Sep 012021
 
 September 1, 2021  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  88 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Ward in the hospital in Arles 1889

 

Who’s Really Being Hospitalized? (Margulis)
60% of Those Older Than 50 Who Die From Covid Are Double Vaxxed (Mercola)
‘Get Sicker’: Anatomy Of A Failed Policy (Pfeiffer)
There’s An Off Ramp – But It Has A Price (Denninger)
The Case For Covid Vaccine Passports Was Just Demolished (Fee)
Key Vaccine Leaders Departing FDA As Covid-19 Booster Questions Linger (FPhar)
Greek Health Ministry Bracing For ‘Great Exodus’ (K.)
Pharmacy Customers Refuse To Say What Ivermectin Prescription Is For (G.)
Zero Covid, A Once Wildly Popular Ideology, Quietly Faces Extinction (Subs)
Singapore Gives Up Goal of Zero Covid Despite High Vaccination Rate (Gizmodo)
Obama Officials’ Lies About Edward Snowden and Russia (Greenwald)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stories are collapsing.

Who’s Really Being Hospitalized? (Margulis)

After a battery of testing, my friend was diagnosed with pancreatitis. But it was easier for the hospital bureaucracy to register the admission as a COVID case. Let me explain. This patient had none of the classic symptoms of COVID: No shortness of breath, no fever, no chills, no congestion, no loss of sense of smell or taste, no neurological issues. The only COVID symptoms my friend had were nausea and fatigue, which could also be explained by the surgery. However, nearly three weeks earlier, a COVID test had come back positive. The mainstream media is reporting that severe COVID cases are mainly among unvaccinated people.

An AP headline from June 29 reads: “Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated.” Another, from the same date: “Vast majority of ICU patients with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, ABC News survey finds.” Is that what’s really going on? It’s certainly not the case in Israel, the first country to fully vaccinate a majority of its citizens against the virus. Now it has one of the highest daily infection rates and the majority of people catching the virus (77% to 83%, depending on age) are already vaccinated, according to data collected by the Israeli government. After carefully reviewing the available data, including the safety and efficacy profiles of the mRNA vaccines, my friend had taken a cautious approach. Though a medical doctor who gives vaccines in the office every day, my friend opted to wait and see.

According to WebMD, a “huge number” of frontline hospital workers have also chosen not to get the vaccine. Indeed, various news reports, from California to New York, confirm that up to 40% of health care workers have decided the risks of the vaccines do not outweigh the benefits. After admission, I spoke to the nurse on the COVID ward. She was suited up in a plastic yellow disposable gown, teal gloves, and two masks underneath a recirculating personal respiratory system that buzzed so loudly she could barely hear. The nurse told me that she had gotten both vaccines but she was feeling worried: “Two thirds of my patients are fully vaccinated,” she said. How can there be such a disconnect between what the COVID ward nurse told me and the mainstream media reports?

For one thing, it is very hard to get any kind of accuracy when it comes to actual numbers. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have publicly acknowledged that they do not have accurate data. As reported by the Associated Press, “The CDC itself has not estimated what percentage of hospitalizations and deaths are in fully vaccinated people, citing limitations in the data.” At the same time, data collection is done on a state by state basis. In most states, a person is only considered fully vaccinated fourteen days after they have had the full series of the vaccine. This means that anyone coming into an American hospital who has only had one dose, or who has had both vaccines but had the second one less than two weeks prior, will likely be counted as “unvaccinated.”

So when the South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control released a report about COVID severity on July 23, 2021, they reported higher morbidity and mortality rates in the “not fully vaccinated.” Are these people who have had one vaccine and gotten sick, two vaccines and gotten sick, or no vaccines at all? Without more details, it is impossible to know what is really going on. “We don’t have accurate numbers,” insists Dr. James Neuenschwander, an expert on vaccine safety based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But what we do know, Neuenschwander says, is that the vaccines are not as effective as public health officials told us they would be. “This is a product that’s not doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s supposed to stop transmission of this virus and it’s not doing that.”

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“…breakthrough cases are now multiplying at breakneck speed. “There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate..”

60% of Those Older Than 50 Who Die From Covid Are Double Vaxxed (Mercola)

The oft-repeated refrain right now is that we’re in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” meaning those who have not received the COVID jab make up the bulk of those hospitalized and dying from the Delta variant. For example, August 20, 2021, England’s chief medical officer professor Chris Whitty tweeted: “Four weeks working on a COVID ward makes stark the reality that the majority of our hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated and regret delaying. Some are very sick including young adults. Please don’t delay your vaccine.” Curiously, if you take the time to actually look at the data, you’ll find that this blanket statement is rather deceptive. Here’s a graphic published in the Evening Standard, sourced from Public Health England:

As you can see, as of August 15, 2021, 58% of COVID patients admitted to hospital who were over the age of 50 had actually received two doses of COVID injections and 10% had received one dose. So, partially or fully “vaccinated” individuals made up 68% of hospitalizations. Only in the 50 and younger category were a majority, 74%, of hospitalizations among the unvaccinated. Whitty, however, completely neglected to differentiate between the age groups. The same applies to deaths. Unvaccinated only make up the majority of COVID deaths in the under-50 age group. In the over-50 group, the clear majority, 70%, are either partially or fully “vaccinated.” It’s also unclear whether hospitals in the U.K. (and elsewhere) are still designating anyone who is admitted and tests positive with a PCR test as a “COVID patient.” If so, people with broken bones or any number of other health problems who have no symptoms of COVID-19 at all might be unfairly lumped into the “unvaccinated COVID patient” total.


In Israel, where vaccine uptake has been very high due to restrictions on freedom for those who don’t comply,4 data show those who have received the COVID jab are 6.72 times more likely to get infected than people with natural immunity. The fully “vaccinated” also made up the bulk of serious cases and COVID-related deaths in July 2021, as illustrated in the graphs below.8 The red is unvaccinated, yellow refers to partially “vaccinated” and green fully “vaccinated” with two doses. By mid-August, 59% of serious cases were among those who had received two COVID injections,9 mirroring the data coming out of the U.K.

In an August 16, 2021, Science article,10 Israeli Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz is quoted saying the nation has entered a “critical time” in the race against the pandemic. Horowitz allegedly was given a third booster shot August 13, 2021, the day they began offering a third dose to people over the age of 50. From Public Health England’s data, it seems clear that the COVID shots are failing to protect people over the age of 50 in the U.K. as well, so it’s probably only a matter of time before booster shots are rolled out there too. And, provided the COVID injections are the same irrespective of country, there’s every reason to assume the same trends will emerge in other countries, including the U.S.


According to Science magazine, breakthrough cases are now multiplying at breakneck speed. “There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,” Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology told Science. Nearly 1 million Israelis over the age of 50 have now received a third booster of Pfizer’s mRNA shot. Time will tell whether this will worsen the rate of breakthrough cases or tame it. Dvir Aran, a biomedical data scientist at the Israel Institute of Technology doesn’t seem very hopeful, telling Science the surge is already so steep, “even if you get two-thirds of those 60-plus [boosted], it’s just gonna give us another week, maybe two weeks until our hospitals are flooded” again.

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“Existing drugs could have relegated COVID to a manageable outpatient disease by the first half of 2021.”

‘Get Sicker’: Anatomy Of A Failed Policy (Pfeiffer)

Throughout COVID, the media has stepped into line like good soldiers in a war on disease, failing, in the process, to do its job. It gave government a pass on the dearth of outpatient care. It fostered the fiction that aggressively treating COVID is a right-wing construct. It dismissed vaccine side effects as rare. It enabled vast censorship. News outlets might be excused for initially minimizing falling vaccine efficacy in this dynamic situation. But it cannot be excused for its politicization of and disdain for generic early treatments. As a mainstream community journalist for decades, with two books and many awards, I am appalled at what this profession has become.

Existing drugs could have relegated COVID to a manageable outpatient disease by the first half of 2021. We have promising generics: ivermectin primarily but also fluvoxamine, hydroxychloroquine, budesonide and protocols that employ them with zinc, Vitamin D and the like. They have been suppressed around the globe, as countries – mainly, but not all, in the first world — have caved under pressure to conform to the U.S.-hatched strategy. In the white-hot frenzy of pack journalism, doctors’ licenses have been threatened, and reputations imperiled, including of a prison doctor who used ivermectin and kept inmates out of hospitals. Will nursing home practitioners, who told me of their own ivermectin success, be next in this witch hunt? Indeed, somehad used it to control scabies and found a remarkable drop in COVID.

As the globe is buttressed by new variants, vaccine efficacy is being tested and so is that of ivermectin. Leading proponents are adjusting doses and adding to treatment cocktails as part of a logical ongoing effort: Use emerging science and clinical experience to learn what works. Although off-label use of approved drugs is well established — accounting for 21 percent of office prescriptions and half of oncology drugs – doctors have instead been told to follow only a few, patented, government-sanctioned treatments, available only in hospitals. Who could blame them, in this heated environment, for not practicing medicine but following orders? Nonetheless, the forces of commerce and incompetence that have pushed a false narrative and demonized treatment for COVID must be held to account.

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“The fifth jab would put the risk of getting screwed at ten percent, which is approximately the rate of death from the original SARS and the sixth would be odds-on as literal suicide.”

There’s An Off Ramp – But It Has A Price (Denninger)

[..] all of the current vaccines deliberately produce that spike protein, which by itself causes disease, specifically clotting-related disease, in your body. Deliberately causing your body to produce that pathogen (which then elicits the antibody response) is how all of them work. This means there is no safe way to vaccinate against this disease because introducing the spike into your body, no matter how you do it, inherently runs the risk of serious clotting-based disorders. You might or might not get nailed but there is no avoiding the risk. That same risk is what kills you, most of the time, if you actually get Covid-19 and die but the premise that you avoid that risk when taking a jab is a lie.

You cannot; the risk is inherent in introducing the spike into your circulation and there is no way around that with an IM injection because the muscles of the body are very well-perfused (that is, there’s a lot of blood flow in them) even if the person who performs the injection does not hit a blood vessel, and they might. These facts are not up for debate on a scientific basis any longer. They also fully explain the myocarditis, pericarditis and myriad other so-called “rare” events that occur with these jabs such as strokes, heart attacks and other clotting-based disorders. In addition the data is that the 2nd shot in the 2-shot series is much more dangerous than the first, which implies an exponential expansion of risk. Whether that expansion of risk bleeds back off over a couple of months or so is entirely unknown as it has not been studied.

Without a data set of hundreds of thousands (so as to get statistical significance) and both baseline and follow-up d-Dimer testing, at minimum, we will never be able to put numbers on this, nor get a decay rate on the risk if it decays, and nobody is doing those studies. That’s the bad news; if you take repeated shots and the risk does not bleed off then eventually you will kill yourself. If, for example, the risk on the first shot is 1/100,000 (extremely rare), on the second 1/10,000 (that’s a bad pattern) and the risk does not bleed off over the space of three or four months then the risk from the third is 1/1,000 (that’s 0.1% and quite nasty) while the risk from a fourth jab rises to 1% at which point you’re in the ballpark for a severely morbid person when it comes to Covid-19 infection itself killing them.

The fifth jab would put the risk of getting screwed at ten percent, which is approximately the rate of death from the original SARS and the sixth would be odds-on as literal suicide. How many jabs did you say you’re willing to risk taking again? You cannot get your health back if you ruin it by being stupid. The younger you are the worse the risk is in terms of years of enjoyable life lost. To take that sort of risk when you’re 85, fat, diabetic, you have an almost-10% risk of death in the next year from all causes and the Coof is 10% likely to kill you is very different than to take that same risk to your health when you’re 17, male, have a BMI under 25, there’s not a damn thing wrong with you medically, your all-cause risk of death (most of it by violence) is 7/10,000 and your risk, by the CDC’s numbers, of Covid-19 killing you if infected is approximately 1/100,000.

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Never was one.

The Case For Covid Vaccine Passports Was Just Demolished (Fee)

A newly published medical study found that infection from COVID-19 confers considerably longer-lasting and stronger protection against the Delta variant of the virus than vaccines. “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, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a ‘Don’t try this at home’ label,” the Scientific American reported Thursday. “The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.” Put another way, vaccinated individuals were 27 times more likely to get a symptomatic COVID infection than those with natural immunity from COVID.

The findings come as many governments around the world are demanding citizens acquire “vaccine passports” to travel. New York City, France, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and British Columbia are among those who have recently embraced vaccine passports. Meanwhile, Australia has floated the idea of making higher vaccination rates a condition of lifting its lockdown in jurisdictions, while President Joe Biden is considering making interstate travel unlawful for people who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccine passports are morally dubious for many reasons, not the least of which is that freedom of movement is a basic human right. However, vaccine passports become even more senseless in light of the new findings out of Israel and revelations from the CDC, some say.

Harvard Medical School professor Martin Kulldorff said research showing that natural immunity offers exponentially more protection than vaccines means vaccine passports are both unscientific and discriminatory, since they disproportionately affect working class individuals. “Prior COVID disease (many working class) provides better immunity than vaccines (many professionals), so vaccine mandates are not only scientific nonsense, they are also discriminatory and unethical,” Kulldorff, a biostatistician and epidemiologist, observed on Twitter.

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Very odd moment: boosters.

Key Vaccine Leaders Departing FDA As Covid-19 Booster Questions Linger (FPhar)

Two key vaccine leaders will leave the FDA this fall, just as the agency faces key decisions over COVID-19 booster shots and as variants take a bite out of the shots’ efficacy. FDA Office of Vaccines Research and Review Director Marion Gruber, Ph.D. and Deputy Director Phillip Krause, M.D. will depart the agency. Both have been with the agency for decades and have been pivotal in the United States’ effort to authorize COVID-19 vaccines to fight the pandemic. The news was first reported by Biocentury. Gruber will leave the agency on Oct. 31 and Krause’s last day will be sometime in November, according to a letter shared by the FDA with Fierce Pharma. The letter was signed by Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, under which the vaccine research office sits.

Marks will serve as acting director of the OVRR for now as a search begins for a new chief. An acting director will be announced later. “[Gruber’s] contributions throughout her career have been immeasurable, but never more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Marks said. “Her leadership in the center’s efforts to authorize three COVID-19 vaccines, and more recently to approve one of those vaccines, ensured that the vaccines met the high standards the public has come to expect from FDA, and has positively impacted the public health in the U.S. and across the globe.” [..] For his part, Krause was responsible for liaising with public health officials around the world to “address critical vaccine-related issues,” according to Marks. “His keen insight and experience in addressing a wide variety of challenges will truly be missed,” the letter said.

The departures are the latest high-profile officials to leave the key federal agency that still lacks a permanent leader. Janet Woodcock is leading the agency on an acting basis and will not be considered for the commissioner job permanently. Nevertheless, the FDA expressed confidence that the vaccine work would go on. “We are confident in the expertise and ability of our staff to continue our critical public health work, including evaluating COVID-19 vaccines,” an FDA spokesperson said. Gruber and Krause are leaving the agency following criticism of the White House’s decision to leap frog over the agency to recommend COVID-19 booster shots. The move to start boosters next month has been blasted by the World Health Organization, which questions the data to support the need for a third shot—especially as poorer nations continue to struggle with getting first shots to people.

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Note: in the top article, WebMD is cited as saying in the US, up to 40% of health care workers have chosen not to get the vaccine. But Greece claims “more than 90% of the doctors and 80% of the nurses had been vaccinated”.

Greek Health Ministry Bracing For ‘Great Exodus’ (K.)

With the deadline for the mandatory vaccination of health workers expiring on Wednesday, the Heath Ministry is preparing for an imminent “great exodus” of staff due to the suspensions that will ensue with a wide array of preemptive measures to fill the gaps and to ensure that services are fully operational. These measures include a reshuffle of healthcare workers within hospitals, mergers of clinics and departments, the replacement of those suspended with auxiliary staff and partnerships with the private sector for support services such as catering, care etc. Wednesday is the last day for staff to get at least the first dose of vaccine against Covid-19 so as to avoid suspension as of tomorrow. The government has insisted the relevant legislation for mandatory vaccinations will be strictly implemented.


Those who are exempt from the precepts of the legislation are obviously those that have already been vaccinated and workers who have been infected with the coronavirus within the last six months. Those who do not fall into these categories and have not received approval for exemption due to health issues by the competent committees will be suspended. Moreover, as clarified by the former deputy minister of health, Vassilis Kontozamanis, based on the payroll system in the public sector, which provides advance payment of earnings every two weeks, the government will request that they return this amount of salary as unduly paid. Speaking on the radio station 9.84 on Tuesday, Secretary General of Health Services Yiannis Kotsiopoulos estimated that about 10,000 health workers will not continue working in the National Health System. According to the most recent data, more than 90% of the doctors and 80% of the nurses had been vaccinated against Covid-19, while the percentages are lower for the rest of the staff.

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The Guardian campaign vs ivermectin. Check the picture they use.

Pharmacy Customers Refuse To Say What Ivermectin Prescription Is For (G.)

Australian pharmacists have reported an increasing number of people arriving with prescriptions for the drug ivermectin, but refusing to say what it will be used for. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia said its members were encountering resistance from some customers when asked why they were seeking ivermectin. “PSA is aware that some pharmacists have experienced an increase in presentations of prescriptions for ivermectin, including where the patient is unwilling or unable to discuss what they are being used for,” a PSA spokesperson said. The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Monday said there had been a shortage of Stromectol 3mg ivermectin tablets in August.


The drug is typically used in humans for treating river blindness, scabies and roundworm infections, but has increasingly been sought as a treatment for Covid-19, despite not being approved for that use in Australia. The TGA also noted there had been a tenfold increase in detections of the drug being imported into Australia, prompting the regulator to warn against using the drug for Covid-19 treatment, stating there is “insufficient evidence” that it works and it may be dangerous to health. The university behind the initial lab trial for ivermectin used to treat Covid-19 has also warned against people self-medicating with the drug or buying drugs meant for livestock. Much of the initial focus on the drug as a Covid-19 treatment stemmed from an April 2020 lab trial at Monash University in Melbourne, where ivermectin was found to have killed the Covid-19 virus in a cell culture within 48 hours.

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“New Zealand is fully trapped in the Zero COVID death spiral, and it has no way out of it for the foreseeable future.”

Zero Covid, A Once Wildly Popular Ideology, Quietly Faces Extinction (Subs)

The Zero COVID ideology began with a Chinese government lie. Zero COVID once recruited almost unanimous advocates in world governments, “global health” organizations, and “public health experts” far and wide. Yet today, just 18 months after its first implementation, the Zero COVID ideology is so rare and so unpopular that you have to travel to remote parts of Oceania or within the confines of an elite American liberal arts university in order to find it. Zero COVID, the idea that demands the total elimination of a virus from a nation state, was spawned as part of a disinformation operation by the Chinese Communist Party in Wuhan, China. In early 2020, Chinese authorities declared the virus that causes COVID-19 had been successfully eliminated from the population through brute force restrictions such as lockdowns, masks, and using the power of a Police State to force people to stay inside their homes for an indefinite period of time.

When COVID-19 spread far and wide, almost every nation in the world (other than rare holdouts such as Sweden and Belarus) implemented the aforementioned draconian policies in an attempt to “stop the spread” and eliminate the virus from the world. In the beginning, even questioning these baseless, pseudoscientific ideas was tantamount to being something of a bioterrorist. Through much of 2020, yours truly was constantly castigated by actors across the political spectrum for asking about the wisdom of using the power of government to wage an elimination war against a submicroscopic infectious particle. Zero COVID was science. Zero COVID was truth. Zero COVID superseded every constitutional protection out there, because no right was too important when a virus was out there.

In 2020, COVID Zero’s membership roster was probably in the billions. Now, the adherents of the COVID Zero ideology are facing imminent extinction. The 18 month effort to contain COVID-19 was not only unsuccessful, it brought unprecedented economic and societal disaster in addition to the unconstrained virus problem. Today, few, if any governments have fully owned up to their failures. Most have taken the scapegoat approach, and without evidence, have blamed “the unvaccinated,” the “highly contagious” Delta variant, or some combination of the two to justify their catastrophic blunders. Over the past few months, the remains of the Zero COVID damn broke in the few nation state holdouts where rulers still adhered to the Zero COVID ideology.

In Australia, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, and elsewhere around the world, the lid on the pressure cooker came flying off, and local populations saw skyrocketing COVID numbers. Now, every country in the world but one has quietly, through their own policies, accepted the failure of the “global elites’” Zero COVID virus elimination strategy. Read some of the media stories that lauded Zero COVID “success story” nations, and you’ll find that they’ve come to age like months-old milk. New Zealand, the one Zero COVID country that remains, is currently under another hard lockdown, which has recently been extended until at least mid September. The country is now almost 2 years into its self siege, in which the government has decreed that the vast majority of citizens cannot enter or exit the country. As for a reopening timeline, Auckland no longer has one. New Zealand is fully trapped in the Zero COVID death spiral, and it has no way out of it for the foreseeable future.

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Bit late.

Singapore Gives Up Goal of Zero Covid Despite High Vaccination Rate (Gizmodo)

Singapore has decided to give up on the dream of covid-zero and will instead learn to “live with the virus,” according to the country’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday. The decision comes despite the fact that Singapore has one of the highest covid-19 vaccination rates in the world, with 80% of the adult population fully vaccinated—second only to the country of Malta’s 82%. Singapore, a country of roughly 5.7 million people, has been among a handful of countries that have pursued a strategy of completely eliminating covid-19, rather than just suppressing the virus. Other covid-zero countries over the past year have included New Zealand, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, and Australia.

“It is no longer possible to bring covid-19 cases down to zero, even if we lock down for a long time. Therefore, we must prepare for covid-19 to become endemic, like the flu or chicken pox,” Lee said on Sunday during a speech to commemorate the country’s National Day, according to a transcript from the Strait Times. “Fortunately, with vaccination and added precautions, we can live with the virus and become ‘Covid resilient’,” Lee continued. Singapore has done exceptionally well during our global health crisis, reporting roughly 67,000 cases of covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, and just 55 deaths. And Singapore was reporting fewer than 30 cases per day for much of 2021 until a surge of cases in July that saw the country averaging 150 cases per day.

But Loong promises his government isn’t giving up on suppressing the virus, they’re just abandoning the covid-zero model. “We may have to tap on the brakes from time to time, but we want to avoid having to slam on the brakes hard. So in the next phase, we will move step by step. Not in one big bang like in some countries but cautiously and progressively, feeling our way forward,” Lee said. That “big bang” is likely a veiled reference to countries like the UK, which celebrated a “freedom day” in July where all covid-19 restrictions were lifted, only to see a surge in cases and deaths. Case numbers in the UK have started to plateau again, thanks largely to the vast majority of people in the region having covid-19 antibodies either through vaccination or previous infection, but cases are still very high at roughly 25,000 per day. The U.S. has also seen a surge of infections recently, with a seven-day average of about 157,000 new cases each day.

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“It is hard to overstate how dispositively Rhodes’ own book proves that Obama officials generally, and Rhodes specifically, lied blatantly and cavalierly to the public about what happened..”

Obama Officials’ Lies About Edward Snowden and Russia (Greenwald)

Ever since Edward Snowden received asylum from Russia in 2013, Obama officials have repeatedly maligned his motives and patriotism by citing his “choice” to take up residence there. It has long been clear that this narrative was a lie: Snowden, after meeting with journalists in Hong Kong, intended only to transit through Moscow and then Havana on his way to seek asylum in Latin America. He was purposely prevented from leaving Russia — trapped in the Moscow airport — by the very Obama officials who then cynically weaponized his presence there to imply he was a civil-liberties hypocrite for “choosing” to live in such a repressive country or, even worse, a Kremlin agent or Russian spy.

But now we have absolute, definitive proof that Snowden never intended to stay in Russia but was deliberately prevented from leaving by the same Obama officials who exploited the predicament which they created. The proof was supplied unintentionally in the memoir of one of Obama’s senior national security advisers, Ben Rhodes, entitled The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. It is hard to overstate how dispositively Rhodes’ own book proves that Obama officials generally, and Rhodes specifically, lied blatantly and cavalierly to the public about what happened: a level of sustained and conscious lying that can be explained only by sociopathy.

The memoir of Rhodes, now appropriately an MSNBC contributor, is an incredibly self-serving homage to himself that repeatedly attempts to demonstrate his own importance and accomplishments. The passage about Rhodes’ conduct regarding Snowden is very much aligned with those goals. While repeatedly emphasizing how traumatic the Snowden revelations were for the Obama administrations, Rhodes boasts of the crucial role he played in preventing Snowden from leaving Russia as the NSA whistleblower was desperately attempting to do so — exactly the opposite of what people like Rhodes and Hillary Clinton were telling the public about Snowden.

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Jul 282021
 


Blu Mural Rome, 2015 (click for more)

 

CDC Warns Covid-19 May Be A Few Mutations Away From Evading Vaccines (NYP)
Higher COVID Rate Found In Some Counties With Higher Vaccination Rate (CBS)
Booster Vaccines Could Be Offered As Soon As September (NT)
“Zero COVID” Experts Put Grandkids At Risk (ZH)
Unvaccinated Diners Only: California Restaurant (RT)
America, A Nation Which Once Championed Free Speech (Sinclair)
The Price of Conscience – Daniel Hale Sentenced to 45 Months (Chris Hedges)
Biden DOJ Wants Identity Of NoVA Woman’s Employer Kept Secret (Patch)
The Insecurity Industry (Snowden)
Julian Assange Stripped Of Citizenship By Ecuador (G.)

 

 

Does this say that even if a drug will be found to treat COVID19 the contract cannot be voided?!

 

 

 

 

So why would anyone want to get vaccinated now? Why not wait? “You’ll make it worse!” Me? On my own?

CDC Warns Covid-19 May Be A Few Mutations Away From Evading Vaccines (NYP)

COVID-19 may be “just a few mutations” away from being able to evade vaccines, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned Tuesday. Walensky said the current vaccines are effective against severe cases of the coronavirus, including those caused by its known variants, but its continuing spread could allow the disease to mutate beyond the immunizations’ protection. “The largest concern that I think we in public health and sciences are worried about is that virus and potential mutations … [have] the potential to evade our vaccine in terms of how it protects us from severe disease and death,” Walensky said at a press briefing.

“Right now, fortunately, we are not there. These vaccines operate really well in protecting us from severe disease and death. But the big concern is the next area that might emerge, just a few mutations potentially away, could potentially evade our vaccines.” The agency chief said the possibility is even more reason for people to get vaccinated — so that the virus can finally be off at the pass before it mutates into something that requires another vaccine. The CDC on Tuesday issued new indoor mask guidelines designed to help slow the spread of the virus in places experiencing surges in cases.

“In areas with substantial and time transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant and protect others,” Walensky said, referring to the highly contagious strain that comprises an estimated 83 percent of new cases nationwide. Health officials have stressed that rising coronavirus case numbers in the US are being driven by unvaccinated Americans. Currently, people who are not vaccinated are responsible for around 99.5 percent of COVID-19 deaths and 97 percent of hospitalizations, officials said.

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CBS Sacramento. The ways the story is “massaged” is a sight to behold.

Higher COVID Rate Found In Some Counties With Higher Vaccination Rate (CBS)

State workers and health care employees will now be required to show proof of vaccine or get tested for COVID at least once a week. The governor announced the new guidance today and is urging private employers to “replicate the example.” This comes as the highly contagious Delta variant is now dominant in the state and COVID rates have skyrocketed in the month since California officially reopened, including breakthrough cases among vaccinated Californians. A new analysis finds several counties with above-average vaccination rates also have higher COVID case rates, while case rates are falling in counties with below-average vaccination rates.

Statewide data analyzed by the Bay Area News Group found five counties, Los Angeles, San Diego, Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco, have both a higher percentage of people who are fully vaccinated than the state average and a higher average daily case rate. Compare that to these five counties: Modoc, Glenn, Lassen, Del Norte, and San Benito, which have below-average vaccination rates and decreasing case rates. However, UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Phillip Norris clarifies that the data doesn’t mean the vaccine is not working. He notes, first, the counties referenced with higher vaccination and case rates are more densely populated. “If there are a lot of people around you’re more likely to bump into one who has COVID,” Norris explained.

He, like other infectious disease experts, warns that vaccinated people may be unknowingly spreading the virus. Julie: A lot of people think if they’re vaccinated, they can’t transmit. Is that true? Phillip: So, originally we thought that might be true. But he says that’s no longer the case, thanks to the Delta variant. He points to preliminary data from China that indicates the viral load in the nose from the Delta variant may be 1,000 times higher than previous variants. “If that’s the case, even a little bit in somebody who’s vaccinated could be a lot,” he explains.

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Ireland. If I were me, I’d first want to know what’s in those booster shots. Different spike proteins perhaps?

Booster Vaccines Could Be Offered As Soon As September (NT)

A COVID-19 vaccine booster programme could get underway as soon as September, the Health Minister says. Stephen Donnelly says it will be done in conjunction with the flu vaccine, which is usually done in early autumn. It’s believed boosters will be offered first to people at high risk of illness or exposure to COVID-19 – in particular those who were vaccinated early in the rollout. Stephen Donnelly says we’re also likely to see “pop-up” vaccination centres in the coming weeks, to make it as “easy as possible” for young people to get vaccinated. He was speaking after NIAC and the Government gave the green light to extend vaccination to everyone aged 12-15. Around 70% of the adult population is now fully vaccinated against the virus, with nearly 85% having received at least their first dose.


Minister Donnelly told Newstalk Breakfast work is underway to figure out the best way to extend the vaccine programme in the coming weeks. He said: “My priority for some time has been children with underlying conditions. He said teenagers with underlying conditions may be able to book an appointment with their GP. However, it may ultimately be quicker to allow everyone in the age group to register at the same time for appointments in the mass vaccination centres. This weekend will also see the opening of the country’s first walk-in vaccination centres. Minister Donnelly said: “It’s this bank holiday weekend… it’s mRNA vaccines, so Pfizer or Moderna. Anyone over the age of 16… can just walk in.” He said it doesn’t matter if someone has already registered via the vaccine portal – they can still attend the new centre if they haven’t had their first dose yet.

Read more …

Zero covid is a thing of the past that hampers effective reactions.

“Zero COVID” Experts Put Grandkids At Risk (ZH)

The need to act on climate change is the fundamental moral imperative of our age, animated by the idea our sacrifices today will save the planet in the future. Yes, energy costs may be higher and some people will lose their jobs, but it’s worth it for the grandkids. Curiously, the grandkids haven’t been given much thought in our response to Covid-19. Our generation has foist extraordinary costs on future generations in a vain attempt to save lives from a disease that is lethal to a few. “The great majority of people … even in their 80s … will survive,” Britain’s chief scientific adviser Chris Whitty said in March last year, before collective psychosis took hold.

“Even in the most vulnerable, oldest groups, in a very stressed health service … the great majority of people who catch the virus – and not everyone will – survive it,” he told a parliamentary committee, having analysed the data from China and Italy. That was true then and it’s true now. Covid-19 was never an existential threat. After 18 months about four million people have died from or with Covid – most of advanced age apart for some tragic exceptions – in a world with a rapidly growing population of almost eight billion people. Sixty million people die every year. But we have behaved like it was, racking up trillions in extra debt and trashing norms of liberal democracy that might not quickly, if ever, return.

The idea that Sydney would be locked down in September 2021 or that American pediatricians would insist anyone over two years old wear a mask outside, to anyone living in February last year would have seemed ridiculous. Yet both, seemingly, are true. On this trend, silencing different scientific opinions or mandating individual tracking devices, all in the name of “saving lives”, may no longer be considered far-fetched. At the end of 2019 the federal budget papers forecast net debt of $361bn by June 2023. The latest budget papers forecast $835bn for the same period, rising to $980bn by mid-2025. Put another way, by 2030 the government’s gross debt burden is forecast to be more than 51 per cent of GDP, compared with 15 per cent forecast in 2019, according to the Intergenerational Report released last month.

By 2060, interest payments on federal debt will have doubled as a share of the economy, if interest rates start to return to more normal levels, it forecasts. A warmer planet won’t be the only burden we’re leaving for the grandkids. Future taxes will need to be higher, and expenditures on other goods and services lower, commensurately, than they otherwise would have been. We will have fewer resources to invest in cancer and dementia research, for example, much greater threats to welfare than Covid-19. “The Covid-19 pandemic and associated containment measures, however, have profoundly affected Australian society and the economy, and are likely to shape the future in ways that are not yet apparent,” the Intergenerational Report says. Who would have foreseen, for instance, a surge in babies being admitted to hospital in New Zealand for an “immunity debt” potentially caused by the government’s closed border policy?

Read more …

Of course not, or it would be no fun:

“An employee told the Los Angeles Times that the restaurant is not actually checking patrons’ vaccine status.”

Unvaccinated Diners Only: California Restaurant (RT)

A California restaurant has refused to back down after being bombarded with negative press and customer reviews for posting a sign demanding that all diners provide proof that they have not been vaccinated against Covid-19. With vaccination status increasingly becoming a prerequisite to participate in many ordinary activities, one Huntington Beach eatery has decided to take a slightly different approach to granting privileges based on personal medical decisions. On its storefront window, Basilico’s Pasta e Vino taped a sign reading: “PROOF OF BEING UNVACCINATED REQUIRED. We have zero tolerance for treasonous, anti-American stupidity. Thank you for pondering.”

The restaurant’s owner, Tony Roman, said that the unorthodox policy is designed to get people thinking as some Southern California businesses begin asking customers for proof of vaccination. “With the new and aggressive push for mandatory vax policies, we couldn’t resist, so we are sending a message of our own. Hopefully most are smart enough to read between the lines. Otherwise we will just sit back and have fun watching their heads explode over it,” Roman said in a statement to local media. An employee told the Los Angeles Times that the restaurant is not actually checking patrons’ vaccine status. The restaurant previously declared itself a mask-free zone and refused to shut its doors when eateries were ordered in March 2020 to curtail indoor dining as part of Covid restrictions.

Some appear to appreciate the intended message behind the odd measure. A vaccinated woman who cuts hair at a nearby barbershop told local media that she didn’t feel slighted by the no-vaxxed-allowed policy. “You got other places that want you vaccinated to come in. No different, right?” she noted to a local ABC affiliate. However, many others were furious over the move. The restaurant has been pelted with negative reviews on Yelp. One comment said that the provocative rule was a “slap in the face to all those who died from Covid-19.”

Read more …

Good idea, so-so rendition:

America, A Nation Which Once Championed Free Speech (Sinclair)

The elites of Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and Capitol Hill act as the true overlords of Western thought, guarding the borders of allowable speech. How on earth did we allow this to happen – and what can be done now? America has changed beyond recognition over the past few years, and performed a rather rapid about-face on the issue of free speech, a notion it once championed. The source of this is no longer merely the apparatus of Silicon Valley and its desire to control information flows (which it is meant to merely shepherd without bias). The same pressure has come from the superstate structure of America itself, particularly (and ironically) the politically ‘liberal’ faction, as well as from an overarching pressure from the consumer interests of Western-backed global finance.

There appears to be a mass consensus among American money-powers (and thereby state powers) to tightly control information, and to abandon utterly their so recently lauded values of free speech. The FBI in particular has seemingly transitioned into an institution of speech-referees and political oppressors, on guard primarily against America’s own citizens. Ironically, this has not halted America’s saber-rattling about political and informational oppressions from its geopolitical rivals in the east, which find themselves in the reverse role of shocked concern at the willingness of the American superstate to silence its political and moral enemies. Even to the extent of performing show trials.

[..] Facebook has led an initiative to officially create ‘snitches’ among its users, creating their own ‘social credit scheme’, along the lines of China’s. Again, in an act of unbridled obliviousness to the utter reversal of values they held as core only a few scant years ago, and while complaining out of the corner of their mouths about a Chinese variation of the same system. The nation which championed ‘free speech’ will now ban you from the public space and force you out of your job for the crime of ‘misgendering’. Among those who support the hard turn away from free speech, you will find devoted imbibers of neoliberal media, (CNN, MSNBC, BBC, NYT, etc). It is possibly here where you will find these attitudes are ‘created’ before being disseminated downstream among the elites of Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and Capitol Hill.

Once in consensus with the latest media buzzwords, these three may be considered part of a closed feedback loop. From there the true overlords of Western thought are those newly emerged sentinels who guard the borders of allowable speech. Today American citizens are tracked, monitored, and generally threatened more than ever before. Even my writing of this article, what would have been considered an innocuous expression of free political criticism only five or so years ago, might today be considered controversial to the new ‘American Stasi’. We in the West now live behind what we might call a new ‘iron curtain’ – and for those living behind this curtain, there is no longer any illusion of free speech, it is simply no longer talked about.

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Hale was caught because the Intercept got involved.

The Price of Conscience – Daniel Hale Sentenced to 45 Months (Chris Hedges)

Daniel Hale, a former intelligence analyst in the drone program for the Air Force who as a private contractor in 2013 leaked some 17 classified documents about drone strikes to the press, was sentenced Tuesday to 45 months in prison. The documents, published by The Intercept on October 15, 2015, exposed that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. For one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”

The Justice Department coerced Hale, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, on March 31 to plead guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act, a law passed in 1917 designed to prosecute those who passed on state secrets to a hostile power, not those who expose to the public government lies and crimes. Hale admitted as part of the plea deal to “retention and transmission of national security information” and leaking 11 classified documents to a journalist. If he had refused the plea deal, he could have spent 50 years in prison. The sentencing of Hale is one more potentially mortal blow to the freedom of the press. It follows in the wake of the prosecutions and imprisonment of other whistleblowers under the Espionage Act including Chelsea Manning, Jeffrey Sterling, Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou, who spent two-and-a-half years in prison for exposing the routine torture of suspects held in black sites.


Those charged under the act are treated as if they were spies. They are barred from explaining motivations and intent to the court. They cannot provide evidence to the court of the government lawlessness and war crimes they exposed. Prominent human rights organizations, such as the ACLU and PEN, along with mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and CNN, have largely remained silent about the prosecution of Hale. The group Stand with Daniel Hale has called on President Biden to pardon Hale and end the use of the Espionage Act to punish whistleblowers. It is also collecting donations for Hale’s legal fund. The bipartisan onslaught against the press — Barack Obama used the Espionage Act eight times against whistleblowers, more than all other previous administrations combined — by criminalizing those within the system who seek to inform the public is ominous for our democracy. It is effectively extinguishing all investigations into the inner workings of power.

Read more …

US woman kills someone on UK motorway, her fault, flees the country. US calls diplomatic immunity of sorts, no extradition. The US attorney who makes that case happens to be the same who tries hard to get Assange extradited the other way around.

Biden DOJ Wants Identity Of NoVA Woman’s Employer Kept Secret (Patch)

Radd Seiger, adviser and spokesperson for the Dunn family, said in a statement Monday that “as any parent might imagine, losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to you.” “But having to deal with the U.S. Government’s abuse and denial of justice as Harry’s family have had to since he died is unprecedented for us here in the U.K.,” he said. “Their conduct is and continues to be frankly unAmerican and against the core values of decency and compassion that we know most Americans hold dear to their hearts, including those who work for the intelligence agencies, many of whom have come forward to us privately to tell us how ashamed they are of their employer.”

Among the Justice Department officials who signed the motion for a protective order was Raj Parekh, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and an appointee of the Biden administration. In an ironic twist, Parekh supervises hundreds of Justice Department attorneys, including many who are seeking the extradition of foreign nationals to the United States. The most prominent case currently under Parekh’s direction is the U.S. government’s attempt to extradite WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, from the U.K. to the United States to face charges under the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917. David Davis, a Conservative member of the U.K. Parliament, wrote in an op-ed on Saturday that his government appears to have a one-sided relationship with the United States on the issue of extradition.

“[T]he UK is one of most amenable nations in the world to the surrender of its citizens to overseas courts — but we do not insist on corresponding arrangements with other governments,” Davis wrote in his July 24 column for the Daily Mail. [..] Sacoolas is scheduled to be deposed by the Dunn family’s lawyers on Aug. 24 as part of the lawsuit against her and her husband. Dunn’s parents were deposed in the civil proceeding in early July. At Sacoolas’s deposition, “she will be questioned regarding her activity as she drove from the base to the accident scene, and Plaintiffs are deeply concerned that the Government’s motion will needlessly thwart a legitimate inquiry on this and other relevant subjects,” the Dunn family lawyers wrote in their court filing on Monday. Seiger, the spokesperson for the Dunn family, said the July 23 motion filed by the Justice Department “is not an attempt to protect state secrets or national security.” “It is an attempt to keep Harry’s family from the truth and minimize what happened to him,” he said.

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“The first thing I do when I get a new phone is take it apart.”

The Insecurity Industry (Snowden)

The first thing I do when I get a new phone is take it apart. I don’t do this to satisfy a tinkerer’s urge, or out of political principle, but simply because it is unsafe to operate. Fixing the hardware, which is to say surgically removing the two or three tiny microphones hidden inside, is only the first step of an arduous process, and yet even after days of these DIY security improvements, my smartphone will remain the most dangerous item I possess. Prior to this week’s Pegasus Project, a global reporting effort by major newspapers to expose the fatal consequences of the NSO Group—the new private-sector face of an out-of-control Insecurity Industry—most smartphone manufacturers along with much of the world press collectively rolled their eyes at me whenever I publicly identified a fresh-out-of-the-box iPhone as a potentially lethal threat.

Despite years of reporting that implicated the NSO Group’s for-profit hacking of phones in the deaths and detentions of journalists and human rights defenders; despite years of reporting that smartphone operating systems were riddled with catastrophic security flaws (a circumstance aggravated by their code having been written in aging programming languages that have long been regarded as unsafe); and despite years of reporting that even when everything works as intended, the mobile ecosystem is a dystopian hellscape of end-user monitoring and outright end-user manipulation, it is still hard for many people to accept that something that feels good may not in fact be good. Over the last eight years I’ve often felt like someone trying to convince their one friend who refuses to grow up to quit smoking and cut back on the booze—meanwhile, the magazine ads still say “Nine of Ten Doctors Smoke iPhones!” and “Unsecured Mobile Browsing is Refreshing!”

In my infinite optimism, however, I can’t help but regard the arrival of the Pegasus Project as a turning-point—a well-researched, exhaustively-sourced, and frankly crazy-making story about a “winged” “Trojan Horse” infection named “Pegasus” that basically turns the phone in your pocket into an all-powerful tracking device that can be turned on or off, remotely, unbeknownst to you, the pocket’s owner.


The microphones inside my actual phone, prepped for surgery

Read more …

Officially stateless now? Nice. What says Australia?

Julian Assange Stripped Of Citizenship By Ecuador (G.)

Ecuador has revoked the citizenship of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who is currently in a British prison. Ecuador’s justice system formally notified the Australian of the nullity of his naturalisation in a letter that came in response to a claim filed by the South American country’s foreign ministry. A naturalisation is reconsidered when it is granted based on the concealment of relevant facts, false documents or fraud. Ecuadorian authorities said Assange’s naturalisation letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, the possible alteration of documents and unpaid fees, among other issues. Carlos Poveda, Assange’s lawyer, said the decision was made without due process and Assange was not allowed to appear in the case.


“On the date [Assange] was cited he was deprived of his liberty and with a health crisis inside the deprivation of liberty centre where he was being held,” Poveda said. Poveda said he will file appeals asking for an amplification and clarification of the decision. “More than the importance of nationality, it is a matter of respecting rights and following due process in withdrawing nationality.” Assange received Ecuadorian citizenship in January 2018 as part of a failed attempt by the government of then-President Lenín Moreno to turn him into a diplomat to get him out of its embassy in London. On Monday, the Pichincha court for contentious administrative matters revoked this decision. Ecuador’s foreign ministry said the court had “acted independently and followed due process in a case that took place during the previous government and that was raised by the same previous government”.

Read more …

 

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Feb 232021
 
 February 23, 2021  Posted by at 9:58 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  32 Responses »


MC Escher Convex and concave 1955

 

It’s Gene Therapy, Not a Vaccine (Dr. David Martin)
COVID-19 And The New Great Depression- Jim Rickards (Diana)
Michael Burry Warns Weimar Hyperinflation Is Coming (ZH)
Hospitals Across US Report Sharp Drop In New COVID patients (JTN)
Spectacles-Wearers Two To Three Times Less Likely To Get Covid-19 – Study (RT)
The ZeroCovid Movement: Cult Dressed as Science (AIER)
Resign, Andrew Cuomo (Week)
How Wall Street Kills Grandma (DP)
Repentence (Kunstler)
‘Thank You,’ Says MyPillow’s Mike Lindell As He’s Finally Sued By Dominion (RT)
Lawmakers to Cable Providers: Why Do You Carry These News Channels? (Soave)
Building a Bitcoin Prison – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)

 

 

 

 

Do read the whole interview. I think I caught the essence.

It’s Gene Therapy, Not a Vaccine (Dr. David Martin)

A viral infection hasn’t been documented in the majority of what is called cases. There is no basis for that conflation other than the manipulation of the public. That’s the first half of the problem. The second half of the problem is that what is being touted as a vaccination, which as you well know when somebody says the word vaccination, the public understanding is that you are being treated with an attenuated or alive virus or a fragment of an attenuated and that the treatment is meant to keep you from getting an infection and it is meant to keep you from transmitting the infection that vaccine in the common definition of a vaccine is meant to do.

The problem is that in the case of Moderna and Pfizer, this is not a vaccine. This is gene therapy. It’s a chemotherapy agent that is gene therapy. It is not a vaccine. What is this doing? It’s sending a strand of synthetic RNA into the human being and is invoking within the human being, the creation of the S1 spike protein, which is a pathogen. It’s a toxin inside of human beings. This is not only not keeping you from getting sick, it’s making your body produce the thing that makes you sick. In that sense, it does sound like a vaccine? No, not at all because a vaccine is supposed to trigger immunity. It’s not supposed to trigger you to make a toxin. That’s how this differs.

It’s not somewhat different. It’s not the same at all. This is a public manipulation of misrepresentation of clinical treatment. It’s not a vaccination. It’s not a prohibiting infection. It’s not a prohibiting transmission device. It’s a means by which your body is conscripted to make the toxin that then allegedly your body somehow gets used to dealing with, but unlike a vaccine, which is to trigger the immune response, this is to trigger the creation of the toxin.

This is not going to stop you from getting Coronavirus. It’s not going to stop you from getting sick. In fact, on the contrary, it will make you sick far more often than the virus itself. How can you say that so definitively? Because the data is nothing but that, for people receiving by the time they got the second shot, 80% of people had one or more clinical presentations of COVID-19, 80% of people who have an infection according to RT-PCR have no symptoms at all. People are getting it more from the “vaccine?” Yes. You will get COVID-19 symptoms from getting the gene therapy passed off as a vaccine. You will get COVID symptoms from that 80% of the time. If you’re exposed to SARS-CoV-2 according to RT-PCR, 80% of the time, you will have no symptoms at all.

Read more …

First a pandemic. Then a depression.

“Significant macroeconomic after-effects of the pandemics persist for about 40 years..”

COVID-19 And The New Great Depression- Jim Rickards (Diana)

In a new book by James Rickards, the author explores both the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact. A prolific writer, Economist, and adviser, Mr. Rickards predicts years of economic turbulence ahead. In The New Great Depression, Mr. Rickards sees the pandemic through an historical lens, where crisis presents a gateway between one world and the next. With an eye towards history, he concludes that the Keynes practical definition of a depression fits, and we are now in a new depression that is more far reaching than a mere technical recession. Along the way, the author wades into controversial topics such as China’s role in spreading the virus and the lockdown that ensued (which he calls the biggest policy blunder ever).

Based on the pattern of four influenza pandemics he studied, he positions three scenarios among the most likely patterns to expect in the months ahead. He found that three of the four great pandemics since 1918 have followed scenario 2, which he stated as follows: “Scenario 2 also involves repetitive waves. The difference is that the second wave (arriving in 2021) would be far more lethal than the first wave of 2020, due possibly to a mutation or recombination of genetic material. This pattern was seen in the 1918 Spanish flu, the 1957 Asian flu, and the 2009 swine flu. In all three pandemics, a moderate yet lethal wave began in the spring and subsided by the early summer. Then, in the fall, a larger, super lethal wave of infections arrived.”

The timeframe of this writing was October of last year, so the winter wave we experienced could indeed be the lethal wave predicted. Beyond the virus, the book explores the economic conditions he expects post-pandemic. Mr. Rickards effectively looks at past economic crisis and how they evolved. His conclusions point to a period of economic decline. As is the case across topics, the virus has accelerated issues and trends that existed pre-pandemic – and the economy is no exception. Here is a view of that from the book:

“The best evidence points to slow growth for thirty years. A March 2020 study entitled “Longer Run Economic Consequences of Pandemics” by a Federal Reserve economist and two academics from the University of California, examines the economic impact of pandemics with at least 100,000 deaths, beginning with the Black Death in 1347. The authors conclusion states: “Significant macroeconomic after-effects of the pandemics persist for about 40 years, with real rates of return substantially depressed.”

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Burry basically says the same as Rickards.

Michael Burry Warns Weimar Hyperinflation Is Coming (ZH)

“The life of the inflation in its ripening stage was a paradox which had its own unmistakable characteristics. One was the great wealth, at least of those favored by the boom..Many great fortunes sprang up overnight…The cities, had an aimless and wanton youth””Prices in Germany were steady, and both business and the stock market were booming. The exchange rate of the mark against the dollar and other currencies actually rose for a time, and the mark was momentarily the strongest currency in the world” on inflation’s eve.”Side by side with the wealth were the pockets of poverty. Greater numbers of people remained on the outside of the easy money, looking in but not able to enter. The crime rate soared.”

“Accounts of the time tell of a progressive demoralization which crept over the common people, compounded of their weariness with the breakneck pace, to no visible purpose, and their fears from watching their own precarious positions slip while others grew so conspicuously rich.””Almost any kind of business could make money. Business failures and bankruptcies became few. The boom suspended the normal processes of natural selection by which the nonessential and ineffective otherwise would have been culled out.””Speculation alone, while adding nothing to Germany’s wealth, became one of its largest activities. The fever to join in turning a quick mark infected nearly all classes..Everyone from the elevator operator up was playing the market.”

“The volumes of turnover in securities on the Berlin Bourse became so high that the financial industry could not keep up with the paperwork…and the Bourse was obliged to close several days a week to work off the backlog” “all the marks that existed in the world in the summer of 1922 were not worth enough, by November of 1923, to buy a single newspaper or a tram ticket. That was the spectacular part of the collapse, but most of the real loss in money wealth had been suffered much earlier.” “Throughout these years the structure was quietly building itself up for the blow. Germany’s #inflationcycle ran not for a year but for nine years, representing eight years of gestation and only one year of #collapse.”

Read more …

Nothing to do with a vaccine, or very little. Just 5% or so of Americas have been “vaccinated”.

Hospitals Across US Report Sharp Drop In New COVID patients (JTN)

The number of COVID-19 patients being hospitalized in the U.S. is dropping rapidly, as the infection rate in past weeks has also declined, as the total number of infections in the county nears the 500,000. The number of U.S. patients hospitalized currently is now just below 56,200, the lowest number since early November. The in-patient number declines as the virus death toll is expected to hit 500,000 this week. Expert have given several explanation for the decline and slowing numbers, foremost that more Americans are now vaccinated, especially among the elderly, the most at risk to be hospitalized and die from the virus.


At Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, the number of new coronavirus admits has fallen to about 10-15 a day, which is a decline of about half from early January, according to the director of the hospital’s group that tracks coronavirus hospitalizations. The decline has brought relief to intensive care staffers, having worked on the frontlines of the pandemic now for about a year. “People are smiling. They are optimistic. They’re making plans for the future,” one medical director in New Mexico told the New York Times. In Springfield, Missouri, a medical staff emptied the emergency coronavirus ICU wing that was built last spring. “We have not defeated this disease, but the closing of this unit, at least for now, is a tremendous symbolic victory,” said Steve Edwards, the hospital system’s chief executive.

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No wait. Didn’t we just find that the virus is airborne, and it’s not on surfaces?

And also: people who wear contacts rub their eyes more than those who wear glasses?

Spectacles-Wearers Two To Three Times Less Likely To Get Covid-19 – Study (RT)

Research from India has indicated that people wearing glasses are far less likely to become infected with Covid-19 than those without, which appears to support health advice to wear spectacles instead of contact lenses. Covid-19 can spread in many different ways, and one of those is through germs being spread to the eyes due to touching or rubbing. According to the new study, published at medRxiv.com and not peer-reviewed, people who wear glasses touch their eyes far less and are therefore less likely to spread the virus in this way. Researchers found that, on average, people touch their face 23 times an hour and their eyes three times an hour.


Health officials have advised those wearing contact lenses to switch to glasses during the Covid-19 pandemic to avoid potentially spreading the virus through such constant touching. In the study of 304 adults aged between 10 and 80, two-thirds of them male, 19 percent said they wore glasses. The researchers found this group were two to three times less likely to contract the virus. “Long-term use of spectacles may prevent repeated touching and rubbing of the eyes,” the report said, citing the eyes as possibly a “significant route of infection.” A similar study conducted in China and released last fall theorized that people who are infected with Covid-19 are five times less likely to wear glasses.

Read more …

Jury’s out. My main thing with ZeroCovid would be the complete lack of discussing prophylaxis.

The ZeroCovid Movement: Cult Dressed as Science (AIER)

This past year has given rise to some strange and novel methods of disease containment, including lockdowns and mask mandates. It is unsurprising that the natural next step in this progression has been the development of a movement known as “ZeroCovid.” Its growing influence is, perhaps, predictable given that for nearly a year we have been inundated by the views of so-called experts seeking to legitimize their myopic worldview that public health is determined solely by prevention of Covid-19. Rather than acknowledge to a weary public that their approach has been a failure, they are doubling down and attempting to save their reputations by claiming that the problem is not that lockdowns do not work, but that they have not gone far enough.

There is, apparently, some diversity of opinion among the ZeroCovid crowd as to whether the term is to be interpreted literally, as some of its most impassioned and vocal proponents argue, or whether it simply means a more extreme version of the ideology that has dominated societies around the globe for the past year: the belief that suppressing the coronavirus is a singularly important goal, to replace all others and to be pursued with no or only minimal consideration of the effects of doing so. ZeroCovid promoters appear to agree that much stricter border controls, lockdowns, and mask mandates are needed than exist in most nations today. Sam Bowman, one of the most prominent ZeroCoviders, claims for instance that the only way to address the coronavirus problem is with “lockdowns, school closures, travel bans, mass testing, contact tracing, and masks.”

Likewise, former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair’s think-tank has stated that the only way to avoid another lockdown is to bring coronavirus cases to zero. China, Australia and New Zealand are portrayed as successes by ZeroCovid proponents, and prove that suffering now brings with it the promise of eventual freedom. Even Australia and New Zealand, which before 2020 were considered beacons of liberal democracy, have recently been the subject of investigations or inquiries by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The ZeroCovid proponents do not address the reality that China, Australia, and New Zealand have continually had to implement lockdown policies in response to new cases arising even after declaring victory over the virus, and that the latter two are island nations able to effectuate border control in a way that cannot possibly be applied to nations that are geographically proximate to others and in which the virus has already become endemic.

The “Covid Community Action Summit,” a conference held at the end of January, and led and attended by many of ZeroCovid’s main players – needless to say, over Zoom – offers a glimpse into the warped worldview that pervades the ideology. The architect of ZeroCovid, and the first speaker at the Summit, was Yaneer Bar-Yam, an American scientist who specializes in complex systems and quantitative analysis of pandemics and founded the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI). The participants came from a variety of backgrounds: in addition to doctors and scientists, political consultants and communications specialists were in attendance. Many presenters had business interests in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, and those from the United States tended to be affiliated with Democratic Party politics and campaigns.

Read more …

Your daily Cuomo content.

Resign, Andrew Cuomo (Week)

“I want to get things done and be judged by results and by making a positive difference, and I can be obsessive in that pursuit,” boasts New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in his book American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic — the book he (supposedly) wrote himself about how he did such a great job managing the virus. Since that book was published in October, a devastating second wave of infections has struck New York, claiming roughly 13,000 more lives and counting in the state. Now Cuomo is reeling under a barrage of pandemic scandals. It turns out his administration concealed data about coronavirus cases in nursing homes, reportedly for fear of federal prosecution. And stories of his vitriolic abuse and threats directed at other Democratic New York politicians are coming out.

Yet even all that is only the start of Cuomo’s deadly, corrupt incompetence. So in keeping with judging him by his “results,” Cuomo should resign immediately and free New York state from his dismal misrule.The nursing home scandal has been bubbling for nearly a year now. It starts with Cuomo’s inexplicable decision back in March 2020 to order nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 cases even if they were still testing positive (instead of setting up some isolated quarantine facility, for instance). A recent Associated Press investigation found that at least 9,056 recovering patients were sent back to nursing homes and long-term care facilities — a number that is 40 percent larger than his administration had previously admitted. This unquestionably worsened the pandemic as it ripped through New York’s elderly population.

But that isn’t the only number Cuomo fudged on nursing homes. New York Attorney General Letitia James investigated the situation, and found that his people may have undercounted the number of deaths associated with nursing homes by 50 percent. Cuomo then admitted that instead of the 8,500 dead they had been reporting, the true number was over 15,000 — or about a third of the state’s total deaths. The scandal really blew up when the New York Post reported comments from Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa (in his book he writes, “she is the quarterback on my team and is responsible for managing all the pieces”), seemingly admitting they had deliberately faked the numbers as part of a cover-up. His officials “froze,” she said, for fear the truth was “going to be used against us” by federal prosecutors.

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“In all, 70 percent of nursing homes currently operate as for-profit businesses, far more than other healthcare facilities. Only about one quarter of hospitals, for example, are for profit.”

How Wall Street Kills Grandma (DP)

As governors in New York and Florida face political crises over their handling of the pandemic, the scandals have spotlighted how a disproportionate amount of COVID casualties have occurred in the nation’s nursing homes. The situation is a cautionary tale not only about political corruption, but about the consequences of a nursing home infrastructure being run by for-profit corporations — and now a study documents some of the body count. The analysis found that between 2004 and 2016, more than 20,000 Americans perished as a consequence of living in nursing homes run by private equity firms. The data showed that going to a private-equity-owned nursing home significantly “increases the probability of death during the stay and the following 90 days” as compared to nursing homes with a different ownership structure.

The study from University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago and New York University researchers evaluated data from 15,000 nursing homes across the United States, alongside Medicare patient data, to assess the impacts of private equity ownership on patient outcomes. In all, the researchers found that the deaths accounted for “about 160,000 lost life-years.” Private equity firms typically take over existing corporations with borrowed or investor money and then impose cost-cutting measures to maximize revenues — often in preparation for selling off the newly stripped down firms at a profit. In the health care sector, private equity buyouts have been associated with lower staffing levels, more frequent citations for health and safety violations, shortages of supplies like ventilators that are crucial for COVID patients, and other failings tied to the constant imperative to cut costs.

In all, 70 percent of nursing homes currently operate as for-profit businesses, far more than other healthcare facilities. Only about one quarter of hospitals, for example, are for profit. The new study — which updates the researchers’ previous findings — offers clues about why private equity ownership of nursing homes has resulted in higher casualty counts. As the paper noted, private equity-owned nursing homes have lower staffing levels than their counterparts, which is directly correlated with patient outcomes.

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“To what degree are we seeing simple cowardice?”

Repentence (Kunstler)

Ms. Shaw, a divorced mother with two children (and Smith alum, 1993) worked as a Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life (that is, a dorm counselor). She was asked to denounce herself in staff meetings about “systemic racism,” and complained about it through the proper channels, which only invited more hectoring abuse. In frustration, she finally posted a video on the web to expose the Stalinist bullying that was allowed to infect every corner of campus life at Smith. The admin offered her a cash settlement to shut up and get lost. Ms. Shaw turned it down but resigned anyway in a long letter to Smith President Kathleen McCartney that she made public about the college’s hostile workplace.

How does this happen? Because Wokery above all is about status, and the elite schools exist to confer status on the young people who can get into them, who then move on into an adult life of high-status (high-paying) employment facilitated by their old school connections. In prior times, the elite schools accomplished this by offering a superior education via superior faculty and superior curricula. Lately, the emphasis has shifted to promoting sham moral superiority, because it is a shortcut to gaining power over other people — and nowadays, elitism is no longer about excellence, but just raw power over others. As the Woke hysteria ramped up on campuses across the nation, and the various colleges and U’s started competing to out-do each other in moralistic fanaticism, Smith College vied with its sister schools and the other Ivies for Woke-est of all.

The moral black hole at the center of this vicious nonsense is the spectacular failure of authority of the people who run these institutions. Smith President Kathleen McCartney supported and encouraged the Woke inquisition on her campus. She gets paid the tidy sum of $515,461 a year. Maybe she didn’t want to give that up by taking a principled stand against bad behavior and bad ideas. Maybe she favors the rule of bad ideas and unprincipled behavior? Is she stupid or depraved? And, of course, what about her huge staff of vice-presidents and deans, not to mention the school’s board of trustees? To what degree are we seeing simple cowardice?

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The man must have sold a lot of pillows.

‘Thank You,’ Says MyPillow’s Mike Lindell As He’s Finally Sued By Dominion (RT)

Dominion Voting Systems has filed a lawsuit against MyPillow CEO and vocal Donald Trump supporter Mike Lindell over his election fraud claims, saying “the lie sells pillows.” Lindell is only the latest person to be legally targeted by Dominion over election fraud conspiracy theories. The company filed suit last month against Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, accusing him of pushing election conspiracies to “financially enrich himself.” Dominion is now suing Lindell for defamation, seeking $1.3 billion in damages. “MyPillow’s defamatory marketing campaign – with promo codes like ‘FightforTrump’, ‘45’, ‘Proof’, and ‘QAnon’ – has increased MyPillow sales by 30-40 percent and continues duping people into redirecting their election-lie outrage into pillow purchases,” the lawsuit claims.


Lindell fired back at the lawsuit and said “it’s been cancel culture for MyPillow” as his outspokenness has led to 22 retailers dropping his popular products from their stores. Lindell has alleged the election was rigged in Joe Biden’s favor through Dominion and other voting software systems through not only interviews, but also a two-hour documentary titled ‘Absolute Proof’, which aired earlier this month. He was previously booted from Twitter for his refusal to back down on his election fraud beliefs. “I’m very happy that they finally got that suit filed,” Lindell told CNBC of Dominion’s lawsuit. He previously invited one from the company multiple times and even to sue them earlier this month “for the American people” as a way to keep the discussion about alleged election fraud going. “My message to Dominion is thank you for finally getting this done, because it’ll be back in the limelight now,” Lindell said.

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“..the First Amendment prohibits Congress from infringing on free speech..”

Lawmakers to Cable Providers: Why Do You Carry These News Channels? (Soave)

Today two Democratic members of Congress sent letters to the presidents of Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Dish, and other cable and satellite companies implying that they should either stop carrying Fox News, One America News Network, and Newsmax or pressure them to change their coverage. According to the lawmakers, these conservative channels are responsible for promoting misinformation and political violence. “To our knowledge, the cable, satellite, and over-the-top companies that disseminate these media outlets to American viewers have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets,” wrote Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of California.

Released in advance of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Wednesday hearing on “Disinformation and Extremism in the Media,” the letter makes clear that some lawmakers do not want television providers to let their customers watch conservative news channels. (Disclaimer: I am interviewed regularly on Fox News and Newsmax.) Eshoo and McNerney ask the companies to explain the “moral and ethical principles” that undergird their decisionmaking with respect to which channels are carried, how many viewers tuned in to these channels during the four weeks before the the Capitol riots on January 6, 2020, and what steps were taken to “monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of disinformation.” “The committee members also sent the letter to Roku, Amazon, Apple, Google and Hulu, digital companies that distribute cable programming,” reports The New York Times.

False claims do appear with some frequency on conservative news channels, streaming services, and social media. But they also appear in The New York Times, on CNN, and in other mainstream information outlets. The traditional remedy to misinformation is to file a defamation lawsuit. The federal government does not need to involve itself. On the contrary, the First Amendment prohibits Congress from infringing on free speech—and that includes the freedom of provide companies to decide what kind of speech appears on their platforms. Politicians are not in charge of setting the parameters for acceptable speech on the internet and television. That responsibility devolves to individual companies and individual viewers.

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“The easiest way to build the prison is to get freedom lovers everywhere to build the prison for you.”

Building a Bitcoin Prison – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)

Former Assistant Secretary of Housing and investment advisor Catherine Austin Fitts says you have to be careful and fully understand Bitcoin. Fitts explains, “We do know they want to go to an all-digital system with central bank cryptos. The easiest way to build the prison is to get freedom lovers everywhere to build the prison for you. To me, Bitcoin has always been the prototype on the way to building the all-digital crypto system that they would love to put into place. You have $400 trillion in fiat (currency) and it needs a place to go. If you are trying to buy up all the gold, silver and farmland, the last thing you need is competition from retail. They want to shift them into crypto and get them to build the crypto train tracks. In a funny kind of way, it’s brilliant.

There is talk by big banks that Bitcoin could go to $300,000 per unit by the end of the year. Fitts thinks, “This is absolutely possible. This is pure politics. This has nothing to do with economics. How much will the central bankers, who can print as much money as they want, spend to get you into this platform? Your guess is as good as mine. The sky’s the limit as to how much they can spend. Remember, once they decide to bring out the central bank currencies, and they have steadily been regulating the crypto currencies, Bitcoin and everything else, so the day they decide to take this to zero, they can do it. If you are going to invest into cryptos and build our prison for us, what you need to know is this thing could go to $300,000, and it can also go to zero. This is a highly speculative market, and you need to approach it accordingly.”

Fitts warns of a dark future if the central bankers get everything they want. Fitts says, “When they decide to shut down our bank accounts and say you all get on crypto, universal basic income and take that injection or you can’t transact on the financial system, this is instituting a totalitarian system through the financial system. . . . When they shut that trap door, what you need to think about is where are you going to buy food?” In closing, Fitts says, “We are in Never, Never Land. We have two groups in our society: One group that can print money, and the other who can earn money. What we saw last year is the people who could print money declared war on the people who earn money. They basically said we are going to shut down your businesses, and we are going to suck up and take your market share or buy you out with money we print out of thin air. . . . We have no pandemic. What this is is an economic war.”

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Feb 162021
 
 February 16, 2021  Posted by at 10:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Snowy landscape with Arles in the background 1888

 

How to Make COVID Vaccines More Effective: Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (NC)
Aiming For Zero Covid-19: Europe Needs To Take Action (Rep.)
Millions of Texans Left Shivering In Arctic Cold Without Power (NBC)
“Unity” (Jim Kunstler)
Cuomo Blames ‘Politics,’ Fails To Address Nursing Home Cover-Up (NYP)
Democrats Slam ‘Lying’ Cuomo Over COVID-19 Nursing Home ‘Cover-Up’ (NYP)
Bipartisan Support For 9/11-Style Commission To Investigate Capitol Riot (PFW)
How Trump’s Trial Became A Tale Of Constitutional Noir (Turley)
What Comes Next in HNA Group’s Bankruptcy in China (Barron’s)
Fauci Awarded $1m Israeli Prize For ‘Speaking Truth To Power’ (Ind.)
WHO Adviser: Wuhan Lab Probe Was Conducted By ‘Chinese Authorities’ (SAC)
Cancel Culture, Where Liberalism Goes to Die (Chris Hedges)

 

 

CNN is trying to compete with The Onion.

 

 

The obvious.

How to Make COVID Vaccines More Effective: Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (NC)

If we’re going to rely on COVID-19 vaccines to bring an end to the pandemic, we need to maximise their effects. But one thing that risks undermining their protectiveness is nutritional deficiency, particularly in the elderly. Older people have weaker immune responses and are known to respond less well than younger adults to many vaccines, including the seasonal influenza vaccine. This is partly down to frailty, which cannot be easily remedied, but can also be due to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals – known as micronutrients. For the immune system to fight off infection or generate good protection against a disease following vaccination, it needs a variety of micronutrients. This is likely to be just as true for COVID-19 as for other diseases. Given that malnutrition is common among elderly people, raising their vitamin and mineral levels before they get vaccinated could be a way of boosting the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

As the European Food Safety Authority notes, the vitamins A, B6, B9, B12, C and D and the minerals zinc, selenium, iron and copper are all needed for the immune system to function as it should. Each of these micronutrients – as well as vitamin E – has been shown to play multiple roles in supporting immune function and reducing the risk of infection. Research has found a link between having an impaired immune system and having low amounts of many vitamins and minerals. When the immune system isn’t properly fuelled and is impaired, this can then lead to poor vaccine responses. For example, a review of nine studies – together involving 2,367 people – found that individuals deficient in vitamin D were less well protected against two strains of flu after having been vaccinated compared to those who had adequate vitamin D levels.

By contrast, randomised controlled trials of micronutrient supplements (such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, zinc and selenium) in older people have been shown to increase the ability of the immune system to respond to challenges. Furthermore, it appears that to work at its best the immune system needs vitamins C, D and E together with zinc and selenium in excess of amounts that can usually be achieved through diet alone. For example, selenium levels above those typically regarded as optimal have been associated with a better cure rate for COVID-19. Trials in older people have also shown that responses to vaccination are better after actions are taken to improve nutrition.

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Letter published in several European newspapers.

For me, personally, three pillars: “Vaccination, green zones, and test, trace and isolate strategies”, is not enough. Not without boosting people’s health.

Aiming For Zero Covid-19: Europe Needs To Take Action (Rep.)

Vaccination is a critical element for our way out of the pandemic. But the hope to reach herd immunity in Europe by the end of the summer is fading, as the roll-out of vaccines proves to be a major challenge. In addition, the emergence of new variants from Brazil, the UK, and South Africa is a warning signal that we may be confronted with lower protection from vaccines. Furthermore, history demonstrates that vaccination cannot single-handedly control a virus: it needs concerted efforts and a combination of public health measures. A global exit from the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 seems unlikely if not impossible. To avoid lockdown cycles as experienced over the past and present year, we need to curb the spread of the virus as soon as possible, and choose the path of sustainable recovery.

The European strategy needs to markedly shift its focus from long-term and nationwide lockdowns due to high numbers of non-traceable community transmission and high death tolls, to having the virus under control. We thus call on politicians and the public to jointly commit to a European elimination strategy that builds on three pillars: Vaccination, green zones, and test, trace and isolate strategies. Importantly, this needs to be accompanied by clear, coherent and transparent communication. We are part of a group of international scientists ranging from epidemiologists, virologists, and mathematicians, to political scientists, and economists who support the strategy, some of whom have recently signed a call in The Lancet. In addition, No Covid – an approach suggested by a group of German scientists – is actively developing tools to render elimination successful.

While controlling the virus across Europe seems to be a daunting task, it can be achieved by defining common public health measures and standards that aim at achieving and then protecting green zones. The smaller the zones and the less mobility between them, the faster the exit can be reached and worst-in-class measures avoided. However, as the zoning needs to be politically and socially acceptable, and locally enforceable, each country should make its own pragmatic choice. For example, Italy could opt for regions, Germany could opt for Landkreise or Länder, and a small country like Lithuania could opt to be considered as one zone. Even more granularly, single cities could be considered a zone if feasible.

A zone is labelled green once the origin of every transmission is known, such that test, trace and isolate strategies can prevent further uncontrolled spreading of the remaining few infections. Green zones can progressively return to normal life: schools, restaurants, tourism and other businesses can fully reopen, and travellers freely move within and between green zones. Once a green zone is established, the priority then shifts from contact-inhibiting measures to avoid the reintroduction of the virus via travel regulations and testing, and the preparedness to implement fast, decisive and targeted containment measures should infections flare up locally again.

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“Midnight electricity price went up by more than 20000% in the past 4 days in Texas.”

Millions of Texans Left Shivering In Arctic Cold Without Power (NBC)

As a record winter storm slammed across the country Monday, millions of people in Texas found themselves shivering in the dark. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the power grid for 26 million customers, called for rolling outages to conserve power as arctic weather froze wind turbines, pushed several power plants offline and drove up demand from home heating systems. Outages affecting more than 2 million people were initially expected to be brief, lasting 15 to 20 minutes, but many Texans reported losing power for hours.


“The blackout just kept on going, and as the night progressed, the temperatures just started getting lower,” said Esteban Ramirez, 19, a college student from Del Rio, west of San Antonio, on the Mexican border. He huddled with his mother and his grandparents on a sofa to stay warm after they lost power at 2:30 a.m. At one point, he said, the temperature outside was 6 degrees. “It was scary,” he said. Power was out except for a couple of brief spurts for most of the day. His pipes froze, cutting off running water to the house, and the dim light made it difficult for his grandfather to get his medication, he said. “It was my first time experiencing something like this,” he said. “I was afraid of not making it through the night.”

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“Address me as Mr. President or President Biden,” Biden said. “I will not, and you can go fuck yourself,” DeSantis said before hanging up.

“Unity” (Jim Kunstler)

This played out dramatically last week in a telephone parley between Mr. Biden and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the governor’s refusal to lockdown his state. The world-famous Dr. Fauci was also on the call, in which Mr. Biden threatened to curtail American citizens travel to Florida by road and air — since an offshoot of Covid-19 policy has been to drive a huge demographic exodus from economically failing states of New York, Illinois, and California down there. He also threatened to withhold federal funding to Florida and deny the state access to Covid-19 vaccines. Dr. Fauci chimed in, “Governor, do you want to be responsible for reinfecting the nation? Truth is, we don’t even know how effective current vaccines are against the UK strain.”

DeSantis told Dr. Fauci he trusted his own state health authorities over financially incentivized federal officials. The conclusion of the conference call went like this: “How much do you stand to earn from these vaccines, Dr. Fauci? And, Joe, if you continue with this course of action, I will authorize the state National Guard to protect the movement of Floridians,” DeSantis said. “Address me as Mr. President or President Biden,” Biden said. “I will not, and you can go fuck yourself,” DeSantis said before hanging up. Hmmm. Now, that got right to the point, didn’t it? And consider this was not just Citizen Joe Blow mouthing off to alleged President Joe B, but the governor of a populous state. And what if it suggests a trend?

Another obvious and disconcerting irony in that affair was, of course, that Mr. Biden seeks to restrict the movement of people across Florida’s borders for fear of spreading new strains of Covid-19, while he insolently authorizes thousands of illegal aliens to cross our border with Mexico daily, with no testing for the virus. Could Mr. Biden’s intentions look any worse?

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Let him go.

Cuomo Blames ‘Politics,’ Fails To Address Nursing Home Cover-Up (NYP)

An unapologetic Gov. Cuomo doubled down on a litany of past excuses Monday as he blamed “politics” for the spiraling scandal that’s engulfed his administration since The Post revealed his top aide admitted they hid from elected officials and the public the true number of nursing-home residents killed by COVID-19. During a virtual news conference at which he declined to take a question from The Post, Cuomo claimed that “there’s nothing to investigate” regarding the cover-up to which Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa confessed during a video conference call with Democratic lawmakers last week. Cuomo never directly addressed DeRosa’s recorded remarks in which she admitted “we froze” over whether to come clean to the Legislature — or the public — about nursing home deaths in the face of a Justice Department inquiry.

“Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa said in the Wednesday evening conference call. Cuomo once again claimed that the state had always reported the number of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19 — even though it only began releasing figures on those who died in hospitals after a damning report last month by state Attorney General Letitia James, a fellow Democrat. As of Saturday, official figures show, 13,407 nursing home residents died of COVID-19, including 4,181 — more than 31 percent — in hospitals. “This past year, there is a toxic political environment and everything is political,” Cuomo said during the news conference in Albany.

[..] Left unsaid was that Cuomo had enough spare time to publish a self-serving memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which made the Times “Best Sellers” list with the help of the self-proclaimed “Cuomosexuals” who turned his daily briefings into must-see TV, also garnering him a special Emmy Award. But Cuomo pushed back against a bipartisan move to strip him of his COVID-19 emergency powers in the wake of DeRosa’s remarks. And Cuomo insisted state pols should have known about the DOJ probe, despite his not telling them, because The Post broke a story about it in October. “Emergency powers have nothing to do with nursing homes,” Cuomo said. Cuomo said legislators “can reverse any action I take.” “They have never reversed a single action,” Cuomo said. “These are public health decisions, not local political decisions.”

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“She implicated all of us in the cover-up.”

Democrats Slam ‘Lying’ Cuomo Over COVID-19 Nursing Home ‘Cover-Up’ (NYP)

Fellow Democratic legislators in New York weren’t buying Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s explanation Monday as to why he refused for months to release a true accounting of nursing home residents who died from the coronavirus. Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), whose uncle died from COVID-19, bluntly said, “all of it is BS” and a cover-up. “They could have given us the information back in May and June of last year. They chose not to,” Kim said, when hearing Cuomo was blaming the DOJ probe for delays in releasing the accurate coronavirus death tally of nursing home residents. Cuomo cited an exclusive Aug.26, 2020 story in The Post that broke the news about the Department of Justice inquiry into his administration’s nursing home admission policy and the undercounting of deaths, claiming Albany legislators should have known about the probe based on that report.


Kim said lawmakers could have passed laws to tighten up accountability and liability in nursing homes to save lives if they had the information sooner. Kim also said Cuomo’s comments Monday don’t square with what top aide Melissa DeRosa told him and other legislators during a private meeting last week, when she said former President Donald Trump made the issue a “political football” and claimed that as an excuse for withholding the nursing home data. The Post first reported on her explosive remarks after obtaining an audio recording of the meeting. “And basically, we froze,” DeRosa said. “She talked about the potential that the information would be weaponized against them. DeRosa needs to be accountable for what she said,” Kim insisted. “She implicated all of us in the cover-up.”

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It’s all still about Trump.

Bipartisan Support For 9/11-Style Commission To Investigate Capitol Riot (PFW)

Bipartisan support for a 9/11-style commission to further investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has grown bipartisan support with lawmakers urging such a body to get to the root cause of the events that day. “I’d like to know, did the Capitol Hill police inform the House sergeant at arms and the Senate sergeant at arms the day before the attack that they needed more troops?” Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News on Sunday after mentioning he believed there was a preplanned element to the highly publicized actions that took place. “We need to look at did Nancy Pelosi know on January 5 that there was a threat to the Capitol… What did President Trump do after the attack… We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again, and I want to make sure that the Capitol footprint can be better defended next time,” he continued.

Graham would add that the preplanned element had no connection to former president Donald Trump’s speech during a rally earlier that day. Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, who unlike Graham, voted to convict the former president during the impeachment trial, also called for a 9/11-style commission, telling ABC over the weekend that “there should be a complete investigation about what happened.” “I think there should be a complete investigation about what happened on Jan. 6. Why was there not more law enforcement, National Guard already mobilized, what was known, who knew it, and when they knew it, all that, because that builds the basis so this never happens again in the future,” Cassidy said.

On the other side of the aisle, Democrat Senator Dennis Coons also vocalized support for such a commission, telling ABC “there’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear.” “A 9/11 commission is a way that we make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward and that we lay bare the record of just how responsible and how abjectly violating of his constitutional oath president Trump really was,” Coons said on Sunday.

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“We do not afford due process to people simply because we have to. It is like decency, civility and other values. They are not observed because they are mandatory but because they are right.”

How Trump’s Trial Became A Tale Of Constitutional Noir (Turley)

In the 1946 movie “Gilda,” Rita Hayworth delivered perhaps the ultimate film noir line. Looking at her former lover, she declared, “I hate you so much that I would destroy myself to take you down with me.” Hayworth made self-destruction sound positively alluring. That line came to mind as I watched House impeachment managers and Democratic senators systematically discard basic values that once defined fair trials — and American values — under the Constitution. When Donald Trump’s defense counsel objected that he was not afforded due process in the House, the managers shrugged and said due process was not required. When the defense objected that Trump’s Jan. 6 speech was protected under the First Amendment, the House scoffed that free speech is not only inapplicable but “frivolous” in an impeachment.

Nothing, it seems, is so sacred that it cannot be discarded in pursuit of Trump. Over and over, it was made clear that his trial is about the verdict, not about our constitutional values. Even with acquittal all but ensured, there was no room for constitutional niceties like free speech or due process. There was only one issue — the same one that has driven our media and politics for four years: Trump. Through that time, some of us have objected that extreme legal interpretations and biased coverage destroy our legal and journalistic values. It was not done out of love for Trump: I voted against him in two elections and have regularly denounced his actions and rhetoric, including his Jan. 6 speech. However, I cherish our values more than I dislike him.

That is why the second Trump impeachment trial played out with a film noir flourish, featuring the same “lost innocence,” “hard-edged cynicism” and “desperate desire” of that movie genre — most obviously when House managers dismissed any due process in an impeachment proceeding. Indisputably, the House could have held at least a couple days of hearings and still impeached Trump before he left office. It knew the Senate would not hold a trial before the end of his term, so it had until Jan. 20 to impeach him. It did so on Jan. 13. A hearing would have given Trump a formal opportunity to respond to the allegation against him; no one has ever been impeached without such an opportunity. It would have allowed witnesses to be called (including many who already were speaking publicly), to create even a minimal record for the trial.

Yet the House refused, and then declined for more than four weeks to call a dozen witnesses with direct evidence to create a record even after its snap impeachment. So the House could have afforded basic due process but chose not to do so simply because it does not have to. When confronted about this in the Senate, one House manager scoffed at the notion that Trump should be afforded more due process. Representative Ted Lieu said, “Trump is receiving any and all process that he is due.” A chilling answer, since Trump received none in the House. There was a time when denying due process would have been shocking. Even if you believe that due process is not required in an impeachment, it is expected. We do not afford due process to people simply because we have to. It is like decency, civility and other values. They are not observed because they are mandatory but because they are right.

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It’s Xi’s casino now.

What Comes Next in HNA Group’s Bankruptcy in China (Barron’s)

Conglomerate HNA Group encapsulates at least three facets that have defined many overly-acquisitive Chinese firms in recent years. Those include origins in a defined sector with attempts to become a player in dozens of unrelated areas; an appetite for loose credit that backfired when Beijing decided too much was too much; and a meteoric rise and fall from a lack of discipline. Between 2015 and 2017 the then-airline firm’s $40 billion acquisition spree included stakes in the Hilton hotel chain and Deutsche Bank, bringing its total assets to more than $150 billion. It spent $6 billion to acquire California-based electronics firm Ingram Micro.

But debt piled up faster, and creditors and Beijing swooped in, demanding accountability, and forcing a massive asset selloff to pay down its arrears—which as of its last filing, in 2019, were roughly $109 billion. The saga seemed all but over after the Hainan provincial government last year essentially took control of the indebted behemoth, with plans for further asset sales and restructuring. But more bad news came crashing in. The Hainan government investigation concluded some 500 companies connected to HNA may be forced into bankruptcy restructuring, Chinese media outlet Caixin reported. Creditors then filed for HNA itself to be placed into bankruptcy and restructuring.

“HNA Group will comply with the court’s instructions of judicial review in accordance with law, promote the debts disposition actively, support the court to protect the legal rights and interests of creditors in accordance with law, and safeguard our normal business to be operated successfully,” the company said in a statement. HNA’s main creditor and head of the creditor committee is China Development Bank, one of the country’s three cabinet-led policy lenders. The head of the bank from 2013 to 2018, Hu Huaibang, led numerous underwritings for HNA acquisitions during its meteoric rise. Last year, Hu was arrested and charged with “suspected serious violations of discipline”—meaning corruption. How much of that, if any, is related to HNA deals is unclear.

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Yeah, give him another million.

Fauci Awarded $1m Israeli Prize For ‘Speaking Truth To Power’ (Ind.)

Dr Anthony Fauci was among recipients of the Dan David Prize, recognising his career in public health and “speaking truth to power” during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the awards organisation. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the US National Institutes of Health “is the consummate model of leadership and impact in public health,” the awards committee said in a statement. The prize, associated with Tel Aviv University, awards three $1 million prizes for “achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world.” Ten per cent of the prize money is set aside for academic scholarships in each winner’s field. [..]


The nation’s leading infectious disease expert emerged as a face of the US response to the public health crisis amid a turbulent and insufficient federal effort under Donald Trump’s administration. After the former president sidelined or removed him from the foreground of the federal response in the final months of his administration, Dr Fauci has returned to the White House under President Joe Biden, who enlisted him as a chief medical adviser. Within hours of the president’s inauguration, Dr Fauci addressed the World Health Organisation to assure the agency that the US will honour its partnership and funding commitments, after Mr Trump antagonised the United Nations group and pledged to isolate the US from its global health efforts.

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This son’t make the WHO happy.

WHO Adviser: Wuhan Lab Probe Was Conducted By ‘Chinese Authorities’ (SAC)

World Health Organization adviser Jamie Metzl revealed that the WHO’s investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology was conducted “by Chinese autorities,” during an interview Wednesday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.” The WHO announced earlier this week that the investigation had ended because investigators had found it a “very unlikely” source of the COVID-19 virus. It has been alleged that the virus may have leaked from the lab. Such accidents, however, were dismissed by the WHO as “extremely rare.” It is the global organization’s belief that the virus was first transmitted from animal to human. “Well, the investigation itself was very short. It was two weeks of quarantine and two weeks of meetings, but the actual investigation was done by Chinese authorities.

And so, the W.H.O. investigators were basically receiving reports from the Chinese officials,” Metzl told Ingraham. “And as I see it, the big failure is that they outlined four possible ways that COVID could have begun. One was direct bat to human. Second, bat through an animal intermediate host. Third, through shipping or some kind of frozen food from somewhere else. And four, the accidental lab leak. As you know, Laura, for more than a year, I’ve been one of the leading advocates saying we have to look very, very seriously at option four.”

“But rather than saying, alright, let’s look more deeply at all of those possibilities, the W.H.O. investigators said we should look at the first three, but not at the accidental lab leak,” Metzl said. “And I’m just miffed that this has happened and I think it’s really terrible.” The U.S. State Department in January detailed that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was conducting dangerous research on coronaviruses and couldn’t be ruled out completely as a possible source of the virus outbreak. In fact, the report mentioned that in the fall of 2019, researchers at the lab became sick and exhibited COVID-19-like symptoms. Further, the State Department said the lab was being operated by the Chinese military.

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The Rev. Will Campbell was a wise man.

Cancel Culture, Where Liberalism Goes to Die (Chris Hedges)

The Rev. Will Campbell was forced out of his position as director of religious life at the University of Mississippi in 1956 because of his calls for integration. He escorted Black children through a hostile mob in 1957 to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School. He was the only white person that was invited to be part of the group that founded Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He helped integrate Nashville’s lunch counters and organize the Freedom Rides. But Campbell was also, despite a slew of death threats he received from white segregationists, an unofficial chaplain to the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

He denounced and publicly fought the Klan’s racism, acts of terror and violence and marched with Black civil rights protestors in his native Mississippi, but he steadfastly refused to “cancel” white racists out of his life. He refused to demonize them as less than human. He insisted that this form of racism, while evil, was not as insidious as a capitalist system that perpetuated the economic misery and instability that pushed whites into the ranks of violent, racist organizations. “During the civil rights movement, when we were developing strategies, someone usually said, ‘Call Will Campbell. Check with Will,’” Rep. John Lewis wrote in the introduction to the new edition of Campbell’s memoir Brother to a Dragonfly, one of the most important books I read as a seminarian.

“Will knew that the tragedy of Southern history had fallen on our opponents as well as our allies … on George Wallace and Bull Connor as well as Rosa Parks and Fred Shuttlesworth. He saw that it had created the Ku Klux Klan as well as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. That insight led Will to see racial healing and equity, pursued through courage, love, and faith as the path to spiritual liberation for all.” Jimmy Carter wrote of Campbell that he “tore down the walls that separated white and black Southerners.” And because the Black Panther organizer Fred Hampton was doing the same thing in Chicago, the FBI — which, along with the CIA, is the de facto ally of the liberal elites in their war against Trump and his supporters — assassinated him.

When the town Campbell lived in decided the Klan should not be permitted to have a float in the Fourth of July parade Campbell did not object, as long as the gas and electric company was also barred. It was not only white racists who inflicted suffering on the innocent and the vulnerable, but institutions that place the sanctity of profit before human life. “People can’t pay their gas and electric bills, the heat gets turned off and they freeze and sometimes die, especially if they are elderly,” he said. “This, too, is an act of terrorism.” “Theirs you could see and deal with, and if they broke the law, you could punish them,” he said of the Klan. “But the larger culture that was, and still is, racist to the core is much more difficult to deal with and has a more sinister influence.”

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