Jan 142022
 


Caravaggio Adoration of the Shepherds 1609

 

Clinical Outcomes Among Patients Infected With Omicron (medRxiv)
Omicron 91% Less Likely To Be Fatal Compared To Delta: CDC Study (NYP)
Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s OSHA Vaxx Mandate (ZH)
Not Surprising, And Deserved By All (Denninger)
Rand Paul Labels Fauci ‘Juvenile Political Creature’ For Playing The Victim (SN)
Dr. Oz Calls Fauci A ‘Petty Tyrant,’ Challenges Him To Debate (Hill)
Florida Family Fighting for Ivermectin: Appeals Court Expedites Case (ET)
Do Antigen Tests Work If You Are Asymptomatic? (Kirsch)
Why DID The Science Establishment Try So Hard To Silence Lab Leak Theory? (DM)
Dems’ Voting Bill Is ‘Crass Power Grab’ By ‘Clown Car’ Running DC (JTN)
“Mother Of All” Supply Chain Shocks Looms As China Locks Down Ports (ZH)
What The West Gets Wrong About Putin (Malmgren)
US Envoy In Europe Says ‘Drumbeat Of War Is Sounding Loud’ (Hill)

 

 

The most vaccinated state in the Union:

 

NHS nurse

 

 

Lord Frost
https://twitter.com/i/status/1481574856827232258

 

 

First time (?!) I see a science report claim deaths from Omicron. Well, sort of:

“Rates of ICU admission and mortality after an outpatient positive test were 0.26 (0.10-0.73) and 0.09 (0.01-0.75) fold as high among cases with Omicron variant infection ..”

We now have 1 case reported in UK, 1 case US (debunked), 1 case Israel (no evidence), and yesterday 1 case in Greece, “with” Omicron.

As case numbers have gone up 5 fold everywhere. If Omicron is at all capable of killing people, we should have seen a lot more reports like these. We do not.

Clinical Outcomes Among Patients Infected With Omicron (medRxiv)

Background: The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2 has rapidly achieved global dissemination, accounting for most infections in the United States by December 2021. Risk of severe outcomes associated with Omicron infections, as compared to earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants, remains unclear.

Methods: We analyzed clinical and epidemiologic data from cases testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection within the Kaiser Permanente Southern California healthcare system from November 30, 2021 to January 1, 2022, using S gene target failure (SGTF) as assessed by the ThermoFisher TaqPath ComboKit assay as a proxy for Omicron infection. We fit Cox proportional hazards models to compare time to any hospital admission and hospital admissions associated with new-onset respiratory symptoms, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, and mortality among cases with Omicron and Delta (non-SGTF) variant infections. We fit parametric competing risk models to compare lengths of hospital stay among admitted cases with Omicron and Delta variant infections.

Results: Our analyses included 52,297 cases with SGTF (Omicron) and 16,982 cases with non-SGTF (Delta [B.1.617.2]) infections, respectively. Hospital admissions occurred among 235 (0.5%) and 222 (1.3%) of cases with Omicron and Delta variant infections, respectively. Among cases first tested in outpatient settings, the adjusted hazard ratios for any subsequent hospital admission and symptomatic hospital admission associated with Omicron variant infection were 0.48 (0.36-0.64) and 0.47 (0.35-0.62), respectively. Rates of ICU admission and mortality after an outpatient positive test were 0.26 (0.10-0.73) and 0.09 (0.01-0.75) fold as high among cases with Omicron variant infection as compared to cases with Delta variant infection. Zero cases with Omicron variant infection received mechanical ventilation, as compared to 11 cases with Delta variant infections throughout the period of follow-up (two-sided p<0.001). Median duration of hospital stay was 3.4 (2.8-4.1) days shorter for hospitalized cases with Omicron variant infections as compared to hospitalized patients with Delta variant infections, reflecting a 69.6% (64.0-74.5%) reduction in hospital length of stay.

Conclusions: During a period with mixed Delta and Omicron variant circulation, SARS-CoV-2 infections with presumed Omicron variant infection were associated with substantially reduced risk of severe clinical endpoints and shorter durations of hospital stay.

Read more …

There we go again: “..just one of the 52,297 people infected with Omicron died..”.

Really? Where is the case description? Where are the details? It would be so unique that surely it would make headlines.

Walensky gives it away:

“We MAY see deaths from Omicron but I suspect that the deaths that we’re seeing now are still from Delta. ”

Omicron 91% Less Likely To Be Fatal Compared To Delta: CDC Study (NYP)

Omicron poses a “substantially reduced risk” of serious illness compared to Delta — and is more than 90 percent less likely to kill those infected, according to a federally funded study. The study, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Wednesday, said it proved “compelling evidence of an intrinsically less severe infection” from the variant that currently accounts for 90 percent of cases in the US. The evaluation of more than 70,000 infected Californians saw those with Omicron less than half as likely to need hospitalization as those with Delta — and about 75 percent less likely to need intensive care. Those hospitalized also needed to stay approximately 70 percent less time, with a median treatment time of 1.5 days compared to five days for those with the previous dominant variant.


Even though the study looked at three times as many people with Omicron, none of them needed to go on a ventilator in the hospital — compared to 11 in the far smaller group with Delta. Most encouragingly, just one of the 52,297 people infected with Omicron died — a reduction of 91 percent compared to 14 deaths in the 16,982 studied with Delta. It did not say how old those who died were, or if they were vaccinated. CDC director Rochelle Walensky told reporters that it likely means the recent increase in deaths is a lagging effect of the Delta variant, not the one rapidly replacing it. “We may see deaths from Omicron but I suspect that the deaths that we’re seeing now are still from Delta,” Walensky revealed.

Read more …

Threatening people’s lives and livelihoods over taking medicines, experimental or not, has always been a no-go. SCOTUS should not be needed for that. And they still leave the mandate for healthcare workers in place.

Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s OSHA Vaxx Mandate (ZH)

Despite the misinformation spewed forth by Justice Sotomayor, The US Supreme Court has blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test rule for US businesses, but allows vaccine mandate for most health care workers. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) argue against the Department of Labor, in the Court’s first hearing, that: “OSHA’s sweeping regulatory dictate,” will “irreparably injure the very businesses that Americans have counted on to widely distribute COVID-19 vaccines and protective equipment to save lives—and to keep them fed, clothed, and sustained during this now two-year-long pandemic.” The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule would have required 80 million workers to get shots or periodic tests. The OSHA ruling vote was 6-3 with Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan in dissent.

“Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life – simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock – would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.” Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, said during arguments that he thinks it’s hard to argue that the 1970 law governing OSHA “gives free reign to the agencies to enact such broad regulation.” The court allowed a separate rule to take effect requiring shots for workers in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments from the federal government (which will be interesting given that California just allowed COVID positive healthcare workers to go back to work).

The vaccine mandate for healthcare workers vote was 5-4 with Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Barrett in dissent, which means Roberts and Kavanaugh joined liberal justices in allowing the HHS mandate on healthcare workers to stand. So with over 1 million COVID cases per day, record high inflation, Sinema blew out the filibuster, record low approval rating, and now his vaxx mandate in tatters, this seems to sum things up rather well… “This must be Biden’s worst day in office.”

Read more …

Karl is overdoing the I told you so. At some point, it gets ugly.

Not Surprising, And Deserved By All (Denninger)

The OSHA ruling got blown up by the Supremes, 6-3 as I expected. This leaves all the private-sector employers who issued mandates in front of it fully exposed for any and all bad side effects. I expect the lawsuits to start imminently and they will bankrupt plenty of people. Good. I hope every single virtue-signaling CEO and HR Karen gets in the ass. They deserve it. “OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the *****–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here.” Exactly and as I noted the Senate explicitly declined to approve such a measure in the last couple of months and in fact explicitly disapproved it.

Yes, it went nowhere in the House as expected but you need both houses of Congress to concur when it comes to an authority. I said this would get official notice by The Supremes and it did. “In fact, the most noteworthy action concerning the ******* mandate by either House of Congress has been a majority vote of the Senate disapproving the regulation on December 8, 2021. S. J. Res. 29, 117th Cong., 1st Sess. (2021).” With the Senate explicitly disavowing same and nothing in the Congressional Record nor acts over the last two years this was clearly doomed and died a well-deserved death. Now onto CMS. Here I predicted the most-likely outcome was a split decision upholding the mandate in nursing homes and other non-consensual situations.

What we got was a 5-4 upholding it on technical grounds and, having read the opinion, you won’t like why it happened. Let’s be blunt: You ****ed yourself, America, and you deserve this outcome. You put the Federal Government in charge of what it pays for when it comes to medical care. You let them, not you or your doctor, make those decisions. You have in fact cheered this on and allowed it. You even allowed it when Trump promised to stop it during the campaign, along with all of its corruption, and then on election night all three planks dealing with the medical monopolies, which were a mere start, disappeared and yet fully half the nation continued to suck his dick.

[..] Actions — and deliberate inactions — have consequences. I don’t like the outcome but it wasn’t illogical considering what was argued and what we, the people have permitted and set in motion over the last three decades. The solicitors on the State side failed to argue that (1) these are experimental injections and (2) as of now they don’t even ****ing work and even Pfizer’s CEO admits it.

Read more …

“Does he not realise I have people arrested once every month or two who have threatened to attack me, plus I have been attacked, and he’s going to come and blame his attacks on me?”

Rand Paul Labels Fauci ‘Juvenile Political Creature’ For Playing The Victim (SN)

Following the explosive latest exchange between Rand Paul and Anthony Fauci Tuesday, Fauci ran to CNN and MSNBC to complain more about how the Senator is attacking him for his own political gain, prompting Paul to label the NIAID head “juvenile”. On Chris Hayes’ show Fauci, stated “What you saw at the hearing today was pure ad hominem. And I called him [Paul] out because that’s exactly what he’s doing: he’s raising money.” Note that during the hearing Fauci did not present any evidence to counter Paul’s claims that the NIAID Director has continually lied under oath and has actively attempted to shut down scientists and doctors who disagree with him. Fauci attempted to shift the narrative to personal attacks against him.

Appearing on Fox News, Paul shot back, claiming that Fauci is now going even beyond saying he ‘is science’ and cannot be questioned, by suggesting that questioning him is encouraging violence. “It was a cheap shot by a politician, not a scientist,” Paul said, further noting “he’s blaming me for a death threat, but when [Republican members of Congress] were shot at by a Bernie Sanders supporter [in 2017], not one Republican stood up and said, oh, this is Bernie Sanders’s fault”. “We were not juvenile enough to do that,” Paul continued, adding “But he [Fauci] came to the hearing today and accused me of somehow inciting some lunatic person.” Paul further urged, “Does he not realise I have people arrested once every month or two who have threatened to attack me, plus I have been attacked, and he’s going to come and blame his attacks on me?”

“I think he has lied to the American public. I think that he funded the lab in Wuhan that in all likelihood this virus came from. I think he as ignored natural immunity. I think he has told people to wear a cloth mask when they don’t work,” Paul emphasised. In a further appearance, Paul said of Fauci “He didn’t answer the question why is he smearing these three doctors? I’m proud of the fact people go to RandPaul.com raising money to fire Fauci because he is a menace.” “Everything he said has been incorrect. And I think he is part of the problem, Paul continued, adding “Even from the very beginning the fact that this virus came from a lab in Wuhan he has denied it and worked to cover it up and denigrated anybody who raises this question as a conspiracy theorist.”

Read more …

I wouldn’t trust Oz at the far end of a ten foot pole, and this makes me think his campaign team is looking for -cheap- publicity, whether over the back of Fauci, or that of Rand Paul.

Dr. Oz Calls Fauci A ‘Petty Tyrant,’ Challenges Him To Debate (Hill)

GOP Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, more commonly known as “Dr. Oz” from his TV program “The Dr. Oz Show,” called infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci a “petty tyrant” and challenged him to a debate on COVID-19. “It’s past time Fauci faces the fact that he got COVID wrong. So, doctor to doctor – let’s debate. This Doctor is in, are you?” Oz said in a tweet Thursday while posting a campaign ad attacking Fauci. “Let’s get the facts straight here. You and me. Let’s have a debate, doctor to doctor, and give the American people the truth about COVID-19. I’m game. Anytime. Anywhere. Dr. Fauci, are you in?” Oz said in the campaign video.


Fauci has been under attack by Republicans throughout the pandemic, as many in the party disagree with how the country’s leading infectious diseases expert has guided the U.S. through the coronavirus. Oz said on Newsmax on Thursday that he wants to debate Fauci on vaccine mandates, natural immunity from COVID-19 infections and delays with drugs such as monoclonal antibodies. “He is a petty tyrant. He got COVID wrong. He continues to get it wrong,” Oz told the outlet, noting that “doctors like me” think Fauci has not managed the pandemic correctly.

Read more …

Mayo Clinic would rather have people die than give in. That redefines “shameless”.

Florida Family Fighting for Ivermectin: Appeals Court Expedites Case (ET)

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal has expedited the process to decide a lawsuit filed by the family of a COVID-19 patient on a ventilator at a Jacksonville hospital. Attorneys for Mayo Clinic Florida have until 10 a.m. Jan. 13 to respond to the appeal filed by the family of 70-year-old Daniel Pisano. Then the family’s attorneys will have until Jan. 14 to file additional arguments. At that time, a three-panel judge could be appointed to decide the case. Mayo Clinic has said Pisano, who has been on a ventilator 22 days, has a slim chance of survival. But an outside doctor, who is not affiliated with Mayo Clinic, testified in an emergency hearing Dec. 30 that there’s still a good chance to save him—although there’s no time to delay, the physician said.

In a desperate attempt to save their loved one, the Pisano family has begged Mayo Clinic to try a protocol widely used by independent physicians around the country and developed by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. Mayo Clinic officials have refused and attorneys have fought the family’s wishes vigorously in court. Claudia Pisano, Daniel Pisano’s wife of 51 years, and their son, Chris, have power of attorney and legally have the right to ask for the treatment of their choice, their attorneys have argued. But Daniel Pisano is declining fast and running out of time, they say. The family’s trusted doctor, Dr. Eduardo Balbona of Jacksonville, testified that in order to save him the hospital must quickly allow treatment—with ivermectin and other drugs and supplements—he’s used to help dozens of critically ill COVID-19 patients recover.

Being on the ventilator is doing harm to Pisano and other patients fighting COVID-19, Balbona testified. After considering the testimony in the three-hour hearing, Judge Marianne Aho, of Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit, denied the family’s plea to force Mayo Clinic doctors to step aside and let Balbona treat their dying loved one. Aho wrote, “An individual’s right to privacy is one of self-determination, the right to accept or refuse. It is not a right to demand a particular treatment. It is not a right to substitute one’s judgment as to which treatments must be made available by others. There is no right, constitutional or otherwise, of a patient to substitute one’s judgment for a medical professional.” The family disagrees saying the Florida Patient’s Bill of Rights gives them the right to choose between treatment options and they’ve offered to release Mayo Clinic from all liability in following through with that care. They filed an appeal Jan. 9.

Read more …

Stop testing healthy people.

Do Antigen Tests Work If You Are Asymptomatic? (Kirsch)

Here’s what you need to know about antigen rapid tests: 1/ In general, each test brand will test for a specific antigen. They may or may not tell you which antigen they detect. 2/ Each brand has a different sensitivity. For low sensitivity tests, it will be fruitless to test if you are not symptomatic because it will almost certainly be negative. It would be nice if they correlated the results with PCR cycle thresholds, but those are non-standard as well. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there are no standards to inform you on 1 and 2 above. There is no “reference standard” that they compare to.


This of course means that you can be wasting serious money taking tests when you are asymptomatic because the certain brands will never be positive if you are asymptomatic. I want to thank Dr. Byram Bridle for pointing this out to me. They really should tell you, “Hey, if you aren’t symptomatic, don’t bother to take our test.” The manufacturers are never going to tell you that (since they aren’t required to), but I thought you should know.

Read more …

How about a Special Counsel?

Why DID The Science Establishment Try So Hard To Silence Lab Leak Theory? (DM)

There are now two core questions over the birth of this pandemic: did Covid emerge through some kind of scientific mishap or through natural transmission from animals? And why did the science establishment work so hard to silence dissident voices? Indeed, it seems incredible that not only does Farrar remain in a job in which he directs so much crucial medical research, but even saw his annual salary rise by £28,000 to £512,000 last year, according to latest accounts. For Sir Jeremy is a pivotal figure in the sequence of secretive events that followed the emergence of a new disease in Wuhan in late 2019. Many of the growing concerns revolve around a secretive teleconference Farrar led on February 1 2020, as fears over the emerging pandemic exploded.

And the more we learn through leaks, freedom of information requests, interviews and tenacious investigations, the more it smacks of an establishment conspiracy to stifle debate over high-risk science – ironically by accusing those who challenge the consensus of being conspiracy theorists. The call involved the two most influential scientists in America – controversial presidential adviser Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Francis Collins, then head of the US major funding body financially supporting high-risk research into bat coronaviruses conducted in Wuhan – plus 11 experts including Sir Patrick Vallance, our government’s chief scientific adviser. We know from Farrar’s book and previous email disclosures that several key participants, including Farrar, were concerned the deadly new virus was linked to research in Wuhan, home to several labs carrying out research into bat coronaviruses.

One Australian-based virologist said he was ‘80 per cent sure this thing had come out of a lab’ while another key participant was ‘60 to 70 per cent’ convinced. After their hour-long discussion, Farrar remained uncertain, saying ‘this will remain grey unless there is access to the Wuhan lab’. Yet, following that call and the airing of those views, the scientists’ public stance changed with bizarre speed for such a vexatious scientific conundrum – especially given the lack of data from Wuhan or any assistance from Beijing. They began publishing punchy statements dismissing lab leaks in the most prestigious science journals, some of which have extensive commercial ties to China. And they were backed by patsy politicians and supine journalists, whose hostility was inflamed by then President Donald Trump’s allegations about the ‘China virus’.

The result was this vital debate was set back at least a year. Farrar and two other Wellcome Trust experts signed a key statement in the Lancet medical journal praising Chinese efforts to tackle the disease while saying they ‘strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid does not have a natural origin’. It later emerged the article was covertly organised within days of the call by Peter Daszak, a British scientist whose New York organisation funnelled US funds to research partners at Wuhan Institute of Virology, China’s top biosafety lab. Farrar also quietly assisted five scientists, four of whom were on that call, to write a commentary in Nature Medicine that firmly stated the authors ‘do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible’. This hugely-influential statement has been accessed 5.62 million times and cited by more than 2,000 academic papers.

Read more …

Come for the headline, stay for the content.

Dems’ Voting Bill Is ‘Crass Power Grab’ By ‘Clown Car’ Running DC (JTN)

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a proponent of election integrity reform, said Wednesday that the bills currently making their way through Congress that are designed to federalize elections are part of “the same clown car that has driven this constitutional republic to a disastrous edge.” He made the comments following President Joe Biden’s and Vice President Kamala Harris’ speeches on Tuesday in Georgia regarding Democrats’ voting legislation. Blackwell, former mayor of Cincinnati, told the John Solomon Reports podcast Wednesday that the Democrats’ election bills are “a crass power grab by the … clown car that is now running Washington, D.C.”

After listing the Biden administration’s unpopular policies and political failures, such as “soaring inflation” and the supply chain crisis, Blackwell explained how the Democrats want to unconstitutionally federalize elections. “[E]lections take place at the local level, in a decentralized way, because, one, that is where you have transparency, that’s where you have familiarity, that’s where you have buy-in,” he said. “And if you start to take it away from states and localities, you run the risk of the same clown car that has driven this constitutional republic to a disastrous edge taking control of our elections. It won’t stand.”

Blackwell criticized Democrats for their inconsistency on showing ID to vote versus providing proof of vaccination as Washington, D.C.’s vaccine mandate — which includes showing a vaccine card and photo ID at venues such as restaurants and gyms — goes into effect Saturday. Regarding voter ID, he said, “To equate these common-sense reforms that states are putting in place to ensure the integrity of the election system as being a throwback to Jim Crow is an insult to all Americans, especially those in the African-American community.”

Read more …

Zero covid will mean zero supplies.

“Mother Of All” Supply Chain Shocks Looms As China Locks Down Ports (ZH)

Over the past month, as Wall Street turned increasingly optimistic on US growth alongside the Fed, with consensus (shaped by the Fed’s leaks and jawboning) now virtually certain of a March rate hike, we have been repeatedly warning that after a huge policy error in 2021 when the Fed erroneously said that inflation is “transitory” (it wasn’t), the central bank is on pace to make another just as big policy mistake in 2022 by hiking as many as 4 times and also running off its massive balance sheet… right into a global growth slowdown.


And, as we have also discussed in recent weeks, one place where this growth slowdown is emerging – besides the upcoming deterioration in US consumption where spending is now being funded to record rates by credit cards before it encounters a troubling air pocket – is China and its “covid-zero” policy in general, and its covid-locked down ports in particular. But what until recently was a minority view confined to our modest website, has since expanded and as Bloomberg writes overnight, the effects of restrictions in China as the country maintains its Covid-zero policy “are starting to hit supply chains in the region.” As a result of the slow movement of goods through some of the country’s busiest and most important ports means shippers are now diverting to Shanghai, causing the types of knock-on delays at the world’s biggest container port that led to massive congestion bottlnecks last summer that eventually translated into a record number of container ships waiting off the coast of California, a glut that hasn’t been cleared to this day.

With sailing schedules already facing delays of about a week, freight forwarders warn of the impact on already back-logged gateways in Europe and the US and is also why HSBC economists are warning that the world economy could be headed for the “mother of all” supply chain shocks if the highly infectious omicron variant which is already swamping much of the global economy spreads across Asia, especially China, at which point disruption to manufacturing will be inevitable. “Temporary, one would hope, but hugely disruptive all the same” in the next few months, they wrote in a research note this week first noted by Bloomberg. For those who have forgotten last year’s global shockwave when China locked down its ports for several days, a quick reminder: it led to an unprecedented hiccup in global logistics and shipping which hasn’t been resolved to this day. That’s because China is the world’s biggest trading nation and its ability to keep its factories humming through the pandemic has been crucial for global supply chains.

Read more …

Disappointing. Advisor to 3 different presidents, Malmgren, tells me nothing I don’t already know about Putin. And he doesn’t appear to say what it is the west gets wrong.

What The West Gets Wrong About Putin (Malmgren)

In 1999, Vladimir Putin suddenly sprang from bureaucratic obscurity to the office of Prime Minister. When, a few months later, Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned and Putin was voted in as President, governments around the world were taken by surprise yet again. How could this unknown figure have amassed national voter support with so little media attention? I had first met Putin seven years before and was not surprised by his rapid domination of the new Russia. We were introduced by Yevgeny Primakov, widely known as “Russia’s Kissinger”, who I had met in Moscow multiple times during the Cold War years when I advised Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. Primakov was a no-nonsense thinker and writer. He was also a special emissary for the Kremlin in conducting secret discussions with national leaders around the world.

When Yeltsin tasked his advisor Anatoly Sobchak with identifying and recruiting Russia’s best and brightest, Putin, then a local politician in his hometown of St Petersburg, was top of his list — so Primakov took Putin under his wing to tutor him in global power and security issues. Eventually, Primakov introduced Kissinger to Putin, and they became close. That both Primakov and Kissinger took time to coach Putin on geopolitics and geosecurity was a clear demonstration that they saw in him the characteristics of a powerful leader. It also showed Putin’s capacity for listening to lengthy lessons on geopolitics — as I was soon to learn.

In 1992, I received a call from a meeting organiser at the CSIS think tank inviting me to join a US-Russia St Petersburg Commission to be chaired by Kissinger and Sobchak. The purpose would be to help the new Russian leadership in opening channels of business and banking with the West. Most of the Western members would be CEOs of major US and European companies, as well as key officials of the new Russian government. I would attend as an expert. I was told that a “Mr Primakov” had personally asked if I could make time to participate. I could hardly refuse such a request, and I was intensely curious about the emerging Russian leadership, especially about Putin.

Arriving at the first meeting, I saw several people gathered around Kissinger and a man I was told was Putin. An official identified himself to me and said he had been asked by Primakov to introduce me to Putin. He interrupted the conversation with Kissinger to announce my arrival; Putin warmly responded that he was looking forward to chatting with me about how I see the world from inside Washington. We spoke on several occasions between meetings, and he arranged to sit next to me at a dinner, accompanied by his interpreter. At that dinner, he asked me: “What is the single most important obstacle between your Western businessmen and my fellow Russians in starting up business connections?”

Read more …

The neocons are with Biden now.

US Envoy In Europe Says ‘Drumbeat Of War Is Sounding Loud’ (Hill)

Washington’s envoy in Europe on Thursday issued a stark warning of war in Eastern Europe amid Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s border but said the U.S. and the majority of its allies support ongoing dialogue to tamp down tensions. “We’re facing a crisis in European security. The drumbeat of war is sounding loud, and the rhetoric has gotten rather shrill,” said Michael Carpenter, the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Carpenter spoke with reporters following a meeting of the OSCE focused on advancing diplomacy between the U.S., Europe and Russia, the conclusion of an extraordinary session of three diplomatic meetings on the continent this week and in response to Russian military provocations.


“There’s close to 100,000 troops on the Russian side of its border with Ukraine. Their presence and the live fire measures being carried out are raising many questions about Moscow’s intention,” Carpenter said. The OSCE meeting, which took place in Vienna on Thursday, was the first inaugural permanent council meeting of 2022 but was overtaken by discussions surrounding Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s border. Both nations are members of the security group. It was the first time Russian and Ukrainian officials met in person to discuss what Moscow calls its security concerns and followed bilateral talks between the U.S. and Russia in Geneva on Monday and between Russia and NATO on Wednesday in Brussels.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Aftter an 8-hour shift wearing a properly fittted N95 mask:

 

 

 

The only half mask that works, according to Steve Kirsch.

 

 

 

Carson

 

 

 

 

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Jan 102022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The Adoration of the Magi 1634

 

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

 

 

 

 

Occam Omicron

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Walensky

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pierre Kory’s ongoing battle with pharmacists.

Saturday Night Fight.. At The Pharmacy (Kory)

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

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

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

Bartiromo/Kory

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

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

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

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

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

McCullough Denmark

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Brought to you by Pfizer.

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

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

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

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

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Enormous amounts of photos on Twitter.

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

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


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

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“Sundance” with a closer look.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(5) The absence of non-seasonal products.

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

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

(8) Absence of large container products

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

(10) Big brand shortage.

(11) Shortage of wet pet foods

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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


Vincent van Gogh Road menders at Saint-Remy 1889

 

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

 

 

 

 

Vaccine hesitancy

 

 

 

 

Massie

 

 

 

 

A Bloomberg piece without a paywall for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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From October 2021

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where Do You Stand? (Jim Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

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

They KNOW And LIKE IT (Denninger)

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

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

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

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

Appeals Court Reinstates Biden Vaccine Mandate For Business (JTN)

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

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

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

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Too many hold-outs.

Companies, Organizations Are Walking Back Vaccination Requirements (ET)

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

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

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

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

Boeing Suspends Vaccine Mandate For Employees (JTN)

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

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

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

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Every plan so far has failed.

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

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


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

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Just 18 more months to flatten the curve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kremlin Discusses Potential Putin-Musk Meeting (RT)

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


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

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Donziger

Maddow, Tucker, Assange

 

 

 

 

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

 

Oct 172021
 


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Triumph of Death 1562

 

A Desperate Biden Administration Turns to Terrorism (Daniel McAdams)
Horse-Bleep (Rescue)
The Antiviral Effects of Ivermectin on RNA Viruses (Nature)
Appeals Court Refuses to Stop Maine Vaccine Mandate (ET)
Covid Vaccine Stand-off Between Chicago Mayor, Police Hits Courts (Y!)
Alarm Bells Ringing Over Poor Greek Vax Rate (K.)
IMDB Steps In To Prop Up Audience Rating Of Fauci Documentary (JTN)
DHS Seeks To Track Biometric Data Of Workers (JTN)
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State (Taibbi)
Relentless Retail Inventory Squeeze amid Shortages & Supply Chain Chaos (WS)
Stella Moris On Her Secret Family With Julian Assange (G.)

 

 


Bare Shelves Biden

 

 

RIP
https://twitter.com/i/status/1449207395926745092

 

 

Daniel is Ron Paul’s right hand man.

A Desperate Biden Administration Turns to Terrorism (Daniel McAdams)

For Americans watching the shocking re-Nazification of Germany – where once again the ability to even buy food depends on a person’s physiological/medical status – it may be tempting to downplay the re-emergence of a nasty German political virus and scoff that, “it can’t happen here!” But it is happening here. The Biden Administration is sinking under the weight of its feeble figurehead, who is clearly living in a world of his own creation rather than living on planet reality. As Biden’s approval ratings plummet to near-historic depths, the people who run his administration – some say it’s really led by demon Susan Rice – are not backing off their hyper-authoritarian approach to…well, everything. In fact they’re doubling down.

Nurse shortage? Tough – get your shot. Billions of containers waiting to be unloaded and trucked to fill empty shelves? Tough – get your shot. Murder alley Chicago facing 50 percent less cops because those who don’t want the vax are being fired? Tough – get your shot. No one to fly the plane? Tough – get your shot. No teachers? Tough – get your shot! Into this explosion of malevolent incompetence staggers US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Department Wally Adeyemo – second-highest ranker in the entire Department. The Nigerian-born Adeyemo, who previously served as director of African American outreach for the inspiring John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign and as a senior advisor to corrupt “woke” multi-gazillionaire Larry Fink, should be given credit for at least being honest about the intentions of his bosses in the Biden Administration.

Sometimes they tell the truth by accident. Interviewed on ABC News on Thursday, Adeyemo was asked about the thousands of container ships anchored offshore in California and elsewhere as US store shelves begin to look like Bulgaria circa 1975 – and even Santa Claus is sweating “supply chain” strangulation as Christmas quickly approaches. It’s not because Newsom’s California is a Marxist hellhole, where the religious fundamentalism of the Green New Deal fanatics has taken massive numbers of truckers off the road. Nope. It’s not Biden’s vax mandate which has unleashed a massive outflux of workers from their jobs – quitting or fired – at a time of severe labor shortages. Nope. The problem is you. You unwashed vermin who refuse to have a cocktail of experimental goop jabbed into your arm.

In the ABC interview Adeyemo admitted what we all know: inflation is beating the hell out of middle America (though Biden’s multi-millionaire chief-of-staff laughed it off as “high class problems”). “We are seeing high prices for some of the things that people have to buy,” Adeyemo told ABC’s Stephanie Ramos. But it’s not the Administration’s fault. Shelves bare? Treasury’s Number Two tells America it’s all the fault of those who have not yet succumbed to his boss’s demand that you take the jab: “The reality is that the only way we’re going to get to a place where we work through this transition is if everyone in America and everyone around the world gets vaccinated.” There is a word for this and it’s not actually blackmail. It’s terrorism. Until that part of America which has to this point decided that it does not want to take an unproven medical treatment is browbeaten – or worse – into submission to Fauci’s needle, the rest of the country will continue to suffer through empty shelves and a crappy Christmas. Too strong a word? Here’s how the dictionary defines terrorism:

Threat: You will eat nothing and you will be happy. Political objective: Get the shot! It’s terrorism plain and simple and the Biden Administration’s “War on Us” is taking a dangerous turn. The millions who have taken the shot are being baited to attack those who have for whatever reason – including the medically sound acquisition of natural immunity through contracting and defeating the virus – declined to take the medical procedure. In reality both groups should unite against the past two Administrations which have lied and intimidated Americans over the virus from nearly day one. But that would threaten the elites, who rule by divide-and-conquer tactics.

Duress
https://twitter.com/i/status/1449519642033197058

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“Within two days, 23.7 million people had seen that Pulitzer-worthy bit of Twitter talk.”

Horse-Bleep (Rescue)

In a hokey tweet on August 21, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told Americans the obvious: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” Everyone knew what “it” was: an animal form of the drug ivermectin that folks were said to be using, widely, for covid-19. Don’t, said FDA. Within two days, 23.7 million people had seen that Pulitzer-worthy bit of Twitter talk. Hundreds of thousands more got the message on Facebook, LinkedIn, and from the Today Show’s 3 million-follower Instagram account. “That was great!” declared FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock in an email to her media team. “Even I saw it!” For the FDA, the “not-a-horse” tweet was “a unique viral moment,” a senior FDA official wrote to Woodcock, “in a time of incredible misinformation.”

There was one problem, however. The tweet was a direct outgrowth of wrong data—call it misinformation—put out the day before by the Mississippi health department. The FDA did not vet the data, according to our review of emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and questions to FDA officials. Instead, it saw Mississippi, as one email said, as “an opportunity to remind the public of our own warnings for ivermectin.” The story behind the tweet that went ’round the world shows how a myth was born about a safe, if now controversial, human drug that was FDA-approved for parasitic disease in 1996 and bestowed the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015. It is a story in which the barest grain of truth morphed into an anything-goes media firestorm.

It began with one sentence in a Mississippi health alert on reports to the state’s poison control center: “At least 70% of the recent calls have been related to ingestion of livestock or animal formulations of ivermectin purchased at livestock supply centers.” In the thick of a fierce covid wave in the American South, no official at the FDA, or reporter for that matter, seemed to ask: 70 percent of what? Instead, government and media joined forces against a public health threat that, in retrospect, was vastly exaggerated. Amid dozens of articles that ensued, Rolling Stone told of Oklahoma hospitals so jammed with ivermectin overdoses that gunshot victims had to wait for care—except it wasn’t true. Twice, The New York Times printed corrections of the same false information from Mississippi, which it described in one article and later removed, as “a staggering number of calls.” The Associated Press, Washington Post and, twice, the The Guardian in London also corrected its reporting on the alert. The Times’ correction summed it up: “This article misstated the percentage of recent calls to the Mississippi poison control center related to ivermectin. It was 2 percent, not 70 percent.”

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This is where you go: ”any questions?” No? Then let’s roll!

“..a 5000-fold reduction in viral RNA compared with control was found..”

The Antiviral Effects of Ivermectin on RNA Viruses (Nature)

In a recent in vitro study, the Vero/hSLAM cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 virus were exposed to 5 μM ivermectin in 48h, and a 5000-fold reduction in viral RNA compared with control was found. The results showed that treatment with ivermectin effectively kills almost all viral particles within 48h. The study was the first to assess the antiviral effect of ivermectin on COVID-19. The authors acknowledged that the drug may have antiviral effects by inhibiting the importin (IMP) α/β receptor, which is responsible for transmitting viral proteins into the host cell nucleus. The authors proposed human studies to confirm the potential benefits of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19. Although this study was the first to confirm the antiviral effect of ivermectin on COVID-19, other studies examined the antiviral effects of the drug on both RNA and DNA viruses..

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“We look forward to a decision from the Court of Appeals. If that decision is not favorable, we will request emergency relief from the Supreme Court..”

Appeals Court Refuses to Stop Maine Vaccine Mandate (ET)

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday refused to issue an emergency injunction to stop Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The three-judge panel of the Boston-based court issued a one-sentence statement saying the request was denied without an explanation, The Bangor Daily News reported. A final ruling will likely be issued next week, according to Liberty Counsel, an organization representing more than 2,000 health care workers across the state in the lawsuit. “We look forward to a decision from the Court of Appeals. If that decision is not favorable, we will request emergency relief from the Supreme Court,” Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement. Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey applauded the decision.

“We are pleased with the decision and will continue to vigorously defend the requirement that health care workers in Maine be vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said in a statement obtained by The Hill. Maine Governor Janet Mills, a Democrat, announced her state’s mandate on Aug. 12 that workers have until Oct. 29 to comply. Exemptions were allowed for medical reasons. Unlike most states, Maine does not allow for religious or philosophical exemptions to vaccine requirements. The plan was challenged by a group of healthcare workers who said they opposed COVID-19 vaccines because some vaccines were developed from cell lines of aborted fetuses. The workers also sued several healthcare companies where they work.

U.S. district judge Jon Levy ruled on Wednesday that Maine can bar religious exemptions to its requirement that healthcare workers in the state get vaccinated against COVID-19. Levy, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama, said the healthcare workers who brought the case have not been prevented from staying true to their religious beliefs, although refusing the vaccine will cost them their jobs.

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“The Chicago stand-off comes as the city once again leads the United States in murders, with 639 homicides this year through October 13 — up 55 percent from two years ago.”

Covid Vaccine Stand-off Between Chicago Mayor, Police Hits Courts (Y!)

A Chicago judge on Friday banned a police union president from making public statements on the city’s Covid-19 policy as a stand-off over vaccine mandates sparked dueling lawsuits. The dispute between mayor Lori Lightfoot and police union head John Catanzara has made the city the latest flashpoint in a deeply polarized debate over vaccines and whether governments have the right to mandate them. Lightfoot sought and received an injunction against Catanzara Friday when the judge issued a 10-day restraining order that bans him from making statements that encourage members not to report their vaccination status.

The police union filed its own lawsuit Friday against Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown that seeks to force arbitration over the matter. Like all city employees, Chicago police officers have been mandated to report their vaccine status to an online portal by midnight Friday. Those not vaccinated will be subject to twice-weekly testing. Those who refuse to disclose their status have a few days’ grace to explain themselves — but face being placed on unpaid leave and eventually fired. In two videos released this week, Catanzara urged police officers to ignore the order and risk loss of pay. On Tuesday, he predicted that if a large number of officers refused to be tested or report their vaccinations, Chicago would have a “police force at 50 percent or less for this weekend.”

Lightfoot responded by saying: “I cannot and will not stand idly by while the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists threatens the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and first responders.” She also said Catanzara was “encouraging a work stoppage or strike.” Both state law and the union contract prohibits Chicago police from striking. The union responded with a tweet Friday saying: “President John Catanzara has never engaged in, supported, or encouraged a work stoppage.” [..] The Chicago stand-off comes as the city once again leads the United States in murders, with 639 homicides this year through October 13 — up 55 percent from two years ago. With shootings also up 68 percent over the period and carjackings heading for a record, the threat of losing much of the police force, even temporarily, has caused a deep sense of unease.

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Nobody I know believes the 62% vaccination rate.

Alarm Bells Ringing Over Poor Greek Vax Rate (K.)

Authorities are feeling increasingly uneasy about the pace of the country’s vaccination program, which is moving even slower in October than September, which had also seen a drop. As a result the aim to vaccinate at least 70% of the population to create the coveted wall of immunity is being further delayed, with winter just around the corner. In early September, after the summer holidays, there was a slight increase compared to the August break, with an average of about 20,000 shots being administered per day. The goal was to gradually increase this number in October so that by the end of the month or the beginning of November an additional million people would be vaccinated.

However, this was not meant to be, as in the first two weeks of October, there was a dip in appointments for the first dose – less than half compared to September. According to data.gov.gr, 62% of the population has received a single dose. The average daily rate of single dose shots in October was 5,500, while in September it was almost 13,000. By the time Greece reached the peak of the vaccination program in June, there was an average of 93,130 vaccinations per day being administered, of which 39,707 were first doses. This was because there was still a large proportion of the population which was positively inclined to the vaccine but wanted to wait a while before going ahead with it.

Currently, the percentage that has not been vaccinated is about the same as the percentage that indicated in the polls they would not get a jab or expressed caution about it. Bearing this in mind, targeted campaigns may be launched in the near future. Getting results, however, will be a tall order.

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Ha ha ha! Brilliant.

IMDB Steps In To Prop Up Audience Rating Of Fauci Documentary (JTN)

A documentary film tracking Dr. Anthony Fauci’s medical career from the AIDS crisis to COVID-19, is creating controversy away from the big screen. “Fauci,” from NatGeo and Magnolia Pictures, hit select theaters Sept. 10 before getting a Disney+ release earlier this month. The documentary lets disparate figures like President George W. Bush, U2’s Bono and Bill Gates praise the Infectious disease specialist. The studios failed to make the documentary’s box office figures available to film industry sites or JustTheNews.com. The vast majority of studios, large and small, routinely share that data, as NatGeo and Magnolia have done on previous releases.

Movie fans then noticed RottenTomatoes.com, arguably the biggest review aggregator site on the web, didn’t initially feature any “audience” reviews of the film. Mainstream film critics saluted “Fauci,” although most admitted the film served up a hagiography of the 80-year-old bureaucrat. Once audiences started weighing in on the film at Rotten Tomatoes, though, the results were withering. Professional critics gave “Fauci” a 92% “fresh” score, while audiences gave it just a 2% — or “rotten” — rating. A similar pattern emerged at IMDB.com, a major film and TV reference destination. “Fauci’s” audience rating, on a scale from 1-10, hovered around 1.8. This week, however, the site altered its review algorithm. Now, the audience review tally is a more robust 5.8.

A quick glimpse at the review breakdown, provided by the site, shows the overwhelming number of audience critics gave the film a one-star rating. The site now features this explanation: “NOTE: Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied.”

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Next step after the Green Pass.

DHS Seeks To Track Biometric Data Of Workers (JTN)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is seeking proposals for a new system that will allow it to track the biometric data of its workers in order to monitor their physical and mental well-being. DHS said in a call for proposals this week that it is looking to “find innovative technological solutions that will improve the overall health and wellness of those consistently placed in high-stress and dangerous conditions” under DHS employment. “DHS is seeking capabilities that not only promote intervention action when necessary, but preemptively and in real-time optimize DHS personnel performance and resilience,” the agency added. The window for proposals for the project extends until next April.

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“Carollo looks like he’s about six, and I say that fully conceding jealousy over his full head of hair.”

Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State (Taibbi)

On The Young Turks the other night, during a segment called — this is not a joke — “RebelHQ,” commentator Ben Carollo extolled the virtues of the CIA. In one section, he described how intelligence officials responded to “Donald Trump trying to plan some ridiculous scheme to maintain himself as president”: “It’s not a conspiracy theory to say that these government officials wanted to listen to congress and cared about Democratic norms and respected the constitutional structure of the way the United States is today.” When I first heard Carollo talking about the desire of intelligence officials to “listen to congress,” I thought he was being literal.

Maybe, I thought, he meant that time in 2014, when the CIA spied on the the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into its torture program, wiring up Senate computers and reading staffers’ emails. Or perhaps he meant that time in 2015, when the Obama administration was using the NSA to listen to Israeli critics of his Iran deal, and ended up with “inadvertent” access to phone calls back and forth with political opponents in the U.S. congress, on both sides of the aisle. Or, maybe Carollo also meant that time when the CIA intercepted communications between the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community and congressional staff, about pending whistleblower complaints. As the ICIG put it in one of its declassified notifications, “CIA security compiled a report that includes excerpts of these whistleblower-related communications, and this report was eventually shared with CIA management.” This way, the CIA bosses could know ahead of time who was going to congress with complaints about abuses! Good times.

Alas, Carollo didn’t mean intelligence officials are listening to congress in that sense. His video essay entitled, “Fact-checking Glenn Greenwald’s stunt on Fox News,” was designed to refute the apparently ridiculous notion that “there’s some sort of secret deep state working behind the scenes.” A central part of his argument is that unlike agencies like Homeland Security, formed under the Republican administration of George W. Bush and designed to be “far more shielded from congressional oversight,” the CIA reports to congress and basically does what it’s told. The agencies with the real power to color outside the lines, Carollo tells us, are DHS-sub-operations, “specifically ICE, and Customs and Border Control,” which “have far less congressional oversight and far less structure in place for there to be those checks and balances.” Because of that, Carollo says, “Donald Trump was more than capable of enacting an extremely racist border policy.”

Even the Pentagon and the defense intelligence agencies are less of a concern, he said, because “when it comes to something like the military, there’s a long history of deep congressional oversight,” and “many checks and balances that are put into place.” Carollo looks like he’s about six, and I say that fully conceding jealousy over his full head of hair. It’s relevant only because he’s representative of a generation of young, left-leaning intellectuals who grew up in the Trump years believing the CIA, FBI, NSA, and other such agencies to be trusted, straight-and-narrow defenders of democratic “norms.” These credulous kids with piercings and chin-beards who think the secret services are on their side are the fruits of one of the great P.R. campaigns of our time.

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Great Reset.

Relentless Retail Inventory Squeeze amid Shortages & Supply Chain Chaos (WS)

The holiday selling season is approaching, and a whole litany of weird shortages is ricocheting through the economy. Stuff suddenly gets hung up somewhere, on a ship, or in a port, and then ends up somewhere else, or it’s on backorder for months, as manufacturers are struggling with material shortages and in in Asia with Covid outbreaks that shut down factories for weeks at a time. And stimulus-fueled demand in the US has been huge and relentless, while retailers are struggling with inventories, some more than others. Auto dealers, particularly new-vehicle dealers, are experiencing catastrophic shortages of popular models, as automakers have been getting blasted by semiconductor shortages that simply refuse to abate, leading to rotating shutdowns of assembly plants globally.

Auto dealers are the largest retailer segment, with their sales normally accounting for over 20% of total retail sales, and with their inventories normally accounting for 33% of total retail inventories. Inventories at auto dealers, measured in dollars, declined to a new multi-year low of $151 billion in August, according to data released by the Commerce Department on Friday. The long-term dollar-increase in inventory levels that you can see in the chart above is a reflection of higher costs per vehicle in inventory. But the number of vehicles in inventory has been in the same range for two decades, as unit sales have mostly been below the peak achieved in the year 2000.


It’s even worse during the current shortages: Inventory in dollars – though it collapsed – is being inflated by the shift to high-end models as automakers are prioritizing the biggest money makers. Sales of new and used vehicles also collapsed as there hasn’t been enough to sell. The industry-standard Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales plunged five months in a row and is down by 33% from May:

And so the inventory-sales ratio – inventories divided by sales, a standard metric of supply that cancels out the impact of price increases – has been ticking up over the past three months from the May low, which had been the lowest in the data going back to 1992. The upticks were driven by sales that collapsed even faster than inventories. Following the Lehman bankruptcy, new vehicle sales plunged, and the US was suddenly drowning in inventory, and the inventory-sales ratio spiked. During the pandemic, the opposite occurred: Fueled by huge amounts of fiscal and monetary stimulus, retail demand surged and collided with production woes due at first to Covid issues and then the semiconductor shortage. And prices have spiked, with many new vehicles being sold at prices well above sticker, which is nuts.

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Really, Stella, talk to the Guardian? They were only ever going to smear Julian even more, while washing their hands of their role in his misery,

Stella Moris On Her Secret Family With Julian Assange (G.)

In May 2012, the UK’s supreme court ruled he should be extradited to Sweden. In June, Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy, where he could not be arrested because of the international legal protection afforded diplomatic premises, and refused to come out. In doing so, he breached his bail conditions. Two months later, Ecuador granted Assange political asylum, stating that they feared his human rights would be violated if he were extradited. By now, Assange had fallen out with former colleagues at WikiLeaks and collaborators at mainstream news organisations. His relationship with the Guardian soured over the decision to bring the New York Times into the collaboration, and he was angered that the Guardian investigated the Swedish allegations, rather than supporting him unquestioningly.

He was also furious about details published in a Guardian book, WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy. Meanwhile, all five media partners condemned his decision to publish Cablegate unredacted, potentially endangering the lives of thousands of activists and informers in countries including Israel, Jordan, Iran and Afghanistan. The situation could not have been messier. He fell out with so many people: WikiLeaks staff, his lawyer Mark Stephens, the writer Andrew O’Hagan, who had been contracted to ghost a book out of him, which Assange never delivered. Laura Poitras’s film about Assange, Risk, is particularly poignant because she had started the project as a fan. In it, Assange comes across as vain, sexist, arrogant and messianic.

The allegations of hypocrisy were most damaging: Poitras reveals that Assange told her the film was a threat to his freedom and demanded scenes be removed. “He was really angry and he tried to intimidate,” Poitras told me at the time of Risk’s release. James Ball, global editor at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and former Guardian journalist, briefly worked for WikiLeaks. He talks about the “incredible intensity” of his time at Ellingham House. “We were in the middle of nowhere in Norfolk, and we couldn’t bring phones because they could be tracked, so we were cut off from friends and family.” Ball challenged Assange when he was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, with a £12m penalty clause, that would have prevented him saying anything about WikiLeaks for two decades.

“Julian basically told everyone not to let me go to bed till I agreed to sign,” Ball says. Eventually, he did get to bed without signing. “I was woken up by Julian who was sitting on my bed, pressuring me again. He was prodding me in the face with a cuddly toy giraffe. I managed to get out, and then I got really angry for several months. A friend suggested I look into cult deprogramming. I don’t think Julian necessarily meant to build a cult, but WikiLeaks did operate like one.” Moris dismisses all the criticism of Assange as character assassination. Does she think his reputation for being difficult is fair? “How many publishers, editors, CEOs have a reputation for being nice and agreeable?” she asks. “Julian doesn’t like people who are deceitful, Julian doesn’t like opportunists, and he can be quite direct. Also people who are on the autism spectrum don’t score particularly high on the agreeableness scale.” (A psychiatrist confirmed a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome in last year’s extradition hearing.)

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Major league weird.

 

 

Leonardo da Vinci’s self-supporting bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

May 042020
 


Underwood&Underwood Chicago framed by Gothic stonework high in the Tribune Tower 1952

 

‘Biggest Failure In A Generation’: Where Did Britain Go Wrong? (SMH)
UK Chafes At COVID19 Death Toll Comparison With Italy (R.)
UK Health Passports ‘Possible In Months’ (G.)
Boris Johnson: COVID19 Vaccine Hunt ‘Most Urgent Endeavour Of Our Lives’ (PA)
As Lockdowns Ease, Some Countries Report New Infection Peaks (SCMP)
DOJ Intervenes For Church In Virginia Restrictions Challenge (Solomon)
Pompeo: ‘Significant’ Evidence New Coronavirus Emerged From Chinese Lab (R.)
Trump Administration Pushing To Rip Global Supply Chains From China (R.,)
Post-Coronavirus, Expect Manufacturing To Make A Mass Exodus From China (SCMP)
Leaving Amazon (Tim Bray)
Australia, New Zealand Mull Creating ‘Travel Bubble’ (SCMP)
Greece Sees Economy Tanking This Year On Coronavirus Impact (R.)
My Dad Is An ICU Doctor Treating COVID-19 Patients (Bess Kalb)
How Bad is Belgium Doing? (Roosens)
Scrutiny Of FBI Behavior In Russia Case Increases Pressure On Wray (Solomon)

 

 

• U.S. CDC reports 1,122,486 coronavirus cases, 65,735 deaths

• Johns Hopkins University records over 1.15 million cases in the country as of 8:30 pm Sunday (0030 GMT Monday), with 67,674 deaths, with Sunday’s 24-hour toll, which was similar to Saturday’s, showing a decline after hitting 2,502 Wednesday

• Novel coronavirus deaths in the US climb by 1,450 in the past 24 hours, a tally by Johns Hopkins University shows

 

 

Deaths are lower at “only” 3,519, cases not so much.

 

Cases 3,582,889 (+ 82,237 from yesterday’s 3,500,652)

Deaths 248,567 (+ 3,519 from yesterday’s 245,048)

 

 

 

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

 

 

From Worldometer

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

View from Australia.

‘Biggest Failure In A Generation’: Where Did Britain Go Wrong? (SMH)

Says Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an adviser to the World Health Organisation: “The countries that moved fast have curtailed the epidemic. The countries that delayed have not. It’s as simple as that.” Dr Richard Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet medical journal, is even more damning: “The handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the UK is the most serious science policy failure in a generation.” Hancock and Johnson had their first discussion together about the virus on January 7. The government’s crisis committee, COBRA, would meet several times over the following weeks and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies started crunching the numbers.

The government knew a threat existed but did it fully understand just how bad it could get? By March 12 a full-scale outbreak had taken hold in Italy and the illness was spreading across Europe. More than 1000 Italians had already died and thousands more were gravely ill in packed hospitals in the country’s hard-hit north. The deadly potential of an invisible killer was becoming more obvious by the hour. That day, Johnson announced Britain would move from the “contain” phase of the emergency to the “delay” phase. This decision would prove a pivotal moment. The shift meant contact tracing would be abandoned, and testing would be restricted to those only in hospital with symptoms. The move was at odds with the WHO, which urged countries to “test, test, test”, as well as Germany’s much-lauded program of mass testing.

The Prime Minister warned at the March 12 press conference that the “worst public health crisis for a generation” was about to hit the country and that “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time”. What he did not announce was a lockdown. Or anything close to it. Tougher measures would come but not yet, Johnson said, citing the need to introduce measures when they would have the most impact. But his chief scientific adviser also cast serious doubt on whether closing schools, banning mass gatherings or stopping international flights would ever be effective levers to pull.

Instead, Brits were encouraged to wash their hands and stay home for seven days if they had symptoms. Schools remained open, restaurants and bars traded as usual, and visitors were still allowed into care homes. Flights were arriving from mainland China, even though Australia had banned them six weeks earlier. Heaving public events were still allowed. A Champions League match in Liverpool drew a crowd of 52,000, about 3000 of whom came from Madrid, where a partial lockdown was already in force. More than 250,000 tickets were sold for the Cheltenham horse racing festival. Both events are now being investigated by health officials who suspect they may have contributed to the rapid spread of the disease in the areas surrounding the venues.

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Yeah, it’s not fair! Lombardy has a much better health care system!

UK Chafes At COVID19 Death Toll Comparison With Italy (R.)

The British government sought on Sunday to deflect questions over a coronavirus death toll that is Europe’s second worst after Italy, with officials saying it would take a long time before the full picture became clear. Deaths rose to 28,446 as of May 2 – just short of Italy – increasing pressure on the government which has been accused of acting too slowly in the early stages of the outbreak. Cabinet minister Michael Gove, leading a daily coronavirus briefing, sidestepped a question on whether many lives could have been saved if mass testing had been rolled out earlier. “This government, like all governments, will have made mistakes, but it will be impossible to determine exactly which were the areas of greatest concern until some time in the future, when we have all the information that we need,” he said.

Only the United States has suffered more deaths than Italy and Britain. Ministers dislike comparisons of the headline death toll, saying that excess mortality – the number of deaths from all causes that exceed the average for the time of year – is a more meaningful metric. The most recent available data showed there were almost 12,000 excess deaths in England and Wales in the week to April 17. Of these, just under 9,000 were linked on death certificates to the COVID-19 respiratory disease. [..] the medical director of England’s health service, Stephen Powis, said during the briefing it would be some time before international comparisons of excess deaths could be made.

Earlier, the UK National Statistician Ian Diamond also cautioned against relying on rankings. “I’m not saying that we’re at the bottom of any potential league table – it’s almost impossible to calculate a league table – but I’m not prepared to say that we’re heading for the top,” he told BBC News.

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The UK wants to force people to use these things. What a great idea.

UK Health Passports ‘Possible In Months’ (G.)

Tech firms are in talks with ministers about creating health passports to help Britons return safely to work using coronavirus testing and facial recognition. Facial biometrics could be used to help provide a digital certificate – sometimes known as an immunity passport – proving which workers have had Covid-19, as a possible way of easing the impact on the economy and businesses from ongoing physical distancing even after current lockdown measures are eased. The UK-based firm Onfido, which specialises in verifying people’s identities using facial biometrics, has delivered detailed plans to the government and is involved in a number of conversations about what could be rolled out across the country, it is understood.


Its proposals, which have reached pilot stages in other countries, could be executed within months, it says. The firm could use antibody tests – proving whether someone has had the virus – or antigen tests, which show current infections. Digital identity experts say they are in the “discovery stage” of what could be tailored for the UK government, but developing a type of health certificate through app technology is gaining traction. The government is understood to be moving away from the phrase “immunity passport” as evidence continues to emerge on exactly how immunity develops after someone has had Covid-19. The World Health Organization has also issued a stark warning over attempts to give people false assurance through a passport scheme.

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It better not be. The track record on corona vaccines is dismal.

Boris Johnson: COVID19 Vaccine Hunt ‘Most Urgent Endeavour Of Our Lives’ (PA)

The race for a coronavirus vaccine is “the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes”, Boris Johnson will tell an international conference as he urges countries to “pull together” and share their expertise in a bid to halt the global pandemic. The UK prime minister is co-hosting the virtual coronavirus global response international pledging conference on Monday. As well as the UK, eight other countries and organisations are also co-hosting the forum which aims to bring in more than $8bn (£6.4bn) in funding to support the global response. The UK has pledged to give £388m in aid funding for research into tests, treatments and vaccines – part of a £744m commitment to help end the pandemic and support the global economy.


Johnson is expected to say: “To win this battle, we must work together to build an impregnable shield around all our people and that can only be achieved by developing and mass producing a vaccine. “The more we pull together and share our expertise, the faster our scientists will succeed. The race to discover the vaccine to defeat this virus is not a competition between countries but the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes. “It’s humanity against the virus – we are in this together and together we will prevail.” The government believes tackling the virus globally is crucial to preventing a second wave reemerging in the UK and it will speed up the creation of vaccines, tests and treatment.

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A growing consensus appears to see 20,000 new US cases and 1,000-2,000 new deaths everyday through the summer.

As Lockdowns Ease, Some Countries Report New Infection Peaks (SCMP)

US President Donald Trump has revised upwards the number of Americans he expects to die from the coronavirus to as many as 100,000, as global cases surpassed 3.5 million on Monday, with deaths nearing a quarter of a million. North America and European countries accounted for most of the new cases reported in recent days, but numbers were rising from smaller bases in Latin America, Africa and Russia. India, second in population only to China, reported its biggest single-day jump yet with more than 2,600 new infections. And in Russia, new coronavirus cases exceeded 10,000 for the first time. The confirmed death toll in Britain climbed near that of Italy, the epicentre of Europe’s outbreak, even though the UK population is younger than Italy’s and Britain had more time to prepare before the pandemic hit.


The United States continues to see tens of thousands of new infections each day, with more than 1,400 new deaths reported Saturday. Health experts warn that a second wave of infections could hit unless testing is expanded dramatically after lockdowns are eased. But pressure to reopen economies keeps building after the weeks-long shutdown of businesses worldwide plunged the global economy into its deepest slump since the 1930s and wiped out millions of jobs. China, which reported only three new cases on Monday, has seen a surge in visitors to newly reopened tourist spots after domestic travel restrictions were relaxed ahead of a five-day holiday that runs through Tuesday. Nearly 1.7 million people visited Beijing parks on the first two days of the holiday, and Shanghai’s main tourist spots welcomed more than 1 million visitors, according to Chinese media. Many spots limited daily visitors to 30 per cent of capacity.

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Just a terribly sad story. Junks and hookers.

DOJ Intervenes For Church In Virginia Restrictions Challenge (Solomon)

The Justice Department on Sunday intervened on behalf of a church fighting Virginia Gov. Ralph Northman’s virus restrictions in a federal court case that may determine whether religion is an essential service. The department filed a Statement of Interest in federal court in support of Lighthouse Fellowship Church, a congregation in Chincoteague Island, Virginia, that serves, among others, recovering drug addicts and former prostitutes. The church says it held a 16-person worship service in its 225-seat sanctuary on Palm Sunday while maintaining rigorous social distancing. At the end of the service, Chincoteague police issued Lighthouse’s pastor a criminal citation and summons, based on the Northam’s executive order.


Lighthouse sued on Friday, but a judge denied the church’s request for preliminary relief, ruling that “[a]lthough [professional-services] businesses may not be essential, the exception crafted on their behalf is essential to prevent joblessness.” DOJ’s filing argues the church can’t be treated differently than other businesses and that faith is essential during a pandemic. “For many people of faith, exercising religion is essential, especially during a crisis,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said. “The Commonwealth of Virginia has offered no good reason for refusing to trust congregants who promise to use care in worship in the same way it trusts accountants, lawyers, and other workers to do the same.”

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Pompeo has played good cop bad cop all his life. But it only works for a while. Then people stop taking you serious.

Pompeo: ‘Significant’ Evidence New Coronavirus Emerged From Chinese Lab (R.)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but did not dispute U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it was not man-made. “There is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo told ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the virus that emerged late last year in China and has killed about 240,000 people around the world, including more than 67,000 in the United States. Pompeo then briefly contradicted a statement issued last Thursday by the top U.S. spy agency that said the virus did not appear to be man-made or genetically modified.


That statement undercut conspiracy theories promoted by anti-China activists and some supporters of President Donald Trump who suggest it was developed in a Chinese government biological weapons laboratory. “The best experts so far seem to think it was man-made. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point,” Pompeo said. When the interviewer pointed out that was not the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies, Pompeo backtracked, saying: “I’ve seen what the intelligence community has said. I have no reasonto believe that they’ve got it wrong.” China’s Global Times, run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said in an editorial responding to Pompeo’s Sunday interview that he did not have any evidence the virus came from the lab in Wuhan and that he was “bluffing,” calling on the United States to present the evidence.

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Leaving globalization and just-in-time behind will take a lot of effort.

Trump Administration Pushing To Rip Global Supply Chains From China (R.,)

The Trump administration is “turbocharging” an initiative to remove global industrial supply chains from China as it weighs new tariffs to punish Beijing for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, according to officials familiar with U.S. planning. President Donald Trump, who has stepped up recent attacks on China ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, has long pledged to bring manufacturing back from overseas. Now, economic destruction and the massive U.S. coronavirus death toll are driving a government-wide push to move U.S. production and supply chain dependency away from China, even if it goes to other more friendly nations instead, current and former senior U.S. administration officials said.

“We’ve been working on [reducing the reliance of our supply chains in China] over the last few years but we are now turbo-charging that initiative,” Keith Krach, undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the U.S. State Department told Reuters. “I think it is essential to understand where the critical areas are and where critical bottlenecks exist,” Krach said, adding that the matter was key to U.S. security and one the government could announce new action on soon. The U.S. Commerce Department, State and other agencies are looking for ways to push companies to move both sourcing and manufacturing out of China. Tax incentives and potential re-shoring subsidies are among measures being considered to spur changes, the current and former officials told Reuters.

“There is a whole of government push on this,” said one. Agencies are probing which manufacturing should be deemed “essential” and how to produce these goods outside of China. [..] “This moment is a perfect storm; the pandemic has crystallized all the worries that people have had about doing business with China,” said another senior U.S. official. “All the money that people think they made by making deals with China before, now they’ve been eclipsed many fold by the economic damage” from the coronavirus, the official said.

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Not a great take. Japan is furthest ahead in this.

Post-Coronavirus, Expect Manufacturing To Make A Mass Exodus From China (SCMP)

Already a few years ago, rising manufacturing costs in China along with weakening domestic economies in Japan and Taiwan had prompted some repatriation of manufacturing and decentralisation of supply chains. In 2016 the Japan External Trade Organisation estimated, based on its annual surveys of everything made and sold by Japanese companies, that goods “made and sold” overseas peaked at 58.3 per cent. That year foreign direct investment into China from Japan fell by 14.3 per cent. This year, we may see a mass exodus from China as the Japanese government tries to encourage Japanese firms to hasten the move of their factories back home, something the Europeans and Americans are also keen to do.

With unemployment surging and companies furloughing a significant percentage of staff, less money and more debt will linger after the coronavirus crisis. Like many governments, the UK is pumping enormous amounts of money into businesses to support cashflows and salaries, and Downing Street expects that the funds will put firms in a stronger position to tackle future crises. In my opinion, there are three strategic changes that investors will need to see take place to feel comfortable with business continuity risk.

1. Managers of small and medium-sized businesses as well as the planning departments of large firms will have realised the need to pay greater attention to supply-chain risk. The evidence of this would be some kind of “supply chain continuity planning”, much the same as Business Continuity Planning which has been a fixture of the finance industry for the last 30 years. I expect this to be particularly prevalent in pharmaceutical and medical industries, but it will affect all companies sourcing small and cheap, but critical, components overseas.

2. The dependence on logistics will have been reduced, resulting in greater sourcing of local components and suppliers integrating vertically with manufacturing. Additionally, production of goods will need to move closer to target markets. This year we have seen shipping severely hampered, and airfreight unable to pick up the slack, despite higher costs, due to border restrictions. This especially impacts perishable goods, as highlighted by the problems facing farmers in Europe.

3. Companies will have stocked up on more emergency cash. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the bankruptcy rate of well-known and smaller firms alike is set to rise, and this is likely to continue long after we return to some kind of “normal”.
Activist investors who have long criticised cash hoarding and have pushed for distributions to shareholders will face stronger headwinds. Company management will have good reason to simply say they are saving for a rainy day and point to the cash crisis of 2020. Inefficient use of capital – by activist investor standards – may just become the normal again.

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Nice letter from an Amazon VP.

Leaving Amazon (Tim Bray)

May 1st was my last day as a VP and Distinguished Engineer at Amazon Web Services, after five years and five months of rewarding fun. I quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19. What with big-tech salaries and share vestings, this will probably cost me over a million (pre-tax) dollars, not to mention the best job I’ve ever had, working with awfully good people. So I’m pretty blue. What happened · Last year, Amazonians on the tech side banded together as Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), first coming to the world’s notice with an open letter promoting a shareholders’ resolution calling for dramatic action and leadership from Amazon on the global climate emergency. I was one of its 8,702 signatories.

While the resolution got a lot of votes, it didn’t pass. Four months later, 3,000 Amazon tech workers from around the world joined in the Global Climate Strike walkout. The day before the walkout, Amazon announced a large-scale plan aimed at making the company part of the climate-crisis solution. It’s not as though the activists were acknowledged by their employer for being forward-thinking; in fact, leaders were threatened with dismissal. Fast-forward to the Covid-19 era. Stories surfaced of unrest in Amazon warehouses, workers raising alarms about being uninformed, unprotected, and frightened. Official statements claimed every possible safety precaution was being taken. Then a worker organizing for better safety conditions was fired, and brutally insensitive remarks appeared in leaked executive meeting notes where the focus was on defending Amazon “talking points”.

Warehouse workers reached out to AECJ for support. They responded by internally promoting a petition and organizing a video call for Thursday April 16 featuring warehouse workers from around the world, with guest activist Naomi Klein. An announcement sent to internal mailing lists on Friday April 10th was apparently the flashpoint. Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, two visible AECJ leaders, were fired on the spot that day. The justifications were laughable; it was clear to any reasonable observer that they were turfed for whistleblowing.

Management could have objected to the event, or demanded that outsiders be excluded, or that leadership be represented, or any number of other things; there was plenty of time. Instead, they just fired the activists. At that point I snapped. VPs shouldn’t go publicly rogue, so I escalated through the proper channels and by the book. I’m not at liberty to disclose those discussions, but I made many of the arguments appearing in this essay. I think I made them to the appropriate people. That done, remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised. So I resigned.

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Will we have such bubbles everywhere? Frannce has said its new quarantine rules don’t count for EU, UK.

Australia, New Zealand Mull Creating ‘Travel Bubble’ (SCMP)

New Zealand and Australia are discussing the potential creation of a “travel bubble” between the two countries, sources said on Monday, even as Australia reported its highest number of coronavirus cases in two weeks. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will take part in a meeting of Australia’s emergency coronavirus cabinet on Tuesday, the Australian government said, stoking speculation that two-way travel could be permitted in the near future. “The idea of a bubble with Australia was floated two weeks ago, and this is an example of the sort of action that could happen within it, while always ensuring the protection of public health,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in a statement. “Officials in both countries are considering all aspects of the trans-Tasman concept, and planning how this could happen more broadly.”


The prospect of two-way travel was first proposed by Peters, though Ardern in April insisted it was a “long-term goal” and would need to include other Pacific countries. Australia and New Zealand have both slowed the spread of coronavirus in recent weeks to levels significantly below the those reported in the United States, Britain and Europe. Both governments attribute their success to social distancing restrictions and widespread testing. However, Australia on Monday reported 26 new cases, including a seven-year-old boy, its biggest daily jump in two weeks. That could rise as more states report throughout the day. Overall, Australia has recorded around 6,800 infections and 95 deaths, and New Zealand 1,137 cases and 20 fatalities.

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Going down due to the success of the lockdown.

Greece Sees Economy Tanking This Year On Coronavirus Impact (R.)

Greece expects its economy to contract by 4.7% to 8.9% this year under baseline and adverse scenarios taking into account the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the government’s 2020-21 stability programme submitted to the EU Commission projects. “The coronavirus outbreak has imposed a burden on the Greek economy as on the rest of the world economy, reversing the initial favourable short-term forecast,” the finance ministry said. The pandemic clouds the outlook for the global economy with a high degree of uncertainty. Demand, supply and liquidity shocks to the world economy set the stage for a deep global recession, worse than that of the 2008 financial crisis, the report said.


The Greek economy is exposed to external shocks due to a considerable dependency on tourism and transportation receipts,” it said, noting that the government’s main goals now were to bridge the growth gap caused by the health crisis and attract investment. The baseline projection for a 4.7% contraction takes into account the impact of policy response measures and assumes that the public health crisis fades in the second half of 2020. But under an alternative set of more adverse assumptions, the programme projects a significantly deeper contraction of up to 8.9% due to a steeper drop of exports and broader negative spillover effects. Either way, the primary budget balance, which excludes debt servicing outlays, will be in the red, according to the ministry projections – with a deficit of 1.9% under the baseline assumptions and a 2.8% hole under the adverse scenario.

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A Twitter thread. “You die alone from COVID. And you will be buried alone. Stay home.”

My Dad Is An ICU Doctor Treating COVID-19 Patients (Bess Kalb)

My dad is an ICU doctor treating COVID-19 patients. In the past WEEK he has set more “I’ve never seen a heart rate/RBC count/etc. like this” records than in his decades-long career. What this virus does to the body is like “sticking your finger in an electric socket.” Stay home. He had a patient who needed 8 blood transfusions in a morning even though he wasn’t bleeding. The coronavirus was just eating his red blood cells faster than his bone marrow could make them. It’s fucking mystifying and brutal. EIGHT. Eight blood transfusions. If you are lucky enough to make it off a ventilator (the equivalent exertion required for that is running a marathon without training), you will likely get put on dialysis and a feeding tube next.

It’s a nightmare. It’s hell. It’s what you’re risking on your beach day. Young, healthy people are dying from a COVID-19 effect called a “cytokine storm.” Basically, you make it off a ventilator (maybe!), you get your appetite back a little, you think you’re turning a corner, and then your immune system rips through your lung tissue and you drown. The other common way young people are falling off the face of the earth from this are the random strokes it causes. Talking one minute, stroking out the next, and then the nurses have to go through the cell phone to find “Dad” because “Mom” usually insists on coming.

There have been a few “Papa Bear”s or “Daddy-O”s in the cell phones who have tried to come in to hold the bodies. They can’t, of course. You die alone from COVID. And you will be buried alone. Stay home. Send this thread to any idiot fucker who posts an Instagram at the beach or a crowded park. Tell them my dad says see you later.

Read more …

Not as bad as we think. But still bad. Another Twitter thread.

How Bad is Belgium Doing? (Roosens)

For all those at home and abroad who think that small and densely populated Belgium has been worst hit by COVID19 on a per capita basis, and at the same time wonder why you haven’t seen pictures of flooded hospitals and/or field hospitals being set up in our country. A thread. 1/ As a densely populated country at the crossroads of all big transport axes in Europe, Belgium has indeed been hit severely by COVID19. We had our share of COVID19-outbreaks in care homes, but COVID19-hospital capacity was never filled more than 2/3rds. 2/


How come then we get the highest per capita numbers of officially registered COVID19-patients? Well, that’s because we count the COVID19-victims in an extremely correct and exhaustive way. Including in care homes and including the non-confirmed (but suspected COVID) cases. 3/ As a result, at the moment we are one of the rare countries where COVID19-death count is roughly a match with the excess deaths reported through mortality statistics. Indeed, between mid March and mid-April our official COVID19 death count, accounted for 93% of excess deaths. 4/

This of course makes us jump up in international ‘worst hit’-rankings of ‘officially recorded’ COVID19-deaths on a per capita basis. But that’s because we’re about the only country with correct figures… The only good comparison that can be done, is on excess death-figures…5/ So that’s what we’ve done for the mid March-mid April periode, based on The Economist-Euro MoMo figures on excess deaths. We just added population statistics to get to a per capita result. And this is what we then get as a reasonable comparison of the worst hit countries/regions.

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They’re all up against Sidney Powell. Flynn will be exonarated just to get rid of her role in digging up the dirt.

Scrutiny Of FBI Behavior In Russia Case Increases Pressure On Wray (Solomon)

The IG report in December and subsequent declassified information showed the FBI engaged in 17 major mistakes and acts of misconduct in seeking a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign starting in October 2016, including the falsification of a document, the submission of false information to a court, and the submission of unsubstantiated evidence in a warrant application marked as “verified.” In addition, newly declassified footnotes from the report showed the FBI had strong reasons to distrust the information in Christopher Steele’s dossier — including denials from his main source and warnings he was being fed Russian disinformation — but nonetheless proceeded to use the dossier as the key evidence in seeking a year’s worth of surveillance warrants.

The problems exposed during the Russia case started with the Comey regime, but have stretched into Wray’s watch. An IG report last fall flagged widespread failures in the FBI’s handling of confidential human sources like Steele. And a new IG report a few weeks ago found that 29 of 29 FISA applications — many filed during Wray’s tenure — contained significant flaws that violated the bureau’s own rules designed to ensure the accuracy of evidence submitted to the courts. The concerns about Wray were exacerbated by the revelations last week — from documents long withheld from a federal court — that FBI agents had recommended in January 2017 closing down a Russia-related probe of Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lack of evidence, only to be overruled by the bureau’s leadership.

The extraordinary intervention of FBI leaders — then under the command of Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe — led one official to write handwritten notes questioning whether the bureau was “playing games” and trying to get Flynn to lie “so we could prosecute him, or get him fired.” The double-barreled revelations about FISA and Flynn have left Republican lawmakers with grave concerns about Wray’s leadership and his willingness to recognize the magnitude of problems inside the bureau exposed by the Russia case fallout. “Director Wray owes the American people an explanation about the FBI’s misconduct with General Flynn,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. “It’s becoming more and more apparent that the FBI ruined the life of a respected general in its goal to take down President Trump.”

Jordan added: “The FBI’s actions were part of a larger pattern of wrongdoing, which were all directed against the president and his advisers. If they can do it to a president, they can do it to any of us.” Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, was even more harsh in her assessment, accusing Wray’s FBI of hiding the truth. “Wray knew about the evidence we were requesting for General Flynn,” Powell told Just the News. “My request was even discussed in the Director’s meeting. Most of what has been produced so far and what will be produced has been in FBI files all along–now more than three years. If the Prosecutors refused to produce it, he should have taken it to the AG or filed a whistle blower complaint himself. Instead, it would appear he was part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice and Congress, and we don’t know what else.”

Read more …

 

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Feb 062019
 


Salvador Dali Portrait of Gala with Two Lamb Chops Balanced on Her Shoulder 1933

 

 

Ilargi: It’s been quite a while since we last heard from Dr. D. He was probably busy growing stuff. But he’s back now, and with something dear to my heart: the craziness of our food production systems. Answers to which are not always what most people think, to put it mildly.

 

 

Dr. D:

Eat less meat to save the planet – report (1)
The new diet that could save the planet (2)
What to eat to save the planet: Report urges ‘radical changes’ to world’s diet – less meat, more veggies (3)

 

These headlines, likely sourced from a recent article from “The Lancet” (4) are a regular feature of our time, in diet, in environmentalism, and in global warming. They are well-researched, sourced by the world’s experts, and put forward with the highest intentions. However, they are also completely wrong – dangerously, ignorantly wrong.

Like most industries, agriculture and food production is a specialty, with its own language and details. I don’t attempt to tell the Lancet how to perform heart surgery, for to do so would be ridiculous, dangerous, outside of my expertise. I wouldn’t tell a geologist how to interpret the magnetic layers of rock, or how oceanographers should properly interpret sea water samples to guide us on fishing or pollution. Yet this is what they do for farmers.

The primary drive of most such articles is that, with so many people, and so much hunger, we find that it takes “2,500 gallons of water, 12 pounds of grain, 35 pounds of topsoil and the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline to produce one pound of feedlot beef.” that “64% of US cropland produces livestock feed.” (5) That it takes “20 pounds corn [to make] 1 pound beef.” (6) Or that you can get 15lbs of beef per acre, but 263lbs of soybeans. (7) Also that cattle are the primary reason for deforestation, and a major cause of methane.

From these numbers, it’s simple to see that meat, particularly cattle, is anti-environmental, and even anti-human, and it would be the pinnacle of irresponsibility to encourage or even allow them to be eaten. It is a direct affront to the poor, the hungry, and even other citizens in developed countries like ourselves, even though we may be able to afford such things. Simple. A lock. Slam-dunk. No further research required.

Setting aside that we waste half our food, the food we do have is maldistributed, and that we haven’t tapped a fraction of the land we did in say, WWII Britain, setting aside that the water doesn’t vanish, but returns to the water table to be used again, setting aside that the methane released does not contribute to global warming since it is exclusively carbon captured by the grass earlier that year, setting aside that the argument is the same one Malthus had, 250 years wrong, or that removing cattle would amount to the permanent extinction of more than a thousand breeds of animals with a lineage thousands of years old … even all that aside, their argument shows they don’t know anything about land, food, or the process of creating it.

Some other major concerns of economists and environmentalists are 1) environmental destruction from drilling 2) peak oil, 3) production of toxic waste, 4) plastics packaging, 5) dependence on imported energy, 6) CO2 from cars and transportation, and 7) BTUs per calorie of food eaten, as popularized in Kunstler’s “3,000 mile Caesar salad” (8) and this is where our story starts.

 


Deck Family Farm

 

On a farm, one of the major input costs every year is fertilizer, nitrogen, and this is presently produced almost exclusively from a feedstock of natural gas. That is to say, food in the modern agricultural system is literally the eating of unsustainable oil wells. And it’s even worse than that: agriculture is so dependent on synthesized, centralized petroleum fertilizer that it’s no exaggeration to say that without massive, uninterrupted supplies of cheap oil and gas there would be no food. Yields could easily drop by 30%, causing an unprecedented human catastrophe.

What’s more, another of the environmentalists’ grave concerns, topsoil loss and soil depletion would immediately come to the fore, as the only thing keeping today’s depleted fields in production are the artificial inputs directly from oil fields, mostly imported. –And that’s ABOVE the oil needed for the tractors, for the harvesters, for the delivery, for the centralized plant, for the parts, the buildings, food wrapping, for the creation of pesticides, herbicides, the centralized seed production, centralized grain mills…no. For the purposes of this article, we are only talking about cows.

Of course, mankind didn’t start this way, unable to eat a lettuce leaf without a 10,000-mile chain of energy use from foreign, occupied nations and the unwavering support of the worldwide industrial society that supports it. Originally the cows stood on the very grass they ate, eating contentedly, and were butchered and sent to market locally, using not a drop of oil. They did not disturb the fields but indeed enriched them with their foot-traffic and manure. So how did we go from a 0 mile, 0 grain, 0 cost, 0 oil food source to a food that reportedly starves continents and will destroy the world? That is, if cows were good and worked before, maybe the problem lies not with the meat or the cow, but with rabid industrialism?

If petroleum-based fertilizer is our major weakness, the single import that can be shut off to kill billions, surely it’s our duty — a national security emergency even — to close this weakness and find ecological alternatives. And for fertilizer, we have two: one, you can rotate crops to keep fields fallow in rotation, or two, you can replace synthetic fertilizer with animal manure. In fact, synthetic fertilizer is but a poor, harmful replacement for the manure farmers have used for 5,000 years – it has only nitrogen, potassium and potash, and nothing of the thousand other nutrients required of healthy soil.

 

It has no biosphere, no heat, no water, and no organic matter. The resulting soil depletion is a prime cause of desertification and topsoil loss, to say nothing of constantly lower yields. Its very use destroys the soil in the way steroids destroy health while giving the illusion of strength. They should probably be banned not for environmental reasons, but for long-term efficiency and national security. And there is only one replacement for this toxic, destructive, unreliable, expensive input: animal manure.

Worse, this cannot be chicken, sheep, or pig, adequate as they are. Pig and chicken are too concentrated and toxic and require other petroleum processes to dilute and deliver. Sheep is too mild and not in quantity, for sheep do not favor containment. Home composting could never produce a fraction of the volume needed for the world’s fields without the same massive petroleum inputs in tractors, trucks, chippers, conveyors, and all the factories, railways, and steel mills that create them. That leaves largely one source: cattle.

So in this new ecological world we imagine, we would have to grow cattle simply for the required fertilizer. And these cattle cannot be far! Unlike synthetic fertilizer, manure is wet, heavy, and dilute. It cannot be centralized into today’s poisonous sewage ponds, nor shipped coast to coast: it must be created near the fields that require it. As the world is enormously varied, you must also have breeds attuned to each locality’s weather and needs, perhaps creating a thousand unique varieties.

Tiny Kerry cattle for the bogs of Ireland, bony Longhorns for the deserts of Texas, Alpine Braunvieh for the steep mountains of Switzerland, or a hearty Fjäll for the frozen lands of Sweden. Nor can the farms be concentrated or specialized: without mass inputs of machinery or petroleum, and lacking harmful dry fertilizer, the farms must be small, dispersed, and varied, local in scope, diverse in production, specializing in their region and feeding only people nearby. Once you can’t ship mass quantities virtually for free, from reliable, nearly free energy, there is no other way.

 


Earth Repair Corps

 

Now you can’t get that fertilizer for nothing, and we don’t get it for nothing now. You have to have input costs for our fertilizer factory. And for cattle that input is grass; fields and fields of it, probably near 1-2 acres per cow. Is that bad? Irresponsible? How does that compare to drilling in ANWAR, and delivering via the Exxon Valdez? How is the sourcing from Iraq, transported via Syria, or the digging of tar with a payloader in the freshwater swamps of Alberta?

Now you can get 1, 2, even 3 cuttings a year of hay in temperate climates, and the cow is happily producing this valuable fertilizer all the time, without embargoes, financial disruptions, or delivery costs. But nevertheless, 25% of your fields will be put out of service in order to environmentally, sustainably source this necessary input for next year’s grain.

But not to fear! You know what? You can EAT the components of this essential, life sustaining fertilizer production factory! Yes, you can! Even better, you can eat butter, cheese, yogurt and yes, even ice cream! These very things you would NOT have without running this fertilizer mill that you would be forced to run even if they did nothing at all. Even more, you can down-stream the whey from your milk-preservative process to feed pigs! I’m not making this up!

Yes, by the very fact of creating fertilizer you had to produce in any case, you can also eat bacon! And you essentially have to, because otherwise this valuable milk-byproduct will go to waste. Nor can the pigs be far. You must have farms that are small in scale, varied in production, and local to the community. This will, of course, make them especially resilient to every challenge: financial, ecological, or human, be it from global warming or global warring.

The diverse, smaller-scale of these farms unfortunately require smaller business units to run them, such as the millions of local families presently unemployed, and sadly force cattle and other animals to free-range on the fields in the sunshine, as their ancestors did. But we all make sacrifices.

 

More, this small, diverse, decentralized food production system cannot aggregate mass quantities for mass market. Cows are not all the same, arriving by tens of thousands in the same 100-acre slaughterhouse, but because dissimilarity hampers assembly-line processes, the food would be produced in smaller batches, closer to home, more directly, without the wasting fuel and CO2 to ship them worldwide, and without the 31 flavors of plastics packaging which don’t make economic sense at this scale. –The French market model, as it were, local in the streets of your own town, fresh and unique.

You see, what they didn’t ask and forgot to research is that in order to grow those 263lbs of soybeans, you have no alternative but to have 1:4 of your fields fallow, resting, doing nothing. That’s now 197lbs per acre. Neither can you do that every year without input, so using another field to add this fertilizer, you have 131lbs/acre, really. The fallow land required of a world without oil inputs means 1/2 of the world’s production is offline at any given time, starving people.

What a drag! But you COULD, if you’re very clever, plant a wild, nitrogen-fixing plant on that fallow ground, creating both green manure for next year’s soybeans, AND running your cattle-driven fertilizer factory at no additional cost! Not only do you get the ONE field green-manured, and ANOTHER field cow-manured, but you could, if you’re very smart, get that otherwise useless, fallow field to grow ANOTHER crop of milk and beef, and downstream, chickens and pigs, absolutely FREE! THREE fields for the price of one.

What would you expect to pay for this richness, this agricultural, ecological magic trick? $1 trillion? $5 trillion for our green-energy, planet-saving, CO2-reducing “Green New Deal”? One that’s proven and can actually work because it follows the laws of thermodynamics? Surely it’s worth any cost if it saves the planet and takes a huge chunk off oil drilling, oil wars, and global warming.

Answer is: nothing. What I’ve just described is western agriculture, as developed since the 1500s. Anyone who’s ever looked at a farm, read a wikipedia entry, or took a history class knows this. Every medieval peasant knows this. Every hillbilly farmer from Iowa knows this. Except for all the modern journalists and The Lancet, all of whom all eat these very foods every day without the slightest spark of where they come from.

 


Night Owl Farm

 

You see, it doesn’t matter if cows are less efficient than soybeans, they exist in a SYSTEM, and that system has many inputs and many parameters. Reading a statistic doesn’t grow a plant to market any more than my reading about scalpels makes me a surgeon. There are many other possibilities, requirements, inputs: they speak of overgrazing, such as dry lands in Africa, when in fact, rotational OVERgrazing replenishes the soil and INCREASES the yields.

What’s more, a very great deal of the reported “arable” land on earth is not productive. It is too dry, such as Texas; too steep, such as Colorado; too variable cold, like Montana; or too far from market, like Afghanistan. You can’t grow soybeans or corn there even if you wanted, and you couldn’t ship kale from Kabul to London at cost, so their “statistics” about arable land and production mean nothing. …Worse than nothing, as they are so misleading as to be completely wrong.

Wrong in the way that enormous, world-changing decisions, subsidies, and wars are made, wrong in the way Stalin thought to modernize and mechanize agriculture in the Ukraine to get it out of the 1500s, and killed 7 million people in a single year. Wrong because not every square mile of land is equivalent, and only the crop that grows and has enough value to ship can be produced there. That’s why they make whiskey in the Appalachians and cheese in the Alps: the value to market has to be so much higher, high enough to transport, or no food will be produced at all.

 

That’s why they grow wild pigs in the Dehesa of Spain: because otherwise those forests would feed no one. But scientists and journalists don’t know this, even though it’s on the Food Channel each night.

What’s more, their scientific white-room system is orders of magnitude less efficient than the medieval method. Hundreds of random foods are wasted on the farm. Should they be dropped, as the labor cost/hour is too high to economically recover them? Should we waste the time and petrol to compost them into biogas? No. Farm waste, and waste through every warehouse, rail car, grocer, and restaurant can be eaten by chickens. Then not only do you get the compost anyway, in manure, not only do you also get a lifetime of eggs, for free, YOU GET A CHICKEN. All from the grass, the seeds, the bugs…and the food waste they already abandon.

But this doesn’t come without a cost. Brace yourself for this, people, because in order to achieve this level of bounty and efficiency, you will have to EAT these animals rather than let them die of old age and disease and be eaten by dogs and beetles. You, yes you, if you want an ecological, happy-animal, local-economy, sustainable, anti-CO2, food-producing world, not only CAN eat meat, but you are REQUIRED to. …As did a thousand generations of your ancestors, back to the very first day of man, slashing and clearing a field so the deer would come.

So try to be at least as smart as an illiterate medieval peasant and grow your food the natural way: locally, seasonally, independently, with happy animals in a rich green world of fields, trees and farms enriched with thousands of subvarieties of biodiversity in hedgerows so rich they have yet to be fully cataloged. A far cry from the hardened, drilled, paved, expensive, destructive, unsustainable, dangerous, lethal, impoverished way promoted by the scientific experts and the journalists who cover them.