Oct 192021
 


René Magritte The song of love 1948

 

 

Just this morning, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, Czechia, UK and New Zealand announced record or near-record numbers of positive Covid numbers and/or deaths. Yes, here we go again. Sadly, all of it is completely preventable, and all of us choose to not prevent it, because most have never been told this. Once again, an overview.

 

 

In the UK, a report came out last week about the country’s Covid approach, written by politicians, from the government’s own party nonetheless. It’s titled “Coronavirus: Lessons learned to date”, which is kind of ironic, because the one thing WE learn, at least from the press coverage of it, is that not a single lesson has been learned. BBC:

Covid: UK’s Early Response Worst Public Health Failure Ever

The 150-page document, “Coronavirus: Lessons learned to date”, is from the Health and Social Care Committee and the Science and Technology Committee, and MPs from all parties.


[..] Conservative MPs Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark, who chair the committees, said the nature of the pandemic meant it was “impossible to get everything right”. “The UK has combined some big achievements with some big mistakes. It is vital to learn from both,” they said. Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay said scientific advice had been followed and the government had made “difficult judgements” to protect the NHS. He said the government took responsibility for everything that happened – saying the government would not shy away from any lessons to be learned at the full statutory public inquiry, expected next year.

What were those big mistakes, according to those 150 pages? These:

[..] the UK was not as open to different approaches on earlier lockdowns, border controls and test and trace as it should have been.

And the “big achievements”?

But their report highlighted successes too, including the vaccination rollout. It described the approach to vaccination – from the research and development through to the rollout of the jabs – as “one of the most effective initiatives in UK history”.

I kid you not, the biggest mistakes these politicians could come up with was that the UK should have locked down, shut its borders and start testing and tracing healthy people earlier. That’s it. But none of those come close to being the biggest mistakes. And that after 20 months they all still don’t appear to understand that is a sad, saddening and deadly “mistake” all by itself.

The real biggest mistake is the complete denial, and ignoring, of the crucial role prophylactics and early treatment could and should have played. And since neither plays such a role even today, yes, it will continue to be very deadly. The pharmaceutical industry prevents the use of -most- pharmaceuticals, and allows only the use of some of the newest and -therefore- most profitable ones. The promised “full statutory public inquiry” won’t change that.

 

But first, let’s look at the “big achievements”. Vaccination, “one of the most effective initiatives in UK history”, has resulted in the following picture:

 

“Cases” are, let’s say, “stubbornly high” again (they average about 45,000 recently, and on Monday reached almost 50,000):

 

Hospitalizations are high too, compared to other countries. Which is odd, since the vaccines were supposed to stop severe cases in every country, we were told. After the claims that they stop infection and transmission became untenable:

 

Deaths appear to have normalized a little more in the UK, but what’s worrisome in this graph is the “Other excess deaths”. What are they? Are they vaccine deaths? Hard not to think they may very well be. But also hard to know because information on this is so scarce. In any case, they appear to outnumber Covid deaths. Which is no surprise, but still “good” to see in a graph:

 

 

 

The UK is presently about 65% vaccinated, according to Our World In Data, after “one of the most effective initiatives in UK history”. 65%? How effective have other “initiatives” been? On the bright side, the unvaccinated 35% may well turn out to be the lucky ones.

 

But why were (and are) the “big mistakes” made? A clue is that lockdowns, closed borders, test and trace, and facemasks, are all non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI’s). Any and all things pharmaceutical have been ignored from the get go. And not just ignored: there have even been – and still are- extensive coordinated campaigns against ivermectin (IVM), hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), and recently even aspirin.

Never has there been any advice for people to boost their vit. C and D levels, or zinc and quercetin. Aspirin and melatonin are never mentioned. Still, it’s widely known that these substances can provide protection from Covid in their various ways. So how can it be that all those highly paid medical experts and scientists that advise their governments never seem to talk about them?

Perhaps you need to look at how the field is laid out. The pharmaceutical industry has the by far largest lobbying departments in the world (and you thought it was Big Oil). In Washington alone there are hundreds of lobbyists working for Big Pharma. Who not only support the politicians’ election campaigns, they also pay huge amounts to the same medical experts that advise the same politicians. Moreover, lobbyists often even write the laws for the politicians, who are not experts. Sort of a symbiotic relationship, if you will.

 

The problem that I have with this, and these people apparently don’t, is that this has cost enormous amounts of suffering and deaths. For no apparent reason at all. The UK, and any other -western- country, could have promoted vitamin D -and C-, plus zinc and quercetin, and added on ivermectin and/or HCQ, perhaps doxycycline, and only a fraction of the present victims would have died and/or been incapacitated.

And this is not a story about the past either: it continues to this day. There are no protocols for protecting people, and none for early treatment. It’s still: go home and wait till you get so sick you need a ventilator. What doctor signs up for that? Well, most of them do. Screw Hippocrates. 95% of the deaths and misery could have been prevented with cheap, available, run-of-the-mill pharmaceuticals. And your doctors refused to provide them for you.

We’ve all seen the horse dewormer campaign against ivermectin that especially outlets like CNN, and even Rolling Stone, have put so much energy in recently. But the real story of IVM is completely different. Here are a few countries and states, and their experiences with it.

 

 

 

Puerto Rico:

 

Uttar Pradesh:

 

Tokyo:

 

And Indonesia:


Indonesia ramped up ivermectin production and the government assured national distribution and fair prices. IVM is considered by the government a COVID medicine.

 

 

Good thing we didn’t take that horse dewormer. We were smart, we listened to “The Science”, and spend billions on vaccines. It’s too early to oversee the harm these substances have done and will do, and there’s a lot of pressure not to make it public, but we can get an idea from two countries that were initially spared much of what we experienced. They were genuine Covid success stories, like New Zealand was. Until they started vaccinating. Here’s Taiwan and Singapore.

 

Taiwan:

 

And here is Singapore, bit of a strange graph because the timeline is split in two, but obvious enough:

 

And now we’re sitting here without ivermectin, because it’s been banned in many places, but with increasing pressure to get jabbed with substances that look very suspect. And increasingly without the freedom to choose what we think is best for us and our families.

But you can still choose to boost your immune system with vitamin D, without which it can’t properly function, and vitamin C. Be careful with zinc, but do consider it; it keeps the virus out of your cells. And it works better with quercetin. And do tell your doctor that you would like a prescription for ivermectin -if only to see the reaction- or HCQ. Ask about melatonin. Get some low dose aspirin. Inform yourself.

Since I am not a doctor (I just listen to them a lot), let me close with an old favorite I haven’t used in a long time: This information is for entertainment purposes only.

PS: Oh, and no, these things are not mistakes. Mistakes are not deliberate.

 

 

 

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Oct 122021
 


Pablo Picasso Two naked figures 1908

 

Covid Response ‘One Of UK’s Worst Ever Public Health Failures’ (G.)
Down To Only One Question Now.. (Denninger)
The Waiting Is The Hardest Part (Kunstler)
Seattle PD May Lose 40% Of Officers Over Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate (ZH)
Southwest Says Staffing Shortages Contributed To Flight Snarls (Y!)
Texas Gov. Abbott Issues Order Banning Covid Vaccination Mandates (NBC)
Ivermectin as Covid Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Method in Healthcare Workers (NIH)
Russian Drug To Calm Cytokine Storm (RT)
FDA Responds To Nordic Countries Suspending Moderna COVID Vaccine Usage (ET)
Thousands More People Than Usual Are Dying … But It’s Not From Covid (Tel.)
Live Free Or Die: Why Medical Autonomy Matters (Miele)
Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? (Turley)
Southwest Offers Free Flights To Anyone Vaccinated Who Can Fly A Plane (BBee)

 

 

 

 

The report itself is as big a failure. What went wrong? Lockdowns came too late.. But the vaccines are a resounding success. Yeah, sure. Just look at all the new cases. Oh, and in the 2nd graph, what are all those recent excess deaths? Where do they come from? Couldn’t be the vaccines, could it?

Not one word on early treatment or prophylaxis. Not one.

Covid Response ‘One Of UK’s Worst Ever Public Health Failures’ (G.)

Britain’s early handling of the coronavirus pandemic was one of the worst public health failures in UK history, with ministers and scientists taking a “fatalistic” approach that exacerbated the death toll, a landmark inquiry has found. “Groupthink”, evidence of British exceptionalism and a deliberately “slow and gradualist” approach meant the UK fared “significantly worse” than other countries, according to the 151-page “Coronavirus: lessons learned to date” report led by two former Conservative ministers. The crisis exposed “major deficiencies in the machinery of government”, with public bodies unable to share vital information and scientific advice impaired by a lack of transparency, input from international experts and meaningful challenge.

Despite being one of the first countries to develop a test for Covid in January 2020, the UK “squandered” its lead and “converted it into one of permanent crisis”. The consequences were profound, the report says. “For a country with a world-class expertise in data analysis, to face the biggest health crisis in 100 years with virtually no data to analyse was an almost unimaginable setback.” Boris Johnson did not order a complete lockdown until 23 March 2020, two months after the government’s Sage committee of scientific advisers first met to discuss the crisis. “This slow and gradualist approach was not inadvertent, nor did it reflect bureaucratic delay or disagreement between ministers and their advisers. It was a deliberate policy – proposed by official scientific advisers and adopted by the governments of all of the nations of the UK,” the report says.


“It is now clear that this was the wrong policy, and that it led to a higher initial death toll than would have resulted from a more emphatic early policy. In a pandemic spreading rapidly and exponentially, every week counted.”

Read more …

“.. that the vaccine makes you more likely to both get and give to others the virus is now established.”

Down To Only One Question Now.. (Denninger)

Unfortunately what this means is that now for anyone over 30 you are more likely to get infected, yes, adjusted for the population that is vaccinated, if you are vaccinated. Indeed in the 40-49 age group you’re close to double as probable on a per-population basis. This means that if your employer mandates the jabs he or she can be sued for putting those who can’t get vaccinated at double the risk, on purpose, by enforcing the mandate. Since there are people who can’t (due to immune compromise, such as cancer patients) be vaccinated this is now intentional risk. In other words this is hard, scientific evidence that these mandates by employers have increased the risk of customers (and other employees) contracting Covid-19. This isn’t a natural risk, it’s a man-made one created by the employer.

That’s actionable. So far this is not translating into higher risk of Covid hospitalization and death on a per-100,000 basis. But that the vaccine makes you more likely to both get and give to others the virus is now established. It is fact. It is in fact true for everyone who is over 30. I have pointed out that preventing infection was never in the cards; it was not part of the EUA, it was not part of the studies, it was never demonstrated. But this is much worse because now we are talking about a direct threat to others The CDC, NIH and Biden almost-certainly know this. This is why the mad rush to demand you get jabbed; they know damn well what this means and that while the manufacturer is immune the employers are not and in fact any such mandate leaves them wide open legally as soon as an unvaccinated person gets infected after being at said firm either as an employee or customer and sues the company on the basis of intentionally and maliciously increasing their risk by forcing their employees to get the jab, which is exactly what they did.

The data from England is conclusive in that regard. I bet that they’ve known this was happening right here in the US for months now. I expected no effective protection. What I did not expect was negative protection, but that’s what we got. This portends the potential for very, very bad things. Specifically, if the impairment is only toward Covid-19; that is, this is some sort of VEI specific to Covid, then the issue ends there. For those with natural (recovered) immunity they don’t care and absolutely should not get the jab; indeed, if you’re recovered and take them you may destroy your protection in part or whole and wind up susceptible to repeat infection you would otherwise not be hit with! If you do that you’re stupid and may well win a stupid prize.

But the 900lb Gorilla is that the impairment may not Covid-19 specific. In other words the impairment may be immune system generalized, in which case those who took the jabs are screwed because that immune damage could be long-lasting or even permanent, yet the protection against serious outcomes is specific to Covid. So yes, you’re “safer” against a serious outcome even while screwing everyone else, but at the same time you are wildly more-susceptible to a severe or fatal outcome due to, for example, influenza.

Read more …

“If you were paranoid, you might suspect that something was up in this attempt to roadblock cheap, safe, and effective treatments..”

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part (Kunstler)

Meanwhile, we have the arrival on-the-scene of another joker: Merck’s new anti-Covid-19 drug molnupiravir, said to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid by 50 percent. Merck and its partner, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, have applied for an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDC for this new drug, the same legal loophole that Pfizer and Moderna got for their mRNA vaxes. “Joe Biden” promised to spend $1.2 billion procuring a big batch of the new drug, so bringing it on must be a done deal. The catch is, molnupiravir is in the same order of nucleoside analogue drugs as remdesivir, a clinically-proven failure in the treatment of Covid 19. The stuff killed patients left and right. Molnupiravir’s mutagenic mechanism is supposed to mess with the DNA of Covid-19 viruses, incrementally disabling them and killing them off.


The trouble is, mutagenic drugs are notorious for broad spectrum action, so Molnupiravir might do the same thing to the various cells in your body, too: instant cancer. I guess we’ll have to stand-by and see how that works out. It pays to remember, though, that the EUA didn’t work out so well for the Covid-19 vaccines, did it? The waiting is the hardest part. Molnupiravir was shoved out onstage after two years of the public health authorities (Drs. Fauci, Collins, et al.) and the corporate news media casting curses on the existing suite of cheap drugs that proved clinically effective in the early treatment of Covid-19, namely ivermectin (a.k.a. “horse paste”), hydroxychloroquine, fluvoxamine, prednisone, etc. If you were paranoid, you might suspect that something was up in this attempt to roadblock cheap, safe, and effective treatments in favor of untested novelties that would just happen to be another multibillion-dollar boon for drug companies.

Read more …

How many of these “leaders” will give in before Christmas?

Seattle PD May Lose 40% Of Officers Over Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate (ZH)

It was inevitable – as vaccine mandates across the country approach their deadlines, vast swaths of American workers, service members and atheletes face termination or disciplinary action for refusing to take the Covid-19 jab. In Los Angeles, nearly 1,000 firefighters are about to sue the city over the mandate. Southwest Airlines’ pilot union sued the company last week, before staffing shortages led to the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights over the weekend (and more on Monday). Meanwhile, doctors and nurses across the country have begun suing their employers. Interestingly, after a group of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department sued over the mandate, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that he would not ‘force anyone’ to take the jab.


But not Seattle – which stands to lose 40% of its 1,000 person force for failing to get vaccinated as an Oct. 18 deadline approaches. “The environment has been pretty toxic and negative,” one officer anonymously told Fox 13. “Not just from this whole mandate, but prior to that as well. I’m not sure this would be a good place for me to work long-term for my mental health. It has been very stressful.” Recall that this is on the heels of the city losing around 300 officers amid Black Lives Matter riots and the “defund the police” movement. By the numbers, as of Oct. 6, 292 sworn personnel had yet to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination per the report, down from 354 on Tuesday. An additional 111 officers are awaiting the results of exemption requests, meaning the total number of potentially fired Seattle cops is as high as 403.

Read more …

The hide and seek game continues.

Southwest Says Staffing Shortages Contributed To Flight Snarls (Y!)

After initially blaming air traffic control issues and weather for thousands of flight cancelations, Southwest Airlines on Monday acknowledged that staffing shortages also played a role in the service disruption. The carrier cancelled 1,124 flights on Sunday — by far the highest rate of any airline — 800 the day before and another 326 on Monday, according to airline tracker FlightAware. “On Friday evening, the airline ended the day with numerous cancellations, primarily created by weather and other external constraints, which left aircraft and crews out of pre-planned positions to operate our schedule on Saturday,” the low-cost carrier said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the out-of-place aircraft and continued strain on our crew resources created additional cancelations across our point-to-point network that cascaded throughout the weekend and into Monday.”


CNBC reported Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven acknowledged to employees that the company “is still not where we need to be on staffing, and in particular with flight crews.” Like most airlines, Southwest let employees go when air traffic collapsed as the Covid-19 pandemic began, but has seen business surge this year as vaccinations spur people to travel again. The weekend’s snarls caused speculation that some pilots or other Southwest staff were participating in a work slowdown as a way to express opposition to the company’s decision to require its employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19. In their statement, Southwest said “the operational challenges were not a result of Southwest employee demonstrations” and they hope to restore normal operations “as soon as possible.”

Read more …

The value of freedom.

Texas Gov. Abbott Issues Order Banning Covid Vaccination Mandates (NBC)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday prohibiting any entity, including private businesses, from imposing Covid-19 vaccination requirements on employees or customers. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a statement. Abbott, a Republican, said in his order that it was prompted by the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate, which he said was federal overreach. President Joe Biden announced a mandate last month requiring companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workforces are vaccinated or regularly tested. The Labor Department has yet to release details of the emergency rule, but Biden last week called on companies to act now and not to wait for the requirement to go into effect.


Abbott, who tested positive for Covid in August, has also resisted mask mandates and requiring proof of vaccination. Texas has continued to experience a rise in cases and crowded hospitals, prompting Abbott to invest in monoclonal antibody infusion centers. Abbott issued executive orders over the summer banning local governments and school districts from requiring either masks or vaccinations, issuing $1,000 fines to those who failed to comply. School districts in San Antonio and Dallas have challenged the order in court. The Legislature also passed a bill in June banning private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination from customers.

Read more …

From the NIH: ” Ivermectin is a drug that has been shown to be active against coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) in previous studies”.

Any further questions?

Ivermectin as Covid Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Method in Healthcare Workers (NIH)

Background: Ivermectin is a drug that has been shown to be active against coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) in previous studies. Healthcare personnel are highly exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Therefore, we decided to offer them ivermectin as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) method.

Purpose: Primary outcome was to measure the number of healthcare workers with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and a positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 test in the ivermectin group and in the control group. Secondary outcome was to measure the number of sick healthcare workers with a positive RT-PCR COVID-19 test whose condition deteriorated and required hospitalization and/or an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or who died, in the ivermectin group and in the control group.

Material and methods: This observational and retrospective cohort study was carried out in two medical centers, Centro Medico Bournigal (CMBO) in Puerto Plata and Centro Medico Punta Cana (CMPC) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The study began on June 29, 2020, and ended on July 26, 2020. A Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Propensity Score Matching procedure was applied in a 1:1 ratio to homogeneously evaluate 271 healthcare personnel that adhered to a PrEP program with ivermectin at a weekly oral (PO) dose of 0.2 mg/kg, and 271 healthcare personnel who did not adhere to the program were assigned as a control group.

Results: In 28 days of follow-up, significant protection of ivermectin preventing the infection from SARS-CoV-2 was observed: 1.8% compared to those who did not take it (6.6%; p-value = 0.006), with a risk reduction of 74% (HR 0.26, 95% CI [0.10,0.71]). Conclusions: These results suggest that compassionate use of weekly ivermectin could be an option as a preventive method in healthcare workers and as an adjunct to immunizations, while further well-designed randomized controlled trials are developed to facilitate scientific consensus.

Read more …

Promising, but…

Russian Drug To Calm Cytokine Storm (RT)

A group of Russian scientists have created a drug that may potentially revolutionize the treatment of Covid-19 by defusing the most catastrophic reaction the disease causes in patients, while not destroying their immune response. The drug, called Leitragin, was developed by the Biomedical Technology Research Center of the Russian Federal Medical and Biology Agency (FMBA), and is currently undergoing clinical trials in Russia. Although its base substance was previously known and used in ulcer treatment medicine by Soviet and Russian doctors, it was the FMBA team that discovered how to apply it for the treatment of severe cases of Covid-19 and, potentially, other deadly diseases that cause life-threatening lung inflammation.


The Russian scientists had tasked themselves with finding a substance that would act as an ‘off switch’ for the chain reaction that, after being triggered by the invading SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually causes potential organ failure and death. This reaction of the immune system, dubbed the “cytokine storm,” has been variously described as our body’s overreaction to the virus or a “suicide attack” against the invading pathogen, and even as an evolutionary mechanism to stop the spread of deadly infections with the death of the host. Trying to stop this uncontrolled immune response while still preserving the body’s ability to fight the virus without causing more damage is what scientists and medics in intensive care units across the world have been wrestling with during the Covid-19 pandemic. In that regard, Leitragin is being touted as a game-changer, since its novel mechanism acts in a targeted way, and is said to be completely safe for one’s health.

Read more …

Wait, so Iceland ditches Moderna because it has enough Pfizer… which it says has the same effects as Moderna.

FDA Responds To Nordic Countries Suspending Moderna COVID Vaccine Usage (ET)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responded to Nordic countries limiting the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine last week, saying the shot’s benefits outweigh the risks. Health officials in Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for younger people due to a risk of side effects including myocarditis. Sweden said it would pause the vaccine for people under the age of 30, and Denmark did the same for those under 18. Finland said that males under the age 30 shouldn’t receive the jab, while Icelandic officials added over the weekend that they would suspend use of the shot.

“The FDA is aware of these data. At this time, FDA continues to find that the known and potential benefits of vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks for the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine,” an FDA official said in a statement to news outlets over the weekend in response to the Nordic nations’ decision to suspend the vaccine for certain age groups. Moderna, meanwhile, said in a statement after the countries’ decision that it was “aware of the very rare occurrence of myocarditis and/or pericarditis following administration of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.” “These are typically mild cases and individuals tend to recover within a short time following standard treatment and rest. The risk of myocarditis is substantially increased for those who contract COVID-19, and vaccination is the best way to protect against this,” the company’s statement continued.

Moderna’s vaccine is still being administered under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization. The company’s application for full approval is still pending. On Oct. 10, Iceland’s Health Directorate said the Moderna vaccine would be entirely suspended due to the risk of cardiac inflammation. “As the supply of Pfizer vaccine is sufficient in the territory … the chief epidemiologist has decided not to use the Moderna vaccine in Iceland,” according to a statement published on the Health Directorate website. The move was handed down due to “the increased incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination with the Moderna vaccine, as well as with vaccination using Pfizer/BioNTech,” its statement continued.

Read more …

Sep 24. yeah, we have no idea what kills all those people…

Thousands More People Than Usual Are Dying … But It’s Not From Covid (Tel.)

While focus remains firmly fixed on Covid-19, a second health crisis is quietly emerging in Britain. Since the beginning of July, there have been thousands of excess deaths that were not caused by coronavirus. According to health experts, this is highly unusual for the summer. Although excess deaths are expected during the winter months, when cold weather and seasonal infections combine to place pressure on the NHS, summer generally sees a lull. This year is a worrying outlier. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), since July 2 there have been 9,619 excess deaths in England and Wales, of which 48 per cent (4,635) were not caused by Covid-19. So if all these extra people are not dying from coronavirus, what is killing them?

Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that during that period there were 2,103 extra death registrations with ischemic heart disease, 1,552 with heart failure, as well as an extra 760 deaths with cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke and aneurysm and 3,915 with other circulatory diseases. Acute and chronic respiratory infections were also up with 3,416 more mentions on death certificates than expected since the start of July, while there have been 1,234 extra urinary system disease deaths, 324 with cirrhosis and liver disease and 1,905 with diabetes. Alarmingly, many of these conditions saw the biggest drops in diagnosis in 2020, as the NHS struggled to cope with the pandemic.

A report released last week by the Government detailing the direct and indirect health impacts of the pandemic reported that there were an estimated 23 million fewer GP consultations – both in-person and online, in 2020 compared with 2019. Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) fell by 51 per cent, atrial fibrillation 26 per cent, heart failure 20 per cent, diabetes 19 per cent, coronary heart disease, 17 per cent and stroke and transient ischemic attack by 16 per cent.

Read more …

“I make my choices, and you make yours. Except with COVID. Then Joe Biden makes my choices, trying to protect me from myself.”

Live Free Or Die: Why Medical Autonomy Matters (Miele)

I think vaccines have done the world a world of good. I remember getting my smallpox vaccine and waiting eagerly to get the scar on my arm that my mother’s arm showed off like a badge of courage, but it never appeared for me. Then when the oral polio vaccine was developed, I remember lining up in the gym at North Garnerville Elementary School in New York to get my first dose on a sugar cube. Yum. So yes, I’m pro-vaccine. I also generally get the flu vaccine every year. I even got a shot last year, although for some peculiar reason, influenza vanished last winter while COVID was enjoying its greatest reign of terror. And naturally, my three children have all been vaccinated against the usual childhood diseases and taken whatever was recommended to keep them safe.

But one thing I never thought of doing was forcing my neighbors to get vaccinated against the flu. Did you know that influenza kills as many as 50,000 Americans a year? That’s approaching the number of U.S. soldiers killed in the entire length of the Vietnam War. On average, flu kills as many Americans every year as car crashes. Yet did anyone — even St. Anthony Fauci — ever dare to suggest that vaccination for flu should be mandatory because it would save lives? Hell, no, and even though many vaccinations are required of school children for good reasons, we also have allowed religious and medical exemptions for families that needed them. Because we aren’t supposed to be a nation of slaves, but a nation of citizens. If someone had a personal reason why they rejected vaccines, we didn’t put them through an inquisition or try to burn them at the stake of public opinion. This was America — land of the free.

I also never thought of celebrating when a person who opted not to get the flu vaccine died of influenza. But vaccine mandate supporters seem to get giddy when a vaccine refusenik falls ill from COVID and dies on a ventilator or worse. This isn’t science; it’s scientific imperialism — and the CDC centurions are ruthless in their application of power to the masses. Obey or die. So why might a reasonable person decide not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in such a hysterical climate? Maybe because it’s an experimental and untested drug using a technology (mRNA) that has the power to tamper with the very genetic makeup of the cells in my body. Maybe because I’m more worried about herd instinct than herd immunity. Maybe because I’ve heard wonky scientists gloating about the power they wield over everyday Americans.

Maybe because Big Pharma’s getting rich by inventing reasons why you just might need to get a new shot every year. Maybe because I want to decide for myself what’s best for me. Think of it this way. You are afraid of dying of COVID-19. So am I. But that doesn’t mean I am going to die from COVID. In fact, there is what I would characterize as an acceptably small chance I will die of COVID, and I’m 66 years old, right smack in the realm of the supposedly at-risk elderly population. According to data from the CDC reported at RationalGround.com, from Jan. 1, 2020 until Sept. 11, 2021, there were 12,702 U.S. deaths from COVID for my age cohort out of an estimated population of 3,618,069. That’s a death rate of 0.365%.

Meanwhile, 100,449 people my age died during the same period of all causes, suggesting I have about a 12% chance of dying of something this year, a much scarier possibility than dying of COVID-19. Think of it! If I’m going to die this year, I’m 33 times more likely to die of anything else besides COVID. Based on the propaganda we are inundated with every day about the virus, I should be terrified! There are way worse things out there trying to kill me than COVID. But I’m not terrified, not even slightly, because life is always a risk. I can temper my risks by avoiding downhill skiing, ATVs, booze, surfing, and motorsports. Those are my choices, but heaven forbid I should dictate that you have to avoid those activities because they are not 100% safe. Your behavior is none of my business. I make my choices, and you make yours. Except with COVID. Then Joe Biden makes my choices, trying to protect me from myself.

Read more …

Wouldn’t he be circling Biden then?

Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? (Turley)

As soon as the conspiracy theory was packaged and delivered the FBI and the media by Sussman, the indictment recounts an exchange between some of those “VIPs”: “… on or about September 15, 2016, Campaign Lawyer-1 exchanged emails with the Clinton Campaign’s campaign manager, communications director, and foreign policy advisor concerning the Russian Bank-1 allegations that SUSSMANN had recently shared with Reporter-1.” The campaign lawyer reportedly was Elias, and the “foreign policy advisor” reportedly was Sullivan. Sullivan was quoted in an official campaign press statement as stating that the Alfa Bank allegation “could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow.”

In the statement, Sullivan said: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia … This line of communication may help explain Trump’s bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin.” The U.S. intelligence community ultimately rejected the Alfa Bank conspiracy. It also concluded that the Steele dossier not only relied on a suspected Russian agent but likely was used by Russian intelligence to spread disinformation through the Clinton campaign. Yet, when Sullivan was later questioned by Congress, he went full Sergeant Schultz, claiming he basically did not have a clue about the basis or origins of the Alfa Bank controversy or other campaign-orchestrated scandals.

Sullivan was adept at laying qualifiers upon qualifiers to render statements useless: “broadly speaking, at some point in the summer, and I don’t remember exactly when it was, around the convention, I learned that there was an effort to do some research into the ties between Trump and Russia.” That will make any false statement claim difficult absent direct involvement in the planning of these “campaign efforts.” Sullivan denied knowing that Elias or Sussman were working for the Clinton campaign, despite numerous news articles identifying Elias as the campaign’s general counsel. Sullivan just shrugged and said: “To be honest with you, Marc wears a tremendous number of hats, so I wasn’t sure who he was representing. I sort of thought he was, you know, just talking to us as, you know, a fellow traveler in this — in this campaign effort.”

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“..other skills that were not required, but beneficial: Experience calming herds of rabid, sleepless passengers, expertise in flying through mysterious, invisible weather events, and the ability to land the plane.”

Southwest Offers Free Flights To Anyone Vaccinated Who Can Fly A Plane (BBee)

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines has announced delays in flights due to strange weather that seems to pass over competitors’ planes, only affecting their own signature blue and orange aircraft. The airline has stated these delays have no connection to their pilots protesting vaccine mandates. The spokesperson then announced a new Southwest Airlines incentive program for potential passengers: All flights, domestic or international, are free to any passenger who is vaccinated and can also fly a plane.


“The requirements to take advantage of these incredible savings are simple,” said Southwest CEO Bob Southwest to a crowd of customers who have been stuck at the airport all weekend and were frothing at the mouth in anger. “Show us proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and promise us you know how fly commercial airliners, and your flight is on us.” The CEO then mentioned other skills that were not required, but beneficial: Experience calming herds of rabid, sleepless passengers, expertise in flying through mysterious, invisible weather events, and the ability to land the plane.

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Jul 142021
 
 July 14, 2021  Posted by at 9:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  93 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Courtesan (after Eisen) 1887

 

Natural Infection vs Vaccination: Which Gives More Protection? (INN)
“It Needs To Be Hard For People To Remain Unvaccinated” (Turley)
I Told You It Would Fly Apart. It Is. (Denninger)
Third of England Still Without Any Covid Immunity, Scientist Warns (G.)
UK’s Return To ‘Freedom’ : Masks, Tracking And Vaccine Passports (SN)
UK’s ‘Awful Experiment’ Will Threaten NZ (NR.nz)
UK Covid Vaccines Deaths In 6 Months 4x Higher Than All Others In 11 Years (DE)
Holy Synod Of The Greek Church Recommends “Free Choice” For Vaccinations (KTG)
New York Takes Conservative Approach Counting Virus Deaths (AP)
New ‘Great Game’ Gets Back To Basics (Escobar)

 

 

We have a lot of concerns, and rightly so, about doctors and others who get banned and deleted on (social) media for saying things about Covid, vaccines and more that don’t fit the Trusted News Initiative’s stated goals. But that same treatement of reality also means that everyday people have no idea what is going on in their world. For instance, they have no clue that most people have immune systems that will fight off Covid with ease.

They have been told there are 2 kinds of immunity: from infection or from vaccination. And they believe what they’re told. Natural born immunity is anathema to control. If people know they are not under threat, how do you control them? You have to dumb them down. And then set them against others who have other ideas.

 

 

 

 

Children and Covid
https://twitter.com/i/status/1414252048716124160

 

 

 

 

Who dumbed these people down?

Natural Infection vs Vaccination: Which Gives More Protection? (INN)

Coronavirus patients who recovered from the virus were far less likely to become infected during the latest wave of the pandemic than people who were vaccinated against COVID, according to numbers presented to the Israeli Health Ministry. Health Ministry data on the wave of COVID outbreaks which began this May show that Israelis with immunity from natural infection were far less likely to become infected again in comparison to Israelis who only had immunity via vaccination. More than 7,700 new cases of the virus have been detected during the most recent wave starting in May, but just 72 of the confirmed cases were reported in people who were known to have been infected previously – that is, less than 1% of the new cases.


Roughly 40% of new cases – or more than 3,000 patients – involved people who had been infected despite being vaccinated. With a total of 835,792 Israelis known to have recovered from the virus, the 72 instances of reinfection amount to 0.0086% of people who were already infected with COVID. By contrast, Israelis who were vaccinated were 6.72 times more likely to get infected after the shot than after natural infection, with over 3,000 of the 5,193,499, or 0.0578%, of Israelis who were vaccinated getting infected in the latest wave. According to a report by Channel 13, the disparity has confounded – and divided – Health Ministry experts, with some saying the data proves the higher level of immunity provided by natural infection versus vaccination, while others remained unconvinced.

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This is exactly why there is the Nuremberg code. Exactly.

“It Needs To Be Hard For People To Remain Unvaccinated” (Turley)

Dr. Leana Wen, CNN analyst and Distinguished Fellow at the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute of Health Workforce Equity at George Washington University, has caused a stir due to her recent declaration on CNN that “it needs to be hard for people to remain unvaccinated.” With France implementing a mandatory “health pass” and private companies like Morgan Stanley requiring vaccinations for employees to return to work, we can expect more protests and challenges around the world. Those cases are likely to focus on whether mandatory requirements are based on medical or political imperatives. Wen’s comment is likely to be repeated in many filings as another case of “saying the quiet part out loud.” She appears to advocate measures defined to coerce people to take vaccinations due to the continuing refusal of a sizable number of people.

Wen is a well-known medical analyst and the former head of Planned Parenthood. She is a visiting professor at George Washington University. Wen made clear that health measures should be used to make life hard for people who refuse the vaccine so that they yield to public demands: “[b]asically, we need to make getting vaccinated the easy choice.” In the Washington Post, Wen also called for “Biden to make the case for vaccine requirements.” There is already open pressure from the White House on private companies to require vaccinations. Morgan Stanley responded by doing just that this week. They can likely do so. The most serious challenges could come from those with religious objections. However, even if they are allowed to work remotely, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman stated in July that “If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York. None of this, ‘I’m in Colorado…and getting paid like I’m sitting in New York City. Sorry, that doesn’t work.” The message could not be clearer that working remotely will come at a penalty.

The Biden White House is clearly concerned that making vaccines mandatory will cause not just court challenges but a public backlash. However, such mandatory programs have been upheld. As I discussed in a column last year, there is a 1905 case where the Supreme Court upheld a state mandatory vaccination program of school children for small pox in Massachusetts. In Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), the Court found that such programs are the quintessential state power rather than a federal power. It also held that “every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.” States are allowed to subject citizens to restraints to protect “general comfort, health, and prosperity of the State.”

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“They really have gone all the way to clown world in DC folks.”

I Told You It Would Fly Apart. It Is. (Denninger)

Now Biden administration officials are telling people that “vaccine hesitancy” is about bringing the Biden Administration down. “It’s being coordinated by people who have platforms and have an interest in bringing down the current administration.” Oh please. You really expect anyone to believe that Trump supporters are going to willingly die to destroy Joe Biden’s administration? If they were really willing to die to ruin Biden’s administration some tiny percentage could simply decide he’s leaving office now. Given that we’re talking about 60 million people who voted for Trump it must be assumed that if even a tiny percentage decided that bitching wasn’t enough one or more would succeed and, of course, likely die. But deliberately contract a deadly virus and choke on your own spit to ruin a sitting President’s administration?

You’re joking, right? They really have gone all the way to clown world in DC folks. The press secretary also pointed out that the administration has, for months, engaged with local community groups and pastors to handle the “door-to-door” sharing of information with neighbors about the vaccine. Conveniently omitting, I’m sure that there are 9,000 death reports in VAERS associated with these shots. Contrast that against the flu shot, which also is given to about 170 million Americans a year — last year’s campaign of 170 million stabs, more or less, was associated with 26 deaths. If these shots are so safe why are 400 times as many people on a per-shot basis dying in close association with taking them?

Why did the FDA just issue a warning about GBS with the J&J vaccine over an associated rate of about 1 in 125,000 shots where the death rate for the shots (associated, again, not proved) of about 1 in 16,000? Last time I checked death is not treatable — GBS is, although sometimes the damage is both life-altering and permanent. Oh, and look at this lie from Politico: “The big misinterpretation that Fox News or whomever else is saying is that they are essentially envisioning a bunch of federal workers knocking on your door, telling you you’ve got to do something that you don’t want to do,” Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said in an interview on Sunday. “That’s absolutely not the case, it’s trusted messengers who are part of the community doing that — not government officials. So that’s where I think the disconnect is.” Oh really?

Well Politico, how long did it take for Fauci to get caught lying about there being no plans to mandate anything that someone doesn’t want to do? “Fauci says vaccines should be mandated at the local level but the federal government will not mandate them.” Oh, so he’ll just try to get others to mandate them but he won’t because HE CAN’T AND HE KNOWS IT. Why would I believe these shots work when the chief advocate got caught lying about his desires and intentions by explicitly advocating for forced shots while at the same time saying that was not the intent? In other news South Carolina’s AG recently sent one of their colleges a rather strict warning: Their plan to treat non-vaccinated students in a punitive way, including masks and weekly testing, is illegal. They backed down.

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That is mathematically impossible.

Third of England Still Without Any Covid Immunity, Scientist Warns (G.)

As ministers proceed with lifting most of England’s restrictions next week, a third of the population is still unprotected from getting infected with Covid, scientists have estimated. There have been about 15 million infections so far (roughly 27% of England’s population), and once partial and full vaccinations are accounted for that leaves approximately 33% of the population still susceptible to being infected with the Delta variant that is now dominant, said Matt Keeling, a professor of populations and disease at the University of Warwick and a member of a Sage subcommittee focused on infectious disease modelling and epidemiology (Spi-M). Roughly half the UK is now fully vaccinated but Covid infections are surging again and hospitalisations are on the rise, driven by the spread of Delta and the lifting of some restrictions.

On Tuesday the UK reported 50 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test, the worst daily toll since early April, and 36,660 new Covid cases. Boris Johnson has confirmed plans to discard almost all restrictions in England next week, including mask-wearing and social distancing mandates, but has urged caution. Whether this unlocking is permanent or temporary will depend on precautions taken by the public and vaccination rates, Sage scientists have said. Suggesting that there would be a jump in cases whenever restrictions were lifted, Johnson on Monday said it would be better to unlock now, with the “natural firebreak” of the school summer holidays, than in the autumn or winter when the NHS will be under greater pressure.

Dr Marc Baguelin, of Imperial College London and a member of Spi-M, said on Tuesday that the modelling indicated there was limited benefit to delaying the reopening. “All that’s going to do is just push things down the line – we would get slightly more vaccination, but it wouldn’t make a huge difference,” he said. But he added: “If we are opening up now, which has been the decision, then it needs to be done gradually and with care.” Other scientists have vehemently opposed the unlocking next week, suggesting the government has decided to achieve herd immunity by in effect letting the virus run wild in young people, which they say will lead to disruptions in NHS care, education and more people getting long Covid.

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The land of fear.

UK’s Return To ‘Freedom’ : Masks, Tracking And Vaccine Passports (SN)

After weeks of denying that vaccine passports would be introduced into everyday domestic life in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday that the government will ask nightclubs, pubs, and anywhere where people gather to adopt the measure ‘as a matter of social responsibility’. The announcement was again completely vague, with little details on exactly what venues will be made to use the NHS COVID app system as “a means of entry,” or how it will be managed and enforced. The only details that were given by ministers are that it will be ‘encouraged’ anywhere where people are “likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household.” So everywhere then.

Government guidelines, published Monday also state that if sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will “consider mandating certification in certain venues at a later date.” The announcement also comes on the heels of the government suggesting that while face masks and distancing measures will become optional, businesses and transport companies will be encouraged to make their own policies. In addition, the NHS ‘Test, Trace & Isolate’ system will also remain in place, meaning that people will still be subject to spontaneous house arrest orders. The government documents state that “Test, Trace and Isolate has an important ongoing role in managing the virus and reduces the risk of potentially dangerous variants spreading.”

“The Government expects the Test, Trace and Isolate system will remain necessary through the autumn and winter,” it adds. The guidance also states that “Anyone who tests positive will still need to self-isolate regardless of their vaccination status. Further details will be published in due course and the changes are likely to come into effect later in the summer.” The Prime Minster also stated Monday that the Government will keep Covid data under review “probably, I’m afraid, into next year” adding that he “will not hesitate” to re-impose restrictions if needed. The series of ‘freedom’ announcements has left journalists, business owners, MPs, and the general population asking what exactly they are being freed from.

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New Zealand needs oxygen. Too much nonsense to address.

UK’s ‘Awful Experiment’ Will Threaten NZ (NR.nz)

Recent months have seen a surge of support in the scientific community for the theory that the coronavirus pandemic is a result of gain-of-function experiments in a Wuhan virus lab, although the issue is still hotly contested and far from settled. What most experts can agree on is that the United Kingdom is about to embark on a country-wide experiment in gain-of-function research. By abolishing all public health restrictions with just half of the population fully vaccinated, the UK could produce new variants that evade vaccine-induced immunity. “If you are going to train a virus to escape vaccine-induced immunity, you would do exactly what they’re doing,” Jemma Geoghegan, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Otago, told Newsroom.

“You’re basically providing a training ground for the virus to overcome those selection pressures. You’re allowing the virus to continue to spread. With this moderately immune population and with the Delta variant that has an R0 that’s estimated to be probably five or six, you need a threshold to be much, much, much higher than they currently have.” If the United Kingdom had reached that threshold, then removing restrictions wouldn’t pose an issue because the virus would struggle to spread through a heavily vaccinated population. Now, however, it will be able to spread rapidly through the unvaccinated population and then infect many vaccinated people as well. And the more the virus spreads and reproduces, the more it mutates.

In particular, when it infects vaccinated people, the random mutations which enable it to pierce that vaccine-induced immunity are more likely to stick. It’s simply survival of the fittest. “Delta is not going to be the last variant. The semi-weak selection pressure for a virus, in this big population, it’s not good for the future of the vaccine. I’m sure that there is going to be some evolution of some sort of resistance,” Geoghegan said. That is, while vaccines remain highly effective at reducing severe disease, hospitalisations and deaths from existing variants of the virus, new variants could threaten that. And the United Kingdom’s opening up is more likely to produce those types of variants.

University of Auckland microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles said: “The question is, how much worse is Delta going to get? “They are running a really quite awful experiment.” This doesn’t just endanger New Zealand over the next few months, but in fact threatens to unroll the progress of the vaccine rollout in every country. If new variants reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, that extends the needed threshold for population immunity. And recent modelling from Te Pknaha Matatini found that, for New Zealand at least, a full 97 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated if vaccine efficacy fell to 70 percent and the dominant global variant was highly transmissible. That would make reaching immunity through vaccination alone effectively impossible. It would necessitate ongoing, low-level public health restrictions for an extended period of time, if not indefinitely.

For those countries which are not able to maintain those measures or which have failed to exclude Covid-19 to date, the picture would be even more grim. As British commentator Umair Haque wrote about the UK’s own fate: “A tiny portrait of the future of Britain’s public health goes like this. Restrictions lifted, just as a new wave surges exponentially. Bang — the Delta wave explodes. New variants breed like wildfire. Waves of new variants surge in a Pandemic Storm, if you like — Delta, Lambda, whatever’s next — and recombine into even deadlier ones. “The world shuts its doors. Covid does become a new flu in Britain, an endemic, seasonal illness, only with hundreds of times the mortality and hospitalisation rates of the flu, bringing society to its knees, over and over again. Every winter is a deadly one. Every summer is only the eye of a widening gyre.”

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They’re perfectly safe.

UK Covid Vaccines Deaths In 6 Months 4x Higher Than All Others In 11 Years (DE)

A freedom of information request made to the MHRA has revealed just how deadly the Covid-19 vaccines really are. The request made by Duncan Husband on the 29th May 2021 asked the MHRA to provide a list of all new vaccines in the UK between 2010 and 2020 and to also provide the number of deaths, per vaccine, per month for the same time frame. The MHRA fulfilled the FOI request on the 29th June 2021 and provided a full list of all approved vaccines and a vaccine analysis print for each type of vaccine excluding the Adacel jab which the MHRA claim they do not have any reports on. Unfortunately the provided data does not breakdown into each month as Duncan Husband requested but does provide an overall review over the past decade of the total number of adverse reactions and deaths which are as follows –

The Pediacel vaccine to tackle diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 3rd December 2010. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 3013 adverse reactions and 15 deaths reported to the MHRA. The pneumococcal vaccine to tackle pneumonia was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 20th May 2015. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 8.238 adverse reactions and 38 deaths reported to the MHRA. The rabies vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline; in which Patrick Vallance has shares, was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 6th April 2017. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 2,387 adverse reactions and 1 death reported to the MHRA.

The VIVOTIF vaccine to tackle typhoid fever was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 25th July 2018 As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 309 adverse reactions and 0 deaths reported to the MHRA. The mejugate vaccines to tackle meningitis were granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 31st March 2015. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 9,980 adverse reactions and 2 deaths reported to the MHRA. The anthrax vaccine was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 3rd May 2018. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 294 adverse reactions and 0 deaths reported to the MHRA. The Hepatitis A vaccine was granted authorisation by the MHRA on the 24th December 2020. As of the 8th April 2021 there have been 848 adverse reactions and 1 death reported to the MHRA. The influenza vaccines, the earliest of which was granted authorisation in 2013, have had 23,068 adverse reactions and 227 deaths reported to the MHRA.

In all there have been 450 deaths among the 236,55 adverse reactions to the Pfizer mRNA vaccine reported to the MHRA Yellow Card scheme as of the 30th June 2021. The AstraZeneca jab has had 960 deaths among 775,940 adverse reactions reported to the MHRA Yellow Card scheme as of the 30th June 2021. There have also been 6 deaths among the 22,191 adverse reactions to the Moderna jab, and 24 deaths among the 2,690 adverse reactions reported where the brand of vaccine was not specified. This means that as of 30th June 2021 the Covid-19 vaccines have caused 1,037,376 adverse reactions and 1,440 deaths, and now they’re coming for your children and want to give booster jabs to the elderly and vulnerable in Autumn.

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The Church as the sole remaining voice of reason. Or are they afraid of the new Covid religion?

Holy Synod Of The Greek Church Recommends “Free Choice” For Vaccinations (KTG)

The Holy Synod of the Greek Church recommended on Tuesday the “free choice” for vaccination against Covid-19, vigilance in prayers” and “frequent participation in worshiping life.” Furthermore, the Holy Synod urged its members to “inform the faithful about the spiritual and regular teaching of the Church in matters of the pandemics.” This was stated in a press release issued after a meeting with the Health Minister and the country’s top epidemiologists Sotiris Tsiodras who asked the high-ranking clergymen to support and strengthen vaccinations in the country.


Neither the conservative minister nor the epidemiologist who also chants during religious services not even the Prime Minister last week could apparently convince the holy fathers to issue a circular urging priests and the faithful to wholehearted support the government’s vaccination program as infections spike. Apparently Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was convinced about the full support of the Greek Church as he urged citizens to “listen to the Church” during his address to the nation on Monday.

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Everyone counts the way that appears most useful to their political ends.

New York Takes Conservative Approach Counting Virus Deaths (AP)

The federal government’s count of the COVID-19 death toll in New York has 11,000 more victims than the tally publicized by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which has stuck with a far more conservative approach to counting virus deaths. The discrepancy in death counts continued to widen this year, according to an Associated Press review, even as the Democrat has come under fire over allegations that his office purposely obscured the number of deaths of nursing home residents to protect his reputation. New York state’s official death count, presented daily to the public and on the state’s Department of Health website, stood at around 43,000 this week. But the state has provided the federal government with data that shows roughly 54,000 people have died with COVID-19 as a cause or contributing factor listed on their death certificate.

“It’s a little strange,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. “They’re providing us with the death certificate information so they have it. I don’t know why they wouldn’t use those numbers.” Such a discrepancy can fuel distrust in government tallies of COVID-19 deaths, while making it harder for individuals to know why others in their community died in the pandemic, experts say. “We need to make sure we get it right, and people understand what the numbers are. And how we’re using them so they can’t be misused by people who have a motive to misuse them,” said Georges Benjamin, a physician and executive director at the American Public Health Association.

The Cuomo administration’s count includes only laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 deaths at hospitals, nursing homes and adult-care facilities. That means its tally excludes people who died at home, hospice, in state prisons or at state-run homes for people living with disabilities. It also excludes people who likely died of COVID-19 but never got a positive test to confirm the diagnosis. Tests were scarce in the early stages of New York’s outbreak. At least 5,000 New York City residents likely died of COVID-19 without a positive test, according to city statistics.

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Don’t be surprised if the US want back into Afghanistan shortly, claiming Taliban threat. Also, don’t be surprised if there’s no way back in.

New ‘Great Game’ Gets Back To Basics (Escobar)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on a Central Asian loop all through the week. He’s visiting Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The last two are full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded 20 years ago. The SCO heavyweights are of course China and Russia. They are joined by four Central Asian “stans” (all but Turkmenistan), India and Pakistan. Crucially, Afghanistan and Iran are observers, alongside Belarus and Mongolia. And that leads us to what’s happening this Wednesday in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital. The SCO will hold a 3 in 1: meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, and a conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities.”

At the same table, then, we will have Wang Yi, his very close strategic partner Sergey Lavrov and, most importantly, Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar. They’ll be debating trials and tribulations after the hegemon’s withdrawal and the miserable collapse of the myth of NATO “stabilizing” Afghanistan. Let’s game a possible scenario: Wang Yi and Lavrov tell Atmar, in no uncertain terms, that there’s got to be a national reconciliation deal with the Taliban, brokered by Russia-China, with no American interference, including the end of the opium-heroin ratline. Russia-China extract from the Taliban a firm promise that jihadism won’t be allowed to fester. The endgame: loads of productive investment, Afghanistan is incorporated to Belt and Road and – later on – to the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

The SCO’s joint statement on Wednesday will be particularly enlightening, perhaps detailing how the organization plans to coordinate a de facto Afghan peace process farther down the road. In this scenario, the SCO now has the chance to implement what it has been actively discussing for years: that only an Asian solution to the Afghan drama applies. Sun Zhuangzhi, executive director of the Chinese Research Center of the SCO, sums it all up: the organization is capable of coming up with a plan mixing political stability, economic and security development and a road map for infrastructure development projects. The Taliban agree. Spokesman Suhail Shaheen has stressed, “China is a friendly country that we welcome for reconstruction and developing Afghanistan.”

Read more …

 

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Malone Moderna

 

 

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Jul 122021
 


Henri Matisse The goldfish 1912

 

No End In Sight For Sydney Lockdown As Delta Variant Outbreak Worsens (F.)
Covid Unlocking On 19 July Must Come With A Warning: Boris Johnson (G.)
Mask Wearing Will Be ‘Expected’ In UK After 19 July (G.)
40% Of Brits Want Mask Mandates Forever, Travel Ban For Unvaccinated (SN)
Lift All Mask Mandates (HART)
FBI Encourages Family Members To Rat Each Other Out For ‘Extremism’ (RT)
The Fed: The Captured Regulator That’s Wrecking The US Economy (Martens)
Private Equity And Public Ignorance (Buyniski)

 

 

We have reached the end of the usefuless of masks, lockdowns and vaccines. But it will take a long time before we acknowledge it. In the meantime, expect madness. You can’t lock down people for more than a very short time. You can’t make them wear masks for much longer than that. You can’t force them to get jabbed if those jabs don’t work, and instead prove very risky.

So our homework is: what are we going to do with masks, lockdowns and vaccines off the table? The answer is simple: vitamin D, ivermectin and HCQ. Prophylaxis and early treatment. But it will take a long time before we acknowledge that too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s fun when the police don’t stand up for the law
https://twitter.com/i/status/1414372211025010689
Anna de Buisseret: “Our expert psychologists evidence states that psychological warfare is being conducted on the population as a whole and on individuals. The expert analysis is that the impact of this is that not a single person is capable of giving informed consent as they have been brainwashed.”

 

 

 

 

Let’s see those white flags please.

No End In Sight For Sydney Lockdown As Delta Variant Outbreak Worsens (F.)

Sydney’s Delta-variant fueled Covid-19 outbreak has shown no signs of relenting as the city and surrounding areas reported yet another daily rise in new cases, a development which may force authorities to further extend the lockdown in the region which has been in place for two and a half weeks now. Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), reported a record 112 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Monday, most of them in and around its capital Sydney. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at least 34 of new cases had interactions with the community during their infectious period, while the movement of 18 other cases is still being investigated

Monday is the third straight day the state has reported a record high, which could force the local government to extend the current three-week-long lockdown which is scheduled to end on Friday. Berejiklian noted that the state would like to see the number of local infections drop close to zero before ending the lockdown. “A large part of it is dependent on all of us doing the right thing and being extra cautious,” Berejiklian said, adding this was “not the time to cut any corners.” Of the 63 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in the state, 25 are under the age of 55, and 14 are younger than 35, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Of the 18 people currently in intensive care units, one is in their 20s, one in their 30s, and one in their forties. Local authorities have previously warned that the largely unvaccinated young population remains vulnerable to the more infectious delta variant.

8.37%. That’s the total population of New South Wales that has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the Sydney Morning Herald’s tracker. This is largely in line with the overall vaccine rollout across Australia which is just under 9%. While close to a quarter of NSW’s population has received at least one vaccine dose, the effectiveness of a single dose against the delta variant is significantly lower. Fearing a Delta variant outbreak, nearly half of Australia’s population went into lockdown for around three days last month with major urban centers across the country tightening their pandemic restrictions due to fears of a delta variant-fueled outbreak. However, the brunt of the current outbreak has largely been restricted to Sydney and its surrounding regions. Australia had previously managed to almost completely clamp down on the local spread of Covid-19 by using a mix of contact tracing, movement curbs, and strict quarantine measures for incoming travelers. But the country’s sluggish vaccine rollout threatens to undo its previous pandemic success.

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Make it as confusing as you can, please.

Covid Unlocking On 19 July Must Come With A Warning: Boris Johnson (G.)

Boris Johnson has said caution is “absolutely vital” before the abandonment of virtually all formal Covid restrictions as ministers toughen their language amid expectations of soaring infection rates. The Guardian understands that ministers have been told to brace for at least one to two million new cases of coronavirus in the coming weeks, though the vaccination programme means far smaller proportions of those infected will be hospitalised and die than in previous waves. The move into the final stage of unlocking on 19 July, to be announced by the prime minister on Monday afternoon, has been billed as the moment for people to rely on their own judgment over coronavirus precautions, rather than official prescriptions.

And while Johnson will outline the end of virtually all statutory restrictions on everything from business capacity to distancing and mask use, people will still be urged to wear masks in crowded enclosed spaces, with similar vigilance expected over the swift return to workplaces. The move “must come with a warning”, said Johnson, who will host a Downing Street press conference at the same time as Sajid Javid, the health secretary, briefs MPs in the Commons. “Cases will rise as we unlock, so as we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear. Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS.”

There has been a marked shift in the tone taken by ministers on the subject of mask-wearing amid government jitters about the risks of the so-called “big bang” approach to unlocking. Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, stressed the need for the public to remain “cautious and careful”. He told Sky News: “The guidelines that we will set out tomorrow will demonstrate that, including guidelines that people are expected to wear masks in indoor enclosed spaces, and of course to remain vigilant.” His comments contrast with the tone taken a week earlier by Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, who said he would abandon mask use when the restrictions ended, adding: “I don’t particularly want to wear a mask.”

Adverse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1414368116931444739

Read more …

They’re just trying to confuse you, don’t pay them any attention.

Mask Wearing Will Be ‘Expected’ In UK After 19 July (G.)

Masks will still be “expected” in crowded places such as public transport when most remaining Covid restrictions are lifted later this month, a minister has said, in a marked toughening up of rhetoric amid concerns over soaring infection rates. Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, who in effect confirmed Boris Johnson would announce the reopening on Monday, said the government would provide very clear guidance on issues such as the wearing of masks, as England moves away from using laws to govern the response to Covid. “I think it’s important that we remain cautious and careful,” he told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme. “The guidelines that we will set out tomorrow will demonstrate that, including guidelines that people are expected to wear masks in indoor enclosed spaces, and of course to remain vigilant.”

In another sign that the end of almost all lockdown rules on 19 July will be accompanied by robust messaging on the need for caution, a leading public health official said on Sunday that people should not rush back to offices if possible. “If you are able to do your business effectively from home then I think over the next four to six weeks we should try our best to do that,” said Dr Susan Hopkins, the incident director for Covid at Public Health England. Even once case rates started to fall, it would be better to see “a cautious return to the office”, Hopkins told Times Radio. The comments represent a change in tone from officials over the past week, with Johnson in particular having previously insisted there would be a move away from the government telling people what to do, towards people using their own judgment.

Zahawi said the move to the final stage of reopening from 19 July was responsible, despite predictions from the health secretary, Sajid Javid, that daily infection levels could top 100,000, a record for the pandemic, noting that almost 87% of adults in England had received a first vaccine dose, and that 65% had had two. The target was to double-vaccinate 66% of adults by 19 July, he said, in an earlier interview with BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show. “We will meet that target. So I am confident that we can proceed to step 4, but cautiously. “We will be setting out tomorrow guidelines on everything from mask wearing, the transition from mandating, or government by diktat, to taking personal responsibility, whether for our own actions or corporate responsibility.”

Read more …

Always a nation of sheep.

40% Of Brits Want Mask Mandates Forever, Travel Ban For Unvaccinated (SN)

A new poll finds that 40 per cent of Brits want mask mandates to remain in place forever, while almost half think unvaccinated people should be permanently banned from foreign travel. Yes, really. “New polling by Ipsos MORI for the Economist suggests that a high percentage of Brits believe a number of lockdown restrictions should stay in place “permanently”, including nighttime curfews (19%), travel quarantine (35%), and face masks (a whopping 40%!),” reports LockdownSceptics. “Well over 40% of Brits also believe that only those who have been vaccinated against Covid – and are able to prove it – should be allowed to travel abroad (again, “permanently”).” In other words, almost half of the population never want to unmuzzle and think those who haven’t taken the jab should remain under de facto lockdown forever.

That will be music to the ears of government adviser and lifetime Communist Party member Susan Michie, who when asked how long social distancing and mask mandates should remain in place, replied “forever.” More than one-fifth of Brits are also “very nervous” about the lifting of existing lockdown restrictions, which is due to take place on July 19th. The results of the poll once again underscore how behavioral psychologists have been so successful in terrifying the British public into absolute subservience. As we previously highlighted, scientists acting as government advisers acknowledged using “totalitarian” and “unethical” methods of instilling fear into the population as a means to scare them into complying with lockdown rules.


The comments were made by members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour (SPI-B), a sub-committee of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) the government’s chief scientific advisory group. Scientists admitted exaggerating the risk of COVID to the public and using “dystopian” methods of “mind control” to make people more fearful than they should have been. As the poll results prove, this has resulted in large numbers of the population developing a form of PTSD which has traumatized them out of thinking life can ever return to the pre-coronavirus normal.

Read more …

The only approach that makes sense at this point.

Lift All Mask Mandates (HART)

HART welcomes Boris Johnson’s announcement of his intention to lift the mask mandates on 19 July, and allow people to take personal responsibility for deciding whether to wear one rather than relying on the government diktat. Some SAGE scientists are already expressing concern about lifting this restriction, with psychologists on the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) being the most vocal, predictably so given that mask wearing comprises a key element of their ethically-dubious covert ‘nudges’ that harness fear and peer pressure to promote compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.

A major concern is that, even if the national mandates are removed, some local businesses will continue to insist that masks are worn on their premises. Persisting with a requirement for face coverings does not take account of the evidence that, in real-world settings, they are of little-to-no benefit in reducing viral transmission and are associated with a range of negative consequences. Nor — contrary to what Professor Whitty said — is it a ‘common courtesy’ to wear a mask because others may feel uncomfortable if they see a person without one. Many people, including the 1-in-5 of UK adults with hearing difficulties who may rely on lip reading, are at risk of social exclusion when around mask wearers. Furthermore, those who are aware of the profound social and psychological harms associated with masking the healthy in the community will also feel uneasy when around those with their faces covered.

It is encouraging to hear the Prime Minister say that we must now live alongside the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Continuously striving to minimise the danger posed by a virus, to the exclusion of the plethora of other risks we all manage as a routine part of a worthwhile life, is counterproductive. Indeed, the continuation of widespread mask wearing after 19 July will perpetuate the excessive fears many currently experience about returning to a normal life: ongoing mask usage is a ‘safety behaviour’ that may lead people to falsely conclude that their survival following social interaction was due to the mask rather than drawing the reassuring conclusion that it is now safe enough to return to normal activities.

HART has no objection to individuals using masks if they so choose, but turning them into a social superstition — and requiring others, such as hospitality staff to conform so as to give a false veneer of ‘safety’ — is wrong. An elderly resident in a care home, during a TV interview, recently said: ‘I want to live until I die’. In keeping with this expressed wisdom, HART believes we should all now be given the option to unmask, reclaim our humanity, and return to an enjoyable and worthwhile life.

Read more …

Divide and rule.

FBI Encourages Family Members To Rat Each Other Out For ‘Extremism’ (RT)

The FBI has asked Americans to examine their own family members for signs of “homegrown violent extremism,” and report them. The call for snitches comes as the FBI turns its surveillance powers on regular Americans. “Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence,” read a tweet from the FBI on Sunday. To help prevent “homegrown violent extremism,” the agency advises Americans to visit its website, “to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the FBI.” The link provided by the FBI brings visitors to a 2019 document listing “mobilization indicators” that may suggest an individual is preparing to engage in terrorism – for example, “preparing and disseminating a martyrdom video,” “communicating directly with violent extremists online,” and “preparing to travel to fight with or support terrorist groups.”

The indicators and imagery used in the document suggest that its focus was on radical Islamic terrorism, but the FBI, along with the rest of the US security apparatus, has in recent months has turned its surveillance powers on white, conservative America. Since the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill in January, FBI Director Christopher Wray has testified before Congress that the anti-government sentiment responsible for the affray has been “metastasizing” in the US for years, and that “the problem of domestic terrorism … is not going away anytime soon.” Former Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi was more explicit last month when he called for the arrest of high-level Republicans to “really tackle terrorism, this time domestically.”

President Joe Biden has linked the Capitol mob to “white supremacism,” which he called “the most lethal terrorist threat to our homeland today” during his first speech to Congress in April. Against this supposed “threat,” the Justice Department has asked for new powers of prosecution, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has claimed that right-wingers and conservatives, “inspired by foreign terrorist groups” and “emboldened by the breach of the US Capitol Building,” are “plotting attacks against government facilities” and “threatening violence against critical infrastructure.” In addition to their own powers, the DHS, FBI, and National Security Council also want to hire third-party ‘researchers’ to spy on Americans, recent reports have claimed.

Read more …

“..we have the three great asset classes moving into bubble territory simultaneously.”

The Fed: The Captured Regulator That’s Wrecking The US Economy (Martens)

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will take his seat before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday at noon and before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy. Some embarrassing questions may come up for Powell based on an investigative report on the Fed that’s airing earlier in the week. This Tuesday evening, the PBS investigative program, Frontline, will broadcast a documentary covering its year-long investigation of the Federal Reserve’s bailouts of Wall Street, from the financial crisis of 2008 to the present. According to the information about the program that Frontline has released, the documentary, titled “The Power of the Fed,” will include interviews with multiple people who believe that the Fed has been captured by Wall Street and is creating dangerous asset bubbles.

Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham will tell viewers this about the Fed’s policies: “They have the housing market, the stock market and the bond market all overpriced at the same time. And they will not be able to prevent, sooner or later, the asset prices coming back down. So we are playing with fire because we have the three great asset classes moving into bubble territory simultaneously.” Grantham characterizes what the Fed has created on Wall Street as a “giant bloodsucker,” that is “sucking more than twice the blood out of the rest of the economy.” Andrew Huszar, a former insider at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where the Federal Reserve has a serial habit of outsourcing its bailout programs for the mega banks on Wall Street (likely because it is literally owned by those same banks) will explain to viewers how he was “single-handedly responsible for directing the deployment of $1.25 trillion of Fed funds, and we did not see the knock-on benefits that we had hoped for the average American.”

Huszar is talking about the $1.25 trillion the Fed spent in buying up agency Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) following the 2008 financial crash on Wall Street. Despite the fact that the Fed saw no benefits accrue from that program to the average American, it doubled down on the same program during the pandemic, buying up $40 billion a month in agency MBS. The Fed’s current total of agency MBS on its balance sheet stands at $2.3 trillion as of last Wednesday. The custodian of the securities purchased in the Fed’s MBS program has been, from the outset, JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest owners of the New York Fed. The fact that the bank has received an unprecedented five felony counts from the Department of Justice since 2014 hasn’t changed the Fed’s mind about entrusting the bank with $2.3 trillion of its assets. (JPMorgan Chase admitted to all five felony counts.)

Read more …

“Other private equity funds have gotten their blood funnels into the hospital system – where the profits, driven by Covid-19, truly have no end.”

Private Equity And Public Ignorance (Buyniski)

As the US runs out of concrete resources to sell, bankers have had to get clever – whether this means repackaging assets already sold six times over or inventing new ways to cash in on items once considered intangible.
By the time Americans realized that the promised ‘trickle-down’ theory of neoliberal economics was in fact more of a speedy trickle-up, the government had all but destroyed the reputation of unions and the public sector that employed many of them, convincing the average American that these were corrupt and bad. Indeed, the whole public sector was supposed to be corrupt and bad, in the messaging of the Reagan era, but that corruption was somehow negated when offset by private corporations engaged in so-called public-private partnerships.

But far from attempting to reverse the financial bleed of money for social programs into private corporations, politicians have embraced the public-private partnership with a vengeance. This is unsurprising, given the generous handouts they receive from the non-profits who have cast themselves as the only truly righteous replacement for those government programs. This may sound like old news, but the extent to which those firms have morphed into horrifically powerful entities with trillions of dollars under management – including, most likely, your pension or the retirement savings of someone in your family – capable of setting international policy with a mere yearly memo, remains stubbornly unacknowledged by millions.

Perhaps for the sake of their sanity, they just can’t admit their retirement is in the hands of men who see nothing wrong with gambling away millions of Americans’ savings in precarious financial instruments just because they can. The kind of people who’d buy a boat with ill-gotten foreclosure gains, then spit in the face of those ex-homeowners by naming the boat ‘Su casa es mi casa’ [..] In the aftermath of the 2008 mortgage crisis, private equity firms realized they could package and sell anything they wanted – and it doesn’t seem they’ve stopped. Blackstone became notorious for slurping up foreclosed homes at below-market rates, then juicing rent and fees as they turned around to rent out those same properties, in some cases back to the same people. But Blackstone is far from the only private equity firm to participate in these loathsome schemes.

But fiendishly huge as their profits have been, the private equity bunch were still responsible for keeping the properties they rented in some degree of habitability – sometimes even for answering to angry retirement fund execs when the vultures gambled away their money. In order to further shore up profits, the firms have bought big into vertically integrated predation. Blackstone bought up an entire chain of self-storage units to complement its continuing acquisition of houses. The continued inflation of the already precariously bloated real estate bubble (and the mathematical certainty of time running out for the Covid-19 eviction moratorium) means people are going to have to throw their stuff somewhere when the financial feces hit the fan. Other private equity funds have gotten their blood funnels into the hospital system – where the profits, driven by Covid-19, truly have no end.

Read more …

 

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D-dimer test

 

 

 

 

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Jul 092021
 
 July 9, 2021  Posted by at 7:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  7 Responses »


Alessandro Allori Portrait of a Lady c1560

 

 

 

Just a brief note on something I noticed yesterday and this morning. I’m not sure if this is predominantly a British issue, but even if it is, be sure it will spread to many nations. The issue is this: the narrative is being put on its head. It’s no longer the inoculation of millions upon millions of people with experimental and never approved substances that constitutes an experiment, the experiment now is NOT doing it.

You are now not a Covid guinea pig if you get one of the jabs that killed a estimated 20,000 people so far in Europe and the US and led to 100s of 1000s of severe adverse reactions. No, you’re a guinea pig if you don’t get a shot whose makers themselves say doesn’t protect you from infection. And don’t listen to Fauci et al who declare something “safe” because it only killed 20,000 people; they have no credibility left, they just still have the media on their side.

This is not a subtle shift, something one might expect when doing narrative control, it’s a full 180º, the “Ignorance is strength” variety. But if you read between the narrative lines, you might just pick up on the fact that this is coming from one of the most “successfully vaccinated” countries in the world, but where “cases” are skyrocketing once again.

And maybe just maybe this proves what the vaccine makers have said all along: that the vaccines do not protect you from infection. We should at least consider the possibility, and discuss it, and then act according to what we find. In the meantime, it looks like maybe whatever you do, you’re always a guinea pig.

 

Sturgeon Warns Against Treating Young People Like Covid ‘Guinea Pigs’

Nicola Sturgeon has warned against treating young people like “guinea pigs” by allowing them to get infected with coronavirus when lifting restrictions, amid fears they remain at risk of significant health impacts such as long Covid. Scotland’s first minister said the desire to live free of lockdown-style restrictions did not mean governments could “throw all caution to the wind”, while suggesting the “domination” of England’s plans to scrap Covid rules risked confusing other UK nations. The steep rise in infections across Scotland caused by theDelta variant may be levelling off, Sturgeon added. The current spike has led to six Scottish health boards being placed among the top 10 worst-hit regions in Europe by the WHO last weekend.


The levelling off gave her “more cause for optimism” that she would be able to confirm the move to level 0 of Scotland’s five-tier system of Covid controls in parliament next Tuesday, she said, before emphasising that the planned easing on 19 July “won’t be an abrupt end to basic protective measures like face covering, physical distancing, rigorous hand hygiene and advising on good ventilation.” However, she pointed out the “significant” impact the virus can have on younger people, even if there is a lower risk of death. She said: “I want to set out simply why we can’t just throw all caution to the wind. Firstly, this virus is still dangerous, as we see every day. It is still taking lives, though mercifully, thanks to the vaccines, it is doing so in far fewer numbers than we saw in earlier stages.”

 

One group wants the country shut down forever, the other does not.

 

Risking England’s Health: Not Everyone Can Choose To Stay Safe

In a letter to the Lancet, over 100 global scientists have warned that rushing ahead with reopening on 19 July – rather than waiting until more people are vaccinated – is dangerous and premature. Those concerns will be compounded by the relaxation of travel restrictions announced on Thursday. Allowing children and double-vaccinated adults to travel to amber list countries without quarantining on return increases the risk of importing new variants which could be more infectious or more resistant to current vaccines, just as opportunities for transmission increase. The health secretary, Sajid Javid, concedes we could soon be looking at 100,000 cases a day, but argues that hospitalisation and death numbers are what matter more than anything.

Unfortunately, he will not say what figures he expects or would tolerate. The link between infection and serious illness or death has been much weakened, but not broken. Vaccination rates vary widely; in some areas, fewer than 30% have received two doses. On Thursday, the UK reported weekly rises of more than 50% in Covid hospital admissions and deaths – both of which lag rises in cases – to 456 and 35 respectively. The government’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, has said that we are likely to see a significant increase in long Covid; experts fear that huge numbers could be affected. Though the government talks of personal responsibility, there can be no responsibility without choice. For too many, danger is being imposed upon them. Vaccines are widely available, and people can still cover their faces.

But masks are better at protecting people from the wearer than protecting the wearer. Young workers on public transport or in shops, not yet able to get a second jab, will be exposed to the virus by customers who choose not to wear masks. They surely need and deserve protection. Children are currently unable to be vaccinated. The immunocompromised are less protected by vaccines and more likely to become seriously ill if they contract Covid. Reportedly, the department of health will be issuing new guidance for the immunosuppressed and clinically very vulnerable. But while support for shielders is needed, confining them to quarters indefinitely is hardly a liberation.

Nor is there much choice for exhausted NHS staff who face a soaring workload again, or for patients whose operations are being cancelled because hospitals are treating growing numbers of Covid patients or staff are having to self-isolate. If anything, the authors of the Lancet letter are too generous in describing this as “a dangerous and unethical experiment”: that terminology suggests a degree of scientific rigour and concern. Instead, this is a political wager, in which large parts of the population are not players but gambling chips.

 

 

 

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Apr 282021
 


Jean-Michel Basquiat In this case 1983

 

 

 

One might have expected that as the Covid drama unfolds, the world would return to its scientific senses. But the opposite appears to be happening, we’re moving away from our senses. Fear is a bad advisor. Earlier today, I wrote:

“I forget who drew my attention to this UK government report, Covid-19 Response Spring 2021, but it paints a very stark and completely ignored reality: only 66% of people can ever be successfully vaccinated and may be protected.

34% either can’t be jabbed for medical reasons, or the vaccines don’t catch on. And that’s assuming full uptake, which of course you’ll never ever get. So the number of not successfully vaccinated will be higher than 34%, perhaps quite a bit, no matter the PR campaigns and threats.

This should put the entire Covid response on its head, but for some reason it doesn’t. Those 34+% would appear to be ineligible for a “vaccine passport” as well, depriving them of basic human rights.”

Graph from the February 2021 report:

A few relevant quotes from the report (it’s over 60 pages):

Vaccine efficacy and effectiveness

[..] First, the vaccine is preventing people from catching COVID-19.

[..] The vaccines have transformed our efforts to tackle COVID-19 and will prevent many deaths. However, they will not guarantee protection to everyone. Vaccines will not be given to 100% of the population. This is because the vaccine is currently not authorised for some groups, such as children, and some people will not take up the offer of a vaccine.

[..] a significant proportion of the population could still be infected, either because they have not been vaccinated or because the vaccine is not effective for them.

Preparing for revaccination

[..] the Government is planning for a revaccination campaign, which is likely to run later this year in autumn or winter. Any revaccination is likely to consist of a single ‘booster’ dose of a COVID-19 vaccine: the ideal booster may be a new vaccine specifically designed against a variant form of the virus. Over the longer term, revaccination is likely to become a regular part of managing COVID-19.

Ergo: the UK government is preparing to declare over a third of its citizens 2nd rate. And not because they refuse to be part of a medical experiment and be injected with untested substances (which is a basic human right that no-one can be punished for), but because these substances are either prohibited for them, or simply have no -positive- effect. No matter, says Whitehall, you don’t count. So here come the corona passports.

 

NHS App To Be Used As Coronavirus Passport For International Travel

Britons will find out which countries they will be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel to this summer “in the next couple of weeks” – as the transport secretary confirmed an NHS app will be used as a COVID passport for travel abroad. Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions, international travel without one of the current exemptions – which exclude holidays – will not be allowed any earlier than 17 May.

Ministers have set out plans for a “traffic light” system to be used this summer to categorise different destinations. And, speaking to Sky News on Wednesday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed “in the next couple of weeks” he will be able to give details on which countries have made it on to the “green list”. These will be destinations where Britons will be able to travel without having to quarantine on their return, although they will still need to undergo a COVID test before their departure, as well as on their return to the UK.

Mr Shapps also confirmed an NHS app will be used to allow Britons to demonstrate whether they have had a COVID jab, or tested negative for the virus, before travelling abroad. “It will be the NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments with the NHS and so on, to be able to show you’ve had a vaccine or that you’ve had testing,” he added. “I’m working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that system can be internationally recognised.”

Government sources clarified the app would not be the NHS COVID app – currently used to “check in” to venues such as pubs and restaurants for contact-tracing purposes – but would instead be the NHS app used to book general appointments.

Remember, there is no evidence that the “vaccines” protect anyone from getting infected or infecting those around them, but that little factoid has been swept under the carpet -along with the unfortunate third of Britons who can’t even pretend to be “protected”. The government simply claims without evidence that “the vaccine is preventing people from catching COVID-19“, and gets away with it. That’s our world today.

Ciarán McCollum has more for EU Observer:

 

Legal Worries On EU’s ‘Green Certificates’ For Covid Travel

An instrument of unusual significance is quietly on its way to becoming law in Europe: the proposal for a ‘Digital Green Certificate’ (DGC). Up for a vote in the European Parliament’s plenary on Wednesday, it erects a “universal framework” for the control of disease within the Schengen area. The EU Commission has presented it as a return to freedom of movement, essentially suspended by member states since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic. However the DGC, which creates certificates for Europeans showing the bearer has been vaccinated, tested or achieved immunity, is already beginning to lose its sheen. Last week, the WHO asked that any plans for making proof of vaccination a condition of entry be abandoned, after the US ruled out enforcing vaccination cards on its territory.

So is it wise for Europe to continue with its own? Freedom of movement is perhaps the European Union’s most cherished achievement, certainly among northerners seeking a visa-free sun holiday. In my home of Northern Ireland, with our ever-fragile cross-border peace agreement, we have a special appreciation for the importance of keeping borders open. The recent EU threat to impose a ‘vaccine border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic imperilled that peace. The EU can’t afford another blunder on borders, so it’s in its own interest that the DGC does what it says on the tin. However a cursory glance at the contents suggests a case of mislabeling or at least a lack of legal certainty. The commission assures us that the DGC will not restore (or entrench) border controls.

But “universal framework” can only be read as a euphemism for checks within the Schengen zone. It is article 3 of the DGC that creates certificates of vaccination, testing and immunity. Border guards will have to inspect these. As it’s put in Article 3(1), there will be “cross-border verification”, performed by the member state “authorities” mentioned in Article 9(2). In the absence of such checks, the certificates would be useless and the “universal framework” would not exist. With vaccinated Europeans travellers separated from non-vaccinated, infected from non-infected, and immune from non-immune—the DGC, if applied, would be a guarantee of discrimination within the EU.

This is simply not permissable under the Schengen Code. Chapter II of the Schengen Borders Code allows for the temporary reintroduction of internal borders in some circumstances, but that does not include a public health emergency. The whole endeavour is even more absurd if one acknowledges the scientific certainty that being vaccinated does not mean that one cannot be a carrier of the virus, nor infect others.

We already know from the European Medicines Agency and WHO, confirmed by a decision this month of the Conseil d’État (France’s Supreme Court), that no proof exists of vaccination halting the spread of Covid-19. Meanwhile, in the last months many courts including the Lisbon Court of Appeal and Administrative Court of Vienna have held that PCR testing is unreliable and cannot be relied on for determining infection; a physician must perform a proper medical diagnosis. Thus the DGC certificates are useless as proof of whether you are infected, or can or cannot spread the virus.

They’re going to do it anyway, ain’t they, laws or no laws, human rights or no human rights, science or no science. And 2/3 of Britons -and other countries’ citizens- are cheering them on, because they are promised they will regain their “freedom”. Some freedom, if you must first give up your rights. The virus is far from the biggest danger here. It’s the people. We could have known.

 

 

 

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@danielkotzin: “Children do not need protection from Covid. They need protection from government and health officials.”

 

 

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Dec 062020
 
 December 6, 2020  Posted by at 10:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  12 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Absinthe Drinker 1901

 

Large-Scale Covid19 Vaccination Campaign Kicks Off In Moscow (RT)
The Vaccine Race is a Race Against Capital Flight (Luongo)
US COVID Deaths Projected To More Than Double To 410,000 By January (R.)
Florida Requires Labs To Report ‘Cycle Threshold’ Of COVID-19 Tests (JTN)
COVID Will Drive Global Debt To $200 Trillion By End Of 2020 – S&P (RT)
Bernie Sanders Mocks Those Who Believe The Deep State Exists (Greenwald)
The President Can Pardon Himself, But That Does Not Mean He Should (Turley)
Rep. Mo Brooks’ Challenge To Electoral College Certification (JTN)
Budgets, Vetoes, Values, Defence … Division And Dithering Shame The EU (O.)
UK Urged To Follow Denmark In Ending North Sea Oil And Gas Exploration (O.)

 

 

Vaccines and autoimmune

 

 

 

 

 

 

First (though admittedly, China is a mystery).

Large-Scale Covid19 Vaccination Campaign Kicks Off In Moscow (RT)

A wide-ranging anti-coronavirus vaccination campaign began in Moscow on Saturday, with thousands signing up for shots online, in the Russian capital. Frontline workers were given first priority, as previous indicated. Those wishing to participate have to sign up online before receiving their initial dose of Sputnik V at one of the city’s 70 specialist clinics. The vaccine consists of two separate injections, the second jab must be administered 21 days after the first one. The whole procedure, which includes the time needed to cool down the formula after it’s removed from the freezer, takes less than an hour, officials said. Injections are administered to people aged between 18 and 60 that present no chronic health conditions. Those who have had respiratory infections, like flu or common cold, less than two weeks ago, are not eligible. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are also barred, for now.


On Friday, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin wrote on his blog that 5,000 people had signed up for the vaccine in five hours after online registration was launched. He said they were doctors, care workers, and teachers, who were “risking their health and lives the most.” Vaccination is free for Russian citizens. Senior health official Alexey Kuznetsov announced that Sputnik V’s maximum commercial price will be 1,942 rubles ($26) for both injections. President Vladimir Putin authorized the start of a large-scale vaccination campaign on Wednesday. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said all of Russia’s regions would roll out their campaigns next week. Meanwhile, select groups of doctors and nurses had already been getting the vaccine, with the priority given to those on the frontline against Covid-19. The vaccination began in some army units as well.

Read more …

Expect horror stories about Russian vaccines.

The Vaccine Race is a Race Against Capital Flight (Luongo)

The ruble rose sharply versus the dollar this week, collapsing below the critical 76 level to close this week below 74. More evidence that with Putin’s announcement of Sputnik V vaccine distribution starting Russia the markets are looking for a home where capital can have a prayer in hell of being treated well. Because that will most certainly not be the case in Europe. The only reasons the euro is rising in on political instability in the U.S. and the lack of forward budget thanks to the veto by Hungary and Poland. Because while the euro may be breaking out versus the dollar the bellwether bond markets in Europe, namely German bunds, are rising in yield.

While this isn’t a bear market in any sense since the selling hasn’t overwhelmed ECB buying, it’s also hard to determine if that would ever happen given just how much of the European sovereign debt market the ECB actually owns now. Investors in the West are trying to beat the COVID-19 narrative, pinning their hope of economic recovery on the vaccine restoring normality. But if there is one thing I’ve noted over and over again over the past ten months, it is that the goal posts for normality keep getting moved. Remember 15 days to flatten the curve? Now it’s a 100-day mask mandates with state-by-state full lockdowns. Anyone thinking that we’ll ever return to anything resembling the old world is terminally naïve.

The race for global capital begins now with Russia’s roll out of Sputnik V by the millions of doses. It doesn’t matter if the vaccine works or it doesn’t. Pfizer’s doesn’t. What matters is what excuses politicians can make to fit their agenda. Putin wants to make Russia a destination for global capital, keeping Russia open for business. Russia pushing Sputnik V out the door this quickly is forcing the West’s hand. They wanted bigger lockdowns for longer. Asia will stay open while the West plays games resetting its system. They are really angry at the Russians for being good at math and science.

That is why the race for the vaccine is actually the race for global capital in the end. Because the rollout of the vaccine asymmetrically around the world will be followed by where watching where the capital will flow to. Russia will be one of those places along with everyone they sell it to and everyone they do business with. COVID-19 is a litmus test of governments. Investors are looking around now looking for where the political risk really lies over the next decade. Sanctions, threats and capital controls can only slow the outflow but it can’t stop it.

Read more …

Winter is a bigger factor than most acknowledged.

US COVID Deaths Projected To More Than Double To 410,000 By January (R.)

U.S. deaths from the coronavirus will reach 410,000 by the end of the year, more than double the current death toll, and deaths could soar to 3,000 per day in December, the University of Washington’s health institute forecast on Friday. Deaths could be reduced by 30% if more Americans wore face masks as epidemiologists have advised, but mask-wearing is declining, the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said. The U.S. death rate projected by the IHME model, which has been cited by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, would more than triple the current death rate of some 850 per day.

“We expect the daily death rate in the United States, because of seasonality and declining vigilance of the public, to reach nearly 3,000 a day in December,” the institute, which bills itself as an independent research center, said in an update of its periodic forecasts. “Cumulative deaths expected by January 1 are 410,000; this is 225,000 deaths from now until the end of the year,” the institute said. It previously projected 317,697 deaths by Dec. 1. The model’s outlook for the world was even more dire, with deaths projected to triple to 2.8 million by Jan. 1, 2021. The United States, which has the world’s third largest population, leads the planet with more than 186,000 COVID-19 deaths and 6.1 million coronavirus infections.

[..] The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues forecasts only four weeks in advance, and its latest estimate is for 200,000 to 211,000 dead by Sept. 26. But the institute said with so many Americans still refusing to wear masks, there remains “an extraordinary opportunity” to save lives. “Increasing mask use to the levels seen in Singapore would decrease the cumulative death toll to 288,000, or 122,000 lives saved compared to the reference scenario,” it said. “Mask use continues to decline from a peak in early August. Declines are notable throughout the Midwest, including in some states such as Illinois and Iowa with increasing case numbers,” the report said.

Although U.S. infections have declined to around 45,000 per day from a peak of around 70,000 per day in July, COVID-19 was the second leading cause of death, the institute said. That would place it behind only heart disease, having surpassed cancer as a cause of death in the United States.

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How much sense can you make?

Florida Requires Labs To Report ‘Cycle Threshold’ Of COVID-19 Tests (JTN)

The Florida Department of Health is requiring that all labs in the state report the critical “cycle threshold” level of every COVID-19 test they perform. In a press release this week, the department said that, regarding COVID-19 tests, “cycle threshold (CT) values and their reference ranges, as applicable, must be reported by laboratories to FDOH via electronic laboratory reporting or by fax immediately.” “Cycle thresholds” are the level at which widely used polymerase chain reaction test can detect a sample of the COVID-19 virus.


The higher the number of cycles, the lower the amount of viral load in the sample; the lower the cycles, the more prevalent the virus was in the original sample. Numerous epidemiological experts have argued that cycle thresholds are an important metric by which patients and the public can make an informed decision about how infectious and/or sick an individual with a positive COVID-19 test might be. However, health departments across the country are failing to collect that data.

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Keep rates low or else!

COVID Will Drive Global Debt To $200 Trillion By End Of 2020 – S&P (RT)

The world’s appetite for borrowing is growing with global debt expected to reach the next milestone of $200 trillion as early as this year, according to ratings agency S&P Global. That will reportedly account for 265 percent of the world’s annual economic output, amounting to a 14-point rise as a percentage of world GDP. The dramatic surge was triggered by both the economic plunge due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the extra borrowing that governments, firms and households have had to fall back upon, the New York-based agency said. “Global debt-to-GDP has been trending up for many years; the pandemic simply exacerbated the rise,” the report reads.


Despite mounting debt and a series of defaults over the coming year, the S&P doesn’t expect a major crisis any time soon. “The projected 14-percent surge in global debt-to-GDP in 2020 is unlikely to cause a near-term debt crisis, provided economies recover, vaccines are widely distributed, interest rates remain very low, and borrowing behavior moderates,” the agency said. The global debt-to-GDP ratio will reportedly ease back to 256 percent within two years, as soon as the world economy gets back on its feet after the pandemic. “We expect the debt growth of corporates, governments, and household to ease as they tend to after recessions,” the report reads.

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Bernie never recovered from the smears.

Bernie Sanders Mocks Those Who Believe The Deep State Exists (Greenwald)

That Putin wanted Tump to win was one of the leading themes used by Democratic-Party-allied media outlets to attack Trump, rendering it crippling for Sanders to be similarly tied to Moscow, particularly given the perception that Putin would help Sanders because the Kremlin judged him to be the weakest candidate against the GOP president. Indeed, The Post article explicitly drew the Sanders/Trump comparison (emphasis added): The disclosure of Russian assistance to Sanders follows a briefing to lawmakers last week in which a senior intelligence official said that Russia wants to see Trump reelected, viewing his administration as more favorable to the Kremlin’s interests, according to people who were briefed on the comments. . . .

The prospect of two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow appears to reflect what intelligence officials have previously described as Russia’s broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections. Reflecting his 2020 strategy of trying to appease the Democratic establishment in lieu of his more successful 2016 strategy of proudly positioning himself as its adversary, Sanders by this point had repeatedly echoed the maximalist conspiracy theories about Trump and Russia, leaving him with little room to maneuver once this Cold War tactic was predictably deployed against him. After suggesting the leak to The Post was intended to harm his campaign, he had no other options beyond sputtering with faux-toughness about how he would show Putin who was boss.

In other words — both prior to the leak and after — Sanders repeatedly validated rather than scorned the CIA’s Russia narrative (just as he did with the equally cynical Bernie Bro attacks). So it put him in a defensive crouch for the rest of the campaign, unable to explain why Putin — Public Enemy Number One among the Democratic Party base — was trying to help him win.

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“..it would be as constitutional as it would be wrong.”

The President Can Pardon Himself, But That Does Not Mean He Should (Turley)

It seems the subject of Donald Trump, like necessity, is the mother of invention, at least when it comes to legal analysis. From bribery statutes to constitutional provisions, legal experts routinely and unfailingly conclude that Trump or his family can be prosecuted or impeached for an endless array of misdeeds. Even theories denied by the Supreme Court are seen as valid when used against Trump. Now the same certainty has been declared on whether Trump can grant himself a pardon. One of the longest standing debates in constitutional law is dismissed as ill-informed by some of the same experts. His role as a catalyst for clarity was apparent in an interview by Harvard professor Laurence Tribe.

After host Lawrence O’Donnell said he believed a president could give himself a pardon, Tribe proclaimed such a view is “incoherent and incompatible” as a constitutional matter. The declaration likely surprised few on MSNBC. Tribe has been an outspoken critic of Trump, whom he has denounced as a “terrorist,” and he has supported a wide array of criminal and constitutional claims against him. These views are popular as are Tribe’s increasingly personal diatribes, including vulgar attacks on Republican leaders and even a false attack on Attorney William Barr for his Catholic faith. For the record, I have maintained that a president can grant himself a pardon. I held that position before Trump took office. I also believe a president can be indicted in office.

The reason is the same: The Constitution prohibits neither a self-pardon nor a presidential indictment. This is not the first time that Tribe and I have disagreed. Two decades ago, we testified together at the impeachment hearing of President Clinton. At that time, Tribe was far more restrictive in his legal and constitutional interpretations, declaring that lying under oath in the Clinton case would not be an impeachable offense. While a federal court and Democrats agreed that Clinton knowingly committed perjury, Tribe insisted that a president could commit perjury in certain circumstances and not be impeached. Thus, a president can commit a felony for which thousands have been incarcerated, including those prosecuted by his own administration, but he should not be removed from office for the same act.

[..] The stronger argument against a presidential self-pardon is not the textual one raised by Tribe but, simply, that the Constitution should be read to include a principle against self-dealing. Yet presidents regularly engage in all forms of self-dealing, from nepotism to favoritism to cronyism, without a hint of constitutional difficulty. Bill Clinton not only appointed his wife to head a major federal commission on health care but pardoned his own half-brother. The Framers did not bar such forms of self-dealing any more than they barred self-pardons. This is why Trump can pardon himself, and why he should not do so. Just as I denounced Clinton for abusing the pardon powers, I believe such a step by Trump would be an even greater abuse. In other words, it would be as constitutional as it would be wrong.

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Dec 8 and Dec14 are arbitrary dates. Only Jan 20 is cast in stone.

Rep. Mo Brooks’ Challenge To Electoral College Certification (JTN)

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) faces an uphill battle if he challenges the Electoral College and backs President Trump on Jan. 6, when Congress is scheduled to certify Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race. Brooks said this week he has been sharing his plan with fellow House members in hopes of invoking the 12th Amendment and helping Trump win. At least one senator must partner with Brooks to trigger a vote on an electoral challenge, and Brooks told Fox News Radio on Thursday, “We have some leads for United States Senators who may do it.” Under the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, in a contingent election no candidate wins a majority of Electoral College votes, and the election is thrown to the U.S. House of Representatives.

There, each state’s delegation has one vote, and a candidate must receive the votes of a majority of state delegations to win. Because of the calendar, the new Congress is the one that decides, not the outgoing one. In the new Congress, there are more states with Republican delegations than Democratic ones, so in that scenario, Trump would win. “Thank you to Representative Mo Brooks,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning after news of Brooks’ intention broke. “Ask your senators and congressman if they will object to any Electoral College certification of Joe Biden on January 6,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch tweeted Nov. 23. It’s unlikely, however, that Brooks would be able to successfully invoke the 12th Amendment if he can’t get a majority of both the House and the Senate to support his efforts.

Brooks said he doesn’t think he needs a majority. Legal experts disagree, arguing that while a single member of the House and Senate can raise an objection, majorities in both the House and the Senate would have to approve it for any electoral votes to be tossed out. This would not happen under a Democratic-controlled House. “They are misunderstanding the law,” says election law expert Hans von Spakovsky. The procedures for the counting of Electoral College votes in Congress are set forth in 3 U.S.C. 15, according to von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission and manager of the Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative.

“What it says is that an objection can be filed to the certification of votes from the states when they are being counted in the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, if it is signed by one member of the House and one member of the Senate,” he told Just the News. “However, the Senate and the House then each have to stage a vote on the objection, which obviously will not go forward unless a majority of senators and a majority of representatives approve of the objection.”

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Poland and Hungary are becoming a very big problem for Europe.

Budgets, Vetoes, Values, Defence … Division And Dithering Shame The EU (O.)

It’s all happening at once for the EU. Fundamental problems and disputes, long fudged, postponed or ignored, are simultaneously coming to a head. Is this a union of shared values or of economic interests? Who pays the bills? How is Europe best defended when the US cannot be trusted? What about Turkey? And then there’s “bloody Brexit”. Little wonder some are predicting a nervous collapse. These fraught issues and more will converge at this week’s “doomsday” EU summit, presaging greater-than-usual fractiousness. But if it is as inconclusive as many previous gatherings, the European project faces serious trouble. Implementation of the €1.1tn, seven-year EU budget and €750bn Covid recovery fund cannot sensibly be delayed much longer. Yet two states – Poland and Hungary – are blocking the way.

Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s rightwing populist leader, and Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, jointly declared last week they would veto the budget if it retained “rule of law” criteria requiring adherence to EU-defined standards of judicial independence. Both governments are in long-running disputes over what Brussels views as their illiberal, “un-European” policies on judges, media freedom and women’s and gender rights. They reject what they call “politically motivated” meddling. The fact that the row is blocking timely pandemic relief shames the EU. If it cannot unite to fight this unprecedented human emergency, voters will ask, then what can it do? Even the experienced German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who holds the EU presidency, is flailing as the French and others insist they will not bow to authoritarian diktats.

This dispute, plus ongoing tensions over the cost of an expanded budget now UK contributions are ending, prompted an intriguing intervention last week from António Costa, the Portuguese prime minister. Portugal assumes the EU presidency next month, and is staring aghast at the can of worms it’s inheriting. Costa’s proposal was suitably radical: effectively split the EU in two, and thus save it, by recognising irreconcilable internal differences. This variation on the old idea of a two-speed or two-tier Europe would be based not on geography but on values, Costa suggested. It would separate the so-called “frugal” states – the Netherlands, Austria and Nordic countries concerned about high spending and fiscal transfers – plus east European states opposed to rule of law mechanisms and migrant quotas – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic – from the remainder.

“Basically, it is whether the EU is a union of values or whether, on the contrary, it is primarily an economic instrument,” Costa argued. Countries opposing further integration would benefit from “variable geometries” while others like France, and southern states such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, could pursue their version of ever closer union. It’s a brave idea that Costa, reportedly with French backing, will pursue at a special spring summit in Lisbon. Yet it has a major flaw. Germany, the EU’s chief paymaster with a current net budget contribution of €12.8bn, gives lip service to EU integration and solidarity. But it has a deeply ingrained horror of underwriting the profligacy and pipe-dreams of indebted fellow eurozone members.

This same German reluctance hinders Emmanuel Macron’s ambitions for a unified “global Europe” to match the US and China: Berlin fears it will end up footing the bill, financially and politically. When France’s president called again last month for a sovereign European defence strategy, Germany’s defence minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, slapped him down. “The idea of strategic autonomy for Europe goes too far if it nurtures the illusion that we could ensure Europe’s security, stability and prosperity without Nato and the US … Germany and Europe cannot protect themselves without America’s nuclear and conventional power. This is simply a fact,” she said. Macron was furious.

Read more …

Not going to happen.

UK Urged To Follow Denmark In Ending North Sea Oil And Gas Exploration (O.)

Britain must end all oil and gas extraction in the North Sea as a matter of urgency if it is to maintain its position as a credible climate champion. That was the stark warning issued by green campaigners yesterday in the wake of last week’s decision by Denmark to halt its exploration for new North Sea reserves as part of its commitment to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change. The Danish decision is an embarrassment for Boris Johnson who announced last week that Britain would take a lead in the battle against global heating by cutting national carbon emissions by 68% by 2030, a rate faster than any other major economy. However, the UK has not announced plans to end exploration in the North Sea for new gas and oil fields or to halt extraction there – despite the established link between global warming and fossil fuel extraction and burning.

By announcing its North Sea ban last week, say campaigners, Denmark has undermined Johnson’s attempt to portray himself as a world climate leader next Saturday when he is scheduled to co-host a virtual Climate Ambition summit of world leaders. “If the UK is to be a real global climate leader, it must follow Denmark’s lead by stopping issuing new oil and gas exploration licences and delivering a managed phase-out of oil and gas extraction,” said Ken Penton, UK climate campaigner for the international NGO, Global Witness. “This must include funding a just transition for oil and gas workers and their communities to ensure they can benefit from the new green economy and do not suffer the fate of UK coal miners and their communities.”

The Danish government voted on Thursday to cancel the country’s next North Sea oil and gas licensing round, 80 years after it first began exploiting its hydrocarbon reserves. Denmark’s 55 existing platforms, spread across 20 oil and gas fields, will be allowed to continue extracting fossil fuels but the decision to end the hunt for new reserves will guarantee an end to Denmark’s fossil fuel production.

Read more …

 

 

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Stephanie Kelton Deficits

 

 

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Sep 282020
 
 September 28, 2020  Posted by at 5:33 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  14 Responses »


Rene Magritte Memory 1948

 

 

Let me have another go at the shortest essay ever here. Explain the simplest thing ever in the universe. I see the governments of Greece, UK, Holland all declare they have to “fight” the increasing COVD19 numbers in their countries with measures such as closing all bars and restaurants at 10pm. Greece wants everyone to wear a facemask even outside. Try feeding the homeless, as we actively do here, with that kind of premise.

And it’s all pretty much nonsense, as yet another study, this one from Boston University, points out. You can cut your COVID risk by more than half, if you tell your people to take enough Vitamin D. That’s it. Not masks, but a supplement, No big conspiracies, no big anything. Vitamin D. 10,000 daily for the first week, 5,000 after that. Not much else matters. You sort of found your vaccine before it appeared.

For some obscure reason, your government doesn’t want you to know this. I can’t really figure out why. But I will tell all my friends here, and those that read me from other places. How could I do anything else? We’re literally saving lives here, but the topic, and the people, have become politicized. Shame on all of you who allowed that to happen. But make sure you take the Vitamin D. It at least cuts your risk in half.

COVID-19 Patients Who Get Enough Vitamin D Are 52% Less Likely To Die

People who get enough vitamin D are at a 52 percent lower risk of dying of COVID-19 than people who are deficient for the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ new research reveals. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the immune system and may combat inflammation. These features may make it a key player in the body’s fight against coronavirus. Rates of vitamin D deficiency are also higher in some of the same groups who have been hardest hit by coronavirus: people of color and elderly people. It’s by no means a causal link, but suggests that vitamin D could play a role in who gets COVI-19, who gets sickest from it, and who is spared altogether.

Boston University’s Dr Michael Holick found in his previous research that people who have enough vitamin D are 54 percent less likely to catch coronavirus in the first place. Following on that work, he and his team have found that people who don’t get enough of the vitamin are far more likely to become severely ill, develop sepsis or even die after contracting coronavirus. Because vitamin D deficiency is common in people with other disease that raise coronavirus risks, it’s impossible to say exactly how many lives would be spared if we all got our daily dose of the sunshine vitamin. But we know that about 42 percent of the US population is vitamin D deficient. If that rate held true for the more 203,000 Americans who died of coronavirus, perhaps some 85,000 would have fared better with improved vitamin D levels.

In Britain 20 per cent of the population suffer from the deficiency, according to the British Nutrition Foundation. When the rate is applied to the UK’s 41,936 deaths from coronavirus, it suggests 8,387 of them could have been helped with improved levels of Vitamin D. ‘This study provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can reduce the complications, including the cytokine storm (release of too many proteins into the blood too quickly) and ultimately death from COVID-19,’ Dr Holick said. Dr Holick and his colleagues took blood samples from 235 patients admitted to hospitals in Tehran for COVID-19. Overall, 67 percent of the patients had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/mL.

There isn’t a clear marker for the ideal level of vitamin D, but 30 ng/mL is considered a sufficient. Anything below that is ‘insufficient,’ but won’t necessarily have broad-ranging health consequences, while levels below 20 ng/mL are considered ‘deficient.’ About 60 percent of elderly people living in nursing homes, for example, are thought to be vitamin D deficient. The most likely explanation is that they simply spend too much time indoors. Sunlight is our primary source of vitamin D. When we are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation in rays of sunshine, it reacts with cholesterol in our skin, triggering the production of vitamin D. In an increasingly indoor world, rates of vitamin D deficiency have climbed.

 

Imagine you can cut all these disruptive measures by simply supplying your people with Vitamin D. Nah, that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? Sure there must be a more complicated path. Add some zinc. It prevents the virus from replicating. We’ve been saying this since February. We think it’s nuts that people haven’t latched on.

 

 

 

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Jul 162020
 
 July 16, 2020  Posted by at 7:46 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  8 Responses »


Utagawa Yoshitoshi Ariko weeps as her boat drifts in the moonlight 1886

 

 

Sometimes I think I can only do this work properly if I’m angry all the time 24/7. But I don’t want to be angry all the time; what kind of life is that? Still, there are days when I just can’t help it. The British intelligence services (please let find another word for that, so as to not insult actually smart people) came out with a couple anti-Putin press releases today, and there we go again.

We can only guess at what they want this time, whether it to keep the UK’s own “RussiaRussia Putin is Hitler” flame alive, or are they seeking to help their US counterparts to rise from the ashes of their fully discredited years-long Orange Man Bad narratives, but boy, is this nauseating. What’s even worse is that people eat it up like candy.

Guys, this is your own highly paid snoops lying to you -along with your government(s)- like there’s no tomorrow, and you’re just sitting there worrying about wearing a face mask next time you go to a store. Know what that makes you? Sheep. I know y’all still know what those look like, and how they behave. So what’s the attraction?

Here’s BIGLY revelation no. 1 per the BBC. Do note the “almost certain” in both pieces, they need an easy way out if the story doesn’t stick. It also means that obviously they’re not at all certain, they’re just making it up.

Russian Hackers Target COVID19 Vaccine Research

Russian hackers are targeting organisations trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine, a group of national security services has warned. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers “almost certainly” operated as “part of Russian intelligence services”. It said the group used malware to try and steal information relating to Covid-19 vaccine development. NCSC director of operations Paul Chichester said it was “despicable”. The hackers are part of a group called APT29, also known as “the Dukes” or “Cozy Bear”.

Some people will remember the name Cozy Bear from Robert Mueller’s failed $40 million “investigation”. Is that why the NCSC put it in? But to the point: Why would Russia hack the UK for vaccine info if and when the UK has no vaccine? Put it another way: what are the odds that UK “intelligence” is not at the same time trying to hack Russia for its own info? Think British scientists are smarter than Russian ones? How much money would you want to put on that?

Everyone is spying on everyone, always have, and today that may require some hacking skills. Big surprise. You leave your backdoor open, someone may try to have a look inside. Same for everyone. Not even the beginning of a newsworthy story; it happens all the time and everywhere. Next.

Next one is even flimsier. This one implies that since Jeremy Corbyn had some papers on the NHS in the last election, RussiaRussia gave them to him. And he’s an anti-semite too. So there. Can anyone explain why Russia would want to interfere in a UK election?

This seems to allege that Putin wanted to help Corbyn win. But is that for the same reason that he wanted to help Corbyn’s ideological twin Donald Trump win? Which we now know he didn’t? Or is it just that Putin the evil mastermind wants to confuse all parties? Given what I see and hear, he needn’t bother; they’re all already confused as can be.

 

UK Says Russia Sought To Interfere In 2019 Election

Dominic Raab’s statement is the first time ministers have admitted that the Kremlin has tried to distort the workings of British democracy – a practice the foreign secretary said was “completely unacceptable”. “On the basis of extensive analysis, the government has concluded that it is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 general election through the online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked government documents,” Raab said in a written statement.

Next. Only days ago, there was this from Britain about a court case concerning the infamous novichok “attack” in Salisbury, in which first former Russian GRU agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, and months later two other Brits, ostensibly came in contact with what was called the deadliest nerve agent in the world.

Neither Sergei Skripal nor his daughter Yulia have ever been seen again. There was a vague message from a niece, but that was it. But the story is alive and kicking. And can thus continue to be used. By the media-intelligence cartel.

 

Russian Agents May Have Deliberately Left Bottle Of Novichok In Salisbury

Russian agents may have deliberately discarded a bottle of the deadly nerve agent novichok, used in the assassination attempt of former spy Sergei Skripal, in Salisbury in a bid to undermine UK security, the High Court today heard. The claim was made during a legal challenge by the family of Dawn Sturgess, 44, who died in 2018 after coming into contact with novichok in a fake perfume bottle which her partner had found in a park. The family are embroiled in a High Court action in a bid to get ‘key questions’ asked at Ms Sturgess’ inquest.

[..] According to the Guardian, he also referenced then UK prime minister, Theresa May, in September 2018 in which she said: ‘This chemical weapons attack on our soil was part of a wider pattern of Russian behaviour that persistently seeks to undermine our security and that of our allies around the world.’

[..] ‘The use of novichok in Salisbury was the first aggressive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War,’ said Mr Mansfield in a written case summary. ‘It put hundreds of members of the British public at risk and killed Ms Sturgess. ‘The issue of who was responsible for it is a matter of almost unparalleled public concern. ‘There is no realistic prospect that the two suspects will face a criminal trial in the UK or that the Russian state will carry out a comprehensive investigation, and no public inquiry into these events has been established.

This is the pattern: it’s nothing to do with UK security. The pattern is that both the US and UK use their lack of control over Russia as an excuse and reason to blame Russia for anything they feel like. As five-year old kids would. Robert Mueller, the liar and coward, having failed to produce one shred of evidence against Trump, left two things alive in his final report: empty accusations against Assange, who was muzzled, and against “13 Russians”, who he knew would never contest whatever he said.

And when he was challenged because Concord Management decided to show up with a lawyer, he lost that too. The official line was: “It is no longer in the best interests of justice or the country’s national security” to continue. What a bunch of losers.

And we’re not done. Assange smearer no. 1 and hidden intelligence agent Luke Harding, who invented more smear stories about Julian than anyone on the planet, had this three weeks ago. I kid you not, his point was that Russian intelligence is really really stupid. To prove it, he paints a shining portrait of … US/UK intelligence operation Bellingcat.

This is mainly about the Skripal case again, but of course we also remember their role in the never ever existing chemical attack in Syria by Assad on his own people. Yes, the one where they, the OPCW was involved too, planted the canisters and shot some grueling staged photographs.

 

A Chain Of Stupidity’: The Skripal Case And The Decline Of Russia’s Spy Agencies

Bellingcat revealed the identity of poisoner No 1 in a message on its website. Having unmasked one assassin, it seemed likely that Bellingcat would succeed in identifying Petrov, too. Sure enough, in late September I received an invitation to a press conference. It was to be held in an illustrious location: the Houses of Parliament, in an upstairs committee room, number nine. Its subject was Petrov’s real identity. By the time I arrived, the room was full. I spotted a reporter from the New York Times, Ellen Barry, together with leading representatives from the British and US media. It was hard to escape the conclusion that power in journalism was shifting.


It was moving away from established print titles and towards open-source innovators. The new hero of journalism was no longer a grizzled investigator burning shoe leather, à la All the President’s Men, but a pasty-looking kid in front of a MacBook Air. Higgins and Grozev were there, as well as a Conservative MP, Bob Seely. I found a spot on a bench and sat down. The mood was expectant. Seely set the scene. He described Bellingcat as a “truly remarkable group of digital detectives”. Their success was due to an explosion of digital technology and a rise in digital activism, he said.

Here’s Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett about Bellingcat:

Bellingcat & Atlantic Council Join To Award Exploited Syrian Child & American Mass Murderer

Is the Atlantic Council some benevolent organization handing out awards to do-gooding people? No. It’s a Washington DC-based think tank, which promulgates lies and propaganda to further imperialist wars and weapons sales, among other things. One of its Syria “experts” is none other than Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins, who recently took to social media to tell people to suck his “big balls,” making him more of a laughing stock than this backgrounder on the man with no qualifications to his title.


Some of the Atlantic Council’s funders include: the US State Department, oil and weapons manufacturing companies, banks, NATO, various nations’ ministries of defence, and the US Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy. Even just based on funding alone, and ignoring their pro-NATO policy papers, the Atlantic Council clearly exists to further the interests of those involved in weapons manufacturing, wars, and oil.

Of course the entire lying fanfare is a direct result of the west failing to capture Crimea from Russia. They lost that one too; they sure lose a lot when engaging with Russia, don’t they? All they end up with is stories. John McCain and Victoria Nuland thought they had it all in their hands, and then it slipped right through.

And from Maidan and Crimea it’s just a skip and a hop to MH17, plus more -and heavy- Bellingcat involvement. This made the news again a week ago.

 

MH17 Disaster: Dutch Take Russia To European Rights Court

Citizens of 10 different countries died on board the Boeing 777 airliner that was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. More than two-thirds of the victims were Dutch nationals. In March, a trial opened in the Netherlands of three Russian and one Ukrainian citizens – still at large – for the murder of 298 people on board the plane. They are all linked to the pro-Moscow separatists. The trial, in a court near Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, is expected to last for months.


In a statement, the Dutch foreign ministry said the government “decided to bring Russia before the European Court of Human Rights for its role in the downing of Flight MH17”. It said that “by taking this course of action the government is offering maximum support” to individual cases already brought against Russia by victims’ families. “Achieving justice for 298 victims of the downing of Flight MH17 is and will remain the government’s highest priority,” said Mr Blok. “By taking this step today… we are moving closer to this goal,” he added.

Now, I have some interest in this, because I was born in Holland and still have the passport. But from what I can see, this is just yet another western intelligence story. I don’t know what happened with MH17, but I’m pretty sure the Dutch government doesn’t know either, or if they do they’re not telling. And my skepticism isn’t even based on pieces like this from Eric Zuesse two weeks ago (but do read it!).

 

Netherlands ‘Justice’ Is Totally Corrupt: MH17 Case as Example

[..] when Ukraine’s Government authorized Holland’s Government to investigate and rule on what caused the MH17 to be shot down, Holland’s Government signed onto a secret agreement with Ukraine’s Government that included a provision allowing Ukraine’s Government to block and prevent any finding from being issued that would implicate Ukraine’s Government in having shot it down. Holland’s Government violates its own Freedom of Information law by refusing to make public what that secret agreement says.


However, at the time when the existence of the agreement slipped through into mention by a Ukrainian news-site on 8 August 2014, that news-report said “As part of the four-party agreement signed on August 8 between Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia [all of which nations are allies of the United States and are cooperating with its new Cold War against Russia], information on the investigation into the disaster Malaysian ‘Boeing-777’ will not be disclosed.”

My skepticism is kind of linked to this, but it’s much older. When the plane was brought down, I noted that then-US VP Joe Biden, as well as the Ukrainian government of newly (US-)installed president Poroshenko, and also Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans, who got a plush job in Brussels out of it, all three declared within hours that Russia “was what did it”.

None could know at the time they made the statement. But it was a few months after the west lost Crimea, and thereby the chance to rid Russia of its only warm water port. And some people didn’t like that one bit. Some people were very unhappy about being outsmarted by Putin. Nuland must have been livid. And Hillary Clinton, and McCain.

Then when the investigation started, something odd happened. 2/3 of all victims -298 in total- were from the Netherlands. Yet the Dutch got to lead the inquest. As I wrote at the time: have you ever seen a crime series, or a murder one, or a movie, where the main victim (afflicted party) gets to lead the investigation into what happened? No, what we always see is someone taking the aggrieved detective aside saying: sorry, you’re too close to this.

And then on top of that, Ukraine, certainly one of the main suspects, since it happened in their territory, got to be part of the investigation. And not just part, as you can see in Zuesse’s piece, they could veto both what would be investigated and what could be communicated about the results. While they could well be the perpetrator!

If you go back to the murder series metaphor, a producer or writer would say: no can do, it lacks all credibility. But they did it. And it was then that I knew no matter what the report would say, it would be literally incredible. It’s 6 years later, and it’s going to take many more years, of posturing, name-calling, threats, accusations, you name it. And nothing will be proven, there will be only claims of proof. Just like in all the other cases I mentioned above. It’s how these things are done.

MH17 has become just another tool in the hands of “intelligence”.

 

 

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May 072020
 


Banksy – Sounthampton General Hospital – 2020

 

 

Coronavirus May Have Jumped To Humans As Early As October (SCMP)
Italian Scientists Claim To Have Developed World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine (Ind.)
Trump Calls Americans ‘Warriors’ In Fight To Open The Economy (LAT)
Are Americans Ready For A -Costly- Breakup With China? (CSM)
Coronavirus Survivors ‘Permanently Disqualified’ From Joining US Military (NW)
California Expected To Experience ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Unemployment – Newsom (JTN)
UK GPs In The Dark Over COVID19 Tests (G.)
All 400,000 Gowns Flown From Turkey For NHS Fail UK Standards (G.)
COVID19 Deaths: How Does Britain Compare With Other Countries? (Spiegelhalter)
New Zealand ‘Halfway Down Everest’, Plans Big Easing Of COVID Lockdown (G.)
Baltic States To Create ‘Travel Bubble’ As Pandemic Curbs Eased
China’s Services Sector Contracts For Third Month As Job Losses Hit Record (R.)
Republicans Want Review Of Aid To WHO (R.)
OPCW Chief Made False Claims To Denigrate Douma Whistleblower (Maté)
Cuomo Taps Bill Gates To Help Him ‘Reimagine’ New York’s Public Schools (JTN)

 

 

The US had +2,528 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, the highest number since April 21, bringing the national total to 74,799.

 

 

 

 

Cases 3,836,826 (+ 92,061 from yesterday’s 3,744,765)

Deaths 265,366 (+ 6,482 from yesterday’s 258,884)

 

 

 

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

 

 

From Worldometer Deaths among Closed cases is down to 17%. That still needs to come down much more.

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

The FT has a section, Coronavirus: free to read, with a few good graphs.

They look at excess deaths as the best way to gauge COVID19.

And some more graphs:

https://twitter.com/RemiGMI/status/1258021339362885634

 

 

Makes sense.

Coronavirus May Have Jumped To Humans As Early As October (SCMP)

The Covid-19 pandemic might have started as early as October, according to the latest research into the genetic make-up of the coronavirus. The pathogen, formally known as SARS-CoV-2, is thought to have made the jump from initial host to humans some time between October 6 and December 11 last year, according to an article released on Tuesday and set to be published in an upcoming edition of the scientific journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution. The findings are based on analysis of more than 7,000 genome sequence assemblies collected from around the world since January. By examining the evolution of the mutations, researchers from University College London and the University of Reunion Island were able to rewind their molecular clocks to a common starting point.

They were also able to identify the major mutations to the coronavirus, which has continued to evolve since making the jump to humans. While retrospective studies have suggested various dates for the first Covid-19 patient, government data seen by the South China Morning Post put the first confirmed infection at November 17. Based on information from the first whole genome sequence of the coronavirus – published by a laboratory in Shanghai in January – and other genome analyses, scientists had earlier concluded that SARS-CoV-2 most likely came from a bat and made the jump to humans via an intermediate animal some time in November.

But by the time the latest study was conducted, late last month, the researchers had access to much more information via data-sharing platforms. They selected 7,710 assemblies, curated a data set of 7,666 and then analysed the emergence of genomic diversity over time. While there were variations in the mutations and evolutionary stages of the viruses they studied, the team was able to determine their most recent common ancestor (MRCA), which in turn gave them their new estimate for the start of the global health crisis. “These dates for the start of the epidemic are in broad agreement with previous estimates performed on smaller subsets of the Covid-19 genomic data using various computational methods, though they should still be taken with some caution,” the study said.

In most countries, including Britain, the United States and Ireland, the genetic diversity of the samples essentially reflects the global diversity, suggesting the local epidemics came from independent introductions of the virus. However, China, where the outbreak was first reported, is a main exception to this pattern, where only a fraction of the global diversity can be found. “The genomic diversity of the global SARS-CoV-2 population being recapitulated in multiple countries points to extensive worldwide transmission of Covid-19, likely from extremely early on in the pandemic,” the study said.

Read more …

2022 and onwards. Crushing the curve is much easier. And faster.

Italian Scientists Claim To Have Developed World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine (Ind.)

Italian researchers claim to have developed a vaccine that can neutralise the coronavirus in human cells. Tests carried out at Rome’s Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital, which specialises in infectious diseases, generated antibodies in mice that work in human cells. “This is the most advanced stage of testing of a candidate vaccine created in Italy,” said Luigi Aurisicchio, chief executive of Takis, the company working on the treatment. “According to Spallanzani Hospital, as far as we know we are the first in the world so far to have demonstrated a neutralisation of the coronavirus by a vaccine,” he told the Italian news agency Ansa. “We expect this to happen in humans too.”

“Human tests are expected after this summer,” Mr Aurisicchio said. He added: “We are working hard for a vaccine coming from Italian research, with an all-Italian and innovative technology, tested in Italy and made available to everyone. “In order to reach this goal, we need the support of national and international institutions and partners who may help us speed up the process.” After a single vaccination, the mice developed antibodies capable of blocking the virus from infecting human cells, Mr Aurisicchio claimed. He said researchers observed that five candidate vaccines generated a large number of antibodies and they then selected the two with the best results.

Last week, experts at the University of Oxford said the first results of their coronavirus vaccine trials could be ready by as early as mid-June. The institution also announced a new partnership with British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. Human trials of the vaccine developed at the university’s Jenner Institute began last month, with hundreds volunteering to be part of the study.

Read more …

Some non-thinkers here: “Good generals do not send their soldiers into battle without knowing that there will be a net gain..”. Right, US generals only go into battle if and when they already know they will win. Must be a lesson learned in Vietnam.

Trump Calls Americans ‘Warriors’ In Fight To Open The Economy (LAT)

Donald Trump has described himself as a “wartime president” during the coronavirus crisis, and now he seems to have found his army as he pushes the country to reopen despite the risks. In recent days, he’s begun describing citizens as “warriors” in the battle against the pandemic and suggested some of those fighters might have to die if that will help boost the economy.“Will some people be affected? Yes,” he said on a trip to Arizona this week, his first outside of the Washington area in nearly two months. “Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open, and we have to get it open soon.” Trump previously described healthcare workers as “warriors” for risking their safety to treat coronavirus patients, wording he used again on Wednesday when signing a proclamation honoring nurses.

But his decision to expand the characterization to everyday Americans is a noticeable shift from his previous declarations that “one is too many” deaths. The toll from the illness surpassed 70,000 this week and seems on track to top 100,000 by the end of the month, numbers far larger than Trump recently predicted. Asked Wednesday if the nation needs to accept greater loss of life, Trump said “hopefully it won’t be the case, but it may very well be the case.” “We have to be warriors,” he said from his seat behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office. “We can’t keep our country closed down for years.” The new language shows Trump appears to view people as “collateral damage to salvage the economy,” said Jeffrey Levi, a public health expert at George Washington University.

“Good generals do not send their soldiers into battle without knowing that there will be a net gain,” Levi said. “And here we know reopening too soon will be a net loss, both in lives and the long-term stability of the economy.” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied that Trump was suggesting that citizens must put themselves in harm’s way to fight the coronavirus — “not in the slightest,” she said. Although the president has repeatedly said that Americans must be “warriors” to reopen the economy, McEnany offered an alternative explanation for the description. “They’re warriors because they’ve stayed home,” she said at a White House briefing Wednesday. “They’re warriors because they’ve social distanced. They’re warriors because this mitigation effort is something that could only be done by the American people coming together and making really hard sacrifices.”

[..] Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said there’s no valor in sacrificing people’s lives to fight the pandemic. “People who are dying of this virus are not dying to protect the American way of life,” he said. “They’re dying because their government has had a completely ineffective response to this infectious disease.” If Americans are being considered warriors, Jha said, Trump is sending them onto the battlefield without the testing and contact tracing required for protection. “He has left Americans disarmed,” he said. “He’s not given the American people the tools they need to fight this virus.”

Read more …

See yesterday. Lots of people quoting the SCMP article today, but it’s just hot air.

Are Americans Ready For A -Costly- Breakup With China? (CSM)

[..] some longtime advocates of a “decoupling” from China say the pandemic offers the best opportunity since the 1970s for a robust national debate on the merits of a significant and policy-driven separation. Such a debate would span issues from technology transfer and U.S. economic sectors’ dependence on China trade to sharpening criticism of China’s violations of human rights. “Three months ago I would have said there was no chance of a serious decoupling from China, but the political environment has changed,” says Derek Scissors, an expert in U.S.-China economic relations at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “We’re still not near the serious – and what would be costly – steps necessary to separate [from them] and reduce our participation in the success of China’s economic model,” he adds.

“But all the outrage over the tremendous suffering and economic impact of [the pandemic] has opened a door to a reassessment of our relationship.” More likely than a new China strategy that sets out to reduce ties, say others, is an acceleration and intensification of actions that were already being pursued or promoted by some in Congress and some China analysts. “What this [rise in tensions] is really doing is exacerbating the geopolitical trends we’ve already been seeing in recent years,” says Michael Auslin, a distinguished research fellow in contemporary Asia at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in Stanford, California. “The tensions were already growing.” Thus there is likely to be rising pressure for action on topics that have raged for years, from stemming the theft of intellectual property and repatriating supply chains critical to U.S. national security, to confronting China’s expansionist activities in the South China Sea.

A change that the U.S. and other Western countries should capitalize on in the post-pandemic period, some experts say, is that China is now going to be marked by many countries as an untrustworthy partner. That is not just because of how China handled the initial outbreak of the coronavirus, they say, but because its heavy-handed actions in its pandemic-related foreign assistance has left a bad taste from Europe to Africa. “The world has put an asterisk next to China,” says Mr. Auslin, who notes for example that the White House now puts an asterisk next to coronavirus statistics out of China. And the theme running through much of the European press last week, he says, was “The Week China Lost Europe.”

Read more …

No, not just survivors, but anyone who’s ever tested positive.

If that herd immunity idea ever goes anywhere, that would mean 60%+ can’t join anymore. Who said Americans have no sense of humor?

Coronavirus Survivors ‘Permanently Disqualified’ From Joining US Military (NW)

The military will stop recruiting applicants who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a proposal in a memo from the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM). The contents of the memo, which has been circulating on the internet, were confirmed to Newsweek by the Pentagon, which described them as “interim guidance.” The story was first reported by the Military Times. “During the medical history interview or examination, a history of COVID-19, confirmed by either a laboratory test or a clinician diagnosis, is permanently disqualifying,” the memo reads. Additionally, the memo lays out guidelines for handling possible and confirmed coronavirus cases in applicants.


It says any applicants at any of the 65 nationwide Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) should be evaluated for possible coronavirus infection, most likely through a temperature check and questions about their symptoms and possible contact with infected individuals. If an applicant seems likely positive for the coronavirus, they can return to the MEPS if they’re symptom-free after 14 days. Anyone who tests positive through a lab test or clinical diagnosis can return to MEPS 28 days after their diagnosis. However, their application will be marked as “permanently disqualifying,” and while applicants can request a waiver the memo offers no further guidance for possible COVID-19 exceptions, meaning that “a review authority would have no justification to grant a waiver,” says the Military Times.

Read more …

A lot of support for opening up also involves halting financial support plans. Worst idea ever, because:

California Expected To Experience ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Unemployment – Newsom (JTN)

California Governor Gavin Newsom forewarned of “jaw-dropping” unemployment at his daily press conference on Wednesday. After stating the state is experiencing an unprecedented spike in unemployment claims, he said, “You’ll see these numbers translating into unemployment rates that will be rather jaw-dropping.” Newsom called the rise in unemployment claims “Without precedent in our state’s history,” noting that 4.2 million people have now applied for Public Unemployment Assistance and $10.6 billion in aid has already been distributed.


He also announced his signing an executive order extending worker’s compensation to essential workers who test positive for COVID-19, adding that benefits could only be rebutted by an employer “under strict criteria.” Newsom is facing mounting criticism over a plan he announced on April 16 that would create a $125 million fund for undocumented immigrants affected by the coronavirus. Non-profits will distribute the money, but it’s still unclear when people will see a check.

Read more …

Link on the page to another Giurdian article: Q&A – Coronavirus tests in the UK – who qualifies for one?

That would have been a reasonable question in January, perhaps into February. It’s idiotic in May.

UK GPs In The Dark Over COVID19 Tests (G.)

The results of hundreds of thousands of coronavirus tests carried out at privately run drive-through centres in England have not yet been shared with GPs or local authorities, who complain they have “no idea” where local disease clusters are. GPs told the Guardian they had been “totally left out of the conversation” after the government said it was still “working on a technical solution” to get Covid-19 test results into individual GP records in England, having promised to do so weeks ago. Meanwhile, the chief medical officer for England, Prof Chris Whitty, apologised to local health leaders who have not yet received any detailed data from “pillar two” tests conducted by the private firm Deloitte over the past month.


These now form the majority of tests being carried out each day, either at drive-through testing centres or via the post. During a conference call on Wednesday with directors of public health at local authorities across England, the government’s national coordinator of the UK coronavirus testing programme, Prof John Newton, also apologised for not yet sharing the detailed data. He said there had been “data quality issues”. Newton admitted that the Deloitte tests did not yet ask people for their ethnicity or whether they worked in health or social care – an oversight described by one director of public health on the call as “really disappointing”. People of colour and healthcare workers and those working in care homes are known to have much higher incidences of the disease.

Read more …

• UK unemployment to double and economy to shrink by 25%, warns Bank of England

• British economic output is set to crash 14% this year owing to the coronavirus, the Bank of England said as it left its interest rate at 0.1%.

• UK gross domestic product would rebound by 15% in 2021 however, the BoE said

• Buy some more gowns, unseen preferably

All 400,000 Gowns Flown From Turkey For NHS Fail UK Standards (G.)

Last month, amid dire warnings of shortages of personal protective equipment for health workers, ministers publicised the imminent arrival from Turkey of a fleet of RAF cargo planes bringing in a “very significant” shipment of PPE for the NHS. More than a fortnight later, it has emerged that every one of the 400,000 protective gowns that eventually arrived has been impounded after being found not to conform to UK standards. The Department for Health and Social Care confirmed on Wednesday evening that the items were being held in a facility near Heathrow airport. It is understood that they are due to be sent back and that the DHSC intends to seek a refund, as it has done in similar situations in the past.

The announcement of the shipment by the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, on 18 April came as unions and professional bodies warned that NHS staff may refuse to work without PPE. Jenrick told the daily Downing Street press briefing that healthcare workers should be “assured that we are doing everything we can to correct this issue”, saying they would have the equipment they “need and deserve”. Sources later told the Guardian that the DHSC had advised No 10 not to allow Jenrick to publicise the shipment in case it backfired, but was overruled. The necessary clearances, it turned out, had not been sought. When the consignment did not arrive on time as promised, the delay prompted hospital leaders to directly attack the government for the first time during the pandemic.

Ministers responded by saying they thought it may only a one-day delay. Two days later, with the shipment only then beginning to clear Turkish customs checks, they were only able to give an estimate of arrival “in the next few days”. The first planeload of gowns eventually arrived on 22 April, but the next day it was reported that “less than a 10th” of the order had arrived. Now all are expected to be returned. The saga, first reported by the Telegraph, is one of a series of highly publicised government coronavirus initiatives that have failed to deliver the promised results. Its much-trumpeted “ventilator challenge” asked companies such as Rolls-Royce and Dyson to begin producing the machines, but none have reached the final stages of testing and the majority have proved surplus to requirements.

Read more …

David Spiegelhalter was quoted by the PM yesterday to prove Britain can’t be compared to opther countries, and didn’t like that. He tweeted: “Polite request to PM and others: please stop using my Guardian article to claim we cannot make any international comparisons yet. I refer only to detailed league tables-of course we should now use other countries to try and learn why our numbers are high..”

BTW, Spiegelhalter translate as “someone who holds (up) a mirror”. Fitting.

COVID19 Deaths: How Does Britain Compare With Other Countries? (Spiegelhalter)

You would think it would be easy for a bean-counting statistician to count deaths – the one certain thing (apart from taxes). But it is remarkably difficult. I have stopped taking much notice of the number given out at the daily press conferences, as it is only based on reports from hospitals, oscillates wildly around weekends, and recently included deaths that occurred a month ago. And this week the number of UK deaths jumped up by nearly 5,000 to 26,097 in one day – rather close to Starmer’s count – by retrospectively including non-hospital deaths that had tested positive for the virus. But even this is too low, as it does not include the many deaths of people who were not tested.

The Office for National Statistics data on death registrations is the last word, although inevitably delayed by around 10 days, and these figures would be expected to take the current total to significantly more than 30,000. But we should be very cautious in comparing even this uncertain total with those of other countries. Every country has different ways of recording Covid-19 deaths: the large number of deaths in care homes have not featured in Spain’s statistics – which, like the UK’s require a positive test result. The numbers may be useful for looking at trends, but they are not reliable indicators for comparing the absolute levels. If we were naive enough to take the counts at face value, the new figures propelled the UK past France and Spain into second place in Europe behind Italy, which is not encouraging because we are behind Italy in terms of what stage of the epidemic we are at.

A more equitable metric might be Covid-19 deaths per million. Ignoring tiny countries, our current score of 388 puts us fourth, behind Belgium (632), Spain (509) and Italy (452). But these are still deeply unreliable numbers, as it is not clear if we should just be looking at Covid-19-labelled deaths anyway. The effects of seasonal flu are not based on tests or death certificates, but at looking at the total number of deaths over the winter, seeing how many extra there are than a baseline, allowing for climate, and assuming these excess deaths were linked to flu. On average, over the last 10 years this has come to about 8,000 flu-related deaths, rising to 26,400 in 2017-2018 and 28,300 in 2014-15.

Read more …

Being an island helps. And so does a real lockdown.

New Zealand ‘Halfway Down Everest’, Plans Big Easing Of COVID Lockdown (G.)

Hairdressers, bars and competitive sport could be back on the agenda for New Zealanders from next week as the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said the country was “halfway down Everest” in its fight against Covid-19. New Zealand has been under strict lockdown restrictions for more than five weeks, but the low number of cases this week – zero for two consecutive days – means restrictions will soon be lifted. Ardern and her cabinet will make a decision on downgrading the country’s alert level from three to two on Monday, and by Wednesday, life could begin to look much more normal – and fun – for millions of cooped-up Kiwis. The relaxation of restrictions, which would allow gatherings of up to 100 people, both indoors and outdoors, was greeted with jubilation across the country.

Public spaces such as playgrounds and libraries would be reopened, bars and restaurants would be able to accept patrons, and domestic travel and competitive sport allowed to resume, including the professional leagues, but there will be no stadium crowds for now. Most workers would be allowed to head back to the office, though Ardern urged any who could stay home – or found it more productive – to do so. Widespread social-distancing rules would continue to apply, including patrons being seated two metres apart in public spaces, strangers keeping their distance from one another, and hairdressers, barbers and beauticians being required to wear PPE.

New Zealanders have been living in tight “bubbles” for more than a month, only allowed to socialise with those in their own home. Under the plans outlined by Ardern on Thursday, they would be permitted to see friends, family and even online dates – so long as they keep a log of their movements, and did not participate in indoor or outdoor gatherings of any more than 100. Weddings, funerals and anniversary celebrations would also be permitted. [..] the measures appear to have been effective, with just 21 deaths – all older people with pre-existing health conditions – and global praise has been heaped on the small island nation of 5 million by the World Health Organization, among others.

Read more …

Eastern Europe is a success story.

Baltic States To Create ‘Travel Bubble’ As Pandemic Curbs Eased

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will open their borders to each others’ citizens from May 15, creating a Baltic “travel bubble” within the European Union amid an easing of pandemic restrictions, their prime ministers said on Wednesday. “It’s a big step towards life as normal”, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas wrote on Twitter. The Baltic travel area would be first of its kind in the bloc, where most countries restricted entry to non-nationals and imposed quarantine on incoming travellers as the coronavirus spread across the continent. Citizens of the three countries will be free to travel within the region, but anyone entering from outside will need to self-isolate for 14 days, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said.


“We showed a good example by stating, very clearly, that only countries which successfully dealt with the situation can open themselves up,” he added. “I think we will keep to this principle when dealing with countries where the situation is very bad, which did not take measures to control the virus spread.” Poland and Finland could be the next countries to join the free travel bloc, said Skvernelis. The European Commission has recommended that internal border controls between all member states should be lifted in a coordinated manner, once their virus situation converges sufficiently, the commission’s office in Lithuania said.

Read more …

No buyers left.

China’s Services Sector Contracts For Third Month As Job Losses Hit Record (R.)

China’s services firms wallowed in contraction in April as layoffs hit a record and export orders plunged after signs of improvement in March, a private survey showed, dashing hopes of a quick recovery from the coronavirus blow. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) did manage to pull up to 44.4 in April from 43 in March, but remained in a deep slump and far below historic averages. The 50-mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. The third straight month of contraction for China’s services sector, an important generator of jobs and which accounts for about 60% of the economy, suggests a still turbulent period ahead after the collapse in economic activity in the first quarter, when GDP shrank 6.8%.


It also raised worries about the outlook even though the pandemic has been largely brought under control domestically, as a sharp global downturn dampens demand for Chinese goods and services. “The second shockwave for China’s economy brought about by shrinking overseas demand should not be underestimated in the second quarter,” said Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group. Major economies, including the United States and Europe, remain in the grip of the pandemic amid rapidly rising infections and deaths. The sweeping impact of the coronavirus, with the global death toll at well over 250,000, has many worried that a worldwide recession could be far more damaging than first thought. In April, new export orders shrank further after their pace of contraction slowed in March, declining at the second-fastest rate on record, just marginally better than February’s collapse.

Read more …

You mean, you don’t do such reviews normally? High time then. Still, “..a task force to assess how well multilateral institutions carry out their missions and serve American interests.” sounds nuts. They’re supposed to serve global interests. If not, they would start serving US interests at the cost of other countries. Oh wait…

Republicans Want Review Of Aid To WHO (R.)

Five U.S. Senate Republicans introduced a bill on Wednesday seeking a review of U.S. participation in the World Health Organization and other international institutions, after President Donald Trump’s administration suspended U.S. contributions to the U.N. health agency and accused it of mishandling the coronavirus pandemic. Introduced by Chairman Jim Risch and four other Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the “Multilateral Aid Review Act of 2020” would establish a task force to assess how well multilateral institutions carry out their missions and serve American interests.

The bill requires a report on 38 institutions. Besides the WHO, they include the World Bank; Asian, African, Inter-American and North American Development Banks, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, several U.N. organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Trump suspended U.S. contributions to the WHO on April 14, accusing it of promoting China’s “disinformation” about the coronavirus outbreak and saying his administration would launch a review of the organization. WHO officials have denied the claims and China insists it has been transparent and open. The United States is the WHO’s biggest donor.

“As we have seen most recently with questionable actions taken by the World Health Organization in response to the spread of COVID-19, it is critically important to have accountability and oversight of our assistance,” Risch said in a statement announcing the bill. [..] Critics of the aid review bill said they were concerned the task force would be too partisan because Pompeo would be its chairman and members would be appointed by Trump.

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Why are we still discussing the OPCW? Why does it still exist? They’re a bunch of liars who were found out.

OPCW Chief Made False Claims To Denigrate Douma Whistleblower (Maté)

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has made false and misleading statements about two veteran inspectors who challenged a cover-up of their investigation in Syria, leaked documents show. The inspectors probed an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Douma in April 2018, and later objected when their evidence was suppressed. Documents obtained by The Grayzone reveal that OPCW leaders have engaged in a pattern of deception that minimized the inspectors’ senior roles in the Douma mission and diminished the prestige they enjoyed within the world’s top chemical weapons watchdog.

OPCW Director General Fernando Arias has claimed that the first inspector, South African chemical engineering and ballistics expert Ian Henderson, “was not a member” of the Douma investigative team and only played a “minor supporting role.” However, contemporaneous communications from the OPCW’s Douma Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) directly contradict Arias. They show that Henderson was indeed a Douma team member, and that OPCW leadership directed him to lead its most critical inspections. They also show that Arias, rather than acknowledge that Henderson was an FFM member, offered up a false explanation for why Henderson was in Syria at the time of the probe.

Arias has also disingenuously minimized the role of the second inspector, known only to the public as “Inspector B.” This will be examined in part two of this article. The OPCW’s investigation was triggered when extremist anti-Syrian government militants and Western states accused the Syrian army of dropping gas cylinders on two buildings in Douma, killing dozens of civilians. The U.S., France, and Britain bombed Syrian government targets days later, asserting their right to enforce the chemical weapons “red line.” After a nearly year-long investigation, the OPCW issued a final report in March 2019 that claimed “reasonable grounds” existed to believe that a chlorine attack occurred.

However, a trove of leaked documents has shown that the OPCW leadership suppressed and manipulated evidence that undermined the allegation against the Syrian military. The first of such leaks was an engineering assessment authored by Henderson that concluded that the gas cylinders in Douma were likely “manually placed.” That conclusion suggested the incident was staged on the ground by the armed militants who controlled Douma at the time. Additional leaks later revealed that Inspector B protested the censorship of critical evidence and toxicology reports, as well as the manipulation of chemical samples and witness statements. Henderson and B also complained that OPCW leaders excluded all of the Douma investigators except for one paramedic from a so-called “core” team that wrote the organization’s final report.

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In case you needed any confirmation that Andrew Cuomo is not exactly your hero.

As for Bill Gates, he’s just a fool with too much money, and should be kept far from schools. We don’t need another generation using his crappy software.

I had a text talk with a friend in Greece Tuesday, who tried to convince me that Bill Gates wanted to force-vaccinate everyone and force implant them with nano-chips to prove vaccination. I think maybe because of the language barrier he may not have grasped the nuances whenn I said: “You have nothing to worry about then, because there is no vaccine”.

Someone else sent me a video from the Alex Jones studios that claimed Bill Gates is the mastermind behind a grand secret global conspiracy to depopulate the planet -hence COVID19-. I’m sorry, but I cannot post that here.

Cuomo Taps Bill Gates To Help Him ‘Reimagine’ New York’s Public Schools (JTN)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to “reimagine” schools when they reopen after the coronavirus pandemic. “Bill Gates is a visionary in many ways, and his ideas and thoughts on technology and education he’s spoken about for years,” Cuomo said Tuesday. “But I think we now have a moment in history where we can actually incorporate and advance those ideas. Cuomo said the state is exploring the possibility that K-12 schools will utilize distancing learning in the future and wondered aloud if the “old model” of in-person learning was obsolete.

He said Gates would help evaluate possible changes to the education system, including providing more opportunities to students, using technology to reduce educational inequality, and recreating larger class or lecture hall environments with virtual classrooms. The Gates Foundation has experimented with education before with some mixed results. Business Insider reports that Gates spent $1 billion and seven years working on an initiative to improve test performance for students in low-income schools by closely monitoring teacher effectiveness. The program reportedly didn’t improve test scores or drop-out rates in the long-term, and even “did more harm than good.”

The Gothamist reports at least five organizations have already spoken out against the partnership, citing concerns about the Microsoft founder’s support of standardized testing and Common Core curriculum. Allies for Public Education, Class Size Matters, and the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy — have already written to Cuomo and state education officials to voice their objections. “We were appalled to hear that you will be working with the Gates Foundation on ‘reimagining’ our schools following the Covid crisis,” the coalition wrote. “Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have promoted one failed educational initiative after another, causing huge disaffection in districts throughout the state.

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