this week. They can likely do so. The most serious challenges could come from those with religious objections. However, even if they are allowed to work remotely, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman stated in July that “If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York. None of this, ‘I’m in Colorado…and getting paid like I’m sitting in New York City. Sorry, that doesn’t work.” The message could not be clearer that working remotely will come at a penalty.

The Biden White House is clearly concerned that making vaccines mandatory will cause not just court challenges but a public backlash. However, such mandatory programs have been upheld. As I discussed in a column last year, there is a 1905 case where the Supreme Court upheld a state mandatory vaccination program of school children for small pox in Massachusetts. In Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), the Court found that such programs are the quintessential state power rather than a federal power. It also held that “every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.” States are allowed to subject citizens to restraints to protect “general comfort, health, and prosperity of the State.”

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“They really have gone all the way to clown world in DC folks.”

I Told You It Would Fly Apart. It Is. (Denninger)

Now Biden administration officials are telling people that “vaccine hesitancy” is about bringing the Biden Administration down. “It’s being coordinated by people who have platforms and have an interest in bringing down the current administration.” Oh please. You really expect anyone to believe that Trump supporters are going to willingly die to destroy Joe Biden’s administration? If they were really willing to die to ruin Biden’s administration some tiny percentage could simply decide he’s leaving office now. Given that we’re talking about 60 million people who voted for Trump it must be assumed that if even a tiny percentage decided that bitching wasn’t enough one or more would succeed and, of course, likely die. But deliberately contract a deadly virus and choke on your own spit to ruin a sitting President’s administration?

You’re joking, right? They really have gone all the way to clown world in DC folks. The press secretary also pointed out that the administration has, for months, engaged with local community groups and pastors to handle the “door-to-door” sharing of information with neighbors about the vaccine. Conveniently omitting, I’m sure that there are 9,000 death reports in VAERS associated with these shots. Contrast that against the flu shot, which also is given to about 170 million Americans a year — last year’s campaign of 170 million stabs, more or less, was associated with 26 deaths. If these shots are so safe why are 400 times as many people on a per-shot basis dying in close association with taking them?

Why did the FDA just issue a warning about GBS with the J&J vaccine over an associated rate of about 1 in 125,000 shots where the death rate for the shots (associated, again, not proved) of about 1 in 16,000? Last time I checked death is not treatable — GBS is, although sometimes the damage is both life-altering and permanent. Oh, and look at this lie from Politico: “The big misinterpretation that Fox News or whomever else is saying is that they are essentially envisioning a bunch of federal workers knocking on your door, telling you you’ve got to do something that you don’t want to do,” Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said in an interview on Sunday. “That’s absolutely not the case, it’s trusted messengers who are part of the community doing that — not government officials. So that’s where I think the disconnect is.” Oh really?

Well Politico, how long did it take for Fauci to get caught lying about there being no plans to mandate anything that someone doesn’t want to do? “Fauci says vaccines should be mandated at the local level but the federal government will not mandate them.” Oh, so he’ll just try to get others to mandate them but he won’t because HE CAN’T AND HE KNOWS IT. Why would I believe these shots work when the chief advocate got caught lying about his desires and intentions by explicitly advocating for forced shots while at the same time saying that was not the intent? In other news South Carolina’s AG recently sent one of their colleges a rather strict warning: Their plan to treat non-vaccinated students in a punitive way, including masks and weekly testing, is illegal. They backed down.

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That is mathematically impossible.

Third of England Still Without Any Covid Immunity, Scientist Warns (G.)

As ministers proceed with lifting most of England’s restrictions next week, a third of the population is still unprotected from getting infected with Covid, scientists have estimated. There have been about 15 million infections so far (roughly 27% of England’s population), and once partial and full vaccinations are accounted for that leaves approximately 33% of the population still susceptible to being infected with the Delta variant that is now dominant, said Matt Keeling, a professor of populations and disease at the University of Warwick and a member of a Sage subcommittee focused on infectious disease modelling and epidemiology (Spi-M). Roughly half the UK is now fully vaccinated but Covid infections are surging again and hospitalisations are on the rise, driven by the spread of Delta and the lifting of some restrictions.

On Tuesday the UK reported 50 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test, the worst daily toll since early April, and 36,660 new Covid cases. Boris Johnson has confirmed plans to discard almost all restrictions in England next week, including mask-wearing and social distancing mandates, but has urged caution. Whether this unlocking is permanent or temporary will depend on precautions taken by the public and vaccination rates, Sage scientists have said. Suggesting that there would be a jump in cases whenever restrictions were lifted, Johnson on Monday said it would be better to unlock now, with the “natural firebreak” of the school summer holidays, than in the autumn or winter when the NHS will be under greater pressure.

Dr Marc Baguelin, of Imperial College London and a member of Spi-M, said on Tuesday that the modelling indicated there was limited benefit to delaying the reopening. “All that’s going to do is just push things down the line – we would get slightly more vaccination, but it wouldn’t make a huge difference,” he said. But he added: “If we are opening up now, which has been the decision, then it needs to be done gradually and with care.” Other scientists have vehemently opposed the unlocking next week, suggesting the government has decided to achieve herd immunity by in effect letting the virus run wild in young people, which they say will lead to disruptions in NHS care, education and more people getting long Covid.

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The land of fear.

UK’s Return To ‘Freedom’ : Masks, Tracking And Vaccine Passports (SN)

After weeks of denying that vaccine passports would be introduced into everyday domestic life in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday that the government will ask nightclubs, pubs, and anywhere where people gather to adopt the measure ‘as a matter of social responsibility’. The announcement was again completely vague, with little details on exactly what venues will be made to use the NHS COVID app system as “a means of entry,” or how it will be managed and enforced. The only details that were given by ministers are that it will be ‘encouraged’ anywhere where people are “likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household.” So everywhere then.

Government guidelines, published Monday also state that if sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will “consider mandating certification in certain venues at a later date.” The announcement also comes on the heels of the government suggesting that while face masks and distancing measures will become optional, businesses and transport companies will be encouraged to make their own policies. In addition, the NHS ‘Test, Trace & Isolate’ system will also remain in place, meaning that people will still be subject to spontaneous house arrest orders. The government documents state that “Test, Trace and Isolate has an important ongoing role in managing the virus and reduces the risk of potentially dangerous variants spreading.”

“The Government expects the Test, Trace and Isolate system will remain necessary through the autumn and winter,” it adds. The guidance also states that “Anyone who tests positive will still need to self-isolate regardless of their vaccination status. Further details will be published in due course and the changes are likely to come into effect later in the summer.” The Prime Minster also stated Monday that the Government will keep Covid data under review “probably, I’m afraid, into next year” adding that he “will not hesitate” to re-impose restrictions if needed. The series of ‘freedom’ announcements has left journalists, business owners, MPs, and the general population asking what exactly they are being freed from.

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New Zealand needs oxygen. Too much nonsense to address.

UK’s ‘Awful Experiment’ Will Threaten NZ (NR.nz)

Recent months have seen a surge of support in the scientific community for the theory that the coronavirus pandemic is a result of gain-of-function experiments in a Wuhan virus lab, although the issue is still hotly contested and far from settled. What most experts can agree on is that the United Kingdom is about to embark on a country-wide experiment in gain-of-function research. By abolishing all public health restrictions with just half of the population fully vaccinated, the UK could produce new variants that evade vaccine-induced immunity. “If you are going to train a virus to escape vaccine-induced immunity, you would do exactly what they’re doing,” Jemma Geoghegan, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Otago, told Newsroom.

“You’re basically providing a training ground for the virus to overcome those selection pressures. You’re allowing the virus to continue to spread. With this moderately immune population and with the Delta variant that has an R0 that’s estimated to be probably five or six, you need a threshold to be much, much, much higher than they currently have.” If the United Kingdom had reached that threshold, then removing restrictions wouldn’t pose an issue because the virus would struggle to spread through a heavily vaccinated population. Now, however, it will be able to spread rapidly through the unvaccinated population and then infect many vaccinated people as well. And the more the virus spreads and reproduces, the more it mutates.

In particular, when it infects vaccinated people, the random mutations which enable it to pierce that vaccine-induced immunity are more likely to stick. It’s simply survival of the fittest. “Delta is not going to be the last variant. The semi-weak selection pressure for a virus, in this big population, it’s not good for the future of the vaccine. I’m sure that there is going to be some evolution of some sort of resistance,” Geoghegan said. That is, while vaccines remain highly effective at reducing severe disease, hospitalisations and deaths from existing variants of the virus, new variants could threaten that. And the United Kingdom’s opening up is more likely to produce those types of variants.

University of Auckland microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles said: “The question is, how much worse is Delta going to get? “They are running a really quite awful experiment.” This doesn’t just endanger New Zealand over the next few months, but in fact threatens to unroll the progress of the vaccine rollout in every country. If new variants reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, that extends the needed threshold for population immunity. And recent modelling from Te Pknaha Matatini found that, for New Zealand at least, a full 97 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated if vaccine efficacy fell to 70 percent and the dominant global variant was highly transmissible. That would make reaching immunity through vaccination alone effectively impossible. It would necessitate ongoing, low-level public health restrictions for an extended period of time, if not indefinitely.

For those countries which are not able to maintain those measures or which have failed to exclude Covid-19 to date, the picture would be even more grim. As British commentator Umair Haque wrote about the UK’s own fate: “A tiny portrait of the future of Britain’s public health goes like this. Restrictions lifted, just as a new wave surges exponentially. Bang — the Delta wave explodes. New variants breed like wildfire. Waves of new variants surge in a Pandemic Storm, if you like — Delta, Lambda, whatever’s next — and recombine into even deadlier ones. “The world shuts its doors. Covid does become a new flu in Britain, an endemic, seasonal illness, only with hundreds of times the mortality and hospitalisation rates of the flu, bringing society to its knees, over and over again. Every winter is a deadly one. Every summer is only the eye of a widening gyre.”

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They’re perfectly safe.

UK Covid Vaccines Deaths In 6 Months 4x Higher Than All Others In 11 Years (DE)

A freedom of information request made to the MHRA has revealed just how deadly the Covid-19 vaccines really are. The request made by Duncan Husband on the 29th May 2021 asked the MHRA to provide a list of all new vaccines in the UK between 2010 and 2020 and to also provide the number of deaths, per vaccine, per month for the same time frame. The MHRA fulfilled the FOI request on the 29th June 2021 and provided a full list of all approved vaccines and a vaccine analysis print for each type of vaccine excluding the Adacel jab which the MHRA claim they do not have any reports on. Unfortunately the provided data does not breakdown into each month as Duncan Husband requested but does provide an overall review over the past decade of the total number of adverse reactions and deaths which are as follows –

The Pediacel vaccine to tackle diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 3rd December 2010. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 3013 adverse reactions and 15 deaths reported to the MHRA. The pneumococcal vaccine to tackle pneumonia was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 20th May 2015. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 8.238 adverse reactions and 38 deaths reported to the MHRA. The rabies vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline; in which Patrick Vallance has shares, was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 6th April 2017. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 2,387 adverse reactions and 1 death reported to the MHRA.

The VIVOTIF vaccine to tackle typhoid fever was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 25th July 2018 As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 309 adverse reactions and 0 deaths reported to the MHRA. The mejugate vaccines to tackle meningitis were granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 31st March 2015. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 9,980 adverse reactions and 2 deaths reported to the MHRA. The anthrax vaccine was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 3rd May 2018. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 294 adverse reactions and 0 deaths reported to the MHRA. The Hepatitis A vaccine was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 24th December 2020. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 848 adverse reactions and 1 death reported to the MHRA. The influenza vaccines, the earliest of which was granted authorisation in 2013, have had 23,068 adverse reactions and 227 deaths reported to the MHRA.

In all there have been 450 deaths among the 236,55 adverse reactions to the Pfizer mRNA vaccine reported to the MHRA Yellow Card scheme as of the 30th June 2021. The AstraZeneca jab has had 960 deaths among 775,940 adverse reactions reported to the MHRA Yellow Card scheme as of the 30th June 2021. There have also been 6 deaths among the 22,191 adverse reactions to the Moderna jab, and 24 deaths among the 2,690 adverse reactions reported where the brand of vaccine was not specified. This means that as of 30th June 2021 the Covid-19 vaccines have caused 1,037,376 adverse reactions and 1,440 deaths, and now they’re coming for your children and want to give booster jabs to the elderly and vulnerable in Autumn.

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The Church as the sole remaining voice of reason. Or are they afraid of the new Covid religion?

Holy Synod Of The Greek Church Recommends “Free Choice” For Vaccinations (KTG)

The Holy Synod of the Greek Church recommended on Tuesday the “free choice” for vaccination against Covid-19, vigilance in prayers” and “frequent participation in worshiping life.” Furthermore, the Holy Synod urged its members to “inform the faithful about the spiritual and regular teaching of the Church in matters of the pandemics.” This was stated in a press release issued after a meeting with the Health Minister and the country’s top epidemiologists Sotiris Tsiodras who asked the high-ranking clergymen to support and strengthen vaccinations in the country.


Neither the conservative minister nor the epidemiologist who also chants during religious services not even the Prime Minister last week could apparently convince the holy fathers to issue a circular urging priests and the faithful to wholehearted support the government’s vaccination program as infections spike. Apparently Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was convinced about the full support of the Greek Church as he urged citizens to “listen to the Church” during his address to the nation on Monday.

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Everyone counts the way that appears most useful to their political ends.

New York Takes Conservative Approach Counting Virus Deaths (AP)

The federal government’s count of the COVID-19 death toll in New York has 11,000 more victims than the tally publicized by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which has stuck with a far more conservative approach to counting virus deaths. The discrepancy in death counts continued to widen this year, according to an Associated Press review, even as the Democrat has come under fire over allegations that his office purposely obscured the number of deaths of nursing home residents to protect his reputation. New York state’s official death count, presented daily to the public and on the state’s Department of Health website, stood at around 43,000 this week. But the state has provided the federal government with data that shows roughly 54,000 people have died with COVID-19 as a cause or contributing factor listed on their death certificate.

“It’s a little strange,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. “They’re providing us with the death certificate information so they have it. I don’t know why they wouldn’t use those numbers.” Such a discrepancy can fuel distrust in government tallies of COVID-19 deaths, while making it harder for individuals to know why others in their community died in the pandemic, experts say. “We need to make sure we get it right, and people understand what the numbers are. And how we’re using them so they can’t be misused by people who have a motive to misuse them,” said Georges Benjamin, a physician and executive director at the American Public Health Association.

The Cuomo administration’s count includes only laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 deaths at hospitals, nursing homes and adult-care facilities. That means its tally excludes people who died at home, hospice, in state prisons or at state-run homes for people living with disabilities. It also excludes people who likely died of COVID-19 but never got a positive test to confirm the diagnosis. Tests were scarce in the early stages of New York’s outbreak. At least 5,000 New York City residents likely died of COVID-19 without a positive test, according to city statistics.

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Don’t be surprised if the US want back into Afghanistan shortly, claiming Taliban threat. Also, don’t be surprised if there’s no way back in.

New ‘Great Game’ Gets Back To Basics (Escobar)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on a Central Asian loop all through the week. He’s visiting Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The last two are full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded 20 years ago. The SCO heavyweights are of course China and Russia. They are joined by four Central Asian “stans” (all but Turkmenistan), India and Pakistan. Crucially, Afghanistan and Iran are observers, alongside Belarus and Mongolia. And that leads us to what’s happening this Wednesday in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital. The SCO will hold a 3 in 1: meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, and a conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities.”

At the same table, then, we will have Wang Yi, his very close strategic partner Sergey Lavrov and, most importantly, Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar. They’ll be debating trials and tribulations after the hegemon’s withdrawal and the miserable collapse of the myth of NATO “stabilizing” Afghanistan. Let’s game a possible scenario: Wang Yi and Lavrov tell Atmar, in no uncertain terms, that there’s got to be a national reconciliation deal with the Taliban, brokered by Russia-China, with no American interference, including the end of the opium-heroin ratline. Russia-China extract from the Taliban a firm promise that jihadism won’t be allowed to fester. The endgame: loads of productive investment, Afghanistan is incorporated to Belt and Road and – later on – to the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

The SCO’s joint statement on Wednesday will be particularly enlightening, perhaps detailing how the organization plans to coordinate a de facto Afghan peace process farther down the road. In this scenario, the SCO now has the chance to implement what it has been actively discussing for years: that only an Asian solution to the Afghan drama applies. Sun Zhuangzhi, executive director of the Chinese Research Center of the SCO, sums it all up: the organization is capable of coming up with a plan mixing political stability, economic and security development and a road map for infrastructure development projects. The Taliban agree. Spokesman Suhail Shaheen has stressed, “China is a friendly country that we welcome for reconstruction and developing Afghanistan.”

Read more …

 

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Malone Moderna

 

 

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Apr 302021
 


James McNeill Whistler Morning Glories 1869

 

Mental Health Experts Ask Media Not To Create Panic Around Covid-19 (OpIndia)
Stanford Prof: CDC Paved Way For ‘Institutionalization of Hypochondria’ (JTN)
One In Seven Shops Lie Empty After Lockdown (BBC)
EU Disunity Over Vaccine Certificate (K.)
Two Greek Hospitals To Host Clinical Trials Of Israeli Covid-19 Treatment (K.)
Associations Between Body-Mass Index And Covid-19 Severity (Lancet)
Covid-19 Could Cause Strokes Among Young & Healthy People (RT)
Biden’s Address To The Nation Was Little More Than A Magic Carpet Ride (Ritter)
Biden DOJ “Actively Considering” Domestic Terrorism Law (ZH)
Admitting Defeat in Afghanistan: American “State-Building” Fails Again (Clamp)
Hillary Clinton, Condi Rice Concerned About Afghan Troop Withdrawal (Axios)
Giuliani Says FBI Agents Declined To Take Hunter Biden’s Hard Drives (JTN)
Lavrov Calls Out Perfidious Albion in EU Diplomat Spat (SCF)
Lavrov: US-Russia Relations Now Worse Than Cold War (ZH)
Geoengineering: ‘Plan B’ For The Planet (Phys.Org)

 

 

LFD=Lateral Flow Antigen test
John Deeks: The 1st 2 weeks of school testing did find MORE FALSE POSITIVES than TRUE POSITIVES – data are finally public. Proportion false were 62% and 55% in these 2 weeks. Of 2304 positive tests, 1353 were likely false, with 1 positive per 6900 tests done.

 

 

Informed disconsent: Incentivize connection and hugs and sunshine

John Day: Guys, you need MORE transmission in the SUMMER, when everybody tolerates viral illness so much better.

 

 

“The fact that a huge number of people who are infected by COVID-19 recover becomes immaterial. Only images and emotions stay with them.”

Mental Health Experts Ask Media Not To Create Panic Around Covid-19 (OpIndia)

Senior Professor of Psychiatry and the current Director of NIMHANS, Dr. BN Gangadhar along with other esteemed mental health professionals called upon the media to avoid “panic-inducing coverage” through an open letter. The health experts issued an open letter criticising the media for reporting Covid-19 deaths from crematoriums and creating hysteria and panic among the people. The letter goes into detail regarding the various mental health problems a person encounters when bombarded with overtly negative and pessimistic media coverage around the clock. “Mass media has the power to communicate to millions at the same time. When the reach is so huge, every word, every image, and every nuance matters.

However, what we are seeing on our TV screens, mobile screens and newspapers is disconcerting, to put it very mildly.” the letter reads, establishing the responsibility of the mainstream media. The letter criticized the mainstream media’s overtly negative, dower and opportunistic coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic. “Images of bodies burning in cremation grounds, relatives of the deceased wailing inconsolably, emotional outbursts, and hysterical reporters with cameramen swarming over the bereaved who are going through deeply emotional moments – this may help garner eyeballs. But there is a steep price to be paid for such coverage.” the letter goes on. In order to demonstrate their point, the health professionals put forth an illustration in the letter. “Imagine someone has just tested positive for COVID-19.

If they have witnessed the panic-inducing coverage from cremation grounds, it keeps weighing on their minds and their loved ones. The fact that a huge number of people who are infected by COVID-19 recover becomes immaterial. Only images and emotions stay with them.” The mental health doctors emphasized the need for a positive mindset and requested the media to avoid “panic-inducing” coverage. “Yet again, we are not saying that the facts should not be reported. We are saying that hysteria and panic-inducing coverage should be avoided,” the letter makes clear. “As mental health professionals, we can tell you that specific information empowers people and prepares them to face any challenge. But panic weakens them”.

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“It’s not taking care of your kids. It’s not practicing your faith. It’s not doing doing as well as you can in your profession. None of that is as important as avoiding disease.”

Stanford Prof: CDC Paved Way For ‘Institutionalization of Hypochondria’ (JTN)

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance on mask-wearing, advising that Americans who are fully vaccinated may now exercise and attend small outdoor gatherings without a mask. It’s too little, too late, argues Stanford University Professor of Medicine Jay Bhattacharya. The public health agency’s hypervigilant coronavirus response over the past 12-14 months has paved the way for what he calls “the institutionalization of hypochondria” among the American public “This sort of order should have come long ago,” said Bhattacharya during an interview on “Just the News AM.” “I think they’re being entirely too cautious by saying, ‘Okay, only if you’re vaccinated … People who have had the disease before are also immune. Why shouldn’t they be ‘allowed’ to not wear masks?”

There has been “very little evidence of outdoor transmission of the disease to begin with,” added Bhattacharya, coauthor of the Great Barrington Declaration, a manifesto that urges an alternative COVID-19 strategy focused on protecting those at greatest risk while minimizing disruption and damage to the larger society. The statement has been signed by close to 14,000 medical and public health scientists. “[P]ublic health authorities, including the CDC have generated an enormous amount of fear and panic around the disease,” says Bhattacharya. On Tuesday, President Biden, who has been fully vaccinated for many months, wore a mask outside as he walked to the podium to address the press regarding the CDC’s newest guidance. Last week, Biden wore a mask during a virtual climate summit with other world leaders.

Calling masks “a palpable symbol of panic and fear,” Bhattacharya said Biden’s use of a mask in public “even though he has been vaccinated and is immune, sends the entirely wrong signal about the efficacy of vaccination and a whole host of other things.” “We basically have said, look at disease avoidance as the central problem in your life, no matter who you are,” he explained. “It’s not taking care of your kids. It’s not practicing your faith. It’s not doing doing as well as you can in your profession. None of that is as important as avoiding disease. And I think it’s going to be very difficult to undo that.”

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Coming to a town near you. Just wait till stimulus is withdrawn.

One In Seven Shops Lie Empty After Lockdown (BBC)

The number of empty shops has risen again, with one in seven across Britain now vacant, according to new research. All areas saw a rise but the North of England suffered the biggest hit, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said. “After a third national lockdown, it is no surprise that the vacancy rate has continued to soar,” BRC chief Helen Dickinson said. Restrictions came on top of already difficult High Street conditions and further closures are likely, she said. The BRC’s quarterly report, compiled with the Local Data Company, found that in the first three months of 2021, the overall vacancy rate increased to 14.1%, from 13.7% in the previous quarter.


This was 1.9 percentage points higher than in the same point in 2020, and marks three years of increasing vacancy rates, the report said. Shopping centres, whose landlords have been hit hard during lockdown and by the shift to online, saw vacancies increase to 18.4% in the January-March period, from 17.1% in the previous three months. The report said 12% of shopping centre units have been empty for a year or more. Ms Dickinson said: “The forced closure of thousands of shops during the first quarter of 2021 has exacerbated already difficult conditions for the retail industry. We estimate there are around 5,000 fewer stores since the start of the pandemic.”

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“If approved, this provision would exclude Hungary and Slovakia, both of which have used Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.”

EU Disunity Over Vaccine Certificate (K.)

The European Parliament has approved the issuing of a “green passport” for those inoculated against the coronavirus, but its position differs significantly from the Commission’s and the European Council’s. All sides will have to work at full speed if they want the certificate issued before the end of June. The European Parliament’s main demand is that the certificate – which it wants to be renamed “Covid-19 certificate” from the Commission’s “Green Passport” – apply only to people inoculated with the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). If approved, this provision would exclude Hungary and Slovakia, both of which have used Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Hungary has also used China’s Sinopharm vaccine, widely considered of dubious effectiveness. The EMA has not approved either vaccine, so far.

The European Council’s common position is that member-states must have the option to use vaccines not approved by the EMA and adopting the Parliament’s decision could spark a serious clash. The MEPs also want people who carry such a certificate to be exempted from quarantine rules, taking away the decision from the member-states. While the document will primarily be used for travel within the EU, it will be up to each member-state to require it domestically, for example, to admit people in restaurants or cinemas. The MEPs consider lifting the quarantine for certificate holders a crucial issue for the free movement of people within the Schengen Area, a movement guaranteed by the Lisbon Treaty of 2007.

Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, the Socialist rapporteur of the certificate proposition, said the Schengen Area is in a very bad state because of the unilateral restrictions of all sorts on cross-border movement imposed by individual member-states. The Parliament also wants the coronavirus diagnostic tests that allow cross-border movement issued for free.

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“..a new method of transferring a new medicine, based on exosomes, nanoparticles that participate in intracellular activities..”

Two Greek Hospitals To Host Clinical Trials Of Israeli Covid-19 Treatment (K.)

Infectious disease expert and chief scientific adviser on the pandemic, Sotiris Tsiodras, discussed on Thursday the start of the clinical trials in Greece of an Israeli coronavirus treatment in two hospitals. “We are participating in these new trials with great enthusiasm. The study utilizes a new method of transferring a new medicine, based on exosomes, nanoparticles that participate in intracellular activities,” said Tsiodras during a meeting in Athens with Israeli Professor of Medicine Nadir Arber who is responsible for the new drug against Covid-19 developed at the Medical Centre Ichilov in Tel Aviv.


“It is a very promising method according to the data from the clinical trials in Israel. We are moving forward by conducting Phase II trials here in Greece, in which we will evaluate parameters like safety, dosology, and efficacy,” he stated. On his side, Arber said, “we should remain humble and modest – but we are really excited. In fact, I want to point out that I came here in person as I wanted to see the people first and then the facilities. We are talking about great doctors and people who have inspired my confidence.”

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Difficult way to describe a very obvious phenomenon.

Associations Between Body-Mass Index And Covid-19 Severity (Lancet)

Obesity is a major risk factor for adverse outcomes after infection with SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to examine this association, including interactions with demographic and behavioural characteristics, type 2 diabetes, and other health conditions. [..] In this prospective, community-based, cohort study, we used de-identified patient-level data from the QResearch database of general practices in England, UK. We extracted data for patients aged 20 years and older who were registered at a practice eligible for inclusion in the QResearch database between Jan 24, 2020 (date of the first recorded infection in the UK) and April 30, 2020, and with available data on BMI. Data extracted included demographic, clinical, clinical values linked with Public Health England’s database of positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, and death certificates from the Office of National Statistics.


Outcomes, as a proxy measure of severe COVID-19, were admission to hospital, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), and death due to COVID-19. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate the risk of severe COVID-19, sequentially adjusting for demographic characteristics, behavioural factors, and comorbidities. [..] At a BMI of more than 23 kg/m2, we found a linear increase in risk of severe COVID-19 leading to admission to hospital and death, and a linear increase in admission to an ICU across the whole BMI range, which is not attributable to excess risks of related diseases. The relative risk due to increasing BMI is particularly notable people younger than 40 years and of Black ethnicity.

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“..38% of those who had a stroke soon after recovering from Covid-19 did not even know they had the disease”

Covid-19 Could Cause Strokes Among Young & Healthy People (RT)

Scientists from more than 30 countries say they have detected an “unusually high” percentage of young people among patients that were hospitalized with a stroke after having Covid-19, including in asymptomatic form. One in four post-Covid stroke patients is younger than 55, according to the comprehensive international study published in the peer-reviewed journal Stroke. This is considered unusually high, given that normally only between 10% and 15% of stroke patients are aged between 18 and 50. More alarmingly, the researchers say that Covid-19 could trigger a stroke in people who would normally be extremely low risk for having one. “Many patients, especially the younger ones, did not present any traditional risk factor for strokes, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart problems and so on,” said Hebrew University Professor Ronen Leker, one of almost 90 co-authors of the study.

The data show a “connection between the coronavirus and strokes in younger patients, as a result of blockages in larger blood vessels,” Leker told Israeli media. Even patients who had Covid-19 in a mild or asymptomatic form are not shielded from potentially dire consequences, researchers say. In fact, the study, published on April 21, showed that almost 38% of those who had a stroke soon after recovering from Covid-19 did not even know they had the disease. They had no recognizable symptoms of the novel coronavirus, such as cough, fever or shortness of breath. The fact that they had Covid-19 only came to light after they were tested in hospitals, where they were admitted with a stroke. In total, the study’s authors analyzed data on 432 patients provided by 136 different medical centers in 32 countries.

Patients in the study experienced acute ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and cerebral venous or sinus thrombosis. At least 71 medical centers also reported that they had at least one patient who had a stroke during Covid-19 hospitalization or soon after it. The phenomenon can be explained by the fact that Covid-19 targets various organs in the body, disrupting their normal function and causing blood clots and other complications, Leker said. “The brain is one of the organs that the coronavirus targets, as well as blood vessels in the brain,” he explained, adding that the disease could also lead to an irregular heart rhythm and the migration of blood clots to the brain.

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“Biden’s presentation was, both literally and figuratively, to an audience of one: Senator Joe Manchin, the conservative Democrat from West Virginia.”

Biden’s Address To The Nation Was Little More Than A Magic Carpet Ride (Ritter)

Roosevelt, however, had the support of Congress firmly under the control of his party, had been elected with overwhelming majorities, and the nation was united in its belief that its president represented their shared values when it came to pulling the country out of the depths of the Great Depression. Biden, on the other hand, is wrestling with a 50-50 Senate and a House where the Democrats have a razor-thin margin that many expect to evaporate come mid-term elections in 2022. Moreover, Biden helms a nation where nearly 50% of the voting public cast their ballots against him. In short, they view Biden as the problem, not the solution, and are more inclined to oppose the kind of changes Biden is seeking for two years, at which time they believe the Republican Party will be able to regain full control of at least one, and possibly both, houses of Congress.

Given the tight political margins that Biden is dealing with (a quick CNN poll of viewers who watched the speech found that only 51% had a favorable opinion of the speech), it comes as no surprise that at the end of the day, Biden’s presentation was, both literally and figuratively, to an audience of one: Senator Joe Manchin, the conservative Democrat from West Virginia. Biden needs Manchin’s support if any of his legislative proposals are to have a chance of becoming law. Unfortunately for Biden, Manchin’s vision of where West Virginia needs to go and how it should get there does not mesh well with Biden’s. The American Families Plan, Biden’s ambitious successor to Roosevelt’s New Deal, is, as presented in the speech, dead on arrival when it comes to Manchin.

To get it to pass the Senate, Biden will need to water it down to such an extent that he may lose others in his own party. The kind of political compromise necessary to pass the kind of sweeping legislation Biden has proposed may have been possible at one time in America’s history, but not today. Biden spoke of “We the People” as a unifying mantra that united him with his audience. But many of “the people” do not support him, and indeed never will. America is a fundamentally divided nation, and nothing in Biden’s speech altered that unfortunate reality. Manchin is but the political manifestation of this divide. In the end, Biden’s address was little more than a reflection of America as it is today, and not the vision of America he sought to project.

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But only white supremacists.

Biden DOJ “Actively Considering” Domestic Terrorism Law (ZH)

“One of the things we’re looking at is would we need new authorities,” said deputy assistant attorney general for the department’s national security division, Brad Wiegmann, during a Thursday House hearing. Weigmann added that while the department has been successful using existing laws to fight domestic terrorism – including bringing charges for offenses involving weapons or explosives violations, hate crimes and arson, there have been more than 430 arrests made in connection with the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol “carried out by extremist supporters of then-President Donald Trump” (as Bloomberg puts it). The FBI has warned that domestic violent extremists pose a heightened threat for carrying out attacks in the U.S. in the near future, with white supremacists being the most lethal threat.

Currently, no U.S. law lets the government designate domestic extremists as terrorists or bring specific charges for domestic terrorism. That contrasts with laws to combat international terrorism, which allow the government to designate groups and bring charges for providing those groups with material support. -Bloomberg “The question we’re really wrestling with is, are there gaps,” Weigman told a House Appropriations subcommittee. “Is there some type of conduct that we can envision that we can’t cover or would it be an otherwise benefit in having something else other than what we’re having now?”

Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania – chairman of the subcommittee, said that: “Right-wing extremist attacks and plots have greatly outnumbered those from all other groups combined and caused more deaths as well,” adding “This is a cancer on our country.” Which is weird, because at least 4 members of the Proud Boys were FBI informants who gave the agency information prior to the Jan. 6 ‘insurrection.’ That said, several groups have voiced their opposition to a specific domestic terrorism law – from civil liberties advocates to conservatives – who say that a new law is unnecessary, and could be used to violate the Constitutional rights of US citizens.

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“In Afghanistan, almost 40 million people survive, and manage to navigate through the carnage. They live today as they did in 2001 and 1981, in a state shorn of security, pulverized and cratered.”

Admitting Defeat in Afghanistan: American “State-Building” Fails Again (Clamp)

So Rudyard Kipling’s arithmetic came to pass after all. ‘Strike hard who cares—shoot straight who can/ The odds are on the cheaper man.’ The U.S. has thrown in the towel. Another ‘superpower’ is set to depart Afghanistan. The symbolic date of September 11 is meant to have a ring of finality to it. It should: a trillion dollars later, the United States has failed in all its war aims. Eschewing historical and scholarly knowledge, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was their first mistake. However impelled you feel to invade the fulcrum state, you should always count to ten. Some units entering the country will have passed Gandamak, where a British army was massacred in 1842. Few American soldiers will have noted the landmark.


U.S. withdrawals tend to be attended by even worse conditions than those they found on invading. In Afghanistan, almost 40 million people survive, and manage to navigate through the carnage. They live today as they did in 2001 and 1981, in a state shorn of security, pulverized and cratered. George W. Bush’s stated aims were the destruction of al-Qaeda and the removal of the Taliban from power. That was in 2001, two decades ago. Today, the situation is arguably worse. The Taliban have control of, or are contesting, the majority of the country. al-Qaeda affiliated personnel are still embedded in their ranks. The Kabul government controls perhaps a third of the country’s 407 municipal districts.

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Different parties, same mind.

Hillary Clinton, Condi Rice Concerned About Afghan Troop Withdrawal (Axios)

Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee they’re worried about President Biden’s plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, with Rice suggesting the U.S. may need to go back, Axios has learned. The position puts two former secretaries of State — from the Obama and Bush administrations — at odds with one of Biden’s most significant foreign policy moves to date. The new president has vowed to complete the withdrawal by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. U.S. forces were sent to Afghanistan by Rice’s then-boss, former President George W. Bush, to destroy havens used by the attack’s organizers. Clinton and Rice offered their reactions during a members-only Zoom call Wednesday, two attendees told Axios.

“We had Secretaries Clinton and Condi Rice Zoom today with the committee,” one committee member told Axios. “A little disagreement on Afghanistan, but they both agreed we’re going to need to sustain a counterterrorism mission somehow outside of that country.” “Condi Rice is like, ‘You know, we’re probably gonna have to go back,'” amid a potential surge in terrorism, the member said. Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), the top Republican on the committee, told Axios: “With the potential for an Islamic State, coupled with what they’re going to do to our contractors in Yemen and Afghanistan is, sadly, it’s going to be tragic there and we all see it coming.” Another member of the committee confirmed both Clinton and Rice raised concerns about the potential fallout from a quick removal of all U.S. troops.

Both also expressed concerns about protecting U.S. diplomats on the ground following the withdrawal and what the move will mean for the global war on terrorism. Both Rice and Clinton supported military intervention in the Middle East following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Rice, who was Bush’s national security adviser at the time, helped craft the administration’s wartime response. Then-senator Clinton — considered by many as a military hawk — voted in 2002 to give Bush the authority to go to war, a vote she later said she regretted while on the presidential campaign trail. Clinton also supported surging additional troops to Afghanistan in 2009.

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Hunter could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not be charged.

Giuliani Says FBI Agents Declined To Take Hunter Biden’s Hard Drives (JTN)

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani during an interview on Thursday said that FBI agents who searched his home this week declined to take Hunter Biden’s hard drives. Giuliani said that seven FBI agents showed up early Wednesday morning with a warrant for electronics. He said when he asked them if they wanted to take Hunter Biden’s hard drives, they declined. “Hunter Biden’s hard drives fall within the scope of the subpoena. The subpoena required them to take all electronics, but they decided to leave that behind. And they also were completely content to rely on my word that these were Hunter Biden’s hard drives,” the former mayor told conservative commentator Tucker Carlson during an interview on the Fox News Channel.


Giuliani described the warrant as “completely illegal,” saying that the only way authorities can obtain a search warrant is if they can demonstrate that the individual will destroy or abscond with the evidence. “Well I’ve had it for two years and I haven’t destroyed it. And they also got it from the iCloud,” he said, adding that the warrant was unjustified, unlawful and unconstitutional. Giuliani said that he has “never, ever represented a foreign national.” “The search warrant is purportedly based on one single failure to file for representing a Ukrainian national or official that I never represented,” he said. Giuliani stated that he “never represented a Ukrainian national or official before the United States government. I’ve declined it several times. I’ve had contracts in countries like Ukraine. In the contract is a clause that says I will not engage in lobbying or foreign representation. I don’t do it because I felt it would be too compromising,” he said.

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”..stirring the escalating row between the European Union and Russia in which diplomats are being expelled pell-mell..”

Lavrov Calls Out Perfidious Albion in EU Diplomat Spat (SCF)

The British establishment likes to boast that they “punch above their weight” in terms of influence beyond their territorial size. It’s not hard to see how they manage such a feat. It’s called duplicity, intrigue, lies, and dividing and ruling. Britain is fomenting a diplomatic crisis between the European Union and Russia, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Evidence and precedent indicate Lavrov has his sight well-trained. The British establishment’s notorious ability for machination and intrigue – hence the ancient moniker Perfidious Albion – can be seen as stirring the escalating row between the European Union and Russia in which diplomats are being expelled pell-mell.

This week, Russia ordered the withdrawal of representatives from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia. That came in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from those countries. Russia has also ordered home more diplomats from the Czech Republic. Poland and Italy have also been caught up in diplomatic antagonism with Moscow. The row blew up last week when the Czech Republic accused Russian state agents of being responsible for twin explosions on its territory back in 2104. The blasts caused the deaths of two workers at an ammunition depot near the village of Vrbetice close to the border with Slovakia. Until recently, the Czech authorities had concluded that the explosions were an industrial accident. What prompted the Czechs to revise their ideas and to now blame Russia for sabotage is the interpolation of Britain in providing “new information”.

Specifically, it was the MI6-sponsored media group Bellingcat (a so-called private investigatory agency) which appears to have furnished the disinformation which purports to show the involvement of Russian military intelligence (GRU). Incredibly, the British claim their “evidence” shows that two of the GRU agents were also the same individuals who were alleged to have been involved in poisoning the Russian traitor-spy Sergei Skripal in England in 2018. The British claim to have passport information to support their claims, but such methodology is rife with forgery – a black art that the British are all-too skilled at. On leveling the accusation against Russia, the Czech Republic then ordered the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats. Moscow responded angrily, saying that the claims of sabotage were a “dirty fabrication” and pointing out that Prague did not provide any information for verification.

Russia took swift reciprocal action by banishing 20 Czech diplomats from its territory. However, the row continues to flare with the Baltic states entering the fray by banning Russian officials in “solidarity” with the Czech Republic. The move by the Baltic states is predictable as they are supercharged by anti-Russian political sentiment. It’s a case of any excuse for them to inflame relations. The dispute comes at a fraught time when the European Union is discussing imposing more sanctions on Russia over wider concerns about the conflict in Ukraine, the imprisonment of blogger Alexei Navalny and a Russian security crackdown on Navalny’s shadowy Western-backed “opposition” network.

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The US might wish they had a Lavrov.

Lavrov: US-Russia Relations Now Worse Than Cold War (ZH)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the state of US-Russia relations is now even worse than during the Cold War. His Wednesday comments during a televised interview might be easily dismissed as hyperbole, given there’s not something that’s quite equivalent to the Cuban missile crisis happening right now, but it does accurately convey things in terms of lack of simple communications at a diplomatic level. He said it was the “lack of respect” in the current climate that makes things worse. Lavrov explained Moscow has a desire to normalize ties with Washington but that should the Biden administration refuse respectful dialogue, “we would live in conditions of a ‘Cold War’ or worse.”


“During the Cold War, the tensions were flying high and risky crisis situations often emerged, but there was also a mutual respect,” he said as cited in The Associated Press. “It seems to me there is a deficit of it now.” Whether or not this dangerous trajectory in lack of “respect” and communications will continue is likely to be determined on whether the proposed Biden-Putin summit actually takes place this summer. In the past days there’s been multiple reports from both sides signaling the meeting is in preparation for a European country for mid-June. The latest on Russia’s view on summit progress comes via the AP as follows: “Speaking in an interview with Russian state television, Lavrov noted that Moscow has had a “positive” attitude to U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposal to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but added that Russia still needs to analyze all aspects of the initiative.”

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What cann we do to stop these complete idiots?

Geoengineering: ‘Plan B’ For The Planet (Phys.Org)

Dismissed a decade ago as far-fetched and dangerous, schemes to tame the effects of global warming by engineering the climate have migrated from the margins of policy debates towards centre stage. “Plan A” remains tackling the problem at its source. But the UN’s top climate science body has made it clear that slashing carbon pollution won’t be enough to keep Earth from overheating. That has opened the door to a host of geoengineering schemes, from building underwater walls to shore up an Antarctic glacier the size of Britain to injecting a giant sunscreen into the stratosphere. Here is a menu of “Plan B” geoengineering solutions, along with their potential drawbacks:

Direct CO2 capture Experiments have shown it is possible to suck planet-warming carbon dioxide directly from the air, converting it into fuel pellets or storing it underground. A company backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates launched a pilot facility in Canada in 2015, and another company operates one in Iceland. DRAWBACK: The technology is currently prohibitively expensive and might take decades to operate at scale.

Solar radiation management Unlike other strategies, solar radiation management does not target CO2. The goal is simple: prevent some of the sun’s rays from hitting the planet’s surface, forcing them back up into space. One idea is to inject or spray tiny reflective particles into the stratosphere—possibly with balloons, aircraft or through giant tubes. Nature sometimes does the same: Debris from the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines lowered the planet’s average surface temperature for a year or two afterwards. Sixty-six million years ago, a ten-kilometre wide asteroid strike threw up so much debris that it wiped out land-based dinosaurs built for steamy tropical climes.

In April, a balloon test flight in Sweden for the Harvard-led project SCoPEx, short for “Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment”, was postponed amid concerns over the implications for the environment and people in the country. DRAWBACKS: Even if it works as intended, solar radiation management would do nothing to reduce atmospheric CO2, which is making oceans too acidic. There is also the danger of knock-on consequences, including changes in rainfall patterns, and what scientists call “termination shock”—a sudden warming if the system were to fail.

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