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Federal bureaucracy blunders in handling COVID-19 epidemic in the USA

Neoliberal MSM dance around human mortality and fearmongering to get more revenue  provoked real panic. The USA government did not have a plan for coronavirus outbreak and improvises as events unfold 

News Programmers and sysadmins health issues Recommended Links CDC blunders in handling of COVID-19 epidemic in the USA Fauci and his blunders COVID-19 as a bioweapon hypothisis  COVID-19 epidemic handing in the USA
COVID-19 fearmongering COVID-19 epidemic as the second stage of the crisis of neoliberalism Navy problems Absurdity of bureaucracies COVID-19 hoarding epidemics Trump's impulsivity and incompetence The Real War on Reality
Media as a weapon of mass deception  Stability is destabilizing: The idea of Minsky moment Manufactured consent Groupthink The importance of controlling the narrative Trumpcare scam Nation under attack meme
Soft propaganda Nineteen Eighty-Four Casino Capitalism The threat of "Coronavirus recession" Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

Introduction

The virus epidemic which started in the USA in full force in March will probably follow Chinese pattern.  Which means the time to the peak will be around two-three months (which means in summer the epidemics start subsiding.) 

Might be shorter taking into account drastic measures taken by some state like NY, NJ, California and Washington. Currently NewYork is the epicenter of the epidemics.

As of March 21 we still see typical for initial stages of any flu epidemic exponential increase of cases, with  the number of patient doubling in approx. three days but very low number of critical cases.

Date Total cases Day increase Serious Deaths Recovered Notes
3/22 33,546 38.57% 64 396 178  
3/21 24,208 24.88% 64 279 147  
3/20 19,384 40.58% 64 160    
3/19 13,789 48.93% 12 124    
3/18 9,259 44.42% 12 94   10K mark
3/17 6,411 37.49% 12 93    
3/16 4,663 26.71% 10      
3/15 3,680 25.04% 10      
3/14 2,943 30.97%        
3/13 2,247 32.33%        
3/12 1,698 24.49%        
3/11 1,364 37.22%        
3/10 994 41.19%       1K mark
3/9 704 30.13%        
3/8 541 24.37%        
3/7 435 36.36%        
3/6 319 44.34%        
3/5 221 39.87%        
3/4 158 27.42%        
3/3 124 24.00%        
3/2 100 33.33%       100 mark
3/1 75          

Starting from 100K cases the rate of increate will probably slow down. Number of infections among medical personnel are unavailable  (worldometers.info

It took the USA eight days to get from 100 cases to 1000 and another eight days to get from 1K to 10K.  Some of the dynamics  can be explained the low availability of test kits  -- this was the area where CDC royally screwed the US population

Unfortunately, the current atmosphere increasingly exhibits the characteristics of a collective panic—and that is always a poor basis for intelligent policy decisions.

The neoliberal society with its twisted guiding philosophy of radical individualism and competition combined with a supremacist “that could never happen here” attitude quickly falls into panicked chaos when reality kicks in and reveals the society’s underlying vulnerabilities. Countries with weak social safety nets and an ideological opposition to social responsibility are extremely vulnerable to systemic breakdown when their societies are hit with unexpected stress. That is what we see in the USA. This virus is revealing just how ineffective the neoliberal social Darwinism (“every man for himself”) ethic  (aka "neoliberal rationality") is and how deeply in denial and out of touch with reality these societies are. Including first of all neoliberal politicians.

The for-profit health system in the USA is certainly is very efficient in raking in cash for insurance companies and big pharma. But health care outcomes are mediocre at best and other countries do a far better job for far less money. The most basic needs of patients and health care workers are often unmet. Health care workers complain they haven’t received proper training putting them in danger of infection and do not have supplies to protect themselves even as they treat COVID-19 patients. And that's in richest country in the world.

...system can’t provide enough hand sanitizer the governor of New York came up with a solution. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will produce hand sanitizer made by prison labor .

The original reaction in the United States government to the corona outbreak was surprisingly casual. And that despire multiple intelligence againces who supposedly produce beefing for the President and other key figures of the administration (U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic ).  Early on it was clear the older population will be hit hard, but administration did not close access to senior care centers.  They did nothing to rump up local production of masks and other clothing necessary for medical personnel to fight infection. Medics, who are in most danger among all population groups,  were not systematically trained by  Koreans (the USA has two month to do so).  Proper protocols were not established. This was the major blunder of Trump administration and the case of bureaucratic incompetence what will be studying in books. 

At the same time some facts point out that the danger of this epodemics is systematically distorted (https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/)

In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work. School closures, for example, may reduce transmission rates. But they may also backfire if children socialize anyhow, if school closure leads children to spend more time with susceptible elderly family members, if children at home disrupt their parents ability to work, and more. School closures may also diminish the chances of developing herd immunity in an age group that is spared serious disease.

The USA government behaviour  drastically changed in March 11 with Trump's surprise announcement of cancelling air travel from EU countries for 30 days. Initially GB and Ireland were excluded, which provide for strangled travelers a "window" of escape. Later they were added.  Still all this was badly planned and caused major panic with ticket prices for the last flights from EU to the USA skyrocketing.

CDC blunders is another parts of the story of bureaucratic incompetence. CDC did not launch the training of medical personnel to use protective gear, despite that the fact that the virus severely affected medical personnel in Wuhan.  There was no efforts to launch additional production of masks and ventilators domestically, despite that fact that both are known bottlenecks. There were only very limited attempt to establish the screening and mandatory quarantine of passengers in airports, arriving from international flights. There were no attempt to supply hospitals in large cities with additional ventilators, masksa.  and similar protection gear. Looks like the USA government wasted the whole February and met flaring up of infections in March unprepared.  And what is most important CDC botched the production and distribution of virus tests leaving the country without them till late March, when tesing can change nothing. Gin was out of the bottle. 

It seems the CDC, NIH and the USA privatized health care system in general was caught flat-footed as if they didn't have any plan to execute.  Currently CDC does not even provide the information about how this particular virus spreads (Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDC):

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

At the same time Trump attempted to fight panic spread by  neoliberal MSM as for mortality and that's a positive part of the government response ( Trump disputes World Health Organization death rate )

Asked about WHO's coronavirus fatality rate findings during an interview Wednesday, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity: "Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number."

He added, "now, this is just my hunch ... based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it's very mild."

Trump later put the number at less than 1%.

Later events proved that he was right.

While some problems that the USA now experience with coronavirus are the direct or indirect result of blunders (like CDC blunder with test kits; of overcrowding of returning passengers in airports on arrival from Europe after the fight ban), some are not.  Many things are rooted deeply in neoliberal globalization and perverted neoliberal rationality. Both make proper reaction to dangerous epidemic almost impossible. So by-and-large the USA current problems were unavoidable.

Also in epidemics like in war mistakes are to be made. At the same time repeating Chinese mistakes was pain vanilla incompetence. Classic bureaucratic incompetence, if you wish. While there are no perfect responses in the current environment (the availability of a vaccine would change everything), the earlier government reacted, the slower the virus would spread. But under neoliberal globalization any reaction entails severe economic disruption, and that means that the measures were postponed till it's to late for them to be affective while providing the same level of economic disruption.  Meanwhile large sectors of the economy, here and abroad, are nearly collapsing because of fears about COVID-19 epidemics that are not entirely justified.

Watch the interviews below. Dr. Anthony Fauci who is the head of the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) This high level "medical diplomat"  in his March interviews carefully avoid mentioning that fact that CDC completely botched producing and distributing test kits and the government did nothing substantial to combat the virus the whole February. Most airports did not perform even elementary screening of arriving passengers.  And the operation of returning the US citizens from Europe after travel with EU countries was banned was also completely botched. All February the administration essentially was allowing the flow infected passengers from Italy and France without screening and quarantine  (two severely hit by COVID-19 countries with large tourists flows from the USA) to spread the disease in the USA:

But there is some progress. With national emergency declared on Feb 13, FEMA's USD 50 billion is unlocked to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA is one of the few federal institutions which still works and works well.

Arrival of warm weather on Eastern Coast may significantly change the dynamic of epidemics, slow down infections and help NYC, which is the most severe affected on this coast and the most densely populated area.  

Measures for self-isolation of seniors like California tries now is of vital importance and it should have been done much earlier, because the USA has advantage of Chinese experience with this epidemic (which it by-and-large ignored). This was not done. There should also be the prohibition of air trips and remove vacations (including cruise ships) for this category of people. Violators they put their own life and lives of other people especially medical personnel in unnecessary danger. Seniors are the major factor is overcrowding of intensive care beds in the hospitals.  Trying to protect them from this virus is probably the most important part of "flattening the curve" efforts.

The USA has a lower population density than other affected countries so outside of large cities like New York it is in much better position  to suppress the epidemics. Large parts of the country such as Texas already have warm weather  which typically helps to suppress such epidemics.

Globally COVID-19 is spreading more slowly then in the USA slowly: 69K cases on Feb 15 vs. 162K cases on March 15: in other words the number of cases  approx. doubled in one month period. Assuming that the next month will be same and then epidemic start to subside replicating the shape of the curve before the peak,  we will have globally around 162+324+162K=648K or something like half-million cases total for this virus

The delay between the shutdown in Wuhan and a fall in new daily cases was 12 days . That suggests that in two weeks  from now we will probably see a drop in the number of new cases in the US. But that is not guaranteed.

The priority is to slow down the spread of the disease to lessen overcrowding of hospital beds with severe cases.

At the same time there are multiple cases of selfish, reckless behaviour of a part of the population.  Some young people from closed schools and universities engage in travel as tickets and hotels are dirt cheap now. Those who carry the virus are spreading the infection with them.   Some people who are at risk are not wearing mask and engage in reckless behaviour disrespecting community interests such as shopping using public transport or other encounters with large number of people. Years of neoliberalism brainwashing  ("Greed is good", "shareholder value" mantra, glorification of unlimited predatory competition as in Latin saying "homo homini lupus est") converted a large part of the US population into  greedy and selfish animals,   and while such people concentrate in FIRE sector, other segment of population  are also severely affected.  The situation is especially bad in NYC. 

Years of neoliberalism brainwashing converted some part of the US population into greedy and selfish animals and this epidemic and while such people concentrate in FIRE sector, other segment of population are also severely affected. Epidemic of hoarding also had shown the ugly face of neoliberal rationality in full grace. The situation is especially bad in NYC. 

So far infections are clustered within families and friends of initially infected persons. For example, if wife is infected, the husband and children typically became infected too. Common spreading centers are religious gatherings and conferences. The same danger represents  travelling with the infected person in public transport if he/she is not wearing a mask, or any other close and prolonged contact. Most of initial US patients had recently visited Wuhan or attended meeting/conference were at least one infected person  was present.  "Community spread" cases, where person was infected in transport or public places like grocery shops like on this early state of epidemic are relatively rare.

Judging from China experience the next two months in the USA will be "interesting times."  The lower you are in the "wealth pyramid" the  worse it is for you. Particularly for the elderly underclass.

peterAUS, February 26, 2020 at 12:23 am GMT 

@Delta G

Is the Chinese Government using the Corona outbreak as a cover for some other purpose?

Definitely. Iranian too. Related to trade war/sanctions I feel. The bottom line, everybody on top wins, in this game. Say….up to 20 %. The rest are designated losers. Lower in the pyramid worse it is. The elderly underclass in particular. Good gig…for some. So far works like charm.

Critique of the "flattening the curve" approach adopted by the USA

Adapted from the article by John P.A. Ioannidis https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

Yet if the health system does become overwhelmed, the majority of the extra deaths may not be due to coronavirus but to other common diseases and conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, etc that are not adequately treated. If the level of the epidemic does overwhelm the health system and extreme measures have only modest effectiveness, then flattening the curve may make things worse: Instead of being overwhelmed during a short, acute phase, the health system will remain overwhelmed for a more protracted period. That’s another reason we need data about the exact level of the epidemic activity.

One of the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long ockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy and society. Hyping the threat by MSM already produced harding epidemic in the USA.    Unpredictable evolutions may ensue, including financial crisis.

At a minimum, we need unbiased prevalence and incidence data for the evolving infectious load to guide decision-making.

In the most pessimistic scenario, which I do not espouse, if the new coronavirus infects 60% of the global population and 1% of the infected people die, that will translate into more than 40 million deaths globally, matching the 1918 influenza pandemic.

The vast majority of this hecatomb would be people with limited life expectancies. That’s in contrast to 1918, when many young people died.

Hoarding epidemics

We can discuss whether CODID-19 represents a pandemic or not, but hoarding epidemics in the USA is very real.

It also feels like a scam: there is no shortage of snake oil sellers who hope stoking such fears will make people buy more supplies. The reality is that there is little point “preparing“ for the most catastrophic scenarios some of these people envision. As a species, we live and die by our social world and  infrastructure — and outside some minimal stocks (say two weeks supply of food in areas affected by infection  and which might be subject to quarantine (which are currently only two cities in the  US.) Moreover, it is difficult to predict  what will be needed in the face of total catastrophe (Preparing for Coronavirus to Strike the U.S. - Scientific American Blog Network ). You can't drink sanitizer and you need minimal amount of it when you are outside of home. In all other cases regular soap is more effective against this virus,  so hoarding sanitizer is far from the best move you can make:

American Association for the Advancement of Science By Derek Lowe 4 March, 2020

ScienceMag - Pipeline

Since this is going to be a post about the coronavirus, let's start off with this PSA: wash your hands. These viruses have a lipid envelope that is crucial to their structure and function, and soaps and detergents are thus very effective at inactivating them. It's fast, it's simple, and it's one of the more useful things that any individual can do under these conditions.

The real crisis scenarios we’re likely to encounter require cooperation and, crucially, “flattening the curve” of the crisis   which includes sharing not hoarding, so the more vulnerable (older folks) can fare better and our social world and the infrastructure will be less stressed.  For those who can do it that way that means switching to work from home and avoiding unnecessary travel and meetings.  Most think those days can be done via phone of via teleconferencing.

We do not need to contribute to the panic, and to panic  buying isopropyl alcohol and hand sanitizers as if there no tomorrow. From state to state, shelves at grocery stores are being emptied. Community after community is stocking up on essential goods as they anticipate a very remote (or non-existent  in many areas of the country ) possibility our of fears of forced  China style self-quarantine.  In reality only retired persons in areas with active cases of infection need to self-quarantine as they are the most vulnerable and can overwhelm  hospitals. They generally should stay home, avoid direct contact with relatives  and friends (which are rare those days, anyway, so no big deal) , and do only rare shopping which should exclude all shopping for clothing, etc.  They need a lot of exposure to sun, vitamins, flesh air to boost the immune system. Abandoning bad  habits like smoking would be nice too. No or minimal visits to restaurants, entertainment centers like casino,  or God forbid cruise ships or international travel. For the sake of everyone else, they should prepare to stay home for a few weeks, while epidemic burns out in their neighborhood  and try their best not to be infected.  This way they will reduce their own risks, but most importantly, they will reduce the burden on health care and delivery infrastructure and allow frontline workers to reach and help the most vulnerable.

What does “flattening the curve” mean for the current COVID-19 threat facing us: the emerging pandemic of this human coronavirus? Epidemiologists often talk about two important numbers: R0 or how infectious a disease might be, expressed as the number of people that are infected by each person who’s been infected; and the case fatality ratio (CFR): the number of people who die as a result of being infected. For example, an R0 of two means each infected person infects two people on average, while a number less than one means the disease is likely dying out in the population. Some diseases are deadlier than others: the average case fatality ratio for Ebola has been around 50 percent, for example, while the common cold is rarely deadly for otherwise healthy individuals.

The infectiousness of a virus, for example, depends on how much we encounter one another; how well we quarantine individuals who are ill; how often we wash our hands; whether those treating the ill have proper protective equipment; how healthy we are to begin with—and such factors are all under our control. After active measures were implemented, the R0 for the 2003 SARS epidemic, for example, went from around three, meaning each person infected three others, to 0.04. It was our response to SARS in 2003 that made sure the disease died out from earth, with less than a thousand victims globally.

... ... ..

All of this means that the only path to flattening the curve for COVID-19 is community-wide isolation: the more people stay home, the fewer people will catch the disease. The fewer people who catch the disease, the better hospitals can help those who do. Crowding at hospitals doesn’t just threaten those with COVID-19; if emergency rooms are overwhelmed, more flu patients, too, will die because of lack of treatment, for example.

But what we see in the USA is primitive and destructive hoarding epidemic. Toilet paper, sanitary wipes and sanitizers are in short supply as stocks are being exhausted. As of March 3, 2020 a 250 ml (8 ounces) bottle of hand sanitizer on Amazon was $60 or so (while its regular price is $2 or so ;-).  This is not only ridiculous but it beats "socialist back market"  prices.

Ana

I know someone who is the head of security in the SF Bay for a large big box membership store that all of us in the States are familiar with. Their stores in the SF Bay area have been selling out of water, hand sanitizers, gloves, masks and other similar cleaning supplies, along with boxed mac and cheese and similar long shelf life foods.

Their regional supply center that brings replacement supply in over night by semi trucks has not been able to refill it’s own pallets from suppliers. He just texted me pics of local big box stores in the Bay with empty shelves and no back stock is available. I can’t find info on sales of things like generators. I don’t care what soothing nonsense the TV and feds blather at us. People are trying to get what they think they need to cope with serious disruption.

Ana in Sacramento.

P.S. By the way, I was one of the paper pushers who designed emergency response and business resumption plans for the State of California. This event was never considered or planned for. I’m retired so it may have been added after I left.

The dynamic of the USA panic can be watched via Amazon prices for those items and as of March 7 the panic is still in full swing  (you can buy the same 250 ml(8 ounces) bottle for mere $35 ;-) .   And they used to say that such hoarding behaviour is typical only for socialism ;-).

Starting from March 13 federal and local governments jumped into action

And despite chaotic and botched containment of epidemic (CDC botched development and production of test kits so badly that the officials responsible probably should be tried for criminal negligence ) the USA government managed already take several measures to slow down the spread of the virus (please note that time is working against the virus -- warm weather in East cost will come in May or even earlier).

For example, starting Sunday, Feb. 2, the US citizens, permanent residents and immediate family who have visited China's Hubei province undergo a mandatory 14 days quarantine. On Mar 11, Trump administration prohibited all flights from Europe firs exampling  UK and Ireland and later adding them.  

On Mar 13 Trump has declared the coronavirus a US national emergency and offered $50 billion for support of state and local governments to fight the virus with FEMA.

At the same time the US Fed has increased its public support of the global private banking system in amounts looking to total in the trillions of dollars and our Congress Critters are setting up to re-authorize the Patriot Act suppression of human rights.

On March 15 CDC recommended that all gatherings of more than 50 people within the United States be canceled for the next 8 weeks.

The same day California ordered all bars and nightclubs to shut their doors, restaurants to cut the number of tables in half and for millions of seniors and people with chronic health conditions to immediately “self-isolate” at home (mercurynews.com)

As the coronavirus continues its rapid spread, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday afternoon issued an urgent call for all California, restaurants to cut the number of tables in half and for millions of seniors and people with chronic health conditions to immediately “self-isolate” at home.

Newsom’s unprecedented call for action is designed to slow the infection rate, especially among the most vulnerable. The governor stopped short of asking eating establishments to shut their doors, saying the need for food service during the pandemic remained vital.

“We need to prioritize our focus,” Newsom said during an hour-long press conference in Sacramento. “We are looking at this from a very holistic perspective.”

It was unclear how long the self-quarantine for seniors should continue.

NYC closed all schools staring Monday, March 16, 2020. NJ followed the suit.  Both states resorted to pretty drastic measures. All schools, entertainment outlets such as bars, nightclubs and non-essential shops are closed in NY and NJ.   Meetings over 50 people prohibited. Malls are also closes in some counties. 

The colossal failure with production and distribution of tests by CDC

The CDC stunning failure to provide the coronavirus testing kits needed to control the spread of the outbreak is a national outrage. Their incompetence threatens to increase the scope and prolong the  duration of epidemics and contributes to troubles that now the USA economy experience.

It is unlearn why the CDC failed to make mass production of test kits its top priority and who is responsible. But it is clear that heads should roll (The Mercury News editorial,

South Korea is testing 20,000 people every day, thanks to a biotech firm that anticipated the threat in January. South Korea is providing free tests for anyone a doctor deems necessary at more than 100 facilities across the nation. The result is that South Korea is now seeing more recoveries than new cases.

Contrast that with the state of California, which has only 10 million fewer people than South Korea. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that the state has been provided with 8,227 testing kits from the CDC. But some of those kits did not contain all the chemicals needed to administer them to Californians — a glaring failure given that it’s been nearly two months since the coronavirus outbreak began in China.

Newsom compared it to “going to the store and purchasing a printer, but forgetting to purchase the ink. You need multiple components.”

All told, as of Friday [Mar13, 2020], California had conducted a total of only 1,573 tests at its 18 state test labs.

The problem stems from the CDC’s botched first effort to mass produce test kits, followed by delays in sending promised replacement kits for several weeks.

“The incompetence has really exceeded what anyone would expect with the CDC,” Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, told the New York Times. “This is not a difficult problem to solve in the world of viruses.”

Testing is crucial to slowing the spread of the disease because it allows those who are infected to be quarantined. Health officials can then trace who they may have been in contact with and test and possibly quarantine those people.

It’s essential that Congress investigate what went wrong and take steps to prevent it from happening during the next inevitable infectious disease threat. But that’s for another day. The focus now must be on taking steps to minimize further spread of coronavirus and its impact on people and the economy.

The state is turning to its major hospitals and private labs for additional help. It’s possible that their testing sites could be up and running in the next week. President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on Friday could also eliminate red tape and speed the testing process.

Once upon a time, the United States was the global leader in fighting infectious diseases and serving as the provider for testing kits to the world. Those days are long gone. The CDC must act to make up for its incompetence and take whatever steps necessary to protect Americans against current and future outbreaks.

The CDC must also give clear direction on how hospitals can treat patients during this national emergency. It is not done. China recommended three drugs that can help some patients. CDC does not provided any recommendations at all.

A botched implementation of cutting air travel with Europe

Abrupt announcement caused panic and airports on arrival became so overcrowded that they became epicenter of spreading the decease: they manage to replicate the situation that was far worse that exists on cruise ships with many thousand of people.

Can air conditioners that re-circulate air spread the virus?

Air conditioners are also known to circulate air-borne diseases such as Legionairre’s Disease, a potentially fatal infectious disease that produces high fever and pneumonia. For efficiency air-conditioned on cruise ships, bases and airplanes mix fresh air with the already circulated air and this is a concern. For example, some experts think that in Diamond Princess cruise ship epidemic AC might help to spread the virus to all cabin

Currently there is no strong evidence to support the claim that the virus can be transmitted through the air conditioner recirculation. It is believed to be spread mainly through droplets on close contact with infected person (less then 2m). In this case the mucus or saliva of an infected person who sneezes or coughs can be inhaled and infect the person.  This virus is likely to die when the droplets dry up (Can the coronavirus be spread through the air, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times):

Experts say if the virus could really survive even after the droplets carrying it have dried up, it would have spread through the air as dust particles and potentially infected 10 times more people, which is not the case.

Last week, a Shanghai official, Mr Zeng Qun, said the virus could spread through aerosol transmission, or the mixing of the virus with airborne liquid droplets.

This would allow the virus to linger in the air and infect those who inhale it, he said. Diseases that are known to spread this way include tuberculosis, chicken pox and measles.

But an infectious diseases expert at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Mr Feng Luzhao, refuted this on Sunday, stating that the droplets carrying the virus travel only about 1m to 2m and do not stay suspended in the air. This is why you are unlikely to catch the virus through transient (or short-term) contact such as on public transport.

Ultraviolet rays and heat from the sun can kill the virus as virus does not last long on fresh air in a sunny day.  This is true for all viruses. The likelihood of viral persistence outdoors is lower, as most studies indicate that viruses do not survive in hot and humid environments. This refers to a temperature of over 30C and a humidity level of over 80 per cent.

Using humidifier at home and maintaining 50% humidity might  help to protect you and family members.


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[May 24, 2020] I Think It May Have Cost Lives - Nobel Prize Winner Slams Lockdowns As Product Of Panic Virus

May 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

According to the Telegraph , Michael Levitt correctly predicted the initial trajectory of the pandemic, but was ignored by now-disgraced Imperial College epidemiologist Niall Ferguson, whose warnings were embraced by the UK government as justification for the lockdown, despite the fact that the projections proved to be extremely flawed and dramatically overestimated the virus's potential for devastation. As early as march, Levitt warned that Ferguson's projections had over-estimated the potential death toll by "10 or 12 times".

Instead of helping the situation, Fergusons' projections created an unnecessary "panic virus" which spread among global political leaders, Prof Levitt told the Telegraph.

Prof Levitt, a British-American-Israeli who shared the Nobel prize for chemistry in 2013 for the "development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems", has said for two months that the planet will beat coronavirus faster than most other experts predict.

"I think lockdown saved no lives," said the scientist, who added that the Government should have encouraged Britons to wear masks and adhere to other forms of social distancing.

"I think it may have cost lives. It will have saved a few road accident lives - things like that - but social damage - domestic abuse, divorces, alcoholism - has been extreme. And then you have those who were not treated for other conditions."

Data from various studies has offered a mixed picture about the effectiveness of the lockdowns. The number of cases and deaths has undoubtedly plunged in the US and across Europe since strict lockdowns were almost universally enacted, but many wonder whether governments are being overly cautious, perhaps to a dangerous degree.

Though his models have been vindicated by the passage of time, Levitt said his initial concerns about Ferguson's models were largely ignored due to what he calls the "panic virus", despite the fact that there's recent precedent for epidemiological models over-estimating the impact of other outbreaks, including H1N1 and Ebola.

Having assessed the initial outbreak in China and from the infected Diamond Princess cruise ship, he predicted by March 14 that the UK would lose around 50,000 lives. Prof Ferguson's modelling that same week estimated up to 500,000 deaths without social distancing measures.

"I think that the real virus was the panic virus," Prof Levitt told the Telegraph. "For reasons that were not clear to me, I think the leaders panicked and the people panicked and I think there was a huge lack of discussion..

The 73-year-old has no background as an epidemiologist, but he assessed the outbreak in China and prepared a paper based on his own calculations. Most countries, he predicted, would suffer a Covid-19 death rate worth around an extra month in excess deaths over the calendar year.

"In Europe, I don't think that anything actually stopped the virus other than some kind of burnout," he added. " There's a huge number of people who are asymptomatic so I would seriously imagine that by the time lockdown was finally introduced in the UK the virus was already widely spread. They could have just stayed open like Sweden by that stage and nothing would have happened."

Professor Levitt has now analysed the data from 78 nations with more than 50 reported cases of coronavirus. His investigations proved the virus was never going to achieve the type of exponential growth that the researchers at Imperial were predicting at the same time.

At this point, Levitt believes the virus has reached a point of saturation across Europe and parts of the US making lockdowns much less effective. At this point, they're probably causing far more harm than benefit.

The virus "has saturated", he believes, across Europe. "I think the lockdown will cause much more damage than the deaths saved," he added. "When I saw the briefing (from Prof Ferguson) I was shocked. I had a run-in with him when I actually saw that Ferguson's death rate was a year's worth - doubling the normal death rate. I saw that and said immediately that's completely wrong. I think Ferguson over-estimated 10 or 12 times. We should have seen from China that a virus never grows exponentially. From the very first case you see, exponential growth actually slows down very dramatically.

"The problem with epidemiologists is that they feel their job is to frighten people into lockdown, social distancing. So you say 'there's going to be a million deaths' and when there are only 25,000 you say 'it's good you listened to my advice'. This happened with Ebola and bird flu. It's just part of the madness."

Prof Levitt says the global evidence shows the virus fades in dry heat and in much of the western world "there seems to be some kind of immunity". "The main worry I would have would be in China," he said when asked about the prospect of a second outbreak. "I am 73 and I feel very young," he added. "I don't care about the risk at all. As you get old the risk of dying from disease is so high that this is the time to buy a motorcycle, go skiing!"

Even as the NYT and WaPo search for every shred of evidence to support the view that the reopening in the US will lead to a second wave, they're finding that there's not nearly as much as they'd hoped - which is why projections are their new favorite tool.

[May 24, 2020] 'How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?' The government's disease-fighting agency is conflating viral and antibody tests, compromising a few crucial metrics that governors depend on to reopen their economies. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and other states are doing the same.

Notable quotes:
"... "According to CDC, the disease of obesity affects about 78 million Americans 1 and the ASMBS estimates about 24 million have severe or morbid obesity." ..."
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , May 24 2020 23:54 utc | 46

And the government botching of this crisis continues...

'How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?' The government's disease-fighting agency is conflating viral and antibody tests, compromising a few crucial metrics that governors depend on to reopen their economies. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and other states are doing the same.
https://tinyurl.com/y92ea59f

And overseas as well...

'Politicised nature' of lockdown debate delays Imperial report
https://tinyurl.com/y7csboom

And of course, the effect of that...

Nearly half of US states haven't contained their coronavirus outbreaks, a new study finds
https://tinyurl.com/yc72pd8t

And no, Sweden is not doing better...

Just 7.3% of Stockholm had Covid-19 antibodies by end of April, study shows
Official findings add to concerns about Sweden's laissez-faire strategy towards the pandemic
https://tinyurl.com/yahnmb3a

Finally, a large scale study on HCQ - 86,000 patients, with 15,000 receiving HCQ...

Trump drug hydroxychloroquine raises death risk in Covid patients, study says
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52779309

The color of coronavirus:
COVID-19 deaths by race and ethnicity in the U.S.
https://www.apmresearchlab.org/covid/deaths-by-race

Blacks are *twice* as likely to get it as whites and Latinos. American Indians are *five times* more likely to get it. They conclude the best indicator is poverty.

From The Lancet, a study of New York patients... Epidemiology, clinical course, and outcomes of critically ill adults with COVID-19 in New York City: a prospective cohort study https://tinyurl.com/yblmszsx

Between March 2 and April 1, 2020, 1150 adults were admitted to both hospitals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, of which 257 (22%) were critically ill.

The median age of patients was 62 years (IQR 51–72), 171 (67%) were men. 212 (82%) patients had at least one chronic illness, the most common of which were hypertension (162 [63%]) and diabetes (92 [36%]).

119 (46%) patients had obesity.

As of April 28, 2020, 101 (39%) patients had died and 94 (37%) remained hospitalised.

203 (79%) patients received invasive mechanical ventilation for a median of 18 days (IQR 9–28), 170 (66%) of 257 patients received vasopressors and 79 (31%) received renal replacement therapy.

The median time to in-hospital deterioration was 3 days (IQR 1–6).

In the multivariable Cox model, older age (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1·31 [1·09–1·57] per 10-year increase), chronic cardiac disease (aHR 1·76 [1·08–2·86]), chronic pulmonary disease (aHR 2·94 [1·48–5·84]), higher concentrations of interleukin-6 (aHR 1·11 [95%CI 1·02–1·20] per decile increase), and higher concentrations of D-dimer (aHR 1·10 [1·01–1·19] per decile increase) were independently associated with in-hospital mortality.

Note: 36% had diabetes; 46% were fat. Like I've said before, "diabetes" is a code word for "fat." And how many people in the US are fat and thus at risk? "According to CDC, the disease of obesity affects about 78 million Americans 1 and the ASMBS estimates about 24 million have severe or morbid obesity."

So much for "let's just isolate the elderly"...so we can attend our baseball games this summer and stuff ourselves with crap food...

[May 23, 2020] Lock Bill Gates Up!

May 23, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Millennial Millie investigates the deep conflicts of interest and connections Bill Gates has with the coronavirus and his proposed 'vaccine' to cure the pandemic.

[May 23, 2020] Plummeting Morale, Rising Discontent

May 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

financial matters , May 23 2020 0:36 utc | 49

This is an interesting look at the situation in the military as related to the militaries place in society. It is written in Marxist language of class struggle which is one way to look at it. There does seem to be pressure for some sort of social reform.

Also similar things could be said about the working conditions of many of our 'essential workers'

The Coronavirus Crisis Is Creating Dissent Within The Ranks Of The Armed Forces.
https://popularresistance.org/the-growing-outbreak-of-discontent-in-the-us-military/

""It is a well-known feature of revolutionary history that the individual soldiers and sailors who make up the armed forces can be affected by the overarching mood in society and play a key role in the class struggle. The cramped quarters of Navy warships have been likened to "floating factories," and given the proletarian background of most of their crews, these conditions can breed a fierce class hatred.

Add a deadly virus to the already volatile mix, and the stage is set for a social explosion.

On April 2, Thomas Modly, the then-Acting Secretary of the Navy, relieved Crozier of command and ordered him removed from the vessel. An online video was posted of Crozier leaving the vessel, with the Roosevelt's crew on deck cheering him and chanting his name. To the rank and file, an officer standing up to leadership at such a high level to advocate on their behalf is almost unheard of. Then, Modly, who previously sat on the Defense Business Board of a $42 billion consulting firm, actually flew all the way out to Guam -- at a reported cost of $243,000 -- to personally berate the crew, calling them "stupid," and Captain Crozier "naïve." His profanity-laden rebuke was also leaked by members of the crew.

Modly was defiantly heckled by the sailors, and after the subsequent public outcry, he resigned on April 7. As of the writing of this article, there have been over 1,100 positive cases of COVID-19 among the crew of the Roosevelt -- including Crozier himself. One crew member, a junior enlisted sailor, has died. The crew continues to languish in port as Crozier's dire prediction came true. This saga of higher-level commanders ignoring the warnings of the people "on the ground" is all too familiar to the military rank and file.

Plummeting Morale, Rising Discontent

The public heckling of Thomas Modly was a significant event. No matter how unpopular the leader, service members will almost always "sit there and take it," both out of a sense of professionalism -- and out of fear of punishment. The response of the Roosevelt's crew reflects a population on edge

In these conditions of dysfunction and discontent, military leaders are undoubtedly haunted by the recent 45th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, which marked the defeat of the US in Vietnam amid widespread mutinies and soldier resistance. In the course of that war, the Pentagon documented half a million cases of desertion, and at least 900 incidents of "fragging" -- the deliberate killing of officers by soldiers.

As a result, the Pentagon drew certain conclusions and the entire military was restructured in an attempt to cut across a repeat of those events. The military is no longer made up of conscripts, most combat missions are performed by special forces or drones, and information is effectively sanitized and kept out of public view. And yet, despite these measures, service member opposition to the current wars, has been on the rise, especially among veterans.

In many cases, soldiers are recruited on the predatory basis of the "poverty draft," with the promise of a stable income, housing, healthcare, education opportunities, and an escape from the deprivations of capitalism. But the empty nature of these promises is revealed by the rates of homelessness and mental illness among veterans.

According to a "Political Risk Outlook" published by the strategic consulting firm Maplecroft, a quarter of the countries on the earth's surface experienced a surge in civil unrest, mass protests, and revolutionary situations last year. The report summary concluded by describing 2019 as the "new normal":"

The pent-up rage that has boiled over into street protests over the past year has caught most governments by surprise. Policymakers across the globe have mostly reacted with limited concessions and a clampdown by security forces, but without addressing the underlying causes. However, even if tackled immediately, most of the grievances are deeply entrenched and would take years to address. With this in mind, 2019 is unlikely to be a flash in the pan. The next 12 months are likely to yield more of the same, and companies and investors will have to learn to adapt and live with this "new normal." "

[May 22, 2020] Grandma Killer Cuomo Sent 4,300 Patients Back To Nursing Homes Despite Positive COVID-19 Tests

May 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"Grandma Killer" Cuomo Sent 4,300 Patients Back To Nursing Homes Despite Positive COVID-19 Tests by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 17:25 Earlier this month, a reporter at one of NY Gov Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefings asked the governor about reports that the state issued guidance calling for hospitals to return thousands of patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 to nursing homes or long-term care facilities where they lived.

Somehow, despite the horrifying notion that Cuomo deliberately sent patients back to nursing homes where they unleashed some of the deadliest outbreaks in the country, the governor readily owned up to the decision, and insisted public health officials believed this to be the best option to prevent the patients from just hanging around the hospital.

With the benefit of hindsight, we now see that the hospital bed shortages that the US had prepared for never came to pass. So, not only did this decision lead to thousands of deaths, it was also totally unnecessary.

Because as the Associated Press reported Friday morning, an investigation discovered that more than 4,000 nursing home patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 were returned to their care facilities due to this state order.

More than 4,300 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York's already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation's deadliest outbreaks, according to a count by The Associated Press.

AP compiled its own tally to find out how many COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals to nursing homes under the March 25 directive after New York's Health Department declined to release its internal survey conducted two weeks ago. It says it is still verifying data that was incomplete.

The issue has become a huge problem for Cuomo, who has been labeled "the grandma killer" by critics. When confronted with the data by the AP, the state health department declined to comment. One individual quoted by the AP called it "the single dumbest decision" made during the response to the pandemic.

And guess what - this decision had nothing to do with President Trump. While Cuomo of course tried to deflected criticism to the Trump administration by claiming that the decision stemmed from federal guidance, the AP pointed out that "few states went as far as New York and neighboring New Jersey, which has the second-most care home deaths, in discharging hospitalized coronavirus patients to nursing homes. California followed suit but loosened its requirement following intense criticism."

Whatever the full number, nursing home administrators, residents' advocates and relatives say i t has added up to a big and indefensible problem for facilities that even Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- the main proponent of the policy -- called "the optimum feeding ground for this virus."

"It was the single dumbest decision anyone could make if they wanted to kill people," Daniel Arbeeny said of the directive, which prompted him to pull his 88-year-old father out of a Brooklyn nursing home where more than 50 people have died. His father later died of COVID-19 at home.

"This isn't rocket science," Arbeeny said. "We knew the most vulnerable - the elderly and compromised - are in nursing homes and rehab centers."

Told of the AP's tally, the Health Department said late Thursday it "can't comment on data we haven't had a chance to review, particularly while we're still validating our own comprehensive survey of nursing homes admission and re-admission data in the middle of responding to this global pandemic."

Cuomo didn't reverse the order until May 10. According to the directive, nursing homes could "refuse" to take in the patients if they weren't "equipped" to handle them. But unsurprisingly, no nursing homes did so - since this would be tantamount to admitting that the facilities weren't safe .

Cuomo, a Democrat, on May 10 reversed the directive, which had been intended to help free up hospital beds for the sickest patients as cases surged. But he continued to defend it this week , saying he didn't believe it contributed to the more than 5,800 nursing and adult care facility deaths in New York -- more than in any other state -- and that homes should have spoken up if it was a problem.

"Any nursing home could just say, 'I can't handle a COVID person in my facility,'" he said, although the March 25 order didn't specify how homes could refuse, saying that "no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the (nursing home) solely based" on confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Over a month later, on April 29, the Health Department clarified that homes should not take any new residents if they were unable to meet their needs, including a checklist of standards for coronavirus care and prevention.

And according to the AP, even the most well-equipped nursing homes in the state saw the trickle of COVID patients turn into a flood that quickly overwhelmed their ability to cope. Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents and staff have succumbed to the illness.

Gurwin Jewish, a 460-bed home on Long Island, seemed well-prepared for the coronavirus in early March, with movable walls to seal off hallways for the infected. But after the state order, a trickle of recovering COVID-19 patients from local hospitals turned into a flood of 58 people.

More walls were put up, but other residents nonetheless began falling sick and dying. In the end, 47 Gurwin residents died of confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

The state order "put staff and residents at great risk," CEO Stuart Almer said. "We can't draw a straight line from bringing in someone positive to someone catching the disease, but we're talking about elderly, fragile and vulnerable residents."

Nationally, over 35,500 people have died from coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities, about a third of the overall death toll, according to the AP's running tally.

Bottom line: Irony of ironies, the most sanctimonious blue-state governors, who used every conceivable pretext to bash President Trump, also allowed the largest numbers of vulnerable patients to die because of what amounts to sheer bureaucratic idiocy.

The scandal has earned Cuomo a new nickname that has been heavily suppressed by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter: The "Grandma Killer".

[May 22, 2020] Cuomo Order That Sent Estimated 4,300 Covid-19 Patients to Nursing Homes Denounced as 'Single Dumbest Decision Anyone Could Make'

May 22, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing new criticism after the Associated Press reported Friday that a state directive led to over 4,300 still recovering coronavirus patients being sent to New York's "already vulnerable nursing homes."

"It was a death sentence," tweeted Daniel Choi, a doctor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He called the directive a "horrendous idea" and "definitely not something any doctor taking care of nursing home patients would have signed off on."

The state health department directive (pdf), issued March 25, barred nursing homes from requiring patients deemed "medically stable" from being tested for Covid-19 prior to admission. Cuomo, a Democrat, rescinded the order May 10, but not before thousands of infected patients likely entered nursing homes and contributed to the coronavirus's spread.

The estimated number tallied by the AP amounts to what would have been a "big and indefensible problem for facilities," the outlet reported.

From the AP :

"It was the single dumbest decision anyone could make if they wanted to kill people," Daniel Arbeeny said of the directive, which prompted him to pull his 88-year-old father out of a Brooklyn nursing home where more than 50 people have died. His father later died of Covid-19 at home.

"This isn't rocket science," Arbeeny said. "We knew the most vulnerable -- the elderly and compromised -- are in nursing homes and rehab centers."

CBS New York reported Friday that the conoravirus has taken the lives of almost 5% of nursing home residents in the state, and this week the Cuomo tried to deflect blame for the directive.

"Why did the state do that with Covid patients in nursing homes?" asked Cuomo. "It's because the state followed President Trump's CDC guidelines. So they should ask President Trump."

In an op-ed at the Guardian on Wednesday questioning the recent accolades heaped on the New York governor -- including suggestions that Cuomo run for president -- journalists Lyta Gold and Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs magazine write that "Cuomo should be one of the most loathed officials in America right now. "

Gold and Robinson argue that blame for New York's high death toll from the virus should sit largely with Cuomo.

"Federal failures played a role, of course, but this tragedy was absolutely due, in part, to decisions by the governor," they wrote, citing as examples his failure to take swift action, delays in imposing social distancing measures, Medicaid cuts both before and after the start of the pandemic, and his partnership with Silicon Valley billionaires to "reimagine education."

"This is the problem: for too long, Democrats have measured their politicians by 'whether they are better than Republicans,' wrote Gold and Robinson. "This sets the bar very low indeed, and means that Democrats end up settling for incompetent and amoral leaders who betray progressive values again and again."

[May 22, 2020] Andrew Cuomo is no hero. He's to blame for New York's coronavirus catastrophe

May 22, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

Andrew Cuomo may be the most popular politician in the country. ... All of which is bizarre, because Cuomo should be one of the most loathed officials in America right now. ProPublica recently released a report outlining catastrophic missteps by Cuomo and the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, which probably resulted in many thousands of needless coronavirus cases. ProPublica offers some appalling numbers contrasting what happened in New York with the outbreak in California. By mid-May, New York City alone had almost 20,000 deaths, while in San Francisco there had been only 35, and New York state as a whole suffered 10 times as many deaths as California.

Federal failures played a role, of course, but this tragedy was absolutely due, in part, to decisions by the governor. Cuomo initially "reacted to De Blasio's idea for closing down New York City with derision", saying it "was dangerous" and "served only to scare people". He said the "seasonal flu was a graver worry". A spokesperson for Cuomo "refused to say if the governor had ever read the state's pandemic plan". Later, Cuomo would blame the press, including the New York Times for failing to say "Be careful, there's a virus in China that may be in the United States?" even though the Times wrote nearly 500 stories on the virus before the state acted. Experts told ProPublica that "had New York imposed its extreme social distancing measures a week or two earlier, the death toll might have been cut by half or more".

But delay was not the only screw-up. Elderly prisoners have died of coronavirus because New York has failed to act on their medical parole requests. As Business Insider documented:

"Testing was slow . Nonprofit social-service agencies that serve the most vulnerable couldn't get answers either . And medical experts like the former CDC director Tom Frieden said 'so many deaths could have been prevented' had New York issued its stay-at-home order just 'days earlier' than it did. On March 19, when New York's schools had already been closed, Cuomo said 'in many ways, the fear is more dangerous than the virus.'"

The governor has failed to take responsibility for the obvious failures, consistently blaming others and at one point even saying " governors don't do pandemics ". (Actually, some governors just don't read their state's pandemic plans.) But much of the press has ignored this, focusing instead on Cuomo's aesthetic presentation: his poise during press conferences, his dramatic statements about "taking responsibility" (even when he obviously hasn't), and his invisible good looks. ...

There's something disturbing about Cuomo being hailed as the hero of the pandemic when he should rightly be one of the villains. As Business Insider notes, he is now only able to attain praise for his actions because his earlier failures made those actions necessary. He's lauded for addressing a problem that he himself partly caused. Of course, part of this is because Donald Trump has bungled the coronavirus response even more badly , so that Cuomo – by not being a complete buffoon – looks like a capable statesman by contrast. But this is the problem: for too long, Democrats have measured their politicians by "whether they are better than Republicans". This sets the bar very low indeed, and means that Democrats end up settling for incompetent and amoral leaders who betray progressive values again and again.

[May 21, 2020] The Argument Against the Argument Against Facemasks

May 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , May 19 2020 6:26 utc | 110


Richard Steven Hack , May 19 2020 6:47 utc | 111

The Argument Against the Argument Against Facemasks
Resistance rooted in liberty clashes with the unalienable right of life
https://tinyurl.com/yctjydmx

Masks help stop the spread of coronavirus – the science is simple and I'm one of 100 experts urging governors to require public mask-wearing
https://tinyurl.com/yah8orzo

THE STATE OF THE NATION: A 50-STATE COVID-19 SURVEYUSA, April 2020
https://tinyurl.com/yaf58h27

Key takeaways:


More than 80% of Americans support closing non-essential businesses. Support for limiting restaurants, closing schools, canceling sporting and entertainment events, and group gatherings exceeds 90%. A total of 94% strongly or somewhat approve asking people to stay home and avoid gathering in groups; 92% support canceling major sports and entertainment events; 91% approve closing K-12 schools; 91% approve limiting restaurants to carry-out only; 83% approve closing businesses other than grocery stores and pharmacies. There are some partisan differences on these items -- Republicans are somewhat less supportive, but even among Republicans large majorities support all of these measures; and, as summarized below, support is largely consistent across every state.

A bipartisan consensus opposes a rapid "reopening" of the economy. Only 7% support immediate reopening of the economy, and the median respondent supports waiting four to six weeks. There is a bipartisan consensus on waiting (89% of Republicans as compared to 96% of Democrats opposed immediate re-opening), and Republicans support a somewhat faster re-opening of the economy than Democrats, where the median Republican supports waiting two to four weeks versus median Democrat six to eight weeks. As discussed below, even in those Republican-led states which are moving toward re-opening, few people support reopening immediately
Generally, Americans report adhering to social distancing, indicating that they had minimal social interactions with people outside of their households. That said, 56% reported encountering at least one person from outside of their home in the preceding 24 hours (and 7% reported encountering 10 or more persons); the survey did not contain information on the circumstances of those encounters (e.g., was it at grocery stores? were the individuals wearing masks?). Generally, there were not large differences with respect to age, gender, race, income, partisanship or education. An exception was that Asian Americans were substantially less likely to encounter other individuals, and more likely to avoid contact with other people. There were significant racial differences reported in wearing face masks outside of the home, with 51% of whites reporting following recommendations very closely, along with 62% of Hispanics, 64% of African Americans, and 68% of Asian Americans. There was also an age gradient in this regard, ranging from 50% face mask wearing for 18-24 year olds to 60% of those aged 65 or higher. There were also partisan differences: 51% of Republicans, compared to 64% for Democrats, reported wearing face masks outside the home.

I find the racial differences interesting, especially since in my observation fewer blacks are wearing masks. However, since I was specifically looking at blacks (due to the disproportionate number of blacks dying) in my walks, I may have under counted the number of whites not wearing masks. Also I suspect it varies between cities, states and more suburban or rural areas.

In any event, not enough people are wearing masks to re-open the economy - and we damn sure don't have enough testing, tracing and isolating capability and probably won't until September, according to one report I read.

A number of other interesting results. Check it out.

Richard Steven Hack , May 19 2020 7:03 utc | 113
Another useful article on masks...which is likely to be the next hot-button issue for the idiots and trolls...

The Science and Politics of Masks in the Covid-19 Pandemic
https://tinyurl.com/y7bxakhv


One of the key things to understand in thinking about the value of masks is the concept of the viral dose. While it seem logical that a single viral particle hitting a person's mouth, nose or eye could cause an infection, strong laboratory and empirical evidence says that this is not the case -- it takes a big dose of virus to launch a case of Covid. This happy fact means that masks for everyday use don't need to block 100% of pathogens in order to prevent the disease from spreading. (Even the medical grade N95 masks don't block every viral particle, but they block enough to protect the user, even when caring for patients with known Covid-19.)

A simulation by De Kai and colleagues makes the case that masks are most effective if at least 80% of people are using them. The figure below maps the rate of transmission with the expected deaths from Covid-19 in a nation the size of the UK. According to the simulation, social distancing alone without masking would lead to 1.16 million deaths by May 31st. However, with 50% of the population masking, the projected death figure drops to 240,000. With 80% masking, there are 60,000 deaths. If Professor De Kai's mind-blowing video (below) doesn't convince you of the virtue of mask wearing, I just don't know what to tell you.

Video referenced above:
Visual simulations show why we all need to wear masks now #UniversalMasking #masks4all #COVID19
42,341 views •Apr 26, 2020
https://tinyurl.com/yc89vf9c

[May 20, 2020] Trust Is Being Undermined - Harvard Medical School Prof Questions Fauci's Shading Vaccine Results

Fauci jumped the gun with the Moderna vaccine promotion.
Notable quotes:
"... Former Harvard Medical School professor and founder of the university's cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments, William Haseltine dared to speak out today about the high level of bullshit and damage that is being done to "trust" in "scientists" and even dared to break the one holy writ that shall go un-mentioned, throwing some shade a Dr.Fauci. ..."
"... But, but, but... the CNBC anchorette blubbered, "are you questioning Dr. Fauci who also said that this was encouraging news?" ..."
"... "Whether [Fauci] shaded what should should have been done, I think is an important question. He's obviously under enormous pressure for positive results but it was not the right thing to do if you can't see the data." ..."
"... The most recent example is Moderna's claim Monday of favorable results in its vaccine trial, which it announced without revealing any of the underlying data. The announcement added billions of dollars to the value of the company, with its shares jumping almost 20 percent. Many analysts believe it contributed to a 900-point gain in the Dow Jones industrial average. ..."
"... The Moderna announcement described a safety trial of its vaccine based on eight healthy participants. The claim was that in all eight people, the vaccine raised the levels of neutralizing antibodies equivalent to those found in convalescent serum of those who recovered from covid-19. What to make of that claim? Hard to say, because we have no sense of what those levels were. This is the equivalent of a chief executive of a public company announcing a favorable earnings report without supplying supporting financial data, which the Securities and Exchange Commission would never allow. ..."
"... There is a legitimate question regarding what Moderna's unsupported assertion means. The scientific and medical literature reports that some people who have recovered have little to no detectable neutralizing antibodies . There is even existing scientific literature that suggests it is possible neutralizing antibodies may not protect animals or humans from infection or reinfection by coronaviruses. ..."
"... The National Institutes of Health announced last month that the drug remdesivir offered a clear benefit to covid-19 patients with moderate disease, shortening the length of their hospital stay by several days. But did it really? Twenty days after the announcement, the supporting data has still not been published. Without the data, no doctor treating a patient can be sure they are doing the right thing. ..."
"... Another paper , published the same day, found that remdesivir had no measurable effect on patient survival or the amount of virus detectable in nasopharynx and lung secretions. What then should a practicing physician do? Follow the unsupported advice of a news announcement or a medical report published in a leading scientific journal? This is not an idle question: The NIH announcement triggered a global stampede for limited supplies of the drug. ..."
"... The media also bears responsibility. Asking experts to opine on unsubstantiated claims is not useful. Medicine and science are not matters of majority opinion; they are matters of fact supported by transparent data. This is the backbone of scientific progress and our only hope to end this pandemic. We can't give up on our standards now. ..."
May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
At a moment in time when narrative-following "scientists" are lauded like unquestionably omniscient supreme beings enabling dumb-as-a-rock-partisan-politicians to play omnipotent overlords without fear of blowback, the world needs more people like William Haseltine.

The last two weeks have seen markets and politicians jump exuberantly at the hope of every press release from a biotech firm that proclaims one of their pet rabbits didn't die when they fed it their latest DNA-reshaping test material (oh that is except if anyone dares say anything positive about hydroxychloroquine but that is a topic for another discussion) as the fate of global citizenry rests on a vaccine (and definitely not herd immunity, don't even mention it).

Barstool Sports' Dave Portnoy said it right - when did we shift from "flatten the curve, flatten the curve, flatten the curve" to "we have to fund a cure or everyone's going to die."

And so, that is where we find ourselves... Every talking head proclaiming the same malarkey - we will re-open carefully, with PPE, and social distancing, and whetever else is mandated from on-high "until we find a vaccine in 12-18 months" at which point the world will be made whole again and Kumbaya...

All of which brings us back to the man of the day in our humble opinion.

Former Harvard Medical School professor and founder of the university's cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments, William Haseltine dared to speak out today about the high level of bullshit and damage that is being done to "trust" in "scientists" and even dared to break the one holy writ that shall go un-mentioned, throwing some shade a Dr.Fauci.

Reflecting on Moderna's press release this week (which was immediately followed by massive equity raises across numerous biotech firms and upgrades from the underwriters, surprise), Haseltine said:

"If a CFO had tried to get away with such an opaque and data-less statement it would have bee treated with derision and possibly an investigation."

The CNBC anchor desperately tried to guilt him into the official narrative of clinging to any hope as long as it lifts stocks - no matter its utter bullshittiness - but Haseltine destroyed her naive party line:

"we all know its an emergency, and in an emergency it's even more important to be clear on what you know and what you do not know."

Moderna did not follow the process:

"you don't know what happened, we don't know what happened, there is no data."

But, but, but... the CNBC anchorette blubbered, "are you questioning Dr. Fauci who also said that this was encouraging news?"

"Whether [Fauci] shaded what should should have been done, I think is an important question. He's obviously under enormous pressure for positive results but it was not the right thing to do if you can't see the data."

The full interview below is a must-watch by all who care about their freedom being controlled by a narrative directed by fearmongering elites in the name of "science" when the "science" is a) being ignored, b) being bastardized to meet a political need, c) being treated as if handed down on high from the man himself, or d) being manipulated explicitly.

https://player.cnbc.com/p/gZWlPC/cnbc_global?playertype=synd&byGuid=7000137277&size=530_298

Why this former Harvard Med School prof says Moderna's vaccine trial 'publication by press release' from CNBC .

Haseltine's interview is perfect lead into his opinion piece in todays' Washington Post :

Faith in medicine and science is based on trust. But today, in the rush to share scientific progress in combating covid-19, that trust is being undermined.

Private companies, governments and research institutes are holding news conferences to report potential breakthroughs that cannot be verified. The results are always favorable, but the full data on which the announcements are based are not immediately available for critical review. This is "publication by press release," and it's damaging trust in the fundamental methods of science and medicine at a time when we need it most.

The most recent example is Moderna's claim Monday of favorable results in its vaccine trial, which it announced without revealing any of the underlying data. The announcement added billions of dollars to the value of the company, with its shares jumping almost 20 percent. Many analysts believe it contributed to a 900-point gain in the Dow Jones industrial average.

The Moderna announcement described a safety trial of its vaccine based on eight healthy participants. The claim was that in all eight people, the vaccine raised the levels of neutralizing antibodies equivalent to those found in convalescent serum of those who recovered from covid-19. What to make of that claim? Hard to say, because we have no sense of what those levels were. This is the equivalent of a chief executive of a public company announcing a favorable earnings report without supplying supporting financial data, which the Securities and Exchange Commission would never allow.

There is a legitimate question regarding what Moderna's unsupported assertion means. The scientific and medical literature reports that some people who have recovered have little to no detectable neutralizing antibodies . There is even existing scientific literature that suggests it is possible neutralizing antibodies may not protect animals or humans from infection or reinfection by coronaviruses.

Such "publication by press release" seems to be a standard practice lately.

The National Institutes of Health announced last month that the drug remdesivir offered a clear benefit to covid-19 patients with moderate disease, shortening the length of their hospital stay by several days. But did it really? Twenty days after the announcement, the supporting data has still not been published. Without the data, no doctor treating a patient can be sure they are doing the right thing.

Another paper , published the same day, found that remdesivir had no measurable effect on patient survival or the amount of virus detectable in nasopharynx and lung secretions. What then should a practicing physician do? Follow the unsupported advice of a news announcement or a medical report published in a leading scientific journal? This is not an idle question: The NIH announcement triggered a global stampede for limited supplies of the drug.

The case is more nuanced for the vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, though the mileposts remain the same: It started with a public pronouncement of favorable results from an early study, this time in monkeys, well before any data was publicly released. An NIH scientist working on a trial of the Oxford vaccine gave an interview to the New York Times , claiming the drug was a success.

But the data, released as a prepublication version more than two weeks after the story ran, didn't quite live up to the early claim. All of the vaccinated monkeys became infected when introduced to the virus. Though there was some reduction in the amount of viral RNA detected in the lungs, there was no reduction in the nasal secretions in the vaccinated monkeys. So the positive result reported by the Oxford group turned out not to be protection from infection at all, something most would agree is what a successful vaccine would do. Instead, it lowered only the amount of virus recoverable from the vaccinated monkey's lung.

To the Jenner Institute's credit, it does warn visitors to its website that there have been many false reports about the progress of its vaccine trial. Still, having a scientist working on the trial paint preliminary results in such a positive manner without having yet released the full data is cause for concern.

We all understand the need to share scientific and medical data as rapidly as possible in this time of crisis. But a media announcement alone is not enough. There are ways to share the data quickly and transparently: posting manuscripts before review or acceptance on publicly available websites or working with journals to allow an early view. Publishing in this manner allows doctors and scientists to reach their own conclusion, based on the evidence available.

The media also bears responsibility. Asking experts to opine on unsubstantiated claims is not useful. Medicine and science are not matters of majority opinion; they are matters of fact supported by transparent data. This is the backbone of scientific progress and our only hope to end this pandemic. We can't give up on our standards now.

* * *

So, by all means, trust in "science" but choose your "scientist" well...


Pure Evil, 13 minutes ago

It seems the more this hoax is exposed. The more Gates/Fauci appear as money grubbing opportunist vaccine pushers the more the MSM and the government double down on the whole false narrative.

hanekhw, 13 minutes ago

Look around at the moral climate and ask yourself if lying about everything for profit was not required for success how can we stop it without pain, suffering and violence? There really IS no free lunch and there never has been nor ever will be. We pay one way or another but we ALL pay.

Enraged, 15 minutes ago

Fake media, fake Big Pharma, fake banksters, fake government, fake breasts, fake stock "market", fake medical agencies, fake wars.

Assume they are 100% wrong unless there is substantial evidence they are correct, which will be on very rare occasions.

[May 20, 2020] Harvard Medical School Prof Questions Fauci's questionable vaccine results

May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

this_circus_is_no_fun, 19 minutes ago

Wow. A real scientist. I'm glad that there's at least one left.

[May 20, 2020] Was Fauci a complete idiot to use Ferguson model as the base of his own forecast

May 20, 2020 | www.armstrongeconomics.com

Stochastic" is simply defined as "randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely." In other words, they begin with a presumption, and therein lies the FIRST error. Ferguson's assumption was wrong, to begin with. Then this mode is so old, they recommend that it be run only on a single CORE processor as if we were dealing with an old IBM XT.

Effectively, you start the program with what is called a "seed" number which is then used to produce a random number. Most children's games begin this way. In fact, this is a version of what you would be similar to the game SimCity where you create a city starting from scratch and it simulates what might happen based upon the beginning presumption. There are numerous bugs in the code and the documentation suggests to run it several times and take the average. This is just unthinkable! A program should produce the same result with the same data from which it begins. Therefore, there is no possible way this model would ever produce the same results. In reality, this model produces completely different results even when beginning with the very same starting seeds and parameters because of the attempt to also make the seed random. This is not even as sophisticated as SimCity, which is really questionable. This is where the Imperial College claims that the errors will vanish if you run it on an old system in the single-threaded mode as if you were using a 1980s XT.

In programming, you run what is known as a regression-test, which is re-running a functional and non-functional test to ensure that previously developed and tested software still performs after a change. In market terminology, its called back-testing. In the most unprofessional manner imaginable, the Imperial College code does not even have a regression-test structure. They apparently attempted to but the extent of the random behavior caused by bugs in the code to prevent that check? On April 4th, 2020, Imperial College noted:

" However, we haven't had the time to work out a scalable and maintainable way of running the regression test in a way that allows a small amount of variation, but doesn't let the figures drift over time."

This Ferguson Model is such a joke it is either an outright fraud, or it is the most inept piece of programming I may have ever seen in my life. There is no valid test to warrant any funding of Imperial College for providing ANY forecast based upon this model. This is the most UNPROFESSIONAL operation perhaps in computer science. The entire team should be disbanded and an independent team put in place to review the world of Neil Ferguson and he should NOT be allowed to oversee any review of this model.

The only REASONABLE conclusion I can reach is that this has been deliberately used to justify bogus forecasts intent for political activism, or I must accept that these academics are totally incapable of even creating a theoretical model no less coding it as a programmer. There seems to have been no independent review of Ferguson's work which is unimaginable!

A 15,000 line program is nothing. I will be glad to write a model like this in two weeks and will only charge $1 million instead of $79 million. If you really want one to work globally, no problem. It will take a bit more time and the price will be at a discount – only $50 million on sale – refunds not accepted as is the deal with Imperial College.

[May 19, 2020] One more Fauci narrative about how the virus was so horrific, used to justify the lockdowns, is shown to be utter bullshit. Remember "the immunity doesn't last, you can get reinfected, the next time it's lethal"?

May 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

aqualech , May 19 2020 1:29 utc | 98

So just one more narrative about how the virus was so horrific, used to justify the lockdowns, is shown to be utter bullshit. Remember "the immunity doesn't last, you can get reinfected, the next time it's lethal"?

So, contrary to that, lots of people have immunity before they even get exposed to it. From the common cold. So the idea that the corona immunity is a short term and unreliable thing was just a bunch of uninformed blather, or worse, targeted and manipulative narrative.

Fearmongering bullshit that is 95% wrong needs to get called out constantly.

Even in New York there was not the "catastrophic death count" that I see people writing about as if it were true.

Hey! Let's talk about duct tape and plastic sheeting! Remember that idiotic bullshit scare narrative?

[May 19, 2020] Fauci vs. Trump -- Who's Right by Pat Buchanan

May 19, 2020 | www.unz.com

"We have met the moment and we have prevailed," said President Donald Trump Monday, as he supported the opening of the U.S. economy before the shutdown plunges us into a deep and lasting depression.

Tuesday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases, made clear to a Senate committee his contradictory views.

"If states reopen their economies too soon, there is a real risk that you may trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control," said Fauci. "My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks of the disease (and) the inevitable return of infections."

Fauci is talking of the real possibility of a second and even more severe wave of the pandemic this summer and fall, if we open too soon.

There is evidence to justify the fears of Fauci and Dr. Robert Redfield of the Centers for Disease Control, who told the same Senate committee, "We are not out of the woods yet."

Yet, there is a case to be made for the risks that Trump and red state governors are taking in opening up sooner.

The Washington Post daily graph of new deaths nationally has been showing a curve sloping downward for a month from April's more than 2,000 a day. On no day yet this week did the U.S. record 2,000 dead from the virus. On some days, there were fewer than 1,000.

The graph for new coronavirus cases, which was showing more than 30,000 a day in April, is now closer to 25,000.

Also, hospitalizations and ICU occupancies are not as high as they were. Hospitals put up in Central Park and the Javits Center seem not to have been needed. There was and is no shortage of ventilators. The Navy hospital ships Comfort and Mercy are returning to their home ports.

Also, not all states are suffering equally, nor are all communities in the hardest-hit states. There have been three times as many COVID-19 cases in New Jersey as in Texas, though New Jersey is a fraction of the size and has a fraction of the population of Texas.

There are twice as many cases in Massachusetts as in Florida, the nation's third-most populous state with one of its highest percentages of retirees and elderly. There have been five times as many cases in New York as in California.

It is the nursing homes filled with the elderly and ill that have proven to be the real killing fields of this virus. According to The New York Times, one-third of all deaths from COVID-19 have come among residents and staff of nursing homes. Beyond these are the meatpacking plants and the prisons where social distancing is almost nonexistent.

Moreover, while Fauci and Redfield are specialists in epidemics, Trump's portfolio goes far beyond that.

He is chief of state, head of government and commander in chief, responsible for the security and defense of the nation. His portfolio is broader and deeper than those of Fauci and Redfield.

ORDER IT NOW

In the first hours of the Normandy invasion, General Eisenhower must have been rightly alarmed about the high U.S. casualties on Omaha Beach. But he also had to concern himself with the failure to capture the Port of Caen to bring ashore the armor to stop any German counterattack that might turn D-Day into another Anzio.

Ike could not worry about casualties alone.

According to The Washington Post, economists already project that 100,000 small businesses have shuttered, never to reopen.

"(D)eeper and longer recessions can leave behind lasting damage to the productive capacity of the economy," warned Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday. "Avoidable household and business insolvencies can weigh on growth for years to come."

Ultimately, Fauci is not "The Decider" here. Trump is.

It is he who is accountable to the nation for weighing the losses, both human and material, due to his decisions.

Fauci may be the best at what he does, but he is still only an adviser. As John F. Kennedy said after the Bay of Pigs, it is the president who ultimately bears responsibility for what he does and fails to do, while "the advisers may move on to new advice."

Believing he can do no more than his White House is now doing to contain the incidence of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Trump has decided his primary job is to prevent the nation from a catastrophic economic collapse from which it might take years to recover.

The country is slowly moving in Trump's direction, slowly opening. And he will be responsible for whether the policy succeeds or opens the floodgates to a second and worse wave, should it come.

As Abraham Lincoln put his situation: "I mean to keep going. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me won't matter. If I'm wrong, ten angels swearing I was right won't make a difference."

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

Bill H , says: Show Comment May 15, 2020 at 5:41 am GMT

Fauci says that, "My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks of the disease "

The problem with his statement is the first two words. A science advisor is supposed to provide advice based knowledge and science. It is not part of his job description to voice his feelings.

BobM11 , says: Show Comment May 15, 2020 at 7:52 am GMT
In this case, it doesn't matter who is "right" only one of them is POTUS! I get it that Trumps perch on his seat is tenuous and exactly how much real control he has over the government he supposedly heads is open to speculation, but at the end of the day Trump is POTUS and this is no time to be thinking of political futures he must be focused on the future of America.

We need not only an end to the lockdowns, but an end to the media campaign to demoralize the country by hyping the non-event known as corona virus. It is all hype. when you get past the spin and media blitz, there is nothing about this virus that would justify any kind of response beyond your doctor testing you for covid along with the flu when you go to the doctor with flu symptoms. That's it.

This is simply not the life altering virus that is being hyped. The enemy here is NOT the virus, it is the (((elites))) who are trying to destroy us. It is time people it is time.

[May 18, 2020] Judicial Watch files lawsuit seeking Dr. Fauci, WHO records - YouTube

May 18, 2020 | www.youtube.com

soakedbearrd , 6 days ago (edited)

Good, he's a crooked snake. And the WHO is corrupt.

Candy Rinard , 6 days ago

Don't trust Fauci at all. Not one thing he says.

Ender Gate , 1 week ago

Fauci sits on the leadership board of the Gates Foundation. That's a conflict of interest...

Eagle Arrow , 1 week ago

Fauci & Gates shouldn't be able to patent vaccines from research funded by American tax payers.

Mary Bevacqua , 1 week ago

Look at Fauci's connection and history. Follow the money! Corruption is a normal way of life. People's lives are NOT a concern.

dolphinsc1 , 1 week ago

Gen. Flynn is the perfect example of how far these gov't agencies will go to protect a lie and those frauds involved in the cover up/hoax. Trump was there target, the pathetic part of all this is just how many republicans knew about the fraud before Trump did and did nothing to protect him or Americans.

Linda Huckabee , 1 week ago

Their pushing vaccines to make money. When other treatments would be better like interferon therapy.

Carie Saad , 1 week ago

The CARES ACT was introduced in January of 2019, almost a year before CoronaVirus started. Hmmmmm......

ozrocksinger , 1 week ago (edited)

File on Gates too for practicing Medicine without a license!

Jillayne Holter , 6 days ago

Fauci, Clinton's, Gates, WHO, Big Pharma, and China all together to keeping things locked-down until they can make a vaccin

jomeza72 , 6 days ago (edited)

3.7 million Dollars To Wuhan Laboratories , Come On !!!

Nathan McClellan , 4 days ago

Fauci wasn't mislead by the WHO, he was given cover for his misdeeds.

Spyderhead , 4 days ago (edited)

"Doctor" Fauci is just another Deep State hack. A puppet. 😎

[May 17, 2020] Fact check Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates won't profit from remdesivir

May 17, 2020 | www.usatoday.com

Fauci, Gates and coronavirus treatments

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is not cited anywhere as an inventor or patent owner of the drug and has not authored any research studying remdesivir.

While Fauci has also said that early trials of remdesivir on coronavirus patients are a positive sign, he has also cautioned against prematurely celebrating.

"I was very serious when I said this was not the total answer by any means, but it's a very important first step," Fauci said on April 30 about the NIH study on remdesivir.

As remdesivir is wholly owned by Gilead Sciences, Fauci is not legally entitled to any profits from remdesivir.

Fauci was the director of NIAID during the 2013-14 Ebola outbreak and spearheaded the department's research and response to the virus. NIAID supported research into a range of potential Ebola treatments, including remdesivir, as recently as December. That said, Fauci did not directly conduct this research; neither he nor the NIH stand to profit from its results.

The National Institutes of Health confirmed that Fauci has not authored any studies on remdesivir and does not own stock in any biomedical or pharmaceutical companies.

Owning financial assets in pharmaceutical firms like Gilead would also be required to be publicly disclosed per the agency's ethics policy .

The NIH now recommends remdesivir be used "in hospitalized patients with severe disease," meaning any case where a the patient needs the use of a ventilator.

[May 17, 2020] How Huxley's X-Club Created Nature Magazine Sabotaged Science For 150 Years

May 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Amidst the storm of controversy raised by the lab-origin theory of COVID-19 extolled by such figures as Nobel prize winning virologist Luc Montagnier, bioweapons expert Francis Boyle, Sri Lankan Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, an elaborate project was undertaken under the nominal helm of NATURE Magazine in order to refute the claim once and for all under the report 'The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2' .

This project was led by a team of evolutionary virologists using a line of reasoning that "random mutation can account for anything" and was parroted loudly and repeatedly by Fauci, WHO officials and Bill Gates in order to shut down all uncomfortable discussion of the possible laboratory origins of COVID-19 while also pushing for a global vaccine campaign. On April 18, Dr. Fauci (whose close ties with Bill Gates, and Big Pharma have much to do with his control of hundreds of billions of dollars of research money), stated :

"There was a study recently that we can make available to you, where a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences there and the sequences in bats as they evolve. And the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human."

I think at this moment, rife as it is with speculative arguments, confusion and under-defined data, it is useful to remove oneself from the present and look for higher reference points from which we can re-evaluate events now unfolding on the world stage.

... ... ...

[May 17, 2020] Italian Politician Demands Bill Gates Arrest For Crimes Against Humanity

Notable quotes:
"... Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome denounced Bill Gates as a "vaccine criminal" and urged the Italian President to hand him over to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. ..."
"... In an extraordinary seven-minute speech met with wide applause, Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome said that Italy had been subjected to a "Holy Inquisition of false science." ..."
May 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Via GreatGameIndia.com,

As the FDA shuts down a Bill Gates-funded COVID-testing program , an Italian politician has demanded the arrest of Bill Gates in the Italian parliament.

Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome denounced Bill Gates as a "vaccine criminal" and urged the Italian President to hand him over to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

She also exposed Bill Gates' agenda in India and Africa, along with the plans to chip the human race through the digital identification program ID2020.

As reported by GreatGameIndia earlier, in 2015 it were the Italians who exposed secret Chinese biological experiments with Coronavirus . The video, which was broadcast in November, 2015, showed how Chinese scientists were doing biological experiments on a SARS connected virus believed to be Coronavirus, derived from bats and mice, asking whether it was worth the risk in order to be able to modify the virus for compatibility with human organisms.

In an extraordinary seven-minute speech met with wide applause, Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome said that Italy had been subjected to a "Holy Inquisition of false science."

She roundly criticized the unnecessary lockdown imposed on her fellow Italians in the service of a globalist agenda. She urged fellow political leaders to desist in any plans to compel citizens to surrender themselves to compulsory COVID-19 vaccination at the hands of the corrupt elite – whom she identified as the Deep State .

Below is the transcription of the full speech delivered to the Italian Parliament by Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome.

* * *

Sara Cunial

The Member of Parliament for Rome

Speech delivered to the Italian Parliament

May 2020

https://www.youtube.com/embed/QnsYcsCjLWI

[Emphasis ours]

Hobbes said that absolute power does not come from an imposition from above but by the choice of individuals who feel more protected renouncing to their own freedom and granting it to a third party.

With this, you are going on anesthetizing the minds with corrupted Mass Media with Amuchina (a brand of disinfectant promoted by Mass Media) and NLP, with words like "regime", "to allow" and "to permit", to the point of allowing you to regulate our emotional ties and feelings and certify our affects.

So, in this way, Phase 2 is nothing else than the persecution/continuation of Phase 1 – you just changed the name, as you did with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). We have understood people, for sure, don't die for the virus alone. So people will be allowed to die and suffer, thanks to you and your laws, for misery and poverty. And, as in the "best" regimes, the blame will be dropped only on citizens. You take away our freedom and say that we looked for it. Divide et Impera (Divide and Rule).

It is our children who will lose more, who are 'raped souls', with the help of the so-called "guarantor of their rights" and of CISMAI (Italian Coordination of Services against Child Abuse). In this way, the right to school will be granted only with a bracelet to get them used to probation, to get them used to slavery – involuntary treatment and to virtual lager. All this in exchange for a push-scooter and a tablet. All to satisfy the appetites of a financial capitalism whose driving force is the conflict of interest, conflict well represented by the WHO, whose main financier is the well-known "philanthropist and savior of the world" Bill Gates.

We all know it, now. Bill Gates, already in 2018, predicted a pandemic, simulated in October 2019 at the "Event 201", together with Davos (Switzerland). For decades, Gates has been working on Depopulation policy and dictatorial control plans on global politics, aiming to obtain the primacy on agriculture, technology and energy.

Gates said, I quote exactly from his speech:

"If we do a good job on vaccines, health and reproduction, we can reduce the world population by 10-15%. Only a genocide can save the world".

With his vaccines, Gates managed to sterilize millions of women in Africa. Gates caused a polio epidemic that paralyzed 500,000 children in India and still today with DTP, Gates causes more deaths than the disease itself. And he does the same with GMOs designed by Monsanto and "generously donated" to needy populations. All this while he is already thinking about distributing the quantum tattoo for vaccination recognition and mRNA vaccines as tools for reprogramming our immune system. In addition, Gates also does business with several multinationals that own 5G facilities in the USA.

On this table there is the entire Deep State in Italian sauce : Sanofi, together with GlaxoSmithKline are friends of the Ranieri Guerra, Ricciardi, and of the well-known virologist that we pay 2000 Euro every 10 minutes for the presentations on Rai (Italian state TV. She's probably talking about Burioni). Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline sign agreements with medical societies to indoctrinate future doctors, making fun of their autonomy of judgment and their oath.

Hi-Tech multinationals, like the Roman Engineering which is friend of the noble Mantoan, or Bending Spoons, of Pisano, which are there for control and manage our personal health datas in agreement with the European Agenda ID2020 of electronic identification, which aims to use mass vaccination to obtain a digital platform of digital ID. This is a continuation of the transfer of data started by Renzi to IBM. Renzi, in 2016, gave a plus 30% to Gates Global Fund.

On the Deep State table there are the people of Aspen, like the Saxon Colao, who with his 4-pages reports, paid 800 Euros/hour, with no scientific review, dictates its politics as a Bilderberg general as he is, staying away from the battlefield. The list is long. Very long. In the list there is also Mediatronic, by Arcuri and many more.

The Italian contribution to the International Alliance Against Coronavirus will be of 140 million Euros, of which 120 million Euros will be given to GAVI Alliance, the non-profit by Gates Foundation. They are just a part of the 7.4 billion Euro fund by the EU to find a vaccine against Coronavirus – vaccines which will be used as I said before.

No money, of course for serotherapy, which has the collateral effect of being super cheap. No money for prevention, a real prevention, which includes our lifestyles, our food and our relationship with the environment.

The real goal of all of this is total control. Absolute domination of human beings, transformed into guinea pigs and slaves, violating sovereignty and free will. All this thanks to tricks/hoax disguised as political compromises. While you rip up the Nuremberg code with involuntary treatment, fines and deportation, facial recognition and intimidation, endorsed by dogmatic scientism – protected by our "Multi-President" of the Republic who is real cultural epidemic of this country.

We, with the people, will multiply the fires of resistance in a way that you won't be able to repress all of us.

I ask you, President, to be the spokesperson and give an advice to our President Conte: Dear Mr. President Conte, next time you receive a phone call from the philanthropist Bill Gates forward it directly to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. If you won't do this, tell us how we should define you, the "friend lawyer" who takes orders from a criminal.

Thank you.

[May 17, 2020] No Evidence Coronavirus Was Made in a Chinese Lab Fauci Says

May 05, 2020 | www.informationclearinghouse.info
By teleSUR

" Information Clearing House " - Trump insists that his administration has evidence that the virus was created in Wuhan city. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci Monday reiterated that there is no scientific evidence to claim that the SARS-CoV coronavirus was created in a laboratory. His statement contradicts again the theory on the origin of COVID-19 defended by the U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what's out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated," Fauci said in an interview with National Geographic

"Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species," the U.S. government's leading epidemiologist added.

His statements are in line with those set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency that ratified on Monday that the coronavirus is of animal origin. "The coronavirus circulates ancestrally between bats.

"That is something we know based on this virus's genetic sequence. What we need to understand is which animal... was infected by bats and transmitted it to humans," the WHO Emerging Diseases Department Director Maria Van Kerkhove said.

Demand Trump's incompetent, unqualified son-in-law be removed from the coronavirus response team! #care2 https://t.co/TN8jpMIw2p

-- Frank (@watercutter11) May 5, 2020

Nevertheless, Trump insists that the U.S. government has evidence that the virus was created in a laboratory in Wuhan (China), something that the Intelligence Directorate also rejected.

Are You Tired Of The Lies And Non-Stop Propaganda?

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. president also reacted angrily to a video titled "Mourning In America" produced by The Lincoln Project (LP), a conservative group opposed to Trump's reelection which blames him for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There's mourning in America - and under the leadership of Donald Trump, our country is weaker, sicker, and poorer," the LP video points out and adds that the United States is on the brink of a new Great Depression.

In response to the above, Trump released his discomfort by calling the Lincoln Project members "losers."​​​​​​​

[May 16, 2020] The controversy and confusion on wearing masks

May 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , May 16 2020 18:11 utc | 130

the Controversy and confusion on wearing masks:

Should everyone be wearing face masks? It's complicated.

Why don't masks protect the wearer?
Paul Glasziou, Professor of Medicine, Bond University and Chris Del Mar, Professor of Public Health, Bond University, AU
also endorsed by epidemiologists in UK, CAD.


[.] There are several possible reasons why masks don't offer significant protection. First, masks may not do much without eye protection. We know from animal and laboratory experiments that influenza or other coronaviruses can enter the eyes and travel to the nose and into the respiratory system.

While standard and special masks provide incomplete protection, special masks combined with goggles appear to provide complete protection in laboratory experiments. However, there are no studies in real-world situations measuring the results of combined mask and eyewear.

The apparent minimal impact of wearing masks might also be because people didn't use them properly. For example, one study found less than half of the participants wore them "most of the time". People may also wear masks inappropriately, or touch a contaminated part of the mask when removing it and transfer the virus to their hand, then their eyes and thus to the nose.

Masks may also provide a false sense of security, meaning wearers might do riskier things such as going into crowded spaces and places.[.]

Got goggles or a Visor? Eye protection is essential.

[May 16, 2020] The obvious shortcomings of the USA government reaction: no distributions of free masks, no temperature checks, no oxymeter checks, no retrofitted busses and other transportation to have individual air supplies, no retrofitting air conditioners

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... > How about we follow WHO's rule zero: test, test and test? ..."
"... Why the USA did not implemented entry/exist temperature checks (even at airports) I do not understand. The richest nation in the world has the government which is probably the most inept and disfunctional ..."
"... It looks like this is mainly the disease of megacities and industries with closely packed people (ships, meatpacking plants, Amazon warepuses) . And a large part of large cities infrastructure such as subways and air-conditioned building, hotels and shops are ideal environment for spreading of the virus. ..."
"... Another interesting feature of this virus is that it simply revealed how unhealthy the USA population generally is. For example, the epidemic of obesity now is tightly intermixed with the epidemic of COVID-19. Within the limits of the neoliberal social system very little can be done about it: for profit medicine makes is more fragile and create multiple avenue of abusing people. ..."
May 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

likbez , May 16, 2020 at 19:42

@vk | May 16 2020 15:52 utc | 108

> How about we follow WHO's rule zero: test, test and test?

Do you understand the cost of each test? Some data suggest that it is between $50 and $100. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-15/coronavirus-tests-from-labcorp-quest-will-cost-50-to-100

Do you understand that the current polymerase tests have 20-30% of false positives?

So if everybody in the USA is tested around 60-80 million people in the USA would be deemed infected. I suspect that a very large percentage of "asymptomatics" are in reality false positives.

We need to distinguish between the necessary measures and fearmongering. I suspect that in the case of polymerase test the mantra "test, test, test" is close to the latter. This is s rather expensive test and money probably can be better spend distributing masks to the population. That would instantly give a larger effect. The simple measure that in the USA was not done. Just for that Fauci should be fired and probably tried, IMHO.

The same is probably true with the distribution of oxymeters too: people with lows reading need oxygen. As simple as that. That probably will cut hospitalizations in half.

My impression is that temperature and oxymeter testing might be a proxy for polymerase testing and much cheaper: if oxygen saturation is less then 90% the person need to be isolated/treated with oxygen

Why the USA did not implemented entry/exist temperature checks (even at airports) I do not understand. The richest nation in the world has the government which is probably the most inept and disfunctional

It looks like this is mainly the disease of megacities and industries with closely packed people (ships, meatpacking plants, Amazon warepuses) . And a large part of large cities infrastructure such as subways and air-conditioned building, hotels and shops are ideal environment for spreading of the virus.

Even reasonable prophylactic measures do not work that well in large cities. Slums and homeless are and will be hotspots.

Even at work enforcing prophylactic measures is non trivial. You need to change mask each 2 hours when you are working inside. How many people will do that ?

I think there is not way out other then clench your teeth and go forward adapting the behavior as new information about the virus emerge.

For example individual supply of air in planes, trains and buses (which existed in old planes and some buses ) might be an important psychological (and with better filters medical) measure required.

Also Cruise ships "experiments" suggest that only around 20% of population is susceptible to the virus. Even among Wuhan medics who started working with coronavirus patients without wearing protective equipment only around half got the disease. The simplistic assumption that 100% of people is susceptible is just a myth propagated by fearmongers for fun and profit.

Another interesting feature of this virus is that it simply revealed how unhealthy the USA population generally is. For example, the epidemic of obesity now is tightly intermixed with the epidemic of COVID-19. Within the limits of the neoliberal social system very little can be done about it: for profit medicine makes is more fragile and create multiple avenue of abusing people.

[May 16, 2020] TSA Better late then never: To Check Passengers' Temperature At Airports

There are four month late...
May 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be checking passengers' temperatures at select airports next week.

People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that additional details would be unveiled in the near term. The program is expected to roll out at 12 airports next week and will cost $20 million to implement. Thermal check fees will be waived for travelers and likely expensed to the federal government.

[May 16, 2020] Note to the quarantine/vaccine promoter Fauci: Any sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice

May 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

1. 'BE AFRAID '

The first message is that covid19 is terrifying, unique, an existential threat to the human race.

This message is never sourced to much fact, because the facts about the virus don't really support it. If it cites anything solid it's the appallingly sloppy and discredited Imperial computer model, or some generic research into the pathology of severe infections or rare viral syndromes, which it tries to spin as being unique to covid19, even though it is not. But mostly it doesn't cite anything at all. Or really claim anything at all.

It just tells people to be afraid. Very afraid. Of death, of uncertainty, of the 'virus', of other people, of 'fake news'.

The fear being encouraged is not rooted in facts, and is therefore impervious to them.

2. 'THERE IS NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF '

The second message is that covid19 is actually pretty harmless and no big deal.

This message is rooted in a great deal of fact, because, as we have been pointing out since day one, pretty much all the data coming out about this virus supports exactly this conclusion.

No official body has ever denied this, and most of them readily admit it. Regularly and unambiguously. Here and here and here and here .

Chris Whitty above is only one of many and this is not even his first go (see here ) at explaining clearly that covid19 is only dangerous to a very very small minority of people, and that most who get it will be just fine.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/adj8MCsZKlg

Here's a slide from his talk on April 30th:

At an individual level the chances of dying of coronavirus are low.

• Over the whole epidemic, even if there is no vaccine, a high proportion
will not get it.

• Of those who do, a significant proportion (exact number not yet clear)
have no symptoms.

• Of the symptomatic cases, the great majority (around 80%) a mild-
moderate disease.

• A minority have to go to hospital, most need only oxygen. The great
majority of these survive.

• A minority of those need ventilation.

• A minority of every agegroup sadly die with current treatment, but even
of the oldest group most do not.

[T]he great majority of people will not die from this and I'll just repeat something I said right at the beginning because I think it's worth reinforcing :

Most people, a significant proportion of people, will not get this virus at all, at any point of the epidemic which is going to go on for a long period of time.

Of those who do, some of them will get the virus without even knowing it, they will have the virus with no symptoms at all, asymptomatic carriage, and we know that happens.

Of those who get symptoms, the great majority, probably 80%, will have a mild or moderate disease. Might be bad enough for them to have to go to bed for a few days, not bad enough for them to have to go to the doctor.

An unfortunate minority will have to go as far as hospital, but the majority of those will just need oxygen and will then leave hospital.

And then a minority of those will end up having to go to severe end critical care and some of those sadly will die.

But that's a minority, it's 1% or possibly even less than 1% overall.

And even in the highest risk group this is significantly less than 20%, ie. the great majority of people, even the very highest groups, if they catch this virus, will not die.

And I really wanted to make that point really clearly

[May 16, 2020] I know it does not fit the fear agenda but COVID-19 disruption present much higher threat to children then CODIV-19 itself.

May 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ted01 , May 16 2020 0:17 utc | 32

Australia - deaths from Covid-19

Total - 98 (15/05/2020)

0-39 = 0
40-49 = 1
50-59 = 2
60-69 = 11
70-79 = 31
80-89 = 34
90+ = 19

Australian Government Dept. of Health

I know it does not fit the fear agenda.

As the lockdown has been eased in most Australian states there have been zero announcements on additional protections for the elderly & infirm.

Why are the Federal & state governments doing nothing but the most basic measures to ensure the safety of the elderly & infirm?

fairleft , May 16 2020 2:37 utc | 37

Yes, Ken Garoo @26, the fearmongers have blood on their hands, not just in the UK, and this is a massive life-and-death crisis. More evidence, from another unimpeachable source various MoA stalwarts will now have to claim is a hack:

Unicef warns lockdown could kill more than Covid-19 as model predicts 1.2 million child deaths
Subhead: 'Indiscriminate lockdowns' are an ineffective way to control Covid and could contribute to a 45 per cent rise in child mortality

"...According to a stark report published in Lancet Global Health journal on Wednesday, almost 1.2 million children could die in the next six months due to the disruption to health services and food supplies caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The modelling, by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Unicef, found that child mortality rates could rise by as much as 45 per cent due to coronavirus-related disruptions, while maternal deaths could increase by almost 39 per cent.

"Dr [Stefan Peterson, chief of health at UNICEF] said these figures were in part a reflection of stringent restrictions in much of the world that prevent people leaving their homes without documentation, preventing them from accessing essential health care services. ...

"...Covid is not a children's disease. Yes there are rare instances and we see them publicised across the media. But pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, death in childbirth, these are the reasons we will see deaths rise."

[May 15, 2020] Ferguson fraud and Orlov tale of coronavirus epidemic

May 15, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman May 9, 2020 at 10:55 am

Hurrah! I have my blogroll back! I'm just starting to build it. At some point in the frequent rollouts of new WordPress features, they added a 'WP Admin' button, which gives access to the 'Links' page and allowed me to eliminate those irritating default links, as well as add new ones. So, I'm just getting started, but among the must-sees I stumbled across while starting out with links I knew I wanted to add right away are one discussing the coronavirus (haven't even read all of it myself yet) at Club Orlov;

https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2020/05/gaslighting-coronavirus.html

and a great article, very much on point with this post, at Irrussianality, detailing the absolutely flabbergasting Joint Statement on the Anniversary of the End of the Second World War, on the USA's State Department website. The Nazis get one mention – the rest is non-stop Russia is evil.

https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2020/05/08/joint-statement-on-the-75th-anniversary-of-the-end-of-the-second-world-war/ I'm not sure what Dmitry Orlov does for a living, but if he is exclusively a writer when he's not sailing around, I suppose he is entitled to charge a fee for his product, and I have found it consistently excellent and well-sourced, much like John Helmer's work (although that is still free). Orlov's blog is only $2.50 a month at the basic level of subscriber, and that's cheap enough for me. I encourage readers to subscribe at the same level, because it's an excellent resource. In this case, I had just skipped over it very quickly, because I wanted to add it to the blogroll. I read the first couple of paragraphs, divined that it was not only about the coronavirus, but vindicated many of my own beliefs, and went elsewhere to add another site. I did not notice until I came back to it that it was now subscription-only.

So I'll copy a few salient points for everyone, and they can judge for themselves if they are willing to pay a couple of bucks for that kind of content. It was not all about the coronavirus – it started out about that, and sort of segued into the precarious position the USA is now in economically. So that's why it may look like two different posts; I am just excerpting at random: the entire post is much too long to copy. Presuming you have read as much of the post as was already included as a teaser before it became subscriber-only

"First, let's handle the question of vaccination. There is a measles vaccine, yet it kills 140,000 a year. There is a pneumococcus vaccine, yet it kills between 2 and 2.5 million a year. There is a hepatitis B vaccine, yet it kills 140,000. There is a tetanus vaccine, yet it kills 89,000 annually. There is a rotavirus vaccine, yet it kills 800,000. There is a HPV vaccine, yet it kills 250,000. There is a tuberculosis vaccine, yet it kills 1.5 million. There is an influenza vaccine, yet it kills 650,000 to 1 million a year. None of these are considered pandemics, cause entire economies to be shut down, or call for any extraordinary measures at all.

And then there is the novel coronavirus which has killed 218,187 people to date (the vast majority of them very old and/or very sick) -- and this is considered to be a problem to be solved with all possible haste. Some infectious disease experts have suggested that the entire populace may be required to shelter in place until a vaccine becomes available. Meanwhile, deaths from the novel coronavirus largely fit within the usual mortality of the flu season. The northern hemisphere winter was warmer than usual, and some of the elderly and sick people who would have been killed off by any of the usual influenza viruses (including other coronaviruses) during any of the previous three flu seasons were claimed by the novel coronavirus.

But even this is uncertain because it is unclear whether these 218,187 deaths were actually caused by the coronavirus or whether the coronavirus just happened to be present in their bodies at the time of death. Furthermore, a lot of people were diagnosed as suffering from this coronavirus based on symptoms which are not too different from those caused by other viral agents. Lastly, the vast majority of those who have died from it had what are called comorbidities. Elderly immunocompromised morbidly obese diabetics with high blood pressure, cancer and other potential fatal ailments have been particularly susceptible. If you discard all fatal cases with comorbidities and only consider young healthy people, then the number of deaths where the new coronavirus is obviously the root cause may turn out to be as low as zero.

Confirmed novel coronavirus cases number less than 3,147,626 worldwide, which is 0.04% of the world's population. This barely adds up to a cough and a sneeze. As this virus has spread throughout the world the increase in cases has slowed, but the number of confirmed cases could yet double or even triple, adding up to as much as three coughs and three sneezes. But then the World Health Organization enters the fray. The WHO makes gratuitous use of appellations such as "world" and "health" but is actually a semi-private entity lavishly financed by Bill Gates and Big Pharma, which is owned by a handful of highly inbred oligarchic entities that include Vanguard, BlackRock, Capital Group, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust and State Street, which in turn own each other in various convoluted ways. WHO's main function is to scare people into getting vaccinated and accepting expensive drug regimens (barely half of which do any good at all), thus funneling resources toward Big Pharma.

The World Health Organization establishes thresholds to determine whether to declare an influenza epidemic that range between 2.5% and 5%. The novel coronavirus misses the mark by a thousand-fold, yet the WHO has declared it to be the cause of a global pandemic. If this seems like an extreme overreaction, that is because this is an extreme overreaction. Some conspiratorially-minded people may surmise that this is a conspiracy, but it isn't. It is yet another blatant attempt to confiscate a chunk of the world's wealth by requiring it to buy something worthless, just like this same set of medical/financial interests did with the relatively worthless Tamiflu antiviral medication during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009-10 which caused a mere 18,036 deaths worldwide. This is a specific group pursuing its own group interests."

Then he went into how the Chinese and the Russians are respectively manipulating the coronavirus in their own countries for their own ends

"The Chinese have taken the novel coronavirus outbreak as a chance to train for repelling a biological warfare attack. To argue that this coronavirus is indeed the agent of a biowarfare attack is to argue for something extremely stupid because it just isn't effective as a biowarfare agent. It's almost as bad as Novichok, which was touted as being able to wipe out entire armies but only managed to sicken five people and kill just one of them. It doesn't matter whether this coronavirus leaked out of a dead bat or a biowarfare lab, or both -- it just isn't any good as a weapon. But the Chinese government imposed extreme, unprecedented controls over much of the population and the economy. The Russians followed suit, with the difference that while the Chinese saw these extreme measures as temporary, setting up makeshift hospitals, the Russians seized on them as a chance to fundamentally upgrade the entire health care system, setting it up to effectively handle any future biological warfare attacks.

In doing so, the Chinese and the Russians pursued different goals. The Chinese need to find a way to stop shipping actual physical manufactured goods to the US in exchange for pieces of paper or promises to pay, all of which are about to become worthless, without triggering a dangerous escalation. The need to do so with all necessary haste became obvious in mid-August of 2019, when it turned out that banks were no longer willing to accept US Treasury debt instruments as collateral for overnight loans. These were supposedly the safest investments in the world that made up the world's largest and most liquid financial market -- until it turned out that they weren't that at all."

And on the American economy

"There are two important global processes which, while they will affect the US particularly severely, go far beyond its geographic confines. One is the still relatively gradual process of dethroning the US dollar from its position of dominance. Until the coronavirus pandemic disrupted much of the global economy, most of its participants were interested in preserving some measure of stability to the dollar system. But now that trade has already been disrupted, an opening has been created to dump the dollar without necessarily causing economic damage significantly worse than already exists. The actions of the Federal Reserve, which is in the process of monetizing a large proportion of existing US government debt and virtually all of the new debt being issued to cover the ever-growing budget deficit, are undermining the dollar as well. Although the term "debt monetization" is being used to describe what's happening, issuing currency with which to buy up worthless promissory notes stretches the definition of "debt" beyond any reasonable limit, while "monetization" is far too dignified a term for such a desperate delaying tactic. As a consequence, some analysts do not see US dollar-based global financial system holding up too far beyond this year.

The other process is the rapid transition of the US from the world's largest producer of oil to one of the smallest, because the fracking bonanza has largely run its course. It has never really made any money, since fracked oil is, for technological reasons, always too expensive to sustain economic growth. And now, with an economic depression setting in, economies at a standstill and oil futures trading in the negative territory (where market participants are willing to pay producers to get out of having take delivery of the oil when the contract matures) the fracking industry is going bankrupt, production is falling, and in less than a year it is likely to be down by as much as 70%. At that point, any attempt at economic recovery in the US will involve having to start importing large quantities of oil from a world supply that, with the exception of fracked oil from the US, hasn't expanded much since 2005."

et Al May 10, 2020 at 1:50 am
My view is that despite this being all highly disruptive, it will prepare us all for the inevitable outbreak of a truly deadly virus that will also kill the young and healthy too (hopefully not cats). The world is becoming ever more globalized, transmission chains and time seriously shortened. There will be no escape even on the periphery. A biological version of Neville Shute's On the Beach.

Handling this well (in future) is eminently doable without even losing a (metaphorical) bollock. It is basic stuff and really shouldn't be 'a thing.' The WHO is a redirection nothing burger for those who are responsible for the abrogation of national competence. Decisions are still taken at the national level, no? The WHO is a spokesbody and therein it does have a role to play. It is neither free from political inteference or influence just like every other international organization.

Fortunately, Asia has shown the common-sense that we in the old world have lost through our own arrogance and self-importance. We should be humiliated, but we are not. We're too busy blaming others.

This CoVid-19 outbreak has provided everyone with a crystal clear warning of precisely how incompetent many nation states are over basic provision of health and pandemic planning in the 21st Century. This isn't 1918. Things are supposed to have moved on a bit but it has exposed the ideology of cuts, penny-pinching and not-give-a-f/kery over common-sense by those elected (by us) to provide responsible government. They've been warned multiple times about the risks, not to mention the series of other outbreaks in this century. Still, they're rather more interested in squeaking out ever leaner efficiencies to maximize profit.

I'm not worried about the planet, we'll knock ourselves off first.

Happy Mothers Day!

Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 10:01 am
My initial feeling was that the initial reaction of Putin, Trump and Johnson was to let the thing burn itself out and maybe put the effort into looking after the most at risk. The Imperial College thing seems to be the reason why Trump and Johnson went to lockdown and that left me puzzled why Putin did. Orlov's piece gave me the idea that maybe, after talking to Xi, Putin decided to use it as a test of Russia's ability to handle a bioattack. Notice that Russia is actually building specialised hospitals around the country rather than just (as in the West) temporarily re-purposing large facilities. We'll probably never know but it's a thought I will keep in the Maybe File.
Mark Chapman May 10, 2020 at 10:55 am
Agreed; I could think of no good reason for it, and consequently Orlov's speculation came as a revelation. Again, it's only speculation on his part, but it does make sense and fits with the Sino-Russian concept of every experience being a teachable moment, to be wrung for such lessons as it may yield.

It is fairly well-known that Johnson's initial plan was to go for herd immunity and just say bollocks to social distancing, but something caused him to abruptly reverse himself after the UK had already started a pretty respectable infection curve. I'm not familiar with the 'Imperial College thing'; could you enlighten me? I do know that impatience at being shut in with no job is increasingly unpopular with people everywhere it prevails, and governments are having a harder time keeping the lid on. I can only imagine it is the same for Putin's government.

Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 11:47 am
Imperial College model https://www.ft.com/content/16764a22-69ca-11ea-a3c9-1fe6fedcca75
Looks rather GIGO https://lockdownsceptics.org/code-review-of-fergusons-model/
Mark Chapman May 10, 2020 at 11:57 am
I see; thanks for that. I remember reading mentions of a study which forecast incredible death tolls, but didn't realize that was it. Well, no way they could have done anything else, in the face of that – 2.2 million deaths in the US, and more than half a million in the UK.

I don't suppose they will ever be called to account for their fearmongering quackery. To nobody's surprise, I'm sure, the Imperial College receives generous grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the most recent in March of this year – just shy of $80 Million, to develop a new tool for malaria control and elimination in sub-Saharan Africa.

https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2020/03/OPP1210755

Nor was that the only one, by a long chalk; 80 donations between 2006 and 2018. This website does ask that a disclaimer be included that the data are preliminary; final development is not expected to be achieved until 2022. But at first glance, it looks like the full amount will run into quite a few decimal places.

https://donations.vipulnaik.com/donorDonee.php?donor=Bill+and+Melinda+Gates+Foundation&donee=Imperial+College+London

Patient Observer May 10, 2020 at 12:23 pm
An under-reported fact in the US is the abundance of empty ICUs and now a surplus of ventilators. A nearby city is laying off 2,500 medical personnel for lack of work (presumably mobilized for the pandemic).

IIRC, a local story blew the whistle on a staged waiting line for Covid-19 testing; most of the people in line (including medical volunteers who had nothing to do) were asked to to stand in line to provide video footage for a network news team.

Saw this clever play on words – plandemic.

Mark Chapman May 10, 2020 at 12:48 pm
Yes, that's correct: Cherry Health, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The article points out that Cherry Health stands to lose millions as a result of the crisis.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/expert-accusations-of-staged-covid-19-test-line-fodder-for-doubters/

Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 12:47 pm
More fun to come, Mark https://metro.co.uk/2020/05/05/government-coronavirus-scientist-resigns-meeting-married-lover-lockdown-12659413/
Mark Chapman May 10, 2020 at 12:52 pm
Ha, ha!! Dear God. Well, I hope he doesn't lose his tasty bit on the side over this – he'll probably top himself. She looks quite yummy. But it's always the same, innit? Those who make up the rules get a great kick out of it, but feel free to disregard them themselves as soon as they get in the way.
Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 1:58 pm
And still more https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/05/httpsenwikipediaorgwikiavaaz.html
Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 1:58 pm
And still more https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/05/httpsenwikipediaorgwikiavaaz.html
Patient Observer May 11, 2020 at 5:07 am
Makes one wonder if the virus response is being managed at some level to cull the old and frail to reduce health care costs. The obvious vulnerability of nursing home residents combined with the apparent lack of resources specifically devoted to protecting those individuals suggests high level scheming in that regard.

It was only a few months ago that we exceptional people were told that masks were useless and unneeded (except for health care workers who desperately needed them for self-protection). It is likely that policy lead to a rapid spread in the vulnerable population.

It is remarkable how quickly the "masks are useless" directive has been officially forgotten. Now, it's all about how China allowed us to mishandle the situation.

Mark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 8:34 am
I would think not, only because no apparent effort has been made to ensure infection of the homeless in their cardboard cities, and wipe them out. Here, as I have mentioned before, Mayor Helps has given them a city park to use as their own squalid state, constantly refers to them tenderly as 'our most vulnerable', and provides them no end of services, all for free on the taxpayer. If your ambitions are modest, there is no real incentive to work.

If it were all part of a diabolical plan, you would think that plan would allow for taking out the 'useless eaters' among the poor and helpless, as well as the old.

Fern May 12, 2020 at 5:15 pm
It certainly looks that way but such a plot requires a competence that our political elites (at least in the UK) just don't have. Unfortunately, we're led by the shallow, ignorant and inexperienced who responded to a serious health problem with blind panic. It's common sense that a virus, which is particularly dangerous for the elderly, shouldn't be let out to play in care homes; that steps should have been taken to protect the vulnerable rather than putting everyone under house arrest while destroying their livelihoods. But common sense is a bit like common courtesy, not actually that common when you get right down to it.

Professor Neil Ferguson (he of the 500,000 deaths forecast) and his Imperial College team have a dire track record of forecasting in previous health crises, consistently wrong by an order of magnitude. Yet it seems that no-one in government or our once highly competent civil service had either the skills or time to query his forecasting model and the assumptions he made. The fact that he broke the lockdown, introduced as a result of his forecast, in order to dally with his mistress, does kind of suggest he doesn't believe in his own figures.

Mark Chapman May 12, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Yes, it sounds as if you are right. I suppose one reason it looks like a well-managed conspiracy is that it was such a startlingly stupid thing to do – it's difficult to imagine people would willingly cause such destruction without the slightest look to the future.

Johnson is an idiot, but his first instinct – or apparently so, I suppose it might have been just paralysis – was the correct one; proceed as normal, no reason to believe this is the Black Death.

et Al May 13, 2020 at 12:52 am
The phrase Never let a good crisis go to waste springs to mind.*
Mark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 8:28 am
It's almost like the 'pandemic' is just an excuse for something, and the rest is just going through the motions.

On relaxation of restrictions, it's mostly a game of feeling for the level of restriction the public will tolerate, because it is so grateful for the degree of freedom allowed it. I imagine when stores are opened, they're going to want Soviet-style lineups outside, social-distancing 6 feet apart, because only 50 people are allowed inside at any one time. So they can social-distance inside as well, as if that were somehow an effective contagious-virus countermeasure, the way grocery stores are now. And 50 seems to be the magic number no matter the size of the store, except for kiosks which are only allowed to serve one person inside at a time.

The local pizza hotspot, Romeo's, seems to be doing a land-office business, and is probably making money. They only serve take-out now, no inside service, so they only have to pay the cooks and perhaps two counter-service persons; no waitresses or waiters or busboys. And the line outside frequently is about a quarter-mile. But they still have to pay their rent based on the size of the building, which is wasteful – look for perhaps quite a few businesses switching to take-out only in the course of time, and renting smaller premises. Because of course The Authorities are going to want social-distancing inside restaurants as well as we emerge, to preserve the illusion that they knew what they were about.

[May 15, 2020] America has a surveillance state but it refuses to use it to save lives. Instead, it uses it to save Wall Street and protect the extractive elite from any TRUE REAL threat.

May 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

450.org , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 12:29 pm GMT

Case in point. America has a surveillance state but it refuses to use it to save lives. Instead, it uses it to save Wall Street and protect the extractive elite from any TRUE REAL threat. I relish the notion of this virus running rampant across America until it ravages, and decimates actually, the Praetorian Guard Class, the managerial class if you will, that licks the ass of the extractive elite for some bread crust, discarded steak fat and a Tesla. I want to see them truly suffer for their sins.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/05/12/us/coronavirus-reopening-shutdown.html

After weeks cooped up at home following governors' orders to contain the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. residents appear eager to get moving again. As more states began to relax restrictions, about 25 million more people ventured outside their homes on an average day last week than during the preceding six weeks, a New York Times analysis of cellphone data found .

In nearly every part of the country, the share of people staying home dropped, in some places by nearly 11 percentage points.

As the death toll from this pandemic rises in America with no end in sight, Wall Street, as reflected in the DJIA, doesn't even blink and actually cheers. It doesn't get any sicker than that. Wall Street sees the carnage as an opportunity to make more profit off of death and the extractive elite see it as an opportunity to concentrate wealth even further and rid the world of burdensome useless eaters. It's sick. It's sadistic. It's malevolent. It's evil. It's our reality.

Damn them all to hell.

[May 13, 2020] A Pandemic of Know-Nothings

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The coronavirus reminds us that the gap between what we think we know and what we actually do know is enormous. ..."
"... American Journal of Public Health ..."
May 13, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The coronavirus reminds us that the gap between what we think we know and what we actually do know is enormous.

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, shows off charts with members of the coronavirus task force during a briefing in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

May 13, 2020

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12:01 am

Matt Purple St. Louis Federal Reserve watchers, rejoice! And yes, I'm talking to both of you. The St. Louis Fed is freshly relevant this week thanks to a paper it published back in 2007 that examined the economic effects of the 1918 Spanish flu. Drawing on old newspaper articles, local surveys, and other studies -- national data back then was scarce -- the report found that the damage done to businesses by the outbreak was both severe and short-lived. The impact on the next generation, however, was longer-lasting. Those in utero during the pandemic went on to attain less education and lower incomes than had previous generations.

What we wouldn't give for that kind of glimpse from the future today. The coronavirus has killed hundreds of thousands while sledgehammering the economy, leaving close to a quarter of working-age Americans either unemployed or underemployed. And we still have no idea how it will end. It may be that this recession is similar to the one in 1918, cutting deeply but easing rapidly. Or it may be that we're in for another lost decade of stubborn unemployment and stagnant growth. It may be that the virus is seen off this summer, remembered as a frightening but ultimately brief ordeal. Or it may be that it lurks into the autumn, whereupon it comes roaring back.

We don't know, and we hate that we don't know. Consequently a cottage industry has sprung up around our uncertainty, hawking models, projections, expert opinions. These things have valid scientific purposes, of course, but thrown down the rabbit hole of our popular discourse, they've taken on a kind of hysterical clairvoyance, supposedly able to tell us what's coming and how we should respond. With climate change, we grew accustomed to the idea that scientists could see into the future. Now we're demanding they do the same with the coronavirus. That's despite the fact that so far, none of these projections have demonstrated any greater predictive ability than your average call to Miss Cleo.

Take the government's official death toll projections. Back in January, the White House was largely complacent over the coronavirus, with President Trump comparing it to the seasonal flu and his health secretary saying that Americans need "not worry for their own safety." Then in late March, the pendulum swung towards apocalypse. Actually, the White House said, 200,000 Americans could die. Two weeks later, the death toll projection fell to a far rosier 60,000 , and the country breathed a sigh of relief ahead of Easter weekend. Then the projections ticked upwards yet again. Today, IHME, the White House's principal modeler, predicts that 147,000 Americans will be killed by August 4.

Some of the issue here may be the choice of models. IHME has been criticized by epidemiologists , as have the Imperial College modelers in Britain (who have lately been distracted by, er, more extracurricular activities ). But the bigger problem is best summed up in a quote to Politico by the head of IHME, explaining why his organization's projections were so wrong. "We had presumed, perhaps naively," he said, "that given the magnitude of the epidemic, most states would stick to their social distancing until the end of May." In other words, the models are premised on assumptions that can be scrambled by real-world events, whether political decisions or acts of God or the caprices of the virus itself. They aren't showing us the future so much as extrapolating off of a snapshot, one that can easily change. Yet we treat them as practically mystic. "200,000 could die!!" scream the headlines, with "could" ever the weasel word.

We don't just do this with the death toll. On the economy, too, we seem hopelessly confused. Here's a smattering of headlines from the past two months: "Unemployment rate could exceed 20% by June, top White House adviser says." "Economists see uneven jobs recovery, high U.S. unemployment through 2021." "Top JPMorgan investment advisor: It will take '10 to 12 years' for U.S. employment levels to return." "The coronavirus recession will be deeper and faster than the financial crisis." "Economists say quick rebound from recession is unlikely." "Trump's baseless claim that a recession would be deadlier than the coronavirus." "U.N. warns economic downturn could kill hundreds of thousands of children in 2020."

Stare into this blurry puddle long enough and you might conclude that no one has any idea what the hell they're talking about. Or you might fall back on your own biases, choosing to believe stories that buttress your political beliefs and speak to your own personal circumstances. Either way, this kind of confusion can have long-reaching effects. Consider, for example, a new study that was released last week, which found that there could be 75,000 so-called deaths of despair -- meaning suicides and drug and alcohol overdoses -- as a result of the coronavirus recession. It called to mind another social science finding , one of the most consequential of the last decade: that life expectancy among less educated, middle-aged, white Americans was declining, driven primarily by those deaths of despair.

That claim, courtesy of researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton , made its way around the internet. It fed into the narrative of the populist right and Donald Trump. It provided an empirical grounding for "American carnage." But wait: a less noticed study a year later, which took Case's and Deaton's data and adjusted for age, found a more mixed picture. According to research from Columbia University , while middle-aged white women had indeed seen increased mortality rates, middle-aged white men had reversed this trend back in 2005. And then came another study, in the American Journal of Public Health , that challenged the very concept of "deaths of despair," warning that "the gap between deaths of despair as a claim and deaths of despair as a rigorously tested scientific concept is wide."

There is a Grand Canyon-sized gap between what we think we know and what we actually know. How to navigate this chasm? Two maxims can help.

The first comes from Friedrich Hayek: "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." Hayek was concerned with what he called the "fatal conceit," which he defined as the belief "that man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes." We might add a corollary: that man is able to anticipate the world around him according to his wishes. Because knowledge is complex and dispersed, Hayek argued, no one can ever marshal enough of it to centrally plan an economy. Likewise even a sophisticated model can't have enough data to foresee how a pandemic will play out. There are simply too many variables, drawing on too many areas of life.

The second maxim comes from a very different source: John Dickinson, perhaps our most conservative founding father. "Experience must be our only guide," Dickinson said. "Reason may mislead us." Of course, by reason, he didn't mean vast computer algorithms struggling to track contagion across seven continents; he was thinking of 18th-century rationalism, which he contrasted with the more reliable yardstick of historical experience. While what seemed philosophically sound in the abstract could be tainted by personal bias or disconnected from real life, precedent was far more settled. How something had worked in the past was a good indication of how it would work in the future.

Unfortunately we have very little precedent when it comes to the coronavirus, though the Spanish flu can perhaps offer some clues. The 1918 influenza, like the current pandemic, began in the spring, only to enter a second wave in the fall that killed more people than the first. A third wave then began that winter and stretched into the summer of 1919. That's chilling, yet there's good news too: the recession that followed was short and quickly blossomed into the 1920s, one of the most dizzying economic expansions in our history.

So top hats and flapper dresses all around? Who knows? It's called the novel coronavirus for a reason. The awful truth is that we have very little idea how long this will go on and how it will ultimately turn out. And the reason for that is that we know so very much less than we think we do.

[May 13, 2020] There may be no vaccine. What then?

May 13, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Paul's challenge encapsulates the debate between elected officials eager to open up businesses and willing to accept the risk that more people will die, and public health experts committed to lowering infection rates and keeping the public as safe as possible.

" People are hurting and we're destroying our country ," Paul told reporters outside the hearing room. "We've got to open up business we got to let people vote, and we're not going to live in a perfect world without infectious disease, we're still going to have it, but we got to open the economy and that's the number one message I have."

The Kentucky senator, an opthamologist, told Fauci he didn't believe there would be a surge in cases if schools opened, which is not what public health experts say. Paul dismissed predictive models of the virus. "The history of this, when we look back, will be of wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction ," Paul said.

Paul then targeted Fauci personally: "As much as I respect you Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all, I don't think you're the one person that gets to make the decision . We can listen to your advice. But there are people on the other side saying there won't be a surge and we can safely open the economy." CNBC

--------------

IMO, there may or may not be an effective vaccine developed against COVID-19. Some virus bugs are never countered effectively by vaccines. There are no vaccines for the common cold, the Spanish Influenza of 1918, and many other virus strains. Some diseases must burn themselves out in a population by establishing herd immunity. Bubonic Plague is a bacterial infection, but the same thing was true of it. It ravaged Europe, but eventually the fire of infection burned out in Europe and those of us who are descended from Europeans are the descendants of the herd survivors.

COVID-19 is nothing like the Black Death or the Spanish Influenza in lethality except for the old and infirm. Suck it up, people! Cowboy up! Grow a pair! Fauci is a techno dweeb who would keep the US shut down economically until the survivors of COVID-19 would be living in a post-apocalyptic world of small communities living in poverty, a dystopian nightmare.

Rand Paul is also a doctor, and a survivor of the disease.

The Democrats are having a good time playing with Trump while the country burns to the ground economically.

Biden? Pelosi? Juan Williams? Northam? You want them? If you do, and you want to hunker down until the country dies, well then, Bless You! You will deserve what you get.

SWMBO and I, and the doggies are unlikely to be here to share your pain. pl

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/12/dr-anthony-fauci-sen-rand-paul-spar-over-safety-and-death-rates-among-children-with-coronavirus.html

Posted at 06:29 PM in Health Care Permalink | Comments (8)


Jack , 12 May 2020 at 06:46 PM

Sir,

LA County apparently wants to extend the lockdown by another 3 months. This is just insane!

Old guys like me could hang out more at the ranch but the youth need to be out and about.

There's no perfect risk-free scenario as you point out. Unfortunately we have cultivated a nanny state of big government and big business that are quite rapacious in reality. Has any state actually passed legislation to enforce lockdowns? These are just executive orders at the state and local levels. It would appear that these orders suspends the constitution? I'm surprised no one has yet challenged these orders in state and federal courts.

We sure are an afraid lot. What happened to the derring-do?

james , 12 May 2020 at 06:55 PM
maybe they could do a special ufc - wrestling type show with paul and fauci.. the american public seem very keen on this sort of thing and would eat it up..

can someone explain how herd immunity works?? i've never heard of people being referred to as a herd... i missed that in school..

Keith Harbaugh , 12 May 2020 at 07:04 PM
BTW, notice how Ukraine has vanished from the national conversation.
Who needs to keep yapping about how Trump let down (one faction in) Ukraine when they can blame him for the economic calamity which, in point of fact, is due to the vast overreaction that has been pushed by the media and Dem politicians.
For example, failing to point out that New York has unique demographics, which directly and conclusively led to its high hospitalization and fatality rate.
turcopolier , 12 May 2020 at 07:21 PM
james

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity Idiot

Keith Harbaugh , 12 May 2020 at 08:02 PM
A key point the media doesn't adequately emphasize, IMO, is the sharpness of the dependency on age.
In Virginia, there have been, to date, roughly 900 deaths attributed to the virus.
Of those deaths, over half were to people over 80.
Roughly one quarter were people in their 70s.
About 15% were people on their 60s.
Less than 10% were people under 60.
There were ZERO deaths of people under 20.

To see a bar chart which shows the exact numbers, visit
https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/
Then click on "Demographics", then set "Select Measure" to "Deaths".

Fred , 12 May 2020 at 08:05 PM
"public health experts"
These folks appear to be expert only at guaranteeing thier jobs. The backpedaling, double speak and out right fraud is beyond shameless. I notice we aren't talking about the Georgia death count any longer but St. Travoon of the skittles accolyte. This thing is over but for NYC and the politicians in the democratic death traps being governed by fools. Ordering infected elderly patients back to nursing homes, which experts advised that to Cuomo and Whitmer? Suicide, drug overdoses, those deaths don't count?

"Biden? Pelosi? Juan Williams? Northam? You want them?" No, nor Whitmer nor Newsom. If we get them I won't be around much longer than your doggies and I'm much younger than you and SWMBO.

John Merryman , 12 May 2020 at 08:07 PM
I think a big part of the problem is the total lack of any deeper philosophic debate, as part of a normal social functioning. People want answers not truths, so there are plenty of politicians and priests, but philosophy is neutered and left to the back alleys of academia.
We are linear, goal oriented creatures in a cyclical, reciprocal, feedback generated reality, in which there is this organic interplay between competition and cooperation, as well as public and private functions of society, etc. So when we impose this goal oriented model on those facts of life, we end up with a bunch of absolutist ideologs running the world and using the other side as boogymen to rally their cultists. Rather than appreciating such interplay is fundamental to life.
When we have such a fundamentally primitive understanding of how reality functions, having nuanced discussion of life and death issues is not possible.
Eric Newhill , 12 May 2020 at 08:19 PM
The people won't stand for Fausti's nonsense, nor the Democrats'. They will just open their businesses and local governments - especially county level - will allow it. Already happening in PA. Heck even some states are doing it. As counties and states open up, the populations of those that do not will become increasingly agitated and begin to break "the rules". There will be a ripple effect. The cowards and social media magnates and leftists will call them names and wave fingers at them, but the people won't care. Actually they will continue to open with even more fervor just to give give these "elites" the finger.

As always, the socialist/dictator class ignores human nature and believes people can be programmed. As always, they are wrong. People are no longer buying the models and case rates BS, etc. that the "scientists" put out there. Geekery ain't cutting it any more.

Hopefully, this will all occur peacefully with the socialists/dictators just throwing up their hands. If they double down, then the tree of liberty gets watered. Probably the outcome that needs to happen, terrible as it is. Right now Pelosi is trying to develop a plan to bribe the people into staying locked down and vote democrat. It will fail.

Jack , 12 May 2020 at 06:46 PM
Sir,

LA County apparently wants to extend the lockdown by another 3 months. This is just insane!

Old guys like me could hang out more at the ranch but the youth need to be out and about.

There's no perfect risk-free scenario as you point out. Unfortunately we have cultivated a nanny state of big government and big business that are quite rapacious in reality. Has any state actually passed legislation to enforce lockdowns? These are just executive orders at the state and local levels. It would appear that these orders suspends the constitution? I'm surprised no one has yet challenged these orders in state and federal courts.

We sure are an afraid lot. What happened to the derring-do?

james , 12 May 2020 at 06:55 PM
maybe they could do a special ufc - wrestling type show with paul and fauci.. the american public seem very keen on this sort of thing and would eat it up..

can someone explain how herd immunity works?? i've never heard of people being referred to as a herd... i missed that in school..

Keith Harbaugh , 12 May 2020 at 07:04 PM
BTW, notice how Ukraine has vanished from the national conversation.
Who needs to keep yapping about how Trump let down (one faction in) Ukraine when they can blame him for the economic calamity which, in point of fact, is due to the vast overreaction that has been pushed by the media and Dem politicians.
For example, failing to point out that New York has unique demographics, which directly and conclusively led to its high hospitalization and fatality rate.
turcopolier , 12 May 2020 at 07:21 PM
james

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity Idiot

Keith Harbaugh , 12 May 2020 at 08:02 PM
A key point the media doesn't adequately emphasize, IMO, is the sharpness of the dependency on age.
In Virginia, there have been, to date, roughly 900 deaths attributed to the virus.
Of those deaths, over half were to people over 80.
Roughly one quarter were people in their 70s.
About 15% were people on their 60s.
Less than 10% were people under 60.
There were ZERO deaths of people under 20.

To see a bar chart which shows the exact numbers, visit
https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/
Then click on "Demographics", then set "Select Measure" to "Deaths".

Fred , 12 May 2020 at 08:05 PM
"public health experts"
These folks appear to be expert only at guaranteeing thier jobs. The backpedaling, double speak and out right fraud is beyond shameless. I notice we aren't talking about the Georgia death count any longer but St. Travoon of the skittles accolyte. This thing is over but for NYC and the politicians in the democratic death traps being governed by fools. Ordering infected elderly patients back to nursing homes, which experts advised that to Cuomo and Whitmer? Suicide, drug overdoses, those deaths don't count?

"Biden? Pelosi? Juan Williams? Northam? You want them?" No, nor Whitmer nor Newsom. If we get them I won't be around much longer than your doggies and I'm much younger than you and SWMBO.

John Merryman , 12 May 2020 at 08:07 PM
I think a big part of the problem is the total lack of any deeper philosophic debate, as part of a normal social functioning. People want answers not truths, so there are plenty of politicians and priests, but philosophy is neutered and left to the back alleys of academia.
We are linear, goal oriented creatures in a cyclical, reciprocal, feedback generated reality, in which there is this organic interplay between competition and cooperation, as well as public and private functions of society, etc. So when we impose this goal oriented model on those facts of life, we end up with a bunch of absolutist ideologs running the world and using the other side as boogymen to rally their cultists. Rather than appreciating such interplay is fundamental to life.
When we have such a fundamentally primitive understanding of how reality functions, having nuanced discussion of life and death issues is not possible.
Eric Newhill , 12 May 2020 at 08:19 PM
The people won't stand for Fausti's nonsense, nor the Democrats'. They will just open their businesses and local governments - especially county level - will allow it. Already happening in PA. Heck even some states are doing it. As counties and states open up, the populations of those that do not will become increasingly agitated and begin to break "the rules". There will be a ripple effect. The cowards and social media magnates and leftists will call them names and wave fingers at them, but the people won't care. Actually they will continue to open with even more fervor just to give give these "elites" the finger.

As always, the socialist/dictator class ignores human nature and believes people can be programmed. As always, they are wrong. People are no longer buying the models and case rates BS, etc. that the "scientists" put out there. Geekery ain't cutting it any more.

Hopefully, this will all occur peacefully with the socialists/dictators just throwing up their hands. If they double down, then the tree of liberty gets watered. Probably the outcome that needs to happen, terrible as it is. Right now Pelosi is trying to develop a plan to bribe the people into staying locked down and vote democrat. It will fail.

[May 12, 2020] We need a radically different model to tackle the COVID-19 crisis By James K. Galbraith Defend Democracy Press

May 12, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

We need a radically different model to tackle the COVID-19 crisis | By James K. Galbraith 12/05/2020

The Current Situation in the United States: May 2020
James K. Galbraith

Two weeks ago week the US death toll from Covid-19 exceeded that of US soldiers in Vietnam, 1955-1974. On May 1 the one-day toll reached a new high, greater than that in New York City on September 11, 2001. Meanwhile economic output has collapsed and over thirty million Americans had filed unemployment claims as of April 30, 2020. On the public health front, testing remains inadequate, contact tracing non-existent, treatment options appear stalled and millions remain uninsured. The federal bailouts have worked well in one way only: to spur a modest revival of stocks and to forestall massive defaults on bonds.

The failures of the public health system border on sabotage. Test kits were available from the WHO in January; the US elected not to use them. The first production of tests from the CDC was botched. Testing was deliberately limited as community transmission grew, so that the virus escaped from early containment that might have been possible. Lockdowns and quarantines came late, were poorly organized and weakly enforced. Supplies of PPE were not allocated to hospitals and health care providers according to need; the Defense Production Act was not deployed in timely and effective manner to ramp up home production; no effective federal system to manage international medical supply chains exists to this day. While some firms have no doubt done their best, reports of profiteering and scams are rampant.

The push to reopen the economy is a further mark of failure. As food supply workers were not properly protected, unacceptable levels of sickness and workplace contamination have occurred, notably in meat. Food banks are in crisis, while milk, eggs and other perishables are wasted. State governments facing fiscal catastrophe press businesses to reopen on terms that cannot be profitable, because capacity is constrained for health reasons. The openings are calculated to force workers off of unemployment insurance, which can be revoked if they decline to return to risky jobs. Many smaller businesses are deciding not to reopen; they will face bankruptcy instead and disappear. Although evictions and foreclosures are technically deferred, many landlords have ignored this and in any event rent, mortgages, utility bills and other debts continue to accrue.

Models of the pandemic now openly predict infections rising further as lockdowns are relaxed, to the point of testing the capacity of health care systems even in parts of the country not yet severely affected. Whether this will happen or not is not yet clear; the public may continue, as a general rule, to practice safe contact behavior, and if the transmission rates hold below 1, as they presently are estimated to be in almost all of the American states , the pandemic may continue to decline. But if the models are borne out, death rates will rise by many multiples of their current values. These events are projected to lead to further lock-downs on a rolling basis, until such time as a vaccine or therapy is available. There is no guarantee of either.

Read also: Brazil's Haddad Extends Support to 23% of Voter Intent

Even if the pandemic is now contained the economy will not revert to "normal." The United States is a premier producer of energy, aerospace, advanced information technologies and financial services. It assembles many million automobiles, appliances and other consumer durable goods every year. The oil sector has suffered a price collapse and borders now on mass bankruptcy; when fracking wells are capped they will sand up and become very costly to reopen, so the US energy-based economic expansion is over. Airplanes are lined up in parking spaces; no new civilian passenger airliners will be needed indefinitely. Households who are either unemployed or working from home (and therefore not commuting) or that face deferred rent and mortgages will not soon be in the market for new cars; in any event the old ones will last longer as they are being driven much less. As office buildings remain empty, new ones will not be built. Similarly for retail stores, already driven to the wall by on-line ordering and deliveries. The banking sector is on the hook for energy loans gone bad, and for household debts, and for corporate loans that will be at risk once the bailout money runs low. The debts built up during the pandemic will be defaulted in many cases, ruining credit for the households affected. All of which foretells a long depression even under the best foreseeable public health conditions. A cycle of infections and lock-downs will make all of this that much worse.

There is an illusion about, that the recent prosperity can be revived by "reopening." But many industries – aircraft, airlines, hotels, automobiles, appliances, commercial construction, energy – will definitely shrink, whatever happens now and no matter how much money they receive. The bailouts were a measure predicated on the idea that these industries were facing just a temporary interruption. But it is difficult to see how bankruptcies and liquidations can be avoided if there is no revival in the demand for product. And large-scale production relies on interlinked supply-chains, so that if a single major producer (for example one of the majors in the automotive sector) fails, there is a risk of cascading liquidations (for example in auto parts), making operations difficult – perhaps impossible – for the survivors. In these industries the supply chains and subcontractors are much larger in the aggregate than the assembly operations of the final production firm.

Higher education, a large sector in America, faces a crisis of high costs, collapsing enrollments and the actual alternative of cheap on-line instruction in many fields. This was already in the works for demographic reasons, and is now being accelerated by the loss of household wealth. Health care, ten times larger, also faces financial difficulties as millions are losing their insurance and – for the moment anyway – as accidents, other infectious diseases and such are down, depriving doctors and hospitals of reimbursements. Service industries from restaurants to retailers cannot function profitably at one-quarter of capacity; bars, nightclubs, and most sporting venues cannot reopen at all.

Read also: America's Painful Self-delusion

Federal decision-making has failed at every level. In the executive branch, it has been at best a complex of incompetence, denial, and political motivation. At worst, decisions were taken and are still being taken in full knowledge of the projected death rates and potential for private profiteering, both in the medical sector and in the larger financial economy. It is known that some private speculators made over three hundred billion dollars shorting the stock market before the February collapse, and that some Members of Congress sold their holdings based on information provided in intelligence briefings. Congressional action has been slow, marred by politics, lobbies, regional rivalries, poor judgment and a misdiagnosis of the economic issues, as Congress reached for legislative models used in past business downturns, especially the crisis of 2007-2009, which had no quarantine or other public health component.

The specific policies implemented were plagued by problems. To calculate payments under the first CARES Act, the IRS had to use filings from tax year 2018, and also ran into printing bottlenecks for paper checks that had to be mailed to those without direct deposit. Unemployment insurance benefits were made relatively generous, and the state unemployment insurance web-sites could not handle the crush, so they crashed, leaving many without the ability to access the program. Instead of simple wage replacement (which would have protected health insurance and union membership) the Small Business Administration issued rules that appeared unusable for many firms, banks gave preference to favored clients, and in the first round also the money soon ran out. In short, the effort to save the economy by pouring money into it through conventional channels was inadequate, ill-considered, inefficient, and in some respects corrupt. The best that may be said is that it was much better than doing nothing at all.

As events progress, the usual pattern of property sales and purchases cannot proceed. So property values will collapse, leaving millions of homeowners without equity; as this happens, mass foreclosures and property seizures are inevitable under the present legal rules. Predatory private investors will buy distressed assets at firesale prices and the American population will revert, largely to renter status. For those with means, private tutors and doctors will remain available; the others will manage as they can. Needless to say, depression, despair, drug abuse and suicide will prevail.

Or maybe they won't . In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis, it was possible – barely possible, but possible – to shift the blame from the bankers to the victims, from those who built a massively fraudulent financial system to those who took out the loans that they could not repay. But there was no viral element, no public health trigger, to that crisis. This one is different. Every development described above is a consequence, direct or indirect, of the coronavirus. Those who were laid off, and who went home, and who broke the transmission of the disease, did their part, just as health-care professionals and grocery clerks did theirs. Their legal case for relief remains weak. But the moral case is strong and the economic case is beyond dispute. Even the incumbent Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, a foreclosure-predator of the first water after 2008, has stated that the economic crisis "is no fault of American business, it is no fault of American workers, it is the fault of a virus." This is true but it does not mean that things will return to the past if the virus can be made to go away.

Read also: IMF issues warning over growing Chinese debt problems

To move forward, first of all, debts incurred before and during the pandemic will have to be written down. The energy sector and transport sectors will have to be rebuilt, based far more on renewables and sources other than oil. A large share of basic industries – especially in the health sector – will have to be repatriated so that basic sufficiency exists in this country. Millions of people will be needed to monitor and support public health; jobs for them must be organized and funded by the government. State and local governments will have to be federally-funded, in substantial part, to provide basic public services. New and sustainable housing must be built, in new community structures. High speed broadband must be provided to all. A new financing model – cooperative, with public support – will be required to re-establish small businesses. Local, decentralized cultural and sporting venues will have to replace mass-based experiences; these too will require cooperative structures and public support. In short, the only way out, remotely acceptable to the population at large, will require a comprehensive restructuring of the economy on a cooperative foundation, with the government stepping up to guaranteed funding, employment, and public investments.

Disaster capitalism is being tried, and the worst case is now the likely case. But there is a scale beyond which disaster capitalism cannot go. At a certain point, the carnage becomes too great to neglect, impossible to avoid and lethal to overlook. At a certain point, ordinary people will stand up and refuse to be bullied any more. That point has not quite arrived; we are still in the mind-set of "getting back to normal," even as the pandemic continues. The contradiction between normality and public health is on people's minds; the impossibility of returning to the previous abnormal-normal has not yet settled in. It will, in due course. At that point, the question of alternatives will have to be faced.

[May 12, 2020] One month later the first pacient was detected in Seatle Fauci was still proclaiming in public that the evil virus was less of a problem than the annual influenza. Someplace there is a video of Fauci saying this, right around Feb 15.

May 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trailer Trash , May 12 2020 14:58 utc | 113

>Patient #1 was a 35 year old male who presented at a Seattle (WA) clinic on Jan 15, 2020

A month later Fauci was still proclaiming in public that the evil virus was less of a problem than the annual influenza. Someplace there is a video of Fauci saying this, right around Feb 15.

I can not understand how even complete incompetents manage to make exactly the wrong decision at every opportunity. In the UK there was a policy to send elderly patients, both suspected and known to have the virus, to care homes, without even warning the care home people. Supposedly it was to make room for corona patients who were even sicker than the ones going into care homes. This is straight-up criminal negligence.

Here are sordid details from the New York Post :


The governor -- who himself has described nursing homes as a "feeding frenzy'' for the deadly coronavirus -- said that the facilities can't challenge a state regulation forcing them to admit patients with the contagion .

The CEO of a hard-hit Brooklyn nursing home, where 55 patients have died from the coronavirus, told The Post last week that he'd been warning state Health Department officials for weeks he had staffing and equipment issues -- yet received little help.

"There is no way for us to prevent the spread under these conditions,'' the head of the Cobble Hill Health Center, Donny Tuchman, wrote in an e-mail to the department on April 8.

He said he asked to move some patients to the makeshift wards at Manhattan's Javits Center and aboard the city-docked USNS Comfort amid the pandemic, only to be told those two spots were receiving only patients from hospitals.

"I made specific requests to transfer patients, and it didn't happen,'' Tuchman told The Post. "There weren't options."

Deliberate policy decisions have killed and continue to kill people. That is perfectly clear, even while the origins of the virus and the intent of decisions are hiding in the muck. Will relatives of the dead just accept this as "an act of god", or will they come to understand these events as "acts of dear leaders"?

For two months Dear Leaders have claimed that destroying the economy, house arrest, and no care home visitors are for the express purpose of protecting ... care home residents. But most of the dead were care home residents, along with plenty of their care workers.

Yes it sounds melodramatic but I keep seeing black-and-white images of people being herded into shower rooms in order to get showered with Zyklon B. Please tell me why we are not witnessing state-sanctioned murder.

[May 12, 2020] 'I don't think you are the end-all' Rand Paul calls out Fauci over Covid-19 policy based 'one wrong prediction after another'

Notable quotes:
"... Paul, who also has a medical degree, called for "a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what's best for our economy," questioning Fauci's support for a prolonged economic shutdown during a Senate hearing on the government's coronavirus response on Tuesday. ..."
"... With all due respect I don't think you're the end-all, I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision. ..."
"... "I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying oh we can't do this there's going to be a surge will admit they're wrong if there isn't a surge," the senator continued, calling for the Trump administration to listen to experts who disagreed with the "doom and gloom" predictions of Fauci and his ilk. ..."
"... Paul added that continuing the lockdown would widen the class divide, explaining that if children are kept out of school for months on end, then "the poor and underprivileged kids who don't have a parent that's able to teach them at home aren't going to be able to learn for a full year." He also said that the catastrophic narrative painting Covid-19 as a killer necessitating mass shutdowns had gotten started with "wrong prediction after wrong prediction," starting with the British scientist Neil Ferguson's apocalyptic forecasts – even as the British scientist had been meeting secretly with his mistress in violation of the lockdown he'd been championing. ..."
May 12, 2020 | www.rt.com

Republican Senator Rand Paul has challenged National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr Anthony Fauci on the nation's Covid-19 policy, suggesting the US is waiting too long to reopen. Paul, who also has a medical degree, called for "a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what's best for our economy," questioning Fauci's support for a prolonged economic shutdown during a Senate hearing on the government's coronavirus response on Tuesday.

Sen. Paul argues school decisions should be made district by district, tells Dr. Fauci: "I don't think you're the end all."Fauci: "I'm a scientist... I think we better be careful if we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects." pic.twitter.com/dIjXwkM5AU

-- NBC News (@NBCNews) May 12, 2020

With all due respect I don't think you're the end-all, I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision.

"I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying oh we can't do this there's going to be a surge will admit they're wrong if there isn't a surge," the senator continued, calling for the Trump administration to listen to experts who disagreed with the "doom and gloom" predictions of Fauci and his ilk.

" In rural states, we never really reached any sort of pandemic levels in Kentucky and other states ," Paul pointed out, even as he acknowledged that " New England " had been hit hard by the virus. " We have less deaths in Kentucky than we have in an average flu season. "

Antibody tests show Ohio had first Covid-19 cases as early as JANUARY – state health director

" We don't know everything about this virus ," Fauci countered, challenging that children in some parts of the country were turning up with " a very strange inflammatory syndrome " similar to Kawasaki syndrome.

" You're right in the numbers that children do much much better .but I am very careful, and hopefully humble, in knowing that I don't know everything about this disease, and that's why I'm very reserved in making broad predictions ," Fauci continued.

Paul added that continuing the lockdown would widen the class divide, explaining that if children are kept out of school for months on end, then "the poor and underprivileged kids who don't have a parent that's able to teach them at home aren't going to be able to learn for a full year." He also said that the catastrophic narrative painting Covid-19 as a killer necessitating mass shutdowns had gotten started with "wrong prediction after wrong prediction," starting with the British scientist Neil Ferguson's apocalyptic forecasts – even as the British scientist had been meeting secretly with his mistress in violation of the lockdown he'd been championing.

Fauci's supporters took to social media to slam his opponent, noting that Paul had gone to the Senate gym while infected with the coronavirus and perhaps infected others. They also cited high numbers of Covid-19 cases in Paul's home county of Warren County, Kentucky.

Watching Republicans cheer on Rand Paul "taking on" Dr. Fauci almost perfectly characterizes the anti-intellectual, anti-reason, anti-fact, and frankly degenerate state of the Republican Party.

-- Devin Duke (@sirDukeDevin) May 12, 2020

Warren County, Kentucky – where Rand Paul lives – has more COVID-19 cases per capita than 51 of the 67 counties in New England states.Senator Paul is wrong and the ignorant message he is peddling is dangerous. There is no special immunity to this virus based on where you live. https://t.co/l9u5RBYR2J

-- Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) May 12, 2020

Meanwhile, the senator's backers took the exact same exchange as proof that Paul had " destroyed " Fauci.

Rand Paul saves the day! Calls out the "experts" and says you are not the "end all" to make all decisions. GAME, SET, MATCH.

-- Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) May 12, 2020

Rand Paul absolutely destroys Dr. Fraudci. "I don't think you're the end all. I don't think you're the one person who gets to make the decision." pic.twitter.com/nvljuGAy5u

-- LivePDDave 🇺🇸 🚨 🥊 (@LivePDDave1) May 12, 2020

Federal 'social distancing' guidelines were lifted at the end of April, but hotspots like New York and California have extended their economic shutdowns as lesser-hit states have begun to relax restrictions.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[May 12, 2020] You re Not The End All Rand Paul Slams Fauci In Heated Exchange Over Lockdowns

Notable quotes:
"... X22 Report Fauci's Connections To Wuhan Ready To Be Exposed - Episode 2171c ..."
"... I don't remember Fauci ever apologizing his remarks concerning - you don't need to worry, you don't need masks - masks are bad, the virus can't be spread easily, his models predicting millions would die in the US. ..."
May 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"The history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction... As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end all, I don't think you're the one person that gets to make a decision," said Paul - who added that we need to "observe with an open eye what happened in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school."

"The mortality per capita in Sweden is actually less than France, less than Italy, less than Spain, less than Belgium, less than the Netherlands, about the same as Switzerland. But basically I don't think there's anybody arguing that what happened in Sweden is an unacceptable result. I think people are intrigued by it, and we should be."

"I don't think any of us are certain when we do all these modelings - there have been more people wrong with modeling than right. We're opening up a lot of economies around the US, and I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying 'oh, we can't do this, there's going to be a surge' - will admit when there isn't a surge."

Watch:

Sen. Rand Paul:

"The history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction... As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end all, I don't think you're the one person that gets to make a decision." pic.twitter.com/SP9T638y2B

— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 12, 2020

Fauci responded, (25 seconds in below), saying "Sen. Paul, I have never made myself out to be the end-all & only voice of this. I'm a scientist, a physician, and a public health official."

He then offered a 'but, the children!' argument - latching onto Paul's comment that we don't know everything about the virus, and that "we really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children."

"Because the more and more we learn - we're seeing things about what this virus can do that we didn't see from the studies in China. Or in Europe. For example, right now children presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory symdrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome. I think we better be careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are not immune to the deleterious effects.

"I never made myself to be out the end all. I’m a scientist, a physician, and a public health official. I give advice according to the best scientific evidence. "

Dr. Fauci responds to @RandPaul pic.twitter.com/gxOWB9BTQ4

— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 12, 2020

I have not promoted the #FireFauci movement. I've defended him. But now...

Fauci responded to a factual-based inquiry by @RandPaul w/an egregious allusion to some mystery Kawasaki-like disease & tripled-down on his aversion to a 2020-21 school session.

I'm done.#FIREFAUCI

— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) May 12, 2020

mikesap, 3 minutes ago

Why isn't anyone asking directly about the 'gain of function' studies that NIH was doing on the US prior to outsourcing the experiments to Wuhan and illegally funding it via the NIH....why is there a need to lockdown 300m people for a relative small number of deaths which in turn are focused on the elderly with prior illnesses...what is the relationship betwe3n the CDC and the European CDC... does the European CDC pay European hospitals for every diagnosis and every ventilator use.... its all BS...hopefully people are beginning to smell a rat and through these bums out....

Al Agent, 3 minutes ago

True. Fauci wasn't elected to make policy; in fact, he wasn't elected at all! He was employed to advise on what happens under different scenarios. Trump's economic advisors weren't elected to make policy; in fact, they weren't elected at all! They are employed to advise on what happens under different scenarios.

Congress and The President decide on policy. They were elected to do that.

Templar X, 16 minutes ago

There will never be a vaccine for COVID-19 which is safe, effective, and worthwhile.

The fastest a vaccine has ever been developed in the past was four years after the first appearance of a new infectious disease.

Four years from now people will either have herd immunity or they will be dead.

Within a year or two, the COVID-19 virus will likely mutate itself to death, or it will weaken and become no worse than a regular flu virus.

COVID-19 is, apparently, less harmful to people under 65 years of age and those with no underlying health conditions, which, of course, is also true of the common flu.

theWHTMANN, 32 minutes ago

How come no one asks Fauci straight to his face regarding all the deaths that will happen because of the lockdown (missed surgeries, suicide, famine, et al.). What is this con man's response? He doesn't care? What if non-COVID deaths because of the lockdown are 3x or 4x the COVID deaths? What then? Does anyone ask this fool Fauci whether he will take responsibility for anything?

mrpc, 30 minutes ago

Like Fauci says himself, in the interview, he gives advice. He doesn't make the decisions.

sun tzu, 34 minutes ago (Edited)

Where's the carnage in Georgia, Florida, Texas, and South Carolina from reopening? I see no massive surge in the hospitals or deaths. The only carnage I see is in the nursing homes in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts all states run by Democrats

PerilouseTimes, 8 minutes ago

I made an appointment for a procedure this week and had to go in for covid pretesting today. It was my second test in three months. I worked with and personally interacted with, people that tested positive for covid in mid March. I was unusually sick in January and have talked to many others that was strange sick in January as well. After speaking with the health professionals and the people I know in and around this, I am convinced that this is all a load of ****. I had covid in Jan, and so did many of the others I worked with. The nurse I just talked to said to me that her and her family along with many people that she is testing was convinced that they had it between Dec. and Feb. I'm in GA and it is long past time to get this show on the road.

Roger Casement, 37 minutes ago

X22 Report Fauci's Connections To Wuhan Ready To Be Exposed - Episode 2171c

NumbNuts, 39 minutes ago

Fauci is dangerous:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/10/is-there-a-vaccine-for-coronavirus.aspx

Those experiments were going on in the United States until 2014. They were Dr. Anthony Fauci's projects. President Obama ordered that to stop because they had a lot of lab escape problems in 2014 from three different labs

Instead of stopping as he was ordered, Fauci moved those operations to the Wuhan lab in China and continued to do those experiments right up until the time that the coronavirus [pandemic occurred]. In fact, [infectious disease expert] Ian Lipkin was doing those experiments over there when [COVID-19] exploded. And I'll tell you exactly what happened because it's very suspicious."

---ZerooreZ---, 56 minutes ago

I am genuinely impressed with the American spirit, that everything covid related has happened at double the speed in the USA compared to the UK - you were the last to get this thing and seem to be the first to open back up (well done!). I guess because you guys have lived with guns your whole lives, you are braver than the average UK citizen who literally have been the most obedient and most scared bunch I have experienced. People literally throw themselves off the pavements into the road to avoid someone walking the other way, they would rather be

sun tzu, 1 hour ago

Epidemic indeed

ToWo, 1 hour ago

I don't remember Fauci ever apologizing his remarks concerning - you don't need to worry, you don't need masks - masks are bad, the virus can't be spread easily, his models predicting millions would die in the US.

[May 11, 2020] Boomerang returned

May 11, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Newsweek reveals that as recently as last year, the US funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 'gain of function' research on bat coronaviruses.

The source of that funding? The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, headed by.....(drumroll please)....Dr Anthony Fauci, lead medical expert for America's Covid-19 task force.

[May 11, 2020] Angry Bear " Fauci No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab

May 11, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
  1. likbez , May 11, 2020 1:53 am

    run75441

    I would be wary of Fauci.

    It looks like it was Fauci who financed Wuhan lab continuation of very dangerous "gain of function" experiments started at UNC Dr. Baric lab.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/27/anthony-fauci-should-explain-37-million-wuhan-labo/

    President Donald Trump's legal counsel, Rudy Giuliani, in a recent chat on "The Cats Roundtable" on New York AM 970 radio, suggested a good U.S. attorney general move about now would be to investigate key members of the past Barack Obama administration on the Wuhan, China, laboratory, to see what they knew and when they knew it.

    And then he mentioned Dr. Anthony Fauci specifically.

    And then he accused the prior Team Obama of sending $3.7 million to the lab in 2014 -- at a time when that same Team Obama had banned the funding of any lab that was involved in virus experimentation.

    And then he named Fauci as the guy who gave the money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    Ouch. Politically speaking, the perception of one of this administration's loudest voices on the coronavirus front -- the one calling for shutdowns and shut-ins and contact tracing-slash-government-tracking of American citizens -- well, it doesn't look good to have him tied financially to Wuhan.

    Giuliani, as RedState noted, said this:

    "Back in 2014, the Obama administration prohibited the U.S. from giving money to any laboratory, including in the U.S., that was fooling around with these viruses. Prohibited. Despite that, Dr. Fauci gave $3.7 million to the Wuhan laboratory.

    And then even after the State Department issued reports about how unsafe that laboratory was, and how suspicious they were in the way they were developing a virus that could be transmitted to humans, we never pulled that money."

    Giuliani said if he were attorney general, he'd open an investigation.

[May 10, 2020] Do Masks and Respirators Prevent Viral Respiratory Illnesses

Something strange here: virions do not travel as single units. They travel "en mass" within water droplets. They also prevent spread of aerosol from sick people. So the professor is barking on a wrong tree.
May 10, 2020 | dissidentvoice.org

Moreover single virion is so small that it will be affected by Brownian movement which make it impossible for it to travel in a given direction at all -- it will he chaotic movement. So this physics professor looks like very weak in physics

Interview with Professor Denis Rancourt

by Kim Petersen / May 8th, 2020

A health professional told me back in March that face masks were ineffective but that respirators (the N95) were. Because of the source, I thought there must be validity to this. However, it seemed counterintuitive. I reasoned that there would be differentials between using any type of mask versus no mask because no mask usage would allow aerosols to penetrate unabated, whereas a mask should capture much of the aerosol and reduce risk of spread to others and presumably should also function to mitigate breathing in viral-laden droplets. Because of the greater density of respirator material, the prophylactic would be reasoned to be greater.

However, what I had not considered was how extremely small the virion was in relation to the porosity of the material in the masks and respirators. I also had not looked at the scientific literature on the subject until now.

Denis Rancourt, an eminent physics professor , former anarchist, and author, examined the scientific evidence for using face masks and respirators as preventative of contracting respiratory influenza-like disease, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by minuscule droplets.

What I have noticed is that Rancourt is wedded to the evidence, and he is unafraid to make known his conclusion even though it goes against the mainstream consensus. His article, " Masks Don't Work: A review of science relevant to COVID-19 social policy ," is Rancourt at his iconoclastic finest. He concludes,

No RCT [randomized control trial] study with verified outcome shows a benefit for HCW [health care workers] or community members in households to wearing a mask or respirator. There is no such study. There are no exceptions.

The virions are super tiny, tinier than the pores in the respirators. Rancourt writes,

if anything gets through (and it always does, irrespective of the mask), then you are going to be infected. Masks cannot possibly work. It is not surprising, therefore, that no bias-free study has ever found a benefit from wearing a mask or respirator in this application.

Rancourt's article is fascinating and anyone curious abut the efficacy of masks should read it.

*****

Kim Petersen : Recently, American vice-president Mike Pence was criticized for walking around the Mayo clinic accompanied by mask-wearing staff although he did not wear a mask. He excused his refusal to don a mask based on the frequent testing he undergoes, so presumably he would not be a danger to others. Given what the science reveals on mask wearing, how do you view the reaction to Pence's refusal to wear a mask?

Denis Rancourt : In my article " Masks Don't Work: A review of science relevant to COVID-19 social policy ", I show that there have been many randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses of RCTs, which were designed to detect any benefit from wearing a mask, in terms of reducing the risk of being infected by a viral respiratory disease.

In the many studies, in which the known bias of self-reporting is eliminated by using laboratory-confirmed infection detection, no statistically meaningful advantage is ever found, in either health-care or community settings, with either surgical masks or N95 respirators. No study, and there have been many, has been able to establish any advantage of wearing a mask or respirator, with viral respiratory diseases.

This means that, even in controlled professional health-care settings, any benefit is too small to be detected by science, and that other factors must be overwhelmingly more important.

Regarding all viral respiratory diseases -- which are both known to be transmitted by small aerosol particles (i.e., "droplets" of less than a few microns in diameter) and known to be highly infectious in terms of the so-called minimum-infective-dose (i.e., the number of virions that will likely be sufficient to cause illness or detectable infection) -- in plain language, this means "masks don't work". (A "virion" is a single virus unit, the RNA and its shell.)

Therefore, any societal debate about the virtue or responsibility of wearing a mask to reduce the risk of infection, whether it involves Pence or anyone else, is occurring in a science vacuum. It is a political and psychological debate, not one that is science-based.

Likewise, no unbiased RCT has ever shown any advantage for a confirmed-infected person to be less likely to transmit a viral-respiratory-disease infection to susceptible (i.e., not immune) persons if the infected person wears a mask.

Studies that show that cough and sneeze droplets are physically intercepted by masks are irrelevant in this regard, because they do not represent the reality of actual person to person transmission, nor do they measure actual transmission.

In my article, which has been read more than 70 K times on Research Gate, I also review what is known about the physics and biology of transmission of this class of diseases. I argue that, on this basis, one should not expect masks to work. Likewise, if masks cannot stop inward transmission (into the lung), then, by the same physics, they cannot stop outward transmission.

However, it is important to distinguish a RCT that evaluates risk of actual person-to-person transmission of confirmed infection, as one class of study, and the necessarily simplistic arguments based on hypothetical scenarios using physics and biology. And the "masks intercept droplets" studies are useless in the relevant context. Masks intended to stop a surgeon's spit from impacting an incision area are a completely different question.

Coming back to Pence, a face mask is a powerful psychological symbol of submission (to both the invisible disease and any State policy directives), such that it is understandable that many political leaders would not want to wear masks in front of media cameras.

KP : You write that there has been no randomized controlled trial that shows a benefit for anyone (doctors, nurses, regular folks, et al.) wearing a mask or respirator. The reason proffered is because the mask/respirator material is too porous for virion particles. The N95 respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 μm) test particles, but the virion particles (from 0.06 μm to 0.14 μm) (See Na Zhu et al., " A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China ," 20 February 2020, NEJM, 382:727-733.) can pass through.

I am trying to visualize this on a larger scale. If I kick a soccer ball at a chain-link fence, all soccer balls will be blocked. But if I throw a handful of sand at the chain-link fence, almost all grains of sand will pass through. Is this an apt analogy for the mask and the virion?

DR : The many RCTs show no statistically valid benefit from wearing a mask or N95 respirator, and show no differences in RCT comparisons between surgical masks and N95 respirators, regarding risk of infection from this class of diseases. That is a separate question from any hypothetical mechanistic explanation as to why any benefit from wearing a mask would be so small as to be undetected. In other words, that masks don't work must be discerned from the question of why masks don't work. The former is a scientific outcome of the studies, irrespective of what we believe or infer about the latter.

Nonetheless, regarding a discussion of the hypothetical mechanisms, one can say the following things:

Thus, it is not difficult to conclude that mask and respirators should not work, even leaving out the complex particle-mask-material interactions that can occur, mask aging and wear considerations, and so on.

KP : You cite possible harm from dictates requiring the wearing of masks. Could you elaborate?

DR : My answer is in two parts. First, there is potential medical harm to the individual from the wearing of a mask. Second, there is societal and psychological harm from being forced to wear a mask in public.

In one large RCT in Japanese health centers, health-care workers who wore respirators suffered significantly more headaches than the cohort of workers who did not wear respirators. This was a statistically significant outcome. Furthermore, professional health-care workers self-report significant discomfort from wearing respirators, and therefore often adjust them or remove them, contrary to protocol. If healthcare workers, in circumstances in which there is no scientific basis for wearing respirators, suffer headaches and discomfort, then this can only negatively impact the intended health care.

More broadly, the potential health hazards of population-scale extended personal mask use have not been studied. Potential health hazards include such factors as:

Such factors have not been studied, yet population-scale policies of extended mask-wearing are being implemented.

From a societal perspective, what are the consequences of government coercion ("education" and enforcement) to wear masks in public, given that there is no scientific basis for any benefit from mask wearing, in terms of reducing the risk of being infected by a viral respiratory disease?

How is this not an arbitrary application of power, which directly infringes or denies personal freedom? What are the long-term consequences of habituation to arbitrarily applied violations of personal freedom?

The recent scientific study of Hickey and Davidsen (2019) (" Self-organization and time-stability of social hierarchies ") in my view provides a theoretical foundation that such habituation to arbitrarily applied power is part of a progressive degradation towards an extreme totalitarian state, depending on the degree of authoritarianism (whether contestation is effective) and the degree of violence (magnitude of the penalty for disobeying).

We should rollback arbitrary State powers. I would say: If an individual evaluates or believes that a mask constitutes health or privacy or religious protection in public, then the individual should be free to wear a mask, but how can forcing all individuals to wear masks be justified, beyond government pronouncements? Security cannot be based on arbitrarily forced behaviour of everyone. This is the classic recipe for totalitarian rule.

In fact, the present case of pandemic mask laws or policies is a case where a health pretext and stoked fear are being exploited by governments, in a globalized corporate environment in which there are billions to be made from vaccines and other treatments, and where legal liabilities for the treatments have largely been socialized. Regular vaccination, for diseases that have always been kept in check by the human immune system, are a hard method of creating dependence on the State, involving seasonal violations of bodily integrity, which could become forced.

KP : You point a finger at governments, monopoly media, and institutional propagandists for deciding "to operate in a science vacuum, or select only incomplete science that serves their interests." Which institutional propagandists do you refer to?

DR : The main institutional propagandists here are the arms and legs of the pharma-medical complex, from the WHO and CDC, through the medical schools, to every hospital, research laboratory, clinic, community health center, and doctor's office. The medical establishment is a major network of the high-priests that structure and control modern society. In their book, "health" is a dependence on the health system, not healthy living conditions, contrary to all the science regarding the determinants of public health. I mean, Pharma and medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the Western world, after heart disease and cancer, and that is not a "pandemic"? It is not even on the radar, except in specialized conferences and journals.

As another example of institutional and professional alignment with top-down directives and recommendations, John Ioannidis showed in 2005 (" Why Most Published Research Findings Are False ") that most of the scientific research that finds marginal benefits for expensive and dangerous treatments is incorrect.

In the case of the on-going COVID-19 saga, several top researchers and experts have broken rank, and these professionals have been profiled in a series of three articles in Off-Guardian , for example. Generally, these contrarians who insist on practicing science, have been avoided by the mainstream media, and have had to be featured in the alternative media, and on YouTube. John Ioannidis and Knut Wittkowski are just two of the names that stand out for me.

KP : Given that the conclusion of your review of meta-analyses is accurate, why would so many health care professionals, who presumably have been trained in evidence-based practice, disregard the absence of evidence for the efficacy of masks and respirators?

DR : It is a myth that medicine is an evidence-based practice. This myth is propagated by the medical establishment. It has never been the case in the history of medicine, and it is not the case today. In practice, medicine is whatever the profession can get away with and profit from.

From a political perspective, the public-relations statement about being "science-based" is a propagandist mantra applied in training those initiated into the profession. It is designed to deliver legitimacy in the public's mind and among other professions, and means that the profession will attack, destroy or capture competitors that are not in the profession, such as homeopaths, nutritionists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, psychologists, councillors, life coaches, etc.

There is a large litigation record of this reality. If you litigate against or attempt to discipline an MD or a medical specialist for a practice that is not science based, then you find that the in-court or administrative-tribunal argument will never be about the science itself or whether a scientific basis exists. None of the actual medical researchers will be called as expert witnesses, and they would be seen as irrelevant and thus inadmissible. Instead, a complete defence will be based on whether or not the hired expert witnesses for the defendant will be of the opinion that the impugned practice is within the spectrum of actual practice in the field, irrespective of whether there is a scientific basis. In order to win, you will need to prove that the impugned act or practice is egregiously contrary to what is generally done or officially recommended by a certifying body; again, irrespective of any scientific-basis consideration. "Scientific basis" is given lip service, nothing more.

For example, when a drug or procedure is convincingly and unavoidably proven to be unacceptably harmful after being put into practice, and this harm is reported in the mainstream media, and there is organized public outcry, then the practice is changed but no practitioners are ever found to have been at fault. This means that the practitioners are not responsible to evaluate and establish a scientific basis for their prescriptions and treatments. They are only bound to do what one does in the profession. If mechanical ventilators are the treatment for critical COVID-19 patients, then we kill those patients with those mechanical ventilators until the proverbial shit hits the fan (" New study finds nearly all coronavirus patients put on ventilators died ," The Hill , 23 April 2020).

The history, to this day, of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is exhibit-one regarding the extent to which medical practice is distinct from any scientific basis. The said Manual is the pseudo-scientific organizational pretext for a large pharmaceutical project of managing the mind, which relies on heavy-handed "precautionary" prescriptions, made by any army of medical practitioners. For example, see Gary Greenberg (2013) ( The Book of WOE: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry ).

I could go on for days. Coming back to the masks, medical commentators, like politicians, will say whatever seems advantageous at the time, in terms of propping up their own legitimacy and popularity, and in terms of avoiding public-perception liability. If it is politically risky to recommend masks, then masks are out, and there is no evidence that they work. If it becomes risky to go against masks, then masks are in, and we must all do our part to protect those who are most vulnerable, etc.

KP : Since there is evidence that viruses flourish during dry periods, might the use of a humidifier be a recommended preventative measure during seasons when humidity is low?

DR : There is conclusive evidence that viral respiratory diseases and flu-like diseases predominantly propagate via small aerosol particles, which are stabilized in dry air, and that this is why these diseases are seasonal in mid-latitude regions. The reproduction number, R 0 , can vary four-fold during a season, in accordance with absolute humidity of the atmosphere. This oft-confirmed discovery was initiated with the landmark work of Shaman et al . (2010) .

Closed buildings such as hospitals, residences for the elderly, and day-care centers are proven to have large densities of virion-laden aerosol particles suspended in the air, in the dry season. In addition, air-flow has been shown to play a role regarding transmission, in restaurants and airplanes.

Therefore, it is not unreasonable to examine the use of controlled absolute humidity, and air-flow management in critical facilities housing many persons at risk of severe complications if infected. A high humidity would in-principle draw-out virtually all the aerosol particles, by condensation, particle growth, and gravitational removal. In principle, what was an environment of high-density of aerosol particles, would become an environment of low-density of aerosol particles. Only a true RCT comparative study, with laboratory-confirmed infection determinations, could demonstrate whether such measures can be effective.

Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimohp@gmail.com . Twitter: @kimpetersen . Read other articles by Kim .

This article was posted on Friday, May 8th, 2020 at 9:56am and is filed under COVID-19 (coronavirus) , Interview , Science/Technology .

[May 10, 2020] There is an evidence of Dr Fauci's involvement and Gates Foundation vaccine program problems in India and Kenya

May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

PJB , May 6 2020 20:25 utc | 100

Montreal @67

...The evidence of Dr Fauci's involvement and Gates Foundation vaccine program problems in India and Kenya - both of which are well documented.

I also expressed concern about the patent for bio-monitoring and Bill Gates call for digital passports.

[May 10, 2020] Neil Ferguson was caught admitting that he regards his entire agenda as nothing but a Big Lie

May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , May 8 2020 19:24 utc | 11

Literally every human concern - every social, psychological, spiritual concern; every political, constitutional, rule-of-law concern; every concern of human and civil rights, civil liberties, human freedom; every concern of children's healthy development; and literally every health concern except for this flu - have been eradicated from the propaganda and evidently from the minds of the police-statists.

Their minds have been scoured clean of literally every thought except for a threadbare fanatical obsession with quantity of life (an obsession they pursue in defiance of all the evidence; their lockdowns don't work even according to their own terms, let alone according to the terms of ecology, biodiversity, sound epidemiology; even their arch-ideologue and high priest Neil Ferguson was caught admitting that he regards his entire agenda as nothing but a Big Lie), and a grossly reductive notion of "opening the economy", which they deploy in order to slander the rapidly increasing number of people who are questioning, criticizing, and rejecting the lockdowns for a vast diversity of reasons I only briefly surveyed above.

The fact that the police-statists are utterly unwilling to meet any of these concerns except for the economic, and are willing to meet that one only in the most reductive, fraudulent, slanderous way which expresses total contempt for the vast numbers of people being economically destroyed beyond any hope of recovery (which is a major purpose and goal of the terror campaign and lockdowns), says it all about the total bankruptcy of their position. As in every other case, police-state authoritarianism has nothing but brute thug force, including in its ideas.

[May 10, 2020] On initial Fauci pushing of Ferguson estimates of COVID-19 mortality. He should have known better as Ferguson track record was already well known

May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ken Garoo , May 10 2020 1:21 utc | 44

As an aside, here are the batting averages of Neil 'lockdown for you but not me' Ferguson.

https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/09/who-controls-the-british-government-response-to-covid-19/

2001 His predictions on the Foot & Mouth Epidemic led to the needless 'voluntary' slaughter of 12 million animals. This in turn led to countless bankruptcies and suicides amongst small farmers. It also helped accelarate the concentration of farming into the hands of Big Farmer.

2002 He predicted 'up to' 50,000 would die from aka variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease aka 'Margaret Thatcher disease'. The total from 1990 to 2017 was actually 178.

2005 He predicted 'up to' 200 million people worldwide would be killed by H5N1 aka 'bird flu'. By 2006, WHO had reported 78 definite fatalities out of 147 eported cases.

2009 He predicted 'up to' 65,000 deaths in the UK from H1N1 aka 'swine flu'. In reality, 457 died from it in the UK.

2020 He predicted 'up to' 500,000 deaths in the UK (and 2.2 million in the US) from Covid-19, used by the UK government to justify the lockdown. UK to date ~31,000 (probably ~85% exhibiting multiple comorbidities and dying 'with' Covid-19 rather than 'from' it). Still it is early days, and ignoring the new death rate has been decreasing since ~ April 15, give it another 4 years and we will be there!

So his score is 0 out of 5. Truly impressive.

The underlying question remains, why did the UK government take his advice when he has been proven grossly wrong time after time?


[May 10, 2020] Was flattening the curve really nessesary or this was just Fauci hallucination?

It looks like Fauci is a political hack. But that not all. He also helped to deepen the current recession.
Notable quotes:
"... Perhaps one way to help see through the professional obfuscation, and identify just exactly how political Dr. Fauci is, would be to: compare and contrast Dr. Fauci under President Obama in September 2009 after 3,000 to 4,000 H1N1 deaths in the USA -vs- Dr. Fauci under President Trump in March 2020 after 200 to 300 COVID-19 deaths. ..."
May 10, 2020 | theconservativetreehouse.com

Perhaps one way to help see through the professional obfuscation, and identify just exactly how political Dr. Fauci is, would be to: compare and contrast Dr. Fauci under President Obama in September 2009 after 3,000 to 4,000 H1N1 deaths in the USA -vs- Dr. Fauci under President Trump in March 2020 after 200 to 300 COVID-19 deaths. WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hsXEgJqR_vY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

.

Now, to better absorb the information . According to the CDC final estimate of 2009 U.S. H1N1 cases ( published in 2011 ): from April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010 approximately 60.8 million U.S. cases, 274,304 U.S. hospitalizations, and 12,469 U.S. deaths occurred due to H1N1. That's the empirical data.

The concept of "flattening" the virus curve; the presumptive reason for social distancing and shutting down the U.S. economy; is based on a theory to extend the spread of COVID-19 to a lesser incident rate over a longer duration, thereby lessening the burden on the U.S. healthcare system. Hence, 'flatten' the spike in infections.

Put another way: "Flattening" means the same number of people eventually contract the virus, only they do so over a longer period of time, and the healthcare system can treat everyone because the numbers do not rise to level where the system is overloaded. In theory that seems to make sense.

However, no-one is asking: what is the current stress level on the healthcare system right now? Where are we in that capacity? and what is normal capacity level during a high-level flu outbreak? and Where are we when compared against that baseline?

♦ Remember in 2009 there were over 61 million cases of H1N1, more than 274,000 hospitalizations and 12,469 additional deaths specifically attributed to that strain of flu virus in the U.S. [ DATA HERE ]

The premise to extend the virus duration in an effort to lower the infection rate and spread the virus over a longer period of time needs to measured against: (a) where the healthcare system is at any given moment; and (b) under traditional high-flu seasons where are we during those historic events.

♦ STRESS LEVEL – The healthcare 'system' per se, is expending an awful lot of time on mitigation efforts. As Dr. Birx noted: the current negative test rate for coronavirus among those showing symptoms who are tested is 94 to 98 percent. That means of all the people taking coronavirus tests, 94/98 out of 100 are symptomatic (they are sick) but they are not infected with coronavirus. They are normal flu cases.

Our healthcare "system" is expending an incredible amount of resources on a mitigation effort. According to Dr. Birx and the current U.S. test results, 94 to 98 percent of those mitigation efforts are not engaging with coronavirus. They are dealing with regular flu (perhaps a strong flu).

If you extract the mitigation effort from the overall effort, the current stress level on the healthcare system doesn't seem to be overwhelming. What is stressing the system is a coronavirus mitigation effort with a rate of 94 to 98 percent testing negative.

♦ Dr. Fauci's theory is self-fulfilling .

If the viral spread never exceeds the capacity of the healthcare system to deal with it, he can claim success. Look, our flattened curve worked.

However, when contrast against flu outbreaks, no-one knows what the COVID-19 capacity threshold is within the healthcare system. There's no way to disprove Fauci's theory.

Given the nature of the baseline for overall U.S. sanitation and hygiene, which is significantly higher than Italy, S-Korea and China; and given the higher standards of food safety (U.S. is the world leader); again significantly higher than Italy, S-Korea and China; and given the nature of the U.S. healthcare system (more capacity per person); is it really a fair comparison to overlay a COVID-19 outbreak, without also overlaying a traditional flu outbreak?

Any theory that cannot be scientifically tested; and is simultaneously self-fulfilling; is, by its nature, a false theory.

This is not to say that Dr. Anthony Fauci is intentionally misleading anyone; however, it is absolutely true that no-one will be able to quantify if trillions of dollars of economic wealth lost; and trillions more in economic activity lost; and trillions more in deficit spending; and that might all be done just to follow the fantastical whims of a doctor who is directing the mitigation of an ordinary flu-virus/season, and appears to be quite full of his own sense of self-importance.

You decide .

I think I already have.

[May 09, 2020] Is Fauci corrupt? The story of Remdesevir approval suggest that YES.

Does Dr Fauci enjoy indirect financial ties to Gilead? Does he own the stock?
Notable quotes:
"... Basically, this was a negative trial. Of the 255 patients screened, 237 met the eligibility criteria, and 158 were assigned to the remdesivir group, with 79 assigned to placebo control. Unfortunately, remdesivir treatment was not associated with a shorter time to clinical improvement, and mortality was not different between the two groups. ..."
"... It does look very fishy to me. Endpoint or outcome switching, particularly late in a clinical trial is a huge red flag. ..."
"... There are also other reasons to question this trial, including how no confidence intervals were reported, that not even an abstract was published, just a press release with, as Heathers put it, "two results in four lines": ..."
"... I remain very suspicious that the NIH study was announced the same day that a negative study out of China of remdesivir was published. It just seems too convenient. Maybe I'm being overly suspicious. Maybe I'm too suspicious. Maybe I'm falling prey to conspiracy mongering. However, in the Trump era, when the Trump administration has politicized previously (mostly) apolitical government agencies as never before, it's hard not to wonder. ..."
"... He was unimpressed by remdesivir's modest benefit. "It was expected to be a whopping effect," Topol added. "It clearly does not have that." ..."
"... Indeed, given that the pre-test probability of remdesivir having a significant effect was low, meaning that this trial is probably just noise: ..."
"... But Gilead will make billions and billions of dollars ..."
"... Could Anthony Fauci explain why the investigators of the NIAID remdesivir trial did change the primary outcome during the course of the project (16th April)? Removing "death" from primary outcome is a surprising decision. ..."
"... The most common adverse effects in studies of remdesivir for COVID-19 include respiratory failure and blood biomarkers of organ impairment, including low albumin, low potassium, low count of red blood cells, low count of platelets that help with clotting, and yellow discoloration of the skin. Other reported side effects include gastrointestinal distress, elevated transaminase levels in the blood (liver enzymes), and infusion site reactions. ..."
"... So, if it does shorten duration, is it worth potential liver damage, respiratory failure and organ impairment? In other words is the cure potentially as bad as the disease. ..."
"... For yet another drug that was supposed to be a game changer, I am unimpressed by its results. The whole mechanism is wrong. A drug with this mechanism would need to be almost a prophylactic for it to be hugely effective. ..."
"... Fauci didn't seem to have any problem cautioning against unwarranted optimism for CQ/HCQ even while DJT was championing the stuff. What is different about this? . ..."
"... So, what did Fauci say about chloroquine? ""We've got to be careful that we don't make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug. We still need to do the kinds of studies that definitely prove whether any intervention is truly safe and effective," Fauci, who is also a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said during an interview on "Fox & Friends. . . "We don't operate on how you feel, we operate on what evidence and data is," Fauci said, adding that it was "not a very robust study" or "overwhelmingly strong."" (Concha, 2020 Apr 3) ..."
"... Now, what did he say about Remdesivir: "Speaking to reporters from the White House, Fauci said he was told data from the trial showed a "clear-cut positive effect in diminishing time to recover." Fauci said the median time of recovery for patients taking the drug was 11 days, compared with 15 days in the placebo group. He said the mortality benefit of remdesivir "has not yet reached statistical significance." ..."
"... Disappointingly, the lock down seems to have made a number of people irrational. Just a quick post to expound on my Fauci post for those who see the world as binary – ie: black or white. These people think you either support Fauci 100% or 0% and a single criticism of any Fauci statement means 0% support of Fauci. I do not happen to worship at the altar of Fauci or any scientist and recognize all are subject to errors – including myself. I view the world in a more nuanced manner than those with the black/white delusion. I find I can disagree with some things a person says or stands for and agree with some other things they say or do. ..."
"... I am of the opinion that Fauci made a mistake here. The evidence for Remdesiver is nowhere near good enough for it to become the standard of care. ..."
"... On the other hand, watching the White House performance from afar, I can see the administration is dysfunctional and is run by a narcissistic bully, who will publicly turn on anyone who disagrees with them. ..."
"... I believe that is the main thrust of this Orac article – that the evidence for Remdesiver efficacy is sorely lacking. ..."
May 09, 2020 | respectfulinsolence.com
Remdesivir: Gilead wins with unimpressive results announced by press release On Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced positive results for the antiviral drug remdesivir treating COVID-19. They were unimpressive and, suspiciously, announced by press release rather than scientific paper. It's all very fishy, but one thing's for sure. Gilead Sciences will make boatloads of money. I've been writing a lot about the unjustified and premature hype over hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with mild immunosuppressive activity that is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases and how the drug probably doesn't work against COVID-19, despite its being hyped by President Trump and his sycophants, toadies, and lackeys on Fox News, Dr. Mehmet Oz , Dr. Phil , Dr. Didier Raoult , and a bevy of irresponsible fame seeking doctors who have no idea how to do a proper clinical study.

There are, however, other drugs being hyped out there, drugs that might actually have a better chance of turning out to be effective treatments for COVID-19. Chief among these is remdesivir, the experimental antiviral drug being tested by Gilead Sciences.

Remdesivir is an adenosine (a nucleotide) analog that inhibits viral RNA polymerases. It is incorporated into RNA made by the virus, causing the premature termination of the RNA molecule, thus interfering with viral replication. The drug was originally developed to treat Ebola and Marburg but was ultimately found to be ineffective against these viruses . Because it inhibits the replication of a number of RNA viruses, it was only natural that it would be considered as a possible treatment for COVID-19, and Gilead has been relentlessly promoting it as such as the company has been working to carry out clinical trials.

What prompted me to write about remdesivir were headlines like Dr. Anthony Fauci says Gilead's remdesivir will set a new 'standard of care' for coronavirus treatment that started popping up on Wednesday afternoon:

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that data from a coronavirus drug trial testing Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir showed "quite good news" and sets a new standard of care for Covid-19 patients.

Speaking to reporters from the White House, Fauci said he was told data from the trial showed a "clear-cut positive effect in diminishing time to recover."

Fauci said the median time of recovery for patients taking the drug was 11 days, compared with 15 days in the placebo group. He said the mortality benefit of remdesivir "has not yet reached statistical significance."

The results suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group, according to a statement from the National Institutes of Health released later Wednesday.

"This will be the standard of care," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added. "When you know a drug works, you have to let people in the placebo group know so they can take it."

My skeptical antennae started twitching immediately, because on the same day a study from China was published in The Lancet that was far less impressive. In fact, it was a negative trial. What also got my skeptical antennae all aflutter twitching away was how the results of the remdesivir trial were announced. Normally, when a study is announced to the press, it's upon publication of the paper, and the press release is issued either the same day or the evening before publication. As of last night, as I wrote this, however, the actual paper reporting the results of the clinical trial had not yet been published. As I perused Twitter on Wednesday, I found even more reasons for skepticism.

So, before I get to the study touted by Dr. Fauci, let's review some history.

Remdesivir: The early days versus COVID-19 (like, you know, three weeks ago)

The first data published on remdesivir was a single-arm uncontrolled trial that somehow got published three weeks ago in The New England Journal of Medicine . This was peak COVID-19 publishing, when an uncontrolled case series of patients with severe COVID-19 treated with remdesivir under compassionate was published in a super high impact journal like NEJM and made headlines as a result. Be that as it may, the case series examined 61 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection who had an oxygen saturation of 94% or less while they were breathing room air or who were receiving oxygen support. They received a 10-day course of remdesivir, consisting of 200 mg given intravenously on day 1, followed by 100 mg daily for the remaining 9 days of treatment. (Remdesivir is an intravenous drug.) The authors reported clinical improvement in 68% of evaluable patients:

Of the 61 patients who received at least one dose of remdesivir, data from 8 could not be analyzed (including 7 patients with no post-treatment data and 1 with a dosing error). Of the 53 patients whose data were analyzed, 22 were in the United States, 22 in Europe or Canada, and 9 in Japan. At baseline, 30 patients (57%) were receiving mechanical ventilation and 4 (8%) were receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. During a median follow-up of 18 days, 36 patients (68%) had an improvement in oxygen-support class, including 17 of 30 patients (57%) receiving mechanical ventilation who were extubated. A total of 25 patients (47%) were discharged, and 7 patients (13%) died; mortality was 18% (6 of 34) among patients receiving invasive ventilation and 5% (1 of 19) among those not receiving invasive ventilation.

The case series also did not collect viral load data to confirm potential antiviral activity in humans or any association between declines in viral load and clinical improvement. Basically, when you get right down to it, this study was not really much better than Didier Raoult's crappy study of his hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combination, but that didn't stop the authors from concluding that comparisons with contemporaneous cohorts "suggest that remdesivir may have clinical benefit in patients with severe Covid-19." In reality, like Raoult's trials, this trial said nothing about the efficacy of remdesivir against COVID-19 other than that the drug could be given to COVID-19 patients with a reasonable safety profile.

Less than week later, as related by Derek Lowe , came news that two clinical trials of remdesivir in China, one for severe disease and one for moderate disease had been suspended. (They still are.) Lowe noted that both trials had the notice: "The epidemic of COVID-19 has been controlled well at present, no eligible patients can be recruited." The apparent explanation was "the stringent inclusion criteria for the trials – apparently patients had to have no previous therapy with any other experimental agent to enroll, and that eliminates a lot of people." Around the same time, Adam Feuerstein and Matthew Herper published a story in STAT, Early peek at data on Gilead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment :

The University of Chicago Medicine recruited 125 people with Covid-19 into Gilead's two Phase 3 clinical trials. Of those people, 113 had severe disease. All the patients have been treated with daily infusions of remdesivir.

"The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We've only had two patients perish," said Kathleen Mullane, the University of Chicago infectious disease specialist overseeing the remdesivir studies for the hospital.

Her comments were made this week during a video discussion about the trial results with other University of Chicago faculty members. The discussion was recorded and STAT obtained a copy of the video.

Derek Lowe discussed this story in depth, and I largely agree with him that the leak of the video to STAT was a serious breach of clinical trial ethics and protocol. (I'm not alone in suspecting that it was almost certainly intentional to jack up Gilead's stock price, a result that was achieved.) Lowe also noted:

But now that it's out there, let's talk about what's in the leak. Gilead stock jumped like a spawning salmon in after-market trading on this, and one of the reasons was that that 113 of the 125 patients were classed as having "severe disease". People ran with the idea that these must have been people on ventilators who were walking out of the hospital, but that is not the case. As AndyBiotech pointed out on Twitter, all you had to do was read the trial's exclusion criteria : patients were not even admitted into the trial if they were on mechanical ventilation. Some will have moved on to ventilation during the trial, but we don't know how many (the trial protocol has these in a separate group).

Note also that this trial is open-label; both doctors and patients know who is getting what, and note the really key point: there is no control arm. This is one of the trials mentioned in this post on small-molecule therapies as being the most likely to read out first, but it's always been clear that the tradeoff for that speed is rigor. The observational paper that was published on remdesivir in the NEJM had no controls either, of course, and that made it hard to interpret. Scratch that, it made it impossible to interpret. It will likely be the same with this trial – the comparison is between a five-day course of remdesivir and a ten-day course, and the primary endpoint is the odds ratio for improvement between the two groups.

Again, these data, such as they are, are no more useful than Didier Raoult's data on hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat COVID-19, but this brings us to the Chinese trial published in The Lancet on Wednesday.

The Chinese randomized clinical trial

The Chinese trial published two days ago is the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of remdesivir to treat COVID-19, but it was also one of the studies halted. Eligible patients were adults admitted to the hospital with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 whose symptoms had lasted less than 12 days before enrollment and who had an oxygen saturation on room air of 94% or less or a ratio of arterial oxygen partial pressure to fractional inspired oxygen of 300 mm Hg or less (another measure of hypoxia), and radiologically confirmed pneumonia.

Patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to intravenous remdesivir at the same dose as the NIH trial touted by Dr. Fauci or the same volume of placebo infusions for 10 days and were permitted concomitant use of lopinavir–ritonavir, interferons, and corticosteroids. The primary endpoint was time to clinical improvement up to day 28, defined at the time from randomization to the point of a decline of two levels on a six-point ordinal scale of clinical status (from 1=discharged to 6=death) or discharged alive from hospital, whichever came first. An intention-to-treat analysis was carried out.

Basically, this was a negative trial. Of the 255 patients screened, 237 met the eligibility criteria, and 158 were assigned to the remdesivir group, with 79 assigned to placebo control. Unfortunately, remdesivir treatment was not associated with a shorter time to clinical improvement, and mortality was not different between the two groups. Subgroup analysis looking for hypotheses found that there was a trend towards a shorter duration of symptoms (not statistically significant) in patients treated with remdesivir who had had symptoms for less than ten days. Most disappointingly, there was no detectable difference in viral load between the remdesivir groups and the placebo controls. Again, basically this was a negative study with only the barest hint that remdesivir might -- I repeat, might -- work if administered earlier in the course of COVID-19. That's some pretty thin gruel.

Which brings us to the NIH trial of remdesivir touted by Anthony Fauci.

The NIH press release for its remdesivir trial.

The results of the NIH remdesivir trial can, unfortunately, only be gleaned from the press release and news stories so far:

For the first time, a major study suggests that an experimental drug works against the new coronavirus, and U.S. government officials said Wednesday that they would work to make it available to appropriate patients as quickly as possible.

In a study of 1,063 patients sick enough to be hospitalized, Gilead Sciences's remdesivir shortened the time to recovery by 31% -- 11 days on average versus 15 days for those just given usual care, officials said. The drug also might be reducing deaths, although that's not certain from the partial results revealed so far.

"What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus," the National Institutes of Health's Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

"This will be the standard of care," and any other potential treatments will now have to be tested against or in combination with remdesivir, he said.

Here is the press release , posted to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website:

Hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement who received remdesivir recovered faster than similar patients who received placebo, according to a preliminary data analysis from a randomized, controlled trial involving 1063 patients, which began on February 21. The trial (known as the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial, or ACTT), sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is the first clinical trial launched in the United States to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19.

An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) overseeing the trial met on April 27 to review data and shared their interim analysis with the study team. Based upon their review of the data, they noted that remdesivir was better than placebo from the perspective of the primary endpoint, time to recovery, a metric often used in influenza trials. Recovery in this study was defined as being well enough for hospital discharge or returning to normal activity level.

Preliminary results indicate that patients who received remdesivir had a 31% faster time to recovery than those who received placebo (p<0.001). Specifically, the median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo. Results also suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8.0% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group (p=0.059).

More detailed information about the trial results, including more comprehensive data, will be available in a forthcoming report. As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's commitment to expediting the development and availability of potential COVID-19 treatments, the agency has been engaged in sustained and ongoing discussions with Gilead Sciences regarding making remdesivir available to patients as quickly as possible, as appropriate. The trial closed to new enrollments on April 19. NIAID will also provide an update on the plans for the ACTT trial moving forward. This trial was an adaptive trial designed to incorporate additional investigative treatments.

As you can see, the difference in mortality was not statistically significantly different, although that could just be because of inadequate numbers. It's also very important to note the part about the adaptive trial design of this trial, which puts Dr. Fauci's comment about how remdesivir will become the "standard of care" going forward into the proper context. In this particular trial , multiple different drugs can be compared to placebo or standard of care. The idea is that, if a signal of efficacy is found with one drug, that drug becomes "standard of care" and the trial is adapted to study how adding other experimental drugs compares to the "standard of care." So what Dr. Fauci meant was that, based on the finding, going forward remdesivir will become the "standard of care" arm for the trial and the experimental arm will become remdesivir plus another experimental therapeutic. However, given that the FDA is on the verge of issuing an emergency use authorization for remdesivir to treat COVID-19, it looks as though remdesivir will become standard-of-care in general soon.

But back to the results. Derek Lowe observed:

it's worth noting that had there been "clear and substantial evidence of a treatment difference" during the trial that the DSMB was to have halted the study at that point. We can infer that nothing rose to that level, then: we have a difference, but not substantial enough to have ended the trial prematurely.

It's also worth noting some things posted on Twitter about the trial. For instance, Waller Gellad noted:

Since NIH remdesivir trial is in the news

was there an explanation about why the primary outcome (now positive) was changed last month to 'time until clinical recovery?' @matthewherper https://t.co/fCTc1EGI1d pic.twitter.com/W1hAACnO1r

-- Walid Gellad, MD MPH (@walidgellad) April 29, 2020

It's very odd that the primary endpoint was changed:

Thread that summarizes my concerns with Remdesivir press release (not science) as well.

Changing the endpoint midtrial this way is like hosting a race for one destination then declaring wherever you end up after running for an hour is the finish line. https://t.co/XMUXYW3njp

-- Mark Hoofnagle (@MarkHoofnagle) April 30, 2020

This long Twitter thread explains:

Here's Fauci talking about it. Give him a listen, sharpen your ears at about 0.30.

"The primary endpoint was the time to recovery, namely the ability to be discharged."

He's right, it was.

On April 16th. https://t.co/U6Cx3XSOJ6

-- 🏴James Heathers 🏴 (@jamesheathers) April 30, 2020

I'll summarize, so that you don't have to scroll through a Twitter thread if you don't want to. As James Heathers and Waller Gellad noted, the original primary outcome of the trial when it was registered on March 20. The original primary endpoint of the trial was an 8-point severity scale (death, on ventilator, hospitalized with oxygen, all the way down to discharged with no limits on activity) but was changed to time to recovery. There's still a similar scale for the secondary endpoints, but no numbers for that were reported. (Any bets on whether the results are negative?) This change was apparently made on or around April 16.

Gellad also notes:

last thing:
Here is the results table for the negative lancet trial of remdesivir. The highlighted results are what the primary outcome for the NIH trial was until 2 weeks ago. https://t.co/niQ65zgLF2

We need to see that outcome, in addition to time until recovery. pic.twitter.com/ptXGhPx13N

-- Walid Gellad, MD MPH (@walidgellad) April 30, 2020

It does look very fishy to me. Endpoint or outcome switching, particularly late in a clinical trial is a huge red flag. Don't get me wrong. There can be legitimate scientific reasons to switch primary endpoints of a trial. as James Heathers puts it:

Sometimes it becomes clear after you start that the registration is incomplete or wrong. Sometimes you have a better idea after you start. Sometimes your thinking changes.

Other times, you're trying to cherry-pick the results.

-- James Heathers 🏴 (@jamesheathers) April 30, 2020

There are also other reasons to question this trial, including how no confidence intervals were reported, that not even an abstract was published, just a press release with, as Heathers put it, "two results in four lines":

(2) the results in the press release. I call this 'two results, four sentences' – press releases describe the results in incredibly brief terms, usually the two most positive outcomes w the briefest explanation possible. He's me bitching about it earlier. https://t.co/FQlaAQaytG

-- James Heathers 🏴 (@jamesheathers) April 30, 2020

Basically, if you have two "good" results and twenty "bad" or uninterpretable results, what do you do? What are you going to tell people? The two "good" results, of course!

Gary Schwitzer has a nice summary of the negative reactions to the trial and how it was announced.

The bottom line

I remain very suspicious that the NIH study was announced the same day that a negative study out of China of remdesivir was published. It just seems too convenient. Maybe I'm being overly suspicious. Maybe I'm too suspicious. Maybe I'm falling prey to conspiracy mongering. However, in the Trump era, when the Trump administration has politicized previously (mostly) apolitical government agencies as never before, it's hard not to wonder.

Adding to my suspicion is the fact that the study was reported in a press release, rather than being published, which makes me wonder if the press release was written to counter the negative study from China that would certainly have tanked Gilead's stock prices. Yes, I know that the press release reported that this decis, apparently the announcement was decided upon after April 27 meeting of the data and safety monitoring board overseeing this trial, but the outcome switching so late in the trial makes me very suspicious. Yes, the explanation, which should have been in the press release, along with an acknowledgment that the primary outcome/endpoint had been changed, but wasn't is not unreasonable:

NIAID explains why endpoint of remdesivir trial was changed: pic.twitter.com/Zpl08nd4PL

-- Meg Tirrell (@megtirrell) April 30, 2020

Then there was this news report in which Fauci claimed that concerns about leaks fueled the announcement:

He expressed concern that leaks of partial information would lead to confusion. Since the White House was not planning a daily virus briefing, Fauci said he was invited to release the news at a news conference with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards(D). "It was purely driven by ethical concerns," Fauci told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"I would love to wait to present it at a scientific meeting, but it's just not in the cards when you have a situation where the ethical concern about getting the drug to people on placebo dominates the conversation."

An independent data safety and monitoring board, which had looked at the preliminary results of the NIAID trial, determined it had met its primary goal of reducing hospital stays.

On Tuesday evening, that information was conveyed in a conference call to scientists studying the drug globally.

"There are literally dozens and dozens of investigators around the world," Fauci said. "People were starting to leak it." But he did not give details of where the unreported data was being shared.

I smell bullshit here. What probably really happened is that he was under enormous pressure to release the results. It was also unwise to discuss the results with so many scientists until the manuscript reporting the results of the trial had at least been submitted for publication. I agree with the scientists who had "expected it [the trial data] to be presented simultaneously in a detailed news release, a briefing at a medical meeting or in a scientific journal, allowing researchers to review the data." I also agree with Dr. Eric Topol, referring to the Chinese RCT and this one:

"That's the only thing I'll hang my hat on, and that was negative," said Dr. Eric Topol, director and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California.

He was unimpressed by remdesivir's modest benefit. "It was expected to be a whopping effect," Topol added. "It clearly does not have that."

Indeed, given that the pre-test probability of remdesivir having a significant effect was low, meaning that this trial is probably just noise:

Unfortunately, by the time you are symptomatic with a virus, you are usually already high/peak viral load. So, when you give an antiviral to someone who is already ill, the damage from the virus is largely done. It's there in big numbers and in the cells.

-- Mark Hoofnagle (@MarkHoofnagle) May 1, 2020

Indeed, I'm not only unimpressed with the modest benefit reported, I question whether there really was any benefit at all, particularly in light of the Chinese trial, which found zero difference in viral load in the remdesivir group.

The whole thing looks damned fishy, and we can't judge the study until it's actually published. Meanwhile, whatever the true reasons for releasing the study results this way, mission accomplished. The negative effect of the Chinese study on Gilead's stock price was successfully countered and remdesivir becomes a de facto standard of care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Worse, no further trials of remdesivir versus placebo will be possible, because it's been declared that remdesivir "works" against COVID-19 and is the new standard of care! As Mark Hoofnagle put it in a great Twitter thread, that echoes my thoughts:

By the end of the day, reports that FDA is going to emergently approve remdesivir for treatment of COVID.

Gilead gets what they want. No one will want to be in a control arm in further trials and they will argue all future trials must be noninferiority.

-- Mark Hoofnagle (@MarkHoofnagle) May 1, 2020

Absolute genius. You have to salute them. On the day a negative trial of their drug is reported, based on a press release they took over the news cycle, and with some midstream edits to their endpoints their now "positive" trial wins them FDA approval and a halted trial.

-- Mark Hoofnagle (@MarkHoofnagle) May 1, 2020

It's worse than that. If remdesivir is now the "standard of care" for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, it now becomes unethical to randomize them to a placebo group testing ANY new drug for COVID-19. Trials will now have to compare remdesivir alone to remdesivir plus experimental drug. We'll probably never know now for sure if remdesivir is truly effective against COVID-19.

But Gilead will make billions and billions of dollars.

Related The FDA's emergency use authorization of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: Dangerous politics, not science

Yesterday, the FDA issued emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroqine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19. Politics, not science, is why.

By Orac Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski ...

John Kane says: May 2, 2020 at 8:52 am

In long twitter exchange mainly led by James Heathers, has anyone noticed that there are a series of tweets by Didier Raoult ?

One tweet reads:

Could Anthony Fauci explain why the investigators of the NIAID remdesivir trial did change the primary outcome during the course of the project (16th April)? Removing "death" from primary outcome is a surprising decision.

In a quick search of the web I found the following two:

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF REMDESIVIR (RDV)?

In the Ebola trial, researchers noted side effects of remdesivir (RDV) that included:

Typical antiviral drug side effects include:

Nausea
Vomiting

Found at: https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_remdesivir_rdv/drugs-condition.htm

Side effects

The most common adverse effects in studies of remdesivir for COVID-19 include respiratory failure and blood biomarkers of organ impairment, including low albumin, low potassium, low count of red blood cells, low count of platelets that help with clotting, and yellow discoloration of the skin. Other reported side effects include gastrointestinal distress, elevated transaminase levels in the blood (liver enzymes), and infusion site reactions.

Other possible side effects of remdesivir include:

Infusion‐related reactions. Infusion‐related reactions have been seen during a remdesivir infusion or around the time remdesivir was given.[8] Signs and symptoms of infusion‐related reactions may include: low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and shivering.

Increases in levels of liver enzymes, seen in abnormal liver blood tests. Increases in levels of liver enzymes have been seen in people who have received remdesivir, which may be a sign of inflammation or damage to cells in the liver.

Found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remdesivir

So, if it does shorten duration, is it worth potential liver damage, respiratory failure and organ impairment? In other words is the cure potentially as bad as the disease.

And, as Orac and many commenters have made more than clear, one more example of Trump's government, ignoring science, and jumping to conclusions.

And once more I suggest reading the following:

Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee (April 28, 2020). Pandemic Science Out of Control. Issues in Science and Technology. Available at: https://issues.org/pandemic-science-out-of-control/

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says: May 2, 2020 at 7:05 pm
ADDENDUM

I found the following: "Particular laboratory features have also been associated with worse outcomes (table 2). These include: Elevated liver enzymes"

Found at: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-epidemiology-virology-clinical-features-diagnosis-and-prevention?search=coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19- demiology-virology-clinical-features-diagnosis-and-prevention&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

So, one of the side-effects has been associated with worse outcomes. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Remdesivir.

Chris Preston says: May 2, 2020 at 6:52 pm
For yet another drug that was supposed to be a game changer, I am unimpressed by its results. The whole mechanism is wrong. A drug with this mechanism would need to be almost a prophylactic for it to be hugely effective.
Tim says: May 3, 2020 at 11:33 am

One thing they discovered is that the proteins involved have zinc atoms incorporated into their structure. This won't surprise any biochemists, as zinc-containing proteins are common. But there's been a steady flow of fringe treatments for the disease -- including some involving chloroquine derivatives -- in which zinc was a key component. We'll have to see whether that changes now that it's clear that zinc is needed to make copies of the virus (assuming that fact registers at all with the people prone to promoting fringe therapies).

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/05/scientists-get-an-atomic-level-look-at-how-a-drug-blocks-the-coronavirus/

What is that saying about zinc? I've always heard that zinc was a good thing to have a high intracellular level of it to protect against viruses besides also being needed to make NO.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/05/nih-cuts-coronavirus-funding-amid-trump-comments-and-conspiracy-theories/

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says: May 4, 2020 at 1:11 pm
@ Reality

So: "Fauci just dropped down a level or two in my estimation of his commitment to rationality."

Let's look at the "Reality": "America needs a federal government that assertively promotes and helps to coordinate that, not one in which experts like Tony Fauci and Deborah Birx tiptoe around a president's tender ego."

I wouldn't want to be in Fauchi's shoes. If he openly criticizes Trump, he is out and staying in allows him to have some effect. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. So, he has to balance his "committment to rationality" to trying to modify/reduce the insanity of Trump. If he resigned or was fired, could he have more of an influence? Maybe, maybe not. I would not want to be in his shoes! ! ! Personally, I would probably resign and try to get our media to listen to me. Just standing next to Trump would turn my stomach.

So, maybe you should live up to your "name" and evaluate "reality" not an idealistic world.

Reality says: May 4, 2020 at 2:22 pm
So you wouldn't say what Fauci said and would quit, eh, Joel?
I wouldn't say what Fauci said about "standard of care" which is basically his endorsement of this.
I believe Orac wouldn't make that statement endorsing Remdesivir as the "standard of care".
I don't know of any self-respecting scientist who would make such a statement no matter what the pressure.
If I was pressured by DJT I would object but maybe agree to not make any statement pro or con about the subject – so as to keep my position and influence but if someone asked me to say something I thought was not true I would not do it and refuse.
.
Fauci didn't seem to have any problem cautioning against unwarranted optimism for CQ/HCQ even while DJT was championing the stuff. What is different about this?
.

That is the Reality of this Fauci statement.

A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says: May 4, 2020 at 4:31 pm
@ Reality

You write: "Fauci didn't seem to have any problem cautioning against unwarranted optimism for CQ/HCQ even while DJT was championing the stuff. What is different about this?"

Yep; but the only studies promoting CQ/HCQ was a fraudulent one in France and an in vitro study.

What about Remdesivir? First it is a nucleic acid analogue designed to directly disrupt replication of the viral genome. Chloroquine/Hydroxychloroquine were not even remotely designed to target viruses, though they have a moderate dampening effect on immune reactions, so they work for autoimmune diseases (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis); but, as I wrote in a previous exchange, the immune response in an autoimmune disease compared to a cytokine storm is like comparing 20 mile per hour winds to a category 5 hurricane, 160 mph winds. In addition, chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine have a large number of mild side-effects and some really serious major ones.

So, what did Fauci say about chloroquine? ""We've got to be careful that we don't make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug. We still need to do the kinds of studies that definitely prove whether any intervention is truly safe and effective," Fauci, who is also a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said during an interview on "Fox & Friends. . . "We don't operate on how you feel, we operate on what evidence and data is," Fauci said, adding that it was "not a very robust study" or "overwhelmingly strong."" (Concha, 2020 Apr 3)

Now, what did he say about Remdesivir: "Speaking to reporters from the White House, Fauci said he was told data from the trial showed a "clear-cut positive effect in diminishing time to recover." Fauci said the median time of recovery for patients taking the drug was 11 days, compared with 15 days in the placebo group. He said the mortality benefit of remdesivir "has not yet reached statistical significance."

The results suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group, according to a statement from the National Institutes of Health released later Wednesday. "This will be the standard of care," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added. "When you know a drug works, you have to let people in the placebo group know so they can take it." "What it has proven is a drug can block this virus," he said. (Lovelace, 2020 Apr 29)

"The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," Fauci said at the White House on Wednesday. The data he referred to is from a large study of more than 1,000 patients from multiple sites around the world. Patients either received the drug, called remdesivir, or a placebo.

Dr. Michael Saag, associate dean for global health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said the results seemed promising. Antiviral drugs such as remdesivir tend to work earlier in the course of an illness, so "the thing that I think is important in this study is the patients had advanced disease," said Saag, who is not involved with any remdesivir trials. (NBC News (2020 Apr 29)

Hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement who received remdesivir recovered faster than similar patients who received placebo, according to a preliminary data analysis from a randomized, controlled trial involving 1063 patients, which began on February 21. The trial (known as the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial, or ACTT), sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is the first clinical trial launched in the United States to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19.

An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) overseeing the trial met on April 27 to review data and shared their interim analysis with the study team. Based upon their review of the data, they noted that remdesivir was better than placebo from the perspective of the primary endpoint, time to recovery, a metric often used in influenza trials [my emphasis]. Recovery in this study was defined as being well enough for hospital discharge or returning to normal activity level. . .

Results also suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8.0% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group (p=0.059). the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (2020 Apr 29).

So, first I'd bet you don't understand how nucleic acid analogues work?
Second, though I tend not to rely on one study, this one was fairly large and the shortening of time to recovery was clinically significant, "defined as being well enough for hospital discharge or returning to normal activity level." And Dr. Michael Saag: "Antiviral drugs such as remdesivir tend to work earlier in the course of an illness, so "the thing that I think is important in this study is the patients had advanced disease,"

Standard of Care is more a legal definition than a clinical one. Basically it reduces risk of malpractice lawsuits.

While I probably would not have called it "standard of care", instead clearly stating that based on the recent trial, it is currently the best we have to offer or something to that effect.

So, Fauci didn't call it a cure, didn't claim it reduced mortality, though indications it did, and based on over 1,000 patients, found it reduced hospitalization and return to normal life by a clinically significant margin, the standard used for flu studies. Again, I would have been more cautious in my working; but your rank attack on a man who knows more about infectious diseases that you, I, and many others, a man who has dedicated his life to preventing and dealing with them is just plain sickening. Your black and white view of Fauci is how antivaccinationists and other adherers to unscience see the world. And an MPH probably means a couple of lower level epidemiology courses. So, the old saying: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, coupled with a personality that prefers a dichotomous world is very very problematic.

Only time and further studies will tell if Remdesivir really does shorten recovery time and, perhaps, also lowers mortality. Right now, we have nothing else and I wouldn't jump on something because of this; but the over 1,000 patient study isn't nothing.

Just to be clear, Orac's critique is valid; but, as he says, by this time one becomes perhaps overly skeptical given Trump's insanity. How cautious should Fauci have been? People are becoming desperate. The risks from Remdesivir are extremely low, so currently, either use it or continue as is.

If there were significant risks and the one study had been one a much smaller group, the scales would be different. And, though Orac is right they changed the outcome points, as mentioned, shortening of recovery time is a criterion used for treatment of flu, so, though not, perhaps, the best end-point, it is certainly not the same as some studies using endpoints such as lowered cholesterol without looking at deaths. They did look at deaths and though not significant, in the right direction. By the way, do you even understand significance levels? Though only one study, p=0.059 isn't far from p=0.05.

References:

Reality says: May 5, 2020 at 10:58 am
Disappointingly, the lock down seems to have made a number of people irrational. Just a quick post to expound on my Fauci post for those who see the world as binary – ie: black or white. These people think you either support Fauci 100% or 0% and a single criticism of any Fauci statement means 0% support of Fauci. I do not happen to worship at the altar of Fauci or any scientist and recognize all are subject to errors – including myself. I view the world in a more nuanced manner than those with the black/white delusion. I find I can disagree with some things a person says or stands for and agree with some other things they say or do.

My criticism of Fauci in regard to his remdesivir endorsement does not mean I have 0% support for Fauci it means that with that statement and some others my positive view of him is now ~80% but not 100% and I will have to check up on what he is endorsing to make sure that I agree with it just like I do with any other scientist/person.

BTW – If some were to check my Disqus account history (Reality022) you would find posts strongly defending Fauci against the Loony Libertarians who seem to think he is the debil.
.
Now to a second point:

There appears to be a group of Fauci apologists who, to excuse Fauci's statement, say it is due to 'pressure from Trump/the administration'.
I do not subscribe to this excuse and think it is a horrible thing to say for 2 reasons:

1) There is absolutely no evidence that this statement was made under pressure. That idea is totally invented in the minds of the Fauci apologists in their attempt to exonerate Fauci.

2) It is a horrible thing to say about Fauci. I take him at his word. If he said it he meant it. The excuse actually means that Fauci's word is so untrustworthy that he can be pressured into being dishonest about his scientific opinions and only the apologists can tell us when he is lying or actually relating his honest view. The apologists are basically saying Fauci is dishonest.

I have much more respect for the man and believe he is honest but in this case merely wrong.
.
That is all I'm going to say about this subject as some people are going off the rails with their binary view of the world. (snicker)

A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says: May 5, 2020 at 11:06 am

@ Reality

And you continue to miss the point that "Standard of Care" is mainly a legal term. Are you that dense? It is you who stated your opinion of Fauci sank, so your binary view of the world. Try reading my other comments, closely, maybe you will learn something; but I doubt it. "Reality", lacks reality testing. Reply

Preston says: May 5, 2020 at 8:18 pm

I tend to agree. I am of the opinion that Fauci made a mistake here. The evidence for Remdesiver is nowhere near good enough for it to become the standard of care. But then I am not the one having to make these decisions under difficult circumstances. I don't pretend to understand why Fauci might have made the comment, so don't see a lot of point in speculating about it.

On the other hand, watching the White House performance from afar, I can see the administration is dysfunctional and is run by a narcissistic bully, who will publicly turn on anyone who disagrees with them. I also see there are people within and around the White House who are happy to tell whatever lies they think Trump wants to hear, either through fear or hope for advancement. I understand why people would add 2 and 2 and come up with 5.

Reality says: May 5, 2020 at 9:28 pm
Chris Preston said, "I am of the opinion that Fauci made a mistake here. The evidence for Remdesiver is nowhere near good enough for it to become the standard of care."

I believe that is the main thrust of this Orac article – that the evidence for Remdesiver efficacy is sorely lacking.

Quoting Orac's article above: "In reality, like Raoult's trials, this trial said nothing about the efficacy of remdesivir against COVID-19 other than that the drug could be given to COVID-19 patients with a reasonable safety profile."
.
I agree with your 2nd paragraph and think that Fauci is not one of those administration toadies and is being honest and has merely made a mistake perhaps brought about through grasping-at-straws desperation as described in a current SBM article.

I, as well, do not know why Fauci made the statement but to me it is very disrespectful of the man to use as an excuse that he is dishonest enough to lie like a toady when pressured by Trump.

I think we are essentially in agreement about this matter.
Have fun.

Denice Walter says: May 5, 2020 at 10:05 pm
re dysfunctional administration.. narcissistic bully et al

It seems that the aforementioned will now " wind down" the Covid task force ( The Hill reports) but Drs Fauci and Birx will still be involved in some capacity.

AS though the battle is already won. Hah! CA and the NY area are reporting lower numbers of deaths and hospital admissions BUT whilst
other areas are increasing theirs.

Maybe the Orange One imagines that if we discuss Covid less, people will think it's gone, go back to work, buy stuff and the economy will flourish. Ignore it and it'll go away. Wishful thinking as usual.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says: May 5, 2020 at 10:55 pm
@ Chris Preston

Apparently you lack understanding of English. As I explained even grandfathered in medical treatments with no hard scientific evidence are considered the standard of care, that is, if a doctor uses them he/she lessens risk of lawsuits. Standard of care doesn't mean a high level of scientific validity.

I guess I am wasting my time. Think of it this way, if allowed for compassionate use advised by ones doctor, then doctor may not be protected against lawsuits. Unfortunately, as something I read a long time ago, even in Colonial times Americans would rather sue than eat breakfast. Just one more sickness of American exceptionalism, so maybe, just maybe, all Fauci was doing was trying to reduce this risk.

Tim says: May 5, 2020 at 10:56 pm
No shit???

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KzRhcjOG1es?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

At least, he had the googles on; Wouldn't want him to get fibres in his eyes.,

Aarno Syvänen says: May 6, 2020 at 12:34 am
Not to mention that CDC closed the lab. So CDC is not part of great vaccine conspiracy, after all. Huge news, I would say. One could mention, too, that Johnson & Johnson get COVID vaccine contract. So Dorit Reiss' plots are not very effective, ater all. Reply
Natalie White says: May 6, 2020 at 10:30 am
Aarno, you made me curious about how much $$$$ and how many companies. A list of the Convid19, oops, I mean Covid19 cash! https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/04/07/here-are-all-the-companies-working-on-covid-19-vac.aspx
Natalie White says: May 9, 2020 at 10:20 am
@Aarno- Sometimes the CDC gets it right and sometimes, well .. sometimes you can't truss it. https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/04/cdcs-failed-coronavirus-tests-were-tainted-with-coronavirus-feds-confirm/

https://www.youtube.com/embed/am9BqZ6eA5c

Natalie White says: May 9, 2020 at 11:47 am
Aarno writes, "Not to mention that CDC closed the lab." Yes, sometimes they get it right. Then, they fail miserably like this https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/cdc-lab-contamination-delayed-coronavirus-testing-67438

Confidence meter less than zero.

Natalie White says: May 6, 2020 at 9:40 am
Hmm . Problems with the Wuhan Lab and those nasty bats back in 2018. Just another coincidence, I suppose. Weird. So many coincidences. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/14/state-department-cables-warned-safety-issues-wuhan-lab-studying-bat-coronaviruses/ Reply
Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says: May 6, 2020 at 2:18 pm
@ Natalie White

You write: Hmm . Problems with the Wuhan Lab and those nasty bats back in 2018. Just another coincidence, I suppose. Weird. So many coincidences."

From a recent article in the Atlantic:

scientists have also identified about 500 other coronaviruses among China's many bat species. "There will be many more -- I think it's safe to say tens of thousands," says Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, who has led that work. Laboratory experiments show that some of these new viruses could potentially infect humans. SARS-CoV-2 likely came from a bat, too.

It seems unlikely that a random bat virus should somehow jump into a susceptible human. But when you consider millions of people, in regular contact with millions of bats, which carry tens of thousands of new viruses, vanishingly improbable events become probable ones. In 2015, Daszak's team found that 3 percent of people from four Chinese villages that are close to bat caves had antibodies that indicated a previous encounter with SARS-like coronaviruses. "Bats fly out every night over their houses.

Some of them shelter from rain in caves, or collect guano for fertilizer," Daszak says. "If you extrapolate up to the rural population, across the region where the bats that carry these viruses live, you're talking 1 [million] to 7 million people a year exposed." Most of these infections likely go nowhere. It takes just one to trigger an epidemic.

Ed Yong (2020 Apr 29). Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/04/pandemic-confusing-uncertainty/610819/

Note. he links to peer-reviewed journal articles. So, as the second paragraph makes clear, antibodies to bat coronaviruses exist in the population, etc. Add this to the sequencing of the genome that shows just how close it is to the 2003 SARS corona virus and to bat coronaviruses and, as usual, your moronic "coincidences" just lacks any validity.

Note also that his article links to many other good ones.

As I've written before, nature is quite capable of creating really nasty microbes.

Natalie White says: May 6, 2020 at 10:17 am

Oh this guy needs a dishonorable mention, Harvard traitor, Charles Leiber. "has received more than $15,000,000 in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD)." Our tax dollars hard at work for this POS.

Dude is still collecting a paycheck. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/harvard-university-professor-and-two-chinese-nationals-charged-three-separate-china-related Reply

Aarno Syvänen says: May 6, 2020 at 11:00 am

This is our guy:
Charles M. Lieber
Semiconductor nanowires: A platform for nanoscience and nanotechnology
MRS Bulletin
Volume 36, Issue 12 (Laser micro- and nanofabrication of biomaterials)December 2011 , pp. 1052-1063
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1557/mrs.2011.26
So COVID 19 was not involved. One should indeed not serve two masters, DOD and a Chinese university Reply
Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says: May 6, 2020 at 4:48 pm
@ Natalie White

You write: "Hmm . Problems with the Wuhan Lab and those nasty bats back in 2018. Just another coincidence, I suppose. Weird. So many coincidences."

From a recent article by Ed Yong (2020 Apr 29). "Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing: A guide to making sense of a problem that is now too big for any one person to fully comprehend." The Atlantic. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/04/pandemic-confusing-uncertainty/610819/

Note that he links to a number of excellent articles, including the two that the following is based on:

"scientists have also identified about 500 other coronaviruses among China's many bat species. "There will be many more -- I think it's safe to say tens of thousands," says Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, who has led that work. Laboratory experiments show that some of these new viruses could potentially infect humans. SARS-CoV-2 likely came from a bat, too.

It seems unlikely that a random bat virus should somehow jump into a susceptible human. But when you consider millions of people, in regular contact with millions of bats, which carry tens of thousands of new viruses, vanishingly improbable events become probable ones. In 2015, Daszak's team found that 3 percent of people from four Chinese villages that are close to bat caves had antibodies that indicated a previous encounter with SARS-like coronaviruses. "Bats fly out every night over their houses. Some of them shelter from rain in caves, or collect guano for fertilizer," Daszak says. "If you extrapolate up to the rural population, across the region where the bats that carry these viruses live, you're talking 1 [million] to 7 million people a year exposed." Most of these infections likely go nowhere. It takes just one to trigger an epidemic."

So, 3 percent of people had antibodies to bat corona viruses. As the above explains, it is quite probable that the current virus came from someone infected by a bat. Now, since sequencing of the current SARS-Cov-2 has found its genome quite close to the 2003 SARS virus and to several bat coronavirus genomes, goes against your sick need to blame the Chinese. A coincidence is not even close to any type of proof, except in the mind of a moron like you looking to place blame. And there is a great book on "coincidences": David J. Hand (2014). "The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day." Basically, what someone might think is a rare coincidence isn't.

And, the major blame for what is happening in the U.S. is a combination of Trump and overall American unappreciation for Public Health and, thus, pandemic preparedness. When it comes to cutting funding, first to go.

I realize that real research, logic, etc. have NO effect on moron's like you; but, hopefully, others monitoring this exchange are open-minded.

And as Aarno pointed out, you attacked someone who had nothing to do with COVID. He worked with the Wuhan Institute of Technology; yep, in Wuhan and that's it. It's a large city dimwit. More importantly, he has been charged, not found guilty. I realize that the old adage innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply to anyone you chose to attack. You just don't know when to stop. YOU ARE DESPICABLE! Reply

[May 09, 2020] Censors crack down on 'Plandemic' conspiracy documentary. What's so dangerous about it

Notable quotes:
"... "misinformation." ..."
"... Dr. Judy Mikovits is the central figure of 'Plandemic,' which basically claims that "billionaire patent owners" are stoking the spread of the coronavirus, all in the name of forcing "experimental poisons" on the population in the form of vaccines. ..."
"... Mikovits claims Fauci personally "paid off" ..."
"... "activates your own virus" ..."
"... Mikovits' central argument – that an eventual vaccine for coronavirus will kill "millions of people" ..."
"... "donated the entire amount to charity." ..."
"... However, amid the half-baked theories, Mikovits touches on some truth. The federal government does in fact pay hospitals a set amount of money to treat coronavirus patients, about $13,000. This amount rises to $39,000 if the patient is placed on a ventilator. Mikovits insists that ventilation is the wrong treatment for coronavirus patients, and is only carried out to boost revenues – something the ER doctors would disagree with. ..."
"... It doesn't help that many of the claims are disjointed, and rather than working towards its main goal of demonstrating a sinister plan by Fauci and vaccine evangelist Bill Gates to poison the masses, the documentary instead just lumps together anything critical of the mainstream consensus on the virus to paint Fauci in a bad light. ..."
"... For instance, it's been widely reported that Fauci's organization did give millions of dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to finance its study of coronaviruses, after the federal government banned such research in the US. However, no smoking gun linking Fauci to the current outbreak is provided. ..."
"... "When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say." ..."
"... "bypass the gatekeepers of free speech," ..."
"... "overlords of big tech" ..."
May 09, 2020 | www.rt.com

Pulled from YouTube, censored in internet searches, and denounced by every single mainstream media outlet, what kind of information could make everyone so mad about 'Plandemic'? We watched it to find out. A 23-minute teaser clip of the documentary went viral on Wednesday evening, notching up tens of millions of views across multiple platforms. However, a media outcry soon followed, with mainstream media outlets deploying their 'fact-checkers' to debunk its claims, and Facebook and YouTube removing the video, citing their new rules on Covid-19 "misinformation."

Yet censorship is also a sure-fire way to generate interest in the very thing you're trying to censor – and multiple copies and versions of 'Plandemic' began to appear like mushrooms. So who's behind it and what's in there?

A doctor with quite a reputation

Dr. Judy Mikovits is the central figure of 'Plandemic,' which basically claims that "billionaire patent owners" are stoking the spread of the coronavirus, all in the name of forcing "experimental poisons" on the population in the form of vaccines.

The claims are quite bold, but it doesn't help that Mikovits herself is far from an unbiased source on the subject. She's been active in anti-vaccine and fringe circles for years, even while insisting she's not "anti-vax" herself.

Once an active cancer researcher and (mainstream) virologist, Mikovits was disgraced in 2011 for publishing what others in the scientific community called false research into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The dramatic events that followed – a search and arrest in her California home – are used in 'Plandemic' to establish her alleged conflict with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Donald Trump's coronavirus adviser.

Also on rt.com 'I never said it was a hoax!' Trump unloads on media in fiery rant, says coronavirus briefings 'not worth the time and effort'

Mikovits claims Fauci personally "paid off" law enforcement officials to arrest her and detain her without trial. She was indeed arrested in November 2011, but for allegedly stealing lab materials from the Nevada laboratory she worked at before her dismissal (which Mikovits claims were "planted" in her house). Criminal charges brought against Mikovits were later dismissed – but this has been tied to the legal troubles of her former employer, Harvey Whittemore.

Evidence-free claims galore

Of course, the central part of the video – something being discussed in every 'Plandemic' piece and review – is made up of an array of Covid-19-related claims that Mikovits makes.

These range from claims that wearing face masks "activates your own virus" (there's no evidence of that) to the assertion that the devastating coronavirus outbreak in Northern Italy can be linked to the uptake in flu vaccination the year before (a claim which appears to be based on a misleading interpretation of one tangentially-related study, not any fresh research).

Mikovits' central argument – that an eventual vaccine for coronavirus will kill "millions of people" – is unprovable, and her assertion that Fauci will personally profit from any vaccine is outright false. Mikovits accuses Fauci of profiteering from royalties on an AIDS treatment he patented in the 1990s, but Fauci only placed his name on the patent because regulations required him to, and "donated the entire amount to charity."

However, amid the half-baked theories, Mikovits touches on some truth. The federal government does in fact pay hospitals a set amount of money to treat coronavirus patients, about $13,000. This amount rises to $39,000 if the patient is placed on a ventilator. Mikovits insists that ventilation is the wrong treatment for coronavirus patients, and is only carried out to boost revenues – something the ER doctors would disagree with.

Also on rt.com Is Covid-19 our new religion, and the face mask its cross?

It doesn't help that many of the claims are disjointed, and rather than working towards its main goal of demonstrating a sinister plan by Fauci and vaccine evangelist Bill Gates to poison the masses, the documentary instead just lumps together anything critical of the mainstream consensus on the virus to paint Fauci in a bad light.

For instance, it's been widely reported that Fauci's organization did give millions of dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to finance its study of coronaviruses, after the federal government banned such research in the US. However, no smoking gun linking Fauci to the current outbreak is provided.

Boost by censorship

Yet, when information like this is declared verboten, that's what people will think. There's a popular quote by 'Game of Thrones' author George RR Martin: "When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say."

When right-wing polemicist Alex Jones and his conspiracy-laden news site Infowars were essentially banned from the internet in 2018, the Infowars app shot to the top of both Apple and Google's app stores.

The phenomenon is known as the 'Streisand effect,' named for a 2003 lawsuit in which singer Barbara Streisand sued a photographer who shot an aerial snap of her California mansion for invasion of privacy. The lawsuit backfired, and led to hundreds of thousands of people downloading the picture. Before the case, it had only been viewed six times.

Likewise, the documentary's producers will spin the furor over 'Plandemic' to their advantage. Already, their website urges viewers to "bypass the gatekeepers of free speech," and slams the "overlords of big tech" for silencing them.

Forbidden knowledge is tempting, and by wiping 'Plandemic' from the internet, Silicon Valley will only increase its notoriety.

[May 08, 2020] Judy Mikovits appears to be a sincere and honest individual. The connection of Dr Fauci to the Wuhan lab is also well established. He moved viral "gain of function" research to Wuhan after it was closed down in the USA by the Obama Regime.

May 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ike , May 8 2020 20:32 utc | 18

I enjoy the MOA articles and look forward to reading them daily. Judy Mikovits is interviewed here. She appears to me a sincere and honest individual. I think more investigation is needed before dismissing her as an "anti-vaxxer"
https://www.bitchute.com/video/aNjeT1G6iGTh/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=ca08d0ed-03bf-4482-97f3-f540d3f5666d

The connection of Dr Fauci to the Wuhan lab is also well established. He moved viral "gain of function" research to Wuhan after it was closed down in the USA by the Obama Regime.

There is also little doubt that the virus was created in a lab as Chris martenson outlines here. His whole series of podcasts on the epidemic is extremely interesting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=928&v=uZUJhKUbd0k&feature=emb_title

[May 08, 2020] Navy Captain Brett Crozier vs Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy seal who was clearly guilty of murder in Afghanistan

May 08, 2020 | www.unz.com

Appealing to his base of support, Trump has notoriously pardoned Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy seal who was clearly guilty of murder in Afghanistan, and even met with him afterwards in the White House. Regarding Gallagher, Senate Armed Services Committee Democrat Jack Reed of Rhode Island said in a November that "The White House's handling of this matter erodes the basic command structure of the military and the basic function of the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

Trump is now meddling in the treatment of Navy Captain Brett Crozier, who was relieved of his command after he went public with complains about the spread of coronavirus on his ship. In early April the president said "I may just get involved." In the military services such interference even has a name, "undue command influence." Clearly, the White House is seeking to squeeze every bit of political advantage it can from the Crozier story.

Congressman Smith has also described the situation in a colorful fashion as "The president has made it clear as far as he is concerned the single most important attribute that anybody in the federal government can have is a willingness to kiss the president's ass as often as possible" which "undermines your ability to be competent, to make decisions based on what is the right thing to do as opposed to what is going to feed the president's limitless ego."

To be sure, Donald Trump is not about to change and if he is re-elected one can only expect four more years of the same, but public confidence in government can only be maintained if there is at least some belief that decision making is a rational process. Trump has clearly turned that axiom on its head in his tendency to blame other parts of the government for what are manifestly his own failings. His characterization of senior officials, many of whom he himself appointed, as "losers" casts the entire government in a bad light. Whether the strategy of divide and conquer within one's own administration will work out for Trump will certainly be decided in November.

Philip Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

[May 07, 2020] US Epidemiologist Slams Trump Admin's COVID-19 Response as Possible War Crime

May 07, 2020 | sputniknews.com

A Yale University epidemiologist is calling into question the legality of US President Donald Trump and his administration's response to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, appearing to suggest that federal government officials could be tried under international law. Hours before Trump took to Twitter to announce the Coronavirus Task Force would "continue on indefinitely," Gregg Gonsalves , an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, posed a series of questions to fellow netizens on the social media site regarding Washington's handling of COVID-19.

How many people will die this summer, before Election Day? What proportion of the deaths will be among African-Americans, Latinos, other people of color? This is getting awfully close to genocide by default. What else do you call mass death by public policy? #COVID19 #coronavirus

-- Gregg Gonsalves (@gregggonsalves) May 6, 2020

As of this article's publication, the US has tested over 7.5 million individuals for the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University . Data provided by the university details that the country has confirmed 1.2 million cases of the novel coronavirus and suffered over 71,400 associated deaths. At least 189,791 recoveries from COVID-19 have been observed in the US.

Gonsalves' emphasis on the COVID-19 deaths of Black Americans, Latinos and other people of color in the US stems from the fact that there has been a disproportionate amount of novel coronavirus deaths in the Black community.

"Social conditions, structural racism, and other factors elevate risk for COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths in black communities," wrote a team of epidemiologists and clinicians in a new study analyzing novel coronavirus cases and death on a county level, as reported by CNN. The scientists found that counties where Black residents made up more than 13% of the population - about the percentage of the total US population that is Black - suffered 52% of COVID-19 diagnoses and 58% of associated deaths in the country.

"Structural factors including health care access, density of households, unemployment, pervasive discrimination and others drive these disparities, not intrinsic characteristics of black communities or individual-level factors," noted the researchers.

It's worth noting that the findings are preliminary, as the study still needs to go through the peer review process.

"So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves in another tweet Wednesday morning .

The conduct of Trump and his administration has been called into question over the past several weeks after reports revealed that the president and federal officials were briefed on the novel coronavirus, and its potential threat to the US, several weeks prior to the declaration of a national emergency on March 13.

Recently, Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, said that he alerted Department of Health and Human Services officials in January about the US' unpreparedness for a possible COVID-19 outbreak. Bright said that he was met with "indifference which then developed into hostility" from the administration and, in his opinion, was the reason for his demotion within the agency.

While Trump is pushing for more Americans to return to their workplaces and restart the US economy - which some believe could lead to a second wave of infections - Gonsalves wondered if there could be some kind of intervention or charges brought against the federal government on an international level.

"And I am being serious here: what is happening in the US is purposeful, considered negligence, omission, failure to act by our leaders. Can they be held responsible under international law?" he asked .

[May 07, 2020] https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/18/bill-gates-addresses-coronavirus-fears-and-hopes-in-ama/

May 07, 2020 | techcrunch.com

3 hours ago (Edited) Just sayen

"The world today has 6.8 billion people. That's heading up to about nine billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent!" - Bill Gates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUJMR3BUm2s

"men and women need a common motivation, namely a common adversary against whom they can organize themselves and act together"

"new enemies have to be identified, new strategies imagined, and new weapons devised"

"in its present form, democracy is no longer well-suited for the tasks ahead. The complexity and the technical nature of many of today's problems do not always allow elected representatives to make competent decisions at the right time"

"In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fill the bill"

"The real enemy then is humanity itself."

Excerpts from "The First Global Revolution" – I would add, a wonderful marxist propaganda for the NWO. Ms No, 4 hours ago Listen to this medical chick that saved millions from the EU and their swine flu vaccine that caused brain damage. They tried to have her "psychiatrized" which means locked away as crazy and probably tortured for the rest of her miserable life, being banged with blood draw needles, forced meds and put in a straight jacket. Close to Assange treatment.

https://youtu.be/Hlk_Zfz7xhU harleyjohn45, 4 hours ago She may have Fauci by the short hairs. He is deeply embedded in the national health care oligarchy. Not my favorite person, had a lot to do with destroying the US economy along with MSM. DaiRR, 5 hours ago The big pharma crime syndicate, embedded in government health agencies with operatives like Fauci, is a mega-billion dollar enterprise and those dollars buy off thousands of people like Fauci. People smarter than me need to figure out how to stop this once and forever.

Meanwhile, if you don't realize Google and Facebook and all their offshoots are your enemy, you are the enemy too. wdg, 5 hours ago (Edited) Dr. Judy Mikovits is just the tip of the iceberg as more and more doctors and reserach scientists are speaking out and exposing the BIG PHARMA CRIMINAL SYNDICATE that includes the WHO, CDC, NIH and many other so-called health care and research agencies around the world, and Drs. Fauci and Birx not to mention the leadership of most western government who have been bought off by this Criminal Syndicate which has murdered and debilitated millions of people. These are crimes against humanity carried out at the highest levels of governments, corporations and governmental agencies. Watch the powerful video interview of Robert Kennedy Jr. below which provides a window into the evil world we now live in. Big Pharma and the medical profession which sold their souls for money are both finished because the trust is gone. Class action suits will bankrupt the lot.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Robert Kennedy Jr. Destroys Big Pharma, Fauci & Pro-Vaccine Movement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLi6ZrFp6NIH vQ&feature=emb_logo Sl4yer, 5 hours ago (Edited) Few papers of this "crazy" woman....

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21178474

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21576403

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22991430

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21940862

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7853532

...and the list goes on, and on and on.

Your Wikipedia and all your stupid marxist propaganda is fake, yep! 5 hours ago Why is the video doctored right at the end to make Fauci say a damning sentence. You can see his head jerk to new positions as they piece together bits of video.

That fake ending just negated all credibility for the video.

-FAKE- 5 hours ago (Edited) No doctoring.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNXGAxGJgQI

Take a look at the original video where he told that (the part of interest is at the very beginning starting at 2:50 and is ending at 3:40) and you shall see that the meaning (when the parts where he brags about his past and future were removed) of what he actually have told in that part was not altered in any way - the meaning is exactly the same. Due diligence in these times is actually quite easy in cases like these, hence you should probably do the same prior to posting 4 hours ago (Edited) I have zero tolerance for fake news. It's not up to me. If I spot it, I call it. You just confirmed I was right. It's up to them to not fake video of a person they are disparaging. There is no way for him to comment about that doctored section at the end.

Edit: I thank you for doing that research but it shouldn't be up to you either. This is not the time for fake anything.

[May 07, 2020] YouTube Deletes Viral Video Claiming Dr. Fauci Spewing Absolute Propaganda About COVID-19

Commercialization of research including allowing patenting the research so that you can extract revenue stream from licensing the patent and which became a binge addition in universities creates "academic entrepreneurs" which are very similar to Soviet Mafiosi.
May 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

One thing that should be abundantly clear by now is that any thoughts, opinions, or speculation which challenges the official narratives regarding COVID-19 will be promptly silenced by Silicon Valley, under the guise of protecting the public - which apparently can't be trusted to absorb information and form their own opinions.

The most recent example of censored wrongthink is a new documentary, Plandemic, which features former chronic fatigue researcher Judy Milkovits, who claims that Dr. Anthony Fauci - head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) - is spewing 'absolute propaganda' about COVID-19.

In the video, Mikovits claimed Fauci perpetrated propaganda that led to the deaths of millions of people in the past. She also raised questions about how COVID-19 deaths are being counted.

However, one of her biggest beefs against Fauci dates to the battles for credit over the discovery of HIV in the early 1980s.

In the video, Mikovits claimed she isolated HIV from the saliva and blood of patients in France but that Fauci was involved in delaying research so a friend could take credit, which allowed the HIV virus to spread. These claims are not proven. They were also disseminated in April by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Kennedy alleged on the Children’s Health Defense website (where he is chairman) -Heavy

Google's YouTube is currently playing whack-a-mole with a 25 minute promotional vignette for the documentary which has gone viral - deleting new versions seemingly as fast as they pop up. The original version had over 1.6 million views when it was censored.

Facebook, however, hasn't deleted it (yet):

As noted by Heavy's Jessica McBride, Mikovits has a new book out, Plague of Corrpution, which currently has 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.

Mikovits, who has a new book out, was featured in the first vignette released to promote the movie. Her controversial career in the scientific community has been punctuated by an arrest, lawsuit, retracted research study, allegations against Fauci and clashes with the founders of the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, which is located in Reno, Nevada. -Heavy

Mikovits has claimed that she published a "blockbuster" study which revealed that "the common use of animal and human fetal tissues were unleashing devastating plagues of chronic diseases," and that the "minions of Big Pharma" have been waging war against her to destroy her "good name, career and personal life."

In the Plandemic video, Mikovits makes other claims, including that patents are a conflict of interest, and she criticizes the concept of mass vaccines. “They will kill millions, as they already have with their vaccines,” she said, stressing she was not anti-vaccine. She claims there is a financial incentive in COVID-19 strategies to not use natural remedies in order to push people to use vaccines.

Mikovits co-wrote a book called Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases and claims 30% of vaccines are contaminated with retroviruses. The book contains a forward from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The book was No. 2 on the Amazon bestseller list on May 6. -Heavy

Plandemic has received both praise and criticism, however Google thinks it's best if you leave the thinking to them.

Read more about Mikovits here.


xxx 54 minutes ago

If this movie goes away, this site has an original on this page: https://vaccineimpact.com/2020/plandemic-movie-trailer-released-featuring-whistleblower-dr-judy-mikovits-exposing-dr-faucis-alleged-criminal-behavior/

xxx 55 minutes ago

it's still available here - **** youtube

https://www.bitchute.com/video/IB3ijQuLkkUr/?fbclid=IwAR0i9wYC4flCmrQxbpnFQXukSfASe_7kUTlX1r1o5t1B1K-zDnQnISY6rj4

Indigo Child, 1 hour ago (Edited)

Fauci works for Bill Gates, and will push a vaccine & medications that he will profit from. I don't like him. However, the end of this woman's video takes Dr. Fauci's 2017 remarks out of context. Fauci wasn't saying he knew this Plandemic would occur. He was merely saying that every 4-8 years there is a new type of virus or flu strain in the world. (which is fearmongering in a way -- with every new administration he needs to push for more funding by saying there will likely be an outbreak)

SubjectivObject, 2 hours ago

counterpoint from the DeathStar

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QwU4jcRw-qb77BLCLs99af05S1mL2E2vUz2x2M1396U/preview?pru=AAABchUQgQs*_Xs3NcSO7WTyxuJonqhWoQ

artytom, 2 hours ago

https://open.lbry.com/PLANDEMIC-(pt.-1-Judy-Mikovits):8

Montana Cowboy, 3 hours ago

When Youtube or other 2A suppressors bans a video, you will find that video right here:

https://banned.video/

xxx 3 hours ago

Fauci is a scumbag:

"Dr. Fauci, it turns out, has been a key cheerleader for this "death science" research for decades. He has also been credibly accused by Dr. Judy Mikovitz and other virologists of stealing intellectual property and stifling whistleblowers who sought to expose the truth about NIH-funded research and how it threatens humanity."...

https://www.sgtreport.com/2020/05/should-death-science-operatives-like-dr-fauci-face-the-death-sentence-if-found-guilty-of-collaborating-to-build-the-wuhan-coronavirus-bioweapon/

misgivings 4 hours ago

Mokovitz has written a new book called, "Plague of Corruption". The hardcopy is "sold out" EVERYWHERE. I find this fishy. I wonder if the kindle version has been edited to be less damaging to Fauci, et al. It wouldn't be hard for the government to buy up all the copies. Plus, the website for the book does not load.

xxx 3 hours ago

just sayen

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/18/bill-gates-addresses-coronavirus-fears-and-hopes-in-ama/

xxx 3 hours ago (Edited)

Just sayen

"The world today has 6.8 billion people. That's heading up to about nine billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent!" - Bill Gates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUJMR3BUm2s

Excerpts from "The First Global Revolution" – I would add, a wonderful marxist propaganda for the NWO.

xxx Ms No, 4 hours ago

Listen to this medical chick that saved millions from the EU and their swine flu vaccine that caused brain damage. They tried to have her "psychiatrized" which means locked away as crazy and probably tortured for the rest of her miserable life, being banged with blood draw needles, forced meds and put in a straight jacket. Close to Assange treatment.

https://youtu.be/Hlk_Zfz7xhU

harleyjohn45, 4 hours ago

She may have Fauci by the short hairs. He is deeply embedded in the national health care oligarchy. Not my favorite person, had a lot to do with destroying the US economy along with MSM.

DaiRR, 5 hours ago

The big pharma crime syndicate, embedded in government health agencies with operatives like Fauci, is a mega-billion dollar enterprise and those dollars buy off thousands of people like Fauci. People smarter than me need to figure out how to stop this once and forever.

Meanwhile, if you don't realize Google and Facebook and all their offshoots are your enemy, you are the enemy too.

wdg, 5 hours ago (Edited)

Dr. Judy Mikovits is just the tip of the iceberg as more and more doctors and reserach scientists are speaking out and exposing the BIG PHARMA CRIMINAL SYNDICATE that includes the WHO, CDC, NIH and many other so-called health care and research agencies around the world, and Drs. Fauci and Birx not to mention the leadership of most western government who have been bought off by this Criminal Syndicate which has murdered and debilitated millions of people. These are crimes against humanity carried out at the highest levels of governments, corporations and governmental agencies.

Watch the powerful video interview of Robert Kennedy Jr. below which provides a window into the evil world we now live in. Big Pharma and the medical profession which sold their souls for money are both finished because the trust is gone. Class action suits will bankrupt the lot.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Robert Kennedy Jr. Destroys Big Pharma, Fauci & Pro-Vaccine Movement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLi6ZrFp6NIH vQ&feature=emb_logo

Sl4yer, 5 hours ago (Edited)

Few papers of this "crazy" woman....

...and the list goes on, and on and on.

Your Wikipedia and all your stupid marxist propaganda is fake, yep!

xxx 5 hours ago

Why is the video doctored right at the end to make Fauci say a damning sentence. You can see his head jerk to new positions as they piece together bits of video.

That fake ending just negated all credibility for the video.

-FAKE-

xxx 5 hours ago (Edited)

No doctoring.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNXGAxGJgQI

Take a look at the original video where he told that (the part of interest is at the very beginning starting at 2:50 and is ending at 3:40) and you shall see that the meaning (when the parts where he brags about his past and future were removed) of what he actually have told in that part was not altered in any way - the meaning is exactly the same. Due diligence in these times is actually quite easy in cases like these, hence you should probably do the same prior to posting

xxx 4 hours ago (Edited)

I have zero tolerance for fake news. It's not up to me. If I spot it, I call it. You just confirmed I was right. It's up to them to not fake video of a person they are disparaging. There is no way for him to comment about that doctored section at the end.

Edit: I thank you for doing that research but it shouldn't be up to you either. This is not the time for fake anything.

[May 07, 2020] Fauci, CDC and the Imperial College charlatan Professor Ferguson

May 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Igor Bundy , May 6 2020 20:50 utc | 15

This imperial college that consults with the CDC and WHO and others should have also looked at previous forecasts... No one serious should have paid any attention to this Ferguson guy because his modelling was off by factors.. He has now destroyed hundreds of millions of lives, cost countries trillions. Mostly only Africa was saved because they have lived thorough westerners saying they dont know what they are doing and stopped listening. Death rates at a very few areas that were published were higher but were the same everywhere else. In fact over the course of the next few years the effects of this will be widely felt as above average death rates due to the factors. Far above even without anything being done at all.

In 2009, one of Ferguson's models predicted 65,000 people could die from the Swine Flu outbreak in the UK -- the final figure was below 500. potential death toll during the 2005 Bird [avian] Flu outbreak. Ferguson estimated 200 million could die. The real number was in the low hundreds.

[May 07, 2020] Bill Gates and Co "once in a century evidence fiasco"

The clinical epidemiology tradition cautions that primitive model typically mislead us -- for instance, by smuggling in unproven assumptions that have not been empirically established in human populations.
May 07, 2020 | bostonreview.net

The latter camp has won significant media attention in recent weeks. Bill Gates -- whose foundation funds the research behind the most visible outbreak model in the United States, developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington -- worries that COVID-19 might be a "once-in-a-century pandemic."

A notable detractor from this view is Stanford's John Ioannidis, a clinical epidemiologist, meta-researcher, and reliable skeptic who has openly wondered whether the coronavirus pandemic might rather be a "once-in-a-century evidence fiasco." He argues that better data are needed to justify the drastic measures undertaken to contain the pandemic in the United States and elsewhere.

[May 06, 2020] Fauci relied on Neil Ferguson, who proved to be incompetent sharlatan

May 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , May 6 2020 6:04 utc | 56

Neil Ferguson is the chief hack with an unbroken record of failure in his epidemiological projections (and therefore always failing upward, as is typical of the system's most useful propagandists), whose prescriptions have been instrumental in pushing the lockdown ideology and program.

Now we learn that he himself doesn't believe in his own lies, as he has felt free to flout the same restrictions he has insisted must become the totalitarian "new normal".

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/may/05/uk-coronavirus-adviser-prof-neil-ferguson-resigns-after-breaking-lockdown-rules

That, along with the already long list of similar examples among the policy elites, proves it: The lockdown elites themselves know it's all a Big Lie.

For Ferguson's prior record:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article209749.html

"Professor Neil Ferguson, high priest of liberal hospital management and inventor of the generalized containment against Covid-19. Professor Ferguson is still the European reference for epidemic modelling.

- Yet it was he who, in 2001, convinced Prime Minister Tony Blair to have 6 million cattle slaughtered to stop the foot-and-mouth epidemic (a decision that cost 10 billion pounds and is now considered an aberration).

- In 2002, he calculated that mad cow disease would kill about 50,000 British people and another 150,000 when transmitted to sheep. There were actually 177.

- In 2005, he predicted that bird flu would kill 65,000 Britons. There were a total of 457."

His Corona terror-mongering will become known as his ultimate failure and lie.

[May 06, 2020] Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab

May 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

RS , May 5 2020 12:03 utc | 150

Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/05/anthony-fauci-no-scientific-evidence-the-coronavirus-was-made-in-a-chinese-lab-cvd/

[May 05, 2020] Trump Says Dr. Fauci Will Testify To Senate, Slams Dem-Controlled House As A Set-Up

May 05, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (1045ET): In video of Trump's Tuesday morning scrum with reporters, the president can be heard telling a reporter that he is allowing Dr. Fauci to testify before the Senate - and not the House - because the House is "a set up".

REPORTER: Why won't you let Fauci testify before the House?

TRUMP: "Because the House is a set up. The House is a bunch of Trump haters ... they, frankly, want our situation to be unsuccessful, which means death." pic.twitter.com/G3G5OoV5IV

-- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 5, 2020

[May 05, 2020] Fauci has already been awarded the dunce cap with his 1980s assertion that HIV was going kill us all

May 05, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Eric Newhill , 04 May 2020 at 01:26 PM

And Fauci has already been awarded the dunce cap with his 1980s assertion that HIV was going kill us all. So I guess for his most recent action he gets the dunce cap with slide rule cluster.

[May 05, 2020] Dr. Fauci backed controlversial Wuhan Lab with millions of U.S. dollars for risky coronavirus research

May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

omp , May 5 2020 10:47 utc | 144

A conclusion on the origin of a virus is frankly just secondary in a globalized world, is it not?

Dr. Fauci backed controlversial Wuhan Lab with millions of U.S. dollars for risky coronavirus research

"The project was run by EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit research group, under the direction of President Peter Daszak, an expert on disease ecology. NIH canceled the project just this past Friday, April 24th, Politico reported. Daszak did not immediately respond to Newsweek requests for comment."

[May 05, 2020] Ferguson and his Imperial College modelers have a notorious track record for predicting dire consequences of diseases. Based on the Ferguson model, Dr Anthony Fauci of NIAID confronted President Trump and supposedly pressured him to declare a national health emergency.

May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , May 4 2020 22:29 utc | 56

These models are nothing more than curve fitting tools that have limited predictive value.

Basically the models are derived from Neil Ferguson and his modelling group at Imperial College, in addition to being backed by WHO, receive millions from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ferguson was the source of the "prediction" that 2.2 million Americans would likely die if immediate lockdown of the US economy did not occur. Based on the Ferguson model, Dr Anthony Fauci of NIAID confronted President Trump and supposedly pressured him to declare a national health emergency. Much as in the UK, once the damage to the economy , Ferguson's model later drastically lowered the US fatality estimates to between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths which has since been reduced further.

Ferguson and his Imperial College modelers have a notorious track record for predicting dire consequences of diseases. In 2002 Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people in UK would die from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, "mad cow disease", possibly to 150,000 if the epidemic expanded to include sheep. A total of 178 people were officially registered dead from vCJD. In 2005, Ferguson claimed that up to 200 million (!) people worldwide would be killed by bird-flu or H5N1. By early 2006, the WHO had only linked 78 deaths to the virus. Then in 2009 Ferguson's group at Imperial College advised the government that swine flu or H1N1 would probably kill 65,000 people in the UK. In the end, swine flu claimed the lives of 457 people.

As for China. They need a Fake Cold War. Have to give people an external enemy so people wont figure out who the real enemy is. To the extent China was involved it was as an equal partner.

[May 05, 2020] Here's a good first-hand story of the difference between China and the US in handling nCOV

May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , May 4 2020 22:30 utc | 59

Here's a good first-hand story of the difference between China and the US in handling nCOV:
SCMP story on ex-pat American family
I was on the ground in the US for less than 36 hours, but saw enough to be alarmed. If I hadn't forcefully volunteered that I had just come from living in China, I don't think anyone would have checked me for fever before entering the US.

Once I declared myself, I was escorted to a "CDC line" for a cursory temperature check (with a large group of Mormon missionaries returning from Europe), given a Centres for Disease Control and Prevention flier about Covid-19 symptoms and asked to stay home and minimise my trips outside for 14 days.

...

Finally, after we promised not to leave our flat, our passports were returned to us, and at 4.03am, some 16 hours after landing, we were home. That morning, a young woman in a hazmat suit knocked on our door and took our temperatures at 10am. She returned at 3pm to take our temperatures again.

This routine was repeated for 14 days before we would be permitted to circulate in the general Shanghai population. We chatted occasionally with our temperature takers (they were a rotating cast of 20-something women). Initially, a man would accompany them to film the temperature reading, but by the final few days the women came alone.

A few days after our return, we discovered that authorities had placed a sensor on our door. And more than a week after the start of our quarantine, we received a note informing us we were not to open our door more than five times a day.

There's a lot more on the epic journey to pass through Chinese airport/immigration/nCOV control procedures, but just this last bit makes it clear what the difference is.

Has anyone out there seen or heard of any nCOV quarantined people in the US even being checked on once to see if they are maintaining quarantine? Much less twice a day for 14 days by a live person, plus a sensor on the door?

Note that this is a much easier setup than contact tracing.

[May 05, 2020] Fauci predictions and reality

May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

JBrant , May 5 2020 1:25 utc | 111

Thanks for this very helpful tracing of US propaganda.

Those projections are very suspect, especially Deaths Per Day, where the model is way off the mark for Past data on deaths per day! Any decent model would at least account for the past data, but that one predicted a fifth of the deaths, and shows the rate dramatically increasing when reported deaths are slowly decreasing.

In the US, some states (Guam, Hawaii, Vermont) have suppressed the virus spread very well, some (Florida, Washington state) have a slow decline in new cases, and just a few (Massachusetts, Virginia others) are still increasing in new cases per day. Fortunately, the rate is increasing in the District of Corruption, but not fast enough to reduce the corruption much.

[May 04, 2020] Fauci vs Atlas and Ioannides. Who will wear the dunce cap

Notable quotes:
"... Mnuchin said today that it is too early to say whether international travel will open back up before the end of the year ..."
May 04, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"The basis of reassuring the public about re-entry is repeating the facts about the threat and who it targets . By now, studies from Europe and the U.S . all suggest that the overall fatality rate is far lower than early estimates. And we know who to protect, because this disease – by the evidence – is not equally dangerous across the population. In Michigan's Oakland County , 75 percent of deaths were in those over 70 years old; 91 percent were in people over 60, similar to what was noted in New York . And younger, healthier people have virtually zero risk of death and little risk of serious disease; as I have noted before, under one percent of New York City's hospitalizations have been patients under 18 years of age, and less than one percent of deaths at any age are in the absence of underlying conditions.

Here are specific and logical steps to end the lockdown and safely restore normal life:

First , let's finally focus on protection for the most vulnerable -- that means nursing home patients, who are already living under controlled access. This would include strictly regulating all who enter and care for nursing home members by requiring testing and protective masks for all who interact with these highly vulnerable people. Specifically, nursing home workers should be tested for COVID-19 antibodies, and if negative, for virus to exclude infection, to ensure safety of senior residents. No COVID-19-positive patient can resume residence until definitively cleared by testing.

We should continue to inform the public about what they have already successfully learned regarding the at-risk group. That means issuing rational guidelines advising the highest standards of hygiene and appropriate social distancing while interacting with elderly friends and family members at risk, including those with diabetes, obesity and other chronic conditions.

Second , those with mild symptoms of the illness should strictly self-isolate for two weeks. It's not urgent to test them -- simply assume they have the infection. That includes confinement at home, having the highest concern for sanitization and wearing protective masks when others in their homes enter the same room." Dr. Scott Atlas in The Hill

---------------

It should be mentioned that Dr. John Ioannides, a leading epidemiologist at Stanford agrees with Dr. Atlas.

I saw Atlas on a news program a day or so ago. The anchor looked frightened by what Atlas was saying. This is understandable. The COVID panic is now so deeply embedded and pervasive that to question the rationale for the shut-down of the economy is equivalent to heresy in a theocratic state.

IMO the road back economically is going to be slow and difficult. I hope I am wrong. pl

https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/495833-how-to-open-society-using-medical-science-and-logic?fbclid=IwAR2nEYTdayVhhU47mmrIZ9FawIw9M6I2yTtOAyKhNvv0wLdSv_R4Xw6vhFI


Diana Croissant , 04 May 2020 at 09:38 AM

I hope you are wrong, too. I am tired of the drama and hysteria.

Still, I do want the investigations into China's culpability for the
result of their "accident" or of their planned upheaval of the rest of the world.

I just want to trust some designated "expert" to tell us when when we can put away the masks and can take up hugging our friends and shaking hands while smiling and meeting new acquaintances. What is a church service without that and all the stories of Christs care and concern for the "untouchables" of the world?

J , 04 May 2020 at 10:40 AM
Colonel,

Beijing is getting very nervous. Take a look at Reuter's report:

Exclusive: Internal Chinese report warns Beijing faces Tiananmen-like global backlash over virus

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-china-sentiment-ex/exclusive-internal-chinese-report-warns-beijing-faces-tiananmen-like-global-backlash-over-virus-idUSKBN22G19C

Seems the CCP's MSS's think-tank CICR compiled an Intelligence Report of their own warning of possible armed conflict with U.S..

IMO it's hoped that our IC will realize that this virus doesn't jump ship into the human sphere on its own naturally without 'human tweaking in a lab' which then provides a bridge from which the virus could go from bats to the human sphere. And why would the CCP/MSS play such a dangerous game? -- Bio-weapons R&D.

Eric Newhill , 04 May 2020 at 10:59 AM
There can be little doubt that the fascist/socialist/anti-Trump elements in this country have seized upon the presence of the virus to attempt to destroy Trump's chances in November and to bring about greater state control of citizens. This immediately after the lame impeachment plot failed to remove Trump; which was right after the lame Russian collusion plot failed to remove Trump.

I don't think it's paranoid to consider that China released the virus on the US at a time when President Trump is engaging in a major trade war with the Chinese, as a tactic in fighting that war.

The Ionides/Atlas clinical perspective has been known to be correct - based on data - since March, yet the Democrat controlled states continue to double down on state control of their populations and destruction of their economies.

The Left has become a collection of kamikazes. The elites can ride this out. They have money. They are hoping that when the economy is in ashes, all of the starving little people will come into their open arms.

In 1968 another Asian virus, known as the Hong Kong flu, arrived in the US. It began killing Americans noticeably in 1969. As this was occurring, the Woodstock music festival was planned. The festival went off with now famous record crowd numbers during the peak of the virus. No one seemed to care. That virus ultimately killed 100,000 Americans (not Woodstock attendees); more than covid, even if you believe the artificially inflated covid figures. That was at a time when the population of the US was far less. So a far greater % died than covid.

We've been here before folks. It's the reaction that is different this time. The reaction is driven by internal and external political objectives of massive importance for our future as a free society.

Free people need to be able to make these decisions on their own. Give them clear information and let them decide their next move. Keep the government "experts" out of the decision making process. I believe that as the weather improves and the economic hardship increases, Americans will turn on the fascist/socialist elites and take their lives back. The vulnerable and the cowards will self-isolate. I further believe Americans will do what they need to to get the economy going again, buying American made only, patronizing small businesses beyond what they normally would and voting for pro-American candidates (i.e. the Democrats lose big time).

Deap , 04 May 2020 at 11:11 AM
What should we be doing every "flu season"?

What have we done every flu season that has resulted in very similar numbers and population groups affected. How, in fact, is this one materially different.

Barbara Ann , 04 May 2020 at 11:13 AM
Mnuchin said today that it is too early to say whether international travel will open back up before the end of the year . Coincidentally, I also came across a Twitter poll of 15,000 people with the the following question & results:

"Hypothetically, if everything opens up tomorrow when would you fly again?"

- Immediately 25%
- 2-3 months 20%
- 3-6 months 26%
- 1 year or more 29%

Hardly scientific and I've no idea of the demographic or geographic spread of respondents, but it seems pretty clear many people remain fearful.

https://twitter.com/chigrl/status/1257097868919406594

David Solomon , 04 May 2020 at 11:18 AM
Colonel Lang, As to economic recovery I suggest listening to this podcast with Nouriel Roubini.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2020-05-03/nouriel-roubini-sees-a-bad-recovery-and-a-depression-podcast

TV , 04 May 2020 at 11:20 AM
The Democrat-media hysteria HAS been deeply ingrained.
The mass of people have - not surprisingly - turned out to be lambs (baby sheep).
Each person is responsible for managing their own life - which includes risk.
Unfortunately, the population of lambs has been trained over the years to look for mommy government to manage their risk - mandatory seat belt laws come to mind.
Ben Franklin said it succinctly:
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
PJ20 , 04 May 2020 at 11:30 AM
There is widespread criticism of Ioannides two Covid studies, including the use of an unapproved antibody tests which is known to give false positives; statistical flaws, and recruiting volunteers for the sampling via Facebook, as well as the wife of a study co-author to call and recruit parents from her kids school.

Here is an excerpt from an article on the controversy.

""My quick take is that something really odd is going on with Ioannidis," wrote Alexander Rubinsteyn, a geneticist and computational biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in an email to Undark. Rubinsteyn suggested that Ioannidis may simply be "so attached to being the iconoclast that defies conventional wisdom that he's unintentionally doing horrible science."

He added: "Pretty much no one with statistical acumen believes these studies.""https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/23/coronavirus-antibody-studies-california-stanford

Patrick Armstrong , 04 May 2020 at 11:48 AM
Here's who Ioannidis is https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/
JJackson , 04 May 2020 at 11:57 AM
In areas where the health system is not under stress this makes perfect sense. I would give the hugging, handshaking and church services a miss and maintain the social distancing at work and when out of the house as far as is practical. It needs to be done with lots of testing, contact tracing and case isolation. Knowledge and common sense on everyone's part will work. Limited local shutdown may be needed if cases start climbing in some areas.
BillWade , 04 May 2020 at 12:22 PM
Our restaurants open today in most of Florida. In spite of needing our hair attended to, we will eat out both lunch and dinner. Sadly, some of our restaurants are closing for good. My wife tells me that local Facebook is about evenly divided about going out now. I don't get it as these folks have been gathering in the supermarkets the whole time.
turcopolier , 04 May 2020 at 12:40 PM
All

Explain to me what anti-body testing does for us as a population other than allow mapping the extent of infection.

Eric Newhill , 04 May 2020 at 12:42 PM
PJ20,
Except the results of the Ionides study have been replicated several times now elsewhere in the country, including NYC.
AK , 04 May 2020 at 12:46 PM
Diana Croissant,

"I just want to trust some designated 'expert' to tell us when when we can put away the masks and can take up hugging our friends and shaking hands while smiling and meeting new acquaintances. What is a church service without that and all the stories of Christs care and concern for the 'untouchables' of the world?"

I think that "expert" you seek is going to have to be the person you see in the mirror every morning. The "designated experts" have no interest in encouraging you to go back to living a life you love. As Eric Newhill stated, it's going to be up to free-thinking adults to make those decisions for themselves. If you expect or hope for "experts" to protect you from yourself, then you have too much faith in "experts" and in government. Take sensible precautions as they relate to your own risk demographic and respect other people making those choices for themselves. Otherwise let's all get on living like Americans.

ST Harris , 04 May 2020 at 12:55 PM
Even in blissful 'pre rona' December the Fed's repo market had been sounding the alarms that a serious bubble recession was coming. Nothing apparently was fixed from the last wall street megadooshbaggery meltdown. See:

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/wells-fargo-joins-chase-in-halting-helocs/

This means that even those who built up real estate equity will have a difficult time short term liquifying that equity, which means that Chase, Wells Fargo, et al have a lot of pessimism about the US real estate market, the thing they have made so much money on last few years, and which they were supposed to have fixed.

well pilgrims ;) not only is the economy enduring sudden searing pandemic pain, it is also feeling the beginning of a big bubble popping recession, which everybody in the financial world was already freaking about well before the rona arrived. Perhaps endless Fed QE can prop up equities markets through November, perhaps, but then it's all bets off into 2021 as numerous wall street debts scams will have to be deleveraged.

Eric Newhill , 04 May 2020 at 01:21 PM
Sir,
In the spirit of fairness, anti-body testing would allow scientists to identify who has the anti-bodies and then track them to see if they become re-infected and, if so, at what level of severity. That would shed light on the "herd immunity" theory (i.e. is there such a thing and, if so, to what extent?).

Otherwise, calls for "universal testing" are just sound bites born of confusion and panic, at best; another means of violating the rights of Americans at worst (e.g. making people wear yellow stars, carrying papers that allow them to enjoy full or truncated societal "privelges").

The Twisted Genius , 04 May 2020 at 01:25 PM
pl,

Widespread antibody testing will show covid-19 is more contagious than a lot of diseases, but not not near as deadly as most people think. People will see they had it, didn't even know it and are now immune to it at least in the near term. Fear will be deflated. We will then have a known large segment of the population known to not capable of further spreading the virus and a ready supply of antibody serum as an effective treatment for those who do get infected. That will also diminish fear.

Covid-19 and our response to it is as much a political issue as it is a public health issue. Trump was going to run on a booming economy. If he wants to get back to that strategy, he has to banish the fear of the virus. That will get everyone back to work so they can eat and pay rent, as well as continue to piss away their money on crap they don't need. Our economy depends on all that. If Trump is smart, he best get to stepping and institute a nationwide antibody testing program.

Eric Newhill , 04 May 2020 at 01:26 PM
And Fauci has already been awarded the dunce cap with his 1980s assertion that HIV was going kill us all. So I guess for his most recent action he gets the dunce cap with slide rule cluster.
Deap , 04 May 2020 at 01:29 PM
A cruise passenger interests website offered another informal poll - are you willing to cruise again: 64% said as much as in the past; 10% said they would cruise even more to help get the industry back on its feet. Therefore, in this obviously interested sample, 75% want the cruise industry to start up again. Yesterday. 25% will choose to wait or not cruise again.

The cruise industry passenger base remains willing and loyal. In fact they are probably better trained in personal hygiene habits than most having had to deal with noro (aka tourista ) in the past and a typical URI complaint commonly called" cruise crud" that was most likely picked up on the air flight to get to the cruise port. The real numbers of disease and mortality overall within this industry do not support the screaming head llnes and lurid reporting.

turcopolier , 04 May 2020 at 01:40 PM
TTG

It remains to be seen if one infection makes an individual immune for some time. IMO we should follow the Atlas/Ioannides formula. I noticed in re-reading "Sharpsburg," that Hunter McGuire appears therein.

Deap , 04 May 2020 at 01:44 PM
What does an anti-body test do? I just had one last week and awaiting the results - was a cruise passenger and international air passenger during the month of January in a later suspected area. (not Asia).

Here is why I did the anti-body test: (Quest Labs - fee service, no RX- 99% accuracy - drawn blood vial test)

1. Helps substantiate dates and areas of transmission that may not yet be in the data pool.

2. Tracks the rates of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases occurring among the "elderly", in order to see if there is an enhanced risk of not in this age group, if there are no underlying co-morbidities.

3. Adds demographic data specific for the travel industry.

4. Allows possible donation of anti-body serum for research and perhaps mitigation of those who are affected.

5. Personal peace of mind -been there and done that. Freedom to move about.

6. Provides baseline for duration of immunity; resilience of immunity or data showing re-infection can be possible.

Primarily it is for data gathering to help stop the hysteria. That was worth the time, money and blood donation for me. We will never know the true extent of this virus, its impacts, its initial modeling accuracy until we start plugging facts into the "expert" hypotheticals.

Taking one for the team is the way I see it. Will I now become a local Typhoid Mary and our house burned down if this data becomes known? Or will people stop walking out into the roadway in faux deference to my advanced age as I pass by, from our deliciously virtue signaling "progressive" population in blue state California.

turcopolier , 04 May 2020 at 01:44 PM
All

Am I right or wrong in thinking that when the injected liquidity plus existing cash exceeds the amount of money that would haven been in the economy at this point then the currency will begin to inflate?

turcopolier , 04 May 2020 at 01:47 PM
Deap

"Provides baseline for duration of immunity; resilience of immunity or data showing re-infection can be possible. Primarily it is for data gathering to help stop the hysteria." Yes

Oilman2 , 04 May 2020 at 01:54 PM
Colonel, you are NOT wrong. The oil business in America is going to take a very long time to recover. There are complete shutterings of businesses, bankruptcies and more - all while we were in the middle of a downturn. Personally, I just folded up my tent because my my active client list went from 21 to zero over this last month (and that includes intl clients).

As the number one buyer of US steel, the oilpatch represents much more than people realize. We have also been the number one buyer of many other items - where sales have disappeared as company quietly and reluctantly face the reality of the current induced glut.

I'm being forced to change livelihoods - interesting for me, as I am short of the age to get my SS check and too old to employ by most corporate masters....

The Twisted Genius , 04 May 2020 at 02:06 PM
pl,

Yes, I noticed Hunter Holmes when I reread Chancellorsville this time. I knew nothing about him until you mentioned him a while back. He also founded what is now the VCU Medical Center and was president of the AMA for a time. There is a statue of him on the State Capitol grounds, but i haven't seen it yet.

[May 04, 2020] Fauci and the damage to the USA economy

May 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

It's likely Fauci's incorrect simply because just as central planners routinely failed when it came to planning economic outcomes in the 20th century, so does that same central planning fail now. Fauci once again may be brilliant, but he's no match for a U.S. economy comprised of hundreds of millions of individuals making infinite informed decisions every second of every day.

The same applies to Bill Gates. Some believe that his undeniable genius as a businessman positions him to knowledgeably opine on how we the U.S. and the world can come back from the virus. Gates has observed that businesses would be troubled with or without the lockdowns, unemployment would be higher with or without them, so the plan should be to continue them until we're better situated in terms of a vaccine.

Is Gates right? It's once again difficult to know. For one, his analysis ignores the "unseen"; as in what would individuals and businesses have done had the response of politicians to the virus been something like "You're all adults. Be careful."

If so, it's not unreasonable to suggest that Fauci, Gates and other intelligent individuals would have strongly called for Americans to shelter-in-place, and tens of millions would have done just that. At the same time, Elon Musk and investors like Michael Burry might have responded in more intrepid fashion; calling for individuals and businesses to work around a virus of unknown lethality.

[May 03, 2020] On the luck of masks and other protection equipment

May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , May 3 2020 0:21 utc | 55

There was a Virtual March today for PPE.

[.] "For lack of a 75-cent piece of equipment, we're losing lives and putting more lives at risk," said Lisa Lattanza, MD, chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

I purchased masks this week that [usually cost] 75 cents per mask that were being sold for $5.50, $6 on the market. We had to pay it. It's either that or not have the masks," she said.
Lack of Masks Shows Lack of Value."[.]

March 4, 2020

HHS clarifies US has about 1% of face masks needed for 'full-blown' coronavirus pandemic

And still not done. Where is Jared Kushner?

[May 03, 2020] Western countries simply did not have an appetite to do any qurantine measures until the pain was high enough

May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Clueless Joe , May 1 2020 18:36 utc | 66

That WHO basically fucked up because of Western pressure more than because of China is obvious. Just look at the most recent idiocy they promoted: masks are useless. China would never claim that - both because they rely massively on them and because they produce and sell a lot of them. On the other hand, Western governments who were asleep at the wheel and never bothered to store or produce facemasks were desperately trying to convince their sheep flock, I mean, people, that they were all good, managed the crisis as best as anyone could, and that there wasn't any shortage of masks because these weren't useful to begin with.
Case closed.
And for the eternal record of universal history: China's dictatorship obviously cared more about its people than self-claimed democratic governments. Let that sink in for a minute.

CharkVaror , May 1 2020 18:44 utc | 67

This whole coronabs is the biggest psyops in the history of mankind, 11/9 looks like a joke compared to it.
hopehely , May 1 2020 18:57 utc | 68
Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 1 2020 18:36 utc | 66
That WHO basically fucked up because of Western pressure more than because of China is obvious.

I don't think WHO fucked up. Western countries simply did not have an appetite to do any measures until the pain was high enough.

[May 03, 2020] WHO as a corrupt bereaucracy

May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Allen , May 3 2020 2:09 utc | 70

There's a lot of trash science out there re:Covid- it was founded on trash science.

Maybe next post you could go into the trash science of the fraudulent tests themselves.

In the mean time this is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what is going on- one of the most concise pieces on the subject to date:

The WHO makes gratuitous use of appellations such as "world" and "health" but is actually a semi-private entity lavishly financed by Bill Gates and Big Pharma, which is owned by a handful of highly inbred oligarchic entities that include Vanguard, BlackRock, Capital Group, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust and State Street, which in turn own each other in various convoluted ways.

WHO's main function is to scare people into getting vaccinated and accepting expensive drug regimens (barely half of which do any good at all), thus funneling resources toward Big Pharma.

The World Health Organization establishes thresholds to determine whether to declare an influenza epidemic that range between 2.5% and 5%. The novel coronavirus misses the mark by a thousand-fold, yet the WHO has declared it to be the cause of a global pandemic.

If this seems like an extreme overreaction, that is because this is an extreme overreaction.

Some conspiratorially-minded people may surmise that this is a conspiracy, but it isn't. It is yet another blatant attempt to confiscate a chunk of the world's wealth by requiring it to buy something worthless, just like this same set of medical/financial interests did with the relatively worthless Tamiflu antiviral medication during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009-10 which caused a mere 18,036 deaths worldwide. This is a specific group pursuing its own group interests.

......

https://thewallwillfall.org/2020/05/02/gaslighting-the-coronavirus-dimitry-orlov/

[May 03, 2020] Cuomo incompetence: Last month, the state paid Yaron Oren-Pines $47,656 per ventilator for 1,450 ventilators, three times the normal asking price

May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , May 2 2020 22:28 utc | 43

Thanks b for that polite and quiet reference to:
Last month, the state paid Yaron Oren-Pines $47,656 per ventilator for 1,450 ventilators, three times the normal asking price,.....

...Oren-Pines has no known capability or expertise in making ventilators. According to BuzzFeed, his social media shows expressions of support for Trump since at least 2015.

He has not provided the ventilators, and New York state is attempting to recover the money, BuzzFeed reported. Oren-Pines would not comment to the online news site.

An unnamed official for the New York state government said the recommendation to deal with Oren-Pines came directly from the White House coronavirus task force. A spokeswoman for Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, denied any involvement in making the recommendation.

The carpetbaggers are always in the lead if not the instigators. Perhaps he was on the last flight home.

[May 03, 2020] Shadow of the USSR over the USA: sclerotic incompetent leadership is a sad reality

May 03, 2020 | econintersect.com

"Sclerotic America" [John Furlan, Econintersect ].

"The U.S. has had sclerotic political leadership during this crisis. The U.S. is being offered the "choice" between Trump, 73, and Biden, 77. Its other major political players are Pelosi, 80, and McConnell, 78 .

Trump of course bears most of the blame for the Covid-19 Crisis.

But the Dems and liberal media also share a lot. Trump dithered for many crucial weeks after China's CCP very belatedly shut down Wuhan on January 23, many weeks after the virus emerged What were the Dems and liberal media doing during those crucial weeks? From December 18 to February 5 they culminated three years of wasting the nation's time trying to impeach Trump for Russia- and Ukraine-gate, as the virus picked up steam.

The Dems and liberal media held "debates" and primaries through March 17 in which Covid-19 was barely mentioned except in the context of Sanders' Medicare for All, focusing instead on such issues as Bloomberg's NDA's (Biden's opponents are now using a similar #MeToo attack)." • "The duty of an opposition party is to oppose."

[May 03, 2020] I was Fauci, who despite a moratorium in the USA outsourced in 2015 the GOF research to China's Wuhan lab and licensed the lab so that it can continue receiving US government funding

May 03, 2020 | asiatimes.com

In the face of a moratorium in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci – the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and currently the leading doctor in the US Coronavirus Task Force – outsourced in 2015 the GOF research to China's Wuhan lab and licensed the lab to continue receiving US government funding.

[May 03, 2020] Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently declared the anti-viral drug remdesivir as a "standard of care" based on unpublished trials

May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently declared the anti-viral drug remdesivir as a "standard of care" based on unpublished trials. But the judgment was sketchy and has come under question as it seems that the government moved the goalposts to achieve this outcome:

Instead of counting how many people taking the drug were kept alive on ventilators or died, among other measures, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said it would judge the drug primarily on a different outcome: how long it took surviving patients to recover.

Death and other negative outcomes were moved to secondary measure status: They would still be tracked, but they would no longer be the key measure of remdesivir's performance. The switch -- which specialists said is unusual in major clinical trials but not unheard of -- was publicly disclosed on the government's clinicaltrials.gov website on April 16 but did not receive much attention at the time.
...
"It raises a lot of flags, and it requires a lot of answers," Walid F. Gellad, a professor of health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Medicine, said in an interview, "especially when people start saying it's become the standard of care, and all we saw was a news release in a trial with an outcome that was changed two weeks ago. It really is striking."

A Chinese double blind study of remdesivir, previously published in Lancet , had come to the conclusion that the drug had no statistically noticeable influence on the length of recovery and the outcome.

One wonders how much White House influence was used to push that drug. White House influence may also have been used in this ventilator acquisition that was paid for but never delivered .

[May 03, 2020] David Stockman about Fauci and nursing homes

May 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Needless to say, you did not need to be entombed in the infectious disease tunnel at the NIH for 52 years like Dr. Fauci, a pretentious 79-year old windbag who should have himself been put in a retirement home years ago, to realize that nursing homes are dense-packed with the frail, disease-afflicted elderly.

So rather than wipe out $4 trillion of GDP via Lockdown Nation they might have started with say $25 billion of incremental money for Medicare/Medicaid and the state public health agencies to zero-in on protecting, isolating and treating the nursing home residents.

[May 03, 2020] Fauci should be fired for promoting this crap research on remdesivir.

May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

cj , May 2 2020 23:41 utc | 51

Hi B,
I think that we don't know if remdesivir works or not. The trial used patients that were very sick. The virus had done its job and was no longer replicating exponentially. When you look at these lungs they are full of exudate and superinfection and the damage is done. I am surprised that there was any effect and the fact that there was is very encouraging. The time to give a chain terminator like remdesivir is early in the infection as soon as the patient presents and you have a positive test. You must hit the virus as it is exponentiating in the nasopharynx. That is when you have to do the clinical trial then the outcome is admission to ITU or not, then death or survival-- a really big trial.
I agree it is wrong to change the goal posts and it shouldn't have happened --- but the clinical trial was flawed from the beginning any way.
In defense of remdesivir it works rather well in feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) which is caused by a corona virus and is 100% lethal in cats. Remdesivir results in 100% survival with occasional relapse that is still treatable with the drug. In humans, remdesivir will work only if you give it early-- it is a powerful delayed chain terminator. So I do think the drug will protect people that are in the early stages of the disease- so everyone will get it and it will be huge for Gilead.

Duncan Idaho , May 2 2020 23:52 utc | 52

In humans, remdesivir will work only if you give it early-- it is a powerful delayed chain terminator.

Yep, the first 48 hours, if our data is correct. This is still early in the game.

vk , May 2 2020 19:44 utc | 2
I think this remdesivir authorization was a genius move by the Trump administration. So genial even Dr. Fauci must have immediately understood the catch and endorsed it, as it is probable the drug must not have any grave collateral effects on the patients (as is the case with hydroxycloroquine).

First of all, remdesivir helps one of America's biggest pharmaceuticals (Gilead). Therefore, it will also help American capitalist reproduction.

Second, it will trigger a nationwide placebo effect thanks to widespread optimism and petit-bourgeois euphoria, thus lowering the death rates (though not the infection rates), and giving Trump an election boost in crucial areas (by the astroturf protests pattern, important swing states in the Midwest).

Third, by the time the efficacy of remdesivir is debunked, the Trump administration can simply state they acted with good will, with the "evidence" available at the time, and gently apologize. It is the perfect plausible deniability.

Trailer Trash , May 2 2020 19:44 utc | 3
Fauci should be fired for promoting this crap research on remdesivir. Changing the primary endpoint is verboten, plain and simple. The only reason to change the primary endpoint is to cherry-pick data in order to claim "success". Honest journals, if they still exist, will not publish this rubbish, as it contravenes their industry's "Committee on Publication Ethics" guidelines. The control arm of the trial was halted, another giant red flag, so there is nothing to compare their cherry-picked data against.

This trial is now at the quality level of the rubbish research that "proves" homeopathy "works". How can Fauci not be totally embarrassed by this? There must be powerful financial forces behind this. No amount of air freshener can cover up the stink...

NWOdna , May 2 2020 19:57 utc | 4
Trailer Trash,
FAUCI is now prohibited by Trump admin from testifying before Congress on the COVI debacle. This criminal co-conspirator of Billy Goats owns the patents on the same HIV genes that just happened to be found as gain-of-function additions to the genome of the Corona virus. PROVING it is a lab made bioweapon. W/ Fauci's signature all over creation of this WMD. He should get the electric chair for genocide.
John Smith , May 2 2020 20:26 utc | 12
A price-idea for Remdesivir:
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/coronavirus/2020/05/02/Coronavirus-US-grants-emergency-approval-to-expand-use-of-Gilead-s-drug-remdesivir.html
Frank Barnes , May 2 2020 20:28 utc | 13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgnBldI7KPY&t=2047s

Judy Mikovits gives compelling evidence that Fauci is a criminal that has the power to retconn virus research. Her new book "Plague of Corruption" should be a great read, but I've heard parts are hard to underestand.

hopehely , May 2 2020 20:39 utc | 14
Posted by: Frank Barnes | May 2 2020 20:28 utc | 12
Judy Mikovits gives compelling evidence that Fauci is a criminal that has the power to retconn virus research. Her new book "Plague of Corruption" should be a great read, but I've heard parts are hard to underestand.

Thanks Frank for the info, that is very noble of you!

Red Ryder , May 2 2020 21:22 utc | 30
Fauci did the same with AIDS drugs. Jumped on the first one regardless. Unfortunately, in those days, people died and HIV was blamed when it likely was the drug. But, he's got almost the same situation now. If you are deep with the virus, you'll probably die, so the drug used is excused.

Watch the vaccine the US finally chooses. They are talking already about pushing it out in this year, when the whole world knows it needs a year of testing.

[May 02, 2020] If this Newsweek article published April 28, 2020, is credible, then Trump and cohorts should tread carefully

Highly recommended!
So was Fauci an enthusiast of "gain of function" research? If so he is probably a criminal.
Notable quotes:
"... Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab With Millions Of U.S. Dollars For Risky Coronavirus Research ..."
"... [just] last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses. ..."
"... In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million. ..."
May 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , May 1 2020 16:32 utc | 43

IMHO, if this Newsweek article date April 28, 2020, is credible, then Trump and cohorts should tread carefully:
Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab With Millions Of U.S. Dollars For Risky Coronavirus Research

[just] last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.

In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.

Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.[.]

Dr. Fauci did not respond to Newsweek's requests for comment. NIH responded with a statement that said in part: "Most emerging human viruses come from wildlife, and these represent a significant threat to public health and biosecurity in the US and globally, as demonstrated by the SARS epidemic of 2002-03, and the current COVID-19 pandemic.... scientific research indicates that there is no evidence that suggests the virus was created in a laboratory."[.]

NIH gave a non-denial, avoidance denial. Congressmen were on Foxnews attacking the funding. Where there is a whiff of smoke?

Additional articles on U.S. funding:
NPR
FoxNews
NationalInterest cites Pompeo on Foxnews defending the funding. Also, UK papers repeat U.S. funding.

stevelaudig , May 1 2020 16:37 utc | 45

When ever the US government speaks on such issues. Refer them here... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

[May 02, 2020] Many field hospitals went largely unused, will be shut down

Apr 29, 2020 | www.militarytimes.com

Gleaming new tent hospitals sit empty on two suburban New York college campuses, never having treated a single coronavirus patient. Convention centers that were turned into temporary hospitals in other cities went mostly unused. And a Navy hospital ship that offered help in Manhattan is soon to depart. When virus infections slowed down or fell short of worst-case predictions, the globe was left dotted with dozens of barely used or unused field hospitals. [ Too bad Cuomo didn't send COVID-19 patients from the nursing homes to these ships for treatment... ]

[May 02, 2020] In pandemic blame distribution Fauci and the CDC top should get mayor shares

May 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Antonym , May 1 2020 14:03 utc | 15

In pandemic blame distribution Fauci and the CDC top should get mayor shares.

In financial crash blame distribution the New York FED with its top 5 controller / bail-out receiver banks have big parts. It still holds the world's other Central Banks hostage through its reserves and trade in U$ dollars only meme.

In the intelligence area it is not very different: also that branch of the US Deep State failed.

A multipolar world is getting closer..

GeorgeV , May 1 2020 14:04 utc | 16

The jaw-dropping stupidity of the Trump administration regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is truly mind numbing. There is an old dictum that states that there is no such thing as 'military intelligence.' To that I add there is no such thing as 'intelligence' in Washington DC either, or the Trump White House for that matter. If you try to look for it, you will only find hacks, flacks, quacks and certifiable jerks. You would do better to waste your time and money looking for the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, or the Tooth Fairy. The prospect that Trump could get anther four years as president is depressing indeed. All that would be left is divine intervention, and I don't think that is any more likely than finding the aforementioned mythical creatures.

[May 01, 2020] Ten questions the U.S. needs to offer clear answers to the world regarding the #COVID19.

People's Daily, China
Notable quotes:
"... Among the reported influenza deaths in the US, how many cases were infected with COVID-19? Did the US government cover up the spread of coronavirus with the flu? When will the US government make public the samples of the US influenza virus and its genetic sequence, or allow experts from the WHO or the United Nations to sample and analyze? ..."
May 01, 2020 | www.facebook.com
Yesterday at 9:30 AM · Ten questions the U.S. needs to offer clear answers to the world regarding the # COVID19 .

1. Regarding the restarted avian influenza virus modification experiment last year, why does the US release no more updates?

The Science reported in February 2019 that US authorities had quietly approved the avian influenza virus modification experiment. The research, aiming to transform the H5N1 virus to be more capable of infecting mammals, was controversial and considered extremely dangerous. Some experts believe that the modification may increase the risk of human-to-human transmission of the virus. The question is why the US government decided to unfreeze the experiment 4 years after it was halted, and why there are no more updates regarding the experiment.

2. The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) was previously closed. What is the truth behind ?

The Global Biodefence reported in April that the USAMRIID, US Army's primary institution and facility for biological research headquartered in Fort Detrick, Maryland, has resumed full operation. The institution was once ordered to halt the study of biological select agents and toxins (BSATs) last July. In March, there was a petition on the White House website demanding the clarification of the shutdown of USAMRIID. Given that these issues have become a primary public concern, what is the US government's response?

3. The US Department of Health and Human Services ran a scenario last year that was similar to the COVID-19 outbreak. Is this just a coincidence?

In March, the New York Times quoted a draft report obtained from the US government saying that from January to August 2019, the US Department of Health and Human Services ran a scenario called "Crimson Contagion" that simulated the fictional outbreak involving a group of tourists visiting China. They then became infected and flew to various countries, including the US. Last October, a high-level pandemic exercise named Event 201 was hosted by a couple of US organizations. The drill simulated a scenario that a fictional virus called CAPS, which causes more severe symptoms than SARS and transmits via the respiratory route like the common flu, had caused a pandemic. Like COVID-19, there is no vaccine for CAPS.

Given the fact that the simulated virus is so much like COVID-19, is this just a coincidence? Another question is, why did it not take enough preventive measures at the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak since the US has predicted a similar pandemic?

4. US intelligence officials warned of coronavirus crisis as early as last November. Why the warning was ignored?

In April, according to the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), it was said that, as early as late November 2019, US intelligence officials had warned the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, and the White House that an infectious disease was sweeping through Wuhan, China.

Last November, the US National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) issued a report detailing the coronavirus pandemic, which was later identified as "COVID-19". Some analysts believed that the outbreak in Wuhan might have evolved into a catastrophic event. According to the Washington Post, in more than two months from January to February, Trump had received intensive warnings from the US intelligence agencies about the coronavirus. Why did the US government not declare a "National Emergency" until March 13?

5. Among the reported influenza deaths in the US, can the US clarify how many cases are actually infected with COVID-19?

Japanese Asahi Television reported on February 21 that some of the 14,000 people reportedly killed by influenza in the US might have died from coronavirus, which became a hot topic soon after.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report at the end of February, showing that there have been at least 32 million flu illnesses in the US that winter.

On March 11, at the House of Representatives, Robert Redfield, the director of the US CDC, admitted that some in the US who were previously thought to have been killed from the flu may have been infected with coronavirus.

Among the reported influenza deaths in the US, how many cases were infected with COVID-19? Did the US government cover up the spread of coronavirus with the flu? When will the US government make public the samples of the US influenza virus and its genetic sequence, or allow experts from the WHO or the United Nations to sample and analyze?

6. When did the novel coronavirus first appear in the US? Did community transmission of the coronavirus start sooner than it was reported?

A report released in late April by local health authorities suggests that a 57-year-old woman from Santa Clara County of California died from COVID-19 on February 6, some 20 days earlier than the date the US announced its first death caused by the virus.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Santa Clara County health officer Sara Cody in a piece saying, "we presume that each of them represents community transmission and that there was some significant level of virus circulating in our community in early February."

County Executive Officer Jeffrey V. Smith said this is evidence that the coronavirus was circulating in California as early as January or even earlier.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered all counties in the state to review autopsies of suspected coronavirus deaths dating back to December.

When did the novel coronavirus first appear in the US? Did community transmission of the coronavirus start sooner than it was reported?

7. How did the US get the virus strains so soon to start the first human testing of a vaccine against COVID-19?

The Wall Street Journal on March 16 reported that the first human testing of Moderna Inc.'s experimental vaccine against the COVID-19 had already begun. Experts immediately raised questions about the speed of the vaccine development, saying that it would not be possible unless the US had obtained the virus strains from very early on. So how did the US start the first human testing of the vaccine so soon? When and how did they get the virus strains?

8. Why did the US government keep downplaying the pandemic while its officials privately dumped stocks?

According to the Washington Post, US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and his wife sold up to 1.7 million in 33 different stocks just one week before the market plunged. Why did these officials at the Committee act so quickly while the government was continually understating the pandemic?

Why is the vital information kept confidential to the public while the government officials were taking advantage to practice insider-trading?

9. Why are US experts not allowed to discuss COVID-19 in public?

The New York Times reported that the White House began tightening controls for all coronavirus messaging from health officials on February 27 after Vice President Mike Pence led the nation's epidemic prevention and control efforts.

Several scientists and government health officials, including the nation's leading infectious disease expert Anthony S. Fauci, have been asked to make statements or make public appearances about the COVID-19 only after consultation with the US vice president's office.

Why does the United States, which claims free speech, not allow experts and scholars to discuss the novel coronavirus in public? Does the US want to hide something or fear of something?

10. What research is being done in the US overseas biological laboratories? Why does the US keep tight-lipped about it?

Natalia Poklonskaya, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, has proposed verifying the legitimacy of US biological laboratories around the world, according to Sputnik news agency.

Not long ago, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern about the establishment of a biological laboratory in countries from the former Soviet Union.

Grigory Trofimchuk, a Russian expert in the field of internal affairs, foreign affairs, and national defense, said the work of these biological laboratories was never disclosed to the outside world, and that they had caused several problems, with widespread outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases such as measles at the laboratory site.

What research is being done in these biological laboratories? Why does the US keep tight-lipped about the function, use, the safety of these biological laboratories?

[May 01, 2020] Fauci ties to Gates

May 01, 2020 | www.corbettreport.com

Unsurprisingly, the Gates Foundation has injected substantial sums of money into both groups. This year alone, the Gates Foundation has already given $79 million to Imperial College, and in 2017 the Foundation announced a $279 million investment into the IHME to expand its work collecting health data and creating models.

Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, has become the face of the US government's coronavirus response, echoing Bill Gates' assertion that the country will not "get back to normal" until "a good vaccine" can be found to insure the public's safety.

ANTHONY FAUCI : If you want to get to pre-coronavirus . . . You know, that might not ever happen, in the sense of the fact that the threat is there. But I believe with the therapies that will be coming online, and with the fact that I feel confident that over a period of time we will get a good vaccine, that we will never have to get back to where we are right back now.

SOURCE: Dr. Anthony Fauci on return to normalcy from pandemic

Beyond just their frequent collaborations and cooperation in the past, Fauci has direct ties to Gates projects and funding. In 2010, he was appointed to the Leadership Council of the Gates-founded " Decade of Vaccines " project to implement a Global Vaccine Action Plan, a project to which Gates committed $10 billion of funding. And in October of last year, just as the current pandemic was beginning, the Gates Foundation announced a $100 million contribution to the National Institute of Health to help, among other programs, Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' research into HIV.

... ... ...

AMY GOODMAN : And the charity of billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda is under criticism following the disclosure it's substantially increased its holdings in the agribusiness giant Monsanto to over $23 million. Critics say the investment in Monsanto contradicts the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's stated commitment to helping farmers and sustainable development in Africa.

SOURCE: Gates Foundation Criticized for Increasing Monsanto Investment

LAURENCE LEE : The study from the pressure group Global Justice now paints a picture of the Gates Foundation partly as an expression of corporate America's desire to profit from Africa, and partly a damning critique of its effects.

POLLY JONES : You could have a case where the initial research is done by a Gates-funded institution. And the media reporting on how well that research is conducted is done, the media outlet is a Gates-funded outlet, or maybe a Gates-funded journalist from a media program. And then the program is implemented more widely by a Gates-funded NGO. I mean . . . There are some very insular circles here.

LEE : Among the many criticisms, the idea that private finance can solve the problems of the developing world. Should poor farmers be trapped into debt by having to use chemicals or fertilizers under written by offshoot of the foundation?

SOURCE: Gates Foundation accused of exploiting its leverage in Africa

This is no mere theoretical conflict of interest. Gates is held up as a hero for donating $35.8 billion worth of his Microsoft stock to the foundation, but during the course of his "Decade of Vaccines," Gates' net worth has actually doubled, from $54 billion to $103.1 billion .

The Rockefeller story provides an instructive template for this vision of tycoon-turned-philanthropist. When Rockefeller faced a public backlash, he helped spearhead the creation of a system of private foundations that connected in with his business interests. Leveraging his unprecedented oil monopoly fortune into unprecedented control over wide swathes of public life, Rockefeller was able to kill two birds with one stone: moulding society in his families' own interests even as he became a beloved figure in the public imagination.

Similarly, Bill Gates has leveraged his software empire into a global health, development and education empire, steering the course of investment and research and ensuring healthy markets for vaccines and other immunisation products. And, like Rockefeller, Gates has been transformed from the feared and reviled head of a formidable hydra into a kindly old man generously giving his wealth back to the public.

But not everyone has been taken in by this PR trick. Even The Lancet observed this worrying transformation from software monopolist to health monopolist back in 2009, when the extent of this Gates-led monopoly was becoming apparent to all:

The first guiding principle of the [Bill & Melinda Gates] Foundation is that it is "driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family." An annual letter from Bill Gates summarises those passions, referring to newspaper articles, books, and chance events that have shaped the Foundation's strategy. For such a large and influential investor in global health, is such a whimsical governance principle good enough?

SOURCE: What has the Gates Foundation done for global health?

This brings us back to the question: Who is Bill Gates? What are his driving interests? What motivates his decisions?

These are not academic questions. Gates' decisions have controlled the flows of billions of dollars, formed international partnerships pursuing wide-ranging agendas, ensured the creation of "healthy markets" for big pharma vaccine manufacturers. And now, as we are seeing, his decisions are shaping the entire global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Next week, we will further explore Gates' vaccination initiatives, the business interests behind them, and the larger agenda that is beginning to take shape as we enter the "new normal" of the Covid-19 crisis.

[May 01, 2020] In pandemic blame distribution Fauci and the CDC top should get mayor shares

May 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Antonym , May 1 2020 14:03 utc | 15

In pandemic blame distribution Fauci and the CDC top should get mayor shares.

In financial crash blame distribution the New York FED with its top 5 controller / bail-out receiver banks have big parts. It still holds the world's other Central Banks hostage through its reserves and trade in U$ dollars only meme.

In the intelligence area it is not very different: also that branch of the US Deep State failed.

A multipolar world is getting closer..

[May 01, 2020] Evil intent and premeditation are perfectly compatible with bad planning and gross incompetence.

May 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Apr 29 2020 20:55 utc | 49

Evil intent and premeditation are perfectly compatible with bad planning and gross incompetence.

Look at every US war of aggression: It fails utterly at every affirmative goal, but so far always accomplishes the purely negative goals of mass murder, gross physical destruction and generating failed states. Same for disaster responses like with Katrina: They couldn't save any lives or help poor people rebuild, but they could complete the destruction of social infrastructure which the hurricane hadn't finished off.

That's the US, domestically and around the world. And people really think any kind of intensive response to an epidemic would have any other kind of outcome?

Jackrabbit , Apr 29 2020 21:32 utc | 53

NoOneYouKnow Apr29 20:41
... it wouldn't surprise me if they deployed this virus in China without assuming, or caring about, blowback in the US.

karlof1 has speculated along the same lines weeks ago.

My understanding of karlof1's argument is as follows: China turned the "weapon" (assuming it was a deliberate attack) back on USA by revealing the virus instead of keeping the outbreak quiet. The result has been the destabilizing of US society because USA leadership had never planned to respond to the virus in any way that is appropriate to a new virus.

!!

[May 01, 2020] Bright transfer was in response to his insistence that the government invest into safe and scientifically vetted solutions for fighting COVID-19, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit

May 01, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The people need science. The teaching is a legacy of pathologist Rudolph Virchow who was at the barricades in Berlin in 1848. A journal entry in that year of revolutions reads, " Medicine is a social science , and politics nothing but medicine on a grand scale." The pioneering Virchow first pronounced upon the biological importance of cells in health and disease. He was the " chief founder of modern scientific medicine." (William H. Welch, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 1902),

Virchow inspires today's imperative that the entitled classes not abandon science in the face of danger nor twist science to fit proprietary uses. This is the Virchow whose study of a typhus outbreak in Upper Silesia convinced him that class-based oppression – poverty and lack of education – was responsible for the epidemic, the Virchow who helped form the German Radical Party in 1884 and served in the Prussian and German parliaments.

Ask immunologist and virologist Rick Bright about science serving the people. That expert in preventing viral disease, particularly influenza, on April 21 was removed from his position in the Department of Health and Human Services. Bright was in charge of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and of efforts to develop an anti-COVID 19 vaccine. He had 63 scientific articles to his credit.

Bright told the press that, "I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit. I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science -- not politics or cronyism -- has to lead the way."

He added that, "contrary to misguided directives, I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, promoted by the Administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit."

Science has been a bit player in the U.S. government's confrontation with the pandemic. President Trump's anti-science attitudes are far from the whole story, although his cut-off of U.S. funding for the World Health Organization was as dangerous as it was symbolic.

That government failed to take steps that would have allowed scientific inquiry during the early stages of the pandemic Early case-finding and tracking of contacts did not take place. Investigators lacked the raw material that might have allowed them to define the contours of an evolving epidemic, its special characteristics.

The fact of delay was clear on April 21 when a California medical examiner announced that COVID 19 had accounted for one death on February 6 and another on February 17. Neither victim had traveled outside the United States. The onset of their infections was presumably in mid-January. All along, authorities had regarded a Washington-state patient who tested positive on February 26 as the first U.S. victim of community-acquired infection. Yet CDC director Robert Redfield, testifying before a congressional committee on March 11, revealed that some patients assumed to have died from influenza did die from COVID 19 infection.

Also, the administration's China-bashing and even conspiracy theories about the origins of the pandemic testify to its dismissal of useful scientist research, particularly the findings of scientists throughout the world who know about the beginnings of the pandemic, in China.

British and German scientists " reconstructed the early 'evolutionary paths' of COVID-19 in humans." A Cambridge University team "mapped some of the original spread of the new coronavirus through its mutations, which creates different viral lineages." Virus genomes were studied " from across the world between 24 December 2019 and 4 March 2020."

The researchers categorized three types of COVID 19. The original Wuhan virus was type A; its mutated versions showed up in the United States and Australia. Type B, predominating in Wuhan, stayed put in East Asia. Type C appeared only in Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. The researchers "traced established infection routes: the mutations and viral lineages joined the dots between known cases." Such information about the virus's biologic behavior might have enabled public health officials to identify at-risk populations within the United States and abroad.

Lead author Peter Forster suggested to a reporter that in Wuhan "the first infection and spread among humans of COVID-19 occurred between mid-September and early December." His disclosure has implications for U.S. military athletes participating in the "World Military Games" in Wuhan in late October. They were among 9308 military athletes on hand from 100 countries. The athletes might have carried the virus with them on their return to the various nations.

Zoologist Peter Daszak, president of the New York – based EcoHealth Alliance, does research in China on inter-species sharing of viruses. He pointed out in 2013 that, "Coronaviruses evolve very rapidly [and] are exquisitely evolved to jump from one species to another." At the time, he was reflecting on the SARS coronavirus epidemic of 10 years earlier.

He offered a suggestion that, if acted upon, might have prevented the COVID 19 pandemic. The cost, Daszak estimated, would have been "about $1.5bn to discover all the viruses in mammals. I think that would be a great investment because once you have done it, you can develop vaccines and get ready with test kits to find the first stage of emergence and stop it."

This story of the U.S. government's abuse of science ends with lessons learned. They are: (1) science must exist for the benefit of all people and not be left to the mercies of the rich and powerful, (2) a government restricting and disrespecting scientists, like Dr. Bright, is dangerous to the people, and (3) a capability to plan is of the essence to a state that would assure the safety and flourishing of all its people. These basic standards, it seems here, will be identifying features for those societies that do emerge relatively intact from the pandemic. The odds favor the socialist ones.

[May 01, 2020] Dr. Ron Paul Interview: Bill Gates Tony Fauci Are Determined To Run The World by Vaccines

May 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Agent76 , says: Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 1:25 pm GMT

Apr 16, 2020 Dr. Ron Paul Interview: Bill Gates & Tony Fauci Are Determined To Run The World by Vaccines

Dr. Paul and Spiro discuss the current coronavirus crisis and the political, social and economic fallout effecting millions of Americans, as people begin to display resistance to the government lockdown response.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/LKkByA7nC4U?feature=oembed

Sep 11, 2013 9/11 In A Nutshell

James Corbett presents this 5 minute parody of the official conspiracy theory of 9/11

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vrJiKbK0tVM?feature=oembed

2.3 TRillion Dollars Missing from DOD Day before 9/11/ 2001

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 Defense Business Practices

Secretary Rumsfeld and other officials talked with reporters about the need to refine the Defense Department's business practices. An opening ceremony will kick off Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week. They answered questions from members of the media

http://www.c-span.org/video/?165947-1/defense-business-practices

[May 01, 2020] The CDC is actually a vaccine company. -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr., by Paul Craig Roberts

May 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Watch this RT interview with Robert Kennedy to see how corrupt the CDC is. We cannot trust this corrupt organization with our health. The CDC has a large financial interest in pushing untested vaccines on the public.

WHO is even more under the control of Big Pharma. The organization is corrupt beyond the meaning of the word. "The WHO is a sock puppet for the pharmaceutical industry." -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

https://youtu.be/5CfLDXpC324

[Apr 30, 2020] I do think it has been a mistake not to quarantine nursing homes, ltc facilities, hospitals, etc.. Including the docs, nurses, workers. Those are the vectors 50% of covid deaths could have been prevented, esp in NY, like that.

Apr 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BDrizz , Apr 30 2020 2:09 utc | 92

These lockdowns have ended life as we know it, no matter which position you take. I do think it has been a mistake not to quarantine nursing homes, ltc facilities, hospitals, etc.. Including the docs, nurses, workers. Those are the vectors & 50% of covid deaths could have been prevented, esp in NY, like that. At year-end, we can look at all-cause mortalities trends, see how this year stacks up. I hope these measures make sense given the extreme poverty, violence, death they will cause. There will be no permanent vaccine, they've been trying w/Coronav's for a long time. This thing is a fact of life going forward. It will mutate like any other cold or flu. Are we going to shut down & go Orwell every time it pops up? We're f'ed.

[Apr 30, 2020] Ferguson's alamist narrative about two million dead int he USA alone has triumphed, helped by our incontinent and irresponsible media. ...

Apr 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

fairleft , Apr 30 2020 0:43 utc | 80

Neil Ferguson hasn't been part of b's coronavirus narrative, but his bad statistics (he has a history) are key to the whole story. Great opinion piece by R.R. Reno :

"On March 16, Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London predicted a coronavirus death toll of more than two million in the United States alone. He arrived at this number by assuming that infection would be nearly universal and the fatality rate would be high -- a terrifying prospect. The next day, Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis sifted through the data and predicted less widespread infection and a fatality rate of between 0.05 and 1.0 percent -- not that different from the common flu. The coronavirus is not the common flu. It has different characteristics, afflicting the old more than the young, men more than women. Nevertheless, all data trends since mid-March show that Ferguson was fantastically wrong and Ioannidis was largely right about its mortal threat. [fairleft: Reno goes too far here: data indicates Covid-19 is worse than the flu for the vulnerable, possibly much worse depending on age and the severity of their vulnerability.]

"But Ferguson's narrative has triumphed, helped by our incontinent and irresponsible media. ...

"Our entire ruling class, which united behind catastrophism and the untested methods of mass shutdown, is implicated in the unfolding fiasco.

"Journalists continue to sustain the pandemic narrative. Ioannidis is still ignored, though the evidence I outlined above has been building for weeks. ..."

[[U of Oxford prediction: "Taking account of historical experience, trends in the data, increased number of infections in the population at largest, and potential impact of misclassification of deaths gives a presumed estimate for the COVID-19 IFR somewhere between 0.1% and 0.36%." All studies so far are flawed and not all are within that range, but here are basically ALL of them, which generally point to the Oxford prediction being about right:

NYC shopping center: 0.6%
Santa Clara County: 0.1 - 0.2%
LA County: 0.1 - 0.3%
Oise, France high school: 0.0%
Gangelt, Germany: 0.37%
Bergamo, Italy: 0.57%
Lombardio, Italy: 0.87%
Iceland: 0.05%
UK: 0.9%
China: 0.66%
Boston homeless shelter: 0.0%
US Navy ship: 0.07% ]]

R.R. Reno concludes:

"We've been stampeded into a regime of social control that is unprecedented in our history. Our economy has been shattered.... As unemployment numbers skyrocket and Congress spends trillions, the political stakes rise.

"The experts, professionals, bureaucrats, and public officials who did this to us have tremendous incentives to close ranks and say, 'It is not wise to tell people that the danger was never grave and now has passed.' Sustaining the coronavirus narrative will require many lies. It will be up to us to insist on the truth."

[Apr 30, 2020] This interview with Dr Mikovits tells us what this is all about and why Fauci cannot be trusted. Only goes for 15 mins

Apr 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Graham Peppercorn , Apr 30 2020 4:08 utc | 107

I cannot suggest more strongly for anyone seeking the truth about this Corona Virus that you HAVE to listen to an interview with Dr Mikovits who had originally worked on the discovery of the Aids Virus and who was bullied and threatened by Fauci. YOU HAVE TO listen to this Scientist!!!

I am NOT connected to this site in any way but I think this interview HAS to spread throughout the World because this Scientist knows what she is talking about. AND, it is very scary.

https://www.trunews.com/stream/edward-s-interview-of-dr-judy-mikovits-mp4


james , Apr 30 2020 4:43 utc | 108

dr... mikovits.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Mikovits
Peppercron , Apr 30 2020 10:58 utc | 130
...This interview with Dr Mikovits tells us what this is all about and why Fauci cannot be trusted. Only goes for 15 mins. But this is the most damning insight yet to be shared on the CV

https://www.trunews.com/stream/edward-s-interview-of-dr-judy-mikovits-mp4

[Apr 30, 2020] Fauci and gain of function research

Apr 30, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

xxx 2 hours ago (Edited)

Now its come out that Fauci personally oversaw 3.7million in grants to the Wuhan lab;

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/paid-for-the-damn-virus-thats-killing-us-giuliani-rips-fauci-over-grants-to-wuhan-laboratory

""Back in 2014, the Obama administration prohibited the U.S. from giving any money to any laboratory, including in the U.S., that was fooling around with these viruses. Prohibited! Despite that, Dr. Fauci gave $3.7 million to the Wuhan laboratory -- and then even after the State Department issued reports about how unsafe that laboratory was, and how suspicious they were in the way they were developing a virus that could be transmitted to humans,"Giuliani claimed

So, the guy who is heading up the Corona response personally oversaw the funding of the lab that created it......COME ON!

xxx 2 hours ago


I am a consistent complainer over the Obama administration's policies but this is one policy where I admire them. THIS is what I mean when I keep complaining about the scientific community. Obama had it right and should have been even more vocal in their opposition to misguided research. If the reports on Fauci funding this are true it should be exposed and LOUDLY vilified. WHEN are we going to hold the scientific community accountable? Do you know how many brilliant and decent scientists are being muted because of the likes of these type scientists that want free reign to do whatever they want?

Here's my point: If a scientist lower in prestige than Dr. Fauci had written a paper defining "playing with viruses as important research" as unnecessary and dangerous, he/she would be putting their very careers at risk due to Fauci's power. They've been doing it to any scientist that disputes climate change models, to the point of even firing editors that allow varying opinions. I'm not saying scientists are bad, just the opposite. Good Scientists are being stifled by a small powerful few within their leagues.

xxx 3 hours ago

Here an expose of Dr Fauci ; **** floats as we say . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq2uuHfmq8k

[Apr 26, 2020] A sad situation at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center

Notable quotes:
"... As of Thursday, 23 employees at the 4,000-employee VA hospital, had tested positive, according to an update the hospital director emailed to employees. Another 45 employees are home awaiting test results. The hospital declined to say how many of the employees who are positive or are awaiting results are nurses, or name which parts of the hospital they work in. ..."
"... Three VA nurses said they were given N95 respirators for several days early in the crisis in March, but after that they were given surgical masks, which provide less protection from the coronavirus. Another nurse reported wearing only a surgical mask the entire time caring for coronavirus patients. The nurses, who work in a unit that treats COVID-19 positive patients or patients awaiting test results who are suspected to be positive, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to news media and their job security could be at risk if they spoke publicly. ..."
"... The hospital had 73 confirmed coronavirus cases among patients as of Friday, and four inpatient deaths. "Currently every health care system is taking steps to conserve PPE. VA is no different," Hodge wrote in a series of responses by email to questions. Hodge also said that the hospital is issuing surgical masks to all staff who work in non-COVID-19 units. ..."
"... "Those staff are provided one surgical mask weekly to assist in protecting high-risk patients who are asymptomatic," he wrote. ..."
"... Since the number of COVID-19 tests are limited nationwide, there is no COVID-19 testing capability at our CBOC locations. Please call your provider to determine whether you would be a candidate for testing. If so, then you may proceed to the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia where Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., a Drive-Thru Clinic is available for screening and testing (if you need it); you will be triaged according to your symptoms. Also, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., you may be directed to be seen in the medical center's High Consequence Infections (HCI) Clinic. Last, depending on your symptoms, you may go to the hospital's Emergency Department or to an Urgent Care Center or Emergency Department in your area. ..."
"... Much of the federal stockpile of PPE sent to the states had passed their expire dates, 2010 for some, and was either useless or had to be repaired. I blame the failure on the person, or persons, charged with monitoring the wharehoused stockpiles. The president only knows what he's told. He can't micromanage the nation. He needs Jack Webb directing him to stick with the facts. ..."
"... I read somewhere the V.A. ordered the masks but F.E.M.A expropriated them on the directions of Jared Kushner, who will later decide who receives the masks...something about the National Emergency Stockpile...what a mess. ..."
Apr 26, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com


Colonel Lang sent me an eye opening link last night concerning the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA hospital in Richmond. Here are some excerpts from the Richmond Times-Dispatch article.

-- -- -- --

As of Thursday, 23 employees at the 4,000-employee VA hospital, had tested positive, according to an update the hospital director emailed to employees. Another 45 employees are home awaiting test results. The hospital declined to say how many of the employees who are positive or are awaiting results are nurses, or name which parts of the hospital they work in.

Three VA nurses said they were given N95 respirators for several days early in the crisis in March, but after that they were given surgical masks, which provide less protection from the coronavirus. Another nurse reported wearing only a surgical mask the entire time caring for coronavirus patients. The nurses, who work in a unit that treats COVID-19 positive patients or patients awaiting test results who are suspected to be positive, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to news media and their job security could be at risk if they spoke publicly.

The hospital had 73 confirmed coronavirus cases among patients as of Friday, and four inpatient deaths. "Currently every health care system is taking steps to conserve PPE. VA is no different," Hodge wrote in a series of responses by email to questions. Hodge also said that the hospital is issuing surgical masks to all staff who work in non-COVID-19 units. "Those staff are provided one surgical mask weekly to assist in protecting high-risk patients who are asymptomatic," he wrote. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

-- -- --

I'm not surprised by the numbers. Richmond, itself, is a virus hot spot although that is mostly due to several deadly assisted living/nursing home outbreaks. What shocks me is the PPE situation. The fact that nurses have to treat known Covid-19 patients with hospital masks rather than the N95 respirators is only moderately better than third world conditions in my view. Hospital masks offer the wearer no protection against the aerosolized virus. If the patients were wearing those masks, it would be more helpful than the nurses wearing them.

Here's a tip. If you can still smell odors like onions or bacon while wearing the mask, the aerosolized virus can get into your lungs. Hospital masks and other improvised masks protect those around the wearer, not the mask wearer. The concept behind the universal wearing of such masks is mutual protection. For any of you who spent time in the infantry, it's the same concept behind the DePuy fighting positions where you are not defending yourself. You are forming interlocking fields of fire to protect your comrades to the left and right of you. Protecting those around you actually provides the best protection for all of you. We wear masks in grocery stores and other such places to protect the entire community, not just our own sorry asses.

But back to the situation at McGuire. In the early days of the pandemic in America, the hospital instituted a screening program at the hospital entrances consisting of temperature and health interview. We were told to expect delays and to be given a mask for wear in the hospital. Not long after that, we were called to reschedule our appointments to May or beyond. By mid-April, this was the COVID-19 testing situation.

Since the number of COVID-19 tests are limited nationwide, there is no COVID-19 testing capability at our CBOC locations. Please call your provider to determine whether you would be a candidate for testing. If so, then you may proceed to the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia where Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., a Drive-Thru Clinic is available for screening and testing (if you need it); you will be triaged according to your symptoms. Also, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., you may be directed to be seen in the medical center's High Consequence Infections (HCI) Clinic. Last, depending on your symptoms, you may go to the hospital's Emergency Department or to an Urgent Care Center or Emergency Department in your area.

McGuire seems to have had all its ducks in a row. It's what I expect. This VA medical center is well run. The professionalism, pride and morale among the staff is astoundingly high. It shows among us broke down old vets who show up for care. We are proud of McGuire. That this fine facility is now forced to ration out PPE to its staff is a travesty. The VA dropped the ball. The federal government dropped the ball for several administrations. PPE should have been stockpiled at all levels and those stockpiles should have been replenished by a push logistics system.

That's the long term screw up. In the more immediate term, the federal government should have been acquiring that PPE and forcing industry to massively produce supplies back in January. Trump should have invoked and used the Defense Production Act robustly in January rather than waiting until March and April to weakly wield that executive authority. Every hospital and every first responder should have had all the PPE needed. Every household could have been sent a dozen disposable masks with a note from President Trump telling us to keep these in case we need them. What a galvanizing message that would have sent across the nation. Even if Covid-19 proved to be a non-problem, it would have been a message of Churchillian defiance in the face of a potential threat. A missed opportunity for both the American people and Trump.

TTG

https://www.richmond.com/special-report/coronavirus/at-mcguire-va-hospital-in-richmond-nurses-fear-the-masks-they-wear-dont-protect-them/article_6da49ed3-84c7-52a6-b052-32ca3cd305b9.html?utm_source=RTD&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Breaking%20News


Terence Gore , 25 April 2020 at 01:16 PM

Sorry to read your post and hope everyone fares well. Many nursing homes may be in the same situation.

https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/uchicago-medicine-doctors-see-truly-remarkable-success-using-ventilator-alternatives-to-treat-covid19

"The proning and the high-flow nasal cannulas combined have brought patient oxygen levels from around 40% to 80% and 90%, so it's been fascinating and wonderful to see," Spiegel said."


Possibly positive news.

Pj20 , 25 April 2020 at 02:19 PM
It isn't just the VA, hospitals all over the country are short of PPE. And that is one of the problems with opening up the country too soon. Unprotected staff in suddenly flooded hospitals become ill themselves risking the viability of local health systems.
JoeC100 , 25 April 2020 at 04:57 PM
TTG -

I read a while back that the key supply chain issue with N-95 masks is that their essential core material is a synthetic spun fiber that we are completely reliant on China for sourcing. In addition. the machines that make this fiber are complex, quite expensive and there is no capability to quickly and significantly ramp up their production. Further they are challenging to set up and operate.

And for perspective, of the 200 million masks China currently makes a day, only 600,000 are N95 standard masks, used by medical personnel,

So yet another "essential supply chain" item for a critical health system need that simply can't be ramped up out of this air.

Hopefully some one in the Federal system is looking for all similar needs and working on a plan to facilitate onshore manufacturing.

Full (scary/sobering) details are at: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/16/814929294/covid-19-has-caused-a-shortage-of-face-masks-but-theyre-surprisingly-hard-to-mak

I see this as a long term "lack of US preparedness" problem vs. something that could have been easily addressed if the administration had moved a couple on months earlier..

JohninMK , 25 April 2020 at 05:02 PM
We have the same problems here in the UK. With people, mainly it seems like in the MSM, blaming the Government's leadership for the supply issues.

Ignoring totally the management of our respective national health organizations who knew, at the latest in mid January, that there was probably a nasty contagious problem coming down the tracks, that would, based on already clear Chinese actions, need more PPE than was on their shelves.

Bear in mind that, in the UK at least, hundreds of these NHS bureaucrats earn twice what a Government minister earns and a few twice the PM's salary. In both nations they have failed their people dismally, seemingly like rabbits trapped in the headlights. None will be punished of course for failure, they are just pleased that the Government steps up and takes the blame.

Then we have the academics and think tank personnel. All accepted as impartial and offering honest opinions based on state of the art models. Again the Governments take what they are offered as gospel and acts on it. Only to discover that the models are more of the garbage in garbage out variety, not fit for purpose. Then we find how much funding the impartial academics are receiving from potentially very interested parties, as there are $Bs at stake. In the UK there was a Pandemic 2016 exercise to check things out. Result everything in NHS under control. In the real world under four years later, a shambles. Did you have a similar last autumn?

The real heroes and heroines in this saga are the doctors, nurses and their support and ancillary staff who are actually at the sharp end. Many working in appallingly unsafe conditions. Hats off to them.

Bobo , 25 April 2020 at 07:01 PM
For 200 plus years our hospitals utilized laundries to cleanse their medical protection gear (PPE) until the advent of synthetic PPE. The present generation is taught to utilize the N95 mask and other gear once and then trash it. This was derived as a manner in reducing Sepsis and MRSA in hospitals and an effective one though those diseases are still present.
Our hearts went out to these young medical personnel without the plastic masks and gear as they were working outside of what they were taught and they were much more susceptible to the Covid-19.
Now we all saw every Chinaman walking around Wuhan with a N-95 mask in January and unfortunately those were our masks that were re-routed to the Chinese people. Hopefully we have now learned a very hard lesson that Just in Time Inventory does not work for medical diseases or viruses and that the USA needs to manufacture all PPE and medicine in the USA amongst other things.
Regarding the political implications I can only say that the guy in the hot seat made things happen when the chips were down something his predecessors nor his competitor had/have the ability to do in a timely manner. Coercion worked.
optimax , 25 April 2020 at 11:00 PM
Much of the federal stockpile of PPE sent to the states had passed their expire dates, 2010 for some, and was either useless or had to be repaired. I blame the failure on the person, or persons, charged with monitoring the wharehoused stockpiles. The president only knows what he's told. He can't micromanage the nation. He needs Jack Webb directing him to stick with the facts.

We have two groups of psychopaths vying for political power.

https://time.com/5815652/national-stockpile-medical-supplies-unusable/

elaine, 26 April 2020 at 12:58 AM

I read somewhere the V.A. ordered the masks but F.E.M.A expropriated them on the directions of Jared Kushner, who will later decide who receives the masks...something about the National Emergency Stockpile...what a mess.

[Apr 21, 2020] Biting critique of Fauci and other experts who insisted on full scale "containment measures" without any discrimination between vulnerable groups and vulnerable states

Apr 21, 2020 | www.lewrockwell.com

It is becoming clearer with each passing day that the death toll from the Wuhan virus is not rising exponentially as the "experts" predicted but only modestly in some places while levelling off or even declining almost everywhere else in the country -- as well as the world . The incidence of infection borders on nil in the hot and humid countries, where the number of deaths remains in the double or very low triple digits four months after the virus emerged from the Wuhan province of China.

Common sense alone indicates that the number of deaths will ultimately be nowhere near the 2 million without "mitigation" or a best case 100,000 to 240,000 with "mitigation" as predicted by "Tony and Deborah" at the White House press briefings that have fueled nationwide panic. Tony and Deb have since revised their "models" downward to predict 40,000 to 178,000 deaths. And that prediction has already been lowered again as the IMHE model Tony and Deb have been touting during the briefings now "predicts" 81,766 deaths by August 4. That prediction would require some 18,000 people to die every month between now and then, even though at 10,000 deaths since February 29 -- a number consistent with a heavy flu season -- we appear to have reached the peak and a decline is already evident .

At some point, Tony and Deb will be "predicting" precisely what has already happened, as we saw with the "models" that first predicted Hillary Clinton was certain to win the Presidency. And when the final death toll fails even to approach what they first predicted in order to panic the whole country into a nationwide lockdown never before seen in human history, they will make the unprovable, non-falsifiable, junk science claim that "mitigation worked."

But it is becoming increasingly clear that "mitigation" has done nothing but cause a pointless, catastrophic disruption of social and economic life. This seems to delight the lying media and their Democrat partners, who are striving to keep fear alive, avoid or minimize any good news about the numbers, overstate the burden on local hospitals (without any unedited video or other reliable evidence), argue against curative treatment by hydroxychloroquine or otherwise, get everybody into masks after months of "expert" advice that masks are ineffective, and generally prolong the economic damage and loss of civil liberties for months to come.

As the actual numbers belie the pseudo-scientific prophecies of doom, however, the lockdown of America that began with Democrat governors and mayors now exhibits a curious and hardly coincidental fissure along party lines. As of today, nine states, all headed by Republican governors, refuse to join the lockdown regime and now provide embarrassing counterfactuals demonstrating that officially mandated lockdowns were never necessary and have probably made the situation worse by preventing the development of "herd immunity" to this virus, like all the others, from the normal interaction of large populations.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lGC5sGdz4kg?wmode=transparent

The following are the nine states that have refused to impose lockdowns. All of them have minimal death tolls from the Wuhan virus, including the populous South Carolina, and five of them have not enacted even local lockdowns:

[Data as of this writing on April 6 at 9 p.m.]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas told the Fake News New York Times what we have been saying on these pages since the stupid lockdowns began: "the typical stay-at-home order was a misleading 'illusion' because it includes so many exemptions allowing people to go out in public, such as for groceries or exercise ordering people to stay at home would simply leave thousands jobless."

The Times demands to know why these nine states have seceded from the United States of Mitigation: "Holdout States Resist Calls for Stay-at-Home Orders: 'What Are You Waiting For?' screams the indignant headline. Editorial desperation leaps from the page, for the Fake News combine as a whole knows that these nine Republican-led holdout states are all counterfactual to the panic narrative, and that what they are waiting for is the rest of the country to discover that they have been had by the cheerleaders of "mitigation," who live in luxury and job security while the masses suffer. First and foremost, Deb and Tony, intimate associates of Bill Gates, whose "models" keep lowering predictions to catch up with the growing embarrassment of the real numbers.

Another embarrassing counterfactual is the Commonwealth of Virginia, now being suffocated by Democrat Governor Ralph ("Infanticide") Northam's absurd executive orders, which have ruined the state's economy while attempting to place its entire population under a fake quarantine that does nothing but create instant unemployment and bankruptcy. The Northam lockdown will remain in effect until June 10 unless Northam calculates he cannot get away with prolonging his virus-themed dictatorship past Trump's new control date of April 30. Yet, as of the week of March 28, the Virginia Department of Health "has received report of 1,352 pneumonia and influenza-associated deaths," including five pediatric deaths, during the 2019-20 flu season, while purported deaths from the Wuhan virus and related pneumonia stand at 54 as of today at 9 p.m., with no pediatric deaths.

Based on the example of Virginia alone, which provides an all-but-irrefutable counterfactual, it is time to call this fiasco what it is: Coronagate. In my view, Coronagate will go down as the single biggest fraud in the fraud-ridden history of American politics -- outside of the fraudulent inducement of America's belated entry into World War I, which sacrificed 116,000 American lives to an epochal disaster that destroyed the last remnants of Christendom, guaranteed World War II, and led to the rise of the Third Reich and the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, the White House press briefings have devolved into a black comedy with the same script every day: Trump recites a litany of statistics on the number of COVID-19 tests performed, the mass production and distribution of ventilators and N95 respirators, surgical masks, surgical gowns and surgical gloves; praises the captains of industry for pitching in with massive contributions of product; and lauds the branches of the military for their massive logistical operations, including the building of entire hospitals that remain almost empty.

Pence then delivers another sermon on how to "slow the spread in 30 days." Then Deb drones on about her ever-evolving models, followed by a very hoarse Tony, who croaks the same statements he made the day before about "the curve" and "mitigation, mitigation, mitigation" while assiduously avoiding any suggestion that the "pandemic" could be over any time soon or that there could be any proven effective treatment.

Then it's the media jackals' turn. Day after day these morons jabber at Trump with accusations disguised as questions: Why has governor so-and-so or such-and-such hospital not received enough test kits/ventilators/masks/gowns/gloves/breath mints?

... ... ...

At today's briefing, one reporter attempted to elicit from Fauci a declaration that, no matter what Trump might think, America cannot "return to normal" without a vaccine whose development is, conveniently enough for the media-DNC complex, at least a year away. Fauci's meandering response was a dog whistle that, if he has anything to say about it, the country will remain under some level of lockdown until there is a largely ineffective or even harmful vaccine, like the one he advocated for the swine flu of 2009.

The Fake News media are laboring to elevate Fauci, a star in the Leftist galaxy whose center is Bill Gates, to the status of Recovery Czar whose "medical opinion" will determine the fate of the nation

[Apr 20, 2020] NYC vs Singapore: Discipline, competence and sound management do matter

Apr 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

hopehely , Apr 19 2020 18:19 utc | 54

Posted by: vk | Apr 19 2020 17:49 utc | 53
NY has 8.4 million inhabitants - in an 302.6 square miles area.

Singapore has 5.6 million inhabitants in 280.2 square miles area.
Discipline, competence and sound management do matter.

[Apr 20, 2020] Trump's cuts to the WHO are self-serving, but he also has a point WHO has become a bloated bureaucracy riddled with politickin

Apr 20, 2020 | www.rt.com

The US is the biggest funder of the World Health Organization and his announcement drew widespread criticism. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose foundation was the second-biggest funder of the WHO in 2018-19, called the decision " as dangerous as it sounds ."

Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.

-- Bill Gates (@BillGates) April 15, 2020

Trump also faces a battle with Congress, which is actually responsible for allocating funding. I'm not a fan of Trump, but to some extent he has a point.

There have been plenty of critics of the WHO's handling of the outbreak. The organization's initial response is now seen as far too accepting of the official Chinese government line in the first few weeks. In particular, a single social media message has come back to haunt it. On January 14, the organization said on Twitter: " Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China. "

Defenders of the WHO point to guidance sent to governments on January 10 and 11, outlining the way the virus spreads and asking health officials to be alert to any 'evidence of amplified or sustained human-to-human transmission.' Those WHO supporters also note that Trump himself had tweeted support for Beijing's handling of the situation in the early days of the outbreak. For many observers, Trump's attacks on the WHO are self-serving, designed to deflect criticism away from his initially slow and skeptical response to what he calls the "Chinese virus."

While the WHO was perhaps too slow on the uptake, we should be wary of critics' implication that it should be given the job of policing national governments. For now, the WHO is in an awkward position of having to deal with the politics of different member countries while responding to health emergencies. Moreover, the WHO 'cried wolf' over the 2009 swine flu pandemic. The WHO's director general at the time, Margaret Chan, famously said " All of humanity is under threat " from the outbreak, but it proved to be far less deadly than feared. A bit more caution over the new coronavirus was probably sensible.

[Apr 20, 2020] What If the Lockdown Was All A Big Mistake by Ron Paul

Goldman Sachs predicts that the economy will shrink 34 percent in the second quarter, with unemployment leaping to 15 percent.
Notable quotes:
"... Across the US, millions of businesses have been shut down by "executive order" and the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to levels not seen since the Great Depression. ..."
"... What if the "cure" is worse than the disease? ..."
Apr 20, 2020 | ronpaulinstitute.org

From California to New Jersey, Americans are protesting in the streets. They are demanding an end to house arrest orders given by government officials over a virus outbreak that even according to the latest US government numbers will claim fewer lives than the seasonal flu outbreak of 2017-2018.

Across the US, millions of businesses have been shut down by "executive order" and the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Americans, who have seen their real wages decline thanks to Federal Reserve monetary malpractice, are finding themselves thrust into poverty and standing in breadlines. It is like a horror movie, but it's real.

Last week the UN Secretary General warned that a global recession resulting from the worldwide coronavirus lockdown could cause "hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths per year." As of this writing, less than 170,000 have been reported to have died from the coronavirus worldwide.

Many Americans have also died this past month because they were not able to get the medical care they needed. Cancer treatments have been indefinitely postponed. Life-saving surgeries have been put off to make room for coronavirus cases. Meanwhile hospitals are laying off thousands because the expected coronavirus cases have not come and the hospitals are partially empty.

What if the "cure" is worse than the disease?

[Apr 20, 2020] The USS COVID-19, from Guam to Puget Sound

Apr 20, 2020 | blackagendareport.com

I reported on early disruptions two weeks ago in " Pentagon Orders All Installations to Stop Reporting COVID-19 Infections and Deaths ," and there've been more since.

The US Navy's Pacific Command is not in its normal operational mode, although I'm sure someone could figure out how to fire off a few nuclear bombs if they perceived the need in some Strangelovian scenario. The USS Nimitz was supposed to relieve the USS Roosevelt in the Pacific, and now it's stuck in Bremerton with COVID-19 and/or fears of it, while the Roosevelt is stuck in Guam, with sailors sick and even dying in hospitals, 600 hundred more infected, and a skeleton crew of 1000 tending its nuclear reactors.

The natives in both places fear infection spreading through the ranks and into their communities. On April 13, the Kitsap Sun reported that "U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, is asking the Navy to boost pay for shipyard workers and provide them additional personal protection amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

There have been 128 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death in Kitsap County, and on April 14 the Sun reported that "Kitsap County's drive-thru testing site reopened Tuesday to an expanded pool of people who are eligible for free COVID-19 testing." At least one sailor aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Vinson, also docked at Kitsap Naval Base, has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

[Apr 19, 2020] Bickering between two major parties: Trump slams 'rude nasty' Dems admitting Covid-19 cooperation bad between parties

Don't shoot the piano player...
Notable quotes:
"... "No matter what you do for the Do Nothing Democrats, no matter how GREAT a job you are doing, they will only respond to their Fake partners in the Lamestream Media in the negative, even in a time of crisis," ..."
"... "rude and nasty" ..."
"... "He gave them everything that they would have wanted to hear in terms of gaining ground on the CoronaVirus, but nothing that anyone could have said, including 'it's over,' could have made them happy," ..."
"... "They were RUDE and NASTY. This is their political playbook, and they will use it right up to the election on November 3rd," ..."
"... "America will not be fooled!!!" ..."
"... "never been so mad about a phone call" ..."
"... "the administration still doesn't have a plan to track daily testing capacity in every lab in the country, publicly release that data, and put forward a plan and timeline for identifying gaps." ..."
Apr 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

Donald Trump slammed Democrats for a "rude and nasty" phone call with the vice president over the Covid-19 pandemic, and theorized nothing will satisfy them as they try to "fool" America in November's election.

"No matter what you do for the Do Nothing Democrats, no matter how GREAT a job you are doing, they will only respond to their Fake partners in the Lamestream Media in the negative, even in a time of crisis," Trump tweeted on Saturday.

He added that his working relationship with Democrats during the Covid-19 pandemic has been "even worse" than before and revealed senators held a "rude and nasty" conference call with Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the White House Coronavirus Task Force, on Friday where little progress was made.

"He gave them everything that they would have wanted to hear in terms of gaining ground on the CoronaVirus, but nothing that anyone could have said, including 'it's over,' could have made them happy," the president vented.

"They were RUDE and NASTY. This is their political playbook, and they will use it right up to the election on November 3rd," he continued, adding that "America will not be fooled!!!"

No matter what you do for the Do Nothing Democrats, no matter how GREAT a job you are doing, they will only respond to their Fake partners in the Lamestream Media in the negative, even in a time of crisis. I thought it would be different, but it's not. In fact, it's even worse...

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2020

....them happy, or even a little bit satisfied. They were RUDE and NASTY. This is their political playbook, and they will use it right up to the election on November 3rd. They will not change because they feel that this is the only way they can win. America will not be fooled!!!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2020

Some lawmakers have expressed just as much animosity over the talk as the president. Maine Sen. Angus King (I) said he has "never been so mad about a phone call" in his life.

A point of contention appears to be Trump's desire to begin rolling back stay-at-home orders and reopening the US economy next month, while many Democrats insist more Covid-19 testing must be done first.

Also on rt.com 'We're being held hostage!' Minnesota governor eases coronavirus lockdown after angry outcry from #ReopenMN protesters

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire) tweeted after the call that she is concerned "the administration still doesn't have a plan to track daily testing capacity in every lab in the country, publicly release that data, and put forward a plan and timeline for identifying gaps."

Various governors, such as New York's Andrew Cuomo, continue to insist more thorough testing and tracing of the virus is needed before they consider reopening their states and easing back lockdown orders, while places like Texas, Minnesota, and Florida have already begun dropping restrictions as more and more citizens take to demonstrating and protesting against the measures.

Also on rt.com 'Fire Fauci, let us work': No social distancing as Alex Jones joins hundreds in rally against Covid-19 lockdown measures in Texas

[Apr 19, 2020] The coronavirus crisis has exposed the relative merits of nations, so the entire world can see, for example, how broken and corrupt the US is, with no leadership to speak of

Level of mismanaging of epidemic in Trump administration is staggering. Initially they ignored it, but then switch to full panic mode facilitated by such questionable experts as Fauci. Panic reaction with "one size fits all" quarantine measures created record unemployment.
BTW NIH fiscal year 2020 budget totals $41.6 billion.
The fact that Fauci did nothing to protect NY metropolitan areas means that he is incompetent to hold this position.
Apr 19, 2020 | www.washingtonpost.com

More than a dozen U.S. researchers, physicians and public health experts, many of them from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were working full time at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization as the novel coronavirus emerged late last year and transmitted real-time information about its discovery and spread in China to the Trump administration, according to U.S. and international officials.

A number of CDC staffers are regularly detailed to work at WHO in Geneva as part of a rotation that has operated for years. Senior Trump-appointed health officials also consulted regularly at the highest levels with the WHO as the crisis unfolded, the officials said.

The presence of so many U.S. officials undercuts President Trump's charge that the WHO's failure to communicate the extent of the threat, born of a desire to protect China, is largely responsible for the rapid spread of the virus in the United States.

Saggy April 19, 2020 at 1:54 pm GMT

What a great paragaph – summary ..

There is hope. The coronavirus crisis has exposed the relative merits of nations, so the entire world can see, for example, how broken and corrupt the US is, with no leadership to speak of. Dawdling, it failed to prevent needless deaths, then shut down much of the country, bankrupting thousands of businesses and throwing millions out of work. As a fix, it throws mere crumbs at desperate citizens, while bailing out the big banks, again.

[Apr 19, 2020] So our vaunted Navy is sick as a dog now

Apr 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Apr 19 2020 15:48 utc | 10

Trump knew!

Americans at World Health Organization transmitted real-time information about coronavirus to Trump administration

So our vaunted Navy is sick as a dog now:

The USS COVID-19, from Guam to Puget Sound

I've been fond of Ms Garrison as a commentator on military affairs for some time. From a few days ago.

[Apr 19, 2020] Dear Government officials, Please don't publicly advertise you own ineptitude

Don't shoot the piano player...
Notable quotes:
"... "No matter what you do for the Do Nothing Democrats, no matter how GREAT a job you are doing, they will only respond to their Fake partners in the Lamestream Media in the negative, even in a time of crisis," ..."
"... "rude and nasty" ..."
"... "He gave them everything that they would have wanted to hear in terms of gaining ground on the CoronaVirus, but nothing that anyone could have said, including 'it's over,' could have made them happy," ..."
"... "They were RUDE and NASTY. This is their political playbook, and they will use it right up to the election on November 3rd," ..."
"... "America will not be fooled!!!" ..."
Apr 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

Donald Trump slammed Democrats for a "rude and nasty" phone call with the vice president over the Covid-19 pandemic, and theorized nothing will satisfy them as they try to "fool" America in November's election.

"No matter what you do for the Do Nothing Democrats, no matter how GREAT a job you are doing, they will only respond to their Fake partners in the Lamestream Media in the negative, even in a time of crisis," Trump tweeted on Saturday.

He added that his working relationship with Democrats during the Covid-19 pandemic has been "even worse" than before and revealed senators held a "rude and nasty" conference call with Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the White House Coronavirus Task Force, on Friday where little progress was made.

"He gave them everything that they would have wanted to hear in terms of gaining ground on the CoronaVirus, but nothing that anyone could have said, including 'it's over,' could have made them happy," the president vented.

"They were RUDE and NASTY. This is their political playbook, and they will use it right up to the election on November 3rd," he continued, adding that "America will not be fooled!!!"

[Apr 19, 2020] Fire Fauci, let us work

Notable quotes:
"... "fascist Fauci," ..."
"... "Do you think Anthony Fauci should be fired?" ..."
"... "Fire Fauci." ..."
Apr 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

Texans flocked to the state's Capitol in Austin to protest Covid-19 lockdown measures, refusing to practice social distancing and cheering for Dr. Anthony Fauci to be fired by President Donald Trump. In attendance at Saturday's 'You Can't Close America' Rally were InfoWars founder Alex Jones and host Owen Shroyer, who led the crowd of some 200 people in chants against the mainstream media and officials like Fauci.

Shroyer, who referred to the doctor as "fascist Fauci," asked the crowd: "Do you think Anthony Fauci should be fired?" , before leading them in chants of "Fire Fauci."

[Apr 19, 2020] This old idiot Fauci

Apr 19, 2020 | twitter.com

MARK SIMONE ‏ 5:50 PM - 18 Apr 2020

Don't blame FOX, Mr. Fake News CNN. On March 9th, Dr. Anthony Fauci recommended taking a cruise, telling Forbes Magazine that if you're healthy, cruise ships are safe: https://www. forbes.com/sites/douggoll an/2020/03/09/fauci-says-cruising-is-ok-if-you-are-healthy/amp/ https:// twitter.com/oliverdarcy/st atus/1251615953978306564

[Apr 18, 2020] I did get an impression while reading the article that the CDC had its arms twisted to grant re-accreditation to the facility due to pressure from the White House

Apr 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Apr 18 2020 21:40 utc | 65

Peter AU 1 @ 46, James @ 52:

Parts of that Wired.com story read like a stenographed PR release so I am not sure really what to make of it. The story seems to make light of the safety breaches that were occurring at the Fort Detrick lab. While it is likely that most breaches (apart from the waste disposal issue and the use of chemical rather than thermal treatment of waste) appeared to be minor OHS-type breaches and appropriate staff training was all that was required, I did get an impression while reading the article that the CDC had its arms twisted to grant re-accreditation to the facility due to pressure from the White House to get a vaccine ready in time before November this year.

Bemildred , Apr 18 2020 21:43 utc | 66

Some interesting bits:

Coronavirus testing delayed by contamination at US government lab, report says

Cheap gas is back:

How much is gas? Prices continue to drop due to coronavirus. Here's where gas is selling for under $1.

[Apr 18, 2020] Navy Reports Alarming 'Stealth Transmission' Rate 60% Of Infected Carrier Crew Symptom-Free

Apr 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Navy Reports Alarming 'Stealth Transmission' Rate: 60% Of Infected Carrier Crew Symptom-Free by Tyler Durden Fri, 04/17/2020 - 13:44 In an extremely worrisome development signaling the coronavirus peak in the United States could last longer than expected, the US Navy has found that most COVID-19 cases aboard the virus-stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt are among sailors who are asymptomatic .

"Sweeping testing of the entire crew of the coronavirus-stricken U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt may have revealed a clue about the pandemic: The majority of the positive cases so far are among sailors who are asymptomatic, officials say," Reuters reports.

This suggests the virus could be spreading more frequently by stealth mode in the broader population, with many more people than is known walking around walking around with the disease unawares.

Nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, via AP/VOA

At least 655 Roosevelt sailors have now tested positive, including one death and multiple hospitalizations, out of a total crew of a about 4,800. It's startling that the Navy has found that out of over 600 COVID-19 infected sailors, the majority have displayed no symptoms . Testing is about 95% complete on the entire crew since the ship was diverted to Guam last month amid a spiraling crisis on board.

"With regard to COVID-19, we're learning that stealth in the form of asymptomatic transmission is this adversary's secret power," Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the Navy, told reporters.

The Navy specified that 60% of the Roosevelt's positive cases "so far have not shown symptoms". Crucially, Reuters points out that the "figure is higher than the 25% to 50% range offered on April 5 by Dr. Anthony Fauci" .

This is likely due the fact that enlisted military ranks tend to be already very healthy individuals in their 20's and early 30's. The carrier crew also provides a key active case study given the isolation of nearly 5,000 people apart from broader society, and the young, fit demographic.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told NBC's Today on Thursday that the conclusions regarding asymptomatic spread aboard the ship conclusions are "disconcerting". Esper said, "It has revealed a new dynamic of this virus: that it can be carried by normal, healthy people who have no idea whatsoever that they are carrying it ," Esper said.

While this is not a new revelation, the case of the Roosevelt carrier and its crew provides shocking and clear confirmation that this reality is likely playing out on a much broader scale than previously thought.

[Apr 18, 2020] Finally, over 4000 sailors have now been evacuated from the ship (1000 are still onboard to operate the nuclear reactor and other key systems).

Apr 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Originally from: Will this pandemic finally mark the end of the US carrier fleet, by The Saker - The Unz Review

Today, however, I won't discuss the missile issue, but what happened recently on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which you probably know about: her captain got fired for writing a letter (according to his accusers, bypassing the chain of command) asking for help because his crew got infected by the virus. His letter was published by the San Francisco Chronicle and you can read it here .

Interestingly, when the captain, Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, left the ship, his sailors gave him a standing ovation:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OaqS6sbNknw?feature=oembed

Next, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly called Captain Crozier "stupid . That also became public, and he had to apologize and resign (clearly, Modly is not exactly a genius himself!). Then even more of the crew of the carrier got sick, including Crozier himself !

This is what is known in the US military jargon as a "clusterbleep"

There is, however, also a lot of interesting stuff coming out from this story.

First, the obvious: USN carriers cannot operate effectively under a bio-attack (a truly weaponized virus would both be much more transmissible than SARS-COV-2 and it would be far more deadly). This also indicates that they would probably do no better under a real chemical warfare attack either.

Considering that in reality USN carriers are a instrument of colonial repression and not ships to be engaged against the USSR (which had real biowarfare capabilities), this makes sense (while most university labs & the like could produce some kind of virus and use it as a weapon, truly weaponized viruses, the kind effectively used in special delivery systems, can only be produced by a limited list of countries). However, in theory, all the formations/units/subunits/ships/aircraft/armor/etc of a military superpower should be trained to operate in case of a nuclear, chemical and biological attack. Clearly, this is not the case with US carriers, most likely because nobody in the USA really expected such an attack, at least not during the Cold War.

For the current situation, however, I think that the lesson is clear: the USN simply does not have an effective capability to operate under NBC attack conditions.

By the way, this appears to also be true of the French, whose only carrier has 30% infected sailors !

Second, I agree that going outside the chain of command is wrong, but let's also consider the following here: the fact that the USS Theodore Roosevelt was having a large number of infected sailors is not something which could have been kept secret anyway, especially while in port. Not only that, but how do we know that Capt. Crozier did not write other memos through the regular chain of command before he wrote the one which became public? After all, any such memos could very easily be classified and never made public.

Finally, I will admit that my sympathies are squarely with the man who placed the lives of his man and women above all else, and not with the bureaucratic drone who put procedures and ruffled feathers above the lives of sailors and called the real officer "stupid" for his actions (wait! a USN carrier captain stupid?! Somehow I don't think so ..).

At the time of writing (April 14th) there have been 600 sailors from the Theodore Roosevelt who contracted the virus and one death .

Finally, over 4000 sailors have now been evacuated from the ship (1000 are still onboard to operate the nuclear reactor and other key systems).

In other words, the USS Theodore Roosevelt is now completely inoperable!

The quoted CNN article concludes with:

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten told reporters Thursday the US military needed to plan for similar outbreaks in the future as the Defense Department works to cope with the virus' impacts. " I think it's not a good idea to think the Teddy Roosevelt is a one-of-a-kind issue. We have too many ships at sea, we have too many deployed capabilities. There's 5,000 sailors on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. To think it will never happen again is not a good way to plan. What we have to do is figure out how to plan in these kind of Covid environments, " Hyten said.

Yet more proof that the USN never took a bioattack threat seriously.

To be honest, it seems that the US Army has similar problems, here is a map of affected US bases I found on Colonel Cassad's blog :

[Apr 18, 2020] Naval Secretary Thomas Motly -- who missed his calling as a political commissar in the old Red Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Miley and Chief of Naval Operations Mike Gilday who both are testament to the Peter Principle that determines promotion in today's military

Apr 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

As to the Crozier scandal, let's be clear: it is not a matter of ethics alone, but also of ability to meet critical obligations. In the event that the country found itself at war against a serious enemy, it is a dangerous liability to have in positions of command people like Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (hack lobbyist for Raytheon and the Aerospace Industries Association ), Naval Secretary Thomas Motly -- who missed his calling as a political commissar in the old Red Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Miley and Chief of Naval Operations Mike Gilday who both are testament to the Peter Principle that determines promotion in today's military. They would either be washed out in the wake of gross failures, or continue to be albatrosses dragging out pointless missions like the 17 bemedaled but clueless U.S. generals who have proven so useless in Afghanistan. As it is, they seem unable to keep their warships from slamming into inanimate objects in placid waters.

Here are Motly's last remarks before riding off to join corporate boards: "The men and women of the Department of the Navy deserve a continuity of civilian leadership befitting our great Republic, and the decisive naval force that secures our way of life he acknowledged that he "lost situational awareness" during his address to the Roosevelt's crew." "There is no excuse, but perhaps a glimpse of understanding, and hopefully empathy. I am deeply sorry for some of the words and for how they spread across the media landscape like a wildfire." (The New York Times -- ever twisting its hat with eyes averted in the presence of intimidating Presidential authority -- features a long letter from Motly justifying his actions, 4/7. Only 3, 1 Republican, 2 Democrats, protested Crozier's mistreatment. Among the silent chorus were the 22/23 aspirants to the Democratic nomination who bored us stiff for fifteen months with their unceasing calls for "LEADERSHIP!" 'Profiles In Courage' is not a best-seller at the Capitol. Even Dr. Fauce doesn't have a copy.

Absence of accountability is incompatible with good governance. That is especially true in democracies where accountability is ultimately downwards. In a country like China, where accountability is primarily upward, the circle can be squared by the occasional resort to putting some miscreant up against the wall. We don't have that luxury. Here, it is only the weak, the indigent and the naïve who need fear punishment -- of any kind. The powerful and well-connected worry less about a last cigarette than about their first.

[Apr 17, 2020] Ranting In A Time Of Plague by Michael Brenner

Notable quotes:
"... FEMA and Homeland Security are but the most glaring example of departments stocked with hacks capable only of crippling the organizations that they are supposed to direct. They even corrupted the Center for Disease Control. ..."
"... The readiness of executives to do anything necessary to protect against exposure of their own failures or illicit actions has become commonplace within our institutions. ..."
"... As to the Crozier scandal, let's be clear: it is not a matter of ethics alone, but also of ability to meet critical obligations. ..."
"... Naval Secretary Thomas Motly – who missed his calling as a political commissar in the old Red Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Miley and Chief of Naval Operations Mike Gilday who both are testament to the Peter Principle that determines promotion in today's military. ..."
"... An [neoliberal] "oligarchy" has no interest in the long-term prosperity and strength of the nation - or perhaps, they simply have no faith in it. They are motivated to strip-mine the nation of all wealth while it lasts, because if they don't someone else will. They can live in walled compounds and go to private doctors, and if it all falls apart they can just gather up their loot and sail away on their yachts. ..."
"... After all the agony and hysteria surrounding the election of Trump for 3 years, they will nominate an elderly warmonger with obvious signs of dementia, who can't seem to keep his hands off women in a creepy fashion - as the alternative. It's as if there was a contest on how extreme a "lesser of two evils" can get. Tack on Covid and financial ruin. It's astounding. ..."
"... Come this epidemic and what do we see? What we see is that at least the UK government, the US government and the Canadian government were lying. It is quite clear that they were NOT expecting to be attacked. How do I know they were not expecting to be attacked? They had NO stores of hand sanitizer, NO stores of masks, NO goggles, NO stores of PPE, No factories for making any of them. NO troops of Bio/Chem warfare soldiers ready to spring into action and NO PLANS, as far as I can see. Are we to assume that if they were attacked by, say, the Russians, they were going to rely on the Chinese to supply them? (Sarcasm!) ..."
"... Lol. Trump has under 4 years working for the federal gov. It isn't his system. It is the typical repugs and dingbats system. He is an idiot for leaving his cushy life to join these idiots. It certainly doesn't speak well of his judgement. The people who work there and the people he has hired... Pompeo, Bolton, Esper, etc have worked there for decades. Bolton is an especially rotten character that seems to just keep popping up. ..."
"... i would like to emphasize a key point you make - accountability, and how there is none.. that to me is the number uno issue in the world today and it is very stark with regard to the usa - accountability... of course obama kicked that concept down the road too... no accountability.. it sucks big time.. we need it desperately... ..."
"... Okay... he's not a psychoapath, Don. I'll settle malignant sociopathic narcissist, which means by definition and demonstration that he would not know empathy were it to leap up and smack him in the face. Liar? We can soften that too. He is a serial fantasists living in the worlds he creates and like a spoiled child demands, raging when his wishes are not instantly gratified. ..."
"... When I was young I was always looking up for US, don't know why, maybe I have been fascinated by a culture, lifestyle, innovations.. when I got older and started to read about what actually happens in the world, I realized that US is not what it seemed to be anymore and I think its just getting worse.. ..."
"... Basically, no matter if is there Trump, Obama, Bush, Biden, Hillary or Easter Bunny.. your government to its core is really sick.. ..."
"... Everytime i read about decision US made, how is profit driven at expense of regular people, its a disgrace.. and more and more people in the world can see it.. just Trump himself exposed more the whole thing, chaotic, selfish, rude and arrogant government, not ashamed of anything. ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

Collective tragedy is always a learning experience. So it has been for great wars, natural disasters, economic collapses, political revolutions. The COVID-19 pandemic is such a tragedy. Although the number of casualties may pale compared to the carnage of war, there are ancillary effects that leave us shocked and sobered. Most obviously, there is sudden onset of a severe economic depression with attendant social distress whose toll we will be registering for years to come. Then, there is the exposure of how incompetent our public institutions have become – the callous inhumanity of those who rule in Washington matched only by their clownish ineptitude. It is in the realm of these latter intangibles that we should look first for morals and lessons.

Overriding all else is the spectacle of a President, duly elected by the American people, who is a malicious psychopath with not a single redeeming trait. A physical, intellectual and emotional spectre who would defy our imaginative powers were he not on display before our eyes. He has gathered around him a witch's coven of scoundrels, crooks and crackpots as bereft of mind and ethics as he is. They also are inveterate liars; Trump himself is a congenital liar since clinical narcissism is inborn. Yet, we refer to this motley assemblage as an 'administration' – in our impulse to 'normalize' the abominable. No dry bill of particulars is necessary, nor could it do justice, to the squalid theater we see played out before us on a daily basis. This man, at this moment, is viewed favorably by 46% of the public. That reality eclipses everything else.

There is no organized opposition worthy of the name. This is the second great failure of our democracy. The Democratic Party creaks under the weight of geriatric nominal leaders – plodding along without conviction, without will, without the integrity to free itself from the monied interests and the self-serving careerists who have dragged it into the mire. Yes, they may succeed, come November, in sparing the Republic the coup de grace of four more Trumpian years. This despite their suicidal instinct in choosing Joe Biden to bear the standard – a man barely robust enough to keep the banner from dragging in the dust on his slog along the campaign trail. This bunch can't even get themselves to a microphone for a news clip at a time of historic crisis aggravated by the atrocious sins of the existing government. Surely, a first. Worried about Covid-19 contagion? Order a box of alcohol wipes from China. Instead, Biden makes a call to Trump for what both agree was a 'nice conversation.' What does that get him?

Cuomo has to placate Trump with soothing words – even at the expense of lying about how much aid New York actually received from Washington – since the lives of his people are at stake. For Biden, the opposite is true; avoiding soothing words is crucial since the November election is dependent on undercutting Trump and discrediting him.

Three, the United States is a poorly governed country. Manifest ineptitude in performing collective functions is by no means limited to Washington under Trump. It has become a feature of the institutional landscape. True, the Trumpites have launched a dedicated campaign to realize the anti-government fanatics' wet dream of disabling all public agencies. FEMA and Homeland Security are but the most glaring example of departments stocked with hacks capable only of crippling the organizations that they are supposed to direct. They even corrupted the Center for Disease Control. Its leaders, evidently eager to curry favor with the madman in the Oval Office, gave its stamp of approval to the unproven – and dangerous drug HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE that Trump's been promoting as the Silver Bullet to cure Covid-19. (April 4-6) Luckily, saner heads prevailed, or a conscience was pricked, and these panting spaniels withdrew the recommendation from their website.

... ... ...

At local levels, just look at the condition of infrastructure, of pension funds – of public health. The extremity – and, frankly, the absurdity - of what's happening in the health sector is highlighted by what we see elsewhere in the world. Face masks, including ones that actually provide protection, are readily available throughout East Asia – and elsewhere. A personal anecdote: relatives in Tunisia are mailing me N95 masks which they purchased in their neighborhood pharmacies. Indeed, as of April 8, Tunisia had produced by their own resources, and distributed 30 million masks to a population of 11 million. The equivalent here would be 1 billion masks! (Minus the 1 million sent express to Israel by the Pentagon as a ritual gift of fealty.) In America, we are offered instructions on how to sew a (probably useless) mask out of discarded T-shirts. MAGA!! Hospital directors fire nurses who buy their own equipment out of concern that they will be upstaged and exposed as the callous, profit obsessed bozos they are. Yet, we blind ourselves to the realities of other nations – because to do so is embarrassing, because our so-called leaders are protecting their behinds, and because we compulsively retain our dogmatic faith in American superiority.*

The readiness of executives to do anything necessary to protect against exposure of their own failures or illicit actions has become commonplace within our institutions. The current Corona crisis puts that reality into the headlines – as with the despicable act of the Pentagon in dismissing summarily Captain Brett Crozier whose petition made known that his superiors were prepared to sacrifice his crew's lives to the imperative of hiding their own errors. Is this notion that 'anything goes except accountability' any different from Harvard's studied silence about its embrace of Jeffrey Epstein or its abrupt sacking of a professor who dared reveal that the President was sweeping under the academic rug rampant sexual abuses? We all have personal experience of similar stories.

As to the Crozier scandal, let's be clear: it is not a matter of ethics alone, but also of ability to meet critical obligations. In the event that the country found itself at war against a serious enemy, it is a dangerous liability to have in positions of command people like Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (hack lobbyist for Raytheon and the Aerospace Industries Association ), Naval Secretary Thomas Motly – who missed his calling as a political commissar in the old Red Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Miley and Chief of Naval Operations Mike Gilday who both are testament to the Peter Principle that determines promotion in today's military. They would either be washed out in the wake of gross failures, or continue to be albatrosses dragging out pointless missions like the 17 bemedaled but clueless U.S. generals who have proven so useless in Afghanistan. As it is, they seem unable to keep their warships from slamming into inanimate objects in placid waters.

Here are Motly's last remarks before riding off to join corporate boards: "The men and women of the Department of the Navy deserve a continuity of civilian leadership befitting our great Republic, and the decisive naval force that secures our way of life he acknowledged that he "lost situational awareness" during his address to the Roosevelt's crew." "There is no excuse, but perhaps a glimpse of understanding, and hopefully empathy. I am deeply sorry for some of the words and for how they spread across the media landscape like a wildfire." (The New York Times – ever twisting its hat with eyes averted in the presence of intimidating Presidential authority – features a long letter from Motly justifying his actions, 4/7. Only 3, 1 Republican, 2 Democrats, protested Crozier's mistreatment. Among the silent chorus were the 22/23 aspirants to the Democratic nomination who bored us stiff for fifteen months with their unceasing calls for "LEADERSHIP!" 'Profiles In Courage' is not a best-seller at the Capitol. Even Dr. Fauce doesn't have a copy.

Absence of accountability is incompatible with good governance. That is especially true in democracies where accountability is ultimately downwards. In a country like China, where accountability is primarily upward, the circle can be squared by the occasional resort to putting some miscreant up against the wall. We don't have that luxury. Here, it is only the weak, the indigent and the naïve who need fear punishment – of any kind. The powerful and well-connected worry less about a last cigarette than about their first.

In compiling a list of factors that have contributed to the drastic decline in the performance of American institutions, this parochialism figures prominently among them. We put up with levels of dereliction matched in the developed world only by Britain. Think of the debate over Medicare-for-All and like proposals. As alluded to in an earlier commentary, the best national medical insurance systems (as confirmed by the WHO and other independent bodies) are in Western Europe, Canada and Japan – France topping the list. Yet, their expenditure on those systems is only 2/3 of what we pay for our own ramshackle non-system. That fact is ignored. Instead, the political class agonizes over the specious issue of whether we can afford it. Joe Biden has pledged to veto any such plan on grounds that it would cost $35 trillion – or whatever number has floated into his fog-bound mind. This lethal combination of ignorance, dogmatism and fidelity to special interests has come to be a hallmark of how we approach government and the meeting of collective needs.

A full treatment of the several intertwined, mutually reinforcing elements that have led us along the path of decline is well beyond the limits of a brief commentary. A few, though, do deserve to be mentioned for what – one hopes – might be future reference. One is the 'privatization ' craze. It has become the preferred method for transferring public assets to private profiteers. The effects are degraded services, the loss of expertise in public bodies, the exploitation of workers and the abandonment of intelligent planning (ventilators anyone?). With the COVID-19 affair, we've reached the ultimate privatization: the Federal Reserve has hired BlackRock to conduct its operations on the bond market as the central component of its $4 trillion Quantitative Easing strategy (BlackRock itself being the dominant player on that market). The same effects have been produced by the swarm of hedge funds and private equity who are parasites feeding on the prostrate host that is the real economy and its dependents. American society celebrates, and empowers, these critters. Then there are the ' consultants ' – the locust hordes which our culture designates as vital contributors to the good works of government, of business, of universities, of charities, of sports teams, of hospitals, of failing marriages, of the US Army that puts guns in their hands. They, too, add to the toll on public competence and collective services.

Another anecdote: the city of Austin, Texas has hired a consulting firm to advise them on designs for a reconfiguration of the street that runs in front of the University of Texas. Should the sidewalks be 8' wide or 10' wide? Curbed or uncurbed? With bicycle racks or without? These matters evidently are beyond the competence of the city government, and of the University's 3,000 strong expert faculty.

'My Kingdom for a tape measure!' How about a 69-cent face mask?

*Consider this. During WW II, the Kaiser shipyard in Richmond, CA – along with its 17 counterparts - were able to construct 2,710 Liberty ships between 1941 and 1945 (an average of three ships every two days), In other words, it took each yard just twelve days to put a ship in the water. That was the work of Rosie the Riveter and her colleagues. Today, we struggle to produce a few thousand $1 face masks - much less reliable COVID-19 test kits. Of course, back then the country was led by responsible adults – not the bunch of clods and delinquents we're stuck with nowadays.

Posted by b on April 17, 2020 at 14:00 UTC | Permalink


Walter , Apr 17 2020 14:27 utc | 3
Well and artfully crafted rant. I wish all rants were are cogent!

The picture sketched? It seems to be a detailed description of.."collapse".

Wally thinks of the coyote and roadrunner...coyote runs off cliff, but falls only when he realizes that the ground has collapsed under himself.

For the moment...people, like 'b', are looking down...

What's next? QED

"film at 11" they used to say...

Jose Garcia , Apr 17 2020 14:29 utc | 5
If this virus is not a nasty flu, then what is it? A plague? Similar in effect as the Black Death? Had 2 members of my family and a dear friend catch this thing. 2 of them suffered just 3 days of a fluctuating fever and cold symptoms. After that it disappeared. Only one, my aunt, in her early seventies, had to be put on a respirator. But is recovering well. Is it worth it to bring our economy to absolute devastation, where good people lose everything, end up destitute, having to live in the streets, with no where to go? \

And rely on bureaucrats, our government, whether state or federal, Democrat or Republican or Socialist, for their daily bread? What about people with severe mental health, who need to be away from home, need a job to maintain their stability, now with no work or money, will fall off the deep end, even commit suicide because they have no where to turn? Is it worth it ? Everything we've been doing? Why in other periods in history, with similar diseases, nothing was shut down as profoundly as being done these days, and life went on? People did die, not to mock their passing. But it brings me back. If not a nasty flu, is it worth it?

Seward , Apr 17 2020 14:30 utc | 6
Agree with #1. Our leader, as imperfect as he is, as we all are, is the only leader we have. If he fails to lead us through this crisis, we all fail. IMHO aside from occasional politic-ing, answering charges of one kind or another against him, often the opposite from day to day (e.g. one day he's trying to control everything, now he's abandoned control to the overwhelmed governors), is doing an acceptable job, considering the problems he;'s facing.
M , Apr 17 2020 14:33 utc | 7
Hello,

Couldn't agree more with Don in comment 1, the newfound lust for censorship and evangelism for official right think found here is disappointing, this seems no longer to be a place to ask questions and seek truth sincerely.

Thank you and good bye,

M

Trisha , Apr 17 2020 14:40 utc | 8
What is now obvious has for a long time been concealed: the U.S. is not a democracy, there is no such thing as a "free market", capitalism has proved incapable of meeting the most basic needs during a crisis, there are no leaders accountable to anyone other than our ruling oligarchs, the U.S. is anything but a "bastion of freedom", and most other nations have plenty of justifiable reasons to hate the U.S.

The only question remaining is how long will folks in the U.S. hide from these truths and do nothing about them?

gm , Apr 17 2020 14:43 utc | 9
@ Don Wills | Apr 17 2020 14:14 utc | 1

I agree this is ridiculous. Trump may be a lot of things, but the last thing he would EVER want to do/happen in this election year where was cruising along home-free, is to have this horrible pandemic blow up in front of him.

Also, he would NEVER have taken along and risked his entire family on a useless state visit to India where all they did was attend meaningless photo-op events and watch Indian kids dance the Hindi cha-cha.

Not even his chief of staff Mike Mulvaney went alond (unheard-of for CoS to not accompany a potus on official state visits).

This tells me Trump was (kept?) in the dark about true depth of pandemic risk brewing.

TG , Apr 17 2020 14:44 utc | 10
A fine rant. Well said.

An honest economist (back in the day when there actually were still a few) once said that the key to a nation is whether it ruled by an establishment, or an oligarchy.

An "establishment" is old-money connected etc., but has some sense of ownership and duty. An establishment is willing to forgo short-term profits in favor of long-term strength, because they expect that they or their heirs will be around to have a piece of it. "Establishment" leaders would be FDR, Eisenhower, DeGaulle, Bismarck, Lee Kuan Yew...

An [neoliberal] "oligarchy" has no interest in the long-term prosperity and strength of the nation - or perhaps, they simply have no faith in it. They are motivated to strip-mine the nation of all wealth while it lasts, because if they don't someone else will. They can live in walled compounds and go to private doctors, and if it all falls apart they can just gather up their loot and sail away on their yachts.

bevin , Apr 17 2020 14:45 utc | 11
Very good. I particularly liked:" ..We put up with levels of dereliction matched in the developed world only by Britain..."

See below link for example https://www.rt.com/op-ed/486065-uk-care-homes-disregard/

As to Jose Garcia@5 any decent community would do all that it could to save the lives of its members.

krypton , Apr 17 2020 14:48 utc | 12

For Trump, Brenner can thank the silver-tongued Obama and his murderous secretary of state, both of whom are worst kind of liars - the kind that tell people what they want to hear while doing the opposite.
Eighthman , Apr 17 2020 14:59 utc | 14
Thank you for posting this. The US seems to be like coming to your home and finding Bigfoot seated in a living room chair - with no one expressing any surprise or even interest in his presence.

After all the agony and hysteria surrounding the election of Trump for 3 years, they will nominate an elderly warmonger with obvious signs of dementia, who can't seem to keep his hands off women in a creepy fashion - as the alternative. It's as if there was a contest on how extreme a "lesser of two evils" can get. Tack on Covid and financial ruin. It's astounding.

The only positives I can find are evidence that the elite aren't totally in control ( or there would be no Biden or Trump running) AND that the US is too big and dominant to collapse anytime soon - a sort of geo-political inertia. Same goes for the dollar, even if they turn it into high grade toilet paper.

Susan , Apr 17 2020 15:00 utc | 15
This is the first time I have commented on your site but read daily. This is one of the best reads I have seen. It defines the failure of the country so clearly, to bad Don was unable to hear the criticism of his fearless leader and move beyond it. This failure has long roots and the writer nails it. I remember a few years back sitting down with our commissioner and having her explain to us why they were getting nothing done. city and state moneys were lower and the federal government that had always provided grants no longer did. This was under Obummer.

The long strip mining of the US and the rest of the world by the elite should have made itself completely obvious under trump but I am beginning to think that we humans are no more than a plague upon the earth. We seem to be so intent on sticking to our team the Rs or Ds we are no different then sports fans, who's obsessed behavior and willingness to spend thousands to watch sports is mind boggling, when often the same people bitch about teachers pay.

Or during the healthcare debates I went to hear the town hall that my congressmen had. 2000 people showed up most screaming about Obama and free hand outs. The 2000 people where mostly over 65, and in this case military so all these people had theirs but didn't think their own kids or grandkids should have medical care.. what the hell! The Republican Party built the montra of evil government well and the Democratic Party used it the build up the pentagon to the point it takes over 70% of the discretionary budget, to slaughter people in 3rd world countries so we can strip mine them or threaten Russia and China . The virus shows one thing the elites have lots of money to build military stuff that they fleece , so what we have is crap. What the poor soldiers in this country are is fodder for the wealthy.

oglalla , Apr 17 2020 15:06 utc | 17
lol. - Some partisans mount a partisan defense of Trump. I didn't know such incredibly partisan dummies read MoA. You guys are more than welcome to leave.
foolisholdman , Apr 17 2020 15:11 utc | 18
Something occurred to me this afternoon.

Thinking about the Covid-19, it occurred to me that the governments of the UK, the USA, of Canada and probably many other countries that have had biological warfare labs have all said to their people "We have to do this research because the USSR, the Russians The Chinese, The North Koreans or thr Terrorists may use biological/chemical weapons against us and WE MUST BE PREPARED!!. If they were telling the truth they should have been well prepared as they have spent billions on this research. So, now we can see they were lying because, THERE WAS NO PREPARATION WHEN IT WAS NEEDED? Precisely NONE!

Come this epidemic and what do we see? What we see is that at least the UK government, the US government and the Canadian government were lying. It is quite clear that they were NOT expecting to be attacked. How do I know they were not expecting to be attacked? They had NO stores of hand sanitizer, NO stores of masks, NO goggles, NO stores of PPE, No factories for making any of them. NO troops of Bio/Chem warfare soldiers ready to spring into action and NO PLANS, as far as I can see. Are we to assume that if they were attacked by, say, the Russians, they were going to rely on the Chinese to supply them? (Sarcasm!)

The Chinese government which may or may not be developing biological weapons, (I have no way of knowing) obviously, was relatively well prepared. This is hardly surprising; as they think they have been under biological attack, on and off since the Korean war when they were so attacked. They had factories making the kit they needed and it took only days to ramp up production and get other factories to join in. They had medical troops who were trained and ready to take an important part in controlling the outbreak. They had plans that enabled them to build hospitals for mass intensive care in a matter of days and (I would imagine) plans to turn other structures into holding areas for less serious cases. It also looks as though they had either very versatile organizers or well laid plans for feeding and monitoring people under lock down.

Et Tu , Apr 17 2020 15:15 utc | 19
@ Don Wills,

You may understandably reject criticism to Your chosen party of faith, but i believe the essence of his message was not about partisanship, rather an honest appraisal of the current sad state of affairs, which, if you had bothered reading further, was just as scathing about Obama et al. as it was about your beloved Stable Genius.

I'm afraid your choice to not read further was a far stronger statement of partisanship than anything the author laid out. Your loss, and ours too.

Jackrabbit , Apr 17 2020 15:17 utc | 20
TPTB channel all dissatisfaction in USA into partisan politics where it can be managed, and ultimately dismissed or diffused.

This rant plays into that game. Only a genuine Movement for democracy (like Yellow Vests in France) will change anything.

!!

Bemildred , Apr 17 2020 15:22 utc | 21
Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 17 2020 15:11 utc | 19

Yep, exactly. What they have is the CCP, an army that can be called on command, which thinks it's job is to govern, not just get paid extra. And legitimacy, the Chinese people accept their governing, mostly, because they try to do a good job. It's like all this unity bullshit they feed us here (see above), but it's real.

Goldhoarder , Apr 17 2020 15:24 utc | 22
Lol. Trump has under 4 years working for the federal gov. It isn't his system. It is the typical repugs and dingbats system. He is an idiot for leaving his cushy life to join these idiots. It certainly doesn't speak well of his judgement. The people who work there and the people he has hired... Pompeo, Bolton, Esper, etc have worked there for decades. Bolton is an especially rotten character that seems to just keep popping up.

If Trump did win another term I wouldnt be surprised to see him back. Remember when that nutjob from Israel that delights in murdering defenseless people came over and gave a speech to Congress? He received an enthusiastic standing ovation. What more needs to be investigated or discussed? It needs to fail and the people will have to suffer in order for more responsible leadership to emerge. The US has waged war on the people of Iraq for 30 fucking years.

Everytime the system is about to collapse from its own corruption they just create more money and threaten other countries with destruction if they attempt to divorce themselves from the IMF "global" economy. The idea that the empire exists to help the average citizen is insane and rather childish thinking. The empire exists to maintain power, control, and a dominant position. By the way... during all this crazyness has anybody bothered to follow what is going on with US/China trade? There was a much publicized 1st stage agreement over the easy issues but CNN warned it might collapse putting the global economy at severe risk. Has the US lost billions of dollars worth of economic inputs the last couple months? What is the USA going to look like if that continues? Without China propping up the US economy the US will have to rely on its own resources. As you mention the US cant produce N95 masks let alone coronavirus test kits. Testing might allow the powers that be to not feel frightened about coming into contact with the drooling masses. They might let us out of our cages so we can start foraging for food.

bevin , Apr 17 2020 15:31 utc | 24
Entirely predictable, (knee jerk motion, robotic) Jackrabbit@22.

Your real objection to this, extremely reasonable, statement:

" ...They even corrupted the Center for Disease Control. Its leaders, evidently eager to curry favor with the madman in the Oval Office, gave its stamp of approval to the unproven – and dangerous drug HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE that Trump's been promoting as the Silver Bullet to cure Covid-19. (April 4-6) Luckily, saner heads prevailed, or a conscience was pricked, and these panting spaniels withdrew the recommendation from their website..."

It is an indication of your general irresponsibility, also exemplified in your casual use of the internet to give, potentially dangerous, medical advice, that you pretend to be dissenting from Brenner because he critiques government. You imply that by doing so he is urging people to support one or other political party. In fact his is a comprehensive critique of the entire political system, whose purpose, for 230+ years has been to prevent the people from governing themselves.

It is a pity to see those tireless and sincere campaigners the Yellow Vests of France drafted into an argument for apathy and defeatism.

james , Apr 17 2020 15:39 utc | 26
thanks michael... i can apply some of these ideas directly to other countries.. i don't care for the usa centric world point view, but i am sure many readers will get into it.. i would like to emphasize a key point you make - accountability, and how there is none.. that to me is the number uno issue in the world today and it is very stark with regard to the usa - accountability... of course obama kicked that concept down the road too... no accountability.. it sucks big time.. we need it desperately...
John , Apr 17 2020 15:42 utc | 27
Okay... he's not a psychoapath, Don. I'll settle malignant sociopathic narcissist, which means by definition and demonstration that he would not know empathy were it to leap up and smack him in the face. Liar? We can soften that too. He is a serial fantasists living in the worlds he creates and like a spoiled child demands, raging when his wishes are not instantly gratified.

His dictatorial moments would be familiar to anyone who ever worked at his jumped up mom 'n pop real estate shop. His blustering, bullying, blaming, bragging, bloviating, and berating are on display each day now at the late afternoon campaign commercial live-from-the-White-House. He's all yours Don.

Martin , Apr 17 2020 15:54 utc | 30
Hey everyone.. not sure how to start

When I was young I was always looking up for US, don't know why, maybe I have been fascinated by a culture, lifestyle, innovations.. when I got older and started to read about what actually happens in the world, I realized that US is not what it seemed to be anymore and I think its just getting worse..

Im not speaking about regular people, of course not, they have worries, goes thru hardships in life, same as me here in Europe.. Basically, no matter if is there Trump, Obama, Bush, Biden, Hillary or Easter Bunny.. your government to its core is really sick..

Everytime i read about decision US made, how is profit driven at expense of regular people, its a disgrace.. and more and more people in the world can see it.. just Trump himself exposed more the whole thing, chaotic, selfish, rude and arrogant government, not ashamed of anything.

I wish you all.. you good and smart people of the US, to win this struggle, get back on track and have a better future, god bless you in your fight.

[Apr 17, 2020] The WHO provided validated working test kits on 16th of January. The USA botched the delopyment due to CDC incompetence and NIH syndrom

Highly recommended!
The USA government was paralyzed by Ukrainegate and impeachment in January.
Notable quotes:
"... Another factor was that any real measures against the virus were a huge blow to the neoliberal globalization and the USA as the central force that pushed neoliberal globalization was vary to implement them. ..."
"... Pentagon treatment of the USS Theodor Roosevelt epidemic was worse than incompetent because clearly, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Instead of looking into the core problem, they decided to find a scapegoat. Why they did not react as soon as problems on Diamond Princess surfaced are unclear to me. They failed even to provide masks. That's simply incredible. I think a bunch of perfumed princes of Pentagon needs to be fired. I wonder what is the situation on submarines. ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Ulenspiegel | 17 April 2020 at 07:18 AM
The WHO provided validated working test kits on 16th of January.

Even if I am not happy with the Chinese policy overall, the main problem in most advanced western countries was and still is that the response of the governments are often poor:

  1. Not implementing a coherent communication strategy. It does not make sense when one minister tells that the virus situation is an real issue and another minister tell you at the same time that everything is not so bad.
  2. Downplaying the infection numbers for domestical political reasons. Complete lack of understanding of an exponential function or more precise the combination of an virus operating on an exponential function, while the own resources are more or less a constant.
  3. Too late start of testing, be it a result of faulty administrative structures, rooky mistakes during test kit development or combination of both.

Fighting a virus is like warfare on the operational level, you start with incomplete information, but have to make important decisions, time is a very important resource, lost time is almost impossible to regain.

likbez , 17 April 2020 at 12:22 PM

@Ulenspiegel | 17 April 2020 at 07:18 AM

Fighting a virus is like warfare on the operational level, you start with incomplete information, but have to make important decisions, time is a very important resource, lost time is almost impossible to regain.
Very true. But we should not forget the role of Pelosi in this mess: Trump administration was partially paralyzed in January by impeachment proceedings. She acted like the fifth column in this respect.

Another factor was that any real measures against the virus were a huge blow to the neoliberal globalization and the USA as the central force that pushed neoliberal globalization was vary to implement them.

IMHO, Trump demonstrated some level of courage by closing flights from China on Jan 31. I guess pressure to postpone this measure further was tremendous. But they missed the time, and it was too late.

3) Too late start of testing, be it a result of faulty administrative structures, rooky mistakes during test kit development, or a combination of both.
That's true, and the CDC needs to be investigated for this blunder. But also implementing social distancing measures and the obligatory wearing of masks in large cities was completely botched.

Retired persons can be quarantined without a major blow to the economy. And that should have been done first. The nursing homes are starkly vulnerable to the coronavirus. It was clear from the beginning. That means that the medical personnel in them need to be provided with full protection gear and isolated with patients. That was not done. On the contrary, they became hotspots that spread the disease.

Treatment of medical personnel, who along with patients in nursing homes are the most vulnerable category, was abysmal. No free hotel stay (for those without children), no special transportation and free meals were provided for them. Even basic protection equipment was absent in home hospitals until late March.

The USA did not have strategic storage of masks and, which is more important, equipment to make them and materials from which they are made. That was a big blunder for which previous administrations also share responsibility.

Pentagon treatment of the USS Theodor Roosevelt epidemic was worse than incompetent because clearly, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Instead of looking into the core problem, they decided to find a scapegoat. Why they did not react as soon as problems on Diamond Princess surfaced are unclear to me. They failed even to provide masks. That's simply incredible. I think a bunch of perfumed princes of Pentagon needs to be fired. I wonder what is the situation on submarines.

[Apr 17, 2020] Trump had better be seen to be fighting the lockdown-shysters, not acquiescing to them, if he wants to get re-elected. If he spends the summer continuing to genuflect before Dr. Falsie, Trump is toast come November.

Apr 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

Digital Samizdat , says: Show Comment April 13, 2020 at 9:16 pm GMT

Great piece from CJ, as usual. Just one quibble:

People will forget all that populism nonsense, and just be grateful for whatever McJobs they can get to be able to pay the interest on their debts, because, hey global capitalism isn't so bad compared to living under house arrest!

Hard to imagine that happening in Americastan, where the economy has been completely destroyed by the lockdown. We'll be lucky 'merely' to have Great Depression levels of unemployment when this madness finally ends.

For all the MAGApedes out there: Trump had better be seen to be fighting the lockdown-shysters, not acquiescing to them, if he wants to get re-elected. If he spends the summer continuing to genuflect before Dr. Falsie, Trump is toast come November.

[Apr 17, 2020] On the Roosevelt Aircraft Carrier 60% of the over 600 infected). They were "healthy" and in their 30-40's and NOT visible as carriers (ouch).

Apr 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , Apr 16 2020 20:32 utc | 34

Is there even going to be a real "recovery"? One thing is sure there will probably still be Coronavirus. This link is to a report on the Roosevelt Aircraft Carrier where "most" of the sailors tested were asymptomatic. (ie. 60% of the over 600 infected). They were "healthy" and in their 30-40's and NOT visible as carriers (ouch).

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-military-sympt/coronavirus-clue-most-cases-aboard-u-s-aircraft-carrier-are-symptom-free-idUSKCN21Y2GB

What this does mean is that unless all the population is tested (4 billion) then there will always be the possibility of a new series of infections.

However, it also suggests that the Detrick scenario, with soldiers visiting Wuhan without knowing or showing that they were infected, could be correct.

[Apr 15, 2020] 'We scared the hell out of the American people' over 'flu,' says Fox News guest -- RT USA News

Notable quotes:
"... "For this, we scared the hell out of the American people, we lost 17 million jobs, we put a major dent in the economy, we closed down the schools... shut down the churches," ..."
"... "You know, this was not, and is not a pandemic. But we do have panic and pandemonium as a result of the hype of this." ..."
"... "aggressively stupid" ..."
"... "Bill Bennett may be a self-proclaimed ethics expert, but he obviously knows very little about logic and cause-and-effect," ..."
"... "It is deeply irresponsible to air this view on national television," ..."
"... "the hell out of the American people." ..."
"... " crucial" ..."
"... "no need to change anything you're doing on a day-to-day basis." ..."
"... "could have saved lives" ..."
"... "the virus decides" ..."
Apr 15, 2020 | www.rt.com

Former education secretary Bill Bennett has been savaged online for suggesting that the coronavirus is "not a pandemic," calling for the lifting of lockdown measures, as the debate rages over reopening the shuttered US economy. More than half a million Americans have caught the coronavirus, with just over 22,000 deaths. While the numbers are dire, the University of Washington's forecasters revised their total predicted Covid-19 deaths down to 60,000 last week, a number comparable to deaths from influenza in 2017-2018, and significantly lower than the six-figure death toll floated by President Donald Trump's top medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, last month.

"For this, we scared the hell out of the American people, we lost 17 million jobs, we put a major dent in the economy, we closed down the schools... shut down the churches," Bennett said on Monday's edition of Fox and Friends. "You know, this was not, and is not a pandemic. But we do have panic and pandemonium as a result of the hype of this."

Fox News contributor Bill Bennett compares coronavirus to the flu, claiming that "this was not and is not a pandemic." pic.twitter.com/Q4oBcXKISV

-- Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) April 13, 2020

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11 and it has been reported in almost every country around the world. Bennett was flayed online for his "aggressively stupid" statement.

"Bill Bennett may be a self-proclaimed ethics expert, but he obviously knows very little about logic and cause-and-effect," wrote author Ward Carroll.

Aggressively stupid Bill Bennett may be a self-professed ethics expert, but he obviously knows little about logic or cause-and-effect.Hey, Billy Boy, do you think there's any relationship between actions taken and the number of #COVID19 fatalities?And get a haircut, old man.

-- Ward Carroll (@wardcarroll) April 13, 2020

"It is deeply irresponsible to air this view on national television," tweeted CNN's Chris Cillizza, while neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol suggested the low death toll was a direct result of the government scaring "the hell out of the American people."

Needless to say, if we have "only" 60,000 deaths, it's BECAUSE "we scared the hell out of the American people," and they radically changed behavior. Or rather: "We" didn't scare anyone. People were alarmed by the facts and adjusted -- despite dangerous happy talk from our president. https://t.co/yTeivjA82F

-- Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) April 13, 2020

My doctor told me he presumes I had #COVID19 and then related #coronavirus pneumonia. I can assure Bill Bennett that even though I exercised and ate well, covid kicked my ass. It was terrifying. I couldn't breathe and thought I was dying.It was nothing like the flu, fool. https://t.co/9BjQvC2yyU

-- Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 13, 2020

Bill Bennett doesn't understand that the only reason my "only" 60,000 people will die is because we're all stuck at home.I've said before. If the GOP thinks this is a hoax then go throw a huge party and invite yours entire family and Trump, and see how it goes. https://t.co/6TR3I0MyXC

-- John Aravosis 🇺🇸 (@aravosis) April 13, 2020

Modeling the spread of infectious diseases is an imprecise science. While the University of Washington's researchers attribute their revised predictions to " crucial" social distancing measures and recommend they remain in place until the end of May, many initial predictions about the virus were wrong. When it first entered the US in January, media outlets urged Americans not to panic, warning them that the flu was a more imminent threat. These same outlets now tell a different story .

Likewise, Fauci himself said in February that there was "no need to change anything you're doing on a day-to-day basis." On Sunday, he told CNN's Jake Tapper that the government "could have saved lives" if social distancing started earlier.

With commentators on the right demanding a relaxation of lockdown rules, and Trump's advisers telling the president – to quote Fauci – that "the virus decides" when things return to normal, no clear path forward is obvious.

[Apr 15, 2020] Anthony Fauci role in proliferation of gain of function research

Apr 15, 2020 | nlm.nih.gov

A distinct aspect of the shift in debate from framing in terms of "dual-use research" to "gain-of-function research" has been focus on biosafety concerns -- e.g., that a devastating pandemic could potentially result from a laboratory accident involving an especially dangerous pathogen created via GOFR. In light of Ron Fouchier's claim that the ferret-transmissible strain of H5N1 he produced is "probably one of the most dangerous viruses you can make" (Enserink 2011 ) and (previous) NSABB chair Paul Keim's claim that "I can't think of another pathogenic organism as scary as this one [created by Fouchier's team] I don't think anthrax is scary at all compared to this" (Enserink 2011 ), for example, some critics argued that the study in question should have been, and/or that future similar research should be, conducted in laboratories with the highest bio-containment level -- i.e., biosafety level 4 (BSL-4), as opposed to BSL-3 ("enhanced") in which this research was done (Swazo 2013 ). Fouchier has, in response, pointed out that his research received necessary institutional biosafety review/approval; and others have argued that his research (given employment of safety measures beyond ordinary BSL-3, including vaccination of lab workers against H5N1) in effect involved safety equivalent to BSL-4 (Roos 2012 ). Anthony Fauci (Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) has concluded that "the scientists who triggered this debate [including Fouchier] have conducted their research properly and under the safest and most secure conditions" (Fauci 2012 , p. 1).

[Apr 14, 2020] Fauci is an amazing man who can literally see into the future

Apr 14, 2020 | www.unz.com

Colin Wright , says: Website Show Comment April 12, 2020 at 6:05 am GMT

Anything's possible, but if I had to put money on one and only one hypothesis, I'd go with an accidental leak from a lab in Wuhan.
Gilad Atzmon , says: Show Comment April 12, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
@Colin Wright Accidental yes, China? I am not sure at all
Nuncle , says: Show Comment April 12, 2020 at 10:03 am GMT
@Colin Wright If that's the case, then Fauci is an amazing man who can literally see into the future:

https://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/emerging-diseases/news/online/%7B85a3f9c0-ed0a-4be8-9ca2-8854b2be7d13%7D/fauci-no-doubt-trump-will-face-surprise-infectious-disease-outbreak

[Apr 13, 2020] Eisenhower: we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite

Apr 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Apr 13 2020 2:42 utc | 103

A few Easter musings.

No church on Easter for the faithful. The illuminati must feel like they are in heaven. Their goal of achieving a godless society is in reach. Well, not exactly godless since they think the elites among them have a mission to become like God, as man was made in Gods image for the purpose of knowing himself through man. We shall all worship God, which are our elites, and the priests of this Man-God religion are technocratic scientists. Some call it scientism or gnosticism or transhumanism

The idea is to transhumanistly "upgrade" humanity, create an Internet of Us, and to geocybernically control the processes of the earth system (this is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4IR)

Capitalism. How strange so many here recognize the evils of Bad capitalism, more properly defined as Monopoly Capitalism, or Neoliberalism to distinguish it from good Capitalism -which is competitive capitalism well regulated in the interests of society as a whole, with a dash of socialism and monopoly (state or private) capitalism in certain industries as needed.

When we talk of Bad Capitalism of the sort Marx no doubt had in mind, we must look back and recall something Marx never envisioned, perhaps because it was a reaction to the globalist socialist theories he espoused. That was Mussolini's and then later Hitlers National Socialism, or economic Fascism. This was more accurately defined as a public private partnership (P3) that is so often referred to by the Gates funded WOrld Economic Forum and those talking about UN Sustainable Development Projects, and has become a religion of sorts in the West and also in China (more about that in a separate comment when I have time) and is really the essence of todays neoliberalism (not the propaganda you read about neoliberalism from its supporters)

Back in the 30's Mussolini's economic fascism was greatly admired by the Capitalists of that day, even FDR who has been mislabelled as socialist and anti-capitalist despite coming from the financial elite (much like Trump who is mislabelled as nationalist snd antiestablishment despite being a globalist and financial elite in private life).

Indeed just before and after Hitler took over in Germany with his partnership with German companies - the Capitalists in the US and UK/France rushed in via cartel agreements with German companies to invest and transfer technology. FDR did little to stop this.

FDR if we recall was the father of NRA which was his first priority after confiscating the peoples gold and devaluing the dollar. Fortunately his fascist NRA economy was struck down by the Supreme Court only to later reemerge during WWII. This is when P3 really crystallized in the US although it would take decades to morph into todays beast, and required another Pearl Harbor to gain acceptance for the purpose of keeping us safe from Islamic Terrorism and now the virus terrorists

One might argue that the difference between Mussolini's and Hitlers P3 and today is the government was the dominant power then, and today its at best an equal partner or more likely dominated by the corporate side (in China the private ownership is largely in the hands of the party elite as individuals and not the state which serves to subsidize their enterprises while socializing losses and privatizing profits-like the West) . Those in government, after public retirement go on to lucrative employment on the private side as their reward. Regulatory agencies are all captured by the private side of this public private partnership

This is apparent in many industries. Many of you see it with Military, intelligence and homeland security, Big Tech/Data, finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE), etc.

However, when it comes to Medical -Pharma Industry and other "science" based industries like the Climate Industry you are blinded by scientism promoted by the MSM spinmeisters supporting the Green-Virus Globalist Agenda. Yet both of these industries are driven by Public Private Partnerships to achieve Global Capitalist and Global Government Control objectives.

As Eisenhower said in his 1961 exit speech where he warned of the dangers of the MIC he also said "we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."

So looking specifically at the actors involved in the latest Pandemic, and one sees many of them are the same players behind the Climate Terror Industry, one sees a tremendous amount of collaboration between Big Pharma, UN agencies, national health agencies, military, academia and tax free philanthropic foundations (Gates, Rockefeller, etc).

Government funds basic science via military and health/science agencies to search for new viruses or enhancing known viruses with gain of function research, that Big Pharma then exploits to develop vaccines with government and philanthropic funds in the event such viruses are released. All kinds of money gets spent in preparing for a pandemic, stockpiling supplies , medicines, vaccines in advance of a pandemic, studying ways to control people once a pandemic arrives, and studying more ways to control people to prevent another pandemic (digital id, health certificates, mandatory vaccines) . When a pandemic does arrive, all those exercises and simulations (Crimson Orange, Event 201, Dark Winter, etc) pay off, trillions of dollars are unleashed out of thin air thanks to the Fed Reserve and handed out to the private partners.

Disaster Capitalism at its finest, public private partnership working toward total control of people and earning plenty of money while doing so. Companies having nothing to do with the Pandemic but affected (Airlines, hotels) , some of which are already in trouble (Boeing) are bailed out. Small business owners get crushed.


[Apr 13, 2020] Yes Trump truly fumbled the ball on the response but he isn't the only one solely responsible for how many people have gotten sick and have died.

Apr 13, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Trump failed to respond. But in January and February, it was clear coronavirus would hit NY. Cuomo and de Blasio could have instituted full lockdowns by early March when first cases appeared. Meanwhile, Washington State and California moved more quickly and saved many lives.

-- Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) April 11, 2020

pic.twitter.com/X7pVPmrBTL

-- ragonepr (@ragonepr) April 11, 2020

Countless other state governors didn't close things down as quickly as Newsom in California and other governors. Florida let spring break go one and once finished no state put kids in quarantine. The blame for this response falls on many shoulders. And the lack of response is hiding the biggest transfer of wealth in history. Not here of course. As usual the blue blog has been on top of most issues and way ahead of others.

I'm very concerned about how this country will look once it's open again. I think it's going to be unrecognizable because of how many businesses will have permanently closed down and how many people will stay unemployed. Lots of businesses are going to be bought out at Fire sale prices by those who got all the money. Like usual. Workers desperate for a job might have to take less than minimum wage cuz of the demand for jobs. But whoboy congress better be thinking about that or they will be in for a big surprise. OWS will look like just a warmup for what might be coming.

Hospitals have been closed down for decades or been asset stripped after they were bought out by hedge funds. Obama and Biden didn't replenish the supplies for epidemics after they dealt with the H1N1 flu. Blame goes to both parties and especially their embrace of neoliberalism.

He's thinking of reopening the country. Hardily and bigly.

"I don't know that I've had a bigger decision. But I'm going to surround myself with the greatest minds. Not only the greatest minds, but the greatest minds in numerous different businesses, including the business of politics and reason," Trump told reporters.

Trump's labor leader doesn't want people to get used to being on government assistance and is trying to restrict who can get unemployment benefits and for how long. Now it takes brass balls for little Anthony Scalia to say that to desperate people after the corrupt and especially the banks have gotten trillions! This guy should be embarrassed to show his face in public ever again. But he isn't.

up 25 users have voted. --

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!"

- Joe Biden

Roy Blakeley on Sat, 04/11/2020 - 10:57pm

The CDC blew the test kits as well

@snoopydawg They decided to go with their own unnecessarily complex kit instead of going with the Qiagen kit or some variant (RT-PCR is a pretty routine procedure in labs). They initially stuck with the influenza model of having the samples sent to Atlanta for analysis. This is fine if you are just monitoring the flu, but useless for trying to stop a pandemic. Tens of thousands of people in the US have died and will die unnecessarily.

but he isn't the only one solely responsible for how many people have gotten sick and have died.

Trump failed to respond. But in January and February, it was clear coronavirus would hit NY. Cuomo and de Blasio could have instituted full lockdowns by early March when first cases appeared. Meanwhile, Washington State and California moved more quickly and saved many lives.

-- Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) April 11, 2020

pic.twitter.com/X7pVPmrBTL

-- ragonepr (@ragonepr) April 11, 2020

Countless other state governors didn't close things down as quickly as Newsom in California and other governors. Florida let spring break go one and once finished no state put kids in quarantine. The blame for this response falls on many shoulders. And the lack of response is hiding the biggest transfer of wealth in history. Not here of course. As usual the blue blog has been on top of most issues and way ahead of others.

I'm very concerned about how this country will look once it's open again. I think it's going to be unrecognizable because of how many businesses will have permanently closed down and how many people will stay unemployed. Lots of businesses are going to be bought out at Fire sale prices by those who got all the money. Like usual. Workers desperate for a job might have to take less than minimum wage cuz of the demand for jobs. But whoboy congress better be thinking about that or they will be in for a big surprise. OWS will look like just a warmup for what might be coming.

Hospitals have been closed down for decades or been asset stripped after they were bought out by hedge funds. Obama and Biden didn't replenish the supplies for epidemics after they dealt with the H1N1 flu. Blame goes to both parties and especially their embrace of neoliberalism.

He's thinking of reopening the country. Hardily and bigly.

"I don't know that I've had a bigger decision. But I'm going to surround myself with the greatest minds. Not only the greatest minds, but the greatest minds in numerous different businesses, including the business of politics and reason," Trump told reporters.

Trump's labor leader doesn't want people to get used to being on government assistance and is trying to restrict who can get unemployment benefits and for how long. Now it takes brass balls for little Anthony Scalia to say that to desperate people after the corrupt and especially the banks have gotten trillions! This guy should be embarrassed to show his face in public ever again. But he isn't.

[Apr 13, 2020] He Could Have Seen What Was Coming Behind Trump's Failure on the Virus by Eric Lipton , David E. Sanger at all

This is a case study of bureaucratic incompetence, when conflicting institutions and agenda paralyze any efforts. Trump incompetence is only the tip of the iceberg. the whole Deep State proved to be too rigid to properly react to the epidemic, because each measure looked too drastic until it was late to implement it. and then it was implemented anyway. One effect of any large bureaucracy is that rare oasises of reliable and timely information that exist are to be suppressed. and this is not Trump fault. This is iron logic of any large bureaucracy.
What is interesting is that the epidemic is localized in few hot spots with the largest being New York metropolitan areas. So governments could took measures immediately even without federal government prompting them. And that would be much better that nationwide shutdown. And FBI and CIA have the local governments in pocket anyway (this is a national security state, not something else after all). So where was the CIA boss when we needed her ? Or she is just capable of running Russiagate gaslighting operation type of operations? CIA honchos used to have audacity to launch the efforts to depose Trump. Can we believe that they can't bypass Trump when they need to?
Notable quotes:
"... The National Security Council office responsible for tracking pandemics received intelligence reports in early January predicting the spread of the virus to the United States, and within weeks was raising options like keeping Americans home from work and shutting down cities the size of Chicago. Mr. Trump would avoid such steps until March. ..."
"... Despite Mr. Trump's denial weeks later, he was told at the time about a Jan. 29 memo produced by his trade adviser, Peter Navarro, laying out in striking detail the potential risks of a coronavirus pandemic: as many as half a million deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses. ..."
"... By the last week of February, it was clear to the administration's public health team that schools and businesses in hot spots would have to close. But in the turbulence of the Trump White House, it took three more weeks to persuade the president that failure to act quickly to control the spread of the virus would have dire consequences. ..."
"... It was becoming apparent that the administration had botched the rollout of testing to track the virus at home, and a smaller-scale surveillance program intended to piggyback on a federal flu tracking system had also been stillborn. ..."
"... A 20-year-old Chinese woman had infected five relatives with the virus even though she never displayed any symptoms herself. The implication was grave -- apparently healthy people could be unknowingly spreading the virus -- and supported the need to move quickly to mitigation. ..."
"... These final days of February, perhaps more than any other moment during his tenure in the White House, illustrated Mr. Trump's inability or unwillingness to absorb warnings coming at him. He instead reverted to his traditional political playbook in the midst of a public health calamity, squandering vital time as the coronavirus spread silently across the country. ..."
"... Over nearly three weeks from Feb. 26 to March 16, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States grew from 15 to 4,226. ..."
"... The earliest warnings about coronavirus got caught in the crosscurrents of the administration's internal disputes over China. It was the China hawks who pushed earliest for a travel ban. But their animosity toward China also undercut hopes for a more cooperative approach by the world's two leading powers to a global crisis. ..."
Apr 11, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

By Eric Lipton , David E. Sanger , Maggie Haberman , Michael D. Shear , Mark Mazzetti and Julian E. Barnes

An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.

"Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion," President Trump said last month. He has repeatedly said that no one could have seen the effects of the coronavirus coming. Credit... Erin Schaff/The

WASHINGTON -- "Any way you cut it, this is going to be bad," a senior medical adviser at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Carter Mecher, wrote on the night of Jan. 28, in an email to a group of public health experts scattered around the government and universities. "The projected size of the outbreak already seems hard to believe."

A week after the first coronavirus case had been identified in the United States, and six long weeks before President Trump finally took aggressive action to confront the danger the nation was facing -- a pandemic that is now forecast to take tens of thousands of American lives -- Dr. Mecher was urging the upper ranks of the nation's public health bureaucracy to wake up and prepare for the possibility of far more drastic action.

"You guys made fun of me screaming to close the schools," he wrote to the group, which called itself "Red Dawn," an inside joke based on the 1984 movie about a band of Americans trying to save the country after a foreign invasion. "Now I'm screaming, close the colleges and universities."

His was hardly a lone voice. Throughout January, as Mr. Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus and focused on other issues, an array of figures inside his government -- from top White House advisers to experts deep in the cabinet departments and intelligence agencies -- identified the threat, sounded alarms and made clear the need for aggressive action.

The president, though, was slow to absorb the scale of the risk and to act accordingly, focusing instead on controlling the message, protecting gains in the economy and batting away warnings from senior officials. It was a problem, he said, that had come out of nowhere and could not have been foreseen.

Even after Mr. Trump took his first concrete action at the end of January -- limiting travel from China -- public health often had to compete with economic and political considerations in internal debates, slowing the path toward belated decisions to seek more money from Congress, obtain necessary supplies, address shortfalls in testing and ultimately move to keep much of the nation at home.

Unfolding as it did in the wake of his impeachment by the House and in the midst of his Senate trial, Mr. Trump's response was colored by his suspicion of and disdain for what he viewed as the "Deep State" -- the very people in his government whose expertise and long experience might have guided him more quickly toward steps that would slow the virus, and likely save lives.

Decision-making was also complicated by a long-running dispute inside the administration over how to deal with China. The virus at first took a back seat to a desire not to upset Beijing during trade talks, but later the impulse to score points against Beijing left the world's two leading powers further divided as they confronted one of the first truly global threats of the 21st century.

The shortcomings of Mr. Trump's performance have played out with remarkable transparency as part of his daily effort to dominate television screens and the national conversation.

But dozens of interviews with current and former officials and a review of emails and other records revealed many previously unreported details and a fuller picture of the roots and extent of his halting response as the deadly virus spread:

When Mr. Trump finally agreed in mid-March to recommend social distancing across the country, effectively bringing much of the economy to a halt, he seemed shellshocked and deflated to some of his closest associates. One described him as "subdued" and "baffled" by how the crisis had played out. An economy that he had wagered his re-election on was suddenly in shambles.

He only regained his swagger, the associate said, from conducting his daily White House briefings, at which he often seeks to rewrite the history of the past several months. He declared at one point that he "felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic," and insisted at another that he had to be a "cheerleader for the country," as if that explained why he failed to prepare the public for what was coming.

Mr. Trump's allies and some administration officials say the criticism has been unfair. The Chinese government misled other governments, they say. And they insist that the president was either not getting proper information, or the people around him weren't conveying the urgency of the threat. In some cases, they argue, the specific officials he was hearing from had been discredited in his eyes, but once the right information got to him through other channels, he made the right calls.

"While the media and Democrats refused to seriously acknowledge this virus in January and February, President Trump took bold action to protect Americans and unleash the full power of the federal government to curb the spread of the virus, expand testing capacities and expedite vaccine development even when we had no true idea the level of transmission or asymptomatic spread," said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

There were key turning points along the way, opportunities for Mr. Trump to get ahead of the virus rather than just chase it. There were internal debates that presented him with stark choices, and moments when he could have chosen to ask deeper questions and learn more. How he handled them may shape his re-election campaign. They will certainly shape his legacy.

The Containment Illusion

By the last week of February, it was clear to the administration's public health team that schools and businesses in hot spots would have to close. But in the turbulence of the Trump White House, it took three more weeks to persuade the president that failure to act quickly to control the spread of the virus would have dire consequences.

When Dr. Robert Kadlec, the top disaster response official at the Health and Human Services Department, convened the White House coronavirus task force on Feb. 21, his agenda was urgent. There were deep cracks in the administration's strategy for keeping the virus out of the United States. They were going to have to lock down the country to prevent it from spreading. The question was: When?

There had already been an alarming spike in new cases around the world and the virus was spreading across the Middle East. It was becoming apparent that the administration had botched the rollout of testing to track the virus at home, and a smaller-scale surveillance program intended to piggyback on a federal flu tracking system had also been stillborn.

In Washington, the president was not worried, predicting that by April, "when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away." His White House had yet to ask Congress for additional funding to prepare for the potential cost of wide-scale infection across the country, and health care providers were growing increasingly nervous about the availability of masks, ventilators and other equipment.

What Mr. Trump decided to do next could dramatically shape the course of the pandemic -- and how many people would get sick and die.

With that in mind, the task force had gathered for a tabletop exercise -- a real-time version of a full-scale war gaming of a flu pandemic the administration had run the previous year. That earlier exercise , also conducted by Mr. Kadlec and called "Crimson Contagion," predicted 110 million infections , 7.7 million hospitalizations and 586,000 deaths following a hypothetical outbreak that started in China.

Facing the likelihood of a real pandemic, the group needed to decide when to abandon "containment" -- the effort to keep the virus outside the U.S. and to isolate anyone who gets infected -- and embrace "mitigation" to thwart the spread of the virus inside the country until a vaccine becomes available.

Among the questions on the agenda, which was reviewed by The New York Times, was when the department's secretary, Mr. Azar, should recommend that Mr. Trump take textbook mitigation measures "such as school dismissals and cancellations of mass gatherings," which had been identified as the next appropriate step in a Bush-era pandemic plan .

The exercise was sobering. The group -- including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Robert R. Redfield of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Mr. Azar, who at that stage was leading the White House Task Force -- concluded they would soon need to move toward aggressive social distancing, even at the risk of severe disruption to the nation's economy and the daily lives of millions of Americans.

If Dr. Kadlec had any doubts, they were erased two days later, when he stumbled upon an email from a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who was among the group of academics, government physicians and infectious diseases doctors who had spent weeks tracking the outbreak in the Red Dawn email chain.

A 20-year-old Chinese woman had infected five relatives with the virus even though she never displayed any symptoms herself. The implication was grave -- apparently healthy people could be unknowingly spreading the virus -- and supported the need to move quickly to mitigation.

"Is this true?!" Dr. Kadlec wrote back to the researcher. "If so we have a huge whole on our screening and quarantine effort," including a typo where he meant hole. Her response was blunt: "People are carrying the virus everywhere."

The following day, Dr. Kadlec and the others decided to present Mr. Trump with a plan titled "Four Steps to Mitigation," telling the president that they needed to begin preparing Americans for a step rarely taken in United States history.

But over the next several days, a presidential blowup and internal turf fights would sidetrack such a move. The focus would shift to messaging and confident predictions of success rather than publicly calling for a shift to mitigation.

These final days of February, perhaps more than any other moment during his tenure in the White House, illustrated Mr. Trump's inability or unwillingness to absorb warnings coming at him. He instead reverted to his traditional political playbook in the midst of a public health calamity, squandering vital time as the coronavirus spread silently across the country.

Dr. Kadlec's group wanted to meet with the president right away, but Mr. Trump was on a trip to India, so they agreed to make the case to him in person as soon as he returned two days later. If they could convince him of the need to shift strategy, they could immediately begin a national education campaign aimed at preparing the public for the new reality.

A memo dated Feb. 14, prepared in coordination with the National Security Council and titled "U.S. Government Response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus," documented what more drastic measures would look like, including: "significantly limiting public gatherings and cancellation of almost all sporting events, performances, and public and private meetings that cannot be convened by phone. Consider school closures. Widespread 'stay at home' directives from public and private organizations with nearly 100% telework for some."

The memo did not advocate an immediate national shutdown, but said the targeted use of "quarantine and isolation measures" could be used to slow the spread in places where "sustained human-to-human transmission" is evident.

Within 24 hours, before they got a chance to make their presentation to the president, the plan went awry.

Mr. Trump was walking up the steps of Air Force One to head home from India on Feb. 25 when Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, publicly issued the blunt warning they had all agreed was necessary. But Dr. Messonnier had jumped the gun. They had not told the president yet, much less gotten his consent.

On the 18-hour plane ride home, Mr. Trump fumed as he watched the stock market crash after Dr. Messonnier's comments. Furious, he called Mr. Azar when he landed at around 6 a.m. on Feb. 26, raging that Dr. Messonnier had scared people unnecessarily. Already on thin ice with the president over a variety of issues and having overseen the failure to quickly produce an effective and widely available test, Mr. Azar would soon find his authority reduced.

The meeting that evening with Mr. Trump to advocate social distancing was canceled, replaced by a news conference in which the president announced that the White House response would be put under the command of Vice President Mike Pence.

The push to convince Mr. Trump of the need for more assertive action stalled. With Mr. Pence and his staff in charge, the focus was clear: no more alarmist messages. Statements and media appearances by health officials like Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield would be coordinated through Mr. Pence's office. It would be more than three weeks before Mr. Trump would announce serious social distancing efforts, a lost period during which the spread of the virus accelerated rapidly.

Over nearly three weeks from Feb. 26 to March 16, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States grew from 15 to 4,226. Since then, nearly half a million Americans have tested positive for the virus and authorities say hundreds of thousands more are likely infected. The China Factor

The earliest warnings about coronavirus got caught in the crosscurrents of the administration's internal disputes over China. It was the China hawks who pushed earliest for a travel ban. But their animosity toward China also undercut hopes for a more cooperative approach by the world's two leading powers to a global crisis.

It was early January, and the call with a Hong Kong epidemiologist left Matthew Pottinger rattled.

Mr. Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser and a hawk on China, took a blunt warning away from the call with the doctor, a longtime friend: A ferocious, new outbreak that on the surface appeared similar to the SARS epidemic of 2003 had emerged in China. It had spread far more quickly than the government was admitting to, and it wouldn't be long before it reached other parts of the world.

Mr. Pottinger had worked as a Wall Street Journal correspondent in Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic, and was still scarred by his experience documenting the death spread by that highly contagious virus.

Now, seventeen years later, his friend had a blunt message: You need to be ready. The virus, he warned, which originated in the city of Wuhan, was being transmitted by people who were showing no symptoms -- an insight that American health officials had not yet accepted. Mr. Pottinger declined through a spokesman to comment.

It was one of the earliest warnings to the White House, and it echoed the intelligence reports making their way to the National Security Council. While most of the early assessments from the C.I.A. had little more information than was available publicly, some of the more specialized corners of the intelligence world were producing sophisticated and chilling warnings.

In a report to the director of national intelligence, the State Department's epidemiologist wrote in early January that the virus was likely to spread across the globe, and warned that the coronavirus could develop into a pandemic. Working independently, a small outpost of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Center for Medical Intelligence, came to the same conclusion. Within weeks after getting initial information about the virus early in the year, biodefense experts inside the National Security Council, looking at what was happening in Wuhan, started urging officials to think about what would be needed to quarantine a city the size of Chicago.

By mid-January there was growing evidence of the virus spreading outside China. Mr. Pottinger began convening daily meetings about the coronavirus. He alerted his boss, Robert C. O'Brien, the national security adviser.

The early alarms sounded by Mr. Pottinger and other China hawks were freighted with ideology -- including a push to publicly blame China that critics in the administration say was a distraction as the coronavirus spread to Western Europe and eventually the United States.

And they ran into opposition from Mr. Trump's economic advisers, who worried a tough approach toward China could scuttle a trade deal that was a pillar of Mr. Trump's re-election campaign.

With his skeptical -- some might even say conspiratorial -- view of China's ruling Communist Party, Mr. Pottinger initially suspected that President Xi Jinping's government was keeping a dark secret: that the virus may have originated in one of the laboratories in Wuhan studying deadly pathogens. In his view, it might have even been a deadly accident unleashed on an unsuspecting Chinese population.

During meetings and telephone calls, Mr. Pottinger asked intelligence agencies -- including officers at the C.I.A. working on Asia and on weapons of mass destruction -- to search for evidence that might bolster his theory.

They didn't have any evidence. Intelligence agencies did not detect any alarm inside the Chinese government that analysts presumed would accompany the accidental leak of a deadly virus from a government laboratory. But Mr. Pottinger continued to believe the coronavirus problem was far worse than the Chinese were acknowledging. Inside the West Wing, the director of the Domestic Policy Council, Joe Grogan, also tried to sound alarms that the threat from China was growing.

Mr. Pottinger, backed by Mr. O'Brien, became one of the driving forces of a campaign in the final weeks of January to convince Mr. Trump to impose limits on travel from China -- the first substantive step taken to impede the spread of the virus and one that the president has repeatedly cited as evidence that he was on top of the problem.

In addition to the opposition from the economic team, Mr. Pottinger and his allies among the China hawks had to overcome initial skepticism from the administration's public health experts.

Travel restrictions were usually counterproductive to managing biological outbreaks because they prevented doctors and other much-needed medical help from easily getting to the affected areas, the health officials said. And such bans often cause infected people to flee, spreading the disease further.

But on the morning of Jan. 30, Mr. Azar got a call from Dr. Fauci, Dr. Redfield and others saying they had changed their minds. The World Health Organization had declared a global public health emergency and American officials had discovered the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission inside the United States.

The economic team, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, continued to argue that there were big risks in taking a provocative step toward China and moving to curb global travel. After a debate, Mr. Trump came down on the side of the hawks and the public health team. The limits on travel from China were publicly announced on Jan. 31 .

Still, Mr. Trump and other senior officials were wary of further upsetting Beijing. Besides the concerns about the impact on the trade deal, they knew that an escalating confrontation was risky because the United States relies heavily on China for pharmaceuticals and the kinds of protective equipment most needed to combat the coronavirus.

But the hawks kept pushing in February to take a critical stance toward China amid the growing crisis. Mr. Pottinger and others -- including aides to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- pressed for government statements to use the term "Wuhan Virus."

Mr. Pompeo tried to hammer the anti-China message at every turn, eventually even urging leaders of the Group of 7 industrialized countries to use "Wuhan virus" in a joint statement.

Others, including aides to Mr. Pence, resisted taking a hard public line, believing that angering Beijing might lead the Chinese government to withhold medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and any scientific research that might ultimately lead to a vaccine.

Mr. Trump took a conciliatory approach through the middle of March, praising the job Mr. Xi was doing.

That changed abruptly, when aides informed Mr. Trump that a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman had publicly spun a new conspiracy about the origins of Covid-19: that it was brought to China by U.S. Army personnel who visited the country last October.

Mr. Trump was furious, and he took to his favorite platform to broadcast a new message. On March 16, he wrote on Twitter that "the United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus."

Mr. Trump's decision to escalate the war of words undercut any remaining possibility of broad cooperation between the governments to address a global threat. It remains to be seen whether that mutual suspicion will spill over into efforts to develop treatments or vaccines, both areas where the two nations are now competing.

One immediate result was a free-for-all across the United States, with state and local governments and hospitals bidding on the open market for scarce but essential Chinese-made products. When the state of Massachusetts managed to procure 1.2 million masks, it fell to the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert K. Kraft, a Trump ally, to cut through extensive red tape on both sides of the Pacific to send his own plane to pick them up.

The Consequences of Chaos

The chaotic culture of the Trump White House contributed to the crisis. A lack of planning and a failure to execute, combined with the president's focus on the news cycle and his preference for following his gut rather than the data cost time, and perhaps lives.

Inside the West Wing, Mr. Navarro, Mr. Trump's trade adviser, was widely seen as quick-tempered, self-important and prone to butting in. He is among the most outspoken of China hawks and in late January was clashing with the administration's health experts over limiting travel from China.

So it elicited eye rolls when, after initially being prevented from joining the coronavirus task force, he circulated a memo on Jan. 29 urging Mr. Trump to impose the travel limits, arguing that failing to confront the outbreak aggressively could be catastrophic, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses.

The uninvited message could not have conflicted more with the president's approach at the time of playing down the severity of the threat. And when aides raised it with Mr. Trump, he responded that he was unhappy that Mr. Navarro had put his warning in writing.

From the time the virus was first identified as a concern, the administration's response was plagued by the rivalries and factionalism that routinely swirl around Mr. Trump and, along with the president's impulsiveness, undercut decision making and policy development.

Faced with the relentless march of a deadly pathogen, the disagreements and a lack of long-term planning had significant consequences. They slowed the president's response and resulted in problems with execution and planning, including delays in seeking money from Capitol Hill and a failure to begin broad surveillance testing.

The efforts to shape Mr. Trump's view of the virus began early in January, when his focus was elsewhere: the fallout from his decision to kill Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani , Iran's security mastermind; his push for an initial trade deal with China ; and his Senate impeachment trial, which was about to begin .

Even after Mr. Azar first briefed him about the potential seriousness of the virus during a phone call on Jan. 18 while the president was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Mr. Trump projected confidence that it would be a passing problem.

"We have it totally under control," he told an interviewer a few days later while attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. "It's going to be just fine."

Back in Washington, voices outside of the White House peppered Mr. Trump with competing assessments about what he should do and how quickly he should act.

The efforts to sort out policy behind closed doors were contentious and sometimes only loosely organized.

That was the case when the National Security Council convened a meeting on short notice on the afternoon of Jan. 27. The Situation Room was standing room only, packed with top White House advisers, low-level staffers, Mr. Trump's social media guru, and several cabinet secretaries. There was no checklist about the preparations for a possible pandemic, which would require intensive testing, rapid acquisition of protective gear, and perhaps serious limitations on Americans' movements.

Instead, after a 20-minute description by Mr. Azar of his department's capabilities, the meeting was jolted when Stephen E. Biegun, the newly installed deputy secretary of state, announced plans to issue a " level four " travel warning, strongly discouraging Americans from traveling to China. The room erupted into bickering.

A few days later, on the evening of Jan. 30, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff at the time, and Mr. Azar called Air Force One as the president was making the final decision to go ahead with the restrictions on China travel. Mr. Azar was blunt, warning that the virus could develop into a pandemic and arguing that China should be criticized for failing to be transparent.

Mr. Trump rejected the idea of criticizing China, saying the country had enough to deal with. And if the president's decision on the travel restrictions suggested that he fully grasped the seriousness of the situation, his response to Mr. Azar indicated otherwise.

Stop panicking, Mr. Trump told him.

That sentiment was present throughout February, as the president's top aides reached for a consistent message but took few concrete steps to prepare for the possibility of a major public health crisis.

During a briefing on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5, senators urged administration officials to take the threat more seriously. Several asked if the administration needed additional money to help local and state health departments prepare.

Derek Kan, a senior official from the Office of Management and Budget, replied that the administration had all the money it needed, at least at that point, to stop the virus, two senators who attended the briefing said.

"Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus," Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, wrote in a tweet shortly after. "Bottom line: they aren't taking this seriously enough."

The administration also struggled to carry out plans it did agree on. In mid-February, with the effort to roll out widespread testing stalled, Mr. Azar announced a plan to repurpose a flu-surveillance system in five major cities to help track the virus among the general population. The effort all but collapsed even before it got started as Mr. Azar struggled to win approval for $100 million in funding and the C.D.C. failed to make reliable tests available .

The number of infections in the United States started to surge through February and early March, but the Trump administration did not move to place large-scale orders for masks and other protective equipment, or critical hospital equipment, such as ventilators. The Pentagon sat on standby , awaiting any orders to help provide temporary hospitals or other assistance.

As February gave way to March, the president continued to be surrounded by divided factions even as it became clearer that avoiding more aggressive steps was not tenable.

Mr. Trump had agreed to give an Oval Office address on the evening of March 11 announcing restrictions on travel from Europe, where the virus was ravaging Italy. But responding to the views of his business friends and others, he continued to resist calls for social distancing, school closures and other steps that would imperil the economy.

But the virus was already multiplying across the country -- and hospitals were at risk of buckling under the looming wave of severely ill people, lacking masks and other protective equipment, ventilators and sufficient intensive care beds. The question loomed over the president and his aides after weeks of stalling and inaction: What were they going to do?

The approach that Mr. Azar and others had planned to bring to him weeks earlier moved to the top of the agenda. Even then, and even by Trump White House standards, the debate over whether to shut down much of the country to slow the spread was especially fierce.

Always attuned to anything that could trigger a stock market decline or an economic slowdown that could hamper his re-election effort, Mr. Trump also reached out to prominent investors like Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of Blackstone Group, a private equity firm.

"Everybody questioned it for a while, not everybody, but a good portion questioned it," Mr. Trump said earlier this month . "They said, let's keep it open. Let's ride it."

In a tense Oval Office meeting, when Mr. Mnuchin again stressed that the economy would be ravaged, Mr. O'Brien, the national security adviser, who had been worried about the virus for weeks, sounded exasperated as he told Mr. Mnuchin that the economy would be destroyed regardless if officials did nothing.

Soon after the Oval Office address, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and a trusted sounding board inside the White House, visited Mr. Trump, partly at the urging of Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law. Dr. Gottlieb's role was to impress upon the president how serious the crisis could become. Mr. Pence, by then in charge of the task force, also played a key role at that point in getting through to the president about the seriousness of the moment in a way that Mr. Azar had not.

But in the end, aides said, it was Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the veteran AIDS researcher who had joined the task force, who helped to persuade Mr. Trump. Soft-spoken and fond of the kind of charts and graphs Mr. Trump prefers, Dr. Birx did not have the rough edges that could irritate the president. He often told people he thought she was elegant.

On Monday, March 16, Mr. Trump announced new social distancing guidelines , saying they would be in place for two weeks. The subsequent economic disruptions were so severe that the president repeatedly suggested that he wanted to lift even those temporary restrictions. He frequently asked aides why his administration was still being blamed in news coverage for the widespread failures involving testing, insisting the responsibility had shifted to the states.

During the last week in March, Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House adviser involved in task force meetings, gave voice to concerns other aides had. She warned Mr. Trump that his wished-for date of Easter to reopen the country likely couldn't be accomplished. Among other things, she told him, he would end up being blamed by critics for every subsequent death caused by the virus.

Within days, he watched images on television of a calamitous situation at Elmhurst Hospital Center, miles from his childhood home in Queens, N.Y., where 13 people had died from the coronavirus in 24 hours.

He left the restrictions in place.

[Apr 13, 2020] "Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion,"

Apr 13, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

CB on Sat, 04/11/2020 - 4:46pm Timeline on how Donald Trump completely failed America.

This expose by the New York Times is the best reporting I have seen on Trump's complete inability and subsequent failure to lead during this time of acute crisis.

He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump's Failure on the Virus

An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.

April 11, 2020
Updated 4:33 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON -- "Any way you cut it, this is going to be bad," a senior medical adviser at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Carter Mecher, wrote on the night of Jan. 28, in an email to a group of public health experts scattered around the government and universities. "The projected size of the outbreak already seems hard to believe."

A week after the first coronavirus case had been identified in the United States, and six long weeks before President Trump finally took aggressive action to confront the danger the nation was facing -- a pandemic that is now forecast to take tens of thousands of American lives -- Dr. Mecher was urging the upper ranks of the nation's public health bureaucracy to wake up and prepare for the possibility of far more drastic action.
...
The Containment Illusion

By the last week of February, it was clear to the administration's public health team that schools and businesses in hot spots would have to close. But in the turbulence of the Trump White House, it took three more weeks to persuade the president that failure to act quickly to control the spread of the virus would have dire consequences.
...
The China Factor

The earliest warnings about coronavirus got caught in the crosscurrents of the administration's internal disputes over China. It was the China hawks who pushed earliest for a travel ban. But their animosity toward China also undercut hopes for a more cooperative approach by the world's two leading powers to a global crisis.
...
The Consequences of Chaos

The chaotic culture of the Trump White House contributed to the crisis. A lack of planning and a failure to execute, combined with the president's focus on the news cycle and his preference for following his gut rather than the data cost time, and perhaps lives.

[Apr 13, 2020] Fauci talked about continuing lockdowns until there were *no* new cases being reported

Papers, please! Covid-19 'immunity cards' may be required of Americans, Fauci says, 10 Apr, 2020 , RT.com
Apr 13, 2020 | caucus99percent.com
@travelerxxx

Fauci talked about continuing lockdowns until there were *no* new cases being reported.

I can confidently predict that will happen about a day after we win the War on Drugs and the War on Terror.

[Apr 11, 2020] Coronavirus spread in UK is a 'crime' as NHS had 4 years to prepare for pandemic – John Pilger

Apr 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

Award-winning journalist John Pilger has revealed that the NHS staged an exercise in London in 2016 which proved it was unable to cope with a pandemic like Covid-19, but its findings were suppressed. Speaking to RT's Going Underground , Pilger said that back in 2016, the UK government ran a drill in London that showed the health service was incapable of dealing with an outbreak.

He described the failure as a "crime" and told host Afshin Rattansi that the findings from the exercise, titled Cygnus, had been concealed by the government.

"The result of the drill was that the health service was overwhelmed, there weren't enough beds, there weren't enough ventilators, there weren't enough clinicians in the right places. The whole system, which had been battered by cuts and privatization for years, failed," he said.

The journalist explained that the NHS had been "devastated" by the Tory-led government's decision to bring in the Health and Social Care Act in 2012.

Pilger's scathing comments come a day after the UK recorded its most deaths in a single day since the crisis began. The 854 fatalities took the total to 6,159.

Projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, US, warned that the UK could become the European country worst-hit by Covid-19, possibly accounting for 40 percent of the continent's deaths.

The documentary film maker, whose most recent works include 'The Dirty War on the NHS,' also blasted successive British governments since the 1980s for slashing NHS funding and pursuing a policy of privatization by "stealth."

[Apr 10, 2020] We are awash in examples of U.S. government incompetence - look up incompetence on Wikipedia has Pompous' photo (OK but it should).

Apr 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

jared , Apr 8 2020 16:58 utc | 52

@45 Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 8 2020 16:05 utc | 45

If I comprehend, the issue was that they knew there was a problem in November rather than December.
Not sure the point really, we are awash in examples of U.S. government incompetence - look up incompetence on Wikipedia has Pompous' photo (OK but it should).

Realistically:
- the government is slow to respond
- the government is bad at planning
- the government is around 1 million people all pulling in different directions
- it is only when problem is obvious and damaging that the government gets somewhat focused
- the virus is invisible
- the extent of damage was uncertain

I think at this point it has their attention.

[Apr 10, 2020] US Department of Defense give 1 million masks to IDF for coronavirus use

From comments: "Of course, Israel is the Pentagons biggest ally in keeping the military budget up. "
Apr 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Brendan , Apr 8 2020 8:49 utc | 5
April 7: Hospitals say feds are seizing masks and other coronavirus supplies without a word

bigger

April 8: US Department of Defense give 1 million masks to IDF for coronavirus use


bigger

Posted by b on April 8, 2020 at 7:43 UTC | Permalink

The Jpost article that b links to says that a million masks from China (donated by the US Department of Defense) arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night. But Israel should have already had two million masks if this report from last weekend is correct:
The shipment will include two million masks, landing in Israel on Monday morning,
https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog-april-4-2020/

So that appears to be three million masks from China, plus those seized from American hospitals. Or are they fiddling the figures and pretending that those seized masks were legally purchased in China?


Brendan , Apr 8 2020 9:53 utc | 8

It appears that Mossad and others have recently acquired about two surgical masks per Israeli:

"5 April 2020,
(...)Last week, the Health Ministry said that security services and government ministries had managed to obtain 27 ventilators and a hoard of other medical equipment from abroad.

Hebrew media reported that the Mossad intelligence service, which has been tasked with securing medical equipment from abroad from unspecified countries amid worldwide shortages, helped obtain 25,000 N95 respiratory masks , 20,000 virus test kits, 10 million surgical masks , and 700 overalls for ambulance workers who usually carry out the initial testing for the virus.

It was the third such shipment by the Mossad over the past few weeks, aimed at addressing shortages in Israel."
https://www.timesofisrael.com/with-11-planes-israel-airlifts-huge-quantities-of-medical-equipment-from-china/

Mao , Apr 8 2020 9:58 utc | 9
Pompeo: "America remains the world's leading light of humanitarian goodness."

https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1247559857206628354

Emily , Apr 8 2020 10:12 utc | 11
One million masks for the IDF.
Eat your heart out US Theodore Roosevelt and Guam.
US sailors right at the bottom of the Pentagon's priorities, thats for sure.
American military?.
Have one duty - die as required for Israel.
Including death by coronavirus by looks of things.....
More fool them.
Richard Steven Hack , Apr 8 2020 10:13 utc | 12
Bloody hell. The Pentagon procures a million masks from China, then gives them to Israel - when US doctors are running low in almost every city - not to mention that the military itself has soaring coronavirus cases it can't handle.

You gotta know some rich Jewish corporate billionaire was behind that crap and Kushner was just the conduit to get Trump to agree to it - probably in exchange for a big donation to Trump's campaign.

If there was ever a country that deserved to be on the end of a US bombing campaign - it's Israel - a racist, fanatical. colonialist, fascist, illegal terrorist state. Zionists - the biggest scumbags on the planet. But instead the US bombs everyone else Israel doesn't like.

But cheer up. Israel is a doomed nation. There is no way they can continue their path forever, historically speaking. I suspect they won't exist within another fifty years. They'll either be annihilated by their own nuclear weapons, or transformed into a bi-national state that is no longer primarily Jewish. And I don't particularly care which.

Mao , Apr 8 2020 12:41 utc | 17
The U.S. government's efforts to clean up Cold War-era waste from nuclear research and bomb making at federal sites around the country has lumbered along for decades, often at a pace that watchdogs and other critics say threatens public health and the environment.

Now, fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic is resulting in more challenges as the nation's only underground repository for nuclear waste finished ramping down operations Wednesday to keep workers safe.

Over more than 20 years, tons of waste have been stashed deep in the salt caverns that make up the southern New Mexico site. Until recently, several shipments a week of special boxes and barrels packed with lab coats, rubber gloves, tools and debris contaminated with plutonium and other radioactive elements were being trucked to the remote facility from South Carolina, Idaho and other spots.

That's all but grinding to a halt.

Shipments to the desert outpost will be limited for the foreseeable future while work at the country's national laboratories and defense sites shift to only those operations considered "mission critical."

Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant warned state regulators in a letter Tuesday that more time would be needed for inspections and audits and that work would be curtailed or shifts would be staggered to ensure workers keep their distance from one another.

https://apnews.com/36eec1b19f113b62fa94f2f0388e240d

Ghost Ship , Apr 8 2020 12:41 utc | 18
... ... ...

BTW, the Al Quds Post (aka Jerusalem Post to Zionists) has changed the headline on that article to "Israel brings 1 million masks from China for IDF soldiers" Looks like the "New York Purchasing and Logistics Division" is part of the Israeli Ministry Of War All The Time. So the original was a nice story but fake news. Since there was no correction attached to the new version, it could be that Washington/Tel Aviv reckoned that this was a step to far even for Trump and the new version is the fake news.

Willy2 , Apr 8 2020 12:45 utc | 20
- This news simply confirms again that the US, under Trump, has become more corrupt. But this is a development that already started years, decades ago before Trump became president.
William Gruff , Apr 8 2020 13:00 utc | 22
Willy2 @20

I think the possibility should be considered that Trump just made preexisting corruption more visible rather than adding significantly to it. There are elaborate protocols and circuitous speech that professional politicians learn to use to obfuscate the corruption and make their own participation in that corruption seem not only acceptable but necessary or even in the public interest. Trump is either ignorant of these protocols or he just doesn't care.

vk , Apr 8 2020 13:26 utc | 24
This is not surprising at all. Israel's economy is completely dependent on American constant aid:

All is not what it seems: Israeli economy's relative success based on massive direct aid from the US and donations from the Jewish diaspora

Even with all this help (of which most go to the military sector), the Isreali economy can barely keep itself afloat:

[...] inequality of income and wealth is huge in Israel, the second worst in the 36 nation OECD group. The relative poverty rate for Haredim and Arabs (25% of the population) is near 50%, and even for other Israelis, it is higher than the OECD average. The gap in median wage levels from skilled to unskilled; from Haredim/Arabs to others is huge - and yet the former will constitute 50% of the population by 2060.

And this mask fiasco is the lesser problem for the American working class right now. A significant portion of its people is going hungry . That magic USD 1,200 check is not coming soon:

"the checks are not in the mail."

And the problem isn't just in the USA. The periphery of Western Civilization is also going to suffer:

Germany and France: the sharpest contractions in national output for 75 years.

Germany's economy will shrink almost 10 per cent in the three months to June, according to the country's top economic research institutes, the sharpest decline since quarterly national accounts began in 1970 and double the size of the biggest drop in the 2008 financial crisis.

The shutdown of vast swaths of economic activity to contain the spread of the pandemic is knocking 1.5 percentage points off French growth for every two weeks that it continues, the Banque de France warned on Wednesday.

After more than three weeks in lockdown, French economic output is expected to have fallen by the sharpest rate since the second world war, the central bank said, forecasting that gross domestic product contracted 6 per cent in the first three months of the year.


jared , Apr 8 2020 13:41 utc | 26
However, to the matter of Israel and the virus:
I thought they were having strangely little impact from virus.

Anyway, this is all very revealing.

You know how people always question:
Why did that woman remain in that abusive relationship?

Nathan Mulcahy , Apr 8 2020 14:18 utc | 29
"US Department of Defense give 1 million masks to IDF for coronavirus use"

MIGA

Phryne's frock , Apr 8 2020 14:23 utc | 31
Get everyone you know to read "Against Our Better Judgment" by Alison Weir. Absolutely the best short, supereasy read to open eyes of those who are unaware that they are unaware, I promise. If you can afford to, buy copies to give away.
red1chief , Apr 8 2020 14:34 utc | 32
Very brief, "b", but one of your best posts. This is an unmitigated outrage. The arrogance of the ruling class knows no bounds, and they are acting with impunity. Seems the ruling class doesn't even care anymore how widely known it is that the US has little sovereignty.
Circe , Apr 8 2020 14:41 utc | 35
Is Trump charging for the masks or are they an added bonus to the 4 billion Israel already gets annually?

In 2018 Trump cut all aid to UNRWA destined for Palestine.

Screw Trump. Palestinians have started producing their own masks; up to 50,000 per day as well as protective gowns.

[Apr 09, 2020] Dr. Fauci Says US COVID-19 US Deaths Could Be As Low As 60K After Warning Millions Could Die

This guy is really a fearmonger who after sleeting for two months greatly contributed with his idiotic interviews to the botched reaction of the US government to this crisis. He should go
Notable quotes:
"... And now, after the Trump Administration scrambled to ramp up testing capacity and the states worked with the Feds, private entities, and others (including in some cases foreign nations) to distribute ventilators as Gov. Andrew Cuomo painted a horrifying portrait of sickened New Yorkers suffocating to death in hospital hallways because there were no ventilators available. ..."
"... Well, yesterday, NYC Mayor de Blasio said that, after a few days of near capacity numbers, hospitalizations have dropped by such a steep degree that the city believes it has enough ventilators on hand, and won't need any more. ..."
Apr 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

And now, after the Trump Administration scrambled to ramp up testing capacity and the states worked with the Feds, private entities, and others (including in some cases foreign nations) to distribute ventilators as Gov. Andrew Cuomo painted a horrifying portrait of sickened New Yorkers suffocating to death in hospital hallways because there were no ventilators available.

Well, yesterday, NYC Mayor de Blasio said that, after a few days of near capacity numbers, hospitalizations have dropped by such a steep degree that the city believes it has enough ventilators on hand, and won't need any more.

Now on Thursday, Dr. Fauci is taking to cable news to spread the message of optimism that has lifted US stocks over the past few days: Instead of the 240k figure used by President Trump as recently as two weeks ago, Dr. Fauci told NBC News that if the public continued to stick to the "mitigation efforts", that the death toll might be as low as 60k.

[Apr 08, 2020] WHO can we trust Just when coronavirus gave the World Health Organization its moment to shine, it bottled it -- RT Op-ed

Apr 08, 2020 | www.rt.com

The WHO had been made aware of Covid-19 by December last year. In January, it posted a tweet saying: "Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China."

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan , #China 🇨🇳. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG

-- World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020

Then in February, Ghebreyesus declared that there was no need for travel bans, saying the spread of the virus outside China was "minimal and slow." Fast forward to March 11, and Dr Tedros was telling the world that coronavirus was officially a pandemic and that he was "deeply concerned by alarming levels of inaction" as it spread. Days later, he tweeted that the "pandemic is accelerating."

Then, at a press conference, he said that "all countries should be able to test all suspected cases" because "they cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded." Perhaps if countries had been warned about the need for widespread testing sooner; they would have been better placed to implement such measures?

The #COVID19 pandemic is accelerating. It took 67 days from the 1st reported case to reach the first 100K cases, 11 days for the second 100K cases & just 4 days for the third 100K cases.These numbers matter, these are people, whose lives & families have been turned upside down. https://t.co/VydhLBNq36

-- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 23, 2020

Obviously, hindsight is 20/20 and it is very easy to criticize a person or an organization for not predicting something after it has happened. But the WHO should have been better prepared for this, not least because it already had experience of the spread of SARS, MERS, H5N1 and swine flu in recent years to draw on. Admittedly, none spread as virulently as Covid-19, but it was obvious from those outbreaks that measures such as testing and restricting travel would help slow the spread.

Perhaps it was concerned about again being accused of overreacting, as it had been by some in response to the 2009 swine flu outbreak. Possibly, it too readily believed the low figures being reported by China during the early part of this year. Maybe it assumed countries were more prepared to deal with pandemics than they turned out to be. Whatever the reasons may or may not be, the fact remains that when the world turned to the WHO, it failed. No amount of publicity stunts, like today's appearance by Lady Gaga, will change that.

WHO will have a special guest at today's #COVID19 press conference: @ladygaga will be joining us to announce the One World: #TogetherAtHome virtual global special on 18 April 2020. 📺 at 15.30 GMT

-- World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 6, 2020

Exactly where in the organization's structure the blame lies is impossible for an outsider to say, but surely the buck must stop eventually with Dr Tedros. His messaging early on in this crisis hugely downplayed the risks and has without question led to a situation that at least had a chance of being avoided. When the dust has settled, and the virus is finally brought under control, a serious question will have to be asked: who can trust the WHO?

[Apr 06, 2020] Coronavirus A Theory of Incompetence

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The US for decades has as a matter of policy tried to reduce the number of hospital beds, which among other things has led to the shuttering of hospitals, particularly in rural areas. Hero of the day, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo pursued this agenda with vigor, as did his predecessor George Pataki. ..."
"... In a functional system, much of the preparation and messaging would have been undertaken by the CDC. In this case, it chose not to simply adopt the World Health Organization's COVID-19 test kits -- stockpiling them in the millions in the months we had between the first arrival of the coronavirus in China and its widespread appearance here -- but to try to develop its own test. Why? It isn't clear. But they bungled that project, too, failing to produce a reliable test and delaying the start of any comprehensive testing program by a few critical weeks. ..."
"... Thomas Hobbes argued that life apart from society would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Outside poor countries and communities, advances in science and industrialization have largely proven him right. ..."
"... Come quietly to The Gap ..."
"... "notions about parenting changed very drastically in the 80's" ..."
"... "the too-common belief that it is possible to run an operation, any operation, by numbers, appears to be a root cause." ..."
"... A sound banker, alas! is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional and orthodox way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him. ..."
"... it didn't matter ..."
"... our identities as academics are unavoidably embedded in a form of neoliberal hyperglobalisation. We rely on unrestricted flows of (wealthy) bodies across borders. ..."
"... Variable coronavirus outcomes by nation could suggest a combination of elite incompetence, poor individual judgment, a lack of appreciation of risk in all its Rumsfeldian forms, corruption, a desire by oligarchs for autocratic control and being insulated and divorced from actual operations; or underlying cultural and economic factors. ..."
"... My own view is that we can trace the root cause of policy failure back to the dominant values of leadership and the values of the society/culture which spawned them regarding the relative importance of money in determining policy choices regarding public health and safety. ..."
Apr 06, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Leaders in the public and private sector in advanced economies, typically highly credentialed, have with very few exceptions shown abject incompetence in dealing with coronavirus as a pathogen and as a wrecker of economies. The US and UK have made particularly sorry showings, but they are not alone.

It's become fashionable to blame the failure to have enough medical stockpiles and hospital beds and engage in aggressive enough testing and containment measures on capitalism. But as I will describe shortly, even though I am no fan of Anglosphere capitalism, I believe this focus misses the deeper roots of these failures.

After all the country lauded for its response, South Korea, is capitalist. Similarly, reader vlade points out that the Czech Republic has had only 2 coronavirus deaths per million versus 263 for Italy . Among other things, the Czech Republic closed its borders in mid-March and made masks mandatory . Newscasters and public officials wear them to underscore that no one is exempt.

Even though there are plenty of examples of capitalism gone toxic, such as hospitals and Big Pharma sticking doggedly to their price gouging ways or rampant production disruptions due to overly tightly-tuned supply chains, that isn't an adequate explanation. Government dereliction of duty also abound. In 2006, California's Governor Arnold Schwarznegger reacted to the avian flu by creating MASH on steroids. From the LA Times :

They were ready to roll whenever disaster struck California: three 200-bed mobile hospitals that could be deployed to the scene of a crisis on flatbed trucks and provide advanced medical care to the injured and sick within 72 hours.

Each hospital would be the size of a football field, with a surgery ward, intensive care unit and X-ray equipment. Medical response teams would also have access to a massive stockpile of emergency supplies: 50 million N95 respirators, 2,400 portable ventilators and kits to set up 21,000 additional patient beds wherever they were needed

"In light of the pandemic flu risk, it is absolutely a critical investment," he [Governor Schwarznegger] told a news conference. "I'm not willing to gamble with the people's safety."

They were dismantled in 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown as part of post-crisis belt tightening.

The US for decades has as a matter of policy tried to reduce the number of hospital beds, which among other things has led to the shuttering of hospitals, particularly in rural areas. Hero of the day, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo pursued this agenda with vigor, as did his predecessor George Pataki.

And even though Trump has made bad decision after bad decision, from eliminating the CDC's pandemic unit to denying the severity of the crisis and refusing to use government powers to turbo-charge state and local medical responses, people better qualified than he is have also performed disastrously. America's failure to test early and enough can be laid squarely at the feet of the CDC. As New York Magazine pointed out on March 12:

In a functional system, much of the preparation and messaging would have been undertaken by the CDC. In this case, it chose not to simply adopt the World Health Organization's COVID-19 test kits -- stockpiling them in the millions in the months we had between the first arrival of the coronavirus in China and its widespread appearance here -- but to try to develop its own test. Why? It isn't clear. But they bungled that project, too, failing to produce a reliable test and delaying the start of any comprehensive testing program by a few critical weeks.

The testing shortage is catastrophic: It means that no one knows how bad the outbreak already is, and that we couldn't take effectively aggressive measures even we wanted to. There are so few tests available, or so little capacity to run them, that they are being rationed for only the most obvious candidates, which practically defeats the purpose. It is not those who are very sick or who have traveled to existing hot spots abroad who are most critical to identify, but those less obvious, gray-area cases -- people who may be carrying the disease around without much reason to expect they're infecting others Even those who are getting tested have to wait at least several days for results; in Senegal, where the per capita income is less than $3,000, they are getting results in four hours. Yesterday, apparently, the CDC conducted zero tests

[O]ur distressingly inept response, kept bringing to mind an essay by Umair Haque, first published in 2018 and prompted primarily by the opioid crisis, about the U.S. as the world's first rich failed state

And the Trump Administration has such difficulty shooting straight that it can't even manage its priority of preserving the balance sheets of the well off. Its small business bailouts, which are as much about saving those enterprises as preserving their employment, are off to a shaky start . How many small and medium sized ventures can and will maintain payrolls out of available cash when they aren't sure when and if Federal rescue money will hit their bank accounts?

How did the US, and quite a few other advanced economies, get into such a sorry state that we are lack the operational capacity to engage in effective emergency responses? Look at what the US was able to do in the stone ages of the Great Depression. As Marshall Auerback wrote of the New Deal programs :

The government hired about 60 per cent of the unemployed in public works and conservation projects that planted a billion trees, saved the whooping crane, modernized rural America, and built such diverse projects as the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh, the Montana state capitol, much of the Chicago lakefront, New York's Lincoln Tunnel and Triborough Bridge complex, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the aircraft carriers Enterprise and Yorktown. It also built or renovated 2,500 hospitals, 45,000 schools, 13,000 parks and playgrounds, 7,800 bridges, 700,000 miles of roads, and a thousand airfields. And it employed 50,000 teachers, rebuilt the country's entire rural school system, and hired 3,000 writers, musicians, sculptors and painters, including Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

What are the deeper causes of our contemporary generalized inability to respond to large-scale threats? My top picks are a lack of respect for risk and the rise of symbol manipulation as the dominant means of managing in the private sector and government.

Risk? What Risk?

Thomas Hobbes argued that life apart from society would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Outside poor countries and communities, advances in science and industrialization have largely proven him right.

It was not long ago, in historical terms, that even aristocrats would lose children to accidents and disease. Only four of Winston Churchill's six offspring lived to be adults. Comparatively few women now die in childbirth.

But it isn't just that better hygiene, antibiotics, and vaccines have helped reduce the scourges of youth. They have also reduced the consequences of bad fortune. Fewer soldiers are killed in wars. More are patched up, so fewer come back in coffins and more with prosthetics or PTSD. And those prosthetics, which enable the injured to regain some of their former function, also perversely shield ordinary citizens from the spectacle of lost limbs. 1

Similarly, when someone is hit by a car or has a heart attack, as traumatic as the spectacle might be to onlookers, typically an ambulance arrives quickly and the victim is whisked away. Onlookers can tell themselves he's in good hands and hope for the best.

With the decline in manufacturing, fewer people see or hear of industrial accidents, like the time a salesman in a paper mill in which my father worked stuck his hand in a digester and had his arm ripped off. And many of the victims of hazardous work environments suffer from ongoing exposures, such as to toxic chemicals or repetitive stress injuries, so the danger isn't evident until it is too late.

Most also are oddly disconnected from the risks they routinely take, like riding in a car (I for one am pretty tense and vigilant when I drive on freeways, despite like to speed as much as most Americans). Perhaps it is due in part to the illusion of being in control while driving.

Similarly, until the coronavirus crisis, even with America's frayed social safety nets, most people, particularly the comfortably middle class and affluent, took comfort in appearances of normalcy and abundance. Stores are stocked with food. Unlike the oil crisis of the 1970, there's no worry about getting petrol at the pump. Malls may be emptying out and urban retail vacancies might be increasing, but that's supposedly due to the march of Amazon, and not anything amiss with the economy. After all, unemployment is at record lows, right?

Those who do go to college in America get a plush experience. No thin mattresses or only adequately kept-up dorms, as in my day. The notion that kids, even of a certain class, have to rough it a bit, earn their way up and become established in their careers and financially, seems to have eroded. Quite a few go from pampered internships to fast-track jobs. In the remote era of my youth, even in the prestigious firms, new hires were subjected to at least a couple of years of grunt work.

So the class of people with steady jobs (which these days are well-placed members of the professional managerial class, certain trades and those who chose low-risk employment with strong civil service protections) have also become somewhat to very removed from the risks endured when most people were subsistence farmers or small town merchants who served them.

Consider this disconnect, based on an Axios-Ipsos survey :

The coronavirus is spreading a dangerous strain of inequality. Better-off Americans are still getting paid and are free to work from home, while the poor are either forced to risk going out to work or lose their jobs.

Generally speaking, the people who are positioned to be least affected by coronavirus are the most rattled. That is due to the gap between expectations and the new reality. Poor people have Bad Shit Happen on a regular basis. Wealthy people expect to be able to insulate themselves from most of it and then have it appear in predictable forms, like cheating spouses and costly divorces, bad investments (still supposedly manageable if you are diversified!), renegade children, and common ailments, like heart attacks and cancer, where the rich better the odds by advantaged access to care.

The super rich are now bunkered, belatedly realizing they can't set up ICUs at home, and hiring guards to protect themselves from marauding hordes, yet uncertain that their mercenaries won't turn on them.

The bigger point is that we've had a Minksy-like process operating on a society-wide basis: as daily risks have declined, most people have blinded themselves to what risk amounts to and where it might surface in particularly nasty forms. And the more affluent and educated classes, who disproportionately constitute our decision-makers, have generally been the most removed.

The proximity to risk goes a long way to explaining who has responded better. As many have pointed out, the countries that had meaningful experience with SARS 2 had a much better idea of what they were up against with the coronavirus and took aggressive measures faster.

But how do you explain South Korea, which had only three cases of SARS and no deaths? It doesn't appear to have had enough experience with SARS to have learned from it.

A related factor may be that developing economies have fresh memories of what life was like before they became affluent. I can't speak for South Korea, but when I worked with the Japanese, people still remembered the "starving times" right after World War II. Japan was still a poor country in the 1960s. 3 South Korea rose as an economic power after Japan. The Asian Tigers were also knocked back on their heels with the 1997 emerging markets crisis. And of course Seoul is in easy nuke range of North Korea. It's the only country I ever visited, including Israel, where I went through a metal detector to enter and saw lots of soldiers carrying machine guns in the airport. So they likely have a keen appreciation of how bad bad can be.

The Rise and Rise of the Symbol Economy

Let me start with an observation by Peter Drucker that I read back in the 1980s, but will then redefine his take on "symbol economy," because I believe the phenomenon has become much more pervasive than he envisioned.

A good recap comes in Fragile Finance: Debt, Speculation and Crisis in the Age of Global Credit by A. Nesvetailova:

The most significant transformation for Drucker was the changed relationship between the symbolic economy of capital movements, exchange rates, and credit flows, and the real economy of the flow of goods and services:

in the world economy of today, the 'real economy' of goods and services and the 'symbol economy' of money, credit, and capital are no longer bound tightly to each other; they are indeed, moving further and further apart (1986: 783)

The rise of the financial sphere as the flywheel of the world economy, Drucker noted, is both the most visible and the least understood change of modern capitalism.

What Drucker may not have sufficiently appreciated was money and capital flows are speculative and became more so over time. In their study of 800 years of financial crises, Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff found that high levels of international capital flows were strongly correlated with more frequent and more severe financial crises. Claudio Borio and Petit Disyatat of the Banks of International Settlements found that on the eve of the 2008 crisis, international capital flows were 61 times as large as trade flows, meaning they were only trivially settling real economy transactions.

Now those factoids alone may seem to offer significant support to Drucker's thesis. But I believe he conceived of it too narrowly. I believe that modeling techniques, above all, spreadsheet-based models, have removed decision-makers from the reality of their decisions. If they can make it work on paper, they believe it will work that way.

When I went to business school and started on Wall Street, financiers and business analysts did their analysis by hand, copying information from documents and performing computations with calculators. It was painful to generate financial forecasts, since one error meant that everything to the right was incorrect and had to be redone.

The effect was that when managers investigated major capital investments and acquisitions, they thought hard about the scenarios they wanted to consider since they could look at only a few. And if a model turned out an unfavorable-looking result, that would be hard to rationalize away, since a lot of energy had been devoted to setting it up.

By contrast, when PCs and Visicalc hit the scene, it suddenly became easy to run lots of forecasts. No one had any big investment in any outcome. And spending so much time playing with financial models would lead most participants to a decision to see the model as real, when it was a menu, not a meal.

When reader speak with well-deserved contempt of MBA managers, the too-common belief that it is possible to run an operation, any operation, by numbers, appears to be a root cause. For over five years, we've been running articles from the Health Renewal Blog decrying the rise of "generic managers" in hospital systems (who are typically also spectacularly overpaid) who proceed to grossly mismanage their operations yet still rake in the big bucks.

The UK version of this pathology is more extreme, because it marries managerial overconfidence with a predisposition among British elites to look at people who work hard as "must not be sharp." But the broad outlines apply here. From Clive, on a Brexit post, when Brexit was the poster child of UK elite incompetence :

What's struck me most about the UK government's approach to the practical day-to-day aspects of Brexit is that it is exemplifying a typically British form of managerialism which bedevilles both public sector and private sector organisations. It manifests itself in all manner of guises but the main characteristic is that some "leader" issues impractical, unworkable, unachievable or contradictory instructions (or a "strategy") to the lower ranks. These lower ranks have been encouraged to adopt the demeanour of yes-men (or yes-women). So you're not allowed to question the merits of the ask. Everyone keeps quiet and takes the paycheck while waiting for the roof to fall in on them. It's not like you're on the breadline, so getting another year or so in isn't a bad survival attitude. If you make a fuss now, you'll likely be replaced by someone who, in the leadership's eyes is a lot more can-do (but is in fact just either more naive or a better huckster).

Best illustrated perhaps by an example -- I was asked a day or two ago to resolve an issue I'd reported using "imaginative" solutions. Now, I've got a a vivid imagination, but even that would not be able to comply with two mutually contradictory aims at the same time ("don't incur any costs for doing some work" and "do the work" -- where because we've outsourced the supply of the services in question, we now get real, unhideable invoices which must be paid).

To the big cheeses, the problem is with the underlings not being sufficiently clever or inventive. The real problem is the dynamic they've created and their inability to perceive the changes (in the same way as swinging a wrecking ball is a "change") they've wrought on an organisation.

May, Davies, Fox, the whole lousy lot of 'em are like the pilot in the Airplane movie -- they're pulling on the levers of power only to find they're not actually connected to anything. Wait until they pull a little harder and the whole bloody thing comes off in their hands.

Americans typically do this sort of thing with a better look: the expectations are usually less obviously implausible, particularly if they might be presented to the wider world. One of the cancers of our society is the belief that any problem can be solved with better PR, another manifestation of symbol economy thinking.

I could elaborate further on how these attitudes have become common, such as the ability of companies to hide bad operating results and them come clean every so often as if it were an extraordinary event, short job tenures promoting "IBG/YBG" opportunism, and the use of lawyers as liability shields (for the execs, not the company, natch).

But it's not hard to see how it was easy to rationalize away the risks of decisions like globalization. Why say no to what amounted to a transfer from direct factory labor to managers and execs? Offshoring and outsourcing were was sophisticated companies did. Wall Street liked them. Them gave senior employees an excuse to fly abroad on the company dime. So what if the economic case was marginal? So what if the downside could be really bad? What Keynes said about banker herd mentality applies:

A sound banker, alas! is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional and orthodox way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him.

It's not hard to see how a widespread societal disconnect of decision-makers from risk, particularly health-related risks, compounded with management by numbers as opposed to kicking the tires, would combine to produce lax attitude toward operations in general.

I believe a third likely factor is poor governance practices, and those have gotten generally worse as organizations have grown in scale and scope. But there is more country-specific nuance here, and I can discuss only a few well, so adding this to my theory will have to hold for another day. But it isn't hard to think of some in America. For instance, 40 years ago, there were more midsized companies, with headquarters in secondary cities like Dayton, Ohio. Executives living in and caring about their reputation in their communities served as a check on behavior.

Before you depict me as exaggerating about the change in posture toward risks, I recall reading policy articles in the 1960s where officials wrung their hands about US dependence on strategic materials found only in unstable parts of Africa. That US would never have had China make its soldiers' uniforms, boots, and serve as the source for 80+ of the active ingredients in its drugs. And America was most decidedly capitalist in the 1960s. So we need to look at how things have changed to explain changes in postures towards risk and notions of what competence amounts to.

_____
1 One of my early memories was seeing a one-legged man using a crutch, with the trouser of his missing leg pinned up. I pointed to him and said something to my parents and was firmly told never to do anything like that again.

2 The US did not learn much from its 33 cases . But the lack of fatalities may have contributed.

3 Japan has had a pretty lame coronavirus response, but that is the result of Japan's strong and idiosyncratic culture. While Japanese are capable of taking action individually when they are isolated, in group settings, no one wants to act or even worse take responsibility unless their is an accepted or established protocol.


PlutoniumKun , April 6, 2020 at 7:15 am

Ian Walsh has a good take on it – he ascribes it to a new aristocracy, which has all the vices of the old aristocracy.

Let's chalk this up to aristocratic elites. Aristocrats, unlike nobles, are decadent, but don't stop with that word; understand what it means.

Elites who are not aligned with the actual productive activities of society and are engaged primarily in activities which are contrary to production, are decadent. This was true in Ancien Regime France (and deliberately fostered by Louis XIV as a way of emasculating the nobility). It is true today of most Western elites; they concentrate on financial numbers, and not on actual production. Even those who are somewhat competent tend not to be truly productive: see the Waltons, who made their money as distributers–merchants.

The techies have mostly outsourced production; they don't make things, they design them. That didn't work out for England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and it hasn't worked well for the US, though thanks to Covid-19 and US fears surrounding China, the US may re-shore their production capacity before it is too late.

I think there is also a lot to be said for historical (and current) memories of crisis. Both South Korea and Taiwan are countries on a near permanent war footage – both have genuine reasons to fear an external attack (this is particularly visible in South Korea – bomb shelters and warnings everywhere). They are simply at a higher level of alert than most countries and take civil defence very seriously. Much the same applies to Vietnam.

I've noticed here that so far as I can see, the response in Ireland has been significantly better than the UK, despite the NHS being a far better system than the rickety, unequal, and notoriously bureaucratic Irish system. I've noticed that a lot of the official response has revived old protocols for TB and Polio – both diseases that ravaged Ireland into living memory – most old doctors of my acquaintance here will tell you horror stories and I grew up knowing people crippled from polio. While in the UK its fair to say I think that such horrors have slipped out of bureaucratic memory. People talk about the War, but in reality they have no real memory of the horrors of seeing neighbours die. So I think there is a lot to be said for simple institutional memory and practice allowing some countries to respond that big quicker. And with this virus even just 2-3 weeks extra preparation could have made all the difference to a country or region.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 6, 2020 at 9:58 am

And they don't have to live where they are from anymore. When Tony Blair wants positive attention, he jets off to the US or Israel. Claire McCaskill lost a statewide race when the same electorate passed a minimum wage increase and legalized at least medical Marijuana. She now opines on Comcast PR about elections.

PlutoniumKun , April 6, 2020 at 10:26 am

That does make a difference. After the Celtic Tiger crash in Ireland, the PM (Bertie Ahern) who was largely responsible ended up banned from his regular pub where he was well known to have a pint every evening after his day job. The owner explained that if he didn't bar him, he'd lose the rest of his customers.

Mind you, like all the others he still makes a living on the public speaking circuit and his chiklit writer daughter got a mysteriously large book deal from a Murdoch owned publisher..

Cat Burglar , April 6, 2020 at 11:10 am

The Irish case is interesting, because the performance of the state in recent times has been anything but competent. The bank bailout and the cervical cancer cases allowed by the botched testing program are examples. I remember a Morgan Kelly lecture where he said, "We don't do competence in Ireland. You start holding people responsible and you might get some of the 'wrong' people."

The Irish leadership stratum so far looks as if it has done a better job than even the US. Your point about the living memory TB and Polio -- in the 50s, my aunt and uncle, visiting from the US, were advised by the priest not to go to mass because of the danger of picking up TB -- rings true. I wonder if the recent fails by the state, that seem to have left the public abidingly angry (the bailout) and aghast (authorities letting women die of cervical cancer ) have shown elites that they have no political room to fail this time, and that they must show tangible success.

DJG , April 6, 2020 at 11:20 am

Plutonium Kun: Thanks for re-posting the Ian Welsh essay, which was posted at Naked Capitalism a couple days ago–and which has been on my mind since I read it then. I recall that when I was living on the North Shore, the belt of rich suburbs north of Chicago, on a whimsy for a few years, the prevailing stance in dealing with others was a kind of genial incompetence. Shortly after, I returned to Chicago for some grit and consequences.

I woke up this morning thinking of this example of the decadence (a term Welsh describes): The serious person Hillary Clinton opining on something or other. Where is serious person, and vision of competence, Hillary Clinton these days? Why isn't she advocating for the little people? Or at least for her slobbering fan club? Or hoping for another soft-ball interview that doesn't ask what it was like to be Bill's bag-man all those years as they raked in the moolah?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hillary-clinton-single-payer-health-care-will-never-ever-happen/

Unfortunately, in Italy, the Hillary Clinton of Italian politics, Matteo Renzi, hasn't taken heavy hints to go away.

Synoia , April 6, 2020 at 12:43 pm

It is hard to distinguish between incompetence and fraud.

I personally believe much that looks incompetent conceals fraud.

HotFlash , April 6, 2020 at 2:09 pm

It's not that hard. Follow the money.

divadab , April 6, 2020 at 7:18 am

The incompetence is a symptom of a morally-degenerate managerial class Infected with bad ideas and having no sense of responsibility to anyone other than themselves. They plan out quarter by quarter, loot their companies instead of investing in them, and lie habitually. This is CORRUPTION. Consider that the ex-CEO of GE, with all his hundreds of millions garnered by cheating GE employees and offshoring their jobs, looting company funds to enrich himself and his co-conspirators, was also a tax cheat, buying art for his NY city palace but claiming it was for his abode in NH and evading NY sales tax. Committing fraud to evade his fair share. A better model for what ails US America cannot be found than this scum.

And note that Boeing moved its headquarters to Chicago "to be more like GE". Well they've destroyed the company to be more like the looters and liars and cheats. Nice work if you can get it.

Yves Smith Post author , April 6, 2020 at 7:40 am

This post is not just about the private sector. State and local governments are primarily responsible for public health.

Your theory does not explain Jerry Brown killing the Schwarznegger emergency response apparatus.

Nor is it adequate to respond to the general idea that "never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence". Even though it is obvious that America has a lot of corruption, you omit the notion that a lot of stupid will also explain much of what we are seeing now.

eyebear , April 6, 2020 at 8:09 am

Thank for your article – due to that we humans tend to compare us to each other, we are prone to error. Why shouldn't we do, what the others do?
And that's were the incompetence gets it's grip on. Here in Germany we just avoided the closure of smaller hospitals, because they are not efficient enough – now we are the lucky ones with the higher number of beds and ICU's and ecma and so on.

That's not only luck, but the preachers of the neoliberal agenda have a hardship nowadays – and 'we, the people' have a minimum of two years to redesign our societies.

c_heale , April 6, 2020 at 8:23 am

Maybe the Dead Kennedys had it right about Jerry Brown in California Über Alles

Cat Burglar , April 6, 2020 at 10:22 am

They did have it right!

But remember, too, that Brown showed in his first term, in the 70s, that he was a textbook case of being one of Stoller's progressive post-Watergate Democrats that set aside New Deal programs and regulation. I remember his deregulation of intrastate trucking from that time, which the highly unionized truckers opposed. Come quietly to The Gap

rd , April 6, 2020 at 8:54 am

I think one of the problems is that financialization and securitization of everything has effectively separated the managerial class in both private and public sector from knowledge and experience of actual logistics and execution.Transferring securities with the push of a button is not the same as getting an industrial plant or phone center built, trained, and running efficiently. Companies and organizations with a history of doing this well can completely undo that capability in only a couple of years (e.g. CDC, FEMA, numerous companies taken over by PE). While my examples below are US-based, I think a lot of the same thought processes have been going on in much of the OECD (e.g. Brexit debacle).

Once everything is measured in dollars with a maximum of a 1 to 5 years window, then it becomes really easy to just focus on the little ball needed to become really "efficient" without thinking about the bigger societal picture. I think the generations that grew up in WW I, 19189-19 Flu, Prohibition, Great Depression, WW II had a much bigger picture of life and society. In some respects, things like Vietnam, were an over-reaction (like immune system going haywire) but on the whole, there was a big focus for 50 years on the potential for really big, bad things to happen. Once the Berlin Wall fell, much of that dissipated and so the shocks that come are generally responded to with a combination of bewilderment, lack of general interest unless it personally impacts you, or the immune system going wild (Iraq invasion, torture).

As a result, you get bulls*#t like this from people like Fed Governor Bullard: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-bullard-says-there-is-good-news-for-those-worried-about-the-economys-future-that-universal-covid-19-testing-will-help-restore-economic-health-2020-04-05?mod=home-page

He wants universal daily testing of all Americans to prove daily they can be out and about. This is in a country that can't figure out how to have half the country vote without standing in lines for hours or hasn't been able to figure out how to even get sick people tested and waiting a week or more more for the test results to come back. Granted, the 15 minute tests mean that it might be possible to set up a lemonade stand at the entrance to every subdivision or subway station for people to get their daily test. The logistical undertaking to do this would be mammoth, although there are at least lots of unemployed people who could get several months of training to learn how to do such a test.

Once everything is measured in dollars with a maximum of a 1 to 5 years window, then it becomes really easy to just focus on the little ball needed to become really "efficient" without thinking about the bigger societal picture. I think the generations that grew up in WW I, 19189-19 Flu, Prohibition, Great Depression, WW II had a much bigger picture of life and society. In some respects, things like Vietnam, were an over-reaction (like immune system going haywire) but on the whole, there was a big focus for 50 years on the potential for really big, bad things to happen. Once the Berlin Wall fell, much of that dissipated and so the shocks that come are generally responded to with a combination of bewilderment, lack of general interest unless it personally impacts you, or the immune system going wild (Iraq invasion, torture).

I am a design engineer and I have found it is really difficult to get people to engage in real discussions of potential risks and solutions. Generally the only thing that anybody wants to know is "What will it cost to be prepared?" Almost nobody wants to talk about low probability, high impact events because that generally would not show up in the 1-5 years time limit people care about.

Susan the other , April 6, 2020 at 11:43 am

low probability – high impact events and human nature. We just went thru a surprising 5.6 earthquake – I'm pretty sure we were ground zero because it not only shook the house like a hurricane for 4 seconds, there was also the sound of a very loud explosion. Sometimes earthquakes make booms like that. If it had lasted another 2 or 3 seconds the roof would have come down; the gas lines would have pulled apart; the plumbing would have been disabled and etc. But we just went, Well that was interesting. Lucky there was no damage. Probably not worth taking out earthquake insurance – it's so expensive.

Anon , April 6, 2020 at 1:27 pm

State and local government ARE responsible for public health. The local people running those agencies do not control their budgets. With insufficient funds their experience and qualifications are wasted by scrambling for stop-gap methods. The political leaders (Governors, mostly.) are most to blame. So the next time folks are choosing at the ballot box remember that public health needs vigoroous funding.

As for the incompetence of "managers" and the credentialed, it occurs everywhere in organizations in America, and beyond. A paycheck is essential while "speaking up" is dangerous. See: Captain Crozier. Most folks are neither secure enough financially or academically to voice a contrasting observation.

Yves, this was an excellent post. Decidedly pointed. There are few who dare to take this challenge. That is why NC is so important. Stay safe!

Felix_47 , April 6, 2020 at 11:00 am

Are you sure you don't mean Dennis Koslowsky (spelled something like that) who was a CPA from New Jersey and ran Tyco? At least he did some jail time. The smart ones figure out how to cheat legally by hiring the well connected white shoe Ivy League lawyers. That is not to say that GE was not mismanaged but it really was done in by the finance crisis because Jack Welch bet the company on it which worked really well for a long time until it did not which covered up the fact that manufacturing in the US is essentially impossible secondary to the legal system and the health care system, or lack thereof.

Clive , April 6, 2020 at 11:02 am

If only it was as simple as saying that services operated by the state were fine, it's private capital where the problem lies.

It's not. This is a societal and cultural problem.

There are employer "pushes" towards the deskilling and degrading of levels of operational competence. One is employers ( both public sector and private sector) do not want to pay for training and to retain a body of experienced employees because both of these cost money up-front with a payoff (in the form of competent, knowledgeable staff) that comes only slowly, later. And a churn of staff is seen as the sign, wrongly, but this is what the MBAs sell as snake oil, of a dynamic, healthy organisation which is bringing in (through a process which never seems to be adequately explained) new talent. Plus, of course, most obviously, younger and newer employees are cheaper so your average headcount cost is lower which is usually a management metric -- often one which is incentive-ised through reward.

There are also employee "pulls" -- and again, these are not just observed in the private sector. You see them in medicine, academia and even, most bizarrely, the arts. An example of these employee-instigated causes of a reduction in capability is that it becomes in-cultural-ated that if you spend too long in the same place, you're only doing so out of necessity because you're so useless, no-one else will employ you. So even if don't really want to move onto a different organisation or a different field of work outside your skillset, you feel you have to, in order to avoid looking "stale", "resistant to change", "stuck in your comfort zone" or any other of the myriad of thought-crimes which you don't want, in today's job market, to be seen to having evidence of committing. And also, as collective union bargaining has gone the way of the dinosaur, more often than not, if you want a raise you have to threaten to quit to get one. But again, more often than not, your current employer will call your bluff and let you leave. So you have to have another job lined up to to go to, if you're not to fall into a trap of flouncing off in a huff but having no other work to walk straight into. While your current employer might not, if they were honest, want to lose you, the dynamics of the workplace being what they are, neither side can then climb down from the ultimatums they've just served.

Yes, there are some notable poster-children of how private enterprise has committed suicide through the wanton bloodletting of its skilled employees (Boeing being a recent case-in-point). But even if you cast your gaze in the direction of public employers, this same phenomena can be found in universities, colleges and K-12 schools (where faculties are no longer bolstered by a strong bench of tenured staff, contract and non-tenured hire-and-fire disposable staff are now the norm, I won't even go there on the effect of charter schools) healthcare (even in the UK's entirely public sector NHS, there is huge reliance on contract and agency staff which the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted and the government is trying, belatedly and without any clear indication it can do so in the short term to redress this and avoid being price-gouged). Or federal and state regulators which now simply do not understand the businesses they are supposed to be regulating and have to buy-in external "expertise" (and merely exacerbate the revolving door problem).

In summary, I wish it were so simple to merely say "private sector bad, government good". But the rot has set in from top to bottom across all aspects of how we manage our shared organisational maturity (or, should I say, now, fix our shared organisational immaturity) and whether or not it started in the private sector, it has well and truly spread to infect the public sector, too. This was the unmistakable point of the post, so it bears re-reading it again with a particular emphasis on understanding why this is the case.

Susan the other , April 6, 2020 at 12:00 pm

devolution by automation. the dystopia we didn't see coming. can't help believing that automation itself – even though it has often been, or seemed to be, beneficial – hasn't undermined and/or destroyed what should be a collective human intelligence and contagious creativity that is the real thing that makes us thrive. But it takes a long steady progression and we