Sep 292021
 
 September 29, 2021  Posted by at 8:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Salvador Dali Galatea of the Spheres 1952

 

The Purges Have Begun (Tucker)
Clinical Outcomes of Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Prophylaxis and Treatment (Sage)
A New Covid Variant (B.1.1.523) Capable Of Escaping Immune Protections (Bose)
Guam’s Vaccination Success Story Turns Grim With Covid Surge (G.)
Victoria Australia: 95% of Those Hospitalized are Vaccinated (CTH)
How Close Is A Coronavirus Vaccine? (FT)
Network Of Right-wing Health Care Providers Makes Millions Off HCQ, IVM (IC)
United Airlines To Lay Off 600 Workers Who Refused To Get Vaccinated (Hill)
Liberal COVID Discourse is Devoid of Science (Greenwald)
Pandemic A Unique Opportunity To Test Propaganda On Canadians (NP)
British Gov’t Trying to Bypass Parliament to Implement Vaccine Passports (SN)
You Can’t Be Fat And Fit (DM)
Florida AG Files Lawsuit Against Biden Admin for Not Protecting Border (TC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership

 

 

“My wife is a triple board certified doctor in the Bronx. She worked at the hospital that had the highest Covid death rate in all of NYC. She went down hard w/Covid in April 2020 and missed two months of work. She recovered and went back. For 15 years she served the poor – underprivileged patients on welfare in the Bronx – none of them had private insurance. She resigned on Friday and I could not be more proud of her.”

The Purges Have Begun (Tucker)

The biggest impact will most immediately be felt in the state of New York. The governor – a new person named Kathleen Courtney Hochul to replace the previous bad guy – is all behind the Biden order. In particular, she is imposing this on health-care workers. As many as 70,000 people will lose their jobs as health-care workers even as hospitals are complaining about staffing shortages. She has issued an executive order that contemplates forcing people who are enlisted in the National Guard to be deployed as scabs to replace the people who will be fired from their jobs. It’s hard to imagine how all of this will work. It comes very close to being a form of conscription in the health sector, replacing a voluntary system with a compulsory system. It’s not going to work out well for the patient.

The most shocking aspect of this is that it targets the very workers who put themselves on the line in the early days of the panic. The world cheered in the spring of 2020. New Yorkers stood outside their windows and sang songs as the staffing shifts took place. They banged pans in appreciation. Here were all kinds of nurses, technicians, and doctors who put themselves in harm’s way at a time when people were unsure of the risk profile of the disease itself. And they gained natural immunity through exposure. They know what that means because they are all trained in virology. They know that nothing beats acquired immunity via exposure. Especially with a coronavirus with a changing profile, a vaccine cannot compare. That is precisely what 100% of the studies have shown since that time. And yet here we have governments imposing the shot on people who took the risk, gained the immunities, and now refuse to take another and potentially more deadly risk from the vaccine that operates not like vaccines of old.

A correspondent writes as follows: “My wife is a triple board certified doctor in the Bronx. She worked at the hospital that had the highest Covid death rate in all of NYC. She went down hard w/Covid in April 2020 and missed two months of work. She recovered and went back. For 15 years she served the poor – underprivileged patients on welfare in the Bronx – none of them had private insurance. She resigned on Friday and I could not be more proud of her. She is not bowing to this tyranny. She tested her antibodies several times and they remain high. Please keep up this fight. Many many nurses took the vax against their will because they could not afford to miss a paycheck. These mandates must fail.”

[..] This is no longer about scientific confusion. This is starting to look like an old-fashioned political purge, whether justified by fake science or theology. It is happening at many levels of society. In Massachusetts, dozens of state troopers are resigning. Health care workers in North Carolina are resigning. It’s happening in Nebraska, California, and many other areas of the country, and hospitals and many other industries are worried. Even Navy Seals are being told that they won’t be deployed if they don’t get the jab. It is not lost on the Biden administration – this tactic seems to have been hatched in the summer – that this is harming their political enemies, not exclusively but predominantly. Apparently, no one really cares.

In academia, the problems are heating up. Todd Zywicki of George Mason University School of Law sued over the mandate – he proved that he had natural immunity – and won an individual concession from the school but the policy remained unchanged. He is just one person but there are thousands of others, most of whom are quiet about their plight. They don’t have lawyers. They are considering just giving in. They wonder what the point of resistance really is.

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Good. Simple. Read.

Clinical Outcomes of Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Prophylaxis and Treatment (Sage)

There is a pressing need for formulations and methods for COVID-19 alleviation that can be easily accessed and utilized by the public. That the alleviation should encompass prophylaxis and early-stage treatment is underscored by studies confirming spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic carriers; by widespread upsurges of new confirmed COVID-19 cases amid second-wave concerns; and by identification of ongoing mutations of the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with diverse infectivity rates. We present a 20-week study of our clinical experience with a multi-component over-the-counter (OTC) “core formulation” regimen used in a multiply exposed, high risk population.


The OTC core supplementation formulations used include zinc and zinc ionophores; vitamins C, D3 and E; and l-lysine. Analysis of clinical outcome data from our sample of 113 subjects – comprised of roughly equal sized regimen-compliant (test) and non-compliant (control) groups meeting equivalent inclusion criteria of age and overall health, including prevalence of COVID-19 comorbidities – demonstrates a strong statistical significance in favor of use of the core formulations. The statistical analysis exhibits significance even with an assumption of a sub-15%, even as low as a sub-5%, post-exposure symptom-presentation rate.

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“..many variants have been detected that are more infectious and virulent than the original strain first reported in Wuhan..”

Really?

A New Covid Variant (B.1.1.523) Capable Of Escaping Immune Protections (Bose)

A new study published on bioRxiv* preprint server describes a new variant that possesses a novel combination of various concerning mutations at the spike region. These mutations have been reported to be shared among VoCs. The researchers of this study also revealed that the prevalence of this new variant has already been reported in many countries across the world. Scientists defined the pangolin lineage of this variant to be B.1.1.523 and it was originally recognized as a variant under monitoring on July 14, 2021. According to GISAID, a total of 533 cases of B.1.1.523 have been reported as of August 19, 2021. A number of cases of this variant have been reported in Russia and Germany. The prevalence of this variant has also been reported in the U.S. and Australia.

According to sequence-based surveillance data, the first cases concerning this variant were reported in February 2021. The frequency of this variant increased in May 2021 and its prevalence decreased by June 2021. Scientists have observed that this variant does not infect any specific age group. In the current study. The researchers explain that it has not been easy to identify the origin of this variant by knowing the pangolin lineage and some spike mutations. Using the genomic sequences, they constructed a phylogenetic tree which revealed that all the cases were similar, as they were in the same branch. This result indicated that the origin of this virus was likely in Russia and the first strain was reported in Moscow.

Two of the main reasons why scientists are concerned about this variant are the three amino acid deletions in the NTD antigenic supersite and the presence of the E484K mutation of the spike protein. The E484K mutation is also present in B.1.351 and P.1 variants, both of which are strongly associated with the reduced efficacy of vaccines. Researchers conducted multiple sequence alignment (MSA) with the amino acid sequence of VoC and the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. They found that three VoCs (Alpha, Beta, and Delta) have deletions in one of the regions of the NTD antigenic supersite. The deletion of B.1.1.523 was found to be similar to B.1.617.2 and also comprises the E484K mutation that is present in many VOC. The results of this study are in line with previous studies that reported the effect of spike mutations on the efficacy of monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma treatment.

The authors of this study have reported that the B.1.1.523 variant harbors a new combination of concerning spike mutations that are present in many currently circulating VoCs. Many of these mutations are concerning and are associated with the evasion of immune protection. This is critical, as these developments could challenge the effectiveness of available vaccines. More research is required to determine the transmissibility of this variant, which would assist in the development of preventive strategies to stop the further spread of this strain.

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Not one single word to suggest maybe the vaccines are the culprit. Not one. Blinders all around.

Guam’s Vaccination Success Story Turns Grim With Covid Surge (G.)

Outside Guam Memorial hospital, blue medical tents have sprung up to accomodate an overflow of Covid patients. The sight is bewildering for Guam residents. The island ran an incredibly successful vaccination campaign, with almost 90% of eligible people having received two doses, and even began offering jabs to tourists in an “Air VnV” – vacation and vaccination – scheme. But the tents have been installed to accommodate an overflow of Covid patients at the hospital as the territory grapples with a third wave of the virus, with daily deaths reaching the highest rates since March 2020. “We just have no space – we have Covid patients waiting outside,” Pauline Perez, a nurse at the hospital, said in a government-released video that appeals to the remaining vaccine stragglers to get their shots.

“We use the blue med tents for Covid-19 patients who are stable. They need to be checked up by doctors but they don’t need treatment.” Even before the onset of the pandemic, Guam’s healthcare system was fragile, but the surge in Covid cases triggered by the Delta variant has pushed it to the verge of collapsing. Last week, the government hospital paused its services for all elective surgeries in order to realign its limited resources. Guam has been seeing close to 300 cases some days in the last few weeks, reversing months of steady decline. It has recorded 14,705 cases – nine percent of Guam’s population of 160,000 – and 195 deaths. Covid test results in the past two months have shown an alarming rate of breakthrough cases of people who had been vaccinated, including 554 of the 1,765 positive cases in August.

Overall, breakthrough cases represent 31% of infections – the highest rate in the US, where most states have less than 1%. Breakthrough patients in Guam account for about 40% of hospital admissions. The Covid surge is perplexing for a territory with a vaccination rate close to 90%, ranking sixth in the US. To date, a total of 118,756 people – or 87.13% – of Guam’s eligible population (residents 12 years and older) are fully vaccinated. That includes 10,318 residents aged 12 to 17. The high rate of breakthrough cases has led to fear in the community. “One of my officemates received her results of swab test and she turned out positive,” said Dori Leomo, a resident of Tamuning. “I cried after I heard the news. It’s my first time to feel anxiety. The following day, all of us at work went to get our swab tests. Thank God I tested negative.”

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“The vaccine could be making people suffer more severe outcomes.”

Victoria Australia: 95% of Those Hospitalized are Vaccinated (CTH)

Pay close attention to what Victoria, Australia, Health Minister Martin Foley says at the 2:45 minute mark of his comments. Health Minister Foley announced 867 new COVID cases recorded yesterday. During the statistical outline Foley identifies 375 people as hospitalized, 81 people in intensive care and 61 people on a ventilator. Then comes the statistic everyone in government and media ignore. Amid the recorded cases “78% of the hospital cases are fully vaccinated, and 17% are partially vaccinated (1 dose)”…. That means 95% of the COVID patients in Victoria hospitals are vaccinated. 356 people out of 375 patients are vaccinated, yet 81 people are still in intensive care with 61 on a ventilator.

What good are the vaccinations if 78% of those occupying the hospital are fully vaccinated? Keep in mind, this tracks with what we have been saying about sample populations around the world in general. The percentage of people sick and hospitalized is directly equivalent to the percentage of people vaccinated in the population. If 50% of the population is vaccinated, 50% of the hospitalized patients will be vaccinated. The vaccine makes no difference. Victoria is reflecting this same issue, perhaps worse. 78% of the hospital patients are fully vaccinated, that’s actually a higher percentage than the population vaccinated as a whole. Meaning vaccinated people are arriving at the hospital in greater percentage than they represent in the population. The vaccine could be making people suffer more severe outcomes.

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Don’t think the FT realized how hilarious their headline is. You mean we have no vaccine? Don’t tell the FDA!

At least the article is free. Someone was wondering if there’s a link between vaccine test sites and outbreaks on that map.

How Close Is A Coronavirus Vaccine? (FT)

All the possible inoculations broadly follow the same logic. They deliver a protein into the body that imitates or contains a part of the coronavirus called the spike, and triggers the immune system to produce antibodies and virus-fighting cells to fend off the infection. There are dozens of possible ways to transmit immunising proteins into the body, and researchers around the world are trying different approaches. Three of the Chinese phase 3 candidates use an inactivated virus as their vector. In other words, Sars-Cov-2, which has been killed by heat or chemicals. In theory, it will elicit the correct immune response but without any of the severe health impacts of the live virus.

AstraZeneca, J&J, China’s CanSino and Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute all use an adenovirus — a common virus that causes coughs and fever — that acts like a cloaked horseman, carrying the immunising protein into battle. Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are both developing RNA-based vaccines, which use specific parts of the Sars-Cov-2 virus’ genetic code to trigger the immune response. All of the phase 3 vaccine trials are what is called “event-based”, meaning the trial only ends when a certain number of people across the vaccinated group and the control group — which receives a placebo — have contracted the virus and shown symptoms. Moderna, for example, has set the number of these “positive events” at 151. It also means that the more prevalent the disease is in the population at the time of trial, the quicker it is to gather results.

[..] Given the growing chorus of experts warning it is likely the vaccine will confer only temporary immunity, the capacity to “boost” the immune response at a later date with another shot is important. “The assumption at the moment is that we’ll be shooting to get to a year’s immunity,” said Kate Bingham, chair of the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce. Seven of the vaccine candidates in phase 3 are designed to be taken in two doses, to increase the chance they will trigger an effective immune response. Only J&J and CanSino are trialing single dose shots. “Even if you have a vaccine with a second dose, you may need to boost every year,” Ms Bingham said.

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The Intercept does Horse Paste 2.0. They should be sued out of existence. This is vile.

Network Of Right-wing Health Care Providers Makes Millions Off HCQ, IVM (IC)

A network of health care providers pocketed millions of dollars selling hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, and online consultations, according to hacked data provided to The Intercept. The data show that vast sums of money are being extracted from people concerned about or suffering from Covid-19 but resistant to vaccinations or other recommendations of public health authorities. America’s Frontline Doctors, a right-wing group founded last year to promote pro-Trump doctors during the coronavirus pandemic, is working in tandem with a small network of health care companies to sow distrust in the Covid-19 vaccine, dupe tens of thousands of people into seeking ineffective treatments for the disease, and then sell consultations and millions of dollars’ worth of those medications. The data indicate patients spent at least $15 million — and potentially much more — on consultations and medications combined.

The Intercept has obtained hundreds of thousands of records from two companies, CadenceHealth.us and Ravkoo, revealing just how the lucrative operation works. America’s Frontline Doctors, or AFLDS, has been spreading highly politicized misinformation about Covid-19 since the summer of 2020 and refers its many followers to its telemedicine partner SpeakWithAnMD.com, which uses Cadence Health as a platform. People who sign up then pay $90 for a phone consultation with “AFLDS-trained physicians” who prescribe treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to prevent and treat Covid-19. The drugs are delivered by Ravkoo, a service that works with local pharmacies to ship drugs to patients’ doors. Of course, that’s if patients ever get the consultation; many customers told Time they never received the call after paying.

The data from the Cadence Health and Ravkoo sites was provided to The Intercept by an anonymous hacker who said the sites were “hilariously easy” to hack, despite promises of patient privacy. It was corroborated by comparing it to publicly available information. The Intercept is not publishing any individual patient data and has taken steps to secure the data. After The Intercept reached out, Cadence Health’s Roque Espinal-Valdez said he shut the platform down, not wanting any part in profiting off of Covid-19 “quackery.” America’s Frontline Doctors, which debuted in the summer of 2020, has close ties to a network of right-wing efforts to undermine public health during the pandemic, including the Tea Party Patriots. AFLDS’s founder, physician Simone Gold, was arrested and charged after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

She and other doctors have appeared in widely shared videos arguing that the drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin — which are primarily used to treat malaria in humans and parasitic worms in livestock, respectively — are effective treatments for Covid-19, despite warnings from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against using them. The extremely partisan group also misleads people about Covid-19 vaccines, which they refer to as “experimental biological agents,” and against public health measures like vaccine mandates, masking, social distancing, and restrictions on businesses. In a video titled “The Truth About Covid-19 Vaccines,” which has received over 1.3 million views, Gold falsely argues that Covid-19 is not very deadly and that the vaccines are more dangerous than the virus itself. Over 690,000 Americans so far have died from the virus, and unvaccinated people now make up 99 percent of recent Covid-19 deaths.

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“United is the only one of the top four U.S. airlines to fire employees who do not comply with a vaccine requirement.”

United Airlines To Lay Off 600 Workers Who Refused To Get Vaccinated (Hill)

United Airlines will begin the process of laying off roughly 600 employees — less than 1 percent of its workforce — who refused to comply with the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, it announced Tuesday. The Chicago-based airline said that 99 percent of its workforce provided proof of vaccination prior to a Monday deadline. United will move to fire those who did not seek an exemption or provide proof of vaccination, but the carrier will give them one more chance to comply with the mandate during the separation process. “This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart wrote in a memo to employees Tuesday.

The percentage of vaccinated United employees excludes the less than 3 percent of the company’s 67,000 employees who sought a religious or medical exemption. Six United employees filed a lawsuit against the airline last week over its policy to put exempt employees on unpaid leave. United told reporters Tuesday that the company has seen an uptick in applicants after announcing the vaccine requirement from individuals who want to work in a safe environment. “Our rationale for requiring the vaccine for all United’s U.S.-based employees was simple — to keep our people safe — and the truth is this: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated, and vaccine requirements work,” the United executives wrote to employees Tuesday.

United is the only one of the top four U.S. airlines to fire employees who do not comply with a vaccine requirement. Delta Air Lines will enact a $200 monthly surcharge on unvaccinated employees, while American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are only encouraging employees to get the shot.

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Second eloquent NBA player in a week. The other one below.

Liberal COVID Discourse is Devoid of Science (Greenwald)

The attempt to equate being unvaccinated with stupidity and ignorance suffered a massive blow on Wednesday night when NBA star Jonathan Isaac was asked why he was hesitant to take the vaccine. Like many unions, the NBA’s player union has refused a vaccine mandate, and Isaac, the 23-year-old player with the Orlando Magic who previously had and recovered from COVID, gave a stunningly compelling, informed, well-reasoned and thoughtful exposition on his rationale for not wanting the vaccine. Isaac also defended the right of individuals to make their own choice. One need not agree with his ultimate conclusion on the vaccine to see how groundless (and obnoxious) it is to claim that anyone who chooses not to take the vaccine — like him — is stupid, ignorant and primitive. I really encourage everyone to watch his two-minute master class in demonstrating why such a choice can, depending on one’s circumstances, be perfectly rational:

Is there anyone who can argue with a straight face that Isaac sounds stupid, ignorant or evil? One can cogently dispute the wisdom of his conclusion: while it is true that most people who recover from COVID (as he did) enjoy “natural immunity” in the form of antibodies — indeed, one major study found that “the natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine” — some studies conclude that immunity is stronger still with the vaccine.


Nonetheless, Issac is indisputably right that the risk of dying or becoming seriously ill from COVID is extremely low for someone like him: early 20s, healthy and with natural immunity. In fact, during the entire course of the pandemic, the total number of people aged 15-24 (Isaac’s age group) who have died of COVID — in a country of 330 million people — is 1,372: fewer than the number in that age group who have died of non-COVID pneumonia. Add onto that Isaac’s physical fitness and the fact that he already had COVID once, and it is clear that his risk from contracting the virus is vanishingly small.

Bradley Beal

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Forget about winning a war with these guys.

Pandemic A Unique Opportunity To Test Propaganda On Canadians (NP)

Canadian military leaders saw the pandemic as a unique opportunity to test out propaganda techniques on an unsuspecting public, a newly released Canadian Forces report concludes. The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative developed during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, then headed by Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau. But military commanders believed they didn’t need to get approval from higher authorities to develop and proceed with their plan, retired Maj.-Gen. Daniel Gosselin, who was brought in to investigate the scheme, concluded in his report.

The propaganda plan was developed and put in place in April 2020 even though the Canadian Forces had already acknowledged that “information operations and targeting policies and doctrines are aimed at adversaries and have a limited application in a domestic concept.” A copy of the Dec. 2, 2020, Gosselin investigation, as well as other related documents, was obtained by this newspaper using the Access to Information law. The plan devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, also known as CJOC, relied on propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war. The campaign called for “shaping” and “exploiting” information. CJOC claimed the information operations scheme was needed to head off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic and to bolster government messages about the pandemic.

A separate initiative, not linked to the CJOC plan, but overseen by Canadian Forces intelligence officers, culled information from public social media accounts in Ontario. Data was also compiled on peaceful Black Lives Matter gatherings and BLM leaders. Senior military officers claimed that information was needed to ensure the success of Operation Laser, the Canadian Forces mission to help out in long-term care homes hit by COVID-19 and to aid in the distribution of vaccines in some northern communities. BLM organizers have questioned why military officials gathered information on their initiative, pointing out they followed pandemic rules and did not hold any gatherings outside LTC homes.

Then chief of the defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance shut down the CJOC propaganda initiative after a number of his advisers questioned the legality and ethics behind the plan. Vance then brought in Gosselin to examine how CJOC was able to develop and launch the propaganda operation without approval. Gosselin’s investigation discovered the plan wasn’t simply the idea of “passionate” military propaganda specialists, but support for the use of such information operations was “clearly a mindset that permeated the thinking at many levels of CJOC.” Those in the command saw the pandemic as a “unique opportunity” to test out such techniques on Canadians.

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Replace Parliament with “public consultation” if that gets you better odds.

British Gov’t Trying to Bypass Parliament to Implement Vaccine Passports (SN)

The British government has been accused of trying to bypass Parliament in an effort to implement vaccine passports via the backdoor, with the scheme under review AGAIN despite assurances it wasn’t being considered. As we highlighted earlier this month, just a day after health secretary Sajid Javid asserted that the system had been scrapped, the government announced that vaccine passports would form an ‘integral’ part of its winter response to COVID if cases and hospitalizations rose. Under the government’s ‘Plan B’, vaccine passports will form a “first-line defence” against a winter wave of COVID, despite their widespread use in Israel having proven to have zero impact on minimizing COVID cases.

Aware that it may struggle to get a vaccine passport system through a Parliamentary vote, the government is now launching a ‘public consultation’ in an attempt to enlist support for the scheme. “The plans seemed to have been put on the backburner but on Monday night the Government launched a consultation, asking the public for views on the use of vaccine passports this autumn and winter if Covid-19 cases threaten to overwhelm the NHS,” reports the Telegraph. “The Plan B proposals also open the door to the number of venues being widened beyond nightclubs, music venues, outdoor festivals, concerts and sports events.”

With the government refusing to commit to a vote, many respondents saw the move as the start of an effort to sidestep Parliament. The utter stupidity of the scheme is proven by the fact that it will eliminate the option to provide a negative test to enter any of the venues. In other words, proving that you don’t have the virus won’t be good enough to gain entry, but proving you’ve complied and taken a vaccine with dodgy efficacy that means you could still be carrying the virus anyway will be good enough to gain entry.

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Confusing piece.

You Can’t Be Fat And Fit (DM)

It is not possible to be fat and fit at the same time, French experts have concluded. A study of 3million people found even volunteers who were obese but ‘metabolically healthy’ still had a much higher chance of suffering heart problems. Obese people with normal blood pressure and who were not diabetic were still at a 34 per cent increased risk of heart failure and a similar risk of an irregular heart beat. Lead author Dr Laurent Fauchier, a cardiologist at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Trousseau, said the idea that people can be ‘fat but fit’ was ‘simply untrue’. Last week, an American study found that people simply need to focus on exercise rather than dieting to live longer. The latest French research was presented to the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. It looked at the medical records of around 2.9 million adults, of whom about one in 10 were obese.

All participants had been admitted to French hospitals in 2013 and had not had any major cardiovascular issues in the past, including a heart attack or stroke. They were monitored for five years. Dr Fauchier said: ‘This new and best available evidence tells us that on a population level, the idea that large numbers of people can be obese but metabolically healthy is simply untrue.’ The cardiologist refutes the controversial claim made by Arizona and Virginia researchers last week that people can be fat and fit. American researchers who reviewed existing studies said that when it came to trying to get healthy and cutting the risk of dying early, increasing exercise and improving fitness was more effective than shedding flab. Numerous studies have shown how people around the world have been trying to lose weight over the past 40 years, and yet obesity has continued to rise.

The researchers said that adopting what they called a ‘weight-neutral approach’ did not mean weight loss should be ‘categorically discouraged’. They added: ‘But shifting the focus away from weight loss as the primary goal and instead focusing on increasing physical activity to improve cardio-respiratory fitness may be prudent for treating obesity-related health conditions.’ Their claims appear to contradict a study published this summer by Glasgow University researchers who tracked 381,263 adults over 11 years. They concluded it was not possible to be fat but fit – a misleading phrase that doctors should stop using. Those who were ‘metabolically healthy’ but obese were 22 per cent more likely to die than those of a normal weight. They were also 18 per cent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, 76 per cent more likely to develop heart failure and four times more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes.

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“I’m signing an executive order to prohibit state agencies that report to me, from aiding or abetting in any way what the federal government is doing right now. We’re not gonna be a party to this lawlessness.”

Florida AG Files Lawsuit Against Biden Admin for Not Protecting Border (TC)

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Tuesday for not adequately protecting the southern border. The suit alleges that the administration’s catch-and-release policy is a violation of federal immigration law. Moody argues in the suit that the immigration policy hurts Florida because the illegal migrants travel to the state and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. “I don’t care if it is extreme incompetence, if it is radical liberal policy agenda, no one, let me repeat that, no one is above the law,” Moody argued. “We are seeing dramatic effects at our border. It is an unmitigated crisis based on this president’s refusal to follow federal law.”


In addition to filing the lawsuit, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Biden Border Crisis Executive Order” prohibiting state agencies from working with the Biden administration at the border until his policies change. “I’m signing an executive order to prohibit state agencies that report to me, from aiding or abetting in any way what the federal government is doing right now. We’re not gonna be a party to this lawlessness. We haven’t, to my knowledge, but we’re letting the marker down, know this is an absolute red line. We’re not gonna do it,” said DeSantis during a press conference about the lawsuit and the order. Moody also spoke at the press conference, saying that “criminal cartels are having a field day. I can assure you, their profits are skyrocketing.” “Had the government, the federal government, just done its job this would not have happened. They would not have been in that situation,” DeSantis added.

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Sep 212021
 
 September 21, 2021  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  70 Responses »


Salvador Dali The burning giraffe 1937
Dali: “The only difference between immortal Greece and our era is Sigmund Freud who discovered that the human body, which in Greek times was merely neoplatonical, is now filled with secret drawers only to be opened through psychoanalysis.”

 

Is A Covid Jab For Five-year-olds Next? (DM)
Baylor Gets Restraining Order Against COVID Vaccine Skeptic Doc (MS)
And Then Everything Happens at Once (Kunstler)
DELIBERATE Ignorance And Death by ‘Health Care’ (Denninger)
Alabama Hospital Ends COVID Vaccine Requirement for Staff (WJ)
1000s of Navy SEALS Told They Won’t Be Deployed If They Refuse Vaccine (JTN)
Louisiana State University Begins Disenrolling Unvaxxed Students (CR)
Biden Vaccine Mandate For Only Half The Nation’s Teachers? (Hill)
Victoria To Shut Down Construction Industry For Two Weeks (Sky)
New Zealand Covid Quarantine Waiting List Hits 30,000 (G.)
Two Men Arrested Trying To Enter Auckland With ‘Large Amount’ Of KFC (G.)
How Evergrande Became Too Big To Fail (ZH)

 

 

Veritas

 

 

IVM

 

 

 

 

NZ adverse events

 

 

What more can we say?

Is A Covid Jab For Five-year-olds Next? (DM)

Pfizer will push for its Covid vaccine to be approved for children as young as five, the company announced today — as Britain began injecting healthy 12 to 15-year-olds with the jab for the first time. The pharmaceutical giant said its trial of around 2,000 children aged five to 11 found a low dose of the vaccine generated a strong immune response and threw up no safety concerns. American officials are set to review the data in the coming weeks and decide whether to roll out the vaccine to pre-teens in October, with Pfizer also planning to seek authorisation in Europe and the UK. Pfizer’s trial looked at antibody levels in the blood of primary school-aged children to estimate their immune response, unlike larger trials of older participants which compared Covid cases in the vaccine and control groups.


A spokesperson said the company may later disclose vaccine efficacy from the trial but there had not been enough infections yet among the volunteers. Pfizer is also trialling its vaccines on babies as young as six months and expects the results of that study to be available by winter, in a move likely to cause international controversy. While the US is expected to open the vaccination programme to younger groups, at this stage the jab is unlikely to see the same sweeping approval in the UK, which only today started immunising healthy children aged 12 and above. Dr David Elliman, a consultant paediatrician at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, said he ‘cannot imagine’ the jab is approved for primary school-aged children in Britain. A single dose of Pfizer’s vaccine is currently being used on Britons aged 12 to 15 in the hope that the roll-out will prevent further disruptions to their education, even though UK officials say the direct health benefits are only ‘marginal’.

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McCullough.

Baylor Gets Restraining Order Against COVID Vaccine Skeptic Doc (MS)

Although McCullough does not appear to have any personal social media accounts, his broadcast and podcast interviews are tweeted by thousands daily around the world and featured on Facebook pages like “Pandemic Debate.” Some Facebook posts with McCullough’s pronouncements have been labeled as misinformation or removed. Some of his videos remain on YouTube, where they are posted by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group that believes McCullough is “under fierce attack for speaking out about COVID-19 early treatment and vaccine safety.” McCullough’s March 2021 testimony to the Texas Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee — in which he claimed that COVID-19 patients are being denied what he called proven treatments like hydroxychloroquine — has been viewed more than 3.7 million times on YouTube. The appearance has also been tweeted repeatedly.

Most of McCullough’s interviews and presentations are aggregated on Rumble, an alternative to YouTube. In interviews, McCullough promotes the use of zinc, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, doxycycline, favipiravir, prednisone, and ivermectin as COVID-19 treatments — based on an outpatient treatment algorithm published in August 2020 in The American Journal of Medicine. The cardiologist was the lead author of that paper, which proposed treating people with COVID-like symptoms whether or not they had confirmed infection. McCullough and his colleagues published a follow-up paper that added colchicine to the mix in Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine. McCullough is editor-in-chief of the journal, but this was not noted in the disclosures.

Similarly, McCullough has not disclosed in his COVID-19 publications or any interviews that he has received consulting fees from a host of pharmaceutical manufacturers that produce COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, including AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. According to CMS’ Open Payments database, McCullough was paid about $300,000 annually by drug companies from 2014 to 2019, mostly for consulting on cardiovascular and diabetes medications. His payments dropped to $169,406.06 in 2020. McCullough appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News in December 2020, claiming that sequential, early treatment with “anti-infectives, corticosteroids, and then antithrombotics” could “reduce [COVID-19] hospitalizations by 85% and cut mortality in half.”

He repeated the claim on the Ingraham show in July and agreed with host Laura Ingraham that the vast majority of healthy people would do fine if they got COVID. He also made the claim that 84% of the COVID-19 cases in Israel were in people who had been vaccinated. “So it’s clear, we can’t vaccinate our way out of this,” he said. An Associated Press “fact check” report has pushed back on similar assertions about vaccine data from Israel. In a separate interview posted in June, McCullough called the pandemic the first phase of a bioterrorism event, which was “all about keeping the population in fear and in isolation and preparing them to accept the vaccine, which appears to be phase two of a bioterrorism operation.” In addition, he said, “good doctors are doing unthinkable things like injecting biologically active messenger RNA that produces this pathogenic spike protein into pregnant women.”

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“..with the number of people vaccinated, you have a population supposedly way beyond herd immunity. Who’s getting sick now? Mostly people who are all vaxed up.”

And Then Everything Happens at Once (Kunstler)

This is a very nervous country, and for a good reason: the collective sense of reality has commenced a momentous shift, the compass is spinning wildly, things are shaking loose in the national brain-pan, the gaslight has lost its sheen, and the once-solid narrative is turning to vapor, starting with the unspooling riddles of Covid-19. The numbers don’t add up, starting with the fact that when you combine the official registered Covid cases (people with acquired natural immunity) with the people who already had some kind of immunity from previous life-long coronavirus encounters, with the number of people vaccinated, you have a population supposedly way beyond herd immunity. Who’s getting sick now? Mostly people who are all vaxed up.

Contrary to the behavior and statements of public health officials and politicians, the news is out that the spike proteins produced by the vax’s mRNA genetic reprogramming are toxic agents that create disorder in the major organs and blood vessels. The news is also out, despite strenuous suppression, that early treatment of Covid-19 with a kit of cheap drugs defeats the disease. People must conclude that there is a malevolent purpose behind the suppression of early treatment. They may also conclude that the vaxes are poison. Mandating the vaxes was an easily-predicted tactical blunder. Did “Joe Biden” and company not realize that threatening the livelihoods of a hundred million people might generate a whole lot of anger and resentment? Especially since those people have good reasons to believe the vax is harmful to them? Last week, an FDA advisory panel ruled against distributing mRNA booster shots among the general population over age 16 — with exceptions for the vaguely-defined “high risk” individuals over 65.

In spite of that, Covid czar Dr. Anthony Fauci keeps pushing for boosters. On Sunday, he told NBC’s Jake Tapper: “We’re waiting for data on natural immunity. We know that if you have natural immunity and also get the shot, immunity dramatically increases.” Oh, really? Even though it’s known for sure (i.e., established in science) that natural immunity is way more potent, comprehensive, and permanent than anything the vaccine pretends to offer, while it is becoming clear that the vaxes disable people’s immune system — hence, the impressive number of the vaxed getting sick. Is Dr. Fauci desperate or just plain crazy? The question may be moot, because it looks like he’s out of running-room on his whole crusade, Covid-19, vaxes, authoritative bullshit, and all. The story has fallen apart. It looks an awful lot like the government is trying to harm people health-wise, while it destroys jobs and small business and ruins households financially, and that counter-story is spreading faster now than Covid-19. It’s fair to ask whether all that has destroyed the legitimacy of the people in charge — but that is only one of several issues converging to detonate the people’s faith in their own government.

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“..what sort of possible reason would there be to not autopsy some representative sample of those who die..”

DELIBERATE Ignorance And Death by ‘Health Care’ (Denninger)

Do we have a bunch of people dying of secondary bacterial pneumonia and not Covid-19 at all yet again, nobody is looking because there is a playbook and it does not include looking for and treating anything else if the person has a positive Covid-19 test? The use of steroids is shown to help dampen inflammatory response (and thus is common and helpful in hospitalized Covid patients) but systemic steroids also set up the potential for bacterial colonization by suppressing immune response. Is “The magic PCR 8-ball” saying “POSITIVE!” a barrier to looking for anything else that may be going on? Since nobody is doing autopsies you will never get caught if you don’t bother looking — is that why all these people are dying?

What the hell is going on here? Is it simply that we were stupid with our jabs because we couldn’t come up with a sterilizing vaccine for a coronavirus as there has never been a successful one before so the do something, even if it might harm in the interests of “Warp Speed” won and now we’re screwed and yet nobody can sue over that which, objectively examined, was STUPID? This sort of bull**** would never work absent the PREP Act’s liability shield and the actions of HHS in the first weeks of the pandemic that specifically exempted hospitals, physicians and others from liability provided they use drugs and protocols the FDA and CDC list as approved whether under regular order or EUA — and nothing else. I remind you that not only did Trump’s HHS do that but Biden has refused to rescind it — and he has the power to do so immediately by direct order.

But for that liability shield the relatives of the deceased would order an autopsy be performed and if in fact evidence was present Remedesivir and not Covid-19 killed Granny, or the hospital refused to look for anything else once the PCR test came back positive and in fact she died of bacterial pneumonia they didn’t look for and did not treat everyone involved would be sued to beyond the orbit of Mars. Would we have even gotten beyond publication of the SOLIDARITY trial when it was conclusively demonstrated across a very large data set that statistically speaking it did not keep anyone from dying before that the thrice-failed drug was labeled a four time loser and binned?

Given what we know about this drug and the history of using dangerous and net-harmful pharmaceuticals that our “wonderful” health care system, regulators and others all the way down to doctors and nurses running around with virtue-signaling bull**** on their T-shirts promote and even demand go into patients what sort of possible reason would there be to not autopsy some representative sample of those who die and find out with reasonably medical certainty what’s going on, especially when death rates for those hospitalized in certain areas have more than doubled in the last couple of months?

Other than “health care professionals” being made more self-absorbed in their virtue signaling while the hospital and drug company collects $3,000 per corpse for a drug that actually may have killed them, that is. The math on this is nasty, the basic biological functionality of the kidneys and this drug’s known harm to same strongly suggests serious trouble and yet I cannot find one hospital that has sought to discover the truth via autopsy and either prove or disprove that this drug is in fact killing and killed a huge percentage of those who died in the hospital with Covid-19 — or whether something other than the virus was responsible for their death. If you have said study and autopsies let’s see them. I’ve looked and can’t find any evidence they exist.

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Got a business to run.

Alabama Hospital Ends COVID Vaccine Requirement for Staff (WJ)

Bowing to the threat of legal action against it, one Alabama hospital has rescinded its requirement that all staff be vaccinated against the coronavirus. UAB Hospital in Birmingham said it will wait to learn how the federal vaccine mandates announced by President Joe Biden play out before imposing any requirement, according to WBRC-TV. Last week, the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty said the hospital was violating state law, according to Al.com. The letter said the state’s ban on vaccine passports means government entities cannot require anyone to disclose vaccine information. “As the Supreme Court of Alabama has recognized, UAB Hospital is a state-run hospital,” the letter said.

“Consequently, UAB Hospital may not require its employees to disclose whether they have been vaccinated or not. Likewise, the Alabama Attorney General has examined the law and concluded that ‘no government, school, or business in Alabama may demand that a constituent, or customer, respectively, be vaccinated for COVID-19 or show proof of his or her vaccination for COVID-19,’” the letter said. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall also questioned the legality of the Biden administration mandate, saying he had received complaints about privacy violations, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

“The Attorney General’s Office has received complaints from healthcare employees who believe their COVID-19 immunization status was obtained by their employers through the ImmPRINT registry for the purpose of verifying compliance with the employer’s immunization requirement,” Marshall said, referring to a statewide immunization database. “In several of those cases, a shared employer specifically acknowledged accessing the state immunization database for this purpose. This privacy violation is unlawful,” he said. Marshall said other health care providers should also take note and not be asking employees about their immunization status.

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Take out the hospitals, take out the army.. Nice going.

1000s of Navy SEALS Told They Won’t Be Deployed If They Refuse Vaccine (JTN)

Several hundred elite Navy SEALs are in danger of being blocked from deploying with their special operator teams by the Pentagon after failing to get a mandatory COVID vaccine, according to a lawyer and pastor counseling them. The number involved in the dispute with the Pentagon amounts to as many as a quarter or more of all active duty SEALs, a loss that could impact military readiness since SEAL teams play an outsized role in modern military operations, their advocates told Just the News. Some SEALS were given a deadline this week for the vaccine and have sought a religious exemption. “My clients include several Navy SEALs who are a small part of a large group of SEALs and other military members who are being asked to choose between their faith and their ability to serve our nation,” said R. Davis Younts, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force reserves and a JAG lawyer who is representing several of the special operators as a private lawyer.

“They have been told that if they seek a religious accommodation, they likely will no longer be able to serve our country as Navy SEALs and been given an arbitrary deadline to comply with the vaccine mandate. “My clients need time, and we are seeking at least a 90-day extension to vaccine mandate compliance deadline they have been given.” Younts said the Pentagon has put its threat in writing that unvaccinated SEALs, including those who get a religious exemption or already have natural immunity, will be forbidden from deploying with their teams, all but ending their special operator careers. Some were given a deadline of this week, he said. Pastor Jeff Durbin, a prominent anti-abortion activist and evangelical pastor from Arizona who has been ministering to the special operators for several weeks as they navigated the decision, said between a quarter to a third of all active-duty SEALS are involved in the dispute with the Pentagon, including some who already have COVID-19 immunity because they recovered from the disease.

“There are hundreds of Navy SEALs who have not been vaccinated, do not want to take the vaccine, or who have had and recovered from COVID and have the benefit of natural immunity,” Durbin told Just the News. “A large number of SEALS that I am speaking on behalf of are facing the very difficult decision that even with a legitimate religious exemption that is based upon their commitments to Christ, the Gospel, God’s Law, and the Constitution, they will no longer be Navy SEALs.

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Perfectly legal.

Louisiana State University Begins Disenrolling Unvaxxed Students (CR)

Louisiana State University has begun unenrolling students who failed to comply with COVID-19 regulations. As Fox 23 reports, seventy-eight students were told that they had been “resigned” from the school and would be refunded 50 percent of their fees. Louisiana State media relations director Ernie Ballard confirmed on Twitter that the students are “being contacted that they are being unenrolled from the university.” “As a student, you were sent numerous notifications regarding the Entry Test Requirement and reminders to comply,” read an email sent to the students. “Should you want to re-enroll at the university, you must complete the Entry Test Verification Survey. You will then need to email the Office of Academic Affairs… stating your desire to be reinstated and added back to your courses.”

The university’s website states that all students had to “meet entry protocols” before September 10 in order to remain enrolled. The protocols included providing a negative COVID-19 test result no more than five days prior to arrival on campus, proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, or proof of a positive COVID-19 test result no more than 90 days prior to arrival. On Wednesday, Louisiana State University announced that its president, William Tate, was invited by the Biden administration to discuss the school’s COVID-19 regulations. Executives from Disney, Microsoft, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and other organizations were also present.

“It is an honor to present our successful COVID mitigation strategies to President Biden and the COVID Response Team, and we are proud that our multi-tiered approach to protecting our students, faculty and staff has been recognized at such an incredibly high level,” said Tate in the release. “Our strategies have worked, with more than 81 percent of our student body currently vaccinated, a monthly testing protocol that monitors the presence of the virus on our campus, wastewater testing that allows us to intervene before an outbreak occurs, and a vaccine/testing mandate at Tiger Stadium to keep our fans safe, too.”

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“..even if bizarre technicalities of the agency’s authority across states drastically limits coverage for schools.”

Biden Vaccine Mandate For Only Half The Nation’s Teachers? (Hill)

Biden recently announced forthcoming federal safety regulations mandating vaccines against COVID-19, or weekly testing, for an estimated 100 million Americans. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will draft the regulations over the coming weeks, which apply to employers with more than 100 employees. For one key group, the nation’s 3.5 million public school teachers, Biden’s vaccine mandate will cover only half. Why half? Because Biden’s only politically feasible path forward for this mandate was through OSHA, even if bizarre technicalities of the agency’s authority across states drastically limits coverage for schools. Counterintuitively, the way OSHA laws define “employer” means the new regulations will only apply to school districts with more than 100 employees in states that are not subject to direct oversight by OSHA.

Within the 24 states under OSHA’s direct jurisdiction, the term “employer” explicitly excludes state and local government employees, including public school teachers and staff. State and local government employees in those states — including 47 percent of the nation’s public school staff — would be subject to state-issued mandates only. State and local government employees in the remaining 26 states are outside of OSHA’s direct enforcement authority because they have OSHA-approved state occupational safety and health plans. However, those states’ plans must be “at least as effective” as OSHA standards, and they must include all state and local government employees. Ironically, it will be these states that, on paper, have direct control over their own health and safety regulations that will be subject to the forthcoming federal mandate.

How far reaching will this mandate be for public schools? Very far reaching, or not at all, depending on the state. Individual schools often have fewer than 100 employees, but teachers and staff are employees of school districts. In the 26 states covered by “state plans,” over 95 percent of public school employees work for districts with more than 100 employees. Half of the nation’s teachers work in those states, and will be required to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. The mandate would cover no public school teachers in the remaining 24 states. Biden’s OSHA mandate will almost certainly be challenged in the courts, but chances are good that it will stand. The Federal legislation that created OSHA gives the Department of Labor authority to issue an “emergency temporary standard” (ETS), and the Biden administration issued one this June aimed at protecting healthcare workers from COVID. So far, that rule has withstood opposition.

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This ain’t over.

“The closure is estimated to cost the industry $455 million a day with the two-week shut down meaning the sector will lose $6.3 billion in revenue.”

Victoria To Shut Down Construction Industry For Two Weeks (Sky)

The Victorian construction industry will be shut down for two weeks, in what has been described as a “rest”, following the protests over mandatory vaccination on Monday. Work sites across Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, Mitchell Shire and the Surf Coast were closed from midnight on Monday in a bid to slow COVID-19 transmission, reduce movement and allow time for the industry to adapt to new changes. There will be minimal tradies permitted on sites for safety with only some projects given an exemption to continue work. Discussions went well into the night, with more details to be provided during Tuesday’s COVID-19 press conference. State Treasurer Tim Pallas confirmed the news about two hours before the shutdown came into force, citing “multiple outbreaks linked to work sites” and non-compliance within the sector.


“We’ve been clear: if you don’t follow the rules, we won’t hesitate to take action – we have seen widespread noncompliance across the industry and that’s why we’re taking necessary steps to protect every single Victorian,” he said. “We put the industry on notice just a week ago, we have seen appalling behaviour on site and on our streets, and now we’re acting decisively and without hesitation.” The government will work with the industry in the coming weeks to make sure workplaces are COVID-safe and to ensure workers have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine. The closure is estimated to cost the industry $455 million a day with the two-week shut down meaning the sector will lose $6.3 billion in revenue.

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Want to go home? Try next year.

New Zealand Covid Quarantine Waiting List Hits 30,000 (G.)

Overseas New Zealanders trying to return home are facing a queue tens of thousands of people long, as the country reopens bookings to cross the border. The country’s borders have been strictly controlled since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic – only citizens, permanent residents and a handful of essential workers can enter, and all of them must make a booking to spend two weeks in government-controlled quarantine (MIQ). Demand for those spaces has vastly outpaced demand, with some hopeful returnees spending weeks refreshing the site, employing “MIQ assistants” or using bots to assist them secure a space. The scale of the problem facing those trapped overseas has now been revealed for the first time, as the government opened a “lobby” system for booking quarantine spaces, showing where people are in the queue.


Many took to social media to express their frustration posting screenshots showing thousands of people ahead of them. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment confirmed that 31,800 people were in the queue on Monday, and 5,364 of them secured vouchers for rooms. The vouchers were released at 9am and all were gone within two and a half hours. “I know many thousands of people missed out on vouchers in today’s release,” the joint head of MIQ, Megan Main, said in a statement. “I want to reassure people that there are still several thousand vouchers still to be released through to the end of the year. They will get other chances. There will be another large release of a few thousand vouchers early next week and there may also be another smaller one later this week.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1438355670680539144

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“a car boot-full of Kentucky fried chicken”
“at least three buckets of chicken”

“..up to 10 tubs of coleslaw..”

Two Men Arrested Trying To Enter Auckland With ‘Large Amount’ Of KFC (G.)

Two men have been arrested after police said they found them with a car boot-full of Kentucky fried chicken and over $100,000 in cash as they tried to cross the border into Auckland despite New Zealand’s strict Covid-19 lockdown. The men were arrested after allegedly trying to flee from police near the Auckland border. When their car was searched, police said they found a large quantity of KFC, as well as the cash and a number of empty ounce bags. The arrest struck a chord with New Zealanders – especially Aucklanders, who have spent a month in a strict level four lockdown that does not allow restaurants to open or residents to order takeaway food.


In such an environment, fast food can take on the aura of a high-value illicit substance. Last week, a man was charged by police after posting a social media video of crossing the Auckland boundary in search of McDonald’s. After the KFC arrest, a police spokesperson said “officers noticed a suspicious looking vehicle travelling on a gravel road, and upon seeing the police car, the vehicle did a U-turn and sped off trying to evade police. “The vehicle was searched and police located the cash, alongside empty ounce bags and a large amount of takeaways.” Close examination of the police evidence photos revealed at least three buckets of chicken, up to 10 tubs of coleslaw, and an undisclosed quantity of fries.

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Pon Zi.

How Evergrande Became Too Big To Fail (ZH)

For the past two months, hundreds of people have been gathering at the 43-floor Zhuoyue Houhai Center in Shenzhen, where China Evergrande Group’s headquarters occupy 20 floors. They held banners demanding repayment of overdue loans and financial products. Police with riot shields had to be on site to keep things under control. The demonstrators are construction workers at the property developer’s housing projects, suppliers providing construction materials and investors in the company’s wealth management products (WMPs). From paint suppliers to decoration and construction companies, Evergrande owes more than 800 billion yuan ($124 billion) due within one year, while it has only a 10th of that amount of cash on hand. As of the end of June, Evergrande had nearly 2 trillion yuan ($309 billion) of debts on its books, plus an unknown amount of off-books debt.

The property giant is on the verge of a dramatic debt restructuring or even bankruptcy, many institutions believe. A bankruptcy would amount to a financial tsunami, or as some analysts put it, “China’s Lehman Brothers.” The venerable American investment bank’s 2008 collapse helped trigger a global financial crisis. Certainly Evergrande, one of China’s three biggest developers, has a giant footprint in China. Its liabilities are equivalent to about 2% of China’s GDP. It has more than 200,000 employees, who themselves and many of their families have invested billions of yuan in the company’s WMPs. The company has more than 800 projects under construction, more than half of them halted due to its cash crunch. There are thousands of upstream and downstream companies that rely on Evergrande for business, creating more than 3.8 million jobs every year.

[..] Over the years, Evergrande has faced liquidity pressure several times, but every time it dodged the bullet. This time, the crisis of cash flow and trust is unprecedented. Evergrande shares in Hong Kong plummeted to a 10-year low. Its onshore bonds fell to what investors call defaulted bond level. All three global credit rating companies and one domestic rating company have downgraded Evergrande’s debt. For many years, Chinese developers were driven by the “three carriages” — high turnover, high gross profit and high leverage. Developers use borrowed money to acquire land, collect presale cash before projects even start, and then borrow more money to invest in new projects. In 2018, Evergrande reported record profit of 72 billion yuan, more than double the previous year’s net. But behind that, it spent more than 100 billion yuan a year on interest.

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Josh Steimle
@joshsteimle

Speaking with nurses at the hospital I’m at in AZ. They’re not worried about covid, they’re worried about what happens when half the nurses at this hospital quit in a few days when their vaccine mandate goes into effect. None of the nurses are blaming the unvaccinated.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

May 302021
 


René Magritte The secret player 1927

 

Harder To Attribute Mortality To Vaccine Than To Covid? (JTN)
Vietnam Sees Hybrid Of Covid-19 Variants Identified In India And Britain (ST)
‘Wuhan Lab Is Still Conducting The Same Research’: Mike Pompeo (DM)
Victoria: 5 New Local Covid Cases, ‘Extremely Concerning’ Mystery Case (G.)
Restricting Freedom Didn’t Defeat COVID (ZH)
DeSantis Pushes Back On Big Tech Social Media Censorship (JTN)
Climate Crisis Inflicting Huge ‘Hidden Costs’ On Mental Health (G.)
Could Facebook’s Diem Become FedCoin By Default? (Jeftovic)
Increasingly Chaotic Volatility Ahead (CHS)

 

 

 

 

Moving the yardsticks.

Harder To Attribute Mortality To Vaccine Than To Covid? (JTN)

Stephanie Dubois, a British model aged 39, and Lisa Shaw, a BBC radio presenter aged 44, died within a day of each other due to serious thrombotic episodes after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Neither had underlying health conditions. Dubois’ case has now been referred to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), as she lived in Cyprus, but she left her own account of her tragic decline on her Facebook page: May 6: “So I had the vaccination today! I hate needles, today was no exception … And now I feel horrendous … pizza and bed for me.” May 14: “Woke up feeling fine and then within an hour I had full body shakes, all my joints seized, and I was struggling to breathe and was cold to the bone with a persistent headache and dizziness … Mum and dad came to look after me and took me for a Covid test, which thankfully was negative … but it still doesn’t explain what the problem is. Maybe I’m having a prolonged reaction to my Covid jab last week.”

That same day she was admitted to the hospital. May 18: “Done being ill now … Couple more tests today! PS — I still don’t like needles — feeling tired.” May 19: Dubois went into a coma. Shaw’s family said in a statement: “Lisa developed severe headaches a week after receiving her AstraZeneca vaccine and fell seriously ill a few days later … She was treated by the [Royal Victoria Infirmary’s] intensive care team for blood clots and bleeding in her head.” According to Britain’s medical watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), there have been 332 cases of blood clotting leading to 58 deaths from the AZ vaccine. Statistically, that is very small compared to the estimated 23.9 million first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 9.0 million second doses administered in the U.K. by the same date.

The death of Dubois highlights how much harder it is to attribute deaths to the vaccines than it is to claim death by COVID. Deutsche Welle has even run a fact-check article on other cases titled “No links found between vaccinations and deaths.” The German state broadcaster and publisher sought to debunk claims made in many other countries, including Italy, Austria, South Korea, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the U.S. In a case in a Norwegian nursing home, it quoted the EMA stating: “Pre-existing diseases seemed to be a plausible explanation for death. In some individuals, palliative care had already been initiated before vaccination.” Statens Legemiddelverk of the Norwegian Medicines Agency claimed, “Every day, an average of 45 people die in Norwegian nursing homes … therefore, deaths that occur close to the time of vaccination is expected, but it does not imply a causal relationship to the vaccine.”

Figures for deaths attributed to COVID, meanwhile, are not scrutinized to the same level. Comorbidities are downplayed as causal factors in death when they overlap with COVID — whether the latter is verified or even merely suspected. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the U.K., “Of the 50,335 deaths that occurred in March to June 2020 involving COVID-19 in England and Wales, 45,859 (91.1%) had at least one pre-existing condition, while 4,476 (8.9%) had none.” The average age of COVID fatalities in the U.K. up to January 2021 was 81. Finding out if COVID was the dominant cause of death is hard to discern without a full autopsy, but the British government document “Guidance for Doctors Completing Medical Certificates of Cause of Death in England and Wales — FOR USE DURING THE EMERGENCY PERIOD ONLY” explains this is not required for COVID cases: “Covid-19 is not a reason on its own to refer a death to a coroner under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 … Medical practitioners are required to certify causes of death to the best of their knowledge and belief.”

Even medical proof is not necessary under the guidance: “If before death the patient had symptoms typical of COVID- 19 infection, but the test result has not been received, it would be satisfactory to give ‘COVID-19’ as the cause of death … In the circumstances of there being no swab, it is satisfactory to apply clinical judgement.”

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Cue VanDenBossche.

Vietnam Sees Hybrid Of Covid-19 Variants Identified In India And Britain (ST)

Authorities in Vietnam have detected a new coronavirus variant that is a combination of the Covid-19 variants first found in India and Britain, and spreads quickly by air, the health minister said on Saturday (May 29). After successfully containing the virus for most of last year, Vietnam is grappling with a spike in infections since late April that accounts for more than half of the total 6,713 registered cases. So far, there have been 47 deaths. “Vietnam has uncovered a new Covid-19 variant combining characteristics of the two existing variants first found in India and the UK,” Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said, describing it as a hybrid of the two known variants.


“That the new one is an Indian variant with mutations that originally belong to the UK variant is very dangerous,” he told a government meeting. The South-east Asian country had previously detected seven virus variants: B1222, B1619, D614G, B117 – known as the variant from Britain, B1351, A231 and B16172 – the variant from India. Mr Long said Vietnam would soon publish genome data of the newly identified variant, which he said was more transmissible than the previously known types.

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‘That coverup alone suggests that there’s a lot more that we need to know.’

‘Wuhan Lab Is Still Conducting The Same Research’: Mike Pompeo (DM)

Mike Pompeo, the former CIA director and secretary of state, has said that Wuhan Institute of Virology was conducting secret military research and claims there is ‘enormous evidence’ that the virus that causes COVID-19 escaped from the lab. Donald Trump’s former top aide also warned that the dangerous experimentation is ongoing at the lab, raising the specter of another potentially deadly virus leak. ‘What I can say for sure is this: we know that they were engaged in efforts connected to the People’s Liberation Army inside of that laboratory, so military activity being performed alongside what they claimed was just good old civilian research,’ Pompeo told Fox News on Saturday. ‘They refuse to tell us what it was, they refuse to describe the nature of either of those, they refuse to allow access to the World Health Organization,’ Pompeo said.

‘That coverup alone suggests that there’s a lot more that we need to know.’ ‘That virology lab is still up and running. It’s still probably conducting the same kinds of research it was conducting that may have well led to this virus escaping from that laboratory,’ he said. ‘Only the Chinese Communist Party knows the answer, the world deserves the answers and they have to tell us, I hope there will be bipartisan push to demand and hold accountable,’ said Pompeo. He spoke after President Joe Biden ordered an intensive 90-day probe to reinvestigate the possibility of a lab leak origin in the pandemic. ‘It’s really unfortunate they took the position early on that there was nothing to see here,’ Pompeo said in response to the new probe.

‘I’m glad now that they’re looking at this. I hope it’s a serious investigation when they say they are giving 90 days for the intelligence community to look at this. The intelligence community has been looking at this for an awfully long time,’ he said. Pompeo, a former CIA spy chief, has promoted the lab leak theory since the early days of the pandemic, a theory that until recently much of the U.S. media and academia scoffed at as a fringe conspiracy theory. ‘I’ve known since spring of last year, 2020, when I first spoke about this that there is enormous evidence that this escaped from that laboratory in Wuhan,’ he said on Saturday. ‘We know there were people who got sick there, scientists who got sick there, we know they were doing the gain of function research — essentially taking viruses and making them more contagious, potentially more lethal, this administration has to get after this.’

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Not exactly winning, are they?

Victoria: 5 New Local Covid Cases, ‘Extremely Concerning’ Mystery Case (G.)

The Morrison government is continuing to declare getting vaccinated is “not a race” even as Victorian health authorities confirmed five new locally acquired infections – including one mystery case in aged care – on day three of the state’s fourth Covid lockdown. The new cases reported on Sunday morning take the total number in the Melbourne-based outbreak to 40. Victoria’s acting premier, James Merlino, announced a $250m support package for businesses on Sunday while stating he was “beyond disappointed” the prime minister and federal treasurer had declined to help workers with financial assistance. The vaccine roll-out was a race, Merlino insisted. Victoria wanted to go faster but was being held back by the federal government failing to secure enough supply, he said.

One of the new positive cases reported on Sunday was a healthcare provider in an aged care home in the western suburb of Maidstone. Colin Singh, the Arcare chief executive, said the worker had received her first dose of a Covid vaccine, was wearing a mask and had not displayed symptoms when she last worked at the centre on Thursday. “I want to assure you that, whilst we hoped that this would not happen again, we are well prepared, and our infection control practices put us in a good place to manage this outbreak effectively,” he said in the statement on Sunday. Arcare Maidstone has capacity for 90 residents, according to its website. It was relatively untouched by Covid last year – compared to other Victorian facilities – recording only seven cases.

Victoria’s Covid commander, Jeroen Weimar, said on Sunday the case in the aged care home was of “extreme concern” because it was a mystery case. “I am concerned that at this point in time we don’t have an original acquisition source,” for the healthcare worker, Weimar told reporters.

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“The more threatening a virus is presumed to be, the more superfluous government force is.”

Restricting Freedom Didn’t Defeat COVID (ZH)

Let’s travel back in time to March of 2020, when predictions of mass death related to the new coronavirus started to gain currency. One study, conducted by Imperial College’s Neil Ferguson, indicated that U.S. deaths alone would exceed 2 million. The above number is often used, even by conservatives and libertarians, as justification for the initial lockdowns. “We knew so little” is the excuse, and with so many deaths expected, can anyone blame local, state, and national politicians for panicking? The answer is a resounding yes. To see why, imagine if Ferguson had predicted 30 million American deaths. Imagine the fear among the American people then—which is precisely the point: The more threatening a virus is presumed to be, the more superfluous government force is. Really, who needs to be told to be careful if a failure to take precautions could reasonably result in death?

Death predictions aside, the other justification bruited in March of 2020 was that brief lockdowns (two weeks was the number often thrown around) would flatten the hospitalization curve. In this case, the taking of freedom allegedly made sense as a way of protecting hospitals from a massive inflow of sick patients that they wouldn’t have been able to handle, and that would have resulted in a public health catastrophe. Such a view similarly vandalizes reason. Think about it. Who needs to be forced to avoid behavior that might result in hospitalization? Better yet, who needs to be forced to avoid behavior that might result in hospitalization at a time when doctors and hospitals would be so short-staffed as to not be able to take care of admitted patients? Translated for those who need it, the dire predictions made over a year ago about the corona-horrors that awaited us don’t justify the lockdowns; rather they should remind the mildly sentient among us of how cruel and pointless they were.

The common sense that we are to varying degrees born with, along with our genetic predisposition to survive, dictates that a fear of hospitalization or death would have caused Americans to take virus-avoidance precautions that would have well exceeded any rules foisted on them by politicians. To which some will reply with something along the lines of “Not everyone has common sense. In truth, there are lots of dumb, low-information types out there who would have disregarded all the warnings. Lockdowns weren’t necessary for the wise among us; rather they were essential precisely because there are so many who aren’t wise.” Actually, such a response is the best argument of all against lockdowns.

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Why is he the only one? 2024.

DeSantis Pushes Back On Big Tech Social Media Censorship (JTN)


Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that takes on Big Tech companies in his state. The law, however, is taking criticism — from both right and left — that parts of it may be unconstitutional and that its notable exemptions for some big companies undermine its goal of standing up to domineering industry giants. Florida’s “Big Tech Bill” aims to protect social media users — whether political candidates, journalistic outlets or ordinary users — from ideologically selective censorship by internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google.

Among its major provisions, the law will:
• Fine companies up to $250,000 per day for suspending political candidates from a platform during the run-up to an election
• Require platforms to make public the rules they use to regulate their user content and provide users with explanations as to why they have been censored
• Require companies to provide users an appeals process or chance to “correct” their flagged content
• Prohibit companies from censoring any “journalistic enterprise based on the content of its publication or broadcast.”

Perhaps most importantly, the bill would empower individuals and the office of the Florida attorney general to much more easily sue these companies under the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Yet critics see the law as little more than a symbolic gesture destined to be struck down by the courts on constitutional grounds. “I see this bill as purely performative: It was never designed to be law but simply to send a message to voters,” Santa Clara University Law School professor Eric Goldman told the Washington Post. He argues that the bill will unconstitutionally restrict the editorial discretion of platforms that act as online publishers — a First Amendment violation.

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Get ready.

Climate Crisis Inflicting Huge ‘Hidden Costs’ On Mental Health (G.)

The climate crisis is damaging the mental health of hundreds of millions of people around the world but the huge costs are hidden, scientists have warned. Heatwaves are increasing rates of suicide, extreme weather such as floods and wildfires are leaving victims traumatised, and loss of food security, homes and livelihoods is resulting in stress and depression. Anxiety about the future is also harming people’s mental health, especially the young, the scientists said in a report. Mental health conditions already affect a billion people and cost trillions of dollars a year. The researchers said global heating would worsen the issue unless action was taken. They described a vicious circle where climate impacts increase mental health difficulties, leaving people even more vulnerable to further consequences.

However, they said tackling climate change could turn this into a virtuous circle. Action by individuals, communities and governments not only cuts the impacts of heating but also boosts people’s mental wellbeing by giving them healthier lives and a sense of hope and agency. “Mental health is the unseen impact of climate change at the moment,” said Emma Lawrance of Imperial College London, who led the report. “It is a big problem that is going to affect more and more people into the future, and in particular exacerbate inequality. It is very likely to be a really big unaccounted cost.

“If you have lost your home, if you’re at risk of repeated flooding, if you’re grieving because you’ve lost a family member to a fire or your livelihood because of a drought, that is shock and trauma that translates for some into very prolonged distress and diagnoses of PTSD, anxiety, depression and increased risk of suicide.”

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“That was the moment when the establishment elites realized that non-state money had arrived..”

Could Facebook’s Diem Become FedCoin By Default? (Jeftovic)

I had a reader ask me about Silvergate Capital. They’re a bank holding company with a lot of exposure to the crypto currency space. I hadn’t yet analyzed them deeply, but I did notice that they recently announced a partnership with Facebook on their DiemUSD stablecoin. Diem is Facebook’s rebrand of Libra. Libra was a private crypto currency Facebook proposed to launch which in my mind was a transformative event for nation states and central banks. That was the moment when the establishment elites realized that non-state money had arrived and it posed an existential threat to the status quo. They were able to hold off Facebook’s Libra, for awhile. They fought dirty.

US Senators sent straight up extortion letters to members of Facebook’s Libra Consortium threatening to investigate them for ostensible ties to child pornography on Facebook’s platform if they went through with the project. They all dropped out. My heart didn’t exactly bleed for Facebook, but the incident was instructive. I wrote about it at the time, but I will repeat the salient point here: Should a gigantic platform like Facebook successfully launch their own digital currency, a person’s Facebook account will become more important in their day-to-day lives than their nation state issued passport. Especially if we’re entering an era of drastically curtailed travel for plebeians. The battle between the US, France, et al and Facebook over Libra was an early round in the struggle between waning Nation States and ascendent Network States.

Facebook kept working on their Libra, first under a wallet program called Novi and now as Diem, and Diem USD will be their stablecoin. One can only surmise that behind the scenes something has shifted so that Facebook thinks they can proceed with launching a new stablecoin. This partnership with Silvergate, as well as relocating their Diem Association, which oversees their digital currency projects, from Switzerland back to the United States may be part of that calculus. There have been some rumblings that the US is losing the Central Bank Digital Currency race and that one way to jumpstart a program would be to partner with a private entity who is already further down the road with it. Who would be uniquely situated to provide a solution in some manner of public-private partnership? Facebook, for one.

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Balance.

Increasingly Chaotic Volatility Ahead (CHS)

The standard debate about the future of the economy is: which will we get, high inflation or a deflationary collapse of defaults and asset bubbles popping? The debate goes round and round in widening circles of complexity as analysts delve into every nuance of the debate. A recent conversation with my friend A.T. raised a third possibility few seem to consider: increasingly chaotic volatility will be the new normal, as wild swings between inflation and deflation will increase in amplitude and ferocity as the system destabilizes. Increasingly chaotic volatility is a classic sign of a system that has lost equilibrium and is attempting to regain its dynamic stability by going into overdrive. The amplitude and violence of these fluctuations increase as each attempt to restore stability fails.

This loss of stability is not what people expect. The experience of the past 60 years has been that any hiccup in financial stability–a recession or market crash–is temporary, as the system responds with monetary and fiscal stimulus which quickly restores the system’s stability. That the era of stability has ended and a new era of increasingly chaotic volatility has begun is not on anyone’s radar as a possibility. Human physiology offers a useful analogy: blood glucose homeostasis, which is the system of insulin production and sensitivity that maintains the dynamic stability of glucose in our bloodstream for use as energy. Insulin is produced as needed after a meal to regulate the level of glucose within the ideal bandwidth of homeostasis, i.e. the range of dynamic stability that optimizes insulin production and glucose levels. (3.5 to 5.5 mmol/L or 70 to 130 mg/dL)

In metabolic disorders, the body’s sensitivity to insulin declines, and in response the body increases the production of insulin to compensate for the decline in sensitivity. As the disease progresses, sensitivity drops further, forcing the production of insulin into overdrive. Eventually this overdrive degrades the body’s ability to produce insulin and the regulatory system managing glucose levels crashes.

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Aug 052020
 


Workmen next to the screws of the RMS Titanic at Belfast shipyard, 1911

 

Victoria Records Australia’s Worst Day Of COVID19- 15 Deaths, 725 New Cases (G.)
Failing the Coronavirus-Testing Test (Harvard)
Big Pharma Giants GSK, Sanofi Get $2.1 Billion to Develop COVID Vaccine (MPN)
An Effective COVID Treatment the Media Continues to Besmirch (RCP)
Authors of Pro-HCQ Study Defend Their Work From Fauci Attack(BLP)
US Jobless Claims Rise To 1.43 Million, Crisis Total Tops 54 Million (NYP)
US Plans to Relocate Factories from Asia to Latin America (PPost)
New Guidelines Call For Fundamental Shift In Obesity Treatment (CTV)
Understanding The Gravity Of The Russia Hoax (Widburg)
Trump: DOJ Found ‘Breathtaking’ Evidence Of Wrongdoing In Russia Probe (JTN)
86% Of Americans Say Media Is Biased, To Blame For Political Division (Fed.)
Bias And Commercialism Is Killing MSM, Journalists Have Had Enough (RT)

 

 

Just the other day, I watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown series he did for CNN, in which he visited Beirut and called it his favorite city in the world, one which he kept coming back to whenever he could. Maybe it’s good that he can’t see anymore what happened yesterday.

 

 

Numbers look somewhat mixed. New cases are not too bad, but deaths up are sharply, let’s hope that’s because they weren’t reported over the weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yaneer

 

 

Australia was doing fine. It no longer is.

Victoria Records Australia’s Worst Day Of COVID19- 15 Deaths, 725 New Cases (G.)

Wednesday marked Victoria’s most devastating day of Covid-19 cases and deaths, with a man in his 30s among 15 people who died overnight including many from aged care, and 725 new cases of the virus identified. Three men and a woman in their 70s, three women and a man in their 80s, and a woman in her 90s were among the deaths. Twelve deaths were linked to outbreaks in aged care. There are 538 Victorians in hospital, 42 of them in intensive care. The premier, Daniel Andrews, confirmed the man in his 30s – who is the youngest person to die from Covid-19 in Australia – was not a healthcare worker. There are currently more than 700 health workers with active cases of the virus. He said he could not provide further details about those who died without permission from families.


“Can I send my heartfelt condolences and sympathies to each of those families,” Andrews said on Wednesday. “This will be a terrible time and any and all support we can provide to you we will, and we are with you in this very difficult time.” The deputy chief health officer, Prof Allen Cheng, said when there was an outbreak in aged care, an assessment was made as to whether residents would be better off in hospital or aged care. But sending many patients to hospital could not continue indefinitely because “everything has a limit”. “The number of people in hospital has increased primarily but not only because of transfers from aged care and a lot of those transfers are not for clinical [reasons], not because they’re sick but because of infection control reasons,” Cheng said.

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Everyone tested everyday with a non-invasive less-sensitive testing method.

Failing the Coronavirus-Testing Test (Harvard)

At the moment, the United States has no semblance of public-health testing” for the coronavirus, says Michael Mina, an assistant professor of epidemiology at both Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. What does Mina—an expert in viral testing protocols—mean by that? Current tests for active infection with SARS-CoV-2 are highly sensitive—but most are given to suspected COVID-19 patients long after the infected person has stopped transmitting the virus to others. That means the results are virtually useless for public-health efforts to contain the raging pandemic. These PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, which amplify viral RNA to detectable levels, are used by physicians, often in hospital settings, to help guide clinical care for individual patients. In general, members of the public have not had access to such tests outside clinical settings, but even if they did, would find them too expensive for frequent use.

Furthermore, such tests detect tiny fragments of viral RNA even after the patient has recovered. Mina says that means “the vast majority of PCR positive tests we currently collect in this country are actually finding people long after they have ceased to be infectious.” In that sense, a positive result can be misleading, because the results can’t be relied on to guide the epidemiological efforts of public-health officials, which are focused on preventing transmission and controlling outbreaks: “The astounding realization is that all we’re doing with all of this testing is clogging up the testing infrastructure,” with results arriving a week or more after tests are administered, “and essentially finding people for whom we can’t even act because they are done transmitting.” In fact the testing backlog is so dire, and so “absolutely horrendously useless as system for public-health surveillance” that Mina believes the United States should at the very least throw away the millions and millions of samples that are waiting to be tested—and perhaps even halt the current testing regime and just start over.

“We need to change the whole script of what it means to test people,” he says. “In our country, we have always assumed that testing belongs in the clinical sphere, in the diagnostic sphere, and has to be run by laboratories or diagnosticians. The result is that we have a system for coronavirus testing…which is flailing, with raging outbreaks occurring.” What the country needs instead are rapid tests, widely deployed, so that infectious individuals can be readily self-identified and isolated, breaking the chain of transmission. To do that, Mina says, everyone must be tested, every couple of days, with $1, paper-based, at-home tests that are as easy to distribute and use as a pregnancy test: wake up in the morning, add saliva or nasal mucous to a tube of chemicals, wait 15 minutes, then dip a paper strip in the tube, and read the results.

Such tests are feasible—a tiny company called E25Bio, and another called Sherlock Biosciences (a startup spun out of Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Broad Institute in 2019) can deliver such tests—but the they have not made it to the marketplace because their sensitivity is being compared to that of PCR. But Mina says that is beside the point. “Imagine you are a fire department,” he says, “and you want to make sure that you catch all the fires that are burning so you can put them out. You don’t want a test that’s going to detect every time somebody lights a match in their house—that would be crazy: you’d be driving everywhere and having absolutely no effect. You want a test that can detect every time somebody is walking the streets with a flame thrower.”

FOR PUBLIC-HEALTH PURPOSES, speed and frequency of testing are vastly more important than sensitivity: the best test would actually be less sensitive than a PCR test. As Mina explains, when a person first becomes infected, there will be an incubation period when no test will reveal the infection, because the viral loads are so low. About “three to five days later, the PCR test will turn positive, and once that happens the virus is reproducing exponentially in a very predictable fashion.” At that point, critically, “even if a rapid test is 1,000 times less sensitive than a PCR test,” Mina says, the virus is increasing so rapidly that the test “will probably turn positive within eight to 15 or 24 hours.

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First, you pay for the research; then you play for the product.

Big Pharma Giants GSK, Sanofi Get $2.1 Billion to Develop COVID Vaccine (MPN)

The Trump administration’s “Manhattan project” for a COVID-19 vaccine has topped its biggest award given only two weeks ago to Novavax, Inc with its latest grant of $2.1 billion to pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline, and partner Sanofi Pasteur to “speed up clinical development and manufacturing” of its recombinant vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus. The deal clocks in at over $400 million more than the program’s previous investment of $1.6 billion earlier this month. Most of the GSK/Sanofi grant will be used for clinical trials and the rest to “scale-up and delivery” of 100 million vaccine doses destined for the U.S. population. The deal also offers the USG an option to buy a “supply of 500 million doses over the long term.”

This latest infusion of tax-payer money into Big Pharma’s hands by the Trump administration comes on the heels of the rumored failure of an early vaccine candidate. Moderna’s SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-1273 vaccine has received nearly a billion in federal funds, but recent reports of the company’s CMO, Tal Zaks, selling almost all of his shares as the vaccine is set to begin late-stage trials have sparked speculation that the “pre-fusion stabilized Spike protein” vaccine is dead in the water. Neither Novavax or Moderna, however, have ever had a single product go to market despite years in the business. GSK and Sanofi, in contrast, have plenty. Sanofi produces an FDA-approved flu shot and GSK, producer of some of the most recognizable pharmaceutical brand names like Binaca and Paxil, also produced a flu vaccine for the H1N1 “bird flu” called Pandermix.

Nevertheless, the fact that these large pharmaceutical firms have had some market success doesn’t necessarily mean anything in terms of the safety of their vaccines. GSK’s Pandermix turned out to induce narcolepsy and after studies confirmed the association between the drug and the chronic sleeping disorder, it has not been used since.

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Sometimes I feel like an HCQ advocate. But I really only thought it was crazy to label it lethal after 200 million people had been given chloroquine over 65 years without even a hint of mortality risks.

An Effective COVID Treatment the Media Continues to Besmirch (RCP)

On Friday, July 31, in a column ostensibly dealing with health care “misinformation,” Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan opened by lambasting “fringe doctors spouting dangerous falsehoods about hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 wonder cure.” Actually, it was Sullivan who was spouting dangerous falsehoods about this drug, something the Washington Post and much of the rest of the media have been doing for months. On May 15, the Post offered a stark warning to any Americans who may have taken hope in a possible therapy for COVID-19. In the newspaper’s telling, there was nothing unambiguous about the science — or the politics — of hydroxychloroquine: “Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus game-changer increasingly linked to deaths,” blared the headline.

Written by three Post staff writers, the story asserted that the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 is scant and that the drug is inherently unsafe. This claim is nonsense. Biased against the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 — and the Washington Post is hardly alone — the paper described an April 21, 2020, drug study on U.S. Veterans Affairs patients hospitalized with the illness. It found a high death rate in patients taking the drug hydroxychloroquine. But this was a flawed study with a small sample, the main flaw being that the drug was given to the sickest patients who were already dying because of their age and severe pre-existing conditions. This study was quickly debunked. It had been posted on a non-peer-reviewed medical archive that specifically warns that studies posted on its website should not be reported in the media as established information.

Yet, the Post and countless other news outlets did just the opposite, making repeated claims that hydroxychloroquine was ineffective and caused serious cardiac problems. Nowhere was there any mention of the fact that COVID-19 damages the heart during infection, sometimes causing irregular and sometimes fatal heart rhythms in patients not taking the drug. To a media unrelentingly hostile to Donald Trump, this meant that the president could be portrayed as recklessly promoting the use of a “dangerous” drug. Ignoring the refutation of the VA study in its May 15 article, the Washington Post cited a Brazil study published on April 24 in which a COVID trial using chloroquine (a related but different drug than hydroxychloroquine) was stopped because 11 patients treated with it died. The reporters never mentioned another problem with that study: The Brazilian doctors were giving their patients lethal cumulative doses of the drug.

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Time to lose Fauci. But he’ll stay.

Authors of Pro-HCQ Study Defend Their Work From Fauci Attack(BLP)

The doctors responsible for a controversial pro-hydroxychloroquine study are defending their work after it was attacked by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci at a recent Congressional hearing. Drs. Adnan Munkarah and Steven Kalkanis wrote in an open letter that “a whole scientific field exists in which scientists examine how a drug is working in the real world to get as best an answer as they can as soon as possible,” which Dr. Fauci did not acknowledge in his complete dismissal of their work. Munkarah works as the chief clinical officer of the Henry Ford Health System while Kalkanis works as the chief academic officer for the system. They are standing by their findings and refusing to buckle under the political pressure.

“Our promising Henry Ford treatment study should be considered as another important contribution to the other studies of hydroxychloroquine that describes what the authors found in our patient population,” Munkarah and Kalkanis wrote. “We — along with all doctors and scientists — eagerly support the need for randomized clinical trials.” “Unfortunately, the political climate that has persisted has made any objective discussion about this drug impossible, and we are deeply saddened by this turn of events,” they wrote, noting they they believe that the science should “speak for itself.” “To that end, we have made the heartfelt decision to have no further comment about this outside the medical community,” the doctors said.

Munkarah and Kalkanis call for more research to take place but believe that their findings could save lives and should not be discounted. “As an early hot spot for the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen and lived its devastating effects alongside our patients and families,” Munkarah and Kalkanis wrote. “Furthermore, it is not unusual that results from such studies vary in different populations and at different times, and no one study can ever be considered all by itself,” they added. Big League Politics reported on how Dr. Fauci disregarded the Henry Ford Health System study, which appeared in a scholarly journal, because it wasn’t approved by the federal Big Pharma cartel. “We know from another study (corticosteroids) gives benefit in reducing deaths with advanced disease,” Fauci said during a House subcommittee hearing on Friday.

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It’s going to take a long time. Meanwhile, the economy must keep going. Nobody has a plan for that other than return to a time we can’t go back to.

US Jobless Claims Rise To 1.43 Million, Crisis Total Tops 54 Million (NYP)

Some 1.43 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, pushing the number of initial jobless claims filed during the coronavirus pandemic above 54 million, new data show. Last week marked the second consecutive week with an increase in new jobless filings, a further indication that the economic recovery from the pandemic is faltering. “Jobs are a key part to this recovery and this shows yet again how bumpy the recovery is going to be,” said Ryan Detrick, chief investment strategist at LPL Financial. The uptick came as surging coronavirus infections forced some states to renew lockdowns that led to massive layoffs in March and April, raising questions about how quickly the labor market can rebound from its worst collapse in a century.

New jobless claims have now remained above 1 million for 19 consecutive weeks, a level that would have been unprecedented before the pandemic caused a record spike in unemployment as government lockdown orders shuttered restaurants, theaters, hotels, and even some offices. At 54 million, the number of people who have filed for unemployment claims during the course of the pandemic is now greater than the population of South Korea, which boasts 51 million people — and has long since surpassed the 37 million jobs lost over 18 months during the Great Recession.

Bloomberg reported Thursday that Wal-Mart has laid off hundreds of workers in store planning, logistics, merchandising and real estate as part of a larger consolidation effort, while Reuters said Exxon Mobil Corp is gearing up for job cuts to preserve an 8-percent shareholder dividend in the face of a multi-billion-dollar quarterly loss to be reported Friday. Continuing claims, which measure sustained joblessness on a one-week lag, also climbed to about 17 million in the week ending July 18 after falling by more than 1 million the prior week, the US Department of Labor said.

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American jobs?!

US Plans to Relocate Factories from Asia to Latin America (PPost)

The campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” could soon go beyond the borders of the United States. The Trump administration has announced that it is preparing a financial incentive plan to encourage U.S. companies with factories in Asia to return to the Americas, including Latin America and the Caribbean. “We are essentially creating a ‘Back to the Americas’ initiative,” said Mauricio Claver-Carone, the White House national security advisor for Latin America and an aspiring president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).


This project could generate investments ranging from 30 to 50 billion USD across the continent. Although Claver-Carone did not name any particular company, he said that talks had already begun, but the pandemic helped convince them that it was time to get on board. Infrastructure, energy, and transport could be the first potential focus areas for this initiative. In this way, the United States seeks to gain ground in Latin America, where China has been positioning itself since 2015 with large investments and loans of over 40 billion USD, according to the Inter-American Dialogue.

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Oh c’mon, weight loss pills… Start by banning high fructose corn syrup from your country. Then we can talk.

New Guidelines Call For Fundamental Shift In Obesity Treatment (CTV)

A new guideline to treat obesity in Canada recommends a fundamental shift in how doctors and physicians address people living with the condition. The new guideline, published Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and in partnership with Obesity Canada, suggests doctors begin focusing on goals that patients consider to be important, rather than focusing on weight loss alone, while also shifting away from the “diet and exercise” weight loss model to instead address the root causes of someone’s excessive weight. “We’re no longer going to be focusing on speaking about calories when we talk about decreasing weight,” Dr. Sean Wharton, co-lead author of the guideline and adjunct professor at McMaster University, said in an phone interview with CTVNews.ca.

“We’re going to more so focus on healthy eating, something we call medical nutrition therapy.” Wharton said simply cutting calories and increasing exercise is not a sustainable way to lose weight and can ultimately lead to the patient regaining the weight. “We know that willpower and motivation will allow for a dietary plan that lasts for a short period of time and then our body compensates and regains the weight,” he said. “Any time we look at lowering calories, we always activate a very strong biological compensatory mechanism, which is why we are doing our best to deemphasize diet.” In the past 30 years, the rate of obesity in Canada has tripled, while the rate of severe obesity has increased tothe point that it includes more than 1.9 million Canadians today.

When it comes to treating obesity, the new guidelines suggest expanding the options to include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), weight loss medication and bariatric surgery, depending on the each patient’s individual needs. Wharton calls these the “three pillars” of effective long-term weight loss. “Most people understand diet and exercise,” he said. “They don’t understand that the pillars that are necessary to keep the diet and the exercise going.” Cognitive therapy, Wharton said, is essentially teaching the patient to be more cognisant of what they’re eating, especially when it comes to snacking on impulse. One strategy is to wait five minutes before eating a desired snack, to make sure you still want it. “Some people can do that skill without even being taught that skill, but the majority of people have to be taught those skills and that’s where CBT treatment and psychological intervention is coming from,” Wharton said.

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How can people understand when their media completely ignores the story?

Understanding The Gravity Of The Russia Hoax (Widburg)

One of the claims Democrats love to tout about the Obama administration is that it was “scandal free.” For those who paid attention to the IRS targeting, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, and the cash smuggled to Iran, to name just a few illegal and/or immoral activities, that was always a peculiar boast. The Obama administration was up to its eyeballs in scandals. It was Obama who finally said what had really happened, which was that “We didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.” In other words, the issue wasn’t that the administration was scandal-free. The issue was that the media protected the administration from voters’ wrath should they learn about those scandals.

The Russia Hoax has benefitted from the media’s continued unwillingness to report on Obama-era scandals. When it looked as if the Russia Hoax could achieve a coup against the Trump presidency, members of the press developed a form of Tourette syndrome that saw them obsessively mouth “Russia, Russia, Russia” all day, every day. However, when Robert Mueller’s handpicked Democrat-friendly team, despite two years and 35 million dollars, was unable to find a smidgen of proof that Trump or his administration had colluded with the Russians, leftists inside and outside of the media fell silent. Sure, they’ll still raise the fact that Trump, at a press conference, said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Hillary Clinton] emails that are missing,” but their hearts aren’t in it.

They know that normal people understand that Trump was making a pointed joke about the fact that the Russians, the Chinese, and every other hacker on earth had read through Hillary’s emails for years. Aside from leftists being utterly humorless, the media learned that raising this statement periodically was chum to the true believers but not very interesting to anyone else. When it came to burying the whole Russia Hoax, the Democrats and their media lackeys were helped by the fact that the story is so gosh-darned complicated. It involved dozens of people (some genuinely bad actors and some useful idiots), several countries, thousands of pages of cryptic papers, and a dizzying timeline. It’s hard to get people who aren’t political junkies excited about something like that, and even harder to arouse them to a sense of outrage over what the Obama administration did.

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It’ll be discarded by the media, if they even mention it, as politically driven.

Trump: DOJ Found ‘Breathtaking’ Evidence Of Wrongdoing In Russia Probe (JTN)

President Trump said Tuesday night that he believes the Justice Department has uncovered “breathtaking” evidence of misconduct during its investigation of the bungled Russia collusion probe, and he expect results to be released soon. “I caught them, we caught them spying, using the intelligence apparatus of our country to spy on an opponent or an opposing party’s campaign both before and after the election,” Trump said when asked during an interview with Fox Business host Lou Dobbs what he expects U.S. Attorney John Durham to have found during his investigation. Attorney General William Barr named Durham, a prosecutor from Connecticut, to be special prosecutor for reviewing the FBI and DOJ’s conduct in the Russia collusion fiasco.


Trump said he didn’t want to “get overly involved” in the Durham review but expects a dramatic conclusion to the investigation of the investigators. “I do hear it is breathtaking what they found. That’s all I can say, breathtaking. And hopefully it will come out soon. But it is beyond what anybody ever thought even possible,” the president said. Trump also addressed the state of relations with China since the coronavirus pandemic struck, saying Beijing’s failure to stop the virus before it reached U.S. shores has had “a negative impact.” “Well, it’s been very badly hurt by what happened because I really believed they could have stopped it in Wuhan,” the president said. “…It’s been such a horrible thing.”

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They understand. But then where do they get their news?

86% Of Americans Say Media Is Biased, To Blame For Political Division (Fed.)

Eighty-six percent of Americans believe there is “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of political bias in the way the media covers news, according to a Knight Foundation/Gallup poll released on Tuesday. The number of Americans that see bias in the media is up almost 25 percentage points from 62 percent in 2007. Almost half of Americans — 49 percent — now say there’s a great deal of political bias in news coverage. While Republicans are more likely to say there’s a “great deal” of bias and Democrats more often said there was a “fair amount,” large majorities of both political parties believed that some bias existed: 78 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans.


These numbers were collected from polling of more than 20,000 Americans between November and February, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the death of George Floyd, and the resulting media coverage of both events. Not only do most Americans recognize media bias, they also believe it’s intentional. When asked about their views of news organizations they distrust, 79 percent of poll respondents said those outlets were “trying to persuade people to adopt a certain viewpoint.” When news is inaccurate, 54 percent of Americans think it’s because reporters are “misrepresenting the facts,” while 28 percent assume they’re “making them up entirely.” And more than 8 in 10 Americans — 84 percent — assign the media either a great deal (48 percent) or a moderate amount (36 percent) of blame for political division.

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Everything has turned into clickbait.

Bias And Commercialism Is Killing MSM, Journalists Have Had Enough (RT)

An MSNBC producer has quit the network, lamenting an editorial process that chases approval and ratings rather than presenting facts. When even employees label the MSM as a “cancer with no cure”, we should all be concerned. If you were to ask your mother who Ariana Pekary is, more than likely she’s not going to know unless she’s already met her. That’s because Ariana was a producer at MSNBC. Although she wasn’t someone who’d be in front of the camera, she is definitely someone who’s an expert on what goes on behind it. But now she’s left the TV network and, on her exit, wrote an extremely scathing letter about the nature of its programming. Although she described her colleagues as intelligent people with good intentions, she lamented the way the news has gone, blaming an overemphasis on the chase for ratings as opposed to straight reporting.

Specifically, she stated that it “forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.” And she went so far as to reference an unnamed colleague who described what they were doing as “a cancer with no cure”. Pekary also admitted that fringe voices are constantly given airtime because it boosts those ratings, even if those guests’ views are divisive and offer little in the way of solutions. And we’ve recently seen two other major figures cite similar problems within the news industry. On leaving the New York Times, Bari Weiss described a hostile work environment in which her colleagues would much rather ‘cancel’ her than allow her to express a different opinion. She even made the extraordinary claim that Twitter has become “the ultimate editor” of the New York Times. This would explain why so much of the Times’ content seems to cater for Twitter’s woke extremists.

Andrew Sullivan, formerly of New York Magazine, had a similar lament. He spoke of his endless frustration at the lack of diversity of thought: “If the mainstream media will not host a diversity of opinion, or puts the ‘moral clarity’ of some self-appointed saints before the goal of objectivity in reporting, if it treats writers as mere avatars for their race and gender or gender identity, rather than as unique individuals whose identity is largely irrelevant, then the non-mainstream needs to pick up the slack.”

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Beirut

 

 

Sarah Abdallah – Beirut

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime.

 

Jul 222020
 


Ben Shahn for the Farm Security Administration Daughter of Virgil Thaxton, farmer, near Mechanicsburg, Ohio 1938

 

It Has Become Clear Elimination Of The Virus Is The Best Option (Age)
Antibodies From Mild COVID-19 Infections Could Disappear Within A Year (CBS)
Yale Epidemiologist: Hydroxychloroquine Could Save 100,000 Lives (ZH)
Moderna, Merck Won’t Limit Price Of Coronavirus Vaccines To Company Cost (R.)
Our History Is A Battle Against The Microbes (Roser)
N.Y, N.J, Conn. Expand Travel Quarantine To Over Half Of U.S. States
Democrats Cry ‘Foreign Meddling’ In 2020 Election In Letter To FBI (RT)
House Bill Would Require Feds to Identify Themselves (.)
China’s Shipbuilding Industry Continues Leading Position Globally (Xinhua)
Britain Nears Abandoning Brexit Trade Deal Hope (R.)
Passengers Scramble For Limited Seats On Flights To Australia (G.)
Book Sales Hit Record Highs In 2019, But Publishers ‘Now Need Help’ (G.)
Smithsonian: ‘Rationality’ & ‘Hard Work’ Are Racist (RC)
Judicial Watch Sues DOJ/FBI/ODNI for Records of Obama Oval Office Meeting (JW)
Greta Thunberg Gets €1 Million ‘Humanity Prize’ From Oil Tycoon Foundation (RT)

 

 

An Australian hospital doctor writes that the best solution if for the virus to be eliminated from his country. But can that still be done? Is it realistic? Do you really want to isolate yourself from most of the world?

 

 

U.S. records over 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for first time since early June.

And the world passed 15 million cases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sidney Powell Hillary should be subpoenaed

 

 

A doctor in Victoria, Australia. The worries are very understandable, and the problem is clear, but as for the solution, is it possible? Realistic? Or just too late?

It Has Become Clear Elimination Of The Virus Is The Best Option (Age)

The hospital where I work has finally had to use its surge plan for COVID-19 patients, devised months ago but which has until now laid dormant. There is still capacity for more patients, but it is not infinite. People are starting to worry. Concerningly, while patient numbers around the state have climbed, staff numbers have fallen. Many front-line healthcare workers have become infected with the virus, forcing them to take time off work. Many more have been forced into mandatory quarantine following close contact with a known case. This is entirely necessary to stop the spread of the virus, but it is a cost we simply cannot afford. Our already-stretched health system is at risk of being stretched beyond its limit.

We have tried to suppress this virus; to keep infection numbers low enough to allow our hospitals to cope, while not actively trying to stamp it out. In Melbourne, it has failed. We may be seeing the beginnings of a similar story in Sydney, with cases slowly climbing. We may yet see it elsewhere. Many have argued for an explicit elimination strategy, acknowledging that while not without its costs, ultimately it is the best choice for our society and economy. As John Daley from the Grattan Institute wrote in March, this would be the “least-bad” option. We know elimination is possible. New Zealand implemented a harsh lockdown early in the pandemic, prompting some to criticise Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for overreacting. Yet they have not seen a single case of community transmission in months.

Life across the ditch is returning to a “new normal”, and people and businesses are starting to plan for the future with a bit more certainty. There is no reason why Australia – and in particular Victoria – couldn’t follow suit. Yet the current six-week lockdown is unlikely to eliminate the virus, according to new analysis in the Medical Journal of Australia. We must either go harder, or go longer. While it is the best option for Australia, elimination has three important drawbacks: its impacts would be disproportionately felt by disadvantaged and marginalised people; it would require a longer, more intense period of initial lockdown; and it would make us dependent on a vaccine. A longer, harsher lockdown in Melbourne – and anywhere the virus begins to take hold again – would be enormously challenging for many, especially those who are disadvantaged, marginalised, or poor.

But so would repeated lockdowns, which are all-but inevitable under a suppression strategy. Better to do it once (or twice, as in Melbourne) and do it properly, rather than wait for infections to rise again in a few months and have to do it all again. If we succeed in ridding ourselves of SARS-CoV-2, we will make ourselves reliant on a vaccine. Until one is found, our borders will have to remain closed. The virus will become endemic in many other countries – countries who, unlike us, no longer have the option of eliminating it. Opening our borders too early would simply be kicking the can down the road. Things are moving faster than we have ever seen in vaccine development, but there is no guarantee we will have a safe and effective product soon – if at all. Until we do, we will be forced to seal ourselves off from countries where the virus remains.

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And the antibodies that you do have may attack you. Good luck with that vaccine.

Antibodies From Mild COVID-19 Infections Could Disappear Within A Year (CBS)

Antibodies from a mild case of COVID-19 appear to fall dramatically in the first three months after infection, and could disappear within about a year, according to a small study by UCLA researchers. The study, published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, tested 20 women and 14 men between 21 and 68 years old who recovered from mild cases of COVID-19. Each participant was tested at an average of 36 and 82 days after they initially showed symptoms. The study found that antibodies in these study participants dropped sharply after the first three months, and decreased by roughly half every 73 days.


At that rate, antibodies would disappear within about a year. The UCLA study was a more detailed look into previous reports that suggested antibodies against the novel coronavirus were short-lived, and the first to estimate the rate at which antibodies disappear. The study’s authors said the role of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 is not known, but the findings should prompt caution regarding antibody-based “immunity passports,” the goal of herd immunity, and vaccine durability.

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One positive report about HCQ after the other.

Yale Epidemiologist: Hydroxychloroquine Could Save 100,000 Lives (ZH)

Yale epidemiology professor Dr. Harvey Risch told Fox News’s “Ingraham Angle” that he thinks hydroxychloroquine could save 75,000 to 100,000 lives if widely used to treat COVID-19, and that it’s unfortunate that a “propaganda war” has been waged on the commonly prescribed drug which is not based on “medical facts.” “There are many doctors that I’ve gotten hostile remarks about saying that all the evidence is bad for it and, in fact, that is not true at all,” Risch said on Monday, adding that he believes the drug should be used as a prophylactic for front-line healthcare workers, as has been done in India. Researchers at the Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan have found that early administration of hydroxychloroquine makes hospitalized patients substantially less likely to die.

“The study, published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, determined that hydroxychloroquine provided a “66 percent hazard ratio reduction,” and hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin a 71 percent reduction, compared with neither treatment. In-hospital mortality was 18.1 percent overall; 13.5 percent with just hydroxychloroquine, 22.4 percent with azithromycin alone, and 26.4 percent with neither drug. “Prospective trials are needed” for further review, the researchers note, even as they concluded: “In this multi-hospital assessment, when controlling for COVID-19 risk factors, treatment with hydroxychloroquine alone and in combination with azithromycin was associated with reduction in COVID-19 associated mortality.” -Fox News

“All the evidence is actually good for it when it is used in outpatient uses. Nevertheless, the only people who actually say that are a whole pile of doctors who are on the front lines treating those patients across the country and they are the ones who are at risk being forced not to do it,” Risch added, arguing that the MSM refuses to cover the benefits of the drug, and is actively silencing those trying to address the efficacy of HCQ.

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Not only do they seek to profit from the pandemic, their research was funded by … you.

Moderna, Merck Won’t Limit Price Of Coronavirus Vaccines To Company Cost (R.)

Moderna Inc and Merck & Co on Tuesday told a U.S. Congressional panel that they expect to profit from their coronavirus vaccines once approved, amid concerns the vaccines may not be accessible to all. “We will not be selling our vaccine at cost, although it is premature for us as we’re a long way from understanding the cost-basis,” Julie Gerberding, chief patient officer for Merck, told the House of Representatives subcommittee on oversight and investigations in a virtual, off-site hearing. Merck’s has yet to begin human studies of its experimental vaccine, lagging the leading candidates. Executives from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc testified that they will price their respective potential vaccines at no profit while the pandemic rages on.

Gerberding and a representative from Moderna did not comment on the price they have in mind for their vaccines at the hearing, which focused on efforts to develop a safe, effective and widely accessible vaccine against COVID-19, which has claimed 600,000 lives globally. Pfizer Inc has said the company intends to make a profit from its potential coronavirus vaccine if approved. However, Pfizer Chief Business Officer John Young, testified: “We recognize that these are extraordinary times and our price will reflect that.” Unlike rivals Moderna and AstraZeneca, Pfizer has not received funding from the United States for its vaccine development.

Lawmakers questioned whether Pfizer had declined government funding so it could price the vaccine at a profit. “We didn’t access federal funding solely for the reason that we wanted to move the vaccine faster to the clinic,” Young said. AstraZeneca said its vaccine would be provided at no profit under its agreement with the United States for allocation of some 300 million doses.

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Long history thread at the Twitter link.

Our History Is A Battle Against The Microbes (Roser)

Humanity’s history is a continuous battle between us and the microbes. For most of our history we were on the losing side. It wasn’t even close. We were losing very decisively. Billions of children died from infectious diseases. They were the main reason why child mortality was so high: No matter where or when they were born, around half died as children. We looked at the evidence of child mortality in pre-modern times here. The recurring epidemics of influenza, measles, cholera, diphtheria, the bubonic plague, and smallpox also killed large parts of the adult population. Within just a few years the Black Death killed half of Europe’s population. The epidemics – especially of smallpox, but also measles, typhus and other diseases – that the colonialists brought from Europe with them to the Americas killed often an even larger share of the population in many places.

The world today is obviously very different. Infectious diseases are the cause of fewer than 1-in-6 deaths, and as the world made progress against the microbes our lives became much longer. Life expectancy doubled in every world region and the global average is now 73 years. How is it possible that for millennia we were losing the battle against the microbes so awfully and then turned things around in the span of just a few generations? It was science that laid the foundation for our success. 150 years ago nobody knew where diseases came from. Or more precisely, people thought they knew, but they were wrong. The widely accepted idea at the time was the ‘Miasma’ theory of disease. Miasma, the theory held, was a form of “bad air” that causes disease. The word malaria is testament to the idea that ‘mal aria’ – ‘bad air’ in medieval Italian – is the cause of the disease.

Thanks to the work of a number of doctors and chemists in the second half of the 19th century humanity learned that not noxious air, but specific germs cause infectious diseases. The germ theory of disease was the breakthrough in the fight against the microbe. Scientists identified the pathogens that cause the different diseases and thereby laid the foundation for perhaps the most important technical innovation in our fight against them: vaccines. Vaccines protect us from infectious diseases by offering our body a training session for how to fight the germs that cause the disease. “The fundamental idea of a vaccine is deliberate exposure to a relatively harmless or dead version of a germ. The immune system will then recognise and eliminate that germ rapidly if it is encountered again,” as vaccine developer Richard Moxon puts it.

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Two countries?!

N.Y, N.J, Conn. Expand Travel Quarantine To Over Half Of U.S. States

As the pandemic continues to surge across America, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut expanded their travel quarantine lists for the fourth consecutive week on Tuesday, adding 10 more states for a total of 31. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut require incoming travelers from the 31 states to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival. New states added to the tri-state list on Tuesday are Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington. Minnesota was taken off the list this week, while Delaware returned after being removed last week. The list also includes Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also issued a rule that out-of-state travelers must fill in a form for state officials to verify they are complying with the rules; failure to submit can result in a $2,000 fine and mandatory quarantine. Gov. Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont launched the travel list last month as parts of the country began to see rising case numbers. New York and New Jersey, in particular, were hit hard early on in the pandemic (New York still has the country’s highest number of deaths) and hope the travel limitations will prevent a resurgence from out-of-state travelers. The quarantine applies to states that report 10 or more new cases per 100,000 residents per day or a 10% rise in daily test positivity over a seven-day rolling period.

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It’s probably the Russians.

Whatever comes out of any investigation between now and November 3, will be blasted as being political. But Trump has been under investigation his entire first term, and that, too, was political, though it will be vehemently denied. Guess we’ll have to say along with the Dems that nobody is above the law, and that goes for them as well.

Democrats Cry ‘Foreign Meddling’ In 2020 Election In Letter To FBI (RT)

A probe into former VP Joe Biden’s dealings in Ukraine is reportedly the ‘foreign interference’ in US elections that prompted Democrats to demand an urgent defensive briefing from the FBI for all members of Congress. “We are gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November,” says a letter by four Democrats on the congressional ‘Gang of Eight’ that deals with intelligence matters. The letter was dated July 13, but was made public on Monday – the deadline the Democrats set for the FBI to schedule the defensive briefings with all members of Congress.

It was signed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-California), and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner (D-Virginia). The fact that it lacked specifics, and was released a week after it was sent to the FBI, raised some eyebrows in Washington. Former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell tweeted that the ‘Gang of Eight’ and others were briefed “weeks ago” and that the letter amounted to a CYA – short for “cover your a**” – adding, “why the panic now?” One possibility is that it provided a pretext for the Democrats’ presidential nominee Joe Biden to announce on Monday evening that he was putting “the Kremlin and other foreign governments on notice” that he would impose “substantial and lasting costs on those who interfere with American elections” if elected.

According to Politico, who cited “two people familiar with the demand,” the letter is about an investigation led by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) into Biden’s dealings with the former government of Ukraine. The most recent FBI briefing on “foreign influence operations” – back in early April – was also prompted by Johnson’s investigation, as Democrats objected to his efforts to subpoena former Ukrainian official Andrii Telizhenko. Ukrainians themselves have been investigating the role of former president Petro Poroshenko in getting corruption charges dropped against Burisma, a gas company that hired Biden’s son Hunter to nominally sit on its board of directors. Members of parliament and former prosecutors have made a case that Burisma paid Hunter Biden millions of dollars for acting as a de facto shield against prosecution, offering as evidence recordings of what they said were Biden and Poroshenko.

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Interesting. All of them? And the rioters too?

House Bill Would Require Feds to Identify Themselves (.)

Following a storm of controversy over arrests by federal agents in Portland, Ore., New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Washington, D.C., Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will be introducing legislation this week that would require federal law enforcement officials to clearly identify themselves, according to a draft bill provided exclusively to The Nation. The bill would require on-duty federal agents to display not just the name of their agency but also the individual agent’s last name and identification number. It would also mandate a new form of oversight for the Justice Department, requiring its inspector general to conduct routine audits to ensure compliance with the legislation. The results of these audits would then be reported to Congress.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) drew scrutiny after federal agents in military fatigues used unmarked vehicles to arrest protesters in Portland. Among these federal agents were members of elite Border Patrol Tactical Units (BORTAC), Custom and Border Protection’s SWAT team equivalent. Despite the mayor of Portland’s demand that federal agents leave the city, DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf refused. “I offered DHS support to help them locally address the situation that’s going on in Portland, and their only response was: please pack up and go home,” he said to Fox News. “That’s just not going to happen on my watch.”

Internal CBP documents obtained by The Nation revealed that these federal agents would be operating indefinitely and in undisclosed locations, with drones “on standby to assist as needed.” The documents describe the DHS’s creation of the Protecting American Communities Task Force in response to President Trump’s executive order “Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Activity.” While this incident was clearly a catalyst for public concern, a spokesperson for Representative Ocasio-Cortez said that her office had been working on this legislation for months.

Provided a copy of the draft legislation, Irvin McCullough, deputy director of legislation at the Government Accountability Project, said, “Lots of lawyers are asking the same thing: Where’s the transparency? Unidentified internal security forces are apprehending American citizens, and accounts allege these apprehension processes are more similar to overseas renditions than traditional arrests. Citizens deserve to know who’s arresting them—or at least what entity—to report any abuses they suffer or witness.”

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China’s Shipbuilding Industry Continues Leading Position Globally (Xinhua)

China’s shipbuilding industry maintained its leading position globally in the first half of the year (H1) as it held sway in three key aspects, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has said. The completion volume of shipbuilding in China, dropping by 10.6 percent year on year to 17.58 million deadweight tonnes (dwt) in H1, accounted for 37.2 percent of the global market share. New shipbuilding orders, up by 3.4 percent from last year to reach 12.47 million dwt in H1, took up 67.5 percent of the market share worldwide. The volume of holding orders, down by 6.3 percent year on year to 76.54 million dwt in H1, accounted for 48.2 percent of the global market share.

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Blame COVID.

Britain Nears Abandoning Brexit Trade Deal Hope (R.)

Britain and the European Union will fail to sign a post-Brexit trade deal, with only a few days left before Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s July deadline, The Telegraph reported. The UK government’s assumption is that there will not be a deal, though it remains possible that a “basic” agreement could be reached if the EU gives ground in the autumn, the newspaper said, citing government sources. The government expects it will trade with Europe on World Trade Organisation terms when the transition period ends, the report added.


Britain left the EU on Jan. 31 and its relationship with the bloc is now governed by a transition arrangement that keeps previous rules in place while the two sides negotiate new terms. Negotiators remain deadlocked on fishing rights, the deal’s governance, the European Court of Justice’s role and so-called level playing field guarantees, the newspaper reported. Britain is pursuing trade deals with other countries and setting up its own sanctions regime, and has previously insisted it should not have to sign up to the bloc’s standards.

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Double the price? Triple?

Passengers Scramble For Limited Seats On Flights To Australia (G.)

International airlines flying into Australia are having to bump passengers, often with little notice, in order to meet strict daily passenger caps set for airports still accepting flights from overseas. The passenger limits introduced to alleviate pressure on quarantine facilities in Australia have meant airports like Brisbane can only accept 70 passengers per day, while services bringing Australians back to Sydney are limited to as few as 30 travellers per flight. While the passenger caps have seen a surge in the cost of airfares into Australia – the cost of a one-way flight from Doha to Sydney on Qatar Airways is $3,729 in economy, a class of seat booked out until 9 August – some economy travellers who are concerned they will be bumped due to their cheaper seats are upgrading to business class tickets.

However airlines including Qatar Airways denied passengers with cheaper tickets would be more likely to be rescheduled, telling the Guardian that passenger lists were based on a range of criteria, including compassionate and medical requests. Originally introduced earlier this month “in order to manage and maintain quarantine arrangements” at hotels, the caps have shrunk from their original limits, now allowing 350 arrivals per day at Sydney, 75 per day at Perth and 70 per day at Brisbane. Melbourne airport remains closed to international visitors, with incoming capacity for Adelaide and Canberra assessed on a case-by-case basis. Between seven to eight international flights are scheduled to land each day at Sydney Airport. However, the cap per flight could increase if some scheduled services do not go ahead.

“The amount allocated to each airline for each flight varies depending on how many flights are operating on each day but within a total daily cap,” a spokeswoman for the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said. “Airlines have the ability to request more than their per-flight passenger allocation on a particular day if there is any spare capacity available on that particular day.”

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You have to love a publication like the Guardian printing a sentence like this, straight-faced:

“In an age of often unreliable sources..”

Book Sales Hit Record Highs In 2019, But Publishers ‘Now Need Help’ (G.)

Book sales in the UK hit record levels in 2019, driven by a surge in audiobook and nonfiction titles, according to new figures released as publishers warn of the huge impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the industry. Book sales rose to £6.3bn in 2019, up 4% on 2018, when sales fell for the first time in five years, and 20% on 2015. According to the latest figures from the Publishers Association (PA), overall print sales were up 3% to £3.5bn in 2019 and digital sales were up 4% to £2.8bn, driven by a 39% increase in audiobook downloads. Digital formats accounted for 44% of the market in 2019, up from 40% in 2015. Strong nonfiction and reference sales, seen in bestsellers such as cookbook Pinch of Nom, Caroline Criado-Perez’s Invisible Women, and Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, saw the sector grow 23.1% to £1bn in 2019, when compared with 2015.

“In an age of often unreliable sources, people are increasingly looking to books for trusted information and are reading nonfiction voraciously across formats,” Hachette chief executive David Shelley told the association. The growth in nonfiction stands in contrast to fiction. Despite the publication of highly anticipated novels such as Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, sales fell to £582m in 2019, down 5.6% when compared with 2015. “Before the coronavirus pandemic, the industry was flourishing, with 2019 being the strongest year in the history of publishing. These robust figures reflect people’s ongoing need and desire for books,” said PA chief executive Stephen Lotinga.

“[The figures] tell a story of pre-Covid success, but they do not reflect the significant challenges that publishers have faced during this pandemic. Despite those difficulties, we know that many people have continued to look to books for solace, enlightenment and entertainment.” Publishers have anticipated declines in revenue of up to 75% as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, with bookshops closed for more than two months, publication dates postponed, orders for books cancelled and author tours called off. One success story was revealed on Tuesday, however, when Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury reported a 28% growth in consumer sales in the four months ending in June 2020. Previously, Bloomsbury had predicted that its print revenues could fall up to 75% due to coronavirus, but print sales actually rose by 9%.

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Yeah, the Smithsonian appears to be woker than the woke.

Smithsonian: ‘Rationality’ & ‘Hard Work’ Are Racist (RC)

In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests over police brutality, interest in “anti-racist” education has exploded among educators and advocates. The case that educators should seek to combat racism seems self-evident. What’s less clear is how the admirable cause of “anti-racism” is fueling, in some corners, the inclination to denounce universal virtues and useful skills as the product of “white culture.” Witness last week’s contretemps at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum, which bills itself as “the only national museum devoted exclusively” to educating the public on these topics, recently debuted the online guide “Talking about Race.”

The guide included a chart cataloguing the “aspects and assumptions” of “white culture” that “have been normalized over time and are now considered standard practices in the United States.” What are these sinister aspects of “white culture,” you ask? Well, according to the Smithsonian, values like “hard work,” “self-reliance,” “be[ing] polite,” and timeliness are all a product of the “white dominant culture.” Indeed, it turns out that conventional grammar, Christianity, the notion that “intent counts” in courts of law, and the scientific method and its emphasis on “objective, rational linear thinking” are all proprietary to “white culture.”

There are several things that might be said about all this. But the place to start may be by observing just how insidious it is to teach black children to reject intellectual and personal traits that promote personal and civic success — in the U.S. or anywhere else. After all, in what land are students well-served when they’re encouraged not to work hard, make decisions, think rationally, or be polite and on time? Among the extraordinarily accomplished people honored by the museum, those such as Frederick Douglass; Harriet Tubman; Jackie Robinson; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Toni Morrison; John Lewis; Oprah Winfrey; Michael Jordan; Condoleezza Rice; and Barack Obama might be surprised to learn that hard work and rational thinking are somehow alien to black culture.

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104 days till the election?!

Judicial Watch Sues DOJ/FBI/ODNI for Records of Obama Oval Office Meeting (JW)

Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for all records related to the January 5, 2017, meeting at the Obama Oval Office during which the Steele Dossier and the investigation of General Flynn were discussed (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice and ODNI (No. 1:20-cv-01947)). The Oval Office meeting reportedly included President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other Obama administration political and law enforcement officials.

At least two records describing the meeting – a January 20, 2017, memo Rice sent to herself and a set of notes taken by FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok – have been declassified and made public. Sally Yates also detailed the meeting to Robert Mueller’s investigation. Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the DOJ, FBI, and ODNI failed to respond to identical May 20, 2020, FOIA requests for: “All records regarding the January 5, 2017, meeting at the White House between former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director James Comey, President Obama, and others. This request includes all records created in preparation for, during, and/or pursuant to the meeting, as well as any and all related records of communication between any official or representative of the Department of Justice and any other individual.”

“Obama’s infamous January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting is a key moment in the corrupt effort to smear and spy on President Trump and target General Flynn with a malicious prosecution,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “Rather than delay and stonewall, it is urgent the FBI, DOJ, ODNI release all records about this malicious, seditious conspiracy.”

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Greta, go to school, don’t fall for being a marketing ploy.

Greta Thunberg Gets €1 Million ‘Humanity Prize’ From Oil Tycoon Foundation (RT)

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has been awarded the first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, in the form of €1 million. Problem is, Gulbenkian was a massive oil industrialist who paved the way for Western states to exploit Iraqi oil. Grand Jury Chair Jorge Sampaio said that “Thunberg has been able to mobilize younger generations for the cause of climate change” and is “one of the most remarkable figures of our days.” He also added that the decision was made by consensus. The Swedish activist, however, declined the opportunity to become a millionaire. Thunberg released an Instagram monologue, accompanied by some ambient spiritual music, in which she said she was “extremely honored” to receive the prize, but pledged to donate the money to various climate causes “as quickly as possible.”

It seems, though, that Thunberg is going to be spending fossil-fuel money to advance her cause. The foundation and the Humanity Prize are named after Calouste Gulbenkian, a British-Armenian oil tycoon who died in 1955. One of the wealthiest people of his era, he was a major shareholder in Royal Dutch Shell, developed many oil companies of his own and is historically credited with being the first person to exploit oil in Iraq, which made the petroleum riches of the Middle East ripe for the taking by the West. “By awarding this Prize, the Foundation highlights its commitment to urgent climate action,” the president of the Gulbenkian Foundation, Isabel Mota, commented.

The irony of an oil magnate of historic proportions financing an anti-oil climate activist, though indirectly, was not lost on the Internet. Both Thunberg’s supporters and detractors caught the humor in her now being sponsored by the money “of the polluters against whom she protests.” The prize money will supposedly be split between projects supporting people enduring the worst of the current “climate catastrophe.” For now, Thunberg mentioned she will donate to causes in countries of the Global South, specifically Brazil’s SOS Amazonia campaign to tackle Covid-19 in the Amazon, and the Stop Ecocide Foundation; each will receive €100,000.

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I hear this is the perfect protection. Smoking with a mask on.

 

 

 

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