Dec 312021
 
 December 31, 2021  Posted by at 9:48 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Arnold Böcklin The Isle of the Dead III 1883

 

South Africa Says Death Toll ‘Extremely Low’ After Omicron Wave (JTN)
Omicron-Fuelled Fourth Covid Wave Has Passed, Says South Africa (G.)
Fauci Takes Professional Gaslighting to New Levels (CTH)
COVID-19 Genetic Vaccine Safety in Children (Malone)
Officials Ponder What It Means To Be ‘Fully Vaccinated’ (NYT)
Covid and Corrupt Federal Statistics (Bovard)
Justin Trudeau Calls Unvaccinated ‘Racist and Misogynistic Extremists’ (RAIR)
Healthcare Worker Vaccine Mandate Reinstated In Half Of US (JTN)
FDA: PCR Tests For Covid Are ‘Gold Standard’ (JTN)
Has The $230 Trillion LIBOR Derivative Time-Bomb Really Been Defused? (ZH)
NGO Memorial Closed By Russian Court Over ‘Foreign Agent’ Breaches (RT)
Epstein’s Guards Accused Of Sleeping On Job, Falsifying Records Go Free (JTN)
Maxwell Conviction Leaves Glaring Questions Over Lack of Prosecutions (Turley)

 

 

 

 

McCullough

 

 

 

 

“Peak in four weeks and precipitous decline in another two. This Omicron wave is over in the city of Tshwane. It was a flash flood more than a wave..”

South Africa Says Death Toll ‘Extremely Low’ After Omicron Wave (JTN)

South Africa is nearing the end of its fourth COVID-19 wave without seeing as many deaths as previous waves, according to a government statement Wednesday. “Hospitalisations and deaths are lower than the second and third wave,” Premier of Western Cape Alan Winde said. The COVID variant omicron was discovered in South Africa last month, greatly contributing to the fourth wave. While cases are now declining, Winde said, “the gap between cases, admissions and deaths continues to widen during the fourth wave.” Fareed Abdullah of the South African Medical Research Council told The New York Times: “The speed with which the Omicron-driven fourth wave rose, peaked and then declined has been staggering.” “Peak in four weeks and precipitous decline in another two. This Omicron wave is over in the city of Tshwane. It was a flash flood more than a wave,” he said.


The high of South Africa’s most recent wave appears to have occurred the week of Dec. 13. with nearly 163,000 cases, while the wave’s peak death toll seems to have occurred the week of Dec. 20 with 428 deaths, according to World Health Organization data. This sharply contrasts with previous South African waves. For example, during the third wave there, nearly 133,000 people were diagnosed with COVID the week of July 5, and more than 2,800 people died the week of July 19. “While the case numbers and test positivity rate during the fourth wave have exceeded previous waves, admissions are below the peak of both the second and the third wave and deaths remain extremely low, in line with previous interwave periods. There is therefore a widening gap between these metrics, pointing to less severe disease during the fourth wave,” Winde said.

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More much ado.

Omicron-Fuelled Fourth Covid Wave Has Passed, Says South Africa (G.)

South Africa has lifted a nightime curfew on people’s movement with immediate effect, believing the country has passed the peak of its fourth coronavirus wave driven by the Omicron variant. As the head of the World Health Organization sounded an optimistic note about beating the pandemic in 2022, the government in Pretoria removed the midnight-to-4am curfew based on the trajectory of the pandemic, vaccination levels and available capacity in the health sector, the government said on Thursday. “All indicators suggest the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave at a national level,” a statement from a special cabinet meeting held earlier on Thursday said. “While the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, there has been lower rates of hospitalisation than in previous waves,” the cabinet statement said.


Data from South Africa’s health department showed a 29.7% weekly decrease in new cases detected in the week ending 25 December, the government said. Hospital admissions have declined in eight of South Africa’s nine provinces. South Africa, with close to 3.5 million infections and 91,000 deaths, has been the worst-hit country in Africa during the pandemic on both counts, and was where the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was first detected last month. The country is at the lowest of its five-stage Covid-19 alert levels. Besides lifting the restrictions on public movement, the government also ruled that alcohol shops with licences to operate beyond 11pm may revert back to full licence conditions, a welcome boon for traders and businesses hard hit by the pandemic and looking to recover during the festive season.

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Why don’t I see anyone saying if this is true for kids, it’s true for all hospitalizations? Because that is the inevitable conclusion.

Fauci Takes Professional Gaslighting to New Levels (CTH)

This admission is exactly what people have been arguing for two years. This exact point, and the “with COVID -vs- from COVID” argument within the false narrative, is what justified Big Tech to ban COVID critics from their speech platforms. I’m not going to comment further; at a certain point these reversals just get silly. Suddenly, as the magic politics of COVID infection rates turns into a liability, the accuracy of hospitalized COVID tests is something to clarify. These officials are just throwing magic beans into the audience at this point. In the past ten days, the CDC, NIH and FDA have jumped so far over the justification shark, the light from where justification shark jumping starts could not catch them for years.

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More kids, but also:

“..people in the 65+ demographic are five times as likely to die from the inoculation as from COVID-19 under the most favorable assumptions!”

COVID-19 Genetic Vaccine Safety in Children (Malone)

“Even as experts expressed concern about a marked jump in hospitalizations — an increase more than double that among adults — doctors and researchers said they were not seeing evidence that Omicron was more threatening to children. In fact, preliminary data suggests that compared with the Delta variant, Omicron appears to be causing milder illness in children, similar to early findings for adults.” NY Times, “Omicron Is Not More Severe for Children, Despite Rising Hospitalizations” By Andrew Jacobs Dec. 28, 2021

The risk of death associated with COVID-19 in healthy children is virtually non-existent, as children have significant immunologic advantages relative to the older adult population (> 65 years) which comprises the high risk cohort for COVID-19. The risk of death and disease in children has become even more rare with Omicron. Yet even prior to the advent of Omicron, a peer reviewed study clearly demonstrated (using safety data accumulated during past variant circulation) that the genetic COVID-19 vaccines carry a risk/benefit ratio of five deaths in the older, high risk cohort for every one life saved from COVID-19 (and those data did not account for the reporting bias inherent in US deaths due to COVID consequent to inappropriate use of PCR tests).

“Thus, our extremely conservative estimate for risk-benefit ratio is about 5/1. In plain English, people in the 65+ demographic are five times as likely to die from the inoculation as from COVID-19 under the most favorable assumptions! This demographic is the most vulnerable to adverse effects from COVID-19. As the age demographics go below about 35 years old, the chances of death from COVID-19 become very small, and when they go below 18, become negligible.” The new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, has exploded onto the scene. What was already an inverted risk benefit ratio for genetic vaccination in children and adults (greater risk of death from vaccine than from COVID-19) will become even more inverted since the risks of COVID-19 are further reduced with Omicron.

The Omicron variant is different in five essential ways:
• More infectious and will soon be the dominant variant in the USA
• Less pathogenic
• Poorly matched to currently available vaccines
• Natural immunity is providing good protection against Omicron
• Disease symptoms are more similar to the common cold

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Anyone seen those goalposts?

Officials Ponder What It Means To Be ‘Fully Vaccinated’ (NYT)

Goldman Sachs and Jeffries, the investment banks, are demanding that employees get booster shots. The University of Oregon and other institutions are requiring that students and staff members get boosters. New York state has said it plans to stop considering residents fully vaccinated unless they have gotten the shots. As the highly transmissible Omicron variant spreads from coast to coast, corporations, schools, governments and even sports leagues are reconsidering what it means to be “fully vaccinated.” Now federal health officials, too, have taken on the question. Although top policymakers want to encourage Americans to get three doses, some would like to avoid changing the definition of a phrase that has become pivotal to daily life in much of the country, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday that she and other health officials were “working through that question” now. “There really isn’t debate here in what people should do,” she added. “CDC is crystal clear on what people should do: If they’re eligible for a boost, they should get boosted.” With Omicron’s sharp rise — more than 488,000 new cases were reported Wednesday alone — some experts think the moment for change has arrived. “I think the time is now,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. From a medical perspective, he said, receiving that additional booster dose “is really what we should be thinking of as fully vaccinated.”

Redefining “fully vaccinated” could lead to enormous logistical challenges, as even supporters of the idea concede, and it is likely to incite political backlash. Tens of millions of Americans who thought of themselves as vaccinated might discover that without boosters, they could lose access to restaurants, offices, concerts, events, gatherings — any place where proof of vaccination is required to enter. Moreover, the change risks undermining trust in public health officials after two years of shifting recommendations, experts said. Some Americans may feel that the goal posts have been moved again, and too suddenly. “While a determination of what constitutes full vaccination may be grounded in science, it does have significant political and economic ripple effects,” said Larry Levitt, executive vice president of KFF, a nonprofit organization that focuses on health issues.

The CDC currently defines “fully vaccinated” as those who have received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot. Although experts continue to believe that these regimens protect against hospitalization and death, the vaccines’ effectiveness against infection with the virus wanes over time. What had been considered full vaccination is substantially less effective against infection with Omicron, which is able to partially evade the body’s antibodies.

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“According to the Vermont Department of Health, “Half of the [Covid] deaths in August were breakthrough cases. Almost three-quarters of them in September were..”

Covid and Corrupt Federal Statistics (Bovard)

During his update on his Winter Covid Campaign on Tuesday, President Biden declared, “Almost everyone who has died from COVID-19 in the past many months has been unvaccinated.” This was true from the start of the pandemic in early 2020, until the vaccines’ efficacy began failing badly in recent months. Oregon officially classifies roughly a quarter of its Covid fatalities since August as “vaccine breakthrough deaths.” In Illinois, roughly 30 percent of Covid fatalities have occurred among fully vaccinated individuals. According to the Vermont Department of Health, “Half of the [Covid] deaths in August were breakthrough cases. Almost three-quarters of them in September were,” as well, according to Burlington, Vermont TV station WCAX.

The Biden administration guaranteed that the vast majority of “breakthrough” infections would not be counted when the Centers for Disease Control in May ceased keeping track of “breakthrough” infections unless they resulted in hospitalization or death. Ignoring that data permitted Biden to go on CNN in July and make the ludicrously false assertion: “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.” But federal data on fully vaxxed Covid fatalities is far flimsier and less reliable than the numbers compiled by some states. Honestly recognizing the limits of vaccines could be fatal to Biden’s push for compulsory vaccinations.

The same policymakers who claim to be guided by data have little or no idea how many Americans have been hit by Covid. According to the CDC, there have been 51,115,304 Covid cases in America. But a different CDC web page estimates that there had been 146.6 million Covid infections in the US as of October 2, 2021. That CDC analysis estimated that only one in four Covid infections have been reported, which would mean that based on the latest official case numbers, more than 200 million Americans have contracted Covid. For Biden and his fellow policymakers, a potential error of 150 million Covid infections is “close enough for government work.” Relying on the lower number is convenient for policymakers who want to continue ignoring the natural immunity acquired by 199 million Americans who survived Covid infections.

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“..psychopathe fasciste..”

Justin Trudeau Calls Unvaccinated ‘Racist and Misogynistic Extremists’ (RAIR)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stunned viewers during a television appearance in Quebec when he announced people who do not receive the experimental Covid “vaccine” are “often racist and misogynistic extremists.” The left-wing Canadian leader questioned whether the country needed to “tolerate these people.” He further bashed anyone unvaccinated, smearing them as “science deniers.” Although those refusing to be injected are a “small group of the population,” states Trudeau, they are still “taking up space.” The leader stressed that the only way to end this pandemic is by getting jabbed. “We will emerge from this pandemic through vaccination,” said Trudeau. The radical leaders praised the “80% of Quebecers” who received the injection and “did the right thing.”


Canadians “want to get back to the things we like doing,” stressed Trudeau. “These people who are not [vaccinated] are going to block us now,” warned the leader. In Quebec, 77.6% of residents have received two injections vaccination. A total of 15,245,140 doses have been administered. After his shocking comments, the conservative leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, took to Twitter to call Trudeau a “fascist psychopath.”

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Does it get any messier than this?

Healthcare Worker Vaccine Mandate Reinstated In Half Of US (JTN)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday reversed on a previous decision, and will now mandate health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine within the next month in half of the nation where the mandate has not been put on hold by the court. The new CMS rule reverses a decision made on Nov. 5 that suspended the mandate, making it dependent on the future of two cases, State of Louisiana et al v. Xavier Becerra, Sec. of HHS, et al and Joseph Biden, President of U.S., et al v. Missouri, et al. Half of all U.S. states joined in these lawsuits to stop the federal vaccine requirement for health care employees. The Supreme Court combined the two and will hear arguments next week.


Facilities in states not part of the pending case will be forced to have 100% of staff vaccinated by Jan. 27, 2022. If a health care center has a compliance rate of more than 80% and plans to reach a 100% rate within 60 days, then the facility will not be “subject to additional enforcement action.” Depending on the rate of vaccination, enforcement mechanisms include “plans of correction, civil monetary penalties, denial of payment, termination, etc.” Workers must receive a second dose by Feb. 28, the memo states. All employees must receive the vaccine “regardless” of their job responsibilities or the amount of time they are in contact with patients. Health care employees affected by the new rule are allowed to opt-out of the vaccine mandate, and receive other “accommodations” if they have a “disability or sincerely held religious beliefs, practices, or observations.”

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FDA and CDC play good cop/bad cop.

FDA: PCR Tests For Covid Are ‘Gold Standard’ (JTN)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky’s recent admission that common tests for COVID-19 can detect long-gone infections has some calling into question the Food and Drug Administration’s claim that the tests represent the “gold standard” for diagnosing coronavirus. The CDC’s new caution also falls in line with reports going back 16 months about widespread false positives among the so-called PCR tests, particularly when labs run them at high “cycle thresholds,” which pick up viral loads that may be dead or too small to transmit. The CDC’s decision Monday to halve the recommended “isolation” time for asymptomatic COVID-19 infections amid the Omicron wave, regardless of whether individuals test negative, prompted consternation in some medical circles.

The agency justified the new 5-day isolation by claiming “the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.” But Walensky also emphasized that neither rapid antigen tests, which are currently in short supply, nor PCR tests were appropriate for determining if a person can safely leave isolation. She told CBS Mornings that antigen tests may not be sensitive enough to detect infectiousness, while PCR tests are so sensitive that “it can stay positive for up to 12 weeks, for months and months.” People would have to stay isolated “for a very long time if we were relying on PCRs,” she told Good Morning America. The significance of Walensky’s declaration, which has sweeping implications for COVID policy in the workplace, school and travel settings, went largely unnoticed except among skeptics of COVID policy.

“Think of all the lives ruined, jobs lost, education squandered b/c of false positives,” tweeted Justin Hart, chief data analyst for the COVID contrarian website Rational Ground. “We’ve been saying since summer 2020 that the PCR test can be positive at 5 days or 75 days. And ONLY JUST NOW is it being used to adjust policy,” he said. Hart is suing Facebook, Twitter and the feds for viewpoint discrimination by “conspiring … to censor messages with which [the government] disagrees.” The suit was triggered by Facebook suspending him over a graphic questioning the science behind school mask mandates. The New York Times highlighted the sensitivity problem with PCR tests in August 2020. In a review of testing data with cycle thresholds (CTs) from Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, the newspaper found that “up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus.” The newspaper said most tests in the U.S. were run at 40 CTs and “a few at 37,” but experts it consulted said the threshold should be 30-35, if that high.

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Slow death.

Has The $230 Trillion LIBOR Derivative Time-Bomb Really Been Defused? (ZH)

Years ago, we predicted that the Fed’s commitment to phase out Libor, the interest rate set by committee (not market forces) that had come to undergird trillions of dollars in loans and securities around the world, would ultimately prove unsuccessful. Now, as the FT points out, it appears we were correct. Libor won’t be phased out completely by the start of next year. While technically speaking no new securities can be bechmarked to Libor, there’s still the matter of the $230 trillion in existing contracts that rely on the benchmark. And the rates that undergird these contracts will continue to be published. Still, plenty of other Libor rates won’t. Only the most popular will survive, according to the FT. So in a way, next month does mark the moment when “four years of arduous preparation to live without it goes into effect.”


“It’s one of the biggest transitions in financial markets in decades,” said Dixit Joshi, group treasurer of Deutsche Bank. “This is a milestone for the regulators since the great financial crisis about lessons learned.” But it’s not a complete break, which is what the world was promised in the wake of the scandals that inspired the decision. Much lower in its story on the impending Libor deadline, the FT concedes that, in order to make the transition “work”, America’s financial regulators had to help build a workaround whereby futures markets based on the US dollar LIbor would need to be allowed to continue on until mid-2023, something we noted a year ago. As a result, the US dollar Libor rates will continue to be published until that point (and potentially beyond mid-2023, once regulators devise some new excuse for keeping it alive for even longer).

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Courtesy of US intel.

NGO Memorial Closed By Russian Court Over ‘Foreign Agent’ Breaches (RT)

A Moscow court has ruled that a prominent organization campaigning on human rights issues should be dissolved after prosecutors insisted that it was breaching the country’s laws regulating ‘foreign agents.’ In a ruling on Wednesday, the Moscow City Court said that the Memorial Human Rights Center would be dissolved. Handing down the verdict, judge Mikhail Kazakov said that he would “rule in favor of the claims of the prosecutor’s office to liquidate the inter-regional public organization [Memorial] in full.” Officials allege that the civil society association repeatedly broke the terms of its ‘foreign agent’ status, imposed over links to overseas funding.

The day before, Russia’s Supreme Court ordered that the group’s sister organization, which is dedicated to the memory of the victims of Communist-era repressions, be dissolved as well. Authorities filed applications to liquidate the two entities in November. During the hearing on Tuesday, the Prosecutor General’s office argued that Memorial had been created in the late 1980s originally “as an organization to perpetuate historical memory, but now it is almost completely focused on distorting historical memory, primarily about the Great Patriotic War,” as WWII is known in Russia. According to officials, the group “creates a false image of the USSR as a terrorist state” and “attempts to whitewash and rehabilitate Nazi war criminals who have the blood of Soviet citizens on their hands… probably because someone is paying for this.”

Memorial had faced a number of fines after authorities found it failed to prominently display its ‘foreign agents’ status on its materials. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said that the rules “exist simply to protect Russia from external meddling in its politics,” and insisted that organizations that adhere to them can keep working. However, the legislation has come under fire from a number of groups which argue the measures are too restrictive. In August, an open letter signed by 10 separate outlets asked the Kremlin to investigate the use of the ‘foreign agent’ legislation as part of “the persecution of independent journalism in the country.”

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Timing is everything.

Epstein’s Guards Accused Of Sleeping On Job, Falsifying Records Go Free (JTN)

Federal prosecutors moved Thursday to drop criminal charges against two Bureau of Prisons guards who admitted to falsifying records the night convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein died on their watch. Manhattan guards Tova Noel and Michael Thomas avoided prison time in May 2021 through deferred prosecution agreements mandating that they cooperate with a federal investigation on Epstein’s death and perform 100 hours of volunteer work each. Both complied with the agreements, and the prosecutors asked a judge Thursday to dismiss the charges, Reuters reported. Epstein was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. He was found in August 2019 hanging in his Manhattan cell, and the New York City medical examiner officially declared his death a suicide.


Noel and Thomas were accused of falling asleep on the job and surfing online despite having orders to check every half hour on Epstein, who had recently been taken off of suicide watch. Both admitted to “willfully and knowingly” falsifying records of monitoring Epstein that evening. The prosecution’s move comes the day after Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted on five of the six sex trafficking-related charges brought against her. She is expected to appeal. While Noel’s lawyers could not be reached, Thomas’s lawyer “his client was happy with the dismissal and looked forward to putting the matter behind him,” Reuters reported.

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Records were sealed for a reason.

Maxwell Conviction Leaves Glaring Questions Over Lack of Prosecutions (Turley)

The conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell for five out of six criminal charges was heralded by many as bringing some justice for the girls abused through her actions. Indeed, the Southern District of New York correctly called the underlying conduct as “one of the worst crimes imaginable – facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children.” However, that statement only begged the question of why none of the men listed on flights of the “Lolita Express” or on the guest lists of these parties have been prosecuted. That list includes former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump as well as Prince Andrew and an assortment of billionaires. It is not clear if these men committed criminal acts but it is also not clear that they have been formally questioned by the FBI.

As I discussed last night, this criminal enterprise was allegedly not only to bring girls and women to Epstein but to his powerful friends. Without pursuing those alleged “johns,” the Maxwell prosecution seems like arresting a getaway driver but letting the bank robbers escape. The pictures of men on these trips are now well-known. They do not in themselves establish criminal conduct. For example, the pictures of Clinton getting a message from a 22-year-old woman is not illegal and she later described him as a “perfect gentleman.” However, Clinton has been accused of misleading the public on his number of flights with Epstein. The media has reported at least 26 flights with Epstein. Being a repeated guest with an infamous child molester raises obvious concerns. It is certainly enough to warrant questioning by the FBI.

Then there is Prince Andrew who has been pursued for questioning. Much of the litigation, however, has come from civil litigation. Prince Andrew recently put forward a novel defense in one such case. Yet, there is a concern that the Justice Department has previously worked to scuttle rather than to pursue the underlying wrongdoing, including a disgraceful plea agreement. I was an early and vocal critic of that deal with Epstein. Despite a strong case for prosecution, Epstein’s lawyers were able to secure a ridiculous deal with prosecutors. He was accused of abusing more than forty minor girls (with many between the ages of 13 and 17). Epstein pleaded guilty to a Florida state charge of felony solicitation of underage girls in 2008 and served a 13-month jail sentence. Epstein was facing a 53-page indictment that could have resulted in life in prison. However, he got the 13 month deal. Moreover, to my lasting surprise, former Miami U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta was inexplicably made labor secretary under Trump. He later resigned.

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Dog

 

 

 

 

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Dec 232021
 
 December 23, 2021  Posted by at 9:36 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  97 Responses »


Claude Monet Camille on the Beach at Trouville 1870

 

Omicron: Risk Of Hospitalization -80%, Risk Of Severe Illness -70% (Bl.)
Risk Of Hospital Stay 40% Lower With Omicron Than Delta – UK Data (G.)
US Army Creates Single Vaccine Against All COVID & SARS Variants (Defense One)
mRNA-LNP Platform’s Lipid Nanoparticle Is Highly Inflammatory (NIH)
Bill Gates, Fauci Quietly Built A Multi-billion Dollar Vaccine Empire (Mercola)
How to Read RFK, Jr.’s Book in 5 Minutes (Kirsch)
Dutch GPs Prescribe Ivermectin As A Corona Cure Despite Ban (RTL)
Biden: 200 Million Americans Vaccinated, US Population 350 Million (CTH)
Director of University Ethics Program Fired Over Vaccine Mandate (ET)
24 States Sue Biden Admin Over COVID-19 Mandates for Children (ET)
Alex Berenson Sues Twitter For Acting ‘On Behalf’ Of US Govt (RT)
Supreme Court To Hold Hearing Over Biden’s Vaccine Mandate On Businesses (JTN)
Supreme Court Could Decide Fate of Monsanto/Bayer RoundUp Cancer Suits (ET)
Russia Planning Nuclear Attack, Ukraine Claims (RT)
Durham Zeroes In On Clinton Campaign, Could Call Some Aides To Testify (JTN)
Capitol Building To Be Expanded To Hold All Pfizer Lobbyists (BBee)

 

 

“South Korea continues to see record high case numbers, despite 99% mask compliance and 85% of their entire population being vaccinated, which is odd because I’ve been told by CNN experts that masks prevent infections and that an 85% vaccination rate would get us past COVID”

 

 

 

Maxime Bernier

 

 

Each of these states are over 85% vaxxed.

 

 

 

“..the situation may be different for other countries in comparison to South Africa, where under 50% of the population is vaccinated but many have experienced prior infection.”

No, that is the situation in most countries. Reported vaxx numbers are mostly exaggerated. To shame the unvaxxed.

And all the Omicron related new measures and mandates are now unadulterated totalitarianism. There’s no excuse for them.

Omicron: Risk Of Hospitalization -80%, Risk Of Severe Illness -70% (Bl.)

People who contract the Omicron variant during this current wave of COVID-19 infections are much less likely to be hospitalized than they are if they contract other strains of the virus, according to a new study from South Africa. The study, released Wednesday by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, comes as countries around the globe grapple with how to handle the new strain, which appears to be more resistant to current COVID-19 vaccines. In the study, researchers compared Omicron infections with Delta and other variant infections from October to November and discovered that Omicron infections resulted in a considerable 80% decreased chance of hospitalization. “When compared to non-[Omicron] infections, we found that [Omicron] infections had an 80% lower odds of being admitted to the hospital,” South African researchers concluded.

Though the researchers did note that for patients admitted to the hospital in that period, those infected with Omicron had an equal chance of developing a severe illness compared to those with other variants. But when compared to Delta infections starting in April — when that strain dominated much of the world — Omicron infections were associated with a 70% lower odds of severe disease, even though the new strain appears to produce a higher viral load in infected patients. “Compellingly, together our data really suggest a positive story of a reduced severity of Omicron compared to other variants,” said Professor Cheryl Cohen, one of the study’s authors. It should be noted that the study is newly released and has yet to be peer-reviewed.

Cohen added that research was reinforced by medical data from the country that has shown significantly lower hospitalization and death figures in this latest wave of COVID-19 infections, during which Omicron has become the obviously dominant strain. But Cohen was careful to note that the situation may be different for other countries in comparison to South Africa, where under 50% of the population is vaccinated but many have experienced prior infection. “What is unclear is whether the picture will be similar in countries where there are high levels of vaccination but very low levels of previous infection,” she said during a media briefing, according to Reuters. Nevertheless, the new data, if proven accurate, is positive news and could perhaps foreshadow a turning point in the pandemic, as some scientists have predicted.

Last month, as mass hysteria broke out regarding the Omicron variant, Israeli immunologist Zvika Granot argued that the new variant may be “the light at the end of the tunnel,” since it appeared to be “highly infectious but maybe not as aggressive.” “When you look at the future and try to envision how this will end one day, it’s most likely not going to be because we got a fantastic vaccine,” Granot said. “It just doesn’t work this way and we have a lot of experience with viruses like the flu.” “The way that it will end, at least in my view, is when we encounter this new variant that is highly infectious but is not very aggressive, meaning that a lot of people will get infected but none of them will develop serious symptoms. And in a sense that will be the way the population will really gain herd immunity, and then the coronavirus will just fade away,” he argued.

Forbes South Africa

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Notorious wanker Neil Ferguson gets rolled out once more to instill fear. Just cut the South Africa numbers in half. And then claim the SAGE numbers of 3,000 daily hospitalisations in England at the peak of the wave, are still valid. Merry Christmas.

Risk Of Hospital Stay 40% Lower With Omicron Than Delta – UK Data (G.)

The Omicron variant of coronavirus appears to be milder, with a 20%-25% reduced chance of a hospital visit and at least a 40% lower risk of being admitted overnight, the first UK data of its kind has showed. But as daily Covid cases topped 100,000 for the first time on Wednesday, experts warned that high transmissibility means the NHS is still at risk of being overwhelmed. In what was described by scientists as a “qualified good news story”, two studies on Wednesday pointed to a lower risk of hospitalisation with Omicron. An Imperial College outbreak modelling team led by Prof Neil Ferguson analysed hospitalisations and vaccine records among all PCR-confirmed Covid cases in England between 1 and 14 December. The dataset included 56,000 cases of Omicron and 269,000 cases of Delta.

Their report found that the risk of any attendance at hospital was 20% to 25% lower with Omicron versus Delta, and 40%-45% lower when the visit resulted in admission for at least one night. For the small percentage of people who had neither been previously infected with Covid nor vaccinated, the risk of hospitalisation was about 11% lower for Omicron versus Delta. Ferguson said that while it was “good news”, the assessment did not substantially change Sage modelling pointing to 3,000 daily hospitalisations in England at the peak of the wave next month without restrictions beyond the plan B measures currently in place.


While the analysis shows evidence of “a moderate reduction” in the risk of hospitalisation associated with Omicron compared with Delta, Ferguson said, “this appears to be offset by the reduced efficacy of vaccines against infection with the Omicron variant”. “Given the high transmissibility of the Omicron virus, there remains the potential for health services to face increasing demand if Omicron cases continue to grow at the rate that has been seen in recent weeks,” he added.

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What are the odds that Pfizer already has their greasy fingers in here somewhere?

“Walter Reed is working with a yet-to-be-named industry partner for that wider rollout.”

US Army Creates Single Vaccine Against All COVID & SARS Variants (Defense One)

Within weeks, scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research expect to announce that they have developed a vaccine that is effective against COVID-19 and all its variants, even Omicron, as well as previous SARS-origin viruses that have killed millions of people worldwide. The achievement is the result of almost two years of work on the virus. The Army lab received its first DNA sequencing of the COVID-19 virus in early 2020. Very early on, Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch decided to focus on making a vaccine that would work against not just the existing strain but all of its potential variants as well. Walter Reed’s Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine, or SpFN, completed animal trials earlier this year with positive results.

Phase 1 of human trials, which tested the vaccine against Omicron and the other variants, wrapped up this month, again with positive results that are undergoing final review, Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch, said in an exclusive interview with Defense One. The new vaccine will still need to undergo phase 2 and phase 3 trials. Unlike existing vaccines, Walter Reed’s SpFN uses a soccer ball-shaped protein with 24 faces for its vaccine, which allows scientists to attach the spikes of multiple coronavirus strains on different faces of the protein. “It’s very exciting to get to this point for our entire team and I think for the entire Army as well,” Modjarrad said. The vaccine’s human trials took longer than expected, he said, because the lab needed to test the vaccine on subjects who had neither been vaccinated nor previously infected with COVID.


Increasing vaccination rates and the rapid spread of the Delta and Omicron variants made that difficult. [..] The next step is seeing how the new pan-coronavirus vaccine interacts with people who were previously vaccinated or previously sick. Walter Reed is working with a yet-to-be-named industry partner for that wider rollout. “We need to evaluate it in the real-world setting and try to understand how does the vaccine perform in much larger numbers of individuals who have already been vaccinated with something else initially…or already been sick,” Modjarrad said. He said nearly all of Walter Reed’s 2,500 staff have had some role in the vaccine’s nearly-two-year development.

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LNP. Avoid them.

mRNA-LNP Platform’s Lipid Nanoparticle Is Highly Inflammatory (NIH)

Vaccines based on mRNA-containing lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are a promising new platform used by two leading vaccines against COVID-19. Clinical trials and ongoing vaccinations present with varying degrees of protection levels and side effects. However, the drivers of the reported side effects remain poorly defined. Here we present evidence that Acuitas’ LNPs used in preclinical nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine studies are highly inflammatory in mice. Intradermal and intramuscular injection of these LNPs led to rapid and robust inflammatory responses, characterized by massive neutrophil infiltration, activation of diverse inflammatory pathways, and production of various inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.


The same dose of LNP delivered intranasally led to similar inflammatory responses in the lung and resulted in a high mortality rate, with mechanism unresolved. Thus, the mRNA-LNP platforms’ potency in supporting the induction of adaptive immune responses and the observed side effects may stem from the LNPs’ highly inflammatory nature.

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“This is where Fauci’s power lies: in his capacity to fund, arm, pay, maintain and effectively deploy a large and sprawling standing army. The NIH alone controls an annual $37 billion budget..”

Bill Gates, Fauci Quietly Built A Multi-billion Dollar Vaccine Empire (Mercola)

How does a private citizen, not an elected official, gain so much control over a global health agency like WHO? When it was founded, WHO could decide how to distribute its contributions. Now, 70% of its budget is tied to specific projects, countries or regions, which are dictated by the funders. As such, Gates’ priorities are the backbone of WHO, and it wasn’t a coincidence when he said of WHO, “Our priorities, are your priorities.” As of 2018, the cumulative contributions from the Gates Foundation and GAVI made “Gates the unofficial top sponsor of the WHO, even before the Trump administration’s 2020 move to cut all his support to the organization,” according to Kennedy. “Plus, Gates also routes funding to WHO through SAGE [Strategic Advisory Group of Experts] and UNICEF and Rotary International bringing his total contributions to over $1 billion.”

These tax-deductible donations give Gates both leverage and control over international health policy, “which he largely directs to serve the profit interest of his pharma partners.” Further, “Gate’s vaccine obsession has diverted WHO’s program contributions from poverty alleviation, nutrition and clean water to make vaccine uptake its preeminent public health metric. And Gates is not afraid to throw his weight around,” according to Kennedy. “… The sheer magnitude of his foundation’s financial contributions has made Bill Gates an unofficial — albeit unelected — leader of the WHO.” Gates’ power has grown further due to his decadeslong partnership with Fauci. Alone, both Gates and Fauci wield immense power in their fields. Together, they’re a formidable, if unfortunately nefarious, force.

As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) — “Fauci has a $6.1 billion budget that he distributes to colleges and universities to do drug research for various diseases,” Kennedy says. “He has another $1.7 billion that comes from the military to do bioweapons research.” This is where Fauci’s power lies: in his capacity to fund, arm, pay, maintain and effectively deploy a large and sprawling standing army. The NIH alone controls an annual $37 billion budget distributed in over 50,000 grants supporting over 300,000 positions globally in medical research.

The thousands of doctors, hospital administrators, health officials and research virologists whose positions, careers and salaries depend on AIDS dollars flowing from Dr. Fauci, Gates and the Wellcome Trust (Great Britain’s version of the Gates Foundation) are the officers and soldiers in a mercenary army that functions to defend all vaccines and Dr. Fauci’s HIV/AIDS doxologies. Along with Gates, Fauci had the power to influence funding of U.S. foreign aid to Africa for AIDS, prioritizing that for vaccines and drugs instead of nutrition, sanitation and economic development. Yet, Fauci and his team, funded by Gates, have never created a vaccine for AIDS, despite squandering billions of dollars, and causing uncounted human carnage. In 2020, many of the Gates/Fauci HIV vaccine trials in Africa suddenly became COVID-19 vaccine trials.

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“Fauci is the leader of the largest cabal of organized crime thugs to have ever walked the face of Earth..”

How to Read RFK, Jr.’s Book in 5 Minutes (Kirsch)

Here are five methods to get the gist of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s best-selling book, “The Real Anthony Fauci,” quickly:

1. The first third shows that Fauci is the leader of the largest cabal of organized crime thugs to have ever walked the face of Earth. The middle third goes into more detail about the history of the establishment of Fauci’s criminal cabal. The final third ties together loose ends with more details and factual history. The overriding theme is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization are all run and controlled by criminal thugs in concert with their criminal counterparts running Big Pharma.

3. Consider this excerpt: “Under Dr. Fauci’s leadership, the allergic, autoimmune, and chronic illnesses which Congress specifically charged NIAID to investigate and prevent, have mushroomed to afflict 54 percent of children, up from 12.8 percent when he took over NIAID in 1984. “Dr. Fauci has offered no explanation as to why allergic diseases like asthma, eczema, food allergies, allergic rhinitis, and anaphylaxis suddenly exploded beginning in 1989, five years after he came to power. “On its website, NIAID boasts that autoimmune disease is one of the agency’s top priorities. Some 80 autoimmune diseases, including juvenile diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, Graves’ disease, and Crohn’s disease, which were practically unknown prior to 1984, suddenly became epidemic under his watch.

“Autism, which many scientists now consider an autoimmune disease, exploded from between 2/10,000 and 4/10,000 Americans when Tony Fauci joined NIAID, to one in thirty-four today. “Neurological diseases like ADD/ADHD, speech and sleep disorders, narcolepsy, facial tics, and Tourette’s syndrome have become commonplace in American children. “The human, health, and economic costs of chronic disease dwarf the costs of all infectious diseases in the United States. By this decade’s end, obesity, diabetes, and pre-diabetes are on track to debilitate 85 percent of America’s citizens. “For this reason, all the drug companies and members of Congress (except Rand Paul) LOVE Fauci.”

5. My review: The book shows that Fauci is a really bad guy who has done a lot of bad stuff and he should be immediately fired. It also shows a completely corrupt system that is allowing dangerous drugs to be approved. We need to all stand up and oppose what is going on. The system is badly broken and corrupt and needs to be fixed ASAP. I haven’t read the entire book, but I have read sections and everything I have read so far aligns with the facts I know. It’s a devastating book, filled with details that few people knew about until now.

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Google translate.

“The drug also has side effects that can be serious at high doses. For example, a decrease in consciousness…”

Wonder how many other drugs on the WHO essential medicine list are this dangerous…

Dutch GPs Prescribe Ivermectin As A Corona Cure Despite Ban (RTL)

A group of Dutch general practitioners is prescribing the controversial drug ivermectin to people who are ill due to corona via a website. This practice goes against medical guidelines, so doctors are not allowed to do it. The Health and Youth Care Inspectorate (IGJ) is aware of this and has already issued a fine, but the website is still active Ivermectin is being circulated on various websites as a cure against corona, but is controversial because there is no sufficient scientific evidence for it. That is why most general practitioners do not prescribe it. If you still want it, you can still arrange it via the website ‘Self-care Covid-19’. On that website it is claimed that, among other things, zinc and vitamins C and D make resistant to corona. Will the virus still get you? Then you can get a telephone consultation with a GP for 30 euros.

Our research team tried this out and got a doctor from the collective on the phone. She did not ask about fever or breathing problems in that conversation, but did offer ivermectin after two minutes. Without our actively asking, as can be seen in this video: In their own words, Self-Care Covid-19 holds twenty to fifty such telephone consultations every day. Since the start in October 2020, there are approximately 2800. 10 to 20 percent of patients would only be advised to take supplements, 80 percent are prescribed a combination of ivermectin, antibiotic doxycycline and aspirin. In some cases, rheumatism medicine hydroxychloroquine is added on top of that.


Ivermectin is a drug that helps against scabies and other parasites, not viruses. “It is not a proven effective treatment for Covid, even if it is circulating on the internet,” says internist-infectiologist Mark de Boer of the Leiden University Medical Center. “There are sufficient indications that this is not effective. The drug also has side effects that can be serious at high doses. For example, a decrease in consciousness.” The doctors behind Self-care Covid-19 speak of ‘mild side effects’. Not all pharmacies cooperate in the distribution of ivermectin, but Self-Care Covid-19 has a solution for that too: they know a number that do sell the medicine.

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40 million or 150 million? Not quite the same thing.

Biden: 200 Million Americans Vaccinated, US Population 350 Million (CTH)

During an ABC interview today, Joe Biden told ABC News’ David Muir that as of right now, there are “200 million people fully vaccinated.” Counting illegal aliens, there are roughly 350 million Americans right now [Census Data]. If 200 million Americans are vaccinated (60%), that means there are approximately 150 million Americans NOT vaccinated (40%). During his speech yesterday, Joe Biden said: “Thanks to the progress on vaccinations this fall, we’ve gone from nearly 90 million adults in July who had not even started their vaccination process to fewer than 40 million today.” There’s a big difference between 150 million unvaccinated and “fewer than 40 million” unvaccinated. Can you reconcile the difference?

As we noted last week, with the CDC adjusting the numbers downward […] this would align with several tangential datapoints which have always seemed to be in conflict with the preferred government narrative. Additionally, there’s also an obvious motive on behalf of the government to overinflate vaccination in order to generate peer pressure and the self-fulfilling prophecy needed to garner vaccine acceptance. As now noted by Bloomberg: […] “CDC data show 240 million people with at least one shot, or about 72.5% of the population. But the agency says only 203 million are fully vaccinated, or 61.3%, an 11-percentage-point difference that is far larger than in other developed countries. State and local officials say it’s improbable that 37 million Americans got one shot without completing their inoculations. Instead, they say, the government has regularly and incorrectly counted booster shots and second doses as first doses.”


Perhaps this disparity reconciles why many people look quizzically at the high vaccine data while not finding any correlation to their own community, friends or family. Indeed, there has always been a disconnect between the number of people the government reports as having been vaccinated, when contrast against the open admissions of those who have not wanted to participate in this wide-scale vaccination program. Biden’s statement today aligns with the adjusted statements from the CDC of 200 million Americans being fully vaccinated. However, Biden’s statement today does not reconcile against his statement yesterday of “fewer than 40 million Americans” remain to be vaccinated. If the 200 million vaccinated number is accurate, then 150 million Americans are not vaccinated.

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Ethics are not supposed to be discussed in the new Science?!

Director of University Ethics Program Fired Over Vaccine Mandate (ET)

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, the longtime professor of psychiatry at the University of California–Irvine School of Medicine who sued the university over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate because it made no exceptions for natural immunity, has been fired by the institution for refusing the vaccine. In a blog post titled “Farewell, University of California,” Dr. Kheriaty said he received notice of what he called his “arbitrary and capricious” firing on Dec. 16. It was effective the same day. The termination ends his UCI medical teaching career and his longtime role as director of the Medical Ethics Program at UCI Health. Kheriaty said he worked unpaid nights helping the UCI president’s office draft triage guidelines for scarce resources and vaccines during the pandemic.

When N-95 masks were so scarce that hospitals kept them under lock and key, Kheriaty said he found a supply at a local construction company and provided them to doctors and nurses. “Everyone at the university seemed to be a fan of my work, until suddenly they were not,” Kheriaty wrote. “Once I challenged one of their policies, I immediately became a ‘threat to the health and safety of the community.’ No amount of empirical evidence about natural immunity or vaccine safety and efficacy mattered at all. “The University’s leadership was not interested in scientific debate or ethical deliberation. When I was placed on unpaid suspension, I was not permitted to use my paid time off—that is to say, I was ordered to stay off campus because I was not vaccinated, but I also could not take vacation at home because… I was not vaccinated.”

[..] Kheriaty sued the University of California Board of Regents in federal court on Aug. 18, alleging the university’s vaccine mandate violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In July 2020, Kheriaty contracted COVID-19, so he now has natural immunity, which he argues is likely superior to protection from a vaccine. His lawsuit is working its way through U.S. District Court. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California refused Kheriaty’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the vaccine mandate. In his lawsuit, he highlighted the failure of vaccine mandates to account for the likely superior immunity possessed by COVID-19 survivors. His faculty colleagues at the University of California filed a 187-page declaration supporting the efficacy of natural immunity.

As a COVID-19 survivor, Kheriaty said, his immunity to the disease is between 95 and 99 percent effective. There is not one case on record of someone who recovered from COVID-19 and then was reinfected and transmitted the virus to someone else, he said in October. This sterilizing immunity is an advantage the human immune system has over any COVID-19 vaccine, he argued, noting the declining efficacy of the mRNA vaccines over time.

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Talk about ethics.

24 States Sue Biden Admin Over COVID-19 Mandates for Children (ET)

Attorneys general (AG) from 24 states have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration challenging COVID-19 vaccine mandates for early education staff and mask mandates for young children. Led by Louisiana AG Jeff Landry, the lawsuit argues that the mandates involving Head Start, the country’s largest early education program, are unlawful and exceed President Joe Biden’s statutory authority. Biden’s mandate, issued last month, applies to all preschool programs funded by the federal Head Start program and affects hundreds of thousands of staff, volunteers, and preschool students across the country. It mandates vaccinations for staff, volunteers, and others in contact with students by the end of January and requires masks for all adults and children aged two and above.


The mandate offers no alternative to vaccinations, and for those granted exemptions, funds are not provided for regular testing. It applies to staff regardless of whether they work in person or remotely. The Department of Health and Human Services provides funding to low-income families of preschool-age children under the federal Head Start program. The lawsuit argues that the president’s mandate is projected to lead to tens of thousands of Head Start agency staff losing their jobs and will cause programs to close or reduce capacity. “Like all of his other unlawful attempts to impose medical decisions on Americans, Biden’s overreaching orders to mask two-year-olds and force vaccinate teachers in our underserved communities will cost jobs and impede child development,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement on Tuesday. “If enacted, Biden’s authoritarianism will cut funding, programs, and childcare that working families, single mothers, and elderly raising grandchildren rely on desperately.”

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“It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine…”

Alex Berenson Sues Twitter For Acting ‘On Behalf’ Of US Govt (RT)

Former New York Times reporter and outspoken critic of the US response to the Covid pandemic Alex Berenson is suing Twitter for suspending his account, claiming the platform “acted on behalf of the federal government. In the lawsuit, filed this week in the Northern District of California, Berenson accused Twitter of breach of contract and of violating his First Amendment rights. The alleged breach of contract stems from the fact that Berenson claims a Twitter executive had repeatedly assured him that he would be free to express his views on the platform without fear of retaliation. “Despite the controversy around his statements, a senior Twitter executive repeatedly assured Mr. Berenson that the company backed his right to free expression and that he would continue to enjoy access to the platform,” Berenson’s lawyers said in the suit.

The independent reporter and best-selling author was reportedly suspended from Twitter in August over a tweet questioning whether Covid vaccines could actually prevent infection and transmission of the virus, referring to them as “therapeutic” drugs. A Twitter spokesperson at the time said Berenson was permanently suspended for “repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.” In the tweet, Berenson wrote: “It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine. Think of it – at best – as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS.”


Berenson argues the platform acted on behalf of the Biden administration in censoring his posts, as the president himself had criticized “misinformation” about Covid spreading on social media only days before the author’s suspension. He is also claiming in his lawsuit that a California law applying to “common carriers” applies to Twitter. The legislation, dating back to 1872, regulates companies that “offer to the public to carry persons, property, or messages.” Berenson’s lawyers argue the legislation is relevant to the suit as the “courts have repeatedly applied the 1872 law to telephone companies and other technologies that did not exist at the time it was enacted,” adding that Twitter does not have the publishing freedom typically afforded due to the common carrier law.

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“..affects 84 million Americans..”

Supreme Court To Hold Hearing Over Biden’s Vaccine Mandate On Businesses (JTN)

The Supreme Court announced Wednesday it will hold a special hearing Jan. 7, 2022, on the legality of Biden administration vaccine mandates on healthcare workers and private companies with more than 100 people. The court’s decision to quickly take up the cases follows a series of different rulings in lower courts. The mandates will remain in place pending January’s oral arguments. The cases were rushed to the Supreme Court due to the time-sensitive nature of the Biden administration’s mandates. More than 17 million healthcare workers are required by the federal government to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, meanwhile, announced over the weekend it was postponing until Jan. 10 the deadline for compliance with the vaccine mandate on private businesses with more than 100 employees, which affects 84 million Americans.


The cases against a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers — State of Louisiana et al v. Xavier Becerra, Sec. of HHS, et al and Joseph Biden, President of U.S., et al v. Missouri, et al — were brought to Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh. The healthcare workers’ cases were consolidated and will receive one hour total for arguments. Two cases against Biden’s business mandate were brought to Justice Kavanagh, who combined the cases and allotted one hour for arguments. Petitioners in all cases requested for the mandate to be stopped. Rather than stopping the mandate, the justices are delaying a decision until after hearing the cases in January.

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Busy days for SCOTUS.

Supreme Court Could Decide Fate of Monsanto/Bayer RoundUp Cancer Suits (ET)

On Dec. 13, the Supreme Court asked the Solicitor General to offer the United States’ views on “Monsanto vs. Hardeman”—the latest move in what could be a landmark case for multibillion-dollar litigation linking the herbicide RoundUp to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, if the Supreme Court agrees to review the case. After a call for the views of the solicitor general, that Justice Department official will often respond with a brief commenting on whether the Supreme Court should agree to review the case. The Epoch Times has reached out to the Solicitor General for comment. Monsanto, which was acquired by the German chemical company Bayer in 2018, filed its petition after a Ninth Circuit panel ruled in favor of California resident Edwin Hardeman, who claimed his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma resulted from exposure to RoundUp.


Ninth Circuit Judge Ryan D. Nelson, a Trump appointee, found that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) did not preempt California’s law, under which RoundUp and other products containing glyphosate must feature warnings about that ingredient’s reported cancer risk. While the state of California maintains that glyphosate is carcinogenic, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which enforces FIFRA, maintains glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer in humans. Monsanto’s petition to the Supreme Court challenges the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on preemption. It also argues that the Ninth Circuit admitted low-quality expert opinions on glyphosate and cancer, deviating from the practices of other appellate courts and violating Federal Rule of Evidence 702.

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This idiocy fits the NATO narrative.

Russia Planning Nuclear Attack, Ukraine Claims (RT)

One of Ukraine’s top politicians has alleged that signals coming from Russia indicate that Moscow could be plotting a full-blown nuclear attack against its Eastern European neighbor in a new sensational intervention. Speaking at a conference on Wednesday, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, remarked that “as of 1991, Ukraine had the third largest nuclear capability in the world,” referring to its inherited arsenal of warheads from the collapse of the Soviet Union. He noted that Kiev “voluntarily gave this up to become a non-nuclear state” just a few years later. However, the politician alleged that Russia, which “was the guarantor of such disarmament, hints that if we continue our democratic development, it may even launch a nuclear strike against us.”


The remarks from Stefanchuk come in the foreground of concerns from Western leaders and Kiev’s intelligence service that Moscow is planning to launch a full-blown offensive against Ukraine. However, the Kremlin has repeatedly denied allegations that Russia is massing its troops along the shared demarcation line in preparation for an invasion. Instead, Moscow has accused members of the US-led military bloc of shuttling a concerning amount of weapons toward Russia’s borders and said that Western states are encouraging Kiev’s officials to engage in provocations that could spiral into an all-out conflict. Last month, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that in Ukraine, “more and more forces and equipment are being accumulated on the line of contact in the Donbass, supported by an increasing number of Western instructors.” He warned that if these states cannot hold back Kiev, and are instead actually spurring it on, Moscow will “take all necessary steps to ensure our security.”

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Someone better change lawyers.

Durham Zeroes In On Clinton Campaign, Could Call Some Aides To Testify (JTN)

Hillary Clinton’s team long fought to keep its ties to Christopher Steele’s dossier from public view, but Special Counsel John Durham is now making clear he has a strong interest in her campaign’s behavior during the Russia collusion probe. He is even suggesting some of her aides could be summoned as trial witnesses. Durham’s earth-shaking revelation came inside a routine court filing this month in the case of Igor Y. Danchenko, a Russian analyst who was a primary source in 2016 for Steele’s now-infamous dossier. Danchenko has been charged with repeatedly lying to the FBI during the Russia collusion probe and has pleaded innocent.

Durham’s motion asked the presiding judge to determine whether Danchenko’s lawyers —Danny Onorato and Stuart Sears of the Schertler Onorato Mead & Sears law firm — pose a conflict of interest because the firm also represents the Hillary for America campaign as well as several former campaign officials in “matters before the special counsel.” “The Clinton Campaign financed the opposition research reports, colloquially known as the ‘Dossier,’ that are central to the Indictment against the defendant,” the Durham team stated in the motion. “Accordingly, for the reasons set forth below, the government respectfully requests that the Court inquire into the potential conflict issues set forth herein.”

[..] Prosecutors said they want to know what the Clinton campaign knew about the accuracy of the Steele dossier’s now-discredited allegations of Trump-Russia collusion and whether any campaign “representatives directed, solicited, or controlled” Danchenko’s activities assisting Steele. “The interests of the Clinton Campaign and the defendant could potentially diverge in connection with any plea discussions, pre-trial proceedings, hearings, trial, and sentencing proceedings,” the prosecutors told the court, often referring to the Steele dossier as “Company Reports.” “For example, the Clinton Campaign and the defendant each might have an incentive to shift blame and/or responsibility to the other party for any allegedly false information that was contained within the Company Reports and/or provided to the FBI,” the Durham filing stated.

“Moreover, it is possible that one of these parties might also seek to advance claims that they were harmed or defrauded by the other’s actions, statements, or representations.” For the first time, Durham also raised the possibility aides to Hillary Clinton could testify at Danchenko’s trial. “In the event that one or more former representatives of the Clinton Campaign (who are represented by defense counsel’s firm) are called to testify at any trial or other court proceeding, the defendant and any such witness would be represented by the same law firm, resulting in a potential conflict,” Durham’s team argued.

And for one of the first times, Durham’s team declares to a court what it believes was the political motive for the Clinton campaign to pay its law firm, Perkins Coie, to hire the Fusion GPS investigative firm to hire the retired MI6 agent Steele to write the anti-Trump Russia reports known as the dossier. “The Clinton Campaign, through Law Firm-1 and U.S. Investigative Firm-1, commissioned and financed the Company Reports in an attempt to gather and disseminate derogatory information about Donald Trump,” the filing stated.

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They all seem to fit in already.

Capitol Building To Be Expanded To Hold All Pfizer Lobbyists (BBee)

Senate leaders revealed today that Biden’s “Build Back Better” infrastructure plan will include $86 Billion for a brand-new Capitol Building construction project. The Capitol will be expanded to hold 100 Senators, 435 Representatives, and 1,423 Pfizer lobbyists. “Better. Build blur, uh, der der trunalimunumaprzure,” said Biden in a forceful speech defending the plan. “Derp rug abba loogey.” A hand then appeared from behind a curtain and injected Biden with some sort of medication, causing Biden to come to his senses.


“These Pfizer people, they’re good folks, folks! They know what they’re doing! We’re just gonna let them run the country for a while, I think. More time for me to watch Murder She Wrote on the television box!” Officials confirmed that to save time, the Biden administration plans to merge all regulatory agencies with Pfizer. They also confirmed that troops will arrive at your house tonight to administer your booster shot. Cool!

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Viral blizzard

 

 

Blackrock owns enough controlling interest in all.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Dec 202021
 
 December 20, 2021  Posted by at 2:43 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


Jules Adler Panorama de Paris vu du Sacré Coeur 1935

 

 

Sometimes the best information comes from unexpected sources. That is certainly true this weekend. Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson had a very revealing Twitter talk with Graham Medley, chair of COVID modeling for UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). But first, to get in the mood, a graph on Omicron from South Africa, because that’s what they’re all talking about:

 

 

And if you don’t find that convincing (because it’s “only” South Africa), Robert Malone has your back with his take on a Danish study.

The First 785 SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant Cases In Denmark

Denmark, as of December 9, 2021. Denmark has one of the highest RT-PCR testing capacities in the world and screens all positive RT-PCR tests with an Omicron-specific PCR – allowing screening for Omicron. There have been 785 SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant cases identified in Denmark. The earliest Omicron cases in Denmark occurred before South Africa announced the emergence of this variant. Most cases were fully (76%) or booster-vaccinated (7.1%); 34 (4.3%) had a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The majority of cases with available information reported symptoms (509/666; 76%) and most were infected in Denmark (588/644; 91%). One in five cases cannot be linked to previous cases, indicating widespread community transmission. Nine cases have been hospitalized, one required intensive care and no deaths have been registered.

Highlights:
· 1.2% of cases have been hospitalized
· 0.3% in intensive care
· 0% deaths.

· 83% were fully or booster vaccinated, 17% not vaccinated (including 2.6 vaccine started)
· 4.3% had previous SARS-CoV-2 infection
· 91% have no travel history, 9% reported travel

My take: this study is important because although there are studies and spokespeople from South Africa stating similar results, the Danish population in terms of age, body weight, life expectancy, etc. is more similar demographically to the US population. This Danish study suggests that Omicron will affect the American population similarly.

I wrote earlier today: “Mild” is a four letter word. Well, for politicians and media and drugmakers, that is.

 

Then, the UK. Where word today is that 12 people have died WITH Omicron and 104 are in hospital WITH Omicron. Dying WITH Omicron is not the same as dying FROM Omicron, and being in hospital with it says nothing either, if you don’t know a patient’s age, history, comorbidities etc. And a “case”, as that word is abusively used all the time, is in reality just a positive test with the inherently flawed PCR procedure, and 99.7% of positive tests never go anywhere. Meaningless.

The UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, SAGE, predicts “anything from 200 to 6,000 deaths a day” (42,000 a week) from Omicron, and I read somewhere there’s a 2 million cases per week prediction. But there’s something about SAGE’s working methods that you really should know: they only focus on bad or worse scenarios. And it’s not even strictly their fault: good or mild scenarios are simply not their assignment.

Here are Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson and SAGE chair of COVID modeling Graham Medley:

My Twitter conversation with the chairman of the Sage Covid modelling committee

The latest Sage papers have been published, envisaging anything from 200 to 6,000 deaths a day from Omicron depending on how many more restrictions we’ll get – up to and very much including another lockdown. Earlier today I had an unexpected chance to ask questions of Graham Medley, the chair of the Sage modelling committee. He’s a professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) which last weekend published a study on Omicron with very gloomy scenarios and making the case for more restrictions. But JP Morgan had a close look at this study and spotted something big: all the way through, LSHTM assumes that the Omicron variant is just as deadly as Delta. ‘But evidence from South Africa suggests that Omicron infections are milder,’ JP Morgan pointed out in a note to clients. Adjust for this, it found, and the picture changes dramatically:-

“Bed occupancy by Covid-19 patients at the end of January would be 33% of the peak seen in January 2021. This would be manageable without further restrictions.’ So JP Morgan had shown that, if you tweak one assumption (on severity) then – suddenly – no need for lockdown. Why was this scenario left out? Why would this fairly-important and fairly-basic fact on Omicron modelling not presented by SAGE modellers like Prof Medley to ministers – and to the general public? I was thrilled for the chance to speak to him on Twitter. It was kind of him to make the time (he’s still going, as far as I can make out). The Spectator data hub has a page devoted to past Sage modelling vs actual, and I wanted to make sure I was not being unfair to Sage in my selection or presentation of those charts.

The latest Sage paper-drop – the 6,000-deaths-a-day one – refers to ‘scenarios,’ not predictions. Prof Medley emphasises the distinction: saying something could happen is not saying that there’s a realistic chance of it happening. But then why do SAGE modellers publish some scenarios and not others? I then jumped to ask Prof Medley.



Revealingly, he seemed to think my question odd: if it’s quite plausible that Omicron is mild and doesn’t the threaten the NHS, what would be the point of including that as a ‘scenario’? He seemed to suggest that he has been given a very limited brief, and asked to churn out worse-case scenarios without being asked to comment on how plausible they are. “We generally model what we are asked to model. There is a dialogue in which policy teams discuss with the modellers what they need to inform their policy.” Might this remit mean leaving out just-as-plausible, quite-important scenarios that would not require lockdown? “Decision-makers are generally on only interested in situations where decisions have to be made.”


Note how careful he is to stay vague on whether any of the various scenarios in the Sage document are likely or even plausible. What happened to the original system of presenting a ‘reasonable worse-case scenario’ together with a central scenario? And what’s the point of modelling if it doesn’t say how likely any these scenarios are? From what Prof Medley says, it’s unclear that the most-likely scenario is even being presented to ministers this time around. So how are they supposed to make good decisions? I highly doubt that Sajid Javid is only asking to churn out models that make the case for lockdown. That instruction, if it is being issued, will have come from somewhere else.

Isn’t that the craziest thing? I think Nelson may be right, and politicians may not be looking for deliberately misleading (to the downside) studies. But those are still all they get, and base their policies upon.

And for some people involved, I am not so sure. Like for Anthony Fauci, and for Pfizer. And of course, the problem with SAGE modeling is probably repeated in 100 other countries, by all the so-called experts, and they feed off each other. Count your blessings.

 

Meanwhile, the UK increased its PCR testing by some 65% recently, so what are we really talking about, if not apples and bananas?

Omicron Surge is Mostly Due to Ramping Up Testing

Reported infections in the U.K. have suddenly spiked in the last three days, up from 59,610 on Tuesday to 78,610 on Wednesday, 88,376 on Thursday and 93,045 on Friday. Looking at the data regionally, the spike is currently much more pronounced in London, the South East, the East of England, the East Midlands and the North West than it is in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, the South West and the West Midlands. It’s not clear at this point if it is going to continue to rise, though the last three days’ counts don’t appear to indicate continued sharp growth. It is also so far largely an artefact of massively increased testing, as the graph below with data for the U.K. up to December 16th shows. Similar is true for Scotland. Positive tests have spiked.

But positivity is up only a little due to the large increase in testing. How significant is it that the spike began on Monday December 13th, the day after Boris Johnson’s Sunday press conference when he warned everyone about Omicron and told them to get their booster jab? There was a huge surge in demand for booster doses starting that Monday and continuing throughout the week. Could the fact that this surge coincided with a similar surge in both testing and positive tests be more than coincidence? Perhaps people got tested before getting their booster, or just because of the dire warning of a new threat.

 

The CDC doesn’t like the term “mild”, and neither do the media. because it makes for poor clickbait. They all prefer terms like “grim”, “soar”, “rocket”, “leap”. And they love the words “patients” and “deaths”. As US deaths were down by, what, 30%? (Note in the graph how deaths decreased).

CDC issues grim forecast warning that weekly COVID cases will jump by 55% to 1.3 MILLION by Christmas Day and that deaths will surge by 73% to 15,600 a week as Omicron becomes dominant strain

Grim new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have predicted that US COVID-19 deaths will soar by 73 per cent to 15,600 a week by January 8, and that cases will rocket to 1.3 million a week by Christmas Day. The agency revealed projections on Wednesday afternoon that show America will suffer up to 15,600 new Covid deaths a week as of January 8 – or 2,228 deaths per day – a 58 per cent increase from 8,900 deaths currently being recorded each week, equivalent to 1,285 deaths a day. Another CDC prediction estimates that between 620,000 and 1.3 million Americans will have been diagnosed with Covid by the week that ends on December 25 – Christmas Day. That represents a 55% leap on the 840,000 cases that have been recorded over the last week.

Omicron will likely become the dominant Covid strain in the coming weeks, and cause a massive surge of cases shortly after Christmas, one expert has warned, likely fueling the surge the CDC predicts. Dr Gregory Poland, a top epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic told DailyMail.com that an Omicron-fueled surge in cases could be right around the corner. ‘As best any of us can model, we will have an explosion of cases after the holidays in the in the early-to-mid-January timeframe,’ he said. ‘This variant is hyper transmissible, it spreads exponentially in an environment of cold weather, massive holiday get togethers, no masking and insufficient immunization.’

He believes it will become the dominant strain in the UK – which recorded a record 78,610 cases on Wednesday – in the coming days, and that the U.S. will follow around two weeks later. Cornell University in upstate New York is suspected to be home to the first US Omicron cluster, after 930 students were diagnosed with the virus in recent days. The college says every one of the positive tests it has sequenced so far has been the Omicron variant. A Cornell spokesman hasn’t said exactly how many Omicron cases have been identified, but added that they expect most, if not all, the 930 cases to be caused by the new variant.

Read more …

And Tony Grinch Fauci is not about to be outdone by the CDC.

Fauci Foresees Potential Record Death Rate From Omicron

Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, said on Sunday that record-breaking death rates could occur as the COVID Omicron variant spreads across the U.S. Fauci made an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, where host Jake Tapper pressed the leading infectious disease expert on where he believes the pandemic is headed. Tapper asked, “Do you expect new record high numbers for cases? And what about hospitalizations and deaths?” “Yes, well, unfortunately, Jake, I think that that is going to happen,” Fauci replied.


“We are going to see a significant stress in some regions of the country on the hospital system, particularly in those areas where you have a low level of vaccination, which is one of the reasons why we continue to stress the importance of getting those unvaccinated people vaccinated.” [..] “It is going to be tough,” Fauci said. “We can’t walk away from that, Jake. We can’t, because, with Omicron that we’re dealing with, it is going to be a tough few weeks to months as we get deeper into the winter.”

If and when you’re suffering under yet another lockdown and/or any other restrictions, you should know they are for naught. There is no indication to date that Omicron will fill up hospitals, or ICUs, or that it will kill millions of people.

But that for now refuted scenario is still why those restrictions are being put in place, why you are being told not to hug your intensely lonely grandma for Christmas. Useless. And why everyone is told to get a booster, and soon another. Also useless.

It’s time for all of you to grow a spine and a pair of balls (sorry, ladies, just a manner of speech) and start living your lives again. Time to get rid of Fauci, and of Pfizer, and SAGE, and fill in your local/national bunch of experts. Because as long as they are there, they will hog the limelight, and you will never be able to start to live your life again.

A simple Christmas message.

 

 

 

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Dec 182021
 
 December 18, 2021  Posted by at 9:39 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  73 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Road menders at Saint-Remy 1889

 

South Africa Hospitalization Rate Falls 91% in Omicron Wave (BBG)
Pfizer Tests Extra Covid Shot For Kids Under 5 In Setback (AP)
VAERS Deaths Are Underreported By A Factor Of 20 (RG)
Guidance On Covid Vaccines Moves Closer To ‘Misinformation’ Of Skeptics (JTN)
Where Do You Stand? (Jim Kunstler)
They KNOW And LIKE IT (Denninger)
Appeals Court Reinstates Biden Vaccine Mandate For Business (JTN)
Companies, Organizations Are Walking Back Vaccination Requirements (ET)
Boeing Suspends Vaccine Mandate For Employees (JTN)
Top Israel Ministers Agree On Covid Purple Ribbon Outline For Malls (JPost)
Need For Social Restrictions Will Gradually Shrink Over Time – Whitty (BMJ)
China’s Covid-zero Lockdowns Loom Over The Global Supply Chain (Qz)
Kremlin Discusses Potential Putin-Musk Meeting (RT)

 

 

 

 

Vaccine hesitancy

 

 

 

 

Massie

 

 

 

 

A Bloomberg piece without a paywall for me.

South Africa Hospitalization Rate Falls 91% in Omicron Wave (BBG)

South Africa delivered some positive news on the omicron coronavirus variant on Friday, reporting a much lower rate of hospital admissions and signs that the wave of infections may be peaking. Only 1.7% of identified Covid-19 cases were admitted to hospital in the second week of infections in the fourth wave, compared with 19% in the same week of the third delta-driven wave, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at a press conference. Health officials presented evidence that the strain may be milder, and that infections may already be peaking in the country’s most populous province, Gauteng. Still, new cases in that week of the current wave were more than 20,000 a day, compared with 4,400 in the same week of the third wave. That’s further evidence of omicron’s rapid transmissibility, which a number of other countries, such as the U.K., are also now experiencing.

South Africa, which announced the discovery of the variant on Nov. 25, is being watched as a harbinger of what may happen with omicron elsewhere. Scientists have cautioned that other nations may have a different experience to South Africa as the country’s population is young compared with developed nations. Between 70% and 80% of citizens may also have had a prior Covid-19 infection, according to antibody surveys, meaning they could have some level of protection. Currently there are about 7,600 people with Covid-19 in South African hospitals, about 40% of the peak in the second and third waves. Excess deaths, a measure of the number of deaths against a historical average, are just below 2,000 a week, an eighth of their previous peak.

Read more …

“It’s disappointing news for families anxious to vaccinate their tots.”

Pfizer Tests Extra Covid Shot For Kids Under 5 In Setback (AP)

Pfizer said Friday it was changing plans and testing three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in babies and preschoolers after the usual two shots didn’t appear strong enough for some of the children. Pfizer announced the change after a preliminary analysis found 2- to 4-year-olds didn’t have as strong an immune response as expected to the very low-dose shots the company is testing in the youngest children. It’s disappointing news for families anxious to vaccinate their tots. Pfizer had expected data on how well the vaccines were working in children under 5 by year’s end, and it’s not clear how long the change will delay a final answer.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said if the three-dose study is successful, they plan to apply for emergency authorization sometime in the first half of 2022. A kid-sized version of Pfizer’s vaccine already is available for 5- to 11-year-olds, one that’s a third of the dose given to everyone else 12 and older. For children younger than 5, Pfizer is testing an even smaller dose, just 3 micrograms or a tenth of the adult dose. Researchers analyzed a subset of youngsters in the study a month after their second dose to see if the tots developed levels of virus-fighting antibodies that were similar to teens and young adults who get the regular shots. The very low-dose shots appeared to work in youngsters under age 2, who produced similar antibody levels.

But the immune response in 2- to 4-year-olds was lower than the study required, Pfizer vaccine research chief Kathrin Jansen said Friday in a call with investors. Rather than trying a higher-dose shot for the preschoolers, Pfizer decided to expand the study to evaluate three of the very low-dose shots in all the study participants — from 6 months up to age 5. That third shot will come at least two months after the youngsters’ second dose. No safety concerns have been spotted in the study, the companies said.

Read more …

From October 2021

VAERS Deaths Are Underreported By A Factor Of 20 (RG)

Accurate estimates of COVID vaccine-induced severe adverse event and death rates are critical for risk-benefit ratio analyses of vaccination and boosters against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in different age groups. However, existing surveillance studies are not designed to reliably estimate life-threatening event or vaccine-induced fatality rates (VFR). Here, regional variation in vaccination rates was used to predict all-cause mortality and non-COVID deaths in subsequent time periods using two independent, publicly available datasets from the US and Europe (month-and week-level resolutions, respectively). Vaccination correlated negatively with mortality 6-20 weeks post-injection, while vaccination predicted all-cause mortality 0-5 weeks post-injection in almost all age groups and with an age-related temporal pattern consistent with the US vaccine rollout.


Results from fitted regression slopes (p<0.05 FDR corrected) suggest a US national average VFR of 0.04% and higher VFR with age (VFR=0.004% in ages 0-17 increasing to 0.06% in ages >75 years), and 146K to 187K vaccine-associated US deaths between February and August, 2021. Notably, adult vaccination increased ulterior mortality of unvaccinated young (<18, US; <15, Europe). Comparing our estimate with the CDC-reported VFR (0.002%) suggests VAERS deaths are underreported by a factor of 20, consistent with known VAERS under-ascertainment bias. Comparing our age-stratified VFRs with published age-stratified coronavirus infection fatality rates (IFR) suggests the risks of COVID vaccines and boosters outweigh the benefits in children, young adults and older adults with low occupational risk or previous coronavirus exposure. We discuss implications for public health policies related to boosters, school and workplace mandates, and the urgent need to identify, develop and disseminate diagnostics and treatments for life-altering vaccine injuries.

Read more …

“Not only do the three vaccines authorized for emergency use require boosters due to waning “protective efficacy,” but they haven’t stopped breakthrough infections..”

Guidance On Covid Vaccines Moves Closer To ‘Misinformation’ Of Skeptics (JTN)

Federal officials and advisors who have consistently boosted COVID-19 vaccines are starting to sound more like skeptics of the vaccines’ efficacy and safety. The face of the Biden administration’s COVID response is now making the same claims about vaccines that got a contrarian journalist booted from Twitter, while the CDC encouraged Americans to avoid a specific vaccine. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci cowrote a “perspective” in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Wednesday that acknowledged COVID vaccines were not living up to expectations. Not only do the three vaccines authorized for emergency use require boosters due to waning “protective efficacy,” but they haven’t stopped breakthrough infections, “allowing subsequent transmission to other people even when the vaccine prevents severe and fatal disease.”

Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson wrote of the vaccines in August: “It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission.” They have a “limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile.” Twitter permanently suspended him the same day for “repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.” The social media company didn’t respond to Just the News queries seeking its distinction between claims by Berenson and Fauci and whether it would apply an “unsafe” warning to the NEJM essay, as it recently did to a study on increased heart risks in vaccine recipients, or otherwise restrict the publisher’s account. Twitter quietly updated its “COVID-19 misleading information policy” page sometime after Dec. 2, even while claiming through Wednesday that the update was made in November. (It corrected the month on Thursday, several days after Reclaim the Net noted the discrepancy.)

Among the new authority it grants itself, Twitter will punish users who claim vaccines, regardless of their authorization status, are “experimental”; taking them “would be more harmful than getting COVID-19”; and most pertinent to Fauci’s essay, vaccinated people “can spread or shed the virus … to unvaccinated people.”

Read more …

“American doctors have proven to be cowards, cravens, zombies, and fools facilitating Dr. Fauci’s evil campaign — in concert with the rapacious pharmaceutical industry and a government in thrall to sinister forces that seek to destroy the country.”

Where Do You Stand? (Jim Kunstler)

The public health bureaucrat who styles himself as “the Science” is at it again. In his quest to eliminate the control group for his experiment in hazardous mRNA injections, Dr. Anthony Fauci reiterated his warning that the nation faces “a crisis of the unvaccinated.” Omicron is upon us, he told a US Chamber of Commerce meet-up this week, and the hospitals will soon be overwhelmed by the unvaxxed. Oh really? In fact, the gravest threat to America’s public health is… Dr. Tony Fauci and his debauchery of medical science. This will surely come as a surprise to readers of The New York Times, who see in the two-year (so far) Covid-19 event a splendid opportunity to hasten the destruction of the US economy and our culture in order to consolidate their own power to coerce and control the population. Clear the offices! Shut down the social spaces! Make ordinary business as difficult as possible! Cancel Christmas! That’ll git’er done!

In fact, Dr. Fauci is likely responsible for a preponderance of the total 802,000 US Covid deaths — putting aside the number of people who actually died from highway accidents, cancer, diabetes, old age, and other causes, but were listed as covid deaths by hospital accounting personnel avid for federal subsidy cash. It was Dr. Fauci who organized the suppression of easily marshaled and inexpensive early treatments for the disease, namely hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, fluvoxamine, budesonide, azithromycin, monoclonal antibodies, Vitamin D, etc. It was Dr. Fauci who promoted the protocol of sending sick patients home from the ER without any treatment to await the further development of fatal clotting in their lungs. It was Dr. Fauci who designated the drug remdesivir — which he developed years ago for hepatitis-C (it did not work) with a financial stake in the patents — as the primary inpatient treatment for Covid-19.

And then it turned out that remdesivir destroys patients’ kidneys and is ineffective anyway in late treatment of the disease when viral loads wane and spike proteins have already created the fatal capillary clots in the alveoli of the lungs and in other organs. It’s Dr. Fauci who is responsible for the emergency use authorization on the mRNA “vaccines” that may have killed hundreds of thousands more Americans — based on the CDC’s VAERS system and statistical analysis of its inherent under-reporting at only 2.2 percent of all actual events— and you can add multiples more in non-fatal adverse reactions, including permanent disabilities. It’s Dr. Fauci who finagled the inadequate and botched trials of the mRNA vaccines in order to rush them into use.

And now it’s Dr. Fauci who wants to vaxx up all the children in America, despite evidence that the mRNA shots permanently disable children’s innate natural immune systems and can cause lasting heart, blood vessel, brain, and reproductive damage, and also despite the fact that few children are susceptible to serious Covid illness in the first place. [..] American doctors have proven to be cowards, cravens, zombies, and fools facilitating Dr. Fauci’s evil campaign — in concert with the rapacious pharmaceutical industry and a government in thrall to sinister forces that seek to destroy the country. The doctors have disgraced and dishonored themselves. The doctors have probably undermined their own vocations, as well as the entire armature of US health care, which they have allowed to become history’s worst racketeering operation.

Read more …

“How carefully would you drive if it was mandated by law that you must have a 6″ spike mounted in the center of the steering wheel pointed at your chest — and seat belts were illegal?”

They KNOW And LIKE IT (Denninger)

Folks, can we cut the bull**** please? Insurance companies are regulated. They are only permitted to make a certain amount of gross margin, typically 10%. Said regulation is enforced; firms are required to file their rates with state regulators along with the previous year’s results and projections for next. This applies to health insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance, all insurance. Therefore there are exactly two ways for an insurance company to grow in size and profits: • Have more-frequent events results in a loss. • Have the same number of events but make them more expensive. That’s it. Efficiency is backwards because if you have overhead of 30% and cut it to 20% you don’t get to keep the other 10% in the company as profit which in any other line of business is yours to pocket. You wind up having to cut rates!

I have some data for health rates for firms in the midsized corporate world. I also have the Obamacare numbers for 2021 in a number of places, since those are published. They’re up. A lot. In some cases and places, by 30%. Do you really think the health insurance and health care providers care if you get a bad reaction from the jabs? No, they like it, provided it doesn’t kill you immediately. See the above for why. That you get ****ed is just business. You think the car insurance companies push all that expensive tech and “improvements” because it results in fewer crashes? Well, has it resulted in fewer crashes? Notice how the media and car companies, along with the insurance firms and their public-facing folks such as the crash-test people, always talk about fatality rates, not crashes.

A fatal car crash means you are no longer a customer. But that collapsible steering column isn’t for you, really — it doesn’t do anything to prevent the crash, it just costs more money if you crash and increases the odds you’ll live. This means (1) you’re still a customer and (2) the car costs more to repair or must be replaced. Obviously if you’re dead you don’t need another car, do you? Nor will you ever buy car insurance again. Oh, you think this is fanciful BS? Uh, nope. How carefully would you drive if it was mandated by law that you must have a 6″ spike mounted in the center of the steering wheel pointed at your chest — and seat belts were illegal?

Read more …

“This mandate will make it even harder for small business owners to find and keep employees.”

Appeals Court Reinstates Biden Vaccine Mandate For Business (JTN)

A federal appeals court on Friday night reinstated President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private companies with more than 100 workers, reversing lower court rulings and setting up a likely showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration had the authority to Impose the mandate due to take effect Jan. 4. “Given OSHA’s clear and exercised authority to regulate viruses, OSHA necessarily has the authority to regulate infectious diseases that are not unique to the workplace,” the court conckuddd in its majority opinion.

Within an hour of the decision, the small business group Job Creators Network filed an appeal to the high court, saying the appeals judges “irresponsibly upheld an illegal rule.” “This mandate adds an incredible burden on small business owners who are still suffering negative effects of the pandemic,” the group said. “This mandate will make it even harder for small business owners to find and keep employees.” The ruling came after several challenges from GOP-led states and conservative and business groups were consolidated before the Cincinnati-based 6th circuit. The decision was supported by one Democrat-appointed judge and one Republican appointee and opposed by the third judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge told The Associated Press she would immediately appeal to the Supreme Court. “The Sixth Circuit’s decision is extremely disappointing for Arkansans because it will force them to get the shot or lose their jobs,” she said. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, tweeted he was confident the mandate would be blocked by the justices. “We will go immediately to the Supreme Court- the highest court in the land- to fight this unconstitutional and illegal mandate,” he said. “The law must be followed and federal abuse of power stopped.”

Read more …

Too many hold-outs.

Companies, Organizations Are Walking Back Vaccination Requirements (ET)

More and more businesses in recent days have walked back previous rules mandating COVID-19 vaccines as a condition for employment in a bid to keep workers. Earlier this week, Amtrak—a quasi-public corporation—became the latest to rescind its vaccine requirement amid concerns about staff shortages and cut service in January. In a memo sent to staff that was obtained by The Epoch Times, Amtrak CEO William Flynn said the company would do away with the mandate that would have given employees until Jan. 4 to get fully vaccinated or go on unpaid leave. About 500 out of more than 17,000 Amtrak workers remain unvaccinated, according to the memo. Still, the sudden loss of that many workers would have caused service disruptions, Flynn suggested, while noting that Amtrak was acting in accordance with recent court orders handed down against President Joe Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandates.

Several hospitals and healthcare systems have similarly rescinded vaccine mandates for employees and cited labor issues that were triggered by the new requirements. In early December, Florida’s AdventHealth announced the end of its vaccine requirement for some 83,000 workers, also citing the several recent court injunctions against federal mandates. “Due to recent decisions by the federal courts to block the [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] vaccine mandate, we are suspending all vaccination requirements of our COVID-19 vaccination policy,” AdventHealth Chief Clinical Officer Neil Finkler said in a letter to staff. The move came after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services confirmed to The Epoch Times that the agency suspended enforcement following two court orders several weeks ago.

Tenet Healthcare, HCA Healthcare, and Cleveland Clinic recently announced they are pulling back as well, citing labor concerns. Along with AdventHealth, the three healthcare companies operate a combined 300 hospitals and have more than 500,000 workers. They cited recent court orders that blocked Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from enforcing its mandate on Medicare- and Medicaid-funded medical facilities. The rule was announced by Biden on the same day that he confirmed that he would impose mandates on federal government employees, businesses who have contracts with the federal government, and, most controversially, businesses that have 100 or more workers.

Read more …

“Boeing has suspended its vaccine requirement in line with a federal court’s decision prohibiting the enforcement of the federal contractor executive order and a number of state laws.”

Boeing Suspends Vaccine Mandate For Employees (JTN)

Boeing Friday said it has suspended its requirement that U.S.-based employees be fully vaccinated or face losing their jobs. The announcement comes as several attempts by President Joe Biden to require vaccinations for workers in various settings have been blocked by courts in recent weeks. “Boeing is committed to maintaining a safe working environment for our customers, and advancing the health and safety of our global workforce,” a company spokesperson told KOMO News. “As such, we continue to encourage our employees to get vaccinated and get a booster if they have not done so. Meanwhile, after careful review, Boeing has suspended its vaccine requirement in line with a federal court’s decision prohibiting the enforcement of the federal contractor executive order and a number of state laws.”

A U.S. District Court judge in Georgia on Dec. 7 issued a preliminary injunction against Biden’s executive order requiring all companies that contract with the federal government to have a vaccine mandate in place. The order was to have taken effect starting Jan. 4. Earlier orders requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to require vaccinations and one requiring all healthcare workers to be vaccinated have also been blocked by courts. Biden’s executive order requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated is facing 17 lawsuits, but no judges have granted requests to block it. Courts have also ruled that private employers, states, local municipalities and public universities are able to issue vaccine mandates.

In an internal memo to employees obtained by Defense News, Boeing said 92% of its U.S.-based workforce had either provided proof of vaccination or received a medical or religious exemption. “The success of Boeing’s vaccine requirement to date positions the company well to comply with the federal executive order should it be reinstated in the future,” the memo said. Reuters reported last month that some 11,000 Boeing employees, about 9% of its North American workforce, had requested an exemption. It is unclear how many were granted.

Read more …

Every plan so far has failed.

Top Israel Ministers Agree On Covid Purple Ribbon Outline For Malls (JPost)

A “strict” Purple Ribbon outline will be applied immediately to all indoor shopping malls, the Prime Minister’s Office said late Friday night. The announcement came after two days of discussion on how to handle shopping malls, and as the number of coronavirus cases spikes across Israel. The decision was made jointly by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Economy Minister Orna Barbivai and MK Abir Kara. One person for every 15 square meters will be allowed to shop. And increased enforcement of mask wearing will be established. Moreover, the officials agreed, mall hours will be extended in order to accommodate shoppers and immunization complexes will be established in 50 main centers in the malls to encourage people to get the jab. Those who are vaccinated will enjoy special privileges.


Bennett had wanted to require the malls operate under the Green Pass outline, meaning that individuals would have to be fully vaccinated or take a COVID test to enter the facilities. The only exception would have been to access essential products. But fierce opposition by retailers and some members of the government on Thursday pushed the plan to the side. Friday night’s announcement said that if morbidity rates continue to climb then the Green Pass outline will once again be considered for any facility over 100 square meters. The above plan is still not final. It will be discussed at the cabinet meeting on Sunday, drafted as regulations and then voted on by the coronavirus cabinet via telephone poll. Once passed, the outline will begin immediately. Bennett is also reportedly expected to bring a resolution to the meeting that would mean almost the complete closure of the skies. Bennett’s proposal, N12 reported, is expected to include a ban on travel to most countries in the world, including the United States and other countries in Western Europe.

Read more …

Just 18 more months to flatten the curve.

Need For Social Restrictions Will Gradually Shrink Over Time – Whitty (BMJ)

The development of polyvalent vaccines and new antivirals should lessen the need for social restrictions from around the middle of 2023, England’s chief medical officer has told MPs. Giving evidence to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee on 16 December, Chris Whitty said that although the UK may need intermittent social restrictions against covid-19 over the next 18 months, future medical advances should provide the “heavy lifting” against new variants. He said, “If I project forward, I would anticipate in a number of years, possibly 18 months, possibly slightly less, possibly slightly more, we will have polyvalent vaccines which will cover a much wider range [of variants].

And we will probably have several antivirals . . . and a variety of other countermeasures that mean that the great majority, and probably almost all, of the heavy lifting when we get a new variant—unless it is extremely different—can be met by medical means.” He added, “So I don’t see this as a kind of ‘we’re going to have to do this [social restrictions] repeatedly every few months’ situation. I think the risks will gradually decrease over time; it’s incremental.” However, Whitty said that for now some social restrictions may be necessary to tackle variants such as omicron that show some partial escape from vaccines and could overwhelm the NHS if left unchecked.

He said, “We’ve come from a place where we had absolutely nothing [in terms of medical interventions], so everything had to be done by social distancing and all the disruptive things that went with that right at the beginning. Where we are at the moment is kind of in a transition period. A very large amount of it can be done by [vaccines], and this is why the boosters are so absolutely essential, but we’re not quite in the rather safer haven I expect we will have in a couple of years’ time.”

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“This is only the beginning—the first quarter of 2022 is going to be a complete wreck.”

China’s Covid-zero Lockdowns Loom Over The Global Supply Chain (Qz)

A new covid-19 lockdown imposed last week (Dec. 7) in the port city of Ningbo, China, is raising the specter of further disruptions to an already battered global supply chain. There are more than 200 cases so far in the most recent cluster in the manufacturing province of Zhejiang, which includes the city of Ningbo. The outbreak is said to be spreading “relatively rapidly,” and has led to the closures of dozens of factories. So far, the lockdowns have restricted trucks going in and out of the port, slowing operations. While there are no reports yet of the port closing, the lockdown, combined with weeks of intensifying covid-zero restrictions, is worrying logistics professionals.

“The rising covid infections may lead to shutdowns at Ningbo and some other ports in China, adding to congestion and cargo backlogs,” a source from a UK-based logistics company said on Dec. 7 to S&P Global Platts, an analytics firm. “This is only the beginning—the first quarter of 2022 is going to be a complete wreck.” China’s pursuit of covid-zero has led to swift, severe measures to control the spread of infection, and policies to contain covid have only intensified since the omicron variant began to spread. On Monday (Dec. 13), Xinhua, the state-run news agency, singled out ports as the entry point for the most recent cluster of infections, and reported that the government will be tightening covid controls at port cities.

China’s policies at port have an outsized impact on the overall functioning of the global supply chain. The country is the world’s largest exporter of goods, as well as the largest importer of commodities. More ships call into the ports of China than any other country. “The global supply chain recovery relies on China,” said Atul Vashistha, CEO of Supply Wisdom, a New York-based risk intelligence company. “That’s an alarming and troubling truth considering China’s centricity to the supply chain. While it may be a sound public health policy, China’s zero-tolerance covid policy makes supply chain matters worse.”

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”In May, Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade invited the Tesla CEO to discuss the possibility of opening a factory in the country, after he indicated that he was considering such a move.”

Kremlin Discusses Potential Putin-Musk Meeting (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African-born billionaire Elon Musk could have a long-awaited meeting if the world’s richest man steps up and develops business interests in the country, the Kremlin has indicated. Speaking to journalists on Friday, Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said that the president has always been interested in meeting with foreigners who are keen to invest in Russia, adding that this could include Musk. “Without a doubt, the president is open to discussions with foreign businessmen,” Peskov explained. “There are regular discussions, practically every year, with French entrepreneurs, Germans, those with a large presence in our market. You and I know that Elon Musk isn’t in our market, but we hope that with time, he will become interested in it. And then, a meeting with the president isn’t out of the question.”


In February, Musk tweeted an invitation to Putin to chat with him via the audio-only social media app Clubhouse, writing, “It would be a great honor to talk with you.” The Kremlin replied that Musk’s invitation was “interesting,” and media reported that Putin hadn’t ruled out the possibility of a conversation. However, the meeting has not yet taken place. In May, Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade invited the Tesla CEO to discuss the possibility of opening a factory in the country, after he indicated that he was considering such a move. In addition to heading Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker, Musk is also the founder of space transportation company SpaceX. In October, Forbes estimated his net worth at $271.3 billion, making him the richest person alive and, according to some measures, the richest in history.

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Donziger

Maddow, Tucker, Assange

 

 

 

 

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

 

Dec 152021
 


Otto Dix Ice drift 1940

 

Latest VAERS Estimate: 388,000 Americans Killed By The Covid Vaccines (Kirsch)
Covid Boosters May Be Needed Every 6 Months To Protect Against Omicron (G.)
Minimal Cross-over Between Mutations Associated With Omicron Variant (bioRxiv)
Young People 40 Times More Likely To Die From Vaccines Than From COVID (GGI)
The FDA Approves Boosters For Minors Without Doing Any Testing (TF)
Why is Covid-19 Vaccination of Children an Unforgivable Sin (VanDen Bossche)
South Africa’s Omicron Outbreak Already “Running Out of Steam” (SN)
Spike-Only Vaccine a Colossal Blunder: Vaccine Escape Due to Vaccination (PR)
They’ll Use the Welfare State to Get Compliance on Vaccine Mandates (Mises)
Between the Forceps and the Stone (Malone)
Omicron Unleashes New Wave of Hysteria, With Rule by Decree in Force
The Pandemicists Must Be Stopped (eugyppius)
I Chart in your General Direction (Rudolph Rigger)
Pfizer Jab Prevents 70% Of Hospitalizations In South Africa (ZH)
Davos’ Last Stand Flops at the Box Office (Luongo)
Vatican Court Judge: Gates & Soros Use Covid To Impose ‘Total Control’ (RT)
UK Restaurants And Pubs Fear 40% Cut In Christmas Takings (G.)

 

 

“Isn’t it fascinating that the direction has always been towards more fear, and never towards calming things down?”

 

 

In South Africa “..the percentage of people who die from a COVID infection has dropped significantly since the arrival of Omicron…”

 

 

“Omicron may be, in fact, a better vaccine than anything cooked up by Pfizer, Moderna or even the Russians.”

 

 

A huge amount of material today. And a creeping feeling that we need to step up our game. We get held back all the time by the one-sided, one-dimensional “reporting” in the mainstream media, but it has become too dangerous not to counterbalance that.

When everyone starts inoculating kids, while the jabs are of no benefit to them, but a great risk, we have gone too far. And are very much responsible for them.

The real information is out there, and out here at TAE, but it’s prohibited from reaching people.

 

 

 

 

Louisiana nurse

 

 

Steve Kirsch bases his report on VAERS data: “As of Dec 14, 2021, there are 9,136 deaths reported into VAERS..”

However, OPENVAERS.com numbers for Dec 3: “19,886 COVID Vaccine Reported Deaths”. (And 1,803,081 adverse events).

That means deaths could be twice what Kirsch says. Which accidentally would bring it to about 800,000, the exact number that is being reported for total US deaths from Covid. But that, we know, is bogus, it makes no difference between death FROM and death WITH Covid.

It’s time we sort this out.

Latest VAERS Estimate: 388,000 Americans Killed By The Covid Vaccines (Kirsch)

Wayne [at VAERS Analysis did an under-reporting factor (URF)] computation using death data in CMS. This overcomes any objections about the validity of using anaphylaxis rates as a proxy for death rates. The VAERS URF he computed was 44.64. This seems reasonable to me. It’s really not far from the 41 I calculated. Also, Wayne subsequently looked at the numbers for 9 states. The average value was 40, not far from the 41 I calculated from anaphylaxis. I had one of my team members double check his numbers. No mistake. Now, let’s see what that means. As of Dec 14, 2021, there are 9,136 deaths reported into VAERS. If we subtract out more than twice the total number of deaths reported in any previous year (to be super conservative about estimating background deaths):

So our new best estimate of the number of “excess deaths” caused by the vaccine is 388,000. Because there isn’t a plausible mechanism of excess death other than the vaccine (certainly our “always vigilant” CDC has never suggested an alternate cause), the process of elimination leads us to conclude the obvious: that these excess deaths were, in fact, caused by the vaccine. This should really be a surprise to anyone paying attention to the clinical trials. For example, in the Pfizer trial, you were much more likely to die if you got the vaccine than if you got the placebo. They simply forgot to mention that in the abstract of the paper (and they were incapable of accurately counting the number of deaths in each group as well). In short, the vaccine is a killing machine.

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There is nothing that points to this. Instead, omicron may well be the booster that ends Covid.

We cannot be sure yet, but that’s at least as likely as it becoming some mass killer.

Covid Boosters May Be Needed Every 6 Months To Protect Against Omicron (G.)

A third booster Covid-19 vaccine dose will be essential to get high protection against symptoms from the Omicron variant and it appears likely the variant will become the dominant strain in Australia, virologists from the Kirby Institute say. The new data from the Kirby Institute comes as Covid-19 case numbers in New South Wales jumped again on Wednesday to 1,360, 25 of them are the Omicron variant. There are now 89 Omicron cases in NSW. The researchers also said Covid boosters may be required every six months to protect against the variant. Virologists from the Kirby Institute presented new data on Wednesday after growing the Omicron variant in a laboratory and testing how it responded to various samples, including from the fully vaccinated, from those who had recovered from the virus but were unvaccinated, and those who had recovered from the virus and also received two vaccine doses.

The data has now been sent to all chief health officers across Australia. An associate professor in the institute’s immunovirology and pathogenesis program at the University of NSW, Stuart Turville, said the laboratory obtained samples from the first two people identified with the Omicron variant in Australia. They had arrived into Sydney from Doha and were fully vaccinated. Despite their vaccination status, they were as infectious as unvaccinated people, Turville said. “We knew previously that Beta was the most [vaccine] evasive variant we have come across, in terms of potency at inhibiting infection,” he said. “Omicron was flatline … we saw zero protection with the antibodies from double-vaccinated donors … irrespective of the type of vaccine. We don’t need to talk about AstraZeneca or Pfizer, both of them are zero.”

However, he said it was likely those two travellers had a poor vaccine response and this did not mean two doses of the vaccines offered zero protection against any infection from Omicron. Data from South Africa released overnight suggested protection from infection was 33% for those who are double-dosed, similar to the Kirby data which predicts 37%.

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Marty Makary: “T-Cell immunity is strong and effective against Omicron. This is the most significant (and overlooked) scientific paper of the entire Omicron saga. The fixation on antibody levels has diverted attention away from comprehensive immunity, including cellular.”

Minimal Cross-over Between Mutations Associated With Omicron Variant (bioRxiv)

Abstract There is a growing concern that ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2 could lead to variants of concern (VOC) that are capable of avoiding some or all of the multi-faceted immune response generated by both prior infection or vaccination, with the recently described B.1.1.529 (Omicron) VOC being of particular interest. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples from PCR-confirmed, recovered COVID-19 convalescent patients (n=30) infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the United States collected in April and May 2020 who possessed at least one or more of six different HLA haplotypes were selected for examination of their anti-SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T-cell responses using a multiplexed peptide-MHC tetramer staining approach.

This analysis examined if the previously identified viral epitopes targeted by CD8+ T-cells in these individuals (n=52 distinct epitopes) are mutated in the newly described Omicron VOC (n=50 mutations). Within this population, only one low-prevalence epitope from the Spike protein restricted to two HLA alleles and found in 2/30 (7%) individuals contained a single amino acid change associated with the Omicron VOC. These data suggest that virtually all individuals with existing anti-SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T-cell responses should recognize the Omicron VOC, and that SARS-CoV-2 has not evolved extensive T-cell escape mutations at this time.

Importance The newly identified Omicron variant of concern contains more mutations than any of the previous variants described to date. In addition, many of the mutations associated with the Omicron variant are found in areas that are likely bound by neutralizing antibodies, suggesting that the first line of immunological defense against COVID-19 may be compromised. However, both natural infection and vaccination develop T-cell based responses, in addition to antibodies. This study examined if the parts of the virus, or epitopes, targeted by the CD8+ T-cell response in thirty individuals who recovered from COVID-19 in 2020 were mutated in the Omicron variant. Only one of 52 epitopes identified in this population contained an amino acid that was mutated in Omicron. These data suggest that the T-cell immune response in previously infected, and most likely vaccinated individuals, should still be effective against Omicron.

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“.. the risk of death from vaccination in people over the age of 20 can be up to 40 times greater than for Covid-19..”

Young People 40 Times More Likely To Die From Vaccines Than From COVID (GGI)

A major Japanese medical bulletin has warned that the risk of dying from the COVID-19 vaccine for people in their 20s maybe 40 times higher than the disease itself. It was found that the risk of death of the vaccine might even be as astronomically high as 40 times more for the young, This was claimed by a review in the latest issue of Med Check which is a bimonthly bulletin published by the Japan Institute of Pharmacovigilance (NOPJIP) as a member of the International Society of Drug Bulletins (ISDB). Regarding the reported deaths of individuals between the ages of 20 and 29 within one or two weeks after receiving the vaccination, Med Check estimates the death rate for that age at 3.2 deaths per each million doses administered.

One of the deaths apparently caused by the vaccine included the death of a 27-year-old professional baseball player. The player, after eight days of getting the COVID vaccine, collapsed and later died post a month long hospital battle. The bulletin suggested that the death toll could potentially be higher, partly because the Japanese government only requires reports of suspected injuries within 28 days of the vaccination. As of October 15, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare had received a total of 1,308 reports of deaths from COVID vaccination. According to Med Check, in Japan, the risk of a fatal reaction to the vaccine, despite having just three cases, is much higher than the risk of contracting the virus for young adults, who have a 0.6 to 0.8 per million chance of dying from the disease. As of June 2021, only 7 of the 11.8 million Japanese in their 20s had died from COVID-19, and by mid-August, 10 had died.

Med Check found that the risk of dying from the vaccine was seven times higher in June and almost five times higher by August 11 compared to the risk of coronavirus infection. Over the course of several years, the risk of death from vaccination in people over the age of 20 can be up to 40 times greater than for Covid-19. Med Check also noted that there had been no COVID-19 deaths under the age of 20 in Japan until September 2021. “If children in this age group are vaccinated, it may cause death,” the bulletin warned. “Even if children and adolescents and people in their 20s are infected, it is naturally mild or asymptomatic because they have less SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 than adults especially old people. It is ridiculous to consider vaccination for school children.”

According to a disturbing new study, social distancing, facemaks and other such COVID rules are responsible for causing a 23% decline in children’s cognitive abilities. The study also found a similar reduction in the development of children’s communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal.

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They’ve been doing this for two years now. The consequences will be beyond devastating.

The FDA Approves Boosters For Minors Without Doing Any Testing (TF)

Late last week, on December 9, the FDA approved the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, “authorizing the use of a single booster dose for administration to individuals 16 and 17 years of age.” The booster is to be given at least 6 months after vaccination. Before we get to the data the FDA cited in the booster for kids aged 16-17, let’s go through the facts: COVID-19 is not a threat to teenagers aged 16-17. On October 25, we warned that the FDA was about to approve an experimental COVID-19 vaccine for children. It seemed unnecessary to give the EUA Pfizer vaccine to minors, as CDC data showed that for children aged 5-11 years-old, there have been 1.8 million COVID-19 cases and only 138 deaths. Even the CDC concedes that “children are less likely to develop severe illness or die from COVID-19.”

The Pfizer vaccine is particularly dangerous for young men aged 16-17. As we observed back in October, teenage boys are especially at risk for heart problems – like myocarditis – after getting the Pfizer vaccine: “Boys between 16 and 19 years of age had the highest incidence of myocarditis after the second dose . . . The risk of heart problems in boys of that age was about nine times higher than in unvaccinated boys of the same age.” New York Times. The risk of myocarditis for boys 16 – 19 years old is higher after the Pfizer second dose. What happens after the third dose?? That’s a good question. One would rightly assume that the third dose might present more danger of heart problems than the second dose. But FDA doesn’t have the answer to this question. And why doesn’t it have the answer?

Because the FDA didn’t look. Because the FDA conducted ZERO tests in this age bracket before approving the latest Pfizer booster for this age bracket. Instead, the FDA relied on prior (old) booster data from a study of “200 participants, 18 through 55 years of age.” Choosing to ignore the long-term data for the efficacy of the Pfizer booster shot, the FDA instead reviewed the old data showing “the antibody response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus one month after a booster dose of the vaccine.” That’s it. That’s the rigorous studies that now meet FDA standards. Given the self-imposed and purposeful limitations the FDA has placed on its own own information, it has the audacity to conclude:

“The benefits of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Comirnaty outweigh the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis in individuals 16 and 17 years of age to provide continued protection against COVID-19 and the associated serious consequences that can occur including hospitalization and death.”

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Geert deserves much more scrutiny.

Why is Covid-19 Vaccination of Children an Unforgivable Sin (VanDen Bossche)

This is an extract of Geert Vanden Bossche’s interview with Doctors for Life Philippines, where he talks about the importance of the natural immune system for children, and why mass vaccination in children is unforgivable.

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“..the percentage of people who die from a COVID infection has dropped significantly since the arrival of Omicron…”

South Africa’s Omicron Outbreak Already “Running Out of Steam” (SN)

Data coming out of South Africa indicates that the Omicron outbreak of COVID-19 is already “running out of steam,” and according to one expert, “the world has nothing to fear.” “Cases in the province of Gauteng – which had surging infections from November – appear to be levelling off, while seven-day infections in Tshwane, one of the early epicentres, are now “relatively flat,” states a report written by the Telegraph’s science editor. “Case growth is steeper than last week but still has slowed down versus November,” said Louis Rossouw, of the Covid-19 Actuaries Response Group. Data also shows that the percentage of people who die from a COVID infection has dropped significantly since the arrival of Omicron.

“With the delta variant, around three per cent of infections – one in 33 – were resulting in death, but now that figure has slumped to 0.5 per cent – one in 200 – the lowest it has been throughout the pandemic in South Africa and 10 times lower than in September last year,” states the report. According to Peter Streicher, a research associate at the University of Johannesburg, death data has already caught up with infection data and there is no significant rise in deaths from Omicron. “Omicron is extremely mild. The rest of the world has nothing to fear,” said Streicher. As we highlighted earlier, the South African doctor who first discovered Omicron says “Britain is overreacting” by imposing more draconian restrictions and that the panic “is out of all proportion to the risks posed by this variant.”

Doctor Angelique Coetzee also suggested that lockdowns to stop the spread of the variant would harm the opportunity that Omicron provides to reach “herd immunity.” Authorities in the UK have also refused to reveal any further information behind what is believed to be the world’s first Omicron death. Professor Karol Sikora has accused the government of creating “unnecessary alarm,” while asserting the victim probably had co-morbidities and was elderly or died with Omicron and not from it.

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“..vaccine-breakthrough and antibody-resistant mutations will increase transmission once most people are carrying antibodies through either vaccination or infection..”

Spike-Only Vaccine a Colossal Blunder: Vaccine Escape Due to Vaccination (PR)

Now a new study has found the specific mutations by which the SARS-CoV-2 lineages have escaped the vaccine. The study, which is behind a paywall (US$40), reports that these mutations lead to less infectivity compared to the original SARS-CoV-2, but, according to the authors, “can disrupt existing antibodies that neutralize the virus”. That sounds like disease enhancement to me. “By tracking the evolutionary trajectories of vax-resistant mutations in more than 2.2 million SARS-CoV-2 genomes, we reveal that the occurrence & frequency of vax-resistant mutations correlate strongly with the vaccination rates in Europe and America.”

Their analysis went well beyond mere correlation of the rise of the vaccine-resistant variants and vaccination rates. Specifically, these authors had previously predicted the precise amino acid location in the receptor binding domain (RBD) at which vaccine escape variation would likely emerge as a result of targeting the spike protein with vaccines. Now that we see those specific amino acid residue positions changing, and, importantly, changing in ways that alter infectivity, the evidence is strong that the rise in these mutations was caused by the vaccination program.

They wrote: “(I)n early 2020, we successfully predicted that residues 452 and 501 ‘have high changes to mutate into significantly more infectious COVID-19 strains’. In the same work, we hypothesized that ‘natural selection favors those mutations that enhance the viral transmission’ and provided the first evidence for infectivity-based natural selection. In other words, we revealed the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 evolution and transmission based on very limited genome data in June 2020. Additionally, we predicted three categories of RBD mutations: (1) most likely (1149 mutations), (2) likely (1912 mutations), and (3) unlikely (625 mutations).19 To date, almost all of the RBD mutations we detected fall into our first category.3,20 Moreover, all of the top 100 most observed RBD mutations have a BFE change greater than the average BFE changes of -0.28 kcal/mol.”

The BFE measurement is a very strong predictor of infectivity to the ACE2 receptor in humans. What this means to the authors is that vaccine-breakthrough and antibody-resistant mutations will increase transmission once most people are carrying antibodies through either vaccination or infection. The authors call for use of this information in vaccine programs (!). That, of course, will lead to further selection pressure. What this means to me is that the infamous “new variants” Delta and Omicron variants have the mutations in the RBD [to] now make all existing spike-only vaccines obsolete.

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Of course they will. Ryan McMaken at the Mises Institute presents this as a Democrat issue in the US, and it may be that to an extent, but in Europe, welfare states pur sang, left and right both use these tools to control people.

They’ll Use the Welfare State to Get Compliance on Vaccine Mandates (Mises)

A Democratic state lawmaker in Illinois has introduced legislation requiring unvaccinated residents to pay out-of-pocket for healthcare services. It’s all part of an effort to come up with new and creative ways to punish people who refuse to get the covid jab. WBBM Radio in Chicago reports: “[Jonathan] Carroll’s legislation would amend the state’s insurance code so that “a person who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and chooses not to be vaccinated shall pay for health care expenses out-of-pocket if the person becomes hospitalized because of COVID-19 symptoms.” In other words, Carroll is trying to ensure that the unvaccinated will be denied health insurance for covid treatments, even in cases where private insurance is already bought and paid for.

Moreover, intervening in private insurance won’t even be necessary in many cases, since one-third of the population is already receiving government-funded healthcare. This policy is quite remarkable coming from a progressive like Carroll. After all, for decades, we’ve been hearing from the Left that “healthcare is a human right” and that it must be provided to anyone and everyone at taxpayer expense. Anything short of universal state subsidized healthcare, we’ve been told, is unacceptable. Yet, apparently, the mandatory vaccine advocates—found largely on the left, of course—are so obsessed with forcing mandatory vaccines on the entire population that they’re now looking for ways to deny people healthcare.

But we should have seen this coming. Until recently, the Left has also claimed it wants universal employment and a “chicken in every pot.” But since the Biden administration hatched the idea of tying employment to vaccines earlier this year, advocates of vaccine mandates now want to you be destitute and jobless if you refuse the jab. The same mandate pushers have also cleverly engineered their vaccine mandates to ensure that should you be fired for refusing the shot, you’ll be ineligible for unemployment insurance. Although the mandates are being forced on employers in many cases, state policymakers have concluded that termination for refusing the vaccine constitutes being fired “for cause.” This makes it possible to deny unemployment insurance to these dissenters.

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“Please protect them, and do not ask them to make sacrifices with their health on your behalf. You know this is wrong. So do the right thing.”

Between the Forceps and the Stone (Malone)

According to the latest CDC data, more than 60% of the total US population has been vaccinated, and about 45% of the entire population has already been infected by the virus, recovered, and developed natural immunity. The elderly are heavily vaccinated. The vaccines do not prevent you from becoming infected, replicating high levels of virus, and spreading infection to others. I will say it again- the elderly are highly vaccinated. The problem is that the vaccines are not doing what they are supposed to do- prevent infection and spread of the virus. This is even more the case with the Omicron variant. So what to do? Start jabbing children who, unless they have other major problems, shrug off COVID-19 disease like they do most other RNA respiratory viruses?

Or start allowing physicians to treat COVID-19 patients in the outpatient setting to prevent them from ever getting to the hospital setting where (almost exclusively in USA alone) they are immunosuppressed with high levels of Dexamethasone, placed into a coma-like state and hooked up to a ventilator, and treated with Remdesivir (which is clearly toxic and mimics many of the toxicities of the virus)? This is madness. And it reflects a profound arrogance on the part of the Pharma-Govie-World Health elite. They assert that they understand immunology, virology, and evolutionary biology so well that they can freely tinker with the lives of our children using an experimental technology and rushed vaccine product which is neither safe nor effective based on standards and bioethical consensus that have been developed and applied over decades.


They believe that they can inject novel unproven technology and improve the highly evolved human immune system that has developed over millennia to resist respiratory RNA virus pressure. Arrogance is the kindest term I can think of. None of us are immortal. Despite the objectives of the transhumanism agenda. Death cannot be avoided. We pass through this world, and hopefully leave it a bit better when we are gone. Our children are the only true legacy, the only real form of immortality. Please protect them, and do not ask them to make sacrifices with their health on your behalf. You know this is wrong. So do the right thing. And take this seriously. Think long and hard before taking an action that can never be undone.

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“A ruling on Monday by an increasingly erratic Supreme Court that refused to block a New York State requirement that all health-care workers be vaccinated—even if they claim a religious exemption—will only add to the chaos.”

Omicron Unleashes New Wave of Hysteria, With Rule by Decree in Force

Just over a year ago, president-elect Joe Biden promised a “very dark winter” ahead in the face of COVID-19, and told the nation he would “spare no effort to turn this pandemic around once we’re sworn in on Jan. 20. It’s time to put aside the partisanship and the rhetoric designed to demonize one another,” Biden said. “It’s time to end the politicization of basic, responsible public health steps like mask-wearing and social distancing.” Now here we are, 13 months later, in the runup to the shortest day of the year and the start of a third season of “pandemic” panic: how’s that working out for you, America?

After a year of nothing to show for a fruitless battle against a bug that can’t be defeated, Biden has rolled out another more-of-the-same “plan” involving more vaccination mandates on private companies (even though the federal courts are shooting such mandates down on a regular basis), jabbing healthy, crying children, demanding more booster shots of vaccines already proven not to work as initially advertised, and re-instituting travel bans at the drop of a letter of the Greek alphabet. Bonus points: recent tests indicate that Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are nearly useless against the latest new variant, Omicron. Speaking of which—thanks to an increasingly irresponsible media—Omicron has now terrified the civilized world, setting off cries for more lockdowns and general harum-scarum, even though the international “death toll” of this bug is so far a grand total of… one (maybe).

But that hasn’t stopped the hysterical British prime minster, Boris Johnson, from instantly decreeing “Plan B,” which include work-from-home orders, face-mask mandates, and proof of vaccination in large public venues. An even more oppressive “Plan C” is just around the corner. That Johnson is in the middle of his own scandal involving himself and his aides flouting and mocking the very rules they’re imposing on ordinary Britons is entirely coincidental. [..] And Hong Kong has just decreed that all travelers from the United States—who must be fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents in the first place—must first spend seven days at a quarantine camp followed by two weeks in hotel quarantine. This all thanks to the dreaded Omicron, of which so far there are five, count ‘em five, cases in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, hospitals are laying off the sensible staffers—hailed as heroes just a few months ago—who refuse to take part in history’s largest unsupervised medical experiment, thus necessitating the presence of American soldiers from the National Guard in U.S. hospitals to take up the slack in four states, including Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York. The staffing shortages are, of course, a direct result of the mandates; further, in an echo of the supply chain problems currently plaguing American business, they are also slowing down the processing and discharge of patients from hospitals, thus contributing to the hospital-bed shortage. A ruling on Monday by an increasingly erratic Supreme Court that refused to block a New York State requirement that all health-care workers be vaccinated—even if they claim a religious exemption—will only add to the chaos.

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“The pandemicists are truly dangerous, and they will grind human civilisation into the dust unless we find some way of putting all of them out of work..”

The Pandemicists Must Be Stopped (eugyppius)

Just a few words on “Omicron is a Dress Rehearsal for the Next Pandemic”, a New York Times article by Emily Anthes, a science journalist with ties to the World Economic Forum. It’s subtitled “America’s response to the variant highlights both how much progress we have made over the past two years — and how much work remains,” and it’s every inch as awful as you’d imagine. In the piece, Anthes laments that the United States is “woefully unprepared for the challenges ahead, starting with the most fundamental of tasks: detecting the virus.” She quotes a microbiologist to complain that “We had a delay of one to two months before we were even able to identify the presence of [Omicron] … And by that time, it had already circulated widely between multiple states and from coast to coast.” She wastes many words on the necessity of “Testing, testing, testing”; here, apparently, America still needs vastly more capacity.

She and her many scientist informants also want more gene sequencing to detect variants sooner. She’s sure that all of this is absolutely necessary, even though she doesn’t know why: “Scientists are finding more Omicron cases every day, and the variant could soon overtake Delta. What comes next — what we should aim for, even — is less clear. Should we spend the winter trying to stop every infection? Protecting the highest risk people from severe disease and death? Ensuring that hospitals are not overrun? “One thing that we’ve lacked continuously through the pandemic is a goal,” said Emily Gurley, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We still don’t have that. Certainly, we don’t have that for Omicron.”

No realistic public health goal underpins this diagnostic mania, of course. People who test positive for Corona are sent home to suffer in untreated silence by themselves. Endlessly testing, tracing, sequencing, panicking and closing is, however, a goal in itself for people like Emily Gurley and all the other pandemicists Anthes gleefully quotes, from Eric Topol to Trevor Bedford to Ezekiel J. Emanuel. All of them want the Corona Circus to play on, and after it ends they hope for a sequel sometime soon. Never before have they enjoyed such personal and professional prominence.

[..] The pandemicists are truly dangerous, and they will grind human civilisation into the dust unless we find some way of putting all of them out of work. They aren’t going to save anybody from the next pandemic; in the event it happens, they’ll just take advantage of the opportunity to expand their ranks still further and make all of our lives worse. And should novel viruses prove slow to materialise in the post-Corona era, they’ll get up to other tricks. Tricks like new and enhanced histrionics over every seasonal influenza outbreak. Tricks like the intentional release of more engineered viral pathogens to keep the grant funding flowing. Tricks like constant lunatic mass vaccination schemes against ever milder viruses. Still other tricks I haven’t considered. The pandemicists have to go.

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“Isn’t it fascinating that the direction has always been towards more fear, and never towards calming things down?”

I Chart in your General Direction (Rudolph Rigger)

1. The metastasization of modelling Most, if not all, of our governmental response to covid19 has been as a result of models. These models have been mostly of 2 kinds. (a) Technical and theoretical attempts to model what might occur. These have been almost universally incorrect – and sometimes incorrect by a couple of orders of magnitude. (b) A mental model of what might happen. “Omicron is more transmissible, therefore we need to do something in order to save ourselves from it” – a sort of pull some scenario out of your ass approach and use it to generate fear. Isn’t it fascinating that the direction has always been towards more fear, and never towards calming things down?


It’s kind of similar to thinking that we’re all in serious danger of being struck by meteorites and so we need to re-build everything underground, one mile down, in order to save ourselves from this event that might happen. (Of course, this might actually happen one day in the future if some humungous asteroid wings its way towards us – but I would like to think it would be based on some decent evidence, rather than just a generalized vague fear) The first one is a very recent chart used by The Telegraph to try to frighten us into thinking there might be 1 million cases of Omicron per day by Christmas in the UK (this is what the headline stated). I can’t even begin to describe how scientifically illiterate this asinine chart actually is.

If we follow the authors’ “logic” here, then just 20 days after this we’ll have over 256 million cases per day – so that everyone in the UK will have, on average, over 3 simultaneous infections with the same virus on that day. But how have the so-called experts fared? Here’s a chart showing how the expert predictions have described anything but reality

Alas, the “experts” can’t get it right either. I use models all the time in physics – they’re not necessarily a bad thing. They are great ways to get some insight, provided you check them against reality to see if they are a reasonable match. It’s very strange to me, as a physicist, to see these “experts” get it SO wrong, again and again and again. What the hell are they doing? Do they just keep sticking new numbers into the same old shit that didn’t work the first time? Don’t they ever stop to think there might be something wrong with their models and the assumptions used to build them?

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Zero Hedge is mostly on the ball, but this is not. South Africa’s Discovery Health, one of the country’s biggest health insurers, may claim this, but the exact same thing would occur if Omicron is simply mild, which we know it is. Doesn’t involve any Pfizer.

Pfizer Jab Prevents 70% Of Hospitalizations In South Africa (ZH)

South Africa’s Discovery Health, one of the country’s biggest health insurers, has just briefed the public on the results of its latest study, and it’s findings aren’t exactly a surprise. While the omicron variant, first discovered in South Africa, is efficient at surpassing protections afforded by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Discovery data showed that Pfizer’s jab is actually 70% effective at reducing hospitalizations. That might help explain why the omicron variant has coincided with a surge in cases in South Africa, even while the number of hospitalizations and the number of deaths have declined. The protection is maintained across age groups and in the face of a range of chronic illnesses, said Ryan Noach, the CEO of Discovery Health, during a briefing Tuesday.

All told, a course of Pfizer jabs conveys protection of approximately 33% against infection by the omicron variant, according to Bloomberg. The Discovery study included about 78K COVID test results for omicron infections from Nov. 15 to Dec. 7 in South Africa, the epicenter of the current omicron wave. Clinical records, vaccination records and pathology test results were also examined. Prior to omicron, the Pfizer vaccine provided Discovery Health’s clients with 93% protection against hospitalization (although many have also raised questions about that number). So far, as cases continue to climb, hospitalizations are a fraction of what they were during South Africa’s delta wave; meanwhile, deaths haven’t budged much.

Both Discovery and Glenda Gray, the chief executive of the South African Medical Research Council, cautioned that the lack of severe cases and deaths could be a result of the high number of infections in South Africa. In some parts of the country, 80% of the population has already been infected. Discovery’s data also showed that omicron is causing less respiratory distress than delta. Symptoms of the new variant include a scratchy throat, congestion and lower back pain, and illnesses generally last three days or less.

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“Omicron may be, in fact, a better vaccine than anything cooked up by Pfizer, Moderna or even the Russians.”

Davos’ Last Stand Flops at the Box Office (Luongo)

So Davos’ Last Stand hit theatres a couple of weeks ago. Starring OmicronVID-9/11 as the latest unseen killer this was supposed to be the horror movie of a generation. Geopolitically, this is the worst opening for a movie since Ishtar. Sure the overnight preview box office was good. The Dow off 1100 on Opening Day. Gold thwapped. Bitcoin crushed. But then people started talking about the train wreck they’d seen. The response to OmicronVID-9/11’s performance has been nothing short of hilarious. The early reviews pointed to an overblown ‘whisper number’ on box office receipts. The hits just kept coming. The first scathing review came from no less than Goldman Sachs which screamed that they were not informed of the release of Omicron. They compared OmicronVID’s acting ability to the best on PornHub.

I’ve read a lot of Goldman notes over the years and they generally sound like someone desperately trying to convince you to take the opposite side of the trade from them…so they can fleece you. That one was different. It was one that made it clear that they had no idea during production that Omicron was so bad. Translation: Where the hell did this shit come from and why weren’t we allowed to front-run it? Two days later, JPM’s Marco Kolanovic went on CNBC BubbleVision with his review, to blow up the idea that we should remain glued to our screens over the latest release from the Maus Haus, scared for our lives. Kolanovic was the first of many to say the quiet part out loud; that OmicronVID was so unaffecting as a serial killer it may wind up doing the exact opposite, immunizing the world from the next sequel in the series.

That if anything, Omicron may be, in fact, a better vaccine than anything cooked up by Pfizer, Moderna or even the Russians. It was, as reviews go, as devastating as anything written about that horrific Hoffman/Beatty fiasco from 40 years ago. I know, I read them all. They were a hoot. These were the first shots across the bow at Davos’ Last Stand. And were clear signals to the markets that Wall St. was completely done with this COVID-19 nonsense and are in a political position to make that stick in the U.S. Congress. The result has been the fastest week-to-week drop off in box office I’ve seen of a Davos narrative ever.

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“..a wave of criticism from German media outlets, which quickly branded his words “conspiracy theories.”

Vatican Court Judge: Gates & Soros Use Covid To Impose ‘Total Control’ (RT)

A German cardinal has sparked controversy by claiming that the coronavirus pandemic has been used by the likes of George Soros and Bill Gates to create a global “surveillance state.” The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked “chaos” and “turmoil” stemming not only from the “lacking knowledge” about the transmissibility and danger of the virus itself, but from the will of the super-rich to “snatch an opportunity to bring people in line,” Gerhard Ludwig Mueller said in an interview with Austria’s St. Boniface Institute last week. He is a high-ranking judge at the Vatican court. The world’s financial elites are now using the pandemic and the measures governments take to fight the spread of the virus to subject people to “total control” and establish a global “surveillance state,” he added.

The St. Boniface published a video showing a small part of the interview and the cardinal has since confirmed to the German dpa news agency that the footage is genuine. “People, who sit on the throne of their wealth,” see an “opportunity to push through their agenda,” the cardinal said, naming Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, billionaire George Soros and the head of the Davos Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, among those behind the alleged global control scheme. The cardinal then accused the global financial elites of an attempt to bring forth “a new man” created “in their own image and likeness,” adding that he would not wish such a fate on himself. “That has nothing to do with democracy,” the former Regensburg bishop, who once headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said.

The cardinal’s statements, which only recently surfaced in the media, sparked a wave of criticism from German media outlets, which quickly branded his words “conspiracy theories.” Some experts invited by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine and other media said his words can be interpreted as a comparison between the actions of the modern government and those of the Nazis, whose crimes are thus “played down.” They also said that a mere mention of Soros in such a context can be seen as anti-Semitic.

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Christmas in Athens will be terrible for restaurants. The unvaxxed 50% or so of the people can’t enter, and their friends and families won’t leave them alone. So people will celebrate at home. Rapid tested people can sit outside restaurants, but really, grandma outside in late December?

UK Restaurants And Pubs Fear 40% Cut In Christmas Takings (G.)

Pubs and restaurants predict that Christmas cancellations made following the introduction of measures to limit the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in England will cut their festive takings by 40%. While hospitality venues have not yet been forced to reimpose measures such as social distancing or mandatory mask-wearing, industry leaders said tougher restrictions had already caused irreparable damage to trade, especially in city centres. Trade body UK Hospitality has forecast that takings will be down by as much as 40% for December, usually the most lucrative month for venues by far, after hard data from last week revealed early signs that customers were staying away.

Data from the trade body for Monday to Sunday of last week showed a 13% drop in trade and a 15% increase in cancellations, compared with pre-pandemic levels. In central London, which is particularly affected by office workers following government guidance to stay at home, takings were down 40%, while there was a 25% surge in Christmas bookings being cancelled. The figures cover a week that followed the identification of the Omicron variant and included the announcement of tougher Covid-19 restrictions, known as “plan B”. With the evaporation of consumer confidence thought to have accelerated since then, bosses called for more assistance from the government to help them survive the effects of a second successive nightmare Christmas.

“The damage has been done,” said Phil Urban, the chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers, which owns 1,700 pubs and restaurants, including the O’Neill’s and Harvester chains. He said customers had begun calling off events last week after the government announced measures including guidance to work from home if possible. “We immediately saw cancellations. Anybody who was at all nervous, or any company that was planning a do was likely to cancel,” Urban said. “We saw the impact on Friday and Saturday but we’ll really start to see the damage this week, particularly in city centres where historically we’d have lots of corporate events. That’s gone now and there’s nothing anyone can do to put it back.”

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Feb 082021
 


Claude Monet Houses of Parliament, Sunset 1904

 

South Africa Halts AstraZeneca Vaccinations Over Variant Data (R.)
New Israeli Drug Cured 29 Of 30 Moderate/Serious Covid Cases In Days (ToI)
In Corzano 10% Of Population Positive For English Variant (ANSA)
Even ‘Scientist’ Models Now Forecast COVID Scourge Ending By Summer (ZH)
WaPo Says COVID Lab Accident “Plausible”, “Must Be Investigated” (ZH)
UK Vaccine Minister Says Gov’t Is Not Planning Covid Vaccine Passport (RT)
The World Welcomes Biden But Hedges Its Bets (Feffer)
US Moves To Rejoin UN Human Rights Council (AP)
The Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows (Greenwald)
The Coming “Monetary Hurricane” Is A White Swan (Bassman)
“This Is For You, Dad”: Interview With An Anonymous GameStop Investor (Taibbi)
Shark Deaths Have Left a ‘Gaping Hole’ in Ocean Life (SA)

 

 

NOTE: Don’t miss John Day MD’s guide for COVID prevention and treatment that I published earlier today: Treat Your Own COVID.

It could save your life.

 

 

What happens when you bet everythig on red under emergency authorizations.

..preliminary data showed efficacy dropped to 22% against the South African variant..

South Africa Halts AstraZeneca Vaccinations Over Variant Data (R.)

South Africa will put on hold use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot in its vaccination programme, after data showed it gave minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the country’s dominant coronavirus variant. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday that the government would await advice from scientists on how best to proceed, after a trial showed the AstraZeneca vaccine did not significantly reduce the risk of mild or moderate COVID-19 from the 501Y.V2 variant that caused a second wave of infections starting late last year. Prior to widespread circulation of the more contagious variant, the vaccine was showing efficacy of around 75%, researchers said.

In a later analysis based mostly on infections by the new variant, there was only a 22% lower risk of developing mild-to-moderate COVID-19 versus those given a placebo. Although researchers said the figure was not statistically significant, due to trial design, it is well below the benchmark of at least 50% regulators have set for vaccines to be considered effective against the virus. The study did not assess whether the vaccine helped prevent severe COVID-19 because it involved mostly relatively young adults not considered to be at high risk for serious illness. AstraZeneca said on Saturday that it believed its vaccine could protect against severe disease and that it had already started adapting it against the 501Y.V2 variant.

Still, professor Shabir Madhi, lead investigator on the AstraZeneca trial in South Africa, said data on the vaccine were a reality check and that it was time to “recalibrate our expectations of COVID-19 vaccines”.

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EXO-CD24

New Israeli Drug Cured 29 Of 30 Moderate/Serious Covid Cases In Days (ToI)

A new coronavirus treatment being developed at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center has successfully completed phase 1 trials and appears to have helped numerous moderate-to-serious cases of COVID-19 quickly recover from the disease, the hospital said Friday. Hailing a “huge breakthrough,” the hospital said Prof. Nadir Arber’s EXO-CD24 substance had been administered to 30 patients whose conditions were moderate or worse, and all 30 recovered — 29 of them within three to five days. The medicine fights the cytokine storm — a potentially lethal immune overreaction to the coronavirus infection that is believed to be responsible for much of the deaths associated with the disease.

It uses exosomes — tiny carrier sacs that shuttle materials between cells — to deliver a protein called CD24 to the lungs, which Arber has spent decades researching. “This protein is located on the surface of cells and has a well known and important role in regulating the immune system,” said researcher Shiran Shapira of Arber’s lab. The protein helps calm down the immune system and curb the storm. “The preparation is inhaled once a day for a few minutes, for five days,” Arber said. “The preparation is directed straight to the heart of the storm — the lungs — so unlike other formulas… which selectively restrain a certain cytokine, or operate widely but cause many serious side effects, EXO-CD24 is administered locally, works broadly and without side effects.”

The medicine will now move on to further trial phases, but hospital officials were already hailing it as a possible game-changer in fighting serious COVID-19 illness. Ichilov director Roni Gamzu, the former coronavirus czar, said the research “is advanced and sophisticated and may save coronavirus patients. The results of the phase 1 trial are excellent and give us all confidence in the method [Arber] has been researching in his lab for many years.” He added: “I am proud that at Ichilov we are… possibly bringing a blue and white remedy to a terrible global pandemic.”

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Through Google Translate.

10% of the village of Corzano Flag of Italy has the #B117 variant—10% of all residents! 60% of cases are kids from kindergarten and primary school, other 40% are their parents.

In Corzano 10% Of Population Positive For English Variant (ANSA)

10% of the population of Corzano, a town of 1400 people in the province of Brescia, is positive for covid. “We have 140 positives and 60% are elementary and kindergarten students who in turn infected their families”, the mayor of the town Giovanni Benzoni, also positive, explained to ANSA. “Three out of four have covid at home,” he said. According to the analyzes of Ats Brescia, the population is infected by the English variant of Covid. The mayor has closed schools until February 8. “But the ordinance will be extended – he specified – because the recall swabs begin today and therefore we will have to wait for the results”. The authorities would be considering the possibility of closing the country in and out. “I didn’t know anything, but I can say that in the last few hours we have had only one more case. All the families are in solitary confinement and we expect the curve to go down again,” commented the mayor.

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How much of the good news is due to adjusting PCR testing cycles?

Even ‘Scientist’ Models Now Forecast COVID Scourge Ending By Summer (ZH)

The covid pandemic was front and center today in economic news, when its impact was felt throughout the January payrolls report (if not to the same extent as December payrolls), whose disappointing +49k reading could be easily explained by continued job losses in the Leisure & Hospitality sector due to COVID-19 outbreaks and associated lockdown measures and restrictions. However, as BofA’s Hans Mikkelsen writes, “given that the US COVID-19 situation is improving rapidly – for example the number of people hospitalized is down one-third over the past month – and restrictions are lifted in many large states like California, it is straightforward to expect much stronger payrolls going forward.” Indeed, the latest Covid data shows that absent any major shocks – such as a mutant strain that is fully immune to any existing vaccines – the pandemic should be a thing of the past relatively soon.


Here are the latest facts: the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US has declined dramatically to 88,668, or 43,806 – one-third – off the peak which occurred on January 5th (Figure 4) – a rapid turn in the crisis (Figure 5). The decrease is broad-based (48 states+DC, except for AK, MT and VT that saw minimal 1, 1 and 7 person increases over the past week, respectively).

The weekly percentage change in US COVID-19 hospitalized is consistent with the largest declines seen during the Coronavirus crisis (Figure 6). Moreover the 7-day test positivity rate has declined to 7.6% from the 13.6% peak on January 8th (Figure 7).

Since hospitalizations are lagged relative to time of infection the US Corona outbreaks peaked back in the second half of December. Finally, the vaccine rollout continues in the US at a rapid pace of around 1mn doses per day and a cumulative 35.2mn doses administered through February 2rd.

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And now we’ll never know.

WaPo Says COVID Lab Accident “Plausible”, “Must Be Investigated” (ZH)

Exactly one year ago today, Zero Hedge was ‘enjoying’ our suspension by Twitter after we pointed out that scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been experimenting on bat coronaviruses, and that investigators trying to determine the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak might want to have a word with them. We later reported that the same scientists had been using ‘gain-of-function’ research to make bat coronaviruses more transmissible to human beings – for which they were roundly criticized in 2015. Thus, it seemed only logical that the possibility of a lab escape at ‘ground zero’ was at least non-zero, and should be investigated alongside the ‘natural origin’ theory which posits that the virus jumped from bats to an intermediary species, which then infected a cluster of people at a Wuhan wet market.

According to a study published in The Lancet, 66% of patients admitted to Wuhan hospitals (27 out of 41) as of January 2nd, 2020 had been exposed to the Huanan seafood market. Since then, the lab leak hypothesis has gained traction – and has been elevated to let’s at least investigate status by legitimate bodies. Three weeks ago, the US State Department announced that while they haven’t determined whether the COVID-19 pandemic “began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” the US government “has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.”

And in late January, A World Health Organization (WHO) adviser who previously worked under President Clinton and then-Senator Joe Biden said that COVID-19 was most likely an accidental lab leak. Which brings us to the Washington Post, whose editorial board on Sunday suggested that the lab leak hypothesis was “plausible” and “must be investigated.” “Many scientists have speculated that the virus leaped from animals, such as bats, to humans, perhaps with an intermediate stop in another animal. This kind of zoonotic spillover has occurred before, such as in the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014. But there is another pathway, also plausible, that must be investigated. That is the possibility of a laboratory accident or leak. It could have involved a virus that was improperly disposed of or perhaps infected a laboratory worker who then passed it to others.”

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I would like to see them try, and then get stiffed in court.

UK Vaccine Minister Says Gov’t Is Not Planning Covid Vaccine Passport (RT)

Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi denied claims that the UK government is planning to introduce a “vaccine passport” detailing which Brits have been vaccinated and which haven’t, calling the idea “discriminatory.” Asked during an interview with Sky News on Sunday whether the government is looking at the possibility of creating a vaccine passport, as has been speculated, Zahawi said, “No we are not.” The minister explained that those who receive their first dose of the vaccine get “a card from the NHS with their name on it,” the date they received their first dose, and the date of the second dose, and that this is all the government is currently supporting.

Zahawi said the major reasons why the government is not planning a vaccine passport is because “we don’t know the impact of the vaccines on transmission,” with vaccinated Brits currently being warned that they could still carry the virus, and that the practice “would be discriminatory.” “I think the right thing to do is to make sure that people come forward and be vaccinated because they want to, rather than it being made in some way mandatory through a passport. If other countries demand proof of vaccination for entry, he added, “then you can ask your GP, because your GP will hold the record.” Zahawi did acknowledge that technology companies have received funding from UK Research and Innovation to look at the creation of vaccine passport apps, but concluded, “We are not planning to have a passport in the UK.”

“I just want to repeat that because I’ve had a lot of it on my social media,” he explained, adding, “We are certainly not looking to introduce this as part of the vaccine deployment program.” A petition calling for the UK government to commit against rolling out a vaccine passport received nearly 60,000 signatures after reports indicated that it was looking at such a system to allow Brits to go abroad. The concept of a vaccine passport has become extremely controversial in the UK and elsewhere, with figures like former Prime Minister Tony Blair in support, but others arguing it would turn those who have not been vaccinated into ‘second-class’ citizens and essentially strongarm them into getting vaccinated against their wishes.

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Nothing changes. Other than the window dressing.

The World Welcomes Biden But Hedges Its Bets (Feffer)

The nightmare is over. The vanquished beast has crawled back to Mar-a-Lago to lick his wounds. The heroes are hard at work repairing the damage. As America returns to the international stage, the world heaves a collective sigh of relief. That, at least, is the story the incoming Biden administration is telling. “America is back, multilateralism is back, diplomacy is back,” as Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the administration’s nominee for U.N. ambassador, put it shortly after the election. According to this narrative of redemption, the globe’s Atlas shrugged off its burden during the four years of Donald Trump’s tenure but is now ready to reassume its global leadership responsibilities.

Don’t believe it, though. Much of the rest of the world seems visibly queasy at the prospect of sitting on America’s shoulders, since who’s to say that Atlas won’t shrug again? And perhaps Atlas wasn’t such a responsible fellow in the first place.

Over the last several decades, the United States has displayed all the hallmarks of a country suffering from a serious personality disorder characterized by mood swings of gargantuan proportions. From the compromised multilateralism of the Bill Clinton years, the United States pivoted to the aggressive armed unilateralism of George W. Bush. Then, after boomeranging back to the centrist (if still over-armed) internationalism of Barack Obama, it took the wildest of detours into MAGA-land with Donald Trump. In the latest case of foreign-policy whiplash, Joe Biden is now preparing to return the country to a “new and improved” version of Obama’s global liberalism (with a dash of anti-Chinese fervor thrown in). Americans are by now remarkably familiar with such side effects of twenty-first-century democracy. We’ve skimmed the fine print on the label more than once and become reasonably inured to the adverse consequences of our civic religion.

Much of the world, however, is not accustomed to such volatility. The Kim family has ruled North Korea from day one, while Paul Biya has run Cameroon since 1982. Over the last 30 years, China has settled into its predictable version of market Leninism. Putatively democratic countries like Russia and Turkey have had the same leadership for two decades, while a genuinely democratic country like Germany has had the same chancellor for 15 years. The rest of Western Europe has seen numerous changes in those who hold the reins of power, but oscillations in governance have generally stayed within a relatively narrow political spectrum. European Union policies have similarly remained on a remarkably even keel, despite disruptions like Brexit. These days, however, democrats and dictators alike are unsure, from one day to the next, whether the United States will be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.

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“Neither Obama nor Trump were able to reform this fundamentally broken UN agency that institutionally legitimizes human rights abusers. Biden must not only confront the Council’s systemic antisemitism, but its complicity in China’s human rights abuses.”

US Moves To Rejoin UN Human Rights Council (AP)

The Biden administration is set to announce this week that it will reengage with the much-maligned U.N. Human Rights Council that former President Donald Trump withdrew from almost three years ago, U.S. officials said Sunday. The decision reverses another Trump-era move away from multilateral organizations and agreements. U..S. officials say Secretary of State Antony Blinken and a senior U.S. diplomat in Geneva will announce on Monday that Washington will return to the Geneva-based body as an observer with an eye toward seeking election as a full member. The decision is likely to draw criticism from conservative lawmakers and many in the pro-Israel community.

Trump pulled out of the world body’s main human rights agency in 2018 due to its disproportionate focus on Israel, which has received by far the largest number of critical council resolutions against any country, as well as the number of authoritarian countries among its members and because it failed to meet an extensive list of reforms demanded by then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. In addition to the council’s persistent focus on Israel, the Trump administration took issue with the body’s membership, which currently includes China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia and Venezuela, all of which have been accused of human rights abuses.

One senior U.S. official said the Biden administration believed the council must still reform but that the best way to promote change is to “engage with it in a principled fashion.” The official said it can be “an important forum for those fighting tyranny and injustice around the world” and the U.S. presence intends to “ensure it can live up to that potential.”

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Cancel Culture.

The Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows (Greenwald)

A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

I’ve written before about one particularly toxic strain of this authoritarian “reporting.” Teams of journalists at three of the most influential corporate media outlets — CNN’s “media reporters” (Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy), NBC’s “disinformation space unit” (Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny), and the tech reporters of The New York Times (Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel) — devote the bulk of their “journalism” to searching for online spaces where they believe speech and conduct rules are being violated, flagging them, and then pleading that punitive action be taken (banning, censorship, content regulation, after-school detention). These hall-monitor reporters are a major factor explaining why tech monopolies, which (for reasons of self-interest and ideology) never wanted the responsibility to censor, now do so with abandon and seemingly arbitrary blunt force: they are shamed by the world’s loudest media companies when they do not.

Just as the NSA is obsessed with ensuring there be no place on earth where humans can communicate free of their spying eyes and ears, these journalistic hall monitors cannot abide the idea that there can be any place on the internet where people are free to speak in ways they do not approve. Like some creepy informant for a state security apparatus, they spend their days trolling the depths of chat rooms and 4Chan bulletin boards and sub-Reddit threads and private communications apps to find anyone — influential or obscure — who is saying something they believe should be forbidden, and then use the corporate megaphones they did not build and could not have built but have been handed in order to silence and destroy anyone who dissents from the orthodoxies of their corporate managers or challenges their information hegemony.

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Harley Bassman, creator of the MOVE index, aka the “VIX for bonds”.

The Coming “Monetary Hurricane” Is A White Swan (Bassman)

When one hears hoof beats, look for horses not zebras. There is no reason to ruminate over exotic possibilities when the problems we face are quite clear. Once again, ignore the merits of the public policy response – what is important is that there is wide support from both the Democrats and Republicans to offer significant Fiscal relief supported by massive Monetary expansion. Will this be inflationary – Yes; but it is unclear how soon. I made the case in my December 2, 2020 commentary, ”The Wages of Fear”, that demographics will set ablaze the dry kindling of printed money sometime between 2023 to 2025; and nothing has occurred to change that prediction. What is clear is that a financial bubble is being inflated, and there is risk on both sides of the distribution.

Ordinarily the bloviating pundits advise one to sell assets, or perhaps execute some sort of hedge such as buying puts or selling covered calls. They are looking in the wrong direction. While I am not a stomping bull, the approaching monetary hurricane could well make the “surprise” a further rally in equities. Printed money should elevate stocks; either via a continued flow into assets, or into the pockets of consumers who will spend it and thus increase corporate profits. (Yes, higher taxes could be an offset, but let’s save that for another Commentary.) As noted, inflation is an eventual certainty, so one should own real assets; and over the longest run stocks will hold their real value. Notwithstanding the Robinhood day traders, stock equity is an ownership right in a real company.

Weimar Germany is the nightmare scenario for inflation; but contrary to expectations, stockholders were protected. While the German Papiermark vs. USD exchange rate exploded (4.2 Trillion per USD), the German Stock Index, currency adjusted into USD, held its value. As such, when faced with nominal inflation – Do not sell call options.

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Great interview. Must read.

“This Is For You, Dad”: Interview With An Anonymous GameStop Investor (Taibbi)

Thursday, January 21st was a critical day in the story of the video game chain GameStop (ticker name: GME). Retail investors, including many subscribers to a Reddit forum called wallstreetbets, pushed the company’s stock from $6 to $43.03, but experts said playtime was over. It was time for the big shots to clean up. According to Citron Research, one of many funds that had bet on the brick-and-mortar store to fail, those investing in GME were “the suckers at this poker game,” and would soon be sorry when the stock went “back to $20 fast.” They were wrong. Instead of amateurs being shoved aside by hedge funds, it was the pros who had their backs broken, as GME soared to $65.05, beginning a steep ascent that would become an international news phenomenon.

It was the “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” moment for Wall Street. The pros had been sloppy. By late 2020, shares in GameStop were well over 100% short. A sudden rise in value would force shorts to pay exorbitant prices just to get out of the trade. By the afternoon of the 21st, all the “suckers” on Reddit had to do to beat them was nothing, and they did just that, behind the rallying cry “diamond hands,” signifying a determination to hold at all costs. Why hold? One of the millions of subscribers to wallstreetbets posted a note, explaining what the trade meant to him:

This is for you, Dad

I remember when the housing collapse sent a torpedo through my family. My father’s concrete company collapsed almost overnight. My father lost his home. My uncle lost his home. I remember my brother helping my father count pocket change on our kitchen table. That was all the money he had left in the world. While this was happening in my home, I saw hedge funders literally drinking champagne as they looked down on the Occupy Wall Street protesters. I will never forget that. My father never recovered from that blow. He fell deeper and deeper into alcoholism and exists now as a shell of his former self, waiting for death. This is all the money I have and I’d rather lose it all than give them what they need to destroy me. Taking money from me won’t hurt me, because I don’t value it at all. I’ll burn it down just to spite them. This is for you, Dad.

Read more …

Don’t count on them bouncing back.

Shark Deaths Have Left a ‘Gaping Hole’ in Ocean Life (SA)

Overfishing has wiped out over 70 percent of some shark and ray populations in the last half-century, leaving a “gaping, growing hole” in ocean life, according to a new study. Researchers found alarming declines in species ranging from hammerhead sharks to manta rays. Among the worst affected is the oceanic whitetip, a powerful shark often described as particularly dangerous to man, which now hovers on the edge of extinction because of human activity. Targeted for their fins, oceanic whitetips are caught up by indiscriminate fishing techniques. Their global population has dropped 98 percent in the last 60 years, said Nick Dulvy, the study’s senior author and a professor at Simon Fraser University (SFU).

“That’s a worse decline than most large terrestrial mammal populations, and getting up there or as bad as the blue whale decline,” he told AFP. Dulvy and a team of scientists spent years collecting and analysing information from scientific studies and fisheries data to build up a picture of the global state of 31 species of sharks and rays. They found three-quarters of the species examined were so depleted that they face extinction. These are “the most wide-ranging species in the largest, most remote habitats on the earth, which are often assumed to be protected from human influence”, the study’s lead author Nathan Pacoureau told AFP. “We knew the situation was bad in a lot of places but that information came from different studies and reports, so it was difficult to have an idea of the global situation,” added Pacoureau, a post-doctoral fellow at SFU’s department of biological science.

[..] For 18 species where more data was available, the researchers concluded global populations had fallen over 70 percent since 1970. Dulvy said the figure was likely to be similar, or even worse, for other oceanic sharks and rays, but gaps in data made it difficult to draw conclusions. The results were a shock even for experts, Pacoureau said, describing specialists at a meeting on shark conservation being “stunned into silence” when confronted with the figures.

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