Aug 012021
 


Paul Klee Hammamet with Its Mosque 1914

 

 

On Thursday, an internal CDC slide deck was “leaked”. On Friday, an “official” document was presented. The first is more interesting, because it contains things that are ostensibly not meant for public consumption (how to present…). The second is made up of a lot of official looking terminology. What else? But both largely say the same thing: there is no difference between the infection rates of vaccinated and non-vaccinated people. Of course that is then dressed up again in calls to get vaccinated, they can’t help themselves…

In colorful language such as “the war has changed” and “Delta spreads as easily as chickenpox”, the CDC tries very hard to undermine -even deny- it own findings. The slide deck is here:

Improving Communications Around Vaccine Breakthrough And Vaccine Effectiveness

CNN commented:

“The document – a slide presentation – outlines unpublished data that shows fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people..”

The New York Times said:

“The Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be spread by vaccinated people as easily as the unvaccinated, an internal C.D.C. report said.”

Friday’s document refers to an event in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, where 3/4 of infections were in fully vaccinated people. It’s funny to see people react with: “that makes sense, most people are vaccinated now”, completely forgetting that the vaccines were supposed to prevent infections. And inadvertently admitting that there is indeed no difference in infection rates, ergo: the vaccines don’t work.

Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Including COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections, Associated with Large Public Gatherings — Barnstable County, Massachusetts, July 2021

In July 2021, following multiple large public events in a Barnstable County, Massachusetts, town, 469 COVID-19 cases were identified among Massachusetts residents who had traveled to the town during July 3–17; 346 (74%) occurred in fully vaccinated persons. Testing identified the Delta variant in 90% of specimens from 133 patients. Cycle threshold values were similar among specimens from patients who were fully vaccinated and those who were not.

Perhaps because of the big words used to dress up the story, or perhaps because people have become so conditioned to react to everything Covid with fear, the logical conclusion of these two documents is not drawn anywhere. Which is that notions such as vaccine mandates and vaccine passports should now be discarded. There is no reason for a “vaccine” to be applied if you get infected with it as easily as without.

Some will still claim that they stop more severe sickness, but evidence of that is scarce at best, and it has nothing to do with the “societal functions” of not infecting others that the mandates and passports are designed for. If we know what’s good for us, it’s back to the drawing board.

There is of course no reason from an individual point of view to get vaccinated either: even if you believe that you might get less sick, you would still have to weigh that against the risks the vaccines come with. And they come in multiple large shapes and forms. There is a group now trying to prove that 500,000 people have died from the vaccines, up from 50,000, and the info from VAERS and other systems remains shaky. You would think every doctor and nurse would consider it a matter of honor to report adverse reactions as accurately as possible, but that’s not the impression we have so far.

Also, you can read everywhere that when numbers of infections (“cases”) are down in a country or region, it’s because of the vaccines. But how is that possible if infections are equally spread between vaccinated and unvaccinated? Where’s the logic? And what’s the logic of blaming the unvaccinated once you know they are no more contagious than the jabbed?

 

 

I think perhaps the biggest problem of all right now is that there is so much invested in official narratives. That is as logical as it is unfortunate. And I get it, all those politicians and experts are slowly and very reluctantly realizing that they bet on the wrong horse, and to turn a ship of state around is much harder than for me to change my life.

The alternative to admitting your failures is a very dark place, so maybe you should make sure you’re ahead of the crowd, ahead of your co-PMs and presidents and “experts”, admit your faults, profoundly apologize, and shift that steering wheel 180º if need be. You don’t want to find yourself in that dark place.

Now they want to put masks on the vaccinated. That must mean the vaccines don’t work, right? No, no, they swear, the vaccines are very very efficient. It’s just that you have a very rare breakthrough case now and then, because no vaccine is perfect. So for a few rare breakthrough cases you’re going to tell millions of Americans to mask up? And then you see that New York State alone has 11,000 of such very rare cases.

Pfizer wants to give everyone a booster shot this fall. I was thinking they must have made some improved version against Delta, but no, it’ll be a third shot of the same “vaccine”. But wait, we just found it doesn’t work against Delta. The Israelis give it a 39% efficacy, which is not even enough to get an emergency authorization. Get it off the market then.

Why would I get such a shot at this point in time? The only reason I can think of is that if I don’t, you’ll take my job away, and/or severely screw with my life, and rights, and freedoms, in other ways. But certainly not for protection, because the substance offers me none of that, not for me, not for others. And there’s something terribly wrong with that, with forcing me to make choices based on such warped notions.

The entire grand idea of getting everyone vaccinated is just like Zero covid: impossible and unnecessary grandstanding, obsessed by grand illusions of power over every single individual mind. In reality, it’s everyone’s own choice, and nobody else’s.

 

 

For some obscure reason we have accepted the idea that we can do no risk stratification, that everyone is at equal risk, and therefore everyone should undergo the same treatment. And then we find out that this treatment doesn’t work, or only half, or only for a few months, etc. But you can be sure insurance companies are still doing risk stratification, also for Covid, it’s how they make a profit.

We find the vaccine is not a vaccine, but a therapeutic. An untested one at that. While we could have focused on prevention, either for everyone or just for the vulnerable, and early treatment for early victims. As 80% of people were never at risk at all and 80% have already been infected and survived.

There are plenty ways to do prevention and we have discarded them all, in favor for a treatment that now turns against us. That is to say, the vaccine makes the virus more, not less, dangerous. It’s not the unvaccinated that are the pool the virus mutates in, it’s the vaccinated.

And it’s not only the mutations. All Covid therapeutics used in the west induce the vaccinees’ body to produce spike proteins, which are toxic to the body. Initially, it was claimed that they would stay near the site of injection, but we soon found that they spread through the entire body, and assemble especially in the most vulnerable spots: lungs, testes, placenta etc.

And that’s not all either: we now see suspicions that the spike proteins remain active in the body, and continue to be produced inside the body, for much longer than we were told they would be. An as yet unpublished report will claim that they have been found five months after injection, instead of mere days. The potential consequences would be much more disastrous than the virus.

 

 

And wouldn’t you know, the moment we find out from the CDC itself that the vaccines don’t work, that same CDC clamors for more vaccinations, and all the usual suspects in the media and politics and “expertise” chime in. Everyone vaccinated now or we’ll take your jobs away, and all of your fun. Children, no matter how young, must be jabbed, even pregnant women. This therapeutic we never really tested is perfectly safe for your unborn child!

Without a jab, you’re a lethal danger to everyone who’s been vaccinated!

Well, actually, I am not, and thanks to the CDC now I can prove it.

The other way around, though, I’m not so sure.

 

 

 

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Jun 222021
 


Giorgio de Chirico The Archaeologists 1927

 

 

This is kind of a sequel to Let’s Save Some Lives , published here on June 6, when I said “All we can do is hope our immune systems are strong enough to fight off the vaccines.” and quoted Michael Yeadon, former Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer, as saying: “Ivermectin is an off-patent drug that is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, and we know it is able to reduce Covid-19 symptoms at any stage of the disease by about 90%, so there is no need for vaccines.”. We’ll just keep on going.

 

 

It’s mighty cute that Matt Taibbi gets some coverage after writing Why Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word? , just like it was cute that Michael Capuzzo got some when he wrote The Drug that Cracked Covid a few weeks ago. Question is, where have all these people, the writers and their readers, been in the past year? As I wrote two days ago:

Taibbi should ask not only “WHY Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word?” but also “WHEN Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word?”. And then apologize to his readers for completely missing the story for a year, or at least the half year it’s been since Kory’s Senate testimony -which he talks about- was deleted by YouTube.

It’s also cute that the American Journal of Therapeutics recently published:

Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection

Therapeutic Advances: Meta-analysis of 15 trials found that ivermectin reduced risk of death compared with no ivermectin (average risk ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.19–0.73; n = 2438; I2 = 49%; moderate-certainty evidence). This result was confirmed in a trial sequential analysis using the same DerSimonian–Laird method that underpinned the unadjusted analysis. This was also robust against a trial sequential analysis using the Biggerstaff–Tweedie method. Low-certainty evidence found that ivermectin prophylaxis reduced COVID-19 infection by an average 86% (95% confidence interval 79%–91%).


[..] Conclusions: Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.

And The Journal of Antibiotics did the same with:

The Mechanisms Of Action Of Ivermectin Against SARS-CoV-2

Although several drugs received Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 treatment with unsatisfactory supportive data, Ivermectin, on the other hand, has been sidelined irrespective of sufficient convincing data supporting its use. [..]

Real-time data is also available with a meta-analysis of 55 studies to date. As per data available on 16 May 2021, 100% of 36 early treatment and prophylaxis studies report positive effects (96% of all 55 studies). Of these, 26 studies show statistically significant improvements in isolation. Random effects meta-analysis with pooled effects using the most serious outcome reported 79% and 85% improvement for early treatment and prophylaxis respectively (RR 0.21 [0.11–0.37] and 0.15 [0.09–0.25]).

The results were similar after exclusion based sensitivity analysis: 81% and 87% (RR 0.19 [0.14–0.26] and 0.13 [0.07–0.25]), and after restriction to 29 peer-reviewed studies: 82% and 88% (RR 0.18 [0.11–0.31] and 0.12 [0.05–0.30]). Statistically significant improvements were seen for mortality, ventilation, hospitalization, cases, and viral clearance. 100% of the 17 Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) for early treatment and prophylaxis report positive effects, with an estimated improvement of 73% and 83% respectively (RR 0.27 [0.18–0.41] and 0.17 [0.05–0.61]), and 93% of all 28 RCTs.

Those numbers are clear enough, I bet you if you get an honest report on the vaccines none can compete, but for these science journals the same question must be asked: where were you over the past year? You really had no idea? We did at the Automatic Earth, but our reach is limited; we’re lucky if we convinced a few thousand people to obtain ivermectin, if they could get it in the first place. Which is great, don’t get me wrong.

There are a number of parties to this: there’s the vaccine manufacturers, aka Big Pharma, there’s politicians including governments, there’s the experts the latter derive their knowledge from, and there’s the media. And they’re all a year late when it comes to ivermectin and HCQ and other repurposed drugs. And at some point it will become clear that there was no need to be late, and it cost an enormous amount of misery and deaths and overwhelmed health care systems and lockdowns and facemasks.

They will do what they can to keep it from becoming clear, but it’s too obvious by now. Big Pharma simply says its products are superior, and suppresses research into ivermectin etc. Politicians hide behind their experts, who claim they go with what science journals publish. And the press hides behind the experts: “See, there’s no research”, without asking why there isn’t. There is, by the way, there is a lot of research:

 

 

It’s a closed club that all say the same thing. And put the onus on the -prospective- patients. Whereas if common sense had prevailed, and we had all given everybody enough vitamin D to bring those levels to an acceptable height, and we had given them ivermectin either as a prophylactic or an early cure, this pandemic would likely never have happened.

But if we had done that, the mRNA vaccines would never have gotten Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) , we couldn’t have locked everyone down, and there wouldn’t have been any reason for the huge-scale bailout programs. Sure, a few really old and/or really obese people, both with comorbidities, might have died, even with vitamin D and ivermectin, but they might have anyway. And we don’t know, because they never got that support.

That is the story that needs to be told today. Not why ivermectin today has a bad name, but why it got one a year and change ago. Why Capuzzo and Taibbi are so late to this game, and why politicians today are pushing vaccine passports while if they had acted a year ago, there would not have been a pandemic of anything the present size. Who are these people listening to, who controls the narratives?

Meanwhile the stories about the vaccines keep on piling up. Along the lines of: why is myocarditis among young men such a problem, if they mostly recover from it? Or: why are 10s of 1000s of spontaneous abortions among young America women a issue, when they can simply have another child? The benefits outweigh the problems, we hear it every single day.

It’s sort of funny, if the effects weren’t so ghastly, that both ivermectin and the vaccines were never tested, even though the WHO says: “Vaccines are safe and effective and have been tested extensively”. The first because that would have made the second ineligible for EUA, the second because some parties really wanted to push our bodies into becoming spike protein factories, to see how these gather in our brains and ovaries and testes, and watch what happens.

So who’s going to pay the price for the full year delay, which is ongoing -there’s still no ivermectin distribution campaign other than in parts of India and a few South American and African nations-, who’s going to take the blame for all the deaths and misery? Or will the system remain closed to the public’s eyes?

 

 

 

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Jun 142021
 


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Sogni (Dreams) 1896

 

79% Of Democrats Support Employers Forcing Workers To Get Covid-19 Jabs (RT)
‘Pretty Safe’ Jab Will Protect Kids From Variant (ST)
CDC Claims Covid-19 Kills ‘Healthy Young Children’ (JTN)
The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein” (Whitney)
UK Lockdown End To Be Delayed (Pol.eu)
MP Warns Brits ‘Have To Learn To Live With Covid’ For ‘Rest Of Time’ (RT)
Why Is Britain Now The Capital Of Long Covid? (T.)
Wisconsin Top Court: Health Agency Lacks Power To Close Schools Over Covid (JTN)
Too Fat To Fly: FAA Updates Guidelines As American Obesity Crisis Grows (Fed.)
Biden Calls For Access To Wuhan Labs (RT)
Biden-Putin: What’s On The Table (ZH)
“Tesla Only Sold ~10%” Of Its Bitcoin Holdings: Musk Speaks, Bitcoin Moves (WS)

 

 

Look how young these inoculated kids are! 236 injuries and fatalities from vaccines in the 0-1 month old group!

 

 

Eric Clapton doesn’t agree

 

 

And that makes it alright?

79% Of Democrats Support Employers Forcing Workers To Get Covid-19 Jabs (RT)

A new poll shows that Democrats and Republicans are just about as divided on an employee’s right to choose whether to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as they are on a woman’s right to choose whether to abort her unborn child. Nearly 80% of Democrats agreed that employers should be able to force their workers to get Covid-19 shots, according to a CBS News-YouGov poll released on Sunday. In contrast, only 39% of Republicans approved of giving businesses such authority over their employees’ medical choices. The overall response was 56-44 in favor of forced jabs. Supporters of the two major parties are more split on vaccine choice than on Covid-19 inoculation in general. While 95% of Democrats have already been vaccinated or are at least considering it, 71% of Republicans are on board or thinking about taking the jab, the poll showed.

That result suggests some improvement in vaccine acceptance in the past two months. A Monmouth University poll released in mid-April indicated that 43% of Republicans don’t intend to get vaccinated against the virus. In the CBS News-YouGov survey, 29% of Republicans said they had ruled out the shots. Overall, only 18% of respondents said they won’t get vaccinated, while 71% said they had either already gotten a jab or planned to do so. The other 11% were undecided. The issue of employer-mandated vaccination is heating up, as a Texas judge on Saturday issued the nation’s first federal court ruling on whether workers can be ordered to receive Covid-19 shots.

Read more …

“Pretty” safe? Is that a slip of the tongue, or is it a warning?

‘Pretty Safe’ Jab Will Protect Kids From Variant (ST)

A scientist advising the government has declared that there is now a “very strong argument” to vaccinate children against the coronavirus as infections rise and evidence emerges that vaccination is “pretty safe”. Professor Peter Openshaw, vice-chairman of Nervtag, a committee that looks out for emerging respiratory threats, said there were indications that the Indian variant was more transmissible among children than the original Wuhan strain. Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It strengthens the argument for extending vaccination to children. I’ve been sitting on the fence on this one, but on balance I’m coming to the view that there’s a very strong argument we should go there.


“Evidence has come out about the safety and efficacy of generating an antibody response in children. It looks like it is pretty safe and there are no adverse signals.” Coronavirus testing in secondary schools has collapsed in recent weeks, according to NHS Test and Trace. Nearly two thirds of secondary school pupils failed to take a test in the week before half-term. Data from Public Health England shows 282 Covid-19 outbreaks in schools in the past four weeks, compared with 88 in the previous four weeks.

Read more …

“In reviewing the medical literature and news reports, and in talking to pediatricians across the country, I am not aware of a single healthy child in the U.S. who has died of COVID-19 to date..”

CDC Claims Covid-19 Kills ‘Healthy Young Children’ (JTN)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now claims that “healthy young children” can die from COVID-19. Marty Makary wants to see the evidence. “In reviewing the medical literature and news reports, and in talking to pediatricians across the country, I am not aware of a single healthy child in the U.S. who has died of COVID-19 to date,” the Johns Hopkins University professor of medicine and public health said Thursday. Archived versions of the CDC’s web page comparing COVID-19 and seasonal influenza show that it revised the “differences” in the section “People at High-Risk for Severe Illness” sometime between May 31 and June 8.

“The risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19,” the earlier version says. “However, infants and children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for both flu and COVID-19.” The new version flips the emphasis as well as adding a new claim. “Overall, COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illnesses in some people,” it begins. “For young children, especially children younger than 5 years old, the risk of serious complications is higher for flu compared with COVID-19. However, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization and death can occur even in healthy young children.”

Makary’s article in MedPage Today, a clinical news publisher where he serves as editor in chief, pushes back on calls to vaccinate kids ages 0 to 12 without comorbidities. He also recommends parents avoid vaccinating children who have recovered from COVID-19 infections, continuing his argument that natural immunity is just as good if not better than vaccine immunity. “The case to vaccinate kids is there, but it’s not compelling right now,” Makary wrote. He’s part of a movement of doctors at medical institutions around the world calling for far more cost-benefit analysis of COVID-19 vaccines for low-risk populations such as children.

Read more …

“..the spike protein is deadly even absent the virus. ..”

The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein” (Whitney)

The Spike Protein is a “uniquely dangerous” transmembrane fusion protein that is an integral part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. “The S protein plays a crucial role in penetrating host cells and initiating infection.” It also damages the cells in the lining of the blood vessel walls which leads to blood clots, bleeding, massive inflammation and death. To say that the spike protein is merely “dangerous”, is a vast understatement. It is a potentially-lethal pathogen that has already killed tens of thousands of people. So, why did the vaccine manufacturers settle on the spike protein as an antigen that would induce an immune response in the body? That’s the million-dollar question, after all, for all practical purposes, the spike protein is a poison. We know that now due to research that was conducted at the Salk Institute. Here’s a summary of what they found:

“Salk researchers and collaborators show how the protein damages cells, confirming COVID-19 as a primarily vascular disease…. SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system (aka–The circulatory system) on a cellular level… scientists studying other coronaviruses have long suspected that the spike protein contributed to damaging vascular endothelial cells, but this is the first time the process has been documented…. … the spike protein alone was enough to cause disease. Tissue samples showed inflammation in endothelial cells lining the pulmonary artery walls. The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2…“If you remove the replicating capabilities of the virus, it still has a major damaging effect on the vascular cells, simply by virtue of its ability to bind to this ACE2 receptor, the S protein receptor, now famous thanks to COVID.”

Remember how everyone laughed at Trump when he said injecting household bleach would cure Covid? How is this any different? It’s not different, and whatever modest protection the vaccines provide as far as immunity, it pales in comparison to the risks they pose to personal health and survival. And did you notice what the author said about stripping-out the virus and leaving the spike protein alone?’ He said “it still has a major damaging effect” implying ‘blood clots, bleeding and severe inflammation.’ In other words, the spike protein is deadly even absent the virus. Here’s how Dr. Byram Bridle (who is a viral immunologist and associate professor at University of Guelph, Ontario) summed it up:

“We made a big mistake. We didn’t realize it until now… We thought the spike protein was a great target antigen, we never knew the spike protein itself was a toxin and was a pathogenic protein. So, by vaccinating people we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin.” Think about that for a minute. This is a very big deal, in fact, this is the critical piece of the puzzle that has been missing for the last 15 months. Just as the respiratory virus concealed the real killing-agent in Covid, (the spike protein) so too, the relentless hype surrounding mass-vaccination has concealed the glaring problem with the vaccines themselves, which is, they generate a substance that is “capable of causing disease.”

Read more …

How bad will the backlash be?

UK Lockdown End To Be Delayed (Pol.eu)

The U.K.’s final lifting of lockdown restrictions on June 21 is expected to be pushed back by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a press conference on Monday evening, a government official confirmed to London Playbook. Multiple outlets report that Johnson, alongside cabinet members Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock have signed off on a month-long delay, after scientific advisers urged the prime minister to allow enough time for more people to get fully vaccinated. On Friday, The Sun reported that July 19 would be proposed as the new “Freedom Day” of lockdown end, with a review of numbers on July 5 that could see some or all restrictions lifted early.

“The prime minister sees this as the final stretch and wants people to be patient. We are nearly there, it’s one last haul,” a government source told The Times. The rules currently in place that will be kept include the wearing of face masks and limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings. The reopening of nightclubs is also set to be delayed. On the other hand, according to the Financial Times, some allowances may be made for weddings, allowing for larger gatherings as is the case for funerals. Health minister Edward Argar told Sky News on Monday that weddings and those who plan to wed “will be very much in [Johnson’s] mind at the moment.”

Despite reports that Sunak is not planning to extend the furlough scheme to support businesses, Argar said Johnson is “very mindful of the need for businesses and others to get what they need if they continue to be locked down.” On Sunday, 7,490 new COVID cases were reported in the U.K., a considerable increase from 5,341 a week before, on June 6.

Read more …

“If our very effective vaccines cannot deliver us freedom from restrictions, then nothing ever will.”

MP Warns Brits ‘Have To Learn To Live With Covid’ For ‘Rest Of Time’ (RT)

Covid Recovery Group chairman and MP Mark Harper opposes delays in the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, arguing Brits will “have to learn to live with” the virus now that the vulnerable are jabbed, or suffer constant lockdown. Harper took to Twitter after an article on Sunday in the Telegraph citing an unnamed minister claimed the planned lockdown-easing date of June 21 could be delayed until as late as next spring due to the government’s concern about the spread of Covid-19 variants. The Forest of Dean MP warned in response that it “would be devastating for business confidence, people’s livelihoods and wellbeing” if the reopening were delayed, and would send “a clear message to employers and workers that, when Covid cases increase this (and every) autumn and winter, they cannot rely on Govt to keep our society open.”


“Now that the most vulnerable have been protected with their vaccine doses, we have to learn to live with this virus, rather than endure seasonal on-off lockdowns and restrictions,” Harper argued, noting that Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has warned that coronavirus mutations “will appear for the rest of time.” Harper also pointed out that the most vulnerable people in the UK – who account for 99% of Covid-19 deaths and 80% of hospitalisations – will all have been offered two vaccine jabs by June 21, making it safer than ever to reopen. “We have to learn to live with it,” concluded Harper. “If our very effective vaccines cannot deliver us freedom from restrictions, then nothing ever will.”

Read more …

“Many of these patients don’t really believe mental illness will explain their symptoms. They want something tangible, something external like the virus.”

Why Is Britain Now The Capital Of Long Covid? (T.)

In April, the NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens promised to have 83 long Covid clinics open by the end of the month. The Office for National Statistics has estimated that more than 1 million people in Britain have suffered from long Covid. Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College, London, has predicted that long Covid could represent a long-term burden on the NHS comparable to arthritis, which costs the service an estimated £10 billion a year, some 8 per cent of the health budget. Altmann estimates that as many as 20 per cent of Covid sufferers could have longer symptoms; many of them will be younger patients who didn’t initially face severe illness.

It seems Britain is the long Covid capital of the world. This became immediately apparent to me upon moving back here from the US last month. American media has led much of the discussion on long Covid, but fear of the syndrome hasn’t penetrated public sentiment the way it has in Britain, where many young people are terrified of getting the virus not because they fear it will kill them, but because of the potentially debilitating after-effects. The question is why? Is there more long Covid here? And if so, for what reason? Are we simply doing a better job of diagnosing and discussing it, much as we lead the world in using genomic sequencing to find new Covid variants? Or might there be other cultural and societal factors underpinning our pervasive long Covid issue?

The answer could well be some combination of the above. The difficulty in researching long Covid is that every expert that you ask gives you a slightly different answer as to what the illness is and what causes it. “The simple answer is I don’t know [what causes this] and nor does anybody else,” says Dr Paul Harrison, head of Oxford University’s Translational Neurobiology Group. “We have to start with ‘nobody knows’ and keep that uncertainty — and therefore open-mindedness — at the forefront of our approach.” [..] “It’s psychosomatic,” says Jeremy Devine, a resident psychiatrist at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. In March, he wrote a controversial column for The Wall Street Journal, arguing that long Covid was being incorrectly used as a catch-all for a whole host of ailments and issues, many of them psychological. There was a fierce backlash, with several UK-based patient groups writing furious letters to his supervisors.

“People do not like psychological explanations for physical symptoms,” he says. “They want something that’s perceived as real. Many of these patients don’t really believe mental illness will explain their symptoms. They want something tangible, something external like the virus.”

Read more …

“What is reasonable and necessary cannot be reasonably read to encompass anything and everything.”

Wisconsin Top Court: Health Agency Lacks Power To Close Schools Over Covid (JTN)

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled against the city of Madison’s public health agency in a dispute over the power to close schools during the pandemic. A top city health official decried Friday’s decision, saying it would put children at risk. “The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that local health officers cannot close schools within their jurisdictions. We are extremely disappointed in the court’s decision, which has much further reaching implications than just this current pandemic,” health director Janel Heinrich said.. “This decision hinders the ability of local health officers in Wisconsin to prevent and contain public health threats for decades to come.”


The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty brought the case. WILL argued that Public Health Madison & Dane County overstepped its bounds by unilaterally ordering all schools, public and private, to close. WILL also argued the order infringed on parents’ rights to decide about their children’s education. Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote the majority opinion, saying Heinrich’s office had relied on an over-generalized reading of state law. “The power to take measures ‘reasonable and necessary’ cannot be reasonably read as an open-ended grant of authority,” Bradley wrote. “If Heinrich’s argument were correct, then the general provision would essentially afford local health officers any powers necessary to limit the spread of communicable diseases. This cannot be. What is reasonable and necessary cannot be reasonably read to encompass anything and everything.”

Read more …

One of the main causes of disease and death, also for Covid, and nothing is done about it whatsoever.

Too Fat To Fly: FAA Updates Guidelines As American Obesity Crisis Grows (Fed.)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is demanding U.S. airlines submit plans with updated weight averages they will use for passengers and baggage moving forward by Saturday. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Airlines officials say the weight estimates used for passengers and baggage are going up between 5 percent and 10 percent.” “That will affect some flights, possibly requiring that more passengers get bumped or more baggage left behind,” the Journal reported. The new guidelines, and likely travel disruptions to come with them, are yet another symptom of American weight gain with no signs of abatement.

While the novel coronavirus — a virus exacerbated by excessive weight where 78 percent of those hospitalized with infection were overweight or obese — should have served as a wake-up call to the decades-long obesity crisis, Americans instead packed on the pounds with apparently little concern. According to a global Ipsos poll in January, two in five Americans reported gaining weight throughout the lockdowns still in place at the time. Those surveyed said they put on an average of more than 14 pounds, putting the U.S. seventh out of 30 countries in terms of pandemic weight gain. Most Americans appeared relatively unbothered by the weight. Less than half said they believed there was a link between obesity and complications from COVID-19 which data determined early on was a major risk contributor.

“Since the pandemic began,” Science Magazine reported in September, “dozens of studies have reported that many of the sickest COVID-19 patients have been people with obesity.” Overweight patients in one study published in August cited by the flagship journal were 113 percent more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to patients of an otherwise healthy weight. Obese patients were found 74 percent more likely to end up in intensive care units (ICU) and 48 percent more likely to die. Pre-pandemic, more than 70 percent of adults 20 years old and older were already overweight with 42 percent categorically “obese” according to the CDC.

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Never has rhetoric been more empty.

Biden Calls For Access To Wuhan Labs (RT)

US President Joe Biden revealed on Sunday that he and other leaders in the G7 spoke about gaining access to the laboratories in Wuhan, China to determine whether Covid-19 was the result of a Chinese experiment gone wrong. During a press conference at the G7 conference in Cornwall, England on Sunday, Biden called on China to start acting “more responsibly in terms of international norms on human rights and transparency.” The president then revealed that one of the concerns he and other leaders at G7 had raised was that “we haven’t had access to the laboratories to determine whether or not” Covid-19 was the result of bats in Chinese marketplaces “interfacing with animals and the environment,” or “an experiment gone awry in a laboratory.”


“I have not reached a conclusion because our intelligence community is not certain yet,” Biden said, adding, however, that it was “important to know the answer” so the international community could predict and prevent another pandemic from happening in the future. “The world has to have access,” he argued, concluding that he and other leaders were trying to figure out a way to gain transparency. Former president Donald Trump has repeatedly argued that Covid-19 came from a Wuhan laboratory, and told podcast host Dan Bongino last month that he had “very, very little doubt” the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. In a statement on Thursday, he demanded that China pay $10 trillion in “reparations” to the world for “what they allowed to happen.”

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Biden is outclassed 1000x. He comes with nothing.

Biden-Putin: What’s On The Table (ZH)

There is a lot of optimism and big press regarding the upcoming meeting between Biden and Putin. This will be the first meeting of the two since Biden took that seat behind the lovely desk in the Oval Office. There are many issues on the table for discussion and there is tension and excitement in the political press in both the West and especially in Russia. There is a growing belief that this could be a turning point or at least provide some small nudging of relations in a positive direction. This wishful thinking, although pleasant from a moral standpoint, does not reflect the realities of the current divide between the United States and Russia. This meeting simply cannot provide some sort of new start for relations between the countries and will probably look like a head-nodding and pretending-to-listen fest the likes of which we have never seen before.

Hours worth of hot air will be blown to throw words onto deaf ears with some background posturing to boot. One reason for the Russians to be suspicious of any offers from Washington is simply recent precedent. Over ten years ago when Obama was still full of Hope and Change his feisty new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a great big smile presented Foreign Minister Lavrov the infamous Russian Reset Button. The red button had the word “overload” accidentally written on it in place of “reset”. This mistake due to a fake desire to make it seem like Washington cared enough to learn one word of Russian was very telling as during the brief era of the Russian Reset, America’s Soft Power machine was working day and night to organize the Maidan in Kiev.

From a Western perspective this revolution was another piece of evidence that the people of Eastern Europe want nothing to do with naughty Moscow, but from a Russian perspective the Maidan was the beginning of an endless waking nightmare. This all led to the genocidal war in the Donbass breaking out, the return of Neo-Nazism to Europe, and the now official systemic racism that Russian speakers have to endure in the “Zimbabwe of Europe”. After an experience like that, can one really expect any sort of optimism from the Russian side because Biden sort of stepped back a bit on the whole Nord-Stream 2 thing?

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“But Musk walks on water, and he can assert anything, no problem.”

“Tesla Only Sold ~10%” Of Its Bitcoin Holdings: Musk Speaks, Bitcoin Moves (WS)

Why can’t this dude just shut up? That’s what people, including the SEC, want to know. But look, he just can’t. Apparently, no one can take his Twitter account away from Elon Musk, and Tesla isn’t putting it under adult supervision, as the SEC has suggested. So he was at it again today, responding to accusations by Magda Wierzycka, CEO of South African tech and financial services firm Sygnia, that he’d pumped up the price of Bitcoin by tweeting all manner of things, and then “sold a big part of his exposure at the peak.” So yes. Musk acknowledged in his tweet today that Tesla had in fact dumped part of its holdings of Bitcoin, but he argued that it wasn’t a big part, that it had “only sold ~10%” of its Bitcoin holdings.

And he came up with a rationalization why Tesla had dumped 10% of its Bitcoin holdings: “to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market.” That was a joke apparently. Over the past two months, the price of Bitcoin plunged from about $64,800 to around $33,000 at the low and now hovers at $39,000, after the current Musk-induced spike, with the plunge leaving a big-fat question market over his assertion that Bitcoin could be “liquidated easily without moving market.” But Musk walks on water, and he can assert anything, no problem. The second part of Musk’s tweet contained an effort to pump up the price of BTC by walking back his assertion in May that Tesla would no longer allow customers to pay for vehicles with Bitcoin because of the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining, which was another one of his Bitcoin 180s.

At the time, that statement had whacked the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining is of course the fiat-currency equivalent of “money printing.” But money printing has a tiny carbon footprint, because it needs just enough electricity to move credits by computer and the internet. You don’t need huge arrays of special mining rigs with special power supply and cooling equipment to print money. So today he tried to walk back his carbon-foot print concern, by tweeting: “When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.”

Read more …

 

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Jun 052021
 


Brassaï Cat 1945

 

Vaccine Spike Protein Travels From Injection Site, Can Cause Organ Damage (CHD)
Patent Filed For Covid Vaccine Just After Contagion Emerged (NYP)
Ok, Now We’re Done (Denninger)
State Department Officials Told Probing Wuhan Lab Opens Pandora’s Box (DM)
The Pentagon Gave $39 Million To Dr. Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance (DM)
Daszak In Charge Of The Lancet’s Task Force To Investigate COVID Origin (SN)
Biden Says He’s ‘Very Confident’ In Fauci After 1000s Of Emails Revealed (Fox)
The Rise and Fall of Dr. Fauci (Howie Carr)
What If the “Big Lie” Is the Big Lie? (Kunstler)
Biden Rejects New Republican Infrastructure Offer (R.)
US Judge Overturns California’s Ban On Assault Weapons (AP)
Facebook Faces Antitrust Investigation in EU, UK (HE)
‘Over Confident’ US Risks Going Down Same Path As Soviet Union – Putin (EN)

 

 

A rare photo of Schrödingers cat.

 

 

“Research obtained by a group of scientists shows the COVID vaccine spike protein can travel from the injection site and accumulate in organs and tissues including the spleen, bone marrow, the liver, adrenal glands and in “quite high concentrations” in the ovaries.”

Vaccine Spike Protein Travels From Injection Site, Can Cause Organ Damage (CHD)

COVID vaccine researchers had previously assumed mRNA COVID vaccines would behave like traditional vaccines. The vaccine’s spike protein — responsible for infection and its most severe symptoms — would remain mostly in the injection site at the shoulder muscle or local lymph nodes. But new research obtained by a group of scientists contradicts that theory, a Canadian cancer vaccine researcher said last week. “We made a big mistake. We didn’t realize it until now,” said Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist and associate professor at University of Guelph, Ontario. “We thought the spike protein was a great target antigen, we never knew the spike protein itself was a toxin and was a pathogenic protein. So by vaccinating people we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin.”

Bridle, who was awarded a $230,000 grant by the Canadian government last year for research on COVID vaccine development, said he and a group of international scientists filed a request for information from the Japanese regulatory agency to get access to Pfizer’s “biodistribution study.” Biodistribution studies are used to determine where an injected compound travels in the body, and which tissues or organs it accumulates in. “It’s the first time ever scientists have been privy to seeing where these messenger RNA [mRNA] vaccines go after vaccination,” Bridle said in an interview with Alex Pierson where he first disclosed the data. “Is it a safe assumption that it stays in the shoulder muscle? The short answer is: absolutely not. It’s very disconcerting.”

The Sars-CoV-2 has a spike protein on its surface. That spike protein is what allows it to infect our bodies, Bridle explained. “That is why we have been using the spike protein in our vaccines,” Bridle said. “The vaccines we’re using get the cells in our bodies to manufacture that protein. If we can mount an immune response against that protein, in theory we could prevent this virus from infecting the body. That is the theory behind the vaccine.” “However, when studying the severe COVID-19, […] heart problems, lots of problems with the cardiovascular system, bleeding and clotting, are all associated with COVID-19,” he added. “In doing that research, what has been discovered by the scientific community, the spike protein on its own is almost entirely responsible for the damage to the cardiovascular system, if it gets into circulation.” When the purified spike protein is injected into the blood of research animals, they experience damage to the cardiovascular system and the protein can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause damage to the brain, Bridle explained.

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Everything about this stinks.

Patent Filed For Covid Vaccine Just After Contagion Emerged (NYP)

A Chinese Communist Party military scientist who got funding from the National Institutes of Health filed a patent for a COVID-19 vaccine in February last year — raising fears the shot was being studied even before the pandemic became public, according to a new report. Zhou Yusen, a decorated military scientist for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who worked alongside the Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as US scientists, filed a patent on Feb. 24 2020, according to documents obtained by The Australian.

The patent -lodged by the “Institute of Military Medicine, Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA”- was filed just five weeks after China admitted there was human-to-human transmission of the virus, and months before Zhou died under mysterious circumstances, the report noted. “This is something we have never seen achieved before, raising the question of whether this work may have started much earlier”, Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky from Flinders University told the paper. Adding to the intrigue, Zhou later died under mysterious circumstances in May last year – something being looked into as part of the international investigation ordered by President Biden, the paper insisted. Despite being an award-winning military scientist, there were no reports or tributes, with him just listed as “deceased” in a Chinese media report in July and a December scientific paper.

Before working for the PLA, Zhou had strong ties to the US, doing postdoctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and collaborating with the New York Blood Center, the report said. Zhou worked closely with the Wuhan lab at the heart of increasing international focus over its possible links to the pandemic, as well as its now-notorious “bat woman” lead scientist, Shi Zhengli, the report said. The close working relationship between the pair supports declassified US intelligence released in January that said the Wuhan lab was conducting “secret military activity,” The Australian said.

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Karl’s take on the article above.

Ok, Now We’re Done (Denninger)

“A Chinese Communist Party military scientist who got funding from the National Institutes of Health filed a patent for a COVID-19 vaccine in February last year — raising fears the shot was being studied even before the pandemic became public, according to a new report. Zhou Yusen, a decorated military scientist for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who worked alongside the Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as US scientists, filed a patent on Feb. 24 2020, according to documents obtained by The Australian.” So what do we now know? • China’s military was in fact involved at the Wuhan lab. It was not just a civilian operation. • The lab’s scientists knew not only the sequencing of the virus but in addition had a patentable way to create an alleged vaccine before the pandemic was public.

• It takes time to draft patents and figure them out. Quite a lot of time, in fact — not a couple weeks or months. • The PLA, China’s military, did file said patent with Zhou’s name on it. • It takes time to prove up patent material, including in the case of a vaccine. To patent something you must be able to demonstrate it; you cannot patent ideas, only embodiments of ideas. In that case you would have to prove immunogenicity which isn’t instantaneous; it takes weeks or even months to get through original science on this with animals and then humans, which means the date of knowledge was not February 24th it was months or even further before that.

• That means they were working on this even before that time because to work on a vaccine you have to know you must or would want to work on it in the first place. This in turn means they knew damn well there was a virulent virus in the wild prior to that date, or they released it or intended to release it into the wild on purpose. Nobody comes up with a vaccine for a virus you intend to and have confined entirely within a laboratory in animal or cell culture testing; that’s worthless. Without an isolate to create a vaccine for and a virus outside of a lab environment where vaccination becomes a “thing” that might be required and thus have value why would you do the work to create one?

What’s the timeline on all this? Many, many months or even a couple of years. That means either the virus was “out” for many months to a couple of years before February of 2020 (not a month or two) or the Chinese intended to release it in the fall of 2019. In either case the evidence is now overwhelming that this was not a virus that “magically appeared” one fine day in late December. That is not just improbable anymore — it is now, on the manifest weight of the evidence, impossible. Further, the person who filed the patent died under “mysterious circumstances.” Gee, I wonder why? Let me guess — did he shoot himself in the back of the head twice?

Next up is exactly what sort of vaccine patent we’re talking about here? Specifically how is it that the “stiffened” areas in the viral vector and mRNA shots we’re using in the US came to be known and proved up? How did Moderna and Pfizer know they needed to do that? That sort of study takes months if not years too, not days or weeks, to both come up with it and then prove it actually works as expected.

[..] Oh wait — the manufacturers didn’t bother with all of making sure it worked as expected, did they? Nope! It sort of works as expected. Yes, the shots produce antibodies – lots of them. But they also cluster in multiple organs where we were told it would not; we were told it would remain in the deltoid muscle where the injection was delivered. That it remained in the muscle was false; the science was not done and it appears we were just told it would do so without evidence. Now, due to a leaked document out of Japan we know the shots do not stay where intended and they bioaccumulate in other places, including the ovaries and spleen and yet this, which was a direct contravention of the predicate upon which the EUAs issued did not lead to immediate revocation. Oh no, the FDA doesn’t care when claims about where it is contained to in the body turn out to be false!

Read more …

Fauci, Daszak, PLA, CCP, Pentagon, we could go on.

State Department Officials Told Probing Wuhan Lab Opens Pandora’s Box (DM)

At least four State Department employees said in separate interviews that they repeatedly were ‘warned’ that an investigation into a possible COVID-19 leak from the Wuhan lab would ‘open Pandora’s Box;’ and reveal that the U.S. funded gain-of-function research there. It ‘smelled like a cover-up,’ Thomas DiNanno told Vanity Fair. DiNanno, the former acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, was one of four State Department officials who told Vanity Fair they wanted to investigate the possibility that COVID-19 spread after it escaped from the Wuhan lab. The others were David Asher, David Feith and Miles Yu. But they were muzzled by other State Department officials as well as the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation and even ‘ostracized,’ Yu told Vanity Fair.


The lab leak was touted by then-President Donald Trump and other right-wing leaders, but was deemed impossible by a ‘scientific consensus’ in a letter signed by 27 scientists, published on February 19, 2020 in the medical journal The Lancet. After that, the Wuhan lab theory was considered to be at best a conspiracy – some even considered it racist – so it wasn’t discussed as a realistic origin of COVID-19 until recently. Yu, the State Department’s principal China strategist, found the government’s and scientists’ silence ‘maddening,’ Vanity Fair reported. He said, ‘Anyone who dares speak out would be ostracized.’ Asher, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who ran the State Department’s day-to-day COVID-19 origins inquiry, told Vanity Fair it became clear that ‘there is a huge gain-of-function bureaucracy’ inside the federal government.

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Plus $64.7 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), $13 million from Health and Human Services, $2.3 million from the Department of Homeland Security, and $2.6 million from the National Science Foundation.

The Pentagon Gave $39 Million To Dr. Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance (DM)

The Pentagon gave $39 million to a charity that funded controversial coronavirus research at a Chinese lab accused of being the source for Covid-19, federal data reveals. The news comes as the charity’s chief, British-born scientist Dr. Peter Daszak, was exposed in an alleged conflict of interest and back-room campaign to discredit lab leak theories. The charity, EcoHealth Alliance (EHA), has come under intense scrutiny after it emerged that it had been using federal grants to fund research into coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The U.S. nonprofit, set up to research new diseases, has also partly funded deeply controversial ‘gain of function’ experiments, where dangerous viruses are made more infectious to study their effect on human cells.

A political storm broke when former president Donald Trump canceled a $3.7 million grant to the charity last year amid claims that Covid-19 was created in, or leaked from, the Wuhan lab funded by EHA. But federal grant data assembled by independent researchers shows that the charity has received more than $123 million from the government – from 2017 to 2020 – and that one of its biggest funders is the Department of Defense, funneling almost $39 million to the organization since 2013. Exactly how much of that money went toward research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is unknown.

Grants from the Pentagon included $6,491,025 from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) from 2017 to 2020 with the description: ‘Understanding the risk of bat-borne zoonotic disease emergence in Western Asia.’ The grant was categorized as ‘scientific research – combating weapons of mass destruction.’ The news comes as the charity’s chief, British-born scientist Dr. Peter Daszak, was exposed in an alleged conflict of interest and back-room campaign to discredit lab leak theories The majority of the DoD funding came from the DTRA, a military branch with a mission to ‘counter and deter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat networks.’ EHA also received $64.7 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), $13 million from Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control, $2.3 million from the Department of Homeland Security, and $2.6 million from the National Science Foundation.

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He gets to lead everything, including the ivestigation into himself.

Daszak In Charge Of The Lancet’s Task Force To Investigate COVID Origin (SN)

Revered scientific journal The Lancet has created a ‘task force’ to investigate the origins of the coronavirus that caused a global pandemic, yet it has decided to employ as it’s leader the very guy who funded the dangerous gain of function research at the Wuhan lab and subsequently allegedly ‘bullied’ other scientists into avoiding looking into the lab as a potential source of the outbreak. In the wake of renewed scrutiny of the lab leak hypothesis, the Lancet’s task force will reportedly “focus on analyzing data on all of the theories put forward on the origins of COVID, on the reasons why SARS-CoV-2 was able to break out of Wuhan and spread globally, and on the most plausible strategies to prevent future pandemics.”

It also states that “The Task Force will review thoroughly and objectively all publicly available evidence, particularly the peer-reviewed literature, and conduct interviews with key leaders in science, medicine, policy and civil society.” ‘Objectively’. Right. Dr Peter Daszak, who is heading up this task force, is perhaps the least suitable scientist on the planet to objectively analyse the data, given his track record. Daszak, as President of the EcoHealth Alliance, shovelled at least $600,000 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the past few years to play around with coronaviruses inside the lab through the now infamous ‘gain of function’ research. Daszak, who also works for the World Health Organisation, is on record admitting that he was involved with manipulating coronaviruses.

Daszak notes that “coronaviruses are pretty good… you can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily… the spiked proteins drive a lot about what happens. You can get the sequence you can build the protein, we work with Ralph Baric at UNC to do this, insert into the backbone of another virus and do some work in a lab.” No wonder then that Daszak as lead investigator for the WHO investigation determined within 3 hours of visiting the Wuhan lab in February 2021 that there was ‘nothing to see here’?

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They’re stuck with each other, and with Daszak, PLA, CCP, Pentagon.

Biden Says He’s ‘Very Confident’ In Fauci After 1000s Of Emails Revealed (Fox)

President Biden said he is “very confident” in Dr. Anthony Fauci amid Republican attacks on his chief medical adviser after the revelation of thousands of his emails from the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The president was updating reporters as he departed Rehoboth Beach, Del., and when he walked out of the room, one shouted to ask if he is “still” confident in Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Moments later, Biden popped his head back in the room and said, “Yes, I am very confident in Dr. Fauci.” Fauci’s emails, which are heavily redacted, have prompted Republicans to demand answers from the NIAID director about why he did not more aggressively pursue the theory that coronavirus could have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China.


In one February 2020 email, he also said wearing a mask was “not really effective in keeping out the virus,” though the disease expert has already admitted he downplayed the effectiveness of masks in part so that supply would not run low for medical professionals. At the same time, Fox News has confirmed that State Department officials seeking to demand transparency from the Chinese government say they were explicitly told by colleagues not to explore the WIV’s gain-of-function research because it would bring unwelcomed attention to U.S. government funding of it. “We’ll let him speak for himself,” press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday when asked about Fauci’s emails. “He’s been an undeniable asset in our country’s pandemic response,” Psaki said. “It’s obviously not that advantageous for me to relitigate the substance of emails from 17 months ago.”

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“These Fauci emails are certainly revealing, so revealing, in fact, that the Washington Post isn’t posting them.”

The Rise and Fall of Dr. Fauci (Howie Carr)

“Fauci Lied, People Died.” If you still occasionally run into some unrepentant Karen glaring at your unmasked following-the-science face, just scrawl the above words on your raggedy mask and wear it one final time. Karen won’t bother you anymore, because what can Karen say after the release of all the Fauci emails from last year? Dr. Anthony Fauci, a hack’s hack since 1968, is many things, but on the level is not one of them. Consider his response to a February 2020 email from a Cornell University professor of medicine who wrote him: “We think there is a possibility that the virus was released from a lab in Wuhan.” Fauci responded by forwarding the prescient warning to one of his minions: “Please handle.” A month later, a government-funded physicist sent Fauci a warning that China was sending out false data, among other things.

Once again, Fauci dismissively fobbed off this 911 call to an underling: “Too long for me to read.” Of course it was. You know how hard it is to concentrate on scientific data when you’re in the green room having the makeup applied for your third or fourth TV live shot of the day. Especially when you’re 80 years old. These Fauci emails are certainly revealing, so revealing, in fact, that the Washington Post isn’t posting them. Almost as revealing are the endless redactions, as if there’s some national security issue here when he’s been pitched by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Fauci is still being defended by the Democrat operatives with press passes — the “serious people,” as ABC hack Jonathan Karl described his fellow cheerleaders last week. But the reality is, his upcoming so-called book, which at 80 pages is almost as short as he is (67 inches high), was pulled this week from the two biggest online booksellers, five months ahead of its publication date.

The publisher claimed that “Expect the Unexpected” had been “prematurely posted.” Yeah, right. At least Gov. Andrew Cuomo had his abysmal $5.1-million COVID tome published before he was busted as a total fraud. Fauci’s book got torched before it even reached the public. The publisher’s sell sheet described him as “one of the world’s greatest medical minds,” but now he ends up the same authorial class as O.J. Simpson and Clifford Irving — their faux books didn’t make it out of the gate either. Fauci joins the long list of great anti-Trump saviors who have been, you’ll pardon the expression, debunked. Like, say, Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, Omarosa, Mary Trump, Robert Mueller, Christine Blasey Ford, Julie Swetnick, Lt. Col. Vindman, etc.

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“All Joe Biden’s handlers can do now is fade Dr. Fauci out, keep him off the cable channels, and hope the public can be distracted with some new nonsense.”

What If the “Big Lie” Is the Big Lie? (Kunstler)

Maybe now that Dr. Tony Fauci has begun to spill the beans on his doings in service to the Wuhan virology lab, the phrase “conspiracy theory,” flogged by the media as jauntily and incessantly as by the soviet kommissars of yore, will have worn out its welcome. In a sane polity, Dr. Fauci would be cooked. He looks circumstantially like an epic villain of history, who promoted and funded dangerous research activities knowingly, which led to an international disaster that killed millions of people and destroyed countless livelihoods and households, perhaps even the whole global economy, when all is said and done — and he appears to have lied at every step along the way. As a practical matter, what is the “Joe Biden” admin going to do about him? Throw him under the bus? I don’t think they can at this point.

Dr. Fauci has come to represent not just the falsehoods employed around the Covid-19 fiasco but more generally the long campaign against truth itself by a grossly illiberal Jacobin Democratic Party seemingly out to punish and destroy Western Civ. Whether the Covid-19 pandemic was an overt tactic in that campaign, or just the result of Dr. Fauci’s catastrophic bad judgment, remains to be revealed. But at least half the country will conclude that there’s some connection between the terrible losses suffered in the pandemic year and the political bullshit they were force-fed in the four-year effort to defenestrate Donald Trump. All Joe Biden’s handlers can do now is fade Dr. Fauci out, keep him off the cable channels, and hope the public can be distracted with some new nonsense. You also have good reason to doubt that Merrick Garland will do anything but look the other way and whistle.

The downfall of Dr. Fauci is a watershed moment. There were so many more authorities caught lying over the past five years, but who got off scot-free — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, James Comey (actually, the whole FBI and DOJ E-suites), John Brennan, James Clapper, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissman, Adam Schiff, and the editors and producers of the news media, plus the execs of social media — who not only disabled the truth at every opportunity, but just about destroyed the public’s grip on reality.

The result has been an utter collapse of authority in this land, so that now nobody who runs anything is credible, from the current pitiful president of the USA, to most elected and appointed officials, judges, corporate CEOs, college deans and presidents, and now “The Science” itself. Just remember: there is still a sizable faction in America of people who are deeply interested in ascertaining the truth about a lot of things. They are aiming to get at it, too, for example, the truth about the 2020 election. Maybe now you can begin to see why this is important.

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Boondoggle.

Biden Rejects New Republican Infrastructure Offer (R.)

President Joe Biden and Republicans entered the weekend sharply at odds over how to craft an infrastructure deal that could satisfy their camps, imperiling the odds of a bipartisan deal. Democrat Biden shot down a new proposal from the main Republican negotiator on infrastructure, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, that increased spending by about $50 billion over their last offer, the White House said. Biden rejected the offer, saying it “did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis, and create new jobs.” Republicans had previously offered roughly $257 billion in new spending, short of the $2.25 trillion Biden initially offered and suggested he might bring down to as low as $1 trillion.


And while the two sides agreed to speak again on Monday, the White House also strongly signaled that they may seek a path forward with other Republican lawmakers or even with only Democrats. “He indicated to Senator Capito that he would continue to engage a number of Senators in both parties in the hopes of achieving a more substantial package,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. Up until now, Capito has been Biden’s primary negotiating partner. Monday’s conversation will be their third in a week. Biden is eager to show that he made a good-faith effort at a bipartisan deal, sources said, but he risks creating division among Democrats, some who believe he is giving up too much to Republicans. Democrats hold narrow majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

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This guy likes the arms a bit too much.

US Judge Overturns California’s Ban On Assault Weapons (AP)

A federal judge Friday overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court. “Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez said. He issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law but stayed it for 30 days to give state Attorney General Rob Bonta time to appeal. Gov. Gavin Newsom condemned the decision, calling it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period.”


In his 94-page ruling, the judge spoke favorably of modern weapons, said they were overwhelmingly used for legal reasons. “Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle,” the judge said in his ruling’s introduction. That comparison “completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon,” Newsom said in a statement. “We’re not backing down from this fight, and we’ll continue pushing for common sense gun laws that will save lives.”

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“Are you watching, America?”

Facebook Faces Antitrust Investigation in EU, UK (HE)

The United Kingdom and European Union opened formal antitrust investigations into Facebook’s classified-ads service, Marketplace. Both the European Commission and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said Friday they are investigating whether Facebook revamps data gathered from advertisers who buy ads in order to give illegal advantages to its own services, the Wall Street Journal reports. The cases look specifically at how Facebook uses the data it collects, and whether that would put the company at an advantage in the promotion of its own services in neighboring markets. The U.K. is also investigating whether Facebook uses advertiser data to give similar advantages to its online-dating service. “In today’s digital economy, data should not be used in ways that distort competition,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief.


A Facebook spokesman said its services will “continue to cooperate fully with the investigations to demonstrate that they are without merit.” Though the EU has been informally investigating the Big Tech giant for some time, if the Commission or the U.K.’s CMA finds evidence of any wrongdoing, they can then file formal charges. The new cases are part of a new series of antitrust enforcements throughout Europe. The European Commission filed formal charges against Apple last month for abusing its control over the distribution of music-streaming apps, including Spotify. In November, the EU also filed formal charges against Amazon for using nonpublic data gathered from third-party sellers to unfairly compete against them. Are you watching, America?

Read more …

“We don’t have any issues with the U.S. But it has an issue with us..”

‘Over Confident’ US Risks Going Down Same Path As Soviet Union – Putin (EN)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused Europe and the U.S. of hypocrisy over criticism of the response to anti-government protests in Russia and Belarus and warned that America was at risk of following the path of the Soviet Union. In a speech at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin discussed Russia’s relations with the U.S. ahead of a meeting with President Joe Biden, describing them as “at an extremely low level now.” He criticised sanctions against Russia as well as allegations that Moscow interfered in the U.S. election and said that Washington and Europe had double standards in criticising the police crackdown against protesters in Moscow and Belarus in recent months. “We don’t have any issues with the U.S. But it has an issue with us,” he said.

“It wants to contain our development and publicly talks about it. Economic restrictions and attempts to influence our country’s domestic politics, relying on forces they consider their allies inside Russia, stem from that.” Ties between Russia and the U.S. have sunk to post-Cold War lows over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, accusations of Russian interference in elections, and cyberattacks that U.S. officials allege had Russian origins. Putin reiterated that Russia rejects accusations of interfering in U.S. presidential elections, and he spoke critically of the U.S. response to the Capitol attack, which took place as Congress prepared to certify that Biden had defeated then-President Donald Trump in November.

“They weren’t just a crowd of robbers and rioters. Those people had come with political demands,” he said. Putin pointed out that the heavy charges against hundreds of participants in the attack were filed even as the U.S. and its allies strongly criticized Belarus’ crackdown on anti-government protests. He charged that even as the West has criticized Russian authorities for a harsh response to anti-Kremlin demonstrations, protesters in Europe have faced an even tougher police response, with some shot in the eye by what he mockingly called “democratic rubber bullets.” Later, during a call with journalists, Putin criticised the United States as being overconfident and drew a parallel with the Soviet Union.

“You know what the problem is? I will tell you as a former citizen of the former Soviet Union. What is the problem of empires — they think that they are so powerful that they can afford small errors and mistakes,” he said. “But the number of problems is growing. There comes a time when they can no longer be dealt with. And the United States, with a confident gait, a firm step, is going straight along the path of the Soviet Union.”

Read more …

 

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May 312021
 


Edgar Degas Landscape with Path Leading to a Copse of Trees 1880-92

 

Employees Sue Hospital over Vaccine Mandate (L&C)
Vaccine Passports For Cross-Border Travel Take Off In Europe (RT)
DHS Walks Back Claim US Taking “Close Look” At Vaccine Passports (ZH)
Masks Achieve Nothing In Terms Of Spread (Guerra)
The Basic Foolishness With The Path (Denninger)
Travel Restrictions & Partial Lockdown Imposed In Guangzhou (RT)
Over 200 Republicans Press Pelosi To Back COVID-19 Origin Probe (ZH)
Denmark Helped NSA Spy On EU Leaders, Snowden Says Biden ‘Deeply Involved’ (RT)
‘Silicon Six’ Tech Giants Accused Of Inflating Tax Payments By $100bn (G.)
Senate Preparing $10 Billion Bailout Fund For Jeff Bezos Space Firm (IC)
Julian Assange’s Father and Brother Announce US Tour (CD)

 

 

 

 

Slowly redefining, eroding legal language.

From 2 days ago: “The updated guidelines say employers may offer incentives for employees to provide documentation showing they have been vaccinated since requesting this proof “is not a disability-related inquiry” or an “unlawful request” under federal anti-discrimination laws.”

Today: “..the coronavirus vaccines available in the U.S. are no longer considered “experimental” because they have “completed clinical trials and have been authorized for emergency use.”

Employees Sue Hospital over Vaccine Mandate (L&C)

A group of 117 Houston-area hospital employees on Friday filed a civil lawsuit against an employer hospital’s coronavirus vaccine mandate. The lawsuit alleges that the mandate violates both the Nuremberg Code and U.S. statutes that allow Americans to refuse “unapproved” medical treatments. It also alleges violations of Texas labor and employment laws. That “people” are “trying to force you to put something into your body that you’re not comfortable with to keep your job is just insane,” lead plaintiff Jennifer Bridges told Houston CBS affiliate KHOU. The defendants are The Methodist Hospital, the Methodist Hospital System, and Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital. The people in charge of those entities responded to the litigation by saying the plaintiffs are but a small minority of voices among 26,000 employees and that it is “legal for health care institutions to mandate vaccines.”

The sharply worded 56-page complaint argues that the COVID-19 vaccines currently on the market were authorized merely as “emergency” measures and, thus, are not fully “approved” vaccines. At the top of the document are words attributed to David Bernard, the CEO of Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital: “100% vaccination is more important than your individual freedom. Everyone [sic] of you is replaceable. If you don’t like what your [sic] doing you can leave and we will replace your spot.” Those alleged words did not sit well with the plaintiffs. “For the first time in the history of the United States, an employer is forcing an employee to participate in an experimental vaccine trial as a condition for continued employment,” the lawsuit argues.

The document continues by alleging that the defendant hospital “became the first major health care system in the country to force it [sic] employees to be injected with an experimental COVID-19 mRNA gene modification injection (‘experimental vaccine’) or be fired.” “Methodist Hospital is forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment,” the lawsuit’s opening paragraph also says. The Washington Post on May 14 reported that the coronavirus vaccines available in the U.S. are no longer considered “experimental” because they have “completed clinical trials and have been authorized for emergency use.” The same report quotes a bevy of experts who asserted that the current vaccines are safe while noting that millions of Americans have been vaccinated without serious harm.

Read more …

You can be the healthiest person in the world, but it makes no difference.

Vaccine Passports For Cross-Border Travel Take Off In Europe (RT)

Greece and Denmark have become the first to launch Covid-19 vaccine passports for travel within the EU, as the bloc pushes for all member states to adopt the system and US officials say they’re considering the idea. The two countries rolled out the new passes on Friday in separate press conferences, with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis calling them a “fast lane to facilitate travel” in Europe and help “restore freedom of movement.” While some EU states, including Denmark, had already implemented their own internal vaccine certificates, the new passports can be used for cross-border travel, in line with a March proposal by the European Commission.

The Greek and Danish passports are managed through a smartphone app that shows a user’s vaccination status and the last time they were tested for coronavirus. Both also use a scannable QR code to quickly relay the information, though paper versions will also be made available. The EU has pressed for all 27 of its member states to adopt a bloc-wide passport by July 1, agreeing to the plan in principle last week ahead of the summer tourism season. The push comes after the bloc called for an easing of the travel restrictions imposed at the height of the pandemic, recommending that members allow foreign visitors if they are fully vaccinated. While the European Parliament has yet to formally approve the passport scheme, several countries have already moved ahead.

In addition to Greece and Denmark, Ireland also announced plans on Friday to adopt an international Covid pass by July 19, while the UK’s National Health Service recently updated its digital passport app for cross-border travel. The passports will also be valid in non-EU nations Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, according to the European Commission. As the passes gain traction across Europe, US officials have said they are also eyeing the concept for foreign travel, with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) chief Alejandro Mayorkas telling ABC on Friday that the Biden administration is “taking a very close look at that.” A DHS spokesperson later clarified, however, that there would be no “federal mandate” for any kind of vaccine pass, adding that the government would help Americans only to meet entry requirements in other countries.

Read more …

“The Biden administration has previously said multiple times that it will not require vaccine passports, or proof of vaccination, on the federal level. However, the administration is working with private companies to set guidelines for passport systems.”

DHS Walks Back Claim US Taking “Close Look” At Vaccine Passports (ZH)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday walked back comments made by the agency’s chief, who suggested earlier in the day that the federal government was “taking a very close look” at the idea of requiring vaccine passports to enter or leave the United States. “Looking ahead to summer, Europe and other countries are going to open up. Could we see vaccine passports to travel internationally either into or out of the U.S.?” an ABC “Good Morning America” host asked Alejandro Mayorkas, head of the DHS. “We’re taking a very close look at that,” Mayorkas responded. But DHS said Mayorkas was only talking about how Americans will need to use such passports to enter other countries.

“We’ve always said we’re looking at how we can ensure Americans traveling abroad have a quick and easy way to enter other countries. That’s what the secretary was referring to; ensuring that all U.S. travelers will be able to easily meet any anticipated foreign country entry requirements,” an agency spokesperson told news outlets. “There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” the department also said. The White House had responded to Mayorkas’ statement by saying the same thing. Asked to explain his comments, spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One:

“Again, the U.S. government recognizes that other countries have or may have foreign-entry requirements. We will be monitoring these and helping all U.S. travelers meet those, but we will not be—there will be no federal mandate requiring anyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.” The Biden administration has previously said multiple times that it will not require vaccine passports, or proof of vaccination, on the federal level. However, the administration is working with private companies to set guidelines for passport systems. A variety of groups have raised concerns about vaccine passports, arguing it would be an overreach of government authority to require vaccination proof. A number of states have banned requiring of passports, such as Georgia, and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) announced Friday they were introducing a bill that would ban them.

Read more …

Bit confusing?!

Masks Achieve Nothing In Terms Of Spread (Guerra)

Latest analysis shows yet again – yet again – what we already knew from 40 years of published research. And also empirically from simply glancing over the past year’s real-world data. Masks don’t work! Our main finding is that mask mandates and use are not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states. 80% of US states mandated masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandates induced greater mask compliance but did not predict lower growth rates when community spread was low (minima) or high (maxima). We infer that mandates likely did not affect COVID-19 case growth [15], as growth rates were similar on all days between actual or modeled issuance dates and 6 March 2021. Higher mask use (rather than mandates per se) has been argued to decrease COVID-19 growth rates [11].

While compliance varies by location and time, IHME estimates are robust (derived from multiple sources [17]) and densely sampled (day-level precision). Higher mask use did not predict lower maximum growth rates, smaller surges, or less Fall-Winter growth among continental states. Mask-growth rate correlation was only evident at minima. This may be an artifact of faster growth at fewer normalized cases, as well as regional differences in case prevalence early in the pandemic. States in the high mask quintile grew at similar rates as states in the low mask quintile after maxima (when interstate total case differences were smaller than before minima). In addition, mask use did not predict normalized cases at minima, and low mask growth curves trailed those of high mask (particularly Northeast) states before minima.

Growth maxima and Fall-Winter surges did not differ between Northeast and other states. Northeast states exhibited the highest seroprevalence up to at least July 2020 [24] and constituted 80% of the top quintile of mask use, which may explain their comparatively lower Summer growth. Overall, mask use appears to be an intra-state lagging indicator of case growth. There is inferential but not demonstrable evidence that masks reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Animal models [25], small case studies [6], and growth curves for mandate-only states [16] suggest that mask efficacy increases with mask use [11]. However, we did not observe lower growth rates over a range of compliance at maximum Fall-Winter growth (45-83% between South Dakota and Massachusetts during maxima) [17] when growth rates were high.

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“..you must use very large amounts of the substance in order to get enough of it where you want it and the unwanted part can and does cause problems in other parts of the body.”

The Basic Foolishness With The Path (Denninger)

Moderna, for example, is not a new company. They have repeatedly tried to get their mRNA technology to be taken up preferentially by parts of the body that have some disease or disorder and thus attempt to treat that. It has never worked, because while some preference can be expressed for the particular particles injected too much of it winds up in other places where it’s not wanted and causes problems. Let me repeat this for emphasis: Nobody has managed to come up with an injected, complex substance such as “nanoparticles” that are only taken up by the tissues desired and not by any of the others. This in turn means you must use very large amounts of the substance in order to get enough of it where you want it and the unwanted part can and does cause problems in other parts of the body.

This is why Moderna, despite ten years of trying, has never before had a successful therapy licensed anywhere. We were told that this sort of thing does not happen with these shots. But there was zero proof of this; in fact, quite to the contrary, there was ten years of evidence by this company’s trials itself that said it was the exact opposite; specificity simply could not be guaranteed and too much would spill over into other places. We now know it happens with the mRNA shots as well, both directly and indirectly. The second pillar of the development of these vaccines was the claim, which the CDC still makes by the way, that the spike protein alone is harmless. Thus, even if some of the material was taken up in the wrong place (not the muscle and the lymph system) it was ok because it wouldn’t hurt you.

Unfortunately we now know that’s false as the spike alone is not inert and harmless; the first indications of that in scientific papers came in September of 2020 and development was not halted until the risk could be characterized. The CDC is knowingly lying in their public statements; that the spike portion of the virus is “harmless” is simply not subject to reasonable scientific support at this point in time. Yes, inducing antibodies in the circulation is what you want to happen. Causing spike protein components and the intact spike protein to be found in the circulation, however, you definitely do not want to happen because we now know, on the body of evidence, that both S1 standing alone and the whole spike are pathogenic — that is, they cause disorders in the body.

Indeed the evidence is quite strong that when you get hammered by Covid the reason you get hammered is that the infection becomes systemic and the part of the virus that causes the systemic problem is the spike when it gets into the circulation and then is disseminated through the body’s systems. We now know that the spike protein alone is capable of producing abnormal clotting absent the rest of the virus — that is, the entire virus isn’t necessary to do it and it’s not the virus infecting cells and replicating in them that causes it; it is the spike alone that induces the body to inappropriately produce blood clots where they do not belong.

Read more …

We don’t see much virus news from China.

Travel Restrictions & Partial Lockdown Imposed In Guangzhou (RT)

Border control and a partial lockdown have been imposed in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, after a cluster of the Indian variant of the coronavirus was discovered there. People leaving Guangzhou, a provincial capital of 15.3 million, must test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours before the trip. Roughly 520 flights were canceled at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, one of the world’s busiest air travel hubs, as of 11:40am local time on Monday, CNA news agency reported, citing aviation data provider VariFlight.


Authorities earlier announced stay-at-home orders for residents of several streets in the city’s Liwan District, where the first infected patient was discovered on May 21, and restricted travel on the subway and buses. Large gatherings were banned across Guangzhou, while indoor venues were told to operate at limited capacity and targeted mass-testing programs were launched. Chen Bin, the deputy chief of the provincial health commission, was cited by Xinhua as confirming on Sunday that all locally transmitted cases found in Guangzhou since May 21 were linked to the B.1.617 coronavirus strain, also known as the Indian variant.

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200 is a lot.

Over 200 Republicans Press Pelosi To Back COVID-19 Origin Probe (ZH)

More than 200 House Republicans are putting pressure on their Democrat counterparts to get down to the COVID-19 origins and hold the Chinese regime accountable for the pandemic coverup. “We request that you instruct the appropriate Democrat committee chairs to immediately join Republican calls to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for its role in causing the global COVID-19 pandemic,” stated a May 28 letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The effort was led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif), Minority Whip Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), and Rep. Elise Stefanik, the chair of the House Republican Conference and joined by 209 House Republicans.

The lawmakers said Pelosi had “falsely claimed” that “questions about the CCP’s liability” were a “diversion” – likely referring to Pelosi’s remarks from last May describing then-President Donald Trump’s blame on China as an “interesting diversion.” “There is mounting evidence the pandemic started in a Chinese lab, and the CCP covered it up. If that is the case, the CCP is responsible for the deaths of almost 600,000 Americans and millions more worldwide,” they stated in the letter. “[E]very American family that lost someone deserves answers about the origin of this terrible virus,” they continued, adding that “House Democrats’ ongoing refusal to allocate investigative resources to get those answers is an affront to them.” “China can’t get away with this. Americans deserve answers,” Scalise wrote in a May 28 tweet.

The lawmakers cited a growing pile of evidence that the virus may have escaped from a Wuhan lab, an idea that many media outlets and scientists had initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. A State Department fact sheet, released during the final days of the Trump administration, suggested researchers with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), located in the vicinity of the seafood market initially thought to be the outbreak’s origin, fell ill with COVID-19 like symptoms in autumn 2019. Recently, an undisclosed intelligence report also surfaced saying three WIV staff were sick enough to seek hospital care that November.

Read more …

What is Merkel going to do about Denmark? Her anger over having her phone spied on sure went away fast.

Denmark Helped NSA Spy On EU Leaders, Snowden Says Biden ‘Deeply Involved’ (RT)

The US National Intelligence Agency received support from Denmark in spying on European politicians, according to a new joint media report, something President Joe Biden is well-informed to answer for, says Edward Snowden. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank Walter-Steinmeier are among those who were spied on by the NSA with the cooperation and help of the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE), according to the European media investigation. The US spying on not only its own citizens, but also leaders in foreign countries is an accusation that came to light in 2013, mostly thanks to documents leaked by former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower – though he remains a fugitive in the US – Edward Snowden. Snowden’s leaks specifically revealed Merkel’s private cell phone had been monitored by US authorities.

The new revelations come as a result of multiple European news outlets – including Danish state broadcaster DR, German NDR, Swedish SVT, Norwegian NRK and French Le Monde among others – obtaining access to internal reports and information from Danish Secret Service sources. According to the investigation, politicians in Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France and even Danish finance industries were also targeted by the NSA with the help of Danish spies. The Danish government has reportedly known about the cooperation for years and forced FE leadership to step down in 2020 after discovering the full extent of the relationship following an internal investigation. They did not, however, report the findings to any European Union allies.

The spying was primarily done through hijacking Danish electronic communications systems as the country has landing stations for subsea internet cables between numerous countries, such as Germany and Sweden. By using politicians’ and officials’ phone numbers, authorities were able to pull texts and phone calls, while those being spied on were none the wiser. Snowden, who made his revelations about the NSA while Biden was vice president, says the current president is “well-prepared” to answer the accusations and that there should be a requirement of “full disclosure” from both Denmark and the US. “Biden is well-prepared to answer for this when he soon visits Europe since, of course, he was deeply involved in this scandal the first time around,” he tweeted. “There should be an explicit requirement for full public disclosure not only from Denmark, but their senior partner as well.”

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“Overall, they paid $219bn in income tax over the past decade, 3.6% of their total revenue of more than $6tn.”

‘Silicon Six’ Tech Giants Accused Of Inflating Tax Payments By $100bn (G.)

The giant US tech firms known as the “Silicon Six” have been accused of inflating their stated tax payments by almost $100bn (£70bn) over the past decade. As Chancellor Rishi Sunak called on world leaders to back a new tech tax ahead of next week’s G7 summit in the UK, a report by the campaign group Fair Tax Foundation singled out Amazon, Facebook, Google’s owner, Alphabet, Netflix, Apple and Microsoft. It said they paid $96bn less in tax between 2011 and 2020 than the notional taxation figures they cite in their annual financial reports. . The six firms named handed over $149bn less to global tax authorities than would be expected if they had the paid headline rates where they operated, Fair Tax Foundation said.

Overall, they paid $219bn in income tax over the past decade, 3.6% of their total revenue of more than $6tn. Income tax is paid on profits, but the researchers said the Silicon Six companies deliberately shift income to low-tax jurisdictions to pay less tax. Based on companies’ regulatory filings, the report found that Amazon, the internet retailing and cloud services provider run by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, collected $1.6tn of revenue, reported $60.5bn of profit and paid $5.9bn in income taxes this decade. Amazon would have been expected to pay $10.7bn in taxes on those profits based on international tax rates, the report said. The tax paid as a percentage of profit was just 9.8% over the period 2011-20, the lowest of the so-called “Silicon Six”.

An Amazon spokesperson disputed the calculations as “extremely misleading”. “Amazon is primarily a retailer where profit margins are low, so comparisons to technology companies with operating profit margins of closer to 50% is not rational,” the company said. “Governments write the tax laws and Amazon is doing the very thing they encourage companies to do – paying all taxes due while also investing many billions in creating jobs and infrastructure. Coupled with low margins, this investment will naturally result in a lower cash tax rate.”

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Don’t pay taxes, get bailed out instead.

Senate Preparing $10 Billion Bailout Fund For Jeff Bezos Space Firm (IC)

Now that Jeff Bezos’s space flight company Blue Origin has lost a multibillion contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Congress is prepping the ground for Bezos to win a contract anyway, ordering NASA to make not one but two awards. The order would come through the Endless Frontier Act, a bill to beef up resources for science and technology research that’s being debated on the Senate floor this week. An amendment was added to that legislation by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., to hand over $10 billion to NASA — money that most likely would go to Blue Origin, a company that’s headquartered in Cantwell’s home state.


Cantwell’s amendment is no sure bet though: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduced a last-minute amendment Monday to eliminate the $10 billion. “It does not make a lot of sense to me that we would provide billions of dollars to a company owned by the wealthiest guy in America,” Sanders told The Intercept Tuesday. The Bezos space company had been competing against SpaceX for a contract to put astronauts on the moon, the first such trips since 1972, but lost the bidding process with a price tag twice that of SpaceX. NASA announced the award to the Elon Musk-owned company last month.

Read more …

“My brother Julian Assange has effectively been a prisoner for over a decade because he published evidence of war crimes..”

Julian Assange’s Father and Brother Announce US Tour (CD)

The father and brother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are planning a nationwide tour of the United States next month to advocate for the release of the detained journalist and for the Biden administration to drop its extradition effort—and to highlight the broader implications that his prosecution has for global press freedom. John and Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s father and brother, will kick off the #HomeRun4Julian tour in Miami on June 6, then travel to over a dozen U.S. cities for the rest of the month, wrapping up in Washington, D.C. in July. Some events will be live-streamed, and the pair plans to meet with activists, journalists, and policymakers along the away. “My brother Julian Assange has effectively been a prisoner for over a decade because he published evidence of war crimes,” said Gabriel Shipton in a statement Thursday. “The U.S. government wants to make an example out of him to deter journalists and whistleblowers.”

Read more …

 

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May 272021
 


Brassaï The Sun King 1930

 

CDC: More Than 10,000 Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections (JTN)
More Flagrant Data Manipulation From The CDC (OffG)
DOD Tracking 14 Cases of Heart Inflammation in Troops After COVID-19 Shots (M.com)
Dr. Fauci Gets In Heated Debate With 17 Previous Versions Of Himself (BBee)
Covid Spike Protein, In All Vaccines, Is What Causes Deadly Blood Clots (NN)
Does Ivermectin Really Work Against Covid-19? (IT)
Snopes Introduces New Rating: ‘False For Now’ (BBee)
Facebook No Longer Treating ‘Man-Made’ Covid As A Crackpot Idea (Pol.)
Senate Unanimously Passes Hawley Bill Declassifying Intel On Wuhan Lab (F.)
Netherlands Court Orders Shell To Cut Emissions By 45% (BBC)
ExxonMobil, Chevron Investors Vote For More Action On Climate Change (Y!)
Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Salary Was Cut In Half After Joe Biden Left Office (NYP)
US-Funded Belarus Activist Arrested On Plane Joined Neo-nazis In Ukraine (GZ)
Billionaires’ Secretive Speculation Threatens Next Financial Meltdown (MW)
Chaos Erupts After Stiffed UniCredit Bondholders Get Fat-Fingered Payment (ZH)

 

 

 

 

And says it’s a “substantial undercount”.

CDC: More Than 10,000 Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections (JTN)

More than 10,000 vaccine breakthrough infections have been reported in the U.S. in individuals who had already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “A total of 10,262 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine breakthrough infections had been reported from 46 U.S. states and territories as of April 30, 2021,” the government agency said. The report covered the period from January 1 to April 30 this year. More than half (63%) of the breakthrough cases happened in females, according to the CDC. Preliminary data indicated that more than a quarter (27%) of the cases were asymptomatic and 160 people (2%) passed away. But 28 of the deceased were asymptomatic or passed away due to a cause not connected to coronavirus. The median age for the deceased was 82.


The CDC noted that the quantity of reported vaccine breakthrough cases probably falls far short of the actual amount of breakthroughs among the vaccinated. “The findings in this report are subject to at least two limitations. First, the number of reported COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases is likely a substantial undercount of all SARS-CoV-2 infections among fully vaccinated persons. The national surveillance system relies on passive and voluntary reporting, and data might not be complete or representative. Many persons with vaccine breakthrough infections, especially those who are asymptomatic or who experience mild illness, might not seek testing. Second, SARS-CoV-2 sequence data are available for only a small proportion of the reported cases,” the agency noted.

Read more …

They know it’s a “substantial undercount” because they keep changing their methods: “the CDC has taken their “substantial undercount”, and then slashed it by 90%.”

More Flagrant Data Manipulation From The CDC (OffG)

A new report, published just yesterday, has provided yet more evidence that the CDC is manipulating data to conceal the number of “breakthrough infections”. A “breakthrough infection” (or “breakthrough case”) is defined as a person who tests positive for Sars-Cov-2 infection, despite already being fully vaccinated. And this new report finds that the CDC’s official record of breakthrough cases is: “likely a substantial undercount.” Going on to explain: “The national surveillance system relies on passive and voluntary reporting, and data might not be complete or representative. Many persons with vaccine breakthrough infections, especially those who are asymptomatic or who experience mild illness, might not seek testing.” Which is partially accurate, but also a pretty major lie by omission. It is probably true that vaccinated people with no symptoms are unlikely to seek testing, but it is also true that, on March 17th, the CDC updated their advice on testing policy to specifically exclude such people from testing protocols:

So, while it’s certainly true that “breakthrough cases” are likely a substantial undercount, it is dishonest to pretend that this is just an accident of the system. Rather, the system is specifically designed to hide such cases. Of course, this report only goes up to the end of April, the “undercount” will only have gotten worse since then, because the CDC changed their rules AGAIN to make it even harder to keep an accurate count of breakthrough cases. As we wrote last week, as of May 1st the CDC will no longer be counting mild or asymptomatic cases as “breakthrough infections”, choosing to focus only on hospitalisations and deaths. According to the CDC’s own report, though, over a quarter (27%) of breakthrough infections were asymptomatic, and a further 61% were only mildly ill. Conversely, only 10% of them were ever hospitalised, and only 2% died: “Based on preliminary data, 2,725 (27%) vaccine breakthrough infections were asymptomatic, 995 (10%) patients were known to be hospitalized, and 160 (2%) patients died.”


So, the CDC has taken their “substantial undercount”, and then slashed it by 90%. The official figures, moving forward, will be so inaccurate as to be completely useless. The CDC claims these changes “will help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance.” But that is an obvious and absurd lie. Statistical studies have shown up to 86% of Covid “cases” never experience symptoms. To exclude such cases from your vaccine effectiveness studies is to poison your data in order to prop up a pre-determined conclusion. It is, at the very best, extremely poor science.

Read more …

How many deaths and injuries will it take before the “vaccines” are banned?

DOD Tracking 14 Cases of Heart Inflammation in Troops After COVID-19 Shots (M.com)

The Defense Department is tracking 14 cases of heart inflammation, or myocarditis, in military health patients who developed the condition after receiving either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The rare disorder, usually caused by a virus, has been linked to COVID-19. But following a number of reports from Israel of patients developing the inflammation in conjunction with receiving vaccines, the Israeli Health Ministry is exploring a possible link, Israel’s Channel 12 reported Friday, according to the Jerusalem Post. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, the myocardium, that can reduce the heart’s ability to function or cause abnormal heart rhythms.


The first report of myocarditis in a patient who received a COVID-19 vaccine was published in Israel on Feb. 1. Another case of myocarditis in a 39-year-old male was reported in Revista Española de Cardiología in early March. The DoD has been tracking myocarditis cases through March, according to spokesman Peter Graves. Of the 14 cases, one patient, who tested positive for COVID-19 three months ago, developed myocarditis after their first dose of vaccine. The remaining 13 patients developed myocarditis after their second vaccine doses. Eleven received the Moderna vaccine; three got Pfizer.

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Ha!

Dr. Fauci Gets In Heated Debate With 17 Previous Versions Of Himself (BBee)

After a brief temporal anomaly occurred in Washington, D.C., causing a version of Dr. Fauci from just two weeks ago to materialize in the city, the current Dr. Fauci got in a heated debate with the manifestation of himself from the past. “The virus was created in a lab!” present-day Fauci said indignantly, causing past Fauci to wag his finger and shake his head emphatically. “No, no, no, that’s a deranged conspiracy theory!” past Fauci said. “It’s practically alt-right! Didn’t you check Snopes? Anyway, at least we can agree we should wear double masks forever.” “No, masks aren’t necessary anymore!” said current Fauci. “We just wear them for political theater.” “That’s insulting! They’re absolutely not theater!” said early May Fauci.


At that moment, another version of Fauci suddenly appeared from March 2020, agreeing with current Fauci but taking it a step further, saying, “Masks are useless. They just make people feel better!” Both of the other Faucis then ganged up on March 2020 Fauci, calling him an “anti-science mask denier.” Another Fauci then appeared, and then another, and then another, and all heck broke loose, with the Faucis screaming at one another and calling each other “Q anon crazies” and “progressive totalitarians,” depending on the version of Fauci. Finally, an uneasy truce was called, as all the Faucis agreed they at least all wanted the same thing: to stay in the spotlight forever.

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From yesterday’s Comment section.

Covid Spike Protein, In All Vaccines, Is What Causes Deadly Blood Clots (NN)

The prestigious Salk Institute, founded by vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, has authored and published a bombshell scientific article revealing that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is what’s actually causing vascular damage in covid patients and covid vaccine recipients, promoting the strokes, heart attacks, migraines, blood clots and other harmful reactions that have already killed thousands of Americans (source: VAERS.hhs.gov). Critically, all four covid vaccine brands currently in widespread use either inject patients with the spike protein or, via mRNA technology, instruct the patient’s own body to manufacture spike proteins and release them into their own blood. This floods the patient’s body with the very spike protein that the Salk Institute has now identified as the smoking gun cause of vascular damage and related events (such as blood clots, which are killing many people who take the vaccines).

Put simply, it means the vaccines were designed to contain the very element that’s killing people. The false assumption of the vaccine industry and its propagandists is that the spike protein is “inert” and harmless. The Salk Institute proves this assumption to be dangerously inaccurate. [..] the virus spike proteins (which behave very differently than those safely encoded by vaccines) also play a key role in the disease itself. The paper, published on April 30, 2021, in Circulation Research, also shows conclusively that COVID-19 is a vascular disease, demonstrating exactly how the SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system on a cellular level.

“A lot of people think of it as a respiratory disease, but it’s really a vascular disease,” says Assistant Research Professor Uri Manor, who is co-senior author of the study. “That could explain why some people have strokes, and why some people have issues in other parts of the body. The commonality between them is that they all have vascular underpinnings.” …the paper provides clear confirmation and a detailed explanation of the mechanism through which the protein damages vascular cells for the first time. In the new study, the researchers created a “pseudovirus” that was surrounded by SARS-CoV-2 classic crown of spike proteins, but did not contain any actual virus. Exposure to this pseudovirus resulted in damage to the lungs and arteries of an animal model—proving that the spike protein alone was enough to cause disease. Tissue samples showed inflammation in endothelial cells lining the pulmonary artery walls.

The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2. This binding disrupted ACE2’s molecular signaling to mitochondria (organelles that generate energy for cells), causing the mitochondria to become damaged and fragmented. Previous studies have shown a similar effect when cells were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but this is the first study to show that the damage occurs when cells are exposed to the spike protein on its own. [..] covid vaccines are inducing vascular disease and directly causing injuries and deaths stemming to blood clots and other vascular reactions. This is all caused by the spike protein that’s deliberately engineered into the vaccines.

[..] any person who actually survives the covid vaccine only does so because their innate immune system is protecting them from the vaccine, not with the vaccine. The vaccine is the weapon. Your immune system is your defense. [..] The covid vaccine, built with the spike protein that causes vascular damage. The number of Americans who died after taking covid vaccines is already in the thousands, and realistic estimates put that number at tens of thousands (with more dying each day). The mechanism is now well understood: The covid vaccine injects the patient with spike proteins, the spike proteins proceed to cause vascular damage and blood platelet aggregation, this leads to blood clots which circulate around the body and lodge in different organs (the hart, lungs, brain, etc.), causing deaths that are attributed to “strokes” or “heart attacks” or “pulmonary embolism.”

The common cause is the vascular damage stemming from the spike protein. In essence, millions of people are being injected with artificial blood clotting factors and then dying from blood clots, all while the disastrously dishonest corporate media claims all covid vaccines are completely “safe” and have harmed no one.

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From India.

Does Ivermectin Really Work Against Covid-19? (IT)

Q.Is Ivermectin, a drug that has traditionally been used to treat parasitic infections in humans, effective against Covid-19?

The World Health Organization recently issued guidelines saying Ivermectin should only be used on Covid-19 patients in clinical trial settings, saying there was a ‘very low certainty of evidence’ on Ivermectin’s effects on mortality rates and its ability to purge the virus from the body. After this, many state governments in India have rejected its use for Covid-19 patients. This has caused confusion and worry among patients and providers alike. However, [I believe] there is enough evidence to show the effectiveness of the drug. A study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics clearly mentions a large number of randomised and observational controlled trials of Ivermectin that repeatedly reported large improvements in clinical outcomes. Numerous prophylaxis trials demonstrate that regular use of Ivermectin leads to large reductions in virus transmission. Moreover, a comprehensive review of the available efficacy data as of December 12, 2020, taken from in-vitro, animal, clinical and real-world studies, all show the above impacts of Ivermectin in treating cases of Covid-19.

Q. How does Ivermectin help Covid patients? Here are few points worth considering. Since 2012, multiple in-vitro studies have demonstrated that Ivermectin inhibits the replication of many viruses, including those that cause Influenza, Zika, Dengue, and others. Ivermectin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication and binding to host tissue through several observed and proposed mechanisms. Ivermectin also has anti-inflammatory properties that prevents viral replication, and it hastens recovery and prevents deterioration in patients in mild to moderate cases of the disease, if they are treated early after symptoms appear.

Q. So should all Covid patients take Ivermectin as part of their treatment?

Having said the above, anything used in excess or abused is harmful to health. Providers need to careful while prescribing these drugs as they are still under review. The best way is to be wise and not let panic take precedence over logical reasoning. Most repurposed drugs have pros and cons when used to treat Covid-19, and this needs to be explained to patients while prescribing treatment. We have to be cautious but wise too—let us all make informed choices and ensure that we come out of this crisis stronger and more empowered.

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“Did COVID escape from a Wuhan lab? Well, it depends! Did a Republican say it?”

Snopes Introduces New Rating: ‘False For Now’ (BBee)

World-renowned fact-checking website Snopes has unveiled a brand new fact check rating called “False For Now.” This will allow them to provide a rating for claims that are just conspiracy theories uttered by deranged far-right people until they later turn out to be true. “At Snopes, it’s important for us to keep up with the undulating, ever-changing ocean of truth claims as they fluctuate across different official narratives we approve of,” said Snopes founder David Mikkelson. “Did COVID escape from a Wuhan lab? Well, it depends! Did a Republican say it? Does it serve the official narrative of trusted sources like CNN? We have to keep all these important questions in mind as we continue to live our truth, which is what Snopes is all about.”


To save time, Snopes will just attach this rating to everything said by someone on the Right until a mainstream, unbiased source like The New York Times approves it to be upgraded to “Mixture”. Snopes also announced they will be attaching a rating of “Not Funny” to all Babylon Bee articles.

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Imagine getting your news from Facebook.

Facebook No Longer Treating ‘Man-Made’ Covid As A Crackpot Idea (Pol.)

Facebook will no longer take down posts claiming that Covid-19 was man-made or manufactured, a company spokesperson told POLITICO on Wednesday, a move that acknowledges the renewed debate about the virus’ origins. A narrative in flux: Facebook’s policy tweak arrives as support surges in Washington for a fuller investigation into the origins of Covid-19 after the Wall Street Journal reported that three scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized in late 2019 with symptoms consistent with the virus. The findings have reinvigorated the debate about the so-called Wuhan lab-leak theory, once dismissed as a fringe conspiracy theory. President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he has ordered the intelligence community to “redouble” its efforts to find out the virus’ origin and report back in 90 days.

Biden also revealed that the intelligence community is split between two theories about Covid-19’s origin, and said the review will examine “whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.” Bipartisan support is also building on Capitol Hill for a congressional inquiry. But the focus of late has been on the notion that the virus may have accidentally escaped from the lab, not that it was man-made or purposely released — theories that could now propagate on Facebook. Genetic studies of the virus have found flaws in the protein it uses to bind to human cells. Those are features that someone trying to engineer a bioweapon likely would have avoided. Shifting definitions on social media: Facebook announced in February it had expanded the list of misleading health claims that it would remove from its platforms to include those asserting that “COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured.”

The tech giant has updated its policies against false and misleading coronavirus information, including its running list of debunked claims, over the course of the pandemic in consultation with global health officials. But a Facebook spokesperson said Wednesday that the origin language had been stricken from that list due to the renewed debate about the virus’ roots. “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge.”

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Smokescreen?!

Senate Unanimously Passes Hawley Bill Declassifying Intel On Wuhan Lab (F.)

The U.S. Senate on Monday unanimously approved a bill to require the federal government to declassify information about any links between China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and Covid-19 following reporting by the Wall Street Journal that three researchers at the lab were hospitalized with Covid-like symptoms in November 2019. The bill requires the Director of National Intelligence to declassify “any and all information” about links between the lab and the virus within 90 days. The bill also calls for the DNI to make “as much information as possible” about the origin of the virus publicly available, in order to identify the origin “as expeditiously as possible.” Introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and cosponsored by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), the bill passed Wednesday night by unanimous consent, meaning no senator objected.


While support has grown among Democratic lawmakers to investigate the origins of Covid-19, House leaders have not yet said whether it will get a vote in the lower chamber and the White House hasn’t said if President Joe Biden will sign it. Theories that the virus was man-made as opposed to naturally occurring have been cast as fringe for much of the pandemic. However, the Journal’s revelation this week has caused experts to concede the “lab leak” theory – which remains unproven – can’t be ruled out. 90. That’s how many days the intelligence community has been given by Biden to “bring us closer to a definitive conclusion” on the origins of the virus, the president said in a statement Wednesday. Biden said he asked for the inquiry to include “specific questions for China” and a look at “work by our National Labs.”

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Prediction: Shell will appeal, and appeal, and…

Netherlands Court Orders Shell To Cut Emissions By 45% (BBC)

A court in the Netherlands has ruled in a landmark case that the oil giant Shell must reduce its emissions. By 2030, Shell must cut its CO2 emissions by 45% compared to 2019 levels, the civil court ruled. The Shell group is responsible for its own CO2 emissions and those of its suppliers, the verdict said. It is the first time a company has been legally obliged to align its policies with the Paris climate accords, says Friends of the Earth (FoE). The environmental group brought the case to court in 2019, alongside six other bodies and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens. Though the decision only applies in the Netherlands, it could have wider effects elsewhere. BBC Netherlands correspondent Anna Holligan tweeted that it was a “precedent-setting judgement”.

A Shell spokesperson said they “fully expect to appeal today’s disappointing court decision” and added that they are stepping up efforts to cut emissions. “Urgent action is needed on climate change, which is why we have accelerated our efforts to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050,” the spokesperson said, adding that Shell was investing “billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, including electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, renewables and biofuels”. “This is really great news and a gigantic victory for the earth, our children and for all of us,” FoE director Donald Pols said in a statement. “The judge leaves no doubt about it: Shell is causing dangerous climate change and must now stop it quickly.” Under the terms of the Paris Agreement on climate change, nearly 200 nations agreed to keep global temperatures “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels.

The legally binding treaty came into force on 4 November 2016. The US withdrew under former President Donald Trump but has since rejoined under President Joe Biden. A number of groups around the world are now trying to force companies and governments to comply with the accords through the courts. Shell has previously said it wants net zero emissions for itself and from products used by its customers by 2050. In December its defence lawyers told the Dutch court the company was already taking “serious steps” to move away from fossil fuels, and said there was no legal basis for the case.

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“At ExxonMobil, two board nominees from activist group Engine No. 1 won enough votes to secure board seats..”

ExxonMobil, Chevron Investors Vote For More Action On Climate Change (Y!)

Investors rejected the responses of US oil giants to climate change Wednesday, installing activist board members at ExxonMobil and directing Chevron to deepen emissions cuts. The dual decisions at the two biggest US oil giants’ annual meetings are clear evidence that addressing climate change has moved from being an environmentalist cause to one championed by mainstream investors. At ExxonMobil, two board nominees from activist group Engine No. 1 won enough votes to secure board seats. Shareholders also backed a proposal requiring a report on the oil giant’s lobbying activities on climate change.


At Chevron, a majority of investors approved an activist proposal calling on the company to reduce “scope 3” emissions, which encompass energy products. Earlier in the day, a Dutch court ordered oil giant Shell to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by a net of 45 percent by the end of 2030 following a challenge launched by environmental group Friends of the Earth. “Today’s Exxon vote sends the unmistakable signal that climate action is a financial imperative,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. “Now Exxon’s board has an important responsibility to help the company transform its approach to the climate crisis and energy transition.”

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Miranda Devine is working on a book, “Laptop From Hell”, due out in September.

Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Salary Was Cut In Half After Joe Biden Left Office (NYP)

The Ukrainian energy company that was paying President Biden’s son Hunter $1 million a year cut his monthly compensation in half two months after his father ceased to be vice president. From May 2014, Burisma Holdings Ltd. was paying Hunter $83,333 a month to sit on its board, invoices on his abandoned laptop show. But in an email on March 19, 2017, Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi asked Hunter to sign a new director’s agreement and informed him “the only thing that was amended is the compensation rate.” “We are very much interested in working closely together, and the remuneration is still the highest in the company and higher than the standard director’s monthly fees. I am sure you will find it both fair and reasonable.”


After the email, the amount listed on Hunter’s monthly Burisma invoices was reduced to $41,500, effective from May 2017. The amount was paid in Euros, at the rate of between 35,000 Euros and 36,100 Euros per month, based on currency fluctuations at the time. No reason is given for the decrease in salary. The only change in circumstance appears to be that Hunter’s father was no longer in office. In 2016, Hunter’s total income from Burisma was $999,996. In 2017 it dropped to $665,000, and then $498,000 in 2018. Hunter resigned from the Burisma board in April 2019, according to his lawyer George Mesires, after his controversial business dealings dogged his father’s presidential campaign.

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Lukashenko has already used this to defend his actions.

US-Funded Belarus Activist Arrested On Plane Joined Neo-nazis In Ukraine (GZ)

A high-profile Belarusian regime-change activist whose detention on a forcibly grounded airplane caused an international scandal has extensive links to neo-fascist groups, which his political sponsors in Western capitals have conveniently overlooked. Right-wing activist Roman Protasevich was traveling on the Irish airliner Ryanair on May 23 when the plane crossed into Belarusian airspace and was ordered to land by state authorities. Protasevich was subsequently taken off the aircraft and arrested. The incident triggered a wave of denunciations by Western governments, and a new round of aggressive sanctions on Belarus. Many anti-interventionist critics pointed out the hypocrisy of the US government’s condemnations, recalling how, in 2013, it forcibly grounded the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales in an egregious violation of international law because it wrongly suspected he was harboring NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Effortlessly ignoring Washington’s own precedent, Western governments and major corporate media outlets blasted the government of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as a brutal dictatorship while lavishing praise on Protasevich, portraying the high-profile opposition figure as a heroic human rights defender. What they refused to acknowledge is Protasevich’s recent history serving with a neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine, and his extensive ties to other far-right extremist organizations. A leader of Ukraine’s notorious Azov Battalion, an explicitly neo-Nazi militia that uses white supremacist imagery, publicly acknowledged that Protasevich joined the fight alongside Azov. A Ukrainian newspaper reported that Protasevich worked with the neo-Nazi militia’s press service.

Protasevich personally admitted in an interview to traveling to Ukraine and spending a year battling pro-Russian forces in the eastern war zone of Donbas. He is even suspected of possibly posing with an assault rifle and a military uniform on the front of Azov’s propaganda magazine, which is emblazoned with a large neo-Nazi symbol. The influence of Azov and similar ultra-nationalist groups in Ukraine has extended well outside of its borders, spilling over into neighboring countries in Eastern Europe, while also influencing politics in Canada and even Hong Kong, where Azov extremists joined a Western-backed “color revolution” operation targeting China.

Like Azov, Protasevich has benefited from direct support from Western governments. Just as the neo-Nazi Ukrainian militia received weapons and military training from the United States in order to fight in its proxy war against Russia, Protasevich’s media career was launched by a US government-backed outlet, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, which was created by the CIA as part of an information war against Moscow.

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The banks are now the victims? Vraiment?

Billionaires’ Secretive Speculation Threatens Next Financial Meltdown (MW)

Here’s the recipe: Start with a few billionaires. Next, let them put trillions of dollars in unregulated pools of capital. Next, add a dash of pandemic speculation. What could possibly go wrong? Meet the family office, the last known vestige of the shadow financial system—and a potential cause of the next meltdown. Super-rich individuals—those with over $250 million—form these secretive offices (sometimes called “family funds”) in order to bring their wealth management, tax planning, and sometimes charitable activities under one private roof. There are now an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 family offices managing an estimated $6 trillion. For perspective, the global hedge-fund industry manages $3.6 trillion.


The spotlight is shining on family offices thanks to the sudden collapse of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital, which cost Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley $10 billion in bank losses—and plunged the value of stocks the office held by $33 billion. ‘This has to be one of the single greatest losses of personal wealth in history,’ says stock-market pro of Archegos margin call. Unlike hedge funds, family offices aren’t required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or publicly report certain option and stock positions. That’s no accident—during the 2009 Dodd-Frank financial reform after the 2008 crash, family offices successfully lobbied and fended off oversight. That lack of transparency is precisely what makes them so dangerous. Because Archegos didn’t have to disclose their highly leveraged positions, the banks that were lending to it were completely in the dark.

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How is UniCredit still a going concern in 2021? I know cats with fewer lives.

Chaos Erupts After Stiffed UniCredit Bondholders Get Fat-Fingered Payment (ZH)

Step aside Citigroup, and your erroneous $500MM transfer to Revlon bondholders: there is an even dumber “fat finger” in town. Late last week the financial world was shocked when Andrea Orcel, the new CEO of Italy’s second largest bank UniCredi, decided not to make a €30MM debt coupon payment on the grounds that the bank made a loss last year, even though investors had been assured of the cash. Then, on Tuesday, the financial world was even more shocked when the news broke that despite the bank’s decision, some bondholders said they had received notice of payment after all. And while UniCredit insists it didn’t pay it, raising Citigroup-esque dejavi questions about how the payment was made, Orcel’s calculated show of strength has “rapidly descended into a farce”, according to Bloomberg.

What happened? It all started last Friday when UniCredit made the shocking decision to skip the payment of coupons on some financial instruments, in a U-turn that sent he bond in question into a tailspin and hurt some other debt sold by Italy’s No. 2 bank. Just back in February, when presenting full-year results, Finance Chief Stefano Porro had told analysts the bank expected to pay a coupon on the legacy bond it issued over a decade ago, as well as on Additional Tier 1 bonds. But a spokesman on Friday said UniCredit would not do so after posting a 2.79 billion euro ($3.4 billion) loss last year. As Reuters noted, UniCredit has withheld coupon payments on the CASHES notes in the past after ending the year in the red, but the latest decision, taken by new Chief Executive Andrea Orcel barely a month after his arrival, took bond investors by surprise.

However, some bond investors were even more surprised when they woke up on Tuesday to find that their bank accounts had been properly debited with the required coupon payment from the UniCredit bonds. Initially there was much confusion who was responsible for the payment or where it came from, even if the confusion was understandable: the 2.98 billion euro bond’s complicated structure meany that there are several players involved, and the error could have come from any one of them. The CASHES, short for Convertible and Subordinated Hybrid Equity-Linked Securities, have different banks serving as depository and fiduciary for the instruments.

The confusion went away this morning when we learned that Euroclear – Europe’s largest bond custodian and settlement agent of securities transactions – said it had mistakenly credited client accounts with funds for a coupon payment on UniCredit bonds that the bank had decided not to honor. The flub by Euroclear added a fresh – and confusing – twist to the surprise decision by new UniCredit Chief Executive Officer Andrea Orcel not to pay the debt coupon of about 30 million euros.

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Dec 262020
 


Salvador Dali Christmas Tree 1959

 

Pfizer’s Vaccine Maximizes Profit, Not The Greater Good (Quelch)
UK Scientists Trial Drug To Prevent Infection That Leads To Covid (G.)
Rolling Out the Vaccine (Dorman)
Pfizer COVID19 Vaccine Causing More Allergic Reactions Than Expected (NYP)
Millions Wake Up To Tougher Restrictions As UK Covid Deaths Pass 70,000 (PA)
Pelosi, Democrats, UniParty and Media Spin Narrative Around COVID Relief (CTH)
Our Upside-Down Postelection World (Hanson)
Georgia Democrats Shatter Fundraising Records (DC)
Full Brexit Trade Deal ‘Goes Beyond Canada-style Accord’ (G.)
Boeing 737 Max Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Failure (ZH)
Christmas Awokenings (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

“Pfizer has cut deals at high prices with about 20 developed countries. Their government agencies can’t reject the Pfizer vaccine as too expensive because they can’t ask their frontline healthcare workers to wait for a cheaper alternative. They have to act now.”

Pfizer’s Vaccine Maximizes Profit, Not The Greater Good (Quelch)

Pfizer just inked a second deal with the federal government to supply an additional 100 million doses of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine by July 2021. This is on top of Pfizer’s earlier deal for 100 million doses, currently being shipped. At around $20 per dose, Pfizer shareholders will do nicely, and the Pfizer CEO cashed in $5.6 million in stock at the time of the FDA’s emergency use authorization. Pfizer deserves enormous credit for the speed with which its vaccine secured the Food and Drug Administration’s approval. But Pfizer’s vaccine strategy was designed from the outset to maximize shareholder profit, not the greater good. Pfizer set out to be first across the finish line and reap a public relations bonanza. That’s why it pursued an mRNA vaccine, which can be developed and manufactured much faster than traditional vaccines.

But Pfizer’s vaccine has to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius to retain its efficacy. Developing countries do not have and cannot afford such a cold chain. That means Pfizer is off the hook to provide low- or no-cost doses to billions of people in poorer nations. The Moderna vaccine, also an mRNA vaccine, was designed to require normal vaccine refrigeration at around minus 20 degrees Celsius . Note, also, that Pfizer declined U.S. government subsidies to fund its vaccine development. This preserved Pfizer’s negotiating independence, avoided bureaucratic delays and helped Pfizer get to the finish line first. Taking no subsidies enabled Pfizer to deflect any government pressure to make its vaccine available at lower cost.

There’s another problem. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses with 21- and 28-day intervals, respectively, between vaccinations. Typically, this will result in 50 percent slippage; half those who receive the first shot will not return for the second. Some will forget, others will experience side effects, and others will believe wrongly that one jab is good enough. Meanwhile, Britain’s AstraZeneca has developed an equally effective COVID-19 vaccine that requires normal refrigeration and can therefore use existing vaccine supply chains that extend to rural areas. The AstraZeneca vaccine is being sold at $2 per dose versus $20 per dose (that is, $40 per person) for Pfizer’s. AstraZeneca has pledged not to profit from COVID-19 vaccine sales and to waive patent protections. Pfizer has done neither.

Pfizer’s strategy is simple. Be first to market and make a boatload of money by “skimming the cream,” supplying vaccines to those willing to pay. Pfizer has cut deals at high prices with about 20 developed countries. Their government agencies can’t reject the Pfizer vaccine as too expensive because they can’t ask their frontline healthcare workers to wait for a cheaper alternative. They have to act now.

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“Rather than antibodies produced by the body to help fight an infection, AZD7442 uses monoclonal antibodies, which have been created in a laboratory.”

UK Scientists Trial Drug To Prevent Infection That Leads To Covid (G.)

British scientists are trialling a new drug that could prevent someone who has been exposed to coronavirus from going on to develop the disease Covid-19, which experts say could save many lives. The antibody therapy would confer instant immunity against the disease and could be given as an emergency treatment to hospital inpatients and care home residents to help contain outbreaks. People living in households where someone has caught Covid could be injected with the drug to ensure they do not become infected too. It could also be given to university students, among whom the virus has spread rapidly because they live, study and socialise together.

Dr Catherine Houlihan, a virologist at University College London Hospitals NHS trust (UCLH) who is leading a study called Storm Chaser into the drug, said: “If we can prove that this treatment works and prevent people who are exposed to the virus going on to develop Covid-19, it would be an exciting addition to the arsenal of weapons being developed to fight this dreadful virus.,” The drug has been developed by UCLH and AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that has also, along with Oxford University, created a vaccine that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is expected to approve for use in Britain next week. The team hope the trial shows that the cocktail of antibodies protects against Covid-19 for between six and 12 months. Trial participants are receiving it as two doses, one after the other.

If it is approved, it would be offered to someone who has been exposed to Covid in the previous eight days. It could be available as soon as March or April if it is approved by the medicines regulator after it has reviewed evidence from the study. The trial involves ULCH, several other British hospitals and a network of 100 sites globally. This month University College hospital became the first site in the world to recruit patients into the randomised control trial and give them the jab or a placebo. “To date we have injected 10 participants – staff, students and other people – who were exposed to the virus at home, in a healthcare setting or student halls,” said Houlihan. She and colleagues would closely follow the participants to see which of them develop Covid-19.

The immediate protection that the drug promises could play a vital role in reducing the impact of the virus until everyone has been immunised. The vaccination programme is under way using the Pfizer/BioNTech jab and is expected to take until next summer. NHS England accelerated the vaccine deployment this week after criticism from hospital bosses, GP leaders and the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt that it was taking too long. “The advantage of this medicine is that it gives you immediate antibodies,” Houlihan said. “We could say to trial participants who have been exposed: yes, you can have the vaccine. But we wouldn’t be telling them that would protect them from the disease, because it’s too late by then [because the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines do not confer full immunity for around a month].”

[..] The drug involves a long-acting antibody combination known as AZD7442, which has been developed by AstraZeneca. Rather than antibodies produced by the body to help fight an infection, AZD7442 uses monoclonal antibodies, which have been created in a laboratory. In documents on a clinical trial that AstraZeneca has registered in the US, it explains that it is investigating “the efficacy of AZD7442 for the post-exposure prophylaxis of Covid-19 in adults. The Sars-CoV-2 spike protein contains the virus’s RBD [receptor-binding domain], which enables the virus to bind to receptors on human cells. By targeting this region of the virus’s spike protein, antibodies can block the virus’s attachment to human cells, and therefore is expected to block infection.”

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“Some substantial portion of the early vaccines could be reserved for community trials. A number of communities could be given treatments in which a designated proportion of the population is vaccinated as soon as possible; this portion could be varied (30%, 50%, 70%) so that a variety of treatments could be tested.”

Rolling Out the Vaccine (Dorman)

The vaccines approved by the FDA, along with those approved by other countries like China and Russia, have gone through the fastest possible testing. Tens of thousands of individuals have been placed in control and treatment groups in order to determine two things: to what extent do the vaccines reduce the likelihood of getting infected (efficiency) and how common and severe are the side effects (safety)? Meeting both criteria is sufficient for approval, which is how it should be. But there is another crucial question, to what extent do the vaccines reduce transmission of the virus to others?

The answer does not affect whether these vaccines should be employed, but they do have large consequences for other policies during this phase of the pandemic, such as rules for separation and masking, restrictions on activities and events, resumption of in-person schooling, and how much should be spent on interventions like ventilation overhauls. To the extent that vaccination reduces transmission, other restrictions and investments can be modified as the vaccinated portion of the population increases. Unfortunately, our knowledge of this issue is minimal. We don’t have any published lab results at all, and we are at least months away from meaningful epidemiological data.

A rollout that prioritizes crucial learning could change this. Some substantial portion of the early vaccines could be reserved for community trials. A number of communities could be given treatments in which a designated proportion of the population is vaccinated as soon as possible; this portion could be varied (30%, 50%, 70%) so that a variety of treatments could be tested. Others matched to them by relevant demographic, economic and other variables would be controls and would not receive any vaccines during the trial period. (Note that the lack of blinding at the community level should not be a serious problem as long as unvaccinated individuals in treatment communities are given a convincing placebo.) Everyone living in these communities would be tested regularly. We could then observe differences between community infection rates corresponding to treatment and infer transmission probabilities under real world conditions. It might also be possible to learn how transmission varies across the different viral strains that have emerged. The entire operation could be accomplished within the space of a month or less.

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You have allergies? Stay away.

Pfizer COVID19 Vaccine Causing More Allergic Reactions Than Expected (NYP)

The chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed said the frequency of allergic reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is higher than what would be expected for other jabs, according to a report.Dr. Moncef Slaoui said the last time he was updated on allergic reactions was Tuesday, when there were six cases, and added that the data on COVID-19 immunizations is lagging behind the actual numbers, CNN reported. “That frequency, as it stood yesterday, is superior to what one would expect with other vaccines,” he said. Slaoui said discussions are underway between the vaccine makers and the National Institutes of Health to consider holding clinical trials of vaccines in very allergic populations, such as people who always have to carry anti-allergy medication in an EpiPen.

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January will be bleak.

Millions Wake Up To Tougher Restrictions As UK Covid Deaths Pass 70,000 (PA)

Millions more people will be waking to harsher coronavirus restrictions on Boxing Day when new tier changes come into force in England. New lockdowns are set to be introduced in Scotland and Northern Ireland, while restrictions that were eased for Christmas Day in Wales will be reimposed on Saturday. Those in the strict tier 4 in England will increase by 6 million to 24 million people, representing 43% of the population, in response to a more transmissible variant being discovered in the UK. It comes after the government said a further 570 died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus as of Christmas Day, taking the UK’s total deaths within 28 days of a positive test to 70,195. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 86,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.


There were also 32,725 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, bringing to 244,146 the number of positive tests in the past seven days. The new measures were being imposed against a backdrop of increasing infections, hospital admissions and a new more contagious variant in the UK which was announced last week. Areas moving into tier 4 are Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, parts of Essex not yet in the highest tier, Waverley in Surrey and Hampshire, with the exception of the New Forest. Tier-4 restrictions include a warning to stay at home, a limit on household mixing to two people outdoors and the forced closure of many shops, hairdressers and gyms.

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“In essence Trump is asking for a stand alone COVID relief bill for $2k/person, then drop the $600/person payment out of the pork-laden COVID relief bill and start that economic relief bill over.”

Pelosi, Democrats, UniParty and Media Spin Narrative Around COVID Relief (CTH)

There has been a great deal of political narrative engineering/fabrication surrounding President Trump’s admonitions to congress about a pork-filled COVID relief package. With a budgetary “shut-down” date looming on Monday, let’s look at the issues. First, there’s no such thing as a federal government “shut-down”; the only thing that happens if with a budgetary date exceeded is “non essential” government employees told to stay home (reference the prior “sequestration” nonsense). Second, the jaw-droppingly tone-deaf and pork-filled scheme of spending within the $900 billion COVID relief package is disconnected from the Omnibus spending bill ($1.5 trillion) that was combined into a single legislative construct for convenience only.

The Omnibus bill (non budget spending/allocation) and the COVID bill can be separated, because they are technically separate bills. President Trump wants congress to re-write the $900 billion COVID bill to provide $2,000 per person instead of $600 per person. In essence Trump is asking for a stand alone COVID relief bill for $2k/person, then drop the $600/person payment out of the pork-laden COVID relief bill and start that economic relief bill over. This is not a hard issue to resolve. The only reason UniParty congress is fighting Trump is because their lobbyist and foreign government bribes are part of the $900 billion and will not pass the scrutiny of public opinion if standing alone.

To try and conflate the issues Pelosi changed on part of the pork-laden COVID bill to $2k/person, without removing all the pork. The GOP voted against that scheme and the media are now claiming that loggerhead derails the omnibus part of the spending “package”. Again, Omnibus is separate from COVID relief. The obtuse arguments are conflated and false. The Omnibus spending bill can be sent to POTUS without the COVID part included. The reason why McConnell and Pelosi want to keep them attached is because the combination makes a 5,500 page mess that hides the pork.

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“Why ask a president whether he is a traitor or a crook when you can focus on his favorite flavor of milkshake or compliment him on his socks?”

Our Upside-Down Postelection World (Hanson)

After Nov. 3, the meaning of some words and concepts abruptly changed. Have you noticed how new realities have replaced old ones? Media cross-examination of the president is now an out-of-date idea. The time for gotcha questions has come and gone. Why ask a president whether he is a traitor or a crook when you can focus on his favorite flavor of milkshake or compliment him on his socks? The old pre-election truth was that new vaccines take years to develop. The new postelection truth is that it’s no big deal to bring out new vaccines in nine months. Impeaching a first-term president after his first midterm election — on a strictly partisan vote, for political reasons other than the Constitution’s “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” — is now a terrible idea.

Worse would be to appoint a special counsel to harass a president on unfounded charges of collusion with China. An even scarier notion would be a conservative dream team of partisan lawyers hounding President Joe Biden — using a 22-month, $40 million blank check. It would be unprofessional for university psychologists and physicians from a distance to diagnose, in pop fashion, the mental faculties of a President Biden. Certainly, there would never be talk about Department of Justice officials contemplating wearing a wire as part of an entrapment scheme to remove a President Biden through the 25th Amendment. That would almost constitute a coup attempt. Almost as bad would be for the holdover FBI director to start “memorializing” his private conversations with Joe Biden on FBI devices. He might then leak such memos to the press — just in case he were to be fired for secretly investigating Biden for “Chinese collusion” and then lying about such a probe.

What happened to the Logan Act? Not long ago it was assumed to be a critically needed guardrail. Wouldn’t it now ensure that presidential transition team members were not calling foreign leaders while Donald Trump is still president? How has it suddenly become a defunct, ossified relic? Leaking classified material would be about the worst thing government officials could do. Imagine if a Trump holdover, burrowed into the new Biden administration, released a transcript of Biden’s private conversations with the Mexican president or the Australian prime minister. Such a breach of trust would be almost as bad as a turncoat anti-Biden mole seeking to resist presidential directives. Imagine if this anonymous staffer were given an op-ed in the New York Tines to claim that a cadre of old-time Democrats were shocked by Biden’s cognitive decline and resisting his directives.

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$100 million for a Senate seat. Inflation much?

Georgia Democrats Shatter Fundraising Records (DC)

Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock have each raised over $100 million in the past two months, shattering Senate fundraising records and out-raising their respective challengers, Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Their $210 million total was split almost evenly, with Ossoff reporting $106.8 million and Warnock reporting $103.4 million, two totals funded largely by small-dollar donors across the country, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Though outraised, Perdue and Loeffler raised over $130 million in total, reporting $68 and $64.1 million, respectively. All four totals broke the previous Senate fundraising record set by South Carolina challenger Jaime Harrison in the third quarter of 2020 when he reported raising $57 million in his bid against South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.


Ossoff and Warnock have spent $67 and $53 million on television advertisements since the November election, compared to $34 million and $36 million for Perdue and Loeffler. But while the two Democrats have outspent both incumbents, outside GOP groups have erased much of their financial edge, Politico reported. Georgia’s two Senate runoffs have become almost completely nationalized given their stakes. If Democrats flip both seats then they would have 50 seats, just enough for a majority with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote. If Republicans, however, can defend both seats, then they would have a 52-48 Senate majority, which would prevent Democratic control of Congress and the White House and likely block much of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda once he takes office in January.

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1,246 pages.

Full Brexit Trade Deal ‘Goes Beyond Canada-style Accord’ (G.)

The post-Brexit trade deal agreed by the UK and the European Union goes beyond the bloc’s so-called “Canada-style” trade accord, the BBC has reported, citing a full copy of the agreement. The 1,246-page document, which includes about 800 pages of annexes and footnotes, includes a late compromise on electric cars, the corporation said. The EU had sought to offer tariff-free access only to those British vehicles that are made mostly with European parts. This measure will now be phased in over six years but is less generous than the UK requested. The BBC also reported there is a commitment not to lower standards on the environment, workers’ rights and climate change with mechanisms to enforce it.

However there is also a mutual right to “rebalance” the agreement if there are “significant divergences” in future that are capable of “impacting trade”. The dispensations go beyond standard free-trade agreements such as those between the EU and Canada or Japan, reflecting the UK’s history in the single market which was established in 1993. Johnson had described the agreement, which was reached on Christmas Eve, as a “jumbo” free trade deal along the lines of that between the EU and Canada and urged Britain to move on from the divisions caused by the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The BBC reported that restrictions compensation for unfair subsidies to companies “do not apply” in situations such as natural disasters which will exempt the EU’s large current pandemic support package for aviation, aerospace, climate change and electric cars. Parliament will debate and vote on the deal on Wednesday, a day before the transition period lapses. Downing Street has thus far published only a short summary of the agreement that sets out the shape of the future relationship between the EU and Brussels.

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Make it stop!

Boeing 737 Max Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Failure (ZH)

Last month, commercial flights with Boeing 737 Max jetliners resumed after a 20-month worldwide grounding, following two deadly accidents. Now we’re finding out, weeks later, after the Max was cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to return to the skies safely, an Air Canada Boeing 737-8 Max suffered engine issues during flight. According to Aviation24.be, an Air Canada Boeing 737-8 MAX (registered C-FSNQ) was on a test flight after storage from Marana Pinal, Arizona, to Montreal, Canada, when the incident occurred. Luckily, the aircraft had no passengers and only three crew members.


Engine issues shortly developed after the plane took off. The crew noticed the “left engine had low hydraulic pressure,” said Aviation24.be. Then more complications developed with the aircraft: “The crew and airline dispatch/engineering controllers initially decided to continue to Montreal but the crew received an indication of a fuel imbalance from the left-hand wing and shut the left hand engine down,” said the aviation website. The crew was forced to declare a “PAN-PAN” emergency, meaning the plane was in severe jeopardy and had to divert from its pre-planned flight route and land in Tucson. The incident took place on Dec. 22, according to Aviation24.be.

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“In short, the self-demolition of America was fait accompli.”

Christmas Awokenings (Jim Kunstler)

And so, on Christmas morning, having suffered the night visitations of vexing spirits — or was that just the strange interaction of Zyprexa and Zolpidem — Joe Biden woke up (in a manner of speaking) to find himself transformed. He was no longer dogged by the prospect of being president of the US, but, rather, was convinced he had become the provincial plenipotentiary of a Chinese overseas possession known as Golden Wok West, where CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping can order up any asset for take-out. What a relief, Joe thought, as they brought in his morning meds. Here, now, was a one-horse pony of a different color, Joe mused, chugging down his 5mg of Haldol.

Ol’ Joe went to bed on the blessed silent night fretting that soon he’d have to answer to all those caterwauling losers about to be tossed from their McHouses and apartments after nearly a year of nonpayment. But no, the shabby dwellings would now just become the property of the People’s Liberation Army, as that very fine organization prepared to sort things out in the flea market once known as America.

Was there anything left of value? Wasn’t that a puzzlement? The former so-called Yang-kees had squandered all their laid-up treasure turning their continent into a demolition derby — six-laners lined by muffler shops, chain stores, and fried food shacks — and when all their financial resources were used up, they’d borrowed so much more money that all the certified public accountants who ever lived could not keep up with the compounded interest calculations if they worked double-shifts until the end of time. In short, the self-demolition of America was fait accompli.

Now, all that was left for Joe Biden to do was to sign some paperwork and, maybe three times a week, emerge from his basement to smile and explain to eager members of the inquisitive news media why he preferred General Tso’s Chicken over Hunan Beef. At least that’s how things seemed to shake out in Joe Biden’s brain on Christmas morning as Dr. Jill helped him to the bathroom….

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