Aug 162021
 
 August 16, 2021  Posted by at 9:37 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  93 Responses »


Roy Lichtenstein Hopeless 1963

 

Ultrapotent Antibodies vs Diverse & Highly Transmissible Covid19 Variants (Sc.)
Vaccine Inventor Dr. Robert Malone Ruined “His Chances For A Nobel Prize” (TSU)
Shedding of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Despite Vaccination with Delta (Mx)
Here Comes Nosocomial DISASTER (Denninger)
A Message From France (TBP)
French Covid Permit Scheme Extended To Paris Department Stores (G.)
UAE Covid-19 Death Toll Exceeds 2,000 For First Time, 1,189 New Cases (AlA)
Biden Offers Cash To Florida Schools That Defy Gov. Ron DeSantis (NYP)
China, the WHO and the Powergrab That Fuelled A Pandemic (Times)
The Clocks Are Wrong or Biden’s Camp David Photo Was Taken Months Ago (GP)
White House Twitter Account Apparently ‘Outs’ Intel Officials, Locations (RT)
CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack (BBee)

 

 

Biden “may talk in a few days”, Kamala is AWOL, and Jen Psaki is gone until August 22.

What do you think when you’re in Hong Kong, or Taiwan, Ukraine, Lithuania? That America’s got your back?

This damage is forever. The US gave itself all away in 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

10% have had 3rd vaxx. Israeli PM Bennett is a confused man.

 

 

 

 

“Our study demonstrates that convalescent subjects previously infected with ancestral variant SARS-CoV-2 produce antibodies that cross-neutralize emerging VOCs with high potency.”

Ultrapotent Antibodies vs Diverse & Highly Transmissible Covid19 Variants (Sc.)

Our key defense against the COVID-19 pandemic is neutralizing antibodies against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus elicited by natural infection or vaccination. Recent emerging viral variants have raised concern because of their potential to escape antibody neutralization. Wang et al. identified four antibodies from early-outbreak convalescent donors that are potent against 23 variants, including variants of concern, and characterized their binding to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Yuan et al. examined the impact of emerging mutations in the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein on binding to the host receptor ACE2 and to a range of antibodies. These studies may be helpful for developing more broadly effective vaccines and therapeutic antibodies.

Blood from 22 convalescent subjects who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 WA-1 infection was screened for neutralizing and binding activity, and four subjects with high reactivity against the WA-1 variant were selected for antibody isolation. SARS-CoV-2 spike (S)–reactive antibodies were identified through B cell sorting with S protein–based probes. WA-1 live-virus neutralization assays identified four RBD-targeting antibodies with high potency [half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) 2.1 to 4.8 ng/ml], two of which were derived from the same IGHV1-58 germline but from different donors. Antigen-binding fragments (Fabs) of these antibodies exhibited nanomolar affinity to S (2.3 to 7.3 nM).

Competition assays and electron microscopy indicated that two of the most potent antibodies blocked angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and bound open conformation RBD, whereas the other two bound both up and down conformations of RBD and blocked ACE2 binding. Binding and lentivirus neutralization assays against 13 circulating VOCs or variants of interest—including B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1.427, B.1.429, B.1.526, P.1, P.2, B.1.617.1, and B.1.617.2—indicated that these antibodies were highly potent against VOCs despite being isolated from subjects infected with early ancestral SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Cryo-EM studies of the two most potent antibodies in complex with S revealed that these antibodies target a site of vulnerability on RBD but have minimal contacts with mutational hotspots, defining the structural basis for their high effectiveness against the emerging VOCs and further delineating an IGHV1-58 antibody supersite.

To investigate potential mechanisms of escape, we applied antibody selection pressure to replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus (rcVSV) expressing the WA-1 SARS-CoV-2 S (rcVSV-SARS2) and identified S mutations that conferred in vitro resistance. We evaluated these antibodies individually or in combinations for their capacity to prevent rcVSV-SARS2 escape and discovered that antibody combinations with complementary modes of recognition to the RBD lowered the risk of resistance. [..] Our study demonstrates that convalescent subjects previously infected with ancestral variant SARS-CoV-2 produce antibodies that cross-neutralize emerging VOCs with high potency. Structural and functional analyses reveal that antibody breadth is mediated by targeting a site of vulnerability at the RBD tip offset from major mutational hotspots in VOCs. Selective boosting of immune responses targeting specific RBD epitopes, such as the sites defined by these antibodies, may induce breadth against current and future VOCs.


Isolation and characterization of convalescent donor antibodies that effectively neutralize emerging SARS-CoV-2 VOCs.

Antibodies isolated from donors infected with ancestral SARS-CoV-2 viruses showed ultrapotent neutralization of emerging VOCs. The two most potent antibodies shared usage of the IGHV1-58 gene and targeted the RBD with minimal contact to VOC mutational hotspots. Cocktails of antibodies with complementary binding modes suppressed antibody escape.

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“This was a conscious decision to take risk.”

Vaccine Inventor Dr. Robert Malone Ruined “His Chances For A Nobel Prize” (TSU)

This afternoon, The Atlantic wrote a fair piece titled, “The Vaccine Scientist Spreading Vaccine Misinformation.” The article started out with the author, Tom Bartlett, asking: “Robert Malone claims to have invented mRNA technology. Why is he trying so hard to undermine its use?” Again, we think the article is fair and objective. Unlike Logically.AI, which categorically said Dr. Malone was not the original inventor of the vaccine, Mr. Bartlett credited Dr. Malone for being the first person to “demonstrate how RNA could be delivered into cells using lipids.” Below is how Mr. Bartlett describes Dr. Malone’s body of work:

“The abridged version is that when Malone was a graduate student in biology in the late 1980s at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, he injected genetic material—DNA and RNA—into the cells of mice in hopes of creating a new kind of vaccine. He was the first author on a 1989 paper demonstrating how RNA could be delivered into cells using lipids, which are basically tiny globules of fat, and a co-author on a 1990 Science paper showing that if you inject pure RNA or DNA into mouse muscle cells, it can lead to the transcription of new proteins. If the same approach worked for human cells, the latter paper said in its conclusion, this technology “may provide alternative approaches to vaccine development.””

Mr. Bartlett’s piece is not really the purpose of this article. The question is, what did Dr. Malone say or do to jeopardize his chances of winning a Nobel Prize? To answer this question, we need to go back to his TV appearance on June 23. During the interview, Dr. Malone stated that he was not discouraging the use of the vaccine that the government is not being transparent with us about what those risks are. “[O]ne of my concerns are that the government is not being transparent with us about what those risks are. And so, I’m of the opinion that people have the right to decide whether to accept a vaccine or not, especially since these are experimental vaccines,” Dr. Malone said, pointing to the fact the vaccines are not formally approved but instead being administered under Emergency Use Authorization.

Dr. Malone added: “This is a fundamental right having to do with clinical research ethics,” he said. “And so, my concern is that I know that there are risks. But we don’t have access to the data, and the data haven’t been captured rigorously enough so that we can accurately assess those risks — and therefore … we don’t really have the information that we need to make a reasonable decision.” Immediately after the interview, the news about what he said quickly travel across the mainstream media, News York Times, Washington Post, and now, The Atlantic. Since then, Dr. Malone has been under attack. About a month later, Logically.Ai wrote a piece claiming that Dr. Robert Malone did NOT invent mRNA vaccines. Just as Mr. Bartlett said in the Atlantic story, “Whether Malone really came up with mRNA vaccines is a question probably best left to Swedish prize committees, but you could make a case for his involvement.”

Which leads us to Dr. Malone’s chances of getting a Nobel prize. In a tweet this afternoon, Dr. Malone shared a statement from a cellular immunologist Stan Gromkowski who did work on mRNA vaccines in the early 1990s. According to the tweet, Gromkowski said this about Dr. Malone: “He’s fucking up his chances for a Nobel Prize.” In the same tweet, Dr. Malone added that he was well aware of the potential impact on a possible Nobel. “I made a choice,” he wrote. That’s not all. In a follow-up tweet, Dr. Malone said he was “very aware of this risk and discussed it with Bret and Steve right before the infamous Dark Horse podcast, indicating that the stakes were too high to worry about a Prize when trying to save the lives and health of our children. This was a conscious decision to take risk.”

Read more …

“68% of individuals infected despite vaccination tested positive with Ct <25, including at least 8 who were asymptomatic at the time of testing.”

Shedding of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Despite Vaccination with Delta (Mx)

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant and its sublineages (B.1.617.2, AY.1, AY.2, AY.3; [1]) can cause high viral loads, are highly transmissible, and contain mutations that confer partial immune escape [2,3]. Using PCR threshold cycle (Ct) data from a single large contract laboratory, we show that individuals in Wisconsin, USA had similar viral loads in nasal swabs, irrespective of vaccine status, during a time of high and increasing prevalence of the Delta variant. Infectious SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from 51 of 55 specimens (93%) with Ct <25 from both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, indicating that most individuals with Ct values in this range (Wilson 95% CI 83%-97%) shed infectious virus regardless of vaccine status.

Notably, 68% of individuals infected despite vaccination tested positive with Ct <25, including at least 8 who were asymptomatic at the time of testing. Our data substantiate the idea that vaccinated individuals who become infected with the Delta variant may have the potential to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. Vaccinated individuals should continue to wear face coverings in indoor and congregate settings, while also being tested for SARS-CoV-2 if they are exposed or experience COVID-like symptoms.

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“Viral loads of breakthrough Delta variant infection cases were 251 times higher than those of cases infected with old strains detected between March-April 2020.”

Here Comes Nosocomial DISASTER (Denninger)

“Methods: We studied breakthrough infections among healthcare workers of a major infectious diseases hospital in Vietnam. We collected demographics, vaccination history and results of PCR diagnosis alongside clinical data. We measured SARS-CoV-2 (neutralizing) antibodies at diagnosis, and at week 1, 2 and 3 after diagnosis. We sequenced the viruses using ARTIC protocol.

Findings: Between 11th–25th June 2021 (week 7–8 after dose 2), 69 healthcare workers were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. 62 participated in the clinical study. 49 were (pre)symptomatic with one requiring oxygen supplementation. All recovered uneventfully. 23 complete-genome sequences were obtained. They all belonged to the Delta variant, and were phylogenetically distinct from the contemporary Delta variant sequences obtained from community transmission cases, suggestive of ongoing transmission between the workers. Viral loads of breakthrough Delta variant infection cases were 251 times higher than those of cases infected with old strains detected between March-April 2020. Time from diagnosis to PCR negative was 8–33 days (median: 21). Neutralizing antibody levels after vaccination and at diagnosis of the cases were lower than those in the matched uninfected controls. There was no correlation between vaccine-induced neutralizing antibody levels and viral loads or the development of symptoms.”

Reasonable conclusions drawn from this data:
• The vaccines do not prevent health care workers from getting infected; the antibodies are ineffective.
• When health care workers get infected post-vaccination with Delta they are not becoming infected from the community; they are passing it among each other.
• Their viral loads and thus infectiousness are extremely high; in other words they become a reservoir of extreme infection risk to other employees in the facility and, it must be assumed to the patients in their care.
• A reasonable hypothesis (but not proved) is that the vaccines are in fact potentiating viral replication via ADE-type effects, specifically given the paper I pointed to yesterday. That is the act of encouraging or even forcing medical workers to take the jabs is leading to higher viral loads and thus greater infectiousness — that is, greater risk to patients rather than less.

Congratulations folks — you just turned hospitals into death traps for anyone who is medically compromised, particularly if they were either unable to be vaccinated themselves for medical reasons or, far worse, they were vaccinated but due to immune compromise failed to build an effective response. PS: Want to know why this sort of study hasn’t — and won’t — be done here? Because the instantaneous freak-out factor, never mind the nasty words “malpractice” or even “depraved indifference” — would start getting thrown around immediately, that’s why.

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A message of hope. Everything comes to a standstill. Tons of pics of empty cafes and restaurants.

In the US, tens of millions soon’t can’t fly. Will that make the airlines happy?

A Message From France (TBP)

Here in France it has gone to the extreme with the “Health” Pass. Last week on the 21st ALL restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and any leisure activities like sporting events, theaters, cinemas, museums, were closed to anyone without “the pass” and all staff at these places are mandated to get the jab to keep their job. It is now a 6 Month prison sentence if you are caught inside any of these places without the pass (the man who slapped the president in the face got only 3 months prison time). Business owners will get a fine of 45,000 euros and 1 year prison sentence if they do not comply with the use of “the pass” and force all their employees to get the jab. (If you know France, you can commit murder and have less of a sentence)

So the result? All the low paid employees quit, they can make more on welfare here (for now). We can still technically “get take out food” but I just tried last night and every restaurant in our town (that is dine in with take out) has closed their doors due to the lack of staff. As of last week ALL doctors, nurses and health industry workers have been mandated to get the jab or lose their license, practice, job, business etc. (ALL health care here is Govt paid positions and there are no private health care Doctors or Hospitals etc.) Since the Health care system is state run and funded, it has been run into the ground. All the good doctors left France 5 Years ago, all the hospitals look like they are 3rd world hospitals since there is no money to repair them, half of the equipment doesn’t work and not every hospital is stocked with supplies needed for daily needs (masks, gels, disposable gowns etc).

For 5 years Nurses have been understaffed and doing double the work because the Health care system is nearly bankrupt…. So add to this the mandatory jab. So the result? Well they took to the streets by the millions and now all the hospitals just lost another 50% of staff capacity. My doctor just went into early retirement (a.k.a. he quit) and I have yet to find a replacement. As of Aug 1st ALL large malls, retail stores and grocery store owners and their staff need to be jabbed and the health pass is required to enter for employees and customers. This would be the equivalent to closing ALL Targets, Walmarts, Costcos, Home Depots, and all major grocery stores. (basically any building over 20,000 squre meters) to those without “the pass”. Result.?? Aug 15th Truckers will be going on strike nation wide; Blocking all access roads in and out of Paris.

Yesterday an entire airport in Northern France closed due to the majority of staff quitting. As of Sept 15th All public areas and access will be off limits. No farmers markets, no parks, no national parks, lakes, rivers, beaches, recreation areas, campsites etc. and no gathering over 100 people, no churches, no weddings, etc. As of Oct 1st ALL small vendors such as, delis, pizza trucks, sandwich shops, butchers, bakers, vegetable stands etc. So as of Oct 1st I will only be able to purchase food by internet and pick up (if allowed). Food shortages, Truckers strike, hospitals and airports shutting down unemployment going through the roof. Its going to be a bumpy ride folks. Is it me or does all this seem a bit extreme for a “pass” that isn’t exactly working? America, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, you’d better wake up.

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Close those too.

French Covid Permit Scheme Extended To Paris Department Stores (G.)

France’s pass sanitaire health permit system will be extended to more than 120 major department stores and shopping centres on Monday in areas where levels of Covid infection are causing concern, including Paris and the Mediterranean coast. The decision to extend the measure restricting entry to customers who can prove they have been vaccinated, have had a negative Covid test or have recovered from coronavirus was made by local officials. The pass will be required for shoppers entering Paris department stores such as Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, BHV, Le Mon Marché and La Samaritaine, and others mainly in the south of the country.


Several large shopping centres around the Channel ports popular with British tourists had feared being included but were given a reprieve as the local Covid infection rates are lower than the national average. Local prefects are imposing the pass on large stores and shopping malls in areas where the infection rate is above 200 per 100,000 people. Although Paris has not reached this level, officials are concerned about the high number of cases especially among young people in the neighbouring areas of Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne. The worst-hit areas are in departments along the Mediterranean coast. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, which includes the popular holiday areas of Provence, the Côte d’Azur, Marseille, Arles and Aix-en-Provence, the rate has reached 693 per 100,000.s

The French bring their own chairs, table, food. No pass required.

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Most vaccinated country on earth. They work great. UAE=9.7 million people.

UAE Covid-19 Death Toll Exceeds 2,000 For First Time, 1,189 New Cases (AlA)

The United Arab Emirates on Sunday recorded 1,189 new coronavirus infections, 1,419 recoveries and four deaths in 24 hours, the country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) reported. Health authorities conducted 218,163 COVID-19 tests to determine Sunday’s numbers which indicated another daily decline in infections from Saturday’s 1,206. The UAE’S COVID-19 death toll now sits at 2,001, while total recoveries increased to 679,760, according to NCEMA. The country has recorded a total of 701,776 coronavirus cases since the pandemic’s onset. There are currently 20,015 active cases within the country. As of yet, over 81 percent of the population has received at least one vaccine dose and around 72 percent have been fully inoculated against COVID-19.

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They love hurting DeSantis for 2024.

Biden Offers Cash To Florida Schools That Defy Gov. Ron DeSantis (NYP)

The Biden administration is offering cash to Florida school districts that defy Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mask ban as COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations rose in the state. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Friday sent a letter to DeSantis and the Florida education commissioner saying school districts can at their “sole and complete discretion” use federal funds to pay the salaries of administrators and board members withheld by the state for defying the order. “We are eager to partner with [the Florida Department of Education] on any efforts to further our shared goals of protecting the health and safety of students and educators,” Cardona wrote. “If FLDOE does not wish to pursue such an approach, the Department will continue to work directly with the school districts and educators that serve Florida’s students.”


A DeSantis spokeswoman blasted the Biden administration for wanting to spend federal funds “on the salaries of superintendents and elected politicians, who don’t believe that parents have a right to choose what’s best for their children, than on Florida’s students, which is what these funds should be used for.” The Republican governor last month signed an executive order banning school districts from making face masks mandatory for students and staff defending “parents’ freedom to choose.” The order came days after the CDC recommended all students and staff wear masks when they return this fall. On Monday, the governor’s office threatened to withhold the salaries of school board members and superintendents who did not comply with the ban. DeSantis has also threatened to withhold state funding from districts as well.

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“Beijing had been instrumental in installing Tedros as the £170,000-a-year head of the agency by pulling strings and calling in favours during the 2017 election for the job.”

China, the WHO and the Powergrab That Fuelled A Pandemic (Times)

Barely eight months after taking charge, the director-general of the WHO gave a speech that would prove extraordinarily prophetic. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that all nations were facing the ever-present threat that a new respiratory illness, such as the Spanish flu, might emerge and spread across the globe in weeks or months, killing millions. It was why, the Ethiopian told the audience at his keynote speech in Dubai in February 2018, he had made it his daily priority since becoming the WHO’s chief to make sure he was up to date on the thousands of reports the health body received every month that might flag up signs of an outbreak The WHO, a Geneva-based United Nations agency with a £5 billion budget from 194 member states, was on a war footing.

Tedros said it would act fast and decisively, because ignoring the signs of an outbreak could “be the difference between global spread of a deadly disease and rapid interruption of transmission”. So far this “new tighter focus” was working, he added. So when the first alert of a mysterious respiratory illness in China, exactly as Tedros had described, was reported by health monitors in Taiwan at the end of December 2019, the health agency should have been prepared and ready for action. In fact the WHO would receive considerable criticism for failing to help stop the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 virus in the opening weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only did the organisation fail to act but it also promulgated misinformation about the virus originating from China and even discouraged other nations from taking steps that might have contained the spread.

For all his foresight, Tedros would be accused of being ineffective when the big test came. The world paid a heavy price for the WHO’s inaction. As Tedros predicted, the virus has killed more than four million people, and there will be many more. The body that is charged with looking after the world’s health seriously malfunctioned in those opening weeks, when humanity most needed it to come to the rescue. Why? Our investigation reveals today how a concerted campaign over many years by Beijing to grab power inside the WHO appears to have fatally compromised its ability to respond to the crisis. It raises serious concerns about the extent of Beijing’s influence over the WHO and its director-general, and how this undermined the organisation’s capacity — and willingness — to take the steps necessary to avert a global pandemic.

Its leadership put China’s economic interests before public health concerns. The results have been nothing short of catastrophic. It is a story that stretches back many years before the Covid-19 crisis. After being strongly criticised by the health agency for attempting to cover up the 2003 Sars crisis, China set out to increase its influence over the WHO. By applying financial and diplomatic leverage over some of the world’s poorest nations, Beijing won a global power struggle to get its favoured candidates installed at the very top of the organisation. As a result, years later, a body that was set up with the lofty goal of “attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health” has been co-opted into aiding the Chinese state’s campaign for global economic dominance.

Its leadership began to speak differently, espousing statements and pursuing policies that were markedly convenient to China — even praising Beijing’s questionable allies such as North Korea, despite its appalling health and human rights record. Beijing had been instrumental in installing Tedros as the £170,000-a-year head of the agency by pulling strings and calling in favours during the 2017 election for the job.

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Or months into the future?

The Clocks Are Wrong or Biden’s Camp David Photo Was Taken Months Ago (GP)

Either the clocks in Camp David are wrong or the photo taken of Joe Biden as Kabul fell to the Taliban is several months old. Former Fox News producer Kyle Becker noticed the time errors and pointed them out in a tweet late Sunday evening. “Recent White House photos show a 3-hour time diff. b/w London & Moscow. There are a few good explanations for this. Either Camp David’s clocks are wrong or the photos are from before March 28, when London went ahead on Daylight Savings Time, but Moscow didn’t. This is *fine,*” Becker wrote. “Also, Tehran is an hour and a half difference from Moscow currently, which is why I circled it when I was checking it out. (And yes, that half-hour difference is right; India has a time zone with a half-hour difference as well.)” — Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) August 16, 2021

“Also, Tehran is an hour and a half difference from Moscow currently, which is why I circled it when I was checking it out. (And yes, that half-hour difference is right; India has a time zone with a half-hour difference as well.)” Becker added. “This morning, the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the draw down of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul. — The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 15, 2021

The photo discrepancy is particularly odd as Biden has been MIA and did not address the nation as the chaos unfolded. Instead, it was reported that he will do so “in the next couple of days.” Additionally, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will be taking the entire next week off. Questions sent to Psaki are being met with an autoreply saying that she will be out of the office through August 22. “I will be out of the office from August 15th-August 22nd,” the auto reply email being sent to reporters reads.

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What an incredible mess. There should be awards for this.

White House Twitter Account Apparently ‘Outs’ Intel Officials, Locations (RT)

A White House tweet showing President Joe Biden appearing to be on top of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan may also have inadvertently revealed the faces and locations of intelligence agents. The official White House Twitter account posted a photo on Sunday of Biden meeting by video conference with intelligence officials to hear updates on the drawdown of civilian personnel, “the ongoing security situation in Kabul,” and evacuations of Afghan allies, including interpreters who helped US and NATO forces during the 20-year war. The picture showed other meeting participants on a large screen, including CIA officials and three men at the “Doha Station.” Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence in the Trump administration, called out the apparent blunder, tweeting, “Who took this picture outing intel officials? Dear God.”

One Twitter user quipped, “Umm, is the public supposed to see the faces of the CIA agents? Are we supposed to know there is a Doha Station?” The White House tweet may have been meant to portray Biden as actively involved in the evacuation from Afghanistan amid criticism that he was silent and on vacation while the Taliban was recapturing the country and triggering a rushed evacuation of Americans and allied Afghans from Kabul. Supporters of the president used the photo to brush off the criticism, insisting it shows that Biden is preoccupied with the crisis. Some eagle-eyed commentators suggested that the photo might not even be recent, pointing to the time difference between London and Moscow on the clocks in the conference room. The current difference is two hours, while the clocks above the conference screen show a three-hour difference. This would have been possible before March 28, when the clocks in the UK were moved forward by one hour.

The planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan has turned into a disaster for the Biden administration after the Taliban overran 26 provincial capitals out of 34 in the weeks after last US troops left Bagram’s airfield, their main military base in Afghanistan. Biden has faced backlash for apparently gravely underestimating the Taliban and overestimating the ability of the US-trained Afghan forces to withstand the assault. In July, Biden predicted that the Taliban wouldn’t overrun the country and that the evacuation would be nothing like the fall of Saigon in 1975, when US embassy staffers had to be plucked from the rooftop to escape North Vietnamese forces. On Sunday, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters were seen evacuating US embassy staff in Kabul as Taliban fighters entered the city and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

The White House video conference tweet became more fodder for mockery. Biden supporters argued that identities of the people who appeared on the video-conference screen weren’t necessarily secret, but other observers said the existence of the Doha Station was not publicly known. “Heck of a job, White House communications shop,” National Review contributor Jim Geraghty said. “I figure you would want to crop out the teleconference screens labeled CIA and Doha Station – you panicking, amateur idiots.”

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Not sure we should be laughing.

CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack (BBee)

Approximately twelve minutes after U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, Taliban fighters have completely taken over the entire country. “Woah, that’s a bummer,” said the Biden Administration’s foreign policy team. “We didn’t see that one coming.” As the Taliban began its campaign of shooting and killing, as is their time-honored tradition, CNN anchors gushed with praise after noticing all the Taliban fighters were responsibly wearing masks to protect themselves and others from COVID. “Wow! In the midst of the battle and bloodshed, these noble desert knights of Islamic superiority are wearing masks! Bravo!” said Brian Stelter.


TV anchor and world-renown polemicist Don Lemon was also quick to weigh in. “All things considered, we ought to be praising the COVID-safe masks these majestic mujahideen warriors are wearing,” he said. “They are showing all of us the proper way to behave during a pandemic—something those horrible idiot Trump supporters don’t seem to get.” Inspired by their example, the Biden Administration has invited the Taliban to the White House to record TikTok videos in hopes of convincing Trump supporters to get vaccinated.

Read more …

 

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