Aug 132021
 


Roy Lichtenstein Forget it! Forget me! 1962

 

C-19 Pandemia: Quo Vadis, Homo Sapiens? (Vanden Bossche)
Deadly Lambda Variant Could Be Vaccine-Resistant (NYP)
“Herd Immunity Is Not A Possibility”: Dr. Malone Vindicated (ZH)
Fauci Says Everybody Will Need A Covid Vaccine Booster Shot Eventually (CNBC)
Wakeup Call: Pfizer Vax Only 42% Effective Against Infection In July (ZH)
360, 000 Teens Age 12 To 17 Develop Myocarditis After Covid-19 Shots (UPI)
Scientists Who Denied Lab Engineering Acknowledged Possible Lab Origin (USRTK)
Young Adult Mortality In Israel During The Covid-19 Crisis (Ohana)
Half Of America Values Vaccine Mandates, COVID Passports Over Freedom (SN)
The Impersonator: Eric Feigl-Ding (Schachtel)
A Day in the Death of British Justice (John Pilger)
Do Britain And US Secretly Want Julian Assange To Commit Suicide? (Galloway)

 

 

While I was fearing it, it came,
But came with less of fear,
Because that fearing it so long
Had almost made it dear.

– Emily Dickinson

 

 

Egypt: 2% Vaccinated; 100M Pop.; 66 New Daily Cases

 

 

 

 

Vanden Bossche called a lot of what is happening, a long time ago.

C-19 Pandemia: Quo Vadis, Homo Sapiens? (Vanden Bossche)

The WHO’s mass vaccination program has been installed in response to a public health emergency of international concern. As of the early days of the mass vaccination campaigns, at least a few experts have been warning against the catastrophic impact such a program could have on global and individual health. Mass vaccination in the middle of a pandemic is prone to promoting selection and adaptation of immune escape variants that are featured by increasing infectiousness and resistance to spike protein (S)-directed antibodies (Abs), thereby diminishing protection in vaccinees and threatening the unvaccinated. This already explains why the WHO’s mass vaccination program is not only unable to generate herd immunity (HI) but even leads to substantial erosion of the population’s immune protective capacity.

As the ongoing universal mass vaccination program will soon promote dominant propagation of highly infectious, neutralization escape mutants (i.e., so-called ‘S Ab-resistant variants’), naturally acquired, or vaccinal neutralizing Abs, will, indeed, no longer offer any protection to immunized individuals whereas high infectious pressure will continue to suppress the innate immune defense system of the nonvaccinated. This is to say that every further increase in vaccine coverage rates will further contribute to forcing the virus into resistance to neutralizing, S-specific Abs. Increased viral infectivity, combined with evasion from antiviral immunity, will inevitably result in an additional toll taken on human health and human lives.


Immediate action needs, therefore, to be taken in order to dramatically reduce viral infectivity rates and to prevent selected immune escape variants from rapidly spreading through the entire population, whether vaccinated or not. This first critical step can only be achieved by calling an immediate halt to the mass vaccination program and replacing it by widespread use of antiviral chemoprophylactics while dedicating massive public health resources to scaling early multidrug treaments of Covid-19 disease.

Read more …

77,692 US Delta cases so far? Is that a typo?

Deadly Lambda Variant Could Be Vaccine-Resistant (NYP)

As the US struggles to suppress the rapidly advancing coronavirus Delta variant, new evidence has emerged that the latest Lambda mutation — ravaging parts of South America — won’t be slowed by vaccines. In a July 28 report appearing on bioRxiv, where the study awaits peer review prior to getting published, researchers in Japan are sounding the alarm on the C.37 variant, dubbed Lambda. And it’s proven just as virulent as Delta thanks to a similar mutation making them even more contagious. The strain has been contained in 26 countries, including substantial outbreaks in Chile, Peru, Argentina and Ecuador. “Notably, the vaccination rate in Chile is relatively high; the percentage of the people who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine was [about] 60%,” the authors write.

“Nevertheless, a big COVID-19 surge has occurred in Chile in Spring 2021, suggesting that the Lambda variant is proficient in escaping from the antiviral immunity elicited by vaccination,” they warn. The Lambda variant is thought to have emerged somewhere in South America between November and December 2020, and has since turned up in countries throughout Europe, North America and a few more isolated cases in Asia, according to GISAID data. The proportion the Lambda variant has of COVID-19 cases in the US is low with just one-tenth of 1% of the share — about 911 cases. Compare that to Delta, which has infected some 77,692 Americans so far. “In addition to increasing viral infectivity, the Delta variant exhibits higher resistance to the vaccine-induced neutralization,” the authors said.

“Similarly, here we showed that the Lambda variant equips not only increased infectivity but also resistance against antiviral immunity.” Lambda has so far been labeled a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization, compared to the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta strains, which have all risen to “variant of concern,” or VOC, status. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published scant literature on the Lambda variant, though a COVID-19 vaccine briefing from July 27 cited another pre-print study, dated July 3, which concluded that the mRNA vaccine in particular is thought to effectively neutralize the Lambda variant. In Chile, where C.37 is proliferating, their notably aggressive vaccine campaign relied predominantly on the Sinovac Biotech vaccine, which employs the inactivated virus to promote the production of COVID-19 antibodies.

Read more …

This from Zero Hedge doesn’t seem quite right: “..’imperfect’ vaccines might actually help foster more virulent COVID variants due to a phenomenon called ‘ADE’..”

That’s not what ADE is. But when Pollard mentions highly vaccinated Israel’s surge in “cases”, which might be due to ADE, it is not mentioned.

“Herd Immunity Is Not A Possibility”: Dr. Malone Vindicated (ZH)

In one of the most appalling examples of Big Tech silencing scientists who refuse to withhold their criticisms of the mRNA technology behind the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccines, Dr. Robert Malone, a pioneer who helped develop mRNA vaccine technology, saw the credit for his contribution to medicine effectively erased from the Internet by Wikipedia after he raised concerns about potential long-term autoimmune issues and other complications potentially arising from mRNA jabs. He has also shared other medical heresies, including the possibility that ‘imperfect’ vaccines might actually help foster more virulent COVID variants due to a phenomenon called ‘ADE’ – antibody-dependent enhancement. Essentially, what doesn’t kill the virus makes it stronger. In retaliation for sharing these views, Dr. Malone was ridiculed by colleagues as a conspiracist and an “anti-vaxxer”.

But earlier this week, Dr. Malone saw his views subtly vindicated by an unexpected source: a British scientist and academic named Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, who is the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group. During a briefing, Sir Pollard warned Parliament that the UK likely won’t ever achieve herd immunity, thanks to the delta variant. In remarks that risked undermining the government’s vaccination campaign, Sir Pollard, a professor of pediatric infection and immunity, warned Parliament on Tuesday that achieving herd immunity is likely “not a possibility” thanks to variants like delta.

[..] He said it was unlikely that herd immunity will ever be reached, saying the next variant of the novel coronavirus will be “perhaps even better at transmitting in vaccinated populations.” Pollard also shared what sounded like a subtle criticism of masks by saying that “We don’t have anything which will stop that transmission to other people.” As an example, he pointed to Israel, which saw new cases and hospitalizations nearly disappear before the new variant took hold, causing cases and hospitalizations to surge once again. Now, there have even been a handful of patients who have tested positive even after receiving their third dose of the Pfizer jab (which the US has only just approved for a third dose as well).

Read more …

“Remember when you got your Covid vaccine and they told you you’d need a booster real soon-like?
Of course you do! It was also when they told you it didn’t actually stop infection.”

Fauci Says Everybody Will Need A Covid Vaccine Booster Shot Eventually (CNBC)

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday everybody will someday “likely” need a booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccines. “We’re already starting to see indications of some diminution” in the durability of the vaccines, Fauci told “CBS This Morning.” However, he said it’s not likely that they will be widely administered any time soon. The priority, Fauci said, is to give boosters to people who have compromised immune systems, including those with cancer and transplanted organs. “We don’t feel at this particular point that, apart from the immune-compromised, we don’t feel we need to give boosters right now,” he said.

Fauci’s comments come the same day the Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize third Covid shot for people with weakened immune systems, a highly anticipated move intended to shield some of the most vulnerable Americans from the highly contagious delta variant. Such people, including cancer and HIV patients, represent only about 2.7% of the U.S. adult population but make up about 44% of hospitalized Covid breakthrough cases, which is when a fully vaccinated individual becomes infected, according to recent data from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group. Studies suggest that a third vaccine shot might help patients whose immune systems don’t respond as well to a first or second dose.

Covid vaccine makers, including Pfizer and Moderna, have repeatedly argued that everyone will eventually need a booster shot and potentially extra doses every year, just like for the seasonal flu. Pfizer has said it plans to ask the FDA to authorize boosters as it sees signs of waning immunity. The U.S. drugmaker has cited data out of Israel, where officials are reporting the two-dose vaccine is now just 39% effective in the country. The vaccine is still highly effective against severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths, according to Israeli health officials. The CDC does not currently recommend booster doses of the vaccines for otherwise healthy people at this time. But Fauci, speaking Thursday on NBC’s “TODAY,” said “inevitably there will be a time when we’ll have to get boosts.” “No vaccine, at least not within this category, is going to have an indefinite amount of protection,” he said.

Read more …

Not exactly a wake-up call, we knew. But important to note that 42% is not enough for an EUA, so why use it as a booster shot?

Wakeup Call: Pfizer Vax Only 42% Effective Against Infection In July (ZH)

“This week, Dr. Fauci confirmed that “at some time in the future” everyone will likely need a booster shot for the Covid-19 vaccine due to “fading efficacy.” Now, Axios reports that a new preprint study which has ‘already grabbed the attention of top Biden administration officials’ over the vaccines’ effectiveness against new variants, with Pfizer’s jab being of particular concern. The study found the Pfizer vaccine was only 42% effective against infection in July, when the Delta variant was dominant. “If that’s not a wakeup call, I don’t know what is,” a senior Biden official told Axios. The study, conducted by nference and the Mayo Clinic, compared the effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the Mayo Clinic Health System over time from January to July. -Axios

The overall figures suggest that the vaccines provide robust (yet lower-than advertised) immunity early on, only to sharply drop in efficacy over time. Between January and July, Moderna’s vaccine was found to be 86% effective against infection over the study period, while Pfizer’s was 76%. As far as hospitalization, Moderna’s vaccine was 92% effective, while Pfizer’s was 85%. Bringing the averages down, of course, was the sharp drop in efficacy observed in July with Moderna proving just 72% effective against infection and Pfizer clocking in at 42%. In other states such as Florida, the risk of infection in July among those who had taken the Moderna vaccine was around 60% lower than for people full vaccinated with Pfizer. More via Axios:

“Why it matters: Although it has yet to be peer-reviewed, the study raises serious questions about both vaccines’ long-term effectiveness, particularly Pfizer’s. • It’s unclear whether the results signify a reduction in effectiveness over time, a reduced effectiveness against Delta, or a combination of both. • “Based on the data that we have so far, it is a combination of both factors,” said Venky Soundararajan, a lead author of the study. “The Moderna vaccine is likely — very likely — more effective than the Pfizer vaccine in areas where Delta is the dominant strain, and the Pfizer vaccine appears to have a lower durability of effectiveness.” • He added that his team is working on a follow-up study that will try to differentiate between the durability of the two vaccines and their effectiveness against Delta.”

Bring on the boosters.

Read more …

Must have gone something like this: Quiet UPI article about a very small study, “rare”, “mildly affected”, yada yada, and then some editor figures out that 4% of 9 million is 360,000 and makes that the headline!

360, 000 Teens Age 12 To 17 Develop Myocarditis After Covid-19 Shots (UPI)

Teens who develop myocarditis after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 typically do so within six days of their second dose, and most are “mildly affected” by it, according to an analysis published Tuesday by JAMA Cardiology. The condition, which is rare, is characterized by inflammation of the heart muscle that affects its ability to pump blood to the body. In the small study of 15 teens age 12 to 18, all experienced chest pain within six days of COVID-19 vaccination, while two-thirds had a fever and more than half had muscle pain, the data showed. All 15 patients in the study were hospitalized due to the heart complication, but all were discharged after an average of two days without the need for intensive care, and only one had lingering symptoms.

“Myocarditis is a rare complication that develops following COVID-19 vaccination in children [and though] the acute course was relatively benign … the long term cardiac effects remain unknown,” study co-author Dr. Audrey Dionne told UPI in an email. However, “myocarditis is also a risk with COVID-19 infection [and its] course can be more severe acutely,” said Dionne a cardiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. For this reason, “the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks,” even in teens, she said. The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in teens ages 12 to 15 years in May.

The Moderna vaccine, which has a similar composition, has not yet received an EUA or approval for children in this age group, though studies are ongoing. Through mid-July, nearly 9 million teens in the age group had received at least one dose of the two-shot vaccine, with just over 4% developing myocarditis, according to data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, fewer than 1% of teens age 12 to 17 required medical care in the week after receiving either vaccine dose, the agency said.

Read more …

They all knew and said nothing.

Scientists Who Denied Lab Engineering Acknowledged Possible Lab Origin (USRTK)

Four prominent U.S. virologists who published a widely cited commentary strongly rebutting the theory that SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, might have been engineered in a lab privately acknowledged that they could not “rule out the possibility” of a lab leak, according to emails obtained by U.S. Right to Know. The emails discuss the need for careful wording of the commentary titled “No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of SARS-CoV-2,” which was published in the journal Emerging Microbes & Infections (EMI) on February 26, 2020.


[..] The newly released emails contain discussions between scientists Shan-Lu Liu and Linda Saif, both with Ohio State University; Susan Weiss, of the University of Pennsylvania; and Lishan Su, who at the time was employed by the University of North Carolina. Some correspondence includes EMI editor Shan Lu, of the University of Massachusetts. The published EMI commentary outlined multiple arguments as to why SARS-CoV-2 was not the result of laboratory engineering, arguing it was “more likely” the virus originated “in nature between a bat CoV and another coronavirus in an intermediate animal host.” The authors stated in the article: “there is currently no credible evidence to support the claim that SARS-CoV-2 originated from a laboratory engineered CoV.” They wrote that despite “speculations, rumours and conspiracy theories that SARS-CoV-2 is of laboratory origin,” there was in fact “no evidence of laboratory origin.” However, in a Feb. 16, 2020 email, Liu wrote to Weiss “we cannot rule out the possibility that it comes from a bat virus leaked out of a lab.”

[..] An important part of the debate over the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is the existence of a furin cleavage site (FCS) at the junction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein domains, S1 and S2. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to a group of viruses known as betacoronaviruses lineage B. The FCS, however, does not appear in any of the other coronaviruses in this group. One argument in support of the lab origin hypothesis is that the FCS within the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein could be a result of laboratory manipulation. The EMI commentary does not address the existence of the FCS, even though it is widely considered one of the strongest pieces of evidence of lab engineering. Evidence supports the importance of the FCS in the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect human cells and tissues. Engineering FCS within coronaviruses is a well-known practice in coronavirus research labs.

[..] The emails also show the commentary included the involvement of coronavirus expert Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli, of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Baric and Shi have been central figures in ongoing inquiries regarding the potential origins of SARS-CoV-2 and whether or not there is a connection between the virus and gain-of-function research collaborations between UNC and WIV. Such collaborations have been funded in part by the USAID-EPT-PREDICT program through an organization called EcoHealth Alliance. [..] Documents show that Kristian Andersen, a virologist with the Scripps Research Institute, emailed Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, early in 2020 expressing concerns about possible genetic engineering of the virus.

Andersen had a conference call with Fauci and other scientists in February 2020, and shortly after led the authoring of a high profile article, published as a correspondence in the journal Nature Medicine, specifically arguing against any possible laboratory engineering of the virus.

Read more …

Something to keep an eye on.

Young Adult Mortality In Israel During The Covid-19 Crisis (Ohana)

In this paper, we analyze excess mortality in Israel during the COVID-19 crisis, focusing on the age group of young adults under 50 years of age, as their susceptibility to COVID-19 mortality is low. Based primarily on online data from the Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel, we observed an unexpected rise of excess mortality among 20 to 49-year-olds in February-March 2021. It should be noted that excess mortality peaks among these young age groups are rarely observed, with low number of deaths that are usually caused by wars. We examined whether COVID-19 could account for this excess mortality.


The inconsistency between the reported COVID-19 deaths and the excess deaths within this age group led to consider other potential causes: accident and vaccination. Indeed, the surge in mortality coincided with the rollout of the Israeli vaccination campaign for the 20 sto 49-year-olds, which reached more than 75% of individuals in this age group. This unexpected rise in excess mortality among young adults was also found in two other countries, the United Kingdom and Hungary, which have in common with Israel a massive vaccination of their populations. Thus, our observations should prompt to pause the campaign, while clarifying the underlying reasons for those excess deaths, especially in the context of a low mortality risk from COVID-19 within adults under 50 years of age.

Read more …

More dangerous than a virus.

Half Of America Values Vaccine Mandates, COVID Passports Over Freedom (SN)

A Fox News poll contends that a majority of Americans are in SUPPORT of vaccine mandates and the introduction of COVID passports that tie freedoms to vaccination status. The survey found that 50 percent of respondents are in favour of requiring proof of a coronavirus vaccine for “indoor activities such as restaurants, gyms and performances,” while 46% oppose the idea. Fifty percent also agreed that “protecting the safety of Americans” by requiring vaccinations in order to engage in everyday activities trumps “protecting the freedom” of Americans to choose whether or not they are vaccinated. In contrast, 47% of respondents said protecting freedom is more important.


The poll also found that 44% said they were more likely to frequent stores and establishments that require customers and workers to be vaccinated, or have a recent negative COVID-19 test. Only 24% said they were less likely to do that. Other interesting findings of the poll include 46% of Americans believing the federal government’s change in mask guidance has more to do with politics than science, with 42% saying the opposite. In addition, 63% of parents agree schools should mandate masks for the unvaccinated, while 60% of respondents who said they had not taken the vaccine said they had no plans to do so. The poll correlates with findings from April, when a Rasmussen poll revealed that almost half of Americans support the introduction of vaccine passports in order to get “back to normal.”

Read more …

10 months old but just too funny. He’s in the news again.

The Impersonator: Eric Feigl-Ding (Schachtel)

If you’re on social media and you follow news related to the coronavirus pandemic, chances are you’ve stumbled upon some panicked pandemic posts coming from a man named Eric Feigl-Ding, a nutritionist and longtime democrat political operative who has succeeded in impersonating a medical professional, and is generating a cult following in the process. With one hysterical tweet after another, Feigl-Ding went from having a small social media following to accumulating a massive army of influence. Feigl-Ding’s consistent elevation of fear and panic, doom and gloom, and his relentless themes of chaos and destruction related to a virus with a 99.8% recovery rate has brought his accounts millions of clicks and views, and hundreds of thousands of new followers.

And he did it all without having a clue what he’s talking about. At the beginning of 2020, Feigl-Ding was an unpaid, visiting scientist in Harvard’s nutrition department. His academic research centered entirely around nutrition, diet, and exercise. If Eric Feigl-Ding was interested in pandemics and the study of viruses, his research and academic credentials did not reflect that. When the coronavirus pandemic began to make waves in the media, everything changed. Feigl-Ding, an aspiring politician, appeared to see an opening to influence the masses and build up his brand. Feigl-Ding’s rise to coronavirus stardom began with a since-deleted tweet falsely describing the coronavirus as “the most virulent virus epidemic the world has ever seen.”

But not everyone associated with Feigl-Ding was thrilled with the early panic promotion act. Feigl-Ding’s frequent use of Harvard-associated credentials to elevate his baseless COVID-19 proclamations greatly upset some of his colleagues (despite many of them advocating for the same draconian measures proposed by Feigl-Ding to “combat” the virus), and landed him in hot water with the academic institution. Twitter, for reasons unknown, decided to credential him as a “COVID-19 health expert,” which further elevates his supposed legitimacy as an “expert” on the pandemic. In mid March, Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard, described him as a “charlatan exploiting a tenuous connection for self-promotion.” The Association of Health Care Journalists also took notice, reporting that he has “precisely zero experience in infectious diseases.”

Read more …

It’s already died.

A Day in the Death of British Justice (John Pilger)

For those who may have forgotten, WikiLeaks, of which Assange is founder and publisher, exposed the secrets and lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the murderous role of the Pentagon in dozens of countries, the blueprint for the 20-year catastrophe in Afghanistan, the attempts by Washington to overthrow elected governments, such as Venezuela’s, the collusion between nominal political opponents (Bush and Obama) to stifle a torture investigation and the CIA’s Vault 7 campaign that turned your mobile phone, even your TV set, into a spy in your midst. WikiLeaks released almost a million documents from Russia which allowed Russian citizens to stand up for their rights. It revealed the Australian government had colluded with the U.S. against its own citizen, Assange. It named those Australian politicians who have “informed” for the U.S.

It made the connection between the Clinton Foundation and the rise of jihadism in American-armed states in the Gulf. There is more: WikiLeaks disclosed the U.S. campaign to suppress wages in sweatshop countries like Haiti, India’s campaign of torture in Kashmir, the British government’s secret agreement to shield “U.S. interests” in its official Iraq inquiry and the British Foreign Office’s plan to create a fake “marine protection zone” in the Indian Ocean to cheat the Chagos islanders out of their right of return. In other words, WikiLeaks has given us real news about those who govern us and take us to war, not the preordained, repetitive spin that fills newspapers and television screens. This is real journalism; and for the crime of real journalism, Assange has spent most of the past decade in one form of incarceration or another, including Belmarsh prison, a horrific place.

Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, he is a gentle, intellectual visionary driven by his belief that a democracy is not a democracy unless it is transparent, and accountable. On Wednesday, the United States sought the approval of Britain’s High Court to extend the terms of its appeal against a decision by a district judge, Vanessa Baraitser, in January to bar Assange’s extradition. Baraitser accepted the deeply disturbing evidence of a number of experts that Assange would be at great risk if he were incarcerated in the U.S.’s infamous prison system. Professor Michael Kopelman, a world authority on neuro-psychiatry, had said Assange would find a way to take his own life — the direct result of what Professor Nils Melzer, the United Nations rapporteur on torture, described as the craven “mobbing” of Assange by governments – and their media echoes.

Those of us who were in the Old Bailey last September to hear Kopelman’s evidence were shocked and moved. I sat with Julian’s father, John Shipton, whose head was in his hands. The court was also told about the discovery of a razor blade in Julian’s Belmarsh cell and that he had made desperate calls to the Samaritans and written notes and much else that filled us with more than sadness. Watching the lead barrister acting for Washington, James Lewis — a man from a military background who deploys a cringingly theatrical “aha!” formula with defence witnesses — reduce these facts to “malingering” and smearing witnesses, especially Kopelman, we were heartened by Kopelman’s revealing response that Lewis’s abuse was “a bit rich” as Lewis himself had sought to hire Kopelman’s expertise in another case.

Read more …

Secretly? Why do you think they’re talking about suicide in front of him?

Do Britain And US Secretly Want Julian Assange To Commit Suicide? (Galloway)

The recent shameful High Court ruling in London indicates that the only way Britain’s most prominent political prisoner can prove he’s a suicide risk is by actually taking his own life. Is that what the authorities are hoping? The 21st century has provided many days of shame for Britain and yesterday was just another. The High Court in London casually set aside a decision by one of its own judges – who’d heard every minute of the evidence – that Julian Assange, Britain’s most prominent political prisoner, might commit suicide if extradited to the United States injustice system.

The Appeal Court decided that the main US appeal against the refusal of their extradition in October MAY now argue that the original judge was misled about the true mental health of Assange – who has been a prisoner effectively for a decade – and the US’s lawyers need not be confined to arguing that their super-max penitentiaries are perfectly humane places really. The bizarre argument of the Biden government’s English counsel may be a unique non sequitur. Julian can’t be a suicide risk, she argued, because he had “secretly fathered children” with his fiancée Stella Morris. What that even means is beyond me – in nearly 30 year as a parliamentarian, I’ve never heard such nonsense. Doesn’t every man father his children secretly? Do some men do it publicly? Did she mean out of wedlock? How quaint.

Are married fathers more likely to be suicide risks? Or did she mean that he was a father at all? Are childless men more likely to be a suicide risk? So mindless are these contentions, it’s a wonder how anyone could take fees for arguing them, more wondrous that any judge could side with them. Most wondrous of all is that President Joe Biden, the tan-suited Democratic party animal of Martha’s Vineyard, could commission them. The long and the short of it is that it’s more likely today that Assange will be extradited to the US than it was the day before yesterday. And certain that he will remain in the Devil’s Island of Belmarsh Prison while the glacial course of events creeps on. Perhaps the only way Assange can prove he’s a suicide risk is by committing suicide. Come to think of it, maybe that’s Joe Biden’s big idea…

Read more …

 

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Aug 122021
 


Julian #Assange attending today’s hearing by video-link from H.M.P. Belmarsh. It is astounding how much he seems to have aged in the space of six months. Puffed-up face and tired eyes. Hair and beard growing unruly. Very sad state of affairs. – Tareq Haddad

 

Microscopic Covid Vaccine-Induced Blood Clots (LSN)
Delta Variant Has Made Herd Immunity Impossible – AZ Developer (BI)
The Delta Variant Isn’t As Contagious As Chickenpox. But It’s Contagious (NPR)
La Pampa Ivermectin Monitored Intervention Program Results (IC)
India’s Ivermectin Blackout (Hope)
CDC Adjusts Florida Covid-19 Numbers After Health Department Call-Out (Fox)
SAGE Advisor Says Lockdowns Can No Longer Be Justified (SN)
Australia Can’t Escape Covid Lockdowns Even If 90% Is Vaccinated – Expert (DM)
Joe Biden Never Mentioned Covid ‘Quarantine Camps’… But The CDC Did (Bridge)
The Ultimate Power of The Word “NO” (Rossini)
Andrew Cuomo Is Resigning, But The Investigations Will Continue (USAT)
US Allowed To Challenge Key Psychiatric Evidence in Assange Case (RT)

 

 


 

 

Serious covid cases in Israel spike — 90% of serious cases are people over 50.

Fun fact: 95% of people over 50 are vaccinated

 

 

Oh, just great. And not even surprising anymore.

“And so, we understood in the end, the reason why the lungs fail is not because the virus is there. It is because micro blood clots are there..”

Microscopic Covid Vaccine-Induced Blood Clots (LSN)

Dr. Charles Hoffe has been practicing medicine for 28 years in a small, rural town in British Columbia, Canada, and recently gave a long interview. He has given about 900 doses of the Moderna experimental mRNA vaccine to his patients. So, contrary to some critics, he is no anti-vaccine doctor. The core problem he has seen are microscopic clots in his patients’ tiniest capillaries. He said, “Blood clots occurring at a capillary level. This has never before been seen. This is not a rare disease. This is an absolutely new phenomenon.” Most importantly, he has emphasized these micro-clots are too small to show up on CT scans, MRI, and other conventional tests, such as angiograms, and can only be detected using the D-dimer blood test, a standard test that indicates whether blood clots are being actively formed somewhere within a person’s vascular system.

Using the latter, he found that 62 percent of his patients injected with an mRNA shot were positive for clotting, not a small fraction that can be easily dismissed. He has explained that what is happening in bodies is that the spike proteins in the vaccine become “part of the cell wall of your vascular endothelium. This means that these cells which line your blood vessels, which are supposed to be smooth so that your blood flows smoothly, now have these little spikey bits sticking out. … when the platelet comes through the capillary, it suddenly hits all these COVID spikes, and it becomes absolutely inevitable that blood clots will form to block that vessel.” He made an important distinction: “The blood clots we hear about, which the media claim are very rare, are the big blood clots, which are the ones that cause strokes and show up on CT scans, MRI, etc.

“The clots I’m talking about are microscopic and too small to find on any scan. They can thus only be detected using the D-dimer test.” “The most alarming part of this is that there are some parts of the body like the brain, spinal cord, heart and lungs which cannot re-generate. When those tissues are damaged by blood clots, they are permanently damaged.” This is his pessimistic, scientific view: “blood vessels in their lungs are now blocked up. In turn, this causes the heart to need to work harder to try to keep up against a much greater resistance trying to get the blood through your lungs. This is called pulmonary artery hypertension – high blood pressure in the lungs because the blood simply cannot get through effectively. “People with this condition usually die of heart failure within a few short years.”

[..] The eminent Dr. Peter McCullough noted, “So, this is a very different type of blood clotting that we would see with major blood clots in the arteries and veins, for instance, blood clots involved in stroke and heart attack, blood clots involved in major blood vessels in the legs. This was a different type of clotting, and in fact, the Italians courageously did some autopsies and found micro blood clots in the lungs.” “And so, we understood in the end, the reason why the lungs fail is not because the virus is there. It is because micro blood clots are there. … When people can’t breathe, the problem is micro blood clotting in the lungs. … The spicule on the ball of the virus itself which damages blood vessels that causes blood clotting.”

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Some of this stuff is plain weird. This guy admits his vaccine fails to do what it promised, but says it’s only because there’s a new variant. And herd immunity can only be reached with vaccines. Which is contradicted even by the WHO’s new distorted definition that now says: “Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that can occur with some diseases when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections..”

Delta Variant Has Made Herd Immunity Impossible – AZ Developer (BI)

The Delta variant has changed the equation for achieving herd immunity, the developer of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has said. Speaking at a UK parliamentary meeting on Tuesday, Sir Andrew Pollard, a professor of pediatric infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, said that achieving herd immunity is “not a possibility” now that the Delta variant is circulating. “We know very clearly with coronavirus that this current variant, the Delta variant, will still infect people who have been vaccinated, and that does mean that anyone who’s still unvaccinated, at some point, will meet the virus,” Pollard said. He said it was unlikely that herd immunity will ever be reached, saying the next variant of the novel coronavirus will be “perhaps even better at transmitting in vaccinated populations.”


Some experts had hoped that herd immunity could be reached with COVID-19, as was the case with measles, which is also highly infectious. Many countries have achieved herd immunity with measles by vaccinating 95% of the population against it, such as the US, where endemic transmission ended in 2000. That is because once a person is vaccinated against measles, they cannot transmit the virus. With COVID-19, vaccines still fulfill their primary role: protecting against severe disease. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinated people who catch the Delta variant are 25 times less likely to have a severe case or die. The overwhelming majority who do catch it will have mild or no symptoms. But growing evidence suggests that, with the Delta variant, fully vaccinated people can still transmit the virus.

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The CDC lied again. Who notices anymore?

The Delta Variant Isn’t As Contagious As Chickenpox. But It’s Contagious (NPR)

In a leaked report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a surprising claim about the delta variant of the coronavirus: It “is as transmissible as: – Chicken Pox,” the agency wrote in a slideshow presentation leaked to The Washington Post on July 26. Chickenpox is one of the most contagious viruses known. Each individual can spread the virus to as many as “90% of the people close to that person,” the CDC reports. Is the delta variant that contagious as well? The short answer is no, says evolutionary biologist and biostatistician Tom Wenseleers at the University of Leuven in Belgium. “Yeah, I didn’t find the CDC’s statement entirely accurate,” says Wenseleers, who was one of the first scientists to formally calculate the transmission advantage of the alpha and delta variants over the original versions of SARS-CoV-2.

Nonetheless, delta is still highly transmissible, he adds. It’s one of the most contagious respiratory viruses that we know of, he says. Here’s why. When scientists measure a virus’s transmissibility, they often use what’s known as R0, or “R nought. ” It’s the number of people a sick person will infect when the entire population is vulnerable to the virus. “So it’s the virus’s potential of spreading, given ideal conditions for the virus, when no one has any immunity,” says computational biologist Karthik Gangavarapu at the Scripps Research Institute. For example, the flu has an R0 of about two. Each person infected with flu passes the virus on to two people on average. Some people will infect more than two people, and some will infect fewer. But over time, the average will be about two.

Chickenpox, on the other hand, is way more contagious, Gangavarapu says. Chickenpox has an R0 of about nine or 10. So each person with chickenpox infects about 10 other people on average. Outbreaks are explosive. For SARS-CoV-2, the R0 has actually risen over the course of the pandemic as the virus evolved. When the coronavirus first emerged in 2019, SARS-CoV-2 was slightly more contagious than flu, Gangavarapu says. “The initial COVID-19 strain had an R0 between two and three.” Then about a year later, the virus began to mutate quickly. The alpha variant emerged, likely in the U.K., and was more transmissible than the original strain. A few months later, the delta variant emerged, most likely in India. It was even more transmissible than alpha.

“For the delta variant, the R0 is now calculated at between six and seven,” Wenseleers says. So it’s two- to three-times as contagious as the original version of SARS-CoV-2 (R0 = 2 to 3) but less contagious than the chickenpox (R0 = 9 to 10).

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Google translate from Argentina. Bit confusing, 4 different percentages in a few paragraphs. And I don’t get why they specifically focus on mortality (or even how), given that 99.9% of people survive.

La Pampa Ivermectin Monitored Intervention Program Results (IC)

“The primary objective in the community of the two populations was to evaluate mortality related to COVID-19. In this context, we studied 3,269 patients older than 18 years of the Ivermectin Group, and in the same period we compared it with a group of 18,149 patients who did not participate in the program. In the results of the mortality analysis in the Ivermectin Group, we found that it was 27.4% lower compared to the group of patients who did not use the drug. And when we evaluate the population over 40 years of age, the cut-off point that we established, the decrease was 33.4%. It means that, if confirmed with a randomized clinical study, 1 out of every 3 deaths would be avoided, it is a very strong figure, ”said Kohan.

The minister added that, in the Program, a dose of 0.6 milligrams per kilo of weight was used, in a period of 5 days. “The previous work carried out gave the clue that this was the correct dose in the first 5 days of transit of the disease with mild symptoms,” he added. Kohan. With the statistical data in hand, he considered it valuable that the study carried out in La Pampa was made known to the scientific community through the fastest possible channels. “We are going to publish it, we have discussed it with the working group, and we believe it is important that it be made available. And we are going to try to pave the way for rapid dissemination, so we first thought of making a preprint (in academic publication it is an original manuscript of an author before peer review) in a specialized journal.

We want others to discuss this issue and, as I said in June, we are not fans of Ivermectin but we found valuable elements in favor of the population. The statistics are there, and we also find more favorable statistics even in patients with comorbidities ”he added. Even under the encouragement of positive statistics, Kohan considered it important to be cautious with the dissemination of them. “Those who intervened and signed the consent are specifically detailed in specific files, those of the Control Group are not. For this reason, when you add the risk factors in people over 40 years of age, the mortality reduction is 44%, it is amazing, but you have to take it with great caution, “he said. Finally, he gave an account of the evaluations of intensive care hospitalizations and/or deaths “where we verified a 38% reduction in the patients of the Ivermectin Group” he concluded.

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Obesity may play a major role here. US is 15 times worse than even Tamil Nadu.

India’s Ivermectin Blackout (Hope)

The graphs and data from the Johns Hopkins University CSSE database do not lie. On the contrary, they provide a compelling trail of truth that no one can dispute, not even the NIH, CDC, FDA, and WHO. Just as Galileo proved with his telescope that the earth was NOT the center of the Universe in 1616; today, the data from India shows that Ivermectin is effective, much more so than the vaccines. It not only prevents death, but it also prevents COVID infections, and it also is effective against the Delta Variant. In 1616, you could not make up the telescopic images of Jupiter and its orbiting moons, nor could you falsify the crescent-shaped images of Venus and Mercury. These proved that the earth was NOT the center of the Universe – a truth the Catholic Church could not allow.

Likewise, the massive drop in cases and deaths in India to almost nothing after the addition of Ivermectin proved the drug’s effectiveness. This is a truth that the NIH, CDC, and FDA cannot allow because it would endanger the vaccine policy. Never mind that Ivermectin would save more lives with much less risk, much less cost, and it would end the pandemic quickly. Let us look at the burgundy-colored graph of Uttar Pradesh. First, allow me to thank Juan Chamie, a highly-respected Cambridge-based data analyst, who created this graph from the JHU CSSE data. Uttar Pradesh is a state in India that contains 241 million people. The United States’ population is 331 million people. Therefore, Uttar Pradesh can be compared to the United States, with 2/3 of our population size.

This data shows how Ivermectin knocked their COVID-19 cases and deaths – which we know were Delta Variant – down to almost zero within weeks. A population comparable to the US went from about 35,000 cases and 350 deaths per day to nearly ZERO within weeks of adding Ivermectin to their protocol. By comparison, the United States is the lower graph. On August 5, here in the good ol’ USA, blessed with the glorious vaccines, we have 127,108 new cases per day and 574 new deaths. Let us look at the August 5 numbers from Uttar Pradesh with 2/3 of our population. Uttar Pradesh, using Ivermectin, had a total of 26 new cases and exactly THREE deaths. The US without Ivermectin has precisely 4889 times as many daily cases and 191 times as many deaths as Uttar Pradesh with Ivermectin.

Uttar Pradesh on Ivermectin: Population 240 Million [4.9% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 26
COVID Daily Deaths: 3

The United States off Ivermectin: Population 331 Million [50.5% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 127,108
COVID Daily Deaths: 574

Let us look at other Ivermectin using areas of India with numbers from August 5, 2021, compiled by the JHU CSSE:
Delhi on Ivermectin: Population 31 Million [15% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 61
COVID Daily Deaths: 2

Uttarakhand on Ivermectin: Population 11.4 Million [15% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 24
COVID Daily Deaths: 0

Now let us look at an area of India that rejected Ivermectin. Tamil Nadu announced they would reject Ivermectin and instead follow the dubious USA-style guidance of using Remdesivir. Knowing this, you might expect their numbers to be closer to the US, with more cases and more deaths. You would be correct. Tamil Nadu went on to lead India in COVID-19 cases.
Tamil Nadu off Ivermectin: Population 78.8 Million [6.9% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 1,997
COVID Daily Deaths: 33

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By close to 50%. How often does the CDC make such “mistakes”?

CDC Adjusts Florida Covid-19 Numbers After Health Department Call-Out (Fox)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday updated its COVID-19 tracker for Florida over the past few days after the state’s department of health appealed publically for an update. The CDC told Fox News in an email on Tuesday that it was working with the state’s health department to correct the information. The state took to Twitter on Monday to ask the CDC to update its COVID-19 case tracker because it incorrectly combined “MULTIPLE days into one.” The Sunday total was the state’s worst ever, according to the CDC data. Multiple media organizations picked up on the number and the department corrected the stories online with some bite.


“Wrong again. The number of cases @CDCgov released for Florida today is incorrect,” it responded to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “They combined MULTIPLE days into one. We anticipate CDC will correct the record.” The CDC initially reported 28,317 new cases on Sunday but adjusted that number to 19,584 by Tuesday. The health department said there were 15,319 cases on Sunday.

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They’re going to do them anyway.

SAGE Advisor Says Lockdowns Can No Longer Be Justified (SN)

A top SAGE adviser to the UK government says that COVID lockdowns can no longer be justified and that measures to control the virus should instead be aimed at protecting the most vulnerable. Professor Andrew Hayward, a University College London epidemiologist, said that the days of disruptive restrictions imposed on everyone should end in favor of a more targeted approach. “I think as we generally move into an endemic rather than pandemic situation the potential harm that a virus can cause at a population level is much less,” Hayward told BBC Radio 4. “So you can’t really justify such broad population-wide control measures and we tend to target the control measures more to those who are most vulnerable,” he added.

“And so I think, not only in testing but in all sorts of forms of control, as we move into a situation where we’re coming to live with this virus forever, then we target the measures to the most vulnerable rather than having the more disruptive measures,” said the professor. Hayward’s view that we need to learn to live with the virus was echoed by signatories to the Great Barrington Declaration, in which 12,000 scientists asserted that the strategy should be centered on “focused protection,” not endless lockdowns. However, the UK government is still pursuing the idea of vaccine passports for some venues from September onwards while eliminating the option of negative COVID tests, despite the fact that fully vaccinated people can still catch and spread the virus.

The domestic passports have proven highly controversial in France, where police were seen earlier this week checking the medical papers of people sitting outside at cafes. As we previously highlighted, some lockdown advocates appear to be upset that the restrictions might not make a return, with a Guardian journalist writing about how he is “going to miss being locked down.”

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Build a wall around it. Shut down the airlines and the ports. Don’t let anyone leave ever again.

Australia Can’t Escape Covid Lockdowns Even If 90% Is Vaccinated – Expert (DM)

A top US disease expert who was among the first to sound the alarm when the Covid pandemic first appeared in Wuhan has painted a bleak picture for millions of Australians hoping to be released from stay-at-home orders. Harvard-trained epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding warned that even with 90 per cent of Australia’s population vaccinated – 10 per cent higher than the federal government’s reopening target of 80 per cent – it still won’t be enough to fend off the relentless cycles of lockdowns. Dr Feigl-Ding said in order to live with the highly infectious Indian Delta variant, life will need to remain in a perpetual state of restrictions including a ban on indoor dining and a move to premium face masks.

But despite the grim outlook, he’s still urging everyone to get the potentially life-saving jab as its proven to reduce hospitalisation rates by about 90 per cent. ‘Even for highly vaccinated countries, relying on vaccines alone is not a panacea to stop Delta,’ he told A Current Affair. ‘What that means is just relying on that single vaccine approach is very, very narrow minded. ‘We must do other layers in addition to waiting around for vaccines.’ He says life returning to normal is still a long way off and suggests a public health strategy ‘in between’ being locked down or fully opened is needed. This would include bans on indoor dining and cloth-made masks, improved ventilation standards and a nationwide vaccine passport system.

‘No one wants lockdowns… but if you don’t have these in place I guarantee you, you will be headed towards a lockdown because the cases will be surging so quickly and the hospital beds will be filling up,’ Dr Feigl-Ding said. ‘Without these measures you’re headed for disaster.’

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The CDC is just one long horror story. Bunch of career bureaucrats in no way up to an actual challenge.

Just like Fauci, who spent 40 years in his job in silence, building ties with Big Pharma. Of course he’s going to screw up after all that.

Joe Biden Never Mentioned Covid ‘Quarantine Camps’… But The CDC Did (Bridge)

As a number of politicians push for ‘vaccine passports’ amid fears that a new brand of medical apartheid is coming, a re-surfaced CDC publication advocating internment camps for the ‘high-risk’ has some people fearing the worst. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a paper that floated the totally not suspicious idea of relocating “high-risk” individuals into green zone “camps.” While the proposal didn’t attract much attention at the time, as draconian anti-Covid measures are beginning to ramp up, and basic human rights and liberties are coming under attack, the document has attracted newfound attention. And not without reason, it seems.

The very first line of the document discusses the implementation of a “shielding approach in humanitarian settings… focused on camps, displaced populations and low-resource settings.” Essentially, and this will be important later on, ‘humanitarian settings’ is just another way of saying ‘camps’. Many people are quick to associate the idea of camps with the containment of refugees, for example, or illegal aliens who have breached the border. Yet the only time the word ‘refugee’ is mentioned in the paper is in reference to a camp in Kenya. At the same time, ‘camp’ and ‘camps’ are referred to about 20 times. There is another ambiguous thing about this document, and that involves its description of “high-risk” individuals and the “general population.”

The paper reads: “In most humanitarian settings [i.e. camps], older population groups make up a small percentage of the total population. For this reason, the shielding approach suggests physically separating high-risk individuals from the general population to prioritize the use of the limited available resources and avoid implementing long-term containment measures among the general population.” In other words, the CDC is saying that older people being held in camps (humanitarian settings), because they are in the ‘high-risk’ category, should be separated from the ‘general population’ in these facilities so as to reduce the ‘containment measures’. OK, fine. But the document never explains who makes up the general population inside the camps, and why these ‘low-risk’ individuals are being held in these humanitarian ‘green zones’ in the first place.

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Via Ron Paul.

The Ultimate Power of The Word “NO” (Rossini)

Fear is the primary tool of authoritarians. It mentally disarms the population. We know about the desire to physically disarm the population, by trying to take away guns. Well, fear is the tactic for mental disarmament. When one is afraid, one makes bad decisions. One doesn’t think things through. One tends to act impulsively in an attempt remove immediate dissatisfaction. One tends not to question, but blindly obey. In a state of fear, one may submit and agree that 2+2=5; only to afterwards be filled with regret at doing such a stupid thing. Fear is meant to break your individual will. Your will to say the word “NO” stands in the way of every authoritarian scheme. The authoritarian needs you to say “YES,” even if you don’t really believe it. The authoritarian will pull all the levers available, and move all the pieces on the board to corner you, all with the goal of getting you to say “YES.”

Mass propaganda is designed to get you to say “YES”. Everywhere you look, you see the same exact message. “Say YES”…”Say YES”…”Say YES”… Slapping the mask on your face provided two wins for authoritarians: First, you said “YES” to allowing authoritarians to dress you when you left your house. Second, it conditioned you to realize that all others had their wills broken too. Everyone’s face was now dressed up, and hidden from view. What a powerful visual to break down your will. Saying “YES” to unprecedented “Lockdowns” and isolation has led to massive mental and physical illnesses that will reverberate through the ages, and will be talked about for the rest of our lives, much in the same way that the World Wars and Great Depression are talked about.

Now, the levers are being pulled, and pieces are being maneuvered for the grand slam: Saying “YES” to having foreign chemicals injected into your body, even if you don’t want them and don’t need them. Medical treatments, especially those that will be with you and inside of your body for the rest of your life, should never (EVER) be mandatory. Most people would agree with this in a heartbeat. Yet, with a constant diet of fear, the goal is to get you to say “YES.” Saying “YES” to this not only breaks your will, but surrenders your sovereignty over the one (and only) body that you will ever have. Allow this, even a single time, and saying “NO” to future mandated injections will be neutralized. It’s too late. Whatever injections are decreed, your body will always be at the mercy of other human beings.

One word from you puts an end to this: “NO.” One word keeps your sacred will intact: “NO.” One word can possibly and literally save your life: “NO!”

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They won’t go after him for killing old people. Too many other Democrats did the same.

Andrew Cuomo Is Resigning, But The Investigations Will Continue (USAT)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is giving up the powerful job he’s dedicated most of his life to keeping within his family, but his resignation won’t end a bevy of pending investigations into him and his administration. No fewer than five district attorneys have made preliminary inquiries into Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment detailed in the scathing, 165-page report last week from Attorney General Letitia James’ office that ultimately led to the governor’s announcement Tuesday that he will resign in two weeks. That includes Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who is in the midst of a criminal investigation into claims by a Cuomo executive assistant who says the governor groped her breast at the Executive Mansion last year.

There’s also a pending investigation by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn who are looking into the Cuomo administration’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes and its withholding of certain death data at the height of the pandemic last year. And that’s not all. James is still looking into whether Cuomo illegally used state resources to pen his book on the COVID-19 crisis, for which he is due to be paid $5.1 million. And the Assembly’s impeachment inquiry continues on, though its immediate future is no longer clear. The investigations and litigation could enmesh Cuomo for months or years after his scheduled departure from public office in two weeks. “The inquiry into criminal conduct in our jurisdiction remains open and pending,” Soares spokesperson Cecilia Walsh said Tuesday, just after Cuomo announced his pending resignation.

[..] Separately, federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York have subpoenaed material related to Cuomo’s recent memoir as part of an investigation of the state’s handling of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes on Cuomo’s watch, The Wall Street Journal reported in June. [..] James, meanwhile, told reporters last week that her investigation into Cuomo’s book deal remains underway. “The investigation with respect to the book and whether or not public resources were utilized is ongoing and it’s separate and apart from this investigation,” she said Aug. 3. The Assembly Judiciary Committee, which has been investigating various Cuomo-related issues to determine whether to impeach the governor, is scheduled to meet Monday.

Lawmakers had been moving toward impeaching the governor, but Cuomo’s resignation could change their plans. The Assembly could still pursue an impeachment that could prevent Cuomo from running for state office again. Such an endeavor, however, would cost millions of dollars in taxpayer money, which Cuomo himself highlighted during his resignation speech. “It will consume government,” Cuomo said of his potential impeachment. “It will cost taxpayers millions of dollars. It will brutalize people.”

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The presence of judges makes you think this is about law. It is about politics. No matter that the key witness, without whom there would be no case, says he made it all up. No matter that Julian helping Manning crack something was a blatant lie. Those things have become part of the case, accepted as facts.

Yesterday was only about whether his two kids will prevent him from suiciding. As if this should ever have been allowed to become about that.

There have been people walking around with signs for a decade, and writing righteous texts on social media. When will they realize this is no use? As a society, we will never process the death through torture of our bravest and smartest. And we don’t deserve to. We deserve to be forced to explain this to our grandchildren.

US Allowed To Challenge Key Psychiatric Evidence in Assange Case (RT)

The High Court in London has allowed the US to challenge a psychiatric evaluation of Julian Assange, which was key in an earlier court ruling refusing Washington’s request to extradite him for trial. Wednesday’s appeal proceeding is the latest development in the continuing effort by the US to extradite Assange to stand trial on American soil for alleged computer-related crimes. A British judge refused the request in January on humanitarian grounds, ruling that there was a high risk of Assange taking his own life if she agreed to his extradition. Testimonies by psychiatrist Michael Kopelman about the poor state of the Australian’s mental health were crucial in the case. The US was allowed to challenge the ruling of the District Court on three points and wanted to pursue two further arguments.

One of their extra lines of attack, which was granted by Lord Justice Tim Holroyde, was to seek the dismissal of Kopelman’s testimonies, due to the fact that he initially concealed Assange’s relationship with Stella Moris and the fact that they had two children together. Clair Dobbin, who represents the US side, argued that the professor had misled the court and that his opinion about Assange’s state of mind should have been dismissed by Judge Vanessa Baraitser. The name of Assange’s partner was not public at the time of Kopelman’s initial testimony, but it became known before the ruling was passed. The expert witness for the defense did report Assange’s fatherhood, and said when pressured by the US side during the extradition hearings that he didn’t disclose Moris’ identity out of respect for her privacy.

Judge Baraitser decided when rejecting the extradition request that although Kopelman did mislead the court, he didn’t fail in his role as an impartial witness. Edward Fitzgerald, who represents Assange, argued against the challenge, saying concern for family safety was natural in his situation. He recalled that a Spanish private security firm hired to spy on Assange allegedly snatched a diaper from his baby son to test his DNA and identify the child’s parents. The baby boy was regularly brought by an associate of Assange to visit him at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was staying for seven years to avoid extradition proceedings. The firm is suspected to have worked on behalf of the US government, and its alleged activities were cited extensively before Judge Baraitser.

Matt Kennard

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Inflation, right? So what’s going to make the money flow?


 

 

Pilger

 

 

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Jun 262021
 


John French Sloan South Beach Bathers 1908

 

Half Of New Israel Covid-19 Cases In Last Month Were Fully Vaccinated (INN)
Covid Success Stories Australia, Israel Impose New Curbs (Y!)
Long-lived Macrophage Reprogramming And Inflammasome Activation (Embo)
Canadian Group Calls for Off-Label Use of Early Treatment Drugs (CovExit)
Ivermectin: Can a Drug Be “Right-Wing”? (Taibbi)
Most Americans Believe Vaccinated Should Be Required To Wear Masks At Work (F.)
US Doesn’t Have the Data to Calculate Transmissibility Or ‘Herd Immunity’ (TSN)
Children Using Fruit Juice For ‘False Positive’ Covid Tests (LEcho)
Some GB Olympic Athletes Still Refusing To Have Covid Vaccine (G.)
Narrative Soup (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Mercola-Seneff

 

 

“..an additional 3,133 people contracted Covid-19 from those vaccinated individuals.”

Half Of New Israel Covid-19 Cases In Last Month Were Fully Vaccinated (INN)

Israel’s campaign to promote the coronavirus vaccine – now focusing on young teens – is going full steam ahead, in spite of statistics presented by government officials showing that half of those recently infected with Covid-19 were fully vaccinated, Behadrey Haredim reports. Head of Public Health Services, Dr. Sharon Alray-Price, revealed the disturbing facts at a media presentation on Wednesday. According to her data, of the 891 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the last month alone, half had received both doses of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine. According to a report on Channel 12, in the months since the vaccines were rolled out, 6,765 people who received both shots have contracted coronavirus, and epidemiological tracing has revealed that an additional 3,133 people contracted Covid-19 from those vaccinated individuals.

The 6,765 represent a little more than one percent of the total number of those vaccinated, which now stands at over 5,100,000. It is clear that officials were already aware that the vaccine does not provide sufficient protection, as quarantine regulations for those returning from abroad have recently been changed, requiring even those fully vaccinated to self-isolate upon return from certain countries. In addition, military intelligence has been warning of such a scenario at least since January, when a report was published that suggested a mass vaccination campaign would lead to vaccine-resistant strains of Covid-19 emerging. Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett convened a panel of experts together with the heads of the various health service organizations in the country.

“Our aim at the present moment, first and foremost, is to protect Israeli citizens from the Delta strain that is running amok around the world,” Bennett said at the meeting. “As we do so, we will endeavor to limit the impact this has on daily life in Israel. Therefore, we have decided to take immediate action in order to avoid paying a heavier price at a later stage. It all depends on us. If we are meticulous in adhering to the guidelines and behaving responsibly, we will overcome this – together.”

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Success is relative.

Covid Success Stories Australia, Israel Impose New Curbs (Y!)

Australia and Israel, which had been successful in fending off Covid-19, reimposed restrictions on Friday as cases surged of the highly contagious Delta variant which also threatened Africa with a brutal third wave. The centre of Australia’s largest city Sydney entered lockdown, a shock for a population that had returned to relative normality after months of recording very few local cases, while vaccination success story Israel reimposed indoor mask-wearing less than two weeks after it lifted the measure. And in Fiji, another country that saw early successes against the virus, health authorities admitted for the first time that Covid transmission is widespread in the community.


While vaccination campaigns have helped bring down infections in numerous — mostly wealthy — countries, the rise of the Delta variant which first emerged in India has led to fears of new waves of a virus that has already killed nearly 3.9 million people. In Australia, which has been one of the most successful nations in containing the coronavirus after shutting its borders, around a million people in four eastern and central Sydney neighbourhoods were ordered to stay home for at least a week. Sixty-five infections have been reported in a flare-up linked to a limousine driver infected about two weeks ago when he transported an international flight crew from Sydney airport to a quarantine hotel. The premier of the state of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, called it the “scariest period” since the pandemic began.

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Walter M Chesnut @Parsifaler:

“A paper published on June 16, 2021 proves my hypothesis that the spike protein therapies are sensitizing recipients to the Spike Protein super-allergen of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The SARS-CoV-2 S-protein, a surface exposed viral receptor binding protein and important as vaccine antigen triggers NLRP3 inflammasome activation and cytokine secretion selectively in COVID-19 patient-derived macrophages. SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to reprogramming of human macrophages providing an intracellular landscape that allows for rapid inflammasome assembly.

The findings reveal that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes profound and long-lived reprogramming of macrophages resulting in augmented immunogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein, a major vaccine antigen and potent driver of adaptive and innate immune signaling. The implications are that when the virus reemerges in the fall (and perhaps even as soon as this summer, with new variants circulating) the host will have a devastating NLRP3 inflammasome activation, resulting, I believe, in the hospitilization and death of millions of individuals throughout the world. I urgently implore that the sensitization of the world population to the S-Protein be stopped immediately.”

Long-lived Macrophage Reprogramming And Inflammasome Activation (Embo)

Innate immunity triggers responsible for viral control or hyperinflammation in COVID-19 are largely unknown. Here we show that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S-protein) primes inflammasome formation and release of mature interleukin-β (IL-β) in macrophages derived from COVID-19 patients but not in macrophages from healthy SARS-CoV-2 naïve individuals. Furthermore, longitudinal analyses reveal robust S-protein-driven inflammasome activation in macrophages isolated from convalescent COVID-19 patients, which correlates with distinct epigenetic and gene expression signatures suggesting innate immune memory after recovery from COVID-19.


Importantly, we show that S-protein-driven IL-β secretion from patient-derived macrophages requires non-specific monocyte pre-activation in vivo to trigger NLRP3-inflammasome signaling. Our findings reveal that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes profound and long-lived reprogramming of macrophages resulting in augmented immunogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein, a major vaccine antigen and potent driver of adaptive and innate immune signaling.

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Common sense.

Canadian Group Calls for Off-Label Use of Early Treatment Drugs (CovExit)

A new Canadian group, the Canadian Covid Care Alliance, has issued an information package for doctors and patients, geared at facilitating the off-label prescription of early treatment drugs for COVID-19. This call is made despite guidelines, at the federal and provincial levels, recommending against most forms of early treatment of the disease. “Health Canada, and the provincial Colleges of Physicians, do not prohibit physicians from prescribing any medications that are “off-label”. Many physicians fear that prescribing ivermectin or any medication for COVID-19 is not permitted. We would like to assure you that this is not the case. Informed consent is the process by which physicians may prescribe any medication deemed appropriate. To assist you with that, we have provided a sample “Informed Consent” form that you may use or modify as per your discretion.”

After reviewing how Ivermectin can be used in early treatment protocols, the letter addressed to doctors comments on the question of drug availability and on safety. “Ivermectin can be obtained from some compounding pharmacies. The branded version of ivermectin (StromectolTM) is on long- term backorder in Canada. Thus, most pharmacies will not have supply. If you do not know of a local compounding pharmacy, contact the Canadian Covid Care Alliance (physicians@canadiancovidcarealliance.org) and we may be able to assist you. …” “Ivermectin has an exceptional safety profile, being used for approximately 40 years in billions of patients. It is on the list of essential medicines by the World Health Organization. Physicians who have been treating COVID-19 patients with early therapies can all attest to its efficacy and safety, with dramatic reductions in hospitalizations. We feel that all primary care physicians should feel comfortable treating their patients early. Recovered patients are grateful patients.”

There are two consent forms included, one for Ivermectin and one for Fluvoxamine. Both consent forms include the following introductory paragraphs: “In Canada, there are currently no recognized standard outpatient therapies for persons infected by SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 disease. The current standard of outpatient care is supportive: i.e., stay home and isolate, drink fluids, take acetaminophen for fever. Should one’s condition progress with worsening symptoms such as difficulty breathing, then one should go to the hospital.” “There are numerous studies suggesting benefit with the use of certain medications that have been on the market for many years, but do not have an official indication for COVID-19 disease.”

After providing info on the drugs, including potential side effects, the proposed consent forms conclude: “Because use of ivermectin(/fluvoxamine) is “off-label”, meaning Health Canada does not officially recognize the use of this medication for the treatment of COVID-19, signed written consent is required before taking this medication. Your signed consent indicates that you understand you are taking the medication “off-label” for COVID-19, and that beneficial results are not guaranteed.”

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Has Taibbi read any of the scientific reports? Or is this just about politics?

Ivermectin: Can a Drug Be “Right-Wing”? (Taibbi)

Hospitals fought hard, hiring expensive law firms, at times going to extraordinary lengths to refuse treatment even with dying patients who’d exhausted all other options. At Edward-Elmhurst hospital in Chicago, a 68 year-old named Nurije Fype was admitted, put on a ventilator, and again, as all other treatments failed, her family got a judge to order the use of ivermectin. Lorigo claims the hospital initially refused to obey the court order, which led to the filing of a contempt motion, which in turn led to a pair of counter-motions and another confrontation before another befuddled Judge named James Orel. “Why wouldn’t this be tried if she’s not improving?” the Chicago Tribune quoted Orel as saying. “Why does the hospital object to providing this medication?”

“He basically said, ‘What do you have left?’” Lorigo recounts. “No one would administer the ivermectin. It’s as safe as aspirin, for Christ’s sake. It’s been given out 3.7 billion times. I couldn’t understand it.” Stories like these aren’t proof the drug works. They don’t even really rise to the level of evidence. People recover from diseases all the time, and it doesn’t mean any particular treatment was responsible. Short of the gold standard of randomized controlled trials, there’s no proof. However, anecdotes have a power all their own, and in the Internet age, ones like these spread quickly. Lorigo estimates he now gets “10, 15, 20” calls and emails a day. At this level, at the bedside of a single Covid-19 patient who’s already received the full official treatment protocol and is failing anyway, the decision to administer a drug like ivermectin, or fluvoxamine, or hydroxychloroquine, or any of a dozen other experimental treatments, seems like a no-brainer. Nothing else has worked, the patient is dying, why not?

Telescope out a little further, however, and the ivermectin debate becomes more complicated, reaching into a series of thorny controversies, some ridiculous, some quite serious. The ridiculous side involves the front end of Lorigo’s story, the same story detailed on this site last week: the censorship of ivermectin news that, no matter what one thinks about the evidence for or against, is clearly in the public interest. Anyone running a basic internet search on the topic will get a jumble of confusing results. YouTube’s policies are beyond uneven. It’s been aggressive in taking down videos containing interviews with people like Kory and doling out strikes to independent media figures like Bret Weinstein, but an interview with Lorigo on TrialSite News containing basically all of the same information is still up, as are clips from a just-taped episode of the Joe Rogan Experience that feature both Weinstein and Kory.

Moreover, all sorts of statements at least as provocative as Kory’s “miraculous” formulation in the Senate still litter the Internet, many in reputable research journals. Take, for instance, this passage from the March issue of the Japanese Journal of Antibiotics: “When the effectiveness of ivermectin for the COVID-19 pandemic is confirmed with the cooperation of researchers around the world and its clinical use is achieved on a global scale, it could prove to be of great benefit to humanity. It may even turn out to be comparable to the benefits achieved from the discovery of penicillin…” There clearly is not evidence that ivermectin is the next penicillin, at least as far as its effects on Covid-19. As is noted in nearly every mainstream story about the subject, the WHO has advised against its use pending further study, there have been randomized studies showing it to be ineffective in speeding recovery, and the drug’s original manufacturer, Merck, has said there’s no “meaningful evidence” of efficacy for Covid-19 patients.

However, it’s also patently untrue, as is frequently asserted, that there’s no evidence that the drug might be effective. This past week, for instance, Oxford University announced it was launching a large-scale clinical trial. The study has already recruited more than 5,000 volunteers, and its announcement says what little is known to be true: that “small pilot studies show that early administration with ivermectin can reduce viral load and the duration of symptoms in some patients with mild COVID-19,” that it’s “a well-known medicine with a good safety profile,” and “because of the early promising results in some studies, it is already being widely used to treat COVID-19 in several countries.”

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“..although 66% of Americans believe employees have a right to know if their co-workers have been vaccinated, 60% assert their vaccine status is “no one’s business but my own.”

Most Americans Believe Vaccinated Should Be Required To Wear Masks At Work (F.)

More than half of U.S. adults (57%) believe masks should be mandated for employees working at on-site locations, even if they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, according to an American Staffing Association survey released Thursday. Compared to white Americans (50%), both Hispanics (64%) and Blacks (70%) are more likely to feel that face coverings should be required at the workplace. Younger adults and parents of children under 18 are also more supportive of mask requirements at on-site locations. The survey also discovered that although 66% of Americans believe employees have a right to know if their co-workers have been vaccinated, 60% assert their vaccine status is “no one’s business but my own.” The survey was conducted from June 10–14 by the Harris Poll among 2,066 U.S. adults.

“While government officials are rolling back Covid-19 requirements throughout the country, many workers aren’t ready to give up their masks just yet,” said Richard Wahlquist, president of the American Staffing Association. “As brick-and-mortar workplaces reopen, workers are anxious about being around their colleagues once again. Employers must clearly communicate what steps they are taking to make their workplaces safe for their employees as they reopen.” In mid-May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks indoors or socially distance in most cases.

At a White House briefing explaining the modified recommendations, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, cited a range of studies showing the vaccines are highly effective at stopping the spread of the virus and preventing severe illness. However, Thursday’s ASA survey reinforces the findings from a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday, which found 38% of Americans, including 41% of respondents who are already vaccinated, said their masking habits remain largely unchanged despite the updated guidance from the CDC advising it was safe to abandon masks in most places. [..] 0.8%. That’s the percentage of the Americans killed by the coronavirus last month who were fully vaccinated, according to an AP analysis of available government data.

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“..American society is driving to “Herd Immunity” collectively with each jab. But how can this be the case when the actual effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing transmission of the virus (transmissibility) isn’t actually known?”

US Doesn’t Have the Data to Calculate Transmissibility Or ‘Herd Immunity’ (TSN)

Again, the premise in the 70% POTUS directive: that American society is driving to “Herd Immunity” collectively with each jab. But how can this be the case when the actual effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing transmission of the virus (transmissibility) isn’t actually known? That’s right; at present, it’s not known just how effective the vaccines are at preventing transmission. If in fact transmissibility was known, that is to say that based on extensive study scientists could measure the COVID-19 vaccines’ were 50%, or 70% or 20% effective, then biostatistical calculations can be programmed into algorithms which will predict the segment of the populace that would need to have been inoculated to reach that milestone called herd immunity.


However, to actually achieve this goal necessitates granular data heretofore not known nor currently available. That is, what is the reduction in viral transmissibility rates for each vaccine? Scientists must be able to measure, quantitatively as well as aggregate mean calculations concerning just how effective each vaccine actually is in preventing person-to-person transmission. But presently, these data aren’t known. Moreover, these vital underlying data (transmissibility rates), a fundamental prerequisite to perform the calculations that could lead to the herd immunity target assessment, were not required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for neither clinical studies nor licensure. Rather, the FDA was concerned with disease prevention as an urgent endpoint, with an emphasis on hospitalization and death.

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The Science.

Children Using Fruit Juice For ‘False Positive’ Covid Tests (LEcho)

A school has sent a warning message to parents after children “discovered” using fruit juice created a false positive on coronavirus tests. Gateacre School in Belle Vale sent out an email to parents on Wednesday, June 24, warning them to be “vigilant” whilst their children are taking lateral flow Covid tests. The email was sent after it came to the attention of teachers, pupils had “discovered” placing droplets of orange juice or other fruit juice on a lateral flow test gave a false positive result. On Monday, June 21, Gateacre School told pupils in Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 not to attend school while staff carried out track and trace work after a number of students tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend. The school told the ECHO there is no evidence their pupils have been misusing the tests.


The email read: “Nationally, some school students have discovered that placing droplets of orange juice or other fruit juice on an LFD test gets a false ‘positive’ result. In light of this, can you be extra vigilant when your child is doing their LFD tests. Also, remind them that a positive LFD test must be followed by a confirmatory PCR test.” One parent said they received the email and a text message from Gateacre and were left concerned after knowing the school had “a few positive tests lately”. The parent added: “Makes you think, are some of the children doing this ?” Headteacher Gareth Jones insisted the message was sent after they were made aware of students in “other schools in the country” obtaining void or positive results by pouring orange juice onto Covid tests.

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Logic: human rights are not helpful.

“People have got the right to choose, and we have to respect that. But it’s not necessarily that helpful.”

Some GB Olympic Athletes Still Refusing To Have Covid Vaccine (G.)

The British Olympic Association is still trying to convince some athletes to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before the Tokyo Olympics next month, the BOA chief executive, Andy Anson, said. The BOA said this month that it was on track to ensure all athletes and staff were fully vaccinated before the Olympics. The Tokyo Games, delayed last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, will begin on 23 July. “We’re trying to convince them it’s the right thing to do,” Anson told the BBC on Friday. “People have got the right to choose, and we have to respect that. But it’s not necessarily that helpful.” Japan has largely avoided the kind of Covid-19 outbreaks that have devastated other countries, but its vaccine rollout was initially slow and the medical system has been pushed to the brink in some places.


Many Japanese remain sceptical about the possibility of holding even a scaled-down Games safely during the pandemic. Organisers have excluded foreign spectators and limited the number of domestic ones for the event. Anson said the Athletes’ Village in Tokyo will be “probably the toughest environment in sports at this time”. “We are putting in place very strict protocols along with the organisers to make sure, to the fullest extent possible, we follow the rules of isolation, distancing, and just keeping in our own ‘semi bubbles,’” he said. On Wednesday, a second member of Uganda’s Olympic delegation, an athlete, tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Japan.

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“Joe Biden”

Narrative Soup (Kunstler)

In fact, there is one legal review of the 2020 balloting currently underway in Arizona, at the order of the Arizona State Senate, as it should be because, according to the US constitution, elections are a prerogative of the fifty states’ legislatures. It’s not “a narrative.” It’s as official as can be, and they have every right to do it, and there’s a fair chance that it will uncover both ballot fraud and voting machine fraud. I suppose all that seems “baseless” if you refuse to look. Also, this week a judge in Georgia approved a process to unseal roughly 145,000 mail-in ballots in Fulton County (the Atlanta metro region) to inspect them for fraud. The ruling stems from a lawsuit against the county that alleges evidence of fraudulent ballots and improper counting. “Joe Biden” won the state by a mere 12,000 votes.

Other states, notably Pennsylvania, are taking action toward their own 2020 vote audits, and through the proper legislative channels. The “incontrovertible evidence” of a fair and honest election is the fraud at issue. There are only assertions that it would be wrong to even look for it, and it’s hard to imagine a weaker argument. So, the politburo behind “Joe Biden” is running scared. The New York court’s action against Mr. Giuliani is just a peevish act of political desperation aimed at disabling a legal adversary. That and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s threat to shut down the Arizona audit on specious “civil rights” grounds are just attempts to create distractions for a regime that begins to apprehend it is whirling around the drain.

As “Joe Biden” fades altogether from the scene, the country will have to grapple with the real problems it faces, not hobgoblins of racism, misogyny, white supremacy but how to cope with a dwindling energy supply and a falling standard of living, and how to remain civilized. We’re doing a good job of destroying the institutions that make civilization possible, especially law and the courts.

Kamala

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Jun 082021
 


Pablo Picasso Le repos 1932
This painting has a story. It’s very funny. Click the pic.

 

Nearly 80% Of Surveyed Americans Won’t Change Their Mind & Get Vaccine (RT)
Unvaccinated Houston Methodist Nurses Plan Walkout (HC)
Why Subject Our Children To The Risk Of Death From Vaccination? (CW)
Child Vaccination: Who’s Selfish Now? (Curzon)
Time To Make Them PAY (Denninger)
Embattled Thailand Kicks Off Mass Vaccination Drive Against Covid-19 (RT)
Reset Yourself ! (Kunstler)
Trump Calls Bitcoin Scam, Denounces It For Competing Against The Dollar (RT)
Dumping The Dollar: Russia Ready To Shift Currency Liquidity To The Euro (RT)
The Coming Biden/Putin Train-Wreck Summit (Ron Paul)
Daniel Ellsberg: The 90-Year-old Whistleblower Tempting Prosecution (BBC)

 

 

 

 

Freud & Jung would have retweeted this clip.

 

 

 

 

Forget about vaccine-induced herd immunity.

Nearly 80% Of Surveyed Americans Won’t Change Their Mind & Get Vaccine (RT)

A new poll has found that Americans refusing a Covid-19 vaccination are highly unlikely to change their minds as inoculation rates have also significantly dropped. More than three in four adults (78%) who have thus far refused to get a Covid-19 vaccination say they are unlikely to change their minds in the future, according to a new Gallup poll. Of that group, 51% say they are “highly unlikely” to change their minds. Approximately 20% of people who are hesitant to receive a vaccine say they are open to changing their stance, with only 2% saying they are “highly likely” to eventually be convinced to get inoculated. The poll – conducted among over 3,500 adults with a margin of error of 3% – could spell bad news for President Joe Biden’s ambitious goal of vaccinating 70% of US adults by July 4.

Recent reports have shown that vaccine rates are plummeting in recent weeks, threatening the president’s plan. While approximately 3.4 million shots were being given out a day in mid-April, that number has now fallen to below one million a day, according to a report from the Washington Post. To hit the president’s goal, it says, approximately 4.2 million adults would need to be getting vaccinated a week, but only 2.4 million were given a jab last week. The drop has been chalked up by health officials to a lack of supply, rather than demand as vaccination sites have popped up around the country, but are seeing less and less people come through.

Some states have tried incentivizing vaccine hesitant residents by offering lottery winnings worth millions of dollars. The rates of vaccination vary significantly from state to state, with a handful set to hit Biden’s goal, including New York, a state in which over 60% of adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Some right-leaning states, however, have lower vaccination rates and are unlikely to hit the 70% threshold in the next month, the Washington Post report goes on. Twelve states, including Oklahoma, Montana, and West Virginia, have seen their daily vaccinations fall to just 15 jabs per 10,000 residents. One Utah woman told the outlet that “in certain circles, it’s almost shameful to get the vaccine.”

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The entire state is free.

Unvaccinated Houston Methodist Nurses Plan Walkout (HC)

Dozens of cheering supporters gathered outside the Houston Methodist Baytown campus Monday evening as several medical workers who refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine ended their last shifts working for the hospital system. The act of protest was aimed at what workers said was the hospital’s decision to suspend employees for two weeks without pay and then fire them for failing to immunize themselves. Jennifer Bridges, a nurse who effectively lost her job at the Baytown facility for deciding not to be inoculated, said the goal was to stage a walkout but that did not go as planned. Participating employees who refused the vaccine’s first dose were told not to gather or linger on the hospital grounds after ending their shift, she said. “The hospital wouldn’t let us do it,” Bridges said.

She got out of work early, emptied her locker and gathered with others on a grassy medium near the ambulance entrance to the hospital. Bridges fished a paper out of a backpack — a suspension report — that she had been asked to sign. She refused, she continued. About 117 employees in May filed a class action lawsuit against the health system for requiring its workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Bridges said the plaintiffs in the suit are a mix of those who want more trial data to emerge on the long-term effects of the vaccine before taking it, and those who simply don’t want any shots. “We’re not against the vaccine, we just want to be more comfortable with this one and have thorough research out before we take it,” Bridges in April said.

“When patients get care, they have the right to refuse treatment, but we’re not allowed that same exemption.” The suit alleged that the three major coronavirus vaccines are only authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, meaning employers cannot require them as a condition of employment. At least 50 more employees have expressed interest in joining the plaintiffs since the lawsuit went public, she said.

Houston Methodist

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“SARS-CoV-2 is going to become an endemic virus. It will always be with us. The sooner most of us are exposed to it, ideally in childhood, the sooner it will cease to be a major problem.”

Why Subject Our Children To The Risk Of Death From Vaccination? (CW)

All non-corrupted scientific commentators have known from the very start that this pandemic only ends one way: SARS-CoV-2 is going to become an endemic virus. It will always be with us. The sooner most of us are exposed to it, ideally in childhood, the sooner it will cease to be a major problem. High-risk individuals can choose to take a vaccine. Ivermectin and vitamin D can be used to prevent infection and treat confirmed cases. As we have seen, the argument that children must take vaccines so that we can achieve herd immunity is utterly false. Only those completely ignorant of virology and immunology would even attempt to make it. That brings us back to the original argument for vaccinating children against Covid: to protect them from the severe disease.

If this is the only reason to vaccinate children, there is only one calculation that parents should make: Is the risk from Covid greater than the risk from the vaccine? The present Covid vaccines being administered in the West are based on experimental technologies that are being used under emergency use authorisations (EUAs). Full safety studies will not be completed until 2023. The Covid vaccines were all created in the last year and we have no medium-term or long-term data on them. We don’t know if they will have an effect on children’s reproductive organs and fertility. We don’t know if they will produce auto-immune diseases. And we don’t know if they will lead to ADE (antibody-dependent enhancement) upon re-exposure to the virus (causing more severe illness).

We do know that the vaccines produce a range of cardiovascular and neurological events including strokes, myocarditis, pericarditis and paralysis in a significant number of people. In the small US state of Connecticut at least 18 children and young adults have come down with myocarditis, an extremely serious and sometimes fatal condition involving inflammation of the heart muscle (and they’ve only just started vaccinating children there). The Israel Ministry of Health has reported that the incidence of myocarditis for vaccine recipients is between 1 in 3,000 and 1 in 6,000 in young men. In Canada (population 38 million) only 11 children have died from Covid since the start of the pandemic. In the UK (pop 68 million) 32 children have died. It is nearly certain that all of them had one or more severe comorbidities. The fact is, most children brush off Covid without even knowing they’ve had it. For all intents and purposes, Covid poses zero risk to healthy children.

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“..a lot of ethical dilemmas as to whether you should vaccinate children to protect adults.”

Child Vaccination: Who’s Selfish Now? (Curzon)

A number of school leaders have swung into action following the approval of the vaccination of children against Covid (a disease which almost all children aren’t at risk from) using the Pfizer vaccine (trials of which only included 1,134 children). It wasn’t very long ago that the establishment line was: if you don’t get a Covid vaccine, you are selfish. Even the Queen (disappointingly) joined in with this line [..]. But now, adult advisers to the Government suggest that children should be vaccinated not to protect children but to protect…themselves. Professor Anthony Harnden, the Deputy Chairman of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, says:


‘I think the vast majority of benefit won’t be to children, it will be an indirect benefit to adults in terms of preventing transmission and protecting adults who haven’t been immunised, for whatever reason haven’t responded to the vaccine and therefore that presents quite a lot of ethical dilemmas as to whether you should vaccinate children to protect adults.’ He notes that children themselves are ‘in the main’ not at risk from Covid. Over half of the adult population has been fully vaccinated (with seventy-five per cent having received at least one dose of a vaccine) and Covid deaths, while still exaggerated, have flattened. There is no reason to vaccinate most children and, given the potential side effects, many not to do so. If the Government bottles it on the vaccination of children, it is they who are being selfish.

FLCCC

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Good question (we asked this before): where are the life insurance companies?

If they don’t change their policies, that’s a big sign.

Time To Make Them PAY (Denninger)

[..] of those from 5-17 the number of persons who were admitted to the hospital and died, from March 1 2020 through March 31st, 2021 was……. wait for it…… NINE. Yes, a literal NINE nationwide. Another nine under 5 died. That’s right — 18 children in total from 0-17 year olds died of Covid-19 all the way back to March of 2020. If that’s not enough further review in a recent study the CDC did itself found that about a third of those were misclassified and had no plausible connection to Covid-19 actually killing the person in question. That’s a statistical zero risk of death if you are in that age bracket (17 and under) and get Covid. There are roughly 75 million persons under the age of 18 in the United States; this means their risk of death from Covid-19 since March of 2020 is roughly 1 in 4 million.

To put context on this you’re roughly one thousand times (there is a lot of variation with age and sex) more likely to die of something else in that age bracket provided you make it out your first year. Why your first year? Because roughly 5,500 per million infants die in their first year from all causes combined which is a stunning 20,000 times the rate that Covid-19 kills them. In addition for those under 50 the percentage of hospital admissions ending in death was 2.4%. There is no material risk of dying of Covid if you are under 50 and this is with zero early drug intervention which we know works so can we cut the crap folks? This isn’t my data it’s the government’s official data. The AARP confirms this; 95% of those who died were 50+ but 64.6% of the Covid-19 alleged cases have been in people under 50.

Yet now the CDC is attempting to scare kids and adolescents into taking jabs through flat-out lies. Why hasn’t the CDC been banned from Twitter and Facebook for “medical misinformation”? They are the publishers of this data and yet they are knowingly lying about their own data! Now are there an awful lot of seniors who are fat and/or diabetic? You bet. But there are also many who are not and Covid doesn’t kill them often, if at all. There is no reason for anyone to put up with any more of this bull****. After almost a year and a half of being gaslighted, lied to up and down the line by every so-called “expert” under the sun, having treatments suppressed to the point that discussing them gets you thrown off social media sites and doctors sanctioned or threatened with loss of their licenses and professional associations please explain to me why the people of this nation haven’t gotten tired of their loved ones being deliberately sacrificed — that would be called murder, by the way — and shoved all of this bull**** up the government’s ass?

Nor is there any reason for anyone to get a jab for anyone else’s benefit; these are not fully-tested and documented products, no matter what someone tries to tell you and again, the FDA’s own documents in the form of the actual EUAs say so. Any claim otherwise is ALSO a lie; these shots are lightly tested and there is plenty of evidence that more than one of the original safety claims made for them are now known false. [..] where are the life insurance companies? If there’s one group of people who have their crap dialed in when it comes to who’s going to die and how often it’s those folks. Oh not you specifically of course, but statistically, you bet. These companies do not lose money and they don’t make stupid bets either. Every one of their bets collects a small amount of money and when they’re wrong very large amounts go out their door. If they are not changing rates and forcing jabs to get coverage or surcharging you if you don’t get the jab then this much is absolutely certain: Covid-19 is non-event from a life insurance perspective — in other words, whether they think you’ll die of it.

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Drown them in ivermectin instead.

Embattled Thailand Kicks Off Mass Vaccination Drive Against Covid-19 (RT)

Bangkok has started its mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19, with the government aiming to inoculate six million people in June alone, as a third wave surges and now accounts for 80% of all cases since the pandemic began. “The government will ensure that everyone is vaccinated,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Monday after a visit to a Bangkok inoculation center as the national vaccination program kicked off. Amid a third wave of the virus, which has seen case levels far exceed those of the first and second waves, the state is aiming to administer six million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, which is being made locally, and China’s Sinovac shot in June. The government hopes to vaccinate 70% of the country’s 66 million people before the end of the year.


To date, only 2.8 million people have received one shot in an initial rollout targeting the most vulnerable, including frontline health and transport workers. The government has been heavily criticized by opposition parties for over-reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being made by royal-owned Siam Bioscience. Concerns emerged that the company’s production capacity may have been overestimated after the Philippines said its order had been reduced and delayed. Bangkok has been forced to search elsewhere for more supply, sourcing 200,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from South Korea, and hopes to complete a 20-million-shot deal with Pfizer in the coming weeks. To date, Thailand has registered 179,886 infections and 1,269 fatalities from the virus, 80% of which has been recorded during the third wave. 2,419 new infections and 33 deaths were recorded on Monday.

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“..plenty of pretty young things on hand, only some of whom know a reverse repo from an Appenzeller Sennenhund..”

Reset Yourself ! (Kunstler)

If Quentin Tarantino made a James Bond movie, the villain would be a maniac named Klaus Schwab, played with a light touch by Christoph Waltz, leading a SMERSH-like org bent on turning the world into a utopia of robots, and, of course, absolutely everything would go wrong, leading to a joyously comical bloodbath in the climax. Are we living in that movie, one wonders? In real life — is there even such a thing anymore? — Klaus Schwab is the octogenarian head of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the NGO that hosts the annual cavalcade of global villains at Davos, Switzerland, held every January in perfect designer snow, with the raclette melting temptingly on the hearth, endless flutes of Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut making the rounds, and plenty of pretty young things on hand, only some of whom know a reverse repo from an Appenzeller Sennenhund. Must be fun as all git-out.

The Davos meeting is ostensibly called to improve the state of the world (ha!), and thereby inspires countless paranoid fever dreams in the minds of many who would prefer to be spared utopian social experiments, especially from plans drawn by billionaire bankers who view the present surfeit of mankind on this planet (some 7.6 billion) as cluttering up the joint — all these unnecessary hoi polloi filling the oceans with their yukky plastic, making navigation difficult for the Davos yachting crowd… or something like that. Klaus Schwab has been shockingly literal about his wished-for utopia, summing up his vision as, “You will own nothing, and you will be happy about it.” Hmmm, no property… and then what? Logically, no corpus of contract law to regulate it? Farewell pesky US constitution. (Let’s face it, it’s been falling apart lately, anyhow.) How’s that going to make folks happy? Can I at least keep my Waterpik and my flyrod?

And what about your property Klaus? And the property of your nonagenarian buddy George Soros, including all the cash money he’s been sprinkling around the USA to fund the election of utterly incompetent Attorneys General and District Attorneys, so as to sow chaos in America’s streets? What about your pal Bill Gates’s property… those hundreds of thousands of acres he’s buying up across the American grain belt? And the half that goes to Melinda under California divorce law. Will the poor girl have to make those dreary trips to the Safeway on her own? Will there even be supermarkets? Or just distribution depots like the old soviet glory days, with long lines for schmoozing?

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“I want the dollar to be the currency of the world. That’s what I’ve always said.”

Trump Calls Bitcoin Scam, Denounces It For Competing Against The Dollar (RT)

Former President Donald Trump called bitcoin a probable “scam” on Fox Business, Monday, complaining that it’s competing against the US dollar, which he wants to be the “currency of the world.” During an interview on Fox Business, host Stuart Varney asked Trump for his thoughts on the popular cryptocurrency and whether he would invest in it. “Bitcoin, it just seems like a scam,” Trump declared, adding, “I don’t like it because it’s another currency competing against the dollar.” “I want the dollar to be the currency of the world. That’s what I’ve always said.” Trump has repeatedly shot down cryptocurrencies in recent years, accusing them of facilitating “unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”


“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” he said on Twitter in July 2019. “We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!” Trump’s presidential administration also attempted to crack down on cryptocurrency through regulations last year as one its final acts ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

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“Since we are a market economy, we cannot just order: stop using dollars..”

Dumping The Dollar: Russia Ready To Shift Currency Liquidity To The Euro (RT)

Russian authorities are planning to shift the nation’s currency liquidity from the US dollar to the euro, the country’s Finance Ministry announced on Monday. “Our number one goal is to turn Russia into a euro-oriented country, thus to replace the dollar with the euro,” said Dmitry Timofeev, head of the department of external restrictive measures control at the Russian Finance Ministry. The official noted that Russia has every reason for the move, adding that the government is preparing a wide range of incentives for businesses to transition to the European single currency. “Since we are a market economy, we cannot just order: stop using dollars,” Timofeev said, though he added that some state-owned corporations might be forced to shift.


“We need to develop the necessary tools in a single package to move the entire economy further away from the dollar, which, in fact, will allow us to avoid sanctions and make the world more democratic,” he added. The announcement comes days after Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the National Wealth Fund would reduce its share of dollars to zero within the next month. Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak warned that Russia may soon be tempted to move away from dollar-denominated crude contracts if the US administration continues to pile up targeted economic sanctions.

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“Biden is well-prepared to answer for this when he soon visits Europe since, of course, he was deeply involved in this scandal the first time around.”

The Coming Biden/Putin Train-Wreck Summit (Ron Paul)

I have my doubts whether the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva will take place later this month, but even if somehow it is pulled off, recent Biden Administration blunders mean the chance anything of substance will be achieved is virtually nil. The Biden Administration was supposed to signal a return of the “adults” to the room. No more bully Trump telling NATO it’s useless, ripping up international climate treaties, and threatening to remove troops from the Middle East and beyond. US foreign policy would again flourish under the steady, practiced hands of the experts. Then Biden blurted out in a television interview that President Putin was a killer with no soul. Then US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discovered the hard way that his Chinese counterparts were in no mood to be lectured on an “international rules-based order” that is routinely flouted by Washington.

It’s going to be a rough ten days for President Biden. Just as news breaks that under the Obama/Biden Administration the US was routinely and illegally spying on its European allies, he is preparing to meet those same allies, first at the G7 summit in England on June 11-13 and then at the June 14th NATO meeting in Brussels. Make no mistake, Joe Biden is up to his eyeballs in this scandal. Ed Snowden Tweeted late last month when news broke that the US teamed up with the Danes to spy on the rest of Europe, that “Biden is well-prepared to answer for this when he soon visits Europe since, of course, he was deeply involved in this scandal the first time around.”

Though Germany’s Merkel and France’s Macron have been loyal US lapdogs, the revelation of how Washington treats its allies has put them in the rare position of having to criticize Washington. “Outrageous” and “unacceptable” are how they responded to the news. Russia has been routinely accused (without evidence) of malign conduct and interference in internal US affairs, but it turns out that the country actually doing the spying and meddling was the US all along – and against its own allies! Surely this irony is not lost on Putin.

Ron Paul Walensky

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“That would immediately raise the question of the US initiating nuclear war against China to prevail in that situation..”

Daniel Ellsberg: The 90-Year-old Whistleblower Tempting Prosecution (BBC)

While the Pentagon Papers left a lasting legacy, they weren’t the only documents Mr Ellsberg got his hands on. At the same time, Mr Ellsberg copied another classified study that showed how seriously American military chiefs took the threat of nuclear war during the Taiwan crisis of 1958. For 50 years, the study went virtually unnoticed until 2017, when Mr Ellsberg published the full document online, which was highlighted by the New York Times newspaper last month. In theory, Mr Ellsberg’s disclosure could put him at risk of prosecution on the same charges he faced for leaking the Pentagon Papers. Now aged 90, Mr Ellsberg says he is not intimidated by the possibility of prison. In an interview with the BBC, he explained why.

[..] For decades, Mr Ellsberg has been a tireless critic of government overreach and military interventions. His opposition crystallised during the 1960s, when he advised the White House on nuclear strategy and assessed the Vietnam War for the Department of Defense. What Mr Ellsberg learned during that period weighed heavily on his conscience. If only the public knew, he thought, political pressure to end the war might prove irresistible. The release of the Pentagon Papers was a product of that rationale, which underpins Mr Ellsberg’s latest disclosure, albeit in a different context. “I want to do my part in avoiding nuclear war,” Mr Ellsberg said from his home in California. In his assessment, a nuclear war over Taiwan is a serious threat. To understand why, consider the unsettled question of Taiwan’s relationship to China.

China has asserted sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Since then, China has regarded Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunited with the mainland – by force if necessary. As Taiwan’s most-important ally, the US would be expected to take action if China did attack the island. “War games appear to show that the Chinese would win a conventional war over Taiwan and against the US,” Mr Ellsberg said. “That would immediately raise the question of the US initiating nuclear war against China to prevail in that situation, just as US decision-makers committed themselves to doing if it was necessary in 1958.” In the end, it was not necessary in 1958. But what material released by Mr Ellsberg shows, in sobering detail, is why American military leaders believed it might have been.

Read more …

 

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Georgestradamus

 

 

 

 

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May 042021
 


Franco Fontana Prague 1967

 

US To Authorize Pfizer Vaccine For Ages 12-15 Early Next Week (R.)
Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely In The US, Experts Now Believe (NYT)
The Missing Piece of the Covid-19 Death Puzzle: Co-Infection (Sardi)
The CDC, VUMC, Johns Hopkins Are All *DONE* (Denninger)
England To Pilot Daily Covid Tests As Way To Avoid Self-isolation (G.)
SARS-CoV-2 Variants Still Recognized by T Cells (NIH)
Covid S Protein Impairs Endothelial Function via Downregulation of ACE 2 (AHA)
Florida Gov. DeSantis Suspends All Local Coronavirus Emergency Orders (JTN)
‘Far More Likely’ Coronavirus Came From Lab, Ex-MI6 Chief (LBC)
The Criminalization of Dissent (CJ Hopkins)
Biden Family Justice (Kunstler)
Moscow Has Plan To Ditch US Dollar & Axe Dependency On West (Gavin)

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Main reason for hesitancy to take Covid vaccine from average Americans is they assume ALL risk. If something goes wrong, you can’t sue Moderna/Pfizer. And without FDA approval government isn’t accountable, either. Therefore, the patient/citizen assumes ALL risk.”

 

 

 

This for me remains the scariest part of it all.

“Pfizer and Moderna have also launched trials in even younger children, from six months to 11 years old.”

US To Authorize Pfizer Vaccine For Ages 12-15 Early Next Week (R.)

The US Food and Drug Administration is preparing to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine for adolescents between ages 12 and 15 years by early next week, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing federal officials familiar with the agency’s plans. An approval is highly anticipated after the drugmakers said in March that the vaccine had been found to be safe, effective and produced robust antibody responses in 12- to 15-year-olds in a clinical trial. Responding to a Reuters request for comment, the FDA said its review of expanding the vaccine’s emergency use authorization was continuing, but it did not provide further details. The vaccine has already been cleared in the United States for people age 16 and above.


The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director, Rochelle Walensky, said earlier in April that the vaccine could be approved by mid-May. If an approval for the 12-15-year-olds is granted, the CDC’s vaccine advisory panel will probably meet the following day to review the clinical trial data and make recommendations for the vaccine’s use in adolescents, the report said. Approval of the vaccine would boost the country’s immunization drive and help allay fears of parents anxious to protect their children from Covid-19. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also testing their vaccines in 12- to 18-year olds, with data from Moderna’s trial expected to come soon. Pfizer and Moderna have also launched trials in even younger children, from six months to 11 years old. Both companies have said they hope to be able to vaccinate children under 11 as soon as early 2022.

Read more …

Vaccine promo (vaccine porn?) . One-dimensional. It’s a pattern: first promotion of hand cleaners, then masks, then of lockdowns, now of vaccines.

Where would we be if they had promoted vit. D and ivermection in the same fashion?

Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely In The US, Experts Now Believe (NYT)

Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives. Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable – at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.

Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers. How much smaller is uncertain and depends in part on how much of the nation, and the world, becomes vaccinated and how the coronavirus evolves. It is already clear, however, that the virus is changing too quickly, new variants are spreading too easily and vaccination is proceeding too slowly for herd immunity to be within reach anytime soon. Continued immunizations, especially for people at highest risk because of age, exposure or health status, will be crucial to limiting the severity of outbreaks, if not their frequency, experts believe.

“The virus is unlikely to go away,” said Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta. “But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.” The shift in outlook presents a new challenge for public health authorities. The drive for herd immunity – by the summer, some experts once thought possible – captured the imagination of large segments of the public. To say the goal will not be attained adds another “why bother” to the list of reasons that vaccine skeptics use to avoid being inoculated.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s top adviser on Covid-19, acknowledged the shift in experts’ thinking. “People were getting confused and thinking you’re never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is,” he said. “That’s why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense,” he added. “I’m saying: Forget that for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down.”

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“The so-called “super-spreaders” are the asymptomatic RNA-vaccinated (Pfizer/ Moderna) individuals that shed the virus. In an anticipated misdirection, the unvaccinated will then be mistakenly blamed for the spread of the virus and a predicted witch hunt will ensue for the anti-vaxxers..”

The Missing Piece of the Covid-19 Death Puzzle: Co-Infection (Sardi)

Funny thing we realized on the way to the funeral parlor to bury our friends and loved ones who were vaccinated against COVID-19 coronavirus, that the vaccine didn’t work. COVID-19 vaccines, like flu shots, don’t work as well for new strains of the virus. For that, you will need perpetual immunization, say vaccine makers. Oh, there are people dying, 7700 every day in the US. But was their passing solely attributed to COVID-19? Since the COVID-19 fatality numbers are exaggerated by a PCR nasal swab test that results in 97% false positives (all of the COVID-19 PCR tests during the past 14 months have been found to be invalid), there is no way to confirm deaths were caused by COVID-19 or COVID-19 was a bystander, the difference between dying OF COVID-19 or dying WITH COVID-19! Deaths are being drummed up to create fear and false demand for vaccines.

Also, in case you hadn’t heard, “a resurgence in both hospitalizations and deaths will be ‘dominated by those that have received two doses of the vaccine,” says the respected Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group. “At least 60 percent of all new COVID-19 cases are occurring in people who were already vaccinated.” So far, hundreds who have been vaccinated got sick again and some have died. This is being reported in different locations. We have a vaccine that reduces severity of symptoms but not the ratio of hospitalizations and deaths among infected subjects! The so-called “super-spreaders” are the asymptomatic RNA-vaccinated (Pfizer/ Moderna) individuals that shed the virus. In an anticipated misdirection, the unvaccinated will then be mistakenly blamed for the spread of the virus and a predicted witch hunt will ensue for the anti-vaxxers, a development foreseen in my March 26, 2021 posting.

But how could a mutated common cold virus kill off humans like flies? Well, at no time were any human populations dying like flies. As stated in prior reports, the percentage of people dying of COVID-19 who reside outside of nursing homes is but one-quarter of one-percent. Vaccination, which is said to be 95% effective, but that is not 95 out of 100 in hard numbers. On an accumulated basis as of May 1, 2021 in the U.S., 31,889,171 laboratory- confirmed infections (9.7% of the population) with 568,836 questionable deaths (0.0017% or 1.7 per thousand). But even these numbers are fallacious. If the PCR nasal swab test were properly performed, then 97% COVID-19 infections as a cause of death cannot be confirmed.

Only 6% of deaths were without co-morbid conditions (diabetes, heart disease, etc.), meaning maybe only 34,130 COVID-19 deaths solely attributed to COVID-19 instead of 568,836 – for a true fatality risk 0.0001 or 1 in 10,000. That means 10,000 must be vaccinated to spare 1 life. While the serious side effect rate for the vaccines is very small, it exceeds the number who will potentially benefit from vaccination. Your chance of benefiting from vaccination is nil. And vaccination will not prevent infections or deaths if your immune system is not intact, or if the strain of the virus does not match the vaccine. [..] How are face masks, social distancing and hand washing, going to meaningfully reduce your risk of dying from COVID-19 when only 1 in 10,000 are at risk?

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“COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

“The science says it’s not harmless; it is in fact pathogenic. The CDC is lying and as a result people are dying.”

The CDC, VUMC, Johns Hopkins Are All *DONE* (Denninger)

There might be a few fathers left in this country. Maybe. If so it is my sincere hope that they hold people to personal account who inflicted these harms on their sons and daughters, of which there will be tens if not hundreds of thousands reasonably tied to these so-called “interventions”, including the shots, in the current and coming years. The ghouls involved did not give a crap about the law from the start. The EUAs were flatly illegal because we knew by summer of 2020 that there were decades-old proved safe and believed effective treatments. We didn’t use them, on purpose, for the explicit reason that doing so would prevent these EUAs from being issued. By deliberately lying the FDA, CDC and dozens of other organizations and individuals along with the corporate physician and hospital networks directly caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans who should not have died, and caused deliberate harm to hundreds of thousands more who are now left with what may well be a lifelong debilitating impact as a result of the scream-fest for “everyone” to go get these unproved and now-known-dangerous injections.

Nobody knows how bad, or for how long, those future disabilities and risk of death will be or for how long they will continue but that there is severe impact is now known; we are now down to trying to figure out how horrid. The CDC still claims the spike protein in the shots is “harmless” despite three scientific papers dating to December stating otherwise, one of which is peer reviewed and another from Salk, with the first known published evidence of a problem dating back to September of 2020. All were deliberately ignored and still are being ignored. “COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

The science says it’s not harmless; it is in fact pathogenic. The CDC is lying and as a result people are dying. If you think this can remain “under wraps” and not get into the public consciousness you’re wrong. While the pharma firms may have legal immunity no private entity or public other entity does and the ambulance chasers will be out in droves to make the next $10 or $50 billion windfall asset-stripping colleges and their endowments, sports teams, concert venues and other commercial and government entities of every bit of flesh they can pick off. Unfortunately the injured will get little or nothing after the lawyers get done, as has always been the case. The destruction of these entities is both just and will happen, but it’s nowhere near the end game or best of outcomes.

The best of outcomes, which we will also obtain, will be the complete destruction of any sort of trust, belief or other willingness to listen to so-called “public health” authorities for years or even decades into the future. This is not a bad thing; they’ve been full of crap for decades, poisoning people slowly by advocating the consumption of a carbohydrate-rich diet, essentially cramming liquid milk into the gullets of children, many of whom are lactose intolerant to some degree and for which there is no evidence of benefit, calling “ketchup”, which is mostly sugar, a “vegetable” and other similar outrages. McDonalds and the rest of the fast food industry followed said “guidance” and stopped using beef tallow from their hamburgers to fry the potatoes; that switch alone has killed hundreds of thousands over the last few decades, as vegetable oils of this sort should never be consumed in any meaningful quantity. They do not occur in nature in anything similar to what we consume today and every one of them has a horrid inflammatory profile.

Read more …

Next up: hourly testing.

Do any of these tests look for the presence of T cells?

England To Pilot Daily Covid Tests As Way To Avoid Self-isolation (G.)

Daily testing of the contacts of people who test positive for Covid is to be trialled, the government has announced, in an effort to reduce the need for people to self-isolate unnecessarily. People who test positive for Covid and their close contacts currently have to isolate for 10 days, but recent research has suggested compliance may be low. One study found that only about 50% of people who had Covid symptoms said they fully adhered to self-isolation. The trial, which launches on Sunday and is led by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS test and trace, will explore whether the use of daily testing of close contacts could reduce the need for people to isolate.


“We know that isolating when you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 is challenging, but it remains vitally important to stop the spread of infection,” said Prof Isabel Oliver, PHE’s national infection service director and the study lead. “This study will help to determine whether we can deploy daily testing for contacts to potentially reduce the need for self-isolation, while still ensuring that chains of transmission are stopped. “Contacts of cases are at higher risk of infection, so testing them is a very effective way of preventing further spread. This study will play an important part of our evaluation of daily contact testing and how the approach to testing might evolve.” The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) had previously noted the potential for daily testing.

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From March 31 2021. It appears to say T cells come from vaccines or infection, but we know many people (81%?!) have T cells regardless. I’m not sure of these are the specific CD8+ T cells.

SARS-CoV-2 Variants Still Recognized by T Cells (NIH)

When variants of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) emerged in late 2020, concern arose that they might elude protective immune responses generated by prior infection or vaccination, potentially making re-infection more likely or vaccination less effective. To investigate this possibility, researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues analyzed blood cell samples from 30 people who had contracted and recovered from COVID-19 prior to the emergence of virus variants. They found that one key player in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2—the CD8+ T cell—remained active against the virus. The research team was led by NIAID’s Andrew Redd, Ph.D., and included scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Immunomics-focused company, ImmunoScape.

The investigators asked whether CD8+ T cells in the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients, infected with the initial virus, could still recognize three SARS-CoV-2 variants: B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom; B.1.351, originally found in the Republic of South Africa; and B.1.1.248, first seen in Brazil. Each variant has mutations throughout the virus, and, in particular, in the region of the virus’ spike protein that it uses to attach to and enter cells. Mutations in this spike protein region could make it less recognizable to T cells and neutralizing antibodies, which are made by the immune system’s B cells following infection or vaccination. Although details about the exact levels and composition of antibody and T-cell responses needed to achieve immunity to SARS-CoV-2 are still unknown, scientists assume that strong and broad responses from both antibodies and T cells are required to mount an effective immune response.

CD8+ T cells limit infection by recognizing parts of the virus protein presented on the surface of infected cells and killing those cells. In their study of recovered COVID-19 patients, the researchers determined that SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T-cell responses remained largely intact and could recognize virtually all mutations in the variants studied. While larger studies are needed, the researchers note that their findings suggest that the T cell response in convalescent individuals, and most likely in vaccinees, are largely not affected by the mutations found in these three variants, and should offer protection against emerging variants. Optimal immunity to SARS-Cov-2 likely requires strong multivalent T-cell responses in addition to neutralizing antibodies and other responses to protect against current SARS-CoV-2 strains and emerging variants, the authors indicate. They stress the importance of monitoring the breadth, magnitude and durability of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses in recovered and vaccinated individuals as part of any assessment to determine if booster vaccinations are needed.

Read more …

Coincidentally, also from March 31 2021.

A comment: “Why spike protein containing or mRNA transcription to self-produce the spike protein (S-protein) is likely to increase blood clotting and inflammation, especially in at-risk individuals: The SARS-CoV2 (SARS2) spike protein is biologically active.”

Covid S Protein Impairs Endothelial Function via Downregulation of ACE 2 (AHA)

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2024. Watch him.

Florida Gov. DeSantis Suspends All Local Coronavirus Emergency Orders (JTN)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday suspended local coronavirus emergency orders via an executive order. The Sunshine State Republican also signed a bill approved by the Florida legislature which will give the governor the power to invalidate local emergency orders. The bill is effective July 1 and the governor signed the executive order effective July 1st that will invalidate local emergency coronavirus orders. “The bill ensures that neither the state nor local governments can close business or keep kids out of in-person instruction unless they satisfy demanding and continuous justifications,” DeSantis said.


“It also says that any local emergency order, excluding hurricane emergencies, are capped at seven-day increments and may only be extended to a maximum duration of 42 days. And most importantly, as governor I’ll have the authority to invalidate a local emergency order if it unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties,” the governor said. Prior to signing the documents DeSantis explained that he would “sign the bill, it’s effective July 1st. I’ll also sign an executive order pursuant to that bill invalidating all remaining local emergency COVID orders effective on July 1st. But then to bridge the gap between then and now I am gonna suspend under my executive power the local emergency orders as it relates to COVID. I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do.”

Read more …

Context: MI6: Russia, China, Taliban.

‘Far More Likely’ Coronavirus Came From Lab, Ex-MI6 Chief (LBC)

Coronavirus was more likely to have escaped from a lab than to have come from an animal, the former head of MI6 has told LBC. Sir Richard Dearlove said aspects of the virus “point in the direction of it being somewhat tailored” though he warned this may never be proven. The former “C” of the Secret Intelligence Service – equivalent to “M” in James Bond – also told LBC’s Tom Swarbrick that more information on the coronavirus’ origin will soon come out. Some have theorised the coronavirus could have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Work to establish the origin of the virus is ongoing. Sir Richard, who headed up the spy agency between 1999 and 2004, told Tom the World Health Organisation’s report, which said a lab leak was highly unlikely but further work was needed, was a “farcical investigation”.

While he admitted “it’s possible” the virus jumped to humans from nature, Sir Richard said: “But the fact that… it’s far more likely, if you’re a scientist, that it was put together. “All right, put it like this… It’s a natural virus that’s been, as it were, mucked around with and the characteristics of things like the spike protein, which make it so highly infectious, also point in the direction of it being somewhat tailored.” He alleged that Chinese influence was hindering the publication of scientific articles on the matter. “I honestly don’t think that this issue can be resolved one way or another,” he continued. “I think there’s a balance of probability. Obviously, if it cannot be proven, and I don’t think it can, because the evidence that could have proved it one way or another has been destroyed, because of the extent of the Chinese clean up.

“Okay, so you can’t prove it’s zoonotic. You can’t prove it’s a lab escapee. What I’m saying is there’s a balance of probability.” He expects forthcoming books to further outline the argument for coronavirus’ lab origin. Sir Richard described China as a more “acute” threat, though he added that Russia presents the most immediate challenge. He also said the UK should commit to training the security forces in Afghanistan for another two decades, after President Joe Biden announced the Americans would leave ahead of the September 11 20-year anniversary. It is a “mistake” to leave and the UK had become safer by deposing the old Taliban regime, he argued. “It could be (another 20 year stay),” Sir Richard said.

Read more …

“The United Nations and the highest levels of governments must take direct, even confrontational, approaches with Russia, and move to dismantle anti-vaccine groups in the United States.”

The Criminalization of Dissent (CJ Hopkins)

Here’s California State Senator Richard Pan, author of an op-ed in the Washington Post: “Anti-vax extremism is akin to domestic terrorism,” quoted in the Los Angeles Times: “These extremists have not yet been held accountable, so they continue to escalate violence against the body public … We must now summon the political will to demand that domestic terrorists face consequences for their words and actions. Our democracy and our lives depend on it … They’ve been building alliances with white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and [others] on the far right …” And here’s Peter Hotez in Nature magazine:

“The United Nations and the highest levels of governments must take direct, even confrontational, approaches with Russia, and move to dismantle anti-vaccine groups in the United States. Efforts must expand into the realm of cyber security, law enforcement, public education and international relations. A high-level inter-agency task force reporting to the UN secretary-general could assess the full impact of anti-vaccine aggression, and propose tough, balanced measures. The task force should include experts who have tackled complex global threats such as terrorism, cyber attacks and nuclear armament, because anti-science is now approaching similar levels of peril. It is becoming increasingly clear that advancing immunization requires a counter-offensive.”

We’ll be hearing a lot more rhetoric like this as this new, more totalitarian structure of global capitalism gradually develops. Probably a good idea to listen carefully, and assume they mean exactly what they say.

Read more …

“..the FBI was in possession of Hunter’s laptop from at least one month prior to the commencement of impeachment proceedings in December of 2019. And nobody was informed about that… not least the president’s lawyer?”

Biden Family Justice (Kunstler)

The campaign of false witness against US citizens went into overdrive when Donald Trump strutted onto the scene and “seventeen agencies of the Intel Community” conspired with The New York Times and other news media to manufacture the RussiaGate hoax. No top official across the boards has been taken to law for the stupendous cavalcade of false accusations and deceitful investigations associated with that venture in sedition, and the nation is still waiting for the apparition known as Special Counsel John Durham to make a peep. In fact, since 2017 much of the publicly-reported activity around the DOJ and FBI has demonstrated only their attempts to suppress their own felonious misdeeds — cover-ups on top of cover-ups.

Now comes the curious case of Rudy Giuliani, whose apartment was raided on a warrant last week by the FBI seeking his computers and cell phones. The probable cause remains murky — something to do with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in representing Ukrainian clients in the US? So, the DOJ wants Rudy’s files, emails, and memoranda on that? Of course, Rudy was acting as the President’s lawyer in impeachment No. 1 over a telephone call to Ukraine, and what was that about? Hunter Biden’s grifting activities, his cumulatively receiving millions from the Burisma Company, of which Hunter’s dad was due to receive at least his usual ten percent cut? And concerning which activity, Joe Biden threatened former Ukraine President Poroshenko in withholding US aid, unless an investigation into Hunter’s Burisma grift was dropped.

It might be helpful to the current occupant of the Oval Office to know what kind of evidence Rudy has acquired on all that and more over the years — yes? But then, there’s plenty of evidence about it and much much much more on Hunter’s wayward laptop. Perhaps hundreds of millions in wide-ranging grifts beyond lowly Ukraine all the way to China, where to this day Hunter retains active and substantial financial connections through his Skaneateles LLC financial company. And it has become known that the FBI was in possession of Hunter’s laptop from at least one month prior to the commencement of impeachment proceedings in December of 2019. And nobody was informed about that… not least the president’s lawyer?

Read more …

Majority of trade between Russia and China is in euros these days.

Moscow Has Plan To Ditch US Dollar & Axe Dependency On West (Gavin)

The characteristically blunt Zakharova told RT over the weekend that new economic barriers were “having a complex negative impact on both Russian and Western economies.” According to her, the price of playing out hostilities through the financial markets is high, and “estimates of the damage vary, but are well within the hundreds of billions of dollars.” “Unfortunately,” the diplomatic spokeswoman said, “the reality of our time has been the increased use of politically motivated unilateral measures by some Western states, mainly the US. We see the sanctions against Russia more and more as a ‘gesture of desperation’ due to the inability of elites to accept the new realities, abandon their collective groupthink, and recognize Russia’s right to determine its own development path and build relations with its partners.”

One reason behind this, she claimed, is that Washington and its allies “seem to find it difficult to accept the obvious successes of the Russian economy, the increase in its international competitiveness and the expansion of the presence of quality Russian goods and services on world markets.” While the ruble has been hit hard by falling oil prices, geopolitical uncertainty, and the global recession that has accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic, the country appears more resilient than most of its contemporaries. While a number of other European nations are still languishing in lockdowns, most Russian businesses have been trading consistently with few restrictions since an initial strict quarantine period in the first half of last year.

The governor of Russia’s Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, has previously said that “the economy is bouncing back rather steadily” and, “given the current positive trends,” its analysts have maintained their outlook on GDP growth for 2021 at 3 to 4%. Her bullishness comes at a time when the path back to growth appears uncertain for many countries.

Read more …

 

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A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

 

 

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Mar 272021
 


Wynn Bullock Child on a Forest Road 1958

 

The Emergency State (Whitehead)
Supreme Court Judge: Covid Restrictions To Last For 10 Years (SN)
Risk of Asymptomatic Spread Minimal. Variants Over-Hyped – Bhattacharya (LDS)
Nation’s First ‘Vaccine Passport’ Coming To New York (NYP)
Former CDC Director Says COVID-19 Escaped From Wuhan Lab (ZH)
Fauci Rejects Ex-CDC director’s Claim That COVID-19 Came From Wuhan Lab (NYP)
Fauci Slammed For Denying The US Is Approaching Herd Immunity (DM)
“Where Am I Here?” (Kunstler)
Hunter Biden Texts Shoot Down Secret Service Denial Over Gun Incident (NYP)
Hunter Biden and Family Join President On Weekend Away (DM)
Fast Food Giant Claims Credit For Killing $15 Minimum Wage (DP)
The Top 10 Percent Through The Ages (AEA)
Suez Canal Crisis: Here Are The Cargoes In The Crossfire (Miller)
The Death of Humor (Matt Taibbi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

“No government willingly relinquishes power. If we continue down this road, there can be no surprise about what awaits us at the end.”

The Emergency State (Whitehead)

The seeds of this present madness were sown several decades ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency, which is loosely defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions. Comprising the country’s Continuity of Government (COG) plan, these directives, which do not need congressional approval, provide a skeletal outline of the actions the president will take in the event of a “national emergency.”

Mind you, that national emergency can take any form, can be manipulated for any purpose, and can be used to justify any end goal—all on the say so of the president. Just what sort of actions the president will take once he declares a national emergency can barely be discerned from the barebones directives. However, one thing is clear: in the event of a national emergency, the COG directives give unchecked executive, legislative and judicial power to the executive branch and its unelected minions. The country would then be subjected to martial law by default, and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would be suspended. The emergency state is now out in the open for all to see. Unfortunately, “we the people” refuse to see what’s before us.

This is how freedom dies. We erect our own prison walls, and as our rights dwindle away, we forge our own chains of servitude to the police state. Be warned, however: once you surrender your freedoms to the government—no matter how compelling the reason might be for doing so—you can never get them back. No government willingly relinquishes power. If we continue down this road, there can be no surprise about what awaits us at the end.

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“..scientists skeptical of lockdown policies have been “subjected to an extraordinarily unpleasant campaign of personal abuse”

Supreme Court Judge: Covid Restrictions To Last For 10 Years (SN)

British former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption has warned that “social controls” brought about by the coronavirus pandemic may be kept in place by governments for up to a decade. “It’s politically unrealistic to expect the Government to backtrack now,” commented Sumption, who has been highly critical of the government’s ‘totalitarian’ lockdown policies. The judge compared the reaction to rationing after the Second World War, which went on for nine years, adding that this time “I think it may be even longer.” “An interesting parallel is the continuation of wartime food rationing after the last war. People were in favour of that because they were in favour of social control,” he said during a ‘Sketch notes on’ podcast.

“In the 1951 general election, the Labour party lost its majority entirely because people with five years more experience of social control got fed up with it. Sooner or later that will happen in this country,” he added. Sumption’s warning comes in the wake of Public Health England officials stating that restrictions will remain in place for as long as other countries have not vaccinated everyone, a process likely to take years. England’s chief medical officer also recently asserted that the pandemic restrictions, which have been in place on and off for a year, have “improved life” for some people. Despite promising an end to restrictions in June, the UK government yesterday extended emergency COVID laws until October, with Health minister Matt Hancock refusing to say how long they will remain in place after that.

Lord Sumption also noted during the podcast that scientists skeptical of lockdown policies have been “subjected to an extraordinarily unpleasant campaign of personal abuse”. “I know a lot of people that would prefer not to put their head above the parapet,” He continued, adding “From the very moment I started to make these points I began to get emails from politicians who agreed with what I had to say but that they themselves didn’t dare to speak out. That I think is a very serious state of affairs.” The judge also argued that governments are using the virus politically, noting “They have consistently tried to maintain that the virus is indiscriminate when it is perfectly well-established that it primarily affects people with identifiable vulnerabilities, particularly in the elderly.”

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Professor Jay Bhattacharya is one of the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration.

Risk of Asymptomatic Spread Minimal. Variants Over-Hyped – Bhattacharya (LDS)

Why have the media, politicians and many scientists sought to panic the populace about SARS-CoV-2 far beyond what the evidence would warrant? The incentives include financial motives, political goals, the desire to protect professional reputations and many other factors. The virus is seasonal and late fall/winter is its season. It is very unlikely, given that this is the case, that the virus will spread very widely during the summer months. It is also the case that a large fraction of the UK population has already been infected or vaccinated and is immune, which will greatly reduce hospitalisation and mortality from the virus in coming months. There are tens of thousands of mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They mutate because the replication mechanisms they induce involve very little error checking. Most of the mutations either do not change the virulence of the virus, or weaken it.

There are a few mutations that provide the virus with a selective advantage in infectivity and may increase its lethality very slightly, though the evidence on this latter point is not solid. We should not be particularly concerned about the variants that have arisen to date. First, prior infection with the wild type virus and vaccination provide protection against severe outcomes arising from reinfection with the mutated virus. Second, though the mutants have taken over the few remaining cases, their rise has coincided with a sharp drop in cases and deaths, even in countries where they have come to dominate. Their selective infectivity advantage has not been enough to cause a resurgence in cases. Third, the age gradient in mortality is the same for the mutant and wild-type virus. Thus a focused protection policy is still warranted. If lockdowns could not stop the less infectious wild type virus, why would we expect them to stop the more infectious mutant virus?

[..] “The scientific evidence now strongly suggests that COVID-19 infected individuals who are asymptomatic are more than an order of magnitude less likely to spread the disease to even close contacts than symptomatic COVID-19 patients. A meta-analysis of 54 studies from around the world found that within households – where none of the safeguards that restaurants are required to apply are typically applied – symptomatic patients passed on the disease to household members in 18 per cent of instances, while asymptomatic patients passed on the disease to household members in 0.7 per cent of instances. A separate, smaller meta-analysis similarly found that asymptomatic patients are much less likely to infect others than symptomatic patients.

Asymptomatic individuals are an order of magnitude less likely to infect others than symptomatic individuals, even in intimate settings such as people living in the same household where people are much less likely to follow social distancing and masking practices that they follow outside the household. Spread of the disease in less intimate settings by asymptomatic individuals – including religious services, in-person restaurant visits, gyms, and other public settings – are likely to be even less likely than in the household.

The evidence that mask mandates work to slow the spread of the disease is very weak. The only randomised evaluation of mask efficacy in preventing Covid infection found very small, statistically insignificant effects [Danish mask study]. And masks are deleterious to the social and educational development of children, especially young children. They are not needed to address the epidemic. In Sweden, for instance, children have been in school maskless almost the whole of the epidemic, with no child Covid deaths and teachers contracting Covid at rates that are lower than the average of other workers.”

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“An individual’s data is kept secure and confidential at all times.”

Nation’s First ‘Vaccine Passport’ Coming To New York (NYP)

The nation’s very first “vaccine passport” is coming to the Big Apple. The program, dubbed the “Excelsior Pass,” is an app that will allow New Yorkers to prove their vaccination status, or recent history of a negative COVID-19 test, in order to gain entry to events and businesses, Governor Cuomo announced in a news release Friday. “Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app,” the news release explains. “Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination. An individual’s data is kept secure and confidential at all times.”

The app won’t show any health information when scanned — it’ll only show a green checkmark if the person has been vaccinated or tested negatively or a red “x” if they haven’t. Major venues, such as Madison Square Garden and the Times Union Center in Albany, will begin using the app next week and on April 2, Excelsior Pass will expand to “smaller arts, entertainment and event venues,” Cuomo’s office said. The app, which launched Friday, already works to prove vaccination status or negative test results and can be used to gain access to wedding receptions, which now require negative tests from attendees, and other events above the social gathering limit.

“New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The question of ‘public health or the economy’ has always been a false choice — the answer must be both. As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening.”

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“It’s only an opinion; I’m allowed to have opinions now,” he added.”

Former CDC Director Says COVID-19 Escaped From Wuhan Lab (ZH)

Former CDC Director Robert Redfield says that SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, did not originate from a wet market in Wuhan, China, and instead escaped from a nearby lab which was performing gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses to make them more easily infect humans. “I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human,” Redfield told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta in an interview set to air Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET. “Normally, when a pathogen goes from a zoonot to human, it takes a while for it to figure out how to become more & more efficient in human to human transmission.” “It’s only an opinion; I’m allowed to have opinions now,” he added.

When asked how he believes the lab was working to make the virus infect humans more efficiently, he said “Let’s just say, I have a coronavirus, and I’m working on it — most of us in the lab are trying to grow virus. We try to make it grow better and better and better and better, so we can do experiments and figure out about it. That’s the way I put it together.” Redfield, a virologist picked by former President Trump to lead the Centers for Disease Control, said he believes that the pandemic began as a localized outbreak in Wuhan in September or October of 2019, earlier than the official timeline, and that it spread to every province in China over the ensuing months.

“And while the rest of the world was told the only initial Covid-19 cases in China had originated from a wet market in Wuhan, Redfield is confident the evidence suggests that was simply not the case. According to Redfield, even his counterpart at the China CDC, Dr. George Gao, was initially left in the dark about the magnitude of the problem until early January. He described a private phone call he had with Gao in early January 2020, when Gao became distraught and started crying after finding “a lot of cases” among individuals who had not been to the wet market. Gao, Redfield says, “came to the conclusion that the cat was out of the bag.” The initial mortality rates in China were somewhere between “5-10%,” Redfield told me. “I’d probably be cryin’ too,” he added. …The United States wasn’t formally notified of the “mysterious cluster of pneumonia patients” until December 31, 2019. Those were critical weeks and months that countries around the world could’ve been preparing. -Dr. Sanjay Gupta via CNN

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“Fauci’s organization sent $7.4 million taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan lab for research including “gain of function” research.”

“In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.”

Fauci Rejects Ex-CDC director’s Claim That COVID-19 Came From Wuhan Lab (NYP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday blew off claims from former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab, saying Redfield was merely expressing an “opinion.” During the White House coronavirus briefing, Fauci said the virus that causes COVID-19 was likely already spreading in China weeks before it was detected — which helped it become more contagious. “The alternative explanation … is that this virus was actually circulating in China, likely in Wuhan, for a month or more before they were clinically recognized at the end of December 2019,” Fauci explained. “If that were the case, the virus clearly could’ve adapted itself to a greater efficiency of transmissibility over that period of time up to and at the time it was recognized.”


In a new interview out Friday, Redfield — who oversaw the CDC at the peak of the deadly global pandemic — said it was his “opinion” as a top virologist that SARS-CoV-2 “escaped” from the laboratory in Wuhan. The highly contagious bug is widely accepted to have originated in animals before it adapted to humans. But Redfield said if that were the case, “it takes a while for it to figure out how to become more and more efficient in human-to-human transmission.” “I just don’t think this makes biological sense,” he added. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, reiterated Redfield’s comments that he was just expressing an opinion. “So Dr. Redfield was mentioning that he was giving an opinion to a possibility,” Fauci said, “but again, there are other alternatives, others that most people hold by.”

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‘I don’t think it’s healthy for a small group of people to be making all the public health recommendations. It’s good to have multiple voices..’

Fauci Slammed For Denying The US Is Approaching Herd Immunity (DM)

A Johns Hopkins professor has slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci for denying that the United States is approaching herd immunity amid the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Marty Makary, who is also a Fox News contributor, told Brian Kilmeade on Thursday that ‘it’s not healthy for a small group of people’ to be making all the health decisions for Americans. ‘I don’t think it’s healthy for a small group of people to be making all the public health recommendations. It’s good to have multiple voices,’ Makary said. He claims that the low rate of reinfections and high percentages of people showing antibodies indicate that the United States is approaching herd immunity through both vaccinations and natural immunity, which he claims Fauci has ignored.

There have been more than 133 million vaccines administered in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Thursday, there have been 30,076,486 total infections with 546,507 deaths from COVID-19. The Johns Hopkins professor slammed Fauci’s track record throughout the pandemic and for initially missing the mark on how the virus is transmitted, the effectiveness of masks and mitigation. ‘His job is to prepare us for a pandemic and tell us how to manage it. He mostly missed the pandemic for the two months prior, never prepared us, was wrong on masks,’ Makary said. ‘We should have known that but the aerosolized transmission because Sars-CoV-2 behaves like Sars-CoV-1. That was aerosolized droplets as well. He was around for that.’

During the segment, Makary explained why he believed Americans have already started to reach herd immunity. ‘After you get the infection, your body develops antibodies. These are the same antibodies the vaccine is trying to trigger and create,’ Makary said. ‘When you have circulating antibodies, that means have you protection from the infection.’ The San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier this month that about 38% of Californians had antibodies against the coronavirus, according to figures presented during a virtual meeting hosted by the California Medical Association. During the webinar, researchers said that 45% of people in Los Angeles have these antibodies. The Bay Area and greater Sacramento region each recorded 32% of the population with COVID-19 antibodies.

Makary pointed to this data as evidence that Americans are approaching herd immunity. ‘That’s why infections are down 95% in Los Angeles over the last 10 weeks, their positivity rate is down to 1.6% right now,’ Makary said.

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“As Mr. Biden would say, anyway… I’ve gone on too long about that….”

“Where Am I Here?” (Kunstler)

I don’t know about you, but I was thrilled to hear Joe Biden tell America — with a faraway gleam in those ol’ blue Konstantin Chernenko eyes — that he’s expecting to run for a second term. The prospect must engross him, so effervescent was his campaign of 2020! Like all presidents, he’s learning on-the-job, but he’s already lapping Franklin Roosevelt in the hundred-day dash of executive action, showing those wicked CCP envoys who’s boss (why, they are, of course), and turning the depraved white supremacist state of Texas into a vibrant Honduras del Norte. As Mr. Biden would say, anyway… I’ve gone on too long about that….

Meanwhile, from offstage you could hear the crunch of his handlers chewing their Xanax, knowing that the game was a brain-fart away from disaster. Well, he only wandered away from the podium one time, and he dutifully followed the script. In fact, the script was right there in his hand the entire white-knuckle hour of this debut press conference, and he often appeared to be reading straight off the page. I’m sure he was making a funny when he said he came to the Senate 120 years ago. (Remember the battle over Wm. H Taft’s nomination to be Territorial Governor of the Philippines? And how, in the hearings, then-freshman Senator Ol’ Joe B produced three New Haven doxies who testified about Taft’s “abnormal appetites” during the nominee’s years at Yale?)

Traditionally, presidential press conferences are opportunities to inform the nation where things stand, and to send signals to the other nations (“friend and foe alike” as JFK used to say) about America’s intentions, especially in the nuclear age, with the world so nervously on edge. What did Americans learn from Mr. Biden’s debut? Mainly that an old dog can do some old tricks, follow a script, play the politician, fill a suit, run his mouth, and go through the motions — fulfilling people’s cynical expectation that some trip is being laid on them. Foreign observers will probably note that the executive branch is being run by a politburo more secretive even than the old gang who ran the USSR. No one in this country seems to notice.

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Does this have legs?

Hunter Biden Texts Shoot Down Secret Service Denial Over Gun Incident (NYP)

Hunter Biden sent a text message that said the Secret Service responded after his handgun disappeared in 2018 — contradicting the agency’s assertion that it wasn’t involved, The Post has learned. In a lengthy message sent the following year, President Biden’s son described the situation in detail, saying his former sister-in-law-turned-lover, Hallie Biden, tossed the firearm into a trash bin outside Janssen’s Market, a gourmet grocery store in Wilmington, Del. “She stole the gun out of my trunk lock box and threw it in a garbage can full to the top at Jansens [sic]. Then told me it was my problem to deal with,” Hunter wrote.

“Then when the police the FBI the secret service came on the scene she said she took it from me because she was scared I would harm myself due to my drug and alcohol problem and our volatile relationship and that she was afraid for the kids.” The Jan. 29, 2019, message adds: “Really not joking the cop kept me convinced that Hallie was implying she was scared of me.” In another message, sent closer to the incident, Hunter described the handgun as “my 38.” “Took from lock box of truck and put it IN PapER BAG AND Threw it in trash can at local high end grocer. For no reason,” he wrote on Dec. 6, 2018.

“And I freaked when I saw it was missing 10 minutes after she took it and when she went back to get it after I scared the s–t out of her it was gone which led to state police investigation of me. True story.” Both messages are contained on a hard drive obtained by The Post that holds the contents of a damaged laptop computer that was left at Wilmington repair shop by Hunter in April 2019 and never retrieved.

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Well, look who just popped up. There are no coincidences here. Is it a deflection from the gun story?

Hunter Biden and Family Join President On Weekend Away (DM)

Hunter Biden and his family joined President Joe Biden on Friday as he flew to his home in Delaware for the fourth weekend since taking office. The 51-year-old, his wife Melissa, and their baby son Beau were seen leaving the White House Friday afternoon as they traveled to Wilmington with his father. Hunter held his 12-month-old son in his arms with Melissa close behind him before boarding Marine One from the South Lawn. The Bidens flew to the Joint Base Andrews, Maryland where they then traveled to Wilmington on Air Force One. When Biden landed in Wilmington he spoke to reporters there and was asked about having Baby Beau on board. ‘It’s really great,’ the doting grandfather replied. The family getaway comes just two weeks after the White House press corps criticized the president for his frequent trips home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Press secretary Jen Psaki later defended the commander-in-chief saying: ‘The president lives in Wilmington. It’s his home. That’s where he’s lived for many, many years. ‘And as you know, as any president of the United States does, he takes a private airplane called Air Force One to travel there.’ Hunter was also reported to have been splitting his time between California and Delaware before moving into a family home in Venice earlier this year. The president’s embattled son made headlines once again this week after it was reported the Secret Service tried to intervene in a 2018 police investigation involving Hunter and his then-girlfriend, his brother’s widow Hallie. A report published by Politico revealed Hallie threw a gun she’d found in his car into a grocery store trash can because she thought he was going to kill himself with it.

No one in the Biden family was entitled to Secret Service protection at the time but Politico cites unnamed sources who say that agents from the Secret Service offices in Wilmington and Philadelphia kept an ‘informal’ role in protecting them after Joe left office as Vice President in 2017.

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Nah, the entire honor goes to Slo’ Joe.

Fast Food Giant Claims Credit For Killing $15 Minimum Wage (DP)

The parent company of some of America’s largest fast food chains is claiming credit for convincing Congress to exclude a $15 minimum wage from the recent COVID relief bill, according to internal company documents reviewed by The Daily Poster. The company, which is owned by a private equity firm named after an Ayn Rand character, also says it is now working to thwart new union rights legislation. The company’s boasts come just a few months after a government report found that some of its chains had among the highest percentage of workers relying on food stamps. Inspire Brands — which owns Jimmy Johns, Arby’s, Sonic, and Buffalo Wild Wings, plus recently acquired Dunkin’ Donuts for $11.3 billion in November — on Thursday sent employees and franchisees a review of its government lobbying activity that highlighted its success in keeping the $15 minimum wage out of Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, the COVID-19 relief bill President Joe Biden signed earlier this month.

“We were successful in our advocacy efforts to remove the Raise the Wage Act, which would have increased the federal minimum wage to $15 and eliminated the tip credit,” reads the report. Further down, the report notes the company’s ongoing lobbying campaign in the Senate against the PRO Act, which recently passed the House and contains a laundry list of organized labor’s goals, such as eliminating right-to-work laws and banning mandatory company-sponsored meetings that are designed to discourage union activity. “You get the impression that they’re actively spitting in our eye, saying ‘Yes, we worked to suppress wages of our employees and we’re just going to brazenly tell you,’” one Inspire Brands worker told The Daily Poster. “I really do think that a line was crossed. You’re just going to brazenly tell your employees, ‘not only did we work to kill wages, but going forward we’re also going to make sure that the PRO Act doesn’t pass either.’”

During the 2020 campaign, Democrats pledged to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which would boost the wages of 32 million workers nationwide, according to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). However, efforts to include a $15 minimum wage in Biden’s pandemic aid bill failed after the Senate parliamentarian advised Democrats such a hike should not be passed by budget reconciliation and Vice President Kamala Harris declined to use her authority to override the decision. Inspire Brands’ success in eliminating the minimum wage hike from the bill follows Dunkin’ Brands’ then-CEO Nigel Travis saying in 2015 that a $15 wage would be “absolutely outrageous.” At the time, unions noted that Travis was being paid more than $4,000 every hour.

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We’re back to 1340.

The Top 10 Percent Through The Ages (AEA)

The COVID-19 pandemic may be increasing the gap between the rich and the poor. But how does today’s changing inequality compare to the past? In a paper in the Journal of Economic Literature, author Guido Alfani summarized the efforts of historians whose archival research has greatly increased economists’ knowledge of past wealth holdings. His work helps put today’s wealth polarization in perspective. Alfani’s estimates from the Economic Inequality across Italy and Europe (EINITE) database show that from 1300 to 1800 inequality grew steadily almost everywhere in Europe, with the exception of the century-long decline triggered by the Black Death. Figure 8 from his paper combines the estimates of the period 1300-1800 with estimates of inequality in postindustrial Europe.

The chart shows the average share of wealth held by the richest 10 percent in two separate regions of Europe. The black line is an average of the Sabaudian State (roughly modern Piedmont, Italy), the Florentine State, the Kingdom of Naples, and the Republic of Venice. The grey line is an average for France, the United Kingdom, and Sweden (sourced from Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century). Although the areas of Europe differ before and after 1800, there is a relatively smooth transition between the two series. The rate of growth of the share of the top 10 percent in the period 1810–1910 was nearly the same as the period 1550–1800. Only two episodes interrupted a steady growth in inequality—the Black Death of 1347–52 and the 1914–45 period of the World Wars.


The most fatal pandemic recorded in human history caused the top 10 percent to lose 15–20 percent of the overall wealth. And the global wars caused an even larger drop for the rich, from almost 90 percent in 1910 to 75 percent in 1950. (It is interesting to note that contrary to our perception that our societies are less unequal than those of the past, the share of wealth of the richest 10 percent in 2010 was about the same as it was in 1340.) Alfani goes on to explain that post–Black Death plagues were unable to produce inequality reduction due to institutional adaptation and human agency. This indicates that today’s policymakers do have control over the gap between the haves and the have-nots by designing institutions in a way that protects the general population from excessive greed.

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The video is good. Sound on.

Suez Canal Crisis: Here Are The Cargoes In The Crossfire (Miller)

The “slow boat from China” just got a lot slower. Shipping sentiment toward the Suez Canal grounding of the Ever Given has taken a major turn. Operators are now opting to bypass the traffic jam and take the long detour around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. Ship-positioning data already confirms abrupt turns toward the cape by multiple ships. Container ships such as the HMM Rotterdam, Ever Greet, Maersk Skarstind and Hyundai Prestige; the crude tanker Marlin Santorini; and the liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier Pan Americas, among others, have made beelines toward the cape. If the Ever Given is not refloated at high tide on Sunday, many more detours are expected. There were 237 ships stuck at anchor awaiting canal transits as of Friday, according to Egypt’s Leth Agencies. That’s up sharply from 156 the day before.


Global ocean trade is fluid. The Suez Canal closure doesn’t block cargo. It changes the arrival date. The extent of delays from rerouting depends upon port pairs and vessel speed. A container ship traveling at 17 knots passing India en route from China to Rotterdam would take nine more days on the cape route than using the canal. If its destination was Italy, it would take 13 more days. The double whammy of the canal queue and rerouting delays renders the global shipping network less efficient. The same ship capacity will not move the same cargo volume in the same time frame. This will have a wide range of effects — some bad, some good — for shippers, vessel operators and investors.

To gauge potential consequences, American Shipper analyzed historical data from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and obtained more recent data from trade-intelligence companies VesselsValue and Kpler. The SCA data is a year old but shows the long-term trends. American Shipper separated SCA’s cargo data into three categories: containerized volume, dry cargo volume (bulkers and general cargo) and liquid (tanker) volume.

Suez Canal Traffic Update – Audio on

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Review of Killer Cartoons, edited by David Wallis, and White, by Bret Easton Ellis.

The Death of Humor (Matt Taibbi)

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo won the condemnation of the whole world again, with the following cover:


Why Meghan quit Buckingham: Because I couldn’t breathe anymore.

Reactions ranged from “abhorrent” to “hateful” to “wrong on every level,” with many offering versions of the now-mandatory observation that the magazine is not only bad now, but “has always been disgusting.” This cover is probably an 8 or 9 on the offensiveness scale, and I laughed. It goes after everyone: Queen Elizabeth, depicted as a more deranged version of Derek Chauvin (the stubby leg hairs are a nice touch); Meghan Markle, the princess living in incomparable luxury whose victimhood has become a global pop-culture fixation; and, most of all, the inevitable chorus of outraged commentators who’ll insist they “enjoy good satire as much as the next person” but just can’t abide this particular effort that “goes too far,” it being just a coincidence that none of these people have laughed since grade school and don’t miss it.

Six years ago, after terrorists killed 10 people at Hebdo’s Paris offices in a brutal gun attack, the paper’s writers, editors, and cartoonists were initially celebrated worldwide as martyrs to the cause of free speech and democratic values. In France alone on January 11, 2015, over 3 million people marched in a show of solidarity with the victims, who’d been killed for drawing pictures of the Prophet Muhammad. Protesters also marched in defiance of those who would shoot people for drawing cartoons, especially since this particular group of killers also fatally shot four people at a kosher supermarket in an anti-Semitic attack. For about five minutes, Je Suis Charlie was a rallying cry around the world.

In an early preview of the West’s growing sympathy for eliminating heretics, cracks quickly appeared in the post-massacre defense of Charlie Hebdo. Pope Francis said that if someone “says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch.” Bill Donohoe, head of the American Catholic League, wrote, “Muslims are right to be angry,” and said of Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, “Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.” New York Times columnist and noted humor expert David Brooks wrote an essay, “I Am Not Charlie Hebdo,” arguing that although “it’s almost always wrong to try to suppress speech,” these French miscreants should be excluded from polite society, and consigned to the “kids’ table,” along with Bill Maher and Ann Coulter.

Humor is dying all over, for obvious reasons. All comedy is subversive and authoritarianism is the fashion. Comics exist to keep us from taking ourselves too seriously, and we live in an age when people believe they have a constitutional right to be taken seriously, even if — especially if — they’re idiots, repeating thoughts they only just heard for the first time minutes ago. Because humor deflates stupid ideas, humorists are denounced in all cultures that worship stupid ideas, like Spain under the Inquisition, Afghanistan under the Taliban, or today’s United States.

Read more …

 

 

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Mar 262021
 


Vincent van Gogh Scène de rue à Montmartre 1887

 

Biden’s Press Conference: Get Ready For President Kamala Harris (Malic)
Better Not Vaccinate Everyone: The Virus Will Not Disappear Anyway (G.nl)
Herd Immunity Is Near, Despite Fauci’s Denial (WSJ)
US Lockdowns Didn’t Stop Covid – But That Doesn’t Mean They’re Pointless (F>)
CNN’s Defense of Cuomo’s Special COVID Privileges is Grotesque (Greenwald)
Secret Service Inserted Itself Into Case Of Hunter Biden’s Gun (Pol.)
Tesla & Bitcoin Are Perfect Bedfellows (Mitch Feierstein)
US Imports Record Volumes Of Russian Oil Amid Growing Political Tensions (RT)
The Impending Saudi Defeat in Yemen (MPN)
‘It Might Take Weeks’ To Free ‘Beached Whale’ Ship Stuck In Suez Canal (RT)
Free Us From The Roving Cavaliers of Credit (Steve Keen)

 

 

Boris Johnson, 2004

“If I am ever asked to produce my ID card as evidence that I am who I say I am, when I have done nothing wrong then I will take that card out of my wallet and physically eat it in the presence of whatever emanation of the state has demanded that I produce it”

 

 

Dana Carvey does Joe Biden

 

 

Actual Washington Post headline: “Biden Excels At His First News Conference. The Media Embarrass Themselves.”

Biden’s Press Conference: Get Ready For President Kamala Harris (Malic)

Well, now we know why Democrat strategists were more than happy to let Joe Biden sit in his basement during the campaign, and kept him away from the press for the first 64 days in office – and it’s definitely not the coronavirus. Biden was almost 15 minutes late to his own very first “formal press conference” since taking office. He dodged questions, spouted platitudes and talking points, went off on tangents at times while getting angry and uttering what may have sounded like threats at others. No doubt some of that could be down to his advanced age, but let’s assume for lack of another explanation that the words were indeed his and that he truly meant what he said. And, oh brother, is the US in trouble.

In Thursday’s presser, Biden actually repeated – twice – the previous day’s talking points, down to the description of someone “sitting at their kitchen table” in Central America, about why tens of thousands of migrants are coming to the US. He knows why, better than they do. Never mind that the tide began the day he was announced winner of the 2020 election, or the migrants who literally told reporters they decided to come because Biden got elected, or wear T-shirts with his campaign logo and the words “please let us in.” Nope, you’re supposed to ignore your lying eyes and believe Uncle Joe, because his great-grandfather had no choice but to leave Ireland in a “coffin ship.” What are you, a lying dog-faced pony soldier? Come on, man!

This sort of emotionally manipulative imagery is nothing new for Biden; he did it in the pandemic speech earlier this month, as well as his inaugural and his convention address. The press keeps falling for it, though, every single time. No wonder Dana Carvey was catching flak this week; his impersonation of Biden – not just his voice, but his mannerism and verbal tics – was spot on.

Tucker

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Google translate

These people must have read VadenBossche. We need much more discussion like this.

Also in Holland: GPs will now be fined for prescribing HCQ or ivermectin. As infection numbers are soaring back up to where they were early January.

Better Not Vaccinate Everyone: The Virus Will Not Disappear Anyway (G.nl)

Vaccinating children and young, healthy people against corona does not help. Group immunity is unfeasible, the corona virus will no longer disappear and will continue to appear in new variants. This is the opinion of Jona Walk, who recently obtained his PhD in vaccine immunology, and medical microbiologist Bert Mulder today in the magazine Medisch Contact. Both doctors of the Nijmegen Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital therefore question the policy of the cabinet and health institute to vaccinate the entire population in order to return to “normal”. They are supported by a recent article “Five reasons why COVID herd immunity is probably impossible” in the leading scientific medical journal Nature.

Vaccinations can prevent people from becoming seriously ill and ending up in hospital, but it is an illusion to think that they also stop the virus from spreading. “Research done in Oxford shows that people can also be virus carriers after they have been vaccinated,” says Walk. More research needs to be done on this, but it is already clear that current vaccines do not work against all new variants of the virus. South Africa, for example, has already stopped using AstraZeneca because that vaccine does not work against the variant that is dominant there. “The effectiveness against that specific variant appears to be really zero,” says Mulder. The constant emergence of new variants therefore means that the vaccinations will be less effective in the future than appears at the moment.

“In fact, if a vaccine against a particular variant doesn’t work, only that version of the virus will continue to spread among people, and that refractory variant may eventually become dominant in the vaccinated population,” says Walk.“This happens especially if you vaccinate while a lot of virus is circulating, you create an ideal environment for new mutations,” Mulder adds. Walk: “The unnecessary vaccination is also against our medical principles. If you cannot become seriously ill from the virus and do not protect anyone with it when you get vaccinated, why would you run the risk of side effects that we are certainly not aware of in the long term? “” She points to the fact that for the time being there are only data on safety during the first two months after vaccination. Longer studies are needed to get a full picture of the benefits and risks.

“Another problem is that we do not yet know whether once someone has been vaccinated, they will later make good antibodies against other corona variants.” “A new vaccination against a new variant may therefore be less effective. “There is still a lot of research to be done in this area,” the researchers emphasize. But they are now coming up with their analysis because the vaccination policy is still aimed at vaccinating as many people as possible against corona by July. Mulder: ,, But we cannot eradicate corona. So you should rethink that policy: vaccinating only if someone benefits from it on an individual level, you should first focus on the elderly and at-risk groups and then look at who wants to be vaccinated further. “”

Ron Paul Testing

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Natural immunity.

Herd Immunity Is Near, Despite Fauci’s Denial (WSJ)

Anthony Fauci has been saying that the country needs to vaccinate 70% to 85% of the population to reach herd immunity from Covid-19. But he inexplicably ignores natural immunity. If you account for previous infections, herd immunity is likely close at hand. Data from the California Department of Public Health, released earlier this month, show that while only 8.7% of the state’s population has ever tested positive for Covid-19, at least 38.5% of the population has antibodies against the novel coronavirus. Those numbers are from Jan. 30 to Feb. 20. Adjusting for cases between now and then, and accounting for the amount of time it takes for the body to make antibodies, we can estimate that as many as half of Californians have natural immunity today.


The same report found that 45% of people in Los Angeles had Covid-19 antibodies. Again, the number can only be higher today. Between “half and two-thirds of our population has antibodies in it now,” due to Covid exposure or vaccination, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” That would explain why cases in Los Angeles are down 95% in the past 11 weeks and the positivity rate among those tested is now 1.7%. Undercounting or removing the many Americans with natural immunity from any tally of herd immunity is a scientific error of omission. When people wonder why President Biden talks about limiting Fourth of July gatherings, it’s because his most prominent medical adviser has dismissed the contribution of natural immunity, artificially extending the timeline.

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“The University of Chicago researchers said their study reached a different conclusion because of differing methodology.”

But what a warped logic. Destroying economies was useless, but not pointless.

US Lockdowns Didn’t Stop Covid – But That Doesn’t Mean They’re Pointless (F.)

U.S. states with shelter-in-place orders and other strict Covid-19 rules did not report fewer infections and deaths last year, a study released Thursday argues, disputing other recent research about the pandemic—but this doesn’t mean social distancing efforts were ineffective. A team of researchers from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy found states that imposed shelter-in-place orders, mandatory business closures and other tight restrictions didn’t see a significant difference in the number of coronavirus infections or deaths during the virus’ first U.S. surge last spring. Shelter-in-place orders also appeared to have very little impact on people’s mobility, which researchers measured using cell phone data.

However, researchers did not cast this as proof that social distancing is unnecessary: Instead, it could mean scores of Americans changed their habits regardless of whether their state imposed restrictions, often because health officials encouraged them to. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of social distancing measures was likely reduced because some people—partly due to politics—refused to comply with these efforts even if they came with a government mandate, the researchers noted in their paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team said their results “should not be taken to imply that the actions of government officials had little effect on the pandemic.”

“To be clear, our findings do not mean that sheltering in place and social distancing behaviors had no effect on the disease,” the study’s authors wrote. “Indeed, the health benefits of [shelter-in-place] orders were likely limited because many people were already social distancing before the introduction of SIP orders.” This study contradicts two papers from last year—published in Nature and by the National Bureau of Economic Research—that found shelter-in-place orders significantly reduced Covid-19 infections in the United States and other countries, especially if they were imposed early. The University of Chicago researchers said their study reached a different conclusion because of differing methodology.

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While there were no tests available.

CNN’s Defense of Cuomo’s Special COVID Privileges is Grotesque (Greenwald)

Ever since the COVID pandemic subsumed most countries on the planet, there have been numerous scandals and controversies relating to those who corruptly obtain medical privileges and other exemptions unavailable to ordinary citizens. These scandals typically arise when someone uses their wealth, power or connections to jump in front of others for access to potentially life-saving procedures or medications or grant themselves and their friends license to ignore what everyone else must endure. Right now in Brazil, for instance, there is a burgeoning scandal from reports that a group of businesspeople with ties to the government arranged to purchase their own private stash of vaccines for use for themselves, families and friends in violation of the law.

In the U.S., people were outraged when very young members of Congress were among the first to receive the vaccine (though the law permitted them to do so); those young Congressmembers justified their line-jumping on the ground that they were doing so selflessly to encourage others. Meanwhile, other members of Congress refused this privilege on the ground, as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) put it, that it is “shameful” for young lawmakers to believe they “are more important” than workers. Repeatedly in the U.S., politicians were caught exempting themselves from lockdown orders they were imposing on everyone else. But those pale in comparison to the abuse of power by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, as reported on Wednesday by The Albany-Times Union and The Washington Post.

“High-level members of the state Department of Health were directed last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to conduct prioritized coronavirus testing on the governor’s relatives as well as influential people with ties to the administration,” reported the Times-Union. “Members of Cuomo’s family including his brother, his mother and at least one of his sisters were also tested by top health department officials — some several times,” it added. In particular, Gov. Cuomo abused state resources to ensure that his then-49-year-old brother, Chris, received fast COVID testing at a time when tests were very scarce. “The CNN anchor was swabbed by a top New York Department of Health doctor, who visited his Hamptons home to collect samples from him and his family,” The Post reported. The article also contains these damning details:

“The same doctor who tested Chris Cuomo, Eleanor Adams, now a top adviser to the state health commissioner, also was enlisted to test multiple other Cuomo family members….The coronavirus test specimens were then rushed — at times driven by state police troopers — to the Wadsworth Center, a state public health lab in Albany, where they were processed immediately, the people said. At times, employees in the state health laboratory were kept past their shifts until late into the night to process results of those close to Cuomo, two people said.” All of this commandeering of state resources to provide the CNN host with very specialized medical attention occurred while “media reports were full of accounts from New Yorkers desperate to get tested — including some with symptoms and recent travel history who were turned away because of scarcity.”

Cuomo brothers

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Still no sign of Hunter.

Secret Service Inserted Itself Into Case Of Hunter Biden’s Gun (Pol.)

On Oct. 23, 2018, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and daughter in law Hallie were involved in a bizarre incident in which Hallie took Hunter’s gun and threw it in a trash can behind a grocery store, only to return later to find it gone. Delaware police began investigating, concerned that the trash can was across from a high school and that the missing gun could be used in a crime, according to law enforcement officials and a copy of the police report obtained by POLITICO. But a curious thing happened at the time: Secret Service agents approached the owner of the store where Hunter bought the gun and asked to take the paperwork involving the sale, according to two people, one of whom has firsthand knowledge of the episode and the other was briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact.

The gun store owner refused to supply the paperwork, suspecting that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime, the two people said. The owner, Ron Palmieri, later turned over the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which oversees federal gun laws. The Secret Service says it has no record of its agents investigating the incident, and Joe Biden, who was not under protection at the time, said through a spokesperson he has no knowledge of any Secret Service involvement. Days later, the gun was returned by an older man who regularly rummages through the grocery’s store’s trash to collect recyclable items, according to people familiar with the situation.

[..] At the time of the gun incident, Hunter was in a romantic relationship with Hallie, the widow of his late brother, Beau. The incident began when Hallie searched Hunter’s pickup, which was parked at her home in Wilmington, because of unspecified “suspicions she had,” according to the Delaware State Police report. Inside the truck, she found a .38 revolver. Hallie took the gun to Janssen’s Market, a nearby high-end grocery store where the Bidens are longtime regular customers. There, she tossed the gun, wrapped in a black shopping bag, into a trash bin outside of the store. Later that day, Hallie informed Hunter of what she had done, and he instructed her to retrieve the gun, according to the police report. When Hallie returned to the grocery store, she found that the gun was missing from the garbage bin and reported the issue to the store.

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“Tesla’s valuation will one day be a Harvard Business School study on the irrationality of market manias.”

Tesla & Bitcoin Are Perfect Bedfellows (Mitch Feierstein)

In 2021, Tesla has made over one billion dollars by speculating in bitcoin. That bet made bigger profits for Musk’s Tesla than the firm made selling its electric vehicles in a similar time frame (though, given its poor sales record, that’s perhaps not surprising). Now the multi-billionaire has created new headlines by announcing that the cryptocurrency will soon be accepted as payment for his cars, a move that saw the price of bitcoin enjoy a short-lived jump of almost 5%. There are some who say that Tesla and Bitcoin make perfect bedfellows. Both are decidedly risky ventures where you’re just about guaranteed to lose your whole wardrobe, let alone a shirt or two. Bitcoin has exhibited extreme volatility and has seen a stratospheric rise in its price during the past few months, hitting new highs approaching $60,000 and prompting some to claim it will go up by a further 500%.

Its surge illustrates how reckless central banks worldwide have destroyed fiat (paper) currencies that are backed by nothing other than a promise to repay debt by insolvent governments with a printing press. It signals a mania that will eventually see an end to US dollar hegemony. Bitcoin is binary – it can go to a million or zero – so no one speculating on it should risk what they cannot afford to lose. And as I’ve warned many times before: NEVER listen to the Musk-rat hype. It’s not the first time Musk has used Tesla’s balance sheet to speculate. In 2016, Tesla spent $2.6 billion bailing out one of his other companies, SolarCity, which was, according to Ernst & Young, completely insolvent.

Additionally, as chairman, CEO, CTO and majority shareholder of SpaceX, Musk used his position to leverage that company’s balance sheet by buying around $300 million of SolarCity bonds in 2015-16. In 2017, Tesla shareholders filed a lawsuit against the company’s directors and Musk. The basis of the lawsuit, according to Reuters, was: “Tesla shareholders have alleged Musk breached his fiduciary duties, squandered Tesla’s assets and unjustly enriched himself by pushing to buy the money-losing solar company in which he was the biggest investor.”

[..] Musk’s track record on autonomous driving, vehicle production numbers and Tesla profits has been abysmal. For example, Musk has said “Full Self Driving” hardware would be capable of a “coast-to-coast” autonomous trip by the end of 2017. In February of 2019, Musk promised, “Full self-driving would be available in 2020.” Tesla’s valuation builds in earnings from a non-existent robot taxi model. The point: Musk makes new bold claims nearly every quarter yet consistently fails to deliver. In fact, if it were not for the money Tesla has enjoyed from government subsidies and the selling of carbon-emission credits, the business would be profitless. Tesla’s valuation will one day be a Harvard Business School study on the irrationality of market manias.

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Ha ha ha.

US Imports Record Volumes Of Russian Oil Amid Growing Political Tensions (RT)

Tough talk on energy issues doesn’t stop the US from purchasing a record share of Russian crude in 2020. American refineries reportedly loaded 538,000 barrels of Russian crude and oil products daily, breaking a decade-old record. According to the data tracked by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US has bought the most Russian crude since 2011, when the import volumes or Russian oil totaled 624,000 barrels per day (bpd). In 2020, Russia became the third-largest oil supplier to the US, outpacing Saudi Arabia, world’s biggest exporter, according to Bloomberg calculations based on customs and EIA data. Russia’s share of American oil exports currently stands at a record-high seven percent.


Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico were the leading exporters of crude to the US last year. Canada shipped 4.1 million bpd, while Mexico sold about 750,000 bpd. The average imports of oil from Saudi Arabia reportedly totaled just 522,000 bpd in 2020. The growth of oil exports from Russia was reportedly caused by the lack of access to Venezuelan crude, targeted by US sanctions. Moreover, shipments of crude from OPEC nations were significantly reduced amid the cartel’s pact on cutting output. US energy majors, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Valero Energy were among the key buyers of oil and petroleum products from Russian producers.

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Boeing and Raytheon will find another country to destroy.

The Impending Saudi Defeat in Yemen (MPN)

Major advances by Houthi forces on the strategically vital oil and gas hub of Marib last week have forced Saudi Arabia to offer a ceasefire agreement to the rebels. The offer came on Monday, after the rebel army seized Mount Hilan, threatening the Yemeni military’s first line of defense and causing a disruption in global energy prices. The ceasefire proposal includes collecting “taxes, customs and other fees generated” by oil imports in the Red Sea port of Hodeida in a joint account that would be accessible to the Houthis. Further evidence that the Saudi-led coalition finds itself with their backs against the wall is the partial loosening of the oil blockade, as four fuel ships were given the go-ahead to dock at Hodeida on Wednesday.

The bid for a truce came two days after Saudi Coalition-manned American warplanes carried out airstrikes against Houthi targets in Marib, with Saudi media claiming heavy losses on the side of the rebel forces. But the partial lifting of the blockade by the Saudi Coalition and the UN-backed Yemeni government indicates that it is the Houthis who are making headway. The fall of Marib would mean Houthi control of one of the key production centers of natural gas in Yemen — one that supplies the entire country — as well as oil fields owned by Saudi Arabia’s Aramco. Given that the Houthis already control most of Yemen’s urban centers, taking Marib would likely tilt the momentum irreversibly in the Houthis’ favor.

In light of the Houthis’ bolstered position in the conflict, Biden’s decision to remove them from the list of global terrorist organizations, while overtly maintaining continued U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s “security” needs could very well be a signal that Washington has tacitly admitted that their proxy war in Yemen is not yielding the desired results. Meanwhile, in a joint statement, last week as preparations for Friday’s major attack on Marib were in the offing, Western governments attempted to make a show of strength in the press in lieu of actual results on the battlefield. “We, the governments of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America,” said the statement, “condemn the sustained Houthi offensive on the Yemeni city of Marib and the major escalation of attacks the Houthis have conducted and claimed against Saudi Arabia.”

UNHCR Yemen

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March 25 11 AM EST: QUEUE OF SHIPS WAITING AT SUEZ CANAL NOW STANDS AT 237

‘It Might Take Weeks’ To Free ‘Beached Whale’ Ship Stuck In Suez Canal (RT)

The firm working to dislodge the container ship that’s blocking traffic in the Suez Canal has warned that “it might take weeks” to free the tanker, comparing it to trying to remove “an enormous beached whale.” The vessel, ‘Ever Given’, operated by Taiwan-based firm Evergreen, became lodged diagonally in the canal on Tuesday morning after losing control and running aground amid high winds, bringing traffic through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels to a halt. The CEO of Boskalis, a dredging firm that is working to try and free the ship, warned on Thursday that it “can’t exclude [that] it might take weeks,” as they may have to reduce the weight of the vessel, removing containers, oil and water, as well as using tug boats and clearing sand and mud from around it.


“It is like an enormous beached whale. It’s an enormous weight on the sand.” The 220,000-ton vessel was partially refloated on Wednesday, as tug boats worked to reopen the canal, which can see as many as 50 ships pass through it a day. However, the ship remains wedged on the sand, with its GPS tracking data showing that it has only experienced minor changes in its position in the past 24 hours. The incident has created a significant shipping backlog and some firms have warned that if the canal is not fully reopened in the next 24-48 hours, they will have to find a new route for their vessels, adding a week to their journey time and delaying the arrival of goods that rely on the Suez Canal.

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In honour of David Graeber

Free Us From The Roving Cavaliers of Credit (Steve Keen)

As Graeber pointed out in Debt: The First 5000 Years, the assumption that money originated in barter is an enduring myth in economics: “First comes barter, then money; credit only develops later” (Graeber 2011, Chapter 2). This myth permeates the discipline, from Adam Smith’s assertion in 1776 that “the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another” (Smith 1776, Chapter 2) was an innate characteristic of humans, to modern economics textbooks, like Gregory Mankiw’s Macroeconomics, that argue that an economy without money would be “a barter economy” (Mankiw 2016, p. 82). Armed with this myth, economists have constructed a fantasy model of capitalism in which money plays no significant role: it is a mere trifle that sensible economists look through, to see the real face of barter lying behind the veil of money.

Consequently, mainstream economists ignore banks, debt and money, while credit plays no role in their mathematical models of the macroeconomy. This is why they not only didn’t see the 2007 Global Financial Crisis coming, but in fact expected 2008 to be a cracker of a year. The OECD’s Economic Outlook in June 2007 trumpeted that “sustained growth in OECD economies would be underpinned by strong job creation and falling unemployment” (Cotis 2007, p. 5). Yeah, right. Two months after this forecast was published, the biggest economic crisis before Covid-19 and since the Great Depression began. Why were they so wrong? Because they ignore Graeber’s central message that debt and credit drive the development, and sometimes the collapse, of economies.

Their logic rests, as usual, on a naïve assumption. They assume that banks are simply “intermediaries” between people who save money, and people who borrow money, and therefore that redistributing this money has little effect on economic activity. As ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke put it, “Absent implausibly large differences in marginal spending propensities among the groups … pure redistributions should have no significant macroeconomic effects.” (Bernanke 2000, p. 24). What the hell does that jargon mean? It means that mainstream economists pretend that banks don’t create money when they lend—something that they can no longer do after The Bank of England categorically said that they do (McLeay, Radia et al. 2014)—or that this doesn’t really matter. A little arithmetic is enough to show they’re wrong, and David was right.

Read more …

 

 

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Jim Rickards – Great Reset
https://twitter.com/i/status/1375034375985901572

 

 

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Mar 032021
 


Jean-Michel Basquiat Irony of the Negro Policeman 1981

 

Texas And Mississippi Drop Covid Restrictions – Even Mask Mandates (F.)
Russian Deputy PM Golikova Predicts ‘Herd Immunity’ By End Of Summer (RT)
Microsoft, LA School District Develop COVID ‘Daily Pass’ App (DC)
Israel Launches Covid-Tracking ‘Freedom Bracelet’ (RT)
Is Europe Open For Summer? All Bets Are Off For US Travelers (F.)
EU’s Faltering COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Triggers Rebellion (G&M)
The Age of Social Murder (Chris Hedges)
Warren’s Wealth Tax Would Cost 100 Richest Americans $78 Billion (Hill)
Andrew Cuomo Is Living To Regret The Deal He Pushed On Letitia James (IC)
Tanden Withdraws Nomination As Biden Budget Chief (Hill)
Remember That GDP = Waste (CHS)
The Goldilocks Stimulus Myth (Varoufakis)
The Opposite of 2008 (Ben Hunt)
Dr. Seuss Didn’t Have ‘A Racist Bone’ In His Body – Stepdaughter (NYP)
There Is No Such Thing as “White” Math (Klainerman)

 

 

“With” COVID.

 

 

Do we all understand why this is inevitable? Abbott’s biggest critic says he “is doing what he does best: leaving Texans to fend for themselves.”

But isn’t what what Texans want? Florida is open, and doing much better than New York, which is closed. Science as a religion does not work.

Texas And Mississippi Drop Covid Restrictions – Even Mask Mandates (F.)

Texas and Mississippi are both dropping their Covid-19 restrictions on businesses and ending their mask mandates, the states’ governors announced Tuesday, the latest in a string of states that have relaxed or dropped restrictions as cases have fallen nationwide despite public health officials strongly urging against it. “It is time to open Texas 100%,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press conference Tuesday, saying “all businesses, of any type” can fully open as of next Wednesday. Abbott said increased Covid-19 testing, personal protective equipment and vaccines put the state in a “far better position” than when orders were first issued, and “Texans have mastered the daily habits to avoid getting Covid.”

County judges can impose local restrictions if hospitalizations raise to more than 15% of the region’s hospital bed capacity for seven days straight, Abbott said, but they cannot impose occupancy restrictions of less than 50% and cannot impose penalties against people who don’t wear masks. Gov. Tate Reeves announced Mississippi will also rescind a mask mandate that required them only in certain counties—the state already dropped a statewide mask order in September—and will lift all business restrictions except in schools and a 50% capacity limit for indoor arenas. Though less stringent than some other states, Texas does have social distancing restrictions in place for now for many businesses, such as a 75% capacity limit on indoor dining and gyms and a 50% capacity limit on bars, as well as an order for them to stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m.

Texas is the largest state so far to entirely drop its Covid-19 restrictions, but the state and Mississippi follow Florida and other Republican-led states that have taken similar measures. “Personal vigilance to follow the safe standards is still needed to contain Covid. It’s just that now, state mandates are no longer needed,” Abbott said. “At this time, people and businesses don’t need the state telling them how to operate.” “Abbott removing a statewide mandate while preaching personal responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID is an abdication of his own personal and professional responsibility to keep Texans safe,” Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement Tuesday. “By removing all previous state mandates and opening the state to 100 percent, Governor Abbott, who has never taken this pandemic seriously, is doing what he does best: leaving Texans to fend for themselves.”

Read more …

I’m still a bit amazed at how the meaning of “herd immunity” seamlessly came to include vaccines.

Russian Deputy PM Golikova Predicts ‘Herd Immunity’ By End Of Summer (RT)

If the current Covid-19 vaccination rates are maintained, there will be collective immunity in Russia by August, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova has predicted, while making it clear the pandemic is still “quite serious.” Speaking in an interview with news network TASS, published Tuesday, Golikova revealed that the government is planning to reach 60 percent collective immunity – one of the prerequisites for removing all pandemic-related restrictions. “In order to determine the final date of achieving collective immunity, we have developed an epidemiological and mathematical model,” Golikova said. “If vaccination is carried out at the same pace as it is now, and the number of vaccination points remains the same, then the country will achieve collective immunity in August 2021.”

The deputy prime minister also noted that the number of detected cases is slowly declining, after a peak in late December. On Tuesday, the official Covid-19 HQ reported 10,565 new daily instances of coronavirus – a steep drop from the 29,935 figure of just over two months ago. “The numbers of new cases of coronavirus infection are still quite serious, although reassuringly decreasing,” she said. “You will remember that we decided to ease measures last May, when we were at just around this point in terms of the number of new cases.” However, Golikova was also careful to note that viral infections spread more in winter and at the beginning of spring, meaning precautions still need to be taken. She also refused to name a date when life in Russia would get back to normal.

“Neither we nor the world has yet accumulated enough experience to understand how long the immune defense lasts,” she explained. “Of course, everyone is now relaxed and believes that Covid is going away. The situation is better now, but the virus is still not going anywhere. You need to take care of yourself and your loved ones.”

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Wow, this is scary: “School staff members dedicated to be ‘Welcomers’ will be at every site to scan the QR code and take your temperature at the entrance.”

Microsoft, LA School District Develop COVID ‘Daily Pass’ App (DC)

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has worked with Microsoft to develop the “Daily Pass” app to monitor coronavirus the vaccination status, health symptoms and temperatures of its students. “Sort of like the golden ticket in ‘Willy Wonka,’ everyone with this pass can easily get into a school building,” LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said during his weekly update on Sunday, according to Fox News. “Los Angeles Unified has launched a one-stop shop web app built specifically for the District to ensure that we get students, faculty and administrators back to schools and district offices as safely as possible,” read a statement on the school’s website, which included an animated clip about the app.


In the video, a student uses the app in order to gain their “daily pass” to go back to school. The pass includes a daily health check, details about their “weekly” coronavirus test and scheduling for their vaccination once it becomes available. “Students, parents and visitors will access the Daily Pass on any computer, tablet or mobile device at dailypass.lausd.net. Answer the daily health check questions (not more than a two-minute process!),” the LAUSD website reads, describing the process for students. “If the individual has recently tested negative for COVID-19 and completes the online health check, a QR code will be generated for that day and specific site location,” it continues. “School staff members dedicated to be ‘Welcomers’ will be at every site to scan the QR code and take your temperature at the entrance.”

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And so is this. It definitely looks like the opposite of freedom.

Israel Launches Covid-Tracking ‘Freedom Bracelet’ (RT)

Israel has unveiled a coronavirus-tracking bracelet as an alternative to a two-week quarantine for incoming travelers, sparking privacy concerns as a top court moved to curb the Shin Bet spy agency’s role in contact tracing. A pilot program for the tracking bracelet kicked off at Ben Gurion Airport on Monday, where 100 devices were doled out to arriving travelers as a way to avoid a stay at a military-administered quarantine hotel. Instead, those opting for the bracelet system – which features the electronic wristband, a smartphone app and a wall-mounted tracking device – will be free to return home to wait out the two-week isolation period.

While the device will alert authorities if participants venture too far from the wall-mounted tracker, Ordan Trabelsi, the CEO of SuperCom, the company behind the bracelet, said it does not collect any other information, insisting the tech is minimally intrusive. “Nobody is forced to do it, but for those who are interested, it gives them another option: more flexibility,” he said. The pilot project – which Trabelsi has already called to expand to “thousands of units” for “wide-scale use” – may trigger further anxiety given SuperCom’s past work with a number of governments around the world to provide “offender monitoring” services, using its tracking tech to surveil prisoners and detainees. The firm signed a contract last year with a government agency in Wisconsin to offer the same service, and also sells technology used for electronic IDs, voter biometrics and cybersecurity.

As the rollout of the tracking bracelets got underway on Monday, Israel’s top court ruled that the country’s domestic spying agency, the Shin Bet, must rein in its Covid-19 contact-tracing efforts, calling the surveillance “draconian” and a threat to Israeli democracy. While the government has employed the Shin Bet for tracing since last March, the court has repeatedly challenged the practice, finally ruling that the agency may only be used under special circumstances beginning on March 14. “From [that] day on, the use of the Shin Bet will be limited to cases in which a confirmed coronavirus patient was not cooperating in his [epidemiological] investigation, whether intentionally or not, or gave no report of his encounters,” the court said.

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“..all we know about the vaccines is that they will very effectively reduce your risk of severe disease. We haven’t seen any evidence yet indicating whether or not they stop transmission.”

Is Europe Open For Summer? All Bets Are Off For US Travelers (F.)

There is some optimism in the U.S. that increased vaccination rates, decreasing Covid-19 rates and the rise of health passport schemes could open international travel up for the summer. At a time when EU countries are raising borders, however, all the signs in Europe point to the fact that summer 2021 is still incredibly uncertain for anyone wishing to travel from outside the region. There are extremely conflicting views about summer. On one side, the optimists. Intelligencer gave 9 Reasons To Believe The Worst Of The Pandemic Is Over and The Atlantic quoted Anthony Fauci’s prediction that herd immunity might be reached by August and that Covid-19 cases across the U.S. are declining much more sharply than anticipated, declaring that “the summer of 2021 is shaping up to be historic.”

On the other side are reports that the summer might indeed be historic but for entirely different reasons. The United Nations World Tourism Organization called 2020 the worst year on record for tourism but recently stated that 2021’s prospects had worsened. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, tourist destinations had been hoping for a sorely needed rebound but “with vaccine rollouts delayed in some places and new virus strains appearing, it is looking more likely that international travel could be stalled for years.” Worse still, 41% of experts polled by the UN didn’t think that pre-pandemic levels of tourism would be reached until 2024. It’s a view supported by the International Air Transport Association which said that air travel might only improve by 13% this year and industry insiders who said that it may be that long haul travel doesn’t properly resume until 2023 or 2024.

Many people are pinning hopes on the idea of vaccination passports, coupled with increased vaccination rates, to open up borders by the summer. But as reported by Bloomberg, this is far from sure. As stated by the World Health Organization, no one yet knows how vaccines will stop the spread of Covid-19, nor is it clear how the vaccines will hold up against variant strains. Digital health cards or vaccination/immunity passports are fraught with political and social obstacles, raising issues of equality and discrimination, never mind logistics. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson in Geneva told Bloomberg, “it’s very important for people to understand that at the moment, all we know about the vaccines is that they will very effectively reduce your risk of severe disease. We haven’t seen any evidence yet indicating whether or not they stop transmission.”

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The EU doing what it does best. Be useless.

EU’s Faltering COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Triggers Rebellion (G&M)

The European Union’s vaccine unity has shattered as shortages push a few desperate countries to seek outside supplies and create foreign partnerships. Frustrated by the vaccine shortages, at least four EU countries – Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – have struck deals to buy Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, or are considering doing so. The Chinese vaccine is also a contender. The Russian and Chinese products have not been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EU’s vaccine rollout remains stubbornly slow, although the pace has picked up somewhat in recent days. By Tuesday, the 27-country EU – population 450 million – had administered only 33.5 million doses, equivalent to 7.5 per 100 citizens.


[..] In a blow to the EC vaccine strategy, which is overseen by EC president Ursula von der Leyen, Slovakia and Hungary granted emergency approval of the Sputnik vaccine. Slovakia, which currently has the highest number of pandemic deaths per capita over a seven-day period, is to receive two million doses of the Sputnik vaccine. The question is whether one of the EU’s big countries will also break ranks and order outside vaccine supplies. Francesco Galietti, chief executive of the Rome political consultancy Policy Sonar, said that Mario Draghi, Italy’s new prime minister, might be forced to buy the Russian vaccine if Italy’s campaign doesn’t pick up momentum soon. “Draghi will have to carefully assess whether the Western vaccines are enough,” he said in an interview. “He seems to have realized that Italy cannot survive economically if the vaccine is not rolled out before the summer. He knows the importance of tourism to Italy.”

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The larger picture.

The Age of Social Murder (Chris Hedges)

The two million deaths that have resulted from the ruling elite’s mishandling of the global pandemic will be dwarfed by what is to follow. The global catastrophe that awaits us, already baked into the ecosystem from the failure to curb the use of fossil fuels and animal agriculture, presage new, deadlier pandemics, mass migrations of billions of desperate people, plummeting crop yields, mass starvation, and systems collapse. The science that elucidates this social death is known to the ruling elites. The science that warned us of this pandemic, and others that will follow, is known to the ruling elites. The science that shows that a failure to halt carbon emissions will lead to a climate crisis and ultimately the extinction of the human species and most other species is known to the ruling elites. They cannot claim ignorance. Only indifference.

The facts are incontrovertible. Each of the last four decades have been hotter than the last. In 2018, the UN International Panel on Climate Change released a special report on the systemic effects of a 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in temperatures. It makes for very grim reading. Soaring temperature rises — we are already at a 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.16 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels — are already baked into the system, meaning that even if we stopped all carbon emission today, we still face catastrophe. Anything above a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius will render the earth unhabitable. The Arctic ice along with the Greenland ice sheet are now expected to melt regardless of how much we reduce carbon emissions. A seven-meter (23-foot) rise in sea level, which is what will take place once the ice is gone, means every town and city on a coast at sea level will have to be evacuated.

[..] As the climate crisis worsens, the political constrictions will tighten, making public resistance difficult. We do not live, yet, in the brutal Orwellian state that appears on the horizon, one where all dissidents will suffer the fate of Julian Assange. But this Orwellian state is not far away. This makes it imperative that we act now. The ruling elites, despite the accelerating and tangible ecological collapse, mollify us, either by meaningless gestures or denial. They are the architects of social murder. Social murder, as Friedrich Engels noted in his 1845 book “The Condition of the Working-Class in England,” one of the most important works of social history, is built into the capitalist system. The ruling elites, Engels writes, those that hold “social and political control,” were aware that the harsh working and living conditions during the industrial revolution doomed workers to “an early and unnatural death:”

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Something tells me they can afford it.

Warren’s Wealth Tax Would Cost 100 Richest Americans $78 Billion (Hill)

A new wealth tax proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other progressives on Monday would result in the 100 richest Americans paying over $78 billion in taxes annually, according to analysis by Bloomberg News. The bill, called the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act, would require households with a net worth of more than $50 million to pay 2 percent of their wealth every year. A 1 percent surtax would be added for those with a net worth in excess of $1 billion. That would mean Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, would face an additional $5.4 billion in taxes if the bill were signed into law this year, according to Bloomberg News. Tesla CEO Elon Musk would pay an additional $5.2 billion, Bill Gates would pay $4 billion more and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would see his tax bill increase by about $3 billion.


The legislation, which is unlikely to pass Congress, would affect tax payments starting in 2023. “As Congress develops additional plans to help our economy, the wealth tax should be at the top of the list to help pay for these plans because of the huge amounts of revenue it would generate,” Warren said on Monday when unveiling the new proposal. “This is money that should be invested in child care and early education, K-12, infrastructure, all of which are priorities of President Biden and Democrats in Congress,” she added. “I’m confident lawmakers will catch up to the overwhelming majority of Americans who are demanding more fairness, more change, and who believe it’s time for a wealth tax.” According to Bloomberg News, the 100 richest Americans added $598 billion to their fortunes last year. Warren’s proposed tax would take 13 percent of that added wealth.

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Your daily drip drip.

Andrew Cuomo Is Living To Regret The Deal He Pushed On Letitia James (IC)

In 2003, Letitia “Tish” James shook the New York Democratic political establishment, becoming the first City Council candidate to win office solely as a nominee of the Working Families Party. James spent the next 15 years as an outspoken, independent-minded progressive and a leading voice for the city’s social movements. In 2013, despite being vastly outspent, she won a tight race for New York City public advocate, a stepping stone to mayor. Her close alliance with the city’s grassroots was considered by political observers to be both a benefit and an obstacle. She had people behind her, but she didn’t have money — and moving to the next level required lots of it. When New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was forced to resign amid a #MeToo scandal in 2018, James was quickly discussed as a potential successor. But could she raise the funds?

That’s where Andrew Cuomo came in. The state’s governor, who was seeking his third term, was in the midst of a long-running feud with the organization that was so intimately linked with James’s rise, the WFP. Under pressure from Cuomo, local unions had left the party, taking their clout and financing with them. In April 2018, the WFP came for the king, endorsing activist and actor Cynthia Nixon for the Democratic primary over Cuomo, who vowed to destroy the organization. Cuomo had long treated figures in New York politics — his playground — like kids to be bullied. He turned his attention to James. In May, Cuomo made James an excruciating offer: He would endorse her and open his donor network to her, but it would come at a price. Not only would she have to endorse him, she would have to publicly refuse the support of the WFP.

Ripped from the pages of a cliched mafia screenplay, James would have to prove her loyalty by executing her longtime ally. James was left with two bad options: Accepting Cuomo’s offer was the most likely route to winning the election, but it would come with accusations that she had traded in her trademark independence and social justice values. Rejecting it could cost her the election and make Cuomo into a fatal enemy. James took the deal. The WFP endorsed her anyway, against her public will, while jointly endorsing Zephyr Teachout. The bulk of their spending went toward opposing the most right-leaning candidate, Sean Patrick Maloney, who represents a congressional district upstate.

In the fictional version of these parables, a deal with the devil always ends the same way: The devil always gets his due. But New York politics is not a parable. The story’s new plot twist conforms more closely to a Disney version: Cuomo is getting his due of a different kind, with scrutiny over his failed coronavirus response and an investigation into sexual harassment claims. His fate now rests with Tish James.

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She’s just one of a large group. And she’ll be in the administration anyway.

Tanden Withdraws Nomination As Biden Budget Chief (Hill)

Neera Tanden has withdrawn her nomination to head President Biden’s White House budget office after her prospects of Senate confirmation flamed out.The White House made the announcement on Tuesday evening, capping a tumultuous few weeks surrounding the fight over her nomination. Tanden, who would have been the first woman of color to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), faced scrutiny over mean tweets she had written about Republicans and progressive Democrats alike in her previous role heading the Center for American Progress think tank.“I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said in a statement.

“I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work.”Tanden is Biden’s first Cabinet nominee to be withdrawn from consideration, making this an early blow for the president. The White House spent the past two weeks insisting there was a path to confirmation for Tanden and vowed to fight for her, even as her prospects dimmed.Tanden is expected to be appointed to an administration role that does not require Senate confirmation.A handful of names have circulated as potential replacements for Tanden. Shalanda Young, who on Wednesday underwent a confirmation hearing to be the deputy OMB director, is seen as the most likely nominee.

In her controversial tweets, many of which were deleted in recent months, Tanden compared Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to Voldemort and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to a vampire and insinuated that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) benefited from Russian hacking in the 2016 election.In two confirmation hearings, she repeatedly apologized for the tweets and promised to strike a more collegial tone as a member of the administration.Her nomination began to unravel when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) pulled his support, citing the need for comity. In the evenly divided Senate, that left Tanden reliant on support from centrist Republicans such as Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who also was a target of Tanden’s tweets. That support was not forthcoming.

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As I’ve said 1000 times: Our economies run on waste.

Remember That GDP = Waste (CHS)

We’re told the gross domestic product (GDP) measures growth, but what it really measures is waste: capital, labor and resources that are squandered and then mislabeled “growth” for PR purposes. If we only manage what we measure, then we’re mismanaging our economy by promoting waste as the only metric we measure and incentivize. Forecasts now predict a rousing 6.8% “growth” in 2021 GDP. In other words, the amount of resources and capital being squandered is going parabolic and we love it! 50 million autos and trucks stuck in traffic, burning millions of gallons of fuel while going nowhere? Growth! All that wasted fuel adds to GDP. Everyone who works from home detracts from “growth” since they didn’t waste fuel sitting in traffic jams. That’s bad! Wasting millions of gallons of gasoline is “growth”!

Repaving a little-used road: growth! Never mind the money could have been invested in repairing a heavily traveled road, or adding safe bikeways, etc.–in the current neo-Keynesian system, building bridges to nowhere is “infrastructure growth.” GDP has no mechanism to measure the opportunity costs of squandering capital, labor and resources on investments with marginal or even negative returns. Buying a new refrigerator to replace a broken one that could have been fixed by replacing a $10 sensor: growth! GDP has no mechanism for calculating the utility still remaining in roads, vehicles, buildings, etc. that are replaced–throwing away all the fixed-investment’s remaining utility to buy a new replacement is strongly encouraged because it adds to “growth.”

Planned obsolescence that sends everything on a conveyor belt to the landfill is “growth”– we love the Landfill Economy because all that incredibly needless waste is “growth”! Building and maintaining extraordinarily costly weapons systems that are already obsolete: growth! The gargantuan future costs of interest paid by taxpayers on the debt borrowed to pay for failed weapons systems like the trillion-dollar rathole known as the F-35 aircraft program is not calculated by GDP. The staggering costs of indebting future taxpayers is ignored by GDP– the only thing that counts in GDP is “growth” in spending, no matter how useless. [..] GDP has no mechanism to measure the value of alternatives that use less capital, labor and resources to get the same results.

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How to get it just right.

The Goldilocks Stimulus Myth (Varoufakis)

To see why there can be no “Goldilocks” stimulus that gets the amount “just right,” it helps to engage the critics who argue that the administration’s proposal would overheat the economy and hand the Republicans the midterms. Central to their prediction is their tacit assumption that there is also a Goldilocks interest rate and a corresponding stimulus size that will deliver it. What would render any rate of interest “just right”? First, it would achieve the right balance between available savings and productive investment. Second, it would not unleash a cascade of corporate bankruptcies, bad loans, and a fresh banking crisis. And there’s the rub: It is not at all clear that there is a single interest rate that can do both.

Once upon a time, there was. In the 1950s and early 1960s, under the Bretton Woods system, an interest rate of around 4% did the trick of balancing savings and investment while keeping bank profitability at a level that allowed credit to reproduce itself sustainably. Back then, if investment fell below available savings for too long, and failed to recover despite a reduction in the interest rate, a well-designed government stimulus raised investment back to the level of savings, the rate of interest picked up, and balance was restored. Alas, we no longer live in that kind of world. The reason capitalism no longer works like that is the manner in which the Obama administration, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserve, re-floated the sinking Western banks. The 2008 crisis was as deep and terrible as that of 1929.

As in 1929, sequential bankruptcies, unemployment, and falling prices meant no one was willing to borrow. Interest rates nosedived to zero and capitalism fell into what John Maynard Keynes referred to as the “liquidity trap.” Once at zero, the interest rate could not go much lower without destroying what was left of the banking sector, insurance companies, pension funds, and other financial institutions. The great difference between 1929 and 2008 was that in 2008 the banks were not allowed to fail. One way to save them was a large enough fiscal stimulus. Direct injections of freshly minted money to consumers and firms – to pay off debts and to increase consumption and investment – would have re-floated Main Street and, indirectly, Wall Street. This was the road not taken by the Obama administration.

Instead, the Fed printed trillions of dollars, and the failing banks were re-floated directly. But while the banks were saved, the economy was not freed from the liquidity trap. The banks lent the new money to corporations, but, because their customers were not re-floated, managers were unwilling to risk plowing the money into good jobs, buildings, or machines. Instead, they took it to the stock market, causing the largest-ever disconnect between share prices and the real economy.

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The warnings of inflation are getting louder.

The Opposite of 2008 (Ben Hunt)

In late 2007 I started counting the For Sale signs on the 20 minute drive to work through the neighborhoods of Weston and Westport, CT. I’m not exactly sure why it made my risk antenna start quivering in the first place … honestly, I just like to count things – anything – when I’m doing a repetitive task. Coming into 2008 there were a mid-teen number of For Sale signs on my regular route, up from high single-digits in 2007. By May of 2008 there were 35+ For Sale signs. If there’s a better real-world signal of financial system distress than everyone who takes Metro North from Westport to Grand Central trying to sell their homes all at the same time and finding no buyers … I don’t know what that signal is. The insane amount of housing supply in Wall Street bedroom communities in early 2008 was a crucial datapoint in my figuring out the systemic risks and market ramifications of the Great Financial Crisis.


Last week, for the first time in years, I made the old drive to count the number of For Sale signs. Know how many there were?Zero. And then on Friday I saw this article from the NY Times – Where Have All the Houses Gone? – with these two graphics:I mean … my god.Here’s where I am right now as I try to piece together what the Opposite of 2008 means for markets and real-world.

1) Home price appreciation will not show up in official inflation stats. In fact, given that a) rents are flat to declining, and b) the Fed uses “rent equivalents” as their modeled proxy for housing inputs to cost of living calculations, it’s entirely possible that soaring home prices will end up being a negative contribution to official inflation statistics. This is, of course, absolutely insane, but it’s why we will continue to hear Jay Powell talk about “transitory” inflation that the Fed “just doesn’t see”.

2) Cash-out mortgage refis and HELOCs are going to explode. On Friday, I saw that Rocket Mortgage reported on their quarterly call that refi applications were coming in at their fastest rate ever. As the kids would say, I’m old enough to remember the tailwind that home equity withdrawals provided for … everything … in 2005-2007. This will also “surprise” the Fed.

3) Middle class (ie, home-owning) blue collar labor mobility is dead. If you need to move to find a new job, you’re a renter. You’re not going to be able to buy a home in your new metro area. That really doesn’t matter for white collar labor mobility, because you can work remotely. You don’t have to move to find a new job if you’re a white collar worker. Or if you want to put this in terms of demographics rather than class, this is great for boomers and awful for millennials and Gen Z’ers who want to buy a house and start a family.

4) As for markets … I think it is impossible for the Fed NOT to fall way behind the curve here. I think it is impossible for the Fed NOT to be caught flat-footed here. I think it is impossible for the Fed NOT to underreact for months and then find themselves in a position where they must overreact just to avoid a serious melt-up in real-world prices and pockets of market-world. Could a Covid variant surge tap the deflationary brakes on all this? Absolutely. But let’s hope that doesn’t happen! And even if it does happen, that’s only going to constrict housing supply still more, which is the real driver of these inflationary pressures.

It’s just like 2008, except … the opposite.In 2008, the US housing market – together with a Fed that thought the subprime crisis was “contained” – delivered the mother of all deflationary shocks to the global economy.In 2021, the US housing market – together with a Fed that thinks inflationary pressures are “transitory” – risks delivering the mother of all inflationary shocks.It’s the only question that long-term investors MUST get right. You don’t have to get it right immediately. You don’t have to track and turn with every small movement of its path. But you MUST get this question roughly right: Am I in an inflationary world or a deflationary world? And yes, there’s an ET note on this. Because the Fourth Horseman is inflation.

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Louis-Ferdinand Céline certainly did. But his work is still great literature.

Dr. Seuss Didn’t Have ‘A Racist Bone’ In His Body – Stepdaughter (NYP)

One of Dr. Seuss’ stepdaughters insisted to The Post on Tuesday that the world-famous children’s author was no racist — and that she hopes his six controversial kiddie books yanked from publication will be back. “There wasn’t a racist bone in that man’s body — he was so acutely aware of the world around him and cared so much,’’ Lark Grey Dimond-Cates said of her late, now-embattled stepdad, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel. The company overseeing the legacy of the Dr. Seuss books, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, announced Tuesday that it will stop selling six of his titles because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

Dimond-Cates said DSE, which works with publisher Penguin Random House, informed her Monday about its decision to not continue printing “If I Ran the Zoo,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.” “I think in this day and age it’s a wise decision,” she told The Post of the move.“I think this is a world that right now is in pain, and we’ve all got to be very gentle and thoughtful and kind with each other.“This is just very difficult, painful times that we live in,” said Dimond-Cates, a California sculptor, who added that Geisel came into her life when she was in grade school.

“We’re taking that into account and being thoughtful. We don’t want to upset anybody.’’Dimond-Cates’ mother was Geisel’s second wife, Audrey Geisel, and the sculptor also has a sister, another of the author’s stepdaughters, Leagrey Dimond. Dr. Seuss did not have any children of his own. Still, Dimond-Cates said she hopes the six pulled books will eventually go back into print “because his body of work is unique.”

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“The real antiracists will stand up and oppose this nonsense.”

There Is No Such Thing as “White” Math (Klainerman)

In my position as a professor of mathematics at Princeton, I have witnessed the decline of universities and cultural institutions as they have embraced political ideology at the expense of rigorous scholarship. Until recently — this past summer, really — I had naively thought that the STEM disciplines would be spared from this ideological takeover. I was wrong. Attempts to “deconstruct” mathematics, deny its objectivity, accuse it of racial bias, and infuse it with political ideology have become more and more common — perhaps, even, at your child’s elementary school. This phenomenon is part of what has been dubbed “The Great Awokening.” As others have explained powerfully, the ideology incubated in academia, where it indoctrinated plenty of bright minds. It then migrated, through those true believers, into our important cultural, religious and political institutions. Now it is affecting some of the country’s most prominent businesses.

[..] For historical reasons, we often discuss contributions to the field of mathematics from the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Indians and Arabs and refer to them as distinct entities. They have all contributed through a unique cultural dialogue to the creation of a truly magnificent edifice accessible today to every man and woman on the planet. Though we pay tribute to great historical figures who inform the practice of mathematics, the subject can be taught — and often is — with no reference to the individuals who have contributed to it. In that sense it is uniquely universal. Schools throughout the world teach the same basic body of mathematics. They differ only by the methodology and intensity with which they instruct students.

It is precisely this universality of math — together with the extraordinary ability of American universities to reward hard work and talent — that allowed me, and so many other young scientists and mathematicians, to come to this country and achieve success beyond our wildest dreams. The idea that focusing on getting the “right answer” is now considered among some self-described progressives a form of bias or racism is offensive and extraordinarily dangerous. The entire study of mathematics is based on clearly formulated definitions and statements of fact. If this were not so, bridges would collapse, planes would fall from the sky, and bank transactions would be impossible. The ability of mathematics to provide right answers to well-formulated problems is not something specific to one culture or another; it is really the essence of mathematics.

To claim otherwise is to argue that somehow the math taught in places like Iran, China, India or Nigeria is not genuinely theirs but borrowed or forged from “white supremacy culture.” It is hard to imagine a more ignorant and offensive statement. Finally, and most importantly, the woke approach to mathematics is particularly poisonous to those it pretends to want to help. Let’s start with the reasonable assumption that mathematical talent is equally distributed at birth to children from all socio-economic backgrounds, independent of ethnicity, sex and race. Those born in poor, uneducated families have clear educational disadvantages relative to others. But mathematics can act as a powerful equalizer. Through its set of well-defined, culturally unbiased, unambiguous set of rules, mathematics gives smart kids the potential to be, at least in this respect, on equal footing with all others. They can stand out by simply finding the right answers to questions with objective results.

There is no such thing as “white” mathematics. There is no reason to assume, as the activists do, that minority kids are not capable of mathematics or of finding the “right answers.” And there can be no justification for, in the name of “equity” or anything else, depriving students of the rigorous education that they need to succeed. The real antiracists will stand up and oppose this nonsense.

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Mar 012021
 


Lucien Hervé The Accuser, Delhi, India 1955

 

 

As I was trying to get this article together, I read something in the Greek press just now, and wondered how far one can move goalposts without it being noticed:

A Return To Normalcy Seen In November

Experts say the return to normalcy will happen when “herd immunity” is achieved. For that to happen, they say, 70% of the population must be vaccinated. Then, of course, there are questions of how long the immunity lasts, whether the disease will recur, and so on. According to a team of researchers at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki who have developed a Covid-19 risk evaluation model, the vaccination of 70% of the population, and thus herd immunity, will be achieved in November, provided there are 1 million vaccinations per month.


[..] By the end of May, a “wall of immunity” for the most vulnerable groups – the elderly and those suffering from serious underlying diseases – will have been built, the researchers say. “[The wall] doesn’t mean complete freedom but at least means the likelihood of lockdown becomes remote,” says Dimosthenis Sarigiannis, professor of environmental engineering at Aristotle University.

Now, a year ago, there also was a lot of talk about herd immunity. But that had nothing to do with the “vaccines”, because none of them existed back then. Way back when, “herd immunity” meant that enough people had been infected, and not gotten sick. Some estimates said 20% would be enough, others said 70%. But none talked about vaccines. And now all of a sudden it’s all about vaccines? For which the companies that produce them say there is no evidence that they protect the vaccinated from getting infected, or them from infecting others? Excuse me?

There already is a huge amount of herd immunity. 90-95% of people do not get sick, period. Because they have strong enough immune systems of themselves, or because they’re young, or any combination of factors. It would seem very irresponsible to claim all of these people should be jabbed before there can be herd immunity. It’s just shoddy science, or, rather, shoddy masquerading as science.

 

 

I want to return to a topic I covered a month ago in The One Year Emergency, That is, “emergency”, and its legal implications. Much of the world lives under some State of Emergency, at least a Public Health Emergency. There appears to be a State of Emergency that allows for lockdowns and facemasks to be forced on populations, and a second State of Emergency that lets governments force PCR tests, mRNA “vaccines” and tentatively, vaccine passports upon their citizens. Or is it all the same?

First, from a Dr. David Martin piece I posted a few days ago:

The fact is that a PCR test is not going to make or not make a confirmed diagnosis of anything because PCR tests cannot confirm a diagnosis. [..] The only reason we are using PCR tests is that governors and the Department of Health and Human Services are maintaining a state of emergency. The second that that state of emergency is lifted in any state or in the country, the PCR test won’t be allowed to be used.


We’re maintaining a state of emergency so that manufacturers can keep selling a thing that would never be approved if it was subject to a clinical trial. It goes for what’s being called vaccines too. The gene therapy that Moderna and Pfizer are doing, both of those would be suspended immediately if the state of emergency got lifted. People don’t understand that if you lift the state of emergency, the whole house of cards falls.

And remember that the man who got a Nobel Prize for inventing the PCR test, Kary Mullis, repeatedly stated it should never be used for the purpose we are now using it for. Mullis died in 2019, but if he were still alive, he would most likely have been very vocal, and not in a positive sense, about what is going on today.

A few days ago, I asked a question at the Automatic Earth comments section, and received some nice replies from two responders, Doc Robinson and Herr Werner. I thought I’d share some of those. My question:

Q: In most, if not all, states/countries where the vaccines are administered, this goes through some form of Emergency Use Authorization (because they haven’t been properly tested), which is mostly only possible if there is some sort of State of Emergency. If countries now want to open up again, it would appear that they -legally- have to lift their State of Emergency. But then they can no longer allow people to be vaccinated with the vaccines, can they?

 

 

Doc Robinson: Q: …If states/countries now want to open up again, it would appear that they -legally- have to lift their State of Emergency. But then they can no longer allow people to be vaccinated with the vaccines, can they?

In the US, a Determination of Public Health Emergency is used to justify the Emergency Use Authorization of some vaccines, but travel restrictions are not necessarily required during the Public Health Emergency.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/07/2020-02496/determination-of-public-health-emergency
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/27/2020-06541/emergency-use-authorization-declaration

If there is no Public Health Emergency, then there can be no Emergency Use Authorization, and the Covid vaccines could not be widely distributed until getting FDA approval after years of testing.

Even if there is a Public Health Emergency, the Covid vaccines could not obtain Emergency Use Authorization if an effective treatment is acknowledged to be available.

With a Public Health Emergency in place, the PREP act (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19) provides liability immunity to both public and private distribution channels for the vaccines, including those who prescribe, dispense, and administer the vaccines.

“Liability immunity” means that the “covered person is immune from suit and liability under Federal and State law with respect to all claims for loss caused by, arising out of, relating to, or resulting from the administration or use of a covered countermeasure [such as a vaccine].”

In addition, “to the extent that any State law that would otherwise prohibit the employees, contractors, or volunteers who are a “qualified person” from prescribing, dispensing, or administering COVID-19 vaccines or other Covered Countermeasures, such law is preempted.”

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/02/16/2021-03106/sixth-amendment-to-declaration-under-the-public-readiness-and-emergency-preparedness-act-for-medical

 

 

Ilargi: Ok, so no travel restrictions in the US. But how about other countries, what do their laws say? Anybody looking at that? Can the government here in Greece, for example, invite tourists back in while still in a Public Health Emergency? Tourists that could bring in the very virus the emergency is meant to fight?

Also, this is of course pivotal: “Even if there is a Public Health Emergency, the Covid vaccines could not obtain Emergency Use Authorization if an effective treatment is acknowledged to be available.”

Pivotal, because no government, at least in the west, has done any widespread application of vitamin D, ivermectin or HCQ programs. Are these substances “effective”? The reason we don’t know is that although there is plenty literature to suggest they might be, they were never tested. So are the current “vaccines” effective (and safe)? We don’t know that either. There’s a big sales job going on about them, but that’s it.

 

 

Doc Robinson: In the US, the emergency declaration can be renewed. An EUA is in effect for one year, or shorter if the emergency declaration is no longer in effect. The EUA can be revoked if the criteria are no longer met (such as, the requirement that “there is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition.”)

Criteria for EUA Authorization—The FDA will issue an EUA if the FDA commissioner finds all of the following:
• The CBRN agent specified in the declaration of emergency can cause a serious or life-threatening disease or condition.
• Based on the scientific evidence available, it is reasonable to believe that the product may be effective in diagnosing, treating, or preventing the disease or condition specified in the declaration of emergency or caused by another medical product to diagnose, treat, or prevent a disease or condition caused by the specified agent.
• The known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks of the product when used to diagnose, prevent, or treat the serious or life-threatening disease or condition that is the subject of the declaration.
• There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition.


The EUA is in effect for one year from the date of issuance or for as long as the HHS secretary’s §564 emergency declaration is in effect, whichever is shorter. The emergency declaration can be renewed. The EUA can be amended and may be revoked earlier if the criteria for issuance are no longer met or revocation is appropriate to protect public health or safety.

https://astho.org/Programs/Preparedness/Public-Health-Emergency-Law/Emergency-Use-Authorization-Toolkit/Section-564-of-the-Federal-Food,-Drug,-and-Cosmetic-Act-Fact-Sheet/

 

 

Ilargi: Some story, basically: “[If] There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition.”

“Effective, adequate, approved, and available alternative..” How does one determine these terms? Especially if those alternatives are not tested?

But sure, as long as a government can waive the “Emergency” flag in your face, what are you going to do?

 

 

Doc Robinson: Yesterday, Pfizer and Moderna got their Covid vaccine EUA reissued by the FDA, and the duration of the EUA can last until the emergency declaration is “terminated.”

IV. Duration of Authorization
This EUA will be effective until the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use of drugs and biological products during the COVID-19 pandemic is terminated under Section 564(b)(2) of the Act or the EUA is revoked under Section 564(g) of the Act.

https://www.fda.gov/media/144412/download
https://www.fda.gov/media/144636/download

 

 

Ilargi: A year, and then we add on another year, and before you know it we need to look up the definition of “emergency” in a dictionary.

Then this from commenter “Herr Werner”, which is a bit long, but interesting:

 

 

Herr Werner: I have had a very straightforward question to ask about the safety of covid vaccines, in particular the mRNA ones. The question has nagged me for months, and I spent time this week working on it. It was a difficult question to answer. I wrote this up with the idea of talking within my circle of ppl, I thought the TAE community might find it of interest. Kind of long, apologies –

As I write this, over 200MM people have received covid vaccine doses. While there is more than one vaccine out there, the two available in the West currently are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. (The JnJ vaccine – based on a more conventional technology – will likely be available in early March, but going forward if you show up for the shot, you are not likely to know ahead of time which one you’ll get.) Both Pfizer and Moderna’s are based on mRNA, a topic of much study but little widespread deployment. In the US both are released on an Emergency Use Authorization or its equivalent in other nations, and full approval is not expected until early 2023. Nevertheless the media, the CDC, and political and medical “authorities” are unanimous and incessant in the message that it is “safe and effective.”

Dissenting views on safety are relegated to the fringes, and the existence of vaccines other than just the two mRNA ones (with different, more conventional modes of action) is never mentioned in the Western media. There are several promising aspects to mRNA technology, and still more unknowns about it, particularly long-term effects which most likely would manifest as autoimmune disorders. Being a new technology, early animal studies were often plagued with unexpected negative results as the methods and delivery agents were refined. So where are we in our knowledge and expertise as a species with mRNA, now that we are jabbing tens of millions of people with these vaccines?

The straightforward questions I have are, “How do we know how safe mRNA vaccines are? How well-studied are their long-term effects?”

Those two questions do not yield to an interwebs search. Even an in-depth search mostly returns mostly self-referential information, or secondhand info repackaged and parroted by an authority figure whose motives are unclear (or simply dubious.) Specifically for the covid mRNA vaccines, no long-term data exist, as even the earliest human trials began only in late 2020. At best, we can only infer from other studies done using mRNA technology. A strong case for safety of mRNA could be made if there is a large base of data – say 200 studies, ending over 5 or (better yet) 10 years ago, and a total of a few million people involved in the trials. Even with a large database, there are unknown unknowns once you move outside the confines of clinical study and enter the real world with its long (statistical) tails. Still, large studies with years of follow-up would suggest confidence in their safety.

On the other hand, if there turned out to be just a few studies, or they don’t cover much time history, or include only a small sample of people, that would not support a strong case for mRNA safety. If the latter is the case, then – being generous here – it would be “risky” at best to be giving millions of people a vaccine with this new technology. Severity matters too in the risk/reward calculation: if a disease like Ebola or Lhasa takes hold, they are so deadly and the situation so dire that greater risks are worth taking – including a vaccine with side-effects or other measures that cause harm.

My approach was to answer 3 questions that follow from the first ones –
1) HOW LONG have mRNA interventions been tested on humans?
2) HOW MANY people have been tested (thousands? millions, tens of millions?)
3) …and from 1 and 2, do THOSE numbers suggest that vaccinating large numbers of people with an unapproved mRNA product is safe?

For a starting point I used a Forbes article “What Are The Long-Term Safety Risks Of The Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 Vaccines?” It was published in Dec 2020 and, unsurprisingly, concludes that they are safe. (In fact the article leads off with a strawman, perhaps an attempt at humor, the author’s husband asking if these vaccines are going to turn us into zombies.) The author is Ellen Matloff, in her bio a certified genetic counselor, and she also runs a company that “specializes in scalable, updating, digital genetic counseling.” She is coauthor of several papers in genetics, including subjects related to gene therapy and patient advocacy. It is safe to say she knows what she’s talking about on the topic. Like many authorizes it is equally safe to assume she has a vested interest – both financially and as a personal belief system – in promoting genetic technology.

Spoiler alert: If you want to skip the rest, here’s the answer: about 1,675. That’s the number of people enrolled in (completed) mRNA clinical trials (32 of them) that ended before 2017. Keep in mind the number that received the mRNA treatment-under-study is about half that; most of these are blinded studies and half of them got a placebo. Of those, only 8 studies were conducted on an mRNA treatment against an infectious agent (HIV, rabies) a more realistic comparison which brings the number down to 985 persons. So the size of the database (hundreds) relative to the number of people now receiving doses of the technology (tens of millions) is quite small.

Matloff first discusses the Pfizer vaccine trial and its ability to identify short-term effects “Pfizer vaccine clinical trial study explain[s] that their data show a greater than 83% likelihood of finding at least one adverse, or undesirable, event, if the true incidence of that event is 1 in 10,000. However, the study does not include enough participants, nor has it followed them for enough time, to reliably detect adverse events that are rarer than 1 in 10,000.” That refers to the clinical trials conducted and self-reported by the producer of the vaccine. Assuming their studies are honest and well-run, that covers short-term risks. And it seems to be borne out thus far in the frenzy of arm-jabbing between the end of 2020 and now. We seem to be “in the clear” on short-term effects – safety seems to be on par with any other vaccine, if not a bit better. Though it does suck to be one of those few hundred (?) worldwide that reacted severely and died after the first or second jab, or someone close to them.

On long term risks, the article suggests ‘safe and effective’ though both the article and scientific evidence become decidedly hazy. In Forbes she writes “Of course, the only way to know what, if any, long-term side effects result from the use of these mRNA vaccines is to follow the participants of the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials, vaccinate and study many more people, and then follow all of them for several years. That effort is well underway.” By way of supporting the long-term knowledge, she mentions “mRNA vaccines are not as new as you may think. In fact, mRNA vaccines have been studied over the past two decades and have shown great promise for both infectious disease and cancer.” She links to several sources and particularly calls out an mRNA rabies vaccine trial to support her case. No adverse events are noted in the study. This trial involved 101 participants and ended in 2017. It is neither a large study (many participants to extrapolate the lessons out to millions of people) nor an old study (completed just four years ago.)

The rest of this analysis looks only at numbers; the number people enrolled in mRNA studies and when. This research was performed with data from the US gov’t clinical trials database. One unknown about mRNA or any vaccine is the length of time for long-term effects, if any, become evident. Pulling a number out of the air, let’s look at three years of follow up. That should be enough time for side effects, such as exposure to the infectious agent that the vaccine targets. Let’s round that up to four, that allows for lag of ending the study and publishing out results. This is Feb 2021 so I looked at studies ending before Jan 2017.

Searching on mRNA returns 103 studies. This includes all studies most of which (like the 20 Covid-related ones) are ongoing. All of those studies in total have 90,000 participants. Filtering out incomplete or terminated studies, and ones newer than that arbitrary point in time, gives 32 studies and 1,675 persons. As I mentioned above the number that received the mRNA treatment-under-study is about half that; most of these are blinded studies and half of them got a placebo. Of those, only 8 studies were conducted on an mRNA treatment against an infectious agent (HIV, rabies) a more realistic comparison which brings the number down to 985 persons. Quite a small population to draw conclusions of long-term safety from – that entails extrapolating to a population four orders of magnitude larger.

BTW my approach is admittedly coarse. And I want to emphasize, it does *not* suggest that mRNA technology is dangerous. The approach simply looks at how large the database is that supports how “safe and effective” mRNA vaccines are. Questions such as long-term follow-up, adverse events, and other factors from the individual studies are outside my area of expertise, and unlikely to be found in publicly available sources. We are vaccinating large numbers of people (tens of millions) based on an experience of small size (hundreds) and not much history (going back 1-5 years in most cases.) Again, it does not suggest that mRNA technology is dangerous – it suggests that we do not have enough data. I find insufficient evidence to support the assertion that mRNA technology is “safe and effective” – we SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW.

 

 

Ilargi: And then Doc Robinson’s reply to that:

 

 

Doc Robinson: HerrWerner: “She links to several sources and particularly calls out an mRNA rabies vaccine trial to support her case. No adverse events are noted in the study. This trial involved 101 participants and ended in 2017.”

If that’s what she wrote, then she’s not a trustworthy source of information (for whatever reasons). No adverse events?

Actually, 78% reported systemic adverse events in that trial. And 10% reported “Grade 3 events — which means the reaction is severe enough to cause hospitalization, and/or is disabling (but not immediately life threatening.)

Safety and immunogenicity of a mRNA rabies vaccine in healthy adults: an open-label, non-randomised, prospective, first-in-human phase 1 clinical trial The Lancet, September 2017
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673617316653

…we enrolled and vaccinated 101 participants... 50 (78%) of 64 intradermally vaccinated participants and 29 (78%) of 37 intramuscularly vaccinated participants reported solicited systemic adverse events, including ten grade 3 events… intradermal or intramuscular needle-syringe injection was ineffective, with only one participant (who received 320 μg intradermally) showing a detectable immune response.

 

 

1 year into the pandemic, we are still stuck with facemasks that, according to physics, appear to have very little effect. We’re stuck with lockdowns that already have destroyed millions of businesses and jobs, for not terribly obvious purposes. Does locking down entire countries or cities prevent a virus from spreading? Not that we know. Here in Athens, this has been in effect since early November, and guess what, numbers are rising again…

How can you force these kinds of things on people if you refuse to try and boost their immune systems? If the only things you do is force them to stay indoors, inarguably a riskier environment, and then tell them to take an untested “vaccine”, or else?

It makes less sense all the time, going forward. And I don’t think it’s because of some great evil plan, there are simply too many people having to make too many decisions they are not at all qualified to make. So they follow “the science”. What else do you do when you’re way out of your league? Virus? Ask a virologist, or epidemiologist. But those people cover only a very small part of the issue. They are clueless when it comes to economic apocalypse, and yet they are in charge of decisions that feed it.

Look, if you put an elephant in a circus, you have a traumatized animal. Which will somehow adapt perhaps, since there’s life around him/her, feeders, audience, and nowhere to go, but still a walking trauma. Inmates will bond with fellows to an extent, there’s life around them, but they’re still traumatized.

And now we’ve excluded millions upon millions of people from their social contacts, the life their ancestors always had, and we’re telling them that a jab of some experimental substance will make it good. Even though we all know there is no guarantee of that whatsoever. None.

We lost our way, and our heart, and your brains. We lost what it means to be human. And mRNA vaccines are not human.

 

 

Here’s another interview with PCR inventor Kary Mullis, A controversial guy, for sure, but he did invent it. And maybe that merits a listen:

Kary Mullis

 

 

 

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Feb 202021
 
 February 20, 2021  Posted by at 10:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Edward Hopper Gloucester Beach, Bass Rocks 1924

 

Infection Down 75% After First Pfizer Shot (JPost)
We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April (Makary)
Democrats Don’t Believe In Returning To ‘Normal‘ (WE)
Two Variants Have Merged Into Heavily Mutated Coronavirus (New Scientist)
Ivermectin Reduces Length Of COVID-19 Infection (JPost)
German Study: Laboratory Accident Most Likely Cause of COVID Pandemic (SPR)
Johnson & Johnson Submits Its Single-Shot Covid Vaccine To WHO (RT)
Fauci: When I Publicly Disagreed With Trump He Let Terrible Things Happen (T.)
Pfizer-BioNTech Tried To Gouge The EU With $65 Vaccine Doses (RT)
Covid or No Covid (Kunstler)
Swiss To Vote In Referendum On Government’s Covid Restrictions (FT)
China Steps Up Online Controls With New Rule For Bloggers (AP)
The Sound and the Fury of Andrew Cuomo (New Yorker)
The Texas Freeze is a Catastrophe of the Free Market (Galbraith)

 

 

 

 

Mike Ryan

 

 

Saw something in a Dutch paper. Can’t find an English version, and it has no sources. So a Google translate.

This is the first time I see a claim that the Pfizer vaccine prevents the virus from spreading, something the company itself, until recently, said it had no proof for.

What I did find in an AFP article is this, which sort of seems to deny the claim: “Gili Regev-Yochay, co-author of the study [..] said that despite the vaccine being “amazingly effective”, scientists are still studying whether fully vaccinated people can transmit the virus to others. “That is the big, big, question. We are working on it. This is not on this paper and I hope we will have some good news soon..”

The Dutch bit: “People vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are much less likely to transmit the coronavirus. That means the vaccines may not only prevent people from getting sick, but also make them much less likely to infect others, two Israeli studies show. The virus would be 89.4 percent less transmissible in vaccinated people without symptoms. In patients who do have symptoms, that percentage is even higher, at 93.7.


This is stated in a data analysis by Pfizer and the Israeli Ministry of Health.” A separate study also yielded good news. Researchers from the Sheba Medical Center concluded that 7,214 vaccinated hospital workers were much less likely to transmit the virus after 15 to 28 days. This is an 85 percent reduction in infected people with symptoms.

 

Infection Down 75% After First Pfizer Shot (JPost)

Data released by Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer on Friday showed that coronavirus infections were reduced by 75% after the first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. The data, published in the peer-reviewed Lancet medical journal, centered on a study of around 9,000 Sheba healthcare workers, around 7,000 of which received their first dose in January. Sheba’s team found a 75% decrease in all infections and an 85% reduction in symptomatic infections between 15-28 days after vaccination. According to Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the hospital’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, only 170 people became infected during the two week period. Of those who contracted the virus, 99 showed symptoms. Eighty-nine of the sick were unvaccinated.

“In real life, the data looks at least as good as in the clinical trials,” Regev-Yochay said. “The first dose is even more effective than we thought.” She said the hospital is now completing research on the impact of the second dose, which she said researchers still believe is essential. However, she noted that the research supports the British government’s decision to spread out the time between the first and second shots of the vaccine in order to inoculate more people. “This is the first study assessing effectiveness of a single vaccine dose in real life conditions and shows early effectiveness, even before the second dose was administered,” said Prof. Eyal Leshem, director of Sheba’s Travel & Tropical Medicine department.

Regev-Yochay noted that there was at least one limitation on the data – that hospital workers tend to be under the age of 65 and healthier than the rest of the population, so it is possible that less people got sick or showed symptoms for that reason.

Read more …

“Contingency planning for an open economy by April can deliver hope to those in despair and to those who have made large personal sacrifices.”

We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April (Makary)

Johns Hopkins surgeon, Dr. Marty Makary, penned an Op-ed in the WSJ this morning saying that we will have herd immunity by April. “Experts should level with the public about the good news…” exclaims Makary (who is likely on the verge of getting canceled), as he cites the “miracle” 77% drop in cases over the past 6 weeks and that testing likely only captured about 10% – 25% of infections; he extrapolates that to saying 55% of Americans have natural immunity (and add to that the 15% of Americans that have been vaccinated). Additionally, he cites Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, who believes that 250mm doses of the vaccine will have be delivered to 150mm people by the end of March.

“There is reason to think the country is racing toward an extremely low level of infection. As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected. At the current trajectory, I expect Covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life.”[..] “…the consistent and rapid decline in daily cases since Jan. 8 can be explained only by natural immunity. Behavior didn’t suddenly improve over the holidays; Americans traveled more over Christmas than they had since March. Vaccines also don’t explain the steep decline in January. Vaccination rates were low and they take weeks to kick in.”

[..] “Some medical experts privately agreed with my prediction that there may be very little Covid-19 by April but suggested that I not to talk publicly about herd immunity because people might become complacent and fail to take precautions or might decline the vaccine. But scientists shouldn’t try to manipulate the public by hiding the truth. As we encourage everyone to get a vaccine, we also need to reopen schools and society to limit the damage of closures and prolonged isolation. Contingency planning for an open economy by April can deliver hope to those in despair and to those who have made large personal sacrifices.”

Read more …

More on Dr. Makary.

Democrats Don’t Believe In Returning To ‘Normal‘ (WE)

Johns Hopkins University professor Dr. Marty Makary has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this week, asserting with confidence that the U.S. population will have achieved herd immunity against the coronavirus by April “allowing Americans to resume normal life.” That’s a nice thought, but not so fast, Makary. You’re not under the impression that even when we’re at an astonishingly low rate of infection that life will, on its own will, default to what it was pre-2020, are you? Don’t be so naive. The people calling the shots have made no such promises. They have, in fact, done the opposite. When is the last time anyone has heard the sainted Dr. Anthony Fauci or President Biden or anyone at all in the Democratic Party say anything about resuming “normal life.”? I’ll wait.

Just last month, Fauci said that even with as much as 85% of the population vaccinated by the end of the summer, we could still only expect a “degree of normality.” He said that, of course, in a tone that suggested we should be grateful, but it’s what he said. Biden, just this week, made clear that “normal” isn’t part of his vocabulary. During a town hall-style event, he said that the Christmas season might bring “a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today.” Once we’re all vaccinated, aren’t you looking forward to our “very different circumstance”? Flat-lining new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 is the immediate goal for everyone, but everyone needs to understand that Democrats have some other things in mind for the pandemic as well.

In Washington, D.C., where I live, we’ve been averaging something like three deaths per day between November and now. The typical person who succumbs to the virus is usually in his mid-70s to mid-80s. New cases are down close to 40% over the last two weeks. And for that, we remain in severe lockdown. Indoor capacity at restaurants, the owners of which have started constructing permanent outdoor seating structures, is limited to 25%. All of our museums are indefinitely closed. There are no clubs, movie theaters, or concert venues in operation. Anyone who believes it’s all going to come roaring back in April is kidding themselves. This is how Democrats believe we should live. They believe it’s better for the planet, but don’t worry, trust them to send you a monthly check to tide you over.

Herd immunity won’t get us back to normal. It will be people who decide they’ll no longer tolerate lockdowns.

Read more …

“it carries a mutation making it resistant to some antibodies..”

Two Variants Have Merged Into Heavily Mutated Coronavirus (New Scientist)

Two variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes covid-19 have combined their genomes to form a heavily mutated hybrid version of the virus. The “recombination” event was discovered in a virus sample in California, provoking warnings that we may be poised to enter a new phase of the pandemic. The hybrid virus is the result of recombination of the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant discovered in the UK and the B.1.429 variant that originated in California and which may be responsible for a recent wave of cases in Los Angeles because it carries a mutation making it resistant to some antibodies.

The recombinant was discovered by Bette Korber at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, who told a meeting organised by the New York Academy of Sciences on 2 February that she had seen “pretty clear” evidence of it in her database of US viral genomes. If confirmed, the recombinant would be the first to be detected in this pandemic. In December and January, two research groups independently reported that they hadn’t seen any evidence of recombination, even though it has long been expected as it is common in coronaviruses. Unlike regular mutation, where changes accumulate one at a time, which is how variants such as B.1.1.7 arose, recombination can bring together multiple mutations in one go.

Most of the time, these don’t confer any advantage to the virus, but occasionally they do. Recombination can be of major evolutionary importance, according to François Balloux at University College London. It is considered by many to be how SARS-CoV-2 originated. Recombination could lead to the emergence of new and even more dangerous variants, although it isn’t yet clear how much of a threat this first recombination event might pose. Korber has only seen a single recombinant genome among thousands of sequences and it isn’t clear whether the virus is being transmitted from person to person or is just a one-off.

Read more …

Baby steps, but something.

Ivermectin Reduces Length Of COVID-19 Infection (JPost)

An Israeli tropical-disease expert says he has new proof that a drug used to fight parasites in third-world countries could help reduce the length of infection for people who contract coronavirus. Prof. Eli Schwartz, founder of the Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Disease at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, last week completed a clinical trial of the US Food and Drug Administration-approved drug ivermectin, a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent that has also been shown to fight viruses. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 100 people with mild to moderate cases of the disease who were not hospitalized for the virus. It tested whether ivermectin could shorten the viral shedding period, allowing them to test negative for coronavirus and leave isolation in only a few days.


According to his still unpublished data, Schwartz said the drug was shown to help “cure” people of the virus within just six days. Moreover, the chances of testing negative for coronavirus were three times higher for the group who received ivermectin than the placebo, he told The Jerusalem Post. “From a public-health point of view, the majority of patients with corona are mild cases, and 90% of these people are isolated outside of the hospital,” Schwartz said. “If you have any kind of drug that can shorten the duration of the infectiousness of these patients, that would be dramatic, as then they will not infect others.” Moreover, instead of isolating for a minimum of 10 days and maybe more, this period could be shortened, benefiting the economy. Finally, although Schwartz’s study did not focus on this, he said the results indicate that it is likely if the drug were given at the beginning of one’s illness, it could prevent deterioration and hospitalization.

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Full study via the link.

German Study: Laboratory Accident Most Likely Cause of COVID Pandemic (SPR)

For more than a year, the coronavirus has been causing a worldwide crisis. In a study, nanoscientist Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger has now shed light on the origin of the virus. He concludes that both the number and quality of the circumstantial evidence point to a laboratory accident at the virological institute in the city of Wuhan as the cause of the current pandemic. The study was conducted between January 2020 and December 2020. It is based on an interdisciplinary scientific approach and extensive research using a wide variety of information sources. These include scientific literature, articles in print and online media, and personal communication with international colleagues. It does not provide strictly scientific evidence, but it does provide ample and serious circumstantial evidence:

• Unlike previous coronavirus-related epidemics such as SARS and MERS, to date, well over a year after the outbreak of the current pandemic, no intermediate host animal has been identified that could have facilitated the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 pathogens from bats to humans. Therefore, the zoonotic theory as a possible explanation for the pandemic has no sound scientific basis.

• The SARS-CoV-2 viruses are surprisingly good at coupling to human cell receptors and penetrating human cells. This is made possible by special cell receptor binding domains combined with a special (furin) cleavage site of the coronavirus spike protein. Both properties together were previously unknown in coronaviruses and indicate a non-natural origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen.

• Bats were not offered at the suspected fish market in the center of Wuhan city. However, the Wuhan City Virological Institute has one of the world’s largest collections of bat pathogens, which originated from distant caves in southern Chinese provinces. It is extremely unlikely that bats from this distance of nearly 2,000 km would have naturally made their way to Wuhan, only to cause a global pandemic in close proximity to this virological institute.

• A research group at the Wuhan City Virological Institute has been genetically manipulating coronaviruses for many years with the goal of making them more contagious, dangerous and deadly to humans. This has been documented in the scientific literature by numerous publications.

• Significant safety deficiencies existed at the Wuhan City Virological Institute even before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which have been documented.

• There are numerous direct references to a laboratory origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen. For example, a young female scientist at the virology institute in Wuhan is believed to have been the first to become infected. There are also numerous indications that as early as October 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen spread from the virological institute to the city of Wuhan and beyond. Furthermore, there are indications that the virological institute was investigated by the Chinese authorities in the first half of October 2019.

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Late to the game?

Johnson & Johnson Submits Its Single-Shot Covid Vaccine To WHO (RT)

Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson has submitted data on its coronavirus vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) as it seeks the agency’s greenlight for emergency use. Unlike other shots, this one comes in a single dose. The emergency-use approval is a prerequisite for the vaccine joining the WHO-led COVAX watchdog program, J&J said in a statement on Friday, revealing it had submitted its paperwork to the UN health body. Unlike vaccine competitors already in the Covid-fighting market, the J&J offering comes in a single-dose form, which would make its distribution considerably easier. Moreover, it can be stored under standard refrigerator temperatures, making it an attractive option for countries with less-developed infrastructure.


While Russia’s Sputnik V, British-Swedish AstraZeneca and China’s CoronaVac vaccines can be stored in regular fridges as well, both of the US jabs by Moderna and Pfizer require extremely low temperatures to prevent spoilage. Pfizer said on Friday, however, that it had sufficient data to show its jab can actually be safely stored in a refrigerator and not the extreme cold currently advised. Johnson and Johnson published data on the late-stage trials of its vaccine last month, with the solution showing a rather modest efficacy of 66 percent. The vaccine was tested across several countries and showed mixed results ranging from 72 percent in the US to merely 57 percent in South Africa. [..] Apart from seeking the WHO’s approval, the J&J vaccine is also expected to enter the US market shortly. The solution is currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration, with its experts expected to discuss its emergency use authorization next week.

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I see Nobel Prize AND Oscar material:

“By the time Biden took office, the pandemic was raging out of control. ‘Oh my goodness, it was,’ Fauci says. ‘When President Biden walked into the White House we were having 300,000 to 400,000 cases per day, 4,000 deaths per day, and our hospitals were on the brink of being overrun.’”

On Jan 18, the US had 150,695 new cases.
On Jan 19, the US had 176,153 new cases.
On Jan 20, the US had 191.222 new cases.

Fauci: When I Publicly Disagreed With Trump He Let Terrible Things Happen (T.)

He appears surprisingly relaxed given his immense responsibilities at this time of crisis, but then it takes a lot to faze Dr Fauci. The evergreen director of Washington’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has been a medical adviser to seven consecutive US presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan, steering them and his country through outbreaks of Ebola, Sars, Zika, avian flu, swine flu and the threat of biological weapons after 9/11. He was one of the first scientists to spot the lethal new syndrome that was Aids in the early 1980s. He was initially reviled by a gay community outraged at the Reagan administration’s apparent indifference to its decimation, then hailed as a hero after championing its cause.

Most recently, during almost all of 2020, he watched in horror as President Trump actively undermined his own government’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic by holding mass rallies, mocking mask wearers, promoting quack remedies and encouraging his supporters to breach lockdowns. Fauci does not consider this characterisation of Trump’s conduct unfair. ‘No, no, no,’ he says. ‘Unfortunately it’s the truth.’ Donald Trump was initially sceptical of the threat from Covid-19, but Fauci and his fellow scientists did manage to persuade him to back state-by-state lockdowns, and approve social-distancing measures. He also restricted Chinese visitors to the country. By the spring, however, Fauci’s relations with the president had soured as Trump began listening to outsiders with no scientific knowledge and fretting about the damage to the economy and – by extension – his re-election hopes.

Fauci’s challenge was to correct the president’s dangerous falsehoods as diplomatically as possible, often while sharing the stage with him at televised White House briefings, but he says that ‘when it became clear that in order to maintain my integrity and to get the right message [across] I had to publicly disagree with him, he did things – or allowed things to happen – that were terrible. ‘Like he allowed Peter Navarro [Trump’s trade adviser] to write an editorial in USA Today saying that almost everything I’ve ever said was wrong. He allowed the communications department of the White House to send out a list to all of the media, all of the networks, all of the cables, all of the print press, about all of the mistakes I’ve made, which was absolute nonsense because there were no mistakes.’

Trump also began to denigrate Fauci in tweets and press conferences, setting him up as a target for the extreme Right’s hatred. ‘Which I became, to the point that to this day I have to have armed federal agents guarding me all the time,’ Fauci says. And he was not the only target. To his dismay, his wife and three adult daughters were also harassed and threatened. Liberated under President Biden, Fauci can now speak frankly in a way he couldn’t last year. He tells me that in the final two months of his presidency Trump almost completely abandoned his duty to protect the nation from the pandemic. ‘We [the scientists] were trying, but we were acting almost alone, in the sense of without any direction.’

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“..500 million doses would have cost the EU €3 billion more than the annual GDP of Iceland.”

Pfizer-BioNTech Tried To Gouge The EU With $65 Vaccine Doses (RT)

Drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech wanted to charge the EU Commission €54.08 per dose of their Coronavirus vaccine, according to German media reports. The jab would have cost more than 20 times that of a rival shot from AstraZeneca. The prospective price tag was revealed on Thursday by German broadcasters NDR and WDR, and the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The paper claims that Pfizer and BioNTech submitted a bid to the EU offering 500 million doses at €54.08 ($65.58) per dose, for a total cost of €27 billion ($32.74 billion). At €54.08, the BioNTech vaccine would have cost more than 20 times as much as the rival vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and 500 million doses would have cost the EU €3 billion more than the annual GDP of Iceland.

In comparison, Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine was expected to be priced at no more than $10 (€8.26), according to its backers. “I see it as a pursuit of profit that is in no way justified in the current situation of the pandemic,” Wolf Dieter Ludwig, drug chairman of the German Medical Association, told the newspaper. Pfizer-BioNTech has made no profit on the sale of vaccines, according to the Suddeutsche Zeitung, and during negotiations last year reportedly told EU officials that the €54.08 price tag already included “the highest percentage discount” offered to any developed country. The final cost per dose of the vaccine is still unknown, though a document leaked by Belgian MP Eva De Bleeker in December suggested that Pfizer-BioNTech had been bargained down to €12 ($14.55).

Reuters later stated that it had reviewed documents showing the price at €15.50 ($18.79) per dose, “slightly lower than the $19.50 per shot the United States agreed to pay for a first shipment of 100 million doses of the same vaccine.”

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“..$1.5 billion is chump change for the charismatic Elon Musk, whose share of the American GDP can be seen from outer space, like the Great Wall of China.”

Covid or No Covid (Kunstler)

Covid-19 cases are going down fast across the country. If it actually goes away, imagine the giant hole left in the national narrative. No more arguments over lockdowns, kids could go back to school to learn about the scourge of whiteness, and Americans could see each other’s faces again. The “progressives” in power would have to hunt up some new reasons to cancel the bill of rights. That shouldn’t be too difficult for a party adept at making shit up. Right wing extremism would be my bet, even if Antifa and BLM go back to partying in the streets like it’s 2020 when the weather warms up. What won’t go away is the nation’s fantastic economic mess.

In just a few months since Thanksgiving, the financial system has gone through an epic shift, barely noticed by citizens preoccupied with unpaid bills, skipped rents, and empty refrigerators: the stock markets are now based on Bitcoin, which is to say on less than nothing. A whole new dynamic has emerged with publicly-held companies buying the stuff hand-over-fist. An outfit like Tesla, rumored to manufacture electric cars, invested $1.5 billion in the crypto-currency, which has shot up to over $50,000-a-coin in recent weeks. The move was so splendidly shrewd that Tesla’s stock price also shot up, though they don’t make a profit on those cool cars. Of course, $1.5 billion is chump change for the charismatic Elon Musk, whose share of the American GDP can be seen from outer space, like the Great Wall of China.

Other companies are buying Bitcoin on margin, taking advantage of super-low interest rates to make a fast killing. What a great idea! Even better than borrowing to buy back your own company’s stock to jack-up the share value. Don’t be surprised if half of the S & P jumps into the Bitcoin frenzy, bidding it up to six figures. Won’t that do wonders for US productivity and working-class wages? None of that will escape the attention of a “progressive” Congress, which will see a great opportunity to try to compensate for its fiscal profligacy by passing new taxes on “excess wealth” or “windfall profits.” Then, watch the rush-to-the-exits by shareholders in those companies that loaded up on Bitcoin, aggravated by the margin calls on the dough they borrowed to buy the stuff… as well as Bitcoin itself plummeting back to its actual true value: around zero.

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Clincher: the vote is scheduled for “as early as” June.

Swiss To Vote In Referendum On Government’s Covid Restrictions (FT)

Swiss campaigners have triggered a referendum to strip the government of new legal powers to impose lockdowns and curtail public life as the country battles the pandemic. Campaign group Friends of the Constitution on Wednesday handed in a petition of 86,000 signatures collected over the past three months — well in excess of the 50,000 required — to formally initiate a nationwide vote to repeal the 2020 Covid-19 Act under Switzerland’s highly devolved democratic system. The outcome will be legally binding, with a vote scheduled for as early as June. While the pandemic has exposed social and political fractures across Europe over the rights of citizens, in Switzerland — where individuals’ rights are often treated as culturally sacrosanct and government powers are sharply proscribed by law — the strains have become particularly evident.

“In our opinion, the [government] is taking advantage of the pandemic to introduce more control and less democracy,” Christoph Pfluger, a board member of Friends of the Constitution, told the Financial Times. He added: “The long-term problems that will arise from this kind of approach will be grave. We are a movement that says crisis management cannot be done without the will of the sovereign — the people. You cannot govern without the people.” Mr Pfluger said Switzerland would be the first and perhaps the only country to give its citizens a direct vote on coronavirus restrictions. Until late December, Bern’s governing Federal Council had been reluctant to impose restrictions during the second wave of the pandemic.

Staunch opposition from many Swiss to further curbs and dire warnings from several of the country’s most powerful and influential lobbying groups about the economic consequences of another shutdown forestalled action in the run-up to Christmas, even as case numbers rocketed. A poll conducted by Switzerland’s Sotomo Research Institute for state broadcaster SRF in November found that 55 per cent of Swiss were concerned about their individual freedoms being restricted by government measures. The same survey found that even an 11pm curfew for bars and restaurants was considered too restrictive by a third of Swiss respondents.

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Just like Twitter, Facebook.

China Steps Up Online Controls With New Rule For Bloggers (AP)

Ma Xiaolin frequently wrote about current affairs on one of China’s leading microblogging sites, where he has 2 million followers. But recently, he said in a post, the Weibo site called and asked him not to post original content on topics ranging from politics to economic and military issues. “As an international affairs researcher and a columnist, it looks like I can only go the route of entertainment, food and beverage now,” the international relations professor wrote on Jan. 31. Ma, who often posted on developments in the Mideast, is one of many popular influencers working within the constraints of China’s heavily censored web who is finding that their space to speak is shrinking even further with the latest policy changes and a clean-up campaign run by the country’s powerful censors,


Beginning next week, the Cyberspace Administration of China will require bloggers and influencers to have a government-approved credential before they can publish on a wide range of subjects. Some fear that only state media and official propaganda accounts will get permission. While permits have been needed since at least 2017 to write about topics such as political and military affairs, enforcement has not been widespread. The new rules expand that requirement to health, economics, education and judicial matters. “The regulators want to control the entire procedure of information production,” said Titus Chen, an expert in Chinese social media policy at National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan.

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Chilling. Scorsese.

The Sound and the Fury of Andrew Cuomo (New Yorker)

Last week, Ron Kim, a Democratic State Assembly member from Queens, was preparing a bath for his three daughters—ages six, four, and two—when he got a call from the governor around 8 p.m. An hour earlier, the New York Post had published leaked details of a Zoom meeting between state Democratic lawmakers and Melissa DeRosa, one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s closest aides. During the two-hour meeting, DeRosa seemed to confirm a suspicion that a number of lawmakers had had for months: the governor had intentionally withheld from them data confirming that thousands more New York nursing-home residents died from covid-19 than official numbers publicly showed. The lawmakers demanded an explanation, and DeRosa offered them one: last year, the Cuomo administration had been worried that Donald Trump and his Justice Department would use the numbers “against us.” “Basically, we froze,” DeRosa told the Democrats.

Kim, who has been a persistent critic of Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, was in the meeting with DeRosa. A month earlier, he had become the chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Aging, and once the recording of the call leaked, the Post had reached out for comment. Kim told the reporters that, to him, DeRosa’s comments were as bad as they looked—“They were trying to dodge having any incriminating evidence,” he said—a quote that the governor’s office had tried to get Kim to retract. But the quote had stayed in, the story was up, and now the governor was on the phone, fuming. “I will destroy you!” Cuomo screamed, according to notes Kim wrote down after the call—which he shared with me. The governor was so loud that Kim’s wife and daughters grew upset, and Kim stepped out of the bathroom. “You haven’t seen my wrath,” Cuomo told him. “I will go out tomorrow and start telling the world how bad of an Assembly member you are, and you will be finished.”

For Kim, the nursing-home issue was personal as well as political. In April, his uncle Son Kim died, of a suspected case of covid-19, in a nursing home in Queens. He was seventy-eight, and had shaped his nephew’s life. Son Kim had become a dentist at a time when it was almost impossible for a Korean immigrant to set up a dental practice in New York City. He enlisted in the Army, in which he could practice his profession, and eventually sponsored Ron and his family’s visas to the U.S.; in 1987, when Ron was seven, his uncle, a staunch Republican, chose a new American name for him, in honor of President Ronald Reagan. Despite the personal loss, Kim told Cuomo that he’d tried to keep his disagreements about the governor’s pandemic policies on the level of policy. I bit my tongue, Kim said. “I bit my tongue!” Cuomo shot back.

Neither Kim nor his wife slept that night. “I’m trying to calm her down,” Kim told me. Cuomo kept up the pressure through the weekend. That Saturday, Cuomo’s aides and other intermediaries called Kim, trying to get him to talk to the governor. “It’s Lunar New Year—I’m with my family,” Kim told me. “I felt extremely uncomfortable.” Kim believes that Cuomo was trying to silence him. “I realized if I changed course, I’m complicit,” Kim said. “And then, politically, he owns me.” Kim hired a lawyer, to whom he directed any further communications about the issue from the governor’s office. “Ultimately, what he was trying to do was asking me to lie about what I heard,” Kim said, of Cuomo. “It’s like I witnessed a crime, and they’re asking me to say I didn’t witness a crime.”

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“In the aftermath of this debacle, we will return to New Deal-style municipal socialism, or this disaster of power, water, and gas will happen again. Socialism is government, in technical matters, by engineers and others who know their stuff and not by ideologues who do not. Compared to Texas right now, it’s not such a bad prospect.”

The Texas Freeze is a Catastrophe of the Free Market (Galbraith)

Competition would assure bare-bones, lean-and-mean efficiency, and low, low prices most of the time, reflecting the cost of fuel plus the smallest possible profit margin. The role of the state would be minimal – just to manage the common grid, through which power flows from the producer to the consumer. In times of shortage, prices might rise, but then the market would decide; those who did not wish to pay could always flip their switches off. It was a perfect textbook setup, with supply on one side, demand on the other, and a neutral manager in between. True, there were a few loose ends. One is that demand for electricity is what economists call inelastic: it doesn’t respond much to price, but it does respond to changes in the weather, and at such times, of heat or cold, the demand becomes even more inelastic.

Another detail was that in an ordinary market, there can be some play in the relationship between supply and demand. If even a fishmonger does not sell his catch, he can, at the end of the day, cut his price – or even freeze the haddock for the following day. Electricity isn’t like that. Supply has to exactly equal demand every single minute of every single day. If it doesn’t, the entire system can fail. This system, therefore, had three vulnerabilities. First, it created an incentive for cut-throat competition, to provide power in the cheapest possible way, which meant with machinery, wells, meters, pipes, and also windmills that were not insulated against extreme cold – a rarity but not unknown, even in Texas. Second, it left prices free to fluctuate. Third, it assured that when prices rose the most, that would be at exactly those moments when the demand for power was the greatest.

In 2002, under Governor Rick Perry, Texas deregulated its electricity system. After a few years, the electrical free market, managed by a non-profit called ERCOT, was fully-established. Some seventy or so providers eventually sprung up. While a few cities – including Austin – kept their public power, they were nevertheless tied to the state system. The market system could, and did, work out most of the time. Prices rose and fell, and customers who didn’t sign long-term contracts faced some risk. One provider, called Griddy, had a special model: for $9.99 a month you could get your power at whatever the wholesale price was on any given day. That was cheap! Most of the time.

The problem with “most of the time” is that people need electric power all of the time. And Texas’s leaders knew as of 2011, at least, when the state went through a short, severe freeze, that the system was radically unstable in extreme weather. But they did nothing. To do something, they would have had to regulate the system. And they didn’t want to regulate the system, because the providers, a rich source of campaign funding, didn’t want to be regulated and to have to spend on weatherization that was not needed – most of the time. In 2020, even voluntary inspections were suspended, due to Covid-19.

Enter the deep freeze of 2021. Demand went up. Supply went down. Natural gas froze up at the wells, in the pipes, and at the generating plants. Unweatherized windmills also went off-line, a small part of the story. Since Texas is disconnected from the rest of the country, no reserves could be imported, and given the cold everywhere, there would have been none available anyway. There came a point, on Sunday, February 14 or the next day, when demand so outstripped supply that the entire Texas grid came within minutes of a collapse that, we are told, would have taken months to repair.

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