Feb 032022
 


James McNeill Whistler Arrangement in Pink, Red and Purple 1883-4

 

Deliberate Infections Give Unique Covid Insight (BBC)
Letter From NHS Clinical Scientist Who is Quitting Over the Covid Vaccines (DS)
Has The Red Carpet Been Rolled Out For A Mainstream Pivot On Ivermectin? (QTR)
New Zealand To End Quarantine Stays And Reopen Its Borders (Fox)
US Truckers Got Booted Off Of Facebook (Kirsch)
Facebook Stock In Free-fall (RT)
Ukraine Invasion No Longer ‘Imminent’ – White House (RT)
Russia Condemns Destructive US Troops Boost In Europe (BBC)
America’s Putin Psychosis (Ritter)
Don’t Blame Putin for Europe’s Energy Crisis (FP)
Why Is Trust In Media Plummeting? Just Look At What’s Happening At CNN (G.)
World Leaders Support Joe Rogan (RT)
MPs Push For Julian Assange To Be Granted Political Asylum In France (EN)

 

 

 

 

PCR “We have built this crisis with this new definition of “cases”.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1488981740303572993

 

 

The 10 billion, 90%-efficacy vaccine shots have caused the noticeable trend break downwards.

 

 

Bunch of idiots

 

 

 

 

ADP predicts huge job losses. Watch tomorrow.

Dave Collum: ”The job market is not tight, it’s broken.”

 

 

1/ The fact that Imperial College did such a study tells you they KNEW no-one was going to die. You can’t take that risk, even if they volunteer. 2/ It was an early version of the virus, which a/ no longer exists, and b/ was 10-100x more lethal than Omicron. And they still already knew there would be no deaths.

Deliberate Infections Give Unique Covid Insight (BBC)

The world’s first Covid “challenge trial” – which deliberately infected people – gives a unique view on the early stages of the disease. The virus was given to 36 young, healthy and unvaccinated volunteers, at the Royal Free hospital, in London. The results show where and when the virus takes hold in the body – and that some resist the infection. Future challenge trials could help find the next generation of Covid vaccines and drugs. They allow scientists to study the earliest stages of an infection, even before symptoms develop. Each of the volunteers, aged 18-30, had an identical dose of Covid – equivalent to the amount in a single droplet propelled out of somebody’s nose during the peak of their Covid infection – squirted up their nose. But only half of them became infected.

And understanding how the others – unvaccinated and without immunity from previous infections – resisted the virus will be the focus of future research. In those that did develop an infection, the virus took off rapidly, the first symptoms and positive test results appearing within just 42 hours. The previous consensus had been it took five days from exposure to the virus to first symptoms. And while the virus takes a foothold in the throat, the greatest amount was found when it moved up to the nose, leading the researchers to stress the importance of facemasks covering both. “It’s a really unique study,” Prof Christopher Chiu, from the Institute of Infection, at Imperial College London, said.

The amount of virus peaked about five days after the infection and remained detectable up to 12 days later. Symptoms were mild but some volunteers had a prolonged loss of their sense of smell. Prof Chiu said: “Lateral flow tests correlate very well with the presence of infectious virus. “Even though in the first day or two they may be less sensitive, if you use them correctly and repeatedly, and act on them if they read positive, this will have a major impact on interrupting viral spread.” The virus used was an early variant taken from a patient at the start of the pandemic. Further studies will explore more recent versions.

Read more …

The damage to healthcare will last for a long time.

“.. I know which doctors I will trust when all this is over.”

Letter From NHS Clinical Scientist Who is Quitting Over the Covid Vaccines (DS)

“[..] a letter from an NHS Clinical Scientist of some 25 years – currently employed at an NHS University Hospital Trust but who has just resigned – to Health Secretary Sajid Javid to tell him why she is quitting over the complicity of the health service in the national scandal that is the Covid vaccine rollout.”

A core principle in healthcare is to ensure that patients are given free access to all information, to enable them to make a proper and informed choice about any treatment. As a scientist, I have been and still am gravely concerned about the Government and NHS misrepresentation of these vaccines as ‘safe and effective’ – a mantra still promoted by our Government and media, despite the overwhelming evidence demonstrating otherwise of the MHRA Yellow Card scheme and worldwide databases for reporting adverse effects. Worryingly, the great majority of GPs have not being raising awareness of this scheme, leading to significant under-reporting and, consequently, under-estimation of the actual situation.

I personally have spoken to people who, after experiencing bad reactions to the first dose, have been encouraged by doctors to continue regardless and take the second, with serious consequences for their health. They had never heard of the MHRA Yellow Card scheme and wouldn’t know how to make a report. Misinformation starts from the seniors: I have been told (in writing) by Human Resources senior staff at my hospital that that vaccines have been “licensed”, genuinely oblivious to the fact that MHRA has granted only emergency approval. I have been appalled by the NHS willingness to trample over the concept of personalised medicine in the promotion of products still in phase three trials. There has been no stratified analysis of the balance of risks and benefits.

No scientific reference to real data from the pandemic statistics nor to those of the adverse effects – deaths and life-limiting injuries – reported globally. No mention of the unavailability of medium and long term safety data, which may not be relevant for the elderly but it certainly is for the young. No information about alternative treatments. This is not the NHS I joined and embraced. Primum non nocere: first, do no harm. Equally important is the right to bodily autonomy, including the right to refuse any treatment or medication. Enshrined in law for the protection of all human beings, this core principle extends to everybody, patients and healthcare staff alike. The Government mandate, offering NHS workers the alternative between taking an experimental product against their best judgement or lose their livelihood, can hardly be portrayed as ‘free choice’.

I hope it is clear that the motivation of NHS staff across all professions in resisting this coercion is founded on ethical grounds. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, clinical scientists – we all feel that our integrity would be compromised, that the fundamental principle of trust, at the core of our unique relationship with the patients we serve, would be irreparably transgressed; and that this erosion of professional ethics would carry the inherent danger of establishing coercion as an acceptable practice in future, with NHS staff imposing procedures on patients against their will – the victim becoming the perpetrator. From a patient prospective, I know which doctors I will trust when all this is over.

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“Duh, of course ivermectin works and we’ve known it all along, it just doesn’t work as well as [insert big pharma drug here]”

Has The Red Carpet Been Rolled Out For A Mainstream Pivot On Ivermectin? (QTR)

I couldn’t help but think when this Japanese study popped up yesterday that the timing sure would be convenient now for the mainstream media to start a pivot on ivermectin. Now that Moderna has received official FDA approval for its vaccine and Pfizer is happily seeking Emergency Use Authorization to jab kids as young as 6 months – and now that major drug manufacturers have had their antiviral Covid pills approved – maybe it can finally be time to pump the brakes on the ivermectin hysteria and allow the truth and reason to nudge their way in. In other words, the fat pigs are finally finished stuffing their gluttonous faces at the trough of the FDA, stocked with newly-printed U.S. dollars.

Unable to physically consume anymore, and noticing that all but a few molecules of feed are even left, they can now reluctantly relinquish their positions at the front of the line and waddle away, leaving the rest of the animals a chance to squabble over the remains. All of the major pharmaceutical companies (and their lobbyists) finally getting the approvals that they want for all of their Covid drugs may roll out the red carpet for us to finally embrace reality and the truth, which I believe is that ivermectin has efficacy. What we’re seeing now in the media is a massive pivot regarding Covid. With the emergence of omicron and many geographic locations around the world lifting their Covid restrictions – and most notably politicians understanding they can’t win an election by locking us in our home [..] the media pivot on Covid has been pronounced since 2022 began.

And not unlike the pivot we’ve already seen on the lab leak and whether or not vaccines would end the virus, I’m expecting we see a similar pivot on ivermectin. Of course, I could be wrong. I don’t mind being wrong. I exist on the fringe, as my readers know. In the words of Peter Venkman: “If I’m wrong, nothing happens! We go to jail – peacefully, quietly. We’ll enjoy it!” But if I’m not…and the narrative on ivermectin does in fact change to wind up as “Duh, of course ivermectin works and we’ve known it all along, it just doesn’t work as well as [insert big pharma drug here]” everybody responsible for suppressing over the last 2 years needs to be held accountable for what, in my opinion, may wind up amounting to crimes against humanity.

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Pointless and endless.

New Zealand To End Quarantine Stays And Reopen Its Borders (Fox)

New Zealand’s government on Thursday said it will end its quarantine requirements for incoming travelers and reopen its borders, a change welcomed by thousands of citizens abroad who have endured long waits to return home. Since the start of the pandemic, New Zealand has enacted some of the world’s strictest border controls. Most incoming travelers need to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel room run by the military, a requirement that has created a bottleneck at the border. The measures were initially credited with saving thousands of lives and allowed New Zealand to eliminate or control several outbreaks of the coronavirus.

But, increasingly, the border controls have been viewed as out-of-step in a world where the virus is becoming endemic, and in a country where the omicron variant is already spreading. The bottleneck forced many New Zealanders abroad to enter a lottery-style system to try and secure a spot in quarantine and passage home. The shortcomings of the system were highlighted over the past week by pregnant New Zealand journalist Charlotte Bellis, who was stranded in Afghanistan after New Zealand officials initially rejected her application to return home to give birth. After international publicity, officials backed down and offered her a spot in quarantine, which she has accepted.

The border changes mean that vaccinated New Zealanders returning from Australia will no longer need to go into quarantine from the end of this month, and vaccinated New Zealanders returning from the rest of the world can skip quarantine by mid-March. They will still be required to isolate at home. However, most tourists will need to wait until October before they can enter the country without a quarantine stay. And anybody who isn’t vaccinated will still be required to go through quarantine.

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Why does Facebook need to get into this?

US Truckers Got Booted Off Of Facebook (Kirsch)

I just got off the phone with Brian Brase who is organizing the US truckers. He’ll be on the VSRF call tomorrow (register at vacsafety.org). They got kicked off of Facebook because Facebook said they violated their QAnon policy. I suggested Substack and Brian said, “What’s that?” So I suggested I might be able to help them find a group of people who could run the IT for them to provide the truckers and their supporters a way to communicate. If you have both the time and expertise to do this, please volunteer using this form and we’ll get these guys re-platformed ASAP.

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They lost $200 billion in market cap overnight.

Facebook Stock In Free-fall (RT)

Shares of Facebook’s parent company Meta went into a nosedive after the markets closed on Wednesday, following an underwhelming quarterly report, the first since CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the name change. The stock stood strong at $323 a share when the markets closed at 4 pm EST, but collapsed to $249 just half an hour later, for a loss of almost 23%. In just the first eleven minutes of after-hours trading, $16 billion in Meta’s market cap had been wiped out. What triggered the sell-off was Meta’s quarterly report showing lower revenue, earnings per share, and the numbers of daily and monthly active users than expected by investors.


Whereas the investors expected around $30.15 billion, Facebook’s figures showed $27-$29 billion, CNBC reported, citing a Refinitiv survey of market analysts. According to the same source, earnings per share came in at $3.67, short of the expected $3.84. The number of daily active users (DAU) stood at 1.93 billion, less than the expected 1.95 billion, while the monthly active users (MAU) also undershot the 2.95 expectation, ending up at 2.91 billion, according to Street Account. This is the first quarterly report since Zuckerberg announced his social media behemoth would be changing its name to Meta, to better represent its focus on the upcoming “metaverse” and encompass the existing Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp brands.

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Awkward walk back.

Ukraine Invasion No Longer ‘Imminent’ – White House (RT)

The US government is no longer using the word ‘imminent’ in its narrative around the alleged Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, on Wednesday, explaining that it was sending an unintended message. “I used it once. I think others have used that once, and we stopped using it because I think it sent a message that we weren’t intending to send, which was that we knew that President Putin had made a decision,” Psaki said at a press briefing. “I would say the vast majority of times I’ve talked about it, I’ve said he could invade ‘at any time,’” she added. Psaki’s remarks come after the US envoy to the UN backtracked from the use of ‘imminent’ in an interview with NPR aired on Tuesday.


“No, I would not say that we are arguing that it’s imminent,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the broadcaster. The official transcript of Psaki’s January 25 briefing says otherwise, however. Asked whether the Russian invasion of Ukraine – which the US media and intelligence agencies have claimed since late October would happen any day now – was still “imminent,” here’s what Psaki had to say. “When we said it was imminent, it remains imminent,” she told one reporter. “Well, ‘imminent’ has a pretty intense meaning. Doesn’t it?” she said in answer to the very next question. “And it’s still the belief that it’s imminent?” was the followup, to which Psaki replied, “Correct.”

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3,000 troops vs 130,000 Russia?!

Russia Condemns Destructive US Troops Boost In Europe (BBC)

Russia has condemned a US decision to send extra troops to Europe to support its Nato allies amid continuing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moscow said it was a “destructive” step which heightened tension and reduced the scope for a political solution. The Pentagon said 2,000 US troops would be sent from North Carolina to Poland and Germany, and a further 1,000 already in Germany would go to Romania. Russia has some 100,000 troops near Ukraine. It denies planning to invade. The tensions come eight years after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula and backed a bloody rebellion in the eastern Donbas region.


Moscow accuses the Ukrainian government of failing to implement the Minsk agreement – an international deal to restore peace to the east, where Russian-backed rebels control swathes of territory and at least 14,000 people have been killed since 2014. Responding to US President Joe Biden’s decision to deploy extra troops to Europe this week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said it was a “destructive” and an “unjustified” step. Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Grushko added that it would “delight” the Ukrainian authorities, who would continue sabotaging the Minsk agreement “with impunity”. The Pentagon earlier said the American troops being deployed would not fight in Ukraine – but would ensure the defence of Washington’s allies. Their deployment is in addition to the 8,500 troops the Pentagon put on alert last month to be ready to deploy to Europe if needed.

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“They said one thing, they did another,” Putin said. “As people say, they screwed us over, well they simply deceived us.”

America’s Putin Psychosis (Ritter)

The war of words between Russia and the United States over Ukraine escalated further on Tuesday as Russian President Vladimir Putin responded for the first time to the U.S. written reply to Russia’s demands for security guarantees that were expressed in the form of a pair of draft treaties submitted by Moscow to the U.S. and NATO in December. “It is already clear…that the fundamental Russian concerns were ignored. We did not see an adequate consideration of our three key requirements,” Putin said at a press conference that followed his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow.

Putin said the U.S. had failed to give “adequate consideration of our three key demands regarding NATO expansion, the renunciation of the deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders, and the return of the [NATO] bloc’s military infrastructure in Europe to the state of 1997, when the Russia-NATO founding act was signed.” He detailed what he alleged was NATO’s long history of deception, re-emphasizing the 1990 verbal commitment by former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker that NATO would not expand “an inch” eastward. “They said one thing, they did another,” Putin said. “As people say, they screwed us over, well they simply deceived us.”

With some 130,000 Russian troops deployed in the western and southern military districts bordering Ukraine, and another 30,000 assembling in neighboring Belarus, U.S. policy makers are scrambling to figure out what Russia’s next move might be, a choice most U.S. policy makers believe boils down to diplomacy or war. Rather than examine the situation from the perspective of Russian national security interests, however, these officials have placed the fate of European peace and security in the hands of a single individual: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

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“European natural gas topped $60 per million Btu, equivalent to an oil price of an astonishing $350 per barrel.”

Don’t Blame Putin for Europe’s Energy Crisis (FP)

Europe typically depends on Russia for more than one-third of its natural gas use. Although Russia has been sending less to Europe this winter, it is fulfilling its long-term contractual commitments. The difference now is that it has all but cut off the additional supplies it usually sells on the spot market. If Russia were to cut or reduce contracted deliveries to Europe as well—which half a century of energy relations suggests is unlikely—it would be exceedingly difficult and expensive for Europe to replace lost Russian gas flows. Spot prices, already skyrocketing to unprecedented levels, would go even higher as European buyers tried to pull in LNG supplies otherwise headed for Asia, energy-intensive industries would shut down, and even household heating and electricity use would likely need to be rationed to prevent power outages.

But even if Russian gas flows continue uninterrupted, Europe still faces an energy crisis this year and, more importantly, in the years to come. By late summer of 2021, it was already evident that Europe was facing a looming energy crisis with gas storage levels unusually low. As winter set in, prices predictably soared to record levels, reaching such heights late last year that many industrial firms shut down production. In Britain, nearly 30 power utilities went bankrupt. European natural gas topped $60 per million Btu, equivalent to an oil price of an astonishing $350 per barrel. (Brent crude sells for around $90 a barrel, and the comparable U.S. gas price is around $4.) European household energy bills will rise another 50 percent this year, according to Bank of America.

Faced with public backlash and worries about the impact on the macroeconomy, governments with few other options to keep prices in check have resorted to subsidizing energy costs for people feeling the pinch. Denmark has announced it plans to send checks to households using natural gas for heating to offset the rise in prices. Norway, France, and several other European countries have done the same. Energy prices have eased in recent weeks, but only because Europe has been lucky with the weather. Winter temperatures have not been as cold as feared. The same has been true of Asia, allowing Europe to draw some cargoes of LNG that otherwise would have been needed there.

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Is this the end? The MSM start eating each other, like here the Guardian devouring CNN, in the same way that CNN’s Cuomo and Zucker go after each other. Because: they have no viewers left.

CNN calls itself “the iconic network”, Brian Stelter goes after Rogan saying he’s not credible because he doesn’t have a large media corporation like CNN behind him. He does have 25x more viewers though.

NOTE: wonder if the Guardian knows it’s part of “Media” too, and losing trust.

Why Is Trust In Media Plummeting? Just Look At What’s Happening At CNN (G.)

Media outlets are supposed to report the news not become it. On Wednesday CNN found itself coming afoul of that rule when Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned from his position as network president amid lurid circumstances. In a memo sent to colleagues, Zucker explained he was stepping down after failing to disclose a “consensual relationship” with a close colleague. While Zucker didn’t name the colleague directly, Allison Gollust, CNN’s executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, has confirmed her involvement in a memo to employees. Hang on a minute. Is a powerful man really resigning from a big job because he had a consensual relationship with a colleague? That’s not the usual way of things; many men have been accused of far worse transgressions and still managed to cling to power.

Well here’s some context: Gollust happens to be the former communications director for disgraced former New York governor Andrew Cuomo. And Zucker’s relationship with Gollust came up during an internal investigation into former anchor Chris Cuomo, who was fired from CNN in December after using his job to help his brother, Andrew, combat sexual harassment allegations (leading some commentators to dub CNN the “Cuomo Nepotism Network”.) Zucker stood by Chris Cuomo for months when his conflict-of-interest scandal first hit but eventually fired him a few days after the anchor was accused of sexual misconduct by a junior colleague at another network. Like his brother, it seems Chris holds a grudge. Two sources told Politico that it was Cuomo’s legal team, which is still negotiating his exit from the network, who flagged the relationship between Zucker and Gollust.

A reporter from media startup Puck News has also claimed that CNN received a letter from Cuomo’s lawyers asking for all communications between Zucker, Gollust and Cuomo to be preserved. While Zucker may not be having a very good week, Donald Trump (whose views on CNN are common knowledge) is having a ball. “Jeff Zucker, a world-class sleazebag who has headed ratings and real-news-challenged CNN for far too long, has been terminated for numerous reasons, but predominantly because CNN has lost its way with viewers,” Trump wrote in a statement. I hate to say it, but Trump has a point. You don’t have to be a cynic to reckon that CNN’s dismal ratings may factor into Zucker’s sudden departure: CNN had record ratings during the Trump years but has seen viewership plummet recently.

The Cuomo scandal certainly hasn’t helped the network’s credibility: during the early days of the pandemic Chris Cuomo repeatedly interviewed his brother on air and it was largely treated like hilarious banter instead of a clear conflict of interest. And that’s hardly been the only embarrassment the network has suffered: last year Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s chief legal analyst exposed himself on a Zoom call with colleagues. While the New Yorker fired Toobin from his staff writer position, CNN gave him a little tap on the wrist and put him back on the air.

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Optimistic headline.

World Leaders Support Joe Rogan (RT)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and El Salvador President Nayib Bukele both came out in defense of American podcast host Joe Rogan this week after critics, including the White House, encouraged Spotify to censor his show. The campaign – which has attempted to get Rogan’s Spotify show censored after he expressed skepticism over Covid-19 vaccines for young people and hosted several vaccine-skeptic doctors – was bolstered on Tuesday after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said there was “more that can be done” by Spotify to crack down on speech which goes against the national Covid-19 line. Psaki’s comments were condemned by free speech activists in the US, who claimed they were unconstitutional and amounted to the state pressuring a private company to censor dissidents.


The two world leaders also came out in defense of Rogan’s right to free speech. In a statement, Bolsonaro said, “I’m not sure what [Rogan] thinks about me or about my government, but it doesn’t matter.” “If freedom of speech means anything, it means that people should be free to say what they think, no matter if they agree or disagree with us. Stand your ground! Hugs from Brazil.” Bukele – who has been accused of threatening freedom of the press in his county by criticizing ‘fake news’ journalists – used Psaki’s comments to mock critics who claim free speech “is under attack in El Salvador,” and appeared to argue that the White House’s interference in the Rogan matter amounted to a more egregious attack on free speech than anything his administration is accused of doing. Following calls for Rogan to be censored, Spotify announced it would start adding a ‘content advisory’ to shows that discuss the Covid-19 pandemic. The advisories will direct listeners to allegedly ‘trusted sources’ on the coronavirus, including scientists and academics.

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“WikiLeaks was formerly based in France and Assange’s children live in the country, but his lawyers admitted in 2020 that the fact that he is not on French soil would complicate the process.”

MPs Push For Julian Assange To Be Granted Political Asylum In France (EN)

Four French MPs are pushing for Julian Assange to be offered asylum in France amid the WikiLeaks founder’s ongoing fight against extradition from the UK to the US. Jennifer De Temmerman, Jean Lassalle, Cedric Villani and Francois Ruffin are due to speak at a press conference in Paris on 1 February where they will explain why Assange — currently in prison in the UK — should be given sanctuary in France. Assange’s defence team announced in February 2020 that it would be seeking asylum for him in France, ahead of the hearing in the UK on whether the 50-year-old should be extradited to the US for trial.


Two years on, Assange continues to fight extradition to the US, where would face trial over the release of a trove of classified military documents more than a decade ago. In December 2021, Britain’s High Court overturned a ruling by a lower court that Assange could not be extradited due to concerns over his mental health. In January, Assange won the right to appeal this decision to the UK Supreme Court, further delaying his possible extradition. WikiLeaks was formerly based in France and Assange’s children live in the country, but his lawyers admitted in 2020 that the fact that he is not on French soil would complicate the process.

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Cement use. 3 years vs 100 years.

 

 

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

 

Jan 252022
 


Pablo Picasso Female bust 1922

 

A Real American Hero (Jim Kunstler)
‘Obscene’ COVID Policies Serve Big Pharma Not People, Experts Say (CHD)
Nervous System Disorders After The Jab – A Case Study (Beck)
BA2 Omicron Variant is Worth Discussing (Chudov)
Omicron Variant Breaks The Evolutionary Lineage Of SARS-COV2 Variants (GHA)
Omicron Showing Merits of Targeted Protection, Great Barrington Signers (NW)
Covid Still ‘Full Of Nasty And Cunning’ Surprises – WHO Official (RT)
Unvaccinated Staff Are Holding NHS Together Amid Staff Shortages (GBN)
New York Judge Strikes Down State Mask Mandate (R.)
“They Can Have [Joe] Rogan or [Neil] Young. Not Both.” (RS)
The Globalist American Empire (Revolver)
Russia Planning “Lightning War” To Take Out Ukraine’s Capital: UK’s Johnson (ZH)
Assange Granted Permission To Take Extradition Case To UK Supreme Court (Haddad)

 

 

 

 

Malone at hearing

 

 

 

 

Ryan Cole

 

 

 

 

Hodkins

 

 

 

 

“..poisoned hundreds of millions of Americans in a medical experiment that has only begun to kill possibly more people than the Nazis ever dreamed of murdering..”

You can try and make someone look bad for wearing a Star of David or using the word Nazis, but then there is a Jewish commentator.

A Real American Hero (Jim Kunstler)

Sunday, at the March Against Mandates in our nation’s capital, the resistance to Covid vaccine tyranny laid it out, none with plainer eloquence than Bobby Kennedy: “We love the United States Constitution. And we have witnessed over the past 20 months a coup d’etat against democracy and the demolition, the controlled demolition of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And starting with the censorship. James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson all said the same thing: we put freedom of speech in the first amendment because all of the other rights that we were trying to protect relied on that right. If you give government the license to silence its critics, you have given them the capacity to commit any atrocity they want, and to obliterate all the amendments and rights in the constitution.”

The message is getting through and the tyrants are running scared. They are perhaps having bad dreams involving torches and pitchforks. Naturally CNN took the lead in attempting to defame Mr. Kennedy as an anti-Semite for mentioning the name of Anne Frank in alluding to the Nazi insanity of the last century and people’s desperate efforts to escape it. CNN said: “The son of former Attorney General and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy has a long history of spreading vaccine misinformation…. Sunday’s event, billed as a protest against vaccine mandates, featured speakers repeatedly spreading misinformation about vaccines and showcased several bigoted comparisons to the Holocaust. At least one man was seen displaying a yellow Star of David, which Jews were required by law to wear as an identifier in Nazi Germany.”

So, wearing a Star of David now makes you an insurrectionist in the twisted logic of Wokery. How stupid and confused are they? Anyway, heroes emerge out of adversity. Let them pile it on, insulting history and reality. In fact, Bobby Kennedy stood in the cold at the Lincoln Memorial as a heroic figure for these times, giving a speech that carefully and succinctly denoted the stupendous criminality of the US public health bureaucracy and the corporate-government fascist partnership with Pharma Inc. that has poisoned hundreds of millions of Americans in a medical experiment that has only begun to kill possibly more people than the Nazis ever dreamed of murdering. There has not been a more important public utterance in this land than RFK Jr.’s since this century began.

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Long write-up of Ron Johnson Senate hearing yesterday.

‘Obscene’ COVID Policies Serve Big Pharma Not People, Experts Say (CHD)

Dr. Pierre Kory, pulmonary and critical care specialist and president and chief medical officer of the Front-Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, called out the policies of U.S. health systems and their “failed response to this pandemic.” Kory said: “Some of the policies are “so obscene, absurd, illogical and nonscientific that they’re unscientific that they’re almost unspeakable — things like not testing the vaccinated, not recommending vitamin D, not checking vitamin D levels, things that are so fundamentally basic about science and medicine and that they’ve avoided. “If you look at these failed policies, there’s only one way to understand them. They are literally written by pharmaceutical companies. Almost every single policy serves the interest of a pharmaceutical company.”

Kory said there have been numerous successes outside the U.S. using a number of compounds he and his colleagues have identified for effective early treatment of COVID, almost all of which are repurposed or generic drugs, including ivermectin. Yet, in the U.S., ivermectin is regarded as a horse dewormer, horse paste, and is only used by the illiterate, ignorant or unvaccinated, Kory said. Kory pointed to many studies and locations around the world where hospitalizations and deaths were prevented by large percentages through the mass distribution of ivermectin. He said the inexpensive drug eradicated the virus entirely in Uttar Pradesh, India.


Information on ivermectin was buried and suppressed, Kory said. “U.S. health agencies’ structures and policies created over the last 50 years have tightly intertwined the pharmaceutical industry with public health institutions, resulting in repeated policies placing pharmaceutical industry interests ahead of the welfare of U.S. citizens,” he explained. Kory said the industry’s “capture of our health agencies combined with their increasing financial control of most major media, social media and medical journals has led to an ability to widely suppress and/or distort any information which supports the efficacy of repurposed low-cost off-patent medicines.”This “decades-long war on repurposed drugs waged with the ever-pressing goal of protecting the market for novel, patented, obscenely profitable and often barely tested and toxic medications has reached a pinnacle with COVID-19, its an absurdity, its an obscenity and its a crime,” Kory said. “It has to stop.”

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Scary.

Nervous System Disorders After The Jab – A Case Study (Beck)

NERVOUS system disorders following Covid vaccination are being recorded in shocking numbers, with reports to the UK’s Yellow Card Scheme of almost 300,000 injuries and 300 deaths. Despite this, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who run the Yellow Card scheme and review all suspected injuries, are sticking with their mantra that Covid vaccines are ‘safe and effective’. Their message infuriates music manager Georgia-Rose Segal, 34, from Hertfordshire, a previously active fitness fan. Supremely healthy, and at low risk of contracting Covid-19, she was worried about getting the experimental jab, but decided to take it after being reassured by three GPs. She could then travel abroad for her job, about once a quarter, and visit family in Israel to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.

It is a decision she bitterly regrets as she is now a statistic, one of the 100,000 victims suffering with 300,000 neurological injuries reported up to January 5, 2022, which we have analysed in our special report below. After her adverse jab reaction, Georgia, who is articulate, down-to-earth and had clearly made the effort to be well informed, was admitted to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire – a spinal injury specialist – with symptoms which included lack of balance, dizzy spells, tremors, tics, short-term memory loss and brain fog. Georgia had her first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination on May 13, 2021 at Hemel Hempstead pop-up vaccine centre. It wiped her out. ‘I felt like I could have slept for a year. I felt like that for a couple of days,’ she said. She had her second dose on June 29.

“Within four hours I felt dizzy and light-headed. I fainted that evening, then over the following days, I began fainting up to three times a day. ‘After ten days I developed neurological symptoms. My legs didn’t feel right. I was struggling to move them, and they felt heavy. ‘I was in Tesco, got to the checkout and couldn’t move my legs. My boyfriend Luke [boxing coach Luke Groves, 29] was outside. I went to phone him, but my brain wouldn’t engage with my hand. ‘I realised then I had a bit of a problem.’ Despite this, on Monday July 12 Georgia attended a wedding in Dorset, and realised there was something seriously wrong. ‘The day before the wedding I collapsed in my hotel room. Luke brought me round by splashing me with cold water and I got into bed, then my body went into its first tremor,’ she said.

‘I managed to go to the wedding the next day and got back to the hotel room. I fainted again and hit my head on the floor. My head began to tremor, and my body followed.‘Luke thought I might need food, so we went to the pub. When we got there my legs gave way underneath me for the first time, and that became my new normal.’ At 5am on the Wednesday morning Luke drove her to Stoke Mandeville hospital, where she spent ten days having ‘every test going including MRI and CT scans and blood tests’. They all came back clear, and doctors were sceptical when she told them she thought it was the vaccine. ‘We’re not sure. We don’t have enough information about it,’ they said.

Thomas Renz

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“..calling BA.2 a sub-variant of Omicron may be factually and genealogically incorrect and their relationship may be more sibling-like than parent-like.”

BA2 Omicron Variant is Worth Discussing (Chudov)

This post offers some news on what will be very important in the coming months. Like many other things, Omicron BA.2 is not on most busy people’s radar, but soon will be the only thing that people talk about. I made a decision to start writing about Omicron very early in the game, and want to write about BA.2 also to keep my readers abreast. Denmark, which was weeks ahead of the UK and US with its Omicron outbreak. Unlike the US and the UK, however, Denmark’s infections are not decreasing, but conversely are shooting up to the sky. The slowdown in Denmark that appeared around Jan 5-8, was quickly overtaken by a rapid rise that offers no signs of slowing down. The same thing happened in France 5 days later. A small drop, quickly overridden by another crazy and relentless case growth.

On a cases-per-million-people, Denmark and France are 2.5 times higher than the US and 3 times higher than the UK. What is going on? A new “variant”, called somewhat incorrectly “Omicron BA.2”, appeared around Christmas and is out-competing, out-infecting, and overall somehow generating even more cases than the original Omicron. In Denmark, Omicron BA2 is already over 50% of all cases, and rising. [..]

BA.2 is considered a sub-lineage of original Omicron (which is now referred to as Omicron BA.1), however these two genetic variants seem to have diverged months BEFORE Omicron actually appeared. BA.2 has 28 more mutations, than Omicron, with no intermediate variants seen between them. This is certainly a genetic oddity, just as Omicron is a genetic oddity with the ancestor that disappeared 1.5 years before Omicron appeared. Both of these oddities raise a possibility that both Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 do not have a natural origin. I said that Omicron (now known as BA.1) may be lab-made on December 2. As they diverged before either of them was introduced, calling BA.2 a sub-variant of Omicron may be factually and genealogically incorrect and their relationship may be more sibling-like than parent-like.

[..] The most disturbing issue here is that even by the time before BA.2 took off in Denmark a week ago, Denmark was likely running out of Covid-naive, uninfected people. What this means is that possibly, BA2 is especially good at REINFECTING Danes and Frenchmen. Not sure if the vaccinated people are more susceptible to reinfection, but it is possible and always seemed to be the case even before Omicron.

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Jean Claude Perez, Valère Lounnas, Pr Luc Montagnier.

Omicron Variant Breaks The Evolutionary Lineage Of SARS-COV2 Variants (GHA)

We analyzed 15 genomes and Spikes of the new OMICRON variant, on the one hand 7 from the very first 21K lineage (South Africa, USA, Belgium, Canada), on the other hand 8 from the later second sister-clade 21L (USA, Switzerland, UK). We applied, at the scale of the whole genome and the spike gene, the biomathematics method of Fibonacci meta-structure fractal analysis applied to the UA / CG proportions. There appears a total rupture of this variant with respect to all the previous variants, and a strong differentiation between these 2 OMICRON lines.We have evidenced the RUPTURE of OMICRON with respect to ALL the previous variants: D614G, ALPHA, BETA, GAMMA, DELTA. In particular, we suggest that the mRNA stabilizing secondary structure (“hairpin” conformation) in the spike of all variants is degraded in OMICRON, probably making its mRNA more fragile.

The loss of long-range fractal meta-structures in the OMICRON spike gene are in line with common knowledge on the mechanisms of epidemic ending, involving recombination of heavily mutated RNA fragments of the virus, with the possible inference of a distinct helper virus. This would indicate that the SARS-CoV2 is under very strong evolutionary pressure, possibly marking the end of the pandemic.Remarkably, it is observed that the density of OMICRON mutations in the SPIKE PRION region is more than 8 times that of the rest of the Spike protein. This high density of mutations of the Prion region in OMICRON appears to completely suppress this possible Prion function, unlike the Spikes of the various variants and mRNAs vaccines where this Prion function is observed.

“Science doesn’t tell us where we’re going – that’s the role of art -; it tells us where we are.” Alan TURING

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“The illusion was that to protect the vulnerable, we needed to control disease spread. The disease spread anyway and the vulnerable were exposed because we didn’t protect them.”

Omicron Showing Merits of Targeted Protection, Great Barrington Signers (NW)

After it was dismissed as a dangerous theory with deadly consequences, the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration believe officials are coming around to the idea of targeted protection now that it’s clear stopping COVID from spreading is an unrealistic goal.Omicron, a highly infectious variant, is spreading rapidly throughout the United States, causing more than 10 million infections in less than a month. While vaccines are extraordinarily helpful at preventing COVID-19 deaths, the assumption that vaccines would make a significant dent in infections has been proven wrong and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believes Omicron will find “just about everybody.” But officials have bucked a return to lockdowns.

Since the world has missed its opportunity to completely suppress COVID-19 transmission, the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration said policymakers are realizing they have to shift tactics away from population-wide measures. “There’s no question there’s been a sea change in thinking about this,” one of the declaration’s co-authors, Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, told Newsweek. “The illusion was that to protect the vulnerable, we needed to control disease spread. The disease spread anyway and the vulnerable were exposed because we didn’t protect them.”

The Great Barrington Declaration, which was signed in October 2020, called for a lifting of lockdowns to allow those who were at a lower risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, the young and healthy, to resume life as normal. Keeping the restrictions in place, the co-authors argued, would cause “irreparable harm” particularly with regard to the underprivileged. Many of those reentering the world would likely get infected with COVID-19, but being young and healthy, they were less likely to get seriously ill. Their infections would thereby lower the risk of infection to all, including the vulnerable, according to the declaration.

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A cunning virus?!

Covid Still ‘Full Of Nasty And Cunning’ Surprises – WHO Official (RT)

Speaking to Sky News on Monday, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covid-19 special envoy, Dr David Nabarro, warned that the pandemic could still throw up “challenges and surprises” despite the progress that has been made in some parts of the world in tackling the coronavirus. Criticizing politicians who are playing down the threat still posed by the virus, Nabarro said they “should not suggest” that Covid be treated like the flu or that it “has suddenly got incredibly weak.”“We must go on treating it as though it is full of surprises, very nasty and rather cunning,” Nabarro stated, claiming that while “the end is in sight,” it is not known how long it is “going to take to get there” or “what sort of difficulties” will emerge along the way out of the pandemic.


“I do want everybody to do one thing, and that is to go on treating this virus with respect. It has not changed. It’s absolutely not suddenly become a soft thing – it is still very serious,” Nabarro added. Directly addressing UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s recent comments that Covid should be treated like flu, Nabarro said it is “amazing” that officials keep making predictions that “the WHO don’t know,” as “we know there are more [variants] not far away.”The comments appear to directly contradict the WHO’s Europe director, Hans Kluge, who claimed on Monday that the continent is “moving towards a kind of pandemic endgame,” as Omicron is milder than previous strains. Addressing the potential emergence of new Covid variants, Kluge expressed a different view to his colleague, arguing that, while fresh strains might emerge “towards the end of the year,” it won’t necessarily mean “the pandemic coming back.”

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British humor.

Unvaccinated Staff Are Holding NHS Together Amid Staff Shortages (GBN)

Dr Kate Goodman told Michelle Dewberry for GB News that after “talking to friends and colleagues around the country, it seems it’s the unvaccinated [NHS] staff that are holding services together” as staff shortages continue to plague the health service. On the evening that Michelle Dewberry launched the #OutdateTheMandate campaign against mandatory vaccinations for health care staff that have face-to-face contact with patients, Dr Goodman said that it was “a shame” that a viewer said they would not want an unvaccinated member of staff caring for their elderly relatives. She said: “I’m a very good doctor, I’m an elder care specialist.”


Dr Goodman went on: “I can understand that people are concerned about their loved ones.”But actually we need to talk more about this.” From 1 April 2022, all health and social care workers in England who have face-to-face contact with patients, will need to provide proof they have been fully-vaccinated, unless they are exempt. The policy applies to those working within the private sector as well as the NHS, and affects workers including doctors, nurses, dentists, porters and receptionists.The deadline for the first vaccination is February 1st 2022.

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The judge literally called it “null, void and unenforceable.” But Reuters doesn’t use that quote.

New York Judge Strikes Down State Mask Mandate (R.)

A New York judge struck down the state’s mask mandate on Monday, one week before it was due to expire, ruling the governor overstepped her authority in imposing a rule that needed to have been passed by the state legislature. Judge Thomas Rademaker of New York State Supreme Court on Long Island found that the state legislature last year curbed any governor’s ability to issue decrees, such as a mask mandate, amid a declared state of emergency. It was latest setback for executive branch officials at state and federal levels. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccination-or-testing mandate for large businesses. A judge in Texas last week ruled that Biden could not require federal employees to be vaccinated.

Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, vowed to fight back, saying in a statement, “We strongly disagree with this ruling, and we are pursuing every option to reverse this immediately.” “My responsibility as Governor is to protect New Yorkers throughout this public health crisis, and these measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Hochul said. Disagreements and court action over mandates in a number of states have become a flashpoint of the pandemic response in the United States, often dividing Democrats and Republicans. The requirements in New York state, home to around 20 million people, include wearing masks in schools, on public transit and other public indoor spaces.

Hochul declared a state of emergency almost immediately after the World Health Organization named Omicron as a variant of concern on Nov. 26. At the time, New York state’s seven-day average of new daily cases was around 6,400. That number rapidly rose until peaking at 73,815 on Jan. 10. It has since fallen to about a third of that.

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Easiest choice Spotify ever made.

“They Can Have [Joe] Rogan or [Neil] Young. Not Both.” (RS)

Neil Young posted a since-deleted letter to his management team and record label demanding that they remove his music from Spotify. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” he wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.” “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he continued. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.” Young is referencing the steady stream of misinformation about vaccines that Joe Rogan has peddled on The Joe Rogan Experience. Last month, 270 doctors, physicians, and science educators signed an open letter asking Spotify to stop spreading Rogan’s baseless claims.

“With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,” the letter reads. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.” Young removed most of his music from Spotify several years ago because he felt the sound quality on the service was too low, but he ultimately relented. “That’s where people get music,” he told Rolling Stone in 2019. “I want people to hear my music no matter what they have to get through to do it. I’m just trying to make it so they hear a lot more and enjoy it a lot more, but sell it for the same price because music is music.”

Young’s letter was addressed to his manager and a Warner executive. At press time, Spotify hadn’t responded to a request from Rolling Stone asking if they planned to remove Young’s music. It’s still available, but it might be smart to listen to Zuma and Rust Never Sleeps while you still can. They could disappear at any moment.

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“Russia’s population is half of what the USSR’s was 30 years ago.”

The Globalist American Empire (Revolver)

The NATO question is the only one that Russia has repeatedly insisted upon. If America were inclined to negotiate, it could. Instead, America has taken the position that Ukraine’s eligibility for NATO is entirely non-negotiable. In fact, basically everything about Ukraine is non-negotiable from the perspective of the State Department. The US State Department also insists it will “never” acknowledge Russian annexation of Crimea, even though Western media outlets admit the local population overwhelmingly supports union with Russia. America’s demand, in essence, is that Russia acknowledge a violent revolution (in the name of “democracy”), return Crimea to Ukraine against its will (again, in the name of “democracy”), and let Ukraine become a military satellite of the United States (in the name of of “peace”).

This is deranged. Adding Ukraine to NATO does nothing to improve the security of the United States, or any of its key allies. Even if Russia literally did conquer and annex all of Ukraine (something it has shown no interest in doing), America’s security interests would remain unchanged. Ukraine doesn’t supply the United States with any irreplaceable natural resources. It doesn’t sit alongside a critical trade route or geographical position. It isn’t physically proximate to the United States. Ukraine matters to America’s domestic security as much as Iraq, Syria, Libya, or Venezuela; i.e. not at all. Just like all four of those other countries, a war over Ukraine would have nothing to do with protecting America’s safety, its prosperity, or its values. Instead, it would be a product of a cloistered foreign policy elite that is not content with controlling one country and instead seeks to boss around the entire planet.

“B-but if we don’t stop him in Donetsk, Putin will drive all the way to the English Channel!” Bullshit. No, he won’t. Russia’s population is half of what the USSR’s was 30 years ago. Its military is smaller. Its economy is only the size of that of Texas. Russia’s frontline in any hypothetical war has shifted hundreds of miles to the east. Russia invading and occupying Europe is as plausible as Canada invading and occupying the United States. The idea of Vladimir Putin steamrolling all of Europe like Hitler or Napoleon would be absurd, even if he aspired to do that. But importantly, there is absolutely zero evidence Putin wants to invade. Putin’s Russia has no desire to ideologically control Western Europe. Its external interests have consistently focused on its immediate neighbors, and regions with Russian minorities. Crimea was Russia’s only land grab, and it only happened when the West sought to make Ukraine a satellite.

Tulsi Tucker

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No ground troops would be needed.

Russia Planning “Lightning War” To Take Out Kyiv: UK’s Johnson (ZH)

As we detailed earlier, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell during Monday statements to the press appeared to openly mock the UK and US for their dramatic announcements of embassy personnel evacuations due to threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said there’s no need to “dramatize” the situation given there’s high hopes that ongoing diplomacy will prevail. Moscow too has continued to condemn what it called “disinformation hysteria” prevailing in the West, which is fueling the crisis further. But it seems London is content to hype things further, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday citing “gloomy” intelligence from UK intel officials warning that Russia is planning a “lightning war” to take out Ukraine’s capital of Kiev.


Johnson said in a message directed at Russia that an offensive would be a “disastrous step” and “bloody business”. While confirming that some British diplomatic staff have begun to exit the embassy in Kiev and depart of the country, Johnson affirmed “We do think it prudent to make some changes now.” That’s when he said in dramatic fashion… “The intelligence is very clear that there are 60 Russian battle groups on the borders of Ukraine, the plan for a lightning war that could take out Kyiv is one that everybody can see.” “We need to make it very clear to the Kremlin, to Russia, that that would be a disastrous step.” He added during the comments that “from a Russian perspective, (it) is going to be a painful, violent and bloody business.” He concluded with: “I think it’s very important that people in Russia understand that this could be a new Chechnya.”

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The High Court bans the Supreme Court from taking a broader view?! Odd.

Assange Granted Permission To Take Extradition Case To UK Supreme Court (Haddad)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was granted permission to take his extradition case against the United States to the Supreme Court, a court ruled on Monday. In a short hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, also known as the High Court, Lord Chief Justice Ian Duncan Burnett refused to grant Assange leave to appeal—respecting the custom of allowing the Supreme Court to decide for itself which cases it hears—but did pave the way for the case to proceed to Britain’s highest court after “certifying” a point of law. Lord Chief Justice Burnett, Britain’s most senior judge, rejected two grounds on which Assange’s defence sought certification, but accepted that the issue of diplomatic assurances provided by the United States at a late stage of the hearing was of sufficient public importance for the upper-most court to consider.

In a written pronouncement explaining the finding, Burnett said: “The Respondent [Assange] sought certification in respect of three points of law, the first of which centred on the circumstances in which an appellate court may receive assurances from a requesting state concerning the future treatment of a requested person if extradited. “We do not consider that the second or third points raise certifiable points. So far as the first is concerned, although the law in this jurisdiction has long been settled it does not appear that the Supreme Court has considered the question. Assurances are at the heart of many extradition hearings.” Following the finding, Assange lawyers Birnberg Peirce Solicitors issued a statement in which they welcome the decision.

“The High Court found against Mr Assange in its ruling, and relied upon the late assurances, but has certified a point of law of general public importance on the question of the courts’ reception of assurances (frequently relied upon by requesting states in extradition proceedings to overcome defence evidence after it has established a bar to extradition) for the first time on appeal. “The identification by the High Court of the question above for the potential consideration of the Supreme Court, involves concepts of procedural fairness and natural justice. There has long been a general approach by the courts that requires that all relevant matters are raised before the District Judge appointed to consider the case in the Magistrates’ Court.

“What has underpinned a departure from those principles in practice is the categorisation of an assurance as an ‘issue’ as opposed to ‘evidence’ and the developing practice, potentially now consolidated in the decision in this case, whereby an assurance can be freely introduced by the requesting state and considered separately and later. “The defence argument is that despite being as demanding of close evidential scrutiny as the evidence already heard, and despite the content of the assurances being applicable to the testimony of witnesses already heard but not heard again, assurances has been afforded a different procedural position. This issue has become of considerable importance in the predictability and progression of extradition cases.

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The convoy is over 70km long.

 

 

It was reported that Biden called Doocy after calling him an SOB, but apparently that was not to apologize.

 

 

 

 

Yeah,. we had some snow. Paralysis ensues.

 

 

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

 

Jan 202022
 


Johannes Vermeer Woman holding a balance 1662-63

 

WHO: Lift International Traffic Bans, Proof Of Vaccination Not Needed (G.)
England Ends All COVID Passports, Mask Mandates, Work Restrictions (ET)
Starbucks Says Will No Longer Require Vaccine Or Testing For Employees (JTN)
Health Department Warning Over Vaccine Mandate For NHS Staff In England (G.)
Perspectives on the Pandemic With Dr. Peter McCullough (Mercola)
Proximal Origin (ET)
The Vaccinators Will Never Stop Vaccinating (eugyp)
Novak Djokovic Holds 80% Of Danish Biotech Developing Covid Treatment (MC)
The Correcting Decades Old Medical Fraud Act (Denninger)
Paul Krugman Is Still Wrong About Money (Steve Keen)
How Did Fox News Become The Voice Of Reason? (RT)
Senate Democrats Fail To Change Filibuster, Handing Biden Stinging Defeat (JTN)
Biden Asked Why Americans Think He’s Not ‘Mentally Fit’ (RT)
Schumer Holds Antitrust Bills As His Daughters Work for Facebook, Amazon (NB)
Why I Am No Longer A Tenured Professor at Uni of Toronto (Jordan Peterson)

 

 

 

 

Schwab
https://twitter.com/i/status/1483418602300661760

 

 

The more vaxx, the more infections.

 

 

180º. Do we get apologies?

WHO: Lift International Traffic Bans, Proof Of Vaccination Not Needed (G.)

The World Health Organization has recommended lifting or easing international traffic bans, citing the ineffectiveness of the measures to suppress the spread of the Omicron variant. The UN health agency recently updated its international health regulations recommendations during an emergency committee meeting on Wednesday. Recommendations included to “lift or ease international traffic bans as they do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress” of some countries. Implementing blanket travel bans are “not effective in suppressing international spread” and “may discourage transparent and rapid reporting of emerging variants of concerns” the agency said in a statement.

The failure of travel restrictions introduced after the detection and reporting of Omicron variant to limit international spread of Omicron demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time. Travel measures such as masking, testing, isolation/quarantine and vaccination should be based on risk assessments and avoid placing the financial burden on international travellers, according to their recommendations. The WHO also said the requirement to provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19 for international travel may not be needed as “the only pathway or condition” permitting international travel.

Do not require proof of vaccination against Covid-19 for international travel as the only pathway or condition permitting international travel given limited global access and inequitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. State parties should consider a risk-based approach to the facilitation of international travel by lifting or modifying measures, such as testing and/or quarantine requirements, when appropriate, in accordance with the WHO guidance.”

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The fun is in the details: no more mask in one week’s time. But you can still be fined for not wearing one till then.

England Ends All COVID Passports, Mask Mandates, Work Restrictions (ET)

Restrictions including COVID-19 passes, mask mandates, and work-from-home guidance will be removed in England, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday. Johnson also suggested that self-isolation rules may also be thrown out at the end of March as the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic becomes endemic. Effective immediately, the UK government is no longer asking people to work from home. The COVID pass mandate for nightclubs and large events won’t be renewed when it expires on Jan. 26. Also from Jan. 27, indoor mask-wearing will no longer be compulsory anywhere in England. The requirement for secondary school pupils to wear masks during class and in communal areas will be lifted on Jan. 20.


The Department for Education is expected to update its national guidance soon. Health Secretary Sajid Jajid will also announce plans to ease restrictions on care home visits in the coming days. Roaring cheers from lawmakers could be heard in the House of Commons following Johnson’s announcements on masks. People who test positive for COVID-19 and their unvaccinated contacts are still required to self-isolate, but Johnson said he “very much expect[s] not to renew” the rule when the relevant regulations expire on March 24. “As COVID becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance, urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others,” the prime minister said.

UK face masks

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220,000 U.S. employees. Many companies must follow.

Starbucks Says Will No Longer Require Vaccine Or Testing For Employees (JTN)

Starbucks has opted to do away with its COVID-19 vaccine requirement following a decision last week by the Supreme Court that blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to mandate vaccine requirements for large U.S. companies. “We respect the court’s ruling and will comply,” John Culver, chief operating officer for the major coffee shop chain, said Tuesday. The company will continue to encourage employees to get vaccinated, but the shots will not be a requisite of employment.


The “vaccine is the best option we have, by far, when it comes to staying safe and slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Culver also said, in a memo. Prior to the court’s decision, Starbuck’s announced it would be enforcing a vaccine-or-test model for the company’s 220,000 U.S. employees. Last week, the high court, in a 6-3 decision, blocked the Biden administration’s mandate for large employers from taking effect while other legal challenges to the mandate play out in lower courts.

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They basically came out and said: the vaccines don’t work: “32% effectiveness against Omicron infection, which wanes to in effective zero 20 weeks later..

But dismissal letters are ready to get sent in 2 weeks.

Health Department Warning Over Vaccine Mandate For NHS Staff In England (G.)

Ministers have been issued with a stark warning over mandatory Covid vaccines for NHS workers in England, with a leaked document saying growing evidence on the Omicron variant casts doubts over the new law’s “rationality” and “proportionality”. Two jabs will become compulsory for frontline NHS staff from 1 April after MPs voted on the legislation last month. But the document, drawn up by Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) officials and seen by the Guardian, said the evidence base on which MPs voted “has changed”, creating a higher chance of objections and judicial review. The effectiveness of only two vaccine doses against Omicron, and the lower likelihood of hospitalisations from the milder variant, are cited. More than 70,000 NHS staff – 4.9% – could remain unvaccinated by 1 April, the document says. NHS trusts in England are preparing to start sending dismissal letters from 3 February to any member of staff who has not had their first dose by then.


[..] The document prepared by DHSC officials noted that two vaccine doses provide up to 32% effectiveness against Omicron infection, which wanes to in effective zero 20 weeks later. At the time the policy was developed, two-dose effectiveness against infection with the Delta variant was substantially higher – 65% with Oxford/AstraZeneca and 80% with Pfizer/BioNTech, the DHSC memo said. Booster jabs have since been shown to be highly effective but are not part of the law for NHS workers. The document says: “While Omicron is more transmissible there appears to be a substantially lower risk of hospitalisation and mortality for those vaccinated vs Delta. “The low VE [vaccine effectiveness] against infection (and consequently effect on transmission) plus the lower risk posed by Omicron brings into question both the rationality of the VCOD2 policy and its proportionality and makes the case for vaccination requirement weaker than when [ministers] decided on the policy.

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“..It’s the scariest time to be an American, and thank goodness half of Americans didn’t take it.”

Perspectives on the Pandemic With Dr. Peter McCullough (Mercola)

McCullough believes many health care providers and the U.S. public are in a vaccination trance. It defies logic and commonsense how public officials and hospital executives can see the vaccines failing to work, can see the rising cases of adverse effects and deaths, and yet increasingly issue vaccine mandates or recommend the vaccine to groups for which it clearly shouldn’t be, like pregnant women. McCullough likens it to a form of psychosis or a group neurosis. The U.S. public, however, has seen so much fear, hospitalization and death during the pandemic that they may have been prepared to accept casualties associated with the vaccines. Still, a sizable number of Americans aren’t being fooled. “We’re at this pressure point, and I think right now, in talking to American people in my circles, they’re ready to take a time out,” McCullough said.

If it means taking a sabbatical from work or delaying school for a year, many Americans are willing to do it to avoid getting vaccinated. “The only way to stay healthy right now is to stay away from this vaccine. If you get COVID-19, get to one of these treatment networks and get immunity on the other side.” McCullough is a proponent of early treatment of COVID-19 and believes treatment options have been suppressed to allow for mass vaccination: “I think we’ve completely suppressed any form of treatment or help to people in order to promote the vaccine. Now the vaccine doesn’t work completely and it’s, frankly, dangerous. We’re down to almost one message: Take the jab or else … It’s the scariest time to be an American, and thank goodness half of Americans didn’t take it.

We’re going to have to see what this is going to look like. I think the next month or so is going to be incredibly interesting and it’s going to be ominous.” McCullough believes that eventually people will break out of the jab trance and realize that the answer isn’t these injections, while the handling of the pandemic, including mass jabs, will become a course in violation of human ethics and the Nuremberg code. With fear, isolation, hospitalizations and deaths still occurring, however, it may take years before the fog is lifted.

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In the thesaurus under “corruption”.

Proximal Origin (ET)

Four prominent scientists who played key roles in shaping the public narrative around the origin of COVID-19 received substantial increases in grant money from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, in the subsequent two years, a review of funding data by The Epoch Times has found. Three of these scientists—Kristian Andersen, Robert Garry, and Michael Farzan—were advisers to a teleconference organized by Fauci held on Feb. 1, 2020, in response to increasing public questions about the origin of the virus. The scientists were also instrumental in the publication of Proximal Origin, a highly influential paper that promoted a natural origins theory for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and has been frequently cited by the government and media.

Emails released under Freedom of Information Act requests, showed that the scientists had told the senior members of Fauci’s teleconference that they were 60 to 80 percent sure that COVID-19 had come out of a lab. Notably, despite their private concerns about the origin of the virus, the first draft of Proximal Origin was completed on the same day as the teleconference. Andersen and Garry were co-authors of Proximal Origin and Farzan was acknowledged in the Nature version of Proximal Origin for his participatory discussions in the article’s creation. Additionally, Fauci’s NIAID provided a substantial increase in funding to EcoHealth’s Peter Daszak, through whom NIAID had funded controversial gain-of-function coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

Some of these funding amounts have continued through 2021—and one of the newest grants will continue through at least 2025. A significant portion of the funding increase for Daszak, as well as for Andersen and Garry, was provided through NIAID’s creation of the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID). The program, which was originally referred to as Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Centers (EIDRCs) during the early planning stages in 2019, was formally announced under a new name on Aug. 27, 2020. It is not known why the program was initially delayed or why it was renamed.

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“..we now face a prolonged, multi-year struggle to retain control of our bodies and our bloodstreams..”

The Vaccinators Will Never Stop Vaccinating (eugyp)

The vaccinators are deranged lunatics, and whatever happens with Corona, we now face a prolonged, multi-year struggle to retain control of our bodies and our bloodstreams. This is what I get from COVID-19: What’s Next?, a World Economic Forum panel discussion featuring Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel. Like everything produced by the WEF, it’s stultifying, boring and terrifying all at the same time. Below the fold, I’ve transcribed the key moments for you, but the takeaways are simple enough:

—Moderna, just one of multiple pharmaceuticals eager to exploit our new vaccine mania, are expanding their manufacturing capacity to produce as many as 6 billion mRNA vaccine doses per year. —Moderna will have an Omicron-specific vaccine as early as March, and they won’t be the only ones. The compliant triple jabbed can look forward to having their fully vaccinated status revoked once again. —Moderna are working in close collaboration with “Dr. Fauci’s team” and with public health experts to develop an annual combined mRNA flu, RSV and Corona vaccine to reduce “compliance issues.” —The industry more broadly has targeted about 20 pathogens for vaccine development, from Zika to Nipah, with a view towards being able to rapidly deploy mRNA vaccines against future virus threats.

The vaccinators are a great sword of Damocles over our heads. As I type this, they are scouring the earth for the novel pathogens their products require, and they, together with their bureaucratic and academic allies, will do their level best to call into being new pandemic scares and vaccination campaigns whenever possible – perhaps every flu season.

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“The company is developing a peptide, which inhibits the coronavirus from infecting the human cell..”

Novak Djokovic Holds 80% Of Danish Biotech Developing Covid Treatment (MC)

Tennis champion Novak Djokovic has an 80% stake of Danish biotech firm QuantBioRes, which is aiming to develop a medical treatment to counter COVID-19, the company’s chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday. CEO Ivan Loncarevic, who described himself as an entrepreneur, said the investment was made in June 2020 but declined to say how much it was. QuantBioRes has around 11 researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia, according to Loncarevic, who stressed they were working on a treatment, not a vaccine. The company is developing a peptide, which inhibits the coronavirus from infecting the human cell, expects to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer, he added.

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All forgotten in the space of less than a year.

The Correcting Decades Old Medical Fraud Act (Denninger)

II. Definitions As used in this Title the following terms are defined:
• Sterilizing immunity – The induction of immune response in an individual by either infection or immunization, that both prevents the acquisition of the infection and its forward transmission.
• Durable – In a person of less than 15 years of age protection must be maintained at the specified level for at least five (5) years from the completion of the prescribed original sequence and for a person of 15 years of age or older protection at the specified level must be maintained for least ten (10) years from the completion of the original sequence. Boosters may be required to maintain protection beyond these time limits.

******* – As defined in 25 US Code Sec 4132 (2), a preparation given to a human being for the purpose of, and which does by scientific evidence, produce durable sterilizing immunity in no less than 90% of healthy human subjects.
• Prophylaxis – A preparation given to a human being for the purpose of, and which does by scientific evidence, attenuate or treat the symptoms of a disease should it be contracted, and which is given prior to exposure to the disease-causing agent. Scientific evidence of prevention of the infection or prevention of forward transmission is not required.

III. Prohibitions
1. It shall be unlawful for any medical practitioner in the United States, any public health authority, manufacturer, distributor, retailer or person otherwise providing a substance intended for use in a human being to represent that said substance is a ******* unless that substance has been shown, by scientific evidence, to produce sterilizing immunity when the prescribed sequence is completed for not less than five (5) years in a person under the age of fifteen (15) and for ten (10) years in a person 15 years of age or older.

2. It is the public policy of the United States to strongly discourage the combining of prophylaxis and ******* preparations into one unit dose. In order to discourage this practice a combined preparation that contains both one or more legally-defined *******s and prophylaxis as one unit dose must be labeled as, and treated for the purpose of this title, as a prophylaxis for the purposes of this title and in all matters related to public health.

3. No public health authority, school, business, medical establishment or other entity, public or private, including but not limited to CMS, State Agencies, border and customs agents, health service firms and others, without exception, may require that a person produce evidence of or accept a prophylaxis to condition any right or privilege, including but not limited to employment, transportation, education, lodging or entry into any place or facility within the boundaries of the United States and its territories. All such existing statutes, regulations and private claimed rights of action are void as of the date of enactment of this Title and of no force or effect.

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Isn’t this clear yet? Steve explains again.

Paul Krugman Is Still Wrong About Money (Steve Keen)

When a writer starts a new column, his first battle is to justify why people should read it. Paul Krugman has just made that task much easier for me, by publishing a column on money that, to use his favorite phrase, is “all wrong.” The crucial point at which Krugman gets it “all wrong” —yes, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics is wrong about money—is his assumption that, when they lend, banks lend out reserves: Since the 2008 financial crisis, however, banks have been voluntarily holding vast excess reserves, apparently because they don’t see enough good lending opportunities. If you’ve studied economics, you might think there’s nothing wrong with that statement, because that’s what the textbooks tell you: banks take in deposits from some customers, and then lend out the reserves these deposits create to other customers.


But in 2014, the Bank of England said that the textbooks were wrong: rather than banks lending out deposits that are placed with them, the act of lending creates deposits—the reverse of the sequence typically described in textbooks. Krugman read this paper, and expressed only confusion about it: he began his column with “OK, color me puzzled,” and the post got more puzzling from there. This week’s column, 8 years later, shows that he’s simply ignored what he didn’t understand—and he’s not alone. Virtually all mainstream economists still get this wrong, and textbooks continue to teach a story that the Bank of England said is false. This is a crucial mistake, and it’s why economists are so often wrong about the economy—including their failure to see the 2008 financial crisis coming. So, let’s get it right.

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The neocons have moved to where they think they can do most damage.

How Did Fox News Become The Voice Of Reason? (RT)

Imagine traveling back in time 20 years and explaining the current US geopolitical predicament to someone in 2002. They’d easily believe the country’s leadership is barreling headlong into a war it can’t win for reasons it hasn’t adequately explained. But the American of 2002, if you could pry him away from ‘CSI: Miami,’ would find it shocking to flip on the news networks and find the sole anti-war message at prime time coming from Fox News, and the loudest pro-war shrieking coming from the liberal CNN and MSNBC. As the Biden administration seriously entertains the prospect of war with Russia over Ukraine (the latest bright idea from the White House is to funnel arms to Ukrainian paramilitaries, Syria style), that’s exactly what’s happening. Fox News host Tucker Carlson opined at length on Tuesday night against going to war over Ukraine, arguing that such a conflict would be “incredibly destructive.”

Carlson’s guest, analyst Clint Ehrlich, expounded on this, stating that bringing Ukraine into NATO – the plan that triggered the current descent toward war – would not serve US strategic interests, or those of NATO itself. “It’s not just nuts. It’s dangerous. We’re sleepwalking toward a conflict with a country that has more than 4,000 nuclear weapons,” Ehrlich told Carlson. “It’s just shocking that people are not more upset by this.” Once considered a sewer pipe of neoconservative jingoism, Fox News is now anti-war – or at least its top-rated host is. On the liberal networks, things are different. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough – a man who once accused “the Russians” of killing Jeffrey Epstein – practically pounded his fists into the news desk earlier this month, demanding that President Joe Biden “move aggressively” against Russia.

“We’ve got to be aggressive in our defense of our allies. And Ukraine, despite what you hear from Putin propagandists … we have to defend our democratic allies,” he said. In print media, rehabilitated warmonger John Bolton is in the Washington Post calling on the US to send troops to Ukraine “and possibly Georgia and others,” Jonah Goldberg is arguing in the LA Times that even meeting with Vladimir Putin is “a concession” to Moscow that the US should avoid, and The Guardian – the favored read of soy-eating peaceniks – is publishing rosy profiles of the brave Ukrainian civilians “ready to resist” a Russian advance because they “don’t like dictators.” Even the relatively centrist Wall Street Journal ran a column this week arguing for the formation of “an American and coalition force to defend Ukraine,” presumably forgetting that such almighty international coalitions were humiliated by shoeless goat-herders in Afghanistan and Iraq, never mind in mechanized combat against a rival superpower.

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Why let it come to a vote if this is obvious?

Senate Democrats Fail To Change Filibuster, Handing Biden Stinging Defeat (JTN)

Senate Democrats failed twice on Wednesday night to pass their signature legislation to nationalize elections, handing President Joe Biden a stinging defeat that was delivered in part by two centrists in his own party. The second vote came late Wednesday night when the Senate refused to change the filibuster rules in a 52-48 vote. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.V.) and Krysten Sinema (Ariz.) voted with Republicans to keep the filibuster rules, rejecting their party’s bid to end the 60-vote threshold for passing legislation in the chamber. A few hours earlier, Senate Republicans, joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), voted against moving forward with the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act,


The motion to failed in the Senate by 51-49. Schumer joined Republicans “in order to enter a motion to reconsider the vote,” according to the Senate Press Gallery. Minutes before the Senate voted Schumer threatened that “if the GOP blocks this vote—we must change the rules of the Senate to pass these bills.” The bill, which was expected to fail, required 60 votes to move forward and overcome the Republican filibuster. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) complained about the legislation on Twitter. “Dems hv spent afternoon claiming 2 want to debate voting bill, claiming Rs don’t want to then they voted 4 motion 2 CUT OFF debate & amendments same day Senate took up bill w all amendments blocked by Sen Schumer,” he tweeted shortly after the vote.

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Bit of a cheap shot, perhaps, but his numbers set off major alarm bells.

Biden Asked Why Americans Think He’s Not ‘Mentally Fit’ (RT)

US President Joe Biden said he has “no idea” why a growing number of voters see him as mentally unfit, after a new survey found a large proportion of respondents are in doubt of his intellectual capacity. The president was asked about his faculties during a Wednesday news conference, with Newsmax reporter James Rosen fielding a carefully worded question about a poll conducted over the weekend. “I’d like to raise a delicate subject, but with utmost respect for your life accomplishments and the high office you hold,” Rosen said. “A poll released this morning by Politico-Morning Consult found 49 percent of registered voters disagreeing with the statement ‘Joe Biden is mentally fit.’” The journalist added that “not even a majority of Democrats who responded strongly affirmed that statement,” to which Biden replied “I’ll let you all make the judgment whether they’re correct.”


Rosen continued to press, however, asking why “such large segments of the American electorate have come to harbor such profound concerns about your cognitive fitness.” Biden responded curtly: “I have no idea.” “I don’t believe the polls,” Biden said in response to another question about moderate and independent voters increasingly dissatisfied with his job performance. Republican women questioned Biden’s mental state more than any other demographic in the poll, with a combined 87% saying they “strongly” or “somewhat” disagree with the statement that he is fit. Democratic men, meanwhile, were among the least critical. Some 49% of registered voters also said the president is not “stable,” with another 43% stating that he is and the rest declining to answer.

Biden Ukraine

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“..Facebook and Twitter gave over 90 percent of their political contributions to Democrats for the 2020 election cycle..”

Schumer Holds Antitrust Bills As His Daughters Work for Facebook, Amazon (NB)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer decides what bills come up for a Senate vote. But with Schumer’s daughters employed by Facebook and Amazon, antitrust legislation may go the way of President Joe Biden’s popularity: down into oblivion. As majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Schumer (D-NY) controls the vote timing and selection of legislation that moves through the chamber, according to the New York Post. The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing Big Tech legislation that would prevent platforms from favoring their own products over competitors’, and that legislation may come up for a vote soon. Schumer reportedly has not said where he stands on the legislation. Might that stem from the fact that his two daughters work for Big Tech companies? Jessica Schumer is a registered lobbyist for e-commerce giant Amazon, per New York state records. Alison Schumer works for Facebook as a product marketing manager, the New York Post wrote.

The two sisters’ employment, it would seem, poses a potential conflict of interest for Schumer around antitrust legislation. “When they are on opposite sides of the divide it can make the public servant member of the family too sympathetic to the company that employs their child or family member,” Jeff Hauser of Revolving Door Project, which studies money in politics, reportedly told the New York Post. Schumer is not the only lawmaker with a potential tech-related conflict of interest. “When you put together the amount of money Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi made off tech with the fact that leader Schumer’s two kids work for giant tech companies, Democrats are going to have a very hard time explaining if major legislation doesn’t move forward this session,” a “progressive operative” reportedly told the New York Post.

The publication also has reported that the daughter of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), “one of the most vocal opponents of antitrust bills,” works for Google’s legal team. Big Tech employees have proven before how leftist they are. Facebook employees orchestrated a movement demanding Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg censor then-President Donald Trump in 2020, for instance. Open Secrets records revealed that for “all federal candidates,” by October 2020, both Facebook and Twitter gave over 90 percent of their political contributions to Democrats for the 2020 election cycle, particularly to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. Hundreds of Amazon employees demanded the platform stop selling a book that challenged the woke left’s narratives on gender identity in July 2021.

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The world is a different place.

Why I Am No Longer A Tenured Professor at Uni of Toronto (Jordan Peterson)

First, my qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE). These have been imposed universally in academia, despite the fact that university hiring committees had already done everything reasonable for all the years of my career, and then some, to ensure that no qualified “minority” candidates were ever overlooked. My students are also partly unacceptable precisely because they are my students. I am academic persona non grata, because of my unacceptable philosophical positions. And this isn’t just some inconvenience. These facts rendered my job morally untenable. How can I accept prospective researchers and train them in good conscience knowing their employment prospects to be minimal?

Second reason: This is one of many issues of appalling ideology currently demolishing the universities and, downstream, the general culture. Not least because there simply is not enough qualified BIPOC people in the pipeline to meet diversity targets quickly enough (BIPOC: black, indigenous and people of colour, for those of you not in the knowing woke). This has been common knowledge among any remotely truthful academic who has served on a hiring committee for the last three decades. This means we’re out to produce a generation of researchers utterly unqualified for the job. And we’ve seen what that means already in the horrible grievance studies “disciplines”. That, combined with the death of objective testing, has compromised the universities so badly that it can hardly be overstated. And what happens in the universities eventually colours everything. As we have discovered.

All my craven colleagues must craft DIE statements to obtain a research grant. They all lie (excepting the minority of true believers) and they teach their students to do the same. And they do it constantly, with various rationalizations and justifications, further corrupting what is already a stunningly corrupt enterprise. Some of my colleagues even allow themselves to undergo so-called anti-bias training, conducted by supremely unqualified Human Resources personnel, lecturing inanely and blithely and in an accusatory manner about theoretically all-pervasive racist/sexist/heterosexist attitudes. Such training is now often a precondition to occupy a faculty position on a hiring committee.

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Québec kids

 

 

 

 

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

 

Jan 192022
 
 January 19, 2022  Posted by at 9:36 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Alfred Sisley Snow at Louveciennes 1878

 

US Daily COVID Cases Drop By 47% And Deaths Fall By 38% Week-on-week (DM)
‘Much Brighter Than Before’: COVID-19 Cases Plunge Across US (ET)
The Narrative Is Falling Apart, Piece By Piece (Kirsch)
US Faces Wave Of Omicron Deaths In Coming Weeks, Models Say (AP)
New Research: Covid Less Deadly Than Thought In 1st Year Of Pandemic (JTN)
The Last Days of the Covidian Cult (CJ Hopkins)
Calls Grow To Ditch Compulsory Covid Jabs Law For NHS Staff (DM)
Observations From An Experienced Nurse About The Covid Vaccines (Kirsch)
Think About What Denying Health Care To The Unvaccinated Means (Vezina)
Nicola Sturgeon Announces Lifting Of Omicron Restrictions In Scotland (G.)
New Zealand Closes Borders To New Arrivals Over Omicron Risk (G.)
Grocery Stores Could Close If Labour, Product Shortages Worsen (CP)
Ghislaine Maxwell Ends Fight To Keep Eight ‘John Does’ Secret (CTV)
Western Governments Drop Plans To Cut Russia Off From SWIFT – Media (RT)
5G Network Deployment In The US Spawns A Cluster Of Disruption (TAC)
Multiple Flights to US Suspended Over 5G Fears (RT)

 

 

 

 

Dr. Bowden Houston Methodist

 

 

“The virus is better at immunising than the vaccine”.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1483485364065116163

 

 

That’s a lot.

US Daily COVID Cases Drop By 47% And Deaths Fall By 38% Week-on-week (DM)

Covid infections are falling in the U.S. for the first time since the Omicron variant erupted at the end of 2021. The nation recorded 721,651 new cases on Monday, a steep fall from the 1.364 million cases reported last Monday. America’s new daily case average has also dropped 10 percent over the past seven days, from 766,939 to 684,457. A DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins University data found there were 717,874 new cases recorded between midnight Monday and midnight Tuesday. Monday is often the day when reported case counts are highest as lagging figures from the weekend are finally reported. Last week’s 1.364 million cases recorded on Monday was the highest single day case total the nation ever recorded.

This week’s total was affected by the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, where many local governments and municipalities were closed and did not fully report cases. It is likely that some cases shift to Tuesday this week instead. But Covid cases have been plunging for days in those states hardest hit by Omicron when it first arrived in the US in early December, suggesting the latest phase pandemic could really be drawing to a close. Two-week case averages are generally the most stable figures and can smooth out single day outliers. Over the past 14 days, overall cases in the U.S. are up 40 percent, though that figure is expected to decline further in the coming days as many previous Covid hotspots in the U.S. are now seeing case counts trend in the right direction.

As of Tuesday morning, Johns Hopkins University reports that the U.S. has logged 66,456,516 cases and 851,730 deaths since the pandemic first began. That means there has been one reported Covid case for every five Americans so far – with the figure likely being even higher due to the mass underreporting of cases and test shortages that have been a problem during different waves of the pandemic.Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, put a fly in the ointment after warning that yet another new variant could emerge – and that it could resist existing immunity in those infected or vaccinated.

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As predicted.

‘Much Brighter Than Before’: COVID-19 Cases Plunge Across US (ET)

COVID-19 case counts have dropped across the United States in recent days, stoking optimism that the Omicron-fueled wave is subsiding. 34 states have recorded a decrease in cases in recent days, not including states that reported a single-day drop, according to an Epoch Times analysis. That includes some of the states that saw huge Omicron-fueled increases, including New York, California, and Florida. Other states that have seen fewer cases recently include Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. States in every region of the country have reported fewer cases, and a smaller number have also seen a lower number of people being admitted to hospitals with or for COVID-19.

Omicron is more transmissible than the Delta variant, which dominated the United States for months last year. However, it causes a smaller percentage of cases that require hospital care or lead to death. States saw a significant increase in positive tests with the emergence of Omicron late last year, in part because the COVID-19 vaccines provide little protection against infection from the strain. Cases in New York shot above 90,000 on Jan. 7, but have since dropped sharply, hitting 26,772 on Monday. Hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 have also gone down in the northeastern state in recent days. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, worries that hospital admissions may go back up in the near future, “but overall, the prognosis, the forecast, for COVID is much brighter than it had been before.” “The COVID clouds are parting,” she told reporters in Latham last week.

[..] Overall, the number of new cases nationwide dropped from 1.3 million on Jan. 10 to the mid-800,000s in the following days, according to data reported by states to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. health officials have said the drop in cases could come quickly, similar to the plunges seen in South Africa and other countries that dealt with earlier Omicron waves.

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“I’m now hearing a lot from prominent formerly pro-vax docs that they are turning on the vaccine. This is great news. Nobody is going public yet, but they are all pissed and realize they have been misled.”

The Narrative Is Falling Apart, Piece By Piece (Kirsch)

Here are some narrative pieces that have been falling apart that were recently brought to my attention. Here are the four new truths:

1/ The vaccines make you more likely to get COVID: It was supposed to make things better, but we’re basically mandating you get a shot that makes you more likely to get infected. That is totally insane, but that’s what we are doing. Check out the graphs here. No age confounding this time: UK Government Data proves the Covid-19 Vaccines DOUBLE your chances of catching Covid-19.

2/ The vaccines aren’t safe: I’m now hearing a lot from prominent formerly pro-vax docs that they are turning on the vaccine. This is great news. Nobody is going public yet, but they are all pissed and realize they have been misled. It will not be pretty. This is of course great news.

3/ Cloth masks don’t work: The CDC finally admits that cloth masks that they said worked before and that everyone wore (including Rochelle Walensky) don’t actually work. The other mask types don’t work either, but it will take them longer to figure out the obvious. P100 respirators do work but only a small percentage of people know that. I can’t wait to see Rochelle Walensky wear a P100 respirator; after all, she should be modelling best practices.

4/ Kids shouldn’t have boosters shots: Top WHO scientist finally admits that kids shouldn’t get boosted!!!! Yet the US colleges and universities aren’t going to back off. Someone is very wrong here and for once it isn’t the WHO.

Here are some older truths that should have been realized by now, but are still going on:

1/ Remdesivir is killing patients, not saving them: RDV is standard operating procedure in the US, but everyone I talk to says it doesn’t work and is much more likely to kill patients than save them. Doctors are forced to give it by hospital policy.

2/ Social distancing doesn’t work: The MIT study came out in April, 2021 that showed social distancing makes no difference. 6 feet or 60 feet made no difference. People still haven’t figured this out.


P100 mask

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There we go again. Omicron deaths, in waves.

US Faces Wave Of Omicron Deaths In Coming Weeks, Models Say (AP)

The fast-moving omicron variant may cause less severe disease on average, but COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are climbing and modelers forecast 50,000 to 300,000 more Americans could die by the time the wave subsides in mid-March. The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been trending upward since mid-November, reaching nearly 1,700 on Jan. 17 — still below the peak of 3,300 in January 2021. COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents started rising slightly two weeks ago, although still at a rate 10 times less than last year before most residents were vaccinated. Despite signs omicron causes milder disease on average, the unprecedented level of infection spreading through the country, with cases still soaring in many states, means many vulnerable people will become severely sick. If the higher end of projections comes to pass, that would push total U.S. deaths from COVID-19 over 1 million by early spring.


“A lot of people are still going to die because of how transmissible omicron has been,” said University of South Florida epidemiologist Jason Salemi. “It unfortunately is going to get worse before it gets better.” Morgues are starting to run out of space in Johnson County, Kansas, said Dr. Sanmi Areola, director of the health department. More than 30 residents have died in the county this year, the vast majority of them unvaccinated. But the notion that a generally less severe variant could still take the lives of thousands of people has been difficult for health experts to convey. The math of it — that a small percentage of a very high number of infections can yield a very high number of deaths — is difficult to visualize. “Overall, you’re going to see more sick people even if you as an individual have a lower chance of being sick,” said Katriona Shea of Pennsylvania State University, who co-leads a team that pulls together several pandemic models and shares the combined projections with the White House.

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Ioannidis.

New Research: Covid Less Deadly Than Thought In 1st Year Of Pandemic (JTN)

COVID-19 was less lethal across nearly every age group in its first full year than previously thought, according to an updated review of global research from Stanford University’s Meta-Research Innovation Center (METRIC). Between summer and Christmas 2021, METRIC’s estimates of deaths from infection fell by half in multiple age groups, including young people, and less sharply in others. The international estimates, which have not been peer-reviewed, are not substantially different from the CDC’s own “best estimate” of COVID mortality in the U.S., last updated in March. They use different age ranges, making exact comparisons difficult. The findings raise questions about ongoing COVID restrictions and mandates, particularly for schoolchildren and college students, who remain at the lowest overall risk from infection.

The risk-benefit ratio of vaccine boosters is also under scrutiny, with international authorities souring on their wide deployment and a new Israeli study finding that a fourth dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines doesn’t stop the Omicron variant. METRIC codirector John Ioannidis, credited by one medical publisher as having “practically invented” the field of meta-research, warned early in the pandemic that available infection data were “utterly unreliable.” His ongoing tracking of “seroprevalence,” which measures COVID infection rates using the presence of antibodies in blood samples, has made him controversial in scientific circles. Ioannidis led a study in Stanford’s backyard that estimated a much higher infection rate than local authorities were reporting in spring 2020, leading to criticism of his methods. The revised paper was published last spring in an Oxford medical journal.

He has also consistently emphasized that mortality risks for the non-elderly were “very small” even in COVID “hotbeds.” A June 2020 review of seroprevalence studies determined a median “infection fatality rate” (IFR) of 0.26% overall and 0.04% for everyone under 70. [..] The Greece-born Ioannidis told the Greek Reporter this week that he believes the earlier Delta variant is responsible for a substantial portion of recent COVID deaths in the U.S. and Europe, with infections predating the Omicron wave. “Omicron has the characteristics of an endemic wave,” he said, echoing South African research on Omicron infection providing some protection against Delta infection.

The milder variant has a “seasonal appearance, high rates of transmission, [and] disproportionately low death burden in a setting where there is very high background immunity due to prior infection and/or vaccination,” Ioannidis said. The chief epidemiologist at Denmark’s State Serum Institute made the same claim earlier this month, telling Danish TV 2 that “we will have our normal lives back in two months.” Tyra Grove Krause said her organization found the hospitalization risk from Omicron was half that of Delta. It welcomed the spike in cases in recent weeks, saying the “massive spread” of a mild variant will put the country “in a better place than we were before.’

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“And now the clock is running down, and the resistance isn’t crushed … on the contrary, it is growing..”

The Last Days of the Covidian Cult (CJ Hopkins)

This isn’t going to be pretty, folks. The downfall of a death cult rarely is. There is going to be wailing and gnashing of teeth, incoherent fanatical jabbering, mass deleting of embarrassing tweets. There’s going to be a veritable tsunami of desperate rationalizing, strenuous denying, shameless blame-shifting, and other forms of ass-covering, as suddenly former Covidian Cult members make a last-minute break for the jungle before the fully-vaxxed-and-boosted “Safe and Effective Kool-Aid” servers get to them. Yes, that’s right, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the official Covid narrative is finally falling apart, or is being hastily disassembled, or historically revised, right before our eyes.

The “experts” and “authorities” are finally acknowledging that the “Covid deaths” and “hospitalization” statistics are artificially inflated and totally unreliable (which they have been from the very beginning), and they are admitting that their miracle “vaccines” don’t work (unless you change the definition of the word “vaccine”), and that they have killed a few people, or maybe more than a few people, and that lockdowns were probably “a serious mistake.” I am not going to bother with further citations. You can surf the Internet as well as I can. The point is, the “Apocalyptic Pandemic” PSYOP has reached its expiration date. After almost two years of mass hysteria over a virus that causes mild-to-moderate common-cold or flu-like symptoms (or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever) in about 95% of the infected and the overall infection fatality rate of which is approximately 0.1% to 0.5%, people’s nerves are shot.

We are all exhausted. Even the Covidian cultists are exhausted. And they are starting to abandon the cult en masse. It was always mostly just a matter of time. As Klaus Schwab said, “the pandemic represent[ed] a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world.” It isn’t over, but that window is closing, and our world has not been “reimagined” and “reset,” not irrevocably, not just yet. Clearly, GloboCap underestimated the potential resistance to the Great Reset, and the time it would take to crush that resistance. And now the clock is running down, and the resistance isn’t crushed … on the contrary, it is growing.

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“..more than 80,000 – 6 per cent of the workforce – remain unvaccinated..”

Calls Grow To Ditch Compulsory Covid Jabs Law For NHS Staff (DM)

Ministers are under pressure from Tory MPs to scrap a law requiring all NHS staff to have a Covid jab as bosses prepare to start sacking 80,000 in a fortnight. All frontline workers must have had two doses of the vaccine by April 1, meaning the first must have been administered by February 3. But more than 80,000 – 6 per cent of the workforce – remain unvaccinated despite repeated efforts to boost take-up. New NHS guidance to employers says staff who have not been jabbed should start being called into formal meetings from February 4 and warned they face dismissal with the notice period ending on March 31. But the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives have urged ministers to delay the rules, saying they could have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on the delivery of services.


And Mark Harper, the chairman of the Covid Recovery Group of Conservative MPs, yesterday urged No 10 to reconsider its approach. He said: ‘The Government is still ploughing on, regardless of the consequences on staffing levels. It’s nonsense. Ministers must change course.’ He posted a link to the Government’s own impact assessment, which says 73,000 NHS staff in England could be lost because of the rules. He added: ‘Here are the stark numbers – which let’s not forget are real people with real families – behind this policy.’ Health Secretary Sajid Javid last week told the Commons the Government remained committed to the plans.

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“It’s time for us to admit that we’ve been completely deceived.”

Observations From An Experienced Nurse About The Covid Vaccines (Kirsch)

One of my nurse friends forwarded this note to me. It was originally written by a nurse, but the source is unknown, probably out of fear of retribution. Among all the vaccines I have known in my life (diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis, meningitis, flu, and pneumonia, and tuberculosis) I have never seen a vaccine that forced me to wear a mask and maintain my social distance, even when you are fully vaccinated. I had never heard of a vaccine that spreads the virus even after vaccination. I had never heard of rewards, discounts, incentives to get vaccinated. I never saw discrimination for those who didn’t. If you haven’t been vaccinated no one has tried to make you feel like a bad person. I have never seen a vaccine that threatens the relationship between family, colleagues and friends.

I have never seen a vaccine used to threaten livelihoods, work or school. I have never seen a vaccine that would allow a 12-year-old to override parental consent. After all the vaccines I listed above, I have never seen a vaccine like this one, which discriminates, divides and judges society as it is. And as the social fabric tightens… It’s a powerful vaccine! It does all these things except IMMUNIZATION. If we still need a booster dose after we are fully vaccinated, and we still need to get a negative test after we are fully vaccinated, and we still need to wear a mask after we are fully vaccinated, and still be hospitalized after we have been fully vaccinated, it will likely come to “It’s time for us to admit that we’ve been completely deceived.”

I think she forgot to mention that she’s probably also never seen: • a vaccine which makes it more likely you’ll be infected by the virus they are trying to protect you from (after a brief efficacy period). See Incriminating evidence for all the studies showing this. • a vaccine which helps other latent viruses or cancers to re-emerge with a vengeance. • a vaccine which has killed at least 150,000 previously healthy Americans • a vaccine with over 20,000 deaths reported into VAERS and the CDC can’t find a single death that was due to the vaccine • lockdowns for the unvaccinated that can last for years to come

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“..be careful about deciding what medical ethics we are prepared to amend or abandon in order to “get life back to normal.”

Think About What Denying Health Care To The Unvaccinated Means (Vezina)

Once again, the calls to systemically deny or restrict health care to the unvaccinated are surging, opening the Pandora’s box of changing modern biomedical ethics. Many people are saying it is time for our leaders to have, as they phrase it, the difficult conversation. There are two assumptions made in this. The first is that we have decided a medical system which — overtly and in full view — places certain people’s lives above others is tolerable. It’s true we already have other systems which do this indirectly and subtly. There is no rule, for example, that explicitly states the rich are treated better than the poor, but in practice they are, for numerous reasons. The second assumption is that it is permissible to trade not just the quality of life, but lives themselves, especially in the short term, for securing critical infrastructure.

This is also already the case in our society although, again, it is done indirectly. For example, safeguarding economic infrastructure takes priority over extending people’s lives. Greater priority is given to safeguarding Canadian banks than to affordable housing. The poor are given limited public assistance so that the cost of living does not increase even faster for everyone else. Whether any of this is good or bad is irrelevant. It is simply what happens. But going beyond that, with the Pandora’s box of changing medical ethics having been opened, the following strategies can be considered, all doable and each with its own risks and benefits.

1. Deny health care to the unvaccinated. Benefits: Opens up significant ICU and hospital space; removes people who disagree with modern medical science from the population; perhaps gets us through the COVID-19 pandemic faster. Risks: Potential for widespread civil unrest; long-term effects on medical ethics with a precedent having been set; disproportionate impact on workers and industries required to keep critical infrastructures operational. External control measures, such as business closures and public gatherings would need to be maintained, or vaccinated patients might fill ICUs with uncontrolled Omicron spread.

2. Deny ICU health care to all COVID-only patients, regardless of vaccine status. Benefits: Can restart surgeries rapidly; difficult but easier to ethically justify than the first option; perhaps get through COVID-19 faster. Risks: Easy to abuse in terms of preferential treatment on an individual basis; difficult to implement in terms of practicality; potential staffing shortages, with some frontline health-care workers viewing this as the “last straw” ethically and quitting. With this strategy, external control measures are separated from hospital ICU capacity. Once everyone (of all ages) has an available vaccine to control their personal level of risk, removing control measures and allowing people to decide their risks for themselves becomes more attractive.

3. Reach endemic status rapidly, to decrease hospital load over the long term. By delaying the onset of COVID-19 infections and having hospitals at or exceeding capacity for long periods of time, cancer and many other life-saving surgeries are being further delayed. If the assumption is that everyone will get the virus eventually anyway, then a rapid endemic strategy would be to encourage people to become infected as quickly as possible, through the immediate removal of all external control measures to contain the pandemic. This includes allowing all businesses to reopen at full capacity and removing all limits on the number of people allowed to attend public and private events, as well as in people’s homes. Benefits: Reaches COVID endgame much more quickly, the load on hospital infrastructure recedes much faster, cancer and other life-saving surgeries can be resumed much earlier. Risks: Over the short term, a scenario from hell with increased deaths, the hospital system strained beyond maximum capacity during this period; increased chances of a new Canadian variant developing; it will appear to the public as if governments are abandoning frontline health care. In all of these strategies, the ability or inability of society to recover ethically from what has been done, once the immediate pandemic crisis is over, would be on the table. So be careful about deciding what medical ethics we are prepared to amend or abandon in order to “get life back to normal.”

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People who know more than they tell.

Nicola Sturgeon Announces Lifting Of Omicron Restrictions In Scotland (G.)

Restrictions brought in before Christmas to stem the Omicron surge across Scotland are to be lifted from next Monday, Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said. Nightclubs will reopen, there will be an end to social distancing and to a three-household limit indoors, Sturgeon said, adding that the country had “turned the corner on the Omicron wave”. But Sturgeon urged the public to remain “cautious” about socialising in larger groups, while government guidance remains to work from home wherever possible and use face coverings, with vaccine passports still in place for large-scale events. Sturgeon said in her regular statement at Holyrood that the data suggested Omicron peaked in Scotland in the first week of January and that “we are now on the downward slope of this wave of cases” as hospital and intensive care admissions were falling.


Cases were down from 36,526 new cases on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of last week to 20,268 cases reported this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. She said that, after discussion with her cabinet, the remaining statutory measures introduced in response to Omicron – limits on indoor public events; the requirement for one-metre physical distancing between different groups in indoor public places; the requirement for table service in hospitality premises serving alcohol on the premises; and the closure of nightclubs – would be lifted from next Monday, 24 January. From that day, the guidance asking people to stick to a three-household limit on indoor gatherings will also be lifted.

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Locking people out of their own country, and home, should be a no-go.

New Zealand Closes Borders To New Arrivals Over Omicron Risk (G.)

New Zealand has temporarily cut off the only pathway home for overseas citizens and visa holders, citing the risk of the Omicron variant. Officials announced on Tuesday evening that new spaces in the country’s managed isolation and quarantine system (MIQ) would not be released. The Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, said on Wednesday that while the pause was “temporary” there was no date for when spaces would again be available – meaning New Zealand’s border would be closed for an indeterminate time to citizens without an existing booking. “Pausing the next MIQ lobby is a temporary position while MIQ is under extreme pressure from New Zealanders returning with Omicron,” he said.

“No decisions have been made on the date, sequence and conditions for the border reopening and cabinet will consider options within the next couple of weeks based on the most up to date advice. Until then, we are not in a position to release more MIQ rooms.” The MIQ head, Chris Bunny, said there had been an “unprecedented number of Omicron cases coming into New Zealand and MIQ”, with a tenfold increase in cases at the border compared with December, and a seven day rolling average of 33. On Wednesday, New Zealand recorded 24 new cases in the community. One of those cases has been confirmed as Omicron, a household contact of an MIQ worker. Separately, an airport worker tested positive on Wednesday.

New Zealand’s tough border restrictions have been crucial to its avoiding an Omicron outbreak and keeping Covid cases extremely low – but they are also a source of increasing heartache and rage for those who have found themselves locked out, often in extremely difficult personal circumstances. Other than the risky path of chartering a boat across the Tasman sea, securing a spot in MIQ is the only way into New Zealand. Competition for the rooms, which are released via a lottery system, is fierce. At the last release in early January, a queue of 16,000 people were vying to book one of 1,250 available rooms.

For those stranded overseas, the cancellation of future releases was distressing. Maxine Strydom, a member of Grounded Kiwis, which advocates for stranded New Zealanders, said she was stuck in Perth with her two children, and had been unable to secure a spot, despite her job and tenancy in Australia ending. “All of us stranded overseas are affected. We’re all going through mental and emotional stress,” she said. “Soon I’m going to have no money, no house, and no help in a foreign country.” Claire, a New Zealander in San Diego, said: “I feel like every shred of hope has been stripped away … There is no end in sight, it’s just demoralising.” Claire asked to be referred to by first name only amid concerns about criticism by fellow New Zealanders, most of whom have favoured border restrictions.

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Canada screwing up royally.

Grocery Stores Could Close If Labour, Product Shortages Worsen (CP)

Grocery stores are struggling with rising labour and product shortages that could threaten Canada’s food security, experts say. Employee absenteeism due to workers calling in sick and COVID-19 protocols has hit about 30 per cent at some stores and is continuing to rise, Gary Sands, senior vice-president of public policy with the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, said Tuesday. Without access to rapid testing in many provinces, he said workers are repeatedly forced to isolate for a week or more after an exposure to COVID-19. If the situation worsens, some grocery stores won’t be able to stay open _ threatening food security in rural and remote areas that rely on a sole independent grocer, Sands said. “If we have to keep sending people home, at a certain point stores are not going to be able to operate,” he said. “We’re very frustrated with the lack of rapid test kits for grocers.”


Health Canada has made some rapid test kits available directly to companies in critical sectors, including the food industry, with 200 or more employees. But many independent grocery stores don’t meet that threshold, putting those kits out of reach, Sands said. Yet many grocers cannot obtain rapid tests through provinces either, he said. “Independent grocers are in a myriad of communities in this country where there is no other grocery store,” Sands said. “If those stores close, you’ve got a food security issue.” Meanwhile, stores are also experiencing a shortage of goods stemming from supply chain issues, including a shortage of truckers, packaging and processing delays and the Canadian winter. Grocers rely on “just in time” delivery, meaning even transient issues like inclement weather can cause delays and shortages, Retail Council of Canada spokesperson Michelle Wasylyshen said.

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How many will be famous?

Ghislaine Maxwell Ends Fight To Keep Eight ‘John Does’ Secret (CTV)

Ghislaine Maxwell will no longer fight to keep the names of eight ‘John Does’ secret and will leave it to the court to decide whether the names should be unsealed, according to a Jan. 12 letter to federal Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York. The documents containing the names are connected to a 2015 defamation case brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed Epstein sexually abused her while she was a minor and that Maxwell aided in the abuse. The case was settled in 2017. Maxwell, 60, faces up to 65 years in prison after she was found guilty last month in a New York federal court on five federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor. The charges were related to her role in Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls between 1994 and 2004.

“After careful review of the detailed objections submitted by Non-Party Does 17, 53, 54, 55, 73, 93 and 151, counsel for Ghislaine Maxwell writes to inform the Court that she does not wish to further address those objections,” Maxwell attorney Laura Menninger wrote. “Each of the listed Does has counsel who have ably asserted their own respective privacy rights. Ms. Maxwell therefore leaves it to this Court to conduct the appropriate review.” Giuffre’s attorney had filed a brief on Wednesday, arguing for the names to be revealed. “[G]eneralized aversion to embarrassment and negativity that may come from being associated with Epstein and Maxwell is not enough to warrant continued sealing of information. This is especially true with respect to this case of great public interest, involving serious allegations of the sex trafficking of minors,” Guiffre attorney Sigrid McCawley wrote.

“Now that Maxwell’s criminal trial has come and gone, there is little reason to retain protection over the vast swaths of information about Epstein and Maxwell’s sex-trafficking operation that were originally filed under seal in this case.” McCawley said the court has already rejected similar arguments for anonymity and the same standard should apply to the eight ‘John Does’ who still remain anonymous in court documents.

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“Germany would have no way of paying Moscow for its natural gas contracts”

Western Governments Drop Plans To Cut Russia Off From SWIFT – Media (RT)

German newspaper Handelsblatt has reported that Western leaders have ruled out the possibility of disconnecting Russia from the global banking interchange SWIFT. However, the US government has contradicted the assertion. “No option is off the table,” a spokesperson for Washington’s National Security Council told reporters on Monday. The denial comes after Handelsblatt claimed that the US had, in fact, given up on the threat of removing Russia from SWIFT in talks with the German government. If the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication cuts ties with Russian banks, Germany would have no way of paying Moscow for its natural gas contracts. It could also unleash a catastrophic rise in oil and food prices.


Instead, the Düsseldorf-based business daily reported that the US and German governments are discussing “targeted” sanctions against Russia’s largest banks in the event that Moscow “invades” Ukraine. US intelligence has claimed for several weeks now that Russia is preparing an attack on its neighbor. Moscow has rejected the insinuations as “fake news.” Germany has insisted that any sanctions include exceptions so that the import of oil and gas from Russia can continue, according to Handelsblatt. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected in Berlin on Thursday to discuss the sanctions proposal with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the paper added.

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“PULL UP WHOOP WHOOP DON’T SINK TOO LOW GEAR”

5G Network Deployment In The US Spawns A Cluster Of Disruption (TAC)

Something is going on with Runway 10L at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. Last week, a Bombardier-built CRJ200 regional jet on final approach had the strangest thing happen. The aircraft’s radar altitude abruptly ran down to zero, causing repeated loud aural warnings: PULL UP WHOOP WHOOP DON’T SINK TOO LOW GEAR. The flight landed without incident in good weather, but it wasn’t the first time. “Exact same location multiple times the past two weeks,” the pilot, who was on the flight deck for both anomalies, told The Air Current.

The incidents were reported to the Federal Aviation Administration. It’s not known definitively if the radar altimeter behavior was related to pre-deployment testing of 5G telecommunication technologies, but the unexplained incident underscored the fears of aviators, as well as the confusion and increasing disruption that is now befalling U.S. commercial aviation. International airlines like Emirates, Air India, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have cancelled flights to select cities, citing the 5G C Band interference risk to their aircraft. Boeing on Monday night sent a so-called multi-operator message to carriers flying 777 and 747-8s and “recommends operators do not operate 777 airplanes on approach and landing to U.S. runways” with 5G C Band notices starting on January 19 unless there is an alternative means of compliance with FAA directives, according to guidance reviewed by The Air Current.

“The above recommendation has been determined through the Boeing Safety Review Board and engineering pilot evaluation based on the uncertainty of the 5G operating environment,” the company wrote. The review board meeting was held on January 15. “Boeing recommends that operators develop contingency plans for their operations.” Boeing referred comment to the FAA after saying, like Airbus, it was working with an industry coalition to address the 5G deployment issue with U.S. regulators. The FAA did not respond to questions about the reported incident in Palm Beach.

5G

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Y2K?

Multiple Flights to US Suspended Over 5G Fears (RT)

Prominent airlines from Japan, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have suspended flights to airports across the United States after expressing concern over the deployment of 5G. Emirates, Air India, Japan Airlines, and All Nippon Airways canceled flights to New York, New Jersey, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Seattle, among other US cities. Air India announced on Tuesday that it would no longer operate flights the next day to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport “due to deployment of the 5G communications in USA.”


On the same day, Emirates canceled flights to at least nine US cities, again “due to operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the U.S,” while Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways canceled at least 13 flights. Airlines and the FAA previously repeatedly voiced concerns about C-band 5G potentially disrupting airplane instruments, namely radio altimeters. So far, the US aviation body cleared less than a half of the nation’s commercial fleet for low-visibility landings at the airports potentially affected by 5G interference. International airlines were also seriously affected, with All Nippon Airways saying that while its Boeing 787 aircraft could operate under the new guidelines, 777’s could not. In response to concerns, AT&T and Verizon postponed the Wednesday rollout of 5G service near some airports, but not all.

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Rogan McMaster

 

 

 

 

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

 

Jan 102022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The Adoration of the Magi 1634

 

Novak Djokovic Wins Appeal Against Decision To Cancel His Australian Visa (G.)
99.9987% of Under-20s Survive Covid– And 97.1% of the Elderly Do As Well (DS)
100,000 NHS Staff Face The Sack If Mandatory Covid Vaccines Enforced (Exp.)
Advisers Urge Biden To Change COVID-19 Strategy (SAC)
4th COVID Booster Shot Could Cause ‘Immune System Fatigue (CHD)
Saturday Night Fight.. At The Pharmacy (Kory)
New Zealand Not Prepared For Omicron Outbreak Expected In ‘Matter Of Weeks’ (G.)
UK Government Urges All Pregnant Women To Get Immediate Covid Jab (G.)
#BareShelvesBiden Trends On Twitter As Americans Deal With Empty Shelves (PM)
Temporary Empty Shelves are Not a Supply Chain Crisis (CTH)

 

 

 

 

Occam Omicron

 

 

This is almost verbatim the Great Barrington Declaration, according to Fauci and Collins written by “fringe epidemiologists”.

 

 

 

 

 

Walensky

 

 

 

 

How many millions in future tourist income has Australia lost so far in this case? A land of petty vengeful wankers. Where the people suffer from Mass Stockholm Syndrome.

‘Djokovic has won the battle, but might still lose the war!’ Australian immigration minister could use a separate power to personally cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa which could have serious knock-on impacts on the tennis star. He would be banned from the country for 3 years. But then the international tennis federation could bar them from organizing the Australia open for those 3 years.

Novak Djokovic Wins Appeal Against Decision To Cancel His Australian Visa (G.)

Novak Djokovic will be immediately released from immigration detention in Australia, after the federal circuit court ordered a decision to cancel his visa be quashed. But the Australian government’s counsel, Christopher Tran, has revealed the immigration minister will consider exercising a personal power to cancel Djokovic’s visa meaning he is not guaranteed to stay and compete in the Australian Open. The decision now under consideration to cancel Djokovic’s visa anew would result in him being excluded from Australia for three years – significantly upping the stakes in a bizarre border stoush that threatens Djokovic’s quest to win the most grand slam singles titles of all time.

After a lengthy adjournment on Monday the judge Anthony Kelly read a consent minute agreed between the world No 1 male tennis player and the home affairs minister, Karen Andrews. Djokovic, after being temporarily released from immigration detention earlier on Monday to attend the remote hearing, was present off-screen as Kelly ordered the visa cancellation decision be quashed and costs awarded in his favour. After the decision is quashed, Djokovic must be released from detention within 30 minutes with his passport and personal effects be returned to him. Kelly said it was “unreasonable” for Australian Border Force officials to interview Djokovic on Thursday morning and cancel his visa in circumstances where they had agreed to give him until 8.30am to speak to officials and respond to the proposed visa cancellation.


Tran informed the court that another minister of the Australian government – the immigration minister, Alex Hawke – would consider exercising a personal power to cancel Djokovic’s visa. Kelly praised his candour. He questioned if such a power was exercised whether Djokovic would be removed from Australia and unable to return for three years, which Tran confirmed. “The stakes have now risen rather than receded,” the judge said. “I cannot purport to encroach on the valid exercise of a minister of executive power.”

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“..even the proponents of lockdown should be able to accept that this virus is well below a level where restrictions are justifiable…”

99.9987% of Under-20s Survive Covid– And 97.1% of the Elderly Do As Well (DS)

Early last year renowned epidemiologist Professor John Ioannidis published an analysis of seroprevalence (antibody) studies from 2020 which concluded the infection fatality rate (IFR) of COVID-19 – the proportion of those infected who die – was around 0.15% globally. It varied significantly by region, up to 0.3%-0.4% in Europe and the Americas and down to 0.05% in Africa and Asia. Prof. Ioannidis has now published an update, using 2021 seroprevalence studies to find a more recent IFR for the conditions prevailing in the second year of the pandemic. The new study has a special focus on the IFR in the elderly, but also includes estimates for all age groups, though not a new overall estimate. From analysis of 25 seroprevalence surveys across 14 countries, Prof. Ioannidis and his colleague found the IFR varied from 0.0013% in the under-20s to 0.65% in those in their 60s.


For those above 70 not in a care home it was 2.9%, rising to 4.9% for all over-70s. This means that even for the elderly, more than 95% of those infected survive, 97.1% when considering those not in a care home. For younger people the mortality risk is orders of magnitude less, with 99.9987% of under-20s surviving a bout of the virus. The authors note that if you allow for antibody waning of 5% per month in the elderly then the IFR reduces to 2.4% for non-care home residents and 4% for all elderly. They add that IFR varies between countries, and this variation correlates with the proportion of the elderly who are over 85, suggesting much of the difference may be accounted for by the age of the population. The authors conclude that the IFR of COVID-19 has reduced substantially from previously reported figures. They suggest some reasons for this, including better treatments and the vaccine programmes:

“The share of nursing home deaths decreased markedly over time in most high-income countries with some exceptions (e.g. Australia). This change may be reflected in a much lower IFR among the elderly and the entire population after the first wave. Improved treatments (e.g. dexamethasone) and less use of harmful treatments (e.g. [high dose] hydroxychloroquine, improper mechanical ventilation) may also have decreased IFR substantially in late 2020 and in 2021. Other investigators have estimated in 2020 a global IFR of only 0.11% in the absence of effects of new variants and vaccinations. Vaccines that are more effective in protecting against death rather than infection are also expected to have decreased the IFR in 2021. New variants becoming dominant in 2021 may also be associated with further lower IFR…”


The study’s findings confirm that Covid is a mild disease in all but a small minority of cases. With Omicron now reducing the severity several-fold further, even the proponents of lockdown should be able to accept that this virus is well below a level where restrictions are justifiable.

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“Perhaps fire the modellers and keep the NHS staff. Most will already have immunity.”

100,000 NHS Staff Face The Sack If Mandatory Covid Vaccines Enforced (Exp.)

The cross-party alert comes after troops were drafted into hospitals with thousands of employees on sick leave through Covid or stress. Trade union bosses urged Health Secretary Sajid Javid to delay making Covid jabs mandatory by the end of March “with immediate effect”. They fear the exodus it triggers will worsen the staffing crisis, which includes 93,000 unfilled vacancies. And the Government and NHS trusts are facing a two-pronged legal challenge over the policy, by the Together Declaration campaign and Workers of England Union. The Government says that vaccinations are “our best defence” against Covid, preventing infection and saving lives”. But concerned ministers have held private talks with Tory MPs from the Covid Recovery Group about delaying or ditching the plan.

Sir Graham Brady, who chairs the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, said: “The experience of forcing care home workers to be vaccinated was tens of thousands left their jobs, piling extra pressure on NHS beds. “We are about to repeat this folly by forcing NHS staff out of their jobs too. It’s time we took a more rational approach now we know that vaccines don’t stop transmission of Covid. A negative test provides much more reassurance.” In October, Mr Javid brushed off pleas from professionals to “pause” the requirement for care staff to be fully jabbed, saying those who “can’t be bothered” should “get out and get another job”. Around 11,000 left in the two months before the deadline.

Mr Javid was confronted at Kings College Hospital, in south London, on Friday by consultant anaesthetist Steve James. He has had Covid but does not want the vaccine, and is therefore facing dismissal. Mr James told him “the science isn’t strong enough” to justify a compulsory jab. He quoted research showing the vaccine suppressed Covid transmission of the Delta variant for only eight weeks and “is probably less” for Omicron. A senior NHS official at a London trust said: “There are serious ethical questions about forcing people to have medical interventions against their will but the public needs to understand the practical implications too. “We are looking at more than 100,000 people being sacked and some calculations have it at above 200,000.

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“They say the first thing the administration needs to do is take a broader vision, by recognizing that Covid-19 is here to stay.”

Advisers Urge Biden To Change COVID-19 Strategy (SAC)

Six public health advisers who advised President Biden during his presidential transition published three opinion articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association urging Biden to change his strategy in responding to COVID-19 to one aimed at learning how to live with the virus. “The authors are all big names in American medicine; several, including Dr. Luciana Borio, a former acting chief scientist at the Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. David Michaels, a former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, have held high-ranking government positions,” The New York Times reported. “The driving force behind the articles is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist, medical ethicist and University of Pennsylvania professor who advised former President Barack Obama.”

“They say the first thing the administration needs to do is take a broader vision, by recognizing that Covid-19 is here to stay. In one article, Dr. Emanuel and two co-authors — Michael T. Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease expert at New York University — pointedly note that in July, Mr. Biden proclaimed that ‘we’ve gained the upper hand against this virus,’ which in retrospect was clearly not the case,” the outlet added. The call for a new strategy comes after the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened to reaching over 1 million new daily cases despite Biden’s promise to “shut down the virus” during his 2020 presidential campaign.

“To be better prepared for inevitable outbreaks, they suggest that the administration lay out goals and specific benchmarks, including what number of hospitalizations and deaths from respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus, that should trigger emergency measures,” The New York Times added. “The authors say the administration needs to acknowledge that Omicron may not mark the end of the pandemic — and to plan for a future that they concede is unknowable. They also make clear that the current rate of Covid hospitalizations and deaths is unacceptably high.”

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“There is one official report of an Israeli dying from Omicron. However, according to The Times of Israel, it is unclear that Omicron caused the death of the individual..”

We are still at zero confirmed deaths… From Omicron, that is. Not from the vaccines.

4th COVID Booster Shot Could Cause ‘Immune System Fatigue (CHD)

COVID-19 booster shots could do more harm than good, according to scientists interviewed late last month by The New York Times. The scientists warned “that too many shots might actually harm the body’s ability to fight COVID” and “might cause a sort of immune system fatigue.” On Monday, Israeli authorities began offering anyone over age 60 a chance to get a fourth shot, or second booster of the COVID vaccine. But scientists told The Times, before Israel confirmed it would offer the fourth shot, the science is not yet settled on using an additional booster shot to combat the new Omicron variant. There is one official report of an Israeli dying from Omicron. However, according to The Times of Israel, it is unclear that Omicron caused the death of the individual — a man in his 60s hospitalized weeks earlier from a pre-existing condition.

A new report from the UK Health Security Agency showed booster doses are less effective against Omicron than previous variants, and their effectiveness wears off in only 10 weeks. Professor Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist and chairman of Israel’s Association of Public Health Physicians, told The New York Times there’s no published scientific evidence a fourth shot is needed to prevent severe illness from Omicron. “Before giving a fourth shot, it is preferable to wait for the science,” Levine said. Benny Muchawsky, an architect based in Israel, told The Times the push to administer boosters for the Omicron variant “seemed like hysteria.” “Israel is the laboratory for the coronavirus vaccine,” Muchawsky said.

Dr. Robert Malone echoed during an interview with Joe Rogan: “These days the country’s name is actually ‘Pfizreal.’ It’s no longer Israel. Their government has a financial deal with Pfizer and they only have the Pfizer vaccine.” Malone told Rogan the scientific data points to booster doses doing more harm than good. Citing data from Denmark, he told Rogan there seems to be “negative efficacy in correlation with increased doses” meaning the more doses or boosters an individual receives, the higher chance they’ll be infected.

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Pierre Kory’s ongoing battle with pharmacists.

Saturday Night Fight.. At The Pharmacy (Kory)

I am exhausted.. physically and emotionally and morally. Although I am not sure moral exhaustion is “a thing,” the daily witnessing of masses of physicians and pharmacists abandoning their core responsibility of placing the welfare of the patient as their primary consideration.. is beyond wearying. As my friend and COVID expert Dr. Hector Carvallo has long ago said, “it’s time for the lawyers.” It is becoming increasingly critical that the law profession aid the medical profession as it has long ago been led astray by captured federal pharmaceutical agencies. Note that I no longer call them “federal health agencies” as all their actions have been 100% consistent with what a pharmaceutical or vaccine manufacturer would want them to do. To prove that point, I simply ask that, when you read an announcement in corporate media that reports a new decision or action by the federal pharmaceutical agencies (FPA’s for short), simply ask yourself “is that what a pharmaceutical company would do?”

Perfect example of this exercise was 2 days ago when it was announced that the “FPA” had authorized boosters for 12-17 year old’s against omicron (a generally mild cold in kids), using a vaccine designed for older, fundamentally different variants that have already spectacularly failed at giving protection against omicron given ever-increasing data of “negative efficacy” (i.e. vaccinated people are getting omicron more frequently than the unvaccinated). Yet the FPA “doubles down” with yet another “non-scientific policy” so that Pharma can increase the total market size of those eligible for a vaccine… and who cares if this decision ends up sending more kids to hospital than the disease ever would. Another brutal assault on public health. Another day in the United States of Pharma.

In the United States of Pharma, the individual docs and pharmacists have been led so far astray, forgivably or unforgivably, due to the relentless barrage of dis-information targeted at them by the FPA’s (supplemented by synchronous Pharma influence over the media and medical journals). The resulting proportion of the two professions that have failed to display even a modicum of either critical thinking or moral conviction.. is terrifying. It is also causing lots of problems for patients and physicians (a colleague of mine now differentiates “doctors” from “physicians”, reserving the latter term for those who follow our guiding principles and ethics by always, always, putting the patient’s welfare as their primary goal above all else, even at personal sacrifice).

Bartiromo/Kory

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All about vaccines that we know don’t help against Omicron.

New Zealand Not Prepared For Omicron Outbreak Expected In ‘Matter Of Weeks’ (G.)

Two of New Zealand’s most prominent Covid-19 experts have warned that the country is unprepared to prevent the health system from being overloaded by an Omicron outbreak, with likely fatal consequences. Otago University’s Dr Nick Wilson and Dr Michael Baker also said it was only a “matter of weeks” before the highly transmissible variant seeped into the community due to border failures. Wilson said that despite New Zealand’s high vaccination rates, the number of adults who had received a booster dose of the vaccine – essential for minimising the effects of Omicron – remains dangerously low, and noted that the vaccine rollout for children between five and 11 still had not begun.

New Zealand received its first shipment of Pfizer’s paediatric vaccine only at the weekend, and intends to begin child vaccinations from 17 January, despite some comparable countries beginning their child vaccine rollout late last year. Omicron’s short incubation period also means New Zealand’s system for identifying and containing new community cases would be much less effective. Wilson panned the country’s traffic light system – which replaced the more stringent alert-level system last year – as “not fit for purpose” with Omicron due to its tolerance for relatively significant social interaction for vaccinated people when Covid is in the community. Baker agreed, calling for the government to rapidly reinstate an amended version of the alert level system.

“The traffic light system won’t help us very much because it was never designed to dampen down transmission, it was only designed to nudge people towards vaccination,” Baker said. Until these weaknesses were fixed, he said, “we need to hugely turn down the tap of people arriving in New Zealand”. Wilson agreed: “The priority is to have a tighter border so that we don’t have to vaccinate kids and conduct a booster program during an outbreak.” The pair called for a “significant tightening” of the number of New Zealanders entering the country.

McCullough Denmark

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Brought to you by Pfizer.

UK Government Urges All Pregnant Women To Get Immediate Covid Jab (G.)

The UK government is warning that almost all pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid symptoms were unvaccinated in one analysis over several months last year, as it kicks off an advertising campaign encouraging expectant mothers to get boosted. The campaign is calling on pregnant women not to wait to get either their first, second or booster jab. It will highlight the risks of Covid-19 to mothers and babies, with testimonies of pregnant women who have had the vaccine to be broadcast on radio and social media. The government says it has been clear, along with medical experts and institutions, that Covid-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women and have no impact on fertility.

The Department of Health and Social Care cited statistics from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System which showed 96.3% of pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid-19 symptoms between May and October were unvaccinated, a third of whom required respiratory support. About 20% of women admitted to hospital with the virus need to be delivered pre-term to help them recover, and 20% of their babies need care in the neonatal unit, the Department of Health and Social Care said. Since April 2021, about 84,000 pregnant women have received one dose and more than 80,000 have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, the department said.

Dr Jen Jardine, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who is seven months pregnant and has had her Covid-19 booster jab, said: “Both as a doctor and pregnant mother myself, we can now be very confident that the Covid-19 vaccinations provide the best possible protection for you and your unborn child against this virus. “I would strongly call on all pregnant women like me, if you haven’t had the vaccine yet, to either speak to your GP or midwife if you still have questions and then book right away today.”

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Enormous amounts of photos on Twitter.

#BareShelvesBiden Trends On Twitter As Americans Deal With Empty Shelves (PM)

The hashtag “BareShelvesBiden” has taken off on Twitter, with Americans nationwide documenting an alarming number of empty shelves in their local grocery stores. It was #6 on Twitter’s trending list at the time of publishing. #BareShelvesBiden became a leading Twitter trend on Sunday evening as social media users across the country took aim at President Joe Biden and his administration for failing to address the ongoing supply chain crisis. A large number of photographs posted using the alliterative hashtag show bare shelves in produce, meat, and dairy areas of stores, and paper goods isles that resemble the mass buying of toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic.


Throughout the hashtag, Twitter users posted videos and photographs of their local supermarkets across numerous grocery chains. While it’s currently unclear what exactly has caused these widespread shortages in stores across the country, some Twitter users have blamed the Biden administration and a supply chain crisis that hasn’t been solved for the shortages. The shortages appear to have touched a large portion of the country, with Twitter users from California, Maryland, Minnesota, and more states sending in their experiences with the popularized hashtag. Shelves remained unstocked and in a dire state as retail outlets continue to struggle with the shortage of goods, exacerbated by the pandemic and the Biden administration’s continued struggle to remedy the situation.

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“Sundance” with a closer look.

Temporary Empty Shelves are Not a Supply Chain Crisis (CTH)

All of these #BidensEmptyShelves assumptions, which are being heightened by increased attention and social media, are leading to confusion. An empty retail shelf or case for a 24, 36 to 48-hour period is not, I repeat, NOT, part of a systemic supply chain disruption. Those are mostly location and regional specific out of stock situations caused by localized events, weather and employee shortages. What CTH has been describing for the past several months is NOT what is noted above. What we have been describing is a long-term supply chain crisis that will slowly unfold over a period of about a week or two, and then remain a problem over time, for a period of 6+ months. The thirteen bullet points below are the issues we will first notice as the general food supply chain begins to show signs of that type of vulnerability. This outline explains why it is happening and how long it can be expected.

Initial food instability signs in the supply chain. Things to look for:

(1) A shortage of processed potatoes (frozen specifically).

And/Or a shortage of the ancillary products that are derivates of, or normally include, potatoes.

(2) A larger than usual footprint of turkey in the supermarket (last line of protein).

(3) A noticeable increase in the price of citrus products.

(4) A sparse distribution of foodstuffs that rely on flavorings.

(5) The absence of non-seasonal products.

(6) Little to no price difference on the organic comparable (diff supply chain)

(7) Unusual country of origin for fresh product type.

(8) Absence of large container products

(9) Shortage of any ordinary but specific grain derivative item (ex. wheat crackers)

(10) Big brand shortage.

(11) Shortage of wet pet foods

(12) Shortage of complex blended products with multiple ingredients (soups etc)

(13) A consistent shortage of milk products and/or ancillaries.

These notes above are all precursors that show significant stress in the supply chain. Once these issues are consistently visible, we are going to descend into food instability very quickly, sector by sector, category by category.

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“Gives ‘Made In China’ a whole new level of meaning.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Jun 122021
 


René Magritte The therapeutist 1937

 

Should You Get Vaccinated? (Kirsch)
Historians Will See Lockdowns As Most Catastrophic Event Of All Human History (SN)
Lockdowns Major Factor in Doubling of Australia’s Attempted Youth Suidices (SN)
How Fanatics Took Over The World (DR)
EU Batches Of J&J Covid-19 Vaccine Withheld As ‘Precaution’ (RT)
Pakistan Province To Block Phones Of The Unvaccinated (Y!)
The NHS Just Changed How They Count Covid “Cases” (OffG)
US Health Agency Gives Lateral Flow Covid Tests Scathing Report (G.)
Covid Passports Will Be Discriminatory And Must Be Scrapped – UK MPs (G.)
Struggle Session (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Idiots run the world

 

 

“..early treatment with an effective protocols reduce your risk of dying by more than 100X ..”

Should You Get Vaccinated? (Kirsch)

  1. At least 6,000 deaths from the vaccine. The OpenVAERS team think it is over 20,000 due to under reporting.
  2. Biodistribution data shows massive accumulation in ovaries of the LNP (which instructs cells in ovaries to sprout toxic spike protein). Whoops. That was never supposed to be leaked out. We obtained it via FOIA request. The CDC never told you about that one, did they? Of course not!
  3. 82% miscarriage rate in first 20 weeks (10% is the normal rate). It is baffling that the CDC says the vaccine is safe for pregnant women when it is so clear that this is not the case. For example, one our family friends is a victim of this. She miscarried at 25 weeks and is having an abortion on 6/9/21. She had her first shot 7 weeks ago, and her second shot 4 weeks ago. The baby had severe bleeding of the brain and other disfigurements. Her gynecologist had never seen anything like that before in her life. They called in a specialist who said it was probably a genetic defect (because everyone buys into the narrative that the vaccine is safe it is always ruled out as a possible cause). No VAERS report. No CDC report. Yet the doctors I’ve talked to say that it is over 99% certain it was the vaccine. The family doesn’t want an autopsy for fear that their daughter will find out it was the vaccine. This is a perfect example of how these horrible side effects just never get reported anywhere.
  4. 25X the possibility of myocarditis for teen boys (can lead to heart failure and death)
  5. Kids already have natural immunity (Science Magazine article), so there is no benefit to vaccination, only risk. Have you ever seen the risk / benefit analysis by the CDC?? Ask for it before you consent.
  6. No point vaccinating those who’ve had COVID-19: Findings of Cleveland Clinic study. No benefit, only risk.
  7. Doctors who attribute adverse events to the vaccine are punished (such as Dr. Hoffe). So under reporting is incentivized.
  8. The CDC refuses to say how many people have died and is “still investigating” heart damage in kids even though it is obvious why (free spike protein causing clotting and inflammation). A 25X increase when the only “new” thing is the vaccine isn’t hard to figure out. Ask the CDC for their current top 5 hypotheses for the cause. It will be more than amusing to see what they say. If it isn’t the vaccine, heads should roll.
  9. The CDC is deliberately misleading the American people. Check out the side effects page. Death, disability, excessive miscarriage rates, heart attacks, stroke, inability to walk, talk, or see, Bell’s Palsy, persistent pain, Parkinson’s like symptoms, re-activation of shingles, blood clots, etc. are all missing.
  10. >500X more deadly than the flu vaccine
  11. COVID vaccines have generated more adverse reports in the last 6 months than all 70 vaccines over the past 30 years combined. They missed that one.
  12. Defective virus design (s1 was never supposed to be free, inclusion of PEG was unnecessary and allows LNP to be widely distributed)
  13. Strong opposition to vaccination by extremely credible voices like Malone, Geert Vanden Bossche, others
  14. NIAID (Cliff Lane) is improperly manipulating the COVID Treatment Guidelines to make it appear these drugs do not work, thus giving the world the false impression that the vaccine, even if imperfect, is the only way out. Ivermectin and fluvoxamine have been confirmed in Phase 3 trials. Ivermectin has a very high quality systematic review, the highest possible level in Evidence Based Medicine. Repurposed drugs are safer and more effective than the current vaccines. In general, early treatment with an effective protocols reduce your risk of dying by more than 100X so instead of 600,000 deaths, we’d have fewer than 6,000 deaths. NOTE: The vaccine has already killed over 6,000 people and that’s from the vaccine alone (and doesn’t count any breakthrough deaths).
  15. Vaccines skipped proper toxicology studies in order to bring to market faster. We don’t know what we don’t know.
  16. The unpredictable and horrifying side effects of this vaccine on heathy kids, such as the 16 year old girl who was unable to speak and see just 48 hours after being vaccinated
  17. Debilitating side effects can happen at any time because vaccine victims are very similar to COVID long haulers (Dr. Bruce Patterson has discovered this) and we all know that long haul can start at anytime (even when the disease is asymptomatic) and could be incurable.
  18. Because the vaccine is not perfectly safe, the government is required by law to warn people of the death and disability risks caused by the vaccine and to obtain informed consent. Always be sure to ask for the 50 most serious side effects and how often they happen. And find out whether they will compensate you if you are disabled for life from the vaccine. This is important because the blood clots can form anywhere with this very unsafe [vaccine] .

McCullough PROPAGANDIZED BIOTERRORISM BY INJECTION

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“We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation.”

Historians Will See Lockdowns As Most Catastrophic Event Of All Human History (SN)

Stanford University professor of medicine Jay Bhattacharya says that in years to come lockdowns will be looked back upon as the most catastrophically harmful policy in “all of history”. Speaking on The London Telegraph podcast ‘Planet Normal’, Bhattacharya noted that government scientific advisors “remain attached” to the policy of lockdown in spite of the total “failure of this strategy”. “I do think that future historians will look back on this and say this was the single biggest public health mistake, possibly of all history, in terms of the scope of the harm that it’s caused,” said Bhattacharya. The epidemiologist added “Every single poor person on the face of the earth has faced some harm, sometimes catastrophic harm, from this lockdown policy.”

“Almost from the very beginning, lockdown was going to have enormous collateral consequences, things that are sometimes hard to see but are nevertheless real,” Bhattacharya added. He further noted that serious mental and physical illnesses have been basically ignored and “we closed our eyes to them because we were so scared about the virus and so enamoured with this idea that the lockdown could stop the virus.” The professor previously told Newsweek that COVID-19 lockdowns are “the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years,” adding that “We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation.”

Bhattacharya is one of the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which has received thousands of signatures from medical and public health scientists. The declaration states that “lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” citing “worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come.”

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“From December 2020 to May 2021, interventions spiked nationally by a whopping 99 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.”

Lockdowns Major Factor in Doubling of Australia’s Attempted Youth Suidices (SN)

COVID-19 lockdowns were found to have been a major contributing factor to a doubling in attempted suicides of those aged between 5-25 in Australia. Over the past 6 months, the Kids Helpline organization revealed that there have been 862 attempted suicides in young people, meaning that interventions have doubled in the space of a year. The group noted that severe depression caused by COVID-19 lockdowns were a major driving factor in the increase. From December 2020 to May 2021, interventions spiked nationally by a whopping 99 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. “We feared an increase in child vulnerability as a result of the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, however the current spike in emergency interventions on behalf of children and young people across Australia is very disturbing,” said YourTown CEO Tracy Adams.

“It is very clear that the pandemic is taking a toll on the lives of children and young people, however, thankfully by young people seeking help Kids Helpline has supported 862 suicide prevention interventions nationally in the past six months,” she added. Earlier this year, experts in the UK warned that isolation and depression caused by lockdowns had created a “mental health pandemic.” In America, psychiatrists wrote 86% more prescriptions for psychotropic drugs, including antidepressants, during the lockdown months of March and April 2020 compared to January and February.

As we highlighted yesterday, Stanford University professor of medicine Jay Bhattacharya says that in the future, lockdowns will be looked back upon as the most catastrophically harmful policy in “all of history.” “Every single poor person on the face of the earth has faced some harm, sometimes catastrophic harm, from this lockdown policy,” said Bhattacharya. “Almost from the very beginning, lockdown was going to have enormous collateral consequences, things that are sometimes hard to see but are nevertheless real,” he added.

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There is history. There is a plan.

How Fanatics Took Over The World (DR)

Early in the pandemic, I had been furiously writing articles about lockdowns. My phone rang with a call from a man named Dr. Rajeev Venkayya. He is the head of a vaccine company but introduced himself as former head of pandemic policy for the Gates Foundation. Now I was listening. I did not know it then, but I’ve since learned from Michael Lewis’s (mostly terrible) book The Premonition that Venkayya was, in fact, the founding father of lockdowns. While working for George W. Bush’s White House in 2005, he headed a bioterrorism study group. From his perch of influence – serving an apocalyptic president — he was the driving force for a dramatic change in U.S. policy during pandemics. He literally unleashed hell.

That was 15 years ago. At the time, I wrote about the changes I was witnessing, worrying that new White House guidelines (never voted on by Congress) allowed the government to put Americans in quarantine while closing their schools, businesses, and churches shuttered, all in the name of disease containment. I never believed it would happen in real life; surely there would be public revolt. Little did I know, we were in for a wild ride… Last year, Venkayya and I had a 30-minute conversation; actually, it was mostly an argument. He was convinced that lockdown was the only way to deal with a virus. I countered that it was wrecking rights, destroying businesses, and disturbing public health. He said it was our only choice because we had to wait for a vaccine. I spoke about natural immunity, which he called brutal. So on it went.

The more interesting question I had at the time was why this certified Big Shot was wasting his time trying to convince a poor scribbler like me. What possible reason could there be? The answer, I now realized, is that from February to April 2020, I was one of the few people (along with a team of researchers) who openly and aggressively opposed what was happening. There was a hint of insecurity and even fear in Venkayya’s voice. He saw the awesome thing he had unleashed all over the world and was anxious to tamp down any hint of opposition. He was trying to silence me. He and others were determined to crush all dissent. This is how it has been for the better part of the last 15 months, with social media and YouTube deleting videos that dissent from lockdowns. It’s been censorship from the beginning.

For all the problems with Lewis’s book, and there are plenty, he gets this whole backstory right. Bush came to his bioterrorism people and demanded some huge plan to deal with some imagined calamity. When Bush saw the conventional plan — make a threat assessment, distribute therapeutics, work toward a vaccine — he was furious. “This is bulls**t,” the president yelled. “We need a whole-of-society plan. What are you going to do about foreign borders? And travel? And commerce?” Hey, if the president wants a plan, he’ll get a plan. “We want to use all instruments of national power to confront this threat,” Venkayya reports having told colleagues. “We were going to invent pandemic planning.” This was October 2005, the birth of the lockdown idea.

Tucker HCQ

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Confidence booster.

EU Batches Of J&J Covid-19 Vaccine Withheld As ‘Precaution’ (RT)

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said it is aware of a contaminated batch of the active substance used to make Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine and that they’re taking precautionary action to prevent possible harm. In a press release on Friday, the EMA said contamination had occurred at a manufacturing site for the active substance in Maryland, US. While the contaminated batch was not intended for the EU market, other batches of the active substance made in the same facilities were intended for the 27-nation bloc. The EU drugs regulator said precautionary measures are being taken “to safeguard the quality of vaccines” and that the relevant authorities have “recommended not releasing vaccine batches containing the active substance made at around the same time that the contamination occurred.”


The EMA statement adds that the authorities will do everything possible to ensure the precautionary measures do not delay the delivery of vaccines. In March, it emerged that Emergent BioSolutions’s manufacturing plant in Maryland had mistakenly used the wrong ingredients in millions of Johnson & Johnson shots, although none of the 15 million jabs left the factory. The New York Times reported that US officials suggested the incident was a result of human error. In April, the US Food and Drug Administration deemed, after an investigation, that the plant was dirty and had procedural problems. It later emerged that as many as 100 million doses would need to be checked for contamination and Emergent BioSolutions CEO Robert Kramer announced that the company would suspend its 24/7 operations.

Spike proteins

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“It will be hard for me if I can’t use my phone, but I am very scared about the vaccine..”

Pakistan Province To Block Phones Of The Unvaccinated (Y!)

A Pakistan province said Friday it will block the mobile phones of people refusing to get Covid-19 jabs, in the latest move to penalise the unvaccinated in a country where only a fraction of the population have been inoculated. It comes after Sindh province said civil servants who refuse to be vaccinated will not be paid from July. A third wave of infections has begun to stabilise in Pakistan after weeks of tough restrictions, and in Punjab — the country’s most populous province which includes the megacity of Lahore — demand for jabs has slowed. “At first this was only a proposal, but people have been very hesitant in getting vaccinated so the decision was made,” said Hammad Raza, spokesman for the Punjab Primary Health department.

He said the state telecoms agency will decide how to implement the measure. Pakistan’s nationwide vaccination rollout has ramped up in recent weeks with more than 200,000 doses administered most days, but it adds up to only a fraction of the 220 million population. Almost 10.5 million doses have been administered, with China supplying most of the vaccines. But concerns about the side effects of the jab, coupled with misinformation that it causes infertility or death within two years, have sparked vaccine hesitancy. “Pakistan’s education level is low. People are also spreading rumours and misinformation about the vaccines,” Salman Haseeb, the head of Pakistan’s Young Doctor’s Association, told AFP. “So information campaigns by the government won’t work for the short-term. They will have to make use of the law to ensure everyone gets vaccinated.”

“It will be hard for me if I can’t use my phone, but I am very scared about the vaccine,” said Saima Bibi, a domestic worker in Lahore. “You can’t force someone to get vaccinated,” added Farwa Hussain, a teacher in Rawalpindi, who has already received a shot. “It makes me a little suspicious.”

Tucker vaccines

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“..it’s the first time any healthcare service has endeavoured to actually catalogue them differently.”

The NHS Just Changed How They Count Covid “Cases” (OffG)

The UK’s National Health Service has received new instructions from the government on how it should record Covid19 “cases”, separating those who are actually sick from those who just test positive. From the beginning of the “pandemic” last spring, the NHS (and other countries all over the world) have defined a “case” as anyone who tests positive for the Sars-Cov-2 virus, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms. Given that as many as 80% of those who have been infected have no symptoms, and the propensity for the flawed PCR tests to return false-positive results, this lead to likely massively inflated numbers of “cases”. Now, though, the NHS is going to attempt to differentiate between patients who actually have the alleged disease “Covid19”, and those who are in hospital for other reasons and only “incidentally” tested positive for the virus.

According to a report in the Independent: “NHS England has instructed hospitals to make the change to the daily flow of data sent by NHS trusts […] Hospitals have been told to change the way they collect data on patients infected with coronavirus to differentiate between those actually sick with symptoms and those who test positive while seeking treatment for something else.” The distinction between “with” and “from” in Covid deaths – and “with” and “for” in hospitalisations – has been one Covid sceptics all over the world have been keen to make for over a year, but this is the first time any institution has really recognised the difference. And, certainly, it’s the first time any healthcare service has endeavoured to actually catalogue them differently.

So what does the NHS expect the impact of this change to be? Again, from the Independent: “One NHS source said the new data would be “more realistic” as not all patients were sick with the virus, adding: “But it will make figures look better as there have always been some, for example stroke [patients], who also had Covid as an incidental finding”. “That’s a frank admission, and an important one. For the last eighteen months, voices all over the alternate media have been saying the Covid numbers are unrealistic, specifically because they include people who were never actually sick. We have been called “deniers” and “conspiracy theorists” for our trouble. But now an NHS source has actually said, going forward, the Covid data will be “more realistic” as it will discount all the patients where Covid was only “an incidental finding”.

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“..the rapid Covid test on which the UK government has based its multibillion-pound mass-testing programme..”

US Health Agency Gives Lateral Flow Covid Tests Scathing Report (G.)

The US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) has raised significant concerns about the rapid Covid test on which the UK government has based its multibillion-pound mass-testing programme. In a scathing review, the US health agency suggested the performance of the test had not been established, presenting a risk to health, and that the tests should be thrown in the bin or returned to its California-based manufacturer Innova. In the UK, these lateral flow Innova tests form the cornerstone of Operation Moonshot, the mass-testing scheme championed by the prime minister’s former chief adviser. The idea was that the ability to deliver results within 30 minutes – that need not be processed in a laboratory, provides a cheap, pragmatic and efficient way to identify people who have caught the virus but not fallen ill.

But critics have raised concerns about accuracy. Given the tests have been offered free to millions in England, for use at home or at test centres, workplaces and schools, with the aim of detecting more cases, breaking chains of transmission and saving lives since April – the FDA announcement is particularly damning. The US agency has not authorised the use of the Innova test in the US, although the manufacturer has submitted a request for authorisation. But when the FDA discovered the Innova test was being distributed for US use regardless, it conducted an inspection of Innova’s medical device operations between March and April 2021.

In its report, the agency accused the company of “false or misleading” estimates of the test’s clinical performance, saying the estimates did not accurately reflect the performance of the diagnostic devices during clinical studies. The FDA also highlighted that the clinical study data submitted by Innova as part of its request for US authorisation was identical to data previously provided by other manufacturers in separate requests.

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What? Reasonable people?

Covid Passports Will Be Discriminatory And Must Be Scrapped – UK MPs (G.)

Covid passports, which will be used by sports fans for the first time at England’s Euro 2020 match on Sunday, will “disproportionately discriminate” based on race, religion, age and socio-economic background, a cross-party committee has concluded. MPs on the public administration and constitutional affairs committee (PACAC) said that the decision to allow certification, giving people access to events and venues if they test negative for coronavirus or have had the vaccine, could be seen as contempt of parliament. The damning conclusions come as England football fans prepare to use the NHS app to show they have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and are therefore at low risk of transmitting the disease before being allowed to enter Wembley stadium.

William Wragg, the Tory chair of the committee, said: “We are entirely unconvinced by the case for their introduction. “As vaccine uptake statistics indicate, any Covid certification system will be a discriminator along the lines of race, religion and age. Frankly, the government needs to scrap any idea of introducing Covid passports.” A report released on Saturday by the committee concludes that any certification system would discriminate and should be halted. “The evidence of vaccine uptake is a clear indication that such a system would likely disproportionately discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion and socioeconomic background, as well as on the basis of age due to the sequencing of the vaccine rollout,” the committee found.

In late April, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, announced that the NHS app would be used as a Covid passport to give holidaymakers the freedom to go abroad to specific “green list” countries. The committee criticised the government’s decision to make an announcement that pre-empted inquiries of the PACAC and the government itself “without notifying or consulting parliament”. The decision to push ahead with passports could, MPs concluded, be seen as contempt of parliament. “The policy should have been set out in advance of any decision being taken to enable scrutiny, and the House should have been given the opportunity to vote on the proposals,” the report said.

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“I wonder if he’s heard the new caution from the CDC that people who have been “vaccinated” should not fly in airplanes for more than four hours at a time due to the possibility of developing harmful blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) at altitude. “Joe Biden” suffered a cranial aneurysm, 1988, requiring a 13-hour brain surgery.”

Struggle Session (Kunstler)

In late 2020, big pharma companies start releasing mRNA compounds they call “vaccines.” They are not egg-zackly vaccines in the standard sense of what vaccines have been since the British doctor Edward Jenner first inoculated humans for smallpox in 1796 using a weaker cowpox live virus. The Covid-19 “vaccines” are miracles of genetic engineering. They deliver instructions via a lipid nano-particle for the body to manufacture spike proteins of the kind that form the corona of Covid-19, which, in turn prompts the immune system to fight the virus. Sweet! Except they have not gone through the years-long trials usually required by the FDA. By spring of 2021, evidence emerges that the spike protein may have some toxic properties of its own. Uh-oh.

It seems to interfere with women’s reproductive functions; it attacks the epithelial lining of blood vessels; it appears to induce blood clotting that can lead to strokes and infarctions; it can produce neurological disorders; it gets into other organs and messes with them…. Yikes! Ordinarily, vaccines that produce a very few cases of dangerous side-effects are held back from distribution. But under the emergency declaration for Covid-19, the mRNA “vaccines” are proffered even more aggressively. Through May, 2021, The Science (Dr. Fauci) presses to “vaccinate” as many Americans as can possibly be rounded up, including people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have developed their own natural antibodies.

Lately, The Science (Dr. Fauci) has militated for children and teenagers to get “vaccinated.” Only, now it turns out that scores of “vaccinated” young people are showing up with inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), otherwise extremely rare in that demographic. Say what, plus huh, plus WTF? Does it not seem as if The Science (Dr. Fauci) has lurched from one blunder to the next, while also withholding the truth from the public, lying about the origin of the disease, and its (his) role in the development of the “vaccines,” and now rather desperately, it seems, trying to cover its (his) ass? What does “Joe Biden” & Co. do about The Science (Dr. Fauci) now? More and more, it (he) looks like an albatross the size of Rodan the Flying Reptile around Mr. B’s withered neck.

But if they throw it (him) to the wolves, they can no longer use Mr. Trump as the whipping boy for all the damage wreaked by Covid-19 and the government’s response to it (not to mention its role in creating the goshdarn thing.) I guess we’ll have to stand by on all that. For the moment, “Joe Biden” is overseas, dazzling the leaders of foreign lands with his charm and perspicacity. I wonder if he’s heard the new caution from the CDC that people who have been “vaccinated” should not fly in airplanes for more than four hours at a time due to the possibility of developing harmful blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) at altitude. “Joe Biden” suffered a cranial aneurysm, 1988, requiring a 13-hour brain surgery. “Joe Biden” has been vaccinated. Just sayin’.

Read more …

 

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Composite image of Milky Way Galactic Center. Courtesy of NASA/CXC/UMass/Q.D. Wang; Radio: NRF/SARAO/MeerKAT./CXC/UMass/Q.D. Wang; Radio: NRF/SARAO/MeerKAT.

 

 

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May 062020
 


Harris&Ewing Less taxes, more jobs, US Chamber of Commerce campaign 1939

 

Now-Dominant Strain Of Coronavirus Could Be More Contagious Than Original (LAT)
New Mutation Indicates That Coronavirus Might Be Weakening (NYP)
Coronavirus Started Infecting People Globally Late Last Year (Hill)
UK COVID-19 Death Toll Rises Above 32,000, Highest In Europe (R.)
Pseudo-Science Behind The Assault On Hydroxychloroquine (ZH)
Goat and Pawpaw ‘Test Positive’ For COVID19 In Tanzania (AlJ)
Pennsylvania Woman Jailed For Refusing To Quarantine After Positive Test (Hill)
White House To Wind Down Coronavirus Task Force, Focus Shifts To Aftermath (R.)
UK Government ‘Using Pandemic To Transfer NHS Duties To Private Sector’ (G.)
K Street Requests Taxpayer Bailout Of Corporate Lobbyists (IC)
US Airlines Burn Through $10 Billion A Month As Traffic Plummets (R.)
After The Covid Rush: Brace For America’s Version Of Saudi Aramco (Cox)
Bluetooth Inventors See Problems For Coronavirus Contact Tracing (IC)
French Beekeepers Look To Lockdown Exit To Sell Bumper Honey Harvest (R.)
Did The Mueller Team Violate Brady and Flynn Orders? (Turley)
China Fires Entire Propaganda Team: US Media Already Does Their Job (BB)

 

 

• US #coronavirus deaths rise by 2,333 in 24 hours: Johns Hopkins

 

 

 

Cases 3,744,765 (+ 82,494 from yesterday’s 3,662,271)

Deaths 258,884 (+ 6,137 from yesterday’s 252,747)

 

 

 

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

 

 

From Worldometer

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

I was reading two things (first two articles in this overview): 1) that a new dominant corona strain appears more contagious, and 2) that it is a weakening strain. Now, that makes perfect sense, it’s a trade-off that’s ubiquitous in nature: when a virus becomes more contagious, it kills fewer of its new hosts. That way the death number remains the same, and enough potential hosts remain.

But that’s not necessarily what people see. The LA Times seems to expect the opposite: “The Los Alamos study does not indicate that the new version of the virus is more lethal than the original.”

It’s of course possible that a more contagious strain is also more lethal, but it wouldn’t seem to be the more logical chain of events.

Now-Dominant Strain Of Coronavirus Could Be More Contagious Than Original (LAT)

Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote. In addition to spreading faster, it may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease, the report warned.

The 33-page report was posted Thursday on BioRxiv, a website that researchers use to share their work before it is peer-reviewed, an effort to speed up collaborations with scientists working on COVID-19 vaccines or treatments. That research has been largely based on the genetic sequence of earlier strains and might not be effective against the new one. Scientists with major organizations working on a vaccine or drugs to combat the coronavirus have told The Times that they are pinning their hopes on initial evidence that the virus is stable and not likely to mutate the way the influenza virus does, requiring a new vaccine every year. The Los Alamos report could upend that assumption.

The mutation identified in the new report affects the now-infamous spikes on the exterior of the coronavirus, which allow it to enter human respiratory cells. The report’s authors said they felt an “urgent need for an early warning” so that vaccines and drugs under development around the world will be effective against the mutated strain. In many places where the new strain appeared, it quickly infected far more people than the earlier strains that came out of Wuhan, China, and within weeks it was the only strain that was prevalent in some nations, according to the report. The new strain’s dominance over its predecessors suggests that it is more infectious, according to the report, though exactly why is not yet known.

The coronavirus, known to scientists as SARS-CoV-2, has infected more than 3.5 million people around the world and caused more than 250,000 COVID-19 deaths since its discovery late last year. The report was based on a computational analysis of more than 6,000 coronavirus sequences from around the world collected by the Global Initiative for Sharing All Influenza Data, a public-private organization in Germany. Time and again, the analysis found the new version was transitioning to become dominant.

[..] The Los Alamos study does not indicate that the new version of the virus is more lethal than the original. People infected with the mutated strain appear to have higher viral loads. But the study’s authors from the University of Sheffield found that among a local sample of 447 patients, hospitalization rates were about the same for people infected with either virus version. Even if the new strain is no more dangerous than the others, it could still complicate efforts to bring the pandemic under control. That would be an issue if the mutation makes the virus so different from earlier strains that people who have immunity to them would not be immune to the new version.

Read more …

If it would follow SARS, it would die out completely. But that’s a long way away, and wishful thinking.

New Mutation Indicates That Coronavirus Might Be Weakening (NYP)

A new coronavirus mutation discovered by Arizona researchers mirrors a change that occurred as the 2003 SARS virus began to weaken, the researchers announced. Lead study author Dr. Efrem Lim, an assistant professor at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, and his team use a new technology called next-generation sequencing to rapidly read through all 30,000 chemical letters of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, or genetic code. That technology helps researchers determine how the virus is spreading, mutating and adapting over time. Out of the 382 nasal swab samples the researchers examined from coronavirus patients in the state, a single sample was missing a significant chunk of its genome. 81 of the letters were permanently deleted, according to the new study published in the Journal of Virology.

“One of the reasons why this mutation is of interest is because it mirrors a large deletion that arose in the 2003 SARS outbreak,” Lim said in a statement. During the middle and late phases of the 2003 SARS epidemic, the virus accumulated mutations that lessened its strength, according to the researchers. “Where the deletion occurs in the genome is pretty meaningful because it’s a known immune protein which means it counteracts the host’s antiviral response,” Lim told the Daily Mail. A weakened virus that causes less severe symptoms may get a leg up if it is able to spread efficiently through populations by people who don’t know they are infected, the scientists say. However, it’s too soon to say whether the novel coronavirus is beginning to lose its potency, according to the researchers.

“The takeaway is that one virus had a large deletion which demonstrates that it is possible for the virus to transmit without having complete portions of its genetic material,” study co-author Matthew Scotch said in an email. “This was one virus and we do not suggest that this means a ‘weakening’ of any kind.” All of the patients whose samples the Arizona scientists analyzed had some clinical coronavirus symptoms — meaning that even the version with 81 deletions was still strong enough to make the patient at least somewhat sick, the Mail reported. This is the first time such a deletion has been seen in the 16,000 coronavirus genomes that have been sequenced to date, according to the researchers. That’s less than half a percent of the strains circulating, according to the scientists. There are about 3.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide. “This is a drop in the bucket,” Lim told the Mail.

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This would be a less contagious strain.

Coronavirus Started Infecting People Globally Late Last Year (Hill)

The coronavirus has been circulating among people since late 2019 and appears to have experienced a highly rapid spread after the first infection, according to a new genetic analysis of 7,600 patients around the world. Researchers in Britain wrote in a report published Tuesday in the journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution that they examined samples taken at different times and from different places, concluding that the virus first began infecting people late last year. The researchers found evidence of quick spread but found no indication that it is becoming any easier to transmit the virus, which was first identified in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, in December 2019.


“The virus is changing, but this in itself does not mean it’s getting worse,” genetics researcher Francois Balloux of the University College London Genetics Institute told CNN. The study indicated that infections in the U.S. and Europe specifically could have occurred weeks or months before the first official cases were reported in January and February, making it more difficult to find “Patient Zero” in any particular area. The findings shot down hopes from some doctors that the virus had in fact been circulating under the radar for months before it burst onto the scene, which would have indicated that there could be some immunity already built up. But Balloux told CNN at most only 10 percent of the population has been exposed to the coronavirus.

Read more …

I was wondering why the numbers are so different, but one thing at least is that numbers for the UK, which includes Scotland and Northern Ireland, do not include Scotland and Northern Ireland. Curious.

And then there’s more: the UK appears to undercount deaths by some 20,000.

UK COVID-19 Death Toll Rises Above 32,000, Highest In Europe (R.)

More than 32,000 people in the United Kingdom have died with suspected COVID-19, the highest official toll yet reported in Europe, according to data published on Tuesday. The Office for National Statistics said 29,648 deaths had taken place as of April 24 in England and Wales with COVID-19 mentioned in death certificates. Including deaths for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the official toll now stands at 32,313. That is more than Italy, previously Europe’s worst hit country, though its toll does not include suspected cases. Ministers dislike comparisons of the headline death toll, saying that excess mortality – the number of deaths from all causes that exceed the average for the time of year – is a more meaningful metric.

 

Chris Giles is economics editor at the FT.

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The case of the “whistleblower”, Rick Bright, is strongly linked to HCQ.

Pseudo-Science Behind The Assault On Hydroxychloroquine (ZH)

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was accepted as a COVID-19 treatment by the medical community in the US and worldwide by early April. 67% of the US physicians said they would prescribe HCQ or chloroquine CQ for COVID-19 to a family member (Town Hall, 2020-04-08). An international poll of doctors rated HCQ the most effective coronavirus treatment (NY Post, 2020-04-02). On April 6, Peter Navarro told CNN that “Virtually Every COVID-19 Patient In New York Is Given Hydroxychloroquine.” This might explain decrease in COVID-19 deaths in the New York state after April 15. The time lag is because COVID-19 deaths happen on average 14 days after showing symptoms. But on April 21, several perfectly coordinated events took place, attacking HCQ’s use for COVID-19 patients.

• The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel of the National Institute of Health issued recommendations with negative-ambivalent stance regarding the use of HCQ as a COVID-19 treatment. This surprising stance was taken contrary to the ample evidence of the efficacy and safety of HCQ and despite absence evidence of its harm. The panel also strongly recommended against the use of hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin (AZ), the combination of choice among practitioners.

• On the same day, a paper (Magagnoli, 2020) was posted on a pre-print server medRxiv, insinuating that HCQ is not only ineffective, but even harmful. This not-yet peer reviewed paper, by unqualified authors with conflicts of interest, received wall-to-wall media coverage, as it if were a cancer cure. It used data from Veterans Administration hospitals, spicing its effects. The paper has shown to be somewhere between junk science and fraud.

• Rick Bright, a government official who was probably more responsible for the low level of preparedness to the epidemic than most others, and had been re-assigned to a lower position earlier, emerged as a “whistleblower.” He claimed he had been demoted for opposing hydroxychloroquine, the claim to be soon debunked by documents bearing his signature. The media also gave him a wall-to-wall coverage.

On April 24, the FDA struck its own blow, issuing a stern warning against use of HCQ for COVID-19 treatment. While these warnings are not binding to doctors, they do produce a chilling effect. Consequently, either patients do not receive necessary treatment, or they receive it with a delay, sharper decreasing its effect. This allows detractors to question HCQ efficacy even more aggressively. Below, I review problems in the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines and other sources, used to wage anti-HCQ propaganda.

Read more …

Not sure if laughing is the best reaction here.

Goat and Pawpaw ‘Test Positive’ For COVID19 In Tanzania (AlJ)

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has dismissed imported coronavirus testing kits as faulty, saying they returned positive results on samples taken from a goat and a pawpaw. Magufuli made the remarks during an event in Chato in northwestern Tanzania on Sunday. He said there were “technical errors” with the tests. The president, whose government has already drawn criticism for being secretive about the coronavirus outbreak and has previously asked Tanzanians to pray the coronavirus away, said he had instructed Tanzanian security forces to check the quality of the kits. They had randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from a pawpaw, a goat and a sheep, but had assigned them human names and ages.

These samples were then submitted to Tanzania’s laboratory to test for the coronavirus, with the lab technicians left deliberately unaware of their origins. Samples from the pawpaw and the goat tested positive for COVID-19, the president said, adding this meant it was likely that some people were being tested positive when, in fact, they were not infected by the coronavirus. “There is something happening. I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation,” Magufuli said, adding the kits should be investigated.

On Saturday, Magufuli announced that he had placed an order for a herbal treatment for the coronavirus touted by the president of Madagascar. “I have already written to Madagascar’s president and we will soon dispatch a plane to fetch the medicine so that Tanzania can also benefit from it,” he said. The herbal remedy, called “Covid Organics” and prepared by the Malagasy Institute for Applied Research, is made out of Artemisia, a plant cultivated on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar. Despite a lack of scientific evidence, President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar claimed that the remedy has already cured some Madagascans of COVID-19. Children returning to school have been required to take it.

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We can neatly divide the country, if not the world, according to people’s reaction to this.

Problem is even if she wasn’t tested at all, she could still be positive.

Pennsylvania Woman Jailed For Refusing To Quarantine After Positive Test (Hill)

A Pennsylvania woman was jailed over the weekend for refusing to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, officials said Saturday. Erie County President Judge John Trucilla ordered that the woman be kept on electronic monitoring at home for at least a week after she spent a night in jail Friday for repeatedly violating her isolation order, the Erie Times-News reported. County Solicitor Richard Perhacs said the woman, who was unidentified at her Saturday court hearing, attended a party, did some banking and had her vehicle repaired after she tested positive. As a result, 27 people are now in quarantine after coming in contact with her or someone who was in contact with her.

The woman reportedly cried throughout the emergency proceeding as she appeared via a video call from the Erie County Prison, according to the news outlet. She told Trucilla that she did not understand a letter she signed on April 29 saying the county could take legal action if she did not self-isolate. “I want to explain from the bottom of my heart that I apologize,” she told the judge, according to the Times-News. “It was a mistake. I’ve learned from my actions. I want to go home.” Trucilla ruled in a preliminary order that she had to remain at home until she was tested again on Friday but said she could be jailed for longer if she violated the order again. The judge will determine whether her self-isolation period needs to be extended based on that test.

County officials said they explained the letter to her multiple times. The woman first developed symptoms on April 12 and said Saturday that she was no longer experiencing them. Erie County Chief Public Defender Pat Kennedy, who represented the woman, requested she be electronically monitored at her home. “Based on my interaction with her, I don’t think that day in jail was lost upon her,” Kennedy said, according to the news outlet.

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Shouldn’t Fauci and Birx simply resign? Or do they agree with the re-opening?

White House To Wind Down Coronavirus Task Force, Focus Shifts To Aftermath (R.)

The White House coronavirus task force will wind down as the country moves into a second phase that focuses on the aftermath of the outbreak, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday. Trump confirmed the plans after Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the group, told reporters the White House may start moving coordination of the U.S. response on to federal agencies in late May. “Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job,” Trump said during a visit to a mask factory in Arizona. “But we’re now looking at a little bit of a different form and that form is safety and opening and we’ll have a different group probably set up for that.” Asked if he was proclaiming “mission accomplished” in the fight against the coronavirus, Trump said, “No, not at all. The mission accomplished is when it’s over.”

Trump said Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, doctors who assumed a high profile during weeks of nationally televised news briefings, would remain advisers after the group is dismantled. Fauci leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Birx was response coordinator for the force. “We can’t keep our country closed for the next five years,” Trump said, when asked why it was time to wind down the task force. More than 70,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. The U.S. death toll is the highest in the world. Trump acknowledged there might be a resurgence of the virus as states loosen the restrictions on businesses and social life aimed at curbing its spread. “It’ll be a flame and we’re going to put the flame out.”

Earlier, Pence said Trump was starting to look at Memorial Day on May 25 as the time to shift management of the response to the pandemic. [..] Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn said the Trump administration was committed to accelerating the search for a vaccine, with the goal of producing 100 million doses by the autumn and 300 million doses by the end of the year. “Whether that can be achieved or not, it is realistic,” said Azar. “We would not be doing this if we did not think it were realistic. Is it guaranteed? Of course it is not.” Most experts have suggested clinical trials to guarantee a vaccine is safe and effective could take a minimum of 12 to 18 months.

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The government is intentionally doing such a shitty job, might as well let the for-profit boys do it.

UK Government ‘Using Pandemic To Transfer NHS Duties To Private Sector’ (G.)

The government is using the coronavirus pandemic to transfer key public health duties from the NHS and other state bodies to the private sector without proper scrutiny, critics have warned. Doctors, campaign groups, academics and MPs raised the concerns about a “power grab” after it emerged on Monday that Serco was in pole position to win a deal to supply 15,000 call-handlers for the government’s tracking and tracing operation. They said the health secretary, Matt Hancock, had “accelerated” the dismantling of state healthcare and that the duty to keep the public safe was being “outsourced” to the private sector. In recent weeks, ministers have used special powers to bypass normal tendering and award a string of contracts to private companies and management consultants without open competition.


Deloitte, KPMG, Serco, Sodexo, Mitie, Boots and the US data mining group Palantir have secured taxpayer-funded commissions to manage Covid-19 drive-in testing centres, the purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the building of Nightingale hospitals. Now, the Guardian has seen a letter from the Department of Health to NHS trusts instructing them to stop buying any of their own PPE and ventilators. From Monday, procurement of a list of 16 items must be handled centrally. Many of the items on the list, such as PPE, are in high demand during the pandemic, while others including CT scanners, mobile X-ray machines and ultrasounds are high-value machines that are used more widely in hospitals.

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Not sure I can fully incorporate the irony involved here.

K Street Requests Taxpayer Bailout Of Corporate Lobbyists (IC)

K Street may soon have its own taxpayer-funded bailout. Industries as varied as oil refining, construction, fast food restaurants, and chemical manufacturing are seeking federal cash to support their lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Many of the largest lobbying forces are organized under the 501(c)(6) section of the tax code as trade groups. Corporations with similar concerns pool their money together to fund trade groups, which in turn employ thousands of lobbyists to shape elections and legislation on a daily basis. But the Paycheck Protection Program, the centerpiece of the small business rescue program, excluded such trade groups. That could change in the next round of stimulus legislation, which Congress is scheduled to debate later this month.


Lobbyists have stepped up a campaign to make sure professional influence peddlers are eligible for the PPP, or P3, funds. The push also includes a demand for an additional $25 billion for canceled events and other lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic. The American Society of Association Executives, which represents trade group leadership, explained in a letter to lawmakers that trade group lobbyists need federal funding to better advocate for their clients. “These organizations are already relied upon to help coordinate federal resources to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and they require staff to fulfill this duty,” ASAE wrote. Trade groups, the ASAE letter notes, have faced declining revenue as corporations wind down dues payments and sponsorship fees in response to the economic downturn.

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So many sectors of the economy are entire bubbles, and we’re going to bail them all out.

US Airlines Burn Through $10 Billion A Month As Traffic Plummets (R.)

U.S. airlines are collectively burning more than $10 billion in cash a month and averaging fewer than two dozen passengers per domestic flight because of the coronavirus pandemic, industry trade group Airlines for America said in prepared testimony seen by Reuters ahead of a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday. Even after grounding more than 3,000 aircraft, or nearly 50% of the active U.S. fleet, the group said its member carriers, which include the four largest U.S. airlines, were averaging just 17 passengers per domestic flight and 29 passengers per international flight. “The U.S. airline industry will emerge from this crisis a mere shadow of what it was just three short months ago,” the group’s chief executive, Nicholas Calio, will say, according to his prepared testimony.


Net booked passengers have fallen by nearly 100% year-on-year, according to the testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee. The group warned that if air carriers were to refund all tickets, including those purchased as nonrefundable or those canceled by a passenger instead of the carrier, “this will result in negative cash balances that will lead to bankruptcy.” Separately, Eric Fanning, who heads the Aerospace Industries Association, will ask Congress to consider providing “temporary and targeted assistance for the ailing aviation manufacturing sector,” in testimony made public by the group. Boeing Co said last week it would cut 16,000 jobs by the end of the year, while GE Aviation plans to cut up to 13,000 jobs and airplane supplier Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc is cutting 1,450 jobs.

Read more …

So much for competition as a model.

After The Covid Rush: Brace For America’s Version Of Saudi Aramco (Cox)

Calamity creates opportunity. That has always been true when it comes to corporate consolidation. Recall how a series of mega-mergers and acquisitions transformed the banking industry after the 2008 financial panic. Wells Fargo snagged Wachovia. Bank of America scooped up Merrill Lynch. Lloyds TSB bought HBOS. BNP Paribas grabbed Fortis. JPMorgan got Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns. And so on. Before the coronavirus has taken its full physical and economic toll, expect more of the same. Strong banks ate the weak, and they were chivvied along by federal and state governments and regulators worried about the sustainability of their financial systems. Governments will play a central role now, too.

Even before the Great Lockdown, leaders were calling for relaxation of antitrust restrictions as a response to the emergence of stronger Chinese competitors. France and Germany railed against the European Commission blocking the merger between the rail businesses of Siemens and Alstom, complaining it would give Chinese giant CRRC free reign. President Donald Trump has tried to encourage telecom mergers to combat Huawei. These concerns have only become more pronounced as China appears to have rebounded from the virus more rapidly than the rest of the world. The political logic of protecting domestic companies through strategic alliances will apply after the pandemic and across a broad range of industries.

Governments will come away from Covid-19 with new priorities, ranging from safer, more domestic, manufacturing and supply chains to less risky balance sheets. If history rhymes, then pre-virus views about competition may take a back seat. As Edward Chancellor argued, this will lead to an unhealthy concentration of power. For the M&A business it opens all sorts of possibilities once considered taboo. Take the oil patch. Sliding demand has combined with efforts by the world’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia, to flood the market and nudge U.S. drillers toward bankruptcy. As the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude has fallen below $20 a barrel from $60 at the start of the year, producers have been lobbying Trump for a rescue.

It’s not inconceivable to imagine the largest American producers banding together to squeeze out costs and take a better grip of U.S. oil supply, maybe even aided by government loans and a streamlined regulatory process, effectively creating a potential rival to Saudi Aramco. Merging Exxon Mobil with Chevron would forge a company worth some $350 billion with 35 billion barrels of proved reserves. Heck, they might even fold in BP’s 20 billion of reserves and $75 billion market cap and “ExChevBrit”. It would be a shrimp compared to Aramco’s $1.6 trillion value and 270 billion barrels of proved barrels of oil – and that’s how they would justify a deal.

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The sytem cannot tell if you’re 2 meters or 20 meters away. Next!

Bluetooth Inventors See Problems For Coronavirus Contact Tracing (IC)

Named for the 10th century king Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson, famous in Scandinavia for uniting (and Christianizing) the Danes, the humble, oft-derided wireless technology included in some form in nearly every portable device from the past decade and beyond is central to coronavirus contact tracing apps pushed by Apple, Google, and governments across the world. Banking on the standard’s ubiquity, and considerably improved reliability since the ’90s, these entities hope to turn billions of Bluetooth-enabled devices into an army of public health automatons that can map anyone who came into contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19.


Although the exact plans for using Bluetooth vary between governments, the gist is simple: In order for your iPhone to connect to your friend’s Bluetooth speaker, it has to essentially shout its existence into the electromagnetic spectrum, sending repeated radio messages that announce that the device is turned on and willing to pair with another. It’s exactly these short, repeating radio wave bursts that tech companies and public health authorities hope can be used for contact tracing, by collecting an anonymized record of every Bluetooth announcement within a certain range. If one of these “HELLO, I AM BLUETOOTH!” messages ends up coming from an individual who later tests positive for Covid-19, the hope is that anyone else whose phone was able to detect that message could then be alerted and tested (or treated) accordingly.

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No-one here links the good harvest to less pollution or glyphosate. Odd.

French Beekeepers Look To Lockdown Exit To Sell Bumper Honey Harvest (R.)

Beekeepers in France are celebrating a bumper spring honey harvest after weeks of warm weather but will need a smooth unwinding of the coronavirus lockdown if they are to find a market for their produce. Down an overgrown track near the Chantilly Palace, where the James Bond film “A View to a Kill” was filmed in the 1980s, beekeeper Franck Portefaix says it could be the best season in four decades. “The blossom was almost three weeks early and the harvest is very, very good,” said Portefaix, who followed his parents into beekeeping 30 years ago. Nearby, colleagues in protective suits sprayed smoke over hives before opening them to extract the raw honey, most of which Portefaix’s business sells in markets. Temperatures in the l’Oise, north of Paris, in April hit as high as 30 degrees Celsius, more typical of early summer.


In a mediocre harvest, a beehive can produce 4-6 kg of honey, rising to 10 kg in a good harvest, but this spring Portefaix said the best performing among his 500 hives could produce up to 20 kg each. “1976 was really the year of reference, a very good year. And this year has begun much like that year. But not all beekeepers are cheering 2020. While northern and western regions of France basked in ideal April weather, prolonged dry spells hurt harvests in the south. Unfavourable weather also in the Landes region hurt acacia honey production. “With the upheaval to our climate, harvests are becoming increasingly unpredictable. It’s still early in the season, we need to temper our expectations,” said Henri Clement, a spokesman for the National Union of French Beekeeping.

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The FBI is above the law.

Did The Mueller Team Violate Brady and Flynn Orders? (Turley)

With the release of the new material from the case of Michael Flynn, an array of experts came forward to assure the public that it was all standard procedure for investigators to conclude that there was no criminal conduct uncovered and then prosecutors creating a crime (including the use of a clearly unconstitutional law never used to convict anyone since the start of the Republic). Many of these same experts who have been espousing untethered (and ultimately rejected) theories for criminal and impeachment charges for years. Yet, what was most striking is how many also rejected any claim that the undisclosed evidence, at a minimum, violated Brady, the case requiring the government to turn over exculpatory information.

Indeed, Ben Wittes, a staunch defender of James Comey, assured readers “while you might not know much about federal law enforcement,” this is all “standard practices.” In fact, this is a clear and flagrant violation of the both Brady and the orders of Judge Emmet Sullivan. The fact that such violations are also dismissed by mainstream media and experts reflects how rage has distorted legal analysis in this Administration. Brady v. Maryland is a 1963 decision of the Supreme Court that prosecutors must under the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments disclose favorable evidence to defendants upon request, if the evidence is “material” to either guilt or punishment. There are also due process rights requiring the disclosure of any evidence that would allow the defense to attack the reliability, thoroughness, and good faith of the police investigation or to impeach the credibility of the state’s witnesses. Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419 (1995).

Courts like Judge Sullivan in the Flynn case issue standard orders under this and other cases requiring disclosure of evidence that are exculpatory or material to issues like impeachment. Many of us who work on the criminal defense side have long frustrating histories with courts in dealing with violations of Brady and other cases. Often these violations are exposed after sentencing (unlike in Flynn). Courts often cite cases like Strickler v. Greene to decline to order a new trial unless “the nondisclosure was so serious that there is a reasonable probability that the suppressed evidence would have produced a different verdict.” That is a standard that is difficult to overcome. However, this case exposes a particularly obvious set of violations.

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Babylon Bee

China Fires Entire Propaganda Team: US Media Already Does Their Job (BB)

The Chinese government has laid off its entire propaganda arm, cutting thousands of jobs at China Central Television and other state-run media outlets as the American media is already doing their job for them. “It seemed kinda redundant for us to have a state-run media when we have the American press,” said President Xi at a press conference Monday. “The American media is carrying water for us. It’s pretty incredible. We unleashed a virus on the world and lied about it for months, and the American press can’t stop praising us. As long as they make their orange leader look bad, they’ll repeat any line we feed them.”


“Really, we Commies could learn a lot from the propaganda of the press over in America,” he added admiringly. The Communist dictator sat the nervous, state-owned journalists down and asked them, “What would you say you do there?” to which they responded, “We take the propaganda and tell it to the people.” But President Xi wasn’t fooled, saying that the American press already does that and the redundancy would be eliminated. Luckily for the state-owned journalists and broadcasters who lost their jobs in China today, CNN was hiring.

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on people’s kind donations. Since their revenue has collapsed, ads no longer pay for all you read, and your support is now an integral part of the process.

Thank you.

 

 

A great thread, putting together lots of studies:

 

 

Taleb. People often don’t get why you need not median values but extremes, maxima, to build a good model, building, theory, policy.

EVT= Extreme value theory

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth for your own good.

 

Apr 212020
 


Ben Shahn “Scene in Jackson Square, New Orleans” 1935

 

Coronavirus’s Ability To Mutate Has Been Vastly Underestimated (SCMP)
WHO Warns That Few Have Developed Antibodies To COVID19 (G.)
LA Infections 40 Times Greater Than Known Cases In Antibody Tests (R.)
Getting A Handle On Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Scripps)
Coronavirus Attacks Blood Vessel Linings All Over The Body (SCMP)
Through No Fault of Their Own (Ben Hunt)
US Economic Shutdown Too Tight For ‘Optimal’ Outcome: Minneapolis Fed (R.)
Oil’s Big Crash Is More Rational Than It Looks (R.)
US Energy Industry Steps Up Lobbying For Fed’s Emergency Aid (R.)
Mortgage Payments Paused Or Reduced For 3 Million US Households (R.)
US Treasury Releases $2.9 Billion In Airline Support (R.)
Banks Warn New Small-Business Funding Could Evaporate In 2 Days (Pol.)
NHS Staff Not Allowed To Tweet About ‘Political Issues’ – Like PPE (Ind.)
New Zealanders Donate $230,000 To Help Zoo Feed Animals (G.)
The Placeholder (Kunstler)

 

 

With test results all over the place, we need to recognize that having all the world’s top minds on viruses focused on the same issue, does not guarantee a thing. Other than confusion.

• US records 1,433 #coronavirus deaths in past 24 hours:.

 

Cases 2,498,480 (+ 79,296 from yesterday’s 2,419,184)

Deaths 171,333 (+ 5,559 from yesterday’s 165,774)

 

 

 

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

 

 

From Worldometer – NOTE: among Active Cases, Serious or Critical fell to 3%

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live: Note: Turkey is coming on very strong.

 

 

 

 

Virustime and human time are different things.

Coronavirus’s Ability To Mutate Has Been Vastly Underestimated (SCMP)

A new study by one of China’s top scientists has found the ability of the new coronavirus to mutate has been vastly underestimated and different strains may account for different impacts of the disease in various parts of the world. Professor Li Lanjuan and her colleagues from Zhejiang University found within a small pool of patients many mutations not previously reported. These mutations included changes so rare that scientists had never considered they might occur. They also confirmed for the first time with laboratory evidence that certain mutations could create strains deadlier than others. “Sars-CoV-2 has acquired mutations capable of substantially changing its pathogenicity,” Li and her collaborators wrote in a non-peer reviewed paper released on preprint service medRxiv.org on Sunday.

Li’s study provided the first hard evidence that mutation could affect how severely the virus caused disease or damage in its host. Li took an unusual approach to investigate the virus mutation. She analysed the viral strains isolated from 11 randomly chosen Covid-19 patients from Hangzhou in the eastern province of Zhejiang, and then tested how efficiently they could infect and kill cells. The deadliest mutations in the Zhejiang patients had also been found in most patients across Europe, while the milder strains were the predominant varieties found in parts of the United States, such as Washington state, according to their paper. A separate study had found that New York strains had been imported from Europe. The death rate in New York was similar to that in many European countries, if not worse.

But the weaker mutation did not mean a lower risk for everybody, according to Li’s study. In Zhejiang, two patients in their 30s and 50s who contracted the weaker strain became severely ill. Although both survived in the end, the elder patient needed treatment in an intensive care unit. This finding could shed light on differences in regional mortality. The pandemic’s infection and death rates vary from one country to another, and many explanations have been proposed. Genetic scientists had noticed that the dominant strains in different geographic regions were inherently different. Some researchers suspected the varying mortality rates could, in part, be caused by mutations but they had no direct proof.

The issue was further complicated because survival rates depended on many factors, such as age, underlying health conditions or even blood type. In hospitals, Covid-19 has been treated as one disease and patients have received the same treatment regardless of the strain they have. Li and her colleagues suggested that defining mutations in a region might determine actions to fight the virus. “Drug and vaccine development, while urgent, need to take the impact of these accumulating mutations … into account to avoid potential pitfalls,” they said.

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Confusion reigns supreme.

WHO Warns That Few Have Developed Antibodies To COVID19 (G.)

Only a tiny proportion of the global population – maybe as few as 2% or 3% – appear to have antibodies in the blood showing they have been infected with Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization, a finding that bodes ill for hopes that herd immunity will ease the exit from lockdown. “Easing restrictions is not the end of the epidemic in any country,” said WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a media briefing in Geneva on Monday. “So-called lockdowns can help to take the heat out of a country’s epidemic.” But serological testing to find out how large a proportion of the population have had the infection and developed antibodies to it – which it is hoped will mean they have some level of immunity – suggests that the numbers are low.

“Early data suggests that a relatively small percentage of the populations may have been infected,” Tedros said. “Not more than 2%-3%.” Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, an American infectious diseases expert who is the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, said they had thought the number of people infected would be higher, but she stressed it was still too early to be sure. “Initially, we see a lower proportion of people with antibodies than we were expecting,” she said. “A lower number of people are infected.” On Friday, a study carried out in Santa Clara, California by Stanford University and released as a “pre-print” without peer review, found that 50 to 85 times more people had been infected with the virus than official figures showed.

Santa Clara county had 1,094 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the time the study was carried out, but antibody tests suggest that between 48,000 and 81,000 people had been infected by early April, most of whom did not develop symptoms. But even those high figures mean that within the whole population of the county, only 3% have been infected and have antibodies to the virus. A study in the Netherlands of 7,000 blood donors also found that just 3% had antibodies. Van Kerkhove said they needed to look carefully at the way the studies were being carried out. “A number of studies we are aware of in pre-print have suggested that small proportions of the population [have antibodies],” she said. These were “in single digits, up to 14% in Germany and France”. “It is really important to understand how the studies were done.”

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Are the antibody tests valuable?

LA Infections 40 Times Greater Than Known Cases In Antibody Tests (R.)

Some 4.1% of adults tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in a study of Los Angeles County residents, health officials said on Monday, suggesting the rate of infection may be 40 times higher than the number of confirmed cases. The serology tests, conducted by University of Southern California researchers on 863 people indicate the death rate from the pandemic could be lower than previously thought but also that the respiratory illness may be being spread more widely by people who show no symptoms. “We haven’t known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms and the availability of tests has been limited,” Neeraj Sood, a professor of public policy at USC and lead researcher on the study.

“The estimates also suggest that we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies,” Sood said. At least 17 additional fatalities were recorded in Los Angeles County on Monday, bringing the total to 600, with more than 12,300 positive cases, according to a Reuters tally. The county is home to roughly 8 million people. The Los Angeles County results were announced as antibody tests come under increasing scrutiny over a high number of false positives reported in the kits. A similar study conducted in Santa Clara County last week by a Stanford University researcher has been criticized over its methodology and sample size.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said health officials there would begin conducting statewide antibody testing of 3,000 people on Monday. The antibody tests, using decades-old ELISA technology, do not always pick up early-stage infections but show whether a person had the virus in the past, even if the person was asymptomatic. In comparison, the so called RT-PCR-technology swab tests used at drive-through stations and clinics across the country determine whether a person has the virus at that moment by looking for it in nose or throat secretions.

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40%? 80%? Anybody’s guess.

Getting A Handle On Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Scripps)

Since human-to-human transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was first confirmed in January 2020, the early identification and testing of individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 has been the primary focus of public health measures in virtually all locales affected by the pandemic. But over the last two months [1], it has become increasingly clear that a sizable proportion of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 do not, in fact, have any symptoms of COVID-19. This new knowledge has significant implications for the targeting and scale of our testing efforts. For reasons that are not yet known, SARS-CoV-2 infection in certain individuals appears to cause no detectable illness.

Presumably, though, because these individuals shed enough virus particles to trigger positive results in PCR testing, they may be capable of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to others, an uncertain number of whom will develop COVID-19. Such cryptic transmission might explain the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 around the globe—and the grave challenge involved in containing the virus. In the studies that we have summarized in the table, the range of infection rates is wide: from 0.76% for residents of Iceland to 36% for residents of a Boston homeless shelter. It is striking, however, that the proportion of individuals who test positive for SARS-CoV-2, but who have no symptoms of COVID-19, remains consistently high: from approximately 31% to 88%, with a mean of 56%.

Because of various limitations in the summarized studies, this likely overstates the overall population mean, which some observers have suggested is around 40%. It should be noted that the summarized studies are essentially convenience samples. They do not purport to depict anything more than the circumscribed populations from which data were collected. Large, well-designed studies with representative samples are desperately needed to accurately assess the prevalence of those who are infected with SARS-CoV-2, yet are asymptomatic for COVID-19—and to determine their impact on the pandemic.

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So, blood vessel linings and testicles.

Coronavirus Attacks Blood Vessel Linings All Over The Body (SCMP)

The coronavirus attacks the lining of blood vessels all over the body, which can ultimately lead to multiple organ failure, according to a new study published in The Lancet. “This virus does not only attack the lungs, it attacks the vessels everywhere,” said Frank Ruschitzka, an author of the paper from University Hospital Zurich. He said the researchers had found that the deadly virus caused more than pneumonia. “It enters the endothelium [layer of cells], which is the defence line of the blood vessels. So it brings your own defence down and causes problems in microcirculation,” said Ruschitzka, referring to circulation in the smallest of blood vessels. It then reduces the blood flow to different parts of the body and eventually stops blood circulation, according to Ruschitzka, chairman of the heart centre and cardiology department at the university hospital in Switzerland.


“From what we do see clinically, patients have problems in all organs – in the heart, kidney, intestine, everywhere,” he said. That also explained why smokers and people with pre-existing conditions who had a weakened endothelial function, or unhealthy blood vessels, were more vulnerable to the novel virus, he said. Those underlying conditions included hypertension, or high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and established cardiovascular disease. The study, published on Friday, found viral elements within endothelial cells, which line the inside of blood vessels, and inflammatory cells in Covid-19 patients. While the results were based on analysis of three cases, Ruschitzka said autopsies on other Covid-19 patients had also found their blood vessel linings were “full of virus” and the function of vessels was impaired in all of their organs.

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Moral hazard squared.

Through No Fault of Their Own (Ben Hunt)

“I think we all agree with you that more money for Main Street is needed. But maybe not in spite of the money to all of these companies and whatever that make up the economy, as well. More money is needed everywhere, perhaps. Why does anybody deserve to get wiped out from a crisis created like this? It’s like a natural disaster! Why does anyone deserve to be wiped out? Wouldn’t that be immoral itself?”


“Mr. Clarida also dismissed a question about whether the central bank had created a “moral hazard” that encouraged risky investor behavior when the Fed moved quickly to backstop swaths of credit markets. “This is entirely an exogenous event,” said Mr. Clarida, noting how the virus—not private-sector behavior—had forced widespread business closures and revenue losses.”

I, for one, am delighted to learn of the “Through No Fault of Their Own” exemption to stock market risk. What a relief to learn that there’s no need for the plebes to hog all of the money, that so long as investment losses are from an “exogenous event” as opposed to “private sector behavior” – whatever the hell that means – the Fed will provide unlimited amounts of money – their words, not mine – to make the rich investors whole. Could this possibly be a bad idea … some form of moral hazard … for the federal government to insure the rich investors against capital market losses by buying TRILLIONS of dollars in financial assets and providing TRILLIONS of dollars in interest-free loans liquidity facilities? You know, provided that these losses weren’t their fault. LOL.

These are exactly the same people who paid off Goldman Sachs 100 cents on the dollar with their AIG losses in 2009. You think they give a flying fuck what you think about moral hazard or precedent or optics or fairness or decency? You think these oligarchs and their CNBC/fintwit Renfields care about ANYTHING other than getting their MONEY back? Why, it would be immoral NOT to pay off the rich investors on their market losses. I mean, sure, let’s hope that Congress gets its act together and throws a bone to the poors, but c’mon, man. First things first. Besides, you wanna know the REAL moral hazard here? Wanna know what sort of immoral behavior your sociopath “leaders” are worried about encouraging?

“Claiming the relief package will encourage people to stay out of the workforce, Graham told reporters that the bill “pays you more not to work than if you were working,” noting that it would provide the equivalent of $24.07 an hour in South Carolina versus the state minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. “If the federal government accidentally incentivizes layoffs, we risk life-threatening shortages in sectors where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are trying to care for the sick, and where growers and grocers, truckers and cooks are trying to get food to families’ tables.”‘

I am not making this up. It’s the old Welfare Queen argument, all dolled-up for the age of COVID-19. Can’t make unemployment too attractive, you know … all those good-for-nothing poors will laze at home eating bonbons and sucking on the gummint teat instead of getting off their ass and doing an honest day’s work.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Big 4 airlines will be accessing tens of billions of dollars in cash grants and easy 10-year loans, all explicitly designed to support entrenched management and equity shareholders. But hey, fret not, concerned citizen! Management will be prevented from making more stock buybacks until Sept. 30, 2021. That’s a whole eighteen months of no stock buybacks, so don’t tell me that Wall Street doesn’t understand shared sacrifice. And yikes! Management will also have to get by on their current salaries for the next three years, as hard as it may be to imagine the privation and human misery that will entail.

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The middle ground between a job and a life as expressed in “..setting the “value of a statistical life” at $11.5 million..”

US Economic Shutdown Too Tight For ‘Optimal’ Outcome: Minneapolis Fed (R.)

Current U.S. economic restrictions may be twice as tough as needed to balance the risks of the coronavirus pandemic against the economic needs of workers, according to research here released on Monday by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve. Titled “Health versus Wealth,” the paper was explicit in its topic and its methodology, setting the “value of a statistical life” at $11.5 million, in line with other federal agencies like the Department of Transportation. It used that figure to analyze the trade-offs between keeping more workers idled and easing social distancing. The current restrictions, the research concluded, are shifting benefits from younger workers, who would be better off with looser rules, to older individuals for whom protection from the coronavirus is more vital.


A middle ground, with more modest restrictions left in place until the end of July, produces the “optimal” outcome, it said. “The shutdown in place is around twice as extensive as it should be,” wrote the research team, which included Minneapolis Fed monetary adviser Jonathan Heathcote and Kansas City Fed senior economist Andrew Glover. The team noted that ending the shutdown at Easter, as President Donald Trump initially hoped to do, “would have implied an additional 172,000 deaths,” more than four times the 40,000 who have died so far.As it stands, the group estimates that 418,000 people in the United States would die over the next 18 months or so if economic restrictions are largely lifted by July 1. The Trump administration has relied on estimates of around 60,000 deaths through early August.

Read more …

Oil’s Big Crash Is More Rational Than It Looks (R.)

Oil prices have gone through the floor, literally. The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil went negative for the first time in history on Monday as traders panicked that storage for black gold coming from the vast U.S. fields had filled to the brim. Normally, that sort of crash in one-month U.S. crude futures would be indicative of something funny going on in the market rather than something deeply disturbing. In this case, both things can be true. The immediate cause of the mayhem was the normally innocuous news that the so-called “front-month” contract for May is expiring on Tuesday. Usually, investors who want to continue to invest in oil would simply sell their soon-to-expire paper to buyers that want it right now, and then buy the June contract, with a minimal price difference between the two.

Yet with the June contract still trading at $20 a barrel, that spread is now at an unprecedented level. Plummeting demand and a lack of restraint from U.S. drillers mean that at the current rate, storage capacity in Oklahoma will be full in a few weeks, traders told Reuters. Buyers are so wary of taking delivery of crude amid what they see as a global oil glut and a storage crunch that they will only do so at murderously low prices. The optimist’s view, if such a thing is possible, is that other oil benchmarks are less bombed out, and dislocations like this could also suggest short-term investors are struggling with their trades. The similar contract for Brent crude, which reflects oil prices in Europe, fell “only” 9% to $25 a barrel on Monday.

Recent cuts led by Saudi Arabia and Russia in theory offer a coordinated reduction that will remove 10 million barrels of oil from the market daily in May and June. Critically, though, these cuts don’t start until next month. A large chunk of the promised cuts may not even materialise, and pressure on Texas regulators to limit production hasn’t transpired, suggesting there’s no regional relief in sight either. The basic problem remains that the hit to daily global oil demand from Covid-19 could be as high as 30 million barrels. If so, storage will be busted through, and prices will need to fall low enough for the market to balance. While Monday’s epic crash may represent an overshoot, it is based in reality.

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Let’s bailout shale.

US Energy Industry Steps Up Lobbying For Fed’s Emergency Aid (R.)

The U.S. energy industry has asked the Federal Reserve to change the terms of a $600 billion lending facility so that oil and gas companies can use the funds to repay their ballooning debts, according to a letter seen by Reuters. The effort comes at a time of intensifying pain for the sector as U.S. crude oil futures traded in negative territory on Monday for the first time in history on worries of massive oversupply. So far, the energy industry has largely missed out on federal support to businesses hurt by the novel coronavirus economic disruption, but it is hoping it can benefit from the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program due to launch in coming weeks. The Fed has been deluged with roughly 2,000 letters seeking changes to the rules of the program, under which the Fed will purchase 95% of eligible bank loans to small- and medium-sized businesses.


The terms of that and other federal assistance schemes are under growing scrutiny amid worries that insufficient conditions are being placed on borrowers and banks may dish out funds to companies without the greatest need for the cash. The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) asked the Fed to reconsider a provision that bars eligible borrowers from using the cash to repay other loan balances and requires borrowers to promise to repay the Fed before other debt of equal or lower priority, according to an April 15 letter seen by Reuters. “Oil and natural gas producers are not looking for a government handout; they are seeking a bridge to help survive this economic disruption,” the IPAA, which represents thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers, wrote in the letter, which has not been previously reported.

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How about renters though?

Mortgage Payments Paused Or Reduced For 3 Million US Households (R.)

Some 3 million U.S. households have won at least a measure of relief on mortgage payments as efforts to squelch the coronavirus pandemic throw millions out of work and stretch household balance sheets, a survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed on Monday. About 5.95% of mortgage loans were in forbearance during the survey week of April 6-12, up from 3.74% a week earlier and from just 0.25% the week of March 2, the industry lobbying group said on Monday. That increase helps builds the case for a rescue for the mortgage services industry, suggested Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist.


“To ensure market stability during these challenging times for consumers and the entire industry, servicers need access to interim financing so that they can continue to play this critical role,” Fratantoni said. Congress did not include any such relief in its recent $2.3 trillion stimulus package, though some top Democrats have called for it and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan has said he is open-minded about potentially coming to the sector’s aid. The survey covered 38.3 million loans serviced by independent mortgage companies and banks, representing about 77% of the first mortgage-servicing industry.

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Cheap air travel is a huge bubble, so yeah, bailout.

US Treasury Releases $2.9 Billion In Airline Support (R.)

The U.S. Treasury Department said on Monday it had disbursed $2.9 billion in initial payroll assistance to 54 smaller passenger carrier and two major passenger airlines, while it finalized grant agreements with six major airlines. The Treasury is initially giving major airlines 50% of funds awarded and releasing the rest in a series of payments. In total, Treasury is awarding U.S. passenger airlines $25 billion in funds earmarked for payroll costs. Major airlines must repay 30% of the funds in low-interest loans and grant Treasury warrants equal to 10% of the loan amount, while airlines receiving $100 million or less do not need to repay any funds or issue warrants to the government.


Treasury said on Monday it had finalized grant agreements with Allegiant Air, American Airlines Group Inc, Delta Air Lines Inc, Southwest Airlines Co, Spirit Airlines Inc, and United Airlines Holdings Inc. Air carriers have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and seen U.S. travel demand fall by 95%. Southwest said it would receive half of the $3.2 billion payroll award immediately and the remainder in installments during May, June and July. Separately, Treasury said Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways Corp and SkyWest Airlines had also indicated that they planned to participate. The 12 major airlines represent nearly 95% of U.S. airline capacity.

Read more …

The entire US economic system is ideal for smothering small business.

Banks Warn New Small-Business Funding Could Evaporate In 2 Days (Pol.)

Lawmakers are nearing a deal to restart an emergency small-business loan program that exhausted its funding last week — but it may buy only a few days before the program screeches to a halt once again. Lenders are warning their customers they might not be able to secure loans even if Congress provides an additional $300 billion as soon as this week. Banking industry representatives say the program has a burn rate of $50 billion per day and needs closer to $1 trillion to meet demand, with hundreds of thousands of applications pending. “This is going to go within, at most, 72 hours,” said Consumer Bankers Association President Richard Hunt, who represents large banks. “But the odds are more like 48 hours.”

The legislation also likely won’t tackle controversial elements of the program’s structure, chiefly an exemption that allowed large companies such as Shake Shack and Ruth’s Hospitality Group to obtain tens of millions of dollars in loans, as well as rules that encouraged banks to favor their existing customers. The hurried rescue effort had only just begun to operate as intended when funding lapsed Thursday, after banks at first muddled through with a lack of guidance from the Trump administration and an overloaded Small Business Administration system needed to approve loans. Lenders handed out nearly 1.7 million loans from April 3 until the initial allocation of $350 billion for the program was exhausted.

Now, with controversy swirling around big companies taking advantage of the first rounds of loans, small businesses may be in for another shock with funding set to run dry again shortly after it’s made available to the program, which was set up to avert massive layoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic. The loans have proved enticing to businesses because they can be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payroll.

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The level of craziness is not always easy to comprehend.

NHS Staff Not Allowed To Tweet About ‘Political Issues’ – Like PPE (Ind.)

An NHS trust has been accused of “gagging” its staff by asking them not to tweet about “political issues” such as “PPE, testing and exit strategies”. Workers at the Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trust were issued guidance on “Covid-19 suggested subjects for tweets” as part of a staff newsletter. Acceptable tweets included praising staff for their hard work, volunteering to move departments, working over the weekend and keeping people safe. The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust faced backlash over their definition of a “political issue” after an extract from the newsletter was posted to Twitter by the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk. A spokesperson for The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust told us:


“In response to requests for guidance from our staff who are new to social media we produced guidelines to help support them. Our staff are keen to reassure the public and celebrate the work of their colleagues during the Covid-19 pandemic and these suggestions were intended to support them to do that. We actively encourage our staff to use social media within the remit of our social media policy. It was never the intention to deter staff from giving their own views on these issues.” According to government figures, 27 NHS staff members have died nationwide while fighting Covid-19. Why some NHS workers have not had proper access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing have been some of the key questions levelled at the government over its handling of the coronavirus crisis. The least we can expect NHS frontline staff to do is talk about it.

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This must be a glbal issue. If you live near a zoo, check them out.

New Zealanders Donate $230,000 To Help Zoo Feed Animals (G.)

New Zealanders have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed hungry zoo animals in the midst of lockdown as the prime minister announced coronavirus lockdown restrictions would continue for at least three more weeks. Orana Wildlife Park on the outskirts of Christchurch is home to 400 wild and domestic animals, including chimps, meerkats, rhinos and giraffes. The zoo has been shut to the public during the lockdown, with keepers, deemed essential workers, working split shifts to stay safe. Unable to earn any income from visitors, which usually accounts for 95% of its revenue, the zoo is now struggling to pay its weekly NZ$70,000 (US$42,000) food bills, and has appealed to the general public for help. The gorillas alone eat NZ$800 (US$485) worth of vegetables every week.


In just four days more than 4,000 Kiwis have donated more than NZ$230,000. The wildlife park is the country’s only open-range zoo and is home to over 70 species of endangered animals from New Zealand and around the world. According to the givealittle appeal, the government’s wage subsidy only covers 40% of the park’s operating costs. “These costs are impossible to put on hold and include enormous food bills, huge electricity bills to keep our animals warm in the cooler weather and essential veterinary costs,” the appeal reads. “Our important New Zealand native conservation work continues, such as Kiwi chicks have recently hatched and must have access to heated brooder units in these crucial early stages.”

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“..those capers were just old-fashioned scams. Joe Biden for President is Emperor’s-New-Clothes caliber deceit..”

Check out the Trump campaign video. At least make him work for it please.

The Placeholder (Kunstler)

Everybody knows he’s dimmer than a night-lite, and everybody’s pretending it’s okay. There’s no analog in history for any faction putting up such an empty vessel for high office. Granted, the Democratic Party has trafficked in unreality for years, from Crossfire Hurricane through UkraineGate – with side-trips like trannies in women’s sports – but those capers were just old-fashioned scams. Joe Biden for President is Emperor’s-New-Clothes caliber deceit, requiring a rank-and-file so marinated in falsehood they couldn’t tell you the difference between a red light and a green light. So, you have to ask: what is their game? In the weeks that led up to the blossoming of Covid 19, the game was apparently to bump off Bernie Sanders to satisfy the party’s corporate sponsors, who were not so eager to back someone that promised to confiscate their wealth.


Ironically, Covid 19 only fortified Bernie’s case that the nation’s obscenely crooked health care system demands drastic reform. Now, you could easily construct a scenario in which ol’ Bernie would have glided to victory in November on the basis of that, combined with unemployment figures that make the Great Depression look like a job fair. Picking Joe Biden as the instrument to block Bernie seemed especially dumb just weeks after the Democrats’ impeachment gambit blew up in their faces by shining a fiercely revealing light on Joe and Hunter’s adventures in international grift. One can easily discern Mr. Biden’s motive for remaining in the race after that because sheltering in candidacy seemed to inoculate him from any criminal investigation. But, did the whole party want to go all-in on that?

Read more …

 

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Mar 222020
 
 March 22, 2020  Posted by at 11:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


DPC Grand Central Station and Hotel Manhattan, NY 1906

 

Italy To Shut All Non-Strategic Business Activities Until April 3 (R.)
India Starts 14-Hour Curfew To Curb Virus Spread (R.)
FDA Approves New Coronavirus Test That Can Diagnose Within Hours (Solomon)
Most Cases In New York City Are Of People Under 50 (NBC)
38 Positive For Coronavirus In NYC Jails, Including Rikers (AP)
Britain ‘Two Or Three Weeks’ Behind Italy On Coronavirus: PM Johnson (R.)
NHS Could Be Overwhelmed Like Italy – Boris (R.)
Doctors Given New Guidelines On Choosing Which Patients To Treat (Ind.)
Airlines Appear To Come Up Short In Bid To Win Cash Grants In Rescue Package (R.)
Grocery Clerks Unlikely Heroes In US Coronavirus Fight (R.)
Banks Pressure Health Care Firms To Raise Prices On Drugs, Supplies (IC)
Russia Ready to Send 100 Specialists Including Virologists to Italy (Sp.)
The Coronavirus Did Not Escape From A Lab. Here’s How We Know. (LiveScience)

 

 

 

Cases 311,796 (+ 32,476 from yesterday’s 279,320)

Deaths 13, 071 (+ 1,481 from yesterday’s 11,587)

 

 

I dubbed it “Virus Time” myself, but even my brain has trouble comprehending what that truly is. It’s been less than two days since I wrote:

My prediction: The US has overtaken France, and will in the next few days pass Germany, Spain, and then Iran.

Less than 48 hours later, it’s done. This is what things looked like the day before I said that:

 

 

And here we are this morning:

 

 

 

Difference in timing of emergency declarations between San Francisco and Miami-Dade:

 

 

The virus still is a time machine. Project the next two weeks:

 

 

 

 

Here are the usual graphs. Note: I replaced the last one, COVID2019.app, with COVID2019Live.info, because the former keeps on closing off access.

 

From Worldometer yesterday evening (before their day’s close)

 

 

From Worldometer -NOTE: mortality rate for closed cases is at 12% !! –

 

 

From SCMP: (SCMP appears to have given up on timely updating)

 

 

From COVID2019Live.info: (Replacement for COVID2019.app, which -again- had their pages closed)

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s real wartime measures. Contrast it with Germany politely asking its car manufacturers to produce medical equipment. Everyone’s waiting till the very last moment, and that’s always too late. But that’s politicians for you, and we’re not going to change that anytime soon.

Italy To Shut All Non-Strategic Business Activities Until April 3 (R.)

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday that all Italian businesses must close until April 3, with the exception of those essential to maintaining the country’s supply chain, in the latest desperate effort to halt the coronavirus epidemic. Italy recorded a jump in deaths from the virus of almost 800 on Saturday, taking the toll in the world’s hardest-hit country to almost 5,000. “It is the most difficult crisis in our post-war period,” Conte said in a video posted on Facebook, adding that “only production activities deemed vital for national production will be allowed”.


Supermarkets, pharmacies, postal and banking services will remain open, Conte said, and essential public services including transport will be ensured. “We are slowing down the country’s production engine but we are not stopping it,” he said. The government is expected to publish an emergency decree on Sunday to make the latest crackdown immediately effective.

Read more …

So let them roam free for 10 hours a day, and that should solve what exactly?

India Starts 14-Hour Curfew To Curb Virus Spread (R.)

India launched a 14-hour curfew on Sunday (March 22) to limit the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic in the country, where 315 people have so far been found to have contracted the disease. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation last week, urged citizens to stay indoors from 7am to 9pm local time – a move that he said would be a crucial test for a country to assess its abilities to fight the pandemic. “Let us all be a part of this curfew, which will add tremendous strength to the fight against the Covid-19 menace,” Mr Modi tweeted minutes before the curfew commenced. “The steps we take now will help in the times to come.” Health experts said India’s cases have been growing at a rate seen during the early stages of the outbreak in other countries, which subsequently reported exponential increases in infections.


Several Indian states announced measures to curb the spread of coronavirus. Four cities in Mr Modi’s home state of Gujarat have declared a complete shutdown until Wednesday. The neighbouring desert state of Rajasthan ordered a shutdown until March 31, while eastern and central states suspended inter-state bus operations to prevent an exodus of daily wage earners from urban centres to villages. State leaders urged citizens not to rush to villages and avoid crowding trains and buses to prevent the virus spread. Tensions have mounted, however, with angry labourers protesting at some bus stations against sudden closures of basic transport services.

Read more …

Funny they don’t say who gets to be tested, and who doesn’t. Until we know, what’s the difference with today?

FDA Approves New Coronavirus Test That Can Diagnose Within Hours (Solomon)

The Food and Drug Administration announced approval Saturday for a new coronavirus test that can diagnose patients within hours, instead of days. The new rapid test, manufactured by California-based Cepheid, is expected to be in the market by March 30, officials said. “The test we’re authorizing today will be able to provide Americans with results within hours, rather than days like the existing tests,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. “With the development of point of care diagnostics, Americans who need tests will be able to get results faster than ever before.


“More and more options for reliable, convenient testing are becoming available at an incredibly rapid pace, thanks to the hard work of our FDA team and the ingenuity of American industry.” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the approval “marks an important step in expanding the availability of testing and, importantly, rapid results.” Hahn said because the rapid test can be administered at the point of care, it “means that results are delivered to patients in the patient care settings, like hospitals, urgent care centers and emergency rooms, instead of samples being sent to a laboratory.”

Read more …

Tell the braindead on the Florida beaches that. I was thinking: let them get infected, good riddance. But they will infect others too, and besides, shouldn’t the blame rest with Florida state for leaving the beaches open, with the stores and bars for serving them, and with the parents who send their kids into the infection pools?

Most Cases In New York City Are Of People Under 50 (NBC)

Most people who have tested positive for coronavirus in New York City are younger than 50, according to figures released by the city Saturday. This does not reflect the ages of those who have died, only people confirmed to be infected with the virus. Overall, 57 percent of those who have tested positive in the city are 49 or younger. People 18 to 49 years old make up the majority, 54 percent, the city said. The next largest group are those age 50 to 64, who account for 23 percent of positive test results so far. The accounting reflects data known to the city through 5:30 p.m. Friday. On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “We are now the epicenter of this crisis” in the United States.

Read more …

About 2.5 million people are incarcerated in the US.

38 Positive For Coronavirus In NYC Jails, Including Rikers (AP)

At least 38 people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York City jails, including at the notorious Rikers Island jail complex, the board that oversees the city’s jail system said Saturday. In a letter to criminal justice leaders, Board of Correction interim chairwoman Jacqueline Sherman wrote that at least 58 other people were currently being monitored in contagious disease and quarantine units. “It is likely these people have been in hundreds of housing areas and common areas over recent weeks and have been in close contact with many other people in custody and staff,” Sherman warned, predicting a sharp rise in the number of infections.


“The best path forward to protecting the community of people housed and working in the jails is to rapidly decrease the number of people housed and working in them.” In the past six days, she wrote, the board learned that at least 12 Department of Correction employees, five Correctional Health Services employees, and 21 inmates have tested positive for the virus. The city’s jail agency and its city-run healthcare provider did not respond to messages seeking comment on the letter. On Friday, the city’s Department of Corrections said just one inmate had been diagnosed with coronavirus, along with seven jail staff members.

Read more …

Of all the failing “world leaders”, Boris is vying for the no. 1 position. This came one day after he refused to close pubs and schools.

What triggered him is this: “UK yesterday saw total deaths reach 233. Italy was at exactly that figure on March 7th. 2 weeks behind.”

Britain ‘Two Or Three Weeks’ Behind Italy On Coronavirus: PM Johnson (R.)

Britain was only “two or three” weeks behind Italy on the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. In comments carried in the Sunday Telegraph and other Sunday newspapers, Johnson said Britain’s health service could be overwhelmed. “Unless we act together, unless we make the heroic and collective national effort to slow the spread – then it is all too likely that our own NHS will be similarly overwhelmed,” he said.

Read more …

Turning around on a dime with no mea culpa whatsoever should really boost people’s confidence in you.

NHS Could Be Overwhelmed Like Italy – Boris (R.)

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) could be “overwhelmed” by the coronavirus like the Italian health system in just two weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned. The death toll in Italy reached almost 5,000 on Saturday, while in the UK it hit 233. In comments carried in the Sunday Telegraph and other Sunday newspapers, Johnson again urged Britons to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus. “Unless we act together, unless we make the heroic and collective national effort to slow the spread – then it is all too likely that our own NHS will be similarly overwhelmed,” he said. “The Italians have a superb health-care system. And yet their doctors and nurses have been completely overwhelmed by the demand,” Johnson noted.


He advised people to keep away from elderly parents on Mothering Sunday (March 22). “The single best present that we can give … is to spare them the risk of catching a very dangerous disease,” he said. Earlier, Britain urged 1.5 million people identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract coronavirus to not leave their homes to protect themselves. On Friday, Johnson effectively closed down the United Kingdom, ordering pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and gyms to shut their doors to fight the virus. Stores are also starting to shut.

Read more …

Also from f#*king Boris. And I kid you not: in the corner of my eye I see a BBC show called “The Big Questions”, in which people who all sit the “correct” 10 feet or so apart, discuss the urgent issue: “Should fat-shaming be against the law?”, as their health system is set to crash. And I’m thinking: those glaciers can’t melt fast enough.

Doctors Given New Guidelines On Choosing Which Patients To Treat (Ind.)

New guidelines have been published to help doctors and nurses decide how to prioritise patients during the coronavirus pandemic. The advice from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) was produced amid concerns that the NHS would be overwhelmed by the demand for intensive care beds and ventilators. It follows reports from the worst-hit parts of Italy where older and sicker patients had to be rejected in favour of the younger and fitter. The three new Nice guidelines, which have been drawn up within a week rather than the usual timescale of up to two years, cover patients needing critical care, kidney dialysis and cancer treatment.


They say all patients admitted to hospital should still be assessed as usual for frailty “irrespective of Covid-19 status”. Decisions about admitting patients to critical care should consider how likely they are to recover, taking into account the likelihood of recovery “to an outcome that is acceptable to them”. Doctors are advised to discuss possible “do not resuscitate” decisions with adults who are assessed as having increased frailty, such as those who need help with outside activities or are dependent for personal care. The document says critical care treatment should be stopped “when it is no longer considered able to achieve the desired overall goals”, following a discussion with family, carers, the patient or an independent advocate.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1241651932810412033

Read more …

“If there was a meteor racing towards earth right now, they would be passing a bill to give that meteor a tax credit.”
– @jimmy_dore

Airlines Appear To Come Up Short In Bid To Win Cash Grants In Rescue Package (R.)

A last-ditch effort by the chief executives of major U.S. airlines to try to win cash grants to weather the coronavirus crisis looked to be unsuccessful, four congressional aides and airline officials said late Saturday. Airlines had made a last ditch plea urging that $29 billion of $58 billion sought in assistance for airlines be in the form of cash grants. They had offered not to make any job cuts through Aug. 31 if they won the cash and to accept restrictions on executive pay and to forgo paying dividends or stock buybacks. The CEOs of 10 U.S. passenger and cargo carriers had said in a letter that without direct cash assistance, “draconian measures” such as furloughs may be necessary.

Senate Republicans hope to unveil the text of the rescue and stimulus package Sunday that could total $1.6 trillion and is set to include $50 billion in collateralized loan and loan guarantees for passenger airlines and $8 billion for cargo carriers. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said there was still “no deal,” so it is possible the final airline provisions could change in negotiations. Senator John Thune, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, said earlier airline grants were not winning backing “at this point, I don’t sense support for it here or with the administration. But like I said, nothing is done.”

Airlines are expected to soon turn their attention to applying for government collateralized loans and the terms the legislation will include. The initial Republican plan said the U.S. Treasury could demand stock, warrants or options as part of any airline loans. The global coronavirus outbreak has forced airlines to cancel tens of thousands of flights and resulted in massive revenue losses. On Saturday, United Airlines said it was canceling 90% of its international flights in April.

Read more …

It’s been obvious for a long time that Americans have completely lost sight of what a hero is. But even then. Pay them a decent salary, then we can talk.

The article is the picture painted for you. The reality is:

“I have been coming in sick because I’m worried that I’ll lose my job or just be punished if I call out,” said Angel Duarte, a package handler at a UPS hub in Tucson, Ariz. “I am 23, and I have no savings, and I have a 4-month-old son.“

Grocery Clerks Unlikely Heroes In US Coronavirus Fight (R.)

For Philip, a grocery store clerk, it’s not a matter of if he gets coronavirus, but when. He is among millions of supermarket employees who have been classified as critical U.S. workers at “essential businesses” that will stay open to prevent disruption in food supply. While other workers are being told to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, these employees are being asked to put themselves in constant contact with the public. Coronavirus cases are beginning to appear among them. Whole Foods Market on Thursday reported a positive case in a New York City worker.

California late on Thursday issued an unprecedented statewide “stay at home order” directing the state’s 40 million residents to hunker down in their homes for the foreseeable future. Grocery stores, along with pharmacies, banks and gas stations, will remain open under the order. Working low-paying jobs, these unlikely heroes in the produce section and behind the meat counter are both terrified and gratified to be on the frontlines of the U.S. coronavirus fight. Some employers have raised wages and granted paid sick leave, but there is pressure on them to do more.

“I didn’t sign up to be in a position where I’m constantly exposed to a deadly virus, but I understand too that if grocery stores close then there are way bigger problems,” said Philip, who works in the produce section of a Whole Foods store in a southern U.S. state. Philip asked that his last name and location not be used. “I’d just like to get the virus now, and get it out of the way, so I can come back to work,” said Philip, who is in his 30s. “Everyone’s terrified there, deep down, apart from the few who think it’s not a big deal yet.”

Read more …

Words? Not me.

Banks Pressure Health Care Firms To Raise Prices On Drugs, Supplies (IC)

In recent weeks, investment bankers have pressed health care companies on the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus, including drug firms developing experimental treatments and medical supply firms, to consider ways that they can profit from the crisis. The media has mostly focused on individuals who have taken advantage of the market for now-scarce medical and hygiene supplies to hoard masks and hand sanitizer and resell them at higher prices. But the largest voices in the health care industry stand to gain from billions of dollars in emergency spending on the pandemic, as do the bankers and investors who invest in health care companies.

Over the past few weeks, investment bankers have been candid on investor calls and during health care conferences about the opportunity to raise drug prices. In some cases, bankers received sharp rebukes from health care executives; in others, executives joked about using the attention on Covid-19 to dodge public pressure on the opioid crisis. Gilead Sciences, the company producing remdesivir, the most promising drug to treat Covid-19 symptoms, is one such firm facing investor pressure. Remdesivir is an antiviral that began development as a treatment for dengue, West Nile virus, and Zika, as well as MERS and SARS.

The World Health Organization has said there is “only one drug right now that we think may have real efficacy in treating coronavirus symptoms” — namely, remdesivir. The drug, though developed in partnership with the University of Alabama through a grant from the federal government’s National Institutes of Health, is patented by Gilead Sciences, a major pharmaceutical company based in California. The firm has faced sharp criticism in the past for its pricing practices. It previously charged $84,000 for a yearlong supply of its hepatitis C treatment, which was also developed with government research support. Remdesivir is estimated to produce a one-time revenue of $2.5 billion.

Read more …

Just days after the EU accused Russia of using the virus to spread disinformation in Europe.

Russia Ready to Send 100 Specialists Including Virologists to Italy (Sp.)

“In accordance with instructions from the Russian Defence Minister, Army Gen. Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Aerospace Forces have completed the creation of a necessary air group to deliver forces and equipment from the Russian Defence Ministry allocated to assist the Italian Republic in the fight against the coronavirus”, the statement says. The ministry added that nine Il-76 military transport aircraft with trained crews had been transferred to the Chkalovsky military airfield in the Moscow Region from the Pskov, Ulyanovsk, and Orenburg regions.


The group of about 100 people, including experienced virologists and epidemiologists, is ready to depart for Italy, the ministry said. On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte by phone that Moscow was ready to promptly assist Rome in the fight against the coronavirus. The defence ministry then said that Russia would send eight mobile teams of Russian military virologists and doctors, vehicles for aerosol disinfection, and medical equipment to Italy.

Read more …

For your daily group discussion,. WHich you’re not allowed to have anymore.

The Coronavirus Did Not Escape From A Lab. Here’s How We Know. (LiveScience)

As the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 spreads across the globe, with cases surpassing 284,000 worldwide today (March 20), misinformation is spreading almost as fast. One persistent myth is that this virus, called SARS-CoV-2, was made by scientists and escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began. A new analysis of SARS-CoV-2 may finally put that latter idea to bed. A group of researchers compared the genome of this novel coronavirus with the seven other coronaviruses known to infect humans: SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2, which can cause severe disease; along with HKU1, NL63, OC43 and 229E, which typically cause just mild symptoms, the researchers wrote March 17 in the journal Nature Medicine. “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus,” they write in the journal article.


Kristian Andersen, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research, and his colleagues looked at the genetic template for the spike proteins that protrude from the surface of the virus. The coronavirus uses these spikes to grab the outer walls of its host’s cells and then enter those cells. They specifically looked at the gene sequences responsible for two key features of these spike proteins: the grabber, called the receptor-binding domain, that hooks onto host cells; and the so-called cleavage site that allows the virus to open and enter those cells. That analysis showed that the “hook” part of the spike had evolved to target a receptor on the outside of human cells called ACE2, which is involved in blood pressure regulation. It is so effective at attaching to human cells that the researchers said the spike proteins were the result of natural selection and not genetic engineering.


© Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Here’s why: SARS-CoV-2 is very closely related to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which fanned across the globe nearly 20 years ago. Scientists have studied how SARS-CoV differs from SARS-CoV-2 — with several key letter changes in the genetic code. Yet in computer simulations, the mutations in SARS-CoV-2 don’t seem to work very well at helping the virus bind to human cells. If scientists had deliberately engineered this virus, they wouldn’t have chosen mutations that computer models suggest won’t work. But it turns out, nature is smarter than scientists, and the novel coronavirus found a way to mutate that was better — and completely different— from anything scientists could have created, the study found.


Another nail in the “escaped from evil lab” theory? The overall molecular structure of this virus is distinct from the known coronaviruses and instead most closely resembles viruses found in bats and pangolins that had been little studied and never known to cause humans any harm. “If someone were seeking to engineer a new coronavirus as a pathogen, they would have constructed it from the backbone of a virus known to cause illness,” according to a statement from Scripps.

Read more …

 

German doctor, during plague in 14th century:

 

 

 

 

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Feb 262020
 


‘Daly’ Somewhere in the South, possibly Miami 1941

 

First US Soldier Stationed In South Korea Tests Positive For Coronavirus (CNN)
China Outbreak Could Cause Critical Shortages Of Medical Products In US (CNN)
Larry Kudlow: US Has Contained Coronavirus, Economy Holding Up Nicely (CNBC)
Coronavirus Wipes Out $1.7 Trillion In US Stock Market Value In 2 Days (CNBC)
US Could See A Similar Death Rate To China If The Virus Spreads – Fauci (CNN)
Japan Now Aims to Limit, Not Prevent Virus Deaths (ZH)
UK Schools Close Doors Over Coronavirus Threat As NHS Steps Up Testing (Ind.)
EU Keeps Borders Open As Virus Spreads Across Continent (RT)
How The British Invented The Syrian “Opposition” (MEE)
Assange Tried To Call White House, Hillary Over Data Dump – Lawyer (R.)
Julian Assange Handcuffed 11 Times And Stripped Naked After 1st Court Day (G.)
US Mulled ‘Kidnapping, Poisoning, Killing’ Assange – Lawyer (RT)
Acting DNI Chief Grenell ‘Was Taking Orders’ From Trump On Assange Arrest (RT)
Thread For Day 2 Of Julian Assange’s Week-Long Extradition Hearing (Gosztola)
Trump’s Betrayal of Julian Assange (Ron Paul)

 

 

Cases 81,229 (+ 901 from yesterday’s 80,328).

Deaths 2,769 (+ 62 from yesterday’s 2,707)

 

• China has fewer deaths today, but many more new cases, + 901 from yesterday’s +621

• Japan gives up on defeating virus., moves to mitigation, With “only” 171 cases and one death.
– That does not include the Diamond Princess’s 691 cases and four deaths.
– Tokyo Olympics still supposedly on

• First US soldier stationed In South Korea tests positive, 18 South Korean soldiers infected

• One week ago 51 people were reported infected in South Korea. Today, there are 1,146. 169 new cases today.

• Italy 322 cases, 11 deaths. The new infections include three in southern Sicily, 1,200km from Milan
– one of the victims is just 4 years old

• EU borders stay open despite Italy cluster(s)

• Spain has 7 confirmed cases

• Taiwan 32 cases

• Thailand 40 cases

• Neighboring countries try to close borders with Iran

• Brazil reports first case in South America

• Large international gatherings in Vatican for Ash Wednesday

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From Worldometer (Note: mortality rate is down to 8%)

 

 

 

 

This is the military. They live in barracks. All you need to know.18 South Korean soldiers infected

First US Soldier Stationed In South Korea Tests Positive For Coronavirus (CNN)

Public health officials warned Wednesday that the spread of the novel coronavirus is inching closer toward meeting the definition of a global pandemic, as the number of cases outside mainland China continues to grow, including in South Korea where a US soldier has tested positive for the virus. [..] a top official from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that the United States could see the virus spread within its borders. “Ultimately we expect we will see community spread in this country. It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

South Korean authorities are attempting to contain an outbreak that has gone from just 51 people infected last week to at least 1,146 as of Wednesday. The outbreak began in the southern city of Daegu and was centered around the Shincheonji religious group, but the virus appears to have spread now beyond practitioners. Eighteen South Korean soldiers have been confirmed infected, and the country’s defense ministry has placed significant restrictions on soldiers leaving their bases due to fears surrounding the virus. On Wednesday, it was announced that a US service member stationed in South Korea tested positive for the virus, according to US Forces Korea statement.

The soldier, who is stationed at Camp Carroll which is approximately 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the city of Daegu, is the first US service member to test positive for the novel coronavirus. “The patient, a 23-year old male, is currently in self quarantine at his off-base residence. He visited Camp Walker on 24 February and Camp Carroll 21-25 February. KCDC and USFK health professionals are actively conducting contact tracing to determine whether any others may have been exposed,” the statement said. The virus’ spread also prompted South Korea and the United States to scale back joint military drills, according to three US officials.

The three officials said this would be the first major impact of coronavirus on US military readiness, according to the officials. Without the full exercise, the US could lose ground in being able to quickly conduct future operations in a coordinated and highly synchronized manner with South Korea against North Korea in the event of a crisis, one of the officials said.

Read more …

Pretty much a sure thing by now. Question is how bad it will get.

China Outbreak Could Cause Critical Shortages Of Medical Products In US (CNN)

No drug manufacturers have reported that they anticipate shortages of particular drugs due to the novel coronavirus, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, but the agency and experts in the pharmaceutical industry are paying close attention to the potential challenges the virus might pose. “FDA is keenly aware that the outbreak will likely affect the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to suppliers [and] shortages of critical medical products in the US,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn told reporters Tuesday. The US relies heavily on Chinese-made medical devices, drug ingredients and drugs for humans and animals, and, with heavy Chinese investment in the industry in recent years, its share of the global market has steadily grown.


As of 2018, China ranked second among countries that exported drugs and biologics to the United States, and first for medical devices, according to the FDA. The FDA said Monday it has been in touch with 180 drug manufacturers to remind them of their regulatory obligation to notify the FDA if they do anticipate any disruption in drugs supplies. The agency asked companies to evaluate their supply chain in light of the coronavirus outbreak and what potential challenge the virus may pose to the global drug supply, the agency said. The FDA said it has identified about 20 drugs that either solely source their active pharmaceutical ingredients or produce finished drug products from or in China.

Read more …

Oh Larry, why say such things when you don’t have to?

Larry Kudlow: US Has Contained Coronavirus, Economy Holding Up Nicely (CNBC)

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow tried on Tuesday to assuage concerns over the cornavirus and its impact on the U.S. economy. “We have contained this. I won’t say [it’s] airtight, but it’s pretty close to airtight,” Kudlow told CNBC’s Kelly Evans on “The Exchange.” He added that, while the outbreak is a “human tragedy,” it will likely not be an “economic tragedy.” “There will be some stumbles. We’re looking at numbers; it’s a little iffy,” Kudlow said. “But at the moment … there’s no supply disruptions out there yet.” Kudlow’s comments came as the stock market tanked for a second straight day amid worries that the coronavirus outbreak would lead to a prolonged global economic slowdown.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average was more than 700 points lower Tuesday, down 2.7%. On Monday, the 30-stock average had its worst day in two years, dropping more than 1,000 points. Investors dumped equities in favor of U.S. Treasurys, which are traditionally seen as a safe haven during volatile stretches for the stock market. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield dropped to 1.32% to reach an all-time low. The 30-year also traded at a record low. Yields move inversely to prices. Still, Kudlow said the U.S. is “holding up nicely,” adding, “All I can do is look at the numbers.”

Read more …

European markets are falling again today. US futures down as well.

Coronavirus Wipes Out $1.7 Trillion In US Stock Market Value In 2 Days (CNBC)

The S&P 500 just wiped out about $1.737 trillion of its value during its two-day market sell-off, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. The equity benchmark lost $810 billion in value on Tuesday, adding to its $927 billion loss on Monday, according to the firm s Senior Index Analyst Howard Silverblatt. It s down $2.138 trillion since last Wednesday s high, according to S&P Dow Jones. Stocks cratered again on Tuesday as investors fled riskier assets amid intense fears about a slowdown in global growth caused by the deadly coronavirus. The S&P 5002 s two-day loss of 6.3% was the largest for the benchmark since August 2015, when the Chinese government devalued the yuan amid the U.S.-China trade war. Tuesday’s 900 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average added to Monday’s stunning 1,000 point plunge.


The Nasdaq Composite fell 2.8% on Tuesday and joined the S&P 500 and Dow in turning negative for the year. Bond yields also plunged as investor sought safer havens. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to a record low of 1.32%. The spreading deadly virus, that has infected more than 80,000 and killed more than 2,700, has sent shock waves through the markets. Companies like Apple, Nike, United Airlines and Mastercard have all raised flags about the coronavirus and its impact on their earnings. Chip stocks, which rely heavily on revenues from China, are being abandoned by Wall Street as it becomes more apparent supply chain disruption will persist until the epidemic is contained.

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Anthony Fauci is director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Wonder if he means the real or the “official” rate.

US Could See A Similar Death Rate To China If The Virus Spreads – Fauci (CNN)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN the US needed more resources to fight the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected 53 people in the US. “We’ve had a pandemic preparedness plan that we really developed in preparation for pandemic influenza, that we can extrapolate to this. We certainly need more resources, and that’s what you heard today with the supplemental request. Because we can only go a certain way with the resources we have,” Fauci said.


Death rate: Fauci added that the fatality rate of the outbreak could reach the same levels in the US as in China because there is no vaccine or cure available. “I mean, the people who are dying who require intensive care, for example in an intensive care unit – maybe even intubation for respiratory assistance in breathing – the Chinese have that. They have a pretty good system, and yet you’re still seeing the 2% mortality. So it isn’t a question of, ‘they don’t have as good care as we have.’ So if, in fact, we do get a pandemic that does impact us in this country, I think you’re going to see comparable types of morbidity and mortality,” he said.

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I think this is a milestone. Japan admits they can’t handle it. With just 171 cases and one death. That, admittedly, does not include the Diamond Princess’s 691 cases and four deaths.

Japan Now Aims to Limit, Not Prevent Virus Deaths (ZH)

Overwhelmed by a flurry of ‘unsolved’ cases (that is, cases with no obvious connection to the outbreak in China, or anywhere else), Japanese health authorities announced on Tuesday a new plan intended to focus the country’s precious medical resources on the most serious cases, while advising those with mild symptoms to treat themselves at home. The approach differs markedly from the heavy handed tactics employed by Beijing, which at its peak had 760 million – roughly half the country – under some form of lockdown restriction. According to the Washington Post, the “basic premise” of the Japanese plan is that the virus can’t be stopped. That’s right: The Japanese are essentially acknowledging that the thesis proposed by Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch – ie that 70% of the world’s population might someday contract the virus – has at least some legitimacy.


Japan has at least 160 confirmed cases of the virus outside the ~700 people who caught it aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’. Japanese health officials claim that a large-scale outbreak hasn’t taken hold; rather, small clusters of the disease have broken out around the country. One senior advisor who spoke with WaPo put it the starkest of terms: We can’t stop it, so the best we can do is keep the body count as low as possible. “We shouldn’t have illusions,” said Shigeru Omi, a senior government adviser. “We can’t stop this, but we can try to reduce the speed of expansion and reduce mortality.” In keeping with this maxim, hospital space will be reserved for patients with the most serious symptoms, while those with simple colds and fevers have been asked to rest at home. They’re only to contact health authorities if a fever persists for four days. Or two for the elderly, people with chronic diseases or pregnant women .

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In certain areas.

UK Schools Close Doors Over Coronavirus Threat As NHS Steps Up Testing (Ind.)

Schools across the UK have closed their doors to students at risk of coronavirus while all patients are to be routinely tested for the disease in a dramatic escalation of screening by health officials Cransley School in Cheshire and Trinity Catholic College in Teeside have both closed while Brine Leas School in Cheshire has shut its sixth form unit after pupils and staff returned from a ski trip in the Lombardy region of Italy, which has been badly hit by coronavirus. Elsewhere at least 10 schools in Cornwall, Yorkshire, Pembrokeshire, Guernsey, Co Antrim, Co Derry and Co Down have sent pupils home to self-quarantine after returning from similar trips.

It comes as England’s top doctor warned the UK could be forced to quarantine families and reduce transport if the virus becomes a global pandemic. NHS bosses have also expressed concerns about the impact any surge in cases could have on an already under pressure health system. Public Health England said flu patients in intensive care units and respiratory wards at eight NHS hospitals would be tested for coronavirus as well as at 100 primary care centre such as GP surgeries. Up to now tests have only been carried out on those suspected of being infected but this new regime is designed to identify whether the virus, which originated in China, is spreading throughout the country without being detected.

PHE said it did not believe this was currently happening but widening the testing would allow it to spot any circulation and act immediately to prevent it spreading further. Medical director Professor Yvonne Doyle said this was about taking a “belt-and-braces approach”, adding: “There is no change in risk for the public but taking this preparatory step now will enable us to better detect and contain the spread of the virus.”

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To keep the EU idea alive. And the economy.

EU Keeps Borders Open As Virus Spreads Across Continent (RT)

Italy’s health minister has said that neighboring countries will not close their borders, amid an outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus. It comes as Rome confirmed 11 people dead in the epidemic, with hundreds infected. “We agreed to keep borders open, closing borders would be a disproportionate and ineffective measure at this time,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters in Rome on Tuesday. Four more people infected with the deadly virus died in northern Italy on Tuesday, bringing the death toll in the Mediterranean country to 11. Three of the dead were in their eighties and came from Lombardy, the worst affected region of Italy, Civil Protection agency chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters. The fourth was from the Veneto region.

Alongside the three fatalities, Italian authorities confirmed more than 90 new cases of the illness on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in Italy to 322. Nearly a dozen towns have been quarantined across the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto, and supplies across the north have run low. Public events have been cancelled, and panicked shoppers have stripped supermarket shelves of provisions. Though Speranza insisted that Italy’s international borders will remain open, the disease has already begun to spread into mainland Europe. A hotel in Spain’s Canary Islands remains locked down after a guest and his wife were found to be infected, and mainland Spain reported its first case – an Italian woman living in Barcelona – on Tuesday.

Since then, another two people have been diagnosed with the virus in mainland Spain – a man from the city of Villarreal in the east of the country and a 24-year-old man in Madrid who travelled to Italy. This brings the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain to 7. Before that, a German tourist and a British man tested positive for the virus on the Canary Islands and in Mallorca, respectively, but both have since been discharged from hospital.

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What Putin is up against.

How The British Invented The Syrian “Opposition” (MEE)

The British government covertly established a network of citizen journalists across Syria during the early years of the country’s civil war in an attempt to shape perceptions of the conflict, frequently recruiting people who were unaware that they were being directed from London. A number of leaked documents seen by Middle East Eye show how the propaganda initiative began in 2012 and gathered pace the following year, shortly after the UK parliament refused to authorise British military action in Syria. Drawing upon British, American and Canadian funding, UK government contractors set up offices in Istanbul and Amman, where they hired members of the Syrian diaspora, who in turn recruited citizen journalists inside Syria.

These journalists, many of them young, were commissioned to produce TV footage, radio programmes, social media, posters, magazines and even children’s comics. While many Syrians turned spontaneously to media activism from the start of the war, the documents describe the way in which the British government sought to guide some of their output, seeing citizen journalism as a way of covertly influencing Syrian audiences. The papers also make clear that those people who were recruited were often unaware that they were part of a British propaganda initiative.

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The Guardian denies everything. It even claims: “The Guardian has made clear it is opposed to the extradition of Julian Assange.” The paper that published a fully fake piece on Manafort repeatedly visiting Assange, without ever retracting it. Their people knew exactly what they did, and forced Assange into late night redacting of names. Now HE stabns accused of what THEY did.

Assange Tried To Call White House, Hillary Over Data Dump – Lawyer (R.)

Julian Assange tried to contact Hillary Clinton and the White House when he realised that unredacted U.S. diplomatic cables given to WikiLeaks were about to be dumped on the internet, his lawyer told his London extradition hearing on Tuesday. On Monday, the lawyer representing the United States told the hearing that Assange, 48, was wanted for crimes that had endangered people in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan who had helped the West, some of whom later disappeared. U.S. authorities say his actions in recklessly publishing unredacted classified diplomatic cables put informants, dissidents, journalists and human rights activists at risk of torture, abuse or death.

Outlining part of his defence, Assange’s lawyer Mark Summers said allegations that he had helped Manning to break a government password, had encouraged the theft of secret data and knowingly put lives in danger were “lies, lies and more lies”. He told London’s Woolwich Crown Court that WikiLeaks had received documents from Manning in April 2010. He then made a deal with a number of newspapers, including the New York Times, Britain’s Guardian and Germany’s Der Spiegel, to begin releasing redacted parts of the 250,000 cables in November that year. A witness from Der Spiegel said the U.S. State Department had been involved in suggesting redactions in conference calls, Summers said.

However, a password that allowed access to the full unredacted material was published in a book by Guardian reporters about WikiLeaks in February 2011. In August, another German newspaper reported it had discovered the password and it had access to the archive. A spokesman for The Guardian said the authors were told the password was temporary and the book contained no details about the whereabouts of the files. Summers said Assange attempted to warn the U.S. government, calling the White House and attempting to speak to then- Secretary of State Clinton, saying “unless we do something, people’s lives are put at risk”. Summers said the State Department had responded by suggesting that Assange call back “in a couple of hours”.

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Beyond shame.

Julian Assange Handcuffed 11 Times And Stripped Naked After 1st Court Day (G.)

Julian Assange was handcuffed 11 times, stripped naked twice and had his case files confiscated after the first day of his extradition hearing, according to his lawyers, who complained of interference in his ability to take part. Their appeal to the judge overseeing the trial at Woolwich crown court in south-east London was also supported by legal counsel for the US government, who said it was essential the WikiLeaks founder be given a fair trial. Edward Fitzgerald QC, acting for Assange, said the case files, which the prisoner was reading in court on Monday, were confiscated by guards when he returned to prison later that night and that he was put in five cells.


The judge, Vanessa Baraitser, replied that she did not have the legal power to comment or rule on Assange’s conditions but encouraged the defence team to formally raise the matter with the prison. The details emerged on the second day of Assange’s extradition hearing, during which his legal team denied that he had “knowingly placed lives at risk” by publishing unredacted US government files. The court was told Wikileaks had entered into a collaboration with the Guardian, El País, the New York Times and other media outlets to make redactions to 250,000 leaked cables secret cables in 2010 and publish them. Mark Summers, QC, claimed the unredacted files had been published because a password to this material had appeared in a Guardian book on the affair. “The gates got opened not by Assange or WikiLeaks but by another member of tha partnership,” he said.

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Make it look like an accident.

US Mulled ‘Kidnapping, Poisoning, Killing’ Assange – Lawyer (RT)

The US government plotted to kidnap or kill Julian Assange while he was holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, a UK court was told yesterday during the WikiLeaks publisher’s extradition hearing. Assange’s lawyer Edward Fitzgerald told Judge Vanessa Baraitser that the US wanted to make the WikiLeaks founder’s death look like an accident and that US intelligence agencies worked with Spanish company UC Global to extensively spy on Assange inside the embassy. Fitzgerald claimed that recordings were collected every 14 days and handed over to US intelligence services. The surveillance even included footage of Assange meeting with his legal team, breaching attorney-client privilege, he said.

“There were conversations about whether there should be more extreme measures contemplated, such as kidnapping or poisoning Assange in the embassy,” Fitzgerald told the court. Assange’s lawyers have long-warned that kidnapping or extraordinary rendition could be on the table for Washington if the US could not get to him any other way. The source of the claim heard in court on Monday is a whistleblower known only as ‘witness two’, responsible for exposing UC Global owner David Morales and his role in the surveillance operation for “the dark side” — meaning the US government. The witness described the Americans as “desperate.”

One suggestion was that the embassy door could be left open, which could make a kidnapping look like an “accident.” There wasn’t as much information given about the poisoning claim. This was not the first time claims had been made that the US considered such extreme measures for dealing with Assange. In a 2019 presentation on the technical aspects of the surveillance operation, German hacker Andy Muller-Maguhn, who had visited Assange inside the embassy, claimed that kidnapping and poisoning were options for the US government and that all doors and windows in the embassy were documented so various options could be explored. The surveillance was so intense that bugs were even implanted in a fire extinguisher and in a bathroom that Assange used, he said.

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Cassandra to the rescue.

Acting DNI Chief Grenell ‘Was Taking Orders’ From Trump On Assange Arrest (RT)

A GOP operative, known as the Trump family ‘fixer,’ appears to have admitted in a recorded call that the new US spy chief acted on the president’s orders when he allegedly secured the arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. The contents of the call between GOP operative Arthur Schwartz and journalist Cassandra Fairbanks – which could turn Julian Assange’s UK extradition trial upside down – were reported on Tuesday by several US media outlets citing nonprofit transparency group Property of the People. The recording itself was later released by Fairbanks on Twitter. In the call, dated September 2019, Schwartz pleads with Fairbanks to delete a September 10 tweet in which she says that Richard Grenell, then a controversial US envoy to Germany, “was the one who worked out the deal for Julian Assange’s arrest.”

Initially, Fairbanks refused to budge, arguing that her tweet was based on an ABC News report from last April alleging that Grenell was instrumental in persuading Ecuador to let British police into its London embassy, where Assange spent some seven years under political asylum. The report suggested that Grenell promised Quito that the US would not pursue the death penalty for the self-exiled publisher if it gave the go-ahead for the raid. Schwartz, however, insisted that Fairbanks must scrub the tweet, accusing her of publishing “classified information.” Schwartz, however, insisted that Fairbanks must scrub the tweet, accusing her of publishing “classified information.” Sounding increasingly frustrated with Fairbank’s unwillingness to pull the post, the Trump fixer says he could go to jail over the information he had apparently shared with her.

“Rick’s role is classified… You can’t do that… you are posting things that are classified, that no one knows, that has not been reported… I know what’s been reported, I see what you’re tweeting, what you’re tweeting is not what was reported. Someone’s going to go to jail. You need to stop this.” Fairbanks then reminded him that it is Assange who was imprisoned due to his work to expose US war crimes, but Schwartz only doubled down on his request. At the same time, Schwartz appears to confirm that Trump himself had pulled strings behind the covert diplomatic op to nab Assange, reportedly orchestrated by Grenell. “Please. I’m begging you… They look at you, they see that we speak, that’s bad. He’s [Grenell] is taking orders from the president. OK? So you’re going to punish me because he took orders from the president? I’m begging you, I’m begging you, please.”

https://twitter.com/CassandraRules/status/1232466714098466816

A source privy to the Assange defense team’s strategy told Politico the call would be only “one piece of the argument,” part of a larger trove of evidence to be unveiled in court on Wednesday. The materials are intended to prove that the request for the publisher’s extradition was based on a desire for vengeance, rather than on any legal basis. Schwartz himself attempted to dismiss the bombshell as a nothingburger, telling the outlet that he “highly doubts” he would have told the journalist anything of substance, describing her as “not someone that I trust.”

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Thread of Kevin Gosztola tweets from the courtroom.

Thread For Day 2 Of Julian Assange’s Week-Long Extradition Hearing (Gosztola)

Defense raises issue of alleged mistreatment of Assange. He was handcuffed 11 times, strip searched multiple times, and moved between cells yesterday. Judge is, once again, insisting no authority to do anything about it. “Powers are very limited in this respect.” Prosecutor won’t speak into the microphone. Keeps it off to the side, and we in the press annex cannot hear a word. #Assange Defense is going over what they claim are examples of Zakrzewski abuse, which means offenses in extradition request are false or outlined inaccurately as proffered by the prosecution #Assange Defense: “False allegation” “Provably wrong.”


That Assange enabled Manning to log on to secret network with databases of information known as SIPRnet Defense also says it is “provably false” that “Assange knowingly put people’s lives at risk.” He mentions this is what US argues to get around First Amendment issues implicated in “pure publication counts.” Defense: “The case has lies, lies, and more lies.” #Assange Defense refers to Chelsea Manning’s plea statement. This is the key statement she made about her disclosures, which prosecutors desperately want to undermine. This is part of why she was subpoenaed to appear before grand jury and is still in jail. #Assange

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No kidding: “The deep state Trump is serving by persecuting Assange is the same deep state that continues to plot Trump’s own ouster.”

Trump’s Betrayal of Julian Assange (Ron Paul)

Donald Trump upset the Washington apple cart as presidential candidate and in so doing he set elements of the deep state in motion against him. One of the things candidate Donald Trump did to paint a deep state target on his back was his repeated praise of Wikileaks, the pro-transparency media organization headed up by Australian journalist Julian Assange. More than 100 times candidate Trump said “I love Wikileaks” on the campaign trail. Trump loved it when Wikileaks exposed the criminality of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, as it cheated to deprive Bernie Sanders of the Democratic Party nomination. Wikileaks’ release of the DNC emails exposed the deep corruption at the heart of US politics, and as a candidate Trump loved the transparency. Then Trump got elected.

The real tragedy of the Trump presidency is nowhere better demonstrated than in Trump’s 180 degree turn away from Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange. “I know nothing about Wikileaks,” he said as president. “It’s really not my thing.” US pressure and bribes to the Ecuadorian government ended Assange’s asylum and his seven years in a room at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. After his dramatic arrest by London’s Metropolitan Police last April, he has been effectively tortured in British jails at the behest of the US deep state. Today, Monday the 24th of February, Assange faces an extradition hearing in a UK courthouse. The Trump Administration – led by a man who praised Assange’s work – seeks a show trial of Assange worthy of the worst of the Soviet era. The US is seeking a 175 year prison sentence.

The Trump Administration argues that the Australian Assange should be tried and convicted of espionage against a country of which he is not a citizen. At the same time the Trump Administration argues that the First Amendment does not apply to Assange because he is not an American citizen! So Assange is subject to US law when it comes to publishing information embarrassing to the US deep state but he is not subject to the law of the land – the US Constitution – which protects all journalists and is the backbone of our system of government. It is ironic that a President Trump who has been victim of so much deep state meddling has done the deep state’s bidding when it comes to Assange and Wikileaks.

President Trump should preempt the inevitable US show trial of Assange by granting the journalist blanket pardon under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The deep state Trump is serving by persecuting Assange is the same deep state that continues to plot Trump’s own ouster. Free Assange!

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20 years of Pluto:

 

 

 

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