Feb 112022
 
 February 11, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  108 Responses »


Richard Oelze The expectation 1936

 

Why The Freedom Convoy Is Provoking Unprecedented Hysteria (Marsden)
GiveSendGo To Ignore Ontario Court Order To Freeze Freedom Convoy Funds (RN)
Lifting Restrictions Could Cause Canadians Anxiety (CP)
Have Doctors Blindly Become Foot Soldiers Of The Global Elite? (CTW)
Big Tech Censored Dozens Of Doctors, Over 800 Accounts (DC)
Heart Problems After Covid Are Much Worse for the Vaccinated (DS)
Yeah, That Was Dumb (Denninger)
Dems Do 180 On Pandemic Response, Attempt To Rewrite History (JTN)
Massive Vaccine Damage In US Military: US Secretary Of Defense Under Pressure
Scientists Discover Genetic Material Suggesting COVID Came From Chinese Lab (SN)
Putin Kept Macron At A Distance For Snubbing Covid Demands (R.)
Klaus Schwab’s School For Covid Dictators, Plan for ‘Great Reset’ (RAIR)
Crypto Art Auction Raises More Than $72 Million For Assange (R.)

 

 

 

 

Amazing Grace
https://twitter.com/i/status/1491755727475691523

 

 

 

 

Recombinant

 

 

HIV

 

 

“And a bonus L-O-L for his effort to portray protests to regain basic freedoms as some kind of attempt to overthrow the government of Canada..”

Why The Freedom Convoy Is Provoking Unprecedented Hysteria (Marsden)

Former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, a dual citizen of Ottawa and Globalistan, wrote in a recent Globe and Mail newspaper opinion piece: “[B)y now anyone sending money to the convoy should be in no doubt: You are funding sedition. Foreign funders of an insurrection interfered in our domestic affairs from the start. Canadian authorities should take every step within the law to identify and thoroughly punish them. The involvement of foreign governments and any officials connected to them should be identified, exposed and addressed.” Unlike previous environmental protests that have raged in Canada to the detriment of the country’s future energy independence, and been backed by US-based think-tanks funded by American business interests close to Washington elites — all of which have apparently escaped Carney’s attention or interest — truckers don’t actually require ‘foreign funding’. They have actual jobs that pay quite well.


You’d think he’d know that, given his illustrious background as an expert in money. But good luck trying to exploit the ‘foreign bogeyman’ trope and attempting to find the scapegoat that you’re looking for. Carney is concerned about the ‘occupation’ by protesters, who are merely fighting against the government blockade of citizens’ lives for the past two years. And a bonus L-O-L for his effort to portray protests to regain basic freedoms as some kind of attempt to overthrow the government of Canada. Perhaps someone could provide him with a paper bag before he passes out? Here’s your ground truth in Ottawa: “More than 100 Highway Traffic Act and other ‘Provincial Offence Notices’ were issued for offenses including excessive honking, driving the wrong way, defective muffler, no seat belt, alcohol readily available and having the improper class of driving license,” according to a Fox News report. Well, you know what they say. Every hardcore coup d’état starts with a seat belt offense, right?

Convoy gets bigger

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“Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo..”

GiveSendGo To Ignore Ontario Court Order To Freeze Freedom Convoy Funds (RN)

GiveSendGo, the crowdfunding website raising funds for the “Freedom Convoy” protest in Ottawa, says that it will be ignoring the order by the Ontario Superior Court to freeze the crowdfund. In defiance of the order, the U.S. based organization said that the court has no jurisdiction over its decisions and plans to disburse the funds to the protesters for whom the crowdfund was created. “Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo,” the organization stated on Twitter. “All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign.”


As Rebel News reported earlier Thursday, Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford’s office issued the following statement: “Today, the Attorney General brought an application in the Superior Court of Justice for an order pursuant to section 490.8 of the Criminal Code prohibiting any person from disposing of, or otherwise dealing with, in any manner whatsoever, any and all monetary donations made through the Freedom Convoy 2022 and adopt-a-trucker campaign pages on the GiveSendGo online fundraising platform.” The order binds any and all parties with possession or control over these donations.

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Canadians are pussies? How did that happen?

Lifting Restrictions Could Cause Canadians Anxiety (CP)

As provinces begin lifting COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, psychology experts expect stress and anxiety to run high among those who remain wary of letting their guards down. It will take time for many to adjust, they say, but the quick approach some provinces are taking could make the transition more jarring. Alberta ended its vaccine certificate system on Wednesday, days before its mask requirements for students is set to drop, while Saskatchewan plans to do away with its vaccine mandate on Monday. Other provinces, including Ontario, have taken a more gradual approach to dismantling COVID-19 measures. Steve Joordens, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, said it’s natural for people to feel conflicted as restrictions ease.

Though many are tired of the mandates aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, there’s still some underlying fear. “In the back of our mind there’s this niggling anxiety of: are we doing this too soon?” Joordens said. “Are we going to end up getting our butts kicked again (by a new variant)? And given all the division we’re seeing right now, could this make things worse?” After two years of being told to avoid the virus, it will be hard for some people to switch their mindset, Joordens said. Limited PCR testing, which previously helped indicate how much COVID-19 was circulating, adds another complicated wrinkle by removing some of the information people used to weigh their own risk.

Joordens expects the majority of people, even those who feel initial stress around reopening, will resume previous social interactions in public settings quite easily. But others, including people with conditions that make them more vulnerable, will have a harder time. For those who have linked certain scenarios — like large crowds and unmasked individuals — to threats of danger, Joordens said reopening could bring about conditions similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.

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‘If you don’t collect the adverse event data, and you don’t know the side-effect rates, you can keep the data-free experimental vaccinations going. With no one the wiser.’

Have Doctors Blindly Become Foot Soldiers Of The Global Elite? (CTW)

In countries such as the US, where massive budgets are also dispensed by powerful bureaucrats, trenchant critics who present a threat to funding may find themselves subject to Soviet-style psychiatric evaluation, as well as having their licence to practice suspended. That is exactly what happened to Dr Meryl Nass, an American doctor accused of spreading misinformation about hydroxychloroquine, the cheap and long-established anti-malarial drug that was found at an early point in the Covid pandemic to help prevent the development of severe illness. She demonstrated that in UK and World Health Organisation trials of the drug, it was used in ‘a non-therapeutic, toxic and potentially lethal dose’, given too late in the disease course to determine its value against the virus.

A trial called Recovery, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, the Gates Foundation and the UK Government, and conducted by researchers at Oxford University, reported an appallingly high death rate of more than 25 per cent among the 1,500 patients enrolled. In the WHO trial, Nass found that collection of limited safety data ‘serves to protect trial investigators and sponsors from disclosures of expected adverse effects, including death’. The ‘frightening’ conclusion to be drawn, she wrote, was that ‘WHO and other national health agencies, universities and charities have conducted large clinical trials that were designed so hydroxychloroquine would fail to show benefit in the treatment of Covid-19, perhaps to advantage much more expensive competitors and vaccines in development … in so doing, they have conspired to deprive billions of people from potentially benefiting from a safe and inexpensive drug, when used properly, during a major pandemic.’

Nass was also one of the first observers to challenge the high-level cover-up of the laboratory origin of the virus. Last month we learned that four prominent scientists who played key roles in promoting the theory that it was a natural event received millions of dollars in extra US Government grant money in the subsequent two years. Most recently, Nass has explained how, despite thousands of deaths and injuries reported informally in the wake of the vaccine rollout, US regulators have been unable to say how many are caused by the jabs – and have continued to insist that most are coincidental. She writes: ‘If you don’t collect the adverse event data, and you don’t know the side-effect rates, you can keep the data-free experimental vaccinations going. With no one the wiser.’

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“If doctors and academic journals can’t debate publicly, then it’s not science at all. It’s religion.”

Big Tech Censored Dozens Of Doctors, Over 800 Accounts (DC)

Major technology companies and social media platforms have removed, suppressed or flagged the accounts of over 800 prominent individuals and organizations, including medical doctors, for COVID-19 misinformation, according to a new study from the Media Research Center (MRC). MRC’s Free Speech America CensorTrack, an initiative that monitors acts of censorship across online platforms, identified over 41 instances between March 2020 and February 2022 in which doctors, scientists and medical organizations were censored, according to the results of a study shared with Daily Caller News Foundation. The study focused on acts of censorship on major social media platforms and online services, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Ads and TikTok.

Instances of censorship included Facebook’s decision to flag the British Medical Journal with a “fact check” and “missing context” label, reducing the visibility of a post, for a study delving into data integrity issues with a Pfizer vaccine clinical trial. Facebook also deleted the page of The Great Barrington Declaration, an open letter led by dozens of medical professionals, including Dr. Jay Battacharya, a Stanford epidemiologist, and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a former employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which advocated for less restrictive measures to address the dangers of COVID-19. “Big Tech set up a system where you can’t disagree with ‘the science’ even though that’s the foundation of the scientific method,” Dan Gainor, MRC vice president of Free Speech America, told the DCNF.

“If doctors and academic journals can’t debate publicly, then it’s not science at all. It’s religion.” Big Tech also scrubbed podcast host Joe Rogan’s interviews with scientists Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone, the latter of which was instrumental in pioneering mRNA technology. Twitter banned Malone from its platform permanently in late December 2021 over the virologist’s tweets questioning the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. “We tallied 32 different doctors who were censored, including mRNA vaccine innovator Dr. Robert Malone,” Gainor said. “Censoring views of credentialed experts doesn’t ensure confidence in vaccines, it undermines faith in government COVID-19 strategies.“

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“Oddly, for the issue of the day, the data on myocarditis was all hidden in the supplementary appendix to the paper..”

Heart Problems After Covid Are Much Worse for the Vaccinated (DS)

Nature published a comprehensive study this week on cardiovascular risk including a total of over 11 million patients that has made a few headlines. The aim was to identify the cause of increased cardiac pathology. It should have been a very simple study comparing four groups:
• Not infected and never vaccinated
• Not infected and vaccinated
• Infected but not vaccinated
• Infected and vaccinated

It is hard to believe the authors did not look at these groups, but whatever was found when comparing them remains a mystery. Instead, the following groups were compared:
• Not infected and never vaccinated data from 2017
• Not infected, including vaccinated and not vaccinated
• Infected but not vaccinated
• Infected with vaccinated people included but using modelled adjustments

When studies with huge datasets use modelling and fail to share data prior to their adjustments alarm bells should start ringing. Therefore, I took a deeper dive to see what else was questionable. There were serious biases in the paper which need addressing but first let’s look at the critical question of myocarditis (heart inflammation). Because of the known risk of myocarditis from vaccination it is worth looking particularly closely at the data presented on this. Oddly, for the issue of the day, the data on myocarditis was all hidden in the supplementary appendix to the paper. The risk of myocarditis appears to be an autoimmune (the immune system attacking the heart after interaction with the spike protein) rather than direct damage by the virus/vaccine spike protein. Therefore, myocarditis could result from the virus or the vaccine.

The key question that needs answering is whether vaccination protects or enhances the risk from the virus. The authors report 370 per million risk of myocarditis after Covid infection in the unvaccinated. The contemporary control rate was 70 per million and the historic one was 40 per million. What was wrong with the contemporary controls? They made it clear they removed those who had been vaccinated from the calculation in the Covid arm but they did not state they did this for the control arm. Did vaccination lead to a 30 per million increase in myocarditis in the control arm? Given the cohort appears to be old and we know myocarditis incidence is worse in the young a one in 30,000 incidence is significant.

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“..when you get jabbed the titers disintegrate over the space of just a few months. There was never evidence this would happen in people who got the virus and recovered..”

Yeah, That Was Dumb (Denninger)

Never has there been a virus that, once you get it, you don’t have durable immunity to that specific virus. Yes, viruses mutate. Some mutate so much (e.g. HIV) that vaccination is basically impossible; it doesn’t work. All attempts to vaccinate against a coronavirus in the past have failed for this reason as well. We know the current jabs, for example, wane off in about six months time, becoming statistically worthless, and even faster if a new mutation shows up (e.g. Omicron.) The screamfest has been that “oh, if you had Covid, you’ll get it again so you need the jab.” There was never any evidence for this claim. Now, we have duration data out 20 months, basically the entire pandemic, and… I’ll just quote it:

“Among 295 reported COVID-confirmed participants, 293 (99%) tested positive for anti-RBD antibodies (≥250 U/mL, 44%; ≥500 U/mL, 27%; ≥1000 U/mL, 15%). A median of 8.7 (IQR, 1.9-12.9; range, 0-20) months passed since reported COVID-19 diagnosis. The median anti-RBD level among those who tested positive was 205 (IQR, 61-535) U/mL. There was no evidence of association between time after infection and antibody titer (0.8% increase [95% CI, -2.4% to 4.2%] per month, P = .62)”

There was no evidence of deterioration of protection, such as it is. Yet we know, factually, that when you get jabbed the titers disintegrate over the space of just a few months. There was never evidence this would happen in people who got the virus and recovered. Never one scintilla of evidence was ever presented for that claim and we now know it was false. Indeed the CDC has admitted that among those who had Covid the jabs provide no statistically-significant improvement in protection whatsoever. Yeah, this new study was a relatively small sample. But it showed several things, all of them important. First, many people who thought they had Covid, but didn’t get proved up for it, really didn’t have it. Second, about 10% of those who didn’t think they had it actually did but didn’t know it. And third, if you really did have it whatever protection you are afforded does not disappear over at least nearly two years time, which is all the experience we have with this specific virus thus far.

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“.. a belief among at least some on Biden’s team that Americans are living in fear and are pessimistic about returning to their normal lives.”

Dems Do 180 On Pandemic Response, Attempt To Rewrite History (JTN)

With the midterm elections in sight, President Biden and fellow Democrats in Congress and governors’ mansions nationwide are completing a 180 on their COVID-19 response, abandoning the president’s promise to “shut down” the virus as Americans say they want to “get on with their lives.” In the process, Democrats have begun to lift key COVID-19 restrictions and return to normal life — the same approach, long embraced by red states, that they once rebuked as cruel and dangerous. Yet Biden and his Democratic allies are now taking credit for ending the pandemic while adopting these same policies. On Wednesday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, both Democrats, announced they will end mandates in their states requiring face coverings in most indoor public settings. However, masking rules for schools will remain in place.

Several other blue states — New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Oregon, and California — are also lifting their indoor masking requirements in the coming days. All but California said they’ll no longer require masking in schools. The decisions by Democratic governors to ease COVID-19 restrictions come amid a larger push by the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress to contain — rather than defeat — the pandemic and prepare the country to live with it. “We are moving toward a time when COVID won’t disrupt our daily lives, a time when COVID won’t be a constant crisis,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, adding that the president is looking to turn the page on the pandemic.

“We are internally discussing, of course, what it looks like to be in the phase of the fight against the COVID pandemic where it is not disrupting everyone’s daily lives, where people are moving on and living, lives free of, hopefully, masks at some point and many of the restrictions that we’ve all been living through over the past two years,” Psaki said. Her comments came after Politico reported the Biden administration is plotting to adapt to a “new normal” and condition Americans to live with COVID-19 in a bid to increase his low approval ratings and “boost [Democrats’] midterm prospects” amid soaring inflation and a stalled legislative agenda. “But in order to get people to view the pandemic differently, they have to feel differently about the pandemic,” said one senior administration official, echoing a belief among at least some on Biden’s team that Americans are living in fear and are pessimistic about returning to their normal lives.

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Google translation from German.

Massive Vaccine Damage In US Military: US Secretary Of Defense Under Pressure

An analysis of the Pentagon Health Database (DMED) points to a worrying increase in vaccine injuries among US soldiers. The study was presented on January 24 during a hearing by US Senator Ron Johnson. To shed more light on the matter, the Republican representative of the state of Wisconsin in the US Senate wrote to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin last Tuesday in a letter. In it, he listed other diseases potentially induced by the corona vaccination, which have increased significantly in 2021 compared to the five-year average:
Malignant tumors of the esophagus: increase of 894 percent
Multiple sclerosis: 680 percent increase
Breast cancer: 487 percent increase
Malignancies of the thyroid and other endocrine glands: 474 percent increase
Malignant tumor disease of the digestive organs: increase of 624 percent
Nervous disorders: increase of 1,048 percent

Johnson goes on to say that attorney Thomas Renz told him that some data regarding registered diagnoses of myocardial infarction had been removed from the Department of Defense database. Renz is representing the three Pentagon whistleblowers who released the disturbing numbers. “Have registered myocarditis diagnoses been removed from the database from January 2021 to December 2021?” Johnson bluntly asks the US Secretary of Defense. “If yes, please explain why and when this information was removed and who removed it.”

The senator also sees signs of deception as explosive: “After it was established that DMED data had been manipulated,” writes Johnson, “I immediately wrote to you on January 24th to keep all records that relate to the DMED or you were reported.” However, he has not yet been able to find out whether Austin complied with this request. Many questions that contain significant health-political explosives. Johnson has given the highest supervisor of all US soldiers February 15 as the deadline for an answer.

Ed Dowd

Malone insurance
https://twitter.com/i/status/1491978658457677829

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“..determined within 3 hours of visiting the Wuhan lab in February 2021 that there was no leak..”

Scientists Discover Genetic Material Suggesting COVID Came From Chinese Lab (SN)

Scientists in Hungary examining a unique variant of COVID-19 have discovered genetic material that suggests the strain was being examined in a Chinese lab, bolstering the lab leak theory. The researchers “found traces of a unique variant of coronavirus while examining DNA from soil from Antarctica that had been sent to the firm Sangon Biotech in Shanghai,” reports the Daily Mail. Genetic material from Chinese hamsters and green monkeys was also discovered, “which may suggest the virus was being examined in a lab, using either the animals themselves or their cells,” according to the report. Viscount Ridley said that such evidence bolsters the theory that the virus accidentally escaped or was leaked from the Wuhan lab deliberately.

The presence of “three key [COVID] mutations” is characteristic of the early sequences of the virus, according to Ridley. The discovery contradicts claims that the virus jumped from animals to humans naturally. For the best part of a year, the lab leak theory was dismissed by the legacy media and ‘fact checkers’ as a racist conspiracy theory. It subsequently emerged that Dr. Peter Daszak, President of the EcoHealth Alliance, a group that has extensive ties to the Wuhan lab gain of function research, thanked Dr. Anthony Fauci for dismissing the lab leak theory early on in the pandemic. He subsequently created a pressure campaign via a letter published by The Lancet to force the scientific community into avoiding looking into the lab as a potential source of the outbreak.

Daszak was also tasked by Facebook with ‘fact-checking’ (censoring) information related to the hypothesis, while Google, which via YouTube also censored information about the theory, also funded Daszak’s virus research. Daszak was also the lead investigator for the World Health Organization investigation that determined within 3 hours of visiting the Wuhan lab in February 2021 that there was no leak purely based on the word of researchers there.

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Russia might steal his DNA…

Putin Kept Macron At A Distance For Snubbing Covid Demands (R.)

French President Emmanuel Macron refused a Kremlin request that he take a Russian COVID-19 test when he arrived to see President Vladimir Putin this week, and was therefore kept at a distance from the Russian leader, two sources in Macron’s entourage told Reuters. Observers were struck by images of Macron and Putin sitting at opposite ends of 4-metre-long (13 ft) table to discuss the Ukraine crisis on Monday, with some diplomats and others suggesting Putin might be wanting to send a diplomatic message. But the two sources, who have knowledge of the French president’s health protocol, told Reuters Macron had been given a choice: either he accepted a PCR test done by the Russian authorities and was allowed to get close to Putin, or he refused and had to abide by more stringent social distancing.


“We knew very well that meant no handshake and that long table. But we could not accept that they get their hands on the president’s DNA,” one of the sources told Reuters, referring to security concerns if the French leader was tested by Russian doctors. The second source in Macron’s entourage confirmed Macron declined to take a Russian PCR test. The source said Macron instead took a French PCR test before departure and an antigen test done by his own doctor once in Russia. “The Russians told us Putin needed to be kept in a strict health bubble,” the second source said. On Thursday, three days after Macron and Putin had their socially-distanced meeting, the Russian leader received Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The two men shook hands, and sat close to each other, divided only by a small coffee table.

Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1491563974839705602

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It’s literally a School For Dictators…

Klaus Schwab’s School For Covid Dictators, Plan for ‘Great Reset’ (RAIR)

In 1992 Schwab established a parallel institution, the Global Leaders for Tomorrow school, which was re-established as Young Global Leaders in 2004. Attendees at the school must apply for admission and are then subjected to a rigorous selection process. Members of the school’s very first class in 1992 already included many who went on to become important liberal political figures, such as Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Tony Blair. There are currently about 1,300 graduates of this school, and the list of alumni includes several names of those who went on to become leaders of the health institutions of their respective nations. Four of them are former and current health ministers for Germany, including Jens Spahn, who has been Federal Minister of Health since 2018. Philipp Rösler, who was Minister of Health from 2009 until 2011, was appointed the WEF’s Managing Director by Schwab in 2014.


Other notable names on the school’s roster are Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand whose stringent lockdown measures have been praised by global health authorities; Emmanuel Macron, the President of France; Sebastian Kurz, who was until recently the Chancellor of Austria; Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary; Jean-Claude Juncker, former Prime Minister of Luxembourg and President of the European Commission; and Annalena Baerbock, the leader of the German Greens who was the party’s first candidate for Chancellor in this year’s federal election, and who is still in the running to be Merkel’s successor. We also find California Governor Gavin Newsom on the list, who was selected for the class of 2005, as well as former presidential candidate and current US Secretary of Transportation Peter Buttigieg, who is a very recent alumnus, having been selected for the class of 2019. All of these politicians who were in office during the past two years have favored harsh responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and which also happened to considerably increase their respective governments’ power.

Malone WEF

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Some confusion about the numbers out there, but it’s significant. “.. a group of more than 10,000 Assange supporters called AssangeDAO..”

Crypto Art Auction Raises More Than $72 Million For Assange (R.)

Assange collaborated with a crypto artist known as Pak to sell a collection of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) called Censored in an online auction from February 7-9 to raise funds to support his case. NFTs are a kind of crypto asset that uses blockchain to record the ownership status of digital files such as images, videos and even items within online games. The centrepiece of the auction was an NFT artwork, Clock, that displays the number of days Assange has been imprisoned in white text on a black background. It updates each day. The Clock NFT fetched 16,593 of the cryptocurrency ether, a sum worth around $72 million. It was bought by a group of more than 10,000 Assange supporters called AssangeDAO.


A Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) is a sort of online community which allows members to pool their money and use blockchain-based tokens to vote on decisions about how the group is run. Proceeds from the sale of Clock will go to support Assange’s legal defence. “This is tens of thousands of people coming together to show real strength — the Power of the People,” AssangeDAO community lead Joshua Bate said in a Discord post. “In less than one week, we have shown that decentralised and distributed peoples can band together to fight injustice.” Another member of the AssangeDAO team, Amir Taaki, told Reuters: “The AssangeDAO represents a Rubicon that’s been crossed”.

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The real Joe Rogan

 

 

The real Russell Brand

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

Oct 072021
 


M. C. Escher Order and chaos 1950

 

Covid-19 Response and the Tyranny of Evidence-Based Medicine (Amerling)
Reverse-transcribed SARS-CoV-2 RNA Can Integrate Into The Genome (Pnas)
New Lancet Study Confirms Plummeting Vaccine Effectiveness (DS)
GOP Senators Demand More Early Treatment Options For Covid-19 (JTN)
Sweden Halts Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For Younger Adults (RT)
And… Here We Go (Denninger)
Covid Commissars Financially Squeezing, Blackballing Dissenting Doctors (JTN)
Ontario Doctor Resigns Over Forced Vaccines And Falsehoods (LSN)
Mandatory Vaccination Is A Human Rights Violation (Spec.au)
Colorado Hospital Set To Deny Kidney Transplant For Unvaxxed Woman (ZH)
That Untraversed Land (Greer)
The Anonymous Executioners of the Corporate State (Hedges)
Key US Witness Against Assange Arrested in Iceland (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

The protected
https://twitter.com/i/status/1445681587547299851

 

 

Yellow badges

 

 

“If hundreds of thousands of patients die unnecessarily, their doctors will not be held responsible. “I was just following the guidelines” has replaced “I was just following orders.”

Covid-19 Response and the Tyranny of Evidence-Based Medicine (Amerling)

When the first wave of what was then known as the Wuhan virus hit in March-April 2020, medical attention was almost completely focused on management of the acutely ill patient. This was notable for its very high failure rate, particularly post-intubation. A handful of intrepid doctors, including Zev Zelenko in upstate NY and Didier Raoult in Marseille, France, addressed early outpatient treatment using repurposed existing drugs such as hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). These physicians achieved remarkable clinical results, but instead of being embraced and emulated, they were censored and harassed. As should now be obvious to even the most naïve, Pharma and other stakeholders had to suppress successful, cheap remedies to pave the way for the rollout of the “vaccines” that were already developed.

How was this accomplished? By using the tyranny of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM). “These treatments are not evidence-based!” they screamed. “Where are the randomized controlled trials (RCTs)?” they demanded. Kind of hard to have RCT data on a brand new disease, but so what. The authorities had spoken. In their excellent book, Tarnished Gold: The Sickness of Evidence-Based Medicine, Steve Hickey and Hillary Roberts write: “EBM encourages totalitarian medicine. It is displacing the doctor-patient unit as the ultimate decision-making authority. Peer review is used as censorship. EBM is a self-referential closed system, where critical appraisal means checking whether a study conforms to its rules. So-called evidence-based medicine wrongly claims the authority of medical and scientific gold-standards. EBM repackages and uses concepts from legal proof, in an attempt to impose a medical dictatorship.”

EBM is a movement that began in the early 1990s with the noble intention of incorporating high quality research into clinical practice. Over the last 20 years, EBM has steadily replaced traditional medicine, which depended on understanding pathophysiology and pathology (i.e. basic science), along with careful patient management including following response to treatments. EBM was quickly hijacked by industry to promote the use of their products through clinical practice guidelines, which are based on little more than a consensus of “experts,” the majority of whom receive financial support from industry. Ironically, many guideline recommendations are based on low quality, or no evidence.

EBM arrogantly claims for itself the mantle of “science,” but is actually pseudoscientific. It relies heavily on studies of large populations and therefore statistics, which are inherently unreliable and easy to manipulate. The conceit of EBM is that the results of large population studies can and should be used to dictate treatment of individual patients. It exalts metanalyses, statistical compilations of many studies, that can be created to support almost any pre-conceived idea. The vast majority of physicians are unable to understand, let alone deconstruct, the statistics used in most studies. “Evidence” is not science. Evidence can always be found to support any hypothesis, no matter how absurd. Remember that according to the “evidence,” Paul McCartney has been dead since 1966!

Whoever controls the “evidence” controls “the science” and through the bogus and corrupt guideline process, controls clinical practice. EBM creates an arbitrary hierarchy of evidence, with RCTs and metanalyses at the top and clinical experience, insultingly called ‘anecdotes,’ at the bottom. This is absurd on its face. The logical conclusion is that clinical experience is not needed to practice medicine! Just buy a guideline cookbook and go out there and heal! Perhaps that’s where things are headed. Or perhaps we are already there. If hundreds of thousands of patients die unnecessarily, their doctors will not be held responsible. “I was just following the guidelines” has replaced “I was just following orders.”

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Yes, scary. Very.

Reverse-transcribed SARS-CoV-2 RNA Can Integrate Into The Genome (Pnas)

Continuous or recurrent positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PCR tests have been reported in samples taken from patients weeks or months after recovery from an initial infection. Although bona fide reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 after recovery has recently been reported, cohort-based studies with subjects held in strict quarantine after they recovered from COVID-19 suggested that at least some “re-positive” cases were not caused by reinfection. Furthermore, no replication-competent virus was isolated or spread from these PCR-positive patients, and the cause for the prolonged and recurrent production of viral RNA remains unknown. SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-stranded RNA virus.

Like other beta-coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus), SARS-CoV-2 employs an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase to replicate its genomic RNA and transcribe subgenomic RNAs. One possible explanation for the continued detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in the absence of virus reproduction is that, in some cases, DNA copies of viral subgenomic RNAs may integrate into the DNA of the host cell by a reverse transcription mechanism. Transcription of the integrated DNA copies could be responsible for positive PCR tests long after the initial infection was cleared. Indeed, nonretroviral RNA virus sequences have been detected in the genomes of many vertebrate species with several integrations exhibiting signals consistent with the integration of DNA copies of viral mRNAs into the germline via ancient long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) retrotransposons.

Furthermore, nonretroviral RNA viruses such as vesicular stomatitis virus or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) can be reverse transcribed into DNA copies by an endogenous reverse transcriptase (RT), and DNA copies of the viral sequences have been shown to integrate into the DNA of host cells.

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47% after five months. Better get back in that jab line.

New Lancet Study Confirms Plummeting Vaccine Effectiveness (DS)

A study appeared in the Lancet this week confirming that vaccine effectiveness against infection is fading fast. The study involved 3,436,957 people over the age of 12 who are members of the healthcare organisation Kaiser Permanente Southern California. It sought to assess the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-related hospital admissions for up to six months, with a study period covering December 14th 2020 to August 8th 2021. Comparing fully vaccinated to unvaccinated, and controlling for confounders such as prior infection, the researchers found that effectiveness against infection plummeted from 88% (95% confidence interval 86-89%) during the first month after double-vaccination to 47% (43-51%) after five months. The variation by age (depicted above) was largely within the margins of error.

Among sequenced infections, the researchers found vaccine effectiveness against Delta infection was 93% (85-97%) during the first month after double-vaccination but dropped to 53% (39-65%) after four months. Effectiveness against infection from other variants the first month after double-vaccination was 97% (95-99%), but declined to 67% (45-80%) at 4-5 months. Vaccine effectiveness against hospital admissions for Delta infection held up at around 93% (84-96%) for the six months across all ages. However, the researchers note that the latest data from Israel “suggests that some reduction in effectiveness against hospital admissions has been observed among older people (65 years and over) roughly six months after receiving the second dose of [Pfizer]”.

One question that’s arisen recently is to what extent vaccine effectiveness estimates are affected by whether more people who have been previously infected decide not to be vaccinated. According to this study the answer is: not very much at all. Among the unvaccinated, 2.3% had one or more previous positive PCR tests, only slightly more than the 2% of the double-vaccinated who did.

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“..NIH’s ongoing compassionless guideline of doing virtually nothing until COVID-19 patients are so sick they require hospitalization..”

GOP Senators Demand More Early Treatment Options For Covid-19 (JTN)

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and 21 other Republicans are pressuring the Biden Administration to offer more early treatment options for COVID-19 to the American Public. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have not only ignored potential early treatments, but at times seem to have participated in an aggressive campaign against the use of specific early treatment options,” the group’s letter to officials stated. The letter was addressed to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services; Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration.

“Even though a basic tenet of medicine is: early detection allows for early treatment which produces better results; your agencies have overtly discouraged the use of cheap and widely-available early treatments like ivermectin in favor of expensive new drugs like Remdesivir (which costs more than $3,000 per treatment),” the letter said. The group charged that the Administration a “strong bias” against ivermectin and “other potential early treatment drugs.” The letter from the Republican senators comes as the Biden administration started capping how many doses of antibody treatments it would be giving to states.

“We strongly believe you should explain to the American people why your agencies have failed to sufficiently examine and ensure access to a growing list of drugs being used by doctors who have had the courage to ignore NIH’s ongoing compassionless guideline of doing virtually nothing until COVID-19 patients are so sick they require hospitalization,” the group wrote. Sen. Johnson previously held two hearings on early treatment of COVID-19.

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Sweden: people under 30. Denmark: people under 18.

Do they really think no-one will notice?

Sweden Halts Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For Younger Adults (RT)

The Swedish Public Health Agency has decided to suspend offering Moderna’s Covid vaccine to anyone born in 1991 and later for precautionary reasons, citing the slightly increased risk of heart inflammation following inoculation. On Wednesday, the agency issued a statement announcing that it will pause dishing out Moderna’s jab, marketed as Spikevax, to people under 30. Instead, the Comirnaty vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech will be offered to this age group. Announcing the suspension, the agency said data pointed to an “increased incidence” of heart inflammation diseases myocarditis and pericarditis – mainly in younger men and adolescent boys – “in connection with vaccination against Covid-19.”


The notice stated that “new preliminary analysis from Swedish and Nordic data sources indicate that the connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose.” Younger Swedes who have already received their first dose of the paused jab, estimated to be around 81,000 people, will now be unable to receive the second shot of that vaccine as per its usual delivery regimen. The health agency said it was looking for the best alternative to offer this group. Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, said that those who have been vaccinated recently, either with their first or second jab, should not worry about the risk, noting that it is very small. He added though that Swedes should be vigilant for symptoms of the two inflammatory conditions. Nordic neighbor Denmark also stopped the use of Spikevax on Wednesday, although only for minors under 18, citing similar concerns of rare side effects such as myocarditis.

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So you take that difference between 18 and 30 years above, and then ask: what age are most people in the army?

And… Here We Go (Denninger)

Ah, the rumor is real. “STOCKHOLM, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Sweden will pause the use of Moderna’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine for people born 1991 and later after reports of possible rare side effects, such as myocarditis, the Swedish health agency said on Wednesday. The health agency said data pointed to an increase of myocarditis and pericarditis among youths and young adults that had been vaccinated.” That’s anyone under 30 years old. Ok folks, how many people did we screw here in the US with mandates, with “strong recommendations” and similar?


How many businesses, along with all of their directors and officers need to be completely destroyed as a consequence of mandates? Oh, and what percentage of the MILITARY active duty are under 30? Threatened with a dishonorable discharge for refusal to put your cardiac health at risk of permanent harm eh? Note that Sweden previously approved the Moderna shot for anyone over 12. That turns out to be wrong. They claim the risk of being affected is “very small.” Would you quantify “very small” please? No? Gee, why not? Incidentally on the data that we have available the Pfizer jab, which Sweden is still willing to use in young people, also has the same potential adverse effect.

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“[M]erely drawing different conclusions based on consideration of scientific evidence does not render the Vaccine Policy arbitrary and irrational..”

It should make it subject of discussion. And that’s what’s being suppressed.

Covid Commissars Financially Squeezing, Blackballing Dissenting Doctors (JTN)

Medical professionals are facing threats to their careers and livelihoods for challenging COVID-19 orthodoxy, while an oft-censored Harvard Medical School professor is facing his latest Big Tech kerfuffle. The University of California put psychiatrist and bioethics professor Aaron Kheriaty on “investigatory leave” after he sued the university system for refusing to recognize natural immunity such as his among exemptions to its COVID vaccine mandate. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Kheriaty had previously invoked the post-Nazi Nuremberg code in urging universities to abandon their mandates. In his personal newsletter Wednesday, Kheriaty said he’ll lose half his income while on so-called paid leave, because he’s banned from “seeing my patients, supervising resident clinics, and engaging in weekend and holiday on-call duties.”

His contract also bans him from working as a physician outside the UC system to recoup his revenue loss. “The University may be hoping this pressure will lead me to resign ‘voluntarily,’ which would remove grounds for my lawsuit,” Kheriaty wrote. UC’s action came a day after a court refused to issue a preliminary injunction, functionally declaring a draw between each party’s scientific arguments about different forms of immunity and what risk vaccination poses for the recovered. “[M]erely drawing different conclusions based on consideration of scientific evidence does not render the Vaccine Policy arbitrary and irrational,” U.S. District Judge James Selna wrote. Protecting “a campus community of more than half a million students, faculty, and staff from a deadly infectious disease … far outweighs any harm Kheriaty may face” from choosing between vaccination or his job.

The only remaining defendant now is UC President Michael Drake, after Kheriaty agreed to drop the regents this week. The professor disclosed he filed another natural immunity federal lawsuit last week, this time against California’s vaccine mandate for health professionals. Just the News couldn’t find that lawsuit in the docket, and Kheriaty didn’t respond to a request to share it or explain how his investigatory leave may affect his UC lawsuit, such as a new retaliation claim. Canadian physician Charles Hoffe has also lost half his income while under investigation for sharing government data on the COVID recovery rate with patients, who are mostly First Nations members, according to his lawyers at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).

British Columbia’s Interior Health Authority had already warned Hoffe to stop promoting “vaccine hesitancy” after it learned he had been telling colleagues about his patients’ adverse reactions to the Moderna vaccine — one death and nine “disabling long-term side-effects.” A dozen European countries had pulled the AstraZeneca vaccine around that time for its association with blood clots, and Hoffe’s own investigation found “strong evidence” his patients had the same problems. A provincial health official referred Hoffe to a vaccine safety specialist who dismissed his concerns as “coincidences,” according to JCCF.

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How does this improve health care? 1000s of professionals are being thrown out.

Ontario Doctor Resigns Over Forced Vaccines And Falsehoods (LSN)

Dr. Rochagné Kilian recently resigned as an emergency room and family practice physician due to her concerns that the Ontario health system and Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS) crossed ethical lines throughout the pandemic. In a virtual meeting that included GBHS CEO Gary Sims and other staff members, Dr. Kilian asked Sims a series of questions about what she believes is unethical behaviour on behalf of the Ontario health system at all levels. Sims appeared to be unprepared for difficult questions pertaining to the ongoing rollout of vaccination mandates and vaccine segregation restrictions the Ontario heath system is championing. Kilian estimated that 80 percent of the patients she saw in the ER during the past month who had inexplicable symptoms were “double vaxxed.”

Dr. Kilian relocated to Owen Sound – a small city in Grey County, Ontario – from South Africa after previously working in British Columbia. When she resettled in Owen Sound with her family, she expressed to a local paper how happy she was to live there: “Our recruitment to Owen Sound might have been by chance, but our choice to settle here was definitely not. Our four months in Owen Sound have been blessed. A little town with lots of soul, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, filled with welcoming residents and businesses, and exciting festivals, programs and activities. We truly feel fortunate to raise a family here.”

The first issue that Dr. Kilian brought up during the meeting was informed consent regarding the COVID jab and what she considered to be a coercive mentality of pressuring people to accept medications that she pointed out are still in “clinical trials.” An GBHS administrator did not answer her question directly, but instead passed the buck to the provincial government and stated they do not have “oversight or input” regarding consent mechanisms presented to patients. Kilian added that having more input into what patients are consenting to is something that GBHS “should consider,” especially in light of enacting the government-recommended vaccination mandates with their own staff. Referring to informed consent and mandating experimental vaccines that been linked to thousands of deaths and injuries, Sims explained that because of the “pandemic,” certain procedural normalities will not take place.

[..] Dr. Kilian pressed Sims about claims that protocols of informed consent can be skirted due to an emergency, and clarified that the Tri-Council Policy Statement stipulates that an emergency situation does not warrant skirting protocols that protect the population from being put at risk due to medical experimentation. The Tri-Council Policy Statement is a Canadian guideline for the ethical conduct of research involving humans and/or human biological materials. As the vaccinations are still technically under experimental trial, they are being implemented under a research-based framework on the population.

It was Kilian’s opinion that the ethical framework is being ignored, thus health workers and citizens are being forced to take something against their will that is not proven to be safe or effective in the long term, as a result of vaccination mandates. Sims reacted sharply to Kilian and said, “Nobody is forcing you to do this, you have a right to say no, but the reality is the government has the right to say that you’re not employed.” “When the law looks at it, the law is saying you have the right to do it [enforcing vaccine mandates],” he added.

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“Conscription didn’t end because it was a breach of human rights, it ended because the public pressure was just too much.”

Mandatory Vaccination Is A Human Rights Violation (Spec.au)

Mandating or coercing COVID vaccination is one of the most important civil liberties issues of my lifetime. It’s a fundamental breach of human rights allegedly guaranteed by a number of international conventions and Australian law, as well as our long tradition of liberal democracy. Nowhere is the legal case against put more clearly than in a judgment of the Fair Work Commission published on Monday. It says, in a dissenting judgment, that because the vaccines are part of a clinical trial, coercing someone to take them breaches The Nuremburg Code, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Siracusa Principles.

The judgement also holds that vaccine mandates also breach Australian law as the Australian Human Right Commission Act 1986 (Cth) gives effect to Australia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 7 which provides “…no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation”. So the issue isn’t whether it is a breach, but how great a breach, and whether that will have any practical consequences. In my view, it is in the top tier of breaches – much worse than infringements on free speech, but not as bad as conscripting someone to war (the most serious breach I have seen). Unlike many abuses of human rights, in this case there are physical risks and benefits to taking the vaccines, some of which are “known unknowns”, or perhaps even “unknown unknowns” to borrow Donald Rumsfeld’s taxonomy of knowledge.

However, on “known knowns”, the US CDC estimates, using the VAERS database that the risk of death is .021 per thousand. That would be 525 deaths from the vaccine if everyone in Australia was vaccinated. And for what? We also know that a percentage of those vaccinated will also die from COVID. Another way of measuring the severity is to ask what individual Australians will put at risk to avoid the vax. The answer to that is that thousands have protested on the streets, risking fines in the thousands, and others are about to protest silently by losing their jobs and livelihoods, a price greater than any of the current fines.

What that adds up to one can only guess, but it will be significant, not only to the individuals but to the country as well as expertise is taken out of the system, perhaps never to return. Of particular concern must be that a significant proportion of these are health professionals. This will increase the stress on our hospitals at the moment when they are likely to be hit by a wave of illness from the Delta wave. In the end, the individual will is more important than the legalities. Conscription didn’t end because it was a breach of human rights, it ended because the public pressure was just too much.

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The sheer insanity. Move to a red state?!

Colorado Hospital Set To Deny Kidney Transplant For Unvaxxed Woman (ZH)

Now that vaccines are widely available and 56% of the US population is vaccinated (significantly missing President Biden’s Jul. 4 target of 70%), a little less than half of the country is unvaxxed and subjected to shocking and dehumanizing discrimination, making life very stressful. Across the country, the hot-button subject entering the fall is COVID vaccination passes for restaurants and football stadiums in certain cities, counties, and or even states. This has made life painful for the unvaxxed (as planned by the administration) who can’t go to their favorite eatery or cheer on their favorite sports team. However, the latest discrimination story of an unvaxxed person is terrifying.

A Colorado woman with stage 5 kidney failure is scrambling to find a new hospital because she and her donor are unvaxxed, and the hospital system has given them 30 days to get vaccinated or be taken off the transplant list. UCHealth, a healthcare system headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, adopted new transplant rules requiring patients to be fully vaccinated. “Here I am, willing to be a direct donor to her. It does not affect any other patient on the transplant list,” Jaimee Fougner, Leilani Lutali’s kidney donor, told Colorado-based news station CBS4. “How can I sit here and allow them to murder my friend when I’ve got a perfect kidney and can save her life?” Fougner said.

Lutali received a letter from UCHealth last week explaining she and Fougner had until the end of October to begin the vaccine process, or they would be removed from the transplant list. “I said I’ll sign a medical waiver. I have to sign a waiver anyway for the transplant itself, releasing them from anything that could possibly go wrong,” said Lutali. “It’s surgery, it’s invasive. I sign a waiver for my life. I’m not sure why I can’t sign a waiver for the COVID shot.” In August, UCHealth told Lutali that being vaxxed wouldn’t be a requirement for the surgery. “At the end of August, they confirmed that there was no COVID shot needed at that time,” she said. “Fast forward to Sept. 28. That’s when I found out. Jamie learned they have this policy around the COVID shot for both for the donor and the recipient.”

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“If you want people to put up patiently with long hours of drudgery at miserably low wages, subject to wretched conditions and humiliating policies, so that their self-proclaimed betters can enjoy lifestyles they will never be able to share, it’s a really bad idea to make them stop work and give them a good long period of solitude..”

That Untraversed Land (Greer)

I think that in retrospect, the decision to lock down entire societies to stop the coronavirus will end up in the history books as one of the most spectacular blunders ever committed by a ruling class. Partly, of course, the lockdowns didn’t work—look at graphs of case numbers over time from places that locked down vs. places that didn’t, and you’ll find that locking down societies and putting millions of people out of work didn’t do a thing to change the size and duration of the outbreak. Partly, the economic damage inflicted by the lockdowns would have taken years to heal even if the global industrial economy wasn’t already choking on excessive debt and running short of a galaxy of crucial raw materials. But there’s more to it than that.

If you want people to put up patiently with long hours of drudgery at miserably low wages, subject to wretched conditions and humiliating policies, so that their self-proclaimed betters can enjoy lifestyles they will never be able to share, it’s a really bad idea to make them stop work and give them a good long period of solitude, in which they can think about what they want out of life and how little of it they’re getting from the role you want them to play. It’s an especially bad idea to do it so that they have no way of knowing when, or if, they will ever be allowed to return to their former lives, thus forcing them to look for other options in order to stay fed, clothed, housed, and the like. (We can set aside the question of vaccine mandates for now—that’s another kettle of fish—but of course those feed into this same effect.)

So there’s a labor shortage, and it’s concentrated in exactly those jobs that are most essential to keeping the economy running. These are also the jobs most likely to have lousy pay and worse conditions. This isn’t accidental. It unfolds from one of the most pervasive and least discussed features of contemporary economic life: the metastatic growth of intermediation. Let’s unpack that phrase a bit. The simplest of all economic exchanges takes place between two people, each of whom has something the other wants. They make an exchange, and both go off happy. If what one of the people brings to the exchange is labor, and the other person brings something the first person wants or needs in exchange for labor, we call that “employment,” and the first person is an employee and the second an employer, but it’s still a simple exchange.

So long as there’s no overt or covert coercion involved on either side, it’s a fair trade. What happens as a society becomes more complex, however, is that people insert themselves into that transaction and demand a cut. Governments—national, local, and everything in between—tax income, sales, and everything else they can think of. Banks charge interest and fees on every scrap of money that passes through their hands. Real estate owners drive up the cost of land so that they can take an ever larger share of the proceeds in rent and mortgage payments. Then you have a long line of other industries lobbying government for their share of the take.

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“He has ordered me to pay millions to Chevron to cover their legal fees in attacking me, and then he let Chevron go into my bank accounts and take all my life’s savings because I did not have the funds to cover these costs. Chevron still has a pending motion to order me to pay them an additional $32 [million] in legal fees..”

The Anonymous Executioners of the Corporate State (Hedges)

Donziger and his lawyers have two weeks to appeal the judge’s order that Donziger be sent immediately to jail. Preska denied Donziger bail claiming he is a flight risk. If the Federal Court of Appeals turns down Donziger’s appeal he will go to jail for six months. The irony, not lost on Donziger and his lawyers, is that the higher court may overturn Preska’s ruling against him, but by the time that decision is made he will potentially have already spent six months in jail. “What Judge Preska is trying to do is force me to serve the entirety of my sentence before the appellate court can rule,” Donziger told me by phone on Monday. “If the appellate court rules in my favor, I will still have served my sentence, although I am innocent in the eyes of the law.”

Donziger, his lawyers have pointed out, is the first person under U.S. law charged with a “B” misdemeanor to be placed on home confinement, prior to trial, with an ankle monitor. He is the first person charged with any misdemeanor to be held under home confinement for over two years. He is the first attorney ever to be charged with criminal contempt over a discovery dispute in a civil case where the attorney went into voluntary contempt to pursue an appeal. He is the first person to be prosecuted under Rule 42 (criminal contempt) by a private prosecutor with financial ties to the entity and industry that was a litigant in the underlying civil dispute that gave rise to the orders. He is the first person tried by a private prosecutor who had ex parte communications with the charging judge while that judge remained (and remains) unrecused on the criminal case.

“No lawyer in New York for my level of offense ever has served more than 90 days and that was in home confinement,” Donziger told the court. “I have now been in home confinement eight times that period of time. I have been disbarred without a hearing where I have been unable to present factual evidence; thus, I am unable to earn an income in my profession. I have no passport. I can’t travel; can’t do human rights work the normal way which I believe I am reasonably good at; can’t see my clients in Ecuador; can’t visit the affected communities to hear the latest news of cancer deaths or struggles to maintain life in face of constant exposure to oil pollution. In addition, and this is little known, Judge [Lewis A.] Kaplan has imposed millions and millions of dollars of fines and courts costs on me. [Kaplan is the judge for Chevron’s lawsuit against Donziger; Preska is his handpicked judge for the contempt charges.]

He has ordered me to pay millions to Chevron to cover their legal fees in attacking me, and then he let Chevron go into my bank accounts and take all my life’s savings because I did not have the funds to cover these costs. Chevron still has a pending motion to order me to pay them an additional $32 [million] in legal fees. That’s where things stand today. I ask you humbly: might that be enough punishment already for a Class B misdemeanor?”

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“..a “rarely invoked” law that allows police in Iceland to detain someone considered to be in the middle of crime spree..”

Key US Witness Against Assange Arrested in Iceland (Lauria)

A key U.S. witness in the conspiracy to commit computer intrusion charge against imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who earlier this year admitted to fabricating evidence he gave to the FBI, has been arrested in Iceland, according to a report in the Icelandic newsmagazine Stundin. Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson was arrested in Reykjavík on Sept. 24 after returning from Spain under a “rarely invoked” law that allows police in Iceland to detain someone considered to be in the middle of crime spree, Stundin reported. Thordarson “was brought before a judge after police requested indefinite detention intended to halt an ongoing crime spree. The judge apparently agreed that Thordarson’s repeated, blatant and ongoing offences against the law put him at high risk for continued re-offending,” Stundin said.

Thordarson admitted in an interview with Stundin last month that he was engaged in ongoing criminal activity. Thordarson admitted in an earlier interview with Stundin in June that he lied to the FBI about Assange directly ordering hacking operations — a key element of the U.S. computer charge against the WikiLeaks founder. Thordarson was granted immunity by the FBI against prosecution in exchange for becoming an FBI informant in a sting against WikiLeaks in 2010. It is not clear if Thordarson recanting his testimony is related to his recent arrest. In his September interview Thordarson said the FBI promised not to reveal to Icelandic authorities any crimes he committed in Iceland in exchange for his cooperation.

Stundin reported: “It is not clear to what extent the Icelandic authorities were informed about these arrangements, if at all. Indeed Thordarson claims he was assured by the FBI that no information would be shared with the Icelandic police about crimes he committed in Iceland, particularly the hacking attempts against Icelandic institutions. Siggi: ‘My worry was that if I told them who was hacked and how, like Landsvirkjun and the government’s website and all that, I would become a target of Icelandic authorities.’ Reporter: ‘Why?’ Siggi: “Eventually I asked if they [Icelandic authorities] would get access to the data I talked about and they [the FBI] just said no, that would never happen. That was the only discussion I had with the FBI about Icelandic authorities.’” But Thordarson also said if he lied to the FBI the immunity deal would be off.

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Celente

 

 

 

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Aug 162021
 
 August 16, 2021  Posted by at 6:57 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Jules Adolphe Breton The Song of the Lark 1884

 

An article on Jim Quinn’s Burning Platform gave me hope. Hope that the madness will be forced to end, though I have no hope this will be an easy process. The article, by “Hardscrabble Farmer”, describes what happens in France now the even stricter Health Pass measures have come into force. Much of the country is grinding to a halt.

We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out, and sure, the French are out for the summer, so empty terraces and restaurants are not that exceptional. The writer is probably not native French, and doesn’t know the intricacies of the health care system which is not entirely state run, there are indeed private clinics, “elite” is a French word after all, but much of what he says is undoubtedly true. And not only in France.

I think most countries that now cajole and threaten their citizens into being vaccinated will find, and have to admit at some point, that they just don’t have the numbers. But first France:

 

Message From France

Here in France it has gone to the extreme with the “Health” Pass. Last week on the 21st ALL restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and any leisure activities like sporting events, theaters, cinemas, museums, were closed to anyone without “the pass” and all staff at these places are mandated to get the jab to keep their job. It is now a 6 Month prison sentence if you are caught inside any of these places without the pass (the man who slapped the president in the face got only 3 months prison time).

Business owners will get a fine of 45,000 euros and 1 year prison sentence if they do not comply with the use of “the pass” and force all their employees to get the jab. (If you know France, you can commit murder and have less of a sentence) So the result? All the low paid employees quit, they can make more on welfare here (for now). We can still technically “get take out food” but I just tried last night and every restaurant in our town (that is dine in with take out) has closed their doors due to the lack of staff.

As of last week ALL doctors, nurses and health industry workers have been mandated to get the jab or lose their license, practice, job, business etc. [..] Since the Health care system is state run and funded, it has been run into the ground. All the good doctors left France 5 Years ago, all the hospitals look like they are 3rd world hospitals since there is no money to repair them, half of the equipment doesn’t work and not every hospital is stocked with supplies needed for daily needs (masks, gels, disposable gowns etc).

For 5 years Nurses have been understaffed and doing double the work because the Health care system is nearly bankrupt…. So add to this the mandatory jab. So the result? Well they took to the streets by the millions and now all the hospitals just lost another 50% of staff capacity. My doctor just went into early retirement (a.k.a. he quit) and I have yet to find a replacement.

As of Aug 1st ALL large malls, retail stores and grocery store owners and their staff need to be jabbed and the health pass is required to enter for employees and customers. This would be the equivalent to closing ALL Targets, Walmarts, Costcos, Home Depots, and all major grocery stores [..] to those without “the pass”.

[..] As of Sept 15th All public areas and access will be off limits. No farmers markets, no parks, no national parks, lakes, rivers, beaches, recreation areas, campsites etc. and no gathering over 100 people, no churches, no weddings, etc. As of Oct 1st ALL small vendors such as, delis, pizza trucks, sandwich shops, butchers, bakers, vegetable stands etc.

So as of Oct 1st I will only be able to purchase food by internet and pick up (if allowed). Food shortages, Truckers strike, hospitals and airports shutting down unemployment going through the roof. Its going to be a bumpy ride folks. Is it me or does all this seem a bit extreme for a “pass” that isn’t exactly working?

About those numbers: according to Our World in Data, France has 52% fully vaccinated people, and 68% who’ve had at least a single dose. I don’t believe that for a second, just as I don’t believe any country’s official numbers. Because they are used to push more people into getting vaccines, the idea being that high numbers will make them think it’s time to be with the group.

A nice example is a CNBC piece from August 2 about the US, which claims:

70% of U.S. adults have had at least one shot of a Covid vaccine, according to data published Monday by the CDC, about a month behind President Joe Biden’s Fourth of July goal.


[..] “We need to have at least 80% of the population vaccinated to truly have some form of herd immunity,” Dr. Paul Offit, a voting member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said in a recent interview. “This is a fairly contagious virus.”

But also on August 2, the Mayo Clinic had the US at 58% single dose vaccinated, which Our World in Data appears to confirm, and 49.9% fully vaccinated. But that doesn’t look too great a whole month after Biden’s July 4 70% goal ran out, dies it?

Two weeks later, on August 15, the number of fully vaccinated is up by just 1%, at 50.9%.

At that rate it will take a while. Or rather, that rate means they might as well give up. Because it’s an uphill battle in which the low hanging fruit has been picked. Vaccination centers are closing, demand is drying up. Just getting to 70% would be a miracle. But then the “experts” say that is not enough either, you need 80%. Forget about it. You will kill your economy first. Even at 70%, you have almost a third of your population not working, not shopping, living outside of the economy.

Bill H.R. 4980, posted on Congress.gov., says:

To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that any individual traveling on a flight that departs from or arrives to an airport inside the United States or a territory of the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and for other purposes.

This means half of Americans won’t be allowed to fly. Happy Americans! Happy airlines! And of course these measures will subsequently at some point be applied to all the fields they already are in France. Hospitality, stores, hospitals, etc. Which will lose a lot of their staff. and a huge chunk of their customers. As the fully vaccinated go up by 1% per two weeks.

Oh, and wait, I haven’t even mentioned the 3rd, 4th and so on, booster shots. Think everyone will get them all? If these people have their way, we’re going to live in a world where one week you can dine out and fly, but the next you first need to get the umpteenth shot to do it. And you may get real sick if you don’t to boot.

In Greece, the government last week announced that 65.1% of the total population have one dose, and 61.1% “of adults have completed their inoculation.” That would mean they are way ahead of the US, even though they started much later, had supply problems and so on. No, they’re lying too, all governments massage the numbers.

With the US at 50%, I’d say Greece is at 30%, 40% max. And resistance here is high, so the numbers will only climb very slowly. But of course, threats. A friend who works in a restaurant told me today that they’re threatening to fire him in October. He’s trying, with 5 others at the same place, to hire a lawyer to take their case, but the lawyers have so many of these cases that their fees have skyrocketed.

They base their claim on the idea that the Greek parliament have said you can’t fire people for not taking the vaccine. I simply don’t know enough about that. But it’s clear which way the wind is blowing. Here and in so many other places. Some people are docile, some governments have better propaganda, but it’s still all moving in the same direction.

What may break this downhill, and dangerous, trend, is reports about severe adverse effects, such as antibody-dependent enhancement, breaking through the near perfect wall of silence built around “alternative” views and other things that don’t fit the narrative. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time. But you can obviously try. And you can try and set one half of your population against the other. That’s a lovely idea too. The Land of the Free, but only for those who follow orders.

Note: I know, I know, they’re all betting on boosting their numbers by inoculating every new born child, even the unborn. Problem is, people tend to love their children even more than themselves. And no-one can assure them it’s safe to jab their kids, even if they claim it: there’s no evidence of it, none.

 

 

 

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Mar 122021
 
 March 12, 2021  Posted by at 3:42 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  33 Responses »


Claude Monet Grand Canal, Venice 1908

 

 

 

Our freedoms are cancel-cultured one by one, and by now hardly anyone notices anymore, because the media is in on it. But this cannot end well. We better stop this now, or it will get awfully out of hand. It’s a sliding scale bouncing down a slippery slope that gifts politicians and “health authorities” the world over with ever more powers, which they really should not have, as everyone would agree with who takes a step back to look at the bigger picture.

 

• ONLY doctors are experts.

• We use ONLY vaccines to fight Covid, no prophylactics. No vitamin D, HCQ or ivermectin.

• We have ONLY Emergency Use Authorization vaccines.

• We can soon ONLY travel after having been inoculated with such vaccines.

• We can ONLY express officially approved opinions.

 

 

• ONLY doctors are experts.

You can’t let your country be run by doctors, virologists and epidemiologists. Anyone can understand that. But this is the reality:

Advisory Committee On Pandemic Needs Variety Of Experts, Not Just Doctors

The existing committee of experts advising the government on the pandemic must reshape to add experts from different research disciplines instead of one to become more efficient, according to a professor on Friday. Manolis Dermitzakis, professor of genetics at the University of Geneva, told Skai television that, in the first wave of the pandemic, the decisions for the committee were simple. It ONLY had to decide whether some activities should open or close, while the public largely complied with the restrictive measures. But the complexity of the situation as the pandemic continued from the summer onwards was so great that a commission which includes ONLY doctors could not function. Dermitzakis also argued that the panel must have fewer members. “A committee that has 30-40 members and consists ONLY of doctors cannot function,” he said.

• We use ONLY vaccines to fight Covid, no prophylactics. No vitamin D, HCQ or ivermectin.

We talked about the absurdity of this so much at the Automatic Earth, no need to repeat it.

 

• We have ONLY Emergency Use Authorization vaccines.

That one is tricky: none of the vaccines injected into 100s of millions of people has been approved. Who knows this though, that gets “jabbed”?

• We can soon ONLY travel after having been inoculated with such vaccines.

This article beats around the -legal- bush a little, but you just watch:

EU’s Green Pass Will ONLY Be Valid With EMA-Approved COVID Vaccinations

An EU source has told Euronews that the Green Pass proposal, to be put forward on March 17th to aid free movement within the bloc, will ONLY be valid with EMA-approved vaccinations. Why? Because the vaccinations from unapproved companies will not be covered by the EU liability clause and quality control. The source reported that EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders made it clear that member states were free to get their citizens vaccinated by other products, but they would not be allocated a licensed travel certificate unless their jab had been from an approved company, of which there are currently four. Pfizer/BioNtech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson&Johnson.


The duration of the digital green certificate should be limited to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU source said, adding that tests and quarantine will continue to be the enablers of free movement. Thus, vaccination does not become a pre-condition for free movement.

 

But Europe won’t even have the vaccines it needs to enact such policies. You will end up with a new elite: the vaccinated. Older people. Who, as far as we know, will still be liable to be infected, and infect others. The youth must stay home. You MUST be vaccinated, but right now, we’re all out. Call again in September. Call me maybe.

 

Europe’s COVID Vaccine Rollout Faces Even More Delays

Earlier today, a smattering of European nations halted vaccinations for at least some AstraZeneca COVID vaccine jabs amid an investigation into whether the jabs contributed to dangerous blood clots that led to at least one death. And as if this wasn’t a big enough problem for one day, Bloomberg reports that manufacturing issues are plaguing AstraZeneca’s manufacturing facilities, creating more obstacles to distribution. And now European governments are bracing for further delays. Good thing Italy refused to send that one shipment of jabs to Australia. Here’s more from Bloomberg:

“European Union governments are bracing for further possible delays in the distribution of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine after a warning from the European Commission that the manufacturer remains a problem, according to a diplomatic note seen by Bloomberg. Astra Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said last month the company would look at tapping international supply chains to make up for some of the shortfall, including production in the U.S.

It’s revised its delivery schedule multiple times, most recently committing to 40 million doses this quarter and 180 million in the second from an earlier goal of about 280 million across both periods. But at a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday, diplomats were told by senior EU officials that Astra continues to be “problematic.” They also heard that Johnson & Johnson, which could get market authorization from the European Medicines Agency on Thursday, has yet to provide a delivery schedule for its vaccine.”

 

There are still enormous potential issues with the Emergency Use Authorization vaccines. This is not kid’s play. There’s this from my article yesterday:

 

Mass Vaccination Amidst A Pandemic Creates An Irrepressible Monster

Basically, we’ll very soon be confronted with a super-infectious virus that completely resists our most precious defense mechanism: The human immune system. From all of the above, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine how the consequences of the extensive and erroneous human interventon in this pandemic are not going to wipe out large parts of our human population. One could ONLY think of very few other strategies to achieve the same level of efficiency in turning a relatively harmless virus into a bioweapon of mass destruction.

 

And there’s this, rehashed by Jim Rickards:

 

The Vaccines Aren’t Actually Vaccines

First, these so-called vaccines are not really vaccines in the widely understood sense. A traditional vaccine involves an injection either with a weakened form of the virus you are protecting against or a similar virus. Either one can produce antibodies that remain in the system and fight the actual disease if you get it. These new vaccines are entirely different. I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds here, but these treatments use experimental genetic modification to inject you with mRNA, which is a partial strand of genetic code. That mRNA then enters your cells and orders the cells to construct a spike protein similar to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID). This spike protein then precipitates antibodies that can reduce your reaction to SARS-CoV-2 if you get it.

But the “vaccine” does not prevent you from getting COVID, and it does not prevent you from spreading it to others. The spike protein remains with you indefinitely. In effect, you have modified your own genetic make-up to fight COVID without actually gaining immunity and without reducing transmissibility. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you’re immune to a disease, “you can be exposed to it without becoming infected.” But these vaccines do not prevent you from being infected or spreading it to others. Some have likened them to chemotherapy for a cancer you don’t have.Vaccines of this type with respect to viruses are entirely new in humans. Studies have not gone on long enough to evaluate long-term side effects.

These drugs are not FDA approved; they are being distributed under an emergency waiver to avoid the normal approval process. It’s almost like we’re being used as guinea pigs. It is likely that most people receiving the drugs are unaware of these important differences between the new drugs and traditional vaccines, which raises questions about whether their “consent” is fully informed. There could be very good reasons for vulnerable individuals to take these drugs, but they should not be mistaken for the kind of smallpox, polio and flu vaccinations with which we are familiar. As far as vaccines go, mRNA genetic therapy is a brave new world — one that is not well understood.

 

• We can ONLY express officially approved opinions.

Twitter and Facebook have set standards for this. None of the “old media” deviate from these opinions either.The number of articles on ivermectin, HCQ, vit. D from medical professionals that have been cancel-cultured by social media is staggering. That’s not just un-American, it’s un-every country that pretends to be a democracy.

Like Joe Biden said yesterday: if you’re good boys and girls, and get injected with an experimental never tested and thus never approved substance, then maybe we will allow you to have 1 or 2 friends over in 4 month’s time. I like Tucker Carlson’s reaction to that:

Tucker Biden

 

Governments across the world have spectacularly failed in their “three weeks to flatten the curve” policies, but don’t anyone dare call them on that. It’s not their fault, it’s the virus, and the variants, and the young people, and all those who don’t obey the orders. But never the people who made and make these decisions. Our world over the past year has become a one-dimensional myopic dystopia in which people will get increasingly uncomfortable and agitated. You just watch.

Just watch what happens when countries and states are forced to open their economies again because they can no longer afford to prop up everything inside them. You will see gigantic waves of lay-offs, which will only exacerbate the problems businesses are already in. And no American Rescue Plan or comparable stimulus elsewhere will rescue anything in the longer term.

And then…because they all want to balance their budgets, taxes will start rising. But that won’t be their fault either.

 

 

 

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Apr 102020
 


Edward Hopper Burly Cobb’s House, South Truro 1930-33

 

Doctors Alarmed After Some COVID19 Patients Test Positive After Recovering (RT)
Doctors Say Ventilators Are Overused For COVID19 (Stat)
Pay Cuts, Furloughs, Layoffs For Doctors, Nurses, Healthcare Workers (BI)
New York Has More Cases Than Any Country (BBC)
Trump: Widespread Testing ‘Would Never Happen’, Not Needed To Reopen US (NW)
UK Gov’t: Keep Economy Running, We Will All Get COVID-19 Anyway (Nafeez Ahmed)
Ex-IMF Head Economist: Western Economies Slow To React (BBC)
Americans In Lebanon Decline Repatriation Offer: ‘It’s Safer In Beirut’ (CNN)
US Shouldn’t Bail Out Hedge Funds, Billionaires – Chamath Palihapitiya (CNBC)
WHO Chief And Taiwan In Row Over ‘Racist’ Comments (BBC)
Japan Will Pay Its Firms to Leave China, Relocate Production (N18)
China Factory Gate Deflation Deepens (R.)
How Greece Flattened The Coronavirus Curve (AlJ)
Saudi Energy Minister Says OPEC+ Oil Pact Hinges On Mexico Joining (R.)
US Banks Prepare To Seize Energy Assets As Shale Boom Goes Bust (R.)
Chicago Jail Reports 450 Coronavirus Cases Among Staff, Inmates (R.)
Assange Not Infected But Says Many in Belmarsh Are (CN)

 

 

US records 1,783 virus deaths in past 24 hours: Johns Hopkins
April 7: 1,939, April 8: 1.973

 

 

Cases 1,615,049 (+ 85,971 from yesterday’s 1,529,078)

Deaths 96,791 (+ 7,380 from yesterday’s 89,411)

 

 

 

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

 

 

From Worldometer – NOTE: mortality rate for closed cases is at 21% ! NOTE 2: the number of active cases that are critical or severe is going down. 4% now.

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID2019Info.live:

 

 

 

 

We keep seeing articles that depict how poor our understanding of the virus is. Sometimes I even wonder how many people died from that, instead of the virus itself.

Doctors Alarmed After Some COVID19 Patients Test Positive After Recovering (RT)

Troublesome results from South Korea and China, showing some of the patients who recovered from the coronavirus test positive again, could throw off widely accepted strategies for battling the virus, from shutdowns to vaccines. After about 50 recovered patients in the city of Daegu tested positive for Covid-19 again, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) launched an investigation into whether they were somehow reinfected, or if the virus had made a comeback. “While we are putting more weight on reactivation as the possible cause, we are conducting a comprehensive study on this,” said KCDC Director-General Jeong Eun-kyeong, as quoted by Bloomberg.

While reinfection would be problematic, reactivation is a more troubling prospect. In addition to raising questions about post-recovery immunity to the virus, it would pose a major challenge to mitigation strategies adopted around the world. If there is a high risk of Covid-19 reactivating among the people considered cured, that would mean longer quarantines and delays in reopening businesses and public spaces. Other possibilities include false positives, if the tests pick up residue from the initial infection, or prolonged “shedding” of the virus load missed by the tests at discharge because the levels were just under the limit.

South Korea has often been cited as one of the success stories of the pandemic, keeping the total number of infections to 10,400 and the death toll to 204, through strict quarantine, widespread testing and contact tracing measures. Further troubling news comes from China, where the novel coronavirus was first detected in December last year. A team of scientists at Fudan University analyzed blood samples from 175 patients discharged from a hospital in Shanghai and found that almost a third had “unexpectedly low” levels of antibodies, and in at least ten cases, no antibodies at all.

“Whether these patients were at high risk of rebound or reinfection should be explored in further studies,” the team said in a preliminary research paper released on Monday. While it has not been peer-reviewed or evaluated, the authors say they did the world’s first systematic examination of antibody levels in recovered Covid-19 patients. All of the people examined had recovered from mild symptoms, and most of those with low antibody levels were young, in the 15-39 age group. By contrast, the 60-85 age group had three times the amount of antibodies, the scientists said. If some patients do not develop antibodies, this could have serious implications for both vaccinations and “herd immunity.”

Read more …

More poor understanding.

Doctors Say Ventilators Are Overused For COVID19 (Stat)

Even as hospitals and governors raise the alarm about a shortage of ventilators, some critical care physicians are questioning the widespread use of the breathing machines for Covid-19 patients, saying that large numbers of patients could instead be treated with less intensive respiratory support. If the iconoclasts are right, putting coronavirus patients on ventilators could be of little benefit to many and even harmful to some. What’s driving this reassessment is a baffling observation about Covid-19: Many patients have blood oxygen levels so low they should be dead. But they’re not gasping for air, their hearts aren’t racing, and their brains show no signs of blinking off from lack of oxygen.

That is making critical care physicians suspect that blood levels of oxygen, which for decades have driven decisions about breathing support for patients with pneumonia and acute respiratory distress, might be misleading them about how to care for those with Covid-19. In particular, more and more are concerned about the use of intubation and mechanical ventilators. They argue that more patients could receive simpler, noninvasive respiratory support, such as the breathing masks used in sleep apnea, at least to start with and maybe for the duration of the illness. “I think we may indeed be able to support a subset of these patients” with less invasive breathing support, said Sohan Japa, an internal medicine physician at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “I think we have to be more nuanced about who we intubate.”

That would help relieve a shortage of ventilators so critical that states are scrambling to procure them and some hospitals are taking the unprecedented (and largely untested) step of using a single ventilator for more than one patient. And it would mean fewer Covid-19 patients, particularly elderly ones, would be at risk of suffering the long-term cognitive and physical effects of sedation and intubation while being on a ventilator. None of this means that ventilators are not necessary in the Covid-19 crisis, or that hospitals are wrong to fear running out. But as doctors learn more about treating Covid-19, and question old dogma about blood oxygen and the need for ventilators, they might be able to substitute simpler and more widely available devices.

An oxygen saturation rate below 93% (normal is 95% to 100%) has long been taken as a sign of potential hypoxia and impending organ damage. Before Covid-19, when the oxygen level dropped below this threshold, physicians supported their patients’ breathing with noninvasive devices such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP, the sleep apnea device) and bilevel positive airway pressure ventilators (BiPAP). Both work via a tube into a face mask. [..] because in some patients with Covid-19, blood-oxygen levels fall to hardly-ever-seen levels, into the 70s and even lower, physicians are intubating them sooner. “Data from China suggested that early intubation would keep Covid-19 patients’ heart, liver, and kidneys from failing due to hypoxia,” said a veteran emergency medicine physician. “This has been the whole thing driving decisions about breathing support: Knock them out and put them on a ventilator.”

Read more …

Obvious no. 1 for the government to prevent.

Pay Cuts, Furloughs, Layoffs For Doctors, Nurses, Healthcare Workers (BI)

Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston started temporarily laying off 900 workers this week, a move it expects will last through June. Salaried employees are facing a 15% cut, and hourly workers who don’t care for patients will be working fewer hours. The hospital confirmed that workers won’t face cuts if they are treating patients with COVID-19,. Though some hourly workers already had reduced hours due to lower volume, they won’t see more cuts if they’re moved onto the COVID-19 response team, said hospital spokeswoman Heather Woolwine. The cuts at MUSC came as the hospital saw a 75% drop in surgeries, 30% fewer patients arriving at the hospital, and 70% fewer patients arriving there by ambulance. Without staffing changes, it projected a $100 million loss through June 30.

In Oklahoma, Hillcrest HealthCare System announced it is putting about 600 employees on an estimated 90-day furlough, which is a temporary layoff without pay, though some might be called back sooner if they’re needed. The furloughs affect workers in administration, surgery, and outpatient care, where patient visits have gone down, said Rachel Weaver Smith, spokeswoman for Hillcrest. About 20% of staff are facing furloughs, reassignments, or reduced hours or pay, but the changes don’t extend to staff treating people with COVID-19, Weaver Smith said.

[..] There’s no central place where hospitals are reporting all of their layoffs or how much money they’re losing. The American Hospital Association, which represents more than 5,000 hospitals, has sounded the alarm about the industry’s financial difficulties and said that quickly distributing funding from the CARES Act would help facilities keep their doors open. About $30 billion will go out in the coming days, according to Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but it’s not clear when or how the rest will be distributed.

Read more …

There are some 20 million people in NY State. Much less than in Spain, Italy etc.

New York Has More Cases Than Any Country (BBC)

New York state now has more coronavirus cases than any other country outside the US, according to latest figures. The state’s confirmed caseload of Covid-19 jumped by 10,000 on Thursday to 159,937, placing it ahead of Spain (153,000 cases) and Italy (143,000). China, where the virus emerged last year, has reported 82,000 cases. The US as a whole has recorded 462,000 cases and nearly 16,500 deaths. Globally there are 1.6 million cases and 95,000 deaths. While New York state leads the world in coronavirus cases, its death toll (7,000) lags behind Spain (15,500) and Italy (18,000), though it is more than double the official figure from China (3,300).


Photo: Reuters- Lucas Jackson

Photos have emerged of workers in hazmat outfits burying coffins in a mass grave in New York City. Drone footage showed workers using a ladder to descend into the huge pit where the caskets were stacked. The images were taken at Hart Island, off the Bronx, which has been used for more than 150 years by city officials as a mass burial site for those with no next-of-kin, or families who cannot afford funerals. Burial operations at the site have ramped up amid the pandemic from one day a week to five days a week, according to the Department of Corrections. Prisoners from Rikers Island usually do the job, but the rising workload has recently been taken over by contractors.

Read more …

Imagine you’re a country that has imposed a 2-3 month lockdown on its people, and you’re slowly getting out. Would you then invite mass numbers of untested Americans?

Trump: Widespread Testing ‘Would Never Happen’, Not Needed To Reopen US (NW)

President Donald Trump on Thursday said a widespread COVID-19 testing program to assess whether workers can safely return to their workplaces is “never going to happen” in the United States. As he addressed reporters during the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Trump touted the fact that 2 million Americans had been tested for the virus as a “milestone” in the U.S. fight against the global pandemic caused by SARS-Cov-2. The 2 million tests that have been administered so far represents a high water mark after weeks of problems in obtaining and administering tests caused by the Trump administration’s rejection of a test developed by the World Health Organization. However, that number means only .61 percent of the 330 million U.S. population has been tested for COVID-19.

That’s a paltry number compared to many other countries which have implemented testing programs. Italy, for example, has administered tests to approximately 1.4 percent of its population, and South Korea, which flattened its infection curve with widespread testing, has reached .9 percent of its population. Most public health experts have stressed the need for the U.S. to significantly expand its testing program, both with currently available tests to determine whether a given person is infected with SARS-Cov-2, and with so-called “antibody tests” to determine whether a person has successfully fought off the virus and is therefore immune to it.

Both varieties of test, experts say, must be administered in far greater quantities than currently being done in order to allow Americans to return to work without fear of infection, though Trump has repeatedly suggested that the U.S. could begin to emerge from social distancing measures within a few weeks. But when asked how his administration could discuss “reopening” the U.S. economy without an adequate testing program in place, Trump claimed that such a program was not just unnecessary, but was something that was simply not in the cards. “Do you need it? No. Is it a nice thing to do? Yes,” Trump said.

Read more …

Long piece by Nafeez. I don’t know, when people spell Government with a capital G, I scratch my head.

UK Gov’t: Keep Economy Running, We Will All Get COVID-19 Anyway (Nafeez Ahmed)

Leaked recordings of a Home Office conference call on Tuesday, exclusively obtained by Byline Times, reveal that the Government has all but given up in its fight against the Coronavirus and is intent on simply finding “a method of managing it within the population”. The recordings show Home Office Deputy Science Advisor Rupert Shute stating repeatedly that the Government believes “we will all get” COVID-19 eventually. The call further implied that the Government now considers hundreds of thousands of deaths unavoidable over a long-term period consisting of multiple peaks of the disease. While urging the importance of reducing the burden on the NHS by staying at home, Shute downplayed the risk of people contracting the virus at work.

He said: “It’s perfectly okay to carry on around your business. And it’s vitally important that you do as there’s a whole bunch of supply chains and the economy that needs to continue running… So carrying on with your normal work is not putting you in harms way anymore so than staying at home or going out shopping. So I keep coming back to this point that we are all going to get this at some point. And it’s about making sure that we have a really strong NHS there to support us when we do get sick.” The policy being communicated by the Home Office privately among Government staffers is at odds with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement at a press conference three weeks ago that the next 12 weeks could “turn the tide of this disease”.


[..] A fuller analysis of leaked recordings obtained by Byline Times reveals that the Government remains committed to the idea that the vast majority of the UK population will contract COVID-19, making a minimum number of deaths inevitable, albeit over a longer period of time. Using the Government’s own lowest estimate of a fatality rate at around 0.5%, this confirms that it has resigned itself to the expectation that some 264,000 Britons will inevitably die in ensuing months and years from the disease. The recordings provide a sobering insight into how the scientific advice feeding into Government policy is evolving – without, however, being meaningfully communicated to the British public or being subjected to external scientific scrutiny.

Read more …

Western politicians focus on the economy, and only miles after that see anything else.

Ex-IMF Head Economist: Western Economies Slow To React (BBC)

The coronavirus was “taken a little more lightly” by western economies compared to those in Asia, says a former IMF chief economist. Raghuram Rajan said western economies are facing a drop in economic growth by as much as 6% this year. The widespread closure of businesses is having a huge financial impact as governments prevent the virus spread. His comments come as the IMF warns the global economy faces its worst crisis since the 1930s depression. “I think in the west, partly because there hadn’t been a direct experience of a serious epidemic, it was taken a little more lightly,” Mr Rajan told the BBC’s Asia Business Report on Friday. “This is something happening in faraway lands, it’s not going to be serious here.

“It’s all too easy to point fingers after the fact but what I’m saying is that the countries in East Asia that had the experience of previous pandemics, which didn’t quite rise to the level of pandemics I should say… but previous epidemics, they took this seriously right from the get-go.” Mr Rajan, a former governor of India’s central bank, praised South Korea and Singapore as two Asian economies that have handled the virus outbreak well. For his native India, he warned that it had “limited tools” given how densely populated the country is. “It’s hard to do social distancing anywhere in the normal course. Your markets are chock-full of people. Your dwellings are chock-full of people. And so I think the government is trying to attempt to reduce the pace of increase with this lockdown.”

His said it was necessary to send the message to people to take this pandemic seriously. “This is not fun and games, this is really about life and death, and if it really explodes in India, we really don’t have the resources to deal with that.” The economist, who is a finance professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, gave a bleak forecast for western economies as he expects them to shift from expansion to contraction. “At this point, we’re probably thinking of western countries seeing a shift in GDP growth from about 2 percentage to 3 percentage points, to negative 4 or 5 percentage points. “Each country is going to lose 5 to 6 percentage points of GDP at the very least over this year. So cumulate that, that’s significantly more than $2 trillion”.

Read more …

When Iran became a major case, there were fears for Lebanon as well. But so far it’s done well.

Americans In Lebanon Decline Repatriation Offer: ‘It’s Safer In Beirut’ (CNN)

Carly Fuglei was with a group of Danish friends in Beirut last month when she first considered moving back to the United States. They were preparing to leave Lebanon amid fears of a major coronavirus outbreak there, and tried to convince her to do the same. But the 28-year-old humanitarian consultant from Montana decided to stay. After Lebanon closed its borders on March 19 to stem the spread of the global pandemic, she began furnishing her rooftop terrace. Her time in Beirut, she realized, would be indefinite. “I made that decision for a combination of personal reasons and calculations about the virus that we’re all making,” says Fuglei. “I think that I am probably safer here.”

It’s a decision that several US citizens in Beirut who CNN spoke to have echoed, citing skyrocketing cases in the US. When the US government last week said it would fly its citizens and permanent residents to the US on a chartered flight for $2,500 per person, some Americans took to Twitter to publicly decline the offer. “And no, Mom, I’m not going,” Beirut-based freelance journalist Abby Sewell wrote in a tweet about the US embassy announcement. Responding to her tweet, a Lebanese journalist said: “For once I’m like no America is not safer than here.” Sewell’s mother, Meg Sewell, replied: “Actually, for the moment I might have to agree.” Sewell tells CNN she never considered taking the US embassy’s offer.

“From everything I’m reading, the situation is worse in the US, in terms of the number of cases, prevention measures or lack thereof, and how overburdened the health system is,” she says. “Also, since I’ve been living overseas for years, I don’t have health insurance in the US now, so if I did go back and then got sick, I would be looking at paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.” [..] Just under 12,000 tests for coronavirus have been carried out so far in Lebanon. That equates to around 0.1% of the population (by contrast, roughly 0.3% of the population in Britain, and 1.1% of the population of Germany have been tested). As a result, the ministry of public health believes it is underestimating the scale of its outbreak. It has urged more people to get tested. Lebanon’s ministry of public health has vowed to boost the number of screenings to as many as 2,000 a day. It says anyone with mild to severe symptoms is entitled to be tested.

Read more …

It will take pitchforks to change this.

US Shouldn’t Bail Out Hedge Funds, Billionaires – Chamath Palihapitiya (CNBC)

Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of investment firm Social Capital, told CNBC on Thursday that the U.S. shouldn’t be bailing out billionaires and hedge funds during the coronavirus pandemic. “On Main Street today, people are getting wiped out. Right now, rich CEOs are not, boards that have horrible governance are not. People are,” Palihapitiya, an early Facebook executive, said on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report.” “What we’ve done is disproportionately prop up poor-performing CEOs and boards, and you have to wash these people out.” “Just to be clear on who we are talking about. We’re talking about a hedge fund that serves a bunch of billionaire family offices, who cares? They don’t get the summer in the Hamptons?” he said.

“These are the people that purport to be the most sophisticated investors in the world.” Palihapitiya also said he was concerned that the Federal Reserve’s plans to support to economy during the COVID-19 crisis are going to have consequences. The Fed earlier in the day announced a slew of new moves aimed at getting another $2.3 trillion of financing into businesses and governments, including its Main Street business lending program and market interventions. The central bank said its loans will be geared toward businesses with up to 10,000 employees and less than $2.5 billion in revenues for 2019. Programs would total up to $2.3 trillion and include the Payroll Protection Program and other measures aimed at getting money to small businesses and bolstering municipal finances with a $500 billion lending program, it added.

But Palihapitiya said it would have been better to just give more money to Americans. “I’m not disagreeing with what the Fed has to do. What I’m saying is it’s creating a land mine, and it’s creating a bill that will have to come due,” he said. “It would be better for the Fed to have given half a million to every man, woman and child in the United States,” he added.

Read more …

“For years, we have been excluded from international organisations, and we know better than anyone else what it feels like to be discriminated against and isolated..”

WHO Chief And Taiwan In Row Over ‘Racist’ Comments (BBC)

A row has erupted after the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) accused Taiwan’s leaders of spearheading personal attacks on him. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had been subjected to racist comments and death threats for months. But President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan opposed any form of discrimination, and invited Dr Tedros to visit the island. Taiwan said it had been denied access to vital information as the coronavirus spread. The WHO rejects this. Taiwan is excluded from the WHO, the United Nations health agency, because of China’s objections to its membership. The Chinese Communist Party regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and claims the right to take it by force if necessary. The WHO has also been criticised by US President Donald Trump, who has threatened to withdraw US funding to the agency.


Dr Tedros said he had been at the receiving end of racist comments for the past two to three months. “Giving me names, black or negro,” he said. “I’m proud of being black, or proud of being negro.” He then said he had received death threats, adding: “I don’t give a damn.” The WHO chief said the abuse had originated from Taiwan, “and the foreign ministry didn’t disassociate” itself from it. But Ms Tsai said Taiwan was opposed to discrimination. “For years, we have been excluded from international organisations, and we know better than anyone else what it feels like to be discriminated against and isolated,” Reuters news agency quoted her as saying. “If Director-General Tedros could withstand pressure from China and come to Taiwan to see Taiwan’s efforts to fight Covid-19 for himself, he would be able to see that the Taiwanese people are the true victims of unfair treatment.”

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Many countries will follow. Big shift.

Japan Will Pay Its Firms to Leave China, Relocate Production (N18)

Japan is willing to fund its companies to shift manufacturing operations out of China, Bloomberg has reported as the disruptions caused to production by the coronavirus pandemic has forced a rethink of supply chains between the major trading partners. As part of its economic stimulus package, Japan has earmarked $2.2 billion to help its manufacturers shift production out of China. Of this amount, 220 billion yen ($2 billion)is for companies shifting production back to Japan and 23.5 billion yen for those seeking to move production to other countries. China is Japan’s biggest trading partner under normal circumstances, but imports from China have slumped by almost half in February due to lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus hitting manufacturing and the supply chain.


Shinichi Seki, an economist at the Japan Research Institute, predicted that there would be a shift in the coming days as there already was renewed talk of Japanese firms reducing their reliance on China as a manufacturing base. “Having this in the budget will definitely provide an impetus,” he told Bloomberg. Companies, such as car makers, which are manufacturing for the Chinese domestic market, will likely stay put, he said. The Japanese government’s panel on future investment had last month discussed the need for manufacturing of high-added value products to be shifted back to Japan, and for production of other goods to be diversified across Southeast Asia. More than 37 per cent of the 2,600 companies surveyed by Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd. in February had also said they were diversifying procurement to places other than China amid the coronavirus crisis.

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Someone mentions the D word!.

China Factory Gate Deflation Deepens (R.)

China’s factory gate prices fell the most in five months in March, with deflation deepening and set to worsen in coming months as the economic damage wrought by the coroanvirus outbreak at home and worldwide shuts down many countries. The world’s second-largest economy is trying to restart its engines after weeks of near paralysis to contain the pandemic that had severely restricted business activity, flow of goods and the daily life of people. Friday’s data from the National Bureau of Statistics suggested a durable recovery was some way off, with China’s producer price index (PPI) falling 1.5% from a year earlier, the biggest decline since October last year. It compared with a median forecast of a 1.1% fall tipped by a Reuters poll of analysts and a 0.4% drop in February.


Headline consumer inflation also eased somewhat last month, partly led by government control measures, while core prices remained benign, leaving more room for monetary easing, some analysts said. The overall decline in the factory gate gauge was exacerbated by a slump in global oil and commodities prices, which filtered through to crude oil, steel and non-ferrous metal industries, the statistics bureau said in a statement accompanying the data. “The issue of having more supply than demand, and persistently low oil prices, will intensify deflationary pressures,” said Yang Yewei, a Beijing-based analyst with Southwest Securities.

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3 different articles on “How Greece Did It” today, This one from Al Jazeera, others are the Independent and an op-ed at Bloomberg.

How Greece Flattened The Coronavirus Curve (AlJ)

When Greece cancelled carnival celebrations in late February, many people thought the measure excessive. In the western city of Patra, which hosts Greece’s most flamboyant carnival parade, thousands defied the ban and took to the streets. “The government has ordered an end to all municipal activities … but this is a private enterprise. No one can shut it down,” said a jubilant reporter for the local Ionian TV in front of a crew dressed up as 17th-century French courtiers. “They’re gathering here on St George’s Square, where the [Greek] revolution began in 1821, and that’s symbolic,” he said. Greeks quickly put their revolutionary spirit aside, however, and largely heeded government advice to remain indoors. The result has been a remarkably low number of deaths – 81 by Tuesday, compared to more than 17,000 in neighbouring Italy.

Even adjusted for population sizes, Italy’s fatality rate is almost 40 times greater. Compared with other European Union members, too, Greece has fared better. Its fatalities are far lower than in Belgium (2,035) or the Netherlands (1,867), which have similar populations, but a much higher GDP. “State sensitivity, co-ordination, resolve, swiftness, seem not to be matters of economic magnitude,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently told a pared-down session of parliament. “Our schools closed before we had the first fatality. Most countries followed a week or two later, after they had mourned the loss of dozens,” he said.

George Pagoulatos, a political economist who heads the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), a think-tank, agrees that the government displayed “a very professional, managerial approach early on”, albeit largely dictated by inherent national weaknesses. Greece had very shallow resources with which to tackle a large outbreak. A decade of austerity saw its national healthcare expenses cut by three-quarters. Its intensive care beds numbered just 560 last month, though the government has now raised that to 910, and hired more than 4,000 extra doctors and nurses. Another weakness is that at least a quarter of Greece’s population is over 60, and elderly patients have been deemed particularly at risk from coronavirus.

All this has meant that a forward line of defence was Greece’s only real defence – but it has paid off. Greece is using only a tenth of its ICU beds, and has plenty of capacity left over.

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Put pressure on Mexico but not the US. BAU.

Saudi Energy Minister Says OPEC+ Oil Pact Hinges On Mexico Joining (R.)

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Friday that a final OPEC+ oil supply pact to reduce 10 million barrels per day (bpd), which was agreed on Thursday, hinges on Mexico joining in the cuts. OPEC, Russia and other allies, a group known as OPEC+, outlined plans on Thursday to cut their oil output by more than a fifth, but said a final agreement was dependent on Mexico signing up to the pact after it balked at the production cuts it was asked to make. Discussions among top global energy ministers will resume on Friday. “I hope (Mexico) comes to see the benefit of this agreement not only for Mexico but for the whole world. This whole agreement is hinging on Mexico agreeing to it,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told Reuters by telephone.


Global fuel demand has plunged by around 30 million bpd, or 30% of global supplies, as steps to fight the coronavirus have grounded planes, cut vehicle usage and curbed economic activity. The kingdom will host an extraordinary meeting by video conference at 12.00 GMT on Friday for energy ministers from the Group of 20 major economies. Asked about other countries such as the United States, Canada and Brazil joining the OPEC+ cut pact, Prince Abdulaziz said: “They will do it in their own way, using their own approaches, and it is not our job to dictate to others what they could do based on their national circumstances.” [..] The planned output curbs by OPEC+ amount to 10 million bpd, or 10% of global supplies, with another 5 million bpd expected to come from other nations, according to sources, to help deal with the deepest oil crisis in decades.

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Shale outdid subprime in sheer craziness.

US Banks Prepare To Seize Energy Assets As Shale Boom Goes Bust (R.)

Major U.S. lenders are preparing to become operators of oil and gas fields across the country for the first time in a generation to avoid losses on loans to energy companies that may go bankrupt, sources aware of the plans told Reuters. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citigroup are each in the process of setting up independent companies to own oil and gas assets, said three people who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The banks are also looking to hire executives with relevant expertise to manage them, the sources said. The banks did not provide comment in time for publication. Energy companies are suffering through a plunge in oil prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a supply glut, with crude prices down more than 60% this year.

Although oil prices may gain support from a potential agreement Thursday between Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut production, few believe the curtailment can offset a 30% drop in global fuel demand, as the coronavirus has grounded aircraft, reduced vehicle use and curbed economic activity more broadly. Oil and gas companies working in shale basins from Texas to Wyoming are saddled with debt. The industry is estimated to owe more than $200 billion to lenders through loans backed by oil and gas reserves. As revenue has plummeted and assets have declined in value, some companies are saying they may be unable to repay.

Whiting Petroleum Corp became the first producer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 1. Others, including Chesapeake Energy Corp, Denbury Resources Inc and Callon Petroleum Co, have also hired debt advisers. If banks do not retain bankrupt assets, they might be forced to sell them for pennies on the dollar at current prices. The companies they are setting up could manage oil and gas assets until conditions improve enough to sell at a meaningful value.

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A whole bunch of scared people together in not very much space.

Chicago Jail Reports 450 Coronavirus Cases Among Staff, Inmates (R.)

Some 450 inmates and staff have tested positive for coronavirus at Chicago’s largest jail, county corrections officials said on Thursday, representing one of the nation’s largest outbreaks of the respiratory illness at a single site so far in the pandemic. The surge of cases at Cook County Jail marks the latest flare-up of COVID-19 at jails and prisons in major cities across the United States, where detainees often live in close quarters. The situation gained national attention earlier this week when inmates posted handmade signs pleading for help in the windows of their cells overlooking a public street. “Sheriff’s officers and county medical professionals are aggressively working round-the-clock to combat the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic,” the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said in a written statement on Thursday.


Those measures include opening an off-site 500-bed “quarantine and care facility” for prisoners, an effort to move as many inmates as possible from double to single cells, and the opening of a testing site at the jail. “Front line” staff members were being checked for fever at the start of each shift and issued protective equipment if they interact with inmates, according to the sheriff’s department.[..] In Monroe, Washington, inmates at a minimum-security prison vandalized the facility in a protest on Wednesday evening after officials announced that six prisoners had tested positive for COVID-19, according to Washington state’s Department of Corrections. State and local police and corrections officers quelled the disturbance at the prison 24 miles northeast of Seattle using pepper spray, sting balls and rubber pellets, the corrections department said.


Signs made by prisoners pleading for help in a window of Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 9, 2020 REUTERS/Jim Vondruska

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“More than 150 Belmarsh guards are in self-isolation and the prison is barely functioning..”

Assange Not Infected But Says Many in Belmarsh Are (CN)

Julian Assange has told a friend in a telephone conversation on Wednesday that he is living in a prison in which the coronavirus is “ripping through” the population. He told photojournalist Vaughan Smith, founder of London’s Frontline Club, that he is isolated 23 1/2 hours a day and spends 30 minutes in a prison yard packed with other inmates. More than 150 Belmarsh guards are in self-isolation and the prison is barely functioning, Smith said. Assange did not show up for a video link to his case management hearing at Westminster Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday. A court official was overheard by three people present in the courtroom saying that Assange was “unwell.” He is not infected with Covid-19, but Vaughan says his life is threatened by it in prison.

Read more …

 

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Thanks everyone for your generous donations.

 

 

Sound on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan 242020
 


John Vachon Window in home of unemployed steelworker, Ambridge, PA 1941

 

Chinese Hospitals In Chaos As Lockdown Spreads To Affect 33m People (G.)
Four ‘Generations’ Of Spread Seen With Virus In China (STAT)
Cases of China’s Viral Pneumonia Surge Exponentially (ET)
Wuhan Virus Will Shape China’s Smart City Vision (R.)
Doomsday Clock Moves Within 100 Seconds Of Midnight (NPR)
The House Impeachment Case Vs The Law of Attempts (Turley)
Fed’s Repos Drop to Oct Level, T-Bills Surge, But MBS Fall (WS)
Turkey Demands Greece “Demilitarize” 16 Aegean Islands (ZH)
Assange May Not Get First Amendment Protection (AAP)
Go to Gaza and Cry ‘Never Again’ (Haaretz)
America’s Radioactive Secret (Rolling Stone)

 

 

Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year. 450 million Chinese plan to travel to see family. 41 million are now under lockdown. 850 cases of “coronavirus” have been confirmed. 26 people have died, the elderly and vulnerable. But there are many reports of actual numbers being much higher.

Only 23.8% of Chinese doctors have a bachelor degree or higher. There are 60,000 licensed general practitioners in a country of 1.3 billion people.

Meanwhile, the Chinese “eat everything on four legs except for the table”.

“..the race to build a new 1,000-bed hospital in just six days began on Thursday night..”

Chinese Hospitals In Chaos As Lockdown Spreads To Affect 33m People (G.)

Hospitals in the Chinese city of Wuhan have been thrown into chaos and the movement of about 33 million people has been restricted by an unprecedented and indefinite lockdown imposed to halt the spread of the deadly new coronavirus. At least ten cities in central Hubei province have been shut down in an effort to stop the virus, which by Friday had killed 26 people across China and affected more than 800. The World Health Organisation described the outbreak as an emergency for China, but stopped short of declaring it to be a public health emergency of international concern.

In the city of Wuhan, where most cases have occurred, the race to build a new 1,000-bed hospital in just six days began on Thursday night. Diggers and bulldozers beginning work on the site of a holiday complex once intended for local workers, according to Chinese media. The hospital, which is due to open next week, is similar to those established in Beijing in 2003, when the city faced a Sars outbreak that killed almost 800 people and reached nearly 30 countries. During that crisis, 7,000 workers in Beijing built the Xiaotangshan hospital in its northern suburbs in just a week. Within two months, it treated one-seventh of all the country’s Sars patients, the Changjiang Daily said.

“It created a miracle in the history of medical science,” the paper added. It said the new Wuhan hospital “is to solve the shortage of existing medical resources”. People who sought treatment in Wuhan this week told the Guardian they had been turned away from hospitals, which have been inundated with patients. Facilities are reportedly running out of beds and diagnostic kits for patients who present with fever-like symptoms. [..] A series of additional measures were announced on Friday to prevent the spread of the virus, including a call from The People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist party’s main newspaper, for people who have recently been to Wuhan to isolate themselves at home, even if they don’t have symptoms. The cities of Wuhan, Ezhou, Huanggang, Chibi, Qianjiang, Zhijiang, Jingmen and Xiantao have all been placed under lockdown.

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It’s advanced up to a point where it can no longer be ignored. That’s China for you.

Four ‘Generations’ Of Spread Seen With Virus In China (STAT)

Emerging data on the new virus circulating in China adds to evidence there is sustained human-to-human transmission in the city of Wuhan, and that a single case was able to ignite a chain of other infections. The World Health Organization reported Thursday that there have been at least four generations of spread of the new virus, provisionally called 2019-nCoV, meaning a person who contracted the virus from a non-human source — presumably an animal — has infected a person, who infected another person, who then infected another person. It’s not clear from a WHO statement whether transmission petered out after that point, or whether further generations of cases from those chains are still to come.

The WHO said the current estimate of the reproductive rate of the virus — the number of people, on average, that each infected person infects — is between 1.4 and 2.5. To stop an outbreak, the reproduction number has to be brought below one. “That gives me no comfort at all that anything that’s happening right now is going to bring this under control any time soon,” Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, said of the data the WHO released. “And I think that as long as the virus is circulating in China as it appears to be, the rest of the world is going to be constantly pinged with it, as a result of people traveling to and from China in the near future,” he said.

To date, nine other countries, including the United States, have diagnosed cases of this new illness in tourists who traveled to Wuhan or residents who returned from there. Dr. Allison McGeer, who has firsthand experience with outbreaks caused by coronaviruses — the family to which 2019-nCoV belongs — also expressed concern about prospects for containing the outbreak. McGeer, a researcher at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, noted that the city’s SARS outbreak took off when fourth-generation cases were infected in the city’s hospitals. McGeer contracted SARS during that outbreak.

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No place in the hospital.

Cases of China’s Viral Pneumonia Surge Exponentially (ET)

It started with a light cough. He burped constantly, and complained of shortness of breath. Family members thought it was no big deal. The doctor said he seemed to have heart problems and suggested him to stay in the hospital. He appeared healthy except for a minor infection in one lung area. Two weeks later, he was dead, with both lungs infected and organ failure. His doctors at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital determined the cause of death as “unknown pneumonia.” It was days before Chinese health authorities identified the cause of the new viral pneumonia as 2019-nCoV, a coronavirus that first emerged in December in the commercial city of Wuhan, his home city.

As of press time, the virus has since sickened more than 540 people across China and around the world, with confirmed cases in South Korea, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States. Much remains unclear about the virus that has sparked fear around the world and cast a cloud over the upcoming Lunar New Year festivities, a major traditional holiday when millions of Chinese travel to their hometowns or go on vacations abroad. Experts say the mass movement of people could accelerate the disease’s spread. The virus has already spread across the country to 17 provinces and regions.

To the man’s family, his death is far from the end of their sorrows. Among his relatives, five have fallen ill: one is under emergency rescue at a Wuhan hospital; his niece and nephew-in-law also have lung infections but doctors turned them away, saying there’s no space for them at the hospital; two others are also experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms. Buying one dose of medicine means waiting for hours in line. His sister, currently in Norway, told The Epoch Times that she was being “silenced” by Chinese authorities and not allowed to post anything about his death. The man is not listed on the authorities’ official death toll, because he did not show any signs of fever, his sister said. She has requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.

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Never let a good crisis go to waste. Surveillance is good for you!

Wuhan Virus Will Shape China’s Smart City Vision (R.)

An epidemic will shape China’s vision of intelligent cities. The metropolis of Wuhan, with a population of 11 million, is under unprecedented quarantine as a deadly virus, believed to have originated there, spreads around the world ahead of the Lunar New Year when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel. Big investments in healthcare, artificial intelligence, and even surveillance could help curb future pandemics and cushion some institutional weaknesses. [..] The future may be less grim: President Xi Jinping has pushed to upgrade the country’s rickety healthcare system, enlisting technology giants including $474 billion Tencent and insurance group Ping An.

A unit of the latter has partnered with local governments in Shenzhen and Chongqing to develop an algorithm it claims can predict the transmission of influenza and other infectious diseases with 90%-plus accuracy. Elsewhere, the likes of $50 billion video-surveillance specialist, Hikvision, are helping Beijing develop high-tech, digitally-connected urban areas. More than 500 so-called smart cities are already being built across China, according to government figures, equipped with sensors, cameras, and other gadgets that can crunch data on everything from traffic and pollution, to public health and security.

That market could top 103 billion yuan ($15 billion) in revenue by 2023, according to research commissioned by facial-recognition startup Megvii. Until now the push has focused on automating political surveillance, including ugly applications in restive ethnic minority regions like Xinjiang, with little regard to human rights or privacy concerns. But there’s a potential public good if the tech can be re-deployed to detect unusual numbers of feverish people in train stations, for example, while simultaneously cross-referencing healthcare history, travel records and weather patterns. After Wuhan, the pressure to deliver health security, not just political security, will be higher.

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Meat for sale in China (without the bats used for soup):



Doesn’t feel like that for me.

Doomsday Clock Moves Within 100 Seconds Of Midnight (NPR)

In 1953, months after the U.S. tested its first hydrogen bomb and as the Soviet Union was about to do the same, the Doomsday Clock was also set within two minutes of midnight. The minute hand was moved back gradually as nuclear arms control agreements reduced the threat of global catastrophe. By the time the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended in 1991, the clock was set at an unprecedented 17 minutes to midnight. It has moved closer ever since. “What you’re hearing,” said former California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who appeared at the event as the Bulletin’s new executive chairman, “is really the voices of the prophets of doom. Speaking of danger and destruction is never very easy — if you speak the truth, people will not want to listen, because it’s too awful and it makes you sound like a crackpot.”

The clock’s minute hand was moved forward after the August 2019 collapse of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia. The demise of the pact frees both nations to deploy land-based missiles over ranges that leave little time for a response. There were also growing signs in 2019 that the Trump administration was aiming to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows the U.S. and Russia to observe one another’s military installations through closely monitored overflights. And Iran increased its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and added new and improved centrifuges last year in the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawing from a multination nuclear pact with Iran that was forged during the Obama administration.

“I have to admit [that] we set the clock in November,” said George Washington University research professor Sharon Squassoni. “This was before recent military actions by the U.S. and Iran, Iran’s statement or threat that it might leave the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and North Korea’s abandonment of talks with the United States.” A growing number of disasters linked to global climate change resulting from the continued consumption of fossil fuels was another factor cited for moving the clock even closer to midnight. “We’re in it, it’s dire, but we’re not there yet,” said Brown. “We can still pull back from the brink, but we have to do what we’re not doing. Whatever we’ve done to date, it is totally inadequate.”

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Close to thought crime.

The House Impeachment Case Vs The Law of Attempts (Turley)

With the start of the impeachment trial, the Senate (and the country) will soon be faced with what the late Yale professor Arthur Leff described as one of the law’s most “lovely, knotty problems.” Leff was speaking of what is loosely called “the law of attempts,” a category of crimes where someone is accused of contemplating, but not actually carrying out, an unlawful act. The Trump trial could be the first time the Senate considers charges that amount to allegedly conceiving, but then abandoning, an abuse of power. While it is certainly true that there was a temporary act of “nonfeasance” in withholding the aid to Ukraine, it was ultimately released over two weeks before the deadline under federal law.

The Trump administration will argue that there was no quid pro quo between the president of the United States and the president of Ukraine; that the military aid to Kyiv, though authorized by Congress, was never withheld; and that the White House always intended to release the aid by the end of September. (It was released on Sept. 11, two days after a whistleblower complaint about the alleged bargain sparked congressional inquiries and, according to critics, was the reason that Trump decided to release the aid.) The question for the Senate is whether an attempt to cut the deal qualifies as a high crime or misdemeanor. The law of attempts has long been debated, and has often favored defendants in securing lesser punishments or outright acquittals.

When, in 1879, an Alaska man sent an order for 100 gallons of whiskey from California, he was charged with illegally attempting to “introduce spirituous liquors” into Alaska. A court dismissed the charge, writing, “There are a class of acts which may be fairly said to be done in pursuance of or in combination with an intent to commit a crime, but are not, in a legal sense, a part of it, and therefore do not, with such intent, constitute an indictable attempt.” That helps explain why such attempted crimes are generally punished less severely. The California Penal Code Section 664 stipulates, for example, that most attempted offenses are punishable, at most, at a level half that for a completed offense. Of course, the Senate cannot “half-remove” a president. But one of the more knotty problems facing the Senate is whether a president can be saved by what Leff called the “luck” of an alleged plan that never actually played out.

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Can be restarted in a heartbeat. By killing the markets, the Fed has made itself a prisoner.

Fed’s Repos Drop to Oct Level, T-Bills Surge, But MBS Fall (WS)

The Fed had doused the market with $410 billion in liquidity between September and January 1 through its repo operations and its T-bill purchases. Market hype had expected this blistering pace of money-printing to continue, but wait… While T-bill purchases continue, the repos on the Fed’s balance sheet are getting unwound, its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) continue to fall, and total assets on its balance sheet fell to the lowest level since mid-December. Under these repurchase agreements, the Fed offers to buy Treasury securities, MBS, and agency securities from counterparties with an agreement to sell those securities back to the counterparties at a set price on a specific date, such as the next day (overnight repos) or in 14 days or some other period (term repos).

When a repurchase agreement matures, the Fed takes back the money it had handed out and returns the securities to the counterparties. This zeros out that particular repo on the Fed’s balance sheet. When the Fed buys securities under a repurchase agreement, the amount it pays adds liquidity to the market. When that repo unwinds, and the Fed gets its cash back and returns the securities, it drains this liquidity from the market. Every day, old repos unwind. And every day, the Fed offers new repos. This is a constant in-and-out. The balance changes every day, but it has been on an uneven decline since the peak on January 1.

The total amount of repos on the Fed’s weekly balance sheet as of January 22, released this afternoon, has now fallen by $70 billion from the peak on January 1 ($256 billion), to $186 billion. This is below where it had first been on October 16. The $43-billion drop in repos over the past seven days was largely due to a 32-day $50-billion repo, dating from December 16, that unwound on January 17. It was not replaced by another 30-day repo, and there are no more 30-day repos on the Fed’s repo schedule or balance sheet.

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Erdogan wants to redo the 1923 Lausanne Treaty. He has little to lose, and much to gain domestically. But he has Putin against him.

Turkey Demands Greece “Demilitarize” 16 Aegean Islands (ZH)

At a moment tensions are soaring over Turkey’s expansive East Mediterranean claims, and after starting early last summer it began sending oil and gas exploration and drilling ships off Cyprus’ coast, Ankara is demanding that Greece “demilitarize” its islands in the Aegean Sea, reports Bloomberg. The demand from Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who formally requested Greece move to withdraw armed forces and weaponry from 16 Aegean islands near Turkey on Wednesday, is rich given it’s Turkey that’s been provocatively sending warships and military jets to accompany illegal gas drilling in the area, something lately condemned by the EU.

“Greece, arming 16 out of 23 islands with non-military status, in violation of agreements in the Aegean sea, should act in accordance with international law,” said Defense Minister Akar, cited in state-run Anadolu Agency. “We expect Greece to act in line with international law and the agreements it has signed,” he added. Though becoming increasingly internationally isolated over the drilling issue in EU-member Cyrpus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Turkey has remained unmoved and at times is positively boastful about it.

Not shying away from admitting Turkish maritime claims now stretch from Cypriot waters all the way to Libya (based on a controversial recent maritime boundary ‘deal’ signed with the Tripoli Government of National Accord), Akar further had this to say according to state media: In addition to the fight against terrorism, Turkey’s activities are ongoing in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean, off Cyprus, and Libya, Akar said, adding that they are carried out in accordance with international law and the territorial integrity of the countries. Turkey is a guarantor country for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and is committed to fulfilling its responsibilities, he said.

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Let’s see a few countries apply this to Americans.

Assange May Not Get First Amendment Protection (AAP)

Julian Assange faces the prospect of being denied press protections under US law if he goes to trial there, WikiLeaks says, citing evidence submitted for his London extradition case. The 48-year-old WikiLeaks founder is set to face trial in the UK next month to determine whether he should be extradited to the US, where he has been charged with 17 counts of spying and one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. The charges related to allegations Assange tried to help former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning protect her digital identity as she accessed classified Pentagon files on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. WikiLeaks helped publish thousands of those files, including some that revealed US war crimes in both countries.

His case is widely viewed as a litmus test for the protection of journalists’ sources. WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson says a new affidavit provided by US government lawyers this week for Assange’s upcoming extradition trial states that foreign nationals, like Assange, are not entitled to press protections under the US Constitution’s First Amendment. Mr Hrafnsson revealed the development outside Assange’s case management hearing at London’s Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday. “On the one hand they have decided that they can go after journalists wherever they are residing in the world, they have universal jurisdiction, and demand extradition like they are doing by trying to get an Australian national from the UK for publishing that took place outside US borders,” he told AAP.

“But then at the same time they are not granting any foreign journalist the protection of the First Amendment. “That’s extremely serious. That’s of grave concern to all journalists. “We are seeing this incremental approach, a darkness flowing over journalism from that country, and it’s about time that journalists really united in resisting this.” Assange appeared by video link from prison at Thursday’s hearing, and did not speak except to say his name and birthdate for the court. Judge Vanessa Baraitser reluctantly agreed to split his trial into two segments with the first week to begin on February 24 and the final three weeks to be held from May 18.

Her ruling came after prosecutors flagged timetabling issues and the defence pleaded for more time to deal with an ever-expanding pile of evidence coming from the US. Mr Hrafnsson says the delay may give Assange and his legal team more time to review mounting evidence, as they have only been permitted four hours together since his arrest on April 11. But he admitted it would also further extend Assange’s time behind bars. “A maximum security prison for a non-violent person like Julian, who is a free man basically, who is on remand, is outrageous,” Mr Hrafnsson told AAP. “It’s totally unacceptable.”

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Commemorations vs political games.

Go to Gaza and Cry ‘Never Again’ (Haaretz)

It’s very important to remember the past; no less important is to be cognizant of the present without shutting one’s eyes. The dozens of statesmen who arrived in Israel yesterday may remember the past, but they’re blurring the present. In their silence, in their disregard of reality while lining up unconditionally alongside Israel, they not only betray their roles, they also betray the memory of the past in the name of which they came here. To be the guests of Israel without mentioning its crimes; to commemorate the Holocaust while ignoring its lessons; to visit Jerusalem without traveling to the Gaza ghetto on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – one can barely think of any greater hypocrisy.

It’s good that kings, presidents and other notables came here in honor of this remembrance day. It’s deplorable that they’re ignoring what the victims of the Holocaust are inflicting on another nation. The city of Yerevan will never witness such an impressive gathering to commemorate the Armenian holocaust. World leaders will never come to Kigali to mark the genocide that happened in Rwanda. The Holocaust was indeed the greatest crime ever against humanity, but it was not the only one. But Jews and the state of Israel know well how to sanctify its memory as well as using it for their own purposes.

On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, world leaders are the guests of an Israeli prime minister who, on the eve of their visit, called for sanctions – believe it or not – on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is a legacy of the courts that were set up to judge the crimes of World War II. On this Remembrance Day, world leaders are coming to a prime minister who is trying to incite them against the court in The Hague. It’s hard to think of a more galling use of the Holocaust, it’s hard to conceive of a bigger betrayal of its memory than the attempt to undermine the court in The Hague only because it wishes to fulfill its role and investigate Jerusalem. The guests will hold their silence on this issue as well. Some of them may be persuaded that the problem is in The Hague, not in Jerusalem. Sanctions on the court instead of on the occupying state.

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“Ten or 15 years down the road, if I get sick, I want to be able to prove this.”

America’s Radioactive Secret (Rolling Stone)

In 2014, a muscular, middle-aged Ohio man named Peter took a job trucking waste for the oil-and-gas industry. The hours were long — he was out the door by 3 a.m. every morning and not home until well after dark — but the steady $16-an-hour pay was appealing, says Peter, who asked to use a pseudonym. “This is a poverty area,” he says of his home in the state’s rural southeast corner. “Throw a little money at us and by God we’ll jump and take it.” In a squat rig fitted with a 5,000-gallon tank, Peter crisscrosses the expanse of farms and woods near the Ohio/West Virginia/Pennsylvania border, the heart of a region that produces close to one-third of America’s natural gas.

He hauls a salty substance called “brine,” a naturally occurring waste product that gushes out of America’s oil-and-gas wells to the tune of nearly 1 trillion gallons a year, enough to flood Manhattan, almost shin-high, every single day. At most wells, far more brine is produced than oil or gas, as much as 10 times more. It collects in tanks, and like an oil-and-gas garbage man, Peter picks it up and hauls it off to treatment plants or injection wells, where it’s disposed of by being shot back into the earth. One day in 2017, Peter pulled up to an injection well in Cambridge, Ohio. A worker walked around his truck with a hand-held radiation detector, he says, and told him he was carrying one of the “hottest loads” he’d ever seen. It was the first time Peter had heard any mention of the brine being radioactive.

The Earth’s crust is in fact peppered with radioactive elements that concentrate deep underground in oil-and-gas-bearing layers. This radioactivity is often pulled to the surface when oil and gas is extracted — carried largely in the brine. In the popular imagination, radioactivity conjures images of nuclear meltdowns, but radiation is emitted from many common natural substances, usually presenting a fairly minor risk. Many industry representatives like to say the radioactivity in brine is so insignificant as to be on par with what would be found in a banana or a granite countertop, so when Peter demanded his supervisor tell him what he was being exposed to, his concerns were brushed off; the liquid in his truck was no more radioactive than “any room of your home,” he was told. But Peter wasn’t so sure. “A lot of guys are coming up with cancer, or sores and skin lesions that take months to heal,” he says. Peter experiences regular headaches and nausea, numbness in his fingertips and face, and “joint pain like fire.”

He says he wasn’t given any safety instructions on radioactivity, and while he is required to wear steel-toe boots, safety glasses, a hard hat, and clothes with a flash-resistant coating, he isn’t required to wear a respirator or a dosimeter to measure his radioactivity exposure — and the rest of the uniform hardly offers protection from brine. “It’s all over your hands, and inside your boots, and on the cuticles of your toes, and any cuts you have — you’re soaked,” he says. So Peter started quietly taking samples of the brine he hauled, filling up old antifreeze containers or soda bottles. Eventually, he packed a shed in his backyard with more than 40 samples. He worried about further contamination but says, for him, “the damage is already done.” He wanted answers. “I cover my ass,” he says. “Ten or 15 years down the road, if I get sick, I want to be able to prove this.”

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From Suzie Dawson:

 

 

 

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