If you watch anything to today. Let it be this. The opening sequence of @BethRigby interview with Prime Minister Liz Truss. Beth demonstrating the courage we would all wish for, if ever faced with Truss. Nonetheless, truly one of the most cutting interview openings in years. pic.twitter.com/McabUaKmKl
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) does not believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently preparing to deploy nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the agency’s chief William Burns said in an interview on Sunday. “We have to take very seriously [any] kind of threats, given everything that’s at stake,” Burns told CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell. However, he acknowledged that “we don’t see any practical evidence today in the US intelligence community that [Putin] is moving closer to actual use” or that there’s any “imminent threat of using tactical nuclear weapons.” Asked if the Russian leader was bluffing when speaking about being ready to use “all the means at [its] disposal” if the country’s territorial integrity were threatened, Burns said it was “very hard to say at this point.”
The CIA director described the rhetoric from Putin and other high-ranking officials as “reckless and deeply irresponsible.” He also suggested that it was up to US policymakers to communicate to Moscow that such a decision would have “severe consequences.” UK Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace claimed on Sunday that Russia was“highly unlikely” to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but claimed the Russian leader was also “totally irrational.” The issue has been at the fore since Putin announced a partial mobilization two weeks ago and warned that Moscow was ready to use any weapons from its extensive arsenal to defend itself if necessary. “If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff,” Putin stated at the time.
He reiterated the message on Friday in an address at the signing of the unification treaties for the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, along with the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, into Russia. “We will defend our land with all the forces and resources,” the president vowed. Putin’s words have been interpreted by politicians and media in the West as a veiled threat that Moscow may deploy nuclear weapons in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In late September, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov rejected such speculation, saying: “we are not threatening anyone with nuclear weapons.” The diplomat referred journalists to Russia’s military doctrine, which states that nuclear weapons may only be employed if such arms or other weapons of mass destruction are being used against the country, or it is faced with an existential threat from conventional arms.
Moscow maintains that a war between nuclear-armed countries should never be fought, the top nonproliferation official in the Russian foreign ministry told the UN General Assembly’s First Committee on Tuesday. “We believe that one of the most important tasks is to maintain adherence by all countries of the ‘nuclear five’ to the postulate that any war between countries possessing nuclear weapons cannot be allowed to happen, which was reflected in the January joint statement of the leaders of nuclear powers. Russia is fully committed to it,”said Vladimir Yermakov, director of the arms control and nonproliferation department at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The committee, which is in charge of arms control and international security, heard the statement through Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy head of the Russian delegation to the UNGA.
Yermakov’s remarks follow a clarification from the Kremlin that Moscow will only use nuclear weapons based on its official doctrine – meaning, in self-defense from weapons of mass destruction, or where its survival was threatened by conventional means. “There can be no other considerations here,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday. Russia has been repeatedly accused by the US and its allies of threatening the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Putin’s spokesman Peskov has repeatedly directed reporters to the official doctrine in order to dispel any misunderstandings. According to Russia’s nuclear posture, Moscow reserves the right to use atomic weapons only “in response to the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction against Russia or its allies,”as well as “in response to a conventional attack that threatens the very existence”of Russia as a sovereign state.
Over the weekend, however, head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov proposed using “low-yield nuclear weapons” as one of the “more drastic measures”regarding the conflict in Ukraine. Kadyrov was addressing the withdrawal of Russian troops from a Donetsk Region town due to a persistent Ukrainian assault. While Russian regional heads – including Kadyrov, who Peskov said has “contributed a lot” to the operations in Ukraine – are free to express personal opinions, they cannot give free rein to their emotions, “even in difficult times,”the Kremlin spokesman said.
Continued American deliveries of weapons, intelligence and even fighters to Ukraine are approaching the “dangerous line” of direct confrontation with Moscow, Russian diplomat Konstantin Vorontsov told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Shortly before that, the Pentagon announced the contents of another military shipment to Ukraine, valued at $625 million. “The US is increasing the deliveries of weapons to Ukraine, providing its military with intelligence information, ensuring the direct participation of its fighters and advisers in the conflict,”Vorontsov, who is the deputy head of the Russian delegation, told the General Assembly’s First Committee, a body charged with arms control and security issues.
This “not only prolongs hostilities and leads to new casualties, but also brings the situation closer to the dangerous line of a direct military clash between Russia and NATO,” Vorontsov added. Moscow has repeatedly warned the US and its allies against sending weapons, ammunition and equipment to Ukraine, but Washington and NATO vowed to keep doing so for “as long as it takes, ”while insisting that doesn’t make them a party to the conflict. According to the Pentagon, the US has spent more than $19.6 billion in “security assistance” to Ukraine since 2014, and another $16.8 billion since February 24, when the Russian military operation began. The US will continue to provide Ukraine with “key capabilities” and to address Kiev’s “evolving battlefield requirements,” the military added.
The latest batch of weapons and equipment, valued at $625 million, includes four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and ammunition for them, 16 each of the 155mm and 105mm howitzers, 75,000 rounds for artillery ammunition – including guided rounds and remote mine-laying ones – small arms and mortar rounds, and 200 MRAP armored vehicles.
Macgregor: “Other than Poland, no one in NATO is interested in going to war with Russia. If we persist on this line, we will see NATO dissolve and fragment.”
"The destruction of the pipelines was clearly not carried out by Russia. No one believes that. In fact, the German population is overwhelming against any war with Russia."
There are various ways to interpret what Putin, Xi, and their allies among non–Western nations are working toward. In my view, they draw a distinction none has put into words but which is nonetheless essential to their vision: There are strong nations and there are the merely powerful. In the world order as we have it the powerful dominate — ever more evidently by force alone. In the world order now emerging, it is genuinely strong nations that will at last prevail over those reliant on power alone, and force will have little to do with it. [..] Strong nations serve their people as their primary responsibility. This is where I begin as I characterize them. They have a purpose, a telos, as the ancient Greeks put it, and a shared belief in the worth of their ideal.
They have a commitment to advancing the well-being of their citizens — to constructive action in the interest of the commonweal. They value their cultures, their histories, their memories. These common characteristics confer on strong nations solid but flexible social fabrics and an assumed sense of shared community. They are a source of identity and at the same time expressions of identity. Ironically, strength of the kind I describe tends to generate power. But it is power judiciously deployed. Genuinely strong nations have no need to dominate others. They are ungiven to subterfuge or subversion, seeing no purpose in it. They value mutual benefit in their relations with others simply because this is the surest way to stability and a peaceful order.
Let us not traffic in impossible ideals or in the thought of nations as pure as snow. There are none. A strong nation may have many things about it that are not to be admired — awful things, even. A strong nation may also be powerful. China is such a case. I am of the view — and I realize there are others — that China does not use its power to malign purpose. Remove the Sinophobia and anti–Chinese paranoia, and the record supports this.
The Russian Presidency’s office has responded to billionaire Elon Musk’s “Russia-Ukraine Peace” Twitter poll which he put out Monday, and resulted in swift backlash among pundits who accused the Tesla and SpaceX founder of mimicking “pro-Russian” talking points. Musk pushed back against the avalanche of detractors, explaining that he’s interested in exploring ways to arrive at a peaceful settlement, and not continued escalation toward nuclear war. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday told reporters, “We consider it very positive that a man like Musk is looking for a peaceful way out of the situation around Ukraine,” according to Interfax.
Musk had floated the idea of “redoing” last week’s referendums on the four Ukrainian territories in the east joining the Russian Federation under UN supervision. He also controversially said that as basis of a peace deal Ukraine would have to permanently cede Crimea. It was particularly the Crimea aspect which sparked an immediate backlash and pile-on of pundits, journalists, and even diplomats – on up to Ukrainian President Zelensky himself – who suggested this means Musk “supports Russia”. According to more of Peskov’s words via Interfax (machine translation): “At the same time, he recalled that from the very beginning, Russia advocated that the conditions put forward by Moscow be fulfilled through negotiations. Unlike many professional diplomats, Peskov noted, Musk is still trying to find ways to achieve peace. “Achieving peace without fulfilling Russia’s conditions is absolutely impossible. Many ideas there deserve attention,” he said..”
But Peskov underscored there can be no “redo” of the referendums, given Moscow has already moved to bestow legal recognition of the four regions’ integration into Russia. “And there can be nothing else here. Today the president will sign decrees, and this will become the territory of the Russian Federation. But I repeat once again, the fact itself is very positive, when such people think, try to think logically, what could be done, to switch to a peaceful course,” Peskov said. To review, Musk’s poll had laid out four proposals: • Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people. • Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake). • Water supply to Crimea assured. • Ukraine remains neutral. After more than 2.7 million votes, of which Musk said many were bots attempting to skew the results, it’s clear that public opinion remains fiercely divided on the war, given sizeable groups on either side. Meanwhile Chinese state media pundit Hu Xijin pointed out the following…
Elon Musk has released his personality too much, and he believes too much in the US and West’s “freedom of speech.” He will be taught a lesson. pic.twitter.com/nv4VU7rFIv
Elon Musk has offered to close his original deal to buy Twitter for a whopping $44 billion — a bid to avoid a court trial over the hotly contested agreement slated for later this month, sources told The Post. The billionaire Tesla CEO is in talks for a settlement to acquire the social network for $54.20 per share — the same price he agreed to in April before saying in July he was pulling out of the deal, according to sources close to the talks. Twitter shares spiked more than 13% to $48.13 immediately following an earlier report of Musk’s proposal by Bloomberg and were halted for pending news. Musk sent a letter to Twitter with the offer, according to Bloomberg. Musk notified Twitter’s lawyers of the offer to go through with the deal under its original terms late Monday night, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The two sides worked toward hashing out an agreement in a Delaware Court of Chancery hearing this morning that was closed to the public, the source said. Another hearing will likely be held this afternoon but it’s unclear whether the judge hearing the case, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, will make it open to the public. Months of bad blood between Twitter and Musk have made Twitter insistent that the Delaware court supervise the closing process in the coming days. If everything goes as expected and Musk doesn’t try to pull any last-minute “gotchas” on Twitter, the deal should realistically close within days or at most a week, a source familiar with the matter said. Twitter sued Musk over his refusal to go through with the deal in a trial that was set to open on Oct. 17.
Musk was scheduled to be deposed by Twitter’s attorneys on Thursday and Friday this week, raising the prospect that the last-minute deal was made in part to avoid the deposition. [..] Analysts who cover Twitter say that $54.20 is an astronomically high price to pay for the scandal-plagued social media site. Without Musk’s involvement, Twitter would be trading in the $20 range, analysts say.
Twitter Employee Undergoes Therapy Over Elon Musk Takeover
The kill list has Kiev government support, which in turn has massive US/UK support. The list now includes US/UK citizens. Can’t make it up? Well, you don’t have to. This is a government that actively supports, to the tune of tens of billions, a foreign government that threatens to kill its citizens.
British rock star Roger Waters, a co-founder of Pink Floyd, has allegedly been placed on a Ukrainian “kill list”after speaking out against Western military meddling and calling on Kiev to make peace with Russia. In an interview with Rolling Stone published on Tuesday, the 79-year-old pushed back against accusations that he’s been repeating Russian talking points about the conflict in Ukraine. “Don’t forget, I’m on a kill list that is supported by the Ukrainian government. I’m on the fu**ing list, and they’ve killed people recently… When they kill you, they write ‘liquidated’ across your picture. Well, I’m one of those fu**ing pictures.” Waters gave the example of Darya Dugina, the Russian journalist murdered in August after appearing on the Ukrainian Mirotvorets list.
As the musician noted, her entry on the list was marked “liquidated” after she was killed in a car-bombing. Others who have questioned or criticized the Kiev regime, such as photojournalists Andrea Rocchelli of Italy and Andrei Stenin of Russia, have also been killed after appearing on the Mirotvorets list. The site lists personal information on its blacklist targets, which also include politicians and NGO activists. Mirotvorets, or “Peacemaker,” is an independent database of individuals whom anonymous moderators consider to be threats to Ukrainian national security. The site denies being a kill list; rather, it claims to be a source of information for law-enforcement agencies and “special services” about pro-Russian terrorists, separatists and war criminals, among others. It allegedly has links to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry.
Waters stirred backlash earlier this year, when he suggested that US President Joe Biden was a “war criminal” for fueling the Ukraine crisis and sent an open letter to the wife of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, urging her to help “stop the slaughter” by pushing for a negotiated peace deal with Russia. He later sent an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking for guarantees that Russia wouldn’t expand beyond Crimea and the Donbass region. Pressed by Rolling Stone on why he isn’t supportive of Ukraine’s resistance against Russian forces, Waters said, “Because it’s an unnecessary war, and those people should not be dying. And Russia should not have been encouraged to invade Ukraine.” He also dismissed reports of Russian war crimes in Ukraine as Western propaganda.
Two concerts that Waters had scheduled for next April in Krakow, Poland, may be canceled because of his push for a negotiated peace in Ukraine, the musician said late last month. “Draconian censoring of my work will deny them the opportunity to make up their own minds,” he said of his Polish audiences. The wide-ranging Mirotvorets kill list also includes Faina Savenkova, a 13-year-old girl in the Lugansk People’s Republic who called for the United Nations to end the fighting that has dragged on in her region since 2014.
To resume peace talks with Kiev, Moscow will wait for either a change of stance by the current Ukrainian president or for a new leader, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. This comes after President Zelensky signed a decree ruling out negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Even before the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, Moscow “was the supporter of the idea of achieving the terms put forward by the Russian side through diplomatic means,” Peskov told journalists on Tuesday. Russia is still ready to look for a negotiated solution to the conflict between the neighbors, according to the spokesman. But “it takes two parties to negotiate,” he noted. “We’ll now be waiting for the current president to change his stance or for the arrival of the future president of Ukraine, who would change his position in the interests of the Ukrainian people,”Peskov said.
On Tuesday, Zelensky signed a decree on Ukraine officially rejecting peace talks with Putin. It rubber stamped decisions made by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, on Friday, just hours after Putin signed agreements on Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions joining Russia. One of the resolutions was: “stating the impossibility of conducting negotiations with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.” Zelensky recorded a video address after the meeting claiming that “we [Ukraine] are ready for dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia.” In his speech on Friday, Putin called upon Ukraine to “cease all hostilities, stop the war it started back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table.”
However, he made it clear that the decision to unite with Russia, which the people of Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions made during referendums, was not up for discussion. Kiev should treat the “free choice” of the four territories “with respect,” Putin said, adding that it was “the only way for peace.” Moscow and Kiev have not sat down at the negotiating table since talks in Istanbul in late March. The Russian side, which initially expressed optimism on the peace process, later accused Ukraine of backtracking on all the progress achieved in Türkiye, saying it had lost trust in Kiev’s negotiators. In recent months, Ukraine has been either putting forward terms that Moscow deemed ‘unrealistic’ for the resumption of talks, or said that they can only begin after Russia is defeated on the battlefield.
During the conflict, Zelensky has also, on several occasions, proposed meeting with Putin face-to-face in order to find a way to end the hostilities. But Moscow insisted that the two leaders should only get together to sign concrete agreements already prepared for them by the negotiating teams.
Russia’s partial mobilization plans are already more than two-thirds complete, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced during a conference call on Tuesday. It comes almost two weeks after President Vladimir Putin called to bolster the military amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The defense chief said that over 200,000 persons have so far been added to the Russian Armed Forces, all of whom are now undergoing the necessary training. Shoigu has instructed relevant officials to provide the mobilized recruits with all the necessary clothing and other items and appoint them to military positions.
The minister added that there is also a significant number of volunteers showing up at the military commissariats wanting to join the army, and stressed that it is “extremely important” to assess each appeal carefully and to not reject anyone unless there are serious reasons to. He also explained that those who have been called into service in the past two weeks will only be sent to take part in Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine after they finish training and develop combat coordination with units that are already on the ground. In order to speed up the training process, the minister has ordered commanders to provide fresh recruits with additional training under the guidance of officers with combat experience.
Furthermore, the ministry announced that conscripts who fall under the upcoming draft, which will take place in November and recruit some 120,000 people, will serve in units not involved in the military operation. Meanwhile, those who have just finished their mandatory service in Russia’s armed forces will be returning home. Speaking in a televised address on September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilization, looking to recruit some 300,000 reservists to take part in the ongoing military conflict with Ukraine which began in late February. The Russian Defense Ministry has since clarified that the mobilization prioritizes those who have served in the military and who’ve had previous combat experience as well as the necessary specializations needed on the front line.
For weeks now, the vastly outnumbered Russian forces have been executing a fighting retreat – ceding territory to the advancing Ukrainians, briefly occupying strong prepared defensive positions from which they inflict severe losses on the Ukrainian attackers, and then retreating yet again to another line of prepared positions. As is always the case during an ongoing battle, reliable casualty numbers are difficult to ascertain. But the nature of the terrain, the strength of the prepared Russian defenses, and the Russians’ overwhelming superiority in terms of air power and artillery have afforded them a huge battlefield advantage.
Contributing to this advantage has been the frequently displayed rashness of almost suicidal banzai-like Ukrainian assaults on hardened Russian positions which, although their significant numerical superiority ultimately permitted them to compel another Russian retreat, hugely disproportionate losses of manpower and military equipment have been inflicted on the Ukrainian attackers. Late last week, in my article entitled Turning Point, I described how the Ukrainians had expended thousands of troops and hundreds of vehicles in their quasi-fanatical attempts to take both Kupyansk and Liman. Nevertheless, those two towns were taken, and the Ukrainians have continued to make modest advances since then while the Russians prepare yet another hardened defensive line several kilometers further east.
I’ve also been reporting for weeks now regarding the never-ending trains of Russian equipment and troops streaming into the region from various directions – and yet few if any of these major reinforcements have found their way to the front lines, much to the chagrin of those cheering on the Russian cause, and who have been devastated by what appear to be repeated Russian defeats. However, in just the last few hours, reports have been leaking out that western intelligence has detected a major buildup of Russian forces in and around Belgorod, just across the border of the Kharkov Oblast, and immediately north of the current line of contact. The reliability of this intelligence is not yet determined, and even if true, its significance remains as yet unknown, but I will share two of the reports I’ve seen on Telegram in the past couple hours – reports that are circulating among both Russian- and Ukrainian-friendly sources with a reasonable degree of established credibility.
First from a Ukrainian-friendly channel that has long exhibited connections to a source within the Ukrainian government: “Our source reports that the Office of the President received a warning that the risk of a Russian strike and counter-offensive behind Ukrainian lines remains. “The only thing is that no one can say exactly when, how, and where it will happen. The movement can abruptly begin along the entire border of Ukraine. The Russians know that Zelensky instructed everyone to remove reserves from the border regions and send them to the front line for an offensive (blitzkrieg). “That is, once again entering the Sumy region, the RF Armed Forces can easily take hundreds of kilometers under them, not to mention an attack on the northern part of the Kharkov region, or Belarus joining the game.”
A Russian-friendly source (presumably also relying on a Ukraine-friendly source) reports as follows: “MI6 has passed intelligence to the Office of the President (Zelensky) and the General Staff (Zaluzhny) that Russia continues to amass forces in the Belgorod region and appear to be in no rush to use them as a reserve. “British intelligence has warned the General Staff that these forces may be concentrating for a Russian counter-attack along the border of the Oskol River to cut off the increasingly stretched Ukrainian forces grouping that has only a few supply routes available to it.”
According to an economic theory called the Unholy Trinity, governments can only ever have two of the following three things: pegged exchange rates, independent monetary policy and free capital flows. The reason why this is so is quite complicated. But the point is that they must choose two of the three, making the third a pressure valve for the problems created by their attempts to control the other two. Of course, governments occasionally try to have all three. But it always ends in humiliation. It’s only a question of when. In this context, humiliation may mean the breaking of the (managed) currency peg. Think of what happened to sterling on Black Wednesday, 16 September 1992, when the currency was forced out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) and subsequently plunged.
Alternatively, humiliation may mean the loss of control of monetary policy, and rampant inflation. There are plenty of contemporary examples. Finally, humiliation may involve massive capital flight from the country in question, which results in the imposition of capital controls. Apartheid-era South Africa provides a good example. Just look at the news today for the latest example of the Unholy Trinity being on the move… In Japan, the authorities re pegging interest rates low to help the economy and the government deal with too much debt. This is a major reason why the yen has been hammered in foreign exchange markets this year.
In the UK, there are fears of a currency crisis because interest rates can’t go higher without triggering a debt crisis. In Sweden, the central bank was forced to hike interest rates a full percent to try and stem the tide in the falling currency. The pressure valves are whistling. Currencies and monetary policy are colliding with each other. And policy makers are being humiliated. But what about the third part of the Unholy Trinity? For now, capital flows are still free. In my view, at some point, central bankers and governments are going to get sick of being humiliated by financial markets. They’ll decide that significant currency intervention is needed to stabilise exchange rates. And they won’t be willing to give up on controlling monetary policy. But that means they’ll be forced to unleash the third horseman of the Unholy Trinity: capital controls.
It cannot -should not- be that Fauci gets to terrorize the nation for 2+ years, double his wealth in the process, retire in peace with the largest US pension ever, and pay Daszak millions more for gain-of-function research.
A shadowy NYC non-profit run by a scientist who tried to squelch the theory that COVID-19 emerged from a Chinese lab has received millions more from the National Institutes of Health to study similar viruses in Southeast Asia. A $653,392 grant to Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance, awarded Sept. 21, is being administered by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — whose director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, announced in August that he was stepping down at the end of this year. The grant is the first installment of a five-year award totaling $3.3 million — and was doled out on the same day NIAID awarded EcoHealth more than $2.1 million for two more ongoing studies, one of which involves so-called “gain-of-function” to make viruses more dangerous.
EcoHealth Alliance previously received millions in grants — directing some of those funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, from where many believe COVID-19 leaked into the city of 11 million and trigged the worst global pandemic in 100 years. Previously released emails have documented a close relationship between Daszak and Fauci, who received a “personal thank you” from the EcoHealth chief in April 2020 for backing the theory that COVID-19 spread naturally from bats to humans. Vanity Fair reported in June of last year that Daszak personally organized a February 2020 statement signed by 27 scientists and published in the influential British medical journal The Lancet.
The statement, which deplored the lab leak idea as a conspiracy theory, included the signatures of six scientists who had either worked at or been funded by EcoHealth Alliance — conflicts that, along with Daszak’s ties to the Wuhan lab, were not disclosed. Daszak has so far declined to answer questions from lawmakers about EcoHealth’s work with the Wuhan lab, leading Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to call for the organization to be blocked from receiving federal funds until its leader comes clean. “This is like a bad sequel with the same plot and characters, but a bigger budget,” Ernst told The Post in a statement Monday.
Tony Bobulinski says his former associate, Hunter Biden, committed crimes against his business partners by tampering with key documents to funnel over $5 million into a company he owned. “It’s called fraud,” Bobulinski told Fox News host Tucker Carlson, during an in-depth conversation that will air during “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday. Bobulinski, a retired lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, is the former CEO of SinoHawk Holdings, which he has long said was the partnership between a Chinese energy firm and the Biden family. He believes Hunter Biden changed references to a SinoHawk-linked LLC called Oneida Holdings in a 2017 limited liability company agreement to divert millions of dollars to a company he held a larger stake in.
“It’s sort of staggering that that document is exactly the same document as SinoHawk Holdings, LLC. And it appears that Hunter Biden, Jim Biden and the Biden family literally copied the same document down to typos… they removed Oneida Holdings, which was the Delaware LLC that represented Jim Biden, Hunter Biden, myself, Rob Walker and James Gilliar,” Bobulinski said. “Hunter and his lawyer, Jorge Misires, replaced it with Owasco, which was Hunter Biden’s law firm or business that he operated,” Bobulinski said. “He effectively swapped out an entity that he owned 20% of to a business that he owned 100% of, which is fraud.” Carlson then asked Bobulinski if he saw any other possible explanation than fraud committed by Hunter Biden. “I’m sure you can reach out to the Biden family and get comment from them, but there are calls,” Bobulinski said. “He received over $5 million.”
“When you’re radically destabilizing and restructuring a society, you hit them hard with the Shock-and-Awe for a few weeks, or months (or years in this case), and then you gently ease them into the new “reality.”
This is the weirdest part of the PSYOP. It’s like the morning after an office party on which you wake up almost terminally hungover to hazy memories of having performed a Tequila-fuelled blowjob on Bob in Accounting in what was either the 9th Floor Reception Area or possibly the downstairs lobby of your building while someone vaguely resembling that smirking kid in the Mail Room filmed it on his phone. Yes, it’s the Morning After … that revolting regurgitant chorus you’re hearing is the sound of millions of Covidian Cultists down on their knees in their gender-neutral bathrooms praying to the Porcelain God. It has been quite a trip these last two and a half years, but the orgy of fear and hatred is over, the mass hysteria is wearing off, and the reality of the damage they have done is beginning to become undeniable.
Countless thousands of people have been killed, seriously injured, and permanently disabled, victims of experimental “vaccines” they did not need but were coerced into taking. Societies have been torn apart, economies crippled, institutions discredited, democratic precepts like the rule of law and constitutional rights made mockeries of themselves, friends and families turned against each other, and so on, and the dust hasn’t even settled yet. It will take many years to assess the damage…or, rather, to recontextualize, rationalize, deny, and memory-hole the damage (while simultaneously “normalizing” the fascistic biosecurity dystopia the damage made it possible to implement). This process is now well underway.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed over the past several months, governments, global health authorities, the corporate and state media, the culture industry, and other key components of “The New Normal Reich” have been quietly phasing out their “Covid restrictions,” rewriting “The Science,” rewriting history (i.e., the science and history they had previously rewritten), executing limited hangouts, and otherwise transitioning the masses out of “emergency” mode and into the New Normal. In other words, everything is going to plan. You can’t keep people whipped up into a state of full-blown hysteria indefinitely. When you’re radically destabilizing and restructuring a society, you hit them hard with the Shock-and-Awe for a few weeks, or months (or years in this case), and then you gently ease them into the new “reality.”
Here’s the problem: when you zoom in to the level of, say, one water molecule colliding and bouncing off another, the arrow of time disappears. If you watched a microscopic video of that collision and then you rewound it, it wouldn’t be obvious which way was forwards and which backwards. At the very smallest scale, the phenomenon that produces heat – collisions of molecules – is time-symmetric. This means that the arrow of time from past to future only emerges when you take a step back from the microscopic world to the macroscopic – something first appreciated by the Austrian physicist-philosopher Ludwig Boltzmann. “So the direction of time comes from the fact that we look at big things, we don’t look at the details,” says Rovelli.
“From this step, from the fundamental microscopic vision of the world to the coarse-grained, the approximate description of the macroscopic world – this is where the direction of time comes in. “It’s not that the world is fundamentally oriented in space and time,” Rovelli says. It’s that when we look around, we see a direction in which medium-sized, everyday things have more entropy – the ripened apple fallen from the tree, the shuffled pack of cards. While entropy does seem to be inextricably bound up with the arrow of time, it feels a bit surprising – perhaps even disconcerting – that the one law of physics that has a strong directionality of time built into it loses this directionality when you look at very small things. “What is entropy?” Rovelli says. “Entropy is simply how much we’re forgetting about the microphysics, how much we are forgetting about the molecules.”
If there is an arrow of time, where did it come from in the first place? “The answer is embedded in the beginning of the Universe,” says Carroll. “The answer is because the Big Bang had low entropy. And still, 14 billion years later we are swimming in the aftermath of that tsunami that started near the Big Bang. That’s why time has a direction for us.” The extraordinarily low entropy of the Universe at the Big Bang is both an answer and an enormous question. “The thing we understand the least about the nature of time, is why the Big Bang had low entropy, why the early Universe was like that,” says Carroll. “And I think honestly, as a working cosmologist, I think that my fellow cosmologists have dropped the ball on this one. They don’t really take that problem seriously enough.”
2 years ago, before the last presidential election, we interviewed a former business partner of the Biden family called Tony Bobulinski. His story of influence peddling and corruption went ignored. Bobulinski's learned quite a bit more recently. Here's part of what he had to say. pic.twitter.com/mCaEYLbGgw
On September 26, 2021, I posted the Spartacus letter in its entirety, because I thought it was too good to “disappear” in our daily news aggregator, Debt Rattle. This turned out to be a good decision, since the letter vanished from its original server soon afterward. But it was -and is- still here. Zero Hedge reposted my repost, and things went off from there, generating some 200,000 views here and 1.85 million at Zero Hedge. Plus who knows how many at other places.
The Spartacus collective -we now know they are indeed a group- returned a few days ago with an update letter, now on Substack. That is probably a safer place then their original Docdroid site, but I’ll repost this one as well. Nice to see they are aware of the Automatic Earth’s role in garnering attention for the first letter. My pleasure. You guys are very good.
Note: the original, COVID-19: A Web of Corruption, is here.
My name is Spartacus, and I ve had enough.
I am one of the authors of the Spartacus Letter, a document that took the world by storm in September of 2021.
To date, four versions of the letter have been published, and all four can be viewed here:
We shared this document with numerous news outlets and sent it directly to Dr. Robert Malone, who linked it on his Twitter account. From there, it was reposted on the Automatic Earth blog, and then, on ZeroHedge, where it garnered over a million hits.
It was quickly decried as misinformation both by freelance analysts on Twitter, and by fact-checkers:
Conspirador NorteOo @conspirator0
The “Spartacus” COVID disinfo document first appeared on docdroid(dot)com on Sept 24 2021. The first Twitter account to share it was a small Italian-language account, @number229401056. The second was @RWMaloneMD, whose tweet linking the letter was retweeted nearly 1000 times.
Is this the case? Could ICENI, with a fully-sourced document with over 600 citations that lays out an extensive argument regarding the nature and origins of COVID-19, have been intending to deliberately mislead the public, as our detractors state?
Perhaps we were not explicit enough.
SARS-CoV-2 is manmade. It was produced at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with US Government funding. It is the lynchpin of a plan by ruthless elites to take over the entire world. There is enough circumstantial evidence that, if taken together, implicates numerous government officials and scientists in this plot.
The people involved could be charged with crimes against humanity for their complicity in this, but if they were, it would bring the entire system crashing down around our ears simply due to the sheer number of the guilty and the loftiness of their offices.
There is no way to sugarcoat any of this. If people remain ignorant of the nature of COVID-19 and the events leading up to the present, then the petty tyrants stripping us of our civil liberties will win.
What follows will be something of a recapitulation of the Spartacus Letter, in great detail, with numerous hyperlinks and small blocks of quoted material and images within fair use limitations, for the sake of commentary and criticism of public figures.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a close relative of SARS-CoV, the causative agent of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, also known as SARS. SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus of the betacoronavirus genus, which it shares with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.
This time, Cavuto said he had a “far, far more serious strand” because his “very compromised immune system” simply hasn’t benefited in the same way from the vaccines as those with healthy immune systems.
Cavuto said that his most recent case of Covid-19 had led to pneumonia and landed him “in intensive care for quite a while.”
While it is certainly true that COVID-19 can cause pneumonia, it would be inaccurate to describe COVID-19 as a pneumonia per se. Due to the significant expression of ACE2 in vascular endothelial cells and pericytes as part of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS), SARS-CoV-2 preferentially attacks the lining of blood vessels and small capillaries, severely inflaming them, leading to sepsis, capillary leak, pulmonary edema, and yes, pneumonia.
However, therein lies the crucial distinction: SARS-CoV-2 injures the lungs by infecting the blood vessels that supply the alveoli and triggering sepsis and ARDS. It would be more accurate, therefore, to describe COVID-19 not as a pneumonia, but as a disease of the circulatory system.
This has been known since April of 2020, when University Hospital Zurich proclaimed that COVID-19 was, in actuality, a vascular endotheliitis.
During analyses of tissue samples taken from deceased COVID-19 patients taken following an autopsy, pathologists at University Hospital Zurich have now discovered that patients are not just suffering from an inflammation of the lungs, but also from an inflammation of all endothelial tissue in a wide range of organs. In addition, pathologist Prof. Zsuzsanna Varga has been able to use an electron microscope to verify for the first time that SARS-CoV-2 is present and causes cell necrosis in endothelial tissue.
The nature of COVID-19 as a vascular endotheliitis is now well-established in the primary literature.
Post-mortem analysis of the transplanted kidney by electron microscopy revealed viral inclusion structures in endothelial cells (figure A, B). In histological analyses, we found an accumulation of inflammatory cells associated with endothelium, as well as apoptotic bodies, in the heart, the small bowel (figure C) and lung (figure D). An accumulation of mononuclear cells was found in the lung, and most small lung vessels appeared congested.
Inflammatory activation of endothelial cells can disrupt VE-cadherin largely responsible for the integrity of the endothelial barrier function.62 Activated endothelial cells can also express matrix metalloproteinases that can degrade the basement membrane and further interrupt endothelial barrier function. In small vessels, such as those that embrace alveoli in the lung, this impaired barrier function can lead to capillary leak.
What these papers are essentially describing is endothelial dysfunction and endothelial injury in the context of acute sepsis. Researchers have stated that severe COVID-19 is a form of sepsis. Why is this important? Because it has serious implications for how COVID-19 may be successfully treated. It also explains why many current treatments fail to rescue critically-ill patients.
Acute sepsis does a number of terrible things to the circulatory system and vital organs. One thing it does is severely disrupt the balance of oxidation and reduction reactions in the body.
Sepsis is a clinical syndrome characterized by systemic inflammation, usually in response to infection. The signs and symptoms are very similar to Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS), which typically occur consequent to trauma and auto-immune diseases. Common treatments of sepsis include administration of antibiotics and oxygen. Oxygen is administered due to ischemia in tissues, which results in the production of free radicals. Poor utilization of oxygen by the mitochondrial electron transport chain can increase oxidative stress during ischemia and exacerbate the severity and outcome in septic patients. This course of treatment virtually mimics the conditions seen in ischemia reperfusion disorders. Therefore, this review proposes that the mechanism of free radical production seen in sepsis and SIRS is identical to the oxidative stress seen in ischemia reperfusion injury. Specifically, this is due to a biochemical mechanism within the mitochondria where the oxidation of succinate to fumarate by succinate dehydrogenase (complex II) is reversed in sepsis (hypoxia), leading to succinate accumulation. Oxygen administration (equivalent to reperfusion) rapidly oxidizes the accumulated succinate, leading to the generation of large amounts of superoxide radical and other free radical species. Organ damage possibly leading to multi-organ failure could result from this oxidative burst seen in sepsis and SIRS. Accordingly, we postulate that temporal administration with anti-oxidants targeting the mitochondria and/or succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors could be beneficial in sepsis and SIRS patients.
Another thing it does is promote endothelial dysfunction.
Sepsis produces endothelial dysfunction, forcing a pro-adhesive, procoagulant and antifibrinolytic state in endothelial cells, thus altering the hemostasis, leucocyte trafficking, inflammation, barrier function and microcirculation .
We know this is occurring in COVID-19, because COVID-19 sufferers have elevated levels of both inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-a and IL-6, and oxidative and nitrosative stress biomarkers such as nitrotyrosine, coupled with low nitric oxide bioavailability. This has led some to hypothesize that, ultimately, severe COVID-19 is death by neutrophilia .
Multi-system involvement and rapid clinical deterioration are hallmarks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) related mortality. The unique clinical phenomena in severe COVID-19 can be perplexing, and they include disproportionately severe hypoxemia relative to lung alveolar-parenchymal pathology and rapid clinical deterioration, with poor response to O2 supplementation, despite preserved lung mechanics. Factors such as microvascular injury, thromboembolism, pulmonary hypertension, and alteration in hemoglobin structure and function could play important roles. Overwhelming immune response associated with cytokine storms could activate reactive oxygen species (ROS), which may result in consumption of nitric oxide (NO), a critical vasodilation regulator. In other inflammatory infections, activated neutrophils are known to release myeloperoxidase (MPO) in a natural immune response, which contributes to production of hypochlorous acid (HOCl). However, during overwhelming inflammation, HOCl competes with O2 at heme binding sites, decreasing O2 saturation. Moreover, HOCl contributes to several oxidative reactions, including hemoglobin-heme iron oxidation, heme destruction, and subsequent release of free iron, which mediates toxic tissue injury through additional generation of ROS and NO consumption. Connecting these reactions in a multi-hit model can explain generalized tissue damage, vasoconstriction, severe hypoxia, and precipitous clinical deterioration in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Understanding these mechanisms is critical to develop therapeutic strategies to combat COVID-19.
This is also known as respiratory burst, or neutrophil degranulation, or, in extreme cases, neutrophil extracellular trap formation:
Neutrophils use enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) to produce hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid (peroxide and bleach, essentially) in order to destroy bacteria and other pathogens by attacking their membranes with powerful oxidants.
Normally, our cells, which are made of essentially the same stuff as bacteria, survive this by using powerful antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase (GPX) to break down hydrogen peroxide into water and reduce harmful lipid hydroperoxides to their corresponding alcohols.
To identify host factors or pathways important in the control of SARS-CoV2 infection, publicly available transcriptome data sets including transcriptome analysis of lung biopsies from COVID-19 patients were analyzed using differential expression analysis14. Here, genes linked with inflammatory and antiviral pathways, including RIG-I receptor and Toll-like receptor signaling, were enriched in COVID-19 patient samples, whereas genes associated with the NRF2 dependent antioxidant response were suppressed in the same patients (Fig. 1a c). That NRF2-induced genes are repressed during SARS-CoV2 infections was supported by reanalysis of another data-set building on transcriptome analysis of lung autopsies obtained from five individual COVID-19 patients (Desai et al.15) (Fig. 1d). Furthermore, that the NRF2-pathway is repressed during infection with SARS-CoV2 was supported by in vitro experiments where the expression of NRF2-inducible proteins Heme Oxygenase 1 (HO-1) and NAD(P)H quinone oxydoreducatse 1 (NqO1) was repressed in SARS-CoV2 infected Vero hTMPRSS2 cells while the expression of canonical antiviral transcription factors such as STAT1 and IRF3 were unaffected (Supplementary Fig. 1). These data indicate that SARS-CoV2 targets the NRF2 antioxidant pathway and thus suggests that the NRF2 pathway restricts SARS-CoV2 replication.
The Nrf2 pathway directly regulates the function of glutathione peroxidase.
Nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is the primary transcription factor protecting cells from oxidative stress by regulating cytoprotective genes, including the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) pathway. GSH maintains cellular redox status and affects redox signaling, cell proliferation, and death. GSH homeostasis is regulated by de novo synthesis as well as GSH redox state; previous studies have demonstrated that Nrf2 regulates GSH homeostasis by affecting de novo synthesis.
This is, of course, why severely ill COVID-19 patients are noted to have glutathione deficiencies.
Humanity is battling a respiratory pandemic pneumonia named COVID-19 which has resulted in millions of hospitalizations and deaths. COVID-19 exacerbations occur in waves that continually challenge healthcare systems globally. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand all mechanisms by which COVID-19 results in health deterioration to facilitate the development of protective strategies. Oxidative stress (OxS) is a harmful condition caused by excess reactive-oxygen species (ROS) and is normally neutralized by antioxidants among which Glutathione (GSH) is the most abundant. GSH deficiency results in amplified OxS due to compromised antioxidant defenses. Because little is known about GSH or OxS in COVID-19 infection, we measured GSH, TBARS (a marker of OxS) and F2-isoprostane (marker of oxidant damage) concentrations in 60 adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Compared to uninfected controls, COVID-19 patients of all age groups had severe GSH deficiency, increased OxS and elevated oxidant damage which worsened with advancing age. These defects were also present in younger age groups, where they do not normally occur. Because GlyNAC (combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine) supplementation has been shown in clinical trials to rapidly improve GSH deficiency, OxS and oxidant damage, GlyNAC supplementation has implications for combating these defects in COVID-19 infected patients and warrants urgent investigation.
Glutathione deficiencies, endothelial dysfunction, and chronic oxidative stress all point essentially to the same thing: untreated chronic malnutrition brought on by consumption of an energy-rich, micronutrient-poor diet. This is also known as Metabolic Syndrome, and has a close association with endothelial dysfunction and, indeed, premature aging of the blood vessels. It is, of course, why COVID-19 causes more severe illness in those with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and old age. All of these conditions involve pre-existing endothelial dysfunction that renders one more vulnerable to sepsis.
There is, in fact, a close association between the severity of COVID-19 and the quality of one s diet.
Over 3 886 274 person-months of follow-up, 31 815 COVID-19 cases were documented. Compared with individuals in the lowest quartile of the diet score, high diet quality was associated with lower risk of COVID-19 (HR 0.91; 95% CI 0.88 to 0.94) and severe COVID-19 (HR 0.59; 95% CI 0.47 to 0.74). The joint association of low diet quality and increased deprivation on COVID-19 risk was higher than the sum of the risk associated with each factor alone (Pinteraction=0.005). The corresponding absolute excess rate per 10 000 person/months for lowest vs highest quartile of diet score was 22.5 (95% CI 18.8 to 26.3) among persons living in areas with low deprivation and 40.8 (95% CI 31.7 to 49.8) among persons living in areas with high deprivation.
It is plausible, though not conclusively proven, that COVID-19 could be warded off by simple changes to diet and exercise habits, especially the inclusion of antioxidant-rich foods high in Vitamin D, cysteine, dietary nitrate, and selenium in one s diet.
Rather than suggesting that people eat better and go on jogs, the authorities have spent the past two years locking people down, which has made them both more obese and more vulnerable to the virus.
A total of 26 studies met inclusion criteria (n = 3399, 85.7% female). The pooled prevalence of symptomatic deterioration in EDs was 65% (95% CI[48,81], k = 10). The pooled prevalence of increased weight in obesity was 52% (95% CI[25,78], k = 4). More than half of the participants experienced depression and anxiety. Moreover, at least 75% of the individuals with EDs reported shape and eating concerns, and increased thinking about exercising.
What is actually happening in COVID-19 that causes all this oxidative damage? First, superoxide reacts with nitric oxide to form peroxynitrite, a damaging nitrogen radical. Then, peroxynitrite reacts with tetrahydrobiopterin in endothelial nitric oxide synthase, leading to those enzymes becoming uncoupled , which makes them recursively produce superoxide in a damaging biological feedback loop. Dr. Martin L. Pall refers to this phenomenon by the moniker NO/ONOO- Disease .
The NO/ONOO-cycle is a primarily local, biochemical vicious cycle mechanism, centered on elevated peroxynitrite and oxidative stress, but also involving 10 additional elements: NF-∫B, inflammatory cytokines, iNOS, nitric oxide (NO), superoxide, mitochondrial dysfunction (lowered energy charge, ATP), NMDA activity, intracellular Ca2+, TRP receptors and tetrahydrobiopterin depletion. All 12 of these elements have causal roles in heart failure (HF) and each is linked through a total of 87 studies to specific correlates of HF. Two apparent causal factors of HF, RhoA and endothelin-1, each act as tissue-limited cycle elements. Nineteen stressors that initiate cases of HF, each act to raise multiple cycle elements, potentially initiating the cycle in this way. Different types of HF, left vs. right ventricular HF, with or without arrhythmia, etc., may differ from one another in the regions of the myocardium most impacted by the cycle. None of the elements of the cycle or the mechanisms linking them are original, but they collectively produce the robust nature of the NO/ONOO-cycle which creates a major challenge for treatment of HF or other proposed NO/ONOO-cycle diseases. Elevated peroxynitrite/NO ratio and consequent oxidative stress are essential to both HF and the NO/ONOO-cycle.
As nitric oxide levels decrease and superoxide predominates (a textbook phenomenon in endothelial dysfunction), superoxide dismutase makes hydrogen peroxide, and then myeloperoxidase makes hypochlorous acid. Hypochlorous acid strips iron from heme. Then, free unliganded iron, hydrogen peroxide, and superoxide react in the Haber-Weiss and Fenton reactions to form damaging hydroxyl radicals.
It is difficult for most people to comprehend just how damaging hydroxyl radicals can be. Hydroxyl radicals occur naturally in the upper atmosphere, where they destroy pollutants. When they occur in the body, they oxidize lipids and DNA instantaneously, within nanoseconds, and no enzyme exists that can detoxify them. Hydroxyl radicals are often produced on purpose with hydrogen peroxide and iron catalyst in hydroxyl generators to create a powerful oxidant concoction that decontaminates and bleaches wastewater streams and HVAC systems by rapidly destroying biological material.
Why are COVID-19 patients dying in droves when they re intubated, with mortality from mechanical ventilation approaching 97% in some cases? It s because intubation mimics the physiology of ischemia-reperfusion injury. Under the acute sepsis triggered by COVID-19, cells experience hypoxia. They become stressed and switch to anaerobic metabolism and glycolysis to make ATP as a desperate last resort. Then, these cells are suddenly fed with O2 by a ventilator, which causes them to switch back to aerobic metabolism. As this happens, hypoxanthine and succinate breakdown produces superoxide radicals in very large amounts.
Superoxide is a precursor to many other types of radicals, as described above. There s even a name for it; the kindling radical/bonfire hypothesis .
Many diseases and drug-induced complications are associated with or even caused by an imbalance between the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) and antioxidant enzymes catalyzing the breakdown of these harmful oxidants. According to the kindling radical hypothesis, initial formation of RONS may trigger the activation of additional sources of RONS in certain pathological conditions.
This process of ROS release greatly accelerates the damage caused by the virus, promoting lipid peroxidation and the formation of damage-associated molecular patterns and oxidation-specific epitopes. The DAMPs summon more neutrophils by their interaction with PRRs, which release more damaging enzymes. The OSEs cause the body to form autoantibodies against oxidized lipids, somewhat similar to some aspects of the pathophysiology of Lupus.
Oxidation reactions are vital parts of metabolism and signal transduction. However, they also produce reactive oxygen species, which damage lipids, proteins and DNA, generating oxidation-specific epitopes. In this review, we will discuss the hypothesis that such common oxidation-specific epitopes are a major target of innate immunity, recognized by a variety of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). By analogy with microbial pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), we postulate that host-derived, oxidation-specific epitopes can be considered to represent danger (or damage) associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). We also argue that oxidation-specific epitopes present on apoptotic cells and their cellular debris provided the primary evolutionary pressure for the selection of such PRRs. Further, because many PAMPs on microbes share molecular identity and/or mimicry with oxidation-specific epitopes, such PAMPs provided a strong secondary selecting pressure for the same set of oxidation-specific PRRs as well.
This severe oxidative stress promotes steroid insensitivity. Suddenly, the corticosteroids stop working and the patient experiences inflammatory rebound.
Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) promote corticosteroid insensitivity by disrupting glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling, leading to the sustained activation of pro-inflammatory pathways in immune and airway structural cells.
A total of 319 COVID-19 patients were admitted to our hospital and 113 patients met inclusion criteria. The success group had 83 patients (73.5%), the rebound group had nine patients (8.0%), and the refractory group had 21 patients (18.6%). Compared with the success group, the rebound group received corticosteroids earlier, for a shorter duration, and stopped them sooner. The median time from symptom onset to rebound was 12 days. There was no rebound after 20 days. Compared with the success group, the hazard ratio for the number of days from corticosteroid onset to an improvement of two points on a seven-point ordinal scale was 0.29 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.14 0.60, P < .001) for the rebound group versus 0.13 (95% CI, 0.07 0.25, P < .001) for the refractory group.
Antivirals such as Remdesivir, Kaletra, Ivermectin, and Hydroxychloroquine do nothing to stop this, because by the time someone is in the ER complaining of severe COVID-19 symptoms (which are actually acute sepsis brought on by a deranged, overreacting innate immune system), the virus is already gone.
Similarly to IAV infection, the highest viral load and infectivity for SARS-CoV-2 are observed +/”1 day around the day of symptom onset . Both the amount of infectious virus as well as the amount of viral RNA as measured by qRT-PCR decrease rapidly thereafter. Accordingly, the number of cells within the patient s respiratory tract that are newly infected with SARS-CoV-2 declines sharply within a few days of disease onset. It is now well accepted that immunopathology plays a key role in severe COVID-19 . Accordingly, treatment with corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, improves survival in critically ill COVID-19 patients in the later stages of the disease .
Ultimately, the afflicted cells begin dying of ferroptosis and parthanatos.
As GPX4 is the major PLOOH-neutralizing enzyme, a general mechanism underlying erastin/RSL3-induced ferroptosis emerged: both compounds inactivate GPX4 RSL3 does so directly, and erastin does so indirectly by inhibiting cystine import, thus depriving cells of cysteine, an essential cellular antioxidant and a building block of GSH. Consequently, PLOOHs accumulate, possibly causing rapid and unrepairable damage of plasma membrane, leading to cell death (Fig. 2A). Conceptually, these findings establish ferroptosis as a cell death modality with mechanisms distinct from other known death processes. The pharmacological and genetic tools developed herein enable, and have become indispensable for, ferroptosis research.
In the context of the CNS, which is highlighted in this review to illustrate PARP-1-mediated cell death mechanisms that are shared in most cases by non-neuronal systems, stimuli that induce pathological activation of PARP-1 in in vitro and in vivo studies include oxidative stress by reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or hydroxyl radical, nitrosative stress from NO or peroxynitrite (ONOO”), inflammation, ischaemia (or ischaemic reperfusion), hypoxia, hypoglycaemia and DNA-alkylating agents, such as N-methyl-N -nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG).
That, in a nutshell, is the central pathophysiology of COVID-19. The virus has many other aspects. It can promote hypercoagulability and attack numerous vital organs throughout the body, including the brain, olfactory system, gastrointestinal system, pancreas, kidneys, liver, and even fat cells. However, all of these things occur in the context of acute sepsis and endothelial injury.
In short, COVID-19 is not the disease people have been told it is, and, as per ostracized physicians such as Dr. Peter McCullough, Dr. Paul E. Marik, and Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, it is not being treated correctly.
The medical establishment has shunned those pushing for time-sensitive early outpatient treatment of COVID-19 sepsis. The standard of care for COVID-19 is to send people home without a prescription for anything; no antivirals, no antioxidants. Either their infection resolves without incident, or they get sicker, come back, and are intubated and proned, their diaphragm paralyzed with drugs so they can t fight the ventilator, a drip of steroids running into their arm.
This is state-sponsored medical murder.
Why don t people want the vaccines?
Because they are extremely fishy even at first glance. That s why.
Even people with no knowledge of the background of all of this are deeply suspicious of the speed with which these vaccines were fast-tracked, as well as the authorities insistence on people taking them, on pain of job loss, being banned from travel, and essentially being evicted from society.
In absolute terms, COVID-19 is not even particularly lethal. The infection fatality rate for those under age 50 with no comorbidities is very low. In that context, the authorities panicked response and open hostility doesn t seem to make any sense at all.
The mRNA and viral vector vaccines for COVID-19 work essentially by using human cells as a bioreactor, delivering genetic material into cells to get them to express a modified form of SARS-CoV-2 Spike as a vaccine antigen. They do not contain whole virus, nor do they stimulate an antibody response against every structural protein of SARS-CoV-2.
It sounds almost elegant. Any virus could, conceivably, have a tailor-made vaccine produced against it in a matter of days by plugging the gene sequence for its structural proteins in and making a lipid nanoparticle or viral vector containing that genetic material.
Just one problem. It causes severe and life-threatening side effects.
Although significant weight loss and higher serum cytokine/chemokine levels were found in IM group at 1 2 days post-injection (dpi), only IV group developed histopathological changes of myopericarditis as evidenced by cardiomyocyte degeneration, apoptosis, and necrosis with adjacent inflammatory cell infiltration and calcific deposits on visceral pericardium, although evidence of coronary artery or other cardiac pathologies was absent. Serum troponin level was significantly higher in IV group. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike antigen expression by immunostaining was occasionally found in infiltrating immune cells of the heart or injection site, in cardiomyocytes and intracardiac vascular endothelial cells, but not skeletal myocytes. The histological changes of myopericarditis after the first IV-priming dose persisted for 2 weeks and were markedly aggravated by a second IM- or IV-booster dose. Cardiac tissue mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-1≤, interferon (IFN)-≤, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-± increased significantly from 1 dpi to 2 dpi in the IV group but not the IM group, compatible with presence of myopericarditis in the IV group. Ballooning degeneration of hepatocytes was consistently found in the IV group. All other organs appeared normal.
Steve Kirsch, a vocal opponent of the vaccine mandates, has written on Substack about this very topic, as well as attorney Thomas Renz s leaked DMED data, which the DOD have been trying desperately to cover up.
The post-infection of COVID-19 includes a myriad of neurologic symptoms including neurodegeneration. Protein aggregation in brain can be considered as one of the important reasons behind the neurodegeneration. SARS-CoV-2 Spike S1 protein receptor binding domain (SARS-CoV-2 S1 RBD) binds to heparin and heparin binding proteins. Moreover, heparin binding accelerates the aggregation of the pathological amyloid proteins present in the brain. In this paper, we have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 S1 RBD binds to a number of aggregation-prone, heparin binding proteins including A≤, ±-synuclein, tau, prion, and TDP-43 RRM. These interactions suggests that the heparin-binding site on the S1 protein might assist the binding of amyloid proteins to the viral surface and thus could initiate aggregation of these proteins and finally leads to neurodegeneration in brain. The results will help us to prevent future outcomes of neurodegeneration by targeting this binding and aggregation process.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV 2) has led to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic, severely affecting public health and the global economy. Adaptive immunity plays a crucial role in fighting against SARS CoV 2 infection and directly influences the clinical outcomes of patients. Clinical studies have indicated that patients with severe COVID 19 exhibit delayed and weak adaptive immune responses; however, the mechanism by which SARS CoV 2 impedes adaptive immunity remains unclear. Here, by using an in vitro cell line, we report that the SARS CoV 2 spike protein significantly inhibits DNA damage repair, which is required for effective V(D)J recombination in adaptive immunity. Mechanistically, we found that the spike protein localizes in the nucleus and inhibits DNA damage repair by impeding key DNA repair protein BRCA1 and 53BP1 recruitment to the damage site. Our findings reveal a potential molecular mechanism by which the spike protein might impede adaptive immunity and underscore the potential side effects of full-length spike-based vaccines.
Under no circumstances should people be compelled to take these experimental and highly harmful vaccines, period.
If that were all there was to this story, one could employ Hanlon s razor and chalk this all up as a series of very unfortunate medical blunders and not the bloodthirsty malice and contempt towards the public that it truly is.
However, this isn t even the half of it.
Those who dig deeper encounter a horror story of biblical proportions, involving private-public collusion, government malfeasance, and national security skullduggery at the highest levels.
Where did the virus come from?
Since the 2000s, DARPA has greatly expanded their biodefense portfolio. A fellow named Michael Callahan was involved in this work, among many others. His job was to study old Soviet biowarfare sites like the Vector Institute, looking for technologies that could be patented and commercialized.
Callahan s nose for business came into play early on in the pandemic. After studying data from over 6,000 patient records from Wuhan, he reportedly detected a pattern that could point to a possible treatment using a low-cost and widely available ingredient of an over-the-counter histamine-2 receptor antagonist called Famotidine , more commonly known as the brand name Pepcid.
In 2010/2011, NIH, DARPA, and DTRA may have discovered a cure for almost all pandemic viruses, but rejected it, despite evidence of its efficacy in a murine model. It was called DRACO, or Double-Stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer, and it was developed by an MIT scientist by the name of Todd Rider. It is a recombinant fusion protein that kills virally-infected cells by ordering them to undergo apoptosis if it detects viral dsRNA. In mouse experiments, it was shown to protect mice from influenza.
Funding: This work is funded by grant AI057159 (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/Pages/default.aspx) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the New England Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, with previous funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Director of Defense Research & Engineering. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States government.
In the end, Dr. Rider had to resort to crowdfunding campaigns to continue his research. Unfortunately, these campaigns failed.
Modest amounts of funding from the National Institutes of Health have enabled the previous proof-of-concept experiments in cells and mice, but that funding grant is now over. Major pharmaceutical companies have the resources and expertise to carry new drugs like DRACO through the manufacturing scale-up, large-scale animal trials, and human trials required for FDA approval. However, before committing any of their own money, those companies want to see that DRACOs have already been shown to be effective against major clinically relevant viruses (such as members of the herpesvirus family), not just the proof-of-concept viruses (such as rhinovirus) that were previously funded by NIH. Thus the Valley of Death is the financial and experimental gap between the previously funded NIH proof-of-concept experiments and the threshold for convincing major pharmaceutical companies to advance DRACOs toward human trials.
However, I digress. Ever since the 2002/2003 SARS outbreak, there has been significant interest in SARS-CoV among virologists, including gain-of-function manipulation of SARS virions in the laboratory environment.
The usual stated purpose of gain-of-function research is to get ahead of pandemics by producing a human-adapted pathogen and preemptively vaccinating against it.
In the long-term it may also allow the generation of information that is not obtainable through other methods, but whether all the long-term benefits envisioned for GoF research will actually be realized is still unclear. Vaccine producers in particular disagree on whether GoF methods are essential for vaccine development, so the contributions of GoF research to vaccine development need careful evaluation. Increasing reliance on gene sequences to predict phenotypes may increase GoF research’s importance over time. As was clear from the presentations in Session 4 of the symposium, there is wide recognition that it is not yet possible to predict phenotype from genotype, but Dr. Philip Dormitzer, from Novartis Vaccines and a member of the symposium planning committee, noted that as more genotype-phenotype linkages are established, it may enable keeping certain viral characteristics out of vaccine strains.
Some scientists base their entire careers on this research, obtaining grant money from various institutions, including military think-tanks, to experiment on pathogens in this manner.
There s just one problem with this; gain-of-function research (a.k.a. Dual-Use Research of Concern ) has never successfully produced a vaccine against anything. It is simply bioweapon research by another, sanitized, euphemistic name.
Francis Boyle: We have an article here from the NAT MED 2015, December 21 SARS like cluster of circulating bat coronavirus show, potential for human emergence. This was at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill. They have a biosafety lab level 3 there. And I have previously condemned them, for using gain-of-function work on MERS, which is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
One of the foremost figures in coronavirus GOF research is a guy named Ralph Baric at UNC Chapel Hill.
He has been conducting research into various coronaviruses, including SARS, for many decades there. This is who Anthony Fauci is referring to when he speaks of GOF work being done in North Carolina .
Gain-of-function research has been done in North Carolina, most notably at the lab of UNC-Chapel Hill researcher Ralph Baric. Baric is one of the world’s preeminent coronavirus researchers, beginning his study of the family of viruses in the 1990s before they were seen as potentially pandemic-level dangerous to humans. Baric has used gain-of-function techniques to show how coronaviruses could evolve to infect humans and to test new vaccine methods to neutralize them.
The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV underscores the threat of cross-species transmission events leading to outbreaks in humans. Here we examine the disease potential of a SARS-like virus, SHC014-CoV, which is currently circulating in Chinese horseshoe bat populations1. Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system2, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV. Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrate replication of the chimeric virus in mouse lung with notable pathogenesis. Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein. On the basis of these findings, we synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo. Our work suggests a potential risk of SARS-CoV re-emergence from viruses currently circulating in bat populations.
In other words, Ralph Baric and Shi Zhengli were colleagues. Anthony Fauci pointing to Ralph Baric at UNC Chapel Hill as evidence of the NIH not funding GOF research in Wuhan is downright farcical; these scientists collaborated openly on various projects over the past decade.
A year before this paper was published, a moratorium on US federal funding for gain-of-function research was put in place. This moratorium lasted from 2014 through 2017.
New USG funding will not be released for gain-of-function research projects that may be reasonably anticipated to confer attributes to influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses such that the virus would have enhanced pathogenicity and/or transmissibility in mammals via the respiratory route. The research funding pause would not apply to characterization or testing of naturally occurring influenza, MERS, and SARS viruses, unless the tests are reasonably anticipated to increase transmissibility and/or pathogenicity.
Researchers whose careers depended on GOF research were openly hostile to the moratorium, despite the noble intent behind it of preventing a lab escape.
Andrew Hebbeler, assistant director for biological and chemical threats in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), explained at a meeting today of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) that the policy is a response to several recent biosafety lapses at federal labs involving mishandled samples of anthrax, H5N1, and smallpox. Although GOF actually encompasses “a huge swath of life sciences research,” he said, officials decided to focus only on influenza, MERS, and SARS because they are can be transmitted through the air and have the potential to spark a pandemic. OSTP told ScienceInsider that about two dozen studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are affected; the pause also halts some studies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In any case, the moratorium was ignored. Without contacting the White House for approval, federal funding for gain-of-function research continued, using intermediaries to subcontract the grants.
Enter Peter Daszak, the director of EcoHealth Alliance.
In Bruegel s painting of The Fall of the Rebel Angels we are witness to a tumbling maelstrom of falling rebel angels outcast from Heaven. Within the fray stands St. Michael in gilded armor, and his angels-at-arms serenely in pale albs, and almost as if threshing grain, hewing and striking down this inconceivable rout. The main focus of the image and what draws the eye is the extraordinarily creative mElange of creatures; mixtures of human, animal, plant, and inanimate objects slashing and stabbing as they fall from the great battlefields in the skies. They pour down in a vast column that stretches infinitely from the luminous sun; they fall from the light to the darkness. The column of falling angels is so numerous that it widens to encompass the whole lower canvas as it approaches the viewer. With a start, then, we realize that Bruegel intends that we too are in the thick of this. Will we succumb to the multitudinous horde? Are we to be cast downward into chthonic chaos represented here by the heaped up gibbering phantasmagory against which we rail and struggle?
Over the course of the past decade, EcoHealth Alliance have received millions of dollars in funding from NIH/NIAID, USAID (a known CIA front), and DTRA (yes, the Pentagon) to subcontract shady gain-of-function research to places like the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This can be confirmed by checking usaspending.gov and taking note of the exact amounts awarded.
PREDICT, a project of USAID s Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program, was initiated in 2009 to strengthen global capacity for detection of viruses with pandemic potential that can move between animals and people. PREDICT has made significant contributions to strengthening global surveillance and laboratory diagnostic capabilities for both known and newly discovered viruses within several important virus groups, such as filoviruses (including ebolaviruses), influenza viruses, paramyxoviruses, and coronaviruses.
Fauci lied under oath and covered up for Daszak when he denied NIH never funded Gain-of-Threat research: Daszak authored a paper stating “This summary contains the information for the 2014 and 2017 NIH and NIAID grants to the Ecohealth Alliance that funded the WIV research on bat conronaviruses. As the grant description shows, this research included gain-of-function / gain-of-threat research to make coronaviruses viruses more pathogenic using techniques including genetic engineering, cell culture, and animal experimentation.”
DRASTIC Research uncovered documents showing that, in 2018, DARPA turned down a proposal by EcoHealth Alliance to receive grant money to conduct what they called the DEFUSE project, which EcoHealth had offered as a response to DARPA s PREEMPT program. The research would have involved exposing bats in caves to recombinant Spike proteins. DARPA, in their rejection letter, stated that this was dangerous gain-of-function research.
Moderna actually had considerable DARPA and BARDA funding for their mRNA technology, as a matter of fact.
In October 2013, DARPA awarded Moderna up to approximately $25 million to research and develop potential mRNA medicines as a part of DARPA s Autonomous Diagnostics to Enable Prevention and Therapeutics, or ADEPT, program, which is focused on assisting with the development of technologies to rapidly identify and respond to threats posed by natural and engineered diseases and toxins. This award followed an initial award from DARPA given in March 2013. The DARPA awards have been deployed primarily in support of our vaccine and antibody programs to protect against Chikungunya infection.
This brings us to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On December 12th, 2019, before anyone even knew an outbreak had occurred in Wuhan, Ralph Baric signed a material transfer agreement (seen on Page 105 of this document) to take delivery of mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates developed and jointly-owned by NIAID and Moderna .
Wait, NIAID and Moderna co-own an mRNA vaccine? Who is the director of NIAID again?
This was a whole month before China allegedly sent us the sequence to what would become known as SARS-CoV-2. Moderna claimed they made a vaccine from this sequence within 48 hours.
On January 11, researchers from China published the genetic sequence of the coronavirus. Two days later, Moderna’s team and NIH scientists had finalized the targeted genetic sequence they would use in the vaccine.
Because, clearly, that isn t suspicious, or anything.
Ralph Baric also played a role in validating the use of Remdesivir in COVID-19.
Remdesivir was developed through an academic-corporate partnership between Gilead Sciences and the Baric Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill s Gillings School of Global Public Health. The biopharmaceutical company sought the talents of a research team led by William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology Ralph Baric, who has studied coronaviruses for more than 30 years and pioneered rapid-response approaches for the study of emerging viruses and the development of therapeutics.
Wuhan is, of course, host to China s only P4/BSL-4 virology lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology. As a matter of fact, the P4 lab at the WIV was built with the help of Alain MErieux, the founder of bioMErieux, who offered his services to the CCP as a consultant for the endeavor.
Alain MErieux s award is a continuation of the longstanding relationship the MErieux family and its companies have built with China over the past 40 years. China has become a strategic location for all of Institut MErieux s work in the field of diagnostics, immunotherapy, and nutrition. Through its companies bioMErieux, Transgene, and MErieux Nutrisciences, and alongside the MErieux Foundation, Institut MErieux has partnered with Chinese authorities and health stakeholders to address major public health issues in the country.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, StEphane Bancel, the current CEO of Moderna, was formerly the CEO of bioMErieux.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, who is pushing experimental COVID-19 vaccines designed to alter the RNA of recipients, previously worked as CEO of BioMerieux, a firm owned by a billionaire who was instrumental in the development of the infamous virology lab in Wuhan, China.
By the time February, 2020 rolled around, the lab leak theory was gaining serious traction among alternative media sources. Peter Daszak was panicking, at this point. He authored a letter along with numerous scientists stating, unequivocally, that the WIV was not the source of the pandemic.
The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens.
As his uncovered emails would later show, Daszak actually contacted Ralph Baric and instructed him not to sign the letter, fearing the conflict of interest it would entail, but not caring about his own, or that of the couple dozen scientists who did end up signing it.
Meanwhile, in New York, doctors cannot figure out why their patients on ventilators keep dying. Of course, it s because their patients have acute sepsis and the ventilators are making it worse by mimicking the pathophysiology of ischemia-reperfusion injury and accelerating COVID-19 s aggressive lipid peroxidation by feeding a ROS storm with O2, its main ingredient. They are setting off a deadly redox bomb in their patients chests by intubating them, but they don t realize this.
Of course, if a patient is blue in the face and desaturating, something must be done to alleviate it, but without endogenous glutathione peroxidase activity, increasing oxidative stress just makes this situation much, much worse. It actually increases hypoxia by chemically changing the blood and altering red blood cell morphology. ROS will compete with O2 for heme binding sites, crowding it out. Regardless of pneumonia or lung physiology or any of that, RBCs will become chemically incapable of accepting oxygen due to the simple laws of physics. Again, severe COVID-19 is an acute sepsis and endotheliitis first and second, and a pneumonia third, at best.
Sapan Desai and Surgisphere, a fake company, published a fake paper arguing that hydroxychloroquine caused heart rhythm irregularities. Before slamming Ivermectin as Horse Dewormer, the media called HCQ fish tank cleaner , drawing comparisons between it and the chemically similar chloroquine phosphate. Never mind that HCQ and chloroquine phosphate are essentially synthetic quinine, the main ingredient of tonic water and a historical malaria cure. Never mind that HCQ has known antiviral activity.
The people involved in these antiviral studies were so absolutely blinkered, they couldn t tell apart hydroxychloroquine and hydroxyquinoline, and ended up giving patients toxic doses of HCQ. Not to mention, the very sick patients enrolled for these antiviral studies had sepsis, and hardly any virus left in their bodies. They were well past the point of effectiveness of antivirals, having already been symptomatic for over a week, their viral loads having declined to negligible levels, a disordered immune response causing continuous damage to the lining of their blood vessels.
“COVID-19: The Great Reset” is a guide for anyone who wants to understand how COVID-19 disrupted our social and economic systems, and what changes will be needed to create a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable world going forward. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and Thierry Malleret, founder of the Monthly Barometer, explore what the root causes of these crisis were, and why they lead to a need for a Great Reset.Theirs is a worrying, yet hopeful analysis. COVID-19 has created a great disruptive reset of our global social, economic, and political systems. But the power of human beings lies in being foresighted and having the ingenuity, at least to a certain extent, to take their destiny into their hands and to plan for a better future. This is the purpose of this book: to shake up and to show the deficiencies which were manifest in our global system, even before COVID broke out.”Erudite, thought-provoking and plausible” — Hans van Leeuwen, Australian Financial Review (Australia)”The book looks ahead to what the post-coronavirus world could look like barely four months after the outbreak was first declared a pandemic” — Sam Meredith, CNBC (USA) “The message that the pandemic is not only a crisis of enormous proportions, but that it also provides an opportunity for humanity to reflect on how it can do things differently, is important and merits reflection”– Ricardo Avila, Portafolio (Colombia) “A call for political change in the post-pandemic world”– Ivonne Martinez, La Razon (Mexico)”History has shown, the book argues, that pandemics are a force for radical and lasting change”– Mustafa Alrawi, The National (UAE)
As we rolled into 2021, the madness of vaccine mandates and passes began, with people facing ostracization, joblessness, and restriction of free movement as the price of vaccine refusal.
According to Tabak, the NIH had reviewed EcoHealth s research plan in advance of approving the grant but claims it wasn t subjected to additional review at the time as it didn t fit the definition of research involving enhanced pathogens of pandemic potential because these bat coronaviruses had not been shown to infect human.
Tabak said if EcoHealth had alerted NIH to the growth, it would have prompted a review to determine if the research plan should be re-evaluated.
Recently, an anonymous scientist came forward with a claim that SARS-CoV-2 s furin cleavage site contains a 19-nt sequence as its reverse complement, CTCCTCGGCGGGCACGTAG, which aligns with the sequence of a Moderna patented cell line.
Among numerous point mutation differences between the SARS-CoV-2 and the bat RaTG13 coronavirus, only the 12-nucleotide furin cleavage site (FCS) exceeds 3 nucleotides. A BLAST search revealed that a 19 nucleotide portion of the SARS.Cov2 genome encompassing the furing cleavage site is a 100% complementary match to a codon-optimized proprietary sequence that is the reverse complement of the human mutS homolog (MSH3). The reverse complement sequence present in SARS-CoV-2 may occur randomly but other possibilities must be considered. Recombination in an intermediate host is an unlikely explanation. Single stranded RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 utilize negative strand RNA templates in infected cells, which might lead through copy choice recombination with a negative sense SARS-CoV-2 RNA to the integration of the MSH3 negative strand, including the FCS, into the viral genome. In any case, the presence of the 19-nucleotide long RNA sequence including the FCS with 100% identity to the reverse complement of the MSH3 mRNA is highly unusual and requires further investigations.
Andrew Huff, the former Vice President of EcoHealth Alliance, has come forward with a whistleblower complaint stating that Peter Daszak was a CIA asset.
In late October 2021, Huff says he came forward as a material witness and whistleblower related to numerous unethical and criminal behaviors that took place at EcoHealth Alliance. EcoHealth Alliance engaged in fraud against the U.S. government (Timecard Fraud and contract reimbursement fraud). Huff brought them to the attention of Peter Daszak, Dr. Aleksei Chamura, and CFO Harvey n. After raising these issues at the meeting, Harvey Kasdan went home from work, had a heart attack, and died.
Dr. Andrew Huff @AGHuff
Here is a copy of the Whistle Blower complaint that I submitted to Senator Gary Peter’s Office. I would like to testify on this critical matter as soon as reasonably possible.
As of late, Moderna s stock price appears to be in rapid decline. StEphane Bancel deleted his Twitter account. Pfizer appear to be griping that they have to publish their data and thus be exposed to further scrutiny.
I, myself, cannot come up with a rational response to any of this without resorting to vigorous, sailor-like profanity that would sear your eyeballs. So, instead, I ll leave it up to the reader to decide what is actually going on here.
What do DARPA want with our brains?
All of this has a much darker undercurrent to it (if that could even be considered possible) when one draws the Lieber connection.
In 2020, a Harvard scientist by the name of Charles Lieber was indicted by the DOJ on charges of making false statements. He had taken money from China s Thousand Talents Plan, against the terms of his DOD grants. Charles Lieber received grants from DARPA, ONR, AFOSR, NIH, and MITRE, but he also double-dipped and took money from the CCP, hence the charges against him.
It is alleged that, unbeknownst to Harvard University, beginning in 2011, Lieber became a Strategic Scientist at Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China. He later became contractual participant in China s Thousand Talents Plan from at least 2012 through 2015. China s Thousand Talents Plan is one of the most prominent Chinese talent recruitment plans designed to attract, recruit, and cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China s scientific development, economic prosperity and national security. According to court documents, these talent recruitment plans seek to lure Chinese overseas talent and foreign experts to bring their knowledge and experience to China, and they often reward individuals for stealing proprietary information. Under the terms of Lieber s three-year Thousand Talents contract, WUT allegedly paid Lieber a salary of up to $50,000 USD per month, living expenses of up to 1 million Chinese Yuan (approximately $158,000 USD at the time) and awarded him more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at WUT. In return, Lieber was obligated to work for WUT not less than nine months a year by declaring international cooperation projects, cultivating young teachers and Ph.D. students, organizing international conference[s], applying for patents and publishing articles in the name of [WUT].
Charles Lieber worked under a cover story. He claimed to be working on silicon nanowire batteries for the Chinese, but no one can recall him ever working on batteries of any kind.
In fact, one U.S. nanoscientist and former student of Lieber’s says: “I have never seen Charlie working on batteries or nanowire batteries.” (The scientist asked that their name not be used because of the sensitivity surrounding Lieber’s case.)
Charles Lieber s research actually involves something called bionanotechnology, which is the Frankensteinian blending of living tissue with artificial components (i.e. semiconductors, quantum dots, nanoparticles, synthetic polymers, et cetera), on the molecular level.
Charles Lieber s own papers explicitly describe the potential for his silicon nanowires to be used as biosensors, or even as brain-computer interfaces, (also known as brain-machine interfaces, or, in cyberpunk science fiction parlance, neural laces ):
Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) can serve as bidirectional connections that output electrical signals of brain activity or input electrical stimuli to modulate brain activity in concert with external machines, including computer processors and prosthetics, for human enhancement[1,2]. Reading electrical activity from neurons is the foundation of many BMI applications, such as brain mapping, that aims to understand brain functions by decoding the communication between neurons. Reading and processing this activity is also key to neural prosthetics in which brain activity is used to control devices such as artificial limbs. For these BMI applications, most of the in vivo recording tools used today read extracellular neural activity by detecting suprathreshold action potential signals that leak outside of neurons (Fig. 1a (i)), while critical subthreshold events, such as synaptic potentials and dendritic integration, remain hidden . To achieve the most information-rich readings, which could provide more detailed mapping of brain function and the finest control of neural prosthetics, electronic devices need to provide access to intracellular signals from multiple neurons comprising the neuronal circuits and networks of the brain .
How is this relevant to COVID-19?
Charles Lieber is a colleague of Robert Langer, one of the co-founders of Moderna. The two of them are pictured here, left and right, with Daniel Kohane in the center.
These three worked on a paper together to create cybernetic heart tissue scaffolds with biosensor functionality.
The cyborg-like tissue, described online at Nature Materials, supports cell growth while simultaneously monitoring the activities of those cells. It could improve in vitro drug screening by allowing researchers to track how cells in a three-dimensional environment respond to drugs in real time, the authors say. It may also be a first step toward prosthetics that communicate directly with the nervous system, and tissue implants that sense and respond to injury or disease.
Elon Musk s Neuralink presentation made waves when people started to consider the human applications, but even Neuralink is as barbaric as trephination next to the military s craniotomy-free, wireless nanoparticle BCI research.
Enter DARPA s BRAIN Initiative, and the N3 (Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology) program.
Whereas the most effective, state-of-the-art neural interfaces require surgery to implant electrodes into the brain, N3 technology would not require surgery and would be man-portable, thus making the technology accessible to a far wider population of potential users. Noninvasive neurotechnologies such as the electroencephalogram and transcranial direct current stimulation already exist, but do not offer the precision, signal resolution, and portability required for advanced applications by people working in real-world settings. The envisioned N3 technology breaks through the limitations of existing technology by delivering an integrated device that does not require surgical implantation, but has the precision to read from and write to 16 independent channels within a 16mm3 volume of neural tissue within 50ms. Each channel is capable of specifically interacting with sub-millimeter regions of the brain with a spatial and temporal specificity that rivals existing invasive approaches. Individual devices can be combined to provide the ability to interface to multiple points in the brain at once.
The grant proposal for N3 is very informative on the nature of the technology desired by DARPA:
TA2 involves the development of a system that includes a nanotransducer placed on or near neurons of interest and an integrated sensor/stimulator device that sits outside the skin. The nanotransducer may include technologies such as, but not limited to, self-assembled/molecular/biomolecular/chemical nanoparticles, or viral vectors. These nanotransducers must be delivered in a minutely invasive (nonsurgical) manner, which may include ingestion, injection, or nasal administration, and involve technology that includes self-assembly inside the body. While the major TA2 goals of developing neural read out and write in capabilities are similar to the goals from TA1, creating a nanotransducer with an optimal delivery route to the brain is a major additional component. Another major component of TA2 is achieving cell-type specificity.
There are six teams involved in the N3 program; Battelle, Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University s Applied Physics Laboratory, PARC, Rice University, and Teledyne.
DARPA is preparing for a future in which a combination of unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, and cyber operations may cause conflicts to play out on timelines that are too short for humans to effectively manage with current technology alone, said Al Emondi, the N3 program manager. By creating a more accessible brain-machine interface that doesn t require surgery to use, DARPA could deliver tools that allow mission commanders to remain meaningfully involved in dynamic operations that unfold at rapid speed.
Tethered and battery-powered devices that interface with neural tissues can restrict natural motions and prevent social interactions in animal models, thereby limiting the utility of these devices in behavioural neuroscience research. In this Review Article, we discuss recent progress in the development of miniaturized and ultralightweight devices as neuroengineering platforms that are wireless, battery-free and fully implantable, with capabilities that match or exceed those of wired or battery-powered alternatives. Such classes of advanced neural interfaces with optical, electrical or fluidic functionality can also combine recording and stimulation modalities for closed-loop applications in basic studies or in the practical treatment of abnormal physiological processes.
Incidentally, the head of Battelle s N3 team, Gaurav Sharma, was also involved in DTRA s Blood-Brain Barrier Program. Yes, the very same Defense Threat Reduction Agency that funded EcoHealth Alliance.
The program aims to understand the effects of nerve agents and alphaviruses on the blood-brain barrier and find new transport pathways to deliver appropriate therapeutics into the CNS. The early successes of JSTO s program allows researchers to better assess the risks of emerging threats while enhancing their ability to protect and treat warfighters from a broad range of chemical and biological threats.
That s interesting. What does SARS-CoV-2 Spike, the supposed constituent of the vaccine, do to people s blood-brain barrier?
Key to our findings is the demonstration that S1 promotes loss of barrier integrity in an advanced 3D microfluidic model of the human BBB, a platform that more closely resembles the physiological conditions at this CNS interface. Evidence provided suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins trigger a pro-inflammatory response on brain endothelial cells that may contribute to an altered state of BBB function.
Huh. The SARS-CoV-2 Spike S1 subunit is capable of permeabilizing the blood-brain barrier, opening it up for substances that might want to cross from the bloodstream to the brain.
So, how does all this wireless neural lace business work? It s actually both very complex and surprisingly simple. Nanoparticles that are sensitive to RF, electromagnetism, ultrasound, and/or light are introduced into brain cells, and then, an external encoder/decoder stimulates them wirelessly and reads back the response. It is very much like turning the human brain into a Wacom pen. You know how a Wacom tablet works, right? The tablet generates a field that the pen converts into an electric current by wireless induction. That s why the pens don t need batteries, and it s why nanotransducers implanted in the brain don t need them, either.
Shortly after the Spartacus Letter was posted on ZeroHedge, this absolutely ridiculous CNBC video was published on YouTube:
How small are nanotransducers, actually?
Well, here s one of Battelle s Magnetoelectric Nanotransducers, as seen under an electron microscope:
It s about 20 nanometers across, much smaller than the 120 nanometer diameter of a SARS-CoV-2 virion, and comparable to transistor gate sizes.
To put this in perspective, the inside diameter of a vaccine needle of average gauge is about 0.26 millimeters. That s 260,000 nanometers.
13,000 Magnetoelectric Nanotransducers could fit through a vaccine needle side-by-side.
You see, BCIs capable of two-way communication with a human brain don t just give you superpowers, or let you control drones with your mind, or listen to Katy Perry without headphones or speakers or whatever. They can also be used to manipulate mood, and for social control.
They could also be used to take away people s agency and turn them into, essentially, biological robots, utterly obedient to government and open to any manner of sadistic abuse.
Reports have surfaced about a minority of people who undergo DBS for Parkinson s disease becoming hypersexual, or developing other impulse-control issues. One person with chronic pain became deeply apathetic after DBS treatment. DBS is very effective, Gilbert says, to the point that it can distort patients perceptions of themselves. Some people who received DBS for depression or obsessive compulsive disorder reported that their sense of agency had become confused2. You just wonder how much is you anymore, said one. How much of it is my thought pattern? How would I deal with this if I didn t have the stimulation system? You kind of feel artificial.
Neuroethicists began to note the complex nature of the therapy s side effects. Some effects that might be described as personality changes are more problematic than others, says Maslen. A crucial question is whether the person who is undergoing stimulation can reflect on how they have changed. Gilbert, for instance, describes a DBS patient who started to gamble compulsively, blowing his family s savings and seeming not to care. He could only understand how problematic his behaviour was when the stimulation was turned off.
Profound behavioral changes have already been observed in patients with DBS electrodes implanted in their heads. How far could they go if they had access to fine-grained stimulation of individual clusters of neurons?
A bioethicist by the name of Dr. James Giordano (who is well-acquainted with DARPA s research) is very concerned about all of this. That s why he gives horrifying lectures in front of West Point cadets like this one:
Are they already wargaming the military applications of weaponized neuroS/T, investigating the possibility of using nanoparticles to attack rival powers by making their own citizens go berserk? Yes, of course they are.
The use of neuroS/T for military and intelligence purposes is realistic, and represents a clear and present concern. In 2014, a US report asserted that neuroscience and technology had matured considerably and were being increasingly considered, and in some cases evaluated for operational use in security, intelligence, and defense operations. More broadly, the iterative recognition of the viability of neuroscience and technology in these agenda reflects the pace and breadth of developments in the field. Although a number of nations have pursued, and are currently pursuing neuroscientific research and development for military purposes, perhaps the most proactive efforts in this regard have been conducted by the United States Department of Defense; with most notable and rapidly maturing research and development conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and IntelligenceAdvanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). To be sure, many DARPA projects are explicitly directed toward advancing neuropsychiatric treatments and interventions that will improve both military and civilian medicine. Yet, it is important to note the prominent ongoing and expanding efforts in this domain by NATO European and trans-Pacific strategic competitor nations.
A cognitive attack is not a threat that can be countered in the air, on land, at sea, in cyberspace, or in space. Rather, it may well be happening in any or all of these domains, for one simple reason: humans are the contested domain.
Naturally, this sort of escalation of neuroscience to the level of a new arms race will create all kinds of insane justifications in the minds of policymakers and intelligence officials. Populist unrest can be recast as inauthentic, the result of undetectable enemy action. Dissidents can be rounded up and injected with mind-control nanoparticles to make them friendly to the state again, and to cure whatever the Russian or Chinese nanoparticles did to them to make them get so upset and wave signs in the street in the first place.
I ask you, the reader, is this a world you want to live in? One where governments see your own body, your own mind, as not off-limits for direct tampering to achieve military and political objectives? A world where maniacs describe your own body, your own flesh and blood, not as something sacrosanct, but as little more than the contested domain of a new type of warfare that you never even knew existed?
No. We say no.
If governments are crossing this line, then they have become the enemies of all mankind.
We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.
Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Donate with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.
The argument that natural immunity against COVID-19 is an alternative to vaccination is emerging as a potential legal challenge to federally mandated vaccination policies. Vaccination is already required for certain workers and some college students. The federal government, despite steeper legal hurdles to imposing vaccination, has also invoked the U.S. Department of Labor to mandate inoculation for health care workers and is expected to roll out a larger policy effectively mandating vaccination for a majority of U.S. workers. The stated goal behind mandatory vaccination policies is to protect against the spread of disease, meaning that the crux of any policy is immunity.
The notion that a previous COVID-19 infection provides natural immunity that can be at least as good as vaccination in some people is something a judge would likely need to consider in a challenge to a mandatory policy, especially against a government actor. “I think that a judge might reject a rule that’s been issued by a body, like the U.S. Department of Labor or by a state, that has not been sufficiently thought through as it relates to the science,” Erik Eisenmann, a labor and employment attorney with Husch Blackwell, told Yahoo Finance. Some recent research, which looks at hundreds of thousands of cases in Israel and has yet to undergo peer review, indicates that natural immunity might be at least as effective as vaccination in certain people.
Other peer-reviewed research cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which looks at dozens of cases in the U.S., indicated that certain people who suffered from a COVID-19 infection did not create antibodies (ie, natural immunity) at all. In August, the CDC published a study of 246 Kentucky residents, concluding that vaccination offers higher protection than a previous COVID infection. The CDC said the study went through a “rigorous multi-level clearance process” before submission, though analysis was conducted before the Delta variant became prevalent in the U.S. The CDC says the Kentucky data indicates that vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity alone, and medical professionals widely recommend vaccination for everyone who is eligible — including those who have experienced a prior COVID-19 infection.
Legally challenging COVID-19 vaccine mandates involves both science and law. The scientific arguments are based on certain studies over the past year, including the Israel study, and studies out of Cleveland Clinic and Washington University. A June study that tracked 52,238 Cleveland Clinic employees found that within 1,359 previously infected and unvaccinated people, none contracted a subsequent COVID-19 infection over the five-month study. The findings led authors to conclude that prior infection makes a person “unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination.” Nevertheless, Cleveland Clinic stated afterwards that it continued to recommend vaccination for people previously infected, stressing that the research was conducted in late 2020 and early 2021 before the emergence of the Delta variant.
The chairman of a COVID-19 origins task force affiliated with the Lancet scientific journals has disbanded the commission over its ties to controversial researcher Peter Daszak and his EcoHealth Alliance. Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs told the Wall Street Journal on Saturday that he was concerned with the links to Daszak, who led the task force until recusing himself from that role in June. Daszak, who lives in New York, devoted his career to championing so-called ‘gain of function’ research to engineer coronavirus to be more deadly to humans, arguing that it was the best chance to detect and prevent a global pandemic. Shocking documents released this week revealed his 2018 proposal to help the Wuhan Institute of Virology engineer bat coronaviruses to be more deadly, by inserting genetic features that are similar to those found in SARS-CoV-2.
There is still no conclusive proof as to whether COVID-19, a coronavirus linked to bats, first jumped to humans from a wild animal or in a lab setting. But from the early days of the pandemic, Daszak has made every effort to paint the lab origin hypothesis as a ‘conspiracy theory,’ including masterminding a letter in the Lancet that established a veneer of scientific consensus that natural origin was the only possibility. If the virus did emerge from a lab performing the experiments he championed, it would be a crushing blow to Daszak’s research. Natural origin, on the other hand, would vindicate his life’s work seeking to prevent the next pandemic. Several members of the disbanded Lancet task force have collaborated with Daszak or EcoHealth Alliance on projects in the past.
‘I just didn’t want a task force that was so clearly involved with one of the main issues of this whole search for the origins, which was EcoHealth Alliance,’ Dr. Sachs told the Journal. Sachs said a new Lancet Covid-19 Commission would continue studying the origins for a report to be published in mid-2022, but broaden its scope to include input from other experts on biosafety concerns, including risky laboratory research. It comes just days after the release of bombshell documents showing Daszak’s 2018 funding request to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seeking $14.2 million to fund gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab.
So The Miami Herald — and Yahoo — think they can print this without consequence? “That’s why we were glad President Biden stopped asking nicely, started requiring vaccinations everywhere he had power to do so. We were also glad when employers followed suit. And if that’s a problem for you, then, yes, goodbye, sayonara, auf wiedersehen, adios and adieu. We’ll miss you, to be sure. But you’re asking us to choose between your petulance and our lives. And that’s really no choice at all.” Is that so? Well here’s a bit of science for you, *******: The jabs don’t work. In fact you admit they don’t work. If you believed they did work you wouldn’t care about us. You might call us stupid, but that’s the end of it right? You’re safe, we’re not. So what? You live your life and if we kill ourselves, so be it. You don’t ban beer because I can drink myself to death, right?
So why are you all up in arms? There’s only one answer: You know you did something stupid and put yourself in a worse position rather than a better one when you got vaccinated! So now, having done something that you know is dumb you insist others join you in your ritualized suicide cult, headed by Biden, Fauci and Rochelle. Have a look at Scotland if you think I’m wrong on this. Their data, official public health data, says that (1) the jabs wear off, (2) those who were jabbed are spreading the disease and (3) you who got jabbed are at high risk of getting ****ed. Not a little ****ed either. Indeed you traded what was 18 months to get rid of the extra 100lbs for a non-sterilizing, lightly-tested jab that on the history was very unlikely to work out well. It never had before for any coronavirus, so why would you believe, without years or even decades of evidence, that “this time its different”?
So when — not if, when — you get a so-called “breakthrough” infection the evidence is you will get screwed faster, harder, and more-certainly than someone never vaccinated. You’re at least as likely to die. Indeed, if you talk to clinicians they will tell you point-blank that once you get into the hospital being vaccinated has no statistical benefit on outcome. Oh sure, it appears being jabbed comes with a lower risk of death close in to your vaccination date, but remember, when you got vaccinated you also took a wildly-elevated risk of myocarditis which, on the data, progresses to heart failure a frightening part of the time within five years and which is asymptomatic until there is nothing you can do about it because the root, PAH, is not detectable from outside the body by non-invasive means.
If that turns out badly five years down the road you either get a heart transplant (at six-figure cost, permanent disability and permanent dependence on anti-rejection drugs) or you’re dead. Never mind those people who took the first jab, got hammered by it, couldn’t go back for the second due to the risk of immediate death and now are stuck with permanent compromise from infection and wildly elevated risk of mortality. By the way that’s in the data too and your demands and screaming are why those people are screwed. Just in case you missed that let me say it again: You screwed them. Many among us, myself included, calculated that the risk from infection was less than the risk from being jabbed. I was right. I got infected, placed no burden on the health care system, survived, recovered, I have no apparent bad lasting effects, my exercise tolerance is back to where it was and I gained durable, broad and deep immunity which the jabs do not confer.
There is nothing surprising about the failure of our vaccines. In fact it was totally predictable. Coronavirus vaccines have been used in animals for years, with extremely unimpressive results. The problem is that coronaviruses infect the mucosal surfaces of the lungs, at what is basically the very edge of the reach of our immune systems. You could say that this their grand strategy. They work their way in from our least protected borders. Typically, nasal spray vaccines are preferred in animals to stimulate immunity in the mucosa. Unfortunately, even the sprays achieve immunity that „is often short-lived, requires frequent boosting, and may not prevent re-infection.“ This is after decades of vaccine development and the considerably reduced safety standards observed in veterinary medicine.
Our own SARS-2 vaccines, despite their fancy mRNA and virus vector technology, are entirely of a piece with veterinary standards. They have a poor side effect profile, they provide only temporary and partial protection against infection, and they are deployed on a vast scale with no regard for the evolutionary pressure they place on the virus or their broader consequences for infection dynamics. These are normal standards in the context of industrial livestock, where most animals are not raised to live very long in any event, and the risk of occasional accidents — inadvertently favouring or even causing lethal superstrains, or inflicting widespread vaccine injuries — can be weighed against the economic loss associated with mortality from infections.
Of all animal coronavirus vaccines, the most successful is that which prevents IBV, or infectious bronchitis virus, in chickens. IBV is mainly deadly to chicks, who are vaccinated almost immediately after hatching with a live, attenuated virus vaccine. These kinds of vaccines are preferred over deactivated virus vaccines in animals, because they elicit a better immune response. The reason is simple: The weakened vaccine virus actually infects you and your immune system remembers the event accordingly. Some SARS-2 attenuated virus vaccines are even in development for humans, but it is unlikely they will ever be used, because they are very dangerous. The attenuated virus, because it replicates in the cells of the vaccinated, can reacquire its prior virulence via mutations. This happened with early attenuated vaccines against poliovirus in humans.
And there is an added danger, that the recently vaccinated might come into contact with the wild virus, and recombination events might then combine splice together the genomes of both, yielding unpredictable, potentially very lethal, mutant strains. IBV vaccines protect the chickens from infection for only about nine weeks. That‘s long enough for the chickens destined to be eaten, but those raised for their eggs require constant boosters. They receive two or three attenuated virus vaccines at first, and then periodic deactivated virus boosters thereafter, to maintain their protection. Adenovirus vector vaccines have been tried in chickens, with efficacy similar to that induced by the attenuated virus vaccines. This is very likely an unstated reason that vaccine vector and mRNA messenger technology were used for our own SARS-2 jabs. It was known from experience with animals that deactivated virus vaccines would not work nearly as well, and that attenuated viruses were too dangerous.
One by one, the basketball players — non-vaccinated star here, fully-inoculated veteran on mute down there, a full-on anti-vaxxer front-and-center — logged into the video conference. The annual summer meeting of the powerful NBA union had gone virtual again on August 7, and high on the agenda for the season ahead was a proposed mandate from the league office that 100 percent of players get vaccinated against Covid-19. One response echoed from squares across the screen, according to players and an executive on the call: “Non-starter. Non-starter.” The NBA had relied on science above all to lead the sports world through the Covid nightmare, from the league’s outbreak-driven shutdown to a pandemic-proof playoff bubble in Disney World to game after game with fans back in the stands.
But after two plagued seasons of non-stop nasal swabbing, quarantining and distrust, unvaccinated players were pushing back. They made their case to the union summit: There should be testing this year, of course, just not during off-days. They’d mask up on the court and on the road, if they must. But no way would they agree to a mandatory jab. The vaccine deniers had set the agenda; the players agreed to take their demands for personal freedom to the NBA’s negotiating table. This month, league officials caught a break: Two of America’s most progressive cities, New York and San Francisco, would require pro athletes to show proof of one Covid-19 vaccination dose to play indoors, except with an approved medical or religious exemption. Which meant that one of the NBA’s biggest stars — one known for being receptive to conspiratorial beliefs — would be under heavy pressure to get a shot. And if Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving could be convinced to take the vaccine, then maybe, just maybe, the whole league could create a new kind of bubble together.
When asked directly about Irving’s vaccination status — or his plans to change it — multiple people familiar with his thinking declined to answer directly. But one confidant and family member floated to Rolling Stone the idea of anti-vaxx players skipping home games to dodge the New York City ordinance… or at least threatening to protest them, until the NBA changes its ways. “There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
The cause of flagging vaccine uptake in the United States has flummoxed national health authorities, who in May loosened mask guidance in hopes it would encourage more people to get vaccinated, in July again recommended masks because of the Delta variant, and hoped August’s full FDA approval of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine would increase vaccine mandates. In a September speech, just days before the US slipped behind Japan, Joe Biden channeled national exasperation: “Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated even though the vaccine is safe, effective and free.” He called for vaccine mandates impacting 100 million Americans, two-thirds of US workers.
However, all these strategies have failed to encourage more than 900,000 Americans per day to get vaccinated in recent weeks, far lower than nearly 3m doses administered per day in April, the height of the vaccination push. Finally, in mid-September, the country’s slow progress allowed Japan to surpass the US both in terms of vaccination rate per 100,000 people and percentage of the total population with one or both shots. There are very specific, well-documented reasons that Americans are hesitant to take vaccines. They vary from the troubling way the medical system treats people of color, to vaccine misinformation campaigns overwhelmingly popular in conservative circles, to logistical challenges.
But population health researchers, whose work considers how society as a whole is fairing, said low vaccine uptake may be looked at another way: as the predictable outcome of a campaign subject to entrenched social forces that have diminished American health and life expectancy since the 1980s. “When I look at this I do see a very familiar pattern,” said Dr Steven Woolf, a prominent population health researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University. “When Operation Warp Speed came out I thought I was just seeing a modern example of this old problem where the scientific community developed the vaccine at ‘warp speed,’ but the implementation system for getting it out into the community was inadequate”. Woolf calls this “breakthrough without follow-through”. In that light, the plodding vaccination campaign could be seen as one more aspect of the American “health disadvantage”.
Day-to-day life in Greece is excessively determined by people defying laws, rules and reason; it’s disappointing and extremely frustrating. But this, as former prime minister Kostas Simitis once said, is Greece and it doesn’t look like it’s changing much. It’s exhausting for citizens yearning for basic normalcy to be assailed by the prevalent delinquency and to feel that their quality of life is being constantly undermined, often with the tolerance of the state apparatus. Right now, events are being defined by our fellow citizens who refuse to get the Covid vaccine and by the obstinacy of deniers of all stripes. Whether they’re jerks, kooks, nitwits, thugs, vote-mongers or religious fanatics is neither here nor there. They are a swarm that is endangering the lives of the rest of us, having a negative impact on the quality of everyday life and obstructing the vital functions of society.
The state, therefore, has an obligation to all the “normal” people in this country to decisively deal with such antisocial elements. Admittedly, there are more antisocial Greeks out there. There are the unconscionable priests and monks who preach against the vaccines, the lawyers exploiting the anti-vax movement, the judges approving the exhumation of Covid victims, the relatives suing doctors for a payout, the parents calling the police on teachers implementing the law, the nurses and other state workers who refuse to be vaccinated but expect to keep getting paid… These and others in the anti-vax movement are basically enemies of society and need to be treated accordingly, without hesitation. Especially given that the overwhelming majority of the political world claims to support vaccinations.
The truth is that the antisocial behavior we are seeing right now is not the result of the pandemic. It may appear so, but is, in fact endemic and manifests in all sorts of ways: violence in the soccer arena and on the streets; interminable protest rallies and marches; sit-ins at schools and universities; increasingly aggressive and unruly driving; sound pollution; nasty graffiti; posters pasted willy-nilly on public walls; grimy bowls of water and food scattered here and there for strays; and, of course, in the inability or indifference of the state to these and so many other such phenomena. And even in the favorable decisions and amendments passed by every government to accommodate those breaking the rules and shirking their obligations. At the end of the day, it’s the suckers who dream of a different kind of Greece who end up paying the price.
Edward Snowden @Snowden: “Stop what you’re doing and read this. The CIA developed plans to kill or kidnap an award-winning journalist whose work they did not like — before they charged him with a crime. The case against Julian Assange must be dropped—and condemned.”
In 2017, as Julian Assange began his fifth year holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, the CIA plotted to kidnap the WikiLeaks founder, spurring heated debate among Trump administration officials over the legality and practicality of such an operation. Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration even discussed killing Assange, going so far as to request “sketches” or “options” for how to assassinate him. Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence official. “There seemed to be no boundaries.” The conversations were part of an unprecedented CIA campaign directed against WikiLeaks and its founder. The agency’s multipronged plans also included extensive spying on WikiLeaks associates, sowing discord among the group’s members, and stealing their electronic devices.
While Assange had been on the radar of U.S. intelligence agencies for years, these plans for an all-out war against him were sparked by WikiLeaks’ ongoing publication of extraordinarily sensitive CIA hacking tools, known collectively as “Vault 7,” which the agency ultimately concluded represented “the largest data loss in CIA history.” President Trump’s newly installed CIA director, Mike Pompeo, was seeking revenge on WikiLeaks and Assange, who had sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on rape allegations he denied. Pompeo and other top agency leaders “were completely detached from reality because they were so embarrassed about Vault 7,” said a former Trump national security official. “They were seeing blood.”
The CIA’s fury at WikiLeaks led Pompeo to publicly describe the group in 2017 as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” More than just a provocative talking point, the designation opened the door for agency operatives to take far more aggressive actions, treating the organization as it does adversary spy services, former intelligence officials told Yahoo News. Within months, U.S. spies were monitoring the communications and movements of numerous WikiLeaks personnel, including audio and visual surveillance of Assange himself, according to former officials. This Yahoo News investigation, based on conversations with more than 30 former U.S. officials — eight of whom described details of the CIA’s proposals to abduct Assange — reveals for the first time one of the most contentious intelligence debates of the Trump presidency and exposes new details about the U.S. government’s war on WikiLeaks. It was a campaign spearheaded by Pompeo that bent important legal strictures, potentially jeopardized the Justice Department’s work toward prosecuting Assange, and risked a damaging episode in the United Kingdom, the United States’ closest ally.
At the peak of preparations for hostilities in 2017, the CIA was allegedly expecting Russian agents to help Assange flee the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. In such a contingency, the Americans, together with the British, were planning to engage in street battles against the Russians, potentially starting a firefight, ramming a Russian diplomatic vehicle, or shooting at the tires of a Russian plane to prevent it from lifting off, the story said. The attempt to spring Assange was reportedly expected on Christmas Eve. “It was beyond comical,” a former senior official told the outlet regarding the situation in the vicinity of the embassy at the time. “It got to the point where every human being in a three-block radius was working for one of the intelligence services – whether they were street sweepers or police officers or security guards.”
The CIA was also deliberating plans to kill Assange and other members of WikiLeaks, the report said. Alternatively, the agency was considering snatching him from the embassy and bringing him to the US, or handing him over to the British authorities. At the time, the UK wanted Assange for skipping bail in an extradition trial on a request from Sweden – a case that has since been dropped. The possibility of carrying out a successful rendition or assassination were described as “ridiculous” by one intelligence official, because of the location. “This isn’t Pakistan or Egypt – we’re talking about London,” the source was quoted as saying. There was also resistance in the Trump administration because such an operation might be deemed illegal under US law. A source said using CIA powers meant only for spy-versus-spy activities would be “the same kind of crap we pulled in the War on Terror.”
As far as the CIA was concerned, WikiLeaks prompted these extreme measures after the so-called ‘Vault 7’ publications, which exposed a cyber-offensive toolkit used by US agents. The leak of those tools was a major humiliation for US intelligence, so “Pompeo and [then-Deputy CIA Director Gina] Haspel wanted vengeance on Assange,” Yahoo was told. Pompeo had to do some legal maneuvering so the agency could go more aggressively after Assange and WikiLeaks without having then-president Donald Trump sign off such operations. When, shortly after taking office, he infamously called WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” during a public speech, it was more than just rhetoric, according to the report. Designating in that way allowed the CIA to file its snooping under “offensive counterintelligence” activities, which it’s allowed to conduct on its own volition. “I don’t think people realize how much [the] CIA can do under offensive [counterintelligence] and how there is minimal oversight of it,” a former official said.
Journalists for Yahoo! News finally confirmed a narrative around Mike Pompeo and the CIA’s war on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, which I outlined back in October 2019. It’s an important report. WikiLeaks’ publication of “Vault 7” materials from the CIA was hugely embarrassing. Even though the CIA had increased spying operations against WikiLeaks, they still were surprised the media organization obtained a trove of the agency’s extremely sensitive files.
CIA director Mike Pompeo was afraid President Donald Trump would learn about the “Vault 7” materials and think less of him. “Don’t tell him, he doesn’t need to know.” But it was too important. Trump had to be informed.
[..] Recall, CIA director Mike Pompeo’s speech at CSIS, a Washington think tank, where he labeled WikiLeaks “a non-state hostile intelligence service.” That was all to fuel a climate for aggressive action targeted against Assange, WikiLeaks staff, and associates. The CIA could not prove WikiLeaks was working at the behest of the Russian government. So rather than claim authority to target WikiLeaks that way officials sought to reframe the organization as a “hostile entity.” Then it wouldn’t matter that they weren’t working for Russia.
Revelations by a large number of former US officials, reported by Yahoo! News, that the CIA planned to abduct and render Julian Assange to the United States — and contemplated murdering him — raise more uncomfortable questions for the Australian government and its policy of trying to pretend Assange doesn’t exist. Yahoo’s investigation relies on accounts from eight former officials about the plan to kidnap Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, among dozens of other sources about the Trump administration’s determination to go after Assange and WikiLeaks. The Trump administration went where even the whistleblower-hating Obama administration refused to go and launched a prosecution for espionage and conspiracy, but until now it was widely thought its plans were limited to legal extradition.
It is now clear the CIA — under Republican Mike Pompeo, who would go on to be Trump’s secretary of state — developed plans to abduct Assange and illegally render him to the US via a third country. There was discussion “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration of murdering him. There was also scenario planning about what violent measures US and UK agents might take to thwart a hypothetical Russian attempt to help Assange escape to Russia. The most obvious question for the Australian government is whether the CIA discussed with Australian intelligence officials its plans to abduct or murder an Australian citizen, or whether Trump administration figures — some of whom were alarmed by the CIA’s planning — alerted the Turnbull government at a political level.
It would say much about how unimportant Australia was, and how little we have spoken up for Assange, if the entire process was conducted without anyone bothering to raise it with the Australian government. The extent of Australian knowledge of the plans for Assange is likely never to be clarified because Australia’s intelligence agencies are able to operate behind a bipartisan wall of secrecy far stronger than that which applies to US agencies, where independent congressional oversight, a better-protected media, a stronger whistleblower culture and better disclosure laws mean much more scrutiny for intelligence agencies. In Australia there’s virtually none, with limited parliamentary oversight, brutal gag laws for intelligence officials, vexatious prosecutions and police raids on journalists willing to try to pierce the secrecy.
But there’s another angle that is also important. What sparked the CIA’s fury at WikiLeaks and set it to planning to kidnap or murder Assange was that WikiLeaks in 2017 revealed a trove of CIA software exploits, known as “Vault 7”, which had been stolen from the intelligence agency. That release was followed, within months, by news that the National Security Agency had had some of its own trove of software exploits stolen, which led to Microsoft publicly criticising intelligence agencies for failing to alert companies to exploitable software faults. The two cases illustrated how Western intelligence agencies were a key threat to our cybersecurity by intentionally leaving security weaknesses in commonly used systems so they could exploit them — leading to other states, or organised crime, to exploit them as well, in some cases using the very software tools bought or developed by intelligence agencies.
Comment on the same Public Health England (PHE) briefing the Daily Sceptic addressed yesterday, saying “Calculating the vaccine effectiveness against Delta infection in the over-50s [..] gives a figure of just 15%..”
The latest Public Health England report on Covid-19 infections, hospitalisations, and deaths show that the Covid-19 injections do not work, and quite possibly make the recipient worse if exposed to the alleged Covid-19 virus due to the fully vaccinated population accounting for 21% of all infections but 58% of all Covid-19 deaths. PHE release a technical briefing on Covid-19 variants of concern every two weeks, and the 21st update released on the 20th August 2021 provides further proof; just as previous reports have, that the Covid-19 vaccines are in fact increasing the risk of hospitalisation and death, rather than reducing it by the 95% claimed by the vaccine manufacturers.
According to the report since the 1st February 2021 and the 15th August 2021 there have been 183,133 confirmed cases among the unvaccinated population, an increase of 32,079 on the last count made in the previous report where the confirmed figure was 151,054 up to the 2nd August 2021. There have also been 26,194 confirmed cases among people who had received a single dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, 21 days prior to their positive test, an increase of 2,176 on the last count made in the previous report where the confirmed figure was 24,018 up to the 2nd August 2021.
Confirmed cases among people who had received a single dose of a Covid-19 vaccine more than 21 days prior to their positive test total 62,763 up to the 15th August 2021. This is an increase of 17,674 on the previous report where the confirmed figure was 46,089 up to the 2nd August 2021. Finally, the latest report reveals that there have been 73,372 confirmed cases of the Delta Covid-19 variant among the fully vaccinated population, an increase of 26,364 on the last count made in the previous report where the confirmed figure was 47,008 up to the 2nd August 2021.
Why is the world experiencing such a “prominent outbreak” of the Delta variant when so many people have been vaccinated? Cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough addressed those questions and more on the “RFK Jr. The Defender Podcast.” New research shows people who are vaccinated against COVID are more susceptible to the Delta variant, said McCullough, pointing to a pre-print study by the prestigious Oxford University Clinical Research Group published Aug. 10 in The Lancet. The paper’s authors demonstrated widespread vaccine failure and transmission under tightly controlled circumstances in a hospital lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. The study found vaccinated people carry 251 times the load of COVID-19 viruses in their nostrils compared to the unvaccinated, the study found.
“They had an outbreak and they locked down the hospital where the workers could not get out,” said McCullough. “They were assiduously checking the workers and testing them for COVID, as well as doing sequencing.” The researchers found workers were still getting COVID during the lockdown period, said McCullough, and they were passing it to one another. The study’s big finding is their calculation of viral load, McCullough said: “This group had actually calculated viral load from oral and nasal secretions in the past. The viral load was 251 times that of the previous unvaccinated era where they had used the same methodology. So, they had previous workers and patients who had COVID-19 before any exposure to the vaccines. And now the vaccinated were carrying a massive viral load and passing it to one another.”
The efficacy for the Pfizer vaccine is measured as being anywhere from 17% to 42% effective. “These levels are far below the 50% regulatory standard to even have a vaccine on the market,” said McCullough. Regardless of the variant or the vaccine, McCullough said the bottom line is that “the vaccines are failing.”
Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a biologics license application for the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine. The press reported that vaccine mandates are now legal for military, healthcare workers, college students and employees in many industries. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has now required the vaccine for all teachers and school staff. The Pentagon is proceeding with its mandate for all military service members.
[..] First, the FDA acknowledges that while Pfizer has “insufficient stocks” of the newly licensed Comirnaty vaccine available, there is “a significant amount” of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine — produced under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) — still available for use. The FDA decrees that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine under the EUA should remain unlicensed but can be used “interchangeably” (page 2, footnote 8) with the newly licensed Comirnaty product. Second, the FDA pointed out that the licensed Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine and the existing, EUA Pfizer vaccine are “legally distinct,” but proclaims that their differences do not “impact safety or effectiveness.”
[..] EUA products are experimental under U.S. law. Both the Nuremberg Code and federal regulations provide that no one can force a human being to participate in this experiment. Under 21 U.S. Code Sec.360bbb-3(e)(1)(A)(ii)(III), “authorization for medical products for use in emergencies,” it is unlawful to deny someone a job or an education because they refuse to be an experimental subject. Instead, potential recipients have an absolute right to refuse EUA vaccines. U.S. laws, however, permit employers and schools to require students and workers to take licensed vaccines. EUA-approved COVID vaccines have an extraordinary liability shield under the 2005 Public Readiness and Preparedness Act. [..] At least for the moment, the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine has no liability shield. Vials of the branded product, which say “Comirnaty” on the label, are subject to the same product liability laws as other U.S. products.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices places a vaccine on the mandatory schedule, a childhood vaccine benefits from a generous retinue of liability protections. But licensed adult vaccines, including the new Comirnaty, do not enjoy any liability shield. Just as with Ford’s exploding Pinto, or Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, people injured by the Comirnaty vaccine could potentially sue for damages. And because adults injured by the vaccine will be able to show that the manufacturer knew of the problems with the product, jury awards could be astronomical.
Pfizer is therefore unlikely to allow any American to take a Comirnaty vaccine until it can somehow arrange immunity for this product. Here’s what you need to know when somebody orders you to get the vaccine: Ask to see the vial. If it says “Comirnaty,” it’s a licensed product. If it says “Pfizer-BioNTech,” it’s an experimental product, and under 21 U.S. Code 360bbb, you have the right to refuse. If it comes from Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (marketed as Janssen), you have the right to refuse. The FDA is playing bait and switch with the American public — but we don’t have to play along. If it doesn’t say Comirnaty, you have not been offered an approved vaccine.
Reports of waning vaccine-induced immunity against COVID-19 have begun to surface. With that, the comparable long-term protection conferred by previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 remains unclear. Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational study comparing three groups: (1)SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals who received a two-dose regimen of the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine, (2)previously infected individuals who have not been vaccinated, and (3)previously infected and single dose vaccinated individuals. Three multivariate logistic regression models were applied. In all models we evaluated four outcomes: SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptomatic disease, COVID-19-related hospitalization and death.
The follow-up period of June 1 to August 14, 2021, when the Delta variant was dominant in Israel. Results: SARS-CoV-2-naive vaccinees had a 13.06-fold (95% CI, 8.08 to 21.11) increased risk for breakthrough infection with the Delta variant compared to those previously infected, when the first event (infection or vaccination) occurred during January and February of 2021. The increased risk was significant (P<0.001) for symptomatic disease as well. When allowing the infection to occur at any time before vaccination (from March 2020 to February 2021), evidence of waning natural immunity was demonstrated, though SARS-CoV-2 naive vaccinees had a 5.96-fold (95% CI, 4.85 to 7.33) increased risk for breakthrough infection and a 7.13-fold (95% CI, 5.51 to 9.21) increased risk for symptomatic disease.
SARS-CoV-2-naive vaccinees were also at a greater risk for COVID-19-related-hospitalizations compared to those that were previously infected. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity.
Table S6 shows the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the incidence of various adverse events. Infection substantially increased the risk of many different adverse events, including myocarditis (risk ratio, 18.28; 95% CI, 3.95 to 25.12; risk difference, 11.0 events per 100,000 persons; 95% CI, 5.6 to 15.8), acute kidney injury (risk ratio, 14.83; 95% CI, 9.24 to 28.75; risk difference, 125.4 events per 100,000 persons; 95% CI, 107.0 to 142.6), pulmonary embolism (risk ratio, 12.14; 95% CI, 6.89 to 29.20; risk difference, 61.7 events per 100,000 persons; 95% CI, 48.5 to 75.4), intracranial hemorrhage (risk ratio, 6.89; 95% CI, 1.90 to 19.16; risk difference, 7.6 events per 100,000 persons;
95% CI, 2.7 to 12.6), pericarditis (risk ratio, 5.39; 95% CI, 2.22 to 23.58; risk difference, 10.9 events per 100,000 persons; 95% CI, 4.9 to 16.9), myocardial infarction (risk ratio, 4.47; 95% CI, 2.47 to 9.95; risk difference, 25.1 events per 100,000 persons; 95% CI, 16.2 to 33.9), deep-vein thrombosis (risk ratio, 3.78; 95% CI, 2.50 to 6.59; risk difference, 43.0 events per 100,000 persons; 95% CI, 29.9 to 56.6), and arrhythmia (risk ratio, 3.83; 95% CI, 3.07 to 4.95; risk difference, 166.1 events per 100,000 persons; 95% CI, 139.6 to 193.2).
1/ Wow. New Israeli preprint shows natural immunity to #SARSCoV2 is FAR superior to the artificial kind – vaccinated people were 13x as likely to be infected and 27x to have symptomatic infections as a matched cohort that was previously infected. And this is with Delta dominant. pic.twitter.com/hhD9h0vyMS
The Pfizer COVID-19 mRNA vaccine was found to be associated with a threefold increased risk of myocarditis, according to a real-world case-control study from Israel. Vaccination had a strong association with an increased risk of myocarditis (risk ratio [RR] 3.24, 95% CI 1.55-12.44), as well as increased risks of lymphadenopathy (RR 2.43, 95% CI 2.05-2.78), appendicitis (RR 1.40, 95% CI 1.02-2.01), and herpes zoster infection (RR 1.43, 95% CI 1.20-1.73), reported Ran Balicer, MD, of Clalit Health Services in Tel Aviv, and colleagues.
However, in a separate cohort, infection with SARS-CoV-2 was associated with a higher risk of myocarditis (RR 18.28, 95% CI 3.95-25.12), as well as other cardiovascular complications, including acute kidney injury (RR 14.83, 95% CI 9.24-28.75), pulmonary embolism (RR 12.14, 95% CI 6.89-29.20), and intracranial hemorrhage (RR 6.89, 95% CI 1.90-19.16), the authors wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. They noted that vaccination was “substantially protective” against anemia, acute kidney injury, intracranial hemorrhage, and lymphopenia. Balicer’s group examined data from the largest healthcare organization in Israel to compare incidence of adverse events among vaccinated individuals versus unvaccinated individuals, and estimated the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on these adverse events.
Participants in the vaccination cohorts were 16 years old and older, had been in the health organization for a full year, had no prior COVID-19 infection, and had no contact with the healthcare system in the last 7 days. Notably, populations with confounders, such as healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents, or people confined to their home for medical reasons, were excluded.
Delta Air Lines will charge employees on the company health plan $200 a month if they fail to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a policy the airline’s top executive says is necessary because the average hospital stay for the virus costs the airline $50,000. CEO Ed Bastian said that all employees who have been hospitalized for the virus in recent weeks were not fully vaccinated. The airline said Wednesday that it also will stop extending pay protection to unvaccinated workers who contract COVID-19 on Sept. 30, and will require unvaccinated workers to be tested weekly beginning Sept. 12, although Delta will cover the cost. They will have to wear masks in all indoor company settings.
Delta stopped short of matching United Airlines, which will require employees to be vaccinated starting Sept. 27 or face termination. However, the $200 monthly surcharge, which starts in November, may have the same effect. “This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” Bastian said in a memo to employees. The surcharge will only apply to employees who don’t get vaccinated and won’t be levied for spouses or dependents, a Delta spokeswoman said. [..] Bastian said that 75% of Delta employees are vaccinated, up from 72% in mid-July. He said the aggressiveness of the leading strain of the virus “means we need to get many more of our people vaccinated, and as close to 100% as possible.”
“I know some of you may be taking a wait-and-see approach or waiting for full (Food and Drug Administration) approval,” he told employees. “With this week’s announcement that the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, the time for you to get vaccinated is now.” A growing number of companies including Chevron Corp. and drugstore chain CVS announced they will require workers to get vaccinated after Monday’s FDA decision. United and Delta already require new hires to be vaccinated. Two smaller carriers, Hawaiian and Frontier, have said they will require either vaccination or regular testing for current employees. Other major U.S. airlines, including American and Southwest, said Wednesday that they are encouraging employees to get vaccinated but have not required it.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday announced an executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates regardless of a vaccine’s approval status with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He also said he was adding the issue to the agenda for the current special session of the Texas Legislature. The order comes two days after the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. That raised questions about the fate of a previous Abbott order that prohibited vaccine mandates, but only for those under emergency authorization. Abbott’s latest order is simple, saying “no governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” The order preserves exceptions for places like nursing homes and state-supported living centers.
At the same time, Abbott asked lawmakers to consider legislation addressing whether state or local governments could issue vaccine mandates and, if so, which exemptions should apply. “Vaccine requirements and exemptions have historically been determined by the legislature, and their involvement is particularly important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas,” Abbott said in a statement. Lawmakers are currently in their second special session, and time is limited to make progress on the 17-item agenda that Abbott previously announced. The House finally restored quorum last week after Democrats staged a nearly six-week protest of the GOP’s elections bill, and the current session is set to end Sept. 5.
Abbott’s last order regarding vaccine requirements, issued July 29, said “no governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization.” While there is a new state law that acted as a backstop for Abbott’s previous order if a vaccine received full approval, it was not as sweeping as the order and left the door open to new mandates. There specifically appeared to be the fresh potential for cities, counties and school districts to require their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. San Antonio Independent School District had already announced mandatory employee vaccinations, prompting a lawsuit from Attorney General Ken Paxton. District officials said Wednesday they will move forward with the mandate — despite Abbott’s latest order.
A Covid-19 modeller has suggested New Zealand’s North and South islands could become separate bubbles as the country grapples with a coronavirus outbreak, although South islanders with hopes of being fully released from lockdown should not hold their breath just yet. New Zealand is battling to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant that swiftly led to a nationwide, level four lockdown – the highest setting – which has been extended until at least the end of the week. There are now 210 cases in the community. Auckland – the largest city, where the majority of cases have been detected – will remain in lockdown until the end of the month.
There have been no cases in the South Island, but the 20,000-strong list of close contacts linked to the current outbreak extends across both islands. Around 120 people, who were potentially exposed to the virus at locations in Auckland, are isolating in the South Island. Auckland could expect to stay in lockdown for a number of weeks , but a North Island and South Island split could make sense, Covid-19 modeller at the University of Auckland, Shaun Hendy, told TVNZ. “I think at this stage, a North Island and South Island split is probably what we’d be looking at,” Hendy said. In order for the alert levels to drop in the South Island, any wastewater tests would need to come back clear, Hendy said.
Our group was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in October 2020. We have been the designated independent international members of a joint WHO–China team tasked with understanding the origins of SARS-CoV-2. Our report was published this March1. It was meant to be the first step in a process that has stalled. Here we summarize the scientific process so far, and call for action to fast-track the follow-up scientific work required to identify how COVID-19 emerged, which we set out in this article.
The window of opportunity for conducting this crucial inquiry is closing fast: any delay will render some of the studies biologically impossible. Understanding the origins of a devastating pandemic is a global priority, grounded in science. We, all the members of the international expert team, each submitted detailed, confidential statements to the WHO on potential conflicts of interest, including funding, collaborative studies, public statements and other issues around the origins of COVID-19 that could be perceived as conflicts. After the WHO had reviewed these, team members were appointed in their individual capacity, not as representatives of their employers.
So far, our mission has been guided by terms of reference agreed between the WHO and China in 2020, before our involvement1. These terms tasked us with making a detailed reconstruction of the early phase of the pandemic, beginning in Wuhan, China, where the first known cases were reported. Our mandate was to conduct a collaborative study with leading scientists in China to review data they had generated on the basis of initial questions from the WHO. We refined the generic list of questions described in the mandate into a detailed workplan described in the mission report.
Samples from early Wuhan COVID-19 patients show the presence of genetically modified Henipah virus, an American scientist has found. Henipah was one of the two types of viruses sent to China by Chinese-born scientists from a Canadian laboratory at the centre of a controversy over the firing of the scientists and collaboration with Chinese military researchers. It is not clear whether the virus found in the Chinese samples is related to the virus samples sent by the Canadian lab, which were shipped in late March 2019. The finding was confirmed for The Epoch Times by another qualified scientist.
The evidence was first found by Dr. Steven Quay, a Seattle-based physician-scientist and former faculty member at the Stanford University School of Medicine, who looked at early COVID-19 samples uploaded by scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) shortly after China informed the WHO about the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. The samples from the patients, who reportedly were found to have an “unidentified pneumonia disease” in December 2019, were uploaded to the genetic sequence database, GenBank, on the website of the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH). Quay says that while other scientists around the world were mostly interested in examining the genome of SARS-CoV-2 in the samples uploaded by the WIV scientists, he wanted to see what else was in the samples collected from the patients.
So he collaborated with a few other scientists to analyze sequences from the samples. “We started fishing inside for weird things,” Quay told The Epoch Times. What they found, he says, are the results of what could likely be contamination from different experiments in the lab making their way into the samples, as well as evidence of Henipah virus. “We found genetic manipulation of the Nipah virus, which is more lethal than Ebola.” Nipah is a type of Henipah virus. [..] Documents released by the Canadian government state that the WIV’s intended use of the virus samples sent by Canada was “stock virus culturing,” which in simpler terms means storing the viruses while keeping them alive. Genetic manipulation would not be within the scope of this description.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson issued a stark warning Tuesday, emphasising that “we’re seeing now what happens when countries tolerate authoritarians, even for a moment” as people worldwide are being told to submit to increasingly draconian “rules” in the wake of the pandemic. Carlson noted “Has there ever been a clearer window into the society they’re trying to build? Our formerly middle-class nation now has a serf class. They’re the ones wearing the masks, being forced to take drugs they don’t want, being told not to communicate with one another, except through digital channels the Democratic Party controls.”
He continued, “We now have two groups of Americans, not a broad middle. The favored and the unfavored. The saved and the damned. The vaccinated and the unvaccinated. That’s how the architects of all this see the country.” Carlson also pointed to former NSA head Michael Hayden’s assertion that Trump supporters should be sent to Afghanistan to die. “That’s how contemptuous they feel about you,” Carlson noted, adding “Shut up and fetch another glass of Riesling, serf. And be sure not to breathe on me, or you’ll be deported.” “These are bad attitudes and are accelerating. How far can this go, you wonder?” he questioned. Carlson also described some of the insane policies being put into place in Australia and New Zealand, describing them as akin to North Korea.
“Holy cow, I was living like Scarface…I was paying out anywhere between $300-400,000 per week to $5 million per week at times. All in cash.” Matthew Hoh, U.S. Marine Corps Captain and former State Department official
The conflict in Afghanistan — for the U.S. at least — appears to be over. Essentially admitting defeat, American planes are beating a hasty and ignominious retreat from Kabul, with images of the withdrawal bearing a striking resemblance to those from the fall of Saigon 46 years previously. As the Taliban complete their takeover, many Americans are wondering what it was all about. For what, and on what, did the United States spend more than $2 trillion? A newly published study from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) — a U.S. government body — lays bare the waste and corruption of the whole affair, drawing parallels with famous satires such as “Catch 22” and “M*A*S*H*.” Uncompromising in its frankness, the 124-page report outlines the incompetence, venality and dark absurdity of the whole endeavor.
“When you look at how much we spent and what we got for it, it’s mind boggling,” one senior Department of Defense administrator admitted to SIGAR in 2015. Congress founded SIGAR in 2008 to provide neutral and objective oversight into the U.S.’ handling of Afghan reconstruction programs. The new report is the latest — and perhaps most critical — of 13 yearly offerings analyzing U.S. efforts in the country. At no point did the U.S. truly control all of Afghanistan. But officials in Washington wanted to see quantifiable results. In a region where American troops were barely able to leave their bases without being attacked, “cash spent” became one of the few concrete metrics commanders could report back with any accuracy. As the report concluded:
Perversely, because it was the easiest thing to monitor, the amount of money spent by a program often became the most important measure of success. A USAID official told SIGAR, ‘The Hill was always asking, ‘Did you spend the money?’…I didn’t hear many questions about what the effects were. Program budgets were massively expanded, often over the objections of USAID and others on the ground, who argued that inundating the country with dollars was not truly winning hearts and minds, and was a wasteful and ineffective strategy. There was no incentive to report on financial excesses, fraud or abuse, and barely any oversight over where the money was actually going. Contractors, NGOs and others who were aboard the seemingly endless gravy train also kept quiet as they stuffed their pockets with billions of dollars of public money.
MintPress spoke to a person who had been a central part of this bizarre story. Matthew Hoh was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and an official with both the Department of Defense and the State Department, spending almost 12 years in the U.S. military and government focusing on Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, he resigned from his position in the State Department in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, over U.S. policy in the country. “The way to prove that you were doing your job was by spending money,” Hoh told MintPress, continuing: Money being spent on an institutional level was a metric of success. Somehow in the minds of the U.S. political leaders, in Iraq and Afghanistan, dollars spent equated to things being constructed and effective counterinsurgency [against the Taliban]…But the Taliban themselves were taking the money! The Taliban guys were doing the construction work. It was absolutely nuts!”
In 2011, Sam Fender was, by his own admission, “a little stoner” who had flunked out of his A-Levels in his hometown of North Shields, living with his mother in a flat with black mould on the walls. A decade later, he’s one of the UK’s best and most successful singer-songwriters: his 2019 debut album Hypersonic Missiles went to No 1, he won a Brit award, and his knack for writing songs about 21st-century disaffections marked him out from cheerier peers such as Ed Sheeran and George Ezra. His second album Seventeen Going Under, a superb record that channels the sound of Bruce Springsteen and the War on Drugs into an examination of his family, youth and frailty, is out in October.
[..] You’ve also written about politics – Aye, from the new album, is probably the angriest song you’ve ever written.
Because of the polarity between the left and the right, I don’t feel I have an identity with politicians on either side. The left wing have abandoned the working classes, and with a lot of the left – I don’t want to sound like Piers Morgan when I say this – I feel like there is too much nitpicking and stupid fights, especially online. But I hate the Tories with a passion. I was raised to hate them, I still hate them, and I always will. They clearly know who they stand for and they don’t represent people like us. A quarter of the kids in working families in my region are in poverty. Nobody sticks their neck out for the north-east. The line in Aye – “I don’t have time for the very few” – that’s the one thing that always going to be my main gripe on this planet, the sheer disparity between the 1% and the rest of the world. These culture wars are valid wars that need to be fought – there’s a lot of bigotry, a lot of racism and homophobia. But in order to get the Tories out, you’ve got to start representing the working class people of this country.
The right are sitting back and laughing, sweeping up every election. Blyth Valley up here went Tory. It’s a shipbuilding town. That’s insanity. Working-class people up here think the Tories are on their side – which shows how completely the left have fucked themselves. I’ve had arguments with people who say Jeremy Corbyn’s a twat, regurgitating Daily Mail headlines that he’s a terrorist sympathiser. I’m like: how? Tell me in your own words. And they go, “Ah you’re just one of them lefties”. “Leftie” is now a slur in working-class towns – what happened there? It upsets me that we’re in a place where the media have so much control over these blokes who have grafted all their life in a system that would benefit them if someone like Corbyn was in.
FLCCC’s Dr. Marik is asked how he would end the pandemic in a month. “I would do a mass distribution program of ivermectin together with melatonin and aspirin. We should’ve done this months ago.” Simple. Safe.
Paul Elias Alexander, PhD, Former COVID Pandemic consultant/advisor to WHO-PAHO and former COVID pandemic advisor to Health and Human Services (HHS), United States; Parvez Dara, MD, MBA; Howard Tenenbaum, DDS, PhD
There was no credibility to ‘asymptomatic spread’ or transmission in COVID-19 as a key driver of the pandemic nor even as a driver of minimal infection. This is not only our hypothesis, we feel strongly that asymptomatic spread was bogus from the start and was used to underpin the lockdowns and had and has still today, no basis. This was part of pandemic corruption. We have looked at the evidence gathered across the last 16 months and can safely say this was a false narrative along with masking, lockdowns, social distancing, and school closure polices that visited crushing harms on the society and hurt the US and the world immensely. That the US Pandemic Task Force and these illogical, irrational, unscientific medical experts could use this falsehood and shutter the society and cost so much destruction of life, wealth and property is a scandal, shameful, and unforgiveable.
This was all about corruption, this pandemic response, and there certainly were ingredients other than science at play throughout. There are members of the US Task Force that some of us here got the pleasure of working with and some of them are incredibly smart, good people. Decent god-fearing people. But they were and are flat wrong! Have been on everything COVID. Every policy was based on their input and guidance and they created disaster. Many thousands of people died due to them! Their policies! Never has a President been as ill-served as by these Task Force members. They misled and undercut President Trump at each turn and one continues to mislead the current administration.
Who knows, maybe the combination caused a chaotic frenetic collaboration, so maybe the combination doomed them from the start. But on a day-to-day basis, we were watching a clown car in the daily briefings! Their hypothesis cannot be borne out on asymptomatic spread, and we have decided once and for all, to lay out the evidence on asymptomatic spread and give our view. This should have never been about supposition, speculation, assumptions or even whimsy by them. This is not evidence-based research, that is not science. Speculation and assumption is not science. They failed catastrophically and must not be allowed to re-write their history.
Another conundrum is whether many more lives could have been saved by the early adoption of ivermectin, a repurposed drug, with a long track record of safety for use in parasitic diseases but also shown to have antiviral properties. In the specific case of COVID-19, the mode of action appears to be two-fold: it acts by docking to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain bound with ACE2 (thus blocking the virus from entering cells), and also acts as an anticoagulant, which protects against the clotting associated with the viral spike protein. Numerous articles summarised by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance have reported successful use both in treatment and prevention of COVID-19 but have been criticised for lack of peer reviewed RCT data.
Last week Dr Tess Lawrie from the Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy and colleagues published a peer reviewed systematic review and meta-analysis in the American Journal of Therapeutics that showed moderate-certainty evidence of large reductions in COVID-19 deaths. ‘Moderate-certainty’ may sound like an ‘average’ result, but it in fact represents one of the highest certainties possible and the stringent data filters used in this kind of meta-analysis mean that only the most robust RCT data are included. With mild to moderate disease, ivermectin reaches the threshold for ‘high certainty’ of efficacy meaning it appears to be of immense benefit in both the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Being out of patent, it is incredibly cheap (cost of production is around 3 cents a tablet) and very safe, particularly in comparison to COVID-19 vaccines:
In relation to the above table, it should be noted that around 4 billion doses of ivermectin have been given to humans since reporting started. Real world experience has been enormous and largely censored — something Dr Lawrie has also been subject to, having been removed from Twitter and had articles deleted from LinkedIn. HART has previously highlighted YouTube’s ‘COVID-19 medical misinformation policy’ which outlaws any claims that ivermectin is an effective treatment for the disease. Unfortunately, the influence of pharmaceutical lobbying in preventing the early adoption of ivermectin is evident and it is the sick and dying who inevitably suffer in a system where profit is a huge driver in dictating what does and does not reach the market. There is a point at which enough evidence of efficacy of a medicine has been provided and anything beyond that is deemed ‘unnecessary’.
State-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Indofarma on Friday spoke about Ivermectin that has recently claimed popularity after a number of public figures claimed the drug’s effectiveness against COVID-19. Asked by Tempo about the price for one pack, Indofarma management stated in a written release on Friday, July 2, that they “established the price for [Ivermectin] at Rp123 thousand.” The product they sell includes 20 tablets of 12 mg per botol. The highest retail price that includes the added-value tax (PPN) is set at Rp157,700 (US$10 in current exchange). Based on Tempo’s observation across online and physical stores the drug is sold at an average price of Rp200,000 (US$13.7) with the highest retail price at Rp256,000 (US$ 17). Ivermectin, as of June 20, has obtained marketing authorization from the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM). Indofarma stated the production of the drug would kickstart in early July, and that it aimed at producing 13.8 million tablets until August 2021.
You mentioned two areas. One is repurposed drugs therapeutics for COVID, another one is of course, vaccine safety. So what are you seeing? Well, let’s pick one. Let’s go into the vaccine safety first. Dr. Weinstein: Well, I’m not sure that there is even a way to do one without the other. The two appear to be the same story viewed from two different sides. And I think what people need to track is the fact that in order for the vaccines to be administered, they had to get an Emergency Use Authorization. And one of the requirements for the Emergency Use Authorization is that there’d be no safe and effective treatments available. So if the repurposed drugs are as good as some people believe they are, then the vaccines would not be available at all. They would still be in testing.
Add to that the fact that the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these vaccines have been granted immunity from liability. And these two things in combination, I believe, have created a headlong rush to administering the vaccines to everyone irrespective of medical or epidemiological need. [..] I’ve seen a piece of the censorship on YouTube. YouTube has in their community guidelines, a provision that actually forbids the discussion of ivermectin if the discussion involves the claim that it works. And the problem is that there is substantial evidence that it works. And works doesn’t mean one thing, it actually means two distinct things.
There is strong evidence that ivermectin works for the treatment of COVID, especially if it is given early in the course of disease. It is also apparently highly effective as a prophylactic. And these things are clearly visible in the recent meta-analysis that have been released that show a clear pattern. So somehow on YouTube, the discussion of evidence that has been peer-reviewed and delivered within the scientific literature is forbidden because it contradicts the CDC’s view, which is that ivermectin does not work or that there is no evidence that it works. [..] I learned this from Robert Malone, who is the inventor of mRNA vaccine technology, and he is also somebody who has been involved in a professional capacity inside the regulatory apparatus.
And what he said is that at the point that the Emergency Use Authorizations for the vaccines were granted, there was the opportunity to require extra data to be collected to find out what the impact of these vaccines was on the people who received them. And a choice was made not to collect the data, which I find quite alarming in light of the fact that the process of establishing the safety of these vaccines was necessarily truncated in order to bring them to the public so quickly. [..] the ramifications of it are that we are exposing a huge fraction of the population to what is in effect, a scientific experiment, except that it isn’t a scientific experiment because we are deliberately avoiding collecting data that would allow us to evaluate the impact.
And I find that shocking. It is one thing to argue that we have no choice that COVID-19 is an emergency and we have to make shortcuts that we would not ordinarily consider. I accept that argument. I also accept that these vaccines appear to work at least in the short term. But the right thing to do in order to make proper medically justified decisions and epidemiologically justified decisions is to collect the data on what happens after administration. These are brand new technologies. They have many different ways in which they could fail, and it is our obligation, especially to the people who receive these vaccines, that we collect the data on what happened. And to not do so means that we are very likely to put people in danger in the future with no justification for it.
The Lancet letter, signed by 27 experts, played a key part in silencing scientific, political and media discussion of any idea that this pandemic might have begun with a lab incident rather than spilling over naturally from animals. It was even reportedly used by Facebook to flag articles exploring the lab leak hypothesis as ‘false information’ before the social media giant dramatically changed tack last month. Yet it emerged later that The Lancet statement was covertly drafted by British scientist Peter Daszak – a long-term collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was carrying out high-risk research on bat coronaviruses and had known safety issues.
Daszak is the £300,000-a-year president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based charity that funnelled funds to his friend Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan virologist known as ‘Batwoman’ for her work in collecting samples from bats. Four months later, The Lancet set up a ‘Covid-19 Commission’ to assist governments and scrutinise the origins. It was led by Jeffrey Sachs, the celebrity economist and author who campaigns on aid with rock star Bono. Sachs recently dismissed claims that China is committing genocide on the Uighurs, adopting Beijing’s line that it is confronting Islamic militancy. Incredibly, he backed Daszak to lead his commission’s 12-person taskforce investigating Covid’s origins – joined by five fellow signatories to The Lancet statement.
Daszak’s conflicts of interest were exposed by this newspaper six months ago. Last week The Lancet finally ‘recused’ him from its commission and published an ‘addendum’ to its statement detailing some of his Chinese links. Yet critics say the journal has still failed to admit that six more signatories to that February statement have ties to Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance as directors or partners. ‘It would have been better for The Lancet to have stated that Daszak’s and other signers’ previous declarations were untruthful and to have attached an editorial expression of concern,’ said Richard Ebright, a bio-security expert and professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Now The Mail on Sunday has learned that The Lancet is set to publish a second statement by these signatories that presses the case that Covid probably emerged through natural ‘zoonotic’ transmission from animals to humans. ‘We consider that it seems more likely a transmission through an intermediate mammalian host, although other possibilities can’t be fully excluded,’ said one, adding that they were still ‘missing some signatures’. Four of The Lancet’s original experts seem to have since shifted their position, including Charles Calisher, a Colorado virologist. He admits ‘there is too much coincidence’ to ignore the lab leak hypothesis and that ‘it is more likely that it came out of that lab’.
Amajor conduit of federal research funding to the Chinese coronavirus lab at the center of ongoing speculation over the origins of the SARS-Cov-2 virus is not complying with a months-old request from House Republicans for documentation related to his work with that lab, while Democrats in the House have failed to issue a subpoena to compel that evidence. Peter Daszak, the president of the U.S. nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, has been the subject of growing scrutiny over the last several months regarding his role in the funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For several years leading up to the pandemic, EcoHealth Alliance funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal research grants to the WIV for the study of potential pandemic coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab.
As government investigators and journalists dig to uncover the full scope of Daszak’s links to the WIV, Daszak is continuing to spurn a congressional request for that information. In April, Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent Daszak a letter directing him to submit, among many other documents, “all letters, emails, and other communications between [EcoHealth] and [the WIV] related to terms of agreements, bat coronaviruses, genome or genetic sequencing, SARS-CoV-2, and/or laboratory safety practices” pursuant to key NIH research funding through EcoHealth to the Wuhan lab as a grant sub-recipient.
Yet Daszak himself has not cooperated with the request. An aide with the Energy and Commerce Committee confirmed to Just the News this week that the committee has “received no response still from EcoHealth Alliance and Peter Daszak to the April 16th letter from Leaders Rodgers, Guthrie, and Griffith.” Washington GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has also publicly noted Daszak’s refusal to cooperate with the request made roughly two and a half months ago. “We have asked Daszak to provide information we know he has that sheds light on the origins of this pandemic,” Rodgers said during a House subcommittee hearing this week. “But he refuses to cooperate.” “Dr. Daszak, you received American funds you used to conduct research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Rodgers continued. “You owe it to the American people to be transparent.”
[..] The committee itself could subpoena Daszak for the materials; both House and Senate committees enjoy subpoena powers pursuant to investigations within their congressional purviews, something that has been upheld by the Supreme Court several times. Yet subpoena power in both chambers is controlled by whichever party is in the majority. Democrats still hold a slim majority in the House, meaning the ultimate authority to compel Daszak to produce the documentation rests with that party, specifically in this case with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone.
Less than two months after the government eased its COVID-19 mask requirements, the nation’s chief infectious disease specialist suggested Sunday that vaccinated Americans “go the extra mile” and begin wearing them again in low vaccinated areas. Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recommendation led to howls by many on Twitter, who noted recently released emails from the NIH doctor suggested masks provided little protection. “DOES ANY SANE PERSON CARE WHAT LITTLE NAPOLEON SAYS?,” a woman with the Twitter handle Conservative Gal tweeted Sunday afternoon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 13 eased mask restrictions as vaccinations grew quickly.
Fauci made the rounds on the Sunday shows to address the new, contagious COVID-19 delta variant and slowing vaccination rates, offering his changed advice on masks. “If you put yourself in an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a very low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say ‘When I’m in that area where there’s a considerable degree of viral circulation, I might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough to make sure that I get the extra added level of protection, even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective,’” Fauci told NBC’s “Meet The Press.” Some blue cities like Los Angeles and St. Louis have already reinstated a mask advisory for vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens as the delta variant has spread.
Should public health authorities scrutinize deaths attributed to COVID-19 as closely as they scrutinize deaths attributed to COVID-19 vaccines? Defenders of a controversial study on the risk-benefit ratio of COVID-19 vaccines are calling hypocrisy on a medical journal for retracting the paper a week after publishing it, following the resignations of several journal editors in protest. In a Friday retraction notice in the journal Vaccines, the editor in chief and “several” editorial board members said the paper’s authors were not able to “satisfactorily” answer claims that they conflated correlation with causation. Analyzing data from the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre, known as LAREB, the paper’s authors estimated COVID-19 vaccines take two lives for every three they save. The country leads Europe in vaccine adverse-reaction reporting.
Authors Harald Walach, Rainer Klement and Wouter Aukema challenged criticism from Eugene van Puijenbroek, who leads LAREB’s scientific department, that they had misused its data. “This starts a long-overdue debate on how to gauge the safety of COVID-19 vaccines,” they wrote in a statement provided to Retraction Watch Thursday. “Currently we only have association, we agree, and we never said anything else. But the same is true with fatalities as consequences of SARS-CoV2-infections [sic],” which are “rarely vetted by autopsy or second opinion” to confirm they were caused by the novel coronavirus, rather than incidental to infection. Brown University epidemiologist Andrew Bostom wasn’t impressed by the journal’s “baloney” explanation for the retraction, either.
“The [vaccine] deaths are as causally related as C19 deaths which allow for any positive test within 30-60 days of a death from any cause to be tallied as a C19 death,” he wrote in a Twitter message to Just the News. Bostom pointed to a June study, not yet peer-reviewed, of a sample of deaths in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System reported through April. The sample was limited to people who got early vaccinations, primarily elderly or those with “significant health conditions.” Researchers at the University of London and New Zealand’s Massey University found that they could rule out “vaccine reaction” as a contributing factor in just 14% of deaths. “Contrary to claims that most of these reports are made by lay-people and are hence clinically unreliable, we identified health service employees as the reporter in at least 67%,” they wrote.
Is the world about to go through another 2014 Thanksgiving massacre when OPEC collapsed sending the price of oil crashing and unleashing a brief if catastrophic wave of destruction across the US shale sector? That’s what commodity traders are wondering this long weekend when just two days after the UAE refused to fall inline with the rest of OPEC+, late on Sunday, in a Bloomberg TV interview, Saudi Prince Abdulaziz said that “we have to extend,” referring to the deal agreed upon by all but the UAE on Friday, according to which oil production would be increased by 400kbd over the next few months, while also extending the broader production quota agreement until the end of 2022 for the sake of stability: “the extension puts lots people in their comfort zone” said the Saudi, adding that Abu Dhabi was isolated within the OPEC+ alliance.
“It’s the whole group versus one country, which is sad to me but this is the reality”, the Saudi summarized the potentially explosive situation, which has seen Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates crank up the tension in their OPEC standoff which as Bloomberg summarizes, has left the global economy guessing how much oil it will get next month. The bitter clash between the Saudis and UAE has forced OPEC+ to halt talks twice already, with the next meeting scheduled for Monday, putting markets in limbo as oil continues its inflationary surge above $75 a barrel. With the cartel discussing its production policy not only for the rest of the year, but also into 2022, the solution to the standoff will shape the market and industry into next year.
While traditionally the oil cartel has been shy of publicity, keeping its spats behind close doors, on Sunday the fight between the two key producers broke into public view with both countries, which typically keep their grievances within the walls of the royal palaces, airing their differences on television, with Riyadh insisting on its plan, backed by other OPEC+ members including Russia, that the group should both increase production over the next few months, while also extending the broader agreement reached in the aftermath of the oil price collapse of 2020 until the end of 2022 to avoid a production glut. Just hours earlier, the Emirati energy minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei, again rejected the Saudi-proposed deal extension, supporting only a short-term increase and demanding better terms for itself for 2022. “The UAE is for an unconditional increase of production, which the market requires,” Al-Mazrouei told Bloomberg Television earlier on Sunday. Yet the decision to extend the deal until the end of 2022 is “unnecessary to take now.”
According to the mainstream narrative, we were all born yesterday. There is no such thing as context, history or critical analysis – just cherry-picked short-term data-deltas, which are held to be either awesome or at least much improved from last time. That’s why we predictably got this headline from the Wall Street Journal with reference to today’s June employment release, which allegedly showed “employers added 850,000 jobs last month”: Stocks Tick Higher With Strong Jobs Report Well, no, it wasn’t and they (employers) didn’t. In fact, total hours worked in June actually declined from the May level, and, far more importantly, were still down 4.4% from the pre-Covid peak in February 2020.
When expressed in total hours, there is absolutely nothing “strong” at all about the numbers. To wit, at the end of Q2 2021 total hours employed in the nonfarm economy were still down 8 billion hours from the Q4 2019 level. That’s right. Eight billion worker hours are MIA, yet the lazy shills at the WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters et. al. keep pumping out bilge about an awesome economic rebound! Actually, what has never been noted notwithstanding the fact that it sits there in plain sight on the BLS website is that Dr. Fauci and his economy wreckers dug a far deeper hole in the main street labor market last spring than the narrative led you to believe. At the pre-Covid peak in Q4 2019, the nonfarm economy utilized 257.2 billion labor hours at an annualized rate, but that plunged by nearly -12% to just 227.6 billion hours in Q2 2020.
So doing, Fauci & Co wiped out all of the aggregate nonfarm labor hours gain since Q4 2011. That is to say, it obliterated the awesome gains that had been contained in 102 monthly Jobs Friday reports in the interim. And now, after $4 trillion of freshly printed fiat cash and $6 trillion of stimmies and other bailouts and free stuff only 73% of the state-imposed shrinkage of hours worked has been recovered as of June 2021.
HSBC, headquartered in the UK, is first and foremost an Asian bank. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited cut its teeth in the 19th century in Greater China. In 2020, its Mainland and Hong Kong operations accounted for 39% of its annual $50 billion in revenue, while the United Kingdom, its second largest market, brought in 28%. The bank is now selling off its retail banking units in France and the United States and scaling back its presence in some emerging markets in order to accelerate its eastward pivot. But there’s a problem with this plan: Its success rests largely on the bank’s ability to maintain good relations with the Chinese government. And that is proving to be a tough proposition.
Relations have soured significantly over the past two years after it was revealed in 2019 that HSBC had ratted out Chinese telecom giant Huawei to the U.S. Department of Justice for breaching U.S. sanctions on Iran. The information provided by HSBC led to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of the company’s founder, in Vancouver in 2018. As geopolitical tensions have escalated between the US and China, HSBC has had to walk a tightrope in its relations with China on the one hand and Washington and London on the other. The lenders’ travails reveal a core challenge for multinational firms operating in China: the market is vital to their growth prospects, but Western firms doing business there increasingly risk being mired in the ratcheting tensions between Beijing and the West.
But given the size and growth of the market, many big global banks have decided to continue expanding in China, whether organically or through acquisitions. HSBC Holdings PLC, Standard Chartered PLC and Citigroup Inc. have all unveiled plans to beef up their wealth management operations in China, targeting the growing middle class. But with net profits for foreign lenders falling precipitously and Beijing demanding that foreign companies toe the line as the US ramps up sanctions on China, it’s getting more and more complicated.
We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.
They said it's Luciferase‼️ But scientists use this assay in COVID19 vaccine research to aid them in monitoring biological processes, not vaccines used for the public❗️ Can someone verify? pic.twitter.com/1ub3x1D7zt
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, has dismissed controversy surrounding numerous past emails being published as “anti-science” nonsense from the “far-right.” Fauci has found himself facing new waves of criticism since thousands of his emails were released via Freedom of Information Act requests through Buzzfeed and the Washington Post. Critics have timed what Fauci has said in some of the emails during the pandemic to what he was saying publicly and accused the infectious disease expert of hypocrisy on issues such as masking and theories about the origin of Covid-19. In an interview with the New York Times published on Monday, Fauci dismissed his “far-right” critics as being “politically motivated” and pushing “nonsense” to discredit him.
“It’s clear. It’s anti-science, and it’s anti-me,” Fauci declared. He went on to say that every piece of correspondence is “perfectly normal, perfectly innocent, and completely above board.” Fauci has long been accused of flip-flopping on key guidances in short periods of time during the pandemic, something he has denied, explaining that his opinion has changed as the “science” has, an argument he doubled-down on in his most recent defense. “So the people who are giving the ad hominems are saying, ‘Fauci misled us,'” he said. “‘First, he said no masks, then he said masks.’ Well, let me give you a flash. That’s the way science works. You work with the data you have at the time. It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves.”
We do know about the outcome of a natural pandemic but don’t know at all about the outcome of the ongoing pandemic, as the latter has now become a ‘pandemic of variants’. From what follows below (and which is basically a summary of findings made by molecular/ genomic epidemiologists that I put into a broader context), there is however, one certainty, which is that Sars-CoV-2 variants are rapidly evolving in response to the natural immune selection pressure they are experiencing. Phylogenetics-based natural selection analysis indicates that a substantial amount of the immune selection pressure exerted during this pandemic is directed at the Sars-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, which is targeted by the vaccines.
On their journey to adapting to the host(ile) environment of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), variants further exploit their evolutionary capacity to overcome this S-directed, population-level immune pressure. Hence, in a given vaccination setting and stage of the ongoing pandemic, the success of mass vaccination campaigns will to a large extent depend on the evolving prevalence of increasingly problematic variants. Alternatively, S-directed immune interventions that seem effective in one vaccination setting and stage of this pandemic may not work as well when applied to another vaccination setting or when implemented at another stage of the ongoing pandemic.
The observation that the effectiveness of mass vaccination campaigns, as assessed during a pandemic of immune escape variants, oftentimes evolves very differently between countries or regions is, therefore, not surprising. It is only when the population-level selective immune pressure will culminate that variants and, therefore, the effects of these campaigns will start to globally converge to the same endpoint, which is ‘resistance’ to the vaccines. It is only at that very endpoint that all assessments of the alleged ‘effectiveness’ of this experiment will be unanimous and consistent. [..] as the immune selection pressure in the global population is now ‘massively’ rising and the set of naturally selected, S-directed mutations together with the plasticity thereof dramatically expanding, one can reasonably expect that the edition of a super variant capable of resisting S-specific Abs will be precipitated such as to emerge within the next few months.
On Dec. 8 2020, FLCCC member Dr. Pierre Kory gave nine minutes of testimony to the U.S. Homeland Security Committee Meeting on the potent anti-viral, anti-inflammatory benefits of ivermectin. Nine million people viewed the video on YouTube before it was taken down by YouTube’s owner, Google. Capuzzo said mainstream and social media have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep people in the dark about ivermectin. Three days after Kory’s testimony, an Associated Press “fact-check reporter” interviewed Kory. Then she wrote: “AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. There’s no evidence Ivermectin has been proven a safe or effective treatment against COVID-19.” Like many critics, she didn’t explore the Ivermectin data or evidence in any detail, but merely dismissed its “insufficient evidence,” quoting instead the lack of a recommendation by the NIH or WHO.
On Jan. 12, 2021, the Brazilian Ministry of Health tweeted to its 1.2 million followers not to wait with COVID-19 until it’s too late but “go to a Health Unit and request early treatment,” (Ivermectin) only to have Twitter take down the official public health tweet for “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information.” On Jan. 31, the Slovak Ministry of Health announced its decision on Facebook to allow use of Ivermectin. Facebook took down the post and removed the entire page it was on, the Ivermectin for MDs Team, with 10,200 members from more than 100 countries. In Argentina, Professor and doctor Hector Carvallo, whose prophylactic studies are renowned by other researchers, says all his scientific documentation for Ivermectin is quickly scrubbed from the Internet. “I am afraid,” he wrote to Marik and his colleagues, “we have affected the most sensitive organ on humans: the wallet…”
As Kory’s testimony was climbing toward nine million views, YouTube, owned by Google, erased his official Senate testimony, saying it endangered the community. Undeterred, many front-line doctors have tried to persuade their health regulators of the efficacy and safety of ivermectin as a covid treatment. They include Dr. Tess Lawrie, a prominent independent medical researcher who, as Capuzzo reports, evaluates the safety and efficacy of drugs for the WHO and the National Health Service to set international clinical practice guidelines: “She read all 27 of the Ivermectin studies Kory cited. The resulting evidence is consistent and unequivocal, she said, and sent a rapid meta-analysis, an epidemiolocal statistical multi-study review considered the highest form of medical evidence, to the director of the NHS, members of parliament, and a video to Prime Minister Boris Johnson with “the good news… that we now have solid evidence of an effective treatment for COVID-19…” and Ivermectin should immediately “be adopted globally and systematically for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.”
Ignored by British leaders and media, Lawrie convened the day-long streaming BIRD conference—British Ivermectin Recommendation Development—with more than 60 researchers and doctors from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, England, Ireland, Belgium, Argentina, South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Australia, and Japan. They evaluated the drug using the full “evidence-to-decision framework” that is “the gold standard tool for developing clinical practice guidelines” used by the WHO, and reached the conclusion that Ivermectin should blanket the world. “Most of all you can trust me because I am also a medical doctor, first and foremost,” Lawrie told the prime minster, “with a moral duty to help people, to do no harm, and to save lives. Please may we start saving lives now.” She heard nothing back.
The University of Oxford said on Wednesday it was testing anti-parasitic drug ivermectin as a possible treatment for COVID-19, as part of a British government-backed study that aims to aid recoveries in non-hospital settings. Ivermectin resulted in a reduction of virus replication in laboratory studies, the university said, adding that a small pilot showed giving the drug early could reduce viral load and the duration of symptoms in some patients with mild COVID-19. Dubbed PRINCIPLE, the British study in January showed that antibiotics azithromycin and doxycycline were generally ineffective against early-stage COVID-19.
While the World Health Organization, and European and U.S. regulators have recommended against using ivermectin in COVID-19 patients, it is being used to treat the illness in some countries, including India. “By including ivermectin in a large-scale trial like PRINCIPLE, we hope to generate robust evidence to determine how effective the treatment is against COVID-19, and whether there are benefits or harms associated with its use,” co-lead investigator of the trial Chris Butler said. People with severe liver conditions, who are on blood-thinning medication warfarin, or taking other treatments known to interact with ivermectin, will be excluded from the trial, the university added. Ivermectin is the seventh treatment to be investigated in the trial, and is currently being evaluated alongside antiviral drug favipiravir, the university said.
Nearly 4,000 people in Massachusetts who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have contracted the virus, adding to the growing number of breakthrough cases nationwide. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as of June 12, there were 3,791 people who tested positive for COVID-19 among the 3.7 million fully vaccinated people in the state, accounting for roughly one in 1,000 vaccinated individuals. “We’re learning that many of the breakthrough infections are asymptomatic or they’re very mild and brief in duration,” said Boston University infectious diseases specialist Davidson Hamer, the Boston Herald reported. “The viral load is not very high.”
“Breakthroughs are expected, and we need to better understand who’s at risk and whether people who have a breakthrough can transmit the virus to others,” Hamer added. “In some cases, they’ll be shedding such low levels of the virus and won’t be transmitting to others.” So-called breakthrough cases refer to cases appearing two or more weeks after a person’s final shot. That’s primarily the second Pfizer or Moderna dose, but can be the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. “Vaccine breakthrough cases are expected,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its website. “COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100 percent effective at preventing illness. There will be a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.”
The health agency added, “There is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe.”
According to projections by UK’s top modelling agency the third wave of COVID-19 spike will hospitalize and kill 60 to 70% of those people who took both the vaccine doses. The paper suggests that the resurgence in both hospitalisations and deaths will dominated by those who have received two doses of the vaccine, comprising around 60% and 70% of the wave respectively. The modelling (read below in full) was presented to the UK’s top scientific advisory body Sage by one of its sub groups, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, Operational (SPI-M-O). This committee of academics has done modelling work throughout the pandemic and has looked at the impact vaccination will have on hospital admissions, infections and deaths.
Its findings suggest that a third wave is inevitable but that the size of the spike in cases depends on the effectiveness of vaccines, the speed at which restrictions are eased and the impact new variants have on transmission and illness. It suggests that the resurgence in both hospitalisations and deaths will be “dominated by those that have received two doses of the vaccine”. “Maintaining a large reduction in transmission from such measures after Step 4 [England’s plans to remove all restrictions from June 21] is taken is almost certain to reduce the size of the subsequent resurgence. This latest modelling reinforces this finding, as lower adherence to baseline measures and the resulting increased transmission could lead to a peak close in scale to that seen in January 2021.” The paper looks at a range of possibilities what we can expect from Covid as we ease restrictions going into the summer. It takes into account a range of difference sources including modelling from the University of Warwick, Imperial College London and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
“Scenarios with little transmission reduction after step 4 [full lifting of restrictions planned for June in England] or with pessimistic but plausible vaccine efficacy assumptions can result in resurgences in hospitalisations of a similar scale to January 2021.” The paper suggests that the resurgence in both hospitalisations and deaths will dominated by those who have received two doses of the vaccine, comprising around 60% and 70% of the wave respectively. “The resurgence in both hospitalisations and deaths is dominated by those that have received two doses of the vaccine, comprising around 60% and 70% of the wave respectively. This can be attributed to the high levels of uptake in the most at-risk age groups, such that immunisation failures account for more serious illness than unvaccinated individuals.”
The head of a New York City-based nonprofit that directed hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology is no longer part of a UN-backed commission examining the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. EcoHealth Alliance president Peter Daszak’s profile on the website of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission has been updated to include the parenthetical quote “recused from Commission work on the origins of the pandemic.” Earlier this month, Vanity Fair reported that Dazsak helped organize a statement signed by 27 leading scientists that appeared in The Lancet — a prestigious British medical journal — in February 2020. The statement condemned what it called “conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin” and proclaimed “solidarity with all scientists and health professionals in China.”
“Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours [sic], and prejudice that jeopardise [sic] our global collaboration in the fight against this virus,” the statement added. Though the statement initially claimed that the signatories had “no competing interests,” The Lancet issued a statement Monday saying it had invited all 27 signatories (at least one of whom has walked back his support of the natural, or zoonotic, theory) to “re-evaluate their competing interests.” The statement included an updated disclosure from Daszak attached to the February 2020 statement and two other pieces he co-authored or contributed to. In his expanded disclosure, Daszak stated that EcoHealth’s work in China — including at the Wuhan lab — was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Daszak also denied that he or EcoHealth received money directly from the Chinese government.
“EcoHealth Alliance’s work in China … includes the production of a small number of recombinant bat coronaviruses to analyse [sic] cell entry and other characteristics of bat coronaviruses for which only the genetic sequences are available,” he wrote. “NIH reviewed the planned recombinant virus work and deemed it does not meet the criteria that would warrant further specific review by its Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight (P3CO) committee.” The belated disclosure from The Lancet comes months after the nonprofit group US Right to Know reported that four of the statement’s co-authors had direct ties to EcoHealth Alliance. The Vanity Fair report stated that six signatories had either worked at EcoHealth Alliance or received funding from it.
The more we learn about Peter Daszak, one of the main villains of the COVID epidemic, the worse it gets. Daszak is president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nongovernmental organization mostly funded by the US government. EcoHealth passed some of that money on to the lab in Wuhan, China. It was Daszak who organized the letter in The Lancet from February 2020 dismissing as “misinformation” claims that the virus may have originated from the Wuhan Virology Lab. The letter created the illusion of consensus, which Internet companies proceeded to enforce through censorship, and the media reinforced by constantly interviewing Daszak himself. There might be journalistic value in hearing from the Chernobyl plant director about all those clouds floating over Ukraine.
But if he suggests the rash of mysterious sores and cancers were due to a faulty shipment of microwaves recently arrived in Pripyat, you’d probably think he was engaged in a bit of “motivated reasoning.” Apparently not the World Health Organization, which invited Daszak to join their microwave hunt in Wuhan. In the last two days, Daszak has been removed from The Lancet’s own UN-backed commission investigating COVID’s origins, though whether he removed himself or was fired remains unclear. It appears Daszak collaborated with Anthony Fauci as well, based on a recently released e-mail in which he thanks the NIAID director for “publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release.”
To top it all off, the Trump administration canceled the EcoHealth grant in early 2020, a move that was characterized by “60 Minutes” and NPR as jeopardizing a possible COVID-19 cure. Both stories featured — guess who — Daszak. Now we learn that Google’s charitable arm may have also funded EcoHealth. Steve Hilton suggested Monday on Fox that the Google funding might have something to do with why information about COVID was so ruthlessly policed on social media platforms and search engines. We’ll be sorting through the many failures of the COVID pandemic for years, failures by the most important institutions of society, from big tech to scientific research to public health to the media, but whatever blame rests on them, we can say Daszak helped break them all. What does it say about the state of our media and social media that one man can so wrongly shape a narrative?
Gabon has become the first African nation to receive a financial reward for protecting its forests as part of international efforts to fight climate change, the government announced Tuesday. Gabon has received $17 million in recompense for successfully cutting its carbon emissions by reducing deforestation and forest degradation, the environment ministry said in a statement. The payment came “after independent experts verified Gabon’s results” showing that the country’s carbon emissions in 2016-17 had dropped compared with the annual figures for 2006-15.
The funds were delivered by the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), an organisation launched in 2015 by the United Nations and backed by international donors. The scheme provides financial incentives to Central African governments to pursue economic growth without harming the vast forests that cover much of the region. The world’s rainforests are seen as a vital weapon in the fight against climate change by sucking out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Gabon, where forests cover 90 percent of the territory, is home to some 18 percent of the Congo Basin forest, known as “the second lung of the planet” after the Amazon.
Under a 10-year deal signed with CAFI in 2019, Gabon is set to receive a total of $150 million if it meets its carbon-cutting targets. The small tropical country has pledged to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2025 from 2005 levels. The forests in Gabon alone “absorb a total of 140 million tonnes of CO2 each year, which is equivalent to removing 30 million cars from circulation throughout the world,” the environment ministry said. Gabon has been a leader in Central Africa in preserving its rainforests, creating 13 national parks since 2000 that cover around 11 percent of the country.
In sum, ruled the court, Rachel Maddow is among those “speakers whose statements cannot reasonably be interpreted as allegations of fact.” Despite Maddow’s use of the word “literally” to accuse OAN of being a “paid Russian propaganda” outlet, the court dismissed the lawsuit on the ground that, given Maddow’s conduct and her audience’s awareness of who she is and what she does, “the Court finds that the contested statement is an opinion that cannot serve as the basis for a defamation claim.” What makes this particularly notable and ironic is that a similar argument was made a year later by lawyers for Fox News when defending a segment that appeared on the program of its highest-rated program, Tucker Carlson Tonight.
That was part of a lawsuit brought by the former model Karen McDougal, who claimed Carlson slandered her by saying she “extorted” former President Trump by demanding payments in exchange for her silence about an extramarital affair she claimed to have with him. McDougal’s lawsuit was dismissed in September, 2020, by Trump-appointed judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, based on arguments made by Fox’s lawyers that were virtually identical to those made by MSNBC’s lawyers when defending Maddow. In particular, the court accepted Fox’s arguments that when Carlson used the word “extortion,” he meant it in a colloquial and dramatic sense, and that his viewers would have understood that he was not literally accusing her of a crime but rather offering his own subjective characterizations and opinions, particularly since viewers understand that Carlson offers political commentary:
“Fox News first argues that, viewed in context, Mr. Carlson cannot be understood to have been stating facts, but instead that he was delivering an opinion using hyperbole for effect. See Def. Br. at 12-15. Fox News cites to a litany of cases which hold that accusing a person of “extortion” or “blackmail” simply is “rhetorical hyperbole,” incapable of being defamatory. . . .
In particular, accusations of “extortion,” “blackmail,” and related crimes, such as the statements Mr. Carlson made here, are often construed as merely rhetorical hyperbole when they are not accompanied by additional specifics of the actions purportedly constituting the crime. . . . Such accusations of crimes also are unlikely to be defamatory when, as here, they are made in connection with debates on a matter of public or political importance. . . . The context in which the offending statements were made here make it abundantly clear that Mr. Carlson was not accusing Ms. McDougal of actually committing a crime. As a result, his statements are not actionable.”
The European Union on Tuesday opened a formal antitrust probe into Google to inspect whether the company violated the bloc’s competition rules by favoring its own online advertising technology over competing providers, in a move that follows a similar probe against Facebook earlier this month. The investigation will examine whether Google is distorting competition by restricting third parties from accessing user data for advertising purposes while using such data for its own service, according to a statement released by the European Commission. European Commission’s executive vice-president in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, said regulators are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online ad services to compete.
Vestager also noted that the investigation will look into Google’s policies on user tracking to make sure they are in line with fair competition. The investigation will also look into the obligation to use Google’s ad manager when serving ads on YouTube, its plan to block third party cookies on Chrome and its plans to restrict access of advertising identifier information to third parties on Android devices where a user has chosen to opt-out of personalized advertising. The commission says it will take into account the need to protect user privacy under the EU’s data protection law but noted that it must ensure that all advertising market participants operate on a level playing field when it comes to protecting user privacy.
In a statement shared with Forbes, Google said their services are used by thousands of European businesses “because they’re competitive and effective” and it plans to answer the European Commission’s questions and demonstrate the benefits of its products. “Online advertising services are at the heart of how Google and publishers monetise their online services,” Vestager said. “Google is present at almost all levels of the supply chain for online display advertising. We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack.”
More than five million people became millionaires across the world in 2020 despite economic damage from the Covid-19 pandemic. While many poor people became poorer, the number of millionaires increased by 5.2 million to 56.1 million globally, Credit Suisse research found. In 2020 more than 1% of adults worldwide were millionaires for the first time. Recovering stock markets and soaring house prices helped boost their wealth. Wealth creation appeared to be “completely detached” from the economic woes of the pandemic, the researchers said. Anthony Shorrocks, economist and author of the Global Wealth Report, said the pandemic had an “acute short term impact on global markets”, but added this was “largely reversed by the end of June 2020”.
“Global wealth not only held steady in the face of such turmoil but in fact rapidly increased in the second half of the year,” he said. However, wealth differences between adults widened in 2020, and Mr Shorrocks said if asset price increases, such as house price rises, were removed from the analysis, “then global household wealth may well have fallen”. “In the lower wealth bands where financial assets are less prevalent, wealth has tended to stand still, or, in many cases, regressed,” he said. “Some of the underlying factors may self correct over time. For example, interest rates will begin to rise again at some point, and this will dampen asset prices.” Total global wealth grew by 7.4%, the report said. Since the start of the 21st century, the number of people with wealth between $10,000 and $100,000 had more than tripled in size from 507 million in 2000 to 1.7 billion in mid-2020.
“Research obtained by a group of scientists shows the COVID vaccine spike protein can travel from the injection site and accumulate in organs and tissues including the spleen, bone marrow, the liver, adrenal glands and in “quite high concentrations” in the ovaries.”
COVID vaccine researchers had previously assumed mRNA COVID vaccines would behave like traditional vaccines. The vaccine’s spike protein — responsible for infection and its most severe symptoms — would remain mostly in the injection site at the shoulder muscle or local lymph nodes. But new research obtained by a group of scientists contradicts that theory, a Canadian cancer vaccine researcher said last week. “We made a big mistake. We didn’t realize it until now,” said Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist and associate professor at University of Guelph, Ontario. “We thought the spike protein was a great target antigen, we never knew the spike protein itself was a toxin and was a pathogenic protein. So by vaccinating people we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin.”
Bridle, who was awarded a $230,000 grant by the Canadian government last year for research on COVID vaccine development, said he and a group of international scientists filed a request for information from the Japanese regulatory agency to get access to Pfizer’s “biodistribution study.” Biodistribution studies are used to determine where an injected compound travels in the body, and which tissues or organs it accumulates in. “It’s the first time ever scientists have been privy to seeing where these messenger RNA [mRNA] vaccines go after vaccination,” Bridle said in an interview with Alex Pierson where he first disclosed the data. “Is it a safe assumption that it stays in the shoulder muscle? The short answer is: absolutely not. It’s very disconcerting.”
The Sars-CoV-2 has a spike protein on its surface. That spike protein is what allows it to infect our bodies, Bridle explained. “That is why we have been using the spike protein in our vaccines,” Bridle said. “The vaccines we’re using get the cells in our bodies to manufacture that protein. If we can mount an immune response against that protein, in theory we could prevent this virus from infecting the body. That is the theory behind the vaccine.” “However, when studying the severe COVID-19, […] heart problems, lots of problems with the cardiovascular system, bleeding and clotting, are all associated with COVID-19,” he added. “In doing that research, what has been discovered by the scientific community, the spike protein on its own is almost entirely responsible for the damage to the cardiovascular system, if it gets into circulation.” When the purified spike protein is injected into the blood of research animals, they experience damage to the cardiovascular system and the protein can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause damage to the brain, Bridle explained.
A Chinese Communist Party military scientist who got funding from the National Institutes of Health filed a patent for a COVID-19 vaccine in February last year — raising fears the shot was being studied even before the pandemic became public, according to a new report. Zhou Yusen, a decorated military scientist for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who worked alongside the Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as US scientists, filed a patent on Feb. 24 2020, according to documents obtained by The Australian.
The patent -lodged by the “Institute of Military Medicine, Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA”- was filed just five weeks after China admitted there was human-to-human transmission of the virus, and months before Zhou died under mysterious circumstances, the report noted. “This is something we have never seen achieved before, raising the question of whether this work may have started much earlier”, Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky from Flinders University told the paper. Adding to the intrigue, Zhou later died under mysterious circumstances in May last year – something being looked into as part of the international investigation ordered by President Biden, the paper insisted. Despite being an award-winning military scientist, there were no reports or tributes, with him just listed as “deceased” in a Chinese media report in July and a December scientific paper.
Before working for the PLA, Zhou had strong ties to the US, doing postdoctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and collaborating with the New York Blood Center, the report said. Zhou worked closely with the Wuhan lab at the heart of increasing international focus over its possible links to the pandemic, as well as its now-notorious “bat woman” lead scientist, Shi Zhengli, the report said. The close working relationship between the pair supports declassified US intelligence released in January that said the Wuhan lab was conducting “secret military activity,” The Australian said.
“A Chinese Communist Party military scientist who got funding from the National Institutes of Health filed a patent for a COVID-19 vaccine in February last year — raising fears the shot was being studied even before the pandemic became public, according to a new report. Zhou Yusen, a decorated military scientist for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who worked alongside the Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as US scientists, filed a patent on Feb. 24 2020, according to documents obtained by The Australian.” So what do we now know? • China’s military was in fact involved at the Wuhan lab. It was not just a civilian operation. • The lab’s scientists knew not only the sequencing of the virus but in addition had a patentable way to create an alleged vaccine before the pandemic was public.
• It takes time to draft patents and figure them out. Quite a lot of time, in fact — not a couple weeks or months. • The PLA, China’s military, did file said patent with Zhou’s name on it. • It takes time to prove up patent material, including in the case of a vaccine. To patent something you must be able to demonstrate it; you cannot patent ideas, only embodiments of ideas. In that case you would have to prove immunogenicity which isn’t instantaneous; it takes weeks or even months to get through original science on this with animals and then humans, which means the date of knowledge was not February 24th it was months or even further before that.
• That means they were working on this even before that time because to work on a vaccine you have to know you must or would want to work on it in the first place. This in turn means they knew damn well there was a virulent virus in the wild prior to that date, or they released it or intended to release it into the wild on purpose. Nobody comes up with a vaccine for a virus you intend to and have confined entirely within a laboratory in animal or cell culture testing; that’s worthless. Without an isolate to create a vaccine for and a virus outside of a lab environment where vaccination becomes a “thing” that might be required and thus have value why would you do the work to create one?
What’s the timeline on all this? Many, many months or even a couple of years. That means either the virus was “out” for many months to a couple of years before February of 2020 (not a month or two) or the Chinese intended to release it in the fall of 2019. In either case the evidence is now overwhelming that this was not a virus that “magically appeared” one fine day in late December. That is not just improbable anymore — it is now, on the manifest weight of the evidence, impossible. Further, the person who filed the patent died under “mysterious circumstances.” Gee, I wonder why? Let me guess — did he shoot himself in the back of the head twice?
Next up is exactly what sort of vaccine patent we’re talking about here? Specifically how is it that the “stiffened” areas in the viral vector and mRNA shots we’re using in the US came to be known and proved up? How did Moderna and Pfizer know they needed to do that? That sort of study takes months if not years too, not days or weeks, to both come up with it and then prove it actually works as expected.
[..] Oh wait — the manufacturers didn’t bother with all of making sure it worked as expected, did they? Nope! It sort of works as expected. Yes, the shots produce antibodies – lots of them. But they also cluster in multiple organs where we were told it would not; we were told it would remain in the deltoid muscle where the injection was delivered. That it remained in the muscle was false; the science was not done and it appears we were just told it would do so without evidence. Now, due to a leaked document out of Japan we know the shots do not stay where intended and they bioaccumulate in other places, including the ovaries and spleen and yet this, which was a direct contravention of the predicate upon which the EUAs issued did not lead to immediate revocation. Oh no, the FDA doesn’t care when claims about where it is contained to in the body turn out to be false!
At least four State Department employees said in separate interviews that they repeatedly were ‘warned’ that an investigation into a possible COVID-19 leak from the Wuhan lab would ‘open Pandora’s Box;’ and reveal that the U.S. funded gain-of-function research there. It ‘smelled like a cover-up,’ Thomas DiNanno told Vanity Fair. DiNanno, the former acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, was one of four State Department officials who told Vanity Fair they wanted to investigate the possibility that COVID-19 spread after it escaped from the Wuhan lab. The others were David Asher, David Feith and Miles Yu. But they were muzzled by other State Department officials as well as the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation and even ‘ostracized,’ Yu told Vanity Fair.
The lab leak was touted by then-President Donald Trump and other right-wing leaders, but was deemed impossible by a ‘scientific consensus’ in a letter signed by 27 scientists, published on February 19, 2020 in the medical journal The Lancet. After that, the Wuhan lab theory was considered to be at best a conspiracy – some even considered it racist – so it wasn’t discussed as a realistic origin of COVID-19 until recently. Yu, the State Department’s principal China strategist, found the government’s and scientists’ silence ‘maddening,’ Vanity Fair reported. He said, ‘Anyone who dares speak out would be ostracized.’ Asher, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who ran the State Department’s day-to-day COVID-19 origins inquiry, told Vanity Fair it became clear that ‘there is a huge gain-of-function bureaucracy’ inside the federal government.
Plus $64.7 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), $13 million from Health and Human Services, $2.3 million from the Department of Homeland Security, and $2.6 million from the National Science Foundation.
The Pentagon gave $39 million to a charity that funded controversial coronavirus research at a Chinese lab accused of being the source for Covid-19, federal data reveals. The news comes as the charity’s chief, British-born scientist Dr. Peter Daszak, was exposed in an alleged conflict of interest and back-room campaign to discredit lab leak theories. The charity, EcoHealth Alliance (EHA), has come under intense scrutiny after it emerged that it had been using federal grants to fund research into coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The U.S. nonprofit, set up to research new diseases, has also partly funded deeply controversial ‘gain of function’ experiments, where dangerous viruses are made more infectious to study their effect on human cells.
A political storm broke when former president Donald Trump canceled a $3.7 million grant to the charity last year amid claims that Covid-19 was created in, or leaked from, the Wuhan lab funded by EHA. But federal grant data assembled by independent researchers shows that the charity has received more than $123 million from the government – from 2017 to 2020 – and that one of its biggest funders is the Department of Defense, funneling almost $39 million to the organization since 2013. Exactly how much of that money went toward research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is unknown.
Grants from the Pentagon included $6,491,025 from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) from 2017 to 2020 with the description: ‘Understanding the risk of bat-borne zoonotic disease emergence in Western Asia.’ The grant was categorized as ‘scientific research – combating weapons of mass destruction.’ The news comes as the charity’s chief, British-born scientist Dr. Peter Daszak, was exposed in an alleged conflict of interest and back-room campaign to discredit lab leak theories The majority of the DoD funding came from the DTRA, a military branch with a mission to ‘counter and deter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat networks.’ EHA also received $64.7 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), $13 million from Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control, $2.3 million from the Department of Homeland Security, and $2.6 million from the National Science Foundation.
Revered scientific journal The Lancet has created a ‘task force’ to investigate the origins of the coronavirus that caused a global pandemic, yet it has decided to employ as it’s leader the very guy who funded the dangerous gain of function research at the Wuhan lab and subsequently allegedly ‘bullied’ other scientists into avoiding looking into the lab as a potential source of the outbreak. In the wake of renewed scrutiny of the lab leak hypothesis, the Lancet’s task force will reportedly “focus on analyzing data on all of the theories put forward on the origins of COVID, on the reasons why SARS-CoV-2 was able to break out of Wuhan and spread globally, and on the most plausible strategies to prevent future pandemics.”
It also states that “The Task Force will review thoroughly and objectively all publicly available evidence, particularly the peer-reviewed literature, and conduct interviews with key leaders in science, medicine, policy and civil society.” ‘Objectively’. Right. Dr Peter Daszak, who is heading up this task force, is perhaps the least suitable scientist on the planet to objectively analyse the data, given his track record. Daszak, as President of the EcoHealth Alliance, shovelled at least $600,000 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the past few years to play around with coronaviruses inside the lab through the now infamous ‘gain of function’ research. Daszak, who also works for the World Health Organisation, is on record admitting that he was involved with manipulating coronaviruses.
Daszak notes that “coronaviruses are pretty good… you can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily… the spiked proteins drive a lot about what happens. You can get the sequence you can build the protein, we work with Ralph Baric at UNC to do this, insert into the backbone of another virus and do some work in a lab.” No wonder then that Daszak as lead investigator for the WHO investigation determined within 3 hours of visiting the Wuhan lab in February 2021 that there was ‘nothing to see here’?
President Biden said he is “very confident” in Dr. Anthony Fauci amid Republican attacks on his chief medical adviser after the revelation of thousands of his emails from the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The president was updating reporters as he departed Rehoboth Beach, Del., and when he walked out of the room, one shouted to ask if he is “still” confident in Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Moments later, Biden popped his head back in the room and said, “Yes, I am very confident in Dr. Fauci.” Fauci’s emails, which are heavily redacted, have prompted Republicans to demand answers from the NIAID director about why he did not more aggressively pursue the theory that coronavirus could have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China.
In one February 2020 email, he also said wearing a mask was “not really effective in keeping out the virus,” though the disease expert has already admitted he downplayed the effectiveness of masks in part so that supply would not run low for medical professionals. At the same time, Fox News has confirmed that State Department officials seeking to demand transparency from the Chinese government say they were explicitly told by colleagues not to explore the WIV’s gain-of-function research because it would bring unwelcomed attention to U.S. government funding of it. “We’ll let him speak for himself,” press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday when asked about Fauci’s emails. “He’s been an undeniable asset in our country’s pandemic response,” Psaki said. “It’s obviously not that advantageous for me to relitigate the substance of emails from 17 months ago.”
“Fauci Lied, People Died.” If you still occasionally run into some unrepentant Karen glaring at your unmasked following-the-science face, just scrawl the above words on your raggedy mask and wear it one final time. Karen won’t bother you anymore, because what can Karen say after the release of all the Fauci emails from last year? Dr. Anthony Fauci, a hack’s hack since 1968, is many things, but on the level is not one of them. Consider his response to a February 2020 email from a Cornell University professor of medicine who wrote him: “We think there is a possibility that the virus was released from a lab in Wuhan.” Fauci responded by forwarding the prescient warning to one of his minions: “Please handle.” A month later, a government-funded physicist sent Fauci a warning that China was sending out false data, among other things.
Once again, Fauci dismissively fobbed off this 911 call to an underling: “Too long for me to read.” Of course it was. You know how hard it is to concentrate on scientific data when you’re in the green room having the makeup applied for your third or fourth TV live shot of the day. Especially when you’re 80 years old. These Fauci emails are certainly revealing, so revealing, in fact, that the Washington Post isn’t posting them. Almost as revealing are the endless redactions, as if there’s some national security issue here when he’s been pitched by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Fauci is still being defended by the Democrat operatives with press passes — the “serious people,” as ABC hack Jonathan Karl described his fellow cheerleaders last week. But the reality is, his upcoming so-called book, which at 80 pages is almost as short as he is (67 inches high), was pulled this week from the two biggest online booksellers, five months ahead of its publication date.
The publisher claimed that “Expect the Unexpected” had been “prematurely posted.” Yeah, right. At least Gov. Andrew Cuomo had his abysmal $5.1-million COVID tome published before he was busted as a total fraud. Fauci’s book got torched before it even reached the public. The publisher’s sell sheet described him as “one of the world’s greatest medical minds,” but now he ends up the same authorial class as O.J. Simpson and Clifford Irving — their faux books didn’t make it out of the gate either. Fauci joins the long list of great anti-Trump saviors who have been, you’ll pardon the expression, debunked. Like, say, Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, Omarosa, Mary Trump, Robert Mueller, Christine Blasey Ford, Julie Swetnick, Lt. Col. Vindman, etc.
Maybe now that Dr. Tony Fauci has begun to spill the beans on his doings in service to the Wuhan virology lab, the phrase “conspiracy theory,” flogged by the media as jauntily and incessantly as by the soviet kommissars of yore, will have worn out its welcome. In a sane polity, Dr. Fauci would be cooked. He looks circumstantially like an epic villain of history, who promoted and funded dangerous research activities knowingly, which led to an international disaster that killed millions of people and destroyed countless livelihoods and households, perhaps even the whole global economy, when all is said and done — and he appears to have lied at every step along the way. As a practical matter, what is the “Joe Biden” admin going to do about him? Throw him under the bus? I don’t think they can at this point.
Dr. Fauci has come to represent not just the falsehoods employed around the Covid-19 fiasco but more generally the long campaign against truth itself by a grossly illiberal Jacobin Democratic Party seemingly out to punish and destroy Western Civ. Whether the Covid-19 pandemic was an overt tactic in that campaign, or just the result of Dr. Fauci’s catastrophic bad judgment, remains to be revealed. But at least half the country will conclude that there’s some connection between the terrible losses suffered in the pandemic year and the political bullshit they were force-fed in the four-year effort to defenestrate Donald Trump. All Joe Biden’s handlers can do now is fade Dr. Fauci out, keep him off the cable channels, and hope the public can be distracted with some new nonsense. You also have good reason to doubt that Merrick Garland will do anything but look the other way and whistle.
The downfall of Dr. Fauci is a watershed moment. There were so many more authorities caught lying over the past five years, but who got off scot-free — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, James Comey (actually, the whole FBI and DOJ E-suites), John Brennan, James Clapper, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissman, Adam Schiff, and the editors and producers of the news media, plus the execs of social media — who not only disabled the truth at every opportunity, but just about destroyed the public’s grip on reality.
The result has been an utter collapse of authority in this land, so that now nobody who runs anything is credible, from the current pitiful president of the USA, to most elected and appointed officials, judges, corporate CEOs, college deans and presidents, and now “The Science” itself. Just remember: there is still a sizable faction in America of people who are deeply interested in ascertaining the truth about a lot of things. They are aiming to get at it, too, for example, the truth about the 2020 election. Maybe now you can begin to see why this is important.
President Joe Biden and Republicans entered the weekend sharply at odds over how to craft an infrastructure deal that could satisfy their camps, imperiling the odds of a bipartisan deal. Democrat Biden shot down a new proposal from the main Republican negotiator on infrastructure, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, that increased spending by about $50 billion over their last offer, the White House said. Biden rejected the offer, saying it “did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis, and create new jobs.” Republicans had previously offered roughly $257 billion in new spending, short of the $2.25 trillion Biden initially offered and suggested he might bring down to as low as $1 trillion.
And while the two sides agreed to speak again on Monday, the White House also strongly signaled that they may seek a path forward with other Republican lawmakers or even with only Democrats. “He indicated to Senator Capito that he would continue to engage a number of Senators in both parties in the hopes of achieving a more substantial package,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. Up until now, Capito has been Biden’s primary negotiating partner. Monday’s conversation will be their third in a week. Biden is eager to show that he made a good-faith effort at a bipartisan deal, sources said, but he risks creating division among Democrats, some who believe he is giving up too much to Republicans. Democrats hold narrow majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate.
A federal judge Friday overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court. “Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez said. He issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law but stayed it for 30 days to give state Attorney General Rob Bonta time to appeal. Gov. Gavin Newsom condemned the decision, calling it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period.”
In his 94-page ruling, the judge spoke favorably of modern weapons, said they were overwhelmingly used for legal reasons. “Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle,” the judge said in his ruling’s introduction. That comparison “completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon,” Newsom said in a statement. “We’re not backing down from this fight, and we’ll continue pushing for common sense gun laws that will save lives.”
The United Kingdom and European Union opened formal antitrust investigations into Facebook’s classified-ads service, Marketplace. Both the European Commission and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said Friday they are investigating whether Facebook revamps data gathered from advertisers who buy ads in order to give illegal advantages to its own services, the Wall Street Journal reports. The cases look specifically at how Facebook uses the data it collects, and whether that would put the company at an advantage in the promotion of its own services in neighboring markets. The U.K. is also investigating whether Facebook uses advertiser data to give similar advantages to its online-dating service. “In today’s digital economy, data should not be used in ways that distort competition,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief.
A Facebook spokesman said its services will “continue to cooperate fully with the investigations to demonstrate that they are without merit.” Though the EU has been informally investigating the Big Tech giant for some time, if the Commission or the U.K.’s CMA finds evidence of any wrongdoing, they can then file formal charges. The new cases are part of a new series of antitrust enforcements throughout Europe. The European Commission filed formal charges against Apple last month for abusing its control over the distribution of music-streaming apps, including Spotify. In November, the EU also filed formal charges against Amazon for using nonpublic data gathered from third-party sellers to unfairly compete against them. Are you watching, America?
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused Europe and the U.S. of hypocrisy over criticism of the response to anti-government protests in Russia and Belarus and warned that America was at risk of following the path of the Soviet Union. In a speech at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin discussed Russia’s relations with the U.S. ahead of a meeting with President Joe Biden, describing them as “at an extremely low level now.” He criticised sanctions against Russia as well as allegations that Moscow interfered in the U.S. election and said that Washington and Europe had double standards in criticising the police crackdown against protesters in Moscow and Belarus in recent months. “We don’t have any issues with the U.S. But it has an issue with us,” he said.
“It wants to contain our development and publicly talks about it. Economic restrictions and attempts to influence our country’s domestic politics, relying on forces they consider their allies inside Russia, stem from that.” Ties between Russia and the U.S. have sunk to post-Cold War lows over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, accusations of Russian interference in elections, and cyberattacks that U.S. officials allege had Russian origins. Putin reiterated that Russia rejects accusations of interfering in U.S. presidential elections, and he spoke critically of the U.S. response to the Capitol attack, which took place as Congress prepared to certify that Biden had defeated then-President Donald Trump in November.
“They weren’t just a crowd of robbers and rioters. Those people had come with political demands,” he said. Putin pointed out that the heavy charges against hundreds of participants in the attack were filed even as the U.S. and its allies strongly criticized Belarus’ crackdown on anti-government protests. He charged that even as the West has criticized Russian authorities for a harsh response to anti-Kremlin demonstrations, protesters in Europe have faced an even tougher police response, with some shot in the eye by what he mockingly called “democratic rubber bullets.” Later, during a call with journalists, Putin criticised the United States as being overconfident and drew a parallel with the Soviet Union.
“You know what the problem is? I will tell you as a former citizen of the former Soviet Union. What is the problem of empires — they think that they are so powerful that they can afford small errors and mistakes,” he said. “But the number of problems is growing. There comes a time when they can no longer be dealt with. And the United States, with a confident gait, a firm step, is going straight along the path of the Soviet Union.”
When both Vanity Fair and Newsweek come out with in-depth articles about the very same topic (in this case how the DRASTIC group reported the lab leak theory), at the very same moment, that makes me nervous.
What also makes me nervous is the one-dimensional attention for Fauci. Much as I dislike the man, it starts to feel as if others are hiding behind him.
“Ivermectin is an off-patent drug that is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, and we know it is able to reduce Covid-19 symptoms at any stage of the disease by about 90%, so there is no need for vaccines.”
The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users, who began sharing their suspicions as early as January 2020. Then, in February, a research paper coauthored by two Chinese scientists, based at separate Wuhan universities, appeared online as a preprint. It tackled a fundamental question: How did a novel bat coronavirus get to a major metropolis of 11 million people in central China, in the dead of winter when most bats were hibernating, and turn a market where bats weren’t sold into the epicenter of an outbreak? The paper offered an answer: “We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus.”
The first was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which sat just 280 meters from the Huanan market and had been known to collect hundreds of bat samples. The second, the researchers wrote, was the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The paper came to a staggeringly blunt conclusion about COVID-19: “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan…. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.” Almost as soon as the paper appeared on the internet, it disappeared, but not before U.S. government officials took note.
By then, Matthew Pottinger had approved a COVID-19 origins team, run by the NSC directorate that oversaw issues related to weapons of mass destruction. A longtime Asia expert and former journalist, Pottinger purposefully kept the team small, because there were so many people within the government “wholly discounting the possibility of a lab leak, who were predisposed that it was impossible,” said Pottinger. In addition, many leading experts had either received or approved funding for gain-of-function research. Their “conflicted” status, said Pottinger, “played a profound role in muddying the waters and contaminating the shot at having an impartial inquiry.”
If there is a moment when the DRASTIC team coalesced into something more than its disparate parts, it would be this thread. In real time, for all the world to see, they worked through the data, tested various hypotheses, corrected each other, and scored some direct hits. The key facts quickly came together. The genetic sequence for RaTG13 perfectly matched a small piece of genetic code posted as part of a paper written by Shi Zhengli years earlier, but never mentioned again. The code came from a virus the WIV had found in a Yunnan bat. Connecting key details in the two papers with old news stories, the DRASTIC team determined that RaTG13 had come from a mineshaft in Mojiang County, in Yunnan Province, where six men shoveling bat guano in 2012 had developed pneumonia. Three of them died.
DRASTIC wondered if that event marked the first cases of human beings being infected with a precursor of SARS-CoV-2—perhaps RaTG13 or something like it. In a profile in Scientific American, Shi Zhengli acknowledged working in a mineshaft in Mojiang County where miners had died. But she avoided connecting it to RaTG13 (an omission she had made in her scientific papers as well), claiming that a fungus in the cave had killed the miners.
[..] One of those scientists was Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard who recognized the value of the information DRASTIC was producing and began to interpret it for scientists and nonscientists alike in crisp explainers on Twitter that made her a star science communicator. Chan acknowledged the group’s accomplishments in a long thread on Twitter. “Without the work done by the DRASTIC team, I don’t really know where we would be today with the origins of covid-19,” she wrote, adding, “The work of these outsiders…has had a measurable impact on the scientific discourse.” That scientific discourse jumped tracks on January 6, 2021, when the University of Washington virologist Jesse Bloom, one of the country’s most respected COVID-19 researchers, became the first major scientific figure to publicly legitimize DRASTIC’s contributions.
“Yes, I follow the work,” he tweeted, sending tremors through the scientific establishment. “I don’t agree [with] all of it, but some parts seem important & correct.” Bloom singled out Mona Rahalkar’s paper on the Mojiang mine, then added that in the early days of the pandemic, “I thought lab escape very unlikely. Based on subsequent work, I now say quite plausible.” Other scientists pressured Bloom to reconsider, but he held his ground, and the wall of silence began to crumble. In May, 17 scientists from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, and other leading institutions, including Chan, joined Bloom in a letter in Science calling for a thorough investigation of the Wuhan lab. On nearly the same day, The Seeker struck again. Visiting a database hosted by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, he searched for all theses supervised by Shi Zhengli. Boom. Three hits. “I got it on my first try,” he says. “Not sure why no one else thought of this before, but I guess no one was looking.”
If there had been any remaining doubt about the WIV’s pattern of deception, these new theses put it to rest. They indicated that the WIV researchers had never believed a fungus had killed the Mojiang miners, contradicting Shi’s remarks in Scientific American and elsewhere. In fact, WIV researchers had been so concerned about a new SARS-like outbreak that they’d tested the blood of neighboring villagers for other cases. And they had known the genetic sequences for the eight other SARS-like viruses from the mine—which could have helped researchers to understand more about SARS-CoV-2 in the early days —long before the pandemic started, and had kept the information to themselves, until DRASTIC called them out.
Peter Daszak, who studied controversial “gain of function” experiments on coronavirus elements in Wuhan, received $7.5 million from Anthony Fauci after Trump cancelled his grant. Last April, reports emerged that the EcoHealth Alliance, an organization run by one Peter Daszak, was involved in funding and collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were examining coronaviruses extremely similar to the one behind the COVID-19 outbreak, and allegedly engaging in “gain of function” research relating to them. In an April 17th press conference, President Trump confirmed that a grant worth around $3.7 million since 2015 given to Daszak’s group by the National Institute for Health would be ended “very quickly” following the reports.
Only one week later on April 24th, all future funding for the EHA was cut, and they were ordered to stop spending the $369,819 remaining from its 2020 grant. “At this time, NIH does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities,” Michael Lauer, the agency’s deputy director for extramural research, wrote in a letter to EcoHealth Alliance officials. From within the treasure trove of 3,200 pages of emails obtained from Anthony Fauci, one email can be found from Daszak, who thanked Fauci for dismissing the lab leak theory as being simply conspiratorial the day after President Trump announced the funding would be cut.
[..] Only a few months later in August, Fauci, who along with being put in charge of America’s response to COVID-19, is the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the NIH, helped confirm that Daszak’s organization would receive a new grant of $7.5 million to study coronaviruses as part of a new network. The CREID network, which contains 11 institutions including the EHA, “coincidentally” will continue to study the emergence of coronaviruses in Southeast Asia. Fauci said that the network will help “enable early warnings of emerging diseases wherever they occur, which will be critical to rapid responses,” while Daszak boasted that they will be working in rural hospitals, according to a statement, “in remote parts of Malaysia and Thailand to get to the front line of where the next pandemic is going to start.”
Video of Anthony Fauci announcing “NIH Lifts Funding Pause on Gain-Of-Function Research” at a NIAID Advisory Council meeting on January 29, 2018.
Dr. Anthony Fauci doubled down on claims that the coronavirus likely originated from an animal then was transmitted to humans in a Thursday morning interview on CNN, despite increasing speculation that it leaked from a China lab. Fauci, who served under former President Trump and President Joe Biden, continues to fight the idea that he downplayed theories that the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a trove of emails exchange at the beginning of the pandemic revealed he was warned about a potential lab leak. ‘I have always said and will say today to you … that I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human,’ Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday on CNN.
Although he said he’s keeping an open mind about the possibility of a lab leak, Fauci said it was ‘far-fetched’ to think the Chinese would kill their own people. ‘The idea, I think, is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves, as well as other people. I think that’s a bit far out.’ In a separate Thursday morning interview on MSNBC, Fauci said they want to definitively find the cause of the coronavirus pandemic – whatever that origin is – but pointing the finger at China isn’t going to help. ‘It’s in China’s interest to find out exactly what it is,’ Fauci said. ‘Obviously, you want openness and cooperation. One of the ways to get it is not to be accusatory. Try to get a forensic, scientific and investigational approach. I think the accusatory part about it is only going to make (China) pull back more.’
Fauci was asked during the MSNBC interview if he thought it was in China’s best interest to hide information if the origin was a lab leak or if it was designing a weapon. He sidestepped, saying no matter what he says, ‘it will be taken completely out of context,’ which he said has already happened after more than 3,200 of his emails from January to June 2020 were obtained and published by Buzzfeed on Tuesday. The emails showed leading virus experts warned him COVID-19 may have been created in a lab while he publicly played such claims down.
The former director of the Centers for Disease Control received death threats from fellow scientists after he said during a TV interview that he believed COVID-19 originated in a lab, according to an interview released Thursday. Robert Redfield, who served as the CDC director under Donald Trump when the pandemic began, told CNN on March 26 that he thought the most likely ‘etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory – you know, escaped.’ He said he wasn’t insinuating that there was ill intent, but that was his opinion. After that 10-second sound bite, he told Vanity Fair he was ‘threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis.’ At the time, the Wuhan lab leak was widely considered a ‘fringe theory’ at best, in favor of transmission from an animal to a human.
The Vanity Fair article said ‘death threats flooded his inbox’ from strangers who said he was being racist to prominent scientists, even some he considered friends. One told him to ‘wither and die,’ Vanity Fair reported. ‘I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science,’ Redfield said. Stephen Goldstein, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Utah, wrote an opinion piece on Webpagetoday on April 5 shooting down Redfield’s assertions on CNN. ‘Questions are undoubtedly going to persist about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 until, and if, a definitive answer is uncovered (and perhaps beyond),’ Goldstein wrote. ‘Until then, it’s imperative that leaders in science, public health, and government continue to call for rigorous study and stick to the science of viral evolution and viral ecology in their public commentary. ‘One of the fundamental principles of a life in science is to admit what you don’t know, and never be afraid to look it up. That’s where Redfield falls short, unfortunately on a big stage.’
[..] The magazine outlined the first moments Redfield heard about a mysterious new pneumonia affecting people in a Wuhan market from Dr. George Fu Gao, head of the Chinese CDC, on January 3, 2020. Redfield told Vanity Fair that he thought it was odd that family clusters were getting sick, and Gao later told Redfield that many cases had nothing to do with the market. That’s when it became apparent the virus was jumping from person to person, and Redfield told Vanity Fair he immediately thought of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He wanted to send researchers to the facility to rule it out, but the Chinese didn’t allow it, Vanity Fair reported. ‘A team could rule it out as a source of the outbreak in just a few weeks, by testing researchers there for antibodies,’ according to Vanity Fair.
“All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die..”
The so-called “MSM” isn’t even debating these parts of the email dump — they’re playing Ostrich instead, hoping they can bury it by “touting” all the “pressure” that was seen in the trove while ignoring that the archive damns not one man but entire professions including the vaccine/pharma connection. Yes, there is even evidence that the intentional refusal to look at and use existing drugs and the “decision” on how they were going to deal with this goes back that far, before the first American died. Bluntly put these people didn’t just ignore the evidence that accumulated by the summer months they literally ignored it all the way back to the start and thus it can be reasonably argued they are personally responsible for all of the deaths. If you want to know how you generate international hysteria you don’t need some cabal pulling a puppet string.
All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die with nothing they can do about it, and if it gets pinned on them as it should since they caused it every one of them deserves to be swinging from a rope. Oh, incidentally, Fauci also knew that masks in the general population were worthless. He pointed this out directly; that the virus was too small and would go right though it. His own words folks, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out but cannot say as “it’s against the consensus of experts”, according to Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, without being de-monetized, having videos pulled and risking being banhammered.
Now we know factually that Fauci stated this himself, so now the media and other “tech companies” are enforcing a position that the so-called “expert” generated with an intentional lie and they’ve maintained and forced that intentional lie for a year and are continuing to do so to this day. Now you know how the hysteria, cover-ups and outright lying happened. Now contaminate that with pharma money and you get what we’re doing now.
The U.S. has brought new coronavirus infections down to the lowest level since March 2020, when the pandemic began. Nearly every week for the past 56 weeks, Axios has tracked the change — more often than not, the increase — in new COVID-19 infections. Those case counts are now so low, the virus is so well contained, that this will be our final weekly map. The U.S. averaged roughly 16,500 new cases per day over the past week, a 30% improvement over the week before. New cases declined in 43 states and held steady in the other seven. The official case counts haven’t been this low since Americans went into lockdown in March last year — when the pandemic was still new, no one knew how long this would go on, and inadequate testing meant that cases were undercounted.
Overall, roughly 33 million Americans — about 10% of the population — have tested positive for COVID-19. About 595,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S., making it deadlier for Americans than the past 80 years of wars and other armed military conflicts combined, including World War II. The U.S. largely failed to contain the virus until the vaccines arrived. Cities and businesses began shutting down last March. From there, the virus rolled into a second wave last summer, when cases climbed to over 65,000 per day, on average, and hospitals in many parts of the country said they were overwhelmed. That failure was then eclipsed in the winter, when hundreds of thousands of people per day were contracting the virus and deaths climbed over 3,000 per day for about a month.
But now, the virus really is under control, nationwide and in every state, thanks almost entirely to the vaccines. Just over half of American adults are now fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Cases and deaths are still soaring around the world, especially in the developing world, and the Biden administration is facing consistently mounting pressure to export more vaccines, now that the U.S. has contained the virus. The U.S. was never able to control the virus without vaccines, and it still can’t. The risk is still about as high as it’s ever been for unvaccinated people, as the Washington Post recently reported. An average of about 500 Americans per day are still dying from COVID-19, almost all of them unvaccinated.
There will still be some localized outbreaks in the U.S., especially in areas where relatively few people are vaccinated. But they will likely be small, and vaccinated people will be protected. Over time, the immunity from vaccines will likely wane, which, together with new variants of the virus, will likely require booster shots to stay ahead of another outbreak. For now, though, the U.S. has finally gotten the virus down to a level that just about every expert agrees is safe. Fewer than 20,000 cases per day, spread across the U.S. population of 331.5 million people, is a relatively low number of cases, and that number continues to improve across the board.
The European Union has announced the purchase of 55,000 doses of the Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 drug, marking its first foray into potential treatments involving a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies. The EU announced it secured the shipment of the doses on Wednesday, as the bloc seeks to expand its portfolio of drugs and explores potentially promising treatments that can help in the fight against the virus. The deal was agreed earlier this year but the details were only confirmed on Thursday by an EU spokesperson, who said 55,000 doses of the single-shot treatment had been purchased. Roche stated that the company’s contract will cover 37 countries in Europe, including the UK and other non-EU nations. The cost of the shipment has not been made public by the EU or the pharmaceutical companies.
While the deal agreed between the companies and the EU is for the drug’s infusion version, there is also a shot that has been tested and developed. The Roche-Regeneron treatment is still awaiting formal approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) before the shipment is dispatched, with formal authorization expected between August and October 2021. The EMA is currently in the process of conducting a rolling review of preliminary data. The Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 treatment has already been granted emergency US approval for patients with mild to moderate symptoms, with Washington ordering 1.5 million doses. The monoclonal antibodies treatment seeks to replicate or boost the body’s natural immune response, helping to support Covid-19 patients who are at high risk of developing severe disease.
Due to the Dutch corona policy to close schools and thus keep parents at home, children have been used as a means to fight the epidemic. Our cabinet receives that hard slap on the fingers today in the annual worldwide children’s rights report, the KidsRights Index. According to the makers, the Netherlands has set a very bad example internationally, by not even trying to keep schools open safely. With all the consequences that entails for the mental health of our youth. The corona guidelines from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have also been neglected. Youth has not been given any priority in Dutch policy, it sounds.
Statements by corona minister Hugo de Jonge, dated mid-December 2020, are presented as proof. Then De Jonge indeed mentioned on television as the reason why the cabinet decided to close the schools, that parents with children sitting at home will therefore start working from home more quickly. When parents take their children to school, that is another moment of contact, De Jonge explained at the time. “And we also learned from the first wave, when the schools were also closed, that the fact that primary education does not provide physical education also ensures that parents adhere better to another advice, namely: work from home as much as possible. ”, said the minister at the time.
“Children’s rights have been put in second place by the cabinet during corona time,” Marc Dullaert, founder of the international children’s rights organization KidsRights, now told this site. “They were the ankle bracelet for parents. These had to be kept at home in order to effectively fight the epidemic. At the expense of their mental health.” In the first phase, when everyone was looking for the right approach, this was understandable according to Dullaert. ,,But De Jonge’s statements came at a time when it was really no longer acceptable, in the second phase. And other countries – such as Belgium and Sweden – have done everything they can to keep the schools open, so there were alternatives on the table.”
The number of cases of so-called black fungus, or mucormycosis, has almost doubled in Delhi over the past seven days, reaching 1,044 infections, the local health minister has said. The disease has particularly affected India’s Covid patients. A further 440 people have been diagnosed in the city since last week, when the number of afflicted patients stood at 600. Health minister Satyendra Jain said on Thursday that 89 people had succumbed to the disease in Delhi to date, while 92 others had recovered. The shortage of drugs to treat mucormycosis still remained a problem for the city of 29 million, the minister added. Cases of black fungus have been on the rise in India during the harsh second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of May 25, the country saw 11,700 infections, which prompted several states to declare mucormycosis an epidemic. It also soon became clear that the health authorities didn’t have sufficient quantities of the antifungal drug Amphotericin B for the number of patients. Capitalizing on the weakened immune system in Covid sufferers, the fungi most commonly enter the human body through the nose and mouth before spreading to the lungs, heart, or brain. Its symptoms include facial swelling and black lesions – hence its name – and it has a fatality rate of around 54%. The spike in black fungus incidences among Indian coronavirus patients has been largely linked to the steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed during their treatment for Covid-19.
The completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 project will deprive Ukraine of about $3 billion annually, with the country’s pipelines no longer necessary for the transportation of Russian gas to Western Europe. That’s according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who told a delegation from the US Congress that America should do what it can to prevent Nord Stream 2 from being completed. Once finished, the pipeline will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea. It aims to protect Berlin’s energy security and make the process less reliant on third countries transiting gas, thereby lowering the price. As things stand, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, around 100km remains to be completed, which should be achieved by the end of 2021.
“Only the United States and the administration of President Joe Biden can prevent the completion and commissioning of Nord Stream 2,” Zelensky explained. “Nord Stream 2 will disconnect Ukraine from gas supplies, which means ‘disconnecting’ us from at least $3 billion a year… We will have nothing to pay for the Ukrainian Army.” According to the Ukrainian leader, without this money, the country will no longer have a “powerful and well-supplied army” to continue “defending Europe and European values.” The construction of Nord Stream 2 has been significantly hindered by US sanctions, with Washington imposing numerous packages of measures against companies involved in the building, maintenance, insurance, and certification of the project. The American authorities have claimed that its completion would “undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability.” However, some have accused the Americans of opposing the pipeline for economic reasons, as the country looks to increase its exports of liquefied natural gas to the continent.
Following a series of corporate cyberattacks that American intelligence agencies have blamed on Russian actors, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund (officially the National Wellbeing Fund) has decided to dump all of its dollars and dollar-denominated assets in favor of those denominated in euros, yuan – or simply buying precious metals like gold, which Russia’s central bank has increasingly favored for its own reserves. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov made the announcement Thursday morning at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “We can make this change rather quickly, within a month,” Siluanov told reporters Thursday.
He explained that the Kremlin is moving to reduce exposure to US assets as President Biden threatens more economic sanctions against Russia following the latest ransomware attacks. The transfer will affect $119 billion in liquid assets, Bloomberg reported, but the sales will largely be executed through the Russian Central bank and its massive reserves, limiting the market impact and reducing visibility on what exactly the sovereign wealth fund will be buying. “The central bank can make these changes to the Wellbeing Fund without resorting to market operations,” said Sofya Donets, economist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow. “This in some sense a technical thing.”
Jordan Rochester, currency strategist at Nomura International PLC, said, “This is a transfer of euros from the central bank to the wealth fund, we’ll then see the central bank the holder of the USDs and it’s up to them to manage it. No initial market impact.” The news isn’t a complete surprise: The Bank of Russia, Russia’s central bank, has steadily reduced its dollar holdings over the last few years amid increasing sanctions pressure from the US and Europe. That trend continued through President Trump’s term. Just a few days ago, we reported that the Russian parliament had just authorized the sovereign wealth fund to buy gold through the central bank. However, the central bank reports its holdings with a six-month lag, making it impossible to determine its current holdings.