Art for episode 1229

1229: Orange Tongue

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 9m
March 29th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Viscount Sir Mittens of Falls City, Justin Feola, Dr. Ellie Shattles

Associate Executive Producers: Stephanie Symonds, Scott Shelbourn, Jesse Nelson, Dame Sheila the Lady of Lisboa

Cover Artist: SkipLogic

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Neil Ferguson (epidemiologist) - Wikipedia
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:53
Neil Morris Ferguson OBE FMedSci (born 1968) is a British epidemiologist and professor of mathematical biology, who specialises in the patterns of spread of infectious disease in humans and animals. He is the director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA), head of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Vice-Dean for Academic Development in the Faculty of Medicine, all at Imperial College, London.
Ferguson has used mathematical modelling to provide data on several disease outbreaks including the swine flu outbreak in 2009 in the UK, the 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak and the ebola epidemic in Western Africa in 2016. His work has also included research on mosquito-borne diseases including zika fever, yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria.
In February 2020, during the 2019''2020 coronavirus pandemic, which began in China, Ferguson and his team used statistical models to estimate that cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were significantly under-detected in China.
On 18 March 2020, he reported that he had developed the symptoms of COVID-19, and self-isolated.
Early life and education Edit Ferguson was born in Cumbria but grew up in Mid Wales, where he attended Llanidloes High School.[1] His father was an educational psychologist, while his mother was a librarian who later became an Anglican priest.[3]
He received his Master of Arts degree in Physics in 1990 at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in theoretical physics in 1994 at Linacre College, Oxford.[4][5] His doctoral research investigated interpolations from crystalline to dynamically triangulated random surfaces and was supervised by John F. Wheater [Wikidata ] .[2][6][1]
Career and research Edit Ferguson was part of Roy Anderson's group of infectious disease scientists who moved from the University of Oxford to Imperial College in November 2000, and started working on modelling the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak a few months later.[7] He was appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2002 New Year Honours in recognition of his work on the disease.[8]
Ferguson and colleagues founded the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis in 2008.[9] He advises the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Union, and the governments of the UK and United States, on the dynamics of infectious disease.[10] He is an international member of the National Academy of Medicine,[8] a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and is on the editorial boards of PLOS Computational Biology and Journal of the Royal Society Interface. He is a founding editor of the journal Epidemics.[11]
As of February 2020, at Imperial College, London, he is a professor of mathematical biology,[9][12][13] director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA), head of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Vice-Dean for Academic Development in the Faculty of Medicine.[8]
Swine flu 2009 Edit During the swine flu outbreak in 2009 in the UK, in an article titled "Closure of schools during an influenza pandemic" published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, Ferguson and colleagues endorsed the closure of schools in order to interrupt the course of the infection, slow further spread and buy time to research and produce a vaccine.[15][16] Ferguson's team reported on the economic and workforce effect school closure would have, particularly with a large percentage of doctors and nurses being women, of whom half had children under the age of 16. They studied previous influenza pandemics including the 1918 flu pandemic, the influenza pandemic of 1957 and the 1968 flu pandemic. They also looked at the dynamics of the spread of influenza in France during French school holidays and noted that cases of flu dropped when schools closed and re-emerged when they re-opened. They noted that when teachers in Israel went on strike during the flu season of 1999''2000, visits to doctors and the number of respiratory infections, fell by more than a fifth and more than two fifths respectively.[17]
In his report to the House of Lords in 2009, Ferguson recommended that to halt transmission of swine flu, actions would need to include "treating isolated cases with antivirals, public health measures such as school closures, travel restrictions around the region, mass use of antiviral prophylaxis in the population and possible use of vaccines".[18] He was also asked why there was not a policy for vaccinating frontline healthcare workers at that time.[18]
MERS-CoV Edit In 2013, he contributed to research on MERS- CoV during the first MERS outbreak in the Middle East, and its link with dromedary camels.[19]
Ebola Edit In 2014, as the director of the UK Medical Research Council's centre for outbreak analysis and modelling at Imperial, Ferguson provided data analysis for the WHO, on Ebola during the ebola epidemic in Western Africa.[20] In the same same year, he co-wrote a paper with Christopher J. M. Whitty published in Nature and titled "Infectious disease: Tough choices to reduce Ebola transmission", explaining the UK government's response to ebola in Sierra Leone, including the proposal to build and support centres where people could self-isolate voluntarily if they suspected that they could have the disease.[21]
Mosquito-borne diseases Edit Ferguson's work has included research on several mosquito-borne diseases including zika fever, yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria.[10]
Zika Edit In 2016, he co-authored a paper titled "Countering the Zika epidemic in Latin America", published in Science. Although disputed by at least one other biostatistician,[22] Ferguson and his team concluded that the age distribution of future outbreaks of zika will likely differ and that a new large epidemic would be delayed for ''at least a decade''.[23] Cases of zika dropped after 2016.[22] That year, he predicted that the zika outbreak in the Americas would be over within three years, and clarified that "viruses tend to return when there are enough susceptible people, such as children, to sustain a new outbreak".[24]
Dengue Edit Wolbachia is a bacterium frequently found in insects but not in the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the dengue virus. In 2015, Ferguson published a paper titled "Modeling the impact on virus transmission of Wolbachia-mediated blocking of dengue virus infection of Aedes aegypti", in which he and his team presented their experiments and used a mathematical model to show that one strain of Wolbachia, could reduce the ability of the Aedes aegypti mosquito to transmit dengue, with a 66-75% reduction in the basic reproduction number.[12][26]
COVID-19 Edit CDC laboratory test kit for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
[27]In February 2020, during the 2019''2020 coronavirus pandemic (ongoing as of March 2020[update]), which began in China, using statistical models that considered data on the number of deaths and recoveries inside China, travellers outside China and in those affected that had returned home, Ferguson, Azra Ghani and their team estimated that detected cases of COVID-19 had significantly underestimated the actual spread of the disease in China.[28][29][30][31] That month he stated that only 10% of cases were being detected in China.[30] At the same time, it was noted that the number of available testing kits had come into question,[29] and Ferguson calculated that only one in three cases coming into the UK was being detected.[32] He stated "that approximately two-thirds of cases in travellers from China have not yet been detected. It is highly likely that some of these undetected cases will have started chains of transmission within the countries they entered."[33][34][35] He said that the new coronavirus could affect up to 60% of the UK's population, in the worst-case scenario,[36] and "suggest(ed) that the impact of the unfolding epidemic may be comparable to the major influenza pandemics of the twentieth century."[28][37][38]
Ferguson is a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group.[39]
Awards and honours Edit Ferguson was appointed Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year Honours for his work modelling the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 2005.[40] He is also an International Member of the US National Academy of Medicine.[citation needed ]
Personal Edit Ferguson reported on 18 March 2020 that he had developed the symptoms of COVID-19, and self-isolated.[41][42]
Selected publications Edit Fergusons publications[43][44][45] include:
Closure of schools during an influenza pandemic[15]"Travel patterns in China"[46]Identification of MERS-CoV in dromedary camels[47]Infectious disease: Tough choices to reduce Ebola transmission[48]Modeling the impact on virus transmission of Wolbachia-mediated blocking of dengue virus infection of Aedes aegypti[49]Assessing the epidemiological effect of wolbachia for dengue control[50]Countering the Zika epidemic in Latin America[51]Challenges and opportunities in controlling mosquito-borne infections[52]All reports published on COVID-19[53]References Edit ^ a b c "Neil Ferguson, a virus modeller, sounds the slarm" . www.ft.com . Retrieved 29 March 2020 . ^ a b Ferguson, Neil Morris (1994). Continuous interpolations from crystalline to dynamically triangulated random surfaces. bodleian.ox.ac.uk (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. OCLC 556755377. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.239308. ^ Clark, Pilita (20 March 2020). "Neil Ferguson, a virus modeller sounds the alarm". Financial Times. ^ "Prominent alumni" . Retrieved 23 March 2020 . ^ Ambj¸rn, Jan; Durhuus, Bergfinnur; Jonsson, Thordur; Jonsson, Orur (June 1997). Quantum Geometry: A Statistical Field Theory Approach. p. 347. ISBN 9780521461672. ^ Woo, Gordon (27 January 2020). "Clues on the Coronavirus Contagion". Risk Management Solutions. ^ Highfield, Roger (11 April 2001). "Has the A-team defeated the virus?". The Telegraph. ^ a b c Vice-Dean recognised as International Fellow of the National Academy of Medicine. Jack Stewart, Imperial College London, 21 October 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2020. ^ a b "Professor Neil Ferguson | LCNTDR". londonntd.org . Retrieved 10 February 2020 . ^ a b "Optimal use of the first licensed dengue vaccine". LSHTM . Retrieved 15 February 2020 . ^ "Fields Institute - Thematic Program on the Foundations of Computational Mathematics". fields.utoronto.ca . Retrieved 10 February 2020 . ^ a b "Professor Neil Ferguson". imperial.ac.uk . Retrieved 10 February 2020 . ^ "Professor Neil Ferguson - Networks of evidence and expertise for public policy". csap.cam.ac.uk . Retrieved 10 February 2020 . ^ "2009 Press Releases". Health Protection Agency. 24 December 2009. Archived from the original on 24 December 2009 . Retrieved 24 December 2009 . ^ a b Cauchemez, Simon; Ferguson, Neil M; Wachtel, Claude; Tegnell, Anders; Saour, Guillaume; Duncan, Ben; Nicoll, Angus (2009). "Closure of schools during an influenza pandemic". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 9 (8): 473''481. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(09)70176-8. ISSN 1473-3099. PMID 19628172. ^ Wardrop, Murray (21 July 2009). "Swine flu: schools should close to halt spread of virus, ministers told" . The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235 . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ Walsh, Eric, ed. (20 July 2009). "Closing schools won't stop pandemics: study". Reuters . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ a b Pandemic influenza: follow-up, 3rd report of session 2008-09, report with evidence. The Stationery Office. 2009. p. 24''26. ISBN 978-0-10-844484-5. ^ Roos, Robert (16 December 2013). "Nearly identical MERS-CoV strains found in camels, humans". CIDRAP . Retrieved 29 March 2020 . ^ Gallagher, James (6 September 2014). "Ebola: How bad can it get?". BBC News . Retrieved 15 February 2020 . ^ "Infectious disease: Tough choices to reduce Ebola transmission | Ebola Response Anthropology Platform". ebola-anthropology.net . Retrieved 15 February 2020 . ^ a b Cohen, Jon; 2017 (16 August 2017). "Zika has all but disappeared in the Americas. Why?". Science | AAAS . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ Counotte, Michel J.; Althaus, Christian L.; Low, Nicola; Riou, Julien (26 December 2019). "Impact of age-specific immunity on the timing and burden of the next Zika virus outbreak". PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 13 (12): e0007978. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0007978. ISSN 1935-2727. PMC 6948816 . PMID 31877200. ^ Szabo, Liz. "Zika outbreak may have peaked in Brazil, researchers say". USA TODAY . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ "Genome Sequence of the Intracellular Bacterium Wolbachia". PLOS Biology. 2 (3): e76. 16 March 2004. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020076. ISSN 1545-7885. PMC 368170 . ^ Zhang, Hong; Lui, Roger (7 January 2020). "Releasing Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti to prevent the spread of dengue virus: A mathematical study". Infectious Disease Modelling. 5: 142''160. doi:10.1016/j.idm.2019.12.004. ISSN 2468-2152. PMC 6962337 . PMID 31956742. ^ CDC (5 February 2020). "CDC Tests for 2019-nCoV". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ a b "Coronavirus fatality rate estimated by Imperial scientists | Imperial News | Imperial College London". Imperial News. 11 February 2020 . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ a b Singh, Ayush (8 February 2020). "Professor Says Coronavirus is Infecting 50,000 a Day, and He May be Right". CCN.com . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ a b Yang, Yuan; Liu, Nian (13 February 2020). "Subscribe to read | Financial Times" . ft.com . Retrieved 17 February 2020 . ^ Professor Neil Ferguson on the current 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak. Video Interview (5 February 2020) ^ "More coronavirus cases 'highly likely' in UK". BBC News. 12 February 2020 . Retrieved 15 February 2020 . ^ "Two thirds of COVID-19 cases exported from mainland China may be undetected | Imperial News | Imperial College London". Imperial News . Retrieved 9 March 2020 . ^ MacKenzie, Debora. "Covid-19: Our chance to contain the coronavirus may already be over". New Scientist . Retrieved 9 March 2020 . ^ "COVID-19 strains global monitoring systems to the extreme". The Japan Times. 26 February 2020. ISSN 0447-5763 . Retrieved 9 March 2020 . ^ Petter, Olivia (13 February 2020). "Prevent spread of coronavirus on with 'less hugging and kissing', says virologist". The Independent . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ MacKenzie, Debora. "How bad is the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak likely to get?". New Scientist . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ Neville, Sarah (13 February 2020). "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". ft.com . Retrieved 16 February 2020 . ^ "New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group". GOV.UK . Retrieved 20 March 2020 . ^ "Professor Neil Ferguson | The Academy of Medical Sciences". acmedsci.ac.uk. ^ By Nadine White (18 March 2020). " ' There's A Lot Of Covid-19 In Westminster' Says Virus-Hit Academic Who Was With PM Days Ago". Huffington Post. ^ Proctor, Kate (27 March 2020). " ' There is a lot of Covid-19 in Westminster': how politicians fell ill". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077 . Retrieved 28 March 2020 . ^ Neil Ferguson publications from Europe PubMed Central ^ Neil Ferguson publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required) ^ Neil Ferguson publications indexed by Google Scholar ^ Jones, James; Garske, Tini; Yu, Hongjie; Peng, Zhibin; Ye, Min; Zhou, Hang; Cheng, Xiaowen; Wu, Jiabing; Ferguson, Neil (2011). "Travel Patterns in China". PLOS One. 6 (2): e16364. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016364. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3032737 . PMID 21311745. ^ Ferguson, Neil M; Van Kerkhove, Maria D (2014). "Identification of MERS-CoV in dromedary camels". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 14 (2): 93''94. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70691-1. ISSN 1473-3099. PMID 24355867. ^ Whitty, Christopher J. M.; Farrar, Jeremy; Ferguson, Neil; Edmunds, W. John; Piot, Peter; Leach, Melissa; Davies, Sally C. (2014). "Infectious disease: Tough choices to reduce Ebola transmission". Nature. 515 (7526): 192''194. doi:10.1038/515192a. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 25391946. ^ Ferguson, Neil M.; Hue Kien, Duong Thi; Clapham, Hannah; Aguas, Ricardo; Trung, Vu Tuan; Bich Chau, Tran Nguyen; Popovici, Jean; Ryan, Peter A.; O'Neill, Scott L.; McGraw, Elizabeth A.; Long, Vo Thi; Dui, Le Thi; Nguyen, Hoa L.; Vinh Chau, Nguyen Van; Wills, Bridget; Simmons, Cameron P. (2015). "Modeling the impact on virus transmission ofWolbachia-mediated blocking of dengue virus infection ofAedes aegypti". Science Translational Medicine. 7 (279): 279ra37. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3010370. ISSN 1946-6234. PMC 4390297 . PMID 25787763. ^ Lambrechts, Louis; Ferguson, Neil M; Harris, Eva; Holmes, Edward C; McGraw, Elizabeth A; O'Neill, Scott L; Ooi, Eng E; Ritchie, Scott A; Ryan, Peter A; Scott, Thomas W; Simmons, Cameron P; Weaver, Scott C (2015). "Assessing the epidemiological effect of wolbachia for dengue control". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 15 (7): 862''866. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00091-2. ISSN 1473-3099. PMC 4824166 . PMID 26051887. ^ Ferguson, N. M.; Cucunuba, Z. M.; Dorigatti, I.; Nedjati-Gilani, G. L.; Donnelly, C. A.; Basanez, M.-G.; Nouvellet, P.; Lessler, J. (2016). "Countering the Zika epidemic in Latin America". Science. 353 (6297): 353''354. doi:10.1126/science.aag0219. ISSN 0036-8075. PMC 5475255 . PMID 27417493. ^ Ferguson, Neil M. (2018). "Challenges and opportunities in controlling mosquito-borne infections". Nature. 559 (7715): 490''497. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0318-5. hdl:10044/1/61974. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 30046071. ^ "COVID-19 reports". Imperial College London . Retrieved 29 March 2020 .
Professor who predicted 500,000 Britons could die from coronavirus accused of having 'patchy record'
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:51
By Stephen Adams Medical Editor For The Mail On Sunday 02:36 29 Mar 2020, updated 02:37 29 Mar 2020
Professor Neil Ferguson, director at Imperial College, London, authored reportHe said even plans to slow the virus would result in around 250,000 deathsRival academic Professor Michael Thrusfield accused his work of being 'patchy' Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?Experts have cast doubt on the work of a key scientist whose apocalyptic prediction that coronavirus could kill 500,000 Britons led Boris Johnson to decide he had to lock down the country.
Professor Neil Ferguson, director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College, London, authored a report which forecast that terrible death toll if nothing was done to stop the spread of the disease.
Even plans to slow the virus '' letting around two-thirds of the population catch coronavirus to build up 'herd immunity' '' would result in 250,000 deaths, according to Imperial's mathematical model.
Prof Ferguson's devastating conclusion led the Prime Minister to perform a drastic U-turn a fortnight ago. Schools were closed and people told to stay at home.
Professor Neil Ferguson, a director at Imperial College, London, said that even with control measures 250,000 people could die in the outbreakLast week, Prof Ferguson told MPs these measures could see the eventual death toll cut to 'substantially less' than 20,000. Meanwhile a paper by separate colleagues at Imperial predicted just 5,700 deaths if the lockdown continues.
Now a rival academic has claimed Prof Ferguson has a patchy record of modelling epidemics, which could have led to hasty Ministerial decisions.
Professor Michael Thrusfield of Edinburgh University said Prof Ferguson was previously instrumental in modelling that led to the cull of more than 6 million animals during the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, which left rural Britain economically devastated.
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Then, Prof Ferguson and his Imperial colleagues concluded: 'Extensive culling is sadly the only option for controlling the current British epidemic.'
But Prof Thrusfield, an expert in animal diseases, claimed the model made incorrect assumptions about how foot and mouth disease was transmitted and, in a 2006 review, he claimed Imperial's foot and mouth model was 'not fit for purpose', while in 2011 he said it was 'severely flawed'.
Pictured above is an 18-year-old suffering from coronavirus being rushed through a hospitalYesterday, Prof Thrusfield told The Daily Telegraph the episode was 'a cautionary tale' about the limits of mathematical modelling and he felt a sense of 'd(C)j vu' about the current situation.
But Prof Ferguson defended Imperial's foot and mouth work, saying they were doing 'modelling in real time' with 'limited data'. He added: 'I think the broad conclusions reached were still valid.'
His estimate that coronavirus deaths could be 'substantially less' than 20,000 was based on 'the presence of the very intense social distancing and other interventions now in place'. Without such controls, his team still believed Britain could see 500,000 deaths.
Last night, NHS England medical director Professor Steven Powis warned: 'If we can keep deaths below 20,000 we will have done very well'... Now is not the time to be complacent.'
Neil Ferguson, the scientist who convinced Boris Johnson of UK coronavirus lockdown, criticised in past for flawed research
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:53
The scientist whose calculations about the potentially devastating impact of the coronavirus directly led to the countrywide lockdown has been criticised in the past for flawed research.
Professor Neil Ferguson, of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London, produced a paper predicting that Britain was on course to lose 250,000 people during the coronavirus epidemic unless stringent measures were taken. His research is said to have convinced Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisors to introduce the lockdown.
However, it has now emerged that Ferguson has been criticised in the past for making predictions based on allegedly faulty assumptions which nevertheless shaped government strategies and impacted the UK economy.
He was behind disputed research that sparked the mass culling of farm animals during the 2001 epidemic of foot and mouth disease, a crisis which cost the country billions of pounds.
And separately he also predicted that up to 150,000 people could die from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or 'mad cow disease') and its equivalent in sheep if it made the leap to humans. To date there have been fewer than 200 deaths from the human form of BSE and none resulting from sheep to human transmission.
Foot and mouth disease cost the UK billions of pounds Credit : DAVID CHESKIN/PAMr Ferguson's foot and mouth disease (FMD) research has been the focus of two highly critical academic papers which identified allegedly problematic assumptions in his mathematical modelling.
The scientist has robustly defended his work, saying that he had worked with limited data and limited time so the models weren't 100 per cent right '' but that the conclusions it reached were valid.
Michael Thrusfield, professor of veterinary epidemiology at Edinburgh University, who co-authored both of the critical reports, said that they had been intended as a ''cautionary tale'' about how mathematical models are sometimes used to predict the spread of disease.
He described his sense of ''d(C)j vu'' when he read Mr Ferguson's Imperial College paper on coronavirus, which was published earlier this month.
That paper - Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand '' warned that if no action were taken to control the coronavirus, around 510,000 people in Britain would lose their lives.
It also predicted that approximately 250,000 people could die if the Government's conservative approach at the time was not changed. The research, which was based on mathematical models, was key in convincing the Prime Minister that ''suppression'' - and subsequently a lockdown - was the only viable option to avoid huge loss of life and an NHS meltdown.
This week, a second paper authored by Mr Ferguson and the Imperial team further predicted that 40 million people worldwide could die if the coronavirus outbreak was left unchecked.
But scientists warned last night about the dangers in making sweeping political judgments based on mathematical modelling which may be flawed.
In 2001, as foot and mouth disease (FMD) broke out in parts of Britain, Ferguson and his team at Imperial College produced predictive modelling - which was later criticised as ''not fit for purpose.''
At the time, however, it proved highly influential and helped to persuade Tony Blair's government to carry out a widespread pre-emptive culling which ultimately led to the deaths of more than six million cattle, sheep and pigs. The cost to the economy was later estimated at £10 billion.
The model produced in 2001 by Professor Ferguson and his colleagues at Imperial suggested that the culling of animals include not only those found to be infected with the virus but also those on adjacent farms even if there was no physical evidence of infection.
''Extensive culling is sadly the only option for controlling the current British epidemic, and it is essential that the control measures now in place be maintained as case numbers decline to ensure eradication,'' said their report, published after the cull began.
The strategy of mass slaughter '' known as contiguous culling - sparked revulsion in the British public and prompted analyses of the methodology which has led to it.
A 2011 paper, Destructive Tension: mathematics versus experience '' the progress and control of the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic in Great Britain, found that the government ordered the destruction of millions of animals because of ''severely flawed'' modelling.
According to one of its authors - the former head of the Pirbright Laboratory at the Institute for Animal Health, Dr Alex Donaldson - Ferguson's models made a ''serious error'' by ''ignoring the species composition of farms,'' and the fact that the disease spread faster between some species than others.
The report stated: ''The mathematical models were, at best, crude estimations that could not differentiate risk between farms and, at worst, inaccurate representations of the epidemiology of FMD.''
It also described a febrile atmosphere '' reminiscent of recent weeks '' and claimed that this allowed mathematical modellers to shape government policy.
''The general impatience that met the wait for the full extent of infections to become apparent, accompanied by an ever increasing number of outbreaks and piles of carcasses awaiting disposal, was perceived as a lack of success of the traditional control measures and provided the opportunity for self-styled 'experts', including some veterinarians, biologists and mathematicians, to publicise unproven novel options,'' the researchers said.
An earlier report, in 2006, Use and abuse of mathematical models: an illustration from the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic in the United Kingdom, identified Professor Ferguson's modelling as having been the biggest driver of government policy.
The paper said that ''the models were not ¬t for the purpose of predicting the course of the epidemic and the effects of control measures. The models also remain unvalidated. Their use in predicting the effects of control strategies was therefore imprudent.''
On Friday, Professor Thrusfield said: ''When we wrote those two review papers, we thought it would be a cautionary tale for the future if foot and mouth disease struck again. We didn't think it would be a cautionary tale for a new plague in the human population '' but of course the cautionary tale is fully valid.
''This is d(C)j vu. During the [FMD] epidemic there was quite vocal opposition from members of the vet profession '' especially those who had their hands soaked in blood, killing perfectly healthy cattle.
''There was also a major economic and emotional impact on those involved, [because] the slaughter of these animals that were perfectly healthy. This was serious stuff. This was farmers losing their livelihoods. They need not have been slaughtered but they were because the predictions were wrong.''
Neil Ferguson self-isolated after presenting coronavirus symptomsLast night, Dr Paul Kitching - lead author of Use and abuse of mathematical models, and the former chief veterinarian of Canada's British Columbia province - raised fears over the modelling being done on coronavirus.
''The basic principles on modelling described in our paper apply to this Covid-19 crisis as much as they did to the FMD outbreak.
''In view of the low numbers of Covid-19 tests being reported as carried out in affected countries, it is difficult to understand what informs the current models. In particular the transmission rate. How many mild and subclinical infections are occurring?''
''The model driven policy of FMD control resulted in tragedy. Vast numbers of animals were slaughtered without reason. Untold human and animal suffering was the result - not to mention the financial consequences.''
However, Sir David King, who was the Chief Scientific Advisor to the government in 2001, said that criticism of the epidemiological modelling was ''misplaced.''
He said: ''I would agree there was some unnecessary culling taking place, but this is simply because there wasn't a unity in the way the thing was being handled.''
Professor Ferguson said of his modelling for FMD: ''A number of factors going into deciding policy, of which science '' particularly modelling '' is only one. It is ludicrous to say now that our model changed government policy. A number of factors did.
''We were doing modelling in real time as the other groups were in 2001 '' certainly the models weren't 100% right, certainly with limited data and limited time to do the work. But I think the broad conclusions reached were still valid.''
Of his work on BSE, in which he predicted human death toll of between 50 and 150,000, Professor Ferguson said: ''Yes, the range is wide, but it didn't actually lead to any change in government policy.''
Others have directly criticised the methodology employed by Ferguson and his team in their coronavirus study.
John Ioannidis, professor in disease prevention at Stanford University, said: ''The Imperial College study has been done by a highly competent team of modellers. However, some of the major assumptions and estimates that are built in the calculations seem to be substantially inflated.''
Professor Ferguson said anyone who thought the coronavirus was akin to seasonal flu was ''living in cloud cuckoo land.''
He defended the conclusions reached "in terms of the overwhelming demand on healthcare systems imposed by this virus."
''It is ludicrous, frankly, to suggest that the severity of this virus is comparable to seasonal flu '' ludicrous and dangerous. People who are doing so have not analysed the data in any level of detail.''
Imperial College scientist who predicted 500K coronavirus deaths in UK adjusts to 20K or fewer
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 06:28
| March 26, 2020 11:59 AM
A scientist who warned that the coronavirus would kill 500,000 people in the United Kingdom has presented evidence that if current measures work as expected the death toll would drop to roughly 20,000 people or fewer.
Scientist and Imperial College author Neil Ferguson said Wednesday the coronavirus death toll is unlikely to exceed 20,000 and could be much lower if lockdown measures continue, according to New Scientist. He added that he is ''reasonably confident'' that Britain's health system can handle the burden of treating coronavirus patients.
''There will be some areas that are extremely stressed, but we are reasonably confident '-- which is all we can be at the current time '-- that at the national level we will be within capacity,'' Ferguson said.
The Imperial College had previously warned of modeling that suggested over 500,000 would die from the virus.
''This is a remarkable turn from Neil Ferguson, who led the @imperialcollege authors who warned of 500,000 UK deaths - and who has now himself tested positive for #COVID,'' former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson wrote on Twitter.
Ferguson credited the U.K.'s lockdown for stopping the spread of the virus, but as Berenson points out, the country ''only began its lockdown 2 days ago, and the theory is that lockdowns take 2 weeks or more to work.'' New data shows that the transmission rate of the virus, the measure of how many other people a carrier usually infects, is up from 2.5 to just over three, Ferguson said.
''That adds more evidence to support the more intensive social distancing measures," he said.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham said on Twitter following the revised projections, "Now that we are seeing that the ICU bed & vent projections from orig Imperial College study are almost certainly WRONG, it is critical that we think immed about staggered, gradual opening of our country with new protocols."
Now that we are seeing that the ICU bed & vent projections from orig Imperial College study are almost certainly WRONG, it is critical that we think immed about staggered, gradual opening of our country with new protocols.
'-- Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 26, 2020 "The guy behind the doomsday Imperial College model now says he expects UK not to run out of ICU beds and UK deaths 'unlikely to exceed 20,000 and could be much lower,'" American Commitment President Phil Kerpen tweeted.
The guy behind the doomsday Imperial College model now says he expects UK not to run out of ICU beds and UK deaths "unlikely to exceed 20,000 and could be much lower." https://t.co/MgwGthcNNT
'-- Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) March 26, 2020 Stanford scientists recently wrote an opinion article suggesting that more information is needed before settling on a coronavirus mortality rate and posited that mass quarantines aren't necessarily the most logical answer to combating the virus.
Almost 500,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed across the globe, and over 22,000 people have died, while almost 120,000 have recovered.
neil_ferguson on Twitter: "I'm conscious that lots of people would like to see and run the pandemic simulation code we are using to model control measures against COVID-19. To explain the background - I wrote the code (thousands of lines of undocumented
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:11
neil_ferguson @ neil_ferguson
Mar 22 They are also working with us to develop a web-based front end to allow public health policy makers from around the world to make use of the model in planning. We hope to make v1 releases of both the source and front end in the next 7-10 days...
View conversation · neil_ferguson @ neil_ferguson
Mar 22 As well as the partners listed above, I would also like to thank all the other individuals and orgs who have offered to help. It is appreciated, but we only have limited bandwidth to manage such partnerships right now. We hope to bring more partners on board over time.
View conversation · neil_ferguson @ neil_ferguson
Mar 22 Still getting used to personal sharing online! I am doing better thx - gone from flu like symptoms with fever and more 3 days ago to something which feels more like a bad head cold today. Still tired and snuffly but fingers crossed past the worst. Thx++ for all you good wishes.
View conversation ·
neil_ferguson on Twitter: "I'm conscious that lots of people would like to see and run the pandemic simulation code we are using to model control measures against COVID-19. To explain the background - I wrote the code (thousands of lines of undocumented
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:11
neil_ferguson @ neil_ferguson
Mar 22 They are also working with us to develop a web-based front end to allow public health policy makers from around the world to make use of the model in planning. We hope to make v1 releases of both the source and front end in the next 7-10 days...
View conversation · neil_ferguson @ neil_ferguson
Mar 22 As well as the partners listed above, I would also like to thank all the other individuals and orgs who have offered to help. It is appreciated, but we only have limited bandwidth to manage such partnerships right now. We hope to bring more partners on board over time.
View conversation · neil_ferguson @ neil_ferguson
Mar 22 Still getting used to personal sharing online! I am doing better thx - gone from flu like symptoms with fever and more 3 days ago to something which feels more like a bad head cold today. Still tired and snuffly but fingers crossed past the worst. Thx++ for all you good wishes.
View conversation ·
In 2009 UK government experts wildly over-hyped dangers of swine flu '-- is history repeating with Covid-19? '-- RT UK News
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:07
By Peter Andrews, Irish science journalist and writer, based in London. He has a background in the life sciences, and graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in genetics
Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, some of the claims of governments and media have been shown to be exaggerated. Ten years ago, they tried the same thing with swine flu. They haven't learned their lessons '-- has the public?
On Wednesday, RT picked apart the sensationalist mortality rates that media and governments have been using to terrify the public. These figures are the product of some transparently weak statistics, and cast the true threat from Covid-19 into doubt. There is a saying among statisticians who generate the projections of how pandemics will spread that goes: ''All models are wrong.'' How true that may soon be proven. Now, in the heat of the coronavirus crisis, epidemiologists and computer modelers are being yanked in front of governments and parliaments to give their worst case scenario predictions '... and some are already emerging with egg on their face.
Also on rt.com Covid-19: Are we in danger of listening too much to experts? One such expert is Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, who has been testifying before the British parliament on how many people he thinks will ultimately fall prey to Covid-19. Professor Ferguson was giving evidence as part of a parliamentary select committee on science and technology. His initial projection was that Covid-19 would claim the lives of 500,000 people in the UK '-- but he has revised that projection. Ferguson now believes that at most 20,000 people will die '-- and it could be much lower.
The eminent epidemiologist's U-turn has not been widely reported to the public, but reportage from inside the hearing says that Professor Ferguson is now calling a figure 25 times smaller than his original prediction the absolute maximum. One wonders what has happened to change his mind '-- it seems that the lower than expected mortality rates are causing experts to re-evaluate their more apocalyptic predictions. Professor Ferguson actually has Covid-19 himself '--perhaps it is not as bad as he thought.
Moreover, Professor Ferguson told the British parliament that he believes the UK's national health system (NHS) has enough intensive care beds and equipment to handle the pandemic. And although the peak not having hit just yet, he believes that the UK will come through the worst relatively smoothly. Much ado about nothing, then?
Year of the pig
The coronavirus is the third global pandemic in the last 20 years. The first was Sars, and the second, many readers will remember better, was swine flu, or the A/H1N1 virus, which struck just over 10 years ago. It emerged in Mexico in the spring of 2009, and went on to infect hundreds of thousands of people across the world, with the virus being spread far and wide by international air travel.
Eventually it was declared a global pandemic by the WHO. Regarding its impact on the media, it had roughly the effect that a bucket of fish guts dumped into coastal waters has on the nearby sharks. They smelled blood and spilled ink, falling over each other in their attempts to generate headlines and unearth frightening statistics. (The Guardian of all places published an opinion piece on the media's failings during the outbreak.) Does any of this sound familiar?
Also on rt.com AIDS, Spanish Flu, the PLAGUE? Just how deadly is the coronavirus compared to history's WORST pandemics? Professor Sir Liam Donaldson was the chief medical officer for England at the time. He announced that the worst case scenario would see almost 19 million people infected by the virus, and a mortality rate of around 0.35% resulting in about 65,000 deaths. Based largely on Sir Liam's worst case scenario (after all, one must prepare for the worst) the British government got an enormous vaccination program underway, which was to prioritize those particularly at risk (the elderly, pregnant women and children) before a general roll-out to the rest of the population. They bought 90 million doses in total from pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter.
Needless to say, that did not happen. By the spring of 2010, it was clear that A/H1N1 was far less deadly than previous flu epidemics. But remember that 65,000 deaths was Sir Liam's worst case scenario; what was his best case scenario? At a minimum, he predicted, swine flu would infect around 3 million Brits and kill only 3,100. Much less frightening. So how did the final tallies stand?
In the end, fewer than 500 British people died from swine flu, almost all people with underlying health conditions. This represented less than one-sixth of the chief medical officer's best case scenario. The government were overjoyed, of course, that so many of its citizens had been spared death, but were left holding a bag containing tens of millions of leftover doses of A/H1N1 vaccine, and no one left to immunize. Rather awkward.
Nevertheless, there was no great backlash against the British government for their own vaccine panic buying, probably because the public were never that worked up about swine flu in the first place. Despite the media's best efforts, the 'pandemic' just never lived up to its name '-- basically it was just another strain of flu. Michael Summers was the vice-chair of the Patient's Association back then, and he admitted that when it came to handing huge vaccine contracts to pharmaceutical companies, there were certainly ''lessons to be learnt". That was about as far as any major criticism of the affair went.
A new media landscape
But a decade on, the lessons of history appear to have been forgotten. The coronavirus origin story, which is like something from a Hollywood movie, and the fact that it is somewhat more dangerous than swine flu, along with social media information saturation have combined to make a perfect storm of overreaction that will plunge the world into a second Great Depression.
Also on rt.com Great Depression 2.0? US may be headed for HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT EVER Worst of all is a social climate that labels those questioning established narratives and conventional wisdom as pariahs. And if you do question those narratives, as ancient wisdom teaches us to, you are as likely to be shouted down by Joe Public as you are by a blue-checked journalist. All you can do, as an open minded individual, is to think for yourself, take nothing for granted and stay safe. Not only from the virus, but from the reckless media hype as well.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
In 2009 UK government experts wildly over-hyped dangers of swine flu '-- is history repeating with Covid-19? '-- RT UK News
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:07
By Peter Andrews, Irish science journalist and writer, based in London. He has a background in the life sciences, and graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in genetics
Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, some of the claims of governments and media have been shown to be exaggerated. Ten years ago, they tried the same thing with swine flu. They haven't learned their lessons '-- has the public?
On Wednesday, RT picked apart the sensationalist mortality rates that media and governments have been using to terrify the public. These figures are the product of some transparently weak statistics, and cast the true threat from Covid-19 into doubt. There is a saying among statisticians who generate the projections of how pandemics will spread that goes: ''All models are wrong.'' How true that may soon be proven. Now, in the heat of the coronavirus crisis, epidemiologists and computer modelers are being yanked in front of governments and parliaments to give their worst case scenario predictions '... and some are already emerging with egg on their face.
Also on rt.com Covid-19: Are we in danger of listening too much to experts? One such expert is Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, who has been testifying before the British parliament on how many people he thinks will ultimately fall prey to Covid-19. Professor Ferguson was giving evidence as part of a parliamentary select committee on science and technology. His initial projection was that Covid-19 would claim the lives of 500,000 people in the UK '-- but he has revised that projection. Ferguson now believes that at most 20,000 people will die '-- and it could be much lower.
The eminent epidemiologist's U-turn has not been widely reported to the public, but reportage from inside the hearing says that Professor Ferguson is now calling a figure 25 times smaller than his original prediction the absolute maximum. One wonders what has happened to change his mind '-- it seems that the lower than expected mortality rates are causing experts to re-evaluate their more apocalyptic predictions. Professor Ferguson actually has Covid-19 himself '--perhaps it is not as bad as he thought.
Moreover, Professor Ferguson told the British parliament that he believes the UK's national health system (NHS) has enough intensive care beds and equipment to handle the pandemic. And although the peak not having hit just yet, he believes that the UK will come through the worst relatively smoothly. Much ado about nothing, then?
Year of the pig
The coronavirus is the third global pandemic in the last 20 years. The first was Sars, and the second, many readers will remember better, was swine flu, or the A/H1N1 virus, which struck just over 10 years ago. It emerged in Mexico in the spring of 2009, and went on to infect hundreds of thousands of people across the world, with the virus being spread far and wide by international air travel.
Eventually it was declared a global pandemic by the WHO. Regarding its impact on the media, it had roughly the effect that a bucket of fish guts dumped into coastal waters has on the nearby sharks. They smelled blood and spilled ink, falling over each other in their attempts to generate headlines and unearth frightening statistics. (The Guardian of all places published an opinion piece on the media's failings during the outbreak.) Does any of this sound familiar?
Also on rt.com AIDS, Spanish Flu, the PLAGUE? Just how deadly is the coronavirus compared to history's WORST pandemics? Professor Sir Liam Donaldson was the chief medical officer for England at the time. He announced that the worst case scenario would see almost 19 million people infected by the virus, and a mortality rate of around 0.35% resulting in about 65,000 deaths. Based largely on Sir Liam's worst case scenario (after all, one must prepare for the worst) the British government got an enormous vaccination program underway, which was to prioritize those particularly at risk (the elderly, pregnant women and children) before a general roll-out to the rest of the population. They bought 90 million doses in total from pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter.
Needless to say, that did not happen. By the spring of 2010, it was clear that A/H1N1 was far less deadly than previous flu epidemics. But remember that 65,000 deaths was Sir Liam's worst case scenario; what was his best case scenario? At a minimum, he predicted, swine flu would infect around 3 million Brits and kill only 3,100. Much less frightening. So how did the final tallies stand?
In the end, fewer than 500 British people died from swine flu, almost all people with underlying health conditions. This represented less than one-sixth of the chief medical officer's best case scenario. The government were overjoyed, of course, that so many of its citizens had been spared death, but were left holding a bag containing tens of millions of leftover doses of A/H1N1 vaccine, and no one left to immunize. Rather awkward.
Nevertheless, there was no great backlash against the British government for their own vaccine panic buying, probably because the public were never that worked up about swine flu in the first place. Despite the media's best efforts, the 'pandemic' just never lived up to its name '-- basically it was just another strain of flu. Michael Summers was the vice-chair of the Patient's Association back then, and he admitted that when it came to handing huge vaccine contracts to pharmaceutical companies, there were certainly ''lessons to be learnt". That was about as far as any major criticism of the affair went.
A new media landscape
But a decade on, the lessons of history appear to have been forgotten. The coronavirus origin story, which is like something from a Hollywood movie, and the fact that it is somewhat more dangerous than swine flu, along with social media information saturation have combined to make a perfect storm of overreaction that will plunge the world into a second Great Depression.
Also on rt.com Great Depression 2.0? US may be headed for HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT EVER Worst of all is a social climate that labels those questioning established narratives and conventional wisdom as pariahs. And if you do question those narratives, as ancient wisdom teaches us to, you are as likely to be shouted down by Joe Public as you are by a blue-checked journalist. All you can do, as an open minded individual, is to think for yourself, take nothing for granted and stay safe. Not only from the virus, but from the reckless media hype as well.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Epidemiologist Behind Highly-Cited Coronavirus Model Drastically Downgrades Projection | The Daily Wire
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 15:17
Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, who created the highly-cited Imperial College London coronavirus model, which has been cited by organizations like The New York Times and has been instrumental in governmental policy decision-making, offered a massive revision to his model on Wednesday.
Ferguson's model projected 2.2 million dead people in the United States and 500,000 in the U.K. from COVID-19 if no action were taken to slow the virus and blunt its curve.
However, after just one day of ordered lockdowns in the U.K., Ferguson is presenting drastically downgraded estimates, revealing that far more people likely have the virus than his team figured. Now, the epidemiologist predicts, hospitals will be just fine taking on COVID-19 patients and estimates 20,000 or far fewer people will die from the virus itself or from its agitation of other ailments, as reported by New Scientist Wednesday.
Ferguson thus dropped his prediction from 500,000 dead to 20,000.
Author and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson broke down the bombshell report via Twitter on Thursday morning (view Twitter thread below).
''This is a remarkable turn from Neil Ferguson, who led the [Imperial College] authors who warned of 500,000 UK deaths '-- and who has now himself tested positive for #COVID,'' started Berenson.
''He now says both that the U.K. should have enough ICU beds and that the coronavirus will probably kill under 20,000 people in the U.K. '-- more than 1/2 of whom would have died by the end of the year in any case [because] they were so old and sick,'' he wrote.
To put this number in context, there are usually thousands of deaths from the flu each year in the U.K. Here is some information from the University of Oxford on deaths ranging from 600-13,000 per year:
Influenza (flu) is a very common, highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It can be very dangerous, causing serious complications and death, especially for people in risk groups. In rare cases flu can kill people who are otherwise healthy. In the UK it is estimated that an average of 600 people a year die from complications of flu. In some years it is estimated that this can rise to over 10,000 deaths (see for example this UK study from 2013, which estimated over 13,000 deaths resulting from flu in 2008-09). Flu leads to hundreds of thousands of GP visits and tens of thousands of hospital stays a year.
Berenson continued: ''Essentially, what has happened is that estimates of the viruses transmissibility have increased '-- which implies that many more people have already gotten it than we realize '-- which in turn implies it is less dangerous.''
''Ferguson now predicts that the epidemic in the U.K. will peak and subside within 'two to three weeks' '-- last week's paper said 18+ months of quarantine would be necessary,'' the former reporter highlighted.
''One last point here: Ferguson gives the lockdown credit, which is *interesting* '-- the UK only began [its] lockdown 2 days ago, and the theory is that lockdowns take 2 weeks or more to work,'' stressed Berenson. ''Not surprisingly, this testimony has received no attention in the US '-- I found it only in UK papers. Team Apocalypse is not interested.''
Ferguson's change of tune comes days after Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta criticized the professor's model.
''I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model,'' Gupta said, according to the Financial Times.
Professor Gupta led a team of researchers at Oxford in a modeling study which suggests that the virus has been invisibly spreading for at least a month earlier than suspected, concluding that as many as half of the people in the United Kingdom have already been infected by COVID-19.
If her model is accurate, fewer than one in a thousand who've been infected with COVID-19 become sick enough to need hospitalization, leaving the vast majority with mild cases or free of symptoms.
In other words, Ferguson's highly influential initial model was off by orders of magnitude.
2/ He now says both that the U.K. should have enough ICU beds and that the coronavirus will probably kill under 20,000 people in the U.K. '' more than 1/2 of whom would have died by the end of the year in any case bc they were so old and sick.
'-- Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) March 26, 2020
4/ Ferguson now predicts that the epidemic in the U.K. will peak and subside within ''two to three weeks'' '' last week's paper said 18+ months of quarantine would be necessary. https://t.co/1Hln7w90bt
'-- Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) March 26, 2020
6/ Not surprisingly, this testimony has received no attention in the US '' I found it only in UK papers. Team Apocalypse is not interested.
'-- Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) March 26, 2020
Correction: The original title of this article incorrectly suggested that Neil Ferguson stated his initial model was wrong. The article has been revised to make clear that he provided a downgraded projection given the new data and current mitigation steps.
Covid-19 '-- Navigating the Uncharted | NEJM
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 05:54
12 References4 Citing ArticlesArticleThe latest threat to global health is the ongoing outbreak of the respiratory disease that was recently given the name Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19). Covid-19 was recognized in December 2019.1 It was rapidly shown to be caused by a novel coronavirus that is structurally related to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). As in two preceding instances of emergence of coronavirus disease in the past 18 years2 '-- SARS (2002 and 2003) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) (2012 to the present) '-- the Covid-19 outbreak has posed critical challenges for the public health, research, and medical communities.
In their Journal article, Li and colleagues3 provide a detailed clinical and epidemiologic description of the first 425 cases reported in the epicenter of the outbreak: the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China. Although this information is critical in informing the appropriate response to this outbreak, as the authors point out, the study faces the limitation associated with reporting in real time the evolution of an emerging pathogen in its earliest stages. Nonetheless, a degree of clarity is emerging from this report. The median age of the patients was 59 years, with higher morbidity and mortality among the elderly and among those with coexisting conditions (similar to the situation with influenza); 56% of the patients were male. Of note, there were no cases in children younger than 15 years of age. Either children are less likely to become infected, which would have important epidemiologic implications, or their symptoms were so mild that their infection escaped detection, which has implications for the size of the denominator of total community infections.
On the basis of a case definition requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia, the currently reported case fatality rate is approximately 2%.4 In another article in the Journal, Guan et al.5 report mortality of 1.4% among 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19; these patients had a wide spectrum of disease severity. If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.2
The efficiency of transmission for any respiratory virus has important implications for containment and mitigation strategies. The current study indicates an estimated basic reproduction number (R0) of 2.2, which means that, on average, each infected person spreads the infection to an additional two persons. As the authors note, until this number falls below 1.0, it is likely that the outbreak will continue to spread. Recent reports of high titers of virus in the oropharynx early in the course of disease arouse concern about increased infectivity during the period of minimal symptoms.6,7
China, the United States, and several other countries have instituted temporary restrictions on travel with an eye toward slowing the spread of this new disease within China and throughout the rest of the world. The United States has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of travelers from China, especially from Hubei province. At least on a temporary basis, such restrictions may have helped slow the spread of the virus: whereas 78,191 laboratory-confirmed cases had been identified in China as of February 26, 2020, a total of 2918 cases had been confirmed in 37 other countries or territories.4 As of February 26, 2020, there had been 14 cases detected in the United States involving travel to China or close contacts with travelers, 3 cases among U.S. citizens repatriated from China, and 42 cases among U.S. passengers repatriated from a cruise ship where the infection had spread.8 However, given the efficiency of transmission as indicated in the current report, we should be prepared for Covid-19 to gain a foothold throughout the world, including in the United States. Community spread in the United States could require a shift from containment to mitigation strategies such as social distancing in order to reduce transmission. Such strategies could include isolating ill persons (including voluntary isolation at home), school closures, and telecommuting where possible.9
A robust research effort is currently under way to develop a vaccine against Covid-19.10 We anticipate that the first candidates will enter phase 1 trials by early spring. Therapy currently consists of supportive care while a variety of investigational approaches are being explored.11 Among these are the antiviral medication lopinavir''ritonavir, interferon-1β, the RNA polymerase inhibitor remdesivir, chloroquine, and a variety of traditional Chinese medicine products.11 Once available, intravenous hyperimmune globulin from recovered persons and monoclonal antibodies may be attractive candidates to study in early intervention. Critical to moving the field forward, even in the context of an outbreak, is ensuring that investigational products are evaluated in scientifically and ethically sound studies.12
Every outbreak provides an opportunity to gain important information, some of which is associated with a limited window of opportunity. For example, Li et al. report a mean interval of 9.1 to 12.5 days between the onset of illness and hospitalization. This finding of a delay in the progression to serious disease may be telling us something important about the pathogenesis of this new virus and may provide a unique window of opportunity for intervention. Achieving a better understanding of the pathogenesis of this disease will be invaluable in navigating our responses in this uncharted arena. Furthermore, genomic studies could delineate host factors that predispose persons to acquisition of infection and disease progression.
The Covid-19 outbreak is a stark reminder of the ongoing challenge of emerging and reemerging infectious pathogens and the need for constant surveillance, prompt diagnosis, and robust research to understand the basic biology of new organisms and our susceptibilities to them, as well as to develop effective countermeasures.
Funding and Disclosures Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this editorial at NEJM.org.
This editorial was published on February 28, 2020, at NEJM.org.
Author AffiliationsFrom the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (A.S.F., H.C.L.); and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta (R.R.R.).
Supplementary Material References (12)1. Pneumonia of unknown cause '-- China: disease outbreak news. Geneva: World Health Organization, January 5, 2020 (https://www.who.int/csr/don/05-january-2020-pneumonia-of-unkown-cause-china/en/).
2. de Wit E , van Doremalen N , Falzarano D , Munster VJ . SARS and MERS: recent insights into emerging coronaviruses. Nat Rev Microbiol 2016 ;14: 523 - 534 .
3. Li Q , Guan X , Wu P , et al. Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus''infected pneumonia. N Engl J Med 2020 ;382: 1199 - 1207 .
4. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): situation report '-- 36. Geneva: World Health Organization, February 25, 2020 (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200225-sitrep-36-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=2791b4e0_2).
5. Guan W , Ni Z , Hu Y , et al. Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China. N Engl J Med. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2002032.
6. Holshue ML , DeBolt C , Lindquist S , et al. First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States. N Engl J Med 2020 ;382: 929 - 936 .
7. Zou L , Ruan F , Huang M , et al. SARS-CoV-2 viral load in upper respiratory specimens of infected patients. N Engl J Med 2020 ;382: 1177 - 1179 .
8. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 26, 2020 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html).
9. Fong MW , Gao H , Wong JY , et al. Nonpharmaceutical measures for pandemic influenza in nonhealthcare settings '-- social distancing measures. Emerging Infect Dis 2020 ;26(5) (Epub ahead of print).
10. DRAFT landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines '-- 18 February 2020. Geneva: World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/blueprint/priority-diseases/key-action/list-of-candidate-vaccines-developed-against-ncov.pdf).
11. WHO R&D blueprint: informal consultation on prioritization of candidate therapeutic agents for use in novel coronavirus 2019 infection. Geneva: World Health Organization, January 24, 2020 (https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/330680/WHO-HEO-RDBlueprint%28nCoV%29-2020.1-eng.pdf).
12. Lane HC , Marston HD , Fauci AS . Conducting clinical trials in outbreak settings: points to consider. Clin Trials 2016 ;13: 92 - 95 .
Citing Articles (4)
David Icke | Coronavirus: 'Act early to save more than 30 million lives' - says IMPERIAL COLLEGE that is driving the lockdown and talking absolute breathtaking bollocks. WHO THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE?
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 06:27
'More than 30 million lives around the world could be saved during the coronavirus pandemic if countries act quickly, a report from Imperial College London researchers suggests.
The ideal strategy is to introduce widespread testing and strict social distancing measures rapidly.
Acting early could reduce mortality by as much as 95%, the report finds.
But lower-income countries are likely to face a much higher burden than wealthier nations.
Researchers from Imperial College in London looked at the health impact of the pandemic in 202 countries using a number of different scenarios, and based their estimates on data from China and high-income countries.
Doing nothing to combat the virus would leave the world facing around 40 million deaths this year, the report says.
Social distancing - to reduce the social contacts in the general population by 40% and among the elderly and vulnerable population by 60% - could bring this down by about half.
But health systems in all countries would still be quickly overwhelmed, the report adds
If countries adopt stricter measures early - such as testing, isolating cases and wider social distancing to prevent transmission to more people - 38.7 million lives could be saved.
This is equivalent to a 95% reduction in mortality.
If these measures are introduced later, the figure could drop to 30.7 million, the researchers estimate.
"Delays in implementing strategies to suppress transmission will lead to worse outcomes and fewer lives saved," they conclude.'
Read More: Coronavirus: 'Act early to save more than 30 million lives' - says IMPERIAL COLLEGE that is driving the lockdown and talking absolute breathtaking bollocks. WHO THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE? Did you like this article?Thank you for your vote!
Bogus Hospital Reporting
No Agenda Pharmacist former professor of pharmacy who has worked in a hospital in Massachusetts for the last 5 years. And yes, we have hundreds of covid+ patients currently.
Currently creating protocols for treatment of TWO strains of covid-19
I can do a similar package as a rationale for the treatments (hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin) that have surprising results (and why we will continue to see such things). I'm also available for any drug questions from either of you.
Registered Respiratory Technician
Hi Adam:
I sure enjoyed your last episode 1229. You are asking the
right questions!
I am a person who operates the ventilators we are a
Registered respiratory Therapists (RRT)
Our training is very similar to a registered nurse
(RN), both job require at least a 2 year associates degree or higher, a
national board exam, and state license to practice.
You re correct that there are only so many of us trained in
the country.
I am receiving job ads every day
in my email. Everyone is trying to prepare for “The Surge”.
Our local hospital is licensed
for 150 beds ( in a town of 40K) but they are trying to prepare for a
patient load of up to 400 as a worst case scenario. Old hospital wings
that were converted to office space are now being considered to be converted
back to patient rooms, if needed.
As you have astutely noted, the
talk is WHERE to put patients but NOT WHO is going to take care of
them!
Administration is just
reissuing the same talking points over and over to us rake and file: Stay
home if you are sick, wash your hands, no actual news.
You are right on the money,
again!
If I hear anything of
significance I will pass it to you.
Thank you for your podcast, I
have all my sons listening to it.
I am also a Ham. So I get to save the world , twice
…..RRRight??? J
Dean
Candace Owens on Twitter: "NYC wants us to believe that #coronavirus has overwhelmed their health care system... ...not the fact that 16 hospitals in NYC have closed since 2003 due to the state cutting Medicaid reimbursements. Here is an article from 2017
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 23:45
Aρη K @ Ari_Kos
13h Replying to
@RealCandaceO As a physician in NYC, this is absolutely true. Politicians are corrupt to the core, now they are running scared bc they do not know what the hell to do.
View conversation · Sandi Cornett @ agrl4god80
13h Replying to
@Ari_Kos @RealCandaceO Is NYC using hydroxychloroquine and if so, is it working?
View conversation · AverageGenious @ Homers_revenge
13h Replying to
@RealCandaceO I am in Montgomery County PA, the epicenter of the PA outbreak as of 2 weeks ago. My neighbor works at one of our hospitals up here. 2 days ago I asked if they are busy now....."not really" was her answer.
View conversation · Ruth Antonini @ rantonini1950
13h Replying to
@Homers_revenge @RealCandaceO Go to the people who are the workers. I have experienced same thing at my local health clinic. ''Not really that busy.''
View conversation · Trump 2Q2Q @ T2q2q
13h Replying to
@RealCandaceO @DeplorableChoir Check out the latest Project Veritas video about the hospitals in NYAlso videos on YouTube from different people showing empty hospital tents. It's all a deep state FF propaganda scare tactic
View conversation · Blue LuLu ðŸ'Ž @ bluesoulart
12h Replying to
@T2q2q @RealCandaceO @DeplorableChoir sauce:
youtube.com/watch?v=6EQXhV'... View conversation · Jeff Hetrick @ jhetrick62
13h Replying to
@RealCandaceO Of course. I live in NY. They want to give free college, support Puerto Rico, support illegals, etc.... All while not supporting our own people. Buffalo Billion, etc...
View conversation · Nathan Lilly @ Sindust777
13h Replying to
@RealCandaceO Nearly everyone in the entire world has a video camera in their pocket & I haven't seen one amateur picture or video of a sick or dieing person. All the footage is hazmat suits like out of the E.T. movie and yet local LEOS & emergency responders are not even wearing face masks!
View conversation · AKSonya @ AkSonya10
8h Replying to
@Sindust777 @RealCandaceO This is the article that the NYT did if you watch the entire video, it's insane what's going on, I applaud this Dr for speaking out. Remember the 2,000 ventilators that Como bragged about the next day in a warehouse?
youtube.com/watch?v=bE68xV'... View conversation ·
LA Major Medical Center RN
Hi Adam,
I would like to say thank you for keeping me same
these past few weeks with a donation of 50 bucks. It's been a while since my
last donation, I'm a douche bag.
I am an RN at a major medical center in Los Angeles. As of
Friday we have 8 cases of covid in the hospital. Every morning I walk past
these zip up white tents they have errected outside ( imagine the tents from ET
when they are seperating ET and Elliot) looking for activity. So far I have
seen one person going into the tent. I will remain hopeful the case numbers
remain low.
I learned an interesting tid bid about the much sought after
masks in our morning meeting yesterday. We have an abundant supply of them
however "the fifth floor" is rationing them out. "The fifth
floor" is like the deep state of this hospital. It is where those in power
stay, never to be seen.
I have included a picture of our waiting room. It always
makes me think of the children... the funny thing is no visitors are even
allowed in the hospital...
Cook County Illinois on vacation
While I'm generally on board that we're doing the right
thing with the shelter-in-place order, I thought I'd pass along a little media
incongruity that I've become aware of.
I live in suburban Chicago. While Chicago
is not exactly the hotbed that NYC is, there are over 1,900 cases in Cook
County. I have two friends that are nurses at different suburban Cook
County hospitals. Both are either on reduced hours or vacation. The
reason: no work. All elective or discretionary services at the hospitals
are over. Only emergency and COVID work is being done. Most of the
floors are empty. The media would have you believe that every
hospital is storing people in the hallways and it looks like
Armageddon. That's really not the case in a lot of places. I'm
not saying that it won't get there and they won't all be neck deep soon, but
that's not the way it is now. Tomorrow might be a new day.
Clinician Jason blames the suits
We are all seeing the constant posts and news about health care
professionals running out of masks and gloves and you've possibly asked
yourself, 'How does a hospital run out of masks so quickly? Don't they prepare
for this?"
The answer is no.
The white-collars who work in the executive suite of hospitals went to
business school and were taught and implemented Six Sigma, LEAN process
improvement and especially Toyota's 'just in time" inventory management
system which usually provides only 1-2 weeks
inventory supply to make things look better on the balance sheet. Works very
well when the world is running perfectly, doesn't work so well in a time like
this. Who could have thought?!
While the lab people (and perhaps doctors and nurses) have been forced to
undergo training and testing on how to react during some sort of microbial
attack or catastrophe since 911, the corporate side couldn't bother to throw a
few extra cases of masks in the basement in the event there's a sudden run on them
or a short interruption in the supply chain.
So when health care providers start getting sick or worse due to lack of PPE
don't blame the preppers, china, or even the CEOs who sent our manufacturing
there. Blame the suits who work in the same facility as the doctors getting
sick, who also are considered non-essential employees who get to sit home
during all of this. We've been forced to train for an event like this for
almost 20 years and places are running out of masks in days. Just because
someone thought it was a good idea to implement the same inventory management
auto manufactures use in hospitals that provides essential emergency
healthcare. Great idea!
WHS announces layoffs amid COVID-19 outbreak | Local News | observer-reporter.com
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 05:55
Citing a decline in revenue and less need for patient services because of measures taken in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington Health System said Thursday that it was laying off staff while several of its departments and facilities were temporarily closed.
The health system '' whose facilities include Washington Hospital and the WHS Greene hospital in Waynesburg '' said it had started carrying out voluntary and mandatory layoffs for staff in the affected departments starting on Wednesday.
It was unclear how many people that meant. The layoffs come at a time when an outbreak of the coronavirus could bring more patients to WHS's facilities for treatment, if the number of cases in the region continues to climb.
Last week, the hospital postponed elective surgical and diagnostic procedures and closed some outpatient centers as a result of a mandate from Gov. Tom Wolf's office. WHS said this week it was extending those closures until April 11 at earliest.
Staff in those departments would be laid off while the departments remain inactive but would receive employee benefits while they weren't working.
"Due to these service changes and the stay-at-home order in place throughout our service area, Washington Health System has seen a drastic decrease in in-patient, emergency department and outpatient service utilization at all of our hospitals and physician offices," the system said in a statement. "During this time, we have been methodically preparing our patient care services and direct ancillary departments for what may be a rapidly increasing number of patients afflicted with the COVID-19 virus."
The health care nonprofit also said that direct-care providers and support staff from departments that are seeing a decline in patient volume were being cross-trained to work on other units, "to ensure that sufficient staff is ready and able to care for what may be a sudden increased volume of patients as the virus continues to impact the community."
System officials said they intend to "return to normal" as soon as Wolf's office gives the go-ahead. But with less revenue coming in, they said they couldn't afford to keep serving "a small fraction" of the normal patient load with typical staffing levels.
"We must conserve where we can now so that it is there in the weeks to come allowing WHS the ability to be here for our patients and communities in the future," they added.
Pre coronavirus, California dismantled mobile hospitals - Los Angeles Times
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 23:32
A ventilator on display. California built a stockpile of ventilators and other medical equipment in preparation for an emergency, such as a pandemic, but dismantled it years ago.
(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)
By Lance Williams, Will Evans and Will Carless
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 2006, citing the threat of avian flu, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the state would invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a powerful set of medical weapons to deploy in the case of large-scale emergencies and natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires and pandemics.
''In light of the pandemic flu risk, it is absolutely a critical investment,'' he told a news conference. ''I'm not willing to gamble with the people's safety.''
The state, flush with tax revenue, soon sank more than $200 million into the mobile hospital program and a related Health Surge Capacity Initiative to stockpile medicines and medical gear for use in outbreaks of infectious disease, according to former emergency management officials and state budget records.
But the ambitious effort, which would have been vital as the state confronts the new coronavirus today, hit a wall: a brutal recession, a free fall in state revenues '-- and in 2011, the administration of a fiscally minded Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, who came into office facing a $26-billion deficit.
And so, that year, the state cut off the money to store and maintain the stockpile of supplies and the mobile hospitals. The hospitals were defunded before they'd ever been used.
Much of the medical equipment '-- including the ventilators, critical life-saving tools that are in short supply in the current pandemic '-- was given to local hospitals and health agencies, former health officials said. But the equipment was donated without any funding to maintain them. The respirators were allowed to expire without being replaced.
Together, these two programs would have positioned California to more rapidly respond as its COVID-19 cases exploded. The annual savings for eliminating both programs? No more than $5.8 million per year, according to state budget records, a tiny fraction of the 2011 budget, which totaled $129 billion.
''When you're stretched, prevention and readiness, future needs '-- unfortunately, that's what gets cut,'' said state Sen. Richard Pan of Sacramento, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, who fought the cuts as a first-term assemblyman.
Now, many California hospitals are being forced to ration their inadequate supply of N95 masks, and hospitals are rushing to rent ventilators in anticipation of a severe shortage as COVID-19 caseloads grow. A nursing union, National Nurses United, organized a protest earlier this month over inadequate safety equipment; in a survey, only 55% of their members said they had access to N95 masks.
Preparing for a pandemicDr. Howard Backer spent years preparing the state for a flu pandemic and then watched it all fall apart.
Backer had worked as an emergency room physician for 25 years before becoming the state's chief medical consultant on disaster preparedness efforts, and later associate secretary for emergency preparedness, under Schwarzenegger.
''We began doing various kinds of disaster planning around infectious agents,'' he recalled. First smallpox; then anthrax; then H5N1, or bird flu; and, more broadly, ''pandemic influenza.''
As part of that effort, starting in 2006, he helped develop and implement the state's drive to stockpile emergency medical resources.
After Schwarzenegger left office, Backer was appointed by Brown to head the Emergency Medical Services Authority, the state agency overseeing the mobile hospitals, just as they were defunded.
''It's the nearsightedness of political decision-making,'' said Backer, who retired last year. ''If you talked to the experts, we knew that pandemics were going to come around.''
Now, it's here, with California under sweeping stay-at-home orders as one of the global hotspots of the COVID-19 pandemic.
''These supplies were exactly for this scenario,'' he said.
Through a spokesperson, Brown, the former governor, declined to be interviewed for this story. Officials in the state Department of Finance declined to comment. Officials with the state Public Health Department declined interviews and provided only brief written answers to some questions, declining to provide a full accounting of the stockpile.
Jennifer Lim, acting chief deputy director for the Emergency Medical Services Authority, said by email that after the mobile hospital program was defunded, the state had ''redesigned'' it, converting the units into what she called ''mobile medical shelters.'' One was given to the California National Guard, and another was broken up into parts and distributed to local agencies. Only one shelter was kept by the state.
''The purpose of the redesign is to modify and expand the potential uses of the equipment into general staging, stabilization, and shelter capacity,'' she said.
The conversion was effectively a downgrade. Lim acknowledged that the shelters lack ''biomedical equipment and medical supplies.'' They are essentially high-end tents, Backer said, a far cry from mobile hospitals that he said could have been treating at least 600 COVID-19 cases at a time today.
In addition to the hospitals, the state had stockpiled enough supplies to set up 21,000 beds to provide medical care to patients in alternative care sites such as community centers and gymnasiums.
With the funding cut, the state gave away some of the supplies and even considered disposing of what couldn't be given away, Backer said. In the end, Backer said he's not sure what happened to it all, and the California Department of Public Health did not answer questions about what became of the alternative care site supplies.
A little over a week ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom warned that in a worst-case scenario, 25 million Californians could be infected with the new coronavirus by mid-May. He said the state is scrambling to increase its inventory of 90,000 hospital beds by 50,000.
Newsom asked the U.S. Navy to bring the 1,000-bed hospital ship Mercy to Los Angeles for help during the crisis. It arrived on Friday.
In televised remarks Monday, Newsom said the state will lease beds in struggling hospitals around the state and is eyeing convention centers, motels and state university dormitories for use as hospital wards. One such lease, in Daly City, may cost the state as much as $3.2 million a month for 177 beds.
''That's what those alternative care site beds were for,'' Backer said.
At its height, the state's stockpile held more than 50 million N95 respirators, but without continued funding, that supply dwindled. Some were used during California's wildfires and not replaced, and others went past their expiration date. As the coronavirus arrived in California, that supply was down to 21 million.
Now there is an urgent demand for respirators to protect healthcare workers from becoming infected by their patients. Earlier this month, California's Public Health Department announced that it would be releasing millions of respirator masks from the stockpile, but warned that some are past their expiration date and thus ''are approved for use only in limited, low-risk circumstances,'' not for treating patients with COVID-19.
In response to questions, the department said all 21 million are past their expiration date.
The department said it now had 900 ventilators ''on hand,'' but didn't clarify what that means. That's 1,500 fewer than the original stockpile.
California is now trying to procure more. In his Monday remarks, Newsom said Tesla auto magnate Elon Musk had obtained 1,000 ventilators and delivered them for use in Los Angeles. And the governor said the state was now seeking to purchase another 500 million N95 respirators on the open market.
''We don't rush to do everything overnight to have assets sitting there for the surge,'' Newsom said. ''This is done in a very sequential way and a very methodical way and a very deliberative way.''
Surge capacitySchwarzenegger was in his second year as California governor when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. The tremendous suffering caused by the disaster troubled him, recalled Dr. Cesar Aristeiguieta, who was Schwarzenegger's emergency medical director from 2005 to 2007 and is now an emergency physician in Houston.
The governor ''was very concerned by the images he was seeing on TV,'' he said. ''He wanted to do something to prepare the state for future calamities.'' One strategy Schwarzenegger greenlit was the mobile hospitals.
''They were not like a 'M*A*S*H' tent on TV,'' said Aristeiguieta, who supervised the startup of the program. ''They were fully insulated, HVAC-equipped, semi-permanent tents. They had ventilators, a full complement of medications, and they would roll out in 18-wheelers with [a Highway Patrol] escort. They had sleeping quarters for the staff '-- really comprehensive.''
Other features included an emergency room, an intensive care unit, an operating room and surgical wards, according to state records.
The mobile hospital program was created with earthquakes in mind '-- the 1994 Northridge earthquake in the San Fernando Valley had killed at least 57 and injured about 9,000. The governor's Health Surge Capacity Initiative, including the stockpiles of respirators and ventilators, was geared toward a flu pandemic. The state Legislature allocated $214 million in startup costs, state records show.
The mobile hospitals took up a lot of warehouse space and had to be kept in deployable condition. As for the health department's 2,400 portable battery-powered ventilators, ongoing maintenance was critical, according to Lori Johnson, who worked for Cardinal Health, which sold the machines to the state. She recalled that staff had to routinely service and clean machines and recharge batteries to ensure the ventilators would be ready in an emergency.
Other gear had to be regularly maintained, and some supplies had to be replaced as they reached their expiration dates. Maintenance and storage costs for the programs were about $5.8 million a year, according to state records '-- $1.7 million for the hospitals and $4.1 million for the medical stockpile.
Then the 2008 recession clobbered the state budget, and some lawmakers joined Brown's finance officials in questioning spending on emergency preparedness.
The funding to maintain the hospitals and the stockpile of medical supplies was zeroed out in 2011. In a budget message that year, Brown said the programs had been set up to counter ''a potential influenza pandemic which did not occur.''
The Emergency Medical Services Authority was given a year to try to find another funding source to keep the hospitals going. Backer scrambled to save them by reaching out to the private sector but was unable to raise the money.
''We really tried hard to convince people that this is a worthwhile investment,'' Backer said. ''It was quite disappointing.''
Then-Assemblyman Bill Monning, a Democrat from Carmel, suggested the state should sell its unneeded medical equipment on eBay. ''I say this not intending to be funny,'' the Sacramento Bee quoted him as saying. Monning, now a state senator, did not respond to an interview request.
Eventually, the ventilators and much of the other medical equipment were given away '-- donated to county health departments and local hospitals, said Daniel Smiley, who was then chief deputy director in the emergency medical office.
Ventilators dispersedWhat exactly happened to the 2,400 ventilators isn't clear. Several dealers who buy and sell used medical equipment said they recall many of California's ventilators ended up being resold by hospitals and nursing homes to other dealers, who then likely shipped them out of the United States.
Dr. Lewis Rubinson, chief medical officer at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey and an authority on the availability of medical ventilators, said California was not alone. Rubinson, who led a 2010 study quantifying how many ventilators were available at hospitals throughout the country, said several other states also decided to save on the costs of maintaining and storing their stockpiled ventilators by instead donating the machines to hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.
Had the state kept its ventilators and maintained them, most would still be in good working order today, according to several experts from the ventilator and healthcare industries. A stockpile of 2,400 well-maintained ventilators would be a valuable asset for any state in its fight to treat patients with COVID-19, Rubinson said.
''I would say that a number of them are really kicking themselves,'' Rubinson said.
California's economy rebounded, and soon the state had a budget surplus. But Brown's administration didn't restore the emergency programs. At a 2015 hearing, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Santa Barbara Democrat, pressed emergency officials on why they weren't seeking money to rebuild the mobile hospital program.
''You know, we never know when the next disaster is going to occur,'' she said. ''But if these things have been mothballed, there are going to be a lot of questions asked.''
The system of medicine management failed. Not the federal government. Cost cutting for profits failed.
COVID Counting
A Swiss Doctor on Covid-19 '' Swiss Propaganda Research
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 06:09
Published: March 14, 2020; Updated: March 27, 2020Languages: DE, EN, FR, ES, HU, IT, NO, PL
A Swiss medical doctor provided the following information on the current situation in order to enable our readers to make a realistic risk assessment. (Daily updates below)
According to the latest data of the Italian National Health Institute ISS, the average age of the positively-tested deceased in Italy is currently about 81 years. 10% of the deceased are over 90 years old. 90% of the deceased are over 70 years old.
80% of the deceased had suffered from two or more chronic diseases. 50% of the deceased had suffered from three or more chronic diseases. The chronic diseases include in particular cardiovascular problems, diabetes, respiratory problems and cancer.
Less than 1% of the deceased were healthy persons, i.e. persons without pre-existing chronic diseases. Only about 30% of the deceased are women.
The Italian Institute of Health moreover distinguishes between those who died from the coronavirus and those who died with the coronavirus. In many cases it is not yet clear whether the persons died from the virus or from their pre-existing chronic diseases or from a combination of both.
The two Italians deceased under 40 years of age (both 39 years old) were a cancer patient and a diabetes patient with additional complications. In these cases, too, the exact cause of death was not yet clear (i.e. if from the virus or from their pre-existing diseases).
The partial overloading of the hospitals is due to the general rush of patients and the increased number of patients requiring special or intensive care. In particular, the aim is to stabilize respiratory function and, in severe cases, to provide anti-viral therapies.
(Update: The Italian National Institute of Health published a statistical report on test-positive patients and deceased, confirming the above data.)
The doctor also points out the following aspects:
Northern Italy has one of the oldest populations and the worst air quality in Europe, which had already led to an increased number of respiratory diseases and deaths in the past and is likely an additional risk factor in the current epidemic.
South Korea, for instance, has experienced a much milder course than Italy and has already passed the peak of the epidemic. In South Korea, only about 70 deaths with a positive test result have been reported so far. As in Italy, those affected were mostly high-risk patients.
The few dozen test-positive Swiss deaths so far were also high-risk patients with chronic diseases, an average age of more than 80 years and a maximum age of 97 years, whose exact cause of death, i.e. from the virus or from their pre-existing diseases, is not yet known.
Furthermore, according to a first Chinese study, the internationally used virus test kits may give a false positive result in some cases. In these cases, the persons may not have contracted the new coronavirus, but presumably one of the many existing human coronaviruses that are part of the annual (and currently ongoing) common cold and flu epidemics. (1)
Thus the most important indicator for judging the danger of the disease is not the frequently reported number of positively-tested persons and deaths, but the number of persons actually and unexpectedly developing or dying from pneumonia (so-called excess mortality).
According to all current data, for the healthy general population of school and working age, a mild to moderate course of the Covid-19 disease can be expected. Senior citizens and persons with existing chronic diseases should be protected. The medical capacities should be optimally prepared.
Medical literature(1) Zhuang et al., Potential false-positive rate among the 'šasymptomatic infected individuals' in close contacts of COVID-19 patients, Chinese Medical Association Publishing House, March 2020.
(2) Grasselli et al., Critical Care Utilization for the COVID-19 Outbreak in Lombardy, JAMA, March 2020.
(3) WHO, Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019, February 2020.
Reference valuesImportant reference values include the number of annual flu deaths, which is up to 8,000 in Italy and up to 60,000 in the US; normal overall mortality, which in Italy is up to 2,000 deaths per day; and the average number of pneumonia cases per year, which in Italy is over 120,000.
Current all-cause mortality in Europe and in Italy is still normal or even below-average. Any excess mortality due to Covid-19 should become visible in the European monitoring charts.
Winter smog (NO2) in Northern Italy in February 2020 (ESA)UpdatesRegular updates on the situation (all sources referenced).
March 17, 2020 (I)
The mortality profile remains puzzling from a virological point of view because, in contrast to influenza viruses, children are spared and men are affected about twice as often as women. On the other hand, this profile corresponds to natural mortality, which is close to zero for children and almost twice as high for 75-year-old men as for women of the same age.The younger test-positive deceased almost always had severe pre-existing conditions. For example, a 21-year-old Spanish soccer coach had died test-positive, making international headlines. However, the doctors diagnosed an unrecognized leukemia, whose typical complications include severe pneumonia.The decisive factor in assessing the danger of the disease is therefore not the number of test-positive persons and deceased, which is often mentioned in the media, but the number of people actually and unexpectedly developing or dying from pneumonia (so-called excess mortality). So far, this value remains very low in most countries.In Switzerland, some emergency units are already overloaded simply because of the large number of people who want to be tested. This points to an additional psychological and logistical component of the current situation.March 17, 2020 (II)Italian immunology professor Sergio Romagnani from the University of Florence comes to the conclusion in a study on 3000 people that 50 to 75% of the test-positive people of all ages remain completely symptom-free '' significantly more than previously assumed.The occupancy rate of the North Italian ICUs in the winter months is typically already 85 to 90%. Some or many of these existing patients could also be test-positive by now. However, the number of additional unexpected pneumonia cases is not yet known.A hospital doctor in the Spanish city of Malaga writes on Twitter that people are currently more likely to die from panic and systemic collapse than from the virus. The hospital is being overrun by people with colds, flu and possibly Covid19 and doctors have lost control.March 18, 2020A new epidemiological study (preprint) concludes that the fatality of Covid19 even in the Chinese city of Wuhan was only 0.04% to 0.12% and thus rather lower than that of seasonal flu, which has a mortality rate of about 0.1%. As a reason for the overestimated fatality of Covid19, the researchers suspect that initially only a small number of cases were recorded in Wuhan, as the disease was probably asymptomatic or mild in many people.Chinese researchers argue that extreme winter smog in the city of Wuhan may have played a causal role in the outbreak of pneumonia. In the summer of 2019, public protests were already taking place in Wuhan because of the poor air quality.New satellite images show how Northern Italy has the highest levels of air pollution in Europe, and how this air pollution has been greatly reduced by the quarantine.A manufacturer of the Covid19 test kit states that it should only be used for research purposes and not for diagnostic applications, as it has not yet been clinically validated.Datasheet of Covid19 virus test kitMarch 19, 2020 (I)The Italian National Health Institute ISS has published a new report on test-positive deaths:
The median age is 80.5 years (79.5 for men, 83.7 for women).10% of the deceased was over 90 years old; 90% of the deceased was over 70 years old.At most 0.8% of the deceased had no pre-existing chronic illnesses.Approximately 75% of the deceased had two or more pre-existing conditions, 50% had three more pre-existing conditions, in particular heart disease, diabetes and cancer.Five of the deceased were between 31 and 39 years old, all of them with serious pre-existing health conditions (e.g. cancer or heart disease).The National Health Institute hasn't yet determined what the patients examined ultimately died of and refers to them in general terms as Covid19-positive deaths.March 19, 2020 (II) A report in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera points out that Italian intensive care units already collapsed under the marked flu wave in 2017/2018. They had to postpone operations, call nurses back from holiday and ran out of blood donations.German virologist Hendrik Streeck argues that Covid19 is unlikely to increase total mortality in Germany, which normally is around 2500 people per day. Streeck mentions the case of a 78-year-old man with preconditions who died of heart failure, subsequently tested positive for Covid19 and thus was included in the statistics of Covid19 deaths.According to Stanford Professor John Ioannidis, the new coronavirus may be no more dangerous than some of the common coronaviruses, even in older people. Ioannidis argues that there is no reliable medical data backing the measures currently decided upon.March 20, 2020According to the latest European monitoring report, overall mortality in all countries (including Italy) and in all age groups remains within or even below the normal range so far.According to the latest German statistics, the median age of test-positive deaths is about 83 years, most with pre-existing health conditions that might be a possible cause of death.A 2006 Canadian study referred to by Stanford Professor John Ioannidis found that common cold coronaviruses may also cause death rates of up to 6% in risk groups such as residents of a care facility, and that virus test kits initially falsely indicated an infection with SARS coronaviruses.March 21, 2020 (I)Spain reports only three test-positive deaths under the age of 65 (out of a total of about 1000). Their pre-existing health conditions and actual cause of death are not yet known.On March 20, Italy reported 627 nationwide test-positive deaths in one day. By comparison, normal overall mortality in Italy is about 1800 deaths per day. Since February 21, Italy has reported about 4000 test-positive deaths. Normal overall mortality during this time frame is up to 50,000 deaths. It is not yet known to what extent normal overall mortality has increased, or to what extent it has simply turned test-positive. Moreover, Italy and Europe have had a very mild flu season in 2019/2020 that has spared many otherwise vulnerable people.According to Italian news reports, 90% of test-positive deceased in the Lombardy region have died outside of intensive care units, mostly at home or in general care sections. Their cause of death and the possible role of quarantine measures in their deaths remain unclear. Only 260 out of 2168 test-positive persons have died in ICUs.Bloomberg highlights that 'ž99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says''Italy test-positive deaths by prior illnesses (ISS / Bloomberg)March 21, 2020 (II)The Japan Times asks: Japan was expecting a coronavirus explosion. Where is it? Despite being one of the first countries getting positive test results and having imposed no lockdown, Japan is one of the least-affected nations. Quote: 'žEven if Japan may not be counting all those infected, hospitals aren't being stretched thin and there has been no spike in pneumonia cases.''Italian researchers argue that the extreme smog in Northern Italy, the worst in Europe, may be playing a causative role in the current pneumonia outbreak there, as in Wuhan before.In a new interview, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, a world renowned expert in medical microbiology, says blaming the new coronavirus alone for deaths is 'žwrong'' and 'ždangerously misleading'', as there are other more important factors at play, notably pre-existing health conditions and poor air quality in Chinese and Northern Italian cities. Professor Bhakdi describes the currently discussed or imposed measures as 'žgrotesque'', 'žuseless'', 'žself-destructive'' and a 'žcollective suicide'' that will shorten the lifespan of the elderly and should not be accepted by society.March 22, 2020 (I)Regarding the situation in Italy: Most major media falsely report that Italy has up to 800 deaths per day from the coronavirus. In reality, the president of the Italian Civil Protection Service stresses that these are deaths 'žwith the coronavirus and not from the coronavirus'' (minute 03:30 of the press conference). In other words, these persons died while also testing positive.
As Professors Ioannidis and Bhakdi have shown, countries like South Korea and Japan that introduced no lockdown measures have experienced near-zero excess mortality in connection with Covid-19, while the Diamond Princess cruise ship experienced an extra­polated mortality figure in the per mille range, i.e. at or below the level of the seasonal flu.
Current test-positive death figures in Italy are still less than 50% of normal daily overall mortality in Italy, which is around 1800 deaths per day. Thus it is possible, perhaps even likely, that a large part of normal daily mortality now simply counts as 'žCovid19'' deaths (as they test positive). This is the point stressed by the President of the Italian Civil Protection Service.
However, by now it is clear that certain regions in Northern Italy, i.e. those facing the toughest lockdown measures, are experiencing markedly increased daily mortality figures. It is also known that in the Lombardy region, 90% of test-positive deaths occur not in intensive care units, but instead mostly at home. And more than 99% have serious pre-existing health conditions.
Professor Sucharit Bhakdi has called lockdown measures 'žuseless'', 'žself-destructive'' and a 'žcollective suicide''. Thus the extremely troubling question arises as to what extent the increased mortality of these elderly, isolated, highly stressed people with multiple pre-existing health conditions may in fact be caused by the weeks-long lockdown measures still in force.
If so, it may be one of those cases where the treatment is worse than the disease. (See update below: only 12% of death certificates show the coronavirus as a cause.)
Angelo Borrelli, head of the Italian Civil Protection Service, emphasizing the difference between deaths with and from coronaviruses.March 22, 2020 (II)In Switzerland, there are currently 56 test-positive deaths, all of whom were 'žhigh risk patients'' due to their advanced age and/or pre-existing health conditions. Their actual cause of death, i.e. from or simply with the virus, has not been communicated.The Swiss government claimed that the situation in southern Switzerland (next to Italy) is 'ždramatic'', yet local doctors denied this and said everything is normal.According to press reports, oxygen bottles may become scarce. The reason, however, is not a currently higher usage, but rather hoarding due to fear of future shortages.In many countries, there is already an increasing shortage of doctors and nurses. This is primarily because healthcare workers testing positive have to self-quarantine, even though in many cases they will remain fully or largely symptom-free.March 22, 2020 (III)A model from Imperial College London predicted between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths in the UK 'žfrom'' Covid-19, but the authors of the study have now conceded that many of these deaths would not be in addition to, but rather part of the normal annual mortality rate, which in the UK is about 600,000 people per year. In other words, excess mortality would remain low.Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, asks in the New York Times: 'žIs Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease? There may be more targeted ways to beat the pandemic.''According to Italian Professor Walter Ricciardi, 'žonly 12% of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus'', whereas in public reports 'žall the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus''. This means that Italian death figures reported by the media have to be reduced by at least a factor of 8 to obtain actual deaths caused by the virus. Thus one ends up with at most a few dozen deaths per day, compared to an overall daily mortality of 1800 deaths and up to 20,000 flu deaths per year.March 23, 2020 (I)A new French study in the Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, titled SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data, concludes that 'žthe problem of SARS-CoV-2 is probably overestimated'', since 'žthe mortality rate for SARS-CoV-2 is not significantly different from that for common coronaviruses identified at the study hospital in France''.An Italian study of August 2019 found that flu deaths in Italy were between 7,000 and 25,000 in recent years. This value is higher than in most other European countries due to the large elderly population in Italy, and much higher than anything attributed to Covid-19 so far.In a new fact sheet, the World Health Organization WHO reports that Covid-19 is in fact spreading slower, not faster, than influenza by a factor of about 50%. Moreover, pre-symptomatic transmission appears to be much lower with Covid-19 than with influenza.A leading Italian doctor reports that 'žstrange cases of pneumonia'' were seen in the Lombardy region already in November 2019, raising again the question if they were caused by the new virus (which officially only appeared in Italy in February 2020), or by other factors, such as the dangerously high smog levels in Northern Italy.Danish researcher Peter G¸tzsche, founder of the renowned Cochrane Medical Collaboration, writes that Corona is 'žan epidemic of mass panic'' and 'žlogic was one of the first victims.''March 23, 2020 (II)Former Israeli Health Minister, Professor Yoram Lass, says that the new coronavirus is 'žless dangerous than the flu'' and lockdown measures 'žwill kill more people than the virus''. He adds that 'žthe numbers do not match the panic'' and 'žpsychology is prevailing over science''. He also notes that 'žItaly is known for its enormous morbidity in respiratory problems, more than three times any other European country.''Pietro Vernazza, a Swiss infectious disease specialist, argues that many of the imposed measures are not based on science and should be reversed. According to Vernazza, mass testing makes no sense because 90% of the population will see no symptoms, and lockdowns and closing schools are even 'žcounterproductive''. He recommends protecting only risk groups while keeping the economy and society at large undisturbed.The President of the World Doctors Federation, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, argues that lockdown measures as in Italy are 'žunreasonable'' and 'žcounterproductive'' and should be reversed.Switzerland: Despite media panic, excess mortality still at or near zero: the latest testpositive 'žvictims'' were a 96yo in palliative care and a 97yo with pre-existing conditions.The latest statistical report of the Italian National Health Institute is now available in English.March 24, 2020The UK has removed Covid19 from the official list of High Consquence Infectious Diseases (HCID), stating that mortality rates are 'žlow overall''.The director of the German National Health Institute (RKI) admitted that they count all test-positive deaths, irrespective of the actual cause of death, as 'žcoronavirus deaths''. The average age of the deceased is 82 years, most with serious preconditions. As in most other countries, excess mortality due Covid19 is likely to be near zero in Germany.Beds in Swiss intensive care units reserved for Covid19 patients are still 'žmostly empty''.German Professor Karin Moelling, former Chair of Medical Virology at the University of Zurich, stated in an interview that Covid19 is 'žno killer virus'' and that 'žpanic must end''.March 25, 2020German immunologist and toxicologist, Professor Stefan Hockertz, explains in a radio interview that Covid19 is no more dangerous than influenza (the flu), but that it is simply observed much more closely. More dangerous than the virus is the fear and panic created by the media and the 'žauthoritarian reaction'' of many governments. Professor Hockertz also notes that most so-called 'žcorona deaths'' have in fact died of other causes while also testing positive for coronaviruses. Hockertz believes that up to ten times more people than reported already had Covid19 but noticed nothing or very little.The Argentinean virologist and biochemist Pablo Goldschmidt explains that Covid19 is no more dangerous than a bad cold or the flu. It is even possible that the Covid19 virus circulated already in earlier years, but wasn't discovered because no one was looking for it. Dr. Goldschmidt speaks of a 'žglobal terror'' created by the media and politics. Every year, he says, three million newborns worldwide and 50,000 adults in the US alone die of pneumonia.Professor Martin Exner, head of the Institute for Hygiene at the University of Bonn, explains in an interview why health personnel are currently under pressure, even though there has hardly been any increase in the number of patients in Germany so far: On the one hand, doctors and nurses who have tested positive have to be quarantined and are often hard to replace. On the other hand, nurses from neighbouring countries, who provide an important part of the care, are currently unable to enter the country due to closed borders.Professor Julian Nida-Ruemelin, former German Minister of State for Culture and Professor of Ethics, points out that Covid19 poses no risk to the healthy general population and that extreme measures such as curfews are therefore not justified.Using data from the cruise ship Diamond Princess, Stanford Professor John Ioannidis showed that the age-corrected lethality of Covid19 is between 0.025% and 0.625%, i.e. in the range of a strong cold or the flu. Moreover, a Japanese study showed that of all the test-positive passengers, and despite the high average age, 48% remained completely symptom-free; even among the 80-89 year olds 48% remained symptom-free, while among the 70 to 79 year olds it was an astounding 60% that developed no symptoms at all. This again raises the question whether the pre-existing diseases are not perhaps a more important factor than the virus itself. The Italian example has shown that 99% of test-positive deaths had one or more pre-existing conditions, and even among these, only 12% of the death certificates mentioned Covid19 as a causal factor.March 26, 2020 (I)USA: The latest US data of March 25 shows a decreasing number of flu-like illnesses throughout the country, the frequency of which is now well below the multi-year average. The government measures can be ruled out as a reason for this, as they have been in effect for less than a week. US Influenza Trend (March 25, 2020)
US Influenza Trend (March 25, 2020)
USA: Decreasing flu-like illnesses (March 25, 2020, KINSA)
Germany: The latest influenza report of the German Robert Koch Institute of March 24 documents a 'žnationwide decrease in activity of acute respiratory diseases'': The number of influenza-like illnesses and the number of hospital stays caused by them is below the level of previous years and is currently continuing to decline. The RKI continues: 'žThe increase in the number of visits to the doctor cannot currently be explained either by influenza viruses circulating in the population or by SARS-CoV-2.'' Deutschland: Atemwegserkrankungen 2019/2020 gg¼. Vorjahren
Deutschland: Krankenhausaufenthalte durch Atemwegserkrankungen nach Altersgruppen
Germany: Decreasing flu-like illnesses (20 March 2020, RKI)
Italy: The renowned Italian virologist Giulio Tarro argues that the mortality rate of Covid19 is below 1% even in Italy and is therefore comparable to influenza. The higher values only arise because no distinction is made between deaths with and by Covid19 and because the number of (symptom-free) infected persons is greatly underestimated. UK: The authors of the British Imperial College study, who predicted up to 500,000 deaths, are again reducing their forecasts. After already admitting that a large proportion of test-positive deaths are part of normal mortality, they now state that the peak of the disease may be reached in two to three weeks already. UK: The British Guardian reported in February 2019 that even in the generally weak flu season 2018/2019 there were more than 2180 flu-related admissions to intensive care units in the UK.Switzerland: In Switzerland, the excess mortality due to Covid19 is apparently still zero. The latest 'žfatal victim'' presented by the media is a 100-year-old woman. Nevertheless, the Swiss government continues to tighten restrictive measures.March 26, 2020 (II)Sweden: Sweden has so far pursued the most liberal strategy in dealing with Covid19, which is based on two principles: Risk groups are protected and people with flu symptoms stay at home. 'žIf you follow these two rules, there is no need for further measures, the effect of which is only marginal anyway,'' said chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. Social and economic life will continue normally. The big rush to hospitals has so far failed to materialize, Tegnell said.German criminal and constitutional law expert Dr. Jessica Hamed argues that measures such as general curfews and contact bans are a massive and disproportionate encroachment on fundamental rights of freedom and are therefore presumably 'žall illegal''.The latest European monitoring report on overall mortality continues to show normal or below-average values in all countries and all age groups, but now with one exception: in the 65+ age group in Italy a currently increased overall mortality is predicted (so-called delay-adjusted z-score), which is, however, still below the values of the influenza waves of 2017 and 2018.27 March 2020 (I) Italy: According to the latest data published by the Italian Ministry of Health, overall mortality is now significantly higher in all age groups over 65 years of age, after having been below average due to the mild winter. Until March 14, overall mortality was still below the flu season of 2016/2017, but may have already exceeded it in the meantime. Most of this excess mortality currently comes from northern Italy. However, the exact role of Covid19, compared to other factors such as panic, healthcare collapse and the lockdown itself, is not yet clear.
Italy: Total mortality 65+ years (red line) (MdS / 14 March 2020)
France: According to the latest data from France, overall mortality at the national level remains within the normal range after a mild influenza season. However, in some regions, particularly in the north-east of France, overall mortality in the over-65 age group has already risen sharply in connection with Covid19 (see figure below).
France: Total mortality at national level (above) and in the severely affected Haut-Rhin department (SPF / 15 March 2020)
France also provides detailed information on the age distribution and pre-existing conditions of test-positive intensive care patients and deceased patients (see figure below):
The average age of the deceased is 81.2 years.78% of the deceased were over 75 years old; 93% were over 65 years old.2.4% of the deceased were under 65 years of age and had no (known) previous illnessThe average age of intensive care patients is 65 years.26% of intensive care patients are over 75 years old; 67% have previous illnesses.17% of intensive care patients are under 65 years of age and have no previous illnesses.The French authorities add that 'žthe share of the (Covid-19) epidemic in overall mortality remains to be determined.''
Age distribution of hospitalized patients (top left), intensive care patients (top right), patients at home (bottom left), and the deceased (bottom right). Source: SPF / 24 March 2020
USA: Researcher Stephen McIntyre has evaluated the official data on deaths from pneumonia in the US. There are usually between 3000 and 5500 deaths per week and thus significantly more than the current figures for Covid19. The total number of deaths in the US is between 50,000 and 60,000 per week. (Note: In the graph below, the latest figures for March 2020 have not yet been fully updated, so the curve is slumping).
USA: Deaths from pneumonia per week (CDC/McIntyre)
Great Britain:
Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London now assumes that the UK has sufficient capacity in intensive care units to treat Covid19 patients.John Lee, Professor Emeritus of Pathology, argues that the particular way in which Covid-19 cases are registered leads to an overestimation of the risk posed by Covid19 compared to normal flu and cold cases.Other topics:
A preliminary study by researchers at Stanford University showed that 20 to 25% of Covid19-positive patients tested additionally positive for other influenza or cold viruses.The number of applications for unemployment insurance in the US skyrocketed to a record of over three million. In this context, a sharp increase in suicides is also expected.The first test-positive patient in Germany has now recovered. According to his own statement, the 33-year-old man had experienced the illness 'žnot as bad as the flu''.Spanish media report that the antibody rapid tests for Covid19 only have a sensitivity of 30%, although it should be at least 80%.A study from China in 2003 concluded that the probability of dying from SARS is 84% higher in people exposed to moderate air pollution than in patients from regions with clean air. The risk is even 200% higher among people from areas with heavily polluted air.The German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine (EbM) criticises the media reporting on Covid19: 'žThe media coverage does not in any way take into account the criteria of evidence-based risk communication that we have demanded. () The presentation of raw data without reference to other causes of death leads to an overestimation of the risk''.Albert Camus, The Plague (1947): 'žThe only way to fight the plague is honesty.''
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Humberside police creates online report portal for people not social distancing | Calendar - ITV News
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 21:22
Humberside Police has created an online reporting portal where people can send details of those not following social distancing rules.
A form can be submitted advising of gatherings that are going against the current guidance. At the moment, due to the coronavirus outbreak, people have been told not to go out in groups of more than two people and only to leave their homes to shop for necessities, to exercise or to travel to and from work.
The force says the portal has been made in response to an increase in the number of calls to its non-emergency 101 number following the government's announcement earlier this week around new police powers to disperse groups.
Reports will be assessed based on the information provided and we would ask people to please consider the circumstance before making their report.
For instance, if a couple and two children are seen in the park, it's highly likely they are all from the same household and are taking the opportunity for their one form of exercise of the day, which under the guidance is allowed.
However, if there is a group of ten people of the same age gathered in a car park, it's more likely they are not from the same household.
We will not be able to deploy officers to every single report of social gatherings that contradict the Government's advice and dependent on the information within the report will determine our response.
However it may be some of the reports are referred on to our partner agencies, our Local Authorities for example, who could take further action to stop gatherings in certain places.
'' Chris Philpott, Humberside Police
Rotterdam social distancing creating distrust
Watchdog approves use of UK phone data to help fight coronavirus | World news | The Guardian
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 06:24
The UK's privacy watchdog has said the government can use personal data from people's mobile phones to track and monitor behaviour if it helps fight the spread of coronavirus.
It emerged last week that the government was in talks with UK mobile phone companies to potentially use anonymous location and usage data to create movement maps, with a 12- to 24-hour delay, to discover whether the public are abiding by lockdown rules.
Governments such as China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Israel have gone much further, with active surveillance measures including the use of personal data and making infected people download a smartphone app to reveal their movements and contacts.
Other countries with versions of tracking apps include Spain, Romania, Slovakia and Poland.
While there is no suggestion the UK government will embrace such measures '' although there have been reports it is developing a smartphone app '' the Information Commissioner's Office said the severity of the coronavirus outbreak could warrant the use of personal data to help contain it.
''The important thing is that data protection is not a barrier to sharing data,'' said an ICO spokeswoman, responding to the question of potentially nationwide mobile phone monitoring. ''Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health. Data protection law enables the data sharing in the public interest and provides the safeguards for data that the public would expect.''
The ICO usually acts as the privacy regulator, fining companies ranging from British Airways to the hotel chain Marriott hundreds of millions of pounds for breaching rules relating to customers' personal data.
Earlier this month, the ICO said data protection and electronic communication laws did not stop the government, NHS or any other health professionals from sending public health messages to people by phone, text or email.
However, after the emergence of the government's potential mobile phone data monitoring plan, British privacy campaigners have raised concerns.
They said individuals should be alerted if their personal data was being used, there should be judicial oversight, and there must be ''sunset'' provisions so such activity cannot become a permanent tactic.
''The safety and security of the public remains our primary concern,'' said the ICO spokeswoman. ''The ICO and our colleagues in the public sector have this at the forefront of our minds at this time and we are here to help.''
Earlier this week it emerged that the mobile phone industry had explored the creation of a global data-sharing system that could track individuals around the world, as part of an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The aim of the global network would be to enact ''contact tracing'' to identify who someone with the virus may have come into contact with.
The Washington Post reported last week that the US government was in talks with Facebook, Google and other tech companies and health experts about how location data from Americans' phones could be used to fight the pandemic. The report suggested public health experts were interested in anonymous aggregate data that could help map the spread of the virus.
The emergency measures approved by the Israeli government last week went further, enabling authorities to track individuals suspected or confirmed to have been infected and to notify those they may have come into contact with. They also allow phones to be used to enforce strict quarantine rules.
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New Data Rules Could Empower Patients but Undermine Their Privacy - The New York Times
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:43
Technology | New Data Rules Could Empower Patients but Undermine Their PrivacyNew federal data-sharing requirements will enable people to use consumer apps to retrieve their medical information directly from their doctors.
Federal health regulators said new rules would give patients more insights into their health and greater choices. Credit... Al Drago for The New York Times In a move intended to give Americans greater control over their medical information, the Trump administration announced broad new rules on Monday that will allow people for the first time to use apps of their choice to retrieve data like their blood test results directly from their health providers.
The Department of Health and Human Services said the new system was intended to make it as easy for people to manage their health care on smartphones as it is for them to use apps to manage their finances.
Giving people access to their medical records via mobile apps is a major milestone for patient rights, even as it may heighten risks to patient privacy.
Prominent organizations like the American Medical Association have warned that, without accompanying federal safeguards, the new rules could expose people who share their diagnoses and other intimate medical details with consumer apps to serious data abuses.
Although Americans have had the legal right to obtain a copy of their personal health information for two decades, many people face obstacles in getting that data from providers.
Some physicians still require patients to pick up computer disks '-- or even photocopies '-- of their records in person. Some medical centers use online portals that offer access to basic health data, like immunizations, but often do not include information like doctors' consultation notes that might help patients better understand their conditions and track their progress.
The new rules are intended to shift that power imbalance toward the patient.
They will for first the time require doctors and medical centers to send a core set of medical data directly to third-party apps, like Apple's Health Records, after a patient has authorized the information exchange. In addition to lab test results and vital signs, the data will include clinical notes about a patient's surgeries, hospital stays, imaging tests and pathology results.
Dr. Don Rucker, the federal health department's national coordinator for health information technology, said access to medical data through consumer apps would give people more detailed insights into their health and greater choices over their health care. He compared it to ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft that let consumers make pricing choices in advance.
''We as patients have not gotten really anywhere near the benefits from modern computing that we could or should get,'' Dr. Rucker said. ''The ability of smartphones to take the care with you, to be continuous, to be engaging, is going to allow totally different ways of thinking about chronic illness.''
Jackie Nelson, a retired police evidence officer in Ormond Beach, Fla., said she hoped the new rules would eliminate the kinds of obstacles she recently experienced. When she moved from Texas, she said, her doctor there asked her to pay an exorbitant fee '-- more than a thousand dollars '-- to provide her with a copy of her medical records.
''People like myself, I'm a senior, I'm on Social Security '-- I don't have a thousand dollars to pay for my records,'' said Ms. Nelson, who is managing multiple health conditions. She said she hoped the new data-access rules would ''stop doctors from withholding'' patients' data and ''make the doctor accountable for what they are doing.''
Health regulators are opening patient access to their medical records against a backdrop of a virtual gold rush for Americans' health data by hundreds of companies. So many entities have access to Americans' medical records '-- including identifiable medical data and pseudonymous files that track people by ID codes '-- that it can seem easier for third parties to acquire patient data than patients themselves.
Dozens of professional medical organizations and health industry groups have pushed back against the rules, warning that federal privacy protections, which limit how health providers and insurers may use and share medical records, no longer apply once patients transfer their data to consumer apps.
''Apps frequently do not provide patients with clear terms of how that data will be used '-- licensing patients' data for marketing purposes, leasing or lending aggregated personal information to third parties, or outright selling it,'' Dr. James L. Madara, the chief executive of the American Medical Association, wrote in public comments to health regulators last year. ''These practices jeopardize patient privacy.''
Dr. Rucker, the health department's technology coordinator, said the new rules take patient privacy into account. When patients initiate the data-sharing process with apps, he said, their providers will be able to inform them about privacy risks.
But even federal health regulators acknowledge the privacy risks. An infographic on patient data rights on the health agency's website warns: ''Be careful when sending your health information to a mobile application'' because health providers are ''no longer responsible for the security of your health information after it is sent to a third party.''
The rules introduced on Monday are part of a federal effort to centralize medical data online in the hopes of helping doctors get a fuller picture of patient health and enabling patients to make more informed treatment choices.
One of the rules requires vendors of electronic health records to adopt software '-- known as application programming interfaces, or A.P.I.s. '-- to enable providers to send medical record data directly to patient-authorized apps. Another rule similarly requires Medicare and Medicaid plans to adopt A.P.I.s. That software will enable people to use apps to get their insurance claims and benefit information.
Health providers and health record vendors will have two years to comply with the A.P.I. requirements. Electronic health record vendors that impede such data-sharing '-- a practice called ''information blocking'' '-- could be fined up to $1 million per violation. Doctors accused of information blocking could be subject to federal investigation.
Health technology executives welcomed the new requirements, but said the initial data set available to patients through apps would be limited to more basic information like prescription drug history '-- and not data like radiology images.
Image Deven McGraw is the chief regulatory officer of Ciitizen, a start-up that helps people obtain and centralize their medical records. Credit... Jason Andrew for The New York Times Image Ms. McGraw demonstrating the Citiizen app. Credit... Jason Andrew for The New York Times ''It's a decent amount of data if you're relatively healthy and you just want to check on what your lab test results were,'' said Deven McGraw, the chief regulatory officer at Ciitizen, a start-up that helps people obtain and centralize medical records from multiple providers. ''But it's not enough data if you're really sick and you need that record.''
But people who choose to send their sensitive medical data to consumer apps will largely be left on their own as far as patient privacy is concerned. While Apple has said its Health Records app does not have access to users' medical information because it is encrypted and stored locally on their iPhones, other apps may share or sell patient data.
Dr. Rucker, the health regulator, said people would choose the health data app brands they trusted.
''Just like with banks, just like with brokerage firms, people will go to organizations they trust with their data,'' he said. ''We don't put our money into, you know, some guy running a bank out of a pickup truck on the corner. We go to someone who has a clear brand.''
Critics see Trump health data rules as boon for big tech | TheHill
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:29
Critics are sounding the alarm over new rules introduced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week to give Americans more control over their health data.
They warn that while more access to health data for patients and small, consumer-focused companies, could be hugely beneficial, there are not enough protections in the rules to safeguard sensitive information or stop big tech companies from acquiring the data.
The two new rules were issued by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The ONC rule, which implements certain portions of the 2016 21st Century Cures Act, requires health providers to allow patients to electronically access their health data for free.
The CMS ''Interoperability and Patient Access'' rule focuses on securing the exchange of health information and requires third-party groups to provide information on their data privacy policies before information is shared with them.
Moving health data from hospitals and electronic health record companies '-- also known as EHRs '-- to patients is a significant shift in how America treats medical information.
Supporters of the new rules say they will empower patients, allowing them to use their health data to access better or different treatments more easily. Patients have always been able to request data from their providers, but the process can be time-consuming and come with potentially prohibitive fees.
''[The rules are] particularly helpful for complicated patients, patients that have chronic disease that have to see a lot of specialists, if they have to transfer their records from one system to another, the way the system is set up really segments care, making data more interoperable will fix a lot of those existing problems,'' Olivia Webb, a policy analyst at the newly formed anti-monopoly organization the American Economic Liberties Project, told The Hill.
Once control of health data is transferred over to citizens, they can choose to use it how they wish.
That has experts worried that without more safeguards, the biggest technology companies will accumulate vast amounts of sensitive data as consumers share it with Silicon Valley via apps and other products.
''These rules devolve power from hospitals and EHR companies to the patient, my concern with the big tech companies is that they will just accumulate all the data and we're back where we started just with new people in charge,'' Webb said.
Health data is one of the only kinds of data protected by a federal law: the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).
HIPPA requires health care organizations to follow best practices on the handling and transfer of health data. With the HHS rules, health data could finally leave the protection of the privacy rule.
''HIPPA applies when you are transferring data between doctors, or insurance companies, but as soon as you give that information to a third party it is jailbroken from HIPPA... once it's out, it's out,'' Emily Peterson-Cassin, an attorney at consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen, told The Hill.
People will likely start sharing data with third-party apps and companies offering health services under the new rules, according to Kevin Lancaster, a security expert at IT management firm Kaseya.
''However, it's unclear who will ultimately be responsible for any PHI [protected health information] data security vulnerabilities under these rules '-- the provider, the patient, the third-party apps they're sharing their data with, or a mixture of all three,'' he told The Hill.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma told reporters this week privacy and security were ''paramount'' in developing the rules, but experts have expressed concern about the way they were written.
''The protections here are very minimal and pretty outdated especially when it comes to third parties,'' Peterson-Cassin said.
The American Hospital Association (AHA), which represents over 5,000 medical groups, said in a statement that the ONC rule ''fails to protect consumers' most sensitive information about their personal health.''
''The rule lacks the necessary guardrails to protect consumers from actors such as third party apps that are not required to meet the same stringent privacy and security requirements as hospitals.''
In the wrong hands, private healthcare data could be used for damaging practices like price discrimination or to expose health conditions like HIV.
Even if data given to third parties is secure, concerns remain about the third parties themselves.
Major tech companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon have all made aggressive moves into the health care space in recent years.
Google recently acquired fitness tracking company Fitbit, while Apple's watch is a wearables giant. Microsoft has been active in cloud services for health-care providers and working with hospitals on artificial intelligence. Amazon's purchase of online pharmacy PillPack last year is just part of its effort to break into the prescriptions markets.
All of these efforts would be greatly aided by increased access to more health data, which could also be used in the companies' other business areas.
''Their business model is to collect these huge stores of data, and previously they have not had access to the kinds of health data that they are not potentially going to have access to,'' Peterson-Cassin said.
''That's massively valuable for them, especially when you think about the way health data can interact with buying data and advertising data, it's really a bonanza for companies to get access
Google, Apple and Microsoft participated in meetings during the HHS rulemaking process, according to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs records. The Hill reached out to each company for information on their role in the development of the rules.
Microsoft declined to comment for this story.
While the new rules announced by the HHS this week offer new opportunities for innovation and patient mobility, the nature of health-care data is enough to cause concern, Peterson-Cassin said.
''This data is extremely sensitive, without limitations on where it could go, it will go to any place it legally can.''
Poland made an app for quarantined coronavirus patients which forces them send a selfie or face police - Business Insider
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:37
Poland on Friday released an app which requires people in quarantine for COVID-19 to periodically send selfies of themselves on request to prove they're sticking to their quarantine.If users don't respond to a request for a selfie within 20 minutes police will be alerted.The Polish government is reportedly automatically making accounts for suspected quarantine patients.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.The Polish government has introduced a new app that will require coronavirus patients to take selfies to prove they're quarantining properly.
Per France 24, the "Home Quarantine" app is intended for people quarantining for 14 days after returning from abroad.
People who've downloaded the app register a selfie with the app, then periodically receive requests for geo-located selfies. If they fail to comply, the police will be alerted.
"People in quarantine have a choice: either receive unexpected visits from the police, or download this app," a spokesman for Poland's Digital Ministry told the AFP. If a user fails to respond to a request within 20 minutes police will be notified.
France 24 reported that police in Poland fined someone for breaking quarantine 500 zloty ($116) on Friday.
British journalist Jakub Krupa tweeted that accounts are being automatically created for suspected quarantine patients.
'--Jakub Krupa (@JakubKrupa) March 20, 2020Krupa tweeted that the purpose of the app isn't solely to punish people breaking quarantine, saying it also "helps to connect with the social services or request help with urgent supplies."
According to Poland's Digital Ministry the app is available to download on Google Play and the App Store.
Although demanding selfies is unique, Poland is not the only country to introduce unusual and invasive measures using people's phones to contain and control the spread of the coronavirus.
Singapore has asked citizens to download an app which uses Bluetooth to track whether they've been near anyone diagnosed with the virus, and Taiwan has introduced "electronic fences" which alert police if suspected patients leave their homes.
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Zoom iOS App Sends Data to Facebook Even if You Don't Have a Facebook Account - VICE
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 16:48
Zoom's privacy policy isn't explicit about the data transfer to Facebook at all.
by Joseph Cox
Mar 26 2020, 1:00pm Snap
As people work and socialize from home, video conferencing software Zoom has exploded in popularity. What the company and its privacy policy don't make clear is that the iOS version of the Zoom app is sending some analytics data to Facebook, even if Zoom users don't have a Facebook account, according to a Motherboard analysis of the app.
This sort of data transfer is not uncommon, especially for Facebook; plenty of apps use Facebook's software development kits (SDK) as a means to implement features into their apps more easily, which also has the effect of sending information to Facebook. But Zoom users may not be aware it is happening, nor understand that when they use one product, they may be providing data to another service altogether.
"That's shocking. There is nothing in the privacy policy that addresses that," Pat Walshe, an activist from Privacy Matters who has analyzed Zoom's privacy policy, said in a Twitter direct message.
Upon downloading and opening the app, Zoom connects to Facebook's Graph API, according to Motherboard's analysis of the app's network activity. The Graph API is the main way developers get data in or out of Facebook.
Do you know anything else about data selling or trading? We'd love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, OTR chat on jfcox@jabber.ccc.de, or email joseph.cox@vice.com.
The Zoom app notifies Facebook when the user opens the app, details on the user's device such as the model, the time zone and city they are connecting from, which phone carrier they are using, and a unique advertiser identifier created by the user's device which companies can use to target a user with advertisements
The data being sent is similar to that which activist group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found the app for surveillance camera vendor Ring sent to Facebook.
Will Strafach, an iOS researcher and founder of privacy-focused iOS app Guardian confirmed Motherboard's findings that the Zoom app sent data to Facebook.
"I think users can ultimately decide how they feel about Zoom and other apps sending beacons to Facebook, even if there is no direct evidence of sensitive data being shared in current versions," he told Motherboard in a Twitter direct message.
"That's shocking. There is nothing in the privacy policy that addresses that."
Zoom is not forthcoming with the data collection or the transfer of it to Facebook. Zoom's policy says the company may collect user's "Facebook profile information (when you use Facebook to log-in to our Products or to create an account for our Products)," but doesn't explicitly mention anything about sending data to Facebook on Zoom users who don't have a Facebook account at all.
Facebook told Motherboard it requires developers to be transparent with users about the data their apps send to Facebook. Facebook's terms say "If you use our pixels or SDKs, you further represent and warrant that you have provided robust and sufficiently prominent notice to users regarding the Customer Data collection, sharing and usage," and specifically for apps, "that third parties, including Facebook, may collect or receive information from your app and other apps and use that information to provide measurement services and targeted ads."
Zoom's privacy policy says "our third-party service providers, and advertising partners (e.g., Google Ads and Google Analytics) automatically collect some information about you when you use our Products," but does not link this sort of activity to Facebook specifically.
Zoom did not respond to a request for comment.
Zoom has a number of other potential privacy issues too. As the EFF laid out, hosts of Zoom calls can see if participants have the Zoom window open or not, meaning they can monitor if people are likely paying attention. Administrators can also see the IP address, location data, and device information on each participant, the EFF added.
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Ring Doorbells and Amazon Delivery
Hey
Adam, I just had a random thought while taking my training to delivery packages
for Amazon. (I lost my job because of this coronavirus nonsense). Anyway,
during part of my training they showed videos of drivers throwing packages, and
basically used this as a reason to STAY IN LINE, because the cameras are always
watching! This made me think that maybe Ring Doorbells are more for the purpose
of Amazon keeping an eye on its contracted delivery drivers and what happens
with their product, more than it is for homeowners to prevent thefts.
Just
a thought from boots on the ground.
Bosses Panic-Buy Spy Software to Keep Tabs on Remote Workers - Bloomberg
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:19
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Apple releases new COVID-19 app and website based on CDC guidance - Apple
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 00:17
Tools Offer Up-to-Date Guidance and Information for People Across the US
The new COVID-19 app and website provide the latest information and guidance from the CDC for users across the US.Apple today released a new screening tool and set of resources to help people stay informed and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of COVID-19, based on the latest CDC guidance. The new
COVID-19 website, and
COVID-19 app available on the App Store, were created in partnership with the CDC,
1 the White House Coronavirus Task Force and FEMA to make it easy for people across the country to get trusted information and guidance at a time when the US is feeling the heavy burden of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 app and website allow users to answer a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms for themselves or a loved one. In turn, they will receive CDC recommendations on next steps, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended at this time, and when to contact a medical provider. This new screening tool is designed to be a resource for individuals and does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.
The app and website also offer access to resources to help people stay informed and get the support they need. Users will receive answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19, including who is most at risk and how to recognize symptoms. In addition, they will learn the most up-to-date information from the CDC like best practices for washing hands, disinfecting surfaces and monitoring symptoms.
Users can answer a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms in order to receive CDC recommendations on next steps. They can also access a set of resources from the CDC to help them stay informed and get the support they need.Along with the new COVID-19 app and website, customers across the US may also ask Siri, ''How do I know if I have coronavirus?'' to access guidance and resources from the CDC and a
curated collection of telehealth apps available on the App Store. This week, travelers landing at select international airports throughout the US started receiving notifications on their iPhone to remind them of current CDC guidance to stay home and monitor their health.
Consistent with Apple's strong dedication to user privacy, the COVID-19 app and website were built to keep all user data private and secure. The tools do not require a sign-in or association with a user's Apple ID, and users' individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.
Anyone in the US who is 18 years or older can access the screening tool and resources today by downloading the COVID-19 app on the App Store or visiting
apple.com/covid19.
Media Images of COVID-19 App and Website
1 The site and app were developed in partnership with CDC. They are not meant as an endorsement of any Apple products.
Latest Articles
Ministry of Truthiness
CNN, MSNBC Bosses Ignore Staff Pleas to Cut Trump Coronavirus Pressers
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 06:07
The nation's television news outlets, especially the three major cable-news networks, are grappling with a nagging paradox as President Donald Trump continues to orchestrate his White House briefings on the novel coronavirus pandemic.
On the one hand, their ratings have never been higher, and viewers' appetites for the live sessions have shown no signs of dwindling. On the other hand, journalists and executives at MSNBC, CNN, and the often Trump-friendly Fox News'--which scored an impressive 6.2 million viewers for Sunday's installment of the Trump show, according to Nielsen'--are increasingly facing the likelihood that they are becoming an uncritical and unvetted transmission belt for propaganda and misinformation.
Despite internal handwringing among producers and journalists as the week unfolded, however, the bosses at MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News once again decided on Thursday to broadcast every moment of Trump's self-congratulatory and largely fact-free cheerleading live as the United States achieved the dubious milestone of becoming the world's No. 1 coronavirus-infected country'--surpassing even China's 81,000-plus cases by more than 2,000, with twice China's death rate.
''These White House sessions'--ostensibly meant to give the public critical and truthful information about this frightening crisis'--are in fact working against that end,'' wrote Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan, summarizing such concerns. ''Rather, they have become a daily stage for Trump to play his greatest hits to captive audience members. They come in search of life-or-death information, but here's what they get from him instead: Self-aggrandizement'... Media-bashing'... Exaggeration and outright lies.''
In an echo of the self-criticism expressed during the 2016 presidential race, when the cable networks repeatedly broadcast Trump's campaign rallies live and unexpurgated, top MSNBC anchors have already argued publicly that their own network should not air the president's pandemic musings in full.
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough tweeted during Trump's briefing on Monday that there was ''no public benefit to this briefing,'' and the cable news networks should ''cut away.'' MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who anchors the network's most highly rated program, also repeatedly called for news networks to stop carrying Trump's statements live, saying that the president's daily comments contribute to the spread of misinformation.
''If it were up to me, and it's not, I would stop putting those briefings on live TV,'' Maddow said on her show earlier this week. ''Not out of spite, but because it's misinformation. If the president does end up saying anything true, you can run it as tape. But if he keeps lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, we should, all of us should stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it's going to cost lives.''
Privately, several staffers at CNN and MSNBC have acknowledged that airing Trump's pressers live and in full likely amplifies the spread of misinformation about the disease and its potential cure. In one instance, Trump's enthusiastic promotion of a malaria medicine, chloroquine, as therapy for COVID-19, reportedly prompted an elderly couple to take a poisonous version of the chemical, resulting in the wife being placed in an intensive-care unit while her husband died.
An NBC News insider, however, said the White House briefings should be not be ignored, but instead thoroughly covered and aired, albeit with journalistic vetting and fact checking. ''I completely get the criticism of the performance,'' this person said. ''But let's remember that the White House press corps absolutely torched the Trump White House for eliminating the daily briefings. Now there's a high-profile daily press briefing that often includes the president and vice president, so you can't have it both ways.''
Acknowledging that Trump is frequently a source of misstatement, the NBC News insider added: ''I think the best way to handle the president in the briefing is that you handle the president like you handle the virus. He has to be contained and quarantined and his falsehoods have to be scrubbed so that they don't rub off on you.''
On Thursday evening, as the U.S. death and infection toll mounted and health care first responders coped with inadequate hospital facilities and medical equipment, Trump began the White House briefing by complaining about a Washington Post story quoting Washington state's Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee as exhorting the president on a conference call to step up and act like leader in the tradition of quarterback Tom Brady.
''Somebody in the fake news said that one of the governors said, 'Oh, we need Tom Brady.' Yeah. He meant it in a positive way,'' Trump claimed as he launched into a defensive rant. ''We need Tom Brady, we can do everything positively, but they took it differently. They think Tom Brady should be leading the effort. That's only fake news. And I like Tom Brady. I spoke to him the other day. He's a great guy. But I wish the news could be real. I wish it could be honest. I wish it weren't corrupt. So much of it is, it's so sad to see. We had a great meeting."
When an Asian American reporter asked the president'--who has habitually referred to COVID-19 as ''the Chinese virus'''--what he's doing to combat hate crimes against people of Asian heritage, Trump responded: ''Well, I don't know. All I know is this: Asian Americans in our country are doing fantastically well. I'm very close to them, as you know. And they're doing fantastically well. And I think they appreciate the job we're doing.''
When Trump left the podium and Vice President Mike Pence took over, MSNBC continued airing the briefing while CNN cut away so anchor Wolf Blitzer and medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta could dissect the president's false claims, and returned to the briefing when government doctors Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx made presentations.
On MSNBC, anchor Chuck Todd then supplied some political and optics analysis.
Since at least Sunday's briefing'--when Trump joked sarcastically about Sen. Mitt Romney's self-quarantine, complained about the ''billions of dollars'' he has allegedly lost because he's president, and defended his continuing involvement in his family business by claiming George Washington did the same'--staffers and managers at CNN and MSNBC have been treating the briefings with increasing caution.
Going forward, they said, they will be ready to cut away from the briefings when newsworthy facts and figures'--usually shared by federal public-health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci'--give way to unsupported presidential speculation and outright falsehoods.
''We might take it from the top and then cut away after the first lie, and return when the lies stop,'' said one cable-network producer.
''Sunday was like open-mic night,'' an MSNBC staffer told The Daily Beast, adding that Trump might still be benefiting politically and winning respectable approval ratings for his handling of the pandemic because ''people want to believe he's got this. So they crawl toward the mirage, and when they realize it's a mirage, they eat the sand.''
''They're so full of misinformation. Someone has already died from it,'' a different MSNBC insider said, citing the story of an Arizona man who ingested fish-tank solvent, chloroquine with phosphate, after hearing Trump tout that key ingredient in its prescription-drug form at one of his press conferences.
On Monday, both CNN and MSNBC cut away from Trump's unusually lengthy briefing after an hour, while the Fox News Channel continued to carry it until the end.
''Of course they did,'' scoffed a CNN employee. ''And yesterday [Tuesday] they produced a propaganda show'''--a reference to the Fox News town hall with Trump in which anchor Bill Hemmer, with the president in the White House Rose Garden, and Harris Faulkner in her makeshift home studio, asked him a series of softball questions.
During his hour on-air, Trump used much of his time to tout his presidential record, jab at Democrats like ''Sleepy'' Joe Biden and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and praise his Fox News hosts. Among many gushing comments from the Fox personalities accompanying the president, at one point Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier raved to Trump how ''as a nation we are beholden to you for your decisive, swift action.''
A Fox News insider, however, defended the town hall: ''Given we are operating in an unprecedented evolving hour-to-hour crisis, this was a major television feat to pull off and the entire town hall made news which any network would have been thrilled to have.''
Other cable staffers said the networks were inclined to lean-in to live events because it is logistically more difficult to remotely produce TV packages as many employees are now scattered geographically, working from their homes.
''It's a tougher call than it would be in normal times because we're all trying to do as much remote work as possible,'' said another source who does not support taking Trump's pressers live. ''Live events alleviate the burden on our incredibly diminished control-room staff.''
'--With additional reporting from Justin Baragona
The Bigger Picture?
Gordon Brown calls for global government to tackle coronavirus | Politics | The Guardian
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 23:23
'The more you intervene to deal with the medical emergency, the more you put economies at risk,' says Gordon Brown.Photograph: Victoria Jones/PAGordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The former Labour prime minister, who was at the centre of the international efforts to tackle the impact of the near-meltdown of the banks in 2008, said there was a need for a taskforce involving world leaders, health experts and the heads of the international organisations that would have executive powers to coordinate the response.
A virtual meeting of the G20 group of developed and developing countries, chaired by Saudi Arabia, will be held on Thursday, but Brown said it would have been preferable to have also included the UN security council.
''This is not something that can be dealt with in one country,'' he said. ''There has to be a coordinated global response.''
Brown said the current crisis was different to the one he was involved in. ''That was an economic problem that had economic causes and had an economic solution.
''This is first and foremost a medical emergency and there has to be joint action to deal with that. But the more you intervene to deal with the medical emergency, the more you put economies at risk.''
During the financial crisis, Brown persuaded other global leaders of the need to bail out the banks and then hosted a meeting of the G20 in London, which came up with a $1.1tn rescue package.
Despite Donald Trump's ''America first'' policy, he said it was still possible to get support for an emergency body with executive powers.
Brown said his proposed global taskforce would fight the crisis on two fronts. There would need to be a coordinated effort to find a vaccine, and to organise production, purchasing and prevent profiteering.
Many countries have announced economic packages in the past two weeks but Brown said a taskforce could: make sure the efforts of central banks were coordinated; take steps to prevent the record flight of capital from emerging market economies; and agree a joint approach to the use of government spending to boost growth.
Brown said there had been resistance in 2008 to using the G20 as a vehicle for tackling the financial crisis, but that it should be clear to world leaders that there was no possibility of a go-it-alone approach working.
Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk''We need some sort of working executive,'' Brown said. ''If I were doing it again, I would make the G20 a broader organisation because in the current circumstances you need to listen to the countries that are most affected, the countries that are making a difference and countries where there is the potential for a massive number of people to be affected - such as those in Africa.''
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund needed an increase in their financial firepower to cope with the impact of the crisis on low- and middle-income countries, he said.
Proposal for a One World Government Being Floated | Armstrong Economics
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 23:22
The former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises caused by the Coronavirus. He is no fool. He knows once there is the formation of anything pretended to be ''temporary'' it exists forever. Why are these people so intent upon trashing our freedoms and converting the world into an authoritarian paradise for them?
Keynesian Economics is collapsing. They will all be thrown out on the street if not dragged out and hanged when hoards of people who counted on these social programs realize they have been played for fools.
Since the coronavirus model of Neil Ferguson has been shown to be wrong, they will NEVER relinquish the emergency powers that have seized already. When Ferguson appeared before the British Parliament, they never once criticized him and simply said thank you for your efforts. Why is there no recognition of this?
The stay-at-home should be immediately revoked and businesses should be restored. The fact that this is NOT being done has shown precisely what I was getting from my sources that this was (1) bogus, and (2) there were elites who sold in January everything, including bonds. This is the first collapse where the flight to quality was NOT to bonds, but to cash.
As they say, this ain't over until the fat lady sings. This is a coup against our freedom because socialism is on the verge of collapse. Yet in Asia, they are trying to resume to normal ASAP unlike what we see in Europe in particular.
US Warship Transits Taiwan Strait As Virus Blame-Game Escalates | Zero Hedge
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:35
The Wall Street Journal's Jacky Wong pretty much sums it up: "World War 3 during a pandemic wasn't something I expected."
World War 3 during a pandemic wasn't something I expected https://t.co/DanPluaFlr
'-- Jacky Wong (@jackycwong) March 26, 2020A US warship transited through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, angering Beijing as both countries are fighting wars of their own against COVID-19 and escalating the blame-game for exactly who is ultimately responsible for the spread of the deadly virus.
The US Pacific Fleet tweeted that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS McCampbell (DDG 85), conducted operations through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday.
#USNavy Sailors stand watch aboard #USSMcCampbell as the forward-deployed @US7thFleet guided-missile destroyer transits the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday. #DDG85 #NavyReadiness pic.twitter.com/cejXv49hj3
'-- U.S. Pacific Fleet (@USPacificFleet) March 25, 2020Taiwan's armed forces said in a statement that the US warship sailed through the region on an "ordinary mission," indicating that there was no need for alarm, reported Reuters.
The transit comes at a time when President Trump has repeatedly called COVID-19, the "Chinese virus," as social distancing and mass quarantines have led to the collapse of not just China's economy but a depression that will likely unfold in the US in the second quarter.
Anthony Junco, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, said the USS McCampbell conducted "a routine Taiwan Strait transit on March 25 (local time) in accordance with international law."
"The ship's transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows," Junco said.
The cross-Strait relations between China and Taiwan could be heating up again. China slammed the US on Thursday for its latest stunt in the region.
Ren Guoqiang, the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, said the "US's recent actions concerning Taiwan, such as dispatching warships across the Taiwan Strait and passing of the TAIPEI Act, were tantamount to interference in China's internal affairs and undermined cross-strait peace and stability."
"The Chinese armed forces have firm will, full confidence and sufficient capability to thwart any form of separatist acts and will take all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Guoqiang said.
We noted back in November that if China's economy were to crash for any reason, then the threat of war between China and Taiwan would increase.
So what happens next? China's economy crashed, the world is swamped in a pandemic, Trump is increasingly calling COVID-19, the "Chinese flu," is the next move military conflict?
Trump signs TAIPEI Act, threatening 'consequences' for nations that fail to toe US line on Taiwan '-- RT World News
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:34
US President Donald Trump has signed the TAIPEI Act, a bill expressing American support for Taiwan and vowing to punish countries that side with Beijing on the issue, a move which is bound to further strain US-China relations.
Signed into law late on Thursday night, the bill requires the US State Department to help Taiwan strengthen diplomatic ties in the Indo-Pacific region, threatening to penalize nations that ''undermine the security or prosperity'' of the Chinese territory.
Trump Signs TAIPEI Act On March 26, 2020, @POTUS DONALD. J. Trump signed the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative "TAIPEI" Act of 2019, referred to as the "Taipei Law" ㋠This is the second Taiwan Act signed by Trump after the Taiwan Travel Act https://t.co/edIkI9wvehpic.twitter.com/CEGhg0CiYn
'-- Taiwan Formosa Club (@taiwanformosan) March 27, 2020The law is supposed to ''send a strong message to nations that there will be consequences for supporting Chinese actions that undermine Taiwan,'' according to its authors, Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) and Chris Coons (D-Delaware).
Beijing has voiced staunch opposition to the law, passed unanimously by the Senate last October and by the House earlier this month, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian urging Washington to ''handle issues relating to Taiwan prudently to avoid damaging bilateral relations.'' Zhao also noted the law violates the ''one-China'' principle, under which Taiwan is inalienable Chinese territory. The principle is often described by officials in Beijing as the ''political foundation of the China-US relationship.''
In addition to frequent transits of US warships through the Taiwan Strait, Beijing has also repeatedly expressed concerns over Trump's military support to Taiwan and deepening US ties with the island via the 2018 Taiwan Travel Act.
Also on rt.com China threatens sanctions against US companies selling weapons to Taiwan Taiwan's Economic and Cultural Representative Office '' the island's main agent in the US '' hailed the move soon after the bill's signing, thanking the president and Congress for their ''staunch support.''
🇹🇼🇺🇸The TAIPEI Act was signed into law on March 26, strengthening #Taiwan's bilateral relations and ensuring its participation in international organizations. 👏👏👏Big thanks to @realDonaldTrump & Congress's staunch support for #Taiwan. 🥰🥰🥰
'-- Taiwan in the US (@TECRO_USA) March 27, 2020Taiwan currently maintains diplomatic relations with some 15 countries. Since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, however, eight nations have severed ties in favor of China, actions Tsai has slammed as examples of Beijing's ''diplomatic and military acts of coercion.'' Through the US State Department, the TAIPEI Act will look to penalize such moves, leveraging US diplomatic muscle to push countries back into Taiwan's orbit.
Also on rt.com China protests deployment of US soldiers to guard Washington's 'embassy' in Taiwan Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Saudi Oil Industry at Risk as American, European Refiners Refusing Riyadh's Crude '' Reports - Sputnik International
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:33
Business11:55 GMT 27.03.2020(updated 11:58 GMT 27.03.2020) Get short URL
Oil prices collapsed to their lowest levels in decades in March amid coronavirus concerns and OPEC+'s failure to reach a deal on production cuts, which prompted Riyadh and its allies to open the taps.
Refineries in the United States and Europe are rejecting to accept any more Saudi oil, even at discounted prices, owing to a crude glut and lack of storage space, the Wall Street journal has reported, citing Saudi officials and oil traders.
Gulf Agency Company Ltd, a Dubai-based maritime logistics company, says buyers in India have also cut back on Saudi crude as that country has gone into lockdown to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. According to the company's sources, at least 52 Indian ports have invoked a force majeure amid the outbreak, allowing them to cancel orders without incurring penalties.
Traders also told the WSJ that Russia '' the oil exporter whose market share Saudi Arabia has been most keen to capture, has been able to compensate some of the decline in exports to Europe by redirecting them to China, a country where demand has been enjoying a slow recovery amid that country's efforts to fight the pandemic.Earlier, US-based financial analytics firm S&P Global reported that Saudi Aramco had topped up crude storage facilities near major refineries in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Sidi Kerir in Egypt. The Rotterdam deliveries, S&P Global says, are part of a long-term effort by Saudi Aramco to increase the company's crude oil market share in Europe, where Russian oil has traditionally been dominant.
According to WSJ, Saudi Arabia may need to cut prices even further as international benchmark Brent has fallen below even the discounted rates at which the country is looking to sell.
Crude futures shed about 45 percent of their value this month amid the global economic slowdown associated with COVID-19, and Saudi Arabia's decision to ramp up production to up to 12.3 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia and its allies moved to increase crude output in early March after Russia's energy ministry said it could not agree to more cuts in output, leading Riyadh to flood the market and kick off a price war.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg warned that declining oil revenues may lead to an ''unthinkable balance-of-payments crisis'' for Riyadh and end the country's decades' long policy of pegging its currency, the riyal, to the US dollar. The business news outlet warned that the country's central bank reserves plus sovereign wealth fund minus government debt currently stand at just 0.1 percent of GDP, down from as much as 50 percent of GDP just six years ago, and predicted that the country would become a net debtor ''for the foreseeable future, even if prices rise back above $80.''
Moody's, meanwhile, says it expects prices to stabilize to $40-$55 a barrel for the year 2020, and grow to $50-$55 a barrel in 2021 pending a resumption in global economic growth.
On Wednesday, US media reported that President Trump planned to try to convince Riyadh to end its oil production boost amid concerns over the price war's impact on US shale, which has a breakeven price of as high as $68 per barrel. Washington has already taken emergency measures aimed at preventing the collapse of the shale industry, announcing last week that it would buy up some 77 million barrels of crude on the domestic market to shore up the strategic oil reserve.
(C) REUTERS / Nick Oxford
Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016
The United States is now the largest global crude oil producer - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:31
September 12, 2018 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy OutlookNote: Production for the United States and Russia includes crude oil and condensate. The total for Saudi Arabia includes only crude oil; EIA estimates that crude oil and condensate production in Saudi Arabia averaged 10.5 million b/d in August 2018. The United States likely surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world's largest crude oil producer earlier this year, based on preliminary estimates in EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). In February, U.S. crude oil production exceeded that of Saudi Arabia for the first time in more than two decades. In June and August, the United States surpassed Russia in crude oil production for the first time since February 1999.
Although EIA does not publish crude oil production forecasts for Russia and Saudi Arabia in STEO, EIA expects that U.S. crude oil production will continue to exceed Russian and Saudi Arabian crude oil production for the remaining months of 2018 and through 2019.
U.S. crude oil production, particularly from light sweet crude oil grades, has rapidly increased since 2011. Much of the recent growth has occurred in areas such as the Permian region in western Texas and eastern New Mexico, the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico, and the Bakken region in North Dakota and Montana.
The oil price decline in mid-2014 resulted in U.S. producers reducing their costs and temporarily scaling back crude oil production. However, after crude oil prices increased in early 2016, investment and production began increasing later that year. By comparison, Russia and Saudi Arabia have maintained relatively steady crude oil production growth in recent years.
Saudi Arabia's crude oil and other liquids production data are EIA internal estimates. Russian data mainly come from the Russian Ministry of Oil, which publishes crude oil and condensate numbers. Other sources used to inform these estimates include data from major producing companies, international organizations (such as the International Energy Agency), and industry publications, among others.
Principal contributors: Candace Dunn, Tim Hess
Tags: production/supply, international, Saudi Arabia, liquid fuels, Russia
Why Trump and Judy Shelton want the US back on the gold standard '-- Quartz
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:30
The once-fringe fantasy of a return to the gold standard is creeping back into the mainstream.
It has long been dismissed as a fool's errand, on par with abandoning the Federal Reserve and other trappings of the modern economy. Mainstream economists deride it almost without exception. Reintroducing the gold standard would ''be a disaster for any large advanced economy,'' says the University of Chicago's Anil Kashyap, who connects enthusiasm for it with ''macroeconomic illiteracy.'' His colleague, Nobel laureate Richard Thaler, struggles with its very underlying principle: ''Why tie to gold? Why not 1982 Bordeaux?''
Yet the idea that every US dollar should be backed by a small amount of actual gold is more popular than economists' opinions might suggest. Advocates include members of Congress and president Donald Trump. Enthusiasm for a return to the gold standard has become more prominent since Trump's most recent nominees to fill the vacant Federal Reserve governorship have endorsed a return. The first two'--Herman Cain and Stephen Moore'--both dropped out of consideration, but the third, economist Judy Shelton, announced today in a Trump tweet, may be the most ardent in her support.
Last year, Shelton called for a ''new Bretton Woods conference,'' akin to the 1944 meeting that established the post-war economic order, perhaps to be held at Mar-a-Lago, where a return to the gold standard could be considered. ''We make America great again by making America's money great again,'' she wrote in the journal of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
Reuters/Jason Reed
Judy Shelton, vice chair of the National Endowment for Democracy, presents an award to the Dalai Lama in 2010.Since 2011, at least six states have passed laws recognizing gold and silver as currency; another three are presently contemplating bills of their own. The surprising success of Ron Paul, a Texas Republican Congressman and ardent gold bug, in the 2008 and 2012 elections showed the potency of these ideas among the electorate. In its 2012 and 2016 campaign platforms, the Republican Party called for a commission to investigate the viability of a return to a gold standard system. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill including such a commission in both 2015 and 2017, but both times the proposals died in the Senate. Last year, Alexander Mooney, a Republican representative from West Virginia, took that a step further when he introduced a bill proposing a full-on return to the gold standard. (The bill has no cosponsors and, unsurprisingly, has gone nowhere.)
Today, with inflation unusually low and stable, the gold standard is a tougher sell than it once was. But as trust in American institutions wanes, there is renewed support for money backed by something tangible, not the say-so of the government. If inflation picks up once again, a solid base of gold standard evangelists is ready to take it mainstream. That a supporter of the gold standard may yet wind up on the Fed's board of governors is yet more evidence that the idea's prospects are shining brighter than they have in many years .
How the gold standard worksMoney depends on trust'--the faith that it will hold its value so that, when the time comes to spend it, it will be accepted without question in exchange for what the holder expects it to be worth. Inflation eats away at that value.
In modern times, governments are often a culprit behind inflation. Since they enjoy a monopoly on printing money, they can issue new currency at virtually no cost. But governments are run by vote-seeking politicians, who might print more money to juice short-term growth needed to win re-election, inadvertently causing inflation to flare up later. This quandary isn't theoretical, and has happened with surprising frequency throughout history. To cite a recent, prominent example, US president Richard Nixon bent to this temptation (pdf) during his 1972 re-election campaign'--contributing to the breakout of inflation that ravaged the American economy throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.
There's a seemingly easy fix: Take the power of money creation out of the hands of politicians. According to the monetarist theory popularized by economist Milton Friedman in the 1970s, preventing inflation requires fixing the supply of money. The gold standard, by limiting the dollars the government can print to the weight of gold it holds in reserves, is one way of doing so.
The US adopted the gold standard in 1879, when Congress finally followed Britain, Germany, France, and other advanced nations. By holding national currencies stable against gold, the international embrace of the gold standard encouraged foreign investment and facilitated trade, giving rise to the first era of intense globalization.
Here's a very cartoonish version of how it worked: The US Treasury agreed to redeem a set weight of gold in exchange for a fixed number of dollars, and vice versa. During the classical gold standard era'--from 1879 to 1914 in the US'--one troy ounce of gold fetched $21.
The gold standard's discipline came from the fact that the government had to be sure it held the necessary volume of gold in reserve, in case anyone wanted to exchange dollars for a set amount of the shiny metal. If it printed more money than it held in gold reserves, the state risked hyperinflation or causing a financial crisis by shattering faith in the solidity of its currency.
In theory, the gold standard, therefore, limits government spending to only what it can raise in taxes or borrow against its gold reserve, and prevents it from simply printing money to pay its debts. It also takes power over the money supply away from central bankers. Indeed, it might render central banks mostly unnecessary. Bear in mind that for most of the classical gold standard era, the US didn't have a central bank, which was introduced in 1913.
But why gold?Had history worked out differently, the dollar might have been pegged to cowrie shells, peppercorns, or giant stone disks, all of which, like gold, have served as money at one time or another. But for reasons both aesthetic and practical, the glimmering metal became the asset of choice. ''The simple answer to that is that for the last 5,000 years, so far as we are aware, man has used gold and silver as money, and particularly gold,'' says Alasdair Macleod, the head of research at Goldmoney, a Toronto-based investment manager for precious metals. ''It's durable, people respect that it's got value'--it's actually as simple as that. It is something which markets should be free to choose, and they have chosen gold.''
''Markets should be free to choose, and they have chosen gold.''
Gold is integral to the story of US growth and prosperity. In the 19th century, discoveries of subterranean veins in at least 24 states were ''rungs in a ladder that culminated in America's economic domination of the globe,'' prompting westward migration and economic expansion, writes James Ledbetter in One Nation Under Gold: How One Precious Metal Has Dominated the American Imagination for Four Centuries. It is a national emblem of wealth, and ''streets paved with gold'' served as a myth that helped lure many migrants to the US. ''From the very beginnings of our national life, it has seemed impossible for Americans to look at gold dispassionately,'' Ledbetter explains. ''The metal, and its seductive hint of boundless wealth, tap into a psychological wellspring that reaches beyond any purely physical qualities.''
Legislation in the past century which codified and restricted how Americans could attain or trade gold seems to have intensified the longing for it. In 1933, Americans were temporarily barred from buying and selling gold within the country; by the 1950s, the law was still in place, and a black market for gold flourished. John F. Kennedy was anxious that the dollar should be ''as good as gold''; Operation Goldfinger, which launched a few years later, was a top-secret government campaign to dig up gold within US territories as quickly as possible, with the hope of propping up a post-war economy expanding at a pace that threatened to outstrip the world's supply of the metal.
The gold standard is inextricably tied to mining. The supply of the metal depends on how much is extracted from the earth, after all. But since mining only adds a tiny fraction to the overall stock of gold each year, prices don't fluctuate as wildly as they used to. In the height of mining activity, in the mid-1800s, big gold discoveries in California and Australia spurred a pickup in inflation. Then, as economic growth outpaced the rate of new gold discoveries, a 20-year period of deflation set in; it ended with new discoveries in South Africa and the Yukon, as well as technological advances in gold processing. That's how things are supposed to work: When a gold shortage causes purchasing power to rise steadily, mining companies are encouraged to find more gold.
AP Photo
The Klondike gold rush, 1897And indeed, overall, prices and real economic activity during the classical gold standard era was remarkably stable (pdf). ''If you look at the US during its classical gold standard period, the average rate of inflation is pretty close to zero'--and likewise in Great Britain over its experience with the gold standard,'' says Lawrence White, an economics professor at George Mason University and one of the few respected economists who's pro-gold standard.
Gold-standard adherents often extol the strength of currencies such as the pound and the dollar in the early 20th century. Modern central banking, they say, has knocked the stuffing out of these once mighty currencies. (The fact that average hourly wages have mostly been adjusted to match the rise in inflation doesn't seem to factor into the equation.) Where mainstream economists see constraint, goldbugs see discipline'--a government that cannot spend beyond its means'--and a hedge against corruption. For those who believe in small, limited government, there is obvious appeal. Believers credit it with a kind of Midas touch: the gold standard necessarily begets ''balanced budgets, low taxes, small government and a healthy economy,'' to borrow the words of economist Barry Eichengreen, a prominent historian of currencies at the University of California, Berkeley.
''It didn't quite deliver the kind of nirvana that people now talk about.''
The thing is, economic success during the classical gold standard era depends somewhat on the eye of the beholder. David Laidler, a monetary historian at Western University in Ontario and Friedman's research assistant in the 1960s, says the gold standard wasn't as effortlessly successful as the data might suggest.
''I'm not going to tell you that the gold standard didn't function in the 19th century'--it did. But it didn't quite deliver the kind of nirvana that people now talk about,'' he says.
For some Americans, its effects were downright devastating. After the US adopted the gold standard in the 1870s, price levels of agricultural commodities fell continuously for nearly 20 years, crushing American farmers under the weight of their debts and punishing interest rates. The resulting political upheaval culminated in William Jennings Bryan's famous ''cross of gold'' speech: his tirade against how deflation caused by the gold standard was ravaging rural America.
Questions of money are always political, and often a zero-sum choice between which economic class will prosper and which will suffer. Inflation erodes the value of financial assets, hurting savers but helping borrowers. Deflation benefits those with wealth and punishes debtors. Eventually, the latter group'--the masses whose standard of living relies on mortgages and other forms of debt'--tends to win out.
Why aren't we on the gold standard now?The classical gold standard era ended with World War I, because to fund wars governments have to print a lot of money. In these conditions, maintaining gold convertibility goes out the window. After the war ended, the US and most other advanced economies scrambled to re-peg their currencies to gold. But for a host of reasons'--for example, the overvaluation of the pound and several other key currencies, and the decline of Britain as an imperial power'--the gold standard failed to deliver the stability of the earlier era.
Many economists argue it amplified the shocks of the Great Depression, particularly in the US and France, which waited longer than their trading partners to abandon convertibility. It was for this reason that John Maynard Keynes, the great British economist, called the gold standard a ''barbarous relic.'' Unsurprisingly, the post-World War II monetary system'--of which Keynes was a key architect'--made the US dollar the basis of world reserves. The dollar itself was still convertible into gold. However, other global currencies fixed their exchange rates not to gold, but to the dollar.
When Richard Nixon took office in the late 1960s, the US government was again spending heavily, due to the Vietnam War and the social welfare programs launched by his predecessor, Lyndon Johnson. That effectively pushed down the value of the dollar. In 1971, to stave off a run on US gold reserves, Nixon halted convertibility (meaning that other countries could no longer redeem dollars for gold). Under intensifying pressure, in 1973 the president scrapped the gold standard altogether.
Nixon took the US of the gold standardPrices started climbing, exacerbated by Nixon's strong-arming of the Fed to keep rates low. As the 1970s wore on and inflation surged, gold found support among the likes of Ronald Reagan, who talked it up on the campaign trail during the 1980 presidential election. By June 1980, prices for consumer goods were rising 14% annually, galvanizing public support for ''sound money.'' After trouncing Jimmy Carter, Reagan set up a commission to determine whether to revive the gold standard.
Nixon had promised, and perhaps believed, that the US would eventually return to the gold standard. Reagan's victory made that look possible'--likely, even. But many of the president's appointees to the commission were longtime opponents of the system (among the exceptions was a certain young Texas congressman named Ron Paul). Then came the ''Volcker shock,'' when Fed chairman Paul Volcker hiked rates to their highest levels in history to curb runaway inflation, which thrust the economy into a deep recession. Crucially, though, inflation dropped sharply and the commission put the official kibosh (pdf) on a return to a fixed metallic standard.
With inflation finally tamed, gold's moment was over. Fiat currency managed by central bankers had officially won out.
Gone but not forgottenThis abandonment represents a betrayal to a few distinct, but often overlapping, groups: people who believe in limited government; people who interpret the American constitution literally; and people who fear the power of central banks, Wall Street, and other financial institutions.
Advocates of the gold standard point to the fact that because there is no way to redeem paper dollars for gold or silver, ''there is no way to finally pay a debt.'' One common fear is that investors will stop buying US Treasury bonds, ultimately resulting in financial ruin for the country.
''It is impossible to overstate the calamity that will occur when the Treasury bond collapses.''
Their concerns can run to the hyperbolic. ''It is impossible to overstate the calamity that will occur when the Treasury bond collapses,'' stresses the homepage of the Arizona-based Gold Standard Institute, a peripheral non-profit ''dedicated to spreading awareness and knowledge of gold.'' On our current course, ''we will wake up one morning and find that our bank accounts are wiped out,'' it warns. ''Even if we have dollar bills in our pockets, food will not last in stores for very long, because food production and distribution depends on the banking system.''
Some argue returning to the gold standard is a legal imperative.
There is a basis in the US Constitution for this, at once specific and quite vague: Sections 8 and 10 of Article I state that Congress has the ''Power'...to coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin,'' while ''no state'...shall make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.''
It's entirely possible that this was supposed to guarantee convertibility between state currencies, rather than asserting anything intrinsic to gold. But these two mentions in the country's founding document have served as ammunition for constitutionalists, including groups such as the far-right John Birch Society, established in 1958. The society, whose views align closely with Trump's, supports the disestablishment of the Fed and a return to the gold standard, on the grounds that the constitution does not give Congress the right to delegate its money-related powers elsewhere, nor to use any currency that is not gold- or silver-backed.
The Midas touchBut if there are various arguments for a return to the gold standard, there are many more reasons to reject it. Nearly 50 years into using fiat currency at a floating exchange rate, a total overhaul of America's entrenched monetary policy framework is much less feasible.
For one thing, says Laidler of Western University, the rise over the past four decades of politically independent central banks has made it unnecessary. That's because, as long-time Fed chair Alan Greenspan told Congress, ''a central bank properly functioning will endeavor to, in many cases, replicate what a gold standard would itself generate.''
Plus, constraining a central bank limits how easily it can adjust monetary policy to respond to economic conditions. Between 1879 and 1914, when the US adhered to the gold standard but had no central bank, private clearinghouse associations played the ''lender of last resort'' role for member banks, says White, the George Mason economist. The world's financial system is now vastly bigger, more complex, more deeply integrated, and more global than it was during the gold standard's heyday. It's hard to imagine how anything less than a strong, central authority could stave off, for example, the scale of market collapse that threatened the world in 2008.
The US would derive minimal benefit from re-adopting the gold standard unless other major economies did too. However, even then, the system of fixed-exchange rates created by gold convertibility has some big downsides. While encouraging cross-border investment and trade, it also makes it extremely hard for governments to adjust to localized economic disruptions (the struggles of the euro zone currency union offers a present-day example of this drawback). The gold standard could also push financial contagion to viral levels, with the flow of gold and the fixed exchange rate forcing the suffering of one nation on everyone in the system.
Gold makes a comebackDespite the myriad reasons that a return to the gold standard seems impossible, the dream remains alive, in part because of the efforts of Ron Paul. Paul was first moved to run for office in 1976, in reaction to Nixon scrapping gold standard a few years prior. ''I remember the day very clearly,'' he told Texas Monthly in 2001. ''Nixon closed the gold window, which meant admitting that we could no longer meet our commitments and that there would be no more backing of the dollar. After that day, all money would be political money rather than money of real value. I was astounded.''
Paul's views were shaped in part by economist Friedrich Hayek's accounts of how the Nazis' effective abandonment of the gold standard allowed them to beef up fiscal spending in preparation for their war of conquest, Eichengreen wrote in National Interest in 2011. Paul subsequently spent most of his career as a vocal but lonely goldbug in Congress. He retired in 2013.
These days, Mooney, the West Virginia Congressman, has taken up the mantle as one of gold's biggest cheerleaders (Ron Paul's son Rand, a senator from Kentucky, is also a part of this club). For Mooney, American Eagle coins are the key to reviving the gold standard. These collectibles are issued by the US mint and sold to numismatists for about $1,600 apiece, despite having a face value of just $50'--roughly the cost of an ounce of gold in the early 1970s. Some goldbugs see them as a symbol of what American money should be; the disparity between the face value of these coins and the value of the gold used to make them captures how far the dollar has fallen in their minds.
Though they are not US legal tender, state law in Utah allows them to be used as currency'--though it's an expensive way to get $50 of gas or groceries. Other state laws have mostly moved to lift taxes on them, broadly recognizing them as money rather than collectibles, on the order of baseball cards and Beanie Babies. (This taxation of money is a big beef for Mooney and his allies.)
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
West Virginia's Alex MooneyIf American Eagle coins are a symbol of how degraded US currency has become, for gold adherents, a return to the gold standard seems like the best way to protect the dollar's value and and ensure it remains a bulwark against inflation.
It's probably no coincidence that the most recent resurgence of gold interest has come at a time of acute public anxiety about the stability of money. The global financial system nearly blew up 10 years ago, and was saved by unprecedented monetary activism by the Federal Reserve. Nobody knew what to expect from the Fed's epic asset purchase program. Fears of Weimar-style hyperinflation in some corners proved fertile ground for the pro-gold messages of Paul and others who see salvation in gold. Paul's surprisingly successful grassroots presidential campaigns were further evidence that his message was gaining traction.
Hyperinflation never happened. But nor did other monetary fears recede'--notably government over-reliance on debt. While on occasion president Trump has said that deficits don't matter, the commander-in-chief credits the ''very, very solid country'' of yesteryear with it being based on the gold standard. In 2016, before his election, Trump suggested it might be time to stage a return: ''Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do'--but boy, would it be wonderful. We'd have a standard on which to base our money.'' This might be dismissed as a throwaway comment, if not for Trump's desire to put the likes of Cain, Moore, and now Shelton on the Fed board, giving a goldbug a seat at the table to steer the most powerful country's monetary policy.
China and Russia Buy Gold For Protection in Currency War - Barron's
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:27
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Photograph by Michaela Handrek-Rehle/Bloomberg Emerging markets have beefed up gold holdings, undeterred by prices near their highest levels in more than six years, as countries such as Russia and China diversify their foreign-exchange reserves'--a trend that is likely to continue.
''Central bank buying is, of course, important to the supply/demand dynamic for the metal, but is much more important in terms of sentiment toward the metal,'' says Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter. When central banks are ''buying as heavily as they are, it provides cover and a rationale for other central banks to do the same.''
Russian central bank gold reserves stand at 2,219.2 metric tons, according to the World Gold Council, or WGC, based on the latest data available in September from sources including the International Monetary Fund. China's holdings are at 1,936.5 metric tons.
Given the latest prices, with the most-active gold futures contract settling at $1,503.20 an ounce on Wednesday, and about 32,151 troy ounces in one metric ton, the value of Russia's gold reserves is at roughly $107 billion.
The moves are due to concerns about the outlook for currencies, including the dollar and the euro, says Mark O'Byrne, research director at GoldCore in Dublin. ''While the gold tonnage demand from central banks in recent months has been significant and near records, gold remains a tiny fraction of most central banks'...foreign-exchange reserves,'' he says, adding that the trend is ''sustainable and indeed may accelerate.''
O'Byrne added that the risk of the trade war descending into a currency war may also be feeding central bank diversification into gold.
Central banks had a record first half of the year, collectively buying 374 metric tons of gold through June, says Juan Carlos Artigas, director of investment research at the WGC. That was the highest first half of the year since central banks became net buyers in 2010. Net purchases from central banks year to date are still below those of 2018, but with the significant level of central bank purchases this year, ''we will likely be above the 10-year average,'' says Artigas.
The price of gold, which has climbed to six-year highs on and off since June, hasn't hurt that appetite for the precious metal. Gold futures settled at $1,560.40 on Sept. 4, the highest finish since April 2013.
''Price is not the determining factor in central bank buying'--rather, [the banks] are more likely being guided to secure an allocation of a percentage of their overall foreign-exchange reserves in gold bullion,'' says O'Byrne. The central bank diversification and hedging are likely to support gold at these levels and could be a driver of higher prices in the coming months, he says.
The WGC reported that gold holdings in Russia represent 19.6% of its total foreign reserves, while gold holdings are a mere 2.8% share of China's total foreign reserves. ''China and Russia are obviously intent on insulating themselves from a dollarized global economy, and gold seems to be a very important part of that strategy,'' Lundin says. ''While gold still represents a relatively small portion of China's total foreign reserves...[the Chinese] seem to feel that gold will become more valuable over time, while the dollar will become less so.''
The rush of central bank gold buying doesn't say much about where near-term prices of gold are headed, but it does say ''a lot about where it's going over the long term, or at least where the banks believe it's going,'' Lundin says.
Comments? Email us at editors@barrons.com
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The Fed reportedly asks BlackRock to buy billions in bonds as part of its coronavirus relief effort | Markets Insider
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 00:50
GettyImages / Eugene Gologursky
The Federal Reserve tapped BlackRock Tuesday afternoon to cooperate with billions in bond purchases for the central bank's coronavirus relief efforts, The Wall Street Journal reported.The world's largest money manager will buy agency commercial mortgage-backed securities approved by the Fed and on behalf of the central bank's New York branch.BlackRock will also lead two credit facilities for the Fed: one for new corporate debt and another for existing corporate bonds.The programs are part of the Fed's latest policy move to pad markets from the coronavirus's economic effects.Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.The Federal Reserve asked BlackRock on Tuesday to purchase tens of billions of dollars in bonds in accordance with the central bank's economic stimulus efforts, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The world's largest money manager will buy agency commercial mortgage-backed securities approved by the Fed and on behalf of the central bank's New York branch, according to The Journal.
BlackRock will also lead two purchase facilities for the Fed. One pool will buy new, investment-grade corporate debt, while the other will focus on existing corporate bonds.
The latter program will primarily focus on bonds, but BlackRock will also be able to turn cash toward investment-grade bond exchange-traded funds. BlackRock will be able to buy funds of its own through the Fed partnership, though the manager won't be able to invest more than 20% in any ETF, The Journal reported.
Coordination with the Fed on economic relief efforts isn't new for the Wall Street giant. BlackRock supervised assets previously owned by AIG and Bear Stearns after the firms went under in the 2008 financial crisis.
Read more: Morgan Stanley studied decades of recession history to compile a playbook for what to buy during and after a stock bear market '-- and when to do it
The purchase programs are part of the Federal Reserve's policy salvo announced Monday. The central bank lifted the cap on its Treasury and mortgage-backed security purchases and will begin buying corporate bonds to aid firms hit by the coronavirus's economic effects. New credit facilities for large employers, consumers, and businesses will further ease cash stresses as the economy slows at unprecedented levels.
"Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate," the central bank said in a statement.
The Treasury Department will initially invest $10 billion in each of the two facilities, according to term sheets published by the Fed.
BlackRock will coordinate with the central bank's financial markets advisory arm and not its asset-management business, The Journal reported. The money manager stands to face strict scrutiny over its asset purchases as the Fed aims to avoid conflicts of interest.
Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:
Deal on $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package reached between the Senate and White House
Trump and Pence reportedly talked with a handful of Wall Street giants to get their view on how coronavirus is reshaping markets and the economy
The 'trade of the century': 2 hedge fund managers break down a simple investing strategy built to profit from wreckage caused by coronavirus
Federal Reserve Board - Federal Reserve announces extensive new measures to support the economy
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 00:47
The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support households, businesses, and the U.S. economy overall in this challenging time. The coronavirus pandemic is causing tremendous hardship across the United States and around the world. Our nation's first priority is to care for those afflicted and to limit the further spread of the virus. While great uncertainty remains, it has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions. Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate.
The Federal Reserve's role is guided by its mandate from Congress to promote maximum employment and stable prices, along with its responsibilities to promote the stability of the financial system. In support of these goals, the Federal Reserve is using its full range of authorities to provide powerful support for the flow of credit to American families and businesses. These actions include:
Support for critical market functioning. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will purchase Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy. The FOMC had previously announced it would purchase at least $500 billion of Treasury securities and at least $200 billion of mortgage-backed securities. In addition, the FOMC will include purchases of agency commercial mortgage-backed securities in its agency mortgage-backed security purchases.Supporting the flow of credit to employers, consumers, and businesses by establishing new programs that, taken together, will provide up to $300 billion in new financing. The Department of the Treasury, using the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF), will provide $30 billion in equity to these facilities.Establishment of two facilities to support credit to large employers '' the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF) for new bond and loan issuance and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF) to provide liquidity for outstanding corporate bonds.Establishment of a third facility, the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), to support the flow of credit to consumers and businesses. The TALF will enable the issuance of asset-backed securities (ABS) backed by student loans, auto loans, credit card loans, loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and certain other assets.Facilitating the flow of credit to municipalities by expanding the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF) to include a wider range of securities, including municipal variable rate demand notes (VRDNs) and bank certificates of deposit.Facilitating the flow of credit to municipalities by expanding the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF) to include high-quality, tax-exempt commercial paper as eligible securities. In addition, the pricing of the facility has been reduced.In addition to the steps above, the Federal Reserve expects to announce soon the establishment of a Main Street Business Lending Program to support lending to eligible small-and-medium sized businesses, complementing efforts by the SBA.
The PMCCF will allow companies access to credit so that they are better able to maintain business operations and capacity during the period of dislocations related to the pandemic. This facility is open to investment grade companies and will provide bridge financing of four years. Borrowers may elect to defer interest and principal payments during the first six months of the loan, extendable at the Federal Reserve's discretion, in order to have additional cash on hand that can be used to pay employees and suppliers. The Federal Reserve will finance a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to make loans from the PMCCF to companies. The Treasury, using the ESF, will make an equity investment in the SPV.
The SMCCF will purchase in the secondary market corporate bonds issued by investment grade U.S. companies and U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds whose investment objective is to provide broad exposure to the market for U.S. investment grade corporate bonds. Treasury, using the ESF, will make an equity investment in the SPV established by the Federal Reserve for this facility.
Under the TALF, the Federal Reserve will lend on a non-recourse basis to holders of certain AAA-rated ABS backed by newly and recently originated consumer and small business loans. The Federal Reserve will lend an amount equal to the market value of the ABS less a haircut and will be secured at all times by the ABS. Treasury, using the ESF, will also make an equity investment in the SPV established by the Federal Reserve for this facility. The TALF, PMCCF and SMCCF are established by the Federal Reserve under the authority of Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, with approval of the Treasury Secretary.
These actions augment the measures taken by the Federal Reserve over the past week to support the flow of credit to households and businesses. These include:
The establishment of the CPFF, the MMLF, and the Primary Dealer Credit Facility;The expansion of central bank liquidity swap lines;Steps to enhance the availability and ease terms for borrowing at the discount window;The elimination of reserve requirements;Guidance encouraging banks to be flexible with customers experiencing financial challenges related to the coronavirus and to utilize their liquidity and capital buffers in doing so;Statements encouraging the use of daylight credit at the Federal Reserve.Taken together, these actions will provide support to a wide range of markets and institutions, thereby supporting the flow of credit in the economy.
The Federal Reserve will continue to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
For media inquiries, call 202-452-2955
The Fed's Cure Risks Being Worse Than the Disease
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 00:44
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The economic debate of the day centers on whether the cure of an economic shutdown is worse than the disease of the virus. Similarly, we need to ask if the cure of the Federal Reserve getting so deeply into corporate bonds, asset-backed securities, commercial paper, and exchange-traded funds is worse than the disease seizing financial markets. It may be.
In just these past few weeks, the Fed has cut rates by 150 basis points to near zero and run through its entire 2008 crisis handbook. That wasn't enough to calm markets, though '-- so the central bank also announced $1 trillion a day in repurchase agreements and unlimited quantitative easing, which includes a hard-to-understand $625 billion of bond buying a week going forward. At this rate, the Fed will own two-thirds of the Treasury market in a year.
But it's the alphabet soup of new programs that deserve special consideration, as they could have profound long-term consequences for the functioning of the Fed and the allocation of capital in financial markets. Specifically, these are:
CPFF (Commercial Paper Funding Facility) '' buying commercial paper from the issuer. PMCCF (Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility) '' buying corporate bonds from the issuer. TALF (Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility) '' funding backstop for asset-backed securities. SMCCF (Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility) '' buying corporate bonds and bond ETFs in the secondary market. MSBLP (Main Street Business Lending Program) '' Details are to come, but it will lend to eligible small and medium-size businesses, complementing efforts by the Small Business Association.
To put it bluntly, the Fed isn't allowed to do any of this. The central bank is only allowed to purchase or lend against securities that have government guarantee. This includes Treasury securities, agency mortgage-backed securities and the debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. An argument can be made that can also include municipal securities, but nothing in the laundry list above.
So how can they do this? The Fed will finance a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for each acronym to conduct these operations. The Treasury, using the Exchange Stabilization Fund, will make an equity investment in each SPV and be in a ''first loss'' position. What does this mean? In essence, the Treasury, not the Fed, is buying all these securities and backstopping of loans; the Fed is acting as banker and providing financing. The Fed hired BlackRock Inc. to purchase these securities and handle the administration of the SPVs on behalf of the owner, the Treasury.
In other words, the federal government is nationalizing large swaths of the financial markets. The Fed is providing the money to do it. BlackRock will be doing the trades.
This scheme essentially merges the Fed and Treasury into one organization. So, meet your new Fed chairman, Donald J. Trump.
In 2008 when something similar was done, it was on a smaller scale. Since few understood it, the Bush and Obama administrations ceded total control of those acronym programs to then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. He unwound them at the first available opportunity. But now, 12 years later, we have a much better understanding of how they work. And we have a president who has made it very clear how displeased he is that central bankers haven't used their considerable power to force the Dow Jones Industrial Average at least 10,000 points higher, something he has complained about many times before the pandemic hit.
When the Fed was rightly alarmed by the current dysfunction in the fixed-income markets, they felt they needed to act. This was the correct thought. But, to get the authority to stabilize these ''private'' markets, central bankers needed the Treasury to agree to nationalize (own) them so they could provide the funds to do it.
In effect, the Fed is giving the Treasury access to its printing press. This means that, in the extreme, the administration would be free to use its control, not the Fed's control, of these SPVs to instruct the Fed to print more money so it could buy securities and hand out loans in an effort to ramp financial markets higher going into the election. Why stop there? Should Trump win re-election, he could try to use these SPVs to get those 10,000 Dow Jones points he feels the Fed has denied everyone.
If these acronym programs were abused as I describe, they might indeed force markets higher than valuation warrants. But it would come with a heavy price. Investors would be deprived of the necessary market signals that freely traded capital markets offer to aid in the efficient allocation of capital. Malinvestment would be rampant. It also could force private sector players to leave as the government's heavy hand makes operating in ''controlled'' markets uneconomic. This has already occurred in the U.S. federal funds market and the government bond market in Japan.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell needs to tread carefully indeed to ensure his cure isn't worse than the disease.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.
Jim Bianco is the President and founder of Bianco Research, a provider of data-driven insights into the global economy and financial markets. He may have a stake in the areas he writes about.
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Preppers
Inside the Story of How H-E-B Planned for the Pandemic '' Texas Monthly
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 17:16
The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the country in just a handful of weeks. As Americans focus on the essentials'--feeding our families and ensuring we have the necessary supplies to keep our households clean and safe'--grocery stores and pharmacies have demonstrated just how crucial they are to a functioning society.
We've seen chains struggle with the challenges the current crisis presents. Some stores are instituting policies limiting the numbers of shoppers allowed in at a time, creating long waits to enter. Perhaps even worse, other stores are not, leaving their shops a free-for-all without adequate social distancing measures. Staples like flour and yeast, to say nothing of hand sanitizer and toilet paper, are proving difficult to find on shelves. Supply chains are taxed. And the conditions faced by employees vary wildly by chain, with stores developing new (sometimes controversial) policies around sick leave for the workers who have proved themselves essential, and often doing so on the fly.
San Antonio-based H-E-B has been a steady presence amid the crisis. The company began limiting the amounts of certain products customers were able to purchase in early March; extended its sick leave policy and implemented social distancing measures quickly; limited its hours to keep up with the needs of its stockers; added a coronavirus hotline for employees in need of assistance or information; and gave employees a $2 an hour raise on March 16, as those workers, many of whom are interacting with the public daily during this pandemic, began agitating for hazard pay.
This isn't the first time H-E-B has done a good job of managing a disaster'--it played an important role in helping the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Harvey in the immediate aftermath of the storm'--which led us to ask: How did a regional supermarket chain develop systems that allow it to stay ahead of a crisis as big as this one? We spoke with nearly a dozen employees, executives, and customers to better understand'--in their words'--how H-E-B has taken on its unique role in shaping its business around the needs of Texans in the midst of trying circumstances.
Before the Outbreak Justen Noakes, director of emergency preparedness, H-E-B: Just a little bit of history: we have been working on our pandemic and influenza plan for quite a while now, since 2005, when we had the threat of H5N1 overseas in China. That's when we first developed what our plan looked like, [as well as] some of our requirements and business implications. In 2009, we actually used that plan in response to H1N1, when the swine flu came to fruition in Cibolo, and refined it, made it more of an influenza plan. We've continued to revise it, and it's been a part of our preparedness plan at H-E-B ever since.
Craig Boyan, president, H-E-B: Justen leads our emergency preparedness with a group of folks, and that is a full-time, year-round position. We are constantly in a year-round state of preparedness for different emergencies. We keep emergency supplies at almost every warehouse and have water and other supplies staged and ready to go and kept in storage to make sure that we are ready to [react quickly] when a crisis emerges, whether it be a hurricane or a pandemic. We take being a strong emergency responder in Texas, to take care of Texas communities, very seriously.
On January 15, Wuhan's Municipal Health Commission announced that the novel coronavirus was spreading via human-to-human transmission.
Justen Noakes: So when did we start looking at the coronavirus? Probably the second week in January, when it started popping up in China as an issue. We've got interests in the global sourcing world, and we started getting reports on how it was impacting things in China, so we started watching it closely at that point. We decided to take a harder look at how to implement the plan we developed in 2009 into a tabletop exercise. On February 2, we dusted it off and compared the plan we had versus what we were seeing in China, and started working on step one pretty heavily.
Craig Boyan: Starting in January, we've been in close contact with several retailers and suppliers around the world. As this has started to emerge, we've been in close contact with retailers in China, starting with what happened in Wuhan in the early couple of months, and what kind of lessons they learned. Over the last couple of months, [we've been] in close contact with some of our Italian retailers and suppliers, understanding how things have evolved in Italy and now in Spain, talking to those countries that are ahead of us in the curve. We've been in daily contact, understanding the pace and the change and the need for product, and how things have progressed in each of those countries.
Justen Noakes: We modeled what had been taking place in China from a transmission perspective, as well as impact. As the number of illnesses and the number of deaths were increasing, obviously the Chinese government was taking some steps to protect their citizens, so we basically mirrored what that might look like. We also took an approach to what we saw during H1N1 in 2009, and later got on top of it. Our example was if we were to get an outbreak, specifically in the Houston area, how would we manage that, and how would we respond with our current resources, as well as what resource opportunities would we have.
Craig Boyan: Chinese retailers have sent some pretty thorough information about what happened in the early days of the outbreak: how did that affect grocery and retail, how did that affect employees and how people were addressing sanitization and social distancing, how quarantine has affected the supply chain, how shopping behavior changed as the virus progressed, how did companies work to serve communities with total lockdowns, and what action steps those businesses wish they had done early in the cycle to get ahead of it.
An H-E-B employee wraps crates of bread before they are loaded onto trucks.
Photograph by Tamir Kalifa
Preparing Employees Justen Noakes: One of the biggest things we've looked at is what are the impacts to their employees? How they dealing with the health of their employees? We're very interested in what's happening in the supply chain world, and the products that are being affected. How are they running their stores when they're impacted by absenteeism? We're trying to get answers so we can get ahead of this and really understand how the overall operations of their companies are being impacted.
On February 12, the first coronavirus case was found in Texas. Over the next month, certain products started becoming scarce, and on March 14, H-E-B announced it would be reducing store hours to 8 a.m.''8 p.m.
Justen Noakes: Going to eight-to-eight has been in our playbook all along, but I think what drove it for us was trying to ensure that we had enough product on our shelves to take care of our customers. That's really what we needed'--we needed a little bit of extra time to stock all the groceries that were coming in.
Tina James, chief people officer, H-E-B: [Our partners] have responded exceptionally well. Our volume is up tremendously in our stores, and [as far as] our culture, we are incredibly dedicated and engaged. I have been amazed and humbled by how positive their spirit is, and how great they feel to be serving our customers. That said, it's fairly exhausting work, and the volume has been so substantial that we've cut our hours back.
Michael Leas, stock controller, store number 351, Edna: My overnight crew, they're just coming in, and it seems like they're ready. They just ask me what I need them to do. I haven't had very many complaints from the guys or anything. It's been really nice. You can tell that they understand it's not our fault; this is just something that's happening.
Craig Boyan: We're not in a super glamorous job. We have a lot of hard-working people doing hard jobs. But there's a strong sense of pride at H-E-B. We describe ourselves as a purpose-driven company, and we're at our best amid times of crisis. There's a great sense among H-E-B partners that they're doing what's needed to take care of Texans, and that keeps the morale very high.
Tina James: For example, when we saw what was happening with the volume, we asked at corporate if people wanted to volunteer to take shifts in the stores and at the warehouses. We immediately had hundreds'--800 corporate folks volunteered for 350, 400 shifts in our stores and warehouses, to be able to help out and give some relief to our stores.
Stephanie Lowe, customer: I met Alma, who has been with H-E-B for 21 years, if I recall, and works in the store's bookkeeping department. She had answered the ''all hands on deck'' call and was working checkout for the first time in years and she was so excited. She kept saying how much fun she was having being back at checkout and took great delight in looking up the codes to ring up produce. It was such a positive interaction in the midst of organized chaos, and I have thought about it throughout the week at work when things have been stressful.
Making work fun while we go thru this crisis ðŸ‚ðŸ¤(C) #HEB #HEB18 pic.twitter.com/48ni3trMm1
'-- lesliee''¨ (@Lesliemarieq) March 19, 2020
Command CentralJusten Noakes: We activated our Emergency Operations Center in San Antonio on March 4 [the EOC is run out of H-E-B's new 1.6 million-square-foot super-regional warehouse]. The driving factor behind that is when we see even a potential upswing in customer activity due to one of these events. The Emergency Operations Center at H-E-B is a collection of the most impacted areas of the company, and the leaders in those areas are brought together to make streamlined decisions and collaborate together on a daily basis. That's almost every area of the company, so we've got a lot going on in our emergency operations center right now. It's very busy.
Dya Campos, director of government and public affairs, H-E-B: Even in the EOC right now, we're practicing social distancing here. We're all very far away from each other, and we're very careful around each other, and taking precautions to take care of each other.
Tina James: There's so much product coming through the super-regional headquarters where the EOC is that we're having two hot meals delivered every day, for the partners who work here. We also have set up an essential store for them within the warehouse, because it's difficult for them to get to a store during the new hours, so they're able to pick up canned items, toilet paper, peanut butter, and water.
A map of Texas displaying H-E-B stores and COVID-19 cases at the Emergency Operations Center at the super-regional warehouse.
Photograph by Tamir Kalifa
Trying to Keep UpCraig Boyan: When a hurricane happens, it's in an isolated part of the country. We're quite good at pulling product from around the rest of the country and feeding it to Texas. That is much more difficult in a pandemic, where every area of the country is under real stress. So our suppliers, where we're getting paper towels from, our wipes, our hand sanitizer, are getting hit from all retailers, and we are seeing much higher levels of out-of-stock [goods] as a result. We're working really hard to be creative in how we source product when the supply chain is under real pressure.
In early March, retailers around the country started seeing shortages of common household products, and H-E-B began limiting quantities that customers could purchase on a single trip.
Justen Noakes: What we really started seeing first was runs on N95 masks. I think people were sending the masks back home to their families, and it started exponentially increasing at that point, particularly around cleaning supplies, disinfectant, things of that nature. But I don't think anybody saw the toilet paper rush coming.
Craig Boyan: We did not see runs on toilet paper as one of the first things to go out of stock. That was something we still kind of have a hard time understanding.
Michael Leas: When we get to work, it's been empty in the stores, certain sections, like the paper aisle, water, just a bunch of stuff. Bread is just completely blown out, so it's been kind of weird. They changed our hours too. So we're coming in a couple of hours earlier and staying a little bit later now, at night '... My store is a tiny little store. It's got nine aisles. So it's like a big Walgreens.
Craig Boyan: We have a number of Texas companies that are pitching in and doing great work. I can give you a few examples: Labatt is a food distributor here in Texas. Their primary customers are schools, institutions, and restaurants. Obviously those businesses are under real pressure, and many of them are shutting down. So we have been partnering with Labatt to deliver rotisserie chickens, deli lunch meats, and a variety of products.
Blair Labatt, president, Labatt Food Service: We just sort of bolted onto H-E-B's need in the conventional grocery supply with our trucks and drivers, because obviously our core restaurant business is very adversely affected by the crisis, so it's really worked out well for us.
Craig Boyan: We're partnering with the beer distributors in Texas, for the first time ever, to deliver eggs to our stores. We're seeing these types of businesses coming together in a powerful way to support each other, and it's a wonderful thing.
Michael Leas: There have been some nights where the paper [aisle] is out and just didn't really get restocked. But then there's nights where it gets completely jam-packed with products. It almost feels like we're coming into an empty store, and we're completely filling it up every night. You will have a little bit of of holes here and there throughout the store, but it's just not that bad.
Craig Boyan: We've been working very hard right now to deliver meat and poultry and eggs to our stores. We're accelerating opening a new warehouse in Houston that was due a few months later. We're taking some of our warehouses in the state and transitioning them over to serving just meat, because we're seeing such significant demand for meat, poultry, and eggs. We're still having a real hard time sourcing eggs. We had big loads in the last few days, and they've been scooped up as soon as they hit the shelves, so we're working very hard with egg suppliers to see where we can get additional eggs. But our meat plant is running 24/7'--we have our own meat plants here. They normally don't go 24/7, but we've focused them down to serving the top fifty items out of our meat plants; they normally carry several hundreds. [Focusing on top items] means fewer changeover delays, and it allows us to ship significantly more meat. We're seeing those kinds of moves across the board as we look to ramp up volume in a rapid way.
Zak Houram, customer: Nothing was super out of stock when I was there last. The staff is super friendly and upbeat, with all things considered. One store [a Central Market] is in Southlake and the other is in Fort Worth, off of Hulen. The Hulen store was considerably better stocked, but Southlake is still better compared to the Targets and Krogers and Tom Thumbs I've been to.
From left, Quincy Quarles, director of corporate security; Joaquin Jaimes, risk solutions safety supervisor; and Justen Noakes, director of emergency preparedness, at the Emergency Operations Center.
Photograph by Tamir Kalifa
The Great Unknowns Justen Noakes: We're here to take care of our partners, take care of our customers, take care of our community. So I think that that's really our number one focus, and what we're really trying to do is to meet those objectives'--but I will tell you that the challenge of it is the longevity. With a hurricane, you can see the wind coming, you can see the rain. You can see an end in sight. We've been having conversations about how this equates to Harvey, and although the need is very similar '... there is not really a clear end in sight on when we think we will be out of this. On a twice-daily basis, we're monitoring trends in Europe and China, so we can forecast an estimate on when we think we'll be out of this. But unlike a hurricane, we just can't see it.
Tina James: When we have a hurricane, we often know fairly quickly which of our partners have been impacted. At this point, we can only project from a personal impact statement, so at this point, we don't know.
On March 11, President Trump gave a prime-time address about the response to the virus. That same evening, the NBA announced that it would be suspending its season, and actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they had both contracted COVID-19.
Craig Boyan: We've had several different spikes, but one of the most significant was [around March 11], when we saw a second furious wave of buying. I don't know if it was the announcement that the NBA had shut, or one of the presidential news conferences, or Tom Hanks, but we saw a major spike that day. And we've seen increased spikes since.
Michael Leas: The cleaning aisle has been insane lately. The canned aisle has been insane. Sugar is one thing that's been out of stock a lot lately, but it feels like they started concentrating on that too. There's certain things, water, definitely water. We're getting trucks with just water, which is not normal.
An H-E-B employee at the warehouse.
Photograph by Tamir Kalifa
On March 16, local officials ordered bars and restaurant dining rooms in Houston and Dallas to close; Austin officials made the same decision the following day.
Justen Noakes: I would say rural and urban stores are very consistent, as far as the increase. What we are seeing is a little difference as far as the timing goes. I think that's directly related to confirmation of cases. You're also seeing local governments come in and issue quarantines like closing restaurants and bars, and I think that really fuels some of the purchasing and shopping, and as that goes from town to town, and as cases increase in other towns, that's what's driving it for a lot of our shoppers.
Michael Leas: We've had a lot of extra help from people that aren't stockers, a lot of day crew, the cart pushers or the baggers. They've been coming in early in the morning to help us stock the shelves. These trucks have been massive. Our heaviest aisle during the holidays is a canned aisle, and you'll get maybe about three cases. That's a pretty heavy night for our little store. Last night we had over seven hundred cases on that [aisle]. Some of these aisles have been two, three times heavier than they normally are.
Let's talk about how NO STORE DOES MORE THAN @HEB. pic.twitter.com/8KmKcD3422
'-- Jess Elizarraras (@JessElizarraras) March 23, 2020
Jessica Elizarraras, customer and bride: Our wedding was supposed to take place on April 5, [but] it didn't make sense for us to try and have this party. So we scheduled everyone'--the officiant, co-maids of honor'--for Sunday at 4 p.m. and scrambled for a photographer. But I didn't think of flowers. By Saturday, we didn't feel comfortable running around San Antonio finding flowers. So I emailed the H-E-B Blooms department at 5:59 p.m. and received an answer almost immediately. [H-E-B corporate designer] Andy Hopper called us on Sunday morning, went to the wholesaler, found a few goodies and whipped up this amazing bouquet. We picked it up at the Lincoln Heights H-E-B, and he even included a boutonniere for TJ, which I didn't even think to order (bridezilla, much?)! Given the circumstances, I didn't think they could spare anyone. They truly made our day. A bride needs a bouquet and I ended up with a gorgeous one because they cared enough to make it happen, COVID-19 or not.
Lessons Learned Craig Boyan: Any experience, you learn from and you continue to get better. The way we focus on pushing our business is to try to adapt as quickly as humanly possible, as we talk about the daily adjusting of our supply chain and our store operations.
Justen Noakes: The most important lesson for us is to listen to what's going on in our stores. When we started seeing the N95 masks and the sanitizers, we took that as a good sign that our customers were concerned about what was going on, and that's what really spurred us to activate our program. That's the biggest one'--to make sure that we're really paying attention to what our customer does, and to actually respond to it. As we continue to maneuver our supply chain and support our stores during COVID-19, we'll bring some lessons learned and tools out of that into hurricane season.
Dya Campos: One thing we learned from Hurricane Harvey is that our customers want to hear from us. They want to hear our perspective, they want to know what we're doing, what we're thinking, how we're helping our communities.
Bernice Calderon, customer: Whoever is managing their crisis communication is on top of it. And all of their staff has been just as friendly as ever. I did a quick grocery trip on Saturday, and my favorite H-E-B employee told me she missed me cause she hadn't seen me and ''Que dios la bendiga.'' I mean!
Tina James: It's not lost on us that we are offering an essential public function, and it's not lost on our partners, either. And they continue to come to work with a very positive attitude, and continue to serve above and beyond even their normal hours. That never ceases to amaze me. We are very fortunate in that H-E-B has a chief medical officer as well as a medical board, so we have resources at our fingertips to offer up medical advice and guidance to our partners. So we play a unique role in our partners' lives that allows them to have some comfort and calm so they can turn around and take care of our customers.
Blair Labatt: It's inspiring to see people rally around and meet a crisis. It's uplifting to see people cooperate, and energizing to see that all happen. The whole process has been one huge unified response.
Y'all remember when Titanic was sinking and the band was still playing?
Here's H-E-B version of it while people are freaking out over the corona virus
Schertz, TX pic.twitter.com/b0DOYoqlw0
'-- TEXAS FOREVER (@_TexasForever) March 14, 2020
Dya Campos: A customer sent mariachis in appreciation! We feel a lot of that.
Craig Boyan: The spirit of Texans and their treating H-E-B partners with the respect and pride that they do makes us feel fantastic. I drove by a church the other day in San Antonio that had a sign out front that said 'Thank an H-E-B checker.'' We've seen an outpouring of support for our partners and truck drivers that gives us a great sense of pride.
As we cover the novel coronavirus in Texas, we'd like to hear from you. Share with us your tips or stories about how the outbreak is affecting you. Email us at [email protected] .
2020
'Cheating Scum': Ex-Staffers Blast Bloomberg For Mass Layoffs, Changing Job Security Position | The Daily Wire
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:23
Ex-campaign staffers are blasting Michael Bloomberg for reversing his position that his campaign would offer competitive salaries and benefits until the November election, regardless of whether the former mayor became the Democratic presidential nominee.
The New York Times reports that the campaign has since decided to shut down operations, send $18 million to the Democratic National Committee, and instruct the more than 1,500 recently fired employees to apply to the DNC for new jobs.
The now-defunct Bloomberg campaign has also instructed ex-staffers they will be ''fed into a competitive hiring process,'' and are not guaranteed a job, reports the news agency.
''I'm so sorry I worked for this guy. I thought he was totally different,'' said former field organizer Jane Conrad, who the news agency reports was recruited to the campaign. ''He took me out of my job for his own gain.''
About a dozen other ex-staffers told the Times that they were drawn to the Bloomberg campaign because of the job security and benefits, and were scared to speak out publicly because they were temporarily still on his payroll.
Politico reports on another ex-staffer, who also requested anonymity and blasted Bloomberg for firing them during a national emergency: ''He has left us with no health insurance during this pandemic. I have a family and do not know what we will do at the end of the month.''
Amol Jethwani, another former staffer, remarked on Twitter that while he was ''disappointed'' Bloomberg ''had just fired his whole campaign staff,'' he was ''not surprised that a billionaire is cheating scum,'' reports the news agency.
The Bloomberg campaign assured field organizers during the hiring process that they could expect $6,000 a month, an array of benefits, and employment until the general election, Politico reported.
An unsigned Bloomberg campaign memo obtained by the Times explains the change in plans and new decision to terminate the campaign apparatus.
''While we considered creating our own independent entity to support the nominee and hold the president accountable, this race is too important to have many competing groups with good intentions but that are not coordinated and united in strategy and execution,'' said the memo.
The decision comes as new financial disclosures for the Bloomberg campaign show that the businessman's 100-day presidential bid cost more money than has been previously reported.
The New York Times reports that Bloomberg spent more than $900 million over the course of his 100-day campaign, including $600 million in digital and television ads.
The news agency reports that when the cost of the advertising blitz is combined with the miscellaneous costs of managing a campaign with over 2,000 staffers, Bloomberg burned through about $17 million per day of his short-lived candidacy '-- a truly historic feat.
Despite a massive advertising budget, the businessman-turned New York City mayor only managed to win a plurality of the caucus votes in American Samoa, which doesn't even vote for president in the general election. (Bloomberg was narrowly denied a majority victory by Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.)
As The Wall Street Journal reported in November, Bloomberg entered the crowded primary field as it was narrowing because he was concerned that none of the Democratic candidates were capable of beating President Donald Trump in a presidential election.
Bloomberg's candidacy flopped after former Vice President Joe Biden received a wave of support in light of his resounding electoral victory in the South Carolina primary, the first presidential voting contest he has won from his three presidential bids.
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Sat, 28 Mar 2020 22:10
VIDEO-President Trump Considers Quarantine of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut | C-SPAN.org
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:22
March 28, 2020 | Clip Of President Trump at USNS Comfort Send Off Ceremony 2020-03-28T13:56:47-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/cf1/20200328135808001_hd.jpg At a send off ceremony for the USNS Comfort in Norfolk, Virginia, President Trump says the hospital ship will be ready to address any life threatening medical emergency saying it is "stocked to the brim" and will help to halt the transmission of the virus. In addition, the president urges the New York City area to "self-quarantine" but says he will make a decision shortly on a quarantine order for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas.At a send off ceremony for the USNS Comfort in Norfolk, Virginia, President Trump says the hospital ship will be ready to address any life'... read more
At a send off ceremony for the USNS Comfort in Norfolk, Virginia, President Trump says the hospital ship will be ready to address any life threatening medical emergency saying it is "stocked to the brim" and will help to halt the transmission of the virus. In addition, the president urges the New York City area to "self-quarantine" but says he will make a decision shortly on a quarantine order for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas. close
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Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:22
March 28, 2020 2020-03-28T13:49:08-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/131/20200328135726001_hd.jpg President Trump delivered remarks in Norfolk, Virginia at the send off ceremony for the USNS Comfort, a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship that will assist with coronavirus response efforts in New York City. During the event, the president said he was considering a quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. President Trump was joined by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and U.S. Navy officials.President Trump delivered remarks in Norfolk, Virginia at the send off ceremony for the USNS Comfort, a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship that'... read more
President Trump delivered remarks in Norfolk, Virginia at the send off ceremony for the USNS Comfort, a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship that will assist with coronavirus response efforts in New York City. During the event, the president said he was considering a quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. President Trump was joined by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and U.S. Navy officials. close
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VIDEO-Trump Says He's Considering a Quarantine of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut - VICE
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:11
''I don't even know what that means,'' New York Governor Andrew Cuomo responded when asked about Trump's suggestion.
by Trone Dowd
Mar 28 2020, 5:24pm Snap
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen in the state of New York, President Trump told the press that he's considering a short-term quarantine for the state, as well as New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.
"We're thinking about certain things. Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it's a hot spot. We might not have to do it, but there's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine, short-term, two weeks on New York. Probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut," he told reporters at the White House on Saturday.
The president later tweeted about the idea.
An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet. It might have been deleted.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was holding a press briefing at the time of the president's off-the-cuff announcement, said that he has not heard that the president had such a plan despite speaking with him just this morning.
''I don't even know what that means,'' Cuomo told a reporter when asked about Trump's plan. ''I don't know how that would be legally enforceable. And from a medical point of view, I don't know what you would be accomplishing.''
An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet. It might have been deleted.
Later in the afternoon, Trump once again spoke about his tri-state quarantine proposal during a briefing at the USNS Comfort, which departed Norfolk, Va. for New York today, noting that a final decision on the matter ''very shortly.''
''If you are from the New York metropolitan area, we need you to self-quarantine for 14 days to help us contain the spread of the virus,'' the president said. ''This does not apply to people such as truckers, from outside the New York area who are making deliveries or simply transiting through. It won't affect trade in any way.''
Cover: President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
VIDEO-ÙزارØ(C) اÙداخÙيØ(C) on Twitter: "ماذا فعÙت حكÙمØ(C) اÙممÙكØ(C) ÙحمايØ(C) شعبها من فيرÙØ" كÙرÙنا؟ What has the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia done to protect its people from Covid-19? https://t.co
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:11
Ø"عيد بن ناصر أبن نÙرØ(C) @ salhrqe
21h Replying to
@MOISaudiArabia @sattam_al_saud هذا منهج حكام اÙÙطن Ùايريدن اÙتكريم ÙاÙشكر من أحد 🇸ðŸ‡...''¤¸
pic.twitter.com/by5cnmKlR9 View conversation · ðŸ''خاÙد اÙدعيتØ(C)ðŸ'' @ aldaita1983
19h Replying to
@salhrqe @MOISaudiArabia @sattam_al_saud اÙÙه يعز حكام اÙممÙكØ(C) اÙعربيØ(C) اÙØ"عÙديØ(C) Ùيحفظ اÙمÙك Ø"Ùمان بن عبداÙعزيز ÙÙÙي عهده اÙجØ"Ùر اÙامير محمد بن Ø"Ùمان
View conversation · ظافر اÙشيبان @ Dh_shiban
20h Replying to
@MOISaudiArabia اشهد انها ما قصرت عاÙجميع دام عزك يا Ùطني اÙغاÙي 🇸ðŸ‡...🤲
#اÙØ"عÙديØ(C)_اÙعظمى pic.twitter.com/w1nyY6c9W1 View conversation · تذكار اÙÙعد @ HmsHnen
21h Replying to
@MOISaudiArabia @Faisalalmohnna فعÙتم Ùنا اÙكØير اÙمÙاطن ÙاÙمقيم ÙاÙزاØ...ر ÙاÙØ"اØ...حشكرا Ùكم عامÙتÙنا Ø"ÙاØ"يه جعÙتم من اÙحجز مكان ÙÙضيافه ÙÙفرتم كÙادر طبيه صادقه مضحين باانفØ"هم ÙÙجميعÙنشرتم Ùنا اÙامن Ùحمايتنا Ùكنتم صقÙر فÙق رؤØ" اÙمØ"تهترين بصحتنا Ùا نعÙم كيف نقÙ٠شكرا Ùكم ÙÙكن نحن ÙØ¯Ø§Ø Ùكم
View conversation · ali- Baeshen. @ lo010ol
19h Replying to
@MOISaudiArabia حفظ اÙÙه ممÙكتنا اÙØ"عÙديØ(C) اÙعظمى Ùحفظ اÙÙه مÙكنا ÙÙÙي عهده من ك٠Ø"ÙØ .. مهما كتبنا Ùمهما قÙنا مانÙفيها حقها هي اÙهÙا اÙي نتنفØ"ه Ùهي اÙرÙØ­ اÙي بدÙنه نمÙت ،
View conversation · أحمدا>>·Ù†ØµØ§Ø±ÙŠ #أميراÙمحبرØ(C) @ ahmedsa97sa
9h Replying to
@lo010ol @MOISaudiArabia أصبت اÙÙه يØ"عدك Ùيبارك ÙÙاØك اÙمخÙص Ùصدق انتماØ...ك يا فخر اÙÙطن اÙعظيم Ø£Ø"تاذي اÙحبيب
View conversation · Wy/Su/tit @ Hinin03887252
20h Replying to
@MOISaudiArabia حكÙمØ(C) اÙممÙكØ(C) اÙعربيØ(C) اÙØ"عÙديØ(C) قدمت اÙكØير ÙاÙكØير ÙاÙغاÙي ÙاÙنفيØ" Ùحرصها اÙشديد ÙحمايØ(C) شعبها ÙاÙاحتÙØ§Ø Ù…Ù† حد نشر فيرÙØ" كÙرÙنا. أي دÙÙØ(C) في اÙعاÙم Ùم تقدم ÙÙÙ Ø¬Ø²Ø Ø¨Ø"يط بما قدمته حكÙمØ(C) اÙممÙكØ(C) اÙعربيØ(C) اÙØ"عÙديØ(C) Ùشعبها داخÙيا Ùخارجيا ÙاÙمقيمين فشكرا Ùكم من اÙقÙب حكÙمتنا اÙرشيدØ(C) ''¤¸
View conversation · إيÙاد اÙحمÙد @ Eyaaaad
20h Replying to
@MOISaudiArabia بارك اÙÙه فيكم ÙاÙÙه يعزكم
View conversation · Mohamed Gomaa @ MhmdGomaa
20h Replying to
@Eyaaaad @MOISaudiArabia ما Ø´Ø§Ø Ø§ÙÙه تبارك اÙÙه ..حكÙمØ(C) رشيدØ(C) .. قÙÙ ÙفعÙحفظ اÙÙه اÙجميع، Ùطن ÙحكÙمØ(C) Ùشعبا، مÙاطنين ÙمقيميناÙÙاحد يشعر باÙفخر برؤيØ(C) اÙحكÙمØ(C) ÙباÙمÙحمØ(C) اÙحاÙيØ(C)Ùتعدي بإذن اÙÙه هذه اÙمحنØ(C)، Ùأن اÙÙه Ùا يضيع اجر من أحØ"ن عمÙا ..ك٠اÙتحيØ(C) ÙاÙتقدير
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VIDEO - 'People Are Dying': 72 Hours Inside a N.Y.C. Hospital Battling Coronavirus - The New York Times
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:24
[Machine beeping] ''The frustrating thing about all of this is it really just feels like it's too little, too late. Like we knew '-- we knew it was coming. Today is kind of getting worse and worse. We had to get a refrigerated truck to store the bodies of patients who are dying. We are, right now, scrambling to try to get a few additional ventilators or even CPAP machines. If we could get CPAP machines, we could free up ventilators for patients who need them. You know, we now have these five vents. We probably '-- unless people die, I suspect we'll be back to needing to beg for ventilators again in another day or two. There's a mythical 100 vents out there which we haven't seen. Leaders in various offices, from the president to the head of Health and Hospitals, saying things like, 'We're going to be fine. Everything's fine.' And from our perspective, everything is not fine. I don't have the support that I need, and even just the materials that I need, physically, to take care of my patients. And it's America, and we're supposed to be a first-world country. On a regular day, my emergency department's volume is pretty high. It's about 200 people a day. Now we're seeing 400 or more people a day. At first, we were trying to isolate patients with cough and fever and be more careful around them, but we weren't necessarily being extra careful around all the other patients. And then we started to realize that patients who were coming in with no fever but abdominal pain actually had findings on their X-rays and chest CTs that were consistent with this coronavirus, Covid-19. So someone in a car accident gets brought in and we get a CT scan of them, and their lungs look like they have coronavirus. We were seeing a lot of patients who probably had Covid, but we didn't realize. Ten residents and also many, many of our nurses and a few of the attending physicians got sick. The anxiety of this situation is really overwhelming. All of the doctors, it's hard for us to get tested even if we want to, even if we have symptoms. We're exposed over and over again. We don't have the protective equipment that we should have. I put on one N95 mask in the morning. I need to have that N95 mask on for every patient I see. I don't take it off all day. The N95 mask I wore today is also the N95 mask I wore on Friday. We're always worried that we'll be out of N95 masks. What's a little bit scary now is the patients that we're getting are much sicker. Many of the young people who are getting sick don't smoke, they're healthy, they have no co-morbidities. They're just young, regular people between the ages of 30 and 50 who you would not expect to get this sick. So many people are saying it's going to be OK, everything's fine, we have what we need. And if this goes on for a month or two or three or five like it did in China, and we're already this strained, we don't have what we need. I don't really care if I get in trouble for speaking to the media. I want people to know that this is bad. People are dying. We don't have the tools that we need in the emergency department and in the hospital to take care of them, and '-- and it's really hard.''
VIDEO - Deadly Disinformation: COVID-19 in Trump's America | Coronavirus pandemic | Al Jazeera
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:41
On The Listening Post this week: What happens to Trump's disinformation when it comes up against the science of COVID-19? And, the media outlets that have chronicled Lebanon's uprisings.
Deadly Disinformation: COVID-19 in Trump's America With the coronavirus grinding life to a halt around the world, people are searching for reliable information. But what if two primary sources of news - the government and the most-watched TV channel - are setting aside medical science in favour of politically-driven fiction?
That is what Americans are dealing with. For three years, President Trump has had fact checkers working overtime. But the stream of disinformation on COVID-19 flowing from the White House has not only misled the public on the severity of the threat, it has put lives at risk.
Then there is Fox News. Its initial attempt to frame the pandemic as a "hoax" designed to take down the president has also been exposed. As infection rates climb and the death toll mounts - Trump finds himself confronted with some facts - scientific ones - that not even he can deny.
Contributors:
Charles Seife - Professor of Health Journalism, NYU
Kayla Gogarty - Senior Researcher, Media Matters for America
Caleb Ecarma - Writer, Vanity Fair
Joanne Kenen - Executive Health Editor, Politico
On our radar: Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Meenakshi Ravi about China's removal of yet more American journalists as the media war between Washington and Beijing heats up.
Megaphone: Amplifying voices from Lebanon's uprising Like many countries around the globe, Lebanon has declared a coronavirus state of emergency. But the country is already five months into a series of anti-government demonstrations - the biggest since Lebanon won its independence in 1943. The protest movement bridges classes and sects - citizens revolting against a political system that is defined by sectarian identity and has failed to provide them with the economic basics.
It is an ongoing story that has also revealed much about the failure of Lebanon's media outlets - too many of which are skewing their coverage - since they are split along the same lines that politicians are.
The Listening Post's Tariq Nafi looks at one news site that is out to change the media mix - and mess with the mainstream narratives. Megaphone is an online platform that produces punchy social videos and boundary-pushing opinion pieces - critical takes on the news - and the way it has been covered.
Contributors:
Jean Kassir - Managing Editor, Megaphone
Jamal Saleh - Creative Director, Megaphone
Kareem Chehayeb - Co-founder, The Public Source
Jad Abou Jaoudeh - Head of News, OTV
Source: Al Jazeera News
VIDEO - Stanford Univ. researchers say evidence shows U.S. will recover from COVID-19 faster than expected - YouTube
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:37
VIDEO - Met meer dan drie op het strand? Deze drone jaagt je weg | NOS
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:52
NOS Nieuws ' Binnenland ' Gisteren, 18:09Om het scenario van vorig weekend tegen te gaan, zet de veiligheidsregio Noord-Holland Noord een drone in. Een vooraf ingesproken boodschap moet strandgangers waarschuwen.
liveblog
RIVM: 93 nieuwe sterfgevallen, rustiger op stranden en in natuurgebiedenVolg hier al het coronanieuws van 28 maart.
Collectie In de frontlinie
'Spoed is spoed: denk niet ze zijn vast te druk'NOS volgt de komende tijd zorgmedewerkers die werken in de frontlinie van de coronacrisis. Vandaag het verhaal van ambulanceverpleegkundige Hanna Bonnes.
Collectie Corona-achtergronden
Corona in Nederland: cijfers van 28 maartHet aantal nieuwe ziekenhuispatinten is iets hoger dan gisteren. Volgens het RIVM is de groei minder snel dat je zou verwachten als er geen maatregelen waren genomen.
VIDEO - Bill Gates makes a prediction about when coronavirus cases will peak - YouTube
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:47
VIDEO - Austin company looking to dock paychecks for those receiving stimulus checks
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:38
Austin company looking to dock paychecks for those receiving stimulus checks
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VIDEO-Francis Brennan (Text TRUMP to 88022) on Twitter: "Joe Biden just said if he were president right now he would have his Surgeon General going out everyday and "talking on the air," about the coronavirus. That's exactly what President Trump's Surgeon
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:34
Log in Sign up Francis Brennan (Text TRUMP to 88022) @ FrancisBrennan Joe Biden just said if he were president right now he would have his Surgeon General going out everyday and "talking on the air," about the coronavirus.That's exactly what President Trump's Surgeon General Jerome Adams has been doing for weeks now.
pic.twitter.com/HaDG23TyKc 2:18 PM - 27 Mar 2020 Twitter by: Francis Brennan (Text TRUMP to 88022) @FrancisBrennan J.P. 🇮🇪 🇺🇸 @ 1967oldman
11h Replying to
@FrancisBrennan @KamVTV @JoeBiden Keeping in mind
@JoeBiden is not really neurologically present most of the day lately. He really has no idea.
View conversation · Sarah K @ ABCDEFGlock88
11h Replying to
@1967oldman @FrancisBrennan and
2 others Lately ðŸ‘
View conversation · Paul formerly SHWLE @ Paul42865409
11h Replying to
@FrancisBrennan @TrumpWarRoom Nap time
View conversation · Carol Chamberlain @ CarolChamberl11
11h Replying to
@FrancisBrennan @TrumpWarRoom BREAKING: Trump Says That Due to the Democratic Governors of Washington (3,369 Coronavirus Cases) and Michigan (3,657 Cases)'--the Latter of Whom He Calls "the Woman in Michigan"'--Not Being "Appreciative" Enough of Him, He Has Told the Coronavirus Task Force Head "Not to Call Them".
View conversation · Beach Mama @ Beachmamax3
11h Replying to
@CarolChamberl11 @FrancisBrennan @TrumpWarRoom He said they weren't appreciative of what the Federal government was doing for them, all of the federal government.
View conversation · Donna Nicholson @ DonnaNicholson
11h Replying to
@FrancisBrennan @TrumpWarRoom Poor Joe Biden is sitting in his library, wondering where he is.
View conversation · Sterling214 @ Sterling2143
11h Replying to
@FrancisBrennan pic.twitter.com/6HthkCjabS View conversation · I'm your Huckleberry @ MrDMummery
10h Replying to
@FrancisBrennan @TrumpWarRoom pic.twitter.com/I4HUW3l7Is View conversation · Stan @ DeclueStan
8h Replying to
@FrancisBrennan @MLadyTam1 This is hilarious, maybe prid quo Joe just needs a nap. It's past his bedtime
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VIDEO-How China Is Reshaping the Coronavirus Narrative - The New York Times
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:30
new video loaded: How China Is Reshaping the Coronavirus Narrative
transcript
transcript
How China Is Reshaping the Coronavirus NarrativeWe looked at China's expansive propaganda system aimed at foreigners and analyzed thousands of English-language tweets from state media and diplomats. Here are the coronavirus messages China is projecting to the world.The Chinese government has one of the most extensive propaganda networks in the world inside the country, but it also aggressively works to influence how it's perceived outside its borders. ''Good morning, President Xi!'' China has invested billions into bolstering its image abroad. Its state-run news outlets push out messages in English around the clock '-- ''You're watching CGTN.'' ''Live in Beijing.'' ''From Nairobi.'' ''Washington, D.C.'' '-- and its diplomats have flocked to Twitter in the last year. But what happens when this massive P.R. apparatus has to do major damage control? We analyzed thousands of tweets from Chinese state media and official accounts and found three dominant messages China wants to project to the world. Here's what we learned. A novel coronavirus hit the Chinese city of Wuhan in January. Early whistleblowers were silenced. People were angry about a government cover-up. But in the majority of tweets we analyzed, state-owned publications pushed a much more optimistic view, promoting what they said was an effective response. They are sharing videos like this. The Chinese Communist Party refers to this as positive energy, only focusing on the bright side of an issue. China did take drastic measures to try and stem the outbreak, but that's the only story China wants the world to see. And state media is eager to run praise from foreign experts to back up China's successes. One tweet from state media that did reveal Chinese citizens' discontent '-- '-- it was quickly deleted. Once the virus spread across the world, China started positioning itself as being at the forefront of fighting the pandemic. It presented itself as a partner, a grateful recipient, and more recently a selfless leader, highlighting large donations from Chinese companies and the government. China hasn't typically disparaged other countries' responses to the virus, with one exception '-- the United States. ''President Donald Trump has been accused of denying, downplaying and outright rejecting the concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak.'' Another thing we noticed are Chinese outlets disputing the origin of the virus. It all started in late February with a renowned Chinese epidemiologist. Around the same time, the C.D.C. reported the first case in the United States with an unknown origin. A screenshot of the announcement incorrectly translated in Chinese began to trend online and was untouched by Chinese government censors. And a high-ranking government spokesperson actively pushed disinformation about where the virus came from. A government giving an optimistic spin to bad news is not unique. ''We want to go big, go solid. The country is very strong. We've never been so strong.'' But the scale of the Chinese propaganda machine is, and it's clear that it's being deployed to try and tell the world a new story about the coronavirus pandemic.
Recent episodes in Coronavirus Pandemic: Latest Updates
VIDEO-Dr. Birx Admits Initial COVID Predictions Were Extreme - YouTube
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:09
VIDEO-Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 on Twitter: "The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. Joe Biden just referred to it as the "Luhan" virus. He has no clue what we're fighting. This comes after he mixed up the coronavirus with SARS. https://t.c
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 06:56
Log in Sign up Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 @ TrumpWarRoom The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China.Joe Biden just referred to it as the "Luhan" virus.He has no clue what we're fighting.This comes after he mixed up the coronavirus with SARS.
pic.twitter.com/OkA5WjKnj1 4:50 PM - 27 Mar 2020 Twitter by: Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 @TrumpWarRoom Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 @ TrumpWarRoom
12h Replying to
@TrumpWarRoom twitter.com/TrumpWarRoom/s'... View conversation · jon w @ jonwins
12h Replying to
@TrumpWarRoom Joe just started WWIII....Luhan ia pop star in China!
twitter.com/dramapotatoe/s'... View conversation · Xiao Lu ''¤ EXO OT9 ''¤ @ pinkyhannie
11h Replying to
@jonwins @TrumpWarRoom Kkkkk this is so strange because Luhan is the name of a famous Chinese artist
View conversation · Wayne Dunlap @ wdunlap
12h Replying to
@TrumpWarRoom According to Dementia Joe, 150 Million Americans died by guns in the last decade. When are they going to TAKE PITY ON JOE and do a mercy killing of his campaign saving him from further humiliation?
independent.co.uk/news/world/ame'... View conversation · Old Taxpayer @ old_taxpayer
11h Replying to
@wdunlap @TrumpWarRoom He has no clue and will not remember a thing.
View conversation · #staygold #stayathome'· @ taejinception
8h Replying to
@TrumpWarRoom anyways, stream medals by luhan
open.spotify.com/track/0akwB3iu'... View conversation · 美 ' 董æ'æ @ xiaodsc
8h Replying to
@taejinception @TrumpWarRoom MY FAVORITE LUHAN SONG YESSSS I LOVE YOUR TASTE
View conversation · MACK Podcast 🎸 @ MiddleAgedCool
12h Replying to
@TrumpWarRoom Luhan! That made me laugh for some reason.
View conversation · Ashley IGOT7 @ AhgaseAshley
7h Replying to
@MiddleAgedCool @TrumpWarRoom For a further laugh, Luhan is the name of a Chinese pop star so for those of us who know him it's extra bizarre to hear his name in this context
View conversation · MP @ QanonReality
12h Replying to
@TrumpWarRoom You can see in his eyes, he has the look of a confused elderly person, he really does, why is this man doing running for any office?
View conversation · Connolly Mackey '­'­'­ @ ConnollyMackey
11h Replying to
@QanonReality @TrumpWarRoom My take is Biden is being forced to run..either blackmailed or a last-ditch effort to defend many from the Obama adminIf I had to guess who is tightening those screws, it'd be VJ44..this has her..you're with us or you're not..torture all over it
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VIDEO-Austin company looking to dock paychecks for those receiving stimulus checks | KXAN.com
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 06:36
AUSTIN (KXAN) '' While Congress was working out the details on a bill that would provide Americans with stimulus checks, at least one Austin company was looking for ways to save payroll.
''The form says they are preemptively deducting funds from our paychecks. That number is based on what they're anticipating the government relief fund to be,'' a worker for the company told KXAN. The worker asked not to be identified in this investigation so as not to impact his company's ability to continue doing business.
The worker asked not to be identified in the report, but provided KXAN a copy of the paycheck reduction letter his company emailed out on March 25, 2020. (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)
The worker said his company emailed a form titled ''EmployeeAcknowledgement of 'Government Assistance' Pay Reduction'' to some staffers onWednesday. ''In response to the economic crisis that is affecting all of us dueto the coronavirus pandemic'...(company name redacted) are hereby enacting theEmployee Emergency Compensation Fund,'' the letter stated.
The agreement would put workers under a ''temporary compensation reduction that is in line with the assistance that it receives from the federal government related to the COVID-19 pandemic.'' By signing the agreement, the company's employees would have their paychecks between April 6 and April 20 cut by 100% of any money received under the stimulus bill.
The company would also take half of the $500 stipendallotted for dependents under the bill.
The worker told KXAN the company laid off a quarter ofits workforce this week. He believed the company was using the salary cuts as away to meet payroll. But, he thought the company hadn't explored all optionsbefore making a ''knee-jerk'' response.
''The company that I work for is a national company andthey make hundreds of millions of dollars in profit a year and instead ofmaking sacrifices at the higher levels, they're passing it on down to everybodyelse,'' the worker said.
''I think that this violates at least one law that we know of out there,'' Austin labor attorney Austin Kaplan told KXAN. We sent Kaplan the salary reduction agreement to find out whether he believes the agreement was legal.
Labor attorney Austin Kaplan told KXAN in a teleconference interview that he believed the company would be violating a federal law if cutting some employees paychecks would put the payroll payment below minimum wage.
Kaplan said since Texas is a right-to-work state, workers who are not under contract have very little room to fight this.
''Employers can lay them off or fire them for good reason, bad reason or no reason at all as long as it's not for an illegal reason with no notice whatsoever,'' said Kaplan.
''From a legal standpoint, in Texas, the law isn't as strong in employee rights as I would like it to be, but there is a federal law called the 'Fair Labor Standards Act,'' Kaplan said. ''That law says that employees have to get at least minimum wage from the employer during their regular pay period.''
The act, which was signed into law in 1938, also established the employment classification for exempt and non-exempt employment in the United States.
Kaplan said he believes the company would be in violation of that law if it docked some paychecks to the amount described in the agreement.
FULL COVERAGE: The latest coronavirus news in Austin, Texas, the United States and the world
''What they're trying to do here, it looks like, is take people down to zero for at least one pay period and the law wouldn't permit that,'' Kaplan told KXAN. ''It also just looks like a bad idea. I think employers have other options that they can do than something like this '-- I haven't seen something like this before.''
Those options would be layoffs or furloughs '-- options that would allow workers to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Kaplan said even a reduction in hours would have allowed the workers to seek unemployment benefits to cover those reductions.
''If I was advising the employer, I always say don't put your hands in the employees' pockets,'' said Kaplna. ''And this just doesn't seem right to me.''
The agreement, if signed, would also allow the company to continue the salary cuts indefinitely.
''The deduction will happen as many times as the government decides to make these types of distributions,'' the company wrote in the agreement.
The worker said he will not sign the agreement and has asked his company's human resources office what will happen to him for refusing to sign the agreement. (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)''I have no ill will toward the company. In fact, I'vechosen to keep this anonymous because I have friends who work there, and Idon't want any harm to befall any of them,'' the worker told KXAN.
''The whole reason for this is because if one person thought it up, it's likely others have as well. So I want to make sure that there's awareness that this could potentially happen with other businesses as well.''
This worker said he will not sign the agreement, despite the chance he could lose his job over it.
He's asked his company's human resources for the implications for not signing the agreement. The man said his company told him they likely would be sending out an amended form in the coming days.
''I would much rather sit in the unemployment line and beproud of my decision to leave a company that's making these kinds of requestsor demands, than hate myself for going along with it because I don't agree withit,'' the man said.
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VIDEO-Trump to reporter pressing him about ventilators: 'Don't be a cutie pie' | TheHill
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 00:24
President Trump Donald John TrumpDefense industrial base workers belong at home during this public health crisis Maduro pushes back on DOJ charges, calls Trump 'racist cowboy' House leaders hope to vote Friday on coronavirus stimulus MORE shot back at a reporter pressing him about the availability of ventilators, telling him to not ''be a cutie pie.''
The exchange occurred at a White House press conference Friday regarding the administration's coronavirus response.
ABC News's Jonathan Karl asked Trump what the president could do to assure ''these states, these hospitals, that everybody who needs a ventilator will get a ventilator.''
''I think we're in really good shape. This is a pandemic, the likes of which nobody's seen before,'' Trump said, praising the work the government has already done to provide ventilators when possible.
''But everybody who needs one will be able to get a ventilator?'' Karl pressed.
''Look, don't be a cutie pie, okay?'' Trump fired back. ''Nobody's done what we've been able to do.''
Not the response I expected. https://t.co/u2nD4cMjlI
'-- Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) March 27, 2020The exchange comes as Trump's daily briefings on the administration's response to the COVID-19 outbreak toggle between praise of the government's actions and criticism of the press.
Trump has bristled at media coverage detailing shortages states and hospitals are facing over tools like respirators and ventilators, as well as gloves and other personal protective equipment, or PPE.
''I say that you're a terrible reporter,'' Trump told NBC News's Peter Alexander last week when asked what message he would send to scared Americans. ''That's what I say. I think it's a very nasty question, and I think it's a very bad signal that you're putting out to the American people.''
Despite Trump's dismissal of criticism regarding the government's response, governors have been persistent that they are facing shortages of crucial supplies. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), whose state is the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, said Friday that he will ask the president for the authorization to build four additional temporary hospitals due to a ''shortfall'' of hospital beds.
VIDEO-Aaron Mat(C) on Twitter: "OMG, a sober/informed Russia take on MSNBC! @AdrianChen , who profiled indicted Russian troll farm in 2015, tells @chrislhayes that what other MSNBC guests have compared to Pearl Harbor "is essentially a social media marketi
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 23:11
Log in Sign up Aaron Mat(C) @ aaronjmate OMG, a sober/informed Russia take on MSNBC!
@AdrianChen , who profiled indicted Russian troll farm in 2015, tells
@chrislhayes that what other MSNBC guests have compared to Pearl Harbor "is essentially a social media marketing campaign" and maybe not worthy of a national freakout
pic.twitter.com/UkUaK2XRPe 6:45 AM - 20 Feb 2018 Twitter by: Aaron Mat(C) @aaronjmate Aaron Mat(C) @ aaronjmate
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@aaronjmate segment:
msnbc.com/all-in/watch/i'... Adrian's piece:
nytimes.com/2015/06/07/mag'... View conversation · ''Haltman'' as per the DMV @ haltam_h
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@aaronjmate @AdrianChen @chrislhayes I assume it's the last time Adrian will be on MSNBC?
View conversation · ''Haltman'' as per the DMV @ haltam_h
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@aaronjmate @AdrianChen @chrislhayes You misunderstood what I meant. He's reasonable and NOT WRONG. The opposite of of Russiagate sycophants on MSNBC want.
View conversation · J. Matthew Smith @ crisis1
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@aaronjmate @AdrianChen @chrislhayes This analysis seems to assume that the indictments describe the extent of the campaign. IF these actions were part of a larger coordinated effort to install a president compromised by financial entanglements it's OBVIOUSLY a political equivalent to a physical invasion
View conversation · J. Matthew Smith @ crisis1
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@aaronjmate @AdrianChen @chrislhayes Not saying we're there yet but let's not downplay the stakes and the potential of the damage we've barely begun to assess. From Now on anybody looking at one indictment or headline to create an overall analysis without looking at the totality is doing a disservice
View conversation · Wendell @ WndlB
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@aaronjmate @quinnnorton and
2 others It is, however, the kind of thing that we do to other countries, and not something that any other country is 'supposed' to do to us.
View conversation · Quinn Norton should be writing right now @ quinnnorton
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@WndlB @aaronjmate and
2 others this has been kind of chapping my hide the whole time. us being shocked, shocked! to find gambling is going on here.
View conversation · Moon of Alabama @ MoonofA
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@aaronjmate @AdrianChen @chrislhayes Also: Posting anything political was NOT the purpose of that marketing campaign. That only increased followers. Commercial selling of product promotion to followers was the real income stream.
View conversation · Clint Warren @ ClintWarren6
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@MoonofA @aaronjmate and
2 others Can you imagine the social media participation of an American pesidential election? What a marketing bonanza. Pure genius up to a point. They never realised the political implications nor the potential blow back.
View conversation · Blue but it matters who @ timmuky
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@aaronjmate @AdrianChen @chrislhayes He torpedoes MSNBC's go-to Russia hysteria story!! I envision producers on set mouthing imprecations a la the church scene in the Graduate...
youtu.be/qzcWgtb1ERo?t='... View conversation · '"California Towhee '"🌏'®¸ @ amborin
20 Feb 18 Replying to
@timmuky @aaronjmate and
3 others Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and the rest of the crew
@MSNBC prey on vulnerable Dems who believed the Clinton hype. They make millions off their dangerous lies.
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VIDEO-NowThis on Twitter: "'Our community's reality is this country's future if we don't do anything.' '-- @AOC shamed leaders in D.C. for failing to tackle coronavirus as the full scope of the pandemic rears its head in NYC https://t.co/IxasNrX
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:05
Log in Sign up NowThis @ nowthisnews 'Our community's reality is this country's future if we don't do anything.' '--
@AOC shamed leaders in D.C. for failing to tackle coronavirus as the full scope of the pandemic rears its head in NYC
pic.twitter.com/IxasNrXP1k 11:43 AM - 27 Mar 2020 Twitter by: NowThis @nowthisnews mallen @ mallen2010
2h Replying to
@nowthisnews @AOC This is better
twitter.com/Solmemes1/stat'... View conversation · Robert Lewis @ roblew9013
2h Replying to
@nowthisnews @AOC Putting glasses on a barback...still makes ya a barback. 13 deaths is tragic, but not unheard of. Shows how good we have it
View conversation · Dan Dorr @ Ddorr42
2h Replying to
@roblew9013 @nowthisnews @AOC Winning an election makes you a congressman
View conversation · JohnP30 @ Johnp26496263
2h Replying to
@nowthisnews @AOC Thank you for voicing your opinion, we need stronger voices in congress. The news today, a boy in california dies due to lack of insurance.
independent.co.uk/news/world/ame'... View conversation · Robert Lewis @ roblew9013
2h Replying to
@Johnp26496263 @nowthisnews @AOC Awful. Was this the same teen that was later thought to have not had COVID-19 in LA?
View conversation · niy.. @ sayniyah
2h Replying to
@nowthisnews @AOC I love this woman.
View conversation · Isabel @ IsabelcMm4
2h Replying to
@nowthisnews @AOC pic.twitter.com/6y4hpQpUVI View conversation · dead acc @ moneykeepcomini
2h Replying to
@nowthisnews @AOC wait till she finds out how many are dying from heart disease!
View conversation · Senil888 @ Senil888
2h Replying to
@moneykeepcomini @nowthisnews @AOC Heart disease isn't a rapidly spreading virus that we aren't testing nearly enough people for. She'd fight for people with any disease anyways with M4A.Besides, when hospitals get overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, it's going to be harder for anything else to be managed.
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VIDEO-Mr. Jones'¸ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ on Twitter: "Reporter asks Cuomo if they have ventilators in storage like Trump said: "That is incorrect and grossly uninformed." The next sentence out of Cuomo's mouth: ''We have ventilators in a stockpile, and we didn'
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:16
Cari Kelemen @ KelemenCari
31m Okay, so NY started giving people the malaria/zpack combo drugs on Tuesday- 3 days ago- and patients turn around and test negative in 5-6 days. And Cuomo is saying he'll need 30,000 ventilators, not now, but at the apex in 21 days? Huh?
View conversation ·
VIDEO-Dr. Birx: Coronavirus Data Doesn't Match The Doomsday Media Predictions | Video | RealClearPolitics
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:15
White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx warned the public not to panic when they hear about models and projections of the pandemic's spread."Models are models," she said. "When people start talking about 20% of a population getting infected, it's very scary, but we don't have data that matches that based on our experience."She said the media should not "make the implication that when they need a hospital bed it's not going to be there, or a ventilator, it's not going to be there, we don't have evidence of that.""It's our job collectively to assure the American people," she also said. "There is no model right now -- no reality on the ground where we can see that 60% to 70% of Americans are going to get infected in the next eight to 12 weeks. I want to be clear about that."
DR. DEBORAH BRIX: I'm sure you have seen the recent report out of the U.K. about them adjusting completely their needs. This is really quite important. If you remember, that was the report that says there would be 500,000 deaths in the U.K. and 2.2 million deaths in the United States. They've adjusted that number in the U.K. to 20,000. Half a million to 20,000. We are looking at that in great detail to understand that adjustment. I'm going to say something that is a little bit complicated but do it in a way we can understand it together. In the model, either you have to have a large group of people who a-asymptomatic, who never presented for any test to have the kind of numbers predicted. To get to 60 million people infected, you have to have a large group of a-symptomatics. We have not seen an attack rate over 1 in 1,000. So either we are measuring the iceberg and underneath it, are a large group of people. So we are working hard to get the antibody test and figure out who these people are and do they exist. Or we have the transmission completely wrong. So these are the things we are looking at, because the predictions of the model don't match the reality on the ground in China, South Korea or Italy. We are five times the size of Italy. If we were Italy and did all those divisions, Italy should have close to 400,000 deaths. They are not close to achieving that. Models are models. We are -- there is enough data of the real experience with the coronavirus on the ground to really make these predictions much more sound. So when people start talking about 20% of a population getting infected, it's very scary, but we don't have data that matches that based on our experience. And the situation about ventilators. We are reassured in meeting with our colleagues in New York that there are still I.C.U. Beds remaining and still significant -- over 1,000 or 2,000 ventilators that have not been utilized. Please for the reassurance of people around the world, to wake up this morning and look at people talking about creating DNR situations, Do Not Resuscitate situations for patients, there is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion. You can be thinking about it in the hospital. Certainly, hospitals talk about this on a daily basis, but to say that to the American people and make the implication that when they need a hospital bed it's not going to be there or a ventilator, it's not going to be there, we don't have evidence of that. It's our job collectively to assure the American people, it's our job to make sure that doesn't happen. You can see the cases are concentrated in highly urban areas and there are other parts of the states that have lots of ventilators and other parts of New York state that don't have any infected. We can meet the needs by being responsive. There is no model right now -- no reality on the ground where we can see that 60% to 70% of Americans are going to get infected in the next eight to 12 weeks. I want to be clear about that. We are adapting to the reality on the ground and looking at the models of how they can inform but learning from South Korea and Italy and from Spain and I know you will look up my numbers.
VIDEO-Aaron Rupar on Twitter: ""Please, for the reassurance of people around the word, to wake up this morning and hear about [hospitals] creating Do Not Resuscitate situations for patients -- there is no situation in the US that warrants that kind of dis
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:21
"Please, for the reassurance of people around the word, to wake up this morning and hear about [hospitals] creating Do Not Resuscitate situations for patients -- there is no situation in the US that warrants that kind of discussion" -- Dr Birx on Thursday
pic.twitter.com/IwSlT5nSTU
VIDEO-Aaron Rupar on Twitter: ""[Trump is] so attentive to the scientific literature & the details & the data. I think his ability to analyze & integrate data that comes out of his long history in business has really been a real benefit'' --
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:21
Log in Sign up Aaron Rupar @ atrupar pic.twitter.com/c2phsRYaJs 8:14 AM - 27 Mar 2020 from Washington, DC
Twitter by: Dan Diamond @ddiamond Aaron Rupar @ atrupar
22m Replying to
@atrupar "Please, for the reassurance of people around the word, to wake up this morning and hear about [hospitals] creating Do Not Resuscitate situations for patients -- there is no situation in the US that warrants that kind of discussion" -- Dr Birx on Thursday
pic.twitter.com/IwSlT5nSTU View conversation · P(C) @ 4everNeverTrump
2h Replying to
@atrupar I'm sure she's justifying this in her head by thinking "if I stroke his ego, he'll actually do things to save people's lives"...But that's not how malignant narcissists operate. She's only corrupting herself by trying to appease him.
View conversation · Dara Tillotson @ daratillot
2h Replying to
@4everNeverTrump @atrupar Exactly this! Everyone around Trump, from John Kelly/Rex Tillerson to Omarosa can attest to the accuracy and truth of this response.
View conversation · Jackie Moon @ speed4589
2h Replying to
@atrupar When did I move to North Korea
View conversation · Eme '• ðŸ§(C) @ emesometimes
2h Replying to
@speed4589 @atrupar November 2016 ðŸ--
View conversation · No one @ ungubunugu1274
2h Replying to
@atrupar Yesterday, Deborah Birx said the Imperial College in Britain had revised its coronavirus projections.Except the projections were not revised.
washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03'... pic.twitter.com/dSi9geKSos View conversation · No one @ ungubunugu1274
2h Replying to
@atrupar twitter.com/RiegerReport/s'... View conversation · Russell Drew @ RussOnPolitics
1h Replying to
@atrupar I am utterly disgusted with Dr. Birx.She is just another Trump hack whose sole goal is to make Donald Trump look good and please the MAGA masses.She's the Dr. Harold Bornstein of the COVID-19 pandemic.I hope her medical license is revoked. She's a threat.
#MedEd pic.twitter.com/mWyWGQbjj1 View conversation · Gina Ellis @ GinaEllis4
43m Replying to
@RussOnPolitics @Blair_Langmuir @atrupar anyone who hangs around w trump for long gets infected (WE NEED A VACCINE, NOW!)
View conversation · Marc Goldstein @ marcgoldstein_
2h Replying to
@atrupar Has Trump infected her with GOPID-45?
View conversation · Medico della Peste @ SaxonThegn
2h Replying to
@marcgoldstein_ @atrupar STUPID45
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VIDEO-Jimmy Kimmel Interviews Joe Biden About The Coronavirus Crisis | Crooks and Liars
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:13
Before he gets to the Biden interview, Jimmy Kimmel plays the wonderful video clip where downtown Atlanta residents applaud the heroic healthcare workers coming in for the evening shift change at their local hospital. You know what that feeling is! Soak it in.
Now enjoy Kimmel's interview with the former vice president of the United States, Joe Biden.
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VIDEO-Trump Puts Off Chinese President To Call Hannity And Complain About The Real Victim'--Trump | Crooks and Liars
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:09
Donald Trump is the captain of the Titanic. Except he's still arguing that this is the greatest voyage ever, complaining that people want too many lifeboats, and telling everyone to get back to that fantastic dinner. So '... strike up the band and take a seat. More are available all the time.
On Thursday evening, Trump called in for a chat with Fox News' Sean Hannity, and in that conversation he demonstrated that just because the nation is in the midst of a catastrophic epidemic where normal life has been destroyed, millions have already lost their job, and thousands are going to die'--it can always be worse. Because there was absolutely nothing in the conversation with Hannity that demonstrated that Trump had the slightest sense of what was really happening in the world around him, or that he was going to lift a finger to help.
It's never a good sign when Trump begins a conversation with his best pal/propagandist by informing the world that he told the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party to chill for a couple of hours while he got out his on-air whining. But that's exactly how Trump's conversation began, with Trump telling Hannity that he put a scheduled call to President Xi Jinping on hold.
"Because of you, I made it at 10:30," Trump said, explaining how he had put off the call. "That just shows you the power ... that just shows when you have the number one rated show in television.'' Because there is never anything in the world that Trump thinks about more than television ratings. Really. Even now. The purpose of that call with Xi was supposed to be discussing the pandemic, how China brought the virus under control, and whether they might be able to provide material assistance now that the United States has taken over the #1 spot as the world's most-infected nation. All of that went on hold.
Trump then went straight to his major theme of the evening'--complaining about people wanting him to display leadership. Which is exactly what Trump did for the next hour. Rather than expressing his concerns about the coronavirus epidemic, rather than offering his support to those suffering, or condolences for those already mourning, Trump used his appearance to complain that people, governors in this case, were asking for things. In particular, Trump was upset that governors wanted personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, and ventilators for patients. Trump seemed to treat these requests like they were not only coming direct from his own pocket, but as if the governors were trying to trick him by '... requesting lifesaving equipment as citizens died around them.
''I have a feeling that a lot of numbers that are being sent in some areas are just bigger than they need to be,'' said Trump. Even as the numbers in New York shot up again, with over 100 deaths in a day, three-hour waits for an ambulance, and every available space filled with suffering, Trump dismissed the idea that the whole state of New York might need large numbers of ventilators.
''I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,'' said Trump. ''You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they'll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they're saying, 'Can we order 30,000 ventilators?''' Many hospitals have a ventilator system for every ICU room. There are 214 hospitals in New York State. Even 40,000 would be less than 200 each at a time when those hospitals are being swarmed by thousands of patients.
But Trump has a ''feeling'' about it, which is of course much more important than numbers or facts or dead people. In fact, Trump returned to this point and decided he had been too generous in his earlier assessment. ''You go to hospitals who have don't even have one in a hospital,'' said Trump, ''and all of a sudden everybody is asking for vast numbers.'' Greedy bastards. Wanting all that '... lifesaving equipment.
But even then Trump wasn't done complaining about the request. ''When you talk about ventilators,'' said Trump, ''it is a highly intricate piece of equipment. It's heavily computerized, and good ones are very, very expensive. And they say '... Gov. Cuomo and others ... they say we want 30,000 of them. 30,000. Think of this.'' Yes, think of it. A new medical ventilator costs around $15,000. If Trump gave everyone what they wanted, it could cost $450 million. It's not like it's a real national emergency, when Donald Trump took funding from veteran's housing, schools, and even hospitals to channel billions into his wall.
What Trump took from unallocated Department of Defense funds just when he declared a national emergency in 2018 would be enough to buy over 1.2 million ventilators '... but then no one elected Trump to save lives. And he's not.
But Trump wasn't satisfied in just complaining about governors wanting things. Not when he could also complain about governors. Trump took multiple shots at Washington governor Jay Inslee, who was the first governor in the nation to face a coronavirus hot spot. Despite earning widespread praise for his handling of the situation, including from Mike Pence, Trump described Inslee as ''a snake.''
But at least he remembered Inslee's name. Trump's other major target was also a Democratic governor in a state hit hard by COVID-19. ''We've had a big problem with the young ... a woman governor '... you, you know who I'm talking about. From Michigan,'' Trump said to Hannity. ''We don't like complaints,'' said Trump, apparently invoking a royal pronoun.
That's Michigan Governor Gretcher Whitmer. And her complaint is that Trump is hoarding material while letting her people die. It's a pretty good complaint.
Posted with permission from Daily Kos.
VIDEO-David Icke | The extraordinary systematic Project Fear being perpetrated over virus - residents told man is dead (from the virus, of course) when he's not - and this woman is rightly not having it
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:12
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VIDEO-CNW on Twitter: "UK Police using drones to warn people to stay inside and enforce isolation measures #UK #Coronavirus https://t.co/iffQvcxUBH" / Twitter
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 10:53
Log in Sign up CNW @ ConflictsW UK Police using drones to warn people to stay inside and enforce isolation measures
#UK #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/iffQvcxUBH 6:34 AM - 27 Mar 2020 Twitter by: Neath Port Talbot Council @NPTCouncil ð'•¯ð'–— ð'•¸ð'–Žð'–ð'–ð'–--ð'–‹ð'–‹ð'–Šð'–‘ð'–Šð'–Šð'– @ DrMistoffelees
2h Replying to
@ConflictsW Nice but creepy ðŸ¤...ðŸ>>''‚¸
View conversation · CoCoChristopher @ relaxinallcool
2h Replying to
@ConflictsW @ELINTNews Welcome to City 17.
View conversation · Tom Grin (@🏠) @ tomgrin
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@ConflictsW @anathymadevice So long, and thanks for all the fish 🐠🐟
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@ConflictsW The Big Brother ðŸŸ
View conversation · Conspiracy Investor 🏴'' ¸ðŸ›¸ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡" @ ConspInvestor
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@ConflictsW simply RFID Chip the population and track every move with 5G
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@ConflictsW Warnings aren't enough. Major fines
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@ConflictsW @davegreenidge57 Should Have Gone to Spec Savers?
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@ConflictsW @1982christoff @1982christoff View conversation · Quentin Quarantino @ logen_9fingers
2h Replying to
@ConflictsW jesus fucking christ that is grim
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VIDEO-The White House: "LIVE: Press Briefing with Coronavirus Task Force"
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 23:08
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VIDEO-Mois(C)s Chiulln on Twitter: "Dr. Brix is that same person who said that the US government got AIDS ''under control'' in the 1980s, which, to he clear, is absolutely not true. https://t.co/5IAAfwiyg8" / Twitter
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 21:28
Dr. Brix is that same person who said that the US government got AIDS ''under control'' in the 1980s, which, to he clear, is absolutely not true.
pic.twitter.com/5IAAfwiyg8
VIDEO-Coronavirus support package for UK self-employed: how does it work? | World news | The Guardian
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:41
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has unveiled an emergency support package to protect Britain's 5 million self-employed workers. But how will it work in practice?
How much am I going to get?The government will pay self-employed people a taxable grant based on their previous monthly earnings over the last three years, worth up to 80% of earnings and capped at £2,500 a month. To be eligible, you must have annual ''profits'' (self-employed earnings) of less than £50,000 a year, according to HMRC.
The last three years' tax returns will be the key evidence of your earnings on which an assessment will be made. HMRC will take an average of your last three years' profits as a self-employed person. If you have been self-employed for just one or two years, then HMRC will rely on those tax returns only.
I went self-employed only a few months ago, so don't have an HMRC tax return to show. Am I covered?Unfortunately not. If you have not filed a tax return as a self-employed person, you are not covered by this scheme. You must instead apply for universal credit if you lose your income. The chancellor said he had no choice but to use HMRC tax returns as the way to operate the scheme, and that 95% of the self-employed would be covered by it.
When will I get the money?It will not be an immediate payment '' Sunak said the grant may not be awarded until June. But it will then be backdated to March, which suggests the maximum grant could be as high as £7,500. He added it was possible the scheme could be up and running before June, but did not want to promise anything earlier.
Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak promises up to £2,500 a month for self-employed - videoHow long will it last for?The scheme is designed to last three months, but will be reviewed and could be extended.
I am a plumber on £65,000 a year with a family and a large mortgage to support, do I get nothing?It is unlikely you are going to receive anything. The Treasury said anyone with trading profits above £50,000 would not be eligible. Your trading profit is broadly the same as your ''taxable profit'' that you entered in your tax return. Explaining the cut-off, the chancellor said the average income of those excluded from the scheme was about £200,000 a year.
HMRC said to qualify for the scheme, at least one of these things must be true:
Having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income;
Having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period
How do I get through to June without any money?Sunak said the government had made universal credit more generous and that a family could pick up as much as £1,800 a month in support. He added that the Department for Work and Pensions could make advance payments of the benefit, ''certainly within days'' of an application. Councils also had money to help families with council tax bills, he said.
Where do I apply?You don't apply right now. HM Revenue & Customs will administer the scheme and contact you with a form you will have to fill in and send back.
Do I get taxed on the money?The chancellor said the grant was taxable. So when it comes to your next tax return, the likelihood is that if you have returned to earning a decent sum, then some of the grant will be clawed back through the tax system.
How do I prove I'm self-employed?You will only receive the grant if you have previously put in a tax return to HMRC.
I'm late with my tax return. Will I still get the money?You can, but move fast now. The chancellor said he will accept ''late'' tax returns for the next four weeks only.
Anywhere but Westminster coronavirus diaries: alone, together - videoI work four days a week at a local hair salon, and one day a week doing private clients as a form of self-employment. Do I get anything from this scheme?No. The chancellor said that it is only available to those people who make the majority of their earnings from self-employment.
I'm registered as a personal service company '' but it's just me. Do I apply for help as an employee, or as self-employed?The Treasury said: ''Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary by the coronavirus job retention scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes.''
Isn't this scheme open to abuse?The chancellor said he did not want a scheme where the perfect would be the enemy of the good. He said the existence of a prior tax return was a good way of making sure the person was genuinely self-employed.
STORIES
Alleged Nicolas Maduro co-conspirator is in US custody: Report | News | Al Jazeera
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 07:47
A retired Venezuelan army general indicted alongside Nicolas Maduro has surrendered in Colombia and is being taken by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York for arraignment, four people familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Friday.
Cliver Alcala has been an outspoken critic of the Venezuelan president for years. But he was charged on Thursday with allegedly running a "narcoterrorist conspiracy" with Maduro, socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello and another retired army general. United States prosecutors allege they sent 250 metric tonnes of cocaine a year to the US and turned the Venezuelan state into a platform for violent cartels and Colombian rebels.
More:US indicts Venezuela's Maduro on 'narco-terrorism' charges Timeline: How the new coronavirus spreadFear as coronavirus closes border with Venezuela over coronavirusThe US Justice Department had offered a $10 million reward for Alcala's arrest.
Alcala was being flown on a chartered plane to the US from Barranquilla, Colombia, after waiving an extradition hearing and agreeing to collaborate with prosecutors, said the four people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss actions that had not yet been made public.
Alcala has been living in the coastal city since fleeing Venezuela in 2018 after the discovery of a conspiracy that he was secretly leading in hopes of ousting Maduro.
After being indicted on Thursday, Alcala shocked many by claiming responsibility for a stockpile of US-made assault weapons and military equipment seized on a highway in Colombia for what he said was a planned incursion into Venezuela to remove Maduro.
US indicts Venezuela's Maduro on narco-terrorism charges
Without offering evidence, he said he had a contract with opposition leader Juan Guaido and his "American advisers" to purchase the weapons.
"We had everything ready," Alcala said in a video published on social media. "But circumstances that have plagued us throughout this fight against the regime generated leaks from the very heart of the opposition, the part that wants to coexist with Maduro."
The confusing remarks from someone who was among Maduro's loudest critics were seized on by Venezuela's socialist leader, who accused the DEA of being behind a plan by Alcala to assassinate him and other political leaders.
According to the indictment, Alcala in 2008, when a trusted aide to then-President Hugo Chavez, was given additional duties to coordinate drug shipments with corrupt elements of the Venezuelan military and guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which the US listed as a terrorist group.
The DEA did not respond to an emailed request for comment. Nicole Navas, a Justice Department spokesperson, declined to comment.
Moments before his surrender, Alcala published a video on social media bidding farewell to his family.
"I face the responsibilities for my actions with the truth," he said.
The United States Announces Assistance To Combat the Novel Coronavirus - United States Department of State
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:43
This week the State Department has facilitated the transportation of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to the Chinese people, including masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials. These donations are a testament to the generosity of the American people.
Today, the United States government is announcing it is prepared to spend up to $100 million in existing funds to assist China and other impacted countries, both directly and through multilateral organizations, to contain and combat the novel coronavirus. This commitment '' along with the hundreds of millions generously donated by the American private sector '' demonstrates strong U.S. leadership in response to the outbreak.
This assistance only adds to what the United States has done to strengthen health security programs around the world. For the last 20 years, the United States through USAID has invested over one billion dollars to strengthen the capacity of more than 25 countries to prevent, detect, and respond to existing and emerging infectious disease threats. Since 2015, under our commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), this support has helped improve surveillance and laboratory systems, risk communication, outbreak response, and address the rising threat of anti-microbial resistance.
The United States is and will remain the world's most generous donor. We encourage the rest of the world to match our commitment. Working together, we can have a profound impact to contain this growing threat.
Caroline Kennedy quits advisory board at Harvard school named after her father, JFK - The Washington Post
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:40
Caroline Kennedy, former U.S. ambassador to Japan and daughter of President John F. Kennedy, has resigned unexpectedly as honorary chair of the advisory board of an institute at Harvard University's Kennedy School. The school confirmed the resignation Wednesday.
The John F. Kennedy School of Government issued a statement commending Kennedy for her service on the Senior Advisory Committee of the Institute of Politics, saying, ''Caroline's role at the Institute of Politics will always be prized and remembered.''
Kenneth M. Duberstein, chairman of the 18-member senior advisory panel, also resigned. Duberstein, a D.C. lobbyist and former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan, has been close with Kennedy.
The Kennedy School released a statement quoting its dean, Douglas Elmendorf, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who began his tenure as dean in January 2016:
''Caroline Kennedy is a distinguished public leader with an exemplary record of service to her country. I am extremely grateful for the extraordinary dedication and commitment she has shown to Harvard Kennedy School over many years. Caroline's role at the Institute of Politics will always be prized and remembered. Her commitment to the IOP's crucial mission of inspiring students to pursue politics and public service has made a tremendous positive difference to the hundreds of Harvard College students who participate in the IOP each year and to the members of the IOP staff.
''Ken Duberstein has served the Institute of Politics with exceptional dedication for many years. We greatly appreciate his absolute commitment to encouraging students to enter public life and for his tireless efforts to strengthen the IOP to support and inspire those students.''
The statement did not address the reasons for the departures of Kennedy and Duberstein.
Several people with direct knowledge of the events, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said there had been tension between Kennedy and Elmendorf. The people said Kennedy and her allies on the committee felt that Elmendorf was not collaborative and micromanaged the institute's affairs. Kennedy sent a letter to the school recently announcing her resignation.
Two other people at Harvard with direct knowledge of what happened said the conflict was sparked by some members of the Senior Advisory Committee seeking to be directly involved in '-- and sometimes inserting themselves into '-- the management of the Institute of Politics. The committee had long been more active in the institute's operation than advisers at the Kennedy School's other institutes. That caused tension over how much management power the commission should have, said the people with knowledge, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue and because it involves personnel.
Kennedy, whose family largely funds the Institute of Politics through an endowment established in 1966, could not be reached for comment. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), the grandnephew of John F. Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy's cousin, is a member of the advisory committee. He could not be reached for comment but remains on the panel.
Duberstein said in a statement that he joined the Institute of Politics at the request of the late senator Edward M. Kennedy, brother of the slain president. He said:
''After careful consideration and heartfelt conversations with Caroline, I have decided to step down immediately as Chairman of the SAC of our beloved Institute of Politics.
''Ted Kennedy asked me to serve on the SAC approximately 25 years ago because he knew of my commitment to inspire young men and women to make public service a major priority. That is the fundamental mission of the IOP which the Kennedy family envisioned.
''Working side by side with Senator Kennedy, John Junior and with Caroline has been a rare privilege and high honor. ... I hope the next chairman continues to guard jealously the sacred role the IOP plays for undergrads at Harvard.
''We must keep the dream alive for our students who aspire to politics and public service.''
Harvard President Lawrence Bacow's office said the Kennedy School should respond to queries.
Officials at the Institute of Politics, led by executive director Mark Gearan, did not respond to queries.
The Kennedy family has been involved in the Institute of Politics since it was established some 50 years ago as a living memorial to John F. Kennedy, who attended Harvard and whose family is a Massachusetts institution. It is unusual because, while it resides within a graduate school, it focuses on educating undergraduates.
The Kennedy School was previously known as the Graduate School of Public Administration. The name was changed to honor John F. Kennedy in 1966, three years after his assassination.
Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here's How. - POLITICO
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:26
For many Americans right now, the scale of the coronavirus crisis calls to mind 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis'--events that reshaped society in lasting ways, from how we travel and buy homes, to the level of security and surveillance we're accustomed to, and even to the language we use.
Politico Magazine surveyed more than 30 smart, macro thinkers this week, and they have some news for you: Buckle in. This could be bigger.
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A global, novel virus that keeps us contained in our homes'--maybe for months'--is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other. Some changes these experts expect to see in the coming months or years might feel unfamiliar or unsettling: Will nations stay closed? Will touch become taboo? What will become of restaurants?
But crisis moments also present opportunity: more sophisticated and flexible use of technology, less polarization, a revived appreciation for the outdoors and life's other simple pleasures. No one knows exactly what will come, but here is our best stab at a guide to the unknown ways that society'--government, healthcare, the economy, our lifestyles and more'--will change.
Click on a subject to skip straight to its entries. The personal becomes dangerous. Deborah Tannen is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown and author, most recently, of You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships.
On 9/11, Americans discovered we are vulnerable to calamities we thought only happened in distant lands. The 2008 financial crisis told us we also can suffer the calamities of past eras, like the economic meltdown of the Great Depression. Now, the 1918 flu pandemic is a sudden specter in our lives.
This loss of innocence, or complacency, is a new way of being-in-the-world that we can expect to change our doing-in-the-world. We know now that touching things, being with other people and breathing the air in an enclosed space can be risky. How quickly that awareness recedes will be different for different people, but it can never vanish completely for anyone who lived through this year. It could become second nature to recoil from shaking hands or touching our faces'--and we might all find we can't stop washing our hands.
The comfort of being in the presence of others might be replaced by a greater comfort with absence, especially with those we don't know intimately. Instead of asking, ''Is there a reason to do this online?'' we'll be asking, ''Is there any good reason to do this in person?'''--and might need to be reminded and convinced that there is. Unfortunately, if unintendedly, those without easy access to broadband will be further disadvantaged. The paradox of online communication will be ratcheted up: It creates more distance, yes, but also more connection, as we communicate more often with people who are physically farther and farther away'--and who feel safer to us because of that distance.
A new kind of patriotism. Mark Lawrence Schrad is an associate professor of political science and author of the forthcoming Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition.
America has long equated patriotism with the armed forces. But you can't shoot a virus. Those on the frontlines against coronavirus aren't conscripts, mercenaries or enlisted men; they are our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, caregivers, store clerks, utility workers, small-business owners and employees. Like Li Wenliang and the doctors of Wuhan, many are suddenly saddled with unfathomable tasks, compounded by an increased risk of contamination and death they never signed up for.
When all is said and done, perhaps we will recognize their sacrifice as true patriotism, saluting our doctors and nurses, genuflecting and saying, ''Thank you for your service,'' as we now do for military veterans. We will give them guaranteed health benefits and corporate discounts, and build statues and have holidays for this new class of people who sacrifice their health and their lives for ours. Perhaps, too, we will finally start to understand patriotism more as cultivating the health and life of your community, rather than blowing up someone else's community. Maybe the de-militarization of American patriotism and love of community will be one of the benefits to come out of this whole awful mess.
A decline in polarization. Peter T. Coleman is a professor of psychology at Columbia University who studies intractable conflict. His next book, The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization, will be released in 2021.
The extraordinary shock(s) to our system that the coronavirus pandemic is bringing has the potential to break America out of the 50-plus year pattern of escalating political and cultural polarization we have been trapped in, and help us to change course toward greater national solidarity and functionality. It might sound idealistic, but there are two reasons to think it can happen.
The first is the ''common enemy'' scenario, in which people begin to look past their differences when faced with a shared external threat. COVID-19 is presenting us with a formidable enemy that will not distinguish between reds and blues, and might provide us with fusion-like energy and a singularity of purpose to help us reset and regroup. During the Blitz, the 56-day Nazi bombing campaign against the Britain, Winston Churchill's cabinet was amazed and heartened to witness the ascendance of human goodness'--altruism, compassion and generosity of spirit and action.
The second reason is the ''political shock wave'' scenario. Studies have shown that strong, enduring relational patterns often become more susceptible to change after some type of major shock destabilizes them. This doesn't necessarily happen right away, but a study of 850 enduring inter-state conflicts that occurred between 1816 to 1992 found that more than 75 percent of them ended within 10 years of a major destabilizing shock. Societal shocks can break different ways, making things better or worse. But given our current levels of tension, this scenario suggests that now is the time to begin to promote more constructive patterns in our cultural and political discourse. The time for change is clearly ripening.
A return to faith in serious experts. Tom Nichols is a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and author of The Death of Expertise.
America for several years has become a fundamentally unserious country. This is the luxury afforded us by peace, affluence and high levels of consumer technology. We didn't have to think about the things that once focused our minds'--nuclear war, oil shortages, high unemployment, skyrocketing interest rates. Terrorism has receded back to being a kind of notional threat for which we dispatch volunteers in our military to the far corners of the desert as the advance guard of the homeland. We even elevated a reality TV star to the presidency as a populist attack on the bureaucracy and expertise that makes most of the government function on a day to day basis.
The COVID-19 crisis could change this in two ways. First, it has already forced people back to accepting that expertise matters. It was easy to sneer at experts until a pandemic arrived, and then people wanted to hear from medical professionals like Anthony Fauci. Second, it may'--one might hope'--return Americans to a new seriousness, or at least move them back toward the idea that government is a matter for serious people. The colossal failure of the Trump administration both to keep Americans healthy and to slow the pandemic-driven implosion of the economy might shock the public enough back to insisting on something from government other than emotional satisfaction.
Less individualism. Eric Klinenberg is professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is the author, most recently, of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life.
The coronavirus pandemic marks the end of our romance with market society and hyper-individualism. We could turn toward authoritarianism. Imagine President Donald Trump trying to suspend the November election. Consider the prospect of a military crackdown. The dystopian scenario is real. But I believe we will go in the other direction. We're now seeing the market-based models for social organization fail, catastrophically, as self-seeking behavior (from Trump down) makes this crisis so much more dangerous than it needed to be.
When this ends, we will reorient our politics and make substantial new investments in public goods'--for health, especially'--and public services. I don't think we will become less communal. Instead, we will be better able to see how our fates are linked. The cheap burger I eat from a restaurant that denies paid sick leave to its cashiers and kitchen staff makes me more vulnerable to illness, as does the neighbor who refuses to stay home in a pandemic because our public school failed to teach him science or critical thinking skills. The economy'--and the social order it helps support'--will collapse if the government doesn't guarantee income for the millions of workers who will lose their jobs in a major recession or depression. Young adults will fail to launch if government doesn't help reduce or cancel their student debt. The coronavirus pandemic is going to cause immense pain and suffering. But it will force us to reconsider who we are and what we value, and, in the long run, it could help us rediscover the better version of ourselves.
Religious worship will look different. Amy Sullivan is director of strategy for Vote Common Good.
We are an Easter people, many Christians are fond of saying, emphasizing the triumph of hope and life over fear. But how do an Easter people observe their holiest day if they cannot rejoice together on Easter morning? How do Jews celebrate their deliverance from bondage when Passover Seders must take place on Zoom, with in-laws left to wonder whether Cousin Joey forgot the Four Questions or the internet connection merely froze? Can Muslim families celebrate Ramadan if they cannot visit local mosques for Tarawih prayers or gather with loved ones to break the fast?
All faiths have dealt with the challenge of keeping faith alive under the adverse conditions of war or diaspora or persecution'--but never all faiths at the same time. Religion in the time of quarantine will challenge conceptions of what it means to minister and to fellowship. But it will also expand the opportunities for those who have no local congregation to sample sermons from afar. Contemplative practices may gain popularity. And maybe'--just maybe'--the culture war that has branded those who preach about the common good with the epithet ''Social Justice Warriors'' may ease amid the very present reminder of our interconnected humanity.
New forms of reform. Jonathan Rauch is a contributing writer at the Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
One group of Americans has lived through a transformational epidemic in recent memory: gay men. Of course, HIV/AIDS was (and is) different in all kinds of ways from coronavirus, but one lesson is likely to apply: Plagues drive change. Partly because our government failed us, gay Americans mobilized to build organizations, networks and know-how that changed our place in society and have enduring legacies today. The epidemic also revealed deadly flaws in the health care system, and it awakened us to the need for the protection of marriage'--revelations which led to landmark reforms. I wouldn't be surprised to see some analogous changes in the wake of coronavirus. People are finding new ways to connect and support each other in adversity; they are sure to demand major changes in the health-care system and maybe also the government; and they'll become newly conscious of interdependency and community. I can't predict the precise effects, but I'm sure we'll be seeing them for years.
Regulatory barriers to online tools will fall. Katherine Mangu-Ward is editor-in-chief of Reason magazine.
COVID-19 will sweep away many of the artificial barriers to moving more of our lives online. Not everything can become virtual, of course. But in many areas of our lives, uptake on genuinely useful online tools has been slowed by powerful legacy players, often working in collaboration with overcautious bureaucrats. Medicare allowing billing for telemedicine was a long-overdue change, for instance, as was revisiting HIPAA to permit more medical providers to use the same tools the rest of us use every day to communicate, such as Skype, Facetime and email. The regulatory bureaucracy might well have dragged its feet on this for many more years if not for this crisis. The resistance'--led by teachers' unions and the politicians beholden to them'--to allowing partial homeschooling or online learning for K-12 kids has been swept away by necessity. It will be near-impossible to put that genie back in the bottle in the fall, with many families finding that they prefer full or partial homeschooling or online homework. For many college students, returning to an expensive dorm room on a depopulated campus will not be appealing, forcing massive changes in a sector that has been ripe for innovation for a long time. And while not every job can be done remotely, many people are learning that the difference between having to put on a tie and commute for an hour or working efficiently at home was always just the ability to download one or two apps plus permission from their boss. Once companies sort out their remote work dance steps, it will be harder'--and more expensive'--to deny employees those options. In other words, it turns out, an awful lot of meetings (and doctors' appointments and classes) really could have been an email. And now they will be.
A healthier digital lifestyle. Sherry Turkle is professor of the social studies of science and technology at MIT, founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, and author, most recently, of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.
Perhaps we can use our time with our devices to rethink the kinds of community we can create through them. In the earliest days of our coronavirus social distancing, we have seen inspirational first examples. Cello master Yo-Yo Ma posts a daily live concert of a song that sustains him. Broadway diva Laura Benanti invites performers from high school musicals who are not going to put on those shows to send their performances to her. She'll be watching; Lin-Manuel Miranda joins the campaign and promises to watch as well. Entrepreneurs offer time to listen to pitches. Master yoga instructors teach free classes. This is a different life on the screen from disappearing into a video game or polishing one's avatar. This is breaking open a medium with human generosity and empathy. This is looking within and asking: ''What can I authentically offer? I have a life, a history. What do people need?'' If, moving forward, we apply our most human instincts to our devices, that will have been a powerful COVID-19 legacy. Not only alone together, but together alone.
A boon to virtual reality. Elizabeth Bradley is president of Vassar College and a scholar of global health.
VR allows us to have the experiences we want even if we have to be isolated, quarantined or alone. Maybe that will be how we adapt and stay safe in the next outbreak. I would like to see a VR program that helped with the socialization and mental health of people who had to self-isolate. Imagine putting on glasses, and suddenly you are in a classroom or another communal setting, or even a positive psychology intervention.
The rise of telemedicine. Ezekiel J. Emanuel is chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
The pandemic will shift the paradigm of where our healthcare delivery takes place. For years, telemedicine has lingered on the sidelines as a cost-controlling, high convenience system. Out of necessity, remote office visits could skyrocket in popularity as traditional-care settings are overwhelmed by the pandemic. There would also be containment-related benefits to this shift; staying home for a video call keeps you out of the transit system, out of the waiting room and, most importantly, away from patients who need critical care.
An opening for stronger family care. Ai-Jen Poo is director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations.
The coronavirus pandemic has revealed gaping holes in our care infrastructure, as millions of American families have been forced to navigate this crisis without a safety net. With loved ones sick and children suddenly home from school indefinitely, they've been forced to make impossible choices among their families, their health and financial ruin. After all, meaningful child care assistance is extremely limited, access to long-term care is piecemeal at best, and too few workers have access to paid family and medical leave, which means that missed work means missed pay.
This crisis should unleash widespread political support for Universal Family Care'--a single public federal fund that we all contribute to, that we all benefit from, that helps us take care of our families while we work, from child care and elder care to support for people with disabilities and paid family leave. Coronavirus has put a particular national spotlight on unmet needs of the growing older population in our country, and the tens of millions of overstretched family and professional caregivers they rely on. Care is and always has been a shared responsibility. Yet, our policy has never fully supported it. This moment, challenging as it is, should jolt us into changing that.
This week from Politico Magazine
Government becomes Big Pharma. Steph Sterling is vice president of advocacy and policy at the Roosevelt Institute, and co-author of the forthcoming paper ''In the Public Interest: Democratizing Medicines through Public Ownership.''
The coronavirus has laid bare the failures of our costly, inefficient, market-based system for developing, researching and manufacturing medicines and vaccines. COVID-19 is one of several coronavirus outbreaks we have seen over the past 20 years, yet the logic of our current system'--a range of costly government incentives intended to stimulate private-sector development'--has resulted in the 18-month window we now anticipate before widespread vaccine availability. Private pharmaceutical firms simply will not prioritize a vaccine or other countermeasure for a future public health emergency until its profitability is assured, and that is far too late to prevent mass disruption. The reality of fragile supply chains for active pharmaceutical ingredients coupled with public outrage over patent abuses that limit the availability of new treatments has led to an emerging, bipartisan consensus that the public sector must take far more active and direct responsibility for the development and manufacture of medicines. That more efficient, far more resilient government approach will replace our failed, 40-year experiment with market-based incentives to meet essential health needs.
Science reigns again. Sonja Trauss is executive director of YIMBY Law.
Truth and its most popular emissary, science, have been declining in credibility for more than a generation. As Obi-Wan Kenobi told us in Return of the Jedi, ''You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.'' In 2005, long before Donald Trump, Stephen Colbert coined the term ''truthiness'' to describe the increasingly fact-lite political discourse. The oil and gas industry has been waging a decades-long war against truth and science, following up on the same effort waged by the tobacco industry. Altogether, this led to the situation in which the Republicans could claim that the reports about the coronavirus weren't science at all, but mere politics, and this sounded reasonable to millions of people. Quickly, however, Americans are being reacquainted with scientific concepts like germ theory and exponential growth. Unlike with tobacco use or climate change, science doubters will be able to see the impacts of the coronavirus immediately. At least for the next 35 years, I think we can expect that public respect for expertise in public health and epidemics to be at least partially restored.
Congress can finally go virtual. Ethan Zuckerman is associate professor of the practice in media arts and sciences at MIT, director of the Center for Civic Media and author of Digital Cosmopolitans: Why We Think the Internet Connects Us, Why It Doesn't, and How to Rewire It.
Coronavirus is going to force many institutions to go virtual. One that would greatly benefit from the change is the U.S. Congress. We need Congress to continue working through this crisis, but given advice to limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer, meeting on the floor of the House of Representatives is not an especially wise option right now; at least two members of Congress already have tested positive for the virus.
Instead, this is a great time for congresspeople to return to their districts and start the process of virtual legislating'--permanently. Not only is this move medically necessary at the moment, but it has ancillary benefits. Lawmakers will be closer to the voters they represent and more likely to be sensitive to local perspectives and issues. A virtual Congress is harder to lobby, as the endless parties and receptions that lobbyists throw in Washington will be harder to replicate across the whole nation. Party conformity also might loosen with representatives remembering local loyalties over party ties.
In the long run, a virtualized Congress might help us tackle one of the great problems of the contemporary House of Representatives: reapportionment and expansion. The House has not grown meaningfully in size since the 1920s, which means that a representative, on average, speaks for 770,000 constituents, rather than the 30,000 the Founding Fathers mandated. If we demonstrate that a virtual Congress can do its job as well or better using 21st-century technologies, rather than 18th-century ones, perhaps we could return the house to the 30,000:1 ratio George Washington prescribed.
Big government makes a comeback. Margaret O'Mara is a professor of history at University of Washington and author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America.
The battle against the coronavirus already has made government'--federal, state and local'--far more visible to Americans than it normally has been. As we tune in to daily briefings from public health officials, listen for guidance from our governors, and seek help and hope from our national leaders, we are seeing the critical role that ''big government'' plays in our lives and our health. We also see the deadly consequences of four decades of disinvestment in public infrastructure and dismissal of public expertise. Not only will America need a massive dose of big government to get out of this crisis'--as Washington's swift passage of a giant economic bailout package reflects'--but we will need big, and wise, government more than ever in its aftermath.
Government service regains its cachet. Lilliana Mason is an associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.
The Reagan era is over. The widely accepted idea that government is inherently bad won't persist after coronavirus. This event is global evidence that a functioning government is crucial for a healthy society. It is no longer ''terrifying'' to hear the words ''I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'' In fact, that is what most people are desperately hoping to hear right now. We will see a rebirth of the patriotic honor of working for the government.
A new civic federalism. Archon Fung is professor of citizenship and self-government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Just as the trauma of fighting World War II laid the foundations for a stronger American government and national solidarity, the coronavirus crisis might sow the seeds of a new civic federalism, in which states and localities become centers of justice, solidarity and far-sighted democratic problem-solving. Many Americans now bemoan the failure of national leadership in the face of this unprecedented challenge. When we look back, we will see that some communities handled the crisis much better than others. We might well find that success came in states where government, civic and private-sector leaders joined their strengths together in a spirit of self-sacrifice for the common good.
Consider that the virology lab at the University of Washington far surpassed the CDC and others in bringing substantial COVID-19 testing early, when it was most needed. Some governors, mayors, education authorities and employers have led the way by enforcing social distancing, closing campuses and other places, and channeling resources to support the most vulnerable. And the civic fabric of some communities has fostered the responsibility and altruism of millions of ordinary citizens who have stayed home, lost income, kept their kids inside, self-quarantined, refrained from hoarding, supported each other, and even pooled medical supplies and other resources to bolster health workers. The coronavirus is this century's most urgent challenge to humanity. Harnessing a new sense of solidarity, citizens of states and cities will rise to face the enormous challenges ahead such as climate change and transforming our era of historic inequality into one of economic inclusion.
The rules we've lived by won't all apply. Astra Taylor is a filmmaker and author of Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone.
America's response to coronavirus pandemic has revealed a simple truth: So many policies that our elected officials have long told us were impossible and impractical were eminently possible and practical all along. In 2011, when Occupy Wall Street activists demanded debt cancellation for student loans and medical debt, they were laughed at by many in the mainstream media. In the intervening years, we have continued to push the issue and have consistently been told our demands were unrealistic. Now, we know that the ''rules'' we have lived under were unnecessary, and simply made society more brittle and unequal.
All along, evictions were avoidable; the homeless could've been housed and sheltered in government buildings; water and electricity didn't need to be turned off for people behind on their bills; paid sick leave could've been a right for all workers; paying your mortgage late didn't need to lead to foreclosure; and debtors could've been granted relief. President Donald Trump has already put a freeze on interest for federal student loans, while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has paused all medical and student debt owed to New York State. Democrats and Republicans are discussing suspending collection on'--or outright canceling'--student loans as part of a larger economic stimulus package.
It's clear that in a crisis, the rules don't apply'--which makes you wonder why they are rules in the first place. This is an unprecedented opportunity to not just hit the pause button and temporarily ease the pain, but to permanently change the rules so that untold millions of people aren't so vulnerable to begin with.
Confirmed U.S. Cases: 124,686 | U.S. Deaths: 2,191
Revived trust in institutions. Michiko Kakutani is author of the 2018 bestseller The Death of Truth and former chief book critic of the New York Times.
The coronavirus pandemic, one hopes, will jolt Americans into a realization that the institutions and values Donald Trump has spent his presidency assailing are essential to the functioning of a democracy'--and to its ability to grapple effectively with a national crisis. A recognition that government institutions'--including those entrusted with protecting our health, preserving our liberties and overseeing our national security'--need to be staffed with experts (not political loyalists), that decisions need to be made through a reasoned policy process and predicated on evidence-based science and historical and geopolitical knowledge (not on Trump-ian ''alternative facts,'' political expediency or what Thomas Pynchon called, in Gravity's Rainbow, ''a chaos of peeves, whims, hallucinations and all-round assholery''). Instead of Trump's ''America First'' foreign policy, we need to return to multilateral diplomacy, and to the understanding that co-operation with allies'--and adversaries, too'--is especially necessary when it comes to dealing with global problems like climate change and viral pandemics.
Most of all, we need to remember that public trust is crucial to governance'--and that trust depends on telling the truth. As the historian John M. Barry wrote in his 2004 book The Great Influenza'--a harrowing chronicle of the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide'--the main lesson from that catastrophe is that ''those in authority must retain the public's trust'' and ''the way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one.''
Expect a political uprising. Cathy O'Neil is founder and CEO of the algorithmic auditing company ORCAA and author of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.
The aftermath of the coronavirus is likely to include a new political uprising'--an Occupy Wall Street 2.0, but this time much more massive and angrier. Once the health emergency is over, we will see the extent to which rich, well-connected and well-resourced communities will have been taken care of, while contingent, poor and stigmatized communities will have been thoroughly destroyed. Moreover, we will have seen how political action is possible'--multitrillion dollar bailouts and projects can be mobilized quickly'--but only if the cause is considered urgent. This mismatch of long-disregarded populations finally getting the message that their needs are not only chronically unattended, but also chronically dismissed as politically required, will likely have drastic, pitchfork consequences.
Electronic voting goes mainstream. Joe Brotherton is chairman of Democracy Live, a startup that provides electronic ballots.
One victim of COVID-19 will be the old model of limiting voting to polling places where people must gather in close proximity for an extended period of time. We have been gradually moving away from this model since 2010, when Congress passed a law requiring electronic balloting for military and overseas voters, and some states now require accessible at-home voting for blind and disabled voters. Over the long term, as election officials grapple with how to allow for safe voting in the midst of a pandemic, the adoption of more advanced technology'--including secure, transparent, cost-effective voting from our mobile devices'--is more likely. In the near-term, a hybrid model'--mobile-phone voting with paper ballots for tabulation'--is emerging in the 2020 election cycle in certain jurisdictions. We should expect that option to become more widespread. To be clear, proven technologies now exist that offer mobile, at-home voting while still generating paper ballots. This system is not an idea; it is a reality that has been used in more than 1,000 elections for nearly a decade by our overseas military and disabled voters. This should be the new normal.
Election Day will become Election Month. Lee Drutman is a senior fellow at New America and author of Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America.
How do we hold an election in the time of coronavirus? By making it easier to vote when citizens want and where they want, so that Election Day doesn't become a health risk of big crowds and long lines. The change will come through expanded early voting and no-excuse mail-in balloting, effectively turning Election Day into Election Month (or maybe months, depending on the closeness of the election and the leniency for late-arriving ballots postmarked on Election Day). This transition requires considerable thought and planning to ensure that all communities are treated equally, and to prevent fraud. But facing the prospect of crowded polling places staffed by at-risk poll workers (who tend to be older), states will come under tremendous pressure to develop plans so that the election can go on regardless. This will mark a permanent change. Once citizens experience the convenience of early voting and/or voting by mail, they won't want to give it up. More convenience will generate higher voter turnout, potentially transforming partisan competition in America.
Voting by mail will become the norm. Kevin R. Kosar is vice president of research partnerships at the R Street Institute.
To date, five states'--Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Ohio'--have postponed their presidential primaries. More states may well follow. But these elections cannot be put off indefinitely. Parties need to hold their conventions and select a presidential nominee before the autumn general election. The coronavirus might, according to some reports, continue to menace Americans through June or even the end of summer. In most states, this means elections policy is inviting an electoral train wreck. The clock is ticking.
Fortunately, there is a time-tested means for the country to escape the choice between protecting public health and allowing voters to exercise their right to vote: voting by mail. Military members overseas have voted by mail for decades. Some states, such as Washington, Oregon and Utah, already let everyone vote at home. They send every voter a ballot and then let them choose to cast it either via mail or at a polling place. Unfortunately, most states have set the toggle to voting in-person and requiring individuals to request to vote by mail. Voters already receive registration cards and elections guides by mail. Why not ballots? Given the risks that in-person voting poses, states now have urgent cause to move immediately to modernize their hidebound systems'--and we should soon expect them to.
Dale Ho is director of the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented threat to the way that most people vote: in person on Election Day. But there are several obvious steps we can take to ensure that no one has to choose between their health and their right to vote.
First, every eligible voter should be mailed a ballot and a self-sealing return envelope with prepaid postage. All ballots postmarked by Election Day should be accepted and counted. Ballots cast by mail should not be discarded based on errors or technicalities without first notifying voters of any defects and giving them an opportunity to correct them. At the same time, states can preserve in-person voting opportunities for people who need them'--such as voters with disabilities, with limited English proficiency, with limited postal access or who register after mail-in ballots have been sent out.
Elections administrators should receive extra resources to recruit younger poll workers, to ensure their and in-person voters' health and safety, and to expand capacity to quickly and accurately process what will likely be an unprecedented volume of mail-in votes. Moreover, states should eliminate restrictions prohibiting elections officials from processing mail-in ballots until Election Day (15 states currently have such restrictions). And the media should help set public expectations that, in an environment with record levels of mail-in voting, tabulating results and forecasting winners may take longer than we have grown accustomed to.
If a state cannot do all of the above, it should take as many of these steps as possible. The current crisis makes these changes all the more necessary'--and all the more likely to happen.
More restraints on mass consumption. Sonia Shah is author of Pandemic: Tracking Contagions From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond and the forthcoming The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move.
In the best-case scenario, the trauma of the pandemic will force society to accept restraints on mass consumer culture as a reasonable price to pay to defend ourselves against future contagions and climate disasters alike. For decades, we've sated our outsized appetites by encroaching on an ever-expanding swath of the planet with our industrial activities, forcing wild species to cram into remaining fragments of habitat in closer proximity to ours. That's what has allowed animal microbes such as SARS-COV2'--not to mention hundreds of others from Ebola to Zika'--to cross over into human bodies, causing epidemics. In theory, we could decide to shrink our industrial footprint and conserve wildlife habitat, so that animal microbes stay in animals' bodies, instead. More likely, we'll see less directly relevant transformations. Universal basic income and mandatory paid sick leave will move from the margins to the center of policy debates. The end of mass quarantine will unleash pent-up demand for intimacy and a mini baby-boom. The hype around online education will be abandoned, as a generation of young people forced into seclusion will reshape the culture around a contrarian appreciation for communal life.
Stronger domestic supply chains. Todd N. Tucker is director of Governance Studies at the Roosevelt Institute.
In the ancient days of 2018, the Trump administration was panned by experts for imposing tariffs on imported steel on a global basis for national security reasons. As the president tweeted at the time, ''IF YOU DON'T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON'T HAVE A COUNTRY!'' But to most economists, China was the real reason for disruptions in the metal market, and imposing tariffs additionally on U.S. allies was nonsensical, the argument went: After all, even if America lost its steel industry altogether, we would still be able to count on supplies from allies in North America and Europe.
Fast forward to 2020. Just this week, U.S. allies are considering substantial border restrictions, including shutting down ports and restricting exports. While there's no indication that the coronavirus per se is being transmitted through commerce, one can imagine a perfect storm in which deep recessions plus mounting geopolitical tensions limit America's access to its normal supply chains and the lack of homegrown capacity in various product markets limits the government's ability to respond nimbly to threats. Reasonable people can differ over whether Trump's steel tariffs were the right response at the right time. In the years ahead, however, expect to see more support from Democrats, Republicans, academics and diplomats for the notion that government has a much bigger role to play in creating adequate redundancy in supply chains'--resilient even to trade shocks from allies. This will be a substantial reorientation from even the very recent past.
Dambisa Moyo is an economist and author.
The coronavirus pandemic will create move pressure on corporations to weigh the efficiency and costs/benefits of a globalized supply chain system against the robustness of a domestic-based supply chain. Switching to a more robust domestic supply chain would reduce dependence on an increasingly fractured global supply system. But while this would better ensure that people get the goods they need, this shift would likely also increase costs to corporations and consumers.
The inequality gap will widen. Theda Skocpol is professor of government and sociology at Harvard.
Discussions of inequality in America often focus on the growing gap between the bottom 99 percent and the top 1 percent. But the other gap that has grown is between the top fifth and all the rest'--and that gap will be exacerbated by this crisis.
The wealthiest fifth of Americans have made greater income gains than those below them in the income hierarchy in recent decades. They are more often members of married, highly educated couples. As high-salary professionals or managers, they live in Internet-ready homes that will accommodate telecommuting'--and where children have their own bedrooms and aren't as disruptive to a work-from-home schedule. In this crisis, most will earn steady incomes while having necessities delivered to their front doors.
The other 80 percent of Americans lack that financial cushion. Some will be OK, but many will struggle with job losses and family burdens. They are more likely to be single parents or single-income households. They're less able to work from home, and more likely employed in the service or delivery sectors, in jobs that put them at greater danger of coming into contact with the coronavirus. In many cases, their children will not gain educationally at home, because parents will not be able to teach them, or their households might lack access to the high-speed Internet that enables remote instruction.
A hunger for diversion. Mary Frances Berry is professor of American social thought, history and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Some trends already underway will probably accelerate'--for example, using voice technology to control entryways, security and the like. In the short term, universities will add courses on pandemics, and scientists will devise research projects to improve forecasting, treatment and diagnosis. But history suggests another outcome, as well. After the disastrous 1918-19 Spanish flu and the end of World War I, many Americans sought carefree entertainment, which the introduction of cars and the radio facilitated. Young women newly able to vote under the 19th Amendment bobbed their hair, frequented speakeasies and danced the Charleston. The economy quickly rebounded and flourished for about 10 years, until irrational investment tilted the United States and the world into the Great Depression. Probably, given past behavior, when this pandemic is over, human beings will respond with the same sense of relief and a search for community, relief from stress and pleasure.
Less communal dining'--but maybe more cooking. Paul Freedman is a history professor at Yale and author, most recently, of American Cuisine: And How It Got This Way.
For the past few years, Americans have spent more money on food prepared outside the home than on buying and making their meals. But, now, with restaurants mostly closed and as isolation increases, many people will learn or relearn how to cook over the next weeks. Maybe they will fall back in love with cooking, though I won't hold my breath, or perhaps delivery will triumph over everything else. Sit-down restaurants also could close permanently as people frequent them less; it is likely there will be many fewer sit-down restaurants in Europe and the United States. We will be less communal at least for a while.
A revival of parks. Alexandra Lange is the architecture critic at Curbed.
People often see parks as a destination for something specific, like soccer fields, barbecues or playgrounds, and all of those functions must now be avoided. But that doesn't make the parks any less valuable. I'm sheltering in place in Brooklyn with my family, and every day, the one time we go outside is to walk a loop north through Brooklyn Bridge Park and south down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. I'm seeing people asking Golden Gate Park to close the roads so there's even more space for people. In Britain, the National Trust is trying to open more gardens and parks for free. Urban parks'--in which most major cities have made significant investments over the past decade'--are big enough to accommodate both crowds and social distancing. It helps that it is spring in the northern hemisphere.
Society might come out of the pandemic valuing these big spaces even more, not only as the backdrop to major events and active uses, but as an opportunity to be together visually. I've been writing a book about shopping malls, and I would certainly not recommend a visit right now (all those virus-carrying surfaces). But, in suburban communities, malls have historically served the same function: somewhere to go, somewhere to be together. What we have right now is parks. After this is all over, I would love to see more public investment in open, accessible, all-weather places to gather, even after we no longer need to stay six feet apart.
A change in our understanding of 'change.' Matthew Continetti is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
''Paradigm shift'' is among the most overused phrases in journalism. Yet the coronavirus pandemic may be one case where it applies. American society is familiar with a specific model of change, operating within the existing parameters of our liberal democratic institutions, mostly free market and society of expressive individualism. But the coronavirus doesn't just attack the immune system. Like the Civil War, Great Depression and World War II, it has the potential to infect the foundations of free society. State and local government are moving at varying and sometimes contrary speeds to address a crisis of profound dimensions. The global economy has entered the opening stages of a recession that has the potential to become a depression. Already, large parts of America have shut down entirely. Americans have said goodbye to a society of frivolity and ceaseless activity in a flash, and the federal government is taking steps more often seen during wartime. Our collective notions of the possible have changed already. If the danger the coronavirus poses both to individual health and to public health capacity persists, we will be forced to revise our very conception of ''change.'' The paradigm will shift.
The tyranny of habit no more. Virginia Heffernan is author of Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art.
Humans are not generally disposed to radical departures from their daily rounds. But the recent fantasy of ''optimizing'' a life'--for peak performance, productivity, efficiency'--has created a cottage industry that tries to make the dreariest possible lives sound heroic. Jordan Peterson has been commanding lost male souls to make their beds for years now. The Four-Hour Workweek, The Power of Habit and Atomic Habits urge readers to automate certain behaviors to keep them dutifully overworking and under-eating.
But COVID-19 suggests that Peterson (or any other habit-preaching martinet) is not the leader for our time. Instead, consider Albert Camus, who, in The Plague, blames the obliteration of a fictional Algerian town by an epidemic on one thing: consistency. ''The truth is,'' Camus writes of the crushingly dull port town, ''everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.'' The habit-bound townspeople lack imagination. It takes them far too long to take in that death is stalking them, and it's past time to stop taking the streetcar, working for money, bowling and going to the movies.
Maybe, as in Camus' time, it will take the dual specters of autocracy and disease to get us to listen to our common sense, our imaginations, our eccentricities'--and not our programming. A more expansive and braver approach to everyday existence is now crucial so that we don't fall in line with Trump-like tyrannies, cant and orthodoxy, and environmentally and physiologically devastating behaviors (including our favorites: driving cars, eating meat, burning electricity). This current plague time might see a recharged commitment to a closer-to-the-bone worldview that recognizes we have a short time on earth, the Doomsday Clock is a minute from midnight, and living peacefully and meaningfully together is going to take much more than bed-making and canny investments. The Power of No Habits.
Half Of Americans Don't Trust Mainstream Media's COVID-19 Coverage | Zero Hedge
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:25
Americans are split on whether to trust news media with information regarding the coronavirus outbreak, according to a new poll.
As Statista's Willem Roper notes, a joint poll conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist, shows that 47 percent of U.S. adults responded by saying ''not very much'' or ''not at all'' when asked how much they trusted news media with coronavirus information.
This poll also included questions asking how much Americans trusted President Donald Trump, with 60 percent saying they didn't trust him with coronavirus information, and on public health experts, with 13 percent saying they had little to no trust.
Unsurprisingly, Americans views on the news media were split along partisan lines. For Democrats, only 33 percent said they had little to no trust in the news media. Republicans, however, responded at a substantial 60 percent on their lack of confidence in the news media handling coronavirus information. Independents were equally high in their skepticism at 47 percent
You will find more infographics at Statista
Democrats and Republicans have been pointing fingers at news organizations since the coronavirus outbreak began to reach the U.S. Some Republicans believed liberal-leaning news outlets were blowing the outbreak out of proportion to damage the presidency and economy, while some Democrats believed conservative-leaning outlets were endangering American lives by not taking the outbreak seriously enough.
More Evidence of the Efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin | Power Line
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:15
This could be extremely important: a renowned French doctor has reported the most extensive evidence so far that a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin can be an effective treatment for COVID-19:
Today, Prof. Didier Raoult and his team published results of their new study. The study was supported by the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU) M(C)diterran(C)e Infection. Unlike the previous small study trial, the new observation study has a larger sample size of 80 COVID-19 patients. The objective of the study was to find an effective treatment to cure COVID-19 patients and to decrease the virus carriage duration.
In 80 in-patients receiving a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, the team found a clinical improvement in all but one 86 year-old patient who died, and one 74-year old patient still in intensive care unit. The team also found that, by administering hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin, they were able to observe an improvement in all cases, except in one patient who arrived with an advanced form, who was over the age of 86, and in whom the evolution was irreversible, according to a new paper published today in IHU M(C)diterran(C)e Infection.
This study found that in addition to preserving the lives of the patients who were given the combination of drugs, the therapy also dramatically shortened the time duration of virus shedding, which can limit the spread of the disease.
More at the link. Earlier today, Prof. Raoult said:
Our study concerns 80 patients, without a control group because we offer our protocol to all patients with no contraindication. This is what the Hippocratic Oath that we have taken dictates to us.
I understand Raoult to be saying that there is no control group, because in his opinion it would be unethical to deprive patients of the benefit of the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin therapy. Which, curiously, is what some American politicians are trying to do.
Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak - Reuters
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 05:51
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several months before the coronavirus pandemic began, the Trump administration eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China, Reuters has learned.
The American disease expert, a medical epidemiologist embedded in China's disease control agency, left her post in July, according to four sources with knowledge of the issue. The first cases of the new coronavirus may have emerged as early as November, and as cases exploded, the Trump administration in February chastised China for censoring information about the outbreak and keeping U.S. experts from entering the country to help.
''It was heartbreaking to watch,'' said Bao-Ping Zhu, a Chinese American who served in that role, which was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2007 and 2011. ''If someone had been there, public health officials and governments across the world could have moved much faster.''
Zhu and the other sources said the American expert, Dr. Linda Quick, was a trainer of Chinese field epidemiologists who were deployed to the epicenter of outbreaks to help track, investigate and contain diseases.
As an American CDC employee, they said, Quick was in an ideal position to be the eyes and ears on the ground for the United States and other countries on the coronavirus outbreak, and might have alerted them to the growing threat weeks earlier.
No other foreign disease experts were embedded to lead the program after Quick left in July, according to the sources. Zhu said an embedded expert can often get word of outbreaks early, after forming close relationships with Chinese counterparts.
Zhu and the other sources said Quick could have provided real-time information to U.S. and other officials around the world during the first weeks of the outbreak, when they said the Chinese government tamped down on the release of information and provided erroneous assessments.
Quick left amid a bitter U.S. trade dispute with China when she learned her federally funded post, officially known as resident adviser to the U.S. Field Epidemiology Training Program in China, would be discontinued as of September, the sources said. The U.S. CDC said it first learned of a ''cluster of 27 cases of pneumonia'' of unexplained origin in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31.
Since then, the outbreak of the disease known as COVID-19 has spread rapidly worldwide, killing more than 13,600 people, infecting more than 317,000. The epidemic has overwhelmed healthcare systems in some countries, including Italy, and threatens to do so in the United States and elsewhere.
During a press briefing on Sunday shortly after this story was first published, President Donald Trump dismissed the Reuters report as similar to other stories regarding the CDC that he described as ''100 percent wrong,'' without addressing whether the role had been eliminated.
U.S. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield maintained the agency's presence in China ''is actually being augmented as we speak,'' without elaborating.
In a statement to Reuters before the report was published, the CDC said the elimination of the adviser position did not hinder Washington's ability to get information and ''had absolutely nothing to do with CDC not learning of cases in China earlier.''
The agency said its decision not to have a resident adviser ''started well before last summer and was due to China's excellent technical capability and maturity of the program.''
The CDC said it has assigned two of its Chinese employees as ''mentors'' to help with the training program. The agency did not respond to questions about the mentors' specific role or expertise.
The CDC would not make Quick, who still works for the agency, available for comment.
Asked for comment on Chinese transparency and responsiveness to the outbreak, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred Reuters to remarks by spokesman Geng Shuang on Friday. Geng said the country ''has adopted the strictest, most comprehensive, and most thorough prevention and control measures in an open, transparent, and responsible manner, and informed the (World Health Organization) and relevant countries and regions of the latest situation in a timely manner.''
One disease expert told Reuters he was skeptical that the U.S. resident adviser would have been able to get earlier or better information to the Trump administration, given the Chinese government's suppression of information.
''In the end, based on circumstances in China, it probably wouldn't have made a big difference,'' Scott McNabb, who was a CDC epidemiologist for 20 years and is now a research professor at Emory University. ''The problem was how the Chinese handled it. What should have changed was the Chinese should have acknowledged it earlier and didn't.''
ALERT FROM CHINA'S CDC Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Friday that his agency learned of the coronavirus in early January, based on Redfield's conversations with ''Chinese colleagues.''
Redfield learned that ''this looks to be a novel coronavirus'' from Dr. Gao Fu, the head of the China CDC, according to an HHS administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ''Dr. Redfield always talked to Dr. Gao,'' the official said.
HHS and CDC did not make Azar or Redfield available for comment.
Zhu and other sources said U.S. leaders should not have been relying on the China CDC director for alerts and updates. In general, they said, officials in China downplayed the severity of the outbreak in the early weeks and did not acknowledge evidence of person-to-person transmission until Jan. 20.
After the epidemic exploded and China had imposed strict quarantines, Trump administration officials complained that the Chinese had censored information about the outbreak and that the United States had been unable to get American disease experts into the country to help contain the spread.
Azar told CNN on Feb. 14 that he and CDC director Redfield officially offered to send a CDC team into China on Jan. 6 but still had not received permission for them to enter the country. HHS oversees the CDC.
''Dr. Redfield and I made the offer on January 6th - 36 days ago, 60,000 cases and 1,300 deaths ago,'' Azar said. ''We made the offer to send the CDC experts in to assist their Chinese colleagues to get to the bottom of key scientific questions like, how transmissible is this disease? What is the severity? What is the incubation period and can there be asymptomatic transmission?''
Days later, the World Health Organization secured permission to send a team that included two U.S. experts. The team visited between Feb. 16th and 24th. By then, China had reported more than 75,000 cases.
On Feb. 25, the first day the CDC told the American public to prepare for an outbreak at home, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of mishandling the epidemic through its ''censorship'' of medical professionals and media.
FILE PHOTO: People coming from the Hubei province wait at a checkpoint at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 1, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter - RC2JRE950YUT/File PhotoRelations between the two countries have deteriorated since then, as Trump has labeled the coronavirus the ''Chinese virus'' - a description the Chinese have condemned as stigmatizing. Last week, the Chinese government announced that Americans from three U.S. news organizations, The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, would be expelled from China.
ONCE 'FRIENDS,' NOW RIVALS The decision to eliminate Quick's job came as the CDC has scaled back the number of U.S. staffers in China over the last two years, the sources told Reuters.
''We had already withdrawn many technical public health experts,'' the same expert said.
The CDC, however, disputed that staffing was a problem or that its information had been limited by the move. ''It was not the staffing shortage that limited our ability'' it said.
The U.S. CDC team in Beijing now includes three American citizens in permanent roles, an additional American who is temporary and around 10 Chinese nationals, the agency said. Of the Americans, one is an influenza expert with expertise in respiratory disease. COVID-19 is not influenza, though it can cause severe respiratory illness.
The CDC team, aside from Quick, was housed at U.S. Embassy facilities. No American CDC staffer besides Quick was embedded with China's disease control agency, the sources said.
China in recent weeks has reported a dramatic slowdown in new cases, the result of drastic containment measures including the lockdown of Hubei province, home to 60 million people.
Nevertheless, the infectious disease experts who spoke with Reuters said, the United States could use people like Quick with contacts on the ground, especially if fears of a second wave of infections materializes.
Thomas R. Frieden, a former director of the CDC, said that if the U.S. resident adviser had still been in China, ''it is possible that we would know more today about how this coronavirus is spreading and what works best to stop it.''
Dr. George Conway, a medical epidemiologist who knows Quick and had served as resident advisor between 2012 and 2015, said funding for the position had been tenuous for years because of a perennial debate among U.S health officials over whether China should be paying for funding its own training program.
Yet since the training program was launched in 2001, the sources familiar with it say, it has not only strengthened the ranks of Chinese epidemiologists in the field, but also fostered collegial relationships between public health officials in the two countries.
''We go there as credentialed diplomats and return home as close colleagues and often as friends,'' Conway said.
In 2007, Dr. Robert Fontaine, a CDC epidemiologist and one of the longest serving U.S. officials in the adviser's position, received China's highest honor for outstanding contributions to public health due to his contribution as a foreigner in helping to detect and investigate clusters of pneumonia of unknown cause.
But since last year, Frieden and others said, growing tensions between the Trump administration and China's leadership have apparently damaged the collaboration.
Slideshow (2 Images) ''The message from the administration was, 'Don't work with China, they're our rival,''' Frieden said.
Trump's re-election campaign sent out a statement Sunday evening dismissing controversy about the CDC'S cut as a matter of politics.
''Democrats are eager to politicize the coronavirus crisis and weaponize it against President Trump, the statement said. ''In so doing, they're siding with the Chinese and providing cover for Beijing's cover-up.''
Marisa Taylor reporting from Washington; Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper in Washington, Tony Munroe and Cheng Leng in Beijing; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Julie Marquis
Read the JFK Assassination Files Released by President Trump | Fortune
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:24
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Bob Dylan Releases 17-Minute Song About JFK Assassination '' Variety
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:20
March 26, 2020 10:01PM PTThe surprise track, which Dylan said only was recorded "a while back," comes eight years after his last album of original material.For years, Bob Dylan fans have spoken in a sort of hushed awe about the longest song he ever released, ''Highlands,'' an album side-length 1997 track that ran 16 minutes and 31 seconds. Now, 23 years later, he's slightly outdone himself. As the clock struck midnight on the east coast Friday morning, Dylan released a new song, ''Murder Most Foul,'' that has a running time just seconds shy of the 17-minute mark '-- and it's an epic free association on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Little information was given about the surprise track, except for a brief statement from Dylan himself:
''Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty over the years.
''This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting.
''Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.
''Bob Dylan''
A Dylan representative said the statement was all the information they would be releasing about the song, so whether ''a while back'' means a matter of months or many years remains a mystery.
Dylan's tender vocal tone '-- a trademark of his more recent shows and recordings '-- and elements of the song's minimal bed of violin, piano and light percussion quickly had hardcore fans guesstimating that the tune might actually be of fairly recent vintage.
His last album of original material, ''Tempest,'' came out in 2012, although he has released three sets of his interpretations of songs from the Great American Songbook in-between, the last of which was the triple-album ''Triplicate'' three years ago. Rumors have been rampant that this year Dylan might be releasing his first album of self-penned songs in eight years, but there's been no confirmation of that.
The lyrics of the monumental track will fascinate Dylanologists who've waited years for something fresh to dissect, since there's literally half an album's worth of lyrical material just in one track here.
In verses that proceed freely enough that it's not always easy to break them down into separate stanzas, the lyrics often speak extremely literally of the Kennedy assassination, with a bent toward conspiratorial takes on the event. But as the song goes along it breaks more freely into a pop-culture fantasia.
Dylan frequently references or riffs on 1960s events, catchphrases or titles, with lines that include: ''The Beatles are coming, they'e gonna hold your hand'' (the arrival of the Fab Four in America in early 1964 is regarded by some as a tonic to the lingering depression from the assassination); ''ferry cross the Mersey and go for the throat'' (only part of which is a nod to Gerry and the Pacemakers); ''Tommy can you hear me, I'm the Acid Queen,'' and ''I'm going to Woodstock, it's the Aquarian age / Then I'll go to Altamont and stand near the stage.''
Dylan doesn't have his head entirely in the '60s: ''Frankly Miss Scarlett, I don't give a damn'' also comes up for a citation. And eventually, so do '-- moving into the '70s, and beyond and back '-- Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the Allman Brothers Band's Dickey Betts, ''Only the Good Die Young, ''Nightmare on Elm Street,'' Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Art Pepper, Oscar Peterson, Stan Getz, ''Charlie Parker and all that junk,'' Nat King Cole, Marilyn Monroe, John Lee Hooker, Wolfman Jack, Patsy Cline, Houdini, ''Wake Up Little Suzy,'' ''Let the Good Times Roll,'' ''The Old Rugged Cross,'' ''Down in the Boondocks,'' ''The Merchant of Venice,'' ''Memphis in June,'' ''Moonlight Sonata,'' ''Play Misty for Me,'' ''Lonely at the Top'' and ''Lonely Are the Brave.''
Occasionally, Dylan directly marries his pop-culture references and the assassination, as when he sings, ''You got me Dizzy Miss Lizzy, you fill me with lead.'' Or: ''What's new pussycat, what'd I say / I said the soul of a nation been torn away.''
When it comes to the actual assassination, Dylan doesn't skimp on the details: ''They blew off his head while he was still in the car,'' he sings in the first stanza. Later on, he traces the car's frantic exit away from Dealey Plaza in Dallas, even taking the first-person point of view of the deceased Kennedy: ''Riding in the backseat next to my wife / And it's straight on into the afterlife / I'm leaning to the left I got my head in her lap'...'' He gets specific about details following the death, too '-- like ''Johnson sworn in at 2:38.''
He also takes the point of view of Kennedys assailant '-- or, in his view, assailants '-- singing provocative lines like, ''We've already got someone here to take your place,'' or, of Kennedy's brothers, ''we'll get them as well.''
Dylan's fascination with the Kennedy assassination is nothing new '-- it dates back to 1963. At least, Robert Shelton's biography, ''Bob Dylan: No Direction Home,'' recounts an incident three months after the killing when the singer and his fellow travelers took a detour to Dealey Plaza and ''took the station wagon along Kennedy's path,'' ''appraised the theory that Oswald acted alone'' and ''started acting like a detective.''
In the song's view, the killing of JFK, ''right there in front of everyone's eyes,'' is the ''greatest magic trick'' '-- and one he presumably thinks has some relevance in 2020.
DJ D-Nice's Instagram Live virtual dance parties have been the sensation of isolation, drawing upwards of 150,000 viewers '-- among them, both Democratic candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, former first lady Michelle Obama, Drake, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg '-- and helping relieve anxiety during this time of stress [...]
Cardi B, like most people in the world, is hooked on Netflix's ''Tiger King.'' Over the past couple of days, Cardi has been tweeting about the new docu-series, which follows the bizarre story of Joe Exotic, a private zoo owner with hundreds of exotic animals who ends up in jail for hiring a hitman to [...]
The big kahuna among this weekend's music live-streams is a half-day marathon Saturday being put on by Twitch. The 12 hours of performances on ''Twitch Aid'' feature a wide array of artists from multiple genres, including Barry Gibb, Luke Combs, Marcus Mumford, Yola, Garth Brooks, Ryan Tedder, Rufus Wainwright, Diplo, Charlie Puth, Ashley McBryde, Steve [...]
Caroline and Latin label Sie7etr3 have entered into a worldwide distribution pact. Sie7etr3 The Label (known as Siete Tres or 73) is home to Chucky73, Fetti031, Youngkilla73 and Dglo73. ''Dili'' by Chucky73 and Fetti031, which dropped January 17, is the Bronx-based label's first release under the new partnership. Future releases and label services will be [...]
Rapper Scarface gave an emotional account of his time in isolation since testing positive for the coronavirus. Scarface, whose real name is Brad Jordan, was interviewed by Atlanta rapper Ludacris on Instagram Live on March 27. Some three thousand people tuned in for the 20-minute chat. ''I'm scared to death,'' said Scarface, who on Thursday [...]
Is it wrong, right now, to be as happy as Dua Lipa's second album makes you? Is this any time to celebrate pop music at its most ebullient, when we should be bullish on meditation? Shouldn't we be focusing our attention on weightier matters than how to all guiltlessly throw ourselves a solo disco party? [...]
In today's TV News Roundup, Hulu released a trailer for the third and final season of ''Future Man,'' and Fox and iHeartRadio's upcoming concert special added Camila Cabello, Dave Grohl, H.E.R. and Sam Smith to its lineup. FIRST LOOKS Hulu has released a trailer for the third and final season of ''Future Man.'' As the [...]
US Military Command Rushes Into Mountain Bunkers After Daughter Of Murdered President John F. Kennedy Meets With Trump
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:07
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March 28, 2020
US Military Command Rushes Into Mountain Bunkers AfterDaughter Of Murdered President John F. Kennedy Meets With Trump
By: Sorcha Faal, and asreported to her Western Subscribers
An at first just merely alarming new Ministryof Defense (MoD) report circulating inthe Kremlin today noting its plansto speed up testing of the Zircon hypersonic missile andannouncing that upgrades to thefacilities for the serial production of Sarmatmultiple-warhead nuclear armed ICBM'shave been completed, turns mind-blowingly surreal when one reads areferenced appendix attached to it prepared by the beyond highly-secretive 8thDirectorate of the General Staff'--an appendix that begins by revealingthat the US Northern Command has dispersed essential command andcontrol teams to multiple hardened locations, including the famous CheyenneMountain bunker complex in Colorado, as well as another unspecified site, andis keeping them in isolation '--a war move coming at thesame time President Donald Trump ordered the immediate call-up of 1 million ready reservecombat troops '--all coming within 48-hours of Trumpholding a secret meeting at the WhiteHouse with Caroline Kennedy'--thelast surviving child of the murdered 35th Presidentof the United States John F. Kennedy'--who was publicallyexecuted by having his head blown off after he was abandoned by his SecretService bodyguards on 22 November 1963 in Dallas-Texas '--andwas a meeting made especially noteworthy as just a few weeks prior, Caroline Kennedy resigned unexpectedly from her boardposition at Harvard University's KennedySchool that was named after her executed father'--and following hermysterious meeting with Trump, saw anumber of mysterious events occurring to include'--the wife of Trump-loyalist rock music icon Ted Nugent suddenly releasing a never-before-seen photograph of them with Caroline Kennedy's '' believed to be murdered so Hillary Clinton could take the USSenate seat he planned to run for '' brother John F. Kennedy Jr.'--the grandchildrenof executed President Kennedy thenposting a video that sees them joyfully singing the warning words '' It's goin down...I'm yellin timber....You better move... '''--andmost astonishingly, then saw the most important figure in pop-culture history ,Bob Dylan, ending a near 17-year period of isolation to release his over 16-minute song aboutthe execution of President Kennedythis master songwriter for the ages titled '' MurderMost Foul ''. [Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotesin this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phraseshaving no exact counterpart.]
According to this report, little known to the American people as to why the 2016US Presidential Election was the most bitterly fought over one in nearlytheir nation's entire history, was due to a US federal law called the PresidentJohn F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992'--a lawarising from the AssassinationRecords Review Board, one of whose most damning findings concluded that'' the brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not ofKennedy's brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained '''--butwhose most terrifying findings and evidence were ordered by this law to be keptat the highest level of secrecy until 27October 2017'--thus meaning that whomever became the United States president in 2016,would be the first American leaderin history to know everything about the execution murder of President Kennedy.
When 27 October 2017 arrived,however, this report notes, PresidentTrump was already under the most withering attack ever witnessed on an American leader in modern times, whichsaw him breaking his promise to release all of the information to the publicabout President Kennedy'sassassination execution'--but whose most feared secrets he kept to himself ,provided him the masterplan to take down and destroy the Deep State forces that not only executed Kennedy, but were planning Trump'sdemise, too'--but to successfully carry out, would see Trump having to completely destroy the existing world order'--thatnot only is Trump doing, it is whyformer globalist-socialist British PrimeMinister Gordon Brown is now urgently calling for a new global government to beimmediately created and established to rule over the world .
While waging the greatest war ever witnessed in modern times to destroy theexisting world order, this report details, PresidentTrump is using the current global coronavirus pandemic as his cover tocarry out his masterplan'--as the indisputable facts prove this pandemic isnothing but a '' red herring '' device (somethingthat distracts attention from the real issue) meant to distract the public'sattention away from what is truly occurring'--facts which include the truth that the total number of coronavirus deaths to datein the world are still less than the total number of flu deaths in the UnitedStates this flu season '--the Imperial Collage expert who predicted 500,000 deaths in UKadmitting he was wildly wrong, and his expecting this pandemic to peak in twoweeks with less than 20,000 deaths '--the top virus expert for the CDC concurring and saying thepandemic will peak in another two to three weeks '--top White House Coronavirus Task Forcescientist Dr. Deborah Birx furtherconcurring and saying the initial pandemic death toll claims '' Were Wildly Exaggerated '''--all joinedby lead White House Coronavirus TaskForce scientist Dr. Anthony Fauciadmitting the truth in his research article published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine whereinhe conceded that the coronavirus mortality rate may be muchcloser to a very bad flu .
As of 28 March 2020 at12:34 hrs GMT +3: United States total of 104,837 coronavirus ill patients and around 1,500+ coronavirus deaths still come nowhereclose to their nation's 29 million flu infected patients and 16,000 flu deathsfrom a month and a half ago.
While effectively using the coronavirus pandemic as his '' red herring '' distraction device, this reportfurther notes, to understand what PresidentTrump is really doing one needs only to fully understand why top Wall Street Journal journalist Jacky Wong posted about 48-hours ago his warning Tweet saying '' World War 3 during a pandemic wasn't something I expected '''--awarning issued at the same time Trump ordered the US Navy to sail a combat ready warshipthrough the Taiwan Strait in defiance of Communist China '--andwas a wartime order issued by Trumpimmediately after he signed into law Thursdaynight, 26 March, the TAIPEI Act '--which pledges full economic and military American support to Taiwanand vows to punish countries that side with Communist China on this issue .
While directly and deliberately targeting Communist China with this wartime move in support of Taiwan, this report continues, President Trump then made anotherwartime move with his order to refineries in both the United States and Europeto begin refusing all deliveries of oil from Saudi Arabia '--whichled to the dire warning being issued that declining oil revenues may lead to an'' unthinkable balance-of-payments crisis ''for Saudi Arabia and end that country's decades long policy of pegging itscurrency, the Riyal, to the US Dollar '--otherwise known asthe Petrodollar System whose Petrodollar Warfare global chaos Trump is now attempting to destroy atall costs.
The global and domestic environments any American leader would need before even attempting to take on anddestroy the Petrodollar System, thisreport explains, are as complicated, interconnected and so farfetched tobelieve in, no one in the world ever seriously considered such a thing apossibility'--as first the United Stateswould have to overcome a globalist-socialist onslaught of environmental laws,rules and unending lawsuits to become the world's largest oil producer and nolonger needing Middle East oil'--nextthe United States would have toachieve and maintain for at least two years the full employment of all of itscitizens in order for them to provide for themselves an economic buffer'--thenthe United States would to haveinterest rates at 0% or below, whileat the same time maintaining an inflation rate of less than 3% to keep their currency fromcollapsing'--while the world itself would need to have so much excess oil there'sno place left to store it'--when the final attack is made against the Petrodollar System, it would have tosee an entire world bunkered down in wartime mode'--and most critically of all,would have to be led by an Americanleader having no fear of pumping trillions-of-dollars into the American economy to keep it afloatwhile the war raged'--who in its aftermath, also, would have to back a new goldstandard for America.
But like the rarest of celestial alignments that occur once in a lifetime,this report continues, President Trumpnow sees himself against all odds presiding over a United States that's the largest oil producer in the world '-- achieved and maintained full employment for his citizens forover two years '--has a national interest rate of 0.01% and an inflation rate of less than 3% '-- today sees the world on the brink of running out of places toput oil '-- today sees the entire world bunkered down in wartime modebecause of the coronavirus pandemic '-- yesterday saw Trump signing a rescue package whose totalworth of $6 trillion will be pumped into the US economy to keep it afloat '--andis the same Trump who's moving to reinstate his nation's goldstandard .
Virtually unknown to the Americanpeople currently living through the most existential period in their lifetimes,this report concludes, is that the most pivotal date in their nation's historythat future historians will write about is 17 February 2016 '--and was when thencandidate for president Donald Trumpvowed to all of his country's citizens that if elected: '' you will find out who really knocked down the World TradeCenter '''--a date on which the price for an ounce ofgold was around $1,100 , versus the $1,627 an ounce of gold costs today'--an over 37% increase in the price per ounce of gold benefitting both Russia and China as both knew this currency war wascoming '--and along with every other sound mind in theworld, knew that Trump's vow about 9/11 was an all-out declaration of waragainst his nation's globalist-socialist DeepState'--specifically the US intelligenceand military communities, who for decades had used the Petrodollar System to wage their global hegemonic wars'--and woulddestroy without mercy, like PresidentKennedy, all who opposed them, as well as think nothing about killingthousands of innocent Americancivilians to start another war, like on 9/11'--aruthless warmongering cabal PresidentDwight Eisenhower warned Kennedy andthe American people about on hislast day in office when he famously declared: '' We must guard against the acquisition of unwarrantedinfluence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrialcomplex....The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists andwill persist....We must never let the weight of this combination endanger ourliberties or democratic processes '''--and when firstmeeting the leaders of in the Pentagonafter taking office, and where they believed they would overpower him, saw President Trump '' blasting them to their faces while calling them a bunch oflosers, dopes and babies '''--and as one would expectfrom a fearless wartime leader who knows his enemies better than they knowthemselves, and is ruthless enough to win any fight of revenge for his nationand its peoples he finds himself in.
March 28, 2020 (C) EU and US all rights reserved.Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition itis linked to its original source atWhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.
[ Note :Many governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against theinformation found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about themany catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagree with in believing that it is every human being's right toknow the truth. Due to our mission's conflicts with that of those governments,the responses of their 'agents' has been a longstandingmisinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit us, and others likeus, that is exampled in numerous places, including HERE .]
[ Note: The WhatDoesItMean.com website was created for anddonated to the Sisters of Sorcha Faal in 2003 by a small group of Americancomputer experts led by the late global technology guru Wayne Green(1922-2013) tocounter the propaganda being used by the West to promote their illegal 2003invasion of Iraq.]
[ Note: The word Kremlin (fortress inside a city) as used inthis report refers to Russian citadels, including in Moscow, having cathedrals wherein femaleSchema monks (Orthodox nuns) reside, many of whom are devoted to the mission ofthe Sisters of Sorcha Faal.]
America Endures First In World History ''Let Stupid People Die'' Pandemic
Nothing Will Ever Be The Same AfterNew Age Of Heroes Arises With Coronavirus
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Spain: "Youths" attack ambulances and police carrying elderly people - Voice of Europe
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 23:42
A gang of youths in masks and hoods attacked a convoy of ambulances with a police escort in La L­nea de la Concepci"n that was bringing elderly people from Alcal del Valle. Later, they attacked the building where the pensioners are being housed.
The police said that the youths threw stones at the vehicles as they were transporting the residents of a retirement home which had seen an outbreak of the coronavirus virus (COVID-19) to a new home, according to a report by The Daily Mail. Later, they threw incendiary Molotov cocktails at the police officers who were guarding the home.
Two were arrested for blocking the road with a car in an attempt to stop the convoy from entering the town. Reports indicate that the men had earlier been calling on social media for barricades made of burning tyres to be set up to stop the ambulances. They were angered that people were being brought into the town from an infected area.
Migrants attack German ambulance crew: Emergency doctor suffers traumatic brain injuries https://t.co/1lVVj1rDSt
'-- Voice of Europe 🌍 (@V_of_Europe) June 23, 2018
Later, fifty rioters surrounded the building where the pensioners are being held. Police moved to protect the building. Both the police and healthcare workers were threatened by the crowd. People on the rooftop of a neighboring building threw an explosive device at the officers which missed. Another attack occurred half an hour later. Trash cans were also set on fire.
In addition to the violence, the rioters were in violation of Spain's shelter-in-place order, which requires that people do not venture outside without essential cause and cannot assemble in groups.
The pensioners' reception in La L­nea de la Concepci"n was in sharp contrast to their departure from Alcal del Valle, when residents came out to their balconies to show their support for them and wish them well as the convoy left the facility. The move is only temporary until the home can be disinfected.
Elderly people are particularly at risk of mortality if they become infected with the virus.
La L­nea de la Concepci"n, near Gibraltar, suffers from a high unemployment rate and is considered a center for illegal drug and cigarette trafficking. ''There is a tense atmosphere here because those who smuggle illicit tobacco or hashish can't do anything, they can't leave their homes without justification,'' a police spokesman told Sud Ouest according to their report on the incident.
France: Firefighters attacked with Molotov cocktails https://t.co/Id5GVVv8SL pic.twitter.com/3AEXv1LL16
'-- Voice of Europe 🌍 (@V_of_Europe) September 12, 2019
South African police fire rubber bullets to enforce social distancing
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:35
News
By Sara Dorn
March 28, 2020 | 5:29pm
A South African policeman points his pump rifle to disperse a crowd of shoppers in Yeoville, Johannesburg. AFP via Getty Images
South African soldiers trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus fired rubber bullets at hundreds of grocery shoppers in Johannesburg to keep them a safe distance apart, photos taken Saturday show.
The soldiers were deployed to a Shoprite in the Yeoville neighborhood, where a crowd of a few hundred had gathered outside the store, The Guardian reported.
Saturday was the second day of a 21-day imposed last week by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
'' A South African policeman uses a pump rifle to shoot rubble bullets to disperse a crowd of shoppers in Yeoville, Johannesburg today. AFP via Getty Images The shocking images show the tactic didn't necessarily work '-- some scared bystanders huddled closer together in fear when confronted with the firearms.
''These are people who don't have a good will, people who are doing exactly what they were told not to do,'' Bheki Cele, minister of police, told The Guardian.
Soldiers wearing masks and gloves also patrolled Alexandra township in northern Johannesburg. Officials reportedly said 55 people were arrested there Friday.
South Africa has more than 1,100 confirmed coronavirus cases and has recorded one death.
Becoming Self-Sufficient for Six Months By Pandemic Flu Information Co - Fieldcraft Survival
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:59
THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF THOROUGH PREPARATION
According to the 2005 United States Census, approximately 12.5% of the American population is impoverished. That works out to roughly 37,500,000 people who live in households with annual incomes of less than $20,000 for a family of four. At this income level, these people are unable to meet all of their own needs for food, shelter, clothing, and medicine; therefore, many of them rely upon government assistance programs and private charities in order to survive. Millions of these poor families live in run-down apartment buildings in bad neighborhoods. They live there because that is all they can afford. As you might expect, the ones who are gainfully employed tend to perform menial labor in low-paying industries, such as lodging, agriculture, food service, janitorial, entertainment, and transportation. Just think of all the people in this country who work in thankless, dead-end jobs as busboys, dish washers, fry cooks, custodians, chamber maids, ticket takers, ushers, car washers, landscapers, field hands, parking lot attendants, et cetera. These people do not have the disposable income for even the most rudimentary of pandemic preparations. They live from pay- check to paycheck, buying only what they can for daily subsistence. They could not possibly ''shelter in place'' for more than a week or two, because they simply do not have the resources. These poor people will be among the earliest and hardest hit.
When the pandemic finally does arrive in the U.S., and people begin to practice social distancing, the lowest-paying industries with the highest public exposure will be shut down, and most of their employees will be laid off. People who are not laid off, but are still interacting with the general public, will almost certainly be exposed to the flu and they, in turn, will bring the virus home to their families. Ironically, the ones who were laid off will fare no better. They, too, will eventually be exposed to the flu and will bring it home to their families, because at some point in time they will have to leave their apartments in search of food, toiletries, and medicine. When they do, they will encounter infected people on the street, in public transportation, and in the stores. In very short order, these people are going to cause an enormous problem for the health care system, law enforcement agencies, and every level of government.
Whether or not they are actually sick with the flu, it is likely that several million poor people will be flat broke and starving within a week, so they are sure to pursue every resource possible to get free food. They are going to show up at medical facilities, police stations, government offices, churches, and schools in search of assistance. When they discover that nobody is able to help them, panic will set in and there will be civil disturbances and property crimes (remember New Orleans). Some of these people will merely go from door to door begging for handouts, but others will try to steal what they need from wherever they can. To make matters worse, within a couple of weeks, millions of these people will have full-blown cases of the flu, and there will be no safe means of handling the sick and the dying, or their corpses. Surely, any location with low-rent apartment buildings will be hell on Earth.
Although it might seem reasonable to believe that people at higher income levels will fare substantially better than the poor, that is not necessarily going to be the case. In fact, this same panic-despair scenario will eventually unfold in every neighborhood in the country, no matter what the socioeconomic status: if you are laid off you will re-
Becoming Self-Sufficient for Six Months page 15
Spread of coronavirus accelerates in U.S. jails and prisons - Reuters
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:58
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sean Hernandez says he covers his mouth and nose with a t-shirt or towel when he leaves his cell, the only defense he can improvise against the coronavirus outbreak now sweeping through New York's Rikers Island jail system.
FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of Rikers Island, a prison facility, where multiple cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Queens, New York City, U.S., March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Inmates have no access to gloves or proper masks and have only cold water to wash their hands, said Hernandez, who was convicted of attempted murder and has served eight years. He said inmates watched on Thursday as a guard coughed, her cheeks turned red and she collapsed to the ground.
''We are pleading with officers'' for better defenses, he said. ''They just shrug. In the end, we are just inmates, second-class citizens. We are like livestock.''
As of Friday, at least 80 staff and 103 inmates at jails across New York City had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The virus appears to be spreading quickly through a jail system famous for its overcrowded cell blocks. The city's Department of Correction said it is taking many measures to protect detainees, and declined to comment on Hernandez's account of an infected guard collapsing.
Across the United States, jails and prisons are reporting an accelerating spread of the new disease, and they are taking a varied approach to protecting the inmates in their charge. Thousands of inmates are being released from detention, in some cases with little or no medical screening to determine if they may be infected by the coronavirus and at risk of spreading it into the community, Reuters found.
Since Sunday, jails have reported 104 staff and 146 inmates with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to a Reuters survey of cities and counties that run America's 20 largest jails. The numbers are almost certainly an undercount given the fast spread of the virus. Hot spots include Cook County jail in Chicago, Illinois. Since the first case was confirmed there on Sunday, the virus has infected 38 inmates and nine staff. Test results are pending for 123 other detainees.
Inmate advocates, local officials and public defenders are urging jails and prisons to speed up the release of inmates. Jails typically hold people for relatively short periods as they await trial. They have more flexibility to reduce populations than state or federal prisons, whose inmates have been convicted and sentenced.
''We are nowhere close to the rate of release we need to see to stop the spread of COVID-19,'' said Udi Ofer, director of the justice division at the American Civil Liberties Union. ''Every day that government officials do not act is another day that lives are put at risk.''
Some groups are pushing back. Victims' rights group Marsy's Law, named after the murdered sister of billionaire Henry Nicholas, has criticized the releases, saying victims of crimes should be notified before the people who committed them are let out '-- a process that could delay releases of some inmates by weeks or months. However, officials supervising releases in New York, Los Angeles, Houston and other major cities say they are releasing only low-level, non-violent offenders.
New York City has freed about 450 inmates from its jails since last weekend as it scrambles to contain the virus, which has killed more than 28,000 people, including more than 1,600 in the United States.
The city's independent oversight body for the jails, the Board of Correction, has identified around 2,000 people who could be released '-- including inmates aged 50 and above, the infirm, nonviolent, low-level offenders or people jailed for parole violations. The city has declined to disclose the number of inmates it has tested for the virus.
The mayor's office said the city was evaluating who to free in consultation with state officials, courts and district attorneys. ''Hundreds more will be released soon,'' said Colby Hamilton, a spokesman for the mayor.
'THERE IS NO PROTECTION' The United States has more people behind bars than any other nation, a total incarcerated population of nearly 2.3 million as of 2017, including nearly 1.5 million in state and federal prisons and another 745,000 in local jails, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
An inmate released on Monday from Rikers Island said sick and healthy people often mingled freely inside the jail. After a prisoner and a guard in his area of the jail were diagnosed with COVID-19, the inmate said he started spending more time in his two-man cell. But he still had to line up with other inmates at the medicine window to get his daily dose of methadone, a drug-addiction treatment.
''There is no protection,'' said the 32-year-old inmate, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ''You want to get away from people but you can't.''
The New York City Department of Correction said it has taken measures to address the outbreak, including distributing masks to inmates in areas where someone tested positive for COVID-19, promoting distancing between inmates, cleaning cells and providing soap.
''The Department of Correction is doing everything we can to safely and humanely house people in our custody amid the broader COVID-19 crisis,'' said Peter Thorne, the deputy commissioner of public information.
Some jails are releasing inmates who may be ill. In Marietta, Georgia, Aubrey Hardyway, 21, developed a cough, headache, sore throat and a 103-degree fever while held at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on theft charges. ''I just couldn't take it, I was feeling terrible,'' he said.
Four days after falling ill, Hardyway says he was tested for flu and strep throat. When both came back negative, he was taken to a nearby hospital for blood work and other tests. Hardyway says he was never told if he was tested for the coronavirus. A doctor urged deputies to quarantine Hardyway, he says, but he was released hours later after he returned to jail and his friends paid his bond.
Hardyway says he believes he might have exposed cellmates and guards who were in contact with him. At least one deputy has tested positive for the virus and a second has been quarantined after showing symptoms, according to two sources familiar with the jail's operations.
The Cobb County Sheriff's Office did not respond to requests for comment.
Jails report they are adopting different tactics to keep the virus out. Some screen new inmates before they're even booked, taking their temperatures inside police cruisers or garages. Some are quarantining new arrivals until they are medically cleared to join the general population. Some are doing nothing.
Federal prison guards have asked for permission to wear masks on duty, though the Bureau of Prisons had so far declined, said Sandy Parr, a vice president of the union that represents federal prison workers. The Bureau of Prisons did not respond to a request for comment.
A pandemic could be ''very dangerous for our inmate population,'' Parr said.
Some courts are beginning to agree: A federal judge late on Thursday ordered federal authorities to immediately release 10 people who were being held in county jails in New Jersey while their immigration cases were being heard. U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres ruled that each detainee ''faces an imminent risk of death or serious injury in immigration detention'' because of the outbreak.
THOUSANDS BEING RELEASED Inmate releases are being driven by judges, public defenders, prosecutors and occasional orders by political leaders. New Jersey's chief justice ordered the release of 1,000 jail inmates statewide at the start of the week, seeking to prevent deaths behind bars.
Los Angeles County has released at least 1,700 inmates who had sentences with less than 30 days left. In California's Santa Clara County, authorities cut the inmate population by at least 400 by releasing some people, delaying sentences and other steps. Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, has cut its jail population by at least 500.
In some counties, police are issuing citations for low-level crimes instead of arresting people. Furloughing work-release prisoners is another strategy to try to limit spread of the virus in crowded and often-unsanitary facilities, where the quality of medical care varies dramatically. Some worry the churn of detainees '-- coupled with the constant shuffle of officers coming from outside '-- will spread the illness across jails and communities.
Among a dozen large U.S. jails surveyed by Reuters, there was no uniform approach to preventing an infected inmate from spreading the coronavirus into a community.
Some jurisdictions screened inmates before letting them out. Others, such as King County Correctional Facility in Washington, did not.
''At this time, there is no enhanced screening of inmates occurring at release unless there is some type of pre-existing medical or psychiatric issue,'' said Captain David Weirich of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, where at least one correctional officer has tested positive for the coronavirus according to the county.
In Ohio, the Hamilton County Justice Center is checking the temperature of all released inmates before they leave. At the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Seminole, Florida, if an inmate shows any signs of illness, they're referred to an outside medical provider. Other jails are offering literature on COVID-19 to exiting inmates.
Inmates in federal prisons said some religious services have been canceled, along with education programs and most visits.
''If the virus gets in here, and we are all expecting it to, we are doomed,'' said Steven Jones, a 55-year-old inmate at a federal prison in Littleton, Colorado.
Ned Parker and Grant Smith reported from New York. Linda So and Brad Heath reported from Washington. Additional reporting by Peter Eisler, Beatrix Lockwood and Karen Freifeld. Editing by Jason Szep
United States of Paranoia: They See Gangs of Stalkers - The New York Times
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:03
Timothy Trespas at his home in Brooklyn, where he now lives, last month. ''I don't really have any friends anymore. I've become so extremely isolated,'' he said. Credit... Jake Naughton for The New York Times Nobody believed him. His family told him to get help. But Timothy Trespas, an out-of-work recording engineer in his early 40s, was sure he was being stalked, and not by just one person, but dozens of them.
He would see the operatives, he said, disguised as ordinary people, lurking around his Midtown Manhattan neighborhood. Sometimes they bumped into him and whispered nonsense into his ear, he said.
''Now you see how it works,'' they would say.
At first, Mr. Trespas wondered if it was all in his head. Then he encountered a large community of like-minded people on the internet who call themselves ''targeted individuals,'' or T.I.s, who described going through precisely the same thing.
The group was organized around the conviction that its members are victims of a sprawling conspiracy to harass thousands of everyday Americans with mind-control weapons and armies of so-called gang stalkers. The goal, as one gang-stalking website put it, is ''to destroy every aspect of a targeted individual's life.''
A growing tribe of troubled mindsMental health professionals say the narrative has taken hold among a group of people experiencing psychotic symptoms that have troubled the human mind since time immemorial. Except now victims are connecting on the internet, organizing and defying medical explanations for what's happening to them.
The community, conservatively estimated to exceed 10,000 members, has proliferated since 9/11, cradled by the internet and fed by genuine concerns over government surveillance. A large number appear to have delusional disorder or schizophrenia, psychiatrists say.
Yet, the phenomenon remains virtually unresearched.
For the few specialists who have looked closely, these individuals represent an alarming development in the history of mental illness: thousands of sick people, banded together and demanding recognition on the basis of shared paranoias.
They raise money, hold awareness campaigns, host international conferences and fight for their causes in courts and legislatures.
Perhaps their biggest victory came last year, when believers in Richmond, Calif., persuaded the City Council to pass a resolution banning space-based weapons that they believe could be used for mind control. A similar lobbying effort is underway in Tucson.
An 'echo chamber' of paranoiaDr. Lorraine Sheridan, who is co-author of perhaps the only study of gang-stalking, said the community poses a danger that sets it apart from other groups promoting troubling ideas, such as anorexia or suicide. On those topics, the internet abounds with medical information and treatment options.
An internet search for ''gang-stalking,'' however, turns up page after page of results that regard it as fact. ''What's scary for me is that there are no counter sites that try and convince targeted individuals that they are delusional,'' Dr. Sheridan said.
''They end up in a closed ideology echo chamber,'' she said.
In instructional tracts online, veterans of the movement explain the ropes to rookies:
' Do not engage with the voices in your head.
' If your relatives tell you you're imagining things, they could be in on it.
' ''Do not visit a psychiatrist.''
The tribe cuts across all classes and professions, and includes lawyers, soldiers, artists and engineers. In Facebook forums and call-in support groups, they commiserate over the skepticism of their loved ones and share stories of black vans that circle the block or co-workers conscripted into the campaign.
Image A T.I. subgenre has blossomed on Amazon. Left, the cover of John Hall's ''Guinea Pigs: Technologies of Control,'' and Robert Duncan's ''How to Tame a Demon.''They have self-published dozens of e-books, with titles like ''Tortured in America'' and ''My Life Changed Forever.'' In hundreds of YouTube videos they offer testimonials and try to document evidence of their stalking, even confronting unsuspecting strangers.
''They wanted to basically destroy me, and they did,'' a young mother in Phoenix says in one video, choking back tears. She lost custody of her daughter and was sent to a behavioral health hospital, says the woman, whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy. ''But I am going to fight back for the rest of my life.''
She adds, ''And guess what, I'm not crazy.''
Dr. Sheridan's study, written with Dr. David James, a forensic psychiatrist, examined 128 cases of reported gang-stalking. It found all the subjects were most likely delusional.
''One has to think of the T.I. phenomenon in terms of people with paranoid symptoms who have hit upon the gang-stalking idea as an explanation of what is happening to them,'' Dr. James said.
A mishmash of conspiracy theoriesPerhaps unsurprisingly, the community is divided over the contours of the conspiracy. Some believe the financial elite is behind it. Others blame aliens, their neighbors, Freemasons or some combination.
The movement's most prominent voices, however, tend to believe the surveillance is part of a mind-control field test done in preparation for global domination. The military establishment, the theory goes, never gave up on the ambitions of MK Ultra, the C.I.A.'s infamous program to control the mind in the 1950s and '60s.
A leading proponent of that view is an anesthesiologist from San Antonio named John Hall.
In his 2009 book, ''A New Breed: Satellite Terrorism in America,'' Dr. Hall gave his own account of being targeted. Agents bleached his water, he wrote, and bombarded him with voices making murderous threats.
The book made a splash because of the messenger: a licensed member of the medical establishment who was telling those who feel targeted that psychiatrists were misleading them. A janitor knows as much about the human mind, he wrote.
Dr. Hall, 51, was invited for an interview on ''Coast to Coast AM,'' a conspiracy-minded radio show based in California that is said to reach millions of listeners. After that, he said, ''I had probably three or 4,000 emails from people saying: 'It's happening to me in this state.' 'It's happening to me in Florida.' 'It's happening to me in California.' ''
The similarities of the cases spoke to a wide-ranging campaign, he said. ''If the psychiatrists want to say that this is schizophrenia or delusional disorder, that's fine,'' he said. ''But every one of these victims have the same story.''
While Dr. Hall has faced scrutiny from the Texas Medical Board over his mental fitness, he retains his license. Over time, however, many others who identify as gang-stalking victims end up out of work. They are mocked by colleagues, tolerated by family. Friends and spouses fall away.
A pretext for violenceThe despair that results has led some to lash out in violence.
Many in the community, for example, are convinced that Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013, was a victim. Mr. Alexis, a former sailor, left behind a document accusing the Navy of attacking his brain with ''extremely low frequency'' electromagnetic waves. On the side of his shotgun were etched the words ''my elf weapon.''
It was unclear when Myron May's mental distress began, but by the fall of 2014, it had become too much. He quit his job as a prosecutor in New Mexico and traveled to Florida. There, he videotaped a testimonial about how gang-stalking had ruined his life.
''As you can see right now,'' he says into the camera, ''I am totally not crazy.''
Laying out his case, he describes an episode at a gas station where he believed somebody in dark glasses was mimicking his movements. ''It was really creepy,'' he said. ''Everything I did, he did.''
Later in the video, he prays for forgiveness for his future sins. ''Father,'' he says, ''right now I ask that you look down on all the targeted individuals across the globe. Help them to cope with this madness.''
On Nov. 20, 2014, Mr. May walked into a library at Florida State University, where he had graduated in 2005, and shot three people, leaving one paralyzed. He dared the police to kill him, then fired in their direction before being fatally shot, officials said. He was 31.
Image Officers standing over the body of Myron May on Nov. 20, 2014, after the shooting at Florida State University. Credit... Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press The vast majority of people with psychosis never resort to violence. Still, studies suggest that a small number of those experiencing psychotic episodes '-- especially paranoid thoughts, accompanied by voices making commands '-- are more likely to act on hostile urges than people without a mental illness.
Many in the T.I. community, as anyone would, have repudiated the shootings by Mr. Alexis and Mr. May. But some also harbor troubling views about their perceived oppressors. They question how people could be so cruel.
Karen Stewart of Tallahassee, Fla., believes large numbers of regular people have been brainwashed by the National Security Agency into thinking that she is a traitor or terrorist. Wherever she goes, she says '-- to church, to the grocery store, to the doctor's office '-- they are there, watching.
It baffles her, she said. But worse, ''It makes me angry to see how many people in this country are sociopaths. They are absolute groupthink drones,'' she said. ''I don't even consider them human anymore.''
'A need for meaning'Susan Clancy, a Harvard-trained psychologist who has researched people who believe they've been abducted by aliens, said it could be extremely difficult to dissuade patients who have latched onto beliefs that they think explain their delusions.
''I think it's a need for meaning and a need to understand your life and the problems you're having,'' she said. ''You're not some meaningless nobody. You're being followed by the C.I.A.''
In that way, Dr. Clancy said, the behavior shares a trait with religious belief: To abandon it would be life upending.
Paula Trespas, Mr. Trespas's mother, said she avoided debating with him.
''It wasn't something that he was making up,'' she said. ''He really felt the way he felt and experienced what he experienced. I got to the point where I was just finally saying to him: 'I'm very, very sad that you have to go through this. I wish that there was something that I could do.' ''
The big hope is that society will wake up to what's happening and put a stop to it, those who feel targeted say. In some cases, they do seek psychiatric help. In others, the delusions subside. For the rest, the prognosis isn't good, psychiatrists say. Many contemplate suicide.
Mr. Trespas, now 49, says he went so far as to prepare a rope.
Sitting at a coffee shop in Brooklyn last month, he says the stalking has thankfully quieted down. But he says his harassers have also been seeding his body with Morgellons, a painful, insectlike infestation of the skin that many doctors say is psychosomatic.
He is gaunt, with weary, sad eyes. It's been eight years since it all began, he says. He can't hold a job. His friends have drifted away.
The online community has been a crucial support, he says. ''But we don't know exactly what's happening,'' he says. ''Maybe we're believing the wrong thing. I don't know. That's why I try to keep my mind open about who and what and why and how.''
One thing he is certain of though, he says: He's not crazy.
Urban Dictionary: gang stalking
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:02
Gang stalking is
organised harassment at it's best. It the targeting of an individual for revenge, jealousy, sport, or to keep them quite, etc.
It's organised, widespread, and growing. Some describe this form of harassment as, "A psychological attack that can completely destroy a persons life, while leaving little or no evidence to
incriminate the perpetrators."
2. Who gets targeted
The people getting targeted seem to be (single) woman, minorities, outspoken individuals, whistle
blowers, dissidents, people who have gone against large corporations, etc.
3. Goals of this hate campaign.
The goal is to sensitize the target to a stimuli,
isolate the target, make them
destitute. The secondary goals seem to be to make the target homeless, jobless, give them a breakdown, and the primary goals seems to be to drive the target to suicide.
4. Who gang stalks.
The surprising thing is that gang stalkers can be found in every level of society. There is no real age barrier, gender barrier, and a variety of races do participate. In almost every occupation in society you can find people who are going along with this.
Gang stalking for many is seen as a game, a sport to be played with another individuals life. Many do not understand or care that the end consequence of this game is to destroy a person.
5. Why they gang stalk.
"It is conceivable that the participants in the harassment don't even know why the person has been targeted, nor would most of these individuals have any personal stake in harassing the victim.
- Gang stalking is an both an addictive behavior as well as a form of entertainment for the stalkers. There is a vicious kind of pleasure that they derive from bullying their victim. Clearly they like the feeling of being "in control".
Like our society's current obsession with "reality TV", this activity must inevitably gain popularity as the ultimate experience of "reality" entertainment. To the perpetrators, their targets are merely their prey, in a game that never ends. But
make no mistake, whatever the reasoning behind it, this is a vicious and calculated
hate crime."
-Others are blackmailed or forced into talking part in this activity.
-Others go along with it because they want to fit in and feel part of something that is large and powerful.
-Some are part of community groups who believe they are targeting an undesirable.
-Some are part of the
informant groups within cities.
6. Methods used against targets.
a)
Classical conditioning.
Getting a target sensitised to sounds, colors, patterns, actions. Eg. Red, white, yellow, strips, pens clicking, key
jangling, coughing, sneezing, whistling, fingers snapping, clapping, etc.
b)24/7 Surveillance
This will involve following the target everywhere they go. Learning about the target. Where they shop, work, play, who their friends and family are. Getting close to the target, moving into the community or apartment where they live, across the street. Bugging targets phone, house, computer activity.
c) Isolation of target.
This is done via slander campaigns, and lies. Eg. Saying the target is a thief, into drugs, a prostitute, pedophile, crazy, in trouble for something, needs to be watched. False files will even be produced on the target, shown to neighbours, family, store keepers.
d) Noise and mimicking campaigns.
Disrupting
the targets life, sleep with loud
power tools, construction,
stereos, doors slamming, etc. Talking in public about private things in the targets life. Mimicking actions of the target. Basically letting the target know that they are in the targets life. Daily interferences, nothing that would be too overt to the
untrained eye, but psychologically degrading and damaging to the target over time.
Visit http://www.
gangstalking.ca to see more details.
e) Every day life breaks and
street theatre.
Flat tires, putting dirt on targets property. Mass strangers doing things in public to annoy targets. These strangers might get text messaged to be at a specific
time and place, and perform a specific action. If might seem harmless to these strangers, but it could be causing great psychological trauma for the target. Eg. Blocking targets path, getting ahead of them in line, cutting or boxing them in on the road, saying or doing things to elicit a response from targets. Etc.
7. Where can you
get help if you are a target?
Use these great links to learn more and to get help.
1. http://www.gangstalking.ca
2. http://catchcanada.org/
3. http://www.rich-essence.com
8. Gang stalking is an illegal form of harassment.
However when targets seek help they still get quite a bit of resistance. Some people in today's society even try to pass
gang stalking off as a form of paranoia, even though the meetings in Toronto are held out of the Toronto Rape Crisis Center and many woman's support groups and crisis centers are now aware of gang stalking, and even training their workers to deal with this form of harassment.
In Korea the online version of this is well acknowledged and has even been written about in the International
Herald Tribune.
http://www.
iht.com/articles/2006/08/14/
news/korea.php
Gang stalking has also been recognised by members of the
mobbing community.
The problem with gang stalking just like other urban slang is that it has not been normalised in society, and until it is people will continue to misunderstand this modern day reincarnation of several old time
harassment's.
Eg. Gang stalking is similar to what the KKK used against blacks in the south, what Hitlers
Brown Shirts used against the Jews, and what the organised harassment the
Stasi used against dissidents in
East Germany.
It can be hoped that with enough education and understanding this issue will someday become normalised in society
and that there will be enough understanding and support for targets.
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Gang Stalking is really a covert government or police investigation. It's similar to
Cointelpro or red squads, and it's being used on a lot of innocent people to ruin them and make them look crazy. Gang Stalking is all about government
disinformation, and using civilian spies/snitches to help with stalking and monitoring innocent people.
Jim was placed under
covert investigation by his
employer because of his whistle-blowing. Mistakenly he
termed it gang stalking, which made him sound crazy.
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1. What is
gang stalkingGang stalking is a form of
community mobbing and organised stalking combined. Just like you have
workplace mobbing, and online mobbing, which are both fully recognised as legitimate, this is the community form.
Gang stalking is organised harassment at it's best. It the targeting of an individual for revenge, jealousy, sport, or to keep them quite, etc.
It's a psychological attack that can completely destroy a persons life, while leaving little or no evidence to incriminate the perpetrators."
primary targets are woman, minorities, dissidents, whistle blowers, etc
To get some revenge we had Joe
stalked,
mobbed and harassed 24/7, the gang stalking never stopped. We had him followed, cut off, we
bugged his house, made that guy think he was going loco, crazy. We really messed with him till he was broken.
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Gang Stalking is a form of bullying and intimidation from multiple perpertraitors.
Whereas ordinary bullying is usually
one on one, and
workplace mobbing is where multiple people in one workplace attack one (or a few) person(s), Gang Stalking involves multiple people attacking one person in any situation.
Groups of people, or, loosely organised people pick a target, and attempt to destroy the victims life in any way that they can.
They attempt to scare and
terrorise their target, causing anxiety and other problems.
They will do whatever they can to get the target fired from their job.
People become a victim when they have attacked a member of a group (ie gang) as part of revenge, or, in the case of political groups, attack their political opponents such as authors, etc.
The person who is responsible for picking the victim out is called the Gang Stalking Rat.
All of this is done secretly, and is usually known only to the
attackers, and the victims. Other people around the victim will be oblivious as to what is going on.
I experienced multiple people
harrasing me in the same manner, all of them seemed to know more about me than what they ordinarily should have. I was the victim of Gang Stalking.
Phil was trying to get me fired and cause me to lose friends, and lose
credibility. Phil was doing the same things as many other people I've come accross before. He was yet another Gang
Stalker.
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Gang Stalking is stalking by more than one person to a victim, usually involving community harassment, or the "mob", using people from all backgrounds and vocations to harass, tracking 24/7, sometimes organizing lethal vehicle accidents, poisoinings,
electronic harassment, home invasions/property destruction, corrupt or ignorant doctor diagnosis given to stamp the victim as bogus mentally ill with delusions, paranoi, or schizophrenia, etc. Everything is done covertly, and with a sophisticated real time dispatching system to organize the criminals' harassments and attacks, often in the hundreds to thousands of criminals participating as a coordinated mob at any given time while the criminals due their normal routines of work, shopping, commuting to and from work, leisure, etc., using the method of moving foot and vehicular surveillance techniques, and computers, cell phones, verbal and visual cues, and every other conceivable type of communication.
Often, the local network of this mob is connected to a national and international network - funding is done by illicit drug industry/crime syndicates, CRIMINALS working in:coroporate envioronment, and government sponsored terrorism for military weapons research using unconsenting human medical research testing linked to teaching/research hospitals. Practically all work environments and local communities have been compromised and
set-up as a super
domestic terrorism predator for mob antics- in every form of business, the government, and even police and fire departments and intelligence agencies. All of those entities have been reportedly ,on the internet and by victims accounts , to have been infiltrated with SOME of these numerous criminals willing to do this crime for money, greed, revenge, politics,war on the poor and disabled,
psychological warfare and Direct Energy Weapons testing/research for contractors of phsychotronic equipment, and mind control operations. No place is immune from these criminal
dirty birds, not even hospitals or police stations. These weapons, which
omit various forms of Electromagnetic Frequency(
EMF or
RF:radio frequency), and other tactics are meant to mimic natural illness, and mental illness. Organ and cell damaging, Pictures and sounds,
mind reading, and dream interogation can be achieved now by satellite delivery,
CCTV, house wiring serving as a conductor, or even portable devices that are top secret and denied technology, but both the good guys and the bad guys have gotten their hands on them. They are used to sometimes drive a person's life into the ground, with hopes of the perfect unprovable crime results. These RF Weapons can cause Diabetes, cancer, and a host of other digestive and other terrible diseases. Remarkably, its not usual for some neighbors, co-workers, or family members to ALREADY be involved in these secret operations before a related victim is chosen to be attacked. That is a closely guarded secret, and hardly any person who is unfamiliar with
gang stalking or mob organization and tactics would believe to be true. Often,person known by the victim are recruited before or after the victim even realizes what is happening, that his/her life has the problem of gang stalking. Some victims never figure out that they are being attacked covertly,even if they die, or who is the
main person of group who desired the criminals to destroy the often innocent victims life. Corportate and influential well connected small business owners to politicians and the underworld can put a person on this list to be attacked by gang stalking, and the other criminal components that go along with it.There is belief that this crime, gang stalking, is often the
underbelly, or dark side of "The
New World Order" that
the elder President George Bush spoke of in the early 1990's. New World Order is a push by Bush and his millions of partners to have the USA be the strongest leader in the new one world
global government that is taking shape now, and already bascically exists in the illicit
drug trade. George Bush believes in parnterships between the government and criminal syndicates as evidenced by the
Iran-Contra War scandal. Gang Stalking increased dramatically starting under the elder George Bush Presidency, and continues growing exponentially like an evil cancer accross the world. There are thousands, if not millions of victims. For a relevant history, look up "The Dan
Bolles Papers" on Google concerning the Charles Schuld case. Also, look up the "Ken Wilbourne,Jr" on Google that directs to the perfect.co.uk web site. Note: RF Weapons can be made by savvy electrical criminal from parts from electronic stores, and are used to make a beam weapon utilizing destructive ionizing radiation or
microwaves into a persons house using precision for that one intended victim, can cause radiation sickness, as said cancer, and worse, even
sudden death by heart attack, or brain stroke.
Eleanor White, and Liza Parker have websites concerning the crime of gang stalking, which needs to be better compentently addressed by law enforcement and new laws put on the books to protect innocent citizens from gang stalking,
electronic harassment, and
RF weapons. Uninformed people in society, and the criminals claim this "flash
crime mob" tactics are not real......which is a lie right out of hell. See also: mindjustice.org , www.eharassment.ca, www.raven1.com, and "mind control forum". There is a saying: "Its better to
light a candle than to curse the darkness". I believe in good government, not bad government laced with human rights abuse that the seemingly Nazi ties and family history President Bush has at his core. The Nazi Germany state believed some lives are not worth living, and committed attrocities on humans on a mass scale on behalf of the elite who were under a Satanic delusion. Senator
Prescott Bush, the Grandfather of George Bush, financed Hitler's rise to power, along with his other partners. It's easy for me to see that the Iraq war is a lie. I voted for George Bush twice as I am a Christian,as I trust in Jesus Christ to be my savior to grant me enternal life, but I am no longer fooled this bad guy in disquiese, George Bush. He is an extremist for money and power for the himself and his elite partners and elite society. He just cut 50 billion dollars from the poor, disabled, and honest students. It's little wonder why USA is now called the Great Satan in the world under his leadership.
World Trade Center Tower 7 fell without a plane attack?? Hmm.....interesting. Afghanistan opium production is up by 500 percent since USA Bush took influence according to Newsweek Magazine, and still climbing to the applause of some USA economists?? Hmm. Put it all together, what do you get??? God or mercy or some savior help us all. We have entered into a very dark period under George Bush, disquiesed as
glib words such as "peace, democracy, prosperity,
regime change,fight against terrorism, etc."!! Einstein said evil (such as Bush) would never prevail if good people would tell the truth. What a thief George Bush and my criminal relatives are is
on my life, and also on the lives of so many other gang stalking and other terrorism victims of his regime across the world. (other reference, The Harold
Groome,Jr-Wilbourne-Johnson Crime Family of Richmond, Virgnia.
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Gang stalking is a
hate crime/discrimination or
vigilantism against whistle-blowers and/or those ACCUSED of wrong doing such as pedophiles--who have paid thier debt to society by seeving out thier sentence. Other examples are innocent mental patients that stand up for themselves against powerful psychiatrists. It is also an extremist groups attempt to
supress truths about institutions and businesses.
Stalkers come from all walks of life and all nationalites. They can be full families and communities and also mercinaries and convicts. The Mafia, for example also engages in these adgendas and co-operates with other gangs to these ends. They all have extremist and
vindictive adgendas as well and finacial motivations. They build upon the backs of the KKK and Nazis. The
stalkers primary attack is to attack the mental state and psyco-social reputation of the victums. Their crimes are ingenious because they are not quite thefts and not quite vandalism. While many of the perpetrators are police and firemen, the crimes they commit are so subtle and bizarre that today's unware honest citizens and crime fighting barnches of goverement that normally would care are confused and even unwittingly support the harrasment and hazing becuase the
victum appears to be an enemy of the state. For example some victums are already semi-disenfranchized. And the goal is to full separte them from all support and to drive them to suicide if not outright kill them. The crimes appear to be ordinary decay or mistakes. For example they will tear shower curtian rings or
carve holes in the back of shoes--both of which appear to be ordinary but only the victum knows that it wasn't that way the day before or that he did not cause them. The method can be seen in the film
Gaslighting (where a man drives his wife insane by altering the briteness of the lighting in thier house.)
Those that would define these claims as
mentally ill in and of themselves are seving the cause of
the gang stalking if not being
stalkers themselves.
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A social phenomenon conducted by an organized group of individuals who's intent is to cause harm or enforce a desired outcome upon an individual; by covertly
stalking to gain information, building a psych profile of
targeted individual, and constantly harassing and undermining the psyche and livelihood of an individual via social proxy. For example, The group would learn of your standard daily/weekly routine, habits, likes and dislikes, interests, and goals. Once they have this information, via false allegation or accusation, they can trick people into willingly complying with their schemes to frame you as the bad guy, or drive you into committing a crime. You could be relaxing, only to have people intentionally and aggressively approach you as if attacking, then turn away at the last moment and pretend that they have no idea what you are getting so "anxious" about. The goal of this is to 1, make you feel unsafe. 2, make you react violently so they can claim assault, or worse, murder you in self defense. 3, try to make you yourself question your own sanity. 4, coerce an admission of guilt, or make a certain decision to make the ubiquitous torment end.
it could be state law, scorned ex, baby mamma custody, or Even high school cliques bullying into suicide. For more information, view the TED TALK by Hubertus Knabe called "The dark secrets of a surveillance state." about stazi police in east germany.
"Jon claims he is a victim of
gang stalking. what the hell is that about?"
"Ya apparently his ex claims that he raped her when he left her
crazy ass. Now her and her family and friends are
hell bent to ruin his life. Hard to catch and prove though."
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The Manchurian Candidate - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:55
The Manchurian Candidate is a novel by Richard Condon, first published in 1959. It is a political thriller about the son of a prominent U.S. political family who is brainwashed into being an unwitting assassin for a Communist conspiracy.
The novel has been adapted twice into a feature film with the same title, in 1962 and again in 2004. The 1962 film is faithful to the book; the 2004 remake updates the action and alters characters.
Plot summary [ edit ] Major Bennett Marco, Sergeant Raymond Shaw, and the rest of their infantry platoon are captured by an elite Soviet commando unit during the Korean War in 1952. They are taken to Manchuria, and brainwashed into believing Shaw saved their lives in combat '' for which Shaw is subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor.
Years after the war, Marco, now back in the United States working as an intelligence officer, begins suffering a recurring nightmare. In the dreams that Major Marco was experiencing, the platoon were all together surrounded by what appeared to be sweet little old ladies, a part of their brainwashing. The platoon was seated together and one of the ladies tells Sergeant Shaw to murder two of his comrades from his platoon. The backdrop with the old ladies changes back and forth between them and Chinese and Soviet intelligence officials. When Marco learns that another soldier from the platoon has been suffering the same nightmare, he investigates why this is happening.
Major Marco looks up Sergeant Raymond Shaw and discovers that Raymond's new manservant is someone that he recognizes from Korea. They start fighting in Raymond's house and both get bloodied significantly. Marco is arrested, and when Shaw sees that it's his old Major, they rekindle their relationship. Both find love interests; for Marco, it's Rose Cheyney, and for Raymond, it's Jocelyn Jordan. Jocelyn Jordan is the daughter of Senator Thomas Jordan, who is a neighbor of Raymond Shaw's. Senator Jordan and Raymond's mother don't like each other, but Raymond continues to see Jocelyn.
It is revealed that the Communists have been using Shaw as a sleeper agent who, activated by a posthypnotic trigger, immediately forgets the assignments he carries out and therefore can never betray himself either purposely or inadvertently. In Shaw's case, the suggestion that he play solitaire is the trigger. Seeing the "Queen of Diamonds" playing card transforms him into an assassin who will kill anyone at whom he is directed. Shaw's KGB handler is his domineering mother, Eleanor. Married to McCarthy-esque Senator Johnny Iselin, Eleanor has convinced the Communist powers to help her install her husband as president and allow them to control the American government through him.
By observing Shaw, Marco discovers the trigger shortly before the national convention of Iselin's political party. He uses the Queen of Diamonds card to draw out Eleanor's plan: after she obtains the vice presidential nomination for Iselin, Shaw is to shoot the presidential candidate so that Iselin can succeed him. Blaming the killing on the Communists will enable Iselin to assume dictatorial powers. Marco reprograms Shaw, although it is unclear until the final pages whether this is successful. At the convention, Shaw instead shoots and kills his mother and Senator Iselin. Marco is the first person to reach Shaw's sniper nest, getting there just before Shaw turns the gun on himself.[2]
Alleged plagiarism [ edit ] In 1998, software developer C. J. Silverio noted that several long passages of the novel seemed to be adapted from Robert Graves' 1934 novel I, Claudius. Forensic linguist John Olsson judged that "There can be no disputing that Richard Condon plagiarized from Robert Graves." Olsson went on to state that "As plagiarists go, Condon is quite creative, he does not confine himself to one source and is prepared to throw other ingredients into the pot."[3] Jonathan Lethem, in his influential essay The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism, has identified The Manchurian Candidate as one of a number of "cherished texts that become troubling to their admirers after the discovery of their 'plagiarized' elements," which make it "apparent that appropriation, mimicry, quotation, allusion, and sublimated collaboration consist of a kind of sine qua non of the creative act, cutting across all forms and genres in the realm of cultural production."[4]
Film adaptations [ edit ] The book has been adapted twice into a feature film of the same title. The Manchurian Candidate (1962) is considered a classic of the political thriller genre.[5] It was directed by John Frankenheimer and starred Laurence Harvey as Shaw, Frank Sinatra as Marco, and Angela Lansbury as Eleanor in an Academy Award-nominated performance.
The Manchurian Candidate (2004) was directed by Jonathan Demme, and starred Liev Schreiber as Shaw, Denzel Washington as Marco, and Meryl Streep as Eleanor. It was generally well received by critics, and moderately successful at the box office. The film updated the conflict (and brainwashing) to the Persian Gulf War in 1991, emphasized the science fiction aspects of the story by setting the action in a dystopian near-future (implied to be 2008), had a U.S. corporation (called "Manchurian Global") as the perpetrator of the brainwashing and conspiracy instead of foreign Communist groups, and dropped the Johnny Iselin character in favor of making both Shaw and his mother elected politicians.
Both adaptations discard several elements of the book. The book spends more time describing the brainwashers and the facility in Manchuria where the Americans were held. The head of the project grants Raymond a "gift"; after his brainwashing, he becomes quite sexually active, in contrast to his reserved nature beforehand where he had not even kissed his love interest, Jocelyn Jordan.
In the novel, Mrs. Iselin and her son travel abroad, where she uses him to kill various political figures and possibly Jocelyn Jordan's first husband. Rosie, Marco's love interest, is the ex-fiancee of one of his associates handling the Shaw case for Army Intelligence, making things between the couple tense. The movie adaptations also all but omit the novel's portrayal of incest between Raymond and his mother, only hinting at it with a mouth-to-mouth kiss.
As a child, Mrs. Iselin was sexually abused by her father, but fell in love with him and idolized him after his early death. Towards the end of the book, as Raymond is hypnotized by the Queen of Diamonds, he reminds her of her father and they sleep together.
The 1962 version does not state outright the political affiliation of Senators Iselin and Jordan (implied to be Republicans), although in the 2004 film the equivalent characters are Democrats. According to David Willis McCullough, Senator Iselin is modelled on Republican senator Joseph McCarthy and, according to Condon, Shaw's mother is based on McCarthy's counsel Roy Cohn.[6]
See also [ edit ] List of assassinations in fictionConspiracy thrillerBrainwashingNotes [ edit ] References [ edit ] Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. p. 110. ISBN 0-911682-20-1. Condon, Richard. "'Manchurian Candidate' in Dallas", The Nation, December 28, 1963.Loken, John. Oswald's Trigger Films: The Manchurian Candidate, We Were Strangers, Suddenly? (2000), pgs. 16, 36.External links [ edit ] Photos of the first edition of The Manchurian CandidateReview: The Manchurian CandidateThe Manchurian Candidate at complete review'Manchurian Candidate' in Dallas 28 December 1963, article by Richard Condon in The Nation about the JFK assassination and The Manchurian Candidate
2016 shooting of Baton Rouge police officers - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:40
On July 17, 2016, Gavin Eugene Long shot six police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the wake of the shooting of Alton Sterling. Three died and three were hospitalized, one critically; of the officers who died, two were members of the Baton Rouge Police Department, while the third worked for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.[3] Long, who associated himself with organizations linked to black separatism and the sovereign citizen movement,[4] was shot and killed by a SWAT officer during a shootout with police at the scene. Police arrested and questioned two other suspects, but Long was confirmed to be the only person involved in the shooting.
Background [ edit ] The shooting occurred during a period of unrest in Baton Rouge, though it is unclear if the events are related.[5] Baton Rouge was experiencing ongoing protests following the officer-involved killing of Alton Sterling less than two weeks before on July 5.[6][7] On July 7, the FBI's New Orleans field office issued a warning about "threats to law enforcement and potential threats to the safety of the general public" stemming from the death of Sterling.[8] Within the previous week, four suspects were arrested in connection with an alleged plot to kill Baton Rouge police officers, which was described as a credible threat by law enforcement officials.[6][9] Ten days earlier, five police officers were killed in a mass shooting in Dallas.[1]
Shooting [ edit ] Map of area around
Airline Highway near
I-12.
Hammond Aire Plaza, where Long began the shooting sometime before 8:40 a.m.
The area around B-Quik convenience store and Hair Crown Beauty Supply where Long shot six police officers, killing three, until he was shot and killed by
SWAT at 8:48 a.m.
The
Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters, where protests in response to the
police killing of Alton Sterling took place in the weeks prior to the shooting by Long.
Long arrived at Hammond Aire Plaza, a shopping complex on Airline Highway, sometime before 8:40 a.m. CT and began scouting the area in search of police officers. He first spotted a police patrol vehicle parked at a B-Quik convenience store; it belonged to a sheriff's deputy who was working security in the area. Long parked his vehicle behind an adjacent building, got out, and prepared to shoot, but found that the vehicle was empty. He then drove north and noticed a police officer washing his vehicle a short distance away, but the officer left before Long could get close.[10][11][12]
By 8:40, police received a call about a suspicious person carrying a rifle near the plaza.[11] However, due to Louisiana's open carry law at the time, the potential threat of Long was downplayed, with one dispatcher describing him as a "subject walking with a coat and an assault rifle." Authorities were going to question him and had no probable cause to take him into custody.[13][14]
When officers arrived at the scene, they found Long clad in black and wearing a face mask behind the Hair Crown Beauty Supply store on the 9600 block of Airline Highway.[11][15] Shots were reportedly fired two minutes later. Another two minutes afterwards, there were reports that officers were down.[11]
According to investigators, Long fired upon the first responding officers, fatally wounding three. He first shot and killed a police officer, and shot and wounded his partner who fell to the ground. A third officer tried to help the wounded policeman, but Long engaged him in a gunfight as he approached, and killed him with multiple gunshot wounds. Long then shot the first wounded officer twice more, killing him as well. Long then turned around and shot another police officer standing outside a store and then moved to another part of the complex, where he shot and wounded two sheriff's deputies who were investigating his car. At 8:46, he was reported to be near Benny's Car Wash. Officers fired on Long from behind the cover of patrol cars. Eventually, a SWAT team responded to the scene; one member took aim at Long from about 100 yards (91 m) away and killed him at about 8:48. Louisiana State Police said Long was the only person involved in the shooting. The entire shooting lasted for less than ten minutes.[10][11][12][16]
Officers used a robot to check Long's body for explosives.[17] A preliminary investigation determined that Long was targeting officers and ignoring civilians.[18][19] A preliminary autopsy indicated that in addition to being shot by the SWAT officer, Long suffered multiple other gunshot wounds.[20]
Police recovered from the crime scene an IWI Tavor SAR 5.56-caliber rifle and a Springfield XD 9mm pistol. A third weapon'--a Stag Arms M4-type 5.56-caliber semi-automatic rifle'--was recovered from Long's rental Malibu.[21] Officials believed Long had intentions of attacking the Baton Rouge police headquarters and continuing to kill officers.[19]
Victims [ edit ] Two Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) officers and one East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy were killed in the shooting, while three others'--a police officer and two sheriff's deputies'--were injured.[22] The injured were transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, which said it received five patients from the shooting, three of whom later died from multiple gunshot wounds. Of the surviving two, one was in critical condition, being on life support as of August 3,[23] and the other in fair condition.[8][17][20] The third injured officer was transported to Baton Rouge General Medical Center and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.[24] The critically injured officer was moved to TIRR Memorial Hermann, a recovery facility in Houston, Texas, on November 16.[25]
The officers killed were identified as:
Deputy Brad Garafola, 45, who had been with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office since 1992.[26]Officer Matthew Gerald, 41, a former Marine who had been with the BRPD for four months.[27]Corporal Montrell Jackson, 32, who had been with the BRPD since 2006.[28][29]In addition, deputy Nicholas Tullier was badly injured.[30]
Perpetrator [ edit ] Gavin Eugene Long (July 17, 1987 '' July 17, 2016) was identified as the shooter. He was a resident of Kansas City, Missouri. In May 2015, Long filed papers in Jackson County, Missouri, to change his legal name to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra, but court officials there said he never completed the process of legally changing his name.[31][32] Long was believed to have traveled more than 700 miles (1,100 km) from his hometown to Baton Rouge using a rental car.[33][34] He was also believed to have been in Baton Rouge for "several days" prior to the shooting.[19] Long committed the shooting on his 29th birthday.
Long's body was released to his family on July 26, and a funeral was planned in Arkansas for a later date.[35]
Personal life [ edit ] Long grew up in Kansas City and graduated from high school in 2005.[36] His parents divorced when he was eleven, and his father was neglectful of Long, according to court records. He failed to appear on scheduled visits with his son while the divorce was pending, and did not deliver birthday or Christmas presents to him. Court records described one instance where Long was picked up by his father, but dropped off at a day care facility at a casino shortly after.[37][38]
Long served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a data network specialist from August 22, 2005, to August 1, 2010. He was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.[1][12][33][39][40] During his military service, he was deployed to Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009. He was also assigned to units in San Diego, California, and Okinawa, Japan.[39] Long was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, along with an Iraq Campaign Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, a Navy Unit Commendation, and others.[12][40]
Following his military service, Long told relatives and friends that he suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He reportedly had prescriptions for Ativan and Valium, both anti-anxiety drugs; Lunesta, a sleep aid; and citalopram, an antidepressant.[42][43] Health records from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reportedly indicated contacts with Long from 2008 to August 2013.[44] The VA records said that Long told doctors that he contracted PTSD after a friend showed him photos of maimed and decapitated bodies while they were in Iraq. In November 2011, doctors debunked Long's suspicions of PTSD and instead diagnosed him as having "adjustment disorder with depressed mood." They eventually concluded that he was mentally stable, with no evidence that he was a threat to himself or others.[43] According to Long's mother, the VA then sent him a letter denying him further treatment on the grounds that his disorder was not related to his military service.[45] Long's mental health and related combat experience may have been a factor leading to the shooting.[46]
Long graduated from Central Texas College, attending the college's San Diego site at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and via an online education program from fall 2007 to summer 2011; he received an associate of arts degree in general studies.[47] Long studied at Clark Atlanta University during the 2012-13 academic year.[48] Long also spent one semester at the University of Alabama, in spring 2012,[47] with his name making it to the Dean's List as a general business major.[18][36] According to local court records, Long had no criminal record and was married for two years before the couple divorced.[49][50]
Views and statements [ edit ] Long was identified as a "black separatist" by a law enforcement official.[51] Mass shooting scholars said that Long displayed hallmarks of a "disgruntled, paranoid loner" (a common type of mass killer), with a narcissistic and grandiose personality.[50]
Social media posts indicated that he was an active member of the anti-government New Freedom Group.[52] According to CNN, a card was found on Long's body, suggesting that he was a member of the Washitaw Nation, a group of African Americans associated with the sovereign citizen movement that originated in Richwood.[53] In addition to changing his legal name, he claimed his nationality was "United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu'ur",[54][b] and expressed his support for the Moorish Science Temple of America, another African American organization associated with the sovereign citizen movement.[55] However, Long disavowed all prior associations in a recent video, saying, "Don't affiliate me with nothing. ... I'm affiliated with the spirit of justice."[50]
In April 2015, while in West Africa, Long also became a member of a group dedicated to helping "Targeted Individuals" suffering from "remote brain experimentation, remote neural monitoring of an entire humans body." He asked to be put on the group's "buddy list", but he unexpectedly deactivated his account a month later.[32][37] His mother said he once believed the Central Intelligence Agency was following him.[56] He appeared as a guest on an online show discussing "Targeted Individuals", but downplayed his belief that he was being tracked, saying, "That's just a small aspect of me. It's not a complete picture of who I am." However, the show's host, who had frequent phone and email correspondence with Long, claimed that Long was adamant about being tracked during their communications.[50]
In a "rambling" series of YouTube clips, Long claimed to be a former Nation of Islam member and referred to Alton Sterling, a black man killed by Baton Rouge police officers on July 5, in online videos.[1] Long operated his YouTube channel under his new legal name, Cosmo Setepenra, making references to oppression against blacks and police protests. At one point less than two weeks before committing the shooting, Long called the shootings of five Dallas police officers an act of "justice".[1][33] In one video, he said, "One hundred percent of revolutions... have been successful through fighting back through bloodshed."[51] In another, he said the act of peaceful protesting was a futile method based on emotion and was easily forgettable.[53] Long also maintained a personal website in which he described himself as a "freedom strategist, mental game coach, nutritionist, author and spiritual advisor." The website contained dozens of additional videos and podcasts.[34]
Long wrote and self-published (also under the name "Cosmo Setepenra") three books about "how to be a strong man" and self-empowerment for black males,[50][57] which all appeared on Amazon.com in October and November 2015. The books were described by The Los Angeles Times as "bizarre" works featuring a "combination of New Age-style jargon, pseudoscience, motivational bromides, health tips and racial theory." In the books, Long harshly criticized Western medicine, denied the germ theory of disease, and asserted that "[t]he abundance of Melanin in Black humans produces a superior organism both mentally and physically."[58] The books were pulled from Amazon.com after the shooting.[58] According to one of his books, he spent two years in several African countries studying their histories and cultures.[40] In addition to the books, Long wrote two diaries'--one in 2014 and the other in 2015'--where he shared "rambling thoughts" about philosophy, religion, and politics.[45]
Sahib Taylor, a nephew of Long, told The Los Angeles Times that his uncle would teach him about the importance of self-reliance, share his views on racism, and assert that "only advanced survival skills and decisive action" could overthrow the U.S. government. Taylor said that Long recently began sharing his beliefs that international corporations, federal banks, and political organizations were influencing ethnic groups for their own gain; and that the government was using police to control and kill people.[59]
Before the shooting [ edit ] Within the preceding six months, Long visited the shooting range of a gun shop in Olathe, Kansas, and purchased a target that he used in shooting practice, according to an employee. The same employee also said Long did not purchase any firearms or exhibit any strange behavior at the store.[60]
In a ten-minute video, Long claimed that he arrived at Baton Rouge not to protest Sterling's death, but to educate local blacks. He also expressed his distaste for white people and mentioned Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, in a rambling, one-sided conversation. He had previously made a similar recording using a body camera while visiting barbershops in Dallas sometime after the shooting there, to promote one of his books.[60][61] A friend said that Long visited him in DeSoto, Texas, two days after the Dallas shooting; during the visit, Long obsessively watched video footage of Sterling's death and praised the Dallas shooter Micah Xavier Johnson, saying "at least he did something".[62] The same friend said that Long also showed him a Washitaw Nation card and unsuccessfully urged him to join.[38] Long's mother said that he would get upset at news stories of black men being shot by police, often renting cars and use them to drive to locations where such shootings occurred to pass out his books.[45][56][57]
Less than an hour before the shooting, Long purportedly emailed a three-page, handwritten letter, self-described as a "manifesto", to a Columbus, Ohio, musician whose YouTube videos he commented on. In the letter, Long described his belief that the shooting was necessary to "create substantial change within America's police force." He also wrote his belief that there was a "concealed war" between "good cops" and "bad cops", and that he had to attack "bad cops" as vengeance for perceived destruction that they continued to inflict on blacks.[63]
Aftermath [ edit ] Although Long was said to have acted alone in the shooting, police arrested and questioned two other people in Addis as part of the investigation.[15][64][65] They were later identified as Damarcus Alexander, a cousin of slain victim Corporal Montrell Jackson, and Alexander's friend Den'Trell White. According to them, police held them for seven hours, barring them from making any phone calls and refusing to give Alexander diabetic medication even after they were made aware of his condition. Both were eventually released without any charges being filed. At the time, Alexander was unaware of Jackson's death during the shooting. A spokesman for the Louisiana State Police responded to Alexander's claim of police mistreatment, saying, "No complaints or concerns have been brought to our attention."[29]
Following this shooting and a previous one in Dallas, Texas, that killed five police officers and wounded nine others, local law enforcement agencies across the U.S. began readjusting response strategies, with more officers being paired up in patrol vehicles.[66][c]
On July 28, the victims of the shooting were honored at a memorial service in Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge. Hundreds of people were in attendance. Governor Edwards, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the wives of the victims made speeches during the service.[67][68][69]
Louisiana's open carry law [ edit ] The shooting renewed attention on Louisiana's open carry law, which some law enforcement officials have expressed discomfort towards, believing openly carrying citizens could complicate police matters. Some elected officials have made calls for a reevaluation of the state's open carry law. However, previous attempts at altering state gun laws have resulted in failure due to an amendment to the Louisiana State Constitution in 2012, which gave strong gun ownership protection laws and required limitations of any kind to be faced with strict scrutiny. State Senator Jean-Paul Morrell remarked that gun control bills filed every year in the state are "almost universally unsuccessful."[13] James Gill, a columnist with The Advocate wrote an op-ed addressing the state gun laws and their legal complications on August 11.[14]
[ edit ] President Barack Obama condemned the shooting in a statement and added, "These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop."[70] Later that day, he ordered for all flags in the U.S. to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.[71] On July 22, Obama met with law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C., and pledged solidarity in the wake of this shooting and the one in Dallas.[72]
Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement immediately after the shooting, saying, "This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing."[73] On the day after, he called the shooting "pure evil" and "a diabolical attack on the very fabric of society."[74]
In an interview, Mayor Kip Holden recommended police agencies across the U.S. to put their officers on high alert and urged Americans to be "vocal about their support for law enforcement".[34]
Legal [ edit ] On June 30, 2017, district attorney Hillar C. Moore, III released a report, clearing the officers who killed Long of wrongdoing.[75]
In July 2017, injured deputy Tullier filed a federal lawsuit against several leaders of Black Lives Matter for inciting violence.[76] The lawsuit was later dismissed.[77]
See also [ edit ] 2014 killings of NYPD officers2016 shootings of Des Moines police officers2016 shooting of Dallas police officersGun violence in the United StatesList of American police officers killed in the line of dutyList of killings by law enforcement officers in the United StatesNotes [ edit ] ^ The motive can be specifically attributed to Long's outrage over the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, which had happened just a few weeks prior, as well as by killings of African-Americans by police officers in general.[1][2] ^ Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah is another name for the Washitaw Nation. Mu'ur is claimed by Washitaw Nation members to be the accurate spelling of Moors, a civilization that developed after the Arab conquest of North Africa.[54] ^ While it was once standard practice to pair officers in patrol vehicles, budget cuts and other staffing demands prompted many police departments to implement more single-officer patrols.[66] References [ edit ] ^ a b c d e Swaine, Jon (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge suspect Gavin Long was marine with alias Cosmo Setepenra". The Guardian . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . His history of rambling postings indicated that the attack was motivated at least in part by killings by police of black Americans in recent years and the resulting unrest. ^ Hensley, Nicole; Ng, Alfred; Greene, Leonard (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Eugene Long '-- retired Marine '-- was outraged at police for Alton Sterling death". The New York Daily News . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . The gunman behind a deadly rampage that killed three cops in Baton Rouge Sunday was a retired Marine with an online trail of rants complaining about the treatment of African-Americans by police after Alton Sterling's death. ^ "3 police officers fatally shot in Baton Rouge; dead suspect identified". USA Today. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved October 3, 2016 . ^ "Gavin Long, cop killer, linked to separatists". The Washington Times. July 20, 2016 . Retrieved October 3, 2016 . ^ Kennedy, Merrit (July 17, 2016). "Motive In Baton Rouge Police Slayings Still Unclear, Investigators Say". NPR . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Carrero, Jacquellena; Fieldstadt, Elisha; Gutierrez, Gabe (July 17, 2016). "Three Baton Rouge Officers Killed, Three Injured in 'Ambush ' ". NBC News . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Bullington, Jonathan (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooting leaves 3 police officers dead". The Times-Picayune . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Shapiro, Emily; Hayden, Michael Edison; Blake, Paul (July 17, 2016). "Gunman Identified in Shooting That Killed 3 Baton Rouge Officers". ABC News . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ "3 police killed, 3 more wounded in Baton Rouge". CBS News. Associated Press. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Schuppe, Jon (July 18, 2016). "Baton Rouge Gunman Gavin Long Stalked Cops With Military Focus, Police Say". NBC News . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b c d e Buchanan, Larry; Burgess, Joe; Fessenden, Ford (July 17, 2016). "How the Shooting of Police Officers in Baton Rouge Unfolded". The New York Times . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b c d Visser, Steve; Fantz, Ashley; Berlinger, Joshua (July 18, 2016). " ' Helluva' shot stopped gunman in Baton Rouge, officials say". CNN . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . Long served from August 22, 2005, to August 1, 2010, according to the little information the military has released. ^ a b Lau, Maya; Mustian, Jim (August 6, 2016). "Baton Rouge police shooting brings renewed attention to Louisiana's 'open carry' rights". The Advocate . Retrieved August 6, 2016 . ^ a b Gill, James (August 11, 2016). "James Gill: Civilians carrying 'ultimate weapon' Gavin Long used in Baton Rouge would be regarded worldwide as insane". The Advocate . Retrieved August 13, 2016 . ^ a b Sues, Brock (July 17, 2016). "Shooter wanted to kill police; Deputy on life support Monday". WBRZ . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Kunzelman, Michael (September 3, 2016). " ' Nick is our priority': Flooded home another tragedy for injured Baton Rouge deputy Nick Tullier's family". The Advocate. Associated Press . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . ^ a b "Baton Rouge shooting: 3 officers killed, suspect dead". Chicago Tribune. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Fausset, Richard; Hauser, Christine; Eligon, John (July 18, 2016). "Baton Rouge Gunman 'Was Targeting Officers,' Police Say". The New York Times . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b c Berman, Mark; Goldman, Adam (July 18, 2016). "Police: Officers in Baton Rouge were 'targeted and assassinated ' ". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b Samuels, Diana (July 20, 2016). "Autopsy says Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long shot multiple times". The Times-Picayune . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ Jansen, Bart (July 18, 2016). "Police: "sheer brutality" as 3 officers slain in Baton Rouge ambush". USA Today . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ Lau, Maya (July 17, 2016). "What we know, don't know after Baton Rouge officer shooting". The Advocate. Baton Rouge, Louisiana . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Park, Madison (August 3, 2016). "Baton Rouge officer's father writes touching Facebook post". CNN . Retrieved August 3, 2016 . ^ "3 Baton Rouge officers killed in shooting; suspect dead". MSN. Associated Press. July 17, 2016. Archived from the original on July 20, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Samuels, Diana (November 16, 2016). "Baton Rouge deputy wounded in July police shooting moving to Houston rehab facility". The Times-Picayune . Retrieved November 21, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge shooter was a former Marine sergeant". Washington, North Carolina: WITN-TV. Associated Press. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ "Latest on the shooting of Baton Rouge police officers". CBS News. Associated Press. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Hardy, Steve; Mustian, Jim (July 17, 2016). " ' Humble, kind, sweet,' new dad Montrell Jackson one of Baton Rouge officers killed in attack". The Advocate . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Jones, Terry L. (July 29, 2016). "Cousin of slain Baton Rouge officer Montrell Jackson one of men detained during police shootings". The Advocate . Retrieved July 31, 2016 . ^ http://abcnews.go.com/US/critically-injured-east-baton-rouge-deputy-fighting-life/story?id=40696824 ^ Parker, Ned; Hosenball, Mark (July 18, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter said he was member of anti-government group: documents". Reuters . Retrieved July 19, 2016 . ^ a b Berlinger, Joshua (July 18, 2016). "Gavin Long: Who is Baton Rouge cop killer?". CNN . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b c Stanglin, Doug; Johnson, Kevin (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter identified as Gavin Long, 29". USA Today . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b c McBride, Brian (July 18, 2016). "Investigators Scour Baton Rouge Gunman's Social Media as Motive Remains Unknown". ABC News . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge shooter's body released to family; funeral planned in Arkansas". The Advocate. Associated Press. July 26, 2016 . Retrieved August 17, 2016 . ^ a b Sahagun, Louis; Kaleem, Jaweed (July 19, 2016). "A study in anger: How Gavin Long went from decorated Iraq veteran to cop killer". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 19, 2016 . ^ a b "Gavin Long's path to Baton Rouge marked by big plans, 'bizarre' claims". The Kansas City Star. July 18, 2016 . Retrieved July 24, 2016 . ^ a b Bauer, Laura; Williams, Mar Rose; Cummings, Ian (July 21, 2016). "Gavin Long's last 10 days, from book peddler to Baton Rouge cop killer". The Kansas City Star . Retrieved July 24, 2016 . ^ a b "Gavin Long: What we know about Baton Rouge police shooting suspect". The Times-Picayune. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b c Chan, Melissa (July 18, 2016). "Stepbrother of Baton Rouge Cop Shooter Gavin Long: 'I Didn't Think It Would Reach This Point ' ". Time . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ Berlinger, Joshua; Hanna, Jason (July 20, 2016). "Gavin Long said he suffered from PTSD, source tells CNN". CNN . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ a b Hegeman, Roxana (August 29, 2016). "VA records: Baton Rouge gunman Gavin Long had mood disorder, not PTSD, wasn't seen as threat". The Advocate. Associated Press . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . ^ "Report: Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long claimed he suffered from PTSD". The Advocate. July 20, 2016 . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ a b c "Mom: Louisiana gunman would "lose it" over police shootings". CBS News. Associated Press. July 22, 2016 . Retrieved July 22, 2016 . ^ Chakrabarti, Meghna (July 21, 2016). "Former Army Psychiatrist On Veterans, Mental Health: 'Everybody Who Goes To War Is Changed ' ". Here and Now. Boston, MA. NPR . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ a b Zapotosky, Matt (July 18, 2016). "What we know about the shooter in Baton Rouge". The Washington Post . Retrieved September 10, 2016 . ^ Davis, Janel; Kass, Arielle (July 18, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long attended Clark Atlanta University". Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Retrieved September 10, 2016 . ^ "Personal videos offer clues about Baton Rouge shooter's motives". CBS News. July 18, 2016 . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b c d e Simerman, John (July 30, 2016). "In Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long, mass shooting scholars see familiar template". The Advocate . Retrieved July 30, 2016 . ^ a b Hennessy-Fiske, Molly; Jarvie, Jenny; Wilber, Del Quentin (July 17, 2016). "Marine Corps veteran identified as suspect in fatal shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Levitz, Jennifer; Lazo, Alejandro; Campo-Flores, Arian (July 17, 2016). "Three Police Officers Killed in Baton Rouge Shooting; Suspect Is Dead". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ...was from Missouri and was affiliated with an antigovernment group called the New Freedom Group, the person added. ^ a b Stickney, Ken (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter may have embraced bizarre outlook". The Advertiser . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . Shimon Prokupecz, a reporter for CNN, said a card was found on Gavin Long suggesting he was a member of the Washita[w] Nation, a peculiar sovereign citizen movement group... ^ a b "Gavin Long belonged to Washitaw Nation. Who are they?". The Times-Picayune. July 18, 2016 . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge Shooter Linked to Black Sovereign Movement". Yahoo! News. July 18, 2016 . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b "Baton Rouge officer shooter Gavin Long's mother: He would 'pretty much lose it' upon hearing police shoot black man". The Advocate. Associated Press. July 21, 2016 . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ a b Bauer, Laura; Williams, Mar Rose (July 22, 2016). "Gavin Long's stepfather: 'What in the hell happened? ' ". The Kansas City Star . Retrieved July 22, 2016 . ^ a b Schaub, Michael (July 18, 2016). "The bizarre books by Baton Rouge police shooter Gavin Eugene Long, aka Cosmo Setepenra". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ Sahagun, Louis (July 21, 2016). "He looked to his uncle for guidance. Then his uncle went on a deadly rampage". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ a b Mustian, Jim; Stole, Bryn; Lau, Maya; Sledge, Matt (July 19, 2016). "Before bloodshed: Where Gavin Long stayed, what he preached, odd encounters all on video". The Advocate . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge gunman visited Dallas barbershops days before La. attack". CBS News. July 19, 2016 . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ "Report: Friend says Baton Rouge gunman Gavin Long obsessed with Alton Sterling video footage". The Advocate. July 21, 2016 . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge gunman's manifesto describes actions as "necessary evil " ". CBS News. Associated Press. July 20, 2016 . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ McKay, Tom (July 17, 2016). "Gavin Eugene Long Named As Suspect in Killing of Three Police in Baton Rouge". Mic . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Hider, Alex (July 17, 2016). "Gavin Long: What we know about the suspected Baton Rouge shooter". WTVF. Nashville, Tennessee . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Sanburn, Josh (July 18, 2016). "How America's Police Are Responding to Baton Rouge and Dallas". Time . Retrieved July 19, 2016 . ^ Kunzelman, Michael (July 29, 2016). "At Vigil, Biden Tries to Comfort Relatives of Slain Officers". ABC News . Retrieved July 29, 2016 . ^ Litten, Kevin (July 28, 2016). "Wives of Baton Rouge officers killed in shooting speak at memorial". The Times-Picayune . Retrieved July 29, 2016 . ^ "Hundreds gather at vigil for slain Baton Rouge officers". The Times-Picayune. Associated Press. July 28, 2016 . Retrieved July 29, 2016 . ^ Ford, Matt; Calamur, Krishnadev; Appelbaum, Yoni (July 17, 2016). "The Baton Rouge Police Shooting: What We Know". The Atlantic . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Crisp, Elizabeth (July 18, 2016). "President Barack Obama calls families of slain Baton Rouge officers, orders flags flown at half-staff". The Advocate . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ Crisp, Elizabeth (July 22, 2016). "President Obama meets with law enforcement, pledges solidarity in wake of Baton Rouge, Dallas shootings". The Advocate . Retrieved August 17, 2016 . ^ Visser, Steve (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooting: 3 officers dead; shooter was Missouri man, sources say". CNN . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Crisp, Elizabeth (July 18, 2016). " ' Diabolical': Photos of shooter, more details released in emotional news conference". The Advocate . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ In re. Gavin Long ^ http://www.cbsnews.com/news/black-lives-matter-sued-police-deadly-ambush-baton-rouge-deray-mckesson ^ https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/courts/article_11cdb1da-a168-11e8-a51a-53e06e434a73.html
Pan-African flag - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:37
Flag using the Pan-African colours
The Pan-African flag'--also known as the UNIA flag, Afro-American flag, Black Liberation flag, and various other names'--is a tri-color flag consisting of three equal horizontal bands of (from top down) red, black and green. The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) formally adopted it on August 13, 1920 in Article 39 of the Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World, during its month-long convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City.[1][2] Variations of the flag can and have been used in various countries and territories in the Americas to represent Garveyist ideologies.
History [ edit ] The flag was created in 1920 by members of UNIA in response to the enormously popular 1900 coon song "Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon".[3] which has been cited as one of the three songs that "firmly established the term coon in the American vocabulary". In a 1927 report of a 1921 speech appearing in the Negro World weekly newspaper, Marcus Garvey was quoted as saying:[4]
Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride. Aye! In song and mimicry they have said, "Every race has a flag but the coon." How true! Aye! But that was said of us four years ago. They can't say it now. ...
The Universal Negro Catechism, published by the UNIA in 1921, refers to the colors of the flag meaning:[5]
Red is the color of the blood which men must shed for their redemption and liberty; black is the color of the noble and distinguished race to which we belong; green is the color of the luxuriant vegetation of our Motherland.
Journalist Charles Mowbray White has asserted that Garvey proposed the colors red, black and green for the following reasons: "Garvey said red because of sympathy for the 'Reds of the world', and the Green their sympathy for the Irish in their fight for freedom, and the Black [for] the Negro."[6]
According to the UNIA more recently, the three colors on the Black Nationalist flag represent:
red: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation;black: black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag; andgreen: the abundant natural wealth of Africa.[7]The flag later became a Black Nationalist symbol for the worldwide liberation of Black people. As an emblem of Black pride, the flag became popular during the Black Liberation movement of the 1960s. In 1971, the school board of Newark, New Jersey, passed a resolution permitting the flag to be raised in public school classrooms. Four of the board's nine members were not present at the time, and the resolution was introduced by the board's teen member, a mayoral appointee. Fierce controversy ensued, including a court order that the board show cause why they should not be forced to rescind the resolution, and at least two state legislative proposals to ban ethnic flags and national flags (other than the U.S. flag) in public classrooms.
In the United States, the flag is presently widely available through flag shops or ethnic specialty stores. It is commonly seen at parades commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, civil rights rallies, and other special events.
2010s usage [ edit ] In the United States, following the refusal of a grand jury to indict a police officer in the August 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a Howard University student replaced the U.S. flag on that school's Washington, DC campus flagpole with a Black Nationalist flag flying at half-mast.[8][9] The incident resulted in the university president, Wayne Frederick, issuing a statement disapproving the flag-raising by unauthorized personnel.[10][11]
Derivative flags [ edit ] The Biafran flag another variant of this one, with a sunburst in the center. The colors are based directly off of Garvey's design.
The flag of Malawi issued in 1964 is very similar, reflects the Black Nationalist flag's order of stripes. It is not directly based on Garvey's flag, although the colors have the same symbolism: Red for blood symbolizing the struggle of the people, green for vegetation, and black for the race of the people.
The African National Congress flag is three horizontal stripes, descending black, green, and dark yellow (gold).
The United States Postal Service issued a stamp in 1997 to commemorate Kwanzaa with a painting by fine artist Synthia Saint James of a dark-skinned family wearing garments traditional in parts of Africa and fashionable for special occasions among African-Americans. The family members are holding food, gifts, and a flag. The flag in the stamp may have been meant to represent the Pan-African flag, However, instead of the stripes descending red, black, and green, the stamp's flag transposes the top two bands and descends black, red, and green.
In 1990, artist David Hammons created a work called African-American Flag, which is held by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Based on the standard U.S. flag, its stripes are black and red, the field is green, and the stars on the field are black.[12]
In response to the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag, an African American-run company called NuSouth[13] created a flag based on the Confederate naval jack, with the white stars and saltire outline replaced by green and the blue saltire made black.[14]
The flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis has similar colors, arranged diagonally and separated by yellow lines. It similar to the Malawian flag in that the colors are not directly taken from the Pan-African flag but the symbolism is the same.
Alternative names [ edit ] The flag goes by several other names with varying degrees of popularity:
the UNIA flag, after its originators;the Marcus Garvey flag;the Universal African flag;the International African flag;the Black Liberation flag;the Black Nationalist flag;the African Nationalist flag;the Afro-American flag;the Bendera Ya Taifa (Kiswahili for "flag of the Nation"), in reference to its usage during Kwanzaa.Proposed holiday [ edit ] In 1999, an article appeared in the July 25 edition of The Black World Today suggesting that, as an act of global solidarity, every August 17 should be celebrated worldwide as Universal African Flag Day by flying the red, black, and green banner. August 17 is the birthday of Marcus Garvey.
See also [ edit ] Marcus GarveyBlack NationalismNotes [ edit ] ^ 25,000 NEGROES CONVENE :International got'…'…'… 1 / Own Bill of Rights. 1920. New York Times (1857-Current file), August 2, Proquest (Last accessed October 5, 2007) ^ Special to The Christian Science Monitor from its Eastern News Office 1920. NEGROES ADOPT BILL OF RIGHTS: Convention Approves Plan for African Republic and Sets to Work on Preparation of Constitution of the Colored Race Negro Complaints Aggression Condemned Recognition Demanded. Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file), August 17, Proquest (accessed October 5, 2007). ^ "New Flag for Afro-Americans," Africa Times and Orient Review 1 (October 1912):134; Cited in RACE FIRST: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1987), p43. ^ Garvey, Marcus (March 19, 1927). "Honorable Marcus Garvey, Gifted Man of Vision, Sets Out In Unanswerable Terms the Reasons Why Negroes Must Build in Africa". Negro World (Vol XXII No. 6). Universal Negro Improvement Association. ^ Mcguire, George (1921). Universal Negro catechism: a course of instruction in religious and historical knowledge pertaining to the race. New York: Universal Negro Improvement Association. p. 34. hdl:2027/emu.010000685445. ^ Garvey Papers Vol. 2, p. 603. ^ "History - Red - Black - Green". The Official Website of the United Negro Improvement Association and the African Communities League. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018 . Retrieved 13 November 2019 . ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-13 . Retrieved 2015-08-18 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ "Howard University President Removes Pan-African Flag Flown at Half-Mast | DC Inno". Dcinno.streetwise.co. 2014-11-25 . Retrieved 2017-04-06 . ^ Jaschik, Scott (2014-12-01). "Howard U. President Issues Statement on Flag Protest". Insidehighered.com . Retrieved 2017-04-06 . ^ "Statement by President Frederick Concerning the University Flagpole". Howard University. Archived from the original on 2015-08-08 . Retrieved 13 November 2019 . ^ "David Hammons. African American Flag. 1990 | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art . Retrieved 2019-10-08 . ^ http://www.nusouth.com/ ^ "NuSouth Apparel Confederate Flag Photo by stagolee7 | Photobucket". Media.photobucket.com . Retrieved 2017-04-06 . References [ edit ] "Black Flag," unattributed article in Time magazine, December 13, 1971.External links [ edit ] Afro-American flags at Flags of the World non-commercial vexillology siteSheet music from the American Memory website of the Library of Congress'Fly the Red, Black, and Green' article proposing holiday at The Black World Today, July 25, 1999Kwanzaa Stamp U.S. postage depicting similar flag, with explanatory press releaseMoMA Learning an educational exercise based on David Hammons' African-American FlagUNIA official websiteNusouth website and flag
Dallas shooting suspect's online posts reflect anger, frustration - Reuters
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:32
NEW YORK/MESQUITE, Texas (Reuters) - Former U.S. Army reservist Micah Xavier Johnson posted an angry rant against white people on the Facebook page of a group called Black Panther Party Mississippi last Saturday, denouncing lynching and the brutalizing of black people.
Micah Xavier Johnson, a man suspected by Dallas Police in a shooting attack and who was killed during a manhunt, is seen in an undated photo from his Facebook account. Micah X. Johnson via Facebook via REUTERS
Five days later, police said on Friday, the Afghan war veteran took part in a sniper-style ambush of police officers in Dallas, killing five and wounding seven others before dying in a police-initiated explosion.
''Why do so many whites (not all) enjoy killing and participating in the death of innocent beings,'' Johnson, 25, wrote on Saturday above a video of what appeared to be people participating in a whale-killing.
In the disjointed July 2 post, Johnson expressed anger over lynchings of black people and ''our ancestors'' being beaten, mutilated and killed.
''Then they all stand around and smile while their picture is taken with a hung, burned and brutalized black person,'' he wrote. ''They even go to our homeland and shoot our endangered wildlife for sport.''
On Johnson's own Facebook page, which was deactivated on Friday, a profile photo showed him with one arm raised and fist clenched in a Black Power salute. The page included images of a Black Power symbol and a red, black and green flag associated with the Black Liberation Army.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said at a news conference on Friday that it was unclear if Micah Johnson was a member of a black nationalist group.
Johnson served as a private first class in the U.S. Army Reserve from March 2009 to April 2015.
His deployment in Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014 earned Johnson a number of service medals, according to Army spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson.
Attempts to reach Johnson's relatives and friends on Friday were not successful. It was not clear if he was employed.
Dallas police said on Friday that a search of Johnson's home yielded bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal of combat tactics. Johnson had no criminal record, police said.
Public records indicated that he lived in Mesquite, a suburb of Dallas, and the Army also listed Mesquite as his place of residence.
The assault, the deadliest for law enforcement in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, took place on Thursday night during a protest over the fatal police shootings this week of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Those deaths fanned public outrage over excessive use of force by police, especially against black men.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said earlier on Friday that police had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an end to an hours-long standoff before sending in a bomb-carrying robot that killed Johnson.
According to Brown, Johnson told police that ''he was upset about the recent police shootings.''
''The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,'' Brown said.
Johnson's Facebook page included a photo of him with Professor Griff of the hip-hop group Public Enemy at what appeared to be a book-signing event.
''I will not sit back and let these people assassinate my character and tie me to the Dallas shootings,'' Griff said on Twitter on Friday, adding, ''I DO NOT KNOW THE SHOOTER.''
According to media reports, Johnson's sister Nicole posted on Facebook after he was identified by news outlets that ''those that knew him know this wasn't like him.'' The message had been deleted from her page by Friday afternoon.
On Friday, three police cars and several television news trucks were parked near the large, two-story brick house of Johnson's family in Mesquite, Texas, a middle-class Dallas suburb.
Neighbor Kimberly Smith said her son went to high school with Johnson. ''He was a nice kid. My son was surprised he would cause any problem.''
Slideshow (2 Images) Army Lieutenant Colonel Major Michael Waltz, a former special forces officer and White House aide, said in an interview with Reuters that a video of the attack indicated that Johnson was ''not only trained, but well trained.''
The video was taken by a person at the scene and widely circulated on social media.
Waltz said Johnson appeared to have received ''close-quarters battle'' training, which focuses on urban combat.
Reporting by Gina Cherelus and Erwin Seba; Writing by Joseph Ax; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta and Mimi Dwyer in New York and Jonathan Landay in Washington; Editing by Frances Kerry, Toni Reinhold
2016 shooting of Dallas police officers - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:29
mass murder by Micah Xavier Johnson during protest rally
On July 7, 2016, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers and injuring nine others. Two civilians were also wounded. Johnson was an Army Reserve Afghan War veteran who was angry over police shootings of black men and stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers. The shooting happened at the end of a protest against the police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, which had occurred in the preceding days.
Following the shooting, Johnson fled inside a building on the campus of El Centro College. Police followed him there, and a standoff ensued. In the early hours of July 8, police killed Johnson with a bomb attached to a remote control bomb disposal robot. It was the first time U.S. law enforcement used a robot to kill a suspect.[8]
The shooting was the deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since the September 11, 2001 attacks, surpassing two related March 2009 shootings in Oakland, California and a November 2009 ambush shooting in Lakewood, Washington, which had each resulted in the death of four police officers.
Background [ edit ] A protest was organized in Dallas by the Next Generation Action Network in response to the killings of two men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively, days before.[9] The Dallas protest was one of several held across the United States on the night of July 7.[10] Around 800 protesters were involved, and around 100 police officers were assigned to monitor the event.[6] [11] About 20 to 30 open-carry gun rights activists joined the protest march, some wearing gas masks, bulletproof vests, and fatigues, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.[12][13][14][15]
Events [ edit ] Map of events.
[16]1. Johnson parks SUV and fires towards Main Street
2. Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, Officer Patrick Zamarippa, and Officer Michael Krol are killed. Several other officers and a civilian were injured.
3. Johnson chases down and kills DART Police Officer Brent Thompson.
4. Johnson attempts but fails to enter the college.
5. Johnson enters the college from Elm Street (location unknown)
6. Johnson goes to second floor, runs into a dead end, and shoots towards a
7-Eleven.
7. 7-Eleven where Sergeant Michael Smith is shot and killed.
Most of the events happened in the streets and buildings around El Centro College, which forms a city block composed of multiple buildings. The block is bordered by Main Street on the south where the protest march was taking place; Lamar Street to the east from where Johnson initiated the shooting spree; and Elm Street to the north where Johnson eventually entered the college.[16]
Main Street shootings [ edit ] Around 8:58 p.m. Johnson parked his SUV sideways on Lamar Street, in front of the east entrance to the college, at Building A, and left the vehicle hazard lights blinking.[16][17] At the time, the street had been cleared out in anticipation of the protest.[17] Taking cover at street level, he began shooting at groups of police and protesters who were gathered on Main Street.[3][18] Johnson was believed to have talked to three of the officers he shot before he first opened fire.[17]
Three officers were killed in the initial gunfire, while at least three others and a civilian were injured.[19] Eleven officers fired back.[20] During the shooting, officers, unaware where the shots were coming from, scrambled to block intersections and were exposed to gunfire as a result.[21]
Immediately afterwards, Johnson made his way north on Lamar Street, encountering Officer Brent Thompson along the way.[19] A civilian recorded video of the encounter from his hotel balcony on Lamar Street. The video showed Johnson, clad in tactical clothing and armed with a rifle, loading his rifle and firing indiscriminately to draw officers near his position. When Thompson approached a corner, Johnson engaged him in a gunfight, forcing Thompson to take cover behind a concrete pillar. Johnson fired towards one side of the pillar, then ran over to the other side of the pillar to flank Thompson and shot him multiple times from behind, killing him.[22]
El Centro College shootout [ edit ] Johnson, now injured during the firefight, attempted to enter the Lamar Street entrance of the college by shooting out the glass door but was unable to make his way in.[16] He wounded two campus police officers who were near the doorway inside the building. One was shot in the stomach underneath his bulletproof vest (with the bullet not being discovered until three weeks later[23]), while the other was hit by flying glass in the legs.[24] Johnson then made his way to Elm Street where he shot out another glass door and entered the college unseen; he then made his way to Building B.[25] Hearing the shattering glass, one of the injured campus officers, Corporal Bryan Shaw, made his way through the building and discovered a trail of blood leading to a stairwell. Accompanied by another police officer, Shaw entered the stairwell and was met with a hail of gunfire coming from above. Unable to see Johnson, he held his fire and retreated with the other officer.[16][26]
Afterwards, Johnson made his way along a mezzanine between the school's second-floor dining area and third-floor library, but came onto a dead end of windows facing down onto Elm Street. He shot out multiple windows and fired repeatedly at officers on Elm Street. He hit Michael Smith, a police officer standing in front of a 7-Eleven, killing him and shattering the store-front glass. Officers began entering the college, sealing escape routes from the building, and evacuating students and teachers in the building, including those on a floor above Johnson, through a different stairwell.[16][17][19]
Approaching Johnson on the second floor near the library,[25] officers found him secured behind a corner firing intermittently.[27] He was in an area filled with offices and the school's computer servers, with only two doors leading to where he was positioned, and a hallway about 30 feet (9.1 m) long separating him from SWAT members.[17][25] At least 200 gunshots were believed to have been fired by Johnson and SWAT officers in that area during the standoff.[25]
Standoff and shooter's death [ edit ] Officers opened negotiations for surrender but Johnson said he would speak to black police officers only. Johnson stated that he had acted alone and was not part of any group. According to Chief Brown, Johnson appeared delusional during his standoff; "We had negotiated with him for about two hours, and he just basically lied to us, playing games, laughing at us, singing, asking how many did he get and that he wanted to kill some more." By about 2:30 a.m.,[28] Chief Brown saw no possibility of negotiating further[29] and made the decision to use a bomb disposal remote control vehicle armed with about 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of C-4 explosive. The plan was to move the robot to a point against a wall facing Johnson and then detonate the explosives.[26][30][31][32][33][34] The robot exploded as intended, killing Johnson immediately. The robot, while sustaining damage to its extended arm, was still functional.[35]
It was later discovered that Johnson scrawled the letters "RB" in his own blood while in the college, apparently after being wounded while making his way up a stairwell.[36][37] The meaning of "RB" and other markings made by Johnson was unclear, and investigators subsequently attempted to discern its meaning.[36][37][38]
Chief Brown said that during negotiations, Johnson declared he had placed explosives in downtown Dallas.[18][39] A sweep of downtown Dallas found no presence of explosives.[9]
Victims [ edit ] Five officers were killed, and nine others and two civilians were injured.[24][40][41]
Most of the victims were shot during the protests, and at least one other during a shootout.[42][43] The dead comprised four Dallas Police Department (DPD) officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer.[9] Four of the injured officers were from DPD, three were from DART,[28] and two were from El Centro College.[24][44][45] Seven of the injured officers were treated at Parkland Memorial Hospital.[46] Two officers underwent surgery.[47] One civilian was shot in the back of the leg, breaking her tibia.[48]
The officers killed were identified as:
DPD Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, age 48, who had been with the department since 2002.[9][49][50]DPD Officer Michael Krol, 40, who had been with the department since 2007.[9][49][51]DPD Sgt. Michael Smith, 55, a former Army Ranger[52] who had been with the department since 1989.[9][53][54]DART Officer Brent Thompson, 43, a former enlisted Marine[55] who had been with the department since 2009. Thompson was the first DART officer to be killed in the line of duty since the department's inception in 1989.[9][56]DPD Officer Patricio "Patrick" Zamarripa,[57] 32, a former Navy sailor[55] and Iraq War veteran who had been with the department since 2011.[9][58]This was the deadliest single incident for law enforcement officers in the United States since the September 11 attacks,[1] surpassing two 2009 shootings in Lakewood, Washington, and Oakland, California, where four officers each were killed.[59][60]
Perpetrator [ edit ] Early life and education [ edit ] Micah Xavier Johnson was born in Mississippi and raised in Mesquite, Texas.[9][56][61][62] He once described his childhood as "stressful" during a VA visit on August 15, 2014, but further details were redacted on the visit report.[63] When he was four, his parents divorced.[62][64]
Johnson transferred into John Horn High School when he was 17 and participated in its Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, according to the Mesquite Independent School District.[62][64] He struggled academically, graduating in 2009 with a 1.98 grade-point average and a ranking of 430 out of 453 students in his class.[62][65][66]
In the spring of 2011, he enrolled in four classes at Richland College, but never completed any of them.[67] Investigators believed that Johnson had access to El Centro College through his enrollment at Richland, citing his pre-planned and coordinated movements throughout Building B.[17]
Military service [ edit ] Immediately after high school,[68] Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve and served from March 2009 to April 2015 as a 12W carpentry and masonry specialist.[69] He completed basic training, which required qualification on handling of an M16 rifle or M4 carbine, basic rifles for U.S. military personnel.[70] According to Justin Garner, a high-school friend and classmate who later served alongside Johnson in the same unit, Johnson lacked proficiency in certain required technical skills, such as marksmanship.[62]
Johnson was activated at the rank of private first class in September 2013 in support of the War in Afghanistan, where he was deployed from November 2013 to July 2014[3][65][71] with the 420th Engineer Brigade.[72]
People who knew Johnson during his time in the Army described him as openly religious and often socializing with white soldiers.[67] A squad leader, who trained Johnson in tactical maneuvers and protection in 2009 and 2010, described him as "klutzy", "goofy sometimes", and "a nice guy", but also quiet and unmotivated.[73][74]
Documents released by the Army on July 29 detailed early signs of disturbing behavior being exhibited by him, but specific details were redacted.[75] They also said that while Johnson was sociable, he was generally described by soldiers as a loner who sometimes ate his lunch in a vehicle alone while the rest of his unit ate outside together.[76]
Discharge [ edit ] On May 1, 2014,[77] during his deployment, he was accused of sexual harassment by a female soldier, who sought a protective order against him and said that he needed mental health counseling.[62][78][79][80] The accusation was made after the soldier reported four pairs of women's underwear missing from her laundry bag. A "health and welfare inspection" of soldiers' rooms found one pair in Johnson's quarters, while a soldier discovered the remaining three in Johnson's pocket. Upon being confronted about it, Johnson fled with the undergarments and attempted to dispose of them in a nearby dumpster. He then lied that a female civilian acquaintance gave the underwear to him, but the female soldier confirmed that they were in fact hers.[75][76][81][82]
The female soldier told investigators that she and Johnson had been platonic friends for five years, but had stopped talking to each other. She described their relationship as being tumultuous and involving fights and disagreements. She specifically recalled one incident where Johnson punched out a car window over her leaving for college and severed an artery, then forced her to bring him to a hospital for treatment. However, Johnson claimed that he punched out the window when the soldier missed a movie they planned to see together, and added that he had been under stress from his job and turbulent home life at the time.[77][83][84][85]
According to the soldier, Johnson asked her for a pair of her underwear before the May 1 incident, but she declined. Also, during a Facebook conversation with her, Johnson mentioned "tying her down and having her face down on the bed" but then claimed the statement was a joke. Though she told him that rape was "never a joke" and to stop contacting her, the soldier did not report him for harassment at the time because she was used to that kind of rhetoric, as she was frequently around men at home and work.[77][86] Though the May 1 incident did not meet the Army's criteria for sexual harassment, investigators found that Johnson's sexually suggestive comments to the female soldier met said criteria.[75][76][81][82]
Following the inspection, he was disarmed under the recommendation of his platoon sergeant, who felt he posed a potential threat. Another Army official later described the action as unusual, as Johnson did not appear to be visibly agitated or a threat to himself or others at the time.[83][84] Johnson was then placed under 24-hour escort, which was reportedly a shameful and ostracizing experience,[62] before being temporarily moved to Bagram Airfield on May 3, but he did not have enough time to pack all of his belongings. While soldiers were emptying Johnson's quarters and packing his belongings for him on May 14, they discovered an unauthorized single M430I High Explosive Dual Purpose 40mm grenade, a .50-caliber round, and another soldier's prescription medication in his sleeping bag.[75][76][77][82]
Later, the Army sent Johnson back to the U.S., and according to the military lawyer who represented Johnson at the time, the Army initiated proceedings to give Johnson an "other than honorable" discharge. The lawyer claimed this was "highly unusual" because written reprimands are usually issued before more drastic steps are taken, and also because the decision was allegedly based on a single sexual harassment allegation. The lawyer was evidently unaware of the grenade and other contraband discovered in Johnson's possession shortly before he was repatriated to the United States from Afghanistan as well as other factors in Johnson's possibly redacted record.[68][78][80] On the advice of his attorney, Johnson waived his right to a hearing in exchange for a more favorable general discharge under honorable conditions.[78][87] He was honorably discharged in September 2014, apparently as a result of an Army error.[79] Johnson remained in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), meaning he could be recalled into the Army if needed, and was part of the IRR at the time of his death.[65][83]
Johnson received the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and NATO Medal for his tour of duty in Afghanistan.[29][72]
Some of Johnson's fellow soldiers criticized the Army's handling of the case.[62][87]
Motive [ edit ] Chief Brown said that Johnson, who was black, was upset about recent police shootings "stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers."[6][7] A friend and former coworker of Johnson's described him as "always [being] distrustful of the police."[64] Another former coworker said he seemed "very affected" by recent police shootings of black men.[67] A friend said that Johnson had anger management problems and would repeatedly watch video of the 1991 beating of Rodney King by police officers.[88] Brown said that Johnson had told police negotiators that he was upset about Black Lives Matter.[89]
Investigators found no ties between Johnson and international terrorist or domestic extremist groups.[69]
An investigation into his online activities uncovered his interest in black nationalist groups.[78] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and news outlets reported that Johnson "liked" the Facebook pages of black nationalist organizations such as the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), Nation of Islam, and Black Riders Liberation Army, three groups which are listed by the SPLC as hate groups.[90] On Facebook, Johnson posted an angry and "disjointed" post against white people on July 2, several days before the attack.[91]
NBPP head Quanell X said after the shooting that Johnson had been a member of the NBPP's Houston chapter for about six months, several years before.[92] Quanell X added that Johnson had been "asked to leave" the group for violating the organization's "chain of command" and espousing dangerous rhetoric, such as asking the NBPP why they had not purchased more weapons and ammunition, and expressing his desire to harm black church preachers because he believed they were more interested in money than God.[93][94][95] Following the shooting, a national NBPP leader distanced the group from Johnson, saying that he "was not a member of" the party.[94]
Johnson also "liked" the Facebook page of the African American Defense League, whose leader, Mauricelm-Lei Millere, called for the murders of police officers across the U.S. following the fatal 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.[78][94] In response to the police killing of Alton Sterling, the organization had "posted a message earlier in the week encouraging violence against police".[79]
Johnson's Facebook profile photo depicted Johnson raising his arm in a Black Power salute, along with images of a Black Power symbol and a flag associated with the Pan-Africanism movement.[78][91] These symbols have long represented nonviolent black empowerment, "but have also been co-opted by extremist groups with racist views."[78]
Conversely, people familiar with Johnson during his military service believed he may have been severely stressed with serving in a combat zone. They also said he had little interest in the topics of racial injustice and the shooting of Trayvon Martin that occurred at the time.[67] In an interview, Johnson's parents said that he was once extroverted and patriotic, and wanted to become a police officer. Following his discharge from the Army, they described him as disillusioned, reclusive, and resentful of the U.S. government; and believed he had been disappointed by his experience in the military.[80][96] According to a soldier, Johnson had a small breakdown after he began losing his friends in the Army after details of the sexual harassment accusation were released.[87]
Before the shooting [ edit ] According to an employment application made by Johnson seven months before his death, he worked in a Jimmy John's sandwich shop in north Dallas beginning in 2010, and took a position as a quality assurance worker at a Garland, Texas truck plant in 2012.[65] At the time of his death, Johnson was working as an in-home caregiver for his mentally disabled adult brother. Both men lived with their mother in her home.[97][65]
Johnson had no criminal record in Texas.[9] However, the Mesquite Police Department documented an encounter with him in January 2011. According to the report, Johnson walked into their police station "visibly upset and...bouncing from side to side." He told an officer that a female friend had lied to him and that he had nowhere else to go. He also declined mental health treatment and claimed he was not a threat to himself or others. Johnson was eventually picked up from the station by a friend from his Army Reserve unit.[76]
The Veterans Health Administration released documents in August 2016 showing that Johnson had symptoms for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following his return from Afghanistan. He was not formally diagnosed with the condition, and doctors concluded that he presented no serious risk to himself or others. Johnson had sought treatment for anxiety, depression, and hallucinations, once telling doctors that he had experienced nightmares after witnessing fellow soldiers dying in explosions. Johnson also said that he would hear voices and mortars exploding; and that after returning to the U.S., he would be paranoid, suffer from lower back pain, and experience panic attacks a few times per week. For the latter condition, he recalled one incident at a Wal-Mart that required a police response. For his conditions, Johnson was prescribed several medications, including a muscle relaxant, an antidepressant, and anti-anxiety and sleep medication.[63]
Chief Brown said that while Johnson had been planning the shooting before the deaths of Sterling and Philando Castile, both incidents served as the trigger to commit the shooting and that he saw the Dallas protest as "an opportunity" to attack police officers.[98] Johnson had offered to work security at an anti-Donald Trump rally led by Dallas civil rights activist Reverend Peter Johnson on June 16, but he insisted on bringing a gun, so the reverend declined.[99]
According to police and a neighbor, Johnson practiced military exercises in his backyard.[100][101] In 2014, Johnson received training and instruction at a private self-defense school that teaches tactics such as "shooting on the move" (i.e., quickly firing, then changing position and resuming gunfire).[102] The tactic was designed to keep a gunman's location uncertain and create the impression of multiple shooters.[103] Although the school's website does mention such training as being offered, Justin Everman, the founder of the school, stated that Johnson only took self-defense courses two years ago.[104] Investigators believed that he began amassing his arsenal around the same time, stockpiling guns and gathering chemicals and electronic devices and PVC piping needed to build explosives.[70][105]
Investigation [ edit ] Law enforcement personnel investigating the crime scene.
Weapons [ edit ] There were conflicting reports on the type of semi-automatic rifle that Johnson used during the shooting.[106] Clay Jenkins, the Dallas County chief executive and the director of homeland security and emergency management, said Johnson used an SKS.[100][106] News reports, all citing unnamed officials familiar with the investigation, said Johnson used an Izhmash-Saiga 5.45mm rifle, which is a variation on the AK-74.[106][107][108][109][110]
The New York Daily News did an interview with a man who sold Johnson a semiautomatic AK-47 pattern rifle in November 2014. The man said he sold Johnson the rifle and made the deal in a Target parking lot. When the man asked the ATF if his weapon played a part in the shooting, the ATF agent who responded said, "All we can say is it was recovered. We're just finding out everything we can."[111]
In addition to the rifle, Johnson carried at least one handgun with a high-capacity magazine during the attack.[100] CNN, citing an unnamed official, reported that two handguns were recovered, one a Glock 19 Gen4 pistol and the other a Fraser .25-caliber.[108]
The FBI reported that Johnson wore ballistic body armor with plates during the shooting.[36]
Searches [ edit ] Johnson's family home was searched by authorities the day after the shooting.[112] Bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, two rifles, ammunition, and a "personal journal of combat tactics" containing "instruction on shooting techniques and tactical movements" were recovered from the home by detectives.[28][34][109][113] Amateur civilian footage of the shooting captured from a rooftop showed Johnson shooting while advancing at Officer Thompson, who was positioned defensively behind a pillar, before pivoting and immediately flanking the officer on the other side of the pillar and unleashing another barrage of point-blank gunfire.[citation needed ] Chief Brown reported that the journal included "quite a bit of rambling ... that's hard to decipher."[36]
Chief Brown said that recovered evidence pointed to Johnson practicing detonations and having enough explosive material to cause "devastating effects" throughout Dallas and the North Texas area.[21] However, the latter claim was contradicted on July 18 by two officials familiar with the investigation, who both said small amounts of Tannerite, a binary explosive used to make explosive targets for gun ranges, and acetone, an accelerant in explosives, were recovered from the home.[114]
Statements were taken from three hundred witnesses and officers during the course of the investigation.[115] Investigators are examining Johnson's laptop, journal, and cell phone, along with 170 hours of body camera footage.[21][115] However, there were concerns about the resolution quality of some of the 90 cameras installed in downtown Dallas, which could have recorded parts of the shooting essential to the investigation. The cameras were part of a multimillion-dollar downtown surveillance system implemented to reduce crime in the area.[116] The Dallas Police Department planned to release surveillance footage of the shooting on August 29, but held it off, saying the release would interfere with its investigation.[117]
[ edit ] Officials initially said two or more snipers carried out the shooting, with the confusion later attributed to ricocheting bullets and the echoes of gunshots. They later said that Johnson appears to have been the lone gunman, with all of the gunshots traced back to him. Three other people were taken into custody by police, "but officials have not said what roles they may have played."[7][19][118][119] These three included two persons seen carrying camouflage bags and leaving the shooting scene on Lamar Street. They were both stopped and detained after a six-mile chase.[120] The detained persons were all later determined to be fleeing protesters who were either armed or carrying ammunition gear.[113] However, police announced on July 9 that they were continuing to investigate whether Johnson acted alone or conspired with others in planning the shooting.[121] Investigators obtained a search warrant to look for phone numbers connected to Johnson.[109]
One of the people taken into custody by police had attended the protest wearing a camouflage T-shirt and openly carrying an unloaded AR-15 rifle.[122] Shortly after the shooting, the Dallas Police Department (DPD) tweeted a photo of the man describing him as one of their suspects and asked the public's help in finding him.[123] The police-released image of the suspect was widely shared on social media and broadcast on national television.[124] The suspect turned himself in and was subsequently released after questioning without charge.[125]
Army internal review [ edit ] On July 13, Pentagon officials announced that the U.S. Army has launched an internal review into Johnson's military service. The review was initiated after questions were raised about the appropriateness of his honorable discharge despite the sexual harassment allegations made against him, and the fact that the Army had been highly considering an "other than honorable discharge" for Johnson.[66][68]
During the investigation, the Army uncovered an incomplete amount of information regarding the sexual harassment allegations. The following day, another review was initiated by the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, to determine if a full investigation was made into the allegations. An Army official echoed a statement made by the lawyer who represented Johnson, saying that Johnson's honorable discharge may have been the result of an administrative error. The same official added that nothing had been found in Johnson's record that indicated a willingness to commit murder.[126]
On July 29, the Army released a heavily redacted report, which detailed the incident behind Johnson's discharge but did not address why he was discharged honorably.[75][81] Another investigative report was released on August 17.[77][83] On September 7, the Army released Johnson's personnel files.[127]
Aftermath [ edit ] 2016 Dallas police shooting memorial service 2
DART suspended service in downtown Dallas after the shooting, but resumed the next morning with the exception of West End station.[1][128] The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction of civilian aircraft for the immediate vicinity in which the shooting occurred, allowing only police aircraft in the airspace.[129]
El Centro College canceled all classes on July 8.[1] Police barricaded the perimeter and began canvassing the crime scene. The explosion that killed Johnson also destroyed the school's servers, further delaying reopening. The school partially reopened on July 20, with staff returning that day and students on the following day. Buildings A, B, and C remained closed pending the FBI investigation.[17][130] A "Reflect and Renew" ceremony dedicated to demonstrating citywide efforts to unify Dallas was held at the college on July 27. Students and staff, along with city and community officials, were in attendance.[131][132]
Chief Brown said that police efforts to identify the gunman were made more difficult by the presence of up to thirty civilians openly carrying rifles during the protest, which is legal in Texas. Brown said, "We're trying as best we can as a law enforcement community to make it work so that citizens can express their Second Amendment rights. But it's increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over their shoulder and they're in a crowd. We don't know who the good guy is versus the bad guy when everyone starts shooting." In an interview after the shooting, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that he supported changing state law to restrict the public carrying of rifles and shotguns so that the police could distinguish between suspects and civilians more easily during crises.[133][134]
Dallas Observer noted several similarities between Johnson and Mark Essex, a discharged U.S. Navy sailor and Black Panther who committed two attacks against white civilians and police officers on December 31, 1972, and January 7, 1973, in New Orleans. The attacks left nine people dead, including five police officers.[135]
Lawsuits [ edit ] In November 2016, Enrique Zamarripa, the father of Officer Patrick Zamarripa, one of the murdered police officers, filed a lawsuit against Black Lives Matter and 13 other defendants, including the Nation of Islam, the New Black Panther Party, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and individual activists. The lawsuit seeks $550 million in damages and claims that Johnson was acting as an agent for the defendants and alleged that the defendants incited violence and caused the Dallas shooting as a "direct result".[136][137] The mother of the officer, Valerie Zamarripa, distanced herself from her ex-husband's lawsuit, saying that it did not reflect her views, or the views of the foundation set up in her son's name.[137]
Earlier, in September 2016, a Dallas police officer, Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, represented by lawyer Larry Klayman, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against 17 people'--including Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam, Sharpton, the National Action Network, Black Lives Matter, DeRay Mckesson, Malik Zulu Shabazz, the New Black Panther Party, George Soros, President Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and Jesse Jackson'--blaming them for the attack and seeking damages of over $500 million.[138][139] Klayman has used his nonprofit group Freedom Watch to pursue lawsuits that "further supposed 'far-right' causes" in the past.[140] The lawsuit was seen as "unlikely to be taken too seriously by a judge"[138] and all of Klayman's claims against Mckesson and Black Lives Matter were dismissed or withdrawn.[141] Attorneys for Mckesson have argued that "Klayman should have known his claims were frivolous."[141]
In January 2017, Pennie separately sued Twitter, Facebook, and Google in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming that the websites "knowingly and recklessly" allowed terrorist propaganda to be spread on their social networks.[142][143]
Effects on policing [ edit ] As a result of the shooting, local law enforcement officers worked more than $800,000 in overtime to help the Dallas Police Department (DPD). This included $86,000 spent by the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, $88,000 spent by the Arlington Police Department, about $705,250 by DPD, and unknown sums by the Irving Police Department and the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department.[144]
Following this shooting and another in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that killed three police officers and wounded three others, local law enforcement agencies across the U.S. began readjusting response strategies, with more officers being paired up in patrol vehicles.[a] Departments also began to increase security and surveillance at protest events against police.[145]
Within twelve days following the shooting, DPD received 467 job applications, representing a 344% increase from the 136 applications received by the department in June. In the months before the shooting, DPD, along with other police departments across the country, had been struggling to recruit new officers. DPD even had to cancel academy classes because there were not enough applicants, and also struggled in retaining officers due to a low salary.[146][147] On August 25, DPD announced their goal to hire 549 officers by October 2017, though some police and City Council officials called it an unrealistic goal due to the department's strict hiring requirements.[148]
Use of a police robot to kill Johnson [ edit ] The killing of Johnson was the first time in United States history a robot was used by police to kill a suspect.[149] The Remotec ANDROS Mark V-A1,[150] a bomb disposal remote control vehicle used by police, was rigged with about 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of C-4 explosive.[30][31][32][33][34] The decision to attack Johnson with a robot was made after it was concluded that the heavily armed assailant had secured himself behind a corner at the end of a hallway, with no safe way for police to rush him or reach him with a sniper.[26][27]
There were various reactions to the lethal use of a robot by police. P. W. Singer, a robotics expert at the New America Foundation, said it was the first instance of which he was aware of a robot being used lethally by police.[151][152][153] Seth Stoughton, an assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina, said, "This is sort of a new horizon for police technology. Robots have been around for a while, but using them to deliver lethal force raises some new issues."[154]
To this effect, Stoughton said, "I'm not aware of any police department having on hand something that is intended to be used as a weaponized explosive." He believed that the manner in which the police used the robot was justified due to Johnson being an imminent threat to police personnel and civilians, stating, "The circumstances that justify lethal force justify lethal force in essentially every form."[154] Security researcher Matt Blaze tweeted that he was concerned about how the control link to the robot was secured.[155]
[ edit ] Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety to offer any assistance to Dallas when requested. He also said, "In times like this we must remember'--and emphasize'--the importance of uniting as Americans."[156] Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick attributed the violence to individuals on social media, "former Black Lives Matter protesters", and others with anti-police views,[157] later expressing regret for his statement.[158]
President Barack Obama called the shooting a "vicious, calculated, despicable attack" and a "tremendous tragedy".[159] He also made immediate calls for gun control.[160] The Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the U.S., called for the shooting to be investigated as a hate crime[161][162] and criticized President Obama's response, saying that he needed to speak for everyone and not give one speech for police officers and another one for African Americans.[161]
Leaders associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, including organizers of the protest rally, condemned the shooting.[163][164]
On July 8, the day after the shooting, a special interfaith vigil attracted hundreds of people to Thanks-Giving Square in Downtown Dallas, where Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and regional faith leaders led prayers for the officers involved in the shooting and for everyone affected by it.[166]
An interfaith memorial to the dead officers was held at Dallas's Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12. Former President George W. Bush, a Texan, and President Obama both spoke.[167][168] Obama praised the Dallas police as heroes and called the killings "an act not just of demented violence but of racial hatred."[167] In the aftermath, Obama urged Americans not to give in to despair, saying, "[W]e are not so divided as we seem."[167][169]
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that agents from the ATF, FBI, Marshals Service, and other U.S. Department of Justice agencies were on the scene working with state and local agencies. Lynch stated that the proper response to uncertainty and fear "is never violence" but rather is "calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action."[170][171] Lynch also said, "To all Americans, I ask you, I implore you, do not let this week precipitate a new normal in this country."[171]
After the shootings at Dallas, Louisiana, and Minnesota, the Bahamian government issued a travel advisory telling citizens to use caution when traveling to the U.S. due to racial tensions. They specifically advised that young men use "extreme caution" when interacting with police and to be non-confrontational and cooperative.[172][173]
See also [ edit ] 1985 MOVE bombing2014 killings of NYPD officers2015 attack on Dallas police2016 shootings of Des Moines police officers2016 shooting of Baton Rouge police officersGun violence in the United StatesList of American police officers killed in the line of dutyList of killings by law enforcement officers in the United StatesList of rampage killers (religious, political or racial crimes)Notes [ edit ] ^ While it was once standard practice to pair officers in patrol vehicles, budget cuts and other staffing demands prompted many police departments to implement more single-officer patrols.[145] References [ edit ] ^ a b c d "Sniper Ambush Kills 5 Officers, Injures 7 in Dallas Following Peaceful Protest". NBC DFW. July 7, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Wash, Stephanie; Jacobo, Julia; Shapiro, Emily (July 9, 2016). "Dallas Shooting Suspect Micah Johnson Had Rifles, Bombmaking Materials in His Home, Police Say". ABC News . Retrieved May 30, 2017 . ^ a b c Achenbach, Joel; Wan, William; Berman, Mark; Balingit, Moriah (July 8, 2016). "Five Dallas police officers were killed by a lone attacker, authorities say". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ "Dallas Gunman Micah Johnson Used Assault-Style Rifle: Law Enforcement". NBC News. ^ a b "Dallas Police shed light on gunman's possible motives". ABC News. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset with white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. ^ a b c d Bruton, F. Brinley; Smith, Alexander; Chuck, Elizabeth; Helsel, Phil (July 7, 2016). "Dallas Police 'Ambush': 12 Officers Shot, 5 Killed During Protest". NBC News . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ a b c d Shapiro, Emily; Jacobo, Julia; Wash, Stephanie (July 9, 2016). "Dallas Shooting Suspect Micah Xavier Johnson Had Rifles, Bomb-Making Materials in His Home, Police Say". ABC News . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Thielman, Sam (July 8, 2016). "Use of police robot to kill Dallas shooting suspect believed to be first in US history". The Guardian . Retrieved August 8, 2019 . ^ a b c d e f g h i j McGee, Patrick; Fernandez, Manny; Bromwich, Jonah Engel (July 7, 2016). "Snipers Kill 5 Dallas Officers at Protest Against Police Shootings". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ Gunaratna, Shanika (July 7, 2016). "12 officers shot at Dallas protest against police shootings". CBS News . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ "11 Dallas Police and DART Officers Wounded, 5 Fatally, at Rally to Protest Police Shootings". Dallas Observer. July 7, 2016 . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ Pane, Lisa Marie. "Friend or foe? Open-carry law poses challenge to police". News West 9. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 12, 2016 . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ "Friend or foe? Open-carry law poses challenge to police". U.S. News & World Report. July 11, 2016 . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ "Man falsely connected to the shooting by Dallas police is now getting 'thousands' of death threats". The Washington Post. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ Newton-Small, Jay (July 9, 2016). "Falsely Accused Dallas 'Suspect' Now Fears for His Life". TIME . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b c d e f Hacker, Holly K. (July 12, 2016). "El Centro College officials trace footsteps of Dallas police killer". Dallas News . Retrieved July 15, 2016 . ^ a b c d e f g Young, Stephen (July 20, 2016). "Police Provide Details of Shootout at El Centro". Dallas Observer . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ a b Williams, Lee; Mitchell, Mitch; Osborne, Ryan (July 7, 2016). "5 officers killed, others wounded in Dallas shooting; suspects arrested". Star-Telegram . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b c d Emily, Jennifer; Tsiaperas, Tasha (July 14, 2016). "Dallas police shooter killed 4 officers on the street, 1 through a second-floor window". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved July 15, 2016 . ^ Bacon, John (July 11, 2016). "Police study 170 hours of body cam footage in Dallas shooting". USA Today . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b c Blinder, Alan; Williams, Timothy (July 10, 2016). "Dallas Gunman Had Plans for Wider Attack, Police Say". The New York Times . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ Ap, Tiffany (July 8, 2016). "Dallas shooting eyewitness: "It looked like an execution " ". CNN . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Martinez, Marina Trahan (July 29, 2016). "Surgeon finds bullet inside El Centro officer 3 weeks after Dallas ambush". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved July 30, 2016 . ^ a b c Cardona, Claire Z. (July 10, 2016). "2 El Centro College officers wounded when sniper shot through glass doors". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b c d Lavandera, Ed (July 20, 2016). "How the Dallas massacre unfolded". CNN . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ a b c Kravarik, Jason; Sidner, Sara (July 15, 2016). "The Dallas shootout, in the eyes of police". CNN . Retrieved July 15, 2016 . ^ a b Wilonsky, Robert (July 10, 2016). "How and why Dallas police decided to use a bomb to end the standoff with lone gunman". Dallas Morning News (online ed.). Dallas . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ a b c Hennessy-Fiske, Molly; Wilber, Del Quentin; Pearce, Matt (July 8, 2016). " ' Loner' Dallas gunman had bomb materials and kept journal of combat tactics". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b Gaouette, Nicole; Visser, Steve (July 9, 2016). "Dallas police shooter a reclusive Army reservist". CNN . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ a b Davis, Todd L.; Friedman, Scott (July 9, 2016). "Lone Gunman Laughed, Sang During Standoff: Sources". KXAS-TV . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ a b c Axe, David (July 8, 2016). "Cops Kill With a Robot for the 1st Time". Daily Beast . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b "1 suspect in Dallas shootings dies". KMTV. Associated Press. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . "Dallas Police Used Bomb Robot to Take Down Gunman Who Shot Cops". NBC News. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b MacNeal, Caitlin (July 8, 2016). "Chief: Dallas Shooting Suspect Killed When Police Robot Detonated Bomb". Talking Points Memo . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b c Sickles, Jason (July 8, 2016). "Dallas sniper shooting: 5 police officers slain, suspect ID'd as Army vet Micah Johnson". Yahoo! News . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Thomas, Joel (July 11, 2016). "New Details On Robot That Killed Ambush Suspect". CBS DFW . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b c d Branigin, William; Goldman, Adam (July 10, 2016). "Dallas police chief: Shooter seemed delusional, scrawled cryptic messages in blood". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b Stableford, Dylan (July 10, 2016). "Dallas shooter scrawled letters in own blood on wall after killings, police chief says". Yahoo! News . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ "Dallas shooting suspect taunted police during 2 hours of negotiation". Associated Press. July 10, 2016 . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ "Gunman 'Blasted Out' After Five Police Killed". Sky News. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Ford, Matt (July 7, 2016). "The Dallas Shootings: What We Know". The Atlantic . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ Carissimo, Justin; Garcia, Feliks; Osborne, Samuel (July 7, 2016). "Dallas shooting: Five officers killed and six wounded by snipers at protest". The Independent . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Karimi, Faith; Shoichet, Catherine E.; Ellis, Ralph (July 7, 2016). "Dallas sniper attack: 5 officers killed, suspect identified". CNN . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . Five police officers were killed and seven others were injured in the ambush. It was the deadliest single incident for U.S. police since September 11, 2001. Two civilians also were wounded in the shootings, the Dallas mayor's office said. ^ Weissert, Will (July 8, 2016). "Dallas suspect amassed personal arsenal at suburban home". KSL.com. Salt Lake City: KSL Broadcasting . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Haaf, Landon (July 10, 2016). "Injured by bullets and broken glass, El Centro officers kept protecting". WFAA . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ "El Centro College Officers Injured During Ambush". KTVT. July 10, 2016 . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ Kuo, Stephanie (July 11, 2016). " ' This Killing, It Has To Stop,' Says Surgeon Who Treated Wounded Police Officers". KERA . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ Caplan, David; Shapiro, Emily; Winsor, Morgan (July 7, 2016). "Dallas Ambush Shooting Was 'Well-Planned' and 'Thought Out,' Police Say". ABC News . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ "Woman shot by Dallas sniper was trying to protect her sons". CBC News. July 10, 2016 . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ a b "Dallas officers shot to death include newlywed, Iraq veteran". CBS News. Associated Press. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Hendrix, Steve (July 8, 2016). "Slain Dallas Officer Lorne Ahrens was out of surgery when something went wrong". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ "Metro Detroit native Michael Krol among Dallas officers killed". WJBK. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Owens, Marjorie; Armstrong, Jordan (July 9, 2016). "Names of Dallas officers killed in attack". WFAA . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ McBride, Brian; Mohney, Gillian (July 8, 2016). "Among Dallas Officers Killed, One Was a Father, Another a Newlywed". Yahoo! GMA. ABC News . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ McCrummen, Stephanie (July 8, 2016). " ' One of the good guys': Michael Smith had been a Dallas police officer for 25 years". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b "Murdered Dallas cops were veterans, husbands and fathers who died protecting protesters' rights". Fox News. July 9, 2016 . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ a b "What we know so far about deadly ambush in downtown Dallas". The Dallas Morning News. July 7, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Cattanach, Joanna (July 15, 2016). "Family, police honor fallen hero, Patricio Zamarripa, killed in Dallas sniper attack". FOX News Latino . Retrieved August 12, 2016 . ^ Cox, John Woodrow (July 8, 2016). "Officer Patrick Zamarripa survived three tours in Iraq before being killed in Dallas". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Park, Madison (July 8, 2016). "Dallas shooting is deadliest attack for police officers since 9/11". CNN . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ "Deadliest Days in Law Enforcement History". National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Archived from the original on July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ "Dallas shooting: Who was gunman Micah Xavier Johnson?". BBC News. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b c d e f g h "When Army career ended in disgrace, Dallas gunman was ostracized". Chicago Tribune. July 15, 2016 . Retrieved July 16, 2016 . ^ a b Burke, Garance (August 24, 2016). "Soldier who killed 5 Dallas officers showed PTSD symptoms". Yahoo! News. Associated Press . Retrieved August 24, 2016 . ^ a b c McGaughy, Lauren; Martin, Brittney (July 8, 2016). "Five things you should know about Dallas shooting suspect Micah Johnson". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b c d e Arkin, William; Connor, Tracy; Miklaszewski, Jim (July 8, 2016). "Dallas Shooter Micah Johnson Was Army Veteran and 'Loner ' ". NBC News . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b Moffeit, Miles (July 13, 2016). "Army launches internal review of Dallas shooter Micah Johnson's military record". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved July 13, 2016 . ^ a b c d Emily, Jennifer (July 10, 2016). "Who was Micah Johnson? A more complex picture emerges". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ a b c "Military investigates why Dallas gunman received honorable discharge". CBS News. Associated Press. July 13, 2016 . Retrieved July 13, 2016 . ^ a b Kennedy, Merrit (July 8, 2016). "What We Know About The Dallas Suspected Gunman". NPR . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b "Dallas gunman amassed personal arsenal over two years". CBS News. Associated Press. July 9, 2016 . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ Jamieson, Amber; Ackerman, Spencer; Dart, Tom (July 8, 2016). "Micah Xavier Johnson: Dallas suspect was Afghanistan war veteran, army says". The Guardian . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b Hennigan, W.J. (July 8, 2016). "Dallas gunman was a former Army Reserve soldier". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Gutierrez, Gabe; Bruton, F. Brinley (July 13, 2016). "Dallas Gunman Micah Johnson Was 'Klutzy,' 'Goofy' While in Army". NBC News . Retrieved July 13, 2016 . ^ Shipp, Brett (July 13, 2016). "Squad leader: Micah Johnson was trained to kill". KHOU . Retrieved July 13, 2016 . ^ a b c d e Wan, William (July 30, 2016). "Stolen underwear, pills and a grenade: Army found Dallas gunman behaving strangely 2 years ago". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 30, 2016 . ^ a b c d e Frosch, Dan; Berzon, Alexandra (July 29, 2016). "Report on Dallas Shooter Points to Erratic Behavior During Time in Army". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved July 30, 2016 . ^ a b c d e Trahan, Jason (August 17, 2016). "New documents show Dallas cop killer had violent outburst". WFAA . Retrieved August 17, 2016 . ^ a b c d e f g Mahler, Jonathan; Turkewitz, Julie (July 8, 2016). "Suspect in Dallas Attack Had Interest in Black Power Groups". The New York Times . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b c "Dallas sniper profile: Micah Johnson was sent home from Afghanistan". The Guardian. Associated Press. July 9, 2016 . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ a b c "Afghan tour made Dallas gunman a "hermit," family says". CBS News. Associated Press. July 11, 2016 . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b c "Dallas shooter was accused of sexual misconduct, military says". CBS News. Associated Press. July 29, 2016 . Retrieved July 30, 2016 . ^ a b c Kennedy, Merrit (July 29, 2016). "Hidden Panties And Explosives: Army Releases Bizarre Details About Dallas Shooter". NPR . Retrieved July 30, 2016 . ^ a b c d Brook, Tom Vanden; Locker, Ray (August 17, 2016). "Report shows that Army took away gun from Dallas cop shooter Micah Johnson". USA Today . Retrieved August 17, 2016 . ^ a b Frosch, Dan (August 17, 2016). "Dallas Shooter Had Firearm Taken Away During Time in Army". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved August 17, 2016 . ^ Martinez, Luis (August 17, 2016). "Army Removed Dallas Shooter's Weapons During Afghanistan Deployment". ABC News . Retrieved August 17, 2016 . ^ Young, Stephen (August 19, 2016). "5 Details From the Army's Investigation of Micah Johnson". Dallas Observer . Retrieved August 19, 2016 . ^ a b c Martin, Brittney; Krause, Kevin; Thompson, Steve (July 15, 2016). "Soldiers criticize Army's handling of Dallas shooter after underwear incident". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved July 16, 2016 . ^ Griffin, Drew; Fitzpatrick, David; Devine, Curt (July 10, 2016). "Was Dallas cop killer Micah Johnson radicalized online?". CNN . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ "Five Dallas Officers Were Killed as Payback, Police Chief Says - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. September 11, 2001 . Retrieved September 24, 2018 . ^ Beirich, Heidi; Lenz, Ryan (July 8, 2016). "Dallas Sniper Connected to Black Separatist Hate Groups on Facebook". Southern Poverty Law Center . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b Cherelus, Gina; Seba, Erwin; Ax, Joseph; Trotta, Daniel; Dwyer, Mimi; Landay, Jonathan (July 8, 2016). "Dallas shooting suspect's online posts reflect anger, frustration". Reuters . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ "Dallas shooter was ex-member of Houston's New Black Panther party". KPRC-TV. July 7, 2016 . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Hlavaty, Craig (July 11, 2016). "Quanell X: Dallas police shooter was excused from Houston group years ago". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b c Fung, Brian (July 9, 2016). "What you need to know about the black nationalists the Dallas shooter liked on Facebook". Washington Post . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ Ailworth, Erin; Frosch, Dan (July 15, 2016). "Dallas Shooter Micah Johnson Showed Interest in Black Nationalist Groups". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved July 15, 2016 . ^ Schuppe, Jon (July 11, 2016). "Dallas Sniper Micah Johnson Changed After Army Deployment, Parents Say". NBC News . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ "The Latest: Dallas gunman was paid to care for brother". Associated Press. July 9, 2016. Archived from the original on July 10, 2016 . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . Owner Jeppi Carnegie says that Micah Johnson was paid to care for his brother, who was in his early 20s. ^ "Dallas Police Chief: Micah Johnson Planned To Target Police Before Fatal Shootings Of 2 Black Men". CBS New York. Associated Press. July 10, 2016 . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ Zeeble, Bill (July 10, 2016). "Dallas Shooting Suspect Wanted To Bring Gun To Trump Protest Rally, Civil Rights Leader Says". KERA . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ a b c Fausset, Richard; Fernandez, Manny; Blinder, Alan (July 9, 2016). "Micah Johnson, Gunman in Dallas, Honed Military Skills to a Deadly Conclusion". The New York Times . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Klose, Lauren; Tracy, Thomas (July 8, 2016). "Micah Xavier Johnson's sister appears to condone violence against police in Facebook posts before Dallas massacre". The New York Daily News . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Dunklin, Reese; Linderman, Juliet (July 10, 2016). "Dallas gunman learned tactics at Texas self-defense school". Yahoo! News. Associated Press . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ Swaine, Jon; Helmore, Edward (July 10, 2016). "Hundreds arrested amid new protests as details of Dallas gunman's plans emerge". The Guardian . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ Banker, Phil (July 19, 2016). "Dallas shooter trained at Richardson school". Star Local Media . Retrieved July 24, 2016 . ^ "Dallas gunman Micah Johnson honed tactics at local combat school". CBS News. Associated Press. July 10, 2016 . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . ^ a b c Leefeldt, Ed (July 11, 2016). "Dallas shooting rifle: a "curio or relic," but still deadly". CBS News . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ Frosch, Dan; Kesling, Ben (July 11, 2016). "Dallas Shooter Purchased Guns Legally, Official Says: Investigation finds purchases were made at gun". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b Yan, Holly (July 11, 2016). "Writing in blood, threats of bombs: Latest on Dallas investigation". CNN . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b c "Police analyzing Dallas shooting suspect's phone records". Fox 4 News. July 12, 2016 . Retrieved July 12, 2016 . ^ Blankstein, Andrew; Arkin, William (July 12, 2016). "Dallas Gunman Micah Johnson Used a Saiga AK-74 Assault-Style Rifle: Sources". NBC News . Retrieved July 13, 2016 . ^ Schrader, Adam; Stepansky, Joseph; McShane, Larry (July 12, 2016). "Dallas cop shooter Micah Johnson purchased AK-47 in Target parking lot in 2014". The New York Daily News . Retrieved July 12, 2016 . ^ Gregory, John (July 8, 2016). "Dallas Suspect Said He Wanted To Kill White Officers, Police Say". KABC-TV (ABC 7) . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b Stanglin, Doug; Hughes, Trevor (July 8, 2016). "Bomb-making material, ballistic vests, rifles found in Dallas gunman's home". USA Today . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Merchant, Nomaan (July 15, 2016). "Officials: Gunman had no large stockpile of bomb materials". Associated Press . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b Yan, Holly (July 11, 2016). "Writing in blood, threats of bombs: Latest on Dallas investigation". CNN . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ Wilsonsky, Robert (July 20, 2016). "Downtown Surveillance Cameras Might Have Missed Ambush on Police". NBC DFW . Retrieved August 13, 2016 . ^ Downs, Caleb (August 29, 2016). "Dallas police hold off releasing surveillance footage of July 7 shooting". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . ^ "Micah Johnson: Dallas sniper used protective vest, semi-automatic rifle in shootings". Newsday. Associated Press. July 9, 2016 . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Schmidt, Michael S.; Philipps, Dave (July 8, 2016). "Attack Appears to Be Work of Lone Gunman, Official Says". The New York Times . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Andrews, Wilson; Buchanan, Larry; Lai, K.K. Rebecca; Lee, Jasmine C.; Pearce, Adam; Shaver, Julie; Watkins, Derek (July 8, 2016). "How the Attack on the Dallas Police Unfolded". The New York Times . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Ellis, Ralph; Almasy, Steve; Visser, Steve (July 9, 2016). "Dallas police end search for suspicious person in headquarters' parking lot". CNN . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Evans, Erica (July 8, 2016). "Man says he was wrongly identified as a suspect in Dallas police shootings". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved September 10, 2016 . ^ Oremus, Will (July 8, 2016). "Twitter Exonerated This "Suspect" in the Dallas Shooting. Why Didn't the Police Clear His Name?". Slate . Retrieved September 10, 2016 . ^ Brennan, Christopher (July 13, 2016). "Man falsely named suspect in Dallas attack questions Paul Ryan on gun control, PTS". The New York Daily News . Retrieved September 10, 2016 . ^ Guarino, Ben (July 8, 2016). "Man falsely connected to the shooting by Dallas police is now getting 'thousands' of death threats". The Washington Post . Retrieved September 10, 2016 . ^ Starr, Barbara (July 14, 2016). "Army reviews military record of Dallas police shooter Micah Johnson". CNN Politics . Retrieved July 14, 2016 . ^ Ambrose, Sue; Langford, Terri (September 7, 2016). "Dallas shooter's Army personnel files released, offer few new details". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . ^ Formby, Brandon (July 8, 2016). "Large swath of downtown Dallas' west side closed today as other businesses, events shutter and call off plans". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ "6/2615 NOTAM Details". Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. July 7, 2016. Archived from the original on July 11, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Gavino, Yona (July 20, 2016). "Teachers Return To El Centro College After Dallas Attack". CBS DFW . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ Kalthoff, Ken (July 27, 2016). "Reflect and Renew at El Centro College After Dallas Ambush". NBC DFW . Retrieved July 27, 2016 . ^ "El Centro ceremony reflects on Dallas ambush shooting". FOX 4 News. July 27, 2016 . Retrieved July 27, 2016 . ^ Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (July 11, 2016). "Dallas police chief: Open carry makes things confusing during mass shootings". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ Fernandez, Manny; Blinder, Alan; Montgomery, David (July 10, 2016). "Texas Open-Carry Laws Blurred Lines Between Suspects and Marchers". The New York Times . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ Stone, Erin (August 22, 2016). "A Mass Murder Of Police Officers 43 Years Ago Is Strikingly Similar To Downtown Dallas Shooting". Dallas Observer . Retrieved September 7, 2016 . ^ "Father Of Officer Killed In Downtown Dallas Ambush Sues Black Lives Matter". CBS DFW. November 7, 2016 . Retrieved November 7, 2016 . ^ a b Cardona, Claire Z. (November 8, 2016). "Mother of slain Dallas officer distances herself from lawsuit against Black Lives Matter". Dallas Morning News . Retrieved November 8, 2016 . ^ a b Andrews, Travis M. (September 21, 2016). "Black Dallas police officer sues Black Lives Matter on behalf of 'Christians, Jews and Caucasians,' others". The Washington Post . Retrieved September 21, 2016 . ^ "Larry Klayman Files Two Lawsuits Accusing Black Defendants of Pushing Race War". Southern Poverty Law Center. Hatewatch. February 7, 2017 . Retrieved February 7, 2017 . ^ Phippen, J. Weston (November 8, 2016). "A Lawsuit Accuses Black Lives Matter of Inciting a 'War on Police ' ". The Atlantic . Retrieved November 8, 2016 . ^ a b Kunzelman, Michael (June 14, 2017). "Can Black Lives Matter be sued? Federal judge to decide". The Washington Post. Associated Press . Retrieved June 14, 2017 . ^ O'Reilly, Andrew (January 17, 2017). "Dallas cop sues social media companies for allegedly helping influence police shooter". FOX News . Retrieved January 17, 2017 . ^ Casady, Michelle (January 18, 2017). "Twitter, Facebook Blamed In Dallas Police Shooting Lawsuit". Law360 . Retrieved January 18, 2017 . ^ Rajwani, Naheed (August 31, 2016). "July 7 ambush cost Dallas-area law enforcement more than $800,000 in overtime". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . ^ a b Sanburn, Josh (July 18, 2016). "How America's Police Are Responding to Baton Rouge and Dallas". Time . Retrieved July 19, 2016 . ^ Garza, Lisa Maria (July 22, 2016). "Dallas police job applications surge after fatal ambush attacks". Reuters . Retrieved July 24, 2016 . ^ Connelly, Christopher (August 3, 2016). "After Deadly Shootings, Dallas Police Recruits Say They're More Committed Than Ever". KERA News . Retrieved August 3, 2016 . ^ Rajwani, Naheed; Tsiaperas, Tasha (August 25, 2016). "Dallas wants 549 new cops, but that may not be realistic". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . ^ Thielman, Sam (July 8, 2016). "Use of police robot to kill Dallas shooting suspect believed to be first in US history". The Guardian . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Fung, Brian (July 11, 2016). "Meet the Remotec Andros Mark V-A1, the robot that killed the Dallas shooter". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 12, 2016 . ^ Fowler, Bree (July 8, 2016). "Using Robot To Kill Dallas Police Shooting Suspect A 1st, Security Expert Says". Associated Press. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (July 8, 2016). "Dallas deployment of robot bomb to kill suspect is "without precedent " ". Ars Technica . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Gershgorn, Dave (July 8, 2016). "Police Used Bomb Disposal Robot to Kill a Dallas Shooting Suspect". Popular Science . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b Graham, David A. (July 7, 2016). "The Dallas Shooting and the Advent of Killer Police Robots". The Atlantic . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Blaze, Matt [@mattblaze] (July 8, 2016). "How was the control link to the Dallas bomb robot secured? Stakes go *way* up when something like this is repurposed as a weapon" (Tweet) . Retrieved July 9, 2016 '' via Twitter. ^ "Five police officers shot dead in downtown Dallas attack". KXAN-TV. July 7, 2016 . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ "Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick on Dallas ambush: 'This has to end ' ". Fox News. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Scott, Eugene (July 8, 2016). "Texas official walks back remark calling Dallas protesters 'hypocrites ' ". CNN . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Mallin, Alexander; Caplan, David (July 8, 2016). "President Obama Describes Dallas Shootings As 'Vicious, Calculated, Despicable Attack ' ". ABC News . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Blake, Aaron (July 8, 2016). "Why President Obama went right to gun control after five police officers were killed in Dallas". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ a b Goodwin, Liz (July 8, 2016). "Police union criticizes Obama shooting response, calls for hate crime investigation". Yahoo! News . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ "FOP: Justice Needs to Investigate Dallas Shootings as a Hate Crime" (PDF) . Fraternal Order of Police. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ "Dallas shooting suspect Micah Johnson 'acted alone ' ". BBC News. July 9, 2016 . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Mason, Ari (July 8, 2016). "Black Lives Matter Activists, Civil Rights Leaders Condemn Dallas Ambush". NBC New York . Retrieved September 11, 2017 . ^ "Memorial Service for Slain Dallas Police Officers". C-SPAN. July 12, 2016 . Retrieved July 12, 2016 . ^ "TD Jakes: 'Tragedy we ignore today will be on our doorstep tomorrow ' ". WFAA. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved November 18, 2016 . ^ a b c Harris, Gardiner; Landler, Mark (July 11, 2016). "Obama Tells Mourning Dallas 'We Are Not So Divided ' ". The New York Times . Retrieved July 12, 2016 . Mr. Obama acknowledged that the killings '-- 'an act not just of demented violence but of racial hatred' '-- had exposed a 'fault line' in American democracy. ^ Hughes, Trevor; Bacon, John (July 12, 2016). "Obama lauds Dallas police, city at memorial service". USA Today . Retrieved July 12, 2016 . ^ Reilly, Katie (July 12, 2016). "Read President Obama's Speech From the Dallas Memorial Service". Time . Retrieved July 12, 2016 . ^ Levine, Mike; Sands, Geneva (July 8, 2016). "US Attorney General Calls for Calm, 'Determined Action' After Dallas Attack". ABC News . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ a b Flores, Reena (July 8, 2016). "AG Loretta Lynch says Dallas shootings are "unfathomable tragedy " ". CBS News . Retrieved July 11, 2016 . ^ Davis, Aaron C. (July 9, 2016). "The Bahamas' new U.S. travel advisory: Use 'extreme caution' around police". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ "Bahamas Issues Travel Advisory to the US Following Shootings". ABC News. Associated Press. 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David Clarke (sheriff) - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:14
David Alexander Clarke Jr. (born August 21, 1956) is an American former law enforcement official who served as Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin from 2002 to 2017. In 2002, Clarke was appointed to the position by Republican Governor Scott McCallum and later elected that same year to his first four-year term. He was reelected in November 2006, 2010 and 2014.[1] Although he ran as a Democrat in a heavily Democratic county, many of Clarke's political views align with those of conservative Republicans.[2][3] Clarke refused to join the Wisconsin Democratic party, raising doubts about his political motives.[4][5][6]
While Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Clarke came under scrutiny for deaths and alleged mistreatment of the inhabitants of Milwaukee County jail facilities. One man died of thirst in what a coroner ruled was a homicide, and pregnant women were handcuffed and shackled while undergoing labor.
Clarke frequently appeared as a guest on Fox News through February 2018 and was a speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention. He resigned as sheriff in August 2017.[7] A vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, Clarke was considered for a role in the Trump Administration. After resigning as Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Clarke joined the super PAC America First Action as a spokesman and senior advisor, serving until February 2019.
Early life, education, and early career [ edit ] Clarke was born in Milwaukee, one of five children of Jeri and David Clarke Sr.[8] His father was a paratrooper with the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company. Clarke Jr. attended Marquette University High School where he played for the varsity basketball team.[8] After finishing high school, Clarke took classes at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee but dropped out during his first year when he got a job driving beer trucks.[8]
His career in law enforcement began in 1978 at the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). He "rose through the ranks at a slow but steady pace in his 24 years with the department." Clarke was a patrol officer for eleven years and then a homicide detective; he was promoted to lieutenant of detectives in 1993 and captain in 1999.[8]
Clarke's career was not without controversy; in 1994, the mother of a 15-year-old boy filed a complaint alleging that Clarke used excessive force when arresting her son. According to public documents, Clarke was returning from a vacation when he spotted five teenagers heaving rocks at passing cars. Clarke chased down the teens, drew his service revolver and ordered them to lie on the ground. He admitted to using his foot to turn one boy over as he searched for weapons. The boy's mother claimed Clarke put a gun to her son's head and kicked him in the side, causing bruised ribs that required medical attention. However, the Fire and Police Commission ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge Clarke and dismissed the case.[8]
In 1999, Clarke received a B.A. in Management of Criminal Justice from Concordia University Wisconsin's School of Adult and Continuing Education.[9] In January 2002, Milwaukee County Sheriff Leverett F. (Lev) Baldwin resigned midway through his term to take a pension payout. Clarke was one of ten applicants for the position, and Governor Scott McCallum appointed him on March 19, 2002.[8] He was elected to a full term later in 2002, and was reelected in 2006, 2010, and 2014.[10]
Thesis plagiarism [ edit ] In 2013, Clarke received a master's degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). In May 2017, CNN reported that Clarke had plagiarized portions of the thesis he completed as part of the requirements for this degree, stating that in the thesis, "Clarke failed to properly attribute his sources at least 47 times."[11] The thesis ("Making U.S. security and privacy rights compatible"),[12] was found to have lifted material verbatim from several sources without proper citation, including reports by the American Civil Liberties Union, The 9/11 Commission Report, and George W. Bush's memoir Decision Points. Clarke provided footnotes to sources that he used, but did not properly place quotations around verbatim words of his sources, which is an act of plagiarism according to the Naval Postgraduate School.[11] Following the report, the Naval Postgraduate School removed the thesis from its online archive.[13] In response to the report, Clarke called journalist Andrew Kaczynski, who broke the story, a "sleaze bag" and denied that he had plagiarized.[14]
In a July 2017 letter to Clarke, the NPS's dean of students, Commander Paul Rasmussen, wrote that he concurred with the Honor Code Board that Clarke's thesis was "in violation" of the school's honor code but that the "violation was not a result of any intentional deception or misappropriation efforts." Rasmussen instructed Clarke to submit a revised thesis within 100 days or NPS would "initiate degree revocation."[15] According to news accounts in June 2018, Clarke received several extensions on the original deadline before submitting his revised thesis in March 2018.[16] On March 30, school officials informed him that his edits were satisfactory, and that he would be allowed to retain his degree.[17]
Political views [ edit ] Clarke has "built a following among conservatives with his provocative social media presence and strong support of Donald Trump."[18] His prominence as a right-wing firebrand has made him a controversial and polarizing figure.[19][20][21]
Planned Parenthood [ edit ] He has criticized Planned Parenthood, suggesting instead that it be renamed "Planned Genocide."[22][23]
[ edit ] In 2015, Clarke received criticism for his statement on his podcast: "Let me tell you why blacks sell drugs and involve themselves in criminal behavior instead of a more socially acceptable lifestyle: because they're uneducated, they're lazy and they're morally bankrupt. That's why."[24]
In 2017, Clarke attracted attention and criticism for trading racial insults with Marc Lamont Hill, an African-American CNN commentator; on Twitter, Clarke used a racial slur ("jigaboo") to insult Hill.[25][26][27]
Black Lives Matter [ edit ] Clarke is a frequent and vociferous critic of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, referring to it as "Black Lies Matter" and describing the movement as a hate group.[28][29] Clarke denies that police officers are more willing to shoot black suspects than white suspects, has labeled BLM activists "subhuman creeps", and has called for the targeted eradication of the movement "from American society."[29] He has also claimed that Black Lives Matter would eventually join forces with ISIS in order to destroy American society.[30] He has urged the Southern Poverty Law Center to include BLM among the hate groups it monitors.[31] Clarke has blamed "liberal policies" for rioting and other issues in American cities.[32] Clarke's stance on the movement has been criticized by the Milwaukee chapter of the NAACP and other activists.[29]
Clarke has harshly criticized various black critics of police abuses.[33] He has called former Attorney General Eric Holder an "a[ss]hole" and accused him in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee of "outright hostility" toward police, referred to Al Sharpton as a "charlatan" and criticized Beyonc(C) for her reference to the Black Panthers in her halftime-show performance at the 2016 Super Bowl.[33]
Gun control [ edit ] In January 2013, Clarke was featured on a series of public radio ads that said citizens could no longer rely on the police for timely protection and should arm themselves. Later that month, Clarke appeared on the CNN program Piers Morgan Live, with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who "said it was irresponsible of Clarke to 'basically imply' that it won't help citizens to call 911 when they need help."[34]
In 2015, Clarke traveled to Moscow on a $40,000 trip, with all expenses paid by the NRA, Pete Brownell (an NRA board member and CEO of a gun-parts supply company) and "The Right to Bear Arms," a Russian pro-firearms organization, founded by Maria Butina, a Russian national, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to being an unregistered Russian agent.[35][36][37][38] During the meeting, Clarke met the Russian foreign minister and attended a conference at which Russian official Aleksander Torshin, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, spoke.[37][38]
In 2018, Clarke attracted attention for using Twitter to promote a conspiracy theory about the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida; Clarke tweeted that "The well ORGANIZED effort by Florida school students demanding gun control has GEORGE SOROS' FINGERPRINTS all over it", suggesting that the students from Parkland were being manipulated by Soros to organize for gun control.[39][40][41]
Suspension of habeas corpus in the United States [ edit ] Clarke has called for the suspension of habeas corpus in the United States in a December 2015 appearance on his radio program, where he asserted that there were "hundreds of thousands" or "maybe a million" people who "have pledged allegiance or are supporting ISIS, giving aid and comfort," and stated that "our commander in chief ought to utilize Article I, Section 9" to imprison them at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp "and hold them indefinitely under a suspension of habeas corpus."[42][43]
Ideology and relationships with Republican and Democratic parties [ edit ] Clarke ran for sheriff as a Democrat,[44] which, according to Journal Sentinel reporter Daniel Bice, is advantageous in heavily Democratic Milwaukee County. However, Clarke is almost universally regarded as a conservative and has been referred to as "right of most righties."[2] Clarke frequently criticizes Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and other Democrats; often speaks at Republican events, and is allies with the National Rifle Association, which has raised funds for his re-election campaigns.[2] Clarke has in turn been criticized by the local Democratic Party.[45] On his website in 2014, Clarke stated that he questioned "why the Office of Sheriff is a partisan election" and wrote: "I have never asked a person to vote for me because I run as a Democrat. I ask them to vote for me based on my 35-year commitment to keeping citizens safe. Most voters get it when it comes to public safety. There is no Democrat or Republican way to be a sheriff. The enemy is not the opposing party; the enemy is the criminal."[44][46]
In 2016, Maurice Chammah of The Marshall Project characterized Clarke as an "iconoclastic sheriff," one of "a long line of controversy-courting lawmen" that includes Richard Mack and Joe Arpaio in Arizona.[47] Clarke attracted attention for "dalliances with the far right" over time including his acceptance in 2013 of the "Sheriff of the Year Award" from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a group of sheriffs founded by Mack that has been criticized by the Southern Poverty Law Center for espousing radical-right views.[48] Earlier the same year, Clarke appeared for an interview on the syndicated show of Alex Jones.[48]
Sheriff of Milwaukee [ edit ] Budget and clashes with the Government of Milwaukee County [ edit ] Clarke has often clashed with the county government over the sheriff's office budget, engaging "in a long-running, high-profile tiff" over the issue with Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, "with Clarke providing the more incendiary rhetoric." Abele's proposed budget for 2014 would cut $12 million from the Sheriff's Office budget, eliminating 69 jobs and "shifting park patrols, emergency management, 911 communications and training divisions" to other entities, such as the Milwaukee Police Department, suburban police departments, and the county Department of Emergency Preparedness. Abele described the budget as a way to refocus the sheriff's office on "core, mandated services." Clarke issued a statement calling Abele a "vindictive little man" and saying that "Abele should be drug-tested. He has to be on heroin or hallucinating with that statement." Abele responded by saying that it was "unfortunate the sheriff, instead of engaging in thoughtful civil discourse, is making personal attacks and making light of a serious problem in our community and state."[49]
On another occasion, Clarke said that Abele had "penis envy."[45]
In 2015, Clarke clashed with Abele again after Clarke filed a lawsuit against the county over the sheriff's budget, seeking $25 million in funds to hire 75 deputies, 43 House of Corrections officers and 17 supervisors. Clarke argued that his office is underfunded by the county, while Abele noted that the sheriff's office had received the largest increase of any county department and criticized Clarke for having what he termed "a very heavy command staff," "a lot of unnecessary overtime," and redundancies in courthouse security.[50] Clarke sued Abele, alleging that he had violated Clarke's right to free speech through the budget process; a federal judge dismissed Clarke's suit in April 2016.[51]
A county audit released in 2012 showed that the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office used asset forfeiture funds to buy exercise equipment for Clarke's command staff, for a Disney training, and for a mounted patrol unit. The audit reported that the spending violated county procurement rules, although not federal rules on the use of seized money. Clarke was criticized for the amount of money spent on the mounted patrol by County Supervisor Patricia Jursik; Clarke defended the office's use of the funds.[52]
According to an Associated Press tally, from 2012 to April 2016, Clarke had incurred more than $310,000 in legal fees for his private attorney, who represented him in litigation against Milwaukee County.[51] Milwaukee County taxpayers paid the legal fees.[51] The county spent an additional $83,000 defending itself against Clarke's lawsuits.[51]
In 2012, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's office under Clarke spent $75,000 on an order of 565 new Glock handguns with "glow-in-the-dark" sights, "enough to outfit each of the department's 275 deputies with two of the popular guns and still have some left over."[53] The order was criticized as excessive by critics, including county Supervisor John Weishan Jr. (who said there "was absolutely no reason to justify" the purchase) and the Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriffs Association president (who said that he would have preferred the sheriff's department to use funds to re-hire laid-off deputies rather than to replace weapons).[53] Clarke declined to comment, but a department official defended the purchase.[53]
House of Correction and detainee abuse controversies [ edit ] In January 2008, a National Institute of Corrections audit of the Milwaukee County House of Correction in Franklin identified 44 areas of concern, calling the House of Correction "dysfunctional" and determining that it suffered from "serious security, staff morale and management flaws." The House of Corrections was at the time a separate Milwaukee County department overseen by a superintendent who reported to then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Walker and the County Board transferred control over the House to the Sheriff's Department under Clarke on January 1, 2009.[52]
Clarke was repeatedly accused of abusing detainees at the county jail.[54] Following the deaths of four inmates at the jail in six months, the United States Department of Justice launched an investigation of the jail.[54] Milwaukee County chief medical examiner Brian Peterson accused Clarke of verbally harassing and threatening him in an October 2016 telephone conversation after Peterson's office made the mysterious deaths of two inmates at the jail earlier that year public.[54][55] According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Clarke also attracted attention for temper-related incidents: "He once berated a 911 dispatcher for not being professional, threatened to arrest the new House of Correction chief and called a sergeant a 'terrorist' and 'cancer' in a two-hour, expletive-filled rant".[55]
Death of Terrill Thomas [ edit ] The Milwaukee County Jail turned the water off to inmate Terrill Thomas's cell, resulting in his death by dehydration on April 24, 2016. According to inmates, the water was turned off for six days and the staff refused to provide water to Thomas. On September 15, 2016, the Milwaukee medical examiner ruled Thomas's death a homicide.[56] Later that day Clarke's office sent out a press release which stated it would be "withholding employee internal investigations and will not be commenting on this matter until the completion of all investigative and review processes, and any resultant civil litigation."[57][58] Clarke did not comment publicly on his agency's handling of Thomas's incarceration, but has highlighted Thomas's poor physical health and criminal history.[59][60]
In May 2017, after hearing six days of testimony at an inquest, a Milwaukee County jury found probable cause that seven jail employees (two supervisors, five officers) had committed a crime'--specifically, abuse of a resident of a penal facility'--and recommended that charges be brought.[61] In February 2018, three Milwaukee jail officers were charged with a felony in connection with Thomas's death. Clarke was not charged. District Attorney John T. Chisholm said "he believed his office had charged the people who were most culpable."[62]
In May 2019, Milwaukee County and the health care company Armor Correctional Health Services Inc. settled the lawsuit for $6.75 million, which is one of the largest settlements related to the death of an inmate in an American prison.[63]
Death of newborn and shackling of pregnant women [ edit ] Clarke's department came under fire for its use of restraints on pregnant women inmates.[64][65] This controversial practice has been abolished or restricted by at least ten states and has been prohibited by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections[66] as well as by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.[64]
In 2014, a woman who was handcuffed and shackled for 21 hours while in labor sued the county.[64][66] In 2017, a second lawsuit was filed by another woman who was shackled while giving birth, and while hospitalized for prenatal care and postpartum treatment. The suit contends that the jail has a blanket policy of shackling all hospitalized inmates, "regardless of their criminal or medical history," and that at least 40 women were shackled in this manner.[64]
In June 2017, a federal jury awarded $6.7 million in a lawsuit by a woman who accused a Milwaukee County Jail guard of raping her on at least five occasions when she was 19 years old and pregnant.[67] Criminal charges of sexual assault had been dropped against the guard after he pled no contest to lesser charges in 2014.[68]
In July 2016, a pregnant inmate at the jail with serious mental illness went into labor and the newborn baby died. The mother filed a federal lawsuit against the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, stating that she was denied medical attention before her pregnancy, had medical appointments canceled, received prenatal vitamins only once, and was "laughed at" by guards after going into labor.[69] This death and others at the jail prompted calls for Clarke's resignation from a county supervisor and several Democratic state legislators.[69]
Proselytism lawsuit [ edit ] In 2006, Clarke invited members of an Evangelical Christian organization, the Fellowship of Christian Centurions, to speak at several mandatory employee meetings, at which the group members proselytized. Several deputies complained about the Centurions' proselytizing, but Clarke refused to stop the presentations. The sheriff deputies' union and two individual sheriff's deputies (a Catholic and a Muslim) successfully sued Clarke in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Clarke appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which upheld the lower court's ruling in 2009. The sheriff did not seek review in the U.S. Supreme Court.[70][71]
Airport harassment and abuse-of-power investigation and lawsuit [ edit ] In February 2017, a Detroit-area man, Dan Black, filed a harassment lawsuit against Clarke after Milwaukee deputies detained the man at the Milwaukee airport in January. The man had asked Clarke about his football team preference and shook his head at Clarke.[72] On the tarmac, Clarke sent text messages to one of his captains, Mark Witek, directing sheriffs' deputies to detain Black. Clarke wrote: "Question for him is why he said anything to me. Why didn't he just keep his mouth shut? Follow him to baggage and out the door. You can escort me to carousel after I point him out."[73] After arriving at the airport, Black was "met by a group of six uniformed deputies and two dogs, all of whom were accompanied by the sheriff" who questioned him before releasing him.[72] Airport surveillance video showed Black telling deputies: "He [Clarke] thinks because I asked who he is, he can exert that kind of power over me."[74] Local media reported that "at least one of the deputies who was ordered to confront Black didn't believe he had been disruptive."[74]
After Black filed a complaint with Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Clarke responded by taunting and threatening Black via Facebook.[75][72] Black's counsel states that Clarke engaged in a "gross and arbitrary abuse of power" and ordered an unlawful stop and detention.[75] An ensuing civil lawsuit by Black resulted in 2018 in a verdict in Clark's favor; the jury found that Clarke's Facebook posts did not chill Black's exercise of his First Amendment rights.[76]
The incident drew national attention, prompting federal investigations to examine Clarke's conduct.[73] In a May 2017 letter, the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to prosecute Clarke for federal civil-rights offenses, writing: "Our decision is not meant to affirm the wisdom or propriety of what occurred. It reflects only our belief that it would be difficult or impossible to prove a violation of the only federal statute available to us ... beyond a reasonable doubt."[73]
Milwaukee County auditors launched an investigation into whether Clarke abused taxpayer resources during the airport incident.[72] Clarke has refused to cooperate with the investigation,[73] and has blocked auditors from interviewing Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies.[72] Clarke's refusal to cooperate in the investigation prompted the Milwaukee County Board to authorize legal action against Clarke on the issue.[72] An affidavit filed by the FBI in March 2017 (and made public in December 2017) indicated that "investigators for the Audit Services Division of the Milwaukee County controller's office determined as part of its own investigation that Clarke had 'used his official position as sheriff of Milwaukee County in excess of his lawful authority to direct his deputies to stop and question Black without legal justification.'"[77]
Approval ratings [ edit ] In a January 2017 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, which surveyed Milwaukee County voters, 31% approved of the job Clarke was doing, compared to 62% who disapproved. In the same poll, 65% said they believed Clarke had a negative impact on the image of Milwaukee County, and among registered Democrats, 13% said they would vote for Clarke in a hypothetical Democratic primary, compared to 82% who would prefer another candidate.[78]
Donald Trump support and possible role in Trump administration [ edit ] Clarke is a strong supporter of Republican Donald Trump, saying during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign that he would "do everything I can" to help Trump win the presidency.[79] Clarke spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.[80] In October 2016, Clarke tweeted, "It's incredible that our institutions of gov, WH, Congress, DOJ, and big media are corrupt & all we do is bitch. Pitchforks and torches time." with an attached photo of an angry mob holding pitchforks and torches.[81][82] Clarke met with Trump, when Trump was president-elect, about a possible position in his administration.[83]
In May 2017, Clarke said in a radio interview that he would take the post of Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Partnership and Engagement in the Trump administration. The White House declined to comment, and the Department of Homeland Security stated that no appointment had been officially made. The position does not require Senate confirmation.[18][84]
The DHS did not say whether the appointment was actually offered to Clarke.[85] Following a CNN report on plagiarism in his master's thesis, Clarke said that he was unsure if the Trump administration would hire him.[86]
The prospective appointment of Clarke was criticized by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele; former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem; and California Senator Kamala Harris, who sits on the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Harris wrote that "Clarke's unconscionable record makes him unfit to serve" and that the "appointment is a disgrace."[84] On June 17, Clarke rescinded his acceptance of the post.[87] John F. Kelly, who had been the Secretary of Homeland Security at the time, told Clarke that he would not be given a position at the DHS in part due to scandal surrounding the treatment of inmates in Clarke's jail and the ensuing negative media attention.[88]
Resignation [ edit ] On August 31, 2017, Clarke resigned his position.[89][90] News reports several days later indicated that Clarke would join the pro-Donald Trump Super PAC America First Action as a spokesman and senior advisor.[91]
Persona, media appearances, and travel [ edit ] Clarke on horseback at the 2008 Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day parade
Clarke frequently appears at public events on horseback wearing a cowboy hat.[45] He often wears 20 or more pins and badges on his uniform when in public, many not of official meaning or purpose, leading to accusations of "stolen valor" (i.e., trying to create the image of heroic accomplishments).[92][93]
Clarke "has become a fixture of conservative media" and in 2015 began hosting a podcast talk show, David Clarke: The People's Sheriff, on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze Radio Network,[33][94] where he has expressed support for the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.[95] Clarke also frequently appeared as a guest on Fox News, and on one occasion in September 2015 guest-hosted The Sean Hannity Show.[33] However, in March 2019, The Daily Beast reported that Clarke had essentially been banned from Fox News and that he had not appeared on Fox News since February 2018.[96] He also appeared on CNN, Fox News, and other major news outlets to discuss ongoing police controversies.[32]
Clarke's higher profile coincided with an increase in his speaking fees and time spent outside Milwaukee County on outside activities.[97] In 2015 financial disclosure documents, Clarke reported receiving $150,000 in speaking fees, travel reimbursements, gifts and other items;[97] in 2016, he received $220,000 worth of such items.[98] Also in 2016, Clarke spent about 60 days traveling or attending events, 59 of them outside Wisconsin.[98] Clarke's absences from the county, as well as redactions in his official schedule as provided to journalists who made public-records requests, led to "increasing scrutiny over his job performance" from local media outlets and criticism from the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.[99] Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has repeatedly criticized Clarke's absences from the county.[98][100]
In January 2018, Clarke was temporarily suspended by Twitter after posting three messages appearing to encourage violence against the media, including a tweet reading "Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD." Clarke was unblocked by Twitter after deleting the posts.[101][102]
In March 2020, Twitter deleted three of Clarke's posts urging people to ignore official warnings related to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic, because the tweets violating the platform's policy against encouraging self-harm. Clarke responded by labeling Twitter administrators "totalitarian bigots'. [103][better source needed ] One of his tweets proclaimed that coronavirus was "just the damn flu", despite the death rate among COVID-19 victims being 23 to 68 times higher than that of flu sufferers.[104]
Potential mayoral run [ edit ] In January 2014, Clarke announced he was considering a run for mayor of Milwaukee in 2016,[105] but ultimately decided not to run,[106] instead endorsing Republican Alderman Bob Donovan's unsuccessful bid to unseat Mayor Tom Barrett.[107] [108]
Book [ edit ] In 2017, Clarke published a book titled Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America.[109][110] The book was promoted by President Donald Trump on Twitter.[111]
Electoral history [ edit ] Personal life [ edit ] Clarke married his wife Julie in 1996; she was a court clerk and later a real estate agent. They lived on the northwest side of Milwaukee. In 2018, Clarke filed for divorce from his wife.[41]
References [ edit ] ^ "Meet the Sheriff". county.milwaukee.gov . Retrieved 2017-05-01 . ^ a b c Daniel Bice, Does anyone still think Sheriff David Clarke is a Democrat? Apparently, one, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (July 27, 2014). ^ Gun fight? National political donors spend hundreds of thousands on local Milwaukee sheriff's race, Fox News (August 12, 2014). ^ Chandler, Kurt. "The New Black Power: A Profile of Sheriff David Clarke". Milwaukee Magazine . Retrieved 21 March 2020 . ^ McNally, Joel (5 September 2017). "The 'Terrible Man Theory' of David Clarke". Shepherd Express . Retrieved 21 March 2020 . ^ Murphy, Bruce (18 October 2016). "David Clarke the Demagogue" . Retrieved 21 March 2020 . ^ Schmidt, Richard. "David A. Clarke Jr. resigns as Milwaukee County sheriff". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 1 September 2017 . ^ a b c d e f Kurt Chandler, The New Black Power, Milwaukee Magazine (July 25, 2003). ^ Milwaukee Sheriff, CU Alum Receives Award Archived 2016-10-17 at the Wayback Machine (press release), Concordia University Wisconsin (April 1, 2016). ^ Strupp, Joe (March 28, 2017). "Milwaukee journalists: Sheriff David Clarke is "missing in action " ". Salon.com. San Francisco, CA. Media Matters. ^ a b Kaczynski, Andrew; Massie, Christopher; McDermott, Nathan (May 20, 2017). "Sheriff David Clarke plagiarized portions of his master's thesis on homeland security". CNN. Archived from the original on May 21, 2017. ^ Clarke, David A. (September 2013). "Making U.S. security and privacy rights compatible" (PDF) . Calhoun: Institutional Archive of the Naval Postgraduate School. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 21, 2017 '' via DocumentCloud. ^ John Fauber, Report: Sheriff David Clarke plagiarized parts of homeland security thesis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (May 21, 2017): "the Naval Postgraduate School removed Clarke's thesis from its website and replaced it with the following note: 'This item was removed from view at the discretion of the Naval Postgraduate School.'" ^ Hayden, Michael Edison (May 21, 2017). "Sheriff David Clarke denies plagiarism, calls reporter a 'sleaze bag ' ". ABC News . Retrieved May 21, 2017 . Guy is a sleaze bag," Clarke wrote in a post that linked to a story in which Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky pushed back against a Kaczynski-authored story for Buzzfeed News, in which he was accused of using disputed quotes. "I'm on to him folks. ^ Chris Massie & Andrew Kaczynski, Former Sheriff David Clarke must revise thesis or risk losing degree, docs reveal, CNN (September 15, 2017). ^ Massie, Chris; McDermott, Nathan; Kaczynski, Andrew (June 15, 2018). "Emails show former Sheriff David Clarke's tense and protracted process to retain master's degree". CNN. Atlanta, GA. CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) ^ "Emails show former Sheriff David Clarke's tense and protracted process to retain master's degree". ^ a b Ivan Moreno, Firebrand Milwaukee sheriff takes job with Homeland Security, Associated Press (May 17, 2017). ^ Alex Yablon, Trump Taps David Clarke, a Staunch NRA Ally, For Homeland Security Post: The Milwaukee lawman joined the gun group's junket to Russia, while compiling accusations of negligence and abuses of power at home, The Trace (May 17, 2017). ^ Milwaukee sheriff's star rises, but he remains polarizing, Chicago Tribune news services (February 5, 2017). ^ Wesley Lowery & Lisa Rein, Controversial Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke says he'll be appointed to high-ranking DHS post, but agency has not confirmed, Washington Post (May 17, 2017). ^ Ford, Matt. "Sheriff Clarke Gets a Job in the Trump Administration". The Atlantic . Retrieved 2017-05-17 . Clarke's opining often went beyond policing issues: On his podcast, he referred to Planned Parenthood as "Planned Genocide" and American higher education as "a racketeering ring." ^ Chammah, Maurice. "American Sheriff". The Atlantic . Retrieved 2017-05-17 . ^ Kertscher, Tom. "Which black people did David Clarke call uneducated, lazy and morally bankrupt?". Politifact . Retrieved 17 Nov 2015 . ^ Alex Griswold, CNN's Marc Lamont Hill, Sheriff David Clarke Fling Racial Slurs at Each Other on Twitter, (January 17, 2017). ^ Theo Keith, Milwaukee County launches investigation of Sheriff Clarke over airplane complaint, Clarke says it's a "witch hunt", WITI (January 25, 2017). ^ D.L. Hughley, David Clarke and Marc Lamont Hill Trade Insults with Each Other, WZAK. ^ David Clarke, It's time to stand up to Black Lives Matter, Fox News (July 11, 2016). ^ a b c Brendan O'Brien, Black Milwaukee sheriff takes on Black Lives Matter movement, Reuters (February 27, 2016). ^ David Clarke, Before long, Black Lies Matter will join forces with ISIS to being down our legal constituted republic. You heard it first here., Twitter (October 27, 2015). ^ J.F. (18 August 2017). "The misplaced arguments against Black Lives Matter". The Economist . Retrieved 20 August 2017 . ^ a b Sabina, Carmine (28 April 2015). "Sheriff Clarke: Why are we surprised at sub-human behavior in American ghettos? Lib policies created it". Bizpac Review . Retrieved 18 July 2016 . ^ a b c d Maurice Chammah, American Sheriff: David Clarke, the Trump-loving, pro-mass-incarceration, Fox News favorite, is challenging criminal-justice reform'--and stereotypes, The Atlantic (May 5, 2016). ^ "David Clarke, Tom Barrett square off over guns on CNN". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 2014-03-30 . ^ Prosecutors seek 18-month sentence for Maria Butina in Russian plot to forge ties to U.S. conservative groups, Washington Post (April 19, 2019): "Capitalizing on her novelty as a Siberian-born gun activist in restrictive Russia, Butina and Torshin invited NRA leaders to Moscow in December 2015, including Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and David Keene, a former NRA president and past head of the powerful American Conservative Union." ^ Daniel Bice (March 13, 2017). "Sen. Tammy Baldwin says Sheriff David Clarke is being 'groomed' for Senate bid". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. ^ a b Cliff Schecter (December 5, 2016). "How David Clarke Bridges Donald Trump's Gun Nuts and Vladimir Putin's Kleptocrats". The Daily Beast. ^ a b Rosalind S. Helderman & Tom Hamburger (April 30, 2017). "Guns and religion: How American conservatives grew closer to Putin's Russia". ^ Keneally, Meghan (February 22, 2018). "After school shooting, breaking down the conspiracy theories facing Parkland students". ABC News . Retrieved 18 May 2018 . ^ Bowden, John (February 21, 2018). "David Clarke: Fla. students' gun control push has 'George Soros' fingerprints all over it ' ". The Hill . Retrieved 18 May 2018 . ^ a b Daniel Bice, Former Sheriff David Clarke files for divorce in Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (February 23, 2018). ^ Jeremy Stahl, Potential Homeland Security Pick Wanted to Suspend Habeas Corpus, Jail One Million, Slate (November 29, 2016). ^ Pema Levy, Potential Trump Pick for Homeland Security Wants to Send up to 1 Million People to Gitmo, Mother Jones (November 28, 2016). ^ a b Clarke, David. "Meet the Milwaukee County Sheriff '' David A. Clarke Jr". Friends of Sheriff Clarke. Archived from the original on July 18, 2016. ^ a b c Lisa Kaiser (July 23, 2014). "Is It Time For a New Sheriff in Town?". Shepherd Express. ^ Bice, Daniel (31 May 2014). "Sheriff David Clarke files for re-election amid talk of other offices". Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 20 August 2014 . ^ Maurice Chammah, America's Loudest Sheriffs: A Reading Guide: Milwaukee's David Clarke is the latest in a long line of controversy-courting lawmen, The Marshall Project (May 6, 2016). ^ a b Daniel Bice, David A. Clarke's sheriff of the year honor isn't your typical award: Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association known for anti-government views, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (May 15, 2013). ^ Steve Schultze. "Abele wants to cut Clarke's budget; sheriff calls exec 'vindictive little man ' ". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel . Retrieved 4 August 2014 . ^ Clarke, Abele at odds over sheriff's budget lawsuit, WDJT-TV (February 4, 2015). ^ a b c d Milwaukee County pays high price for sheriff's lawsuits, Associated Press (April 23, 2016). ^ a b Steve Schultze, Clarke spent asset forfeitures on workout equipment, horse patrol, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (September 28, 2012). ^ a b c Steve Schultze, Sheriff's office orders Glocks in bulk: Critics say 565-gun purchase seems excessive; department disagrees, says it got a great deal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (July 15, 2012). ^ a b c Jason Silverstein, Dozens of Milwaukee County Jail inmates had been forced to give birth while shackled, lawsuit alleges, New York Daily News (March 19, 2017). ^ a b Daniel Bice, Medical examiner 'threatened' by Clarke over jail deaths, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (December 2, 2016). ^ Eric M. Johnson (September 15, 2017). "A black Wisconsin inmate's death by dehydration ruled a homicide". Reuters. ^ "An Inmate Died Of Thirst In A Jail Run By A Loudly Pro-Trump Sheriff". The Huffington Post. September 19, 2016. ^ "MCSO Release Related to MCMEO Updated Finding in Terrill Thomas In-Custody Death" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2016 . Retrieved January 22, 2017 . ^ "Milwaukee inmate's family says dehydration death was torture". Associated Press. March 10, 2017. ^ Luthern, Ashley; Diedrich, John (February 12, 2018). "Former commander, 2 staffers charged in dehydration death of Terrill Thomas in Milwaukee County Jail". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . ^ Terrill Thomas Case: Milwaukee Jury Wants Charges Because Inmate Died After Week Without Water, Associated Press (May 2, 2017). ^ Smith, Mitch (February 12, 2018). "Three Milwaukee Jail Officers Charged in Dehydration Death". New York Times . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . ^ Reilly, Ryan J. (2019-05-28). "Lawsuit Over Dehydration Death In David Clarke's Jail Settles For $6.75M". HuffPost . Retrieved 2019-05-29 . ^ a b c d Lawsuit says woman was shackled while giving birth at Milwaukee County Jail, Associated Press/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (March 16, 2017). ^ Tess Owen, Sheriff David Clarke's jail employees should be charged in inmate's dehydration death, jury says, VICE News (May 2, 2017). ^ a b Gina Barton, Victim in alleged assault at jail sues Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (February 22, 2014). ^ Katie Mettler (June 8, 2017). "Jury Awards $6,700,000 to Inmate Raped Repeatedly by Guard in Sheriff David Clarke's Jail". Washington Post. ^ "Sex assault charges dropped against former jail guard" . Retrieved 2017-06-11 . ^ a b Katie DeLong, Federal lawsuit filed after newborn baby died at Milwaukee County Jail; 1 of 4 deaths in 6 months, WITI (December 27, 2016). ^ "Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs Association v. Clarke". Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ^ Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs Ass'n v. Clarke, 588 F.3d 523 (7th Cir. 2009), aff'g 513 F.Supp.2d 1014 (E.D. Wis. 2007). ^ a b c d e f Daniel Bice, Auditors want to sue Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke for blocking probe, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (April 6, 2017): "Clarke later taunted and threatened Black in posts on his county Facebook page and on Twitter." ^ a b c d Daniel Bice, Sheriff Clarke directed staff to hassle plane passenger after brief exchange, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (May 25, 2017). ^ a b Terry Sater, Sheriff's text to deputies about passenger on plane: Follow him out of airport, WISN (May 25, 2017). ^ a b "Riverwest man files lawsuit against Sheriff David Clarke". WISN. 2017-02-03 . Retrieved 2017-02-14 . Black filed a complaint with Milwaukee County a few weeks. Clarke responded by threatening Black on Facebook, saying, 'Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane, they may get knocked out. The sheriff said he does not have to wait for some goof to assault him. He reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault.' ^ Bruce Vielmetti, Jury rules for former Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. in Facebook post case, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (January 23, 2018). ^ Mary Papenfuss, FBI Affidavit Details Ex-Sheriff David Clarke's Intimidation of Fellow Passenger, Huffington Post (December 30, 2017). ^ Jensen, Tom (January 31, 2017). "Milwaukee County Survey Results" (PDF) . Public Policy Polling . Retrieved April 23, 2017 . ^ Bice, Daniel (June 16, 2016). "Clarke says he will 'do everything I can' to help Trump win". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel . Retrieved 13 July 2016 . ^ Sheriff Clarke, Rep. Duffy added to GOP convention speakers list, WISN-TV (July 14, 2016). ^ David A. Clarke [@SheriffClarke] (October 15, 2016). "It's incredible that our institutions of gov, WH, Congress, DOJ, and big media are corrupt & all we do is bitch. Pitchforks and torches time" (Tweet) '' via Twitter. ^ "Controversial Trump-Supporting Sheriff Calls for 'Pitchforks and Torches ' ". ABC News. 2016-10-15 . Retrieved 2016-10-15 . ^ Steve Peoples & Todd Richmond (November 25, 2016). "With recounts looming, Trump adds new administration picks". The Washington Post. ^ a b Ron Nixon (May 17, 2017). "Polarizing Sheriff David Clarke Says He'll Take a Top Homeland Security Job". New York Times. ^ David Shortell, Milwaukee County Sheriff Clarke says he's accepted DHS job -- but was it offered?, CNN (May 18, 2017). ^ Nathan McDermott & Andrew Kaczynski, Sheriff David Clarke says he's unsure if Trump administration will still hire him after plagiarism report, CNN (May 23, 2017). ^ Abby Phillip, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke rescinds acceptance of Homeland Security post, CNN (June 17, 2017). ^ Markay, Lachlan; Suebsaeng, Asawin (September 5, 2017). "Sheriff Clarke Was in Talks for a Trump White House Job'--Then John Kelly Killed It". The Daily Beast . Retrieved September 7, 2017 . ^ Daniel Bice, David A. Clarke Jr. resigns as Milwaukee County sheriff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (August 31, 2017). ^ Andrew deGrandpre, David A. Clarke Jr. resigns as Milwaukee County Sheriff, Washington Post (August 31, 2017). ^ Bice, Daniel (September 5, 2017). "Ex-Sheriff David Clarke to work for Trump PAC". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Milwaukee, WI. ^ "FACT CHECK: Does Sheriff David Clarke Wear 'Fake' Military Medals?". Snopes.com. 2017-05-23 . Retrieved 2017-05-27 . ^ "Analysis: Here's what the pins that Sheriff Clarke wears actually mean". Washington Post . Retrieved 2017-05-27 . ^ " ' The People's Sheriff' Is the Latest Addition to TheBlaze Radio Network". TheBlaze. 2015-06-02. ^ "A rational defense of Ammon Bundy and the Oregon Occupation: Sheriff David Clarke". 3 Feb 2016. ^ Maxwell Tani & Asawin Suebsaeng (2019-03-06). "Fox News Quietly Ditched Trump-Loving Sheriff David Clarke" . Retrieved 2019-03-16 . CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) ^ a b Daniel Bice, As Sheriff Clarke's profile soars, gifts roll in, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (September 17, 2016). ^ a b c Theo Keith, Documents show Sheriff Clarke brought in $220K in speaking fees, gifts, travel reimbursements in 2016, WITI-TV (February 1, 2017). ^ Theo Keith, Sheriff David Clarke flies the country, avoids questions, redacts records in his official schedule, WITI-TV (May 25, 2017). ^ Video: Milwaukee County exec says Sheriff David Clarke not 'an active manager', WisconsinEye (July 13, 2017). ^ Former Sheriff David Clarke temporarily blocked from tweeting due to his caustic threats, Wisconsin Gazette (January 5, 2018). ^ Jake Tapper, Sheriff David Clarke temporarily blocked on Twitter after violating terms of service, CNN (January 2, 2018). ^ "It's Hard to Believe David A. Clarke Was Recommended for a Real Job in Homeland Security". ^ Litke, Eric (19 March 2020). "David A. Clarke Jr. Says coronavirus is just "the damn flu. " ". Politifact . Retrieved 20 March 2020 . ^ "Milwaukee Co. Sheriff David Clarke considers 2016 run for mayor". Fox 6 TV. January 31, 2014. ^ "Sheriff David Clarke will not run for MKE Mayor in '16". News/Talk 1130 WISN. December 2, 2015. ^ Spicuzza, Mary (April 6, 2016). "Mayor Barrett wins easy re-election victory over Donovan". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ^ "Race for mayor of Milwaukee: Big endorsements for incumbent Tom Barrett, challenger Bob Donovan". Fox 6 TV. March 16, 2016. ^ Bergquist, Lee (August 27, 2017). "Trump tweets that Sheriff David Clarke's book is 'a great book by a great guy ' ". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . ^ Savransky, Rebecca (August 27, 2017). "Trump promotes book by Sheriff David Clarke". The Hill . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . ^ Wigglesworth, Alex (August 27, 2017). "Trump promotes book by controversial sheriff and campaign supporter". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . External links [ edit ] Official website "The People's Sheriff" PAC '-- official website of the super PAC affiliated with ClarkeProfile of the super PAC from the Center for Responsive PoliticsAppearances on C-SPAN
Leaked Documents Contain Major Revelations About the FBI's Terrorism Classifications - Just Security
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:04
New revelations about the FBI's classification system for domestic terrorism investigations raise questions about why the government is unable or unwilling to shed greater light on white supremacist violence. They also cast doubt on whether the FBI has truly abandoned the concept of ''Black Identity Extremism.''
The FBI uses a classification system to organize case files according to the type of criminal activity being investigated. These records provide a sense of the FBI's prioritization of different types of criminal activity over which it has jurisdiction, as well as the nature and extent of the threat posed by those activities. In the decade since the Department of Homeland Security released, and later under pressure withdrew, a report warning about the threat of white supremacist violence, the topic has become a major concern of policymakers, the media, and impacted communities alike. Amid a surge of white supremacist attacks and a reported increase in hate crime, many have questioned whether the Trump administration has done enough to counteract the scourge of white supremacist violence.
As a result, we have seen a push for the release of federal data, such as the FBI's investigative records, that would help elucidate both the threat posed by white supremacist violence and the federal government's response to that threat. In spite, or perhaps in light, of this push for data, the Trump administration has reportedly changed its approach to classifying domestic terrorism investigations. For years, the FBI has used a specific alphanumeric code to designate domestic terrorism investigations involving white supremacist violence. But in May 2019, it was reported that the FBI replaced the investigative classification for white supremacist violence with a broader category that encompasses different forms of ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism.''
A group of Democratic senators viewed this as an attempt by the administration to ''obfuscate the white supremacist threat,'' and blamed the reclassification for the FBI's inability to produce specific data related to that threat.
According to official documents leaked to the press last month, however, the truth is more complicated. Although the FBI has grouped white supremacist violence within the broader concept of ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism,'' the Bureau's investigative classifications still distinguish between ''White Racially Motivated Violent Extremism'' and so-called ''Black Racially Motivated Violent Extremism.'' The latter was formerly known as ''Black Identity Extremism,'' and before that, ''Black Separatist Extremism.''
Based on the leaked documents, and in apparent contradiction with congressional testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray, this reclassification seems to have had little more than a nominal impact on the Bureau's counterterrorism operations. In fact, both investigative classifications have retained their respective alphanumeric codes: ''266N'' for White Racially Motivated Violent Extremism; and ''266K'' for Black Racially Motivated Violent Extremism.
These revelations suggest two things: the FBI should be able to produce specific data on its investigations into white supremacist violence; and the federal government still sees what it once called ''Black Identity Extremism'' as a domestic terror threat.
Background
At a July 23 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democratic Senators Dick Durbin and Cory Booker pressed Wray for more information regarding the Bureau's approach to investigating domestic terrorism. In particular, the senators questioned the FBI's reported elimination of a discrete investigative classification for cases involving white supremacist violence. According to a May 2 letter from Durbin, Booker, and five other Democrats on the committee, the FBI retired its ''White Supremacist Extremism'' classification in favor of a broader, more equivocal label known as ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism.''
In their letter, the senators decried the reclassification, noting that officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI who initially briefed committee staff about the name shift could not produce specific data on white supremacist violence. Instead, they could only provide information corresponding to the broader category. The senators suggested that the resulting ambiguity was intentional.
''The Trump Administration,'' they wrote, ''has shifted its approach to tracking domestic terrorism incidents to obfuscate the white supremacist threat.'' The letter also criticized the new category for ''inappropriately combin[ing] incidents involving white supremacists and so-called 'Black identity extremists,''' which the senators described as ''a fabricated term based on a faulty assessment of a small number of isolated incidents.''
The use of this term has been the subject of intense scrutiny from members of Congress, particularly Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who has drawn a line between what she called an ''absurd designation'' and the FBI's historic targeting of black civil rights activists. Relatedly, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, has compared the reclassification to the FBI's now-defunct ''Anti-Abortion Extremism'' designation. Raskin suggested that the FBI changed the classification to ''Abortion Extremism'' to ''disguise the nature of the real threat to women's health care clinics and doctors and nurses who work there.''
During the July 23 hearing, Director Wray was unable to provide specific data on the nature and scope of the white supremacist threat, but said that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases the FBI had investigated at that point in 2019 were ''motivated by some version of, what you might call, white supremacist violence.''
The senators were not satisfied with this response. Five days after an armed white supremacist, allegedly looking to target Mexicans, killed 22 people and injured dozens more at a shopping center in El Paso, Texas, they sent a letter addressed to Wray and Attorney General William Barr. In the August 8 letter, the senators doubled down on their concerns regarding the reclassification, and attributed Wray's imprecision to the administration's ''decision to eliminate the specific designation for white supremacist incidents.'' As a reminder, this is the same explanation that officials reportedly provided during the aforementioned committee staff briefing last spring.
But FBI documents that were revealed last month complicate the narrative, as it turns out that a discrete investigative classification for white supremacist violence still exists. According to leaked ''threat guidance'' documents obtained exclusively by The Young Turks, a progressive news site, although the FBI has implemented its new category for ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism,'' the investigative classification system continues to distinguish between ''White Racially Motivated Violent Extremists'' and ''Black Racially Motivated Violent Extremists.'' While the documents include materials dating back to fiscal year 2018, this particular revelation comes from threat guidance for FY2020, which begins next month.
Implications
The implications here are twofold. First, the FBI should be able to provide the senators, not to mention the general public, with specific data on federal domestic terrorism investigations involving white supremacist violence. Second, although the FBI has abandoned its use of the term ''Black Identity Extremism'' to describe a purported domestic terror threat that many have criticized as a false predicate for targeting black racial justice activists, the underlying premise of that category continues to inform the FBI's counterterrorism operations.
According to the leaked documents, motivations for ''Black Racially Motivated Violent Extremists'' include the desire to establish ''autonomous black social institutions, communities, or governing organizations within the United States,'' or even create ''physical or psychological separation.'' Based on this language, rather than disavowing the underlying framework that so many found objectionable about the ''Black Identity Extremism'' designation, the FBI seems to have broadened its scope under the new classification.
Both revelations cast a shadow over Wray's testimony during the July 23 hearing, where he told members of the committee that the elimination of terms like ''White Supremacist Extremism'' and ''Black Identity Extremism'' was part of a reorganization of the FBI's domestic terrorism threat categorizations. ''That terminology went away as part of this racially motivated violent extremism category,'' he said, referring to ''Black Identity Extremism.'' As the leaked documents seem to suggest, however, the FBI continues to track its domestic terrorism investigations as it has in the past, only now with even less transparency.
We do not need to speculate about the FBI's intentions behind the reclassification to understand its effect. Publicity and confusion surrounding the ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism'' category have obscured the FBI's efforts not only to counteract the threat of white supremacist violence, but also to further entrench the framework that underpinned the ''Black Identity Extremist'' designation.
Assuming the leaked documents indeed reflect the FBI's current approach to classifying domestic terrorism investigations, the Bureau's investigative records will shine a light on both efforts. Members of Congress should continue their dogged oversight of the federal response to white supremacist violence and demand transparency from the relevant agencies, including the FBI. But the records alone will not suffice. These latest revelations demand an explanation.
Image: FBI agents check vehicles outside the Wal-Mart where a shooting left 20 people dead in El Paso, Texas, on August 4, 2019. Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
The FBI's 'Black Identity Extremist' Report
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:02
12:15-1:15 p.m., S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom, Level 6The FBI came under fire in 2017 after a report revealed it had begun using the term ''black identity extremists'' in official documents to describe black activists and individuals who were considered security threats by law enforcement. The classification shares multiple similarities to the bureau's COINTELPRO project, which was used throughout the 1950s and '60s to track and disrupt domestic political organizations, including the Civil Rights movement.
More recently, the term ''black identity extremist'' was applied to activist Rakem Balogun, a founding member of the Dallas-based black power group Guerilla Mainframe. Balogun was arrested in December 2017 and later learned the FBI had been investigating him for domestic terrorism, monitoring his social media posts for anti-police rhetoric. Charges against Balogun were later dropped in May 2018, following widespread backlash.
A series of ''Threat Guidance'' documents leaked in August 2019 showed that the FBI under President Trump considers ''black identity extremists'' a bigger threat than white supremacists and al-Qaida.
Free and open to the public. 1 hour CLE (pending).
Melanie Schmitz is a political journalist and editor based in Washington, D.C. She currently works as the managing editor for Shareblue Media and was previously a senior editor with ThinkProgress. In addition to covering the FBI's ''black identity extremist'' classification, she has written and reported on a broad array of topics including global epidemics, the Nicaraguan revolution, and the Russia investigation.
This event is part of the Zions Bank Diverse Ideas in Law and Culture Speaker Series.
Karen Bass - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:00
U.S. Representative from California
Karen Ruth Bass (/Ëb...s/; born October 3, 1953) is an American Democratic politician who has represented Culver City and parts of South Los Angeles in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2010.
On November 28, 2018, Bass was elected to chair of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 116th Congress.[7][8][9] She serves also as Chair of the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations and the House Committee on the Judiciary where she serves as Acting Chair of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Bass represented the 47th district in the California State Assembly 2004''2010. In 2008, she was elected to serve as the 67th Speaker of the California State Assembly, becoming the first African-American woman in United States history to serve as a Speaker of a state legislative body.[10][11] For her leadership during the worst recession California had faced since the Great Depression, she, along with three other legislative leaders whom she worked alongside, was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2010.[12]
Early life and education [ edit ] Bass was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Wilhelmina (n(C)e Duckett) and DeWitt Talmadge Bass.[13][unreliable source? ] Her father was a postal letter carrier and her mother was a homemaker.[5] She was raised in the Venice and Fairfax neighborhoods of Los Angeles and attended Hamilton High School.
Witnessing the civil rights movement on television with her father as a child sparked her interest in community activism. While in middle school, Bass began volunteering for Bobby Kennedy's presidential campaign.[14]
She went on to study philosophy at San Diego State University, and graduated from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program. She then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences from California State University, Dominguez Hills.[1][15] She also received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Community Coalition and the crack cocaine epidemic [ edit ] In the 1980s, while working as a Physician Assistant and as a clinical instructor at the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program,[1] Bass witnessed the impact of the crack epidemic in South Los Angeles. After attending a San Francisco conference hosted by Rev. Cecil Williams titled ''Crack: The Death of a Race'', Bass decided to organize a response.
In the late 1980s, Bass and other local community organizers and founded Community Coalition, an organization with a mission to help transform the social and economic conditions in South LA that foster addiction, crime, violence and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing and changing public policy.[15][16]
Since its founding, Community Coalition has blocked the construction of liquor stores and encouraged construction of small businesses, affordable housing, and nonprofits. Community Coalition has also secured funding for low-income students in middle and high schools in Los Angeles Unified School District.[17] Community Coalition activists spoke at the March for Our Lives rally in 2018.[citation needed ]
California Assembly [ edit ] In 2004, Bass was elected to represent California's 47th Assembly district. At her inauguration, she became the only African-American woman serving in the state legislature.[18] She was re-elected in 2006 and 2008 before her term limit expired. Bass served the cities and communities of Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Cheviot Hills, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, the Crenshaw District, Little Ethiopia and portions of Koreatown and South Los Angeles.[citation needed]
Leadership prior to speaker election [ edit ] Speaker Fabian Nº±ez appointed Bass California State Assembly Majority Whip for the 2005''2006 legislative session and Majority Floor Leader for the 2007''2008 legislative session.[10] During her first term, she founded and chaired the California Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care, implementing a host of new laws to help improve the state's Foster Care System and leading the effort to secure $82 million in additional funding for the state's child welfare system. Under her direction, the Select Committee brought together bipartisan and broad-based community support, together with the voices of youth and families, to pass legislation designed to improve the lives of California's most vulnerable children.
During her term as Majority Whip, Bass also served as vice chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. As vice chair, she commissioned the first ever 'State of Black California' report, which included a statewide organizing effort to involve Black Californians in town halls in every part of the state with a prevalent Black community to solicit ideas to develop a legislative agenda.[19] The result of the report was a legislative agenda for the Black community, which was released during her term serving as Majority Floor Leader.[20]
Speakership [ edit ] Speaker Nº±ez termed out of the Assembly at the end of the 2007-2008 session, leaving Bass as the next-highest-ranking Democrat in the Assembly. After consolidating the support of a majority of legislators, including some who had previously been planning to run for the Speakership themselves, Bass was elected Speaker on February 28, 2008 and then sworn in as Speaker on May 13, 2008.[21]
Under her Speakership, Bass promoted numerous laws to help improve the state's child welfare system.[22] During her first year, she ushered through expansion of Healthy Families Insurance Coverage to help prevent children from going without health insurance and worked to slash bureaucratic red-tape to help speed up the certification of small businesses. She also secured more than $2.3 million to help revitalize the historic Vision Theater in Los Angeles; and more than $600 million for Los Angeles Unified School District.[23] Bass worked with the governor and initiated the California Commission on the 21st Century Economy to reform the tax code in California. She also fought to repeal the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.[24]
Bass' speakership was defined, though, by the economic turmoil dominating the state. It was characterized by the John F. Kennedy Foundation in the following way:
''In February 2009, amid one of the worst budget crises in California's history, an imploding economy, and potentially catastrophic partisan deadlock, the state's Republican and Democratic party leaders came together to address the financial emergency. After weeks of grueling negotiation, the legislative leaders and Gov. Schwarzenegger reached an agreement on a comprehensive deal to close most of a $42 billion shortfall, putting an end to years of government inaction and sidestepping of the difficult decisions necessary to address California's increasingly dire fiscal crisis. The deal was objectionable to almost everyone; it contained tax increases, which the Republicans had long pledged to oppose, and draconian spending cuts, which brought intense criticism to the Democrats. Bass, David Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg, and Michael Villines were presented with the 2010 Profile in Courage Award in recognition of the political courage each demonstrated in standing up to the extraordinary constituent and party pressure they faced while working with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to address California's severe financial crisis.''[25]
Bass was criticized[by whom?] for the following statement to Los Angeles Times reporter Patt Morrison: "The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: 'You vote for revenue and your career is over.' I don't know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it's about free speech, but it's extremely unfair."[26]
U.S. House of Representatives [ edit ] Elections [ edit ] 2010 [ edit ] Karen Bass with Diane Watson on the day Bass announced she would run for US Congress in 2010.
In 2010, Congresswoman Diane Watson retired from Congress and encouraged Bass to run for her seat. Bass was ineligible to run for reelection to the State Assembly in 2010 due to California's term limits so on February 18, 2010, Bass confirmed her candidacy to succeed retiring Watson in California's 33rd congressional district.[27]
Bass raised $932,281.19 and spent $768,918.65. Her 2010 campaign contributions came from very different and diverse groups with none donating more than 15% of her total campaign funds. The five major donors to her campaign are Labor Unions with $101,950.00; Financial Institutions with $90,350.00; Health Professionals with $87,900.00; the Entertainment Industry with $52,400.00 and Lawyers and Law Firms with $48,650.00.[28]
Bass won the election with over 86% of the vote on November 2, 2010.[29]
2012 [ edit ] In redistricting following the 2010 census, the district was renumbered from 33rd to 37th. In 2012 she had no primary opponent, and carried the general election with 86%.[5] She raised $692,988.53 and spent $803,966.15, leaving $52,384.92 on hand and a debt of $3,297.59.[28]
Bass was involved in the Presidential election, having endorsed Barack Obama for a second term. She played a leadership role in the California African Americans for Obama organization in addition to serving in her post on Obama's national African American Leadership Council. Bass had also served as a co-chair of African Americans for Obama in the state of California during the 2008 presidential campaign.
2014 [ edit ] Bass received 84.3% of the vote to be re-elected for a third term.[30]
2016 [ edit ] Bass received 81.1% of the vote to be re-elected for a fourth term.[30] Bass endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in 2015. On August 3, 2016, Bass launched a petition to have then-candidate for President Donald Trump to be psychologically evaluated, suggesting that he exhibited symptoms of the mental disorder Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The petition was signed by 37,218 supporters. She did not attend the inauguration of President Trump after conducting a poll on Twitter.
2018 [ edit ] Fueled by the 2016 election of Donald Trump and in an effort to channel the political frustrations of Angelinos, Bass created the Sea Change Leadership PAC to activate, educate, and mobilize voters. Bass won her primary with 89.18% of the vote. Bass received 88.2% of the vote to be re-elected for a fifth term.[30]
Committee assignments [ edit ] Committee on the JudiciarySubcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations (Chair)[5]Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the InternetCommittee on Foreign AffairsSubcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights (Chair)[5][31]Caucuses [ edit ] Congressional Black Caucus, Chair[32]Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, Founder and Co-ChairCongressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA)American Sikh Congressional CaucusCongressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery CaucusCoalition for Autism Research and Education (CARE)Congressional Caucus on Black Men and BoysCongressional Creative Rights CaucusCongressional Diabetes CaucusCongressional Entertainment Industries CaucusCongressional Ethiopia CaucusCongressional HIV/AIDS CaucusCongressional International Conservation Caucus[33]Congressional LGBT Equality CaucusCongressional Library of Congress CaucusCongressional Military Mental Health CaucusCongressional Multiple Sclerosis CaucusCongressional Quiet Skies CaucusCongressional Progressive CaucusCongressional Social Work CaucusCongressional Valley Fever Task ForcePolitical positions [ edit ] Bass is generally considered a liberal, with ratings of 100% or close from liberal interest group capitol Weekly Positions. Conservative groups like the California Republican Assembly Positions have consistently awarded her a 0%.[28]
United States''Africa Relations [ edit ] Throughout her entire time in Congress, Bass has held the position of being the top Democrat on the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. Her goal is to transform how we think and engage African nations and to promote the many opportunities to expand trade and economic growth between the U.S. and African nations. During her time in that post, one of her key priorities was the re-authorization and Strengthening of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which enables the nations of Africa to export goods to the U.S. duty free. In 2015, Bass was instrumental in reauthorizing the bill.
Bass has been a leading voice and an advocate for preventing and ending famine in Africa. In 2017, she helped secure nearly $1 billion in funds to combat famine in Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan.
She has introduced more than 50 bills and resolutions pertaining to democracy protection, expanding economic opportunity, and other issues pertaining to the continent. Bass continues to engage the African diaspora with regular popular policy breakfasts, which are open for public participation, to discuss the latest issues on the continent.
Committee on Caucus Procedures [ edit ] Previously known as the Committee on Oversight, Study and Review (OSR), Bass was appointed by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to chair the Democratic Committee on Caucus and Procedures in 2014. She served in that capacity for six years. The Committee is responsible for the review and recommendation of Democratic Caucus Rules in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congressional Black Caucus [ edit ] Bass served as the 2nd Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 115th Congress. She was elected to Chair the Congressional Black Caucus on November 28, 2018.[34] Her priorities include the restoration of the Voting Rights Act, reinforcement of the Affordable Care Act, the lowering of health care costs, and the advancement of comprehensive criminal justice reforms, in addition to ensuring that more Americans learn about the actions of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Criminal justice [ edit ] Bass believes that the criminal justice system is terribly broken in part due to the disproportionate incarceration rates of poor people of color. Bass currently serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security. She has long called for criminal justice reform and to pay special attention to the way women are treated by the criminal justice system '' from how they become entangled in the criminal justice system in the first place, how they are treated when in prison, and what happens to them after they return to their communities.
In 2018, she voted in favor of the First Step Act, which divided Democrats and focused on rehabilitating people once they're already in prison by incentivizing them, with the possibility of earlier release, to partake in rehabilitation programs. Her contribution to the bill was a section addressing the inhumane practice of shackling women during pregnancy, labor and delivery.[35]
Child welfare reform [ edit ] Upon arriving in Congress, Bass founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth (CCFY), a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who develop policy recommendations to strengthen the child welfare system. One of the group's most significant achievements was the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, also known as Family First, which was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act on February 9, 2018. This historic reform aims to change child welfare systems across the country by addressing the top reasons children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care.[36]
Starting in May 2012, the Caucus began hosting an annual Foster Youth Shadow Day, during which current and former foster youth come to Washington, DC for a week-long trip to learn about advocating for reforms to the child welfare system. The week culminates in Shadow Day, which is when participants spend a day following their Member of Congress through their daily routine. Shadow Day is hosted in collaboration with the National Foster Youth Institute, an organization based in Los Angeles dedicated to transforming the nation's child welfare system.[37] Bass serves on the organization's Board of Directors.
Environment [ edit ] Bass believes that combating climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the United States and the entire international community. Shortly before EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned, Bass signed a letter to President Trump demanding he be fired for mounting ethics violations. Bass is also a strong supporter of the Paris Climate Agreement. She was also one of the first 30 Members of Congress to support the Green New Deal.
Gun law [ edit ] Bass is a very strong supporter of gun control.[38] Her National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund Lifetime Score is an F. The Gun Owners of California Positions on Gun Rights have also given Bass an F. In 2010 while campaigning for Congress, Bass supported legislation that with other regulations would have made all gun dealers report their sales to the Department of Justice.
Bass participated in the 2016 sit-in against gun violence in the House of Representatives. Democratic members of Congress adopted the slogan "No Bill, No Break" in an attempt to push the introduction of legislation increasing restrictions on guns. Bass is a strong supporter of legislation to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of semiautomatic weapons and ammunition-feeding devices capable of accepting more than ten rounds in the United States. In 2019, she voted in favor of legislation to require a background check for every firearm sale[39] and also to close the same loophole that allowed a gun to be acquired in the Charleston church massacre.[40]
Health care [ edit ] Bass supports universal health care and was one of the founders of the Congressional Medicare for All Caucus. She has voted more than 60 times against a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and believes that Congress should improve the landmark piece of legislation instead of trying to destroy it.
Housing [ edit ] Bass has been a longtime fighter against cash-for-keys scams, the decrease of Section 8 housing accessibility, and the rising maintenance costs in certain neighborhoods, all of which are factors that led to the housing crisis in South L.A. In November 2016, Bass supported the passage of Measure HHH and Measure H, that promises billions of dollars towards housing for homeless individuals. Bass believes that supporting public housing, promoting loan modifications and protecting consumers against unsustainable loans are not only necessary to help at-risk families and individuals, but fundamental for economic recovery.
Immigration [ edit ] In July 2018, Bass visited a federal facility used to detain migrant families and children separated from their parents after calling for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. She also introduced the Family Unity Rights and Protections Act, which would require the federal government to reunite families that have been forcibly separated at the border. Bass also paid special attention to the impact that this policy was having on the child welfare system given her work on the issue.
Impeachment of Donald J. Trump [ edit ] Bass voted yay to support the proposed articles of impeachment against Trump.[41] Regarding her vote to support the articles of impeachment, Bass tweeted "He abused the power of his office. He obstructed Congress. No one is above the law."[42]
Intellectual property [ edit ] Bass is in favor of Net Neutrality and supports legislation to protect the internet from attempts by the Trump administration to roll back regulations. Bass supported the 2018 passage of the Music Modernization Act, which creates a formalized body, run by publishers, that administers the "mechanical licensing" of compositions streamed on services like Spotify and Apple Music
Jobs [ edit ] Bass has fought to give tax credits to small businesses to hire new employees, increase the flow of credit to small businesses so they can grow and create jobs, and extend the research and development tax credit that encourages innovation and job creation. She also introduced the Local Hire Act to allow cities and counties to prioritize hiring local residents for infrastructure projects. The rule resulted in new jobs in Los Angeles. In May 2018, Bass and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) introduced the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, omnibus legislation that would, if passed, increase the upward social mobility of Black families, and help ensure equal protection under the law.
LGBTQ rights [ edit ] Bass, a social liberal, has received ratings around 100% approval by pro-gay marriage associations. In 2018, Bass was awarded the ''Public Official of the Year'' from the Los Angeles Stonewall Democratic Club.[43] In 2019, she voted in favor of the Equality Act, which ensures LGBTQ individuals have an equal opportunity to succeed and contribute to their communities by banning discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, employment, education, credit and financing, and more.
Student loan debt [ edit ] Bass believes that it is shameful that in this day and age, students are deprived access to their dreams because of their debt. In 2019, she introduced two pieces of legislation to address this issue. The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2019 addresses this crisis in three major ways: creating a new ''10-10'' standard, capping the interest rate, and accounting for cost of living. She also introduced the FAFSA Act of 2019 (Financial Aid Fairness for Students Act), which would repeal a law that makes it all but impossible for people with a drug conviction, no matter how petty, to receive federal financial aid for higher education.
Taxes [ edit ] Bass is considered a liberal in her fiscal positions. She has a rating of 10% from the very conservative California Tax Payers Association. However, the more liberal Consumer Federation of California gives her very high ratings. Bass has supported keeping taxes low for the middle class and "tax credits for small businesses to hire new employees". She states that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should expire. In 2017, she voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, citing a disproportional impact the bill would have on California's middle class families.
Personal life [ edit ] Bass suffered the loss of her only child, daughter Emilia Wright, and her son-in-law Michael Wright, in a car accident in 2006.
From 1980 to 1986, Bass was married to Jesus Lechuga. Following their divorce, Bass and Lechuga jointly raised their daughter and four step-children, Scythia, Omar, Yvette, and Ollin, together.[44] Bass has three grandchildren: Henry, Harlynn, and Michael.
See also [ edit ] List of African-American United States RepresentativesList of female speakers of legislatures in the United StatesWomen in the United States House of RepresentativesReferences [ edit ] [ edit ] ^ a b c Young, Kerry (November 6, 2010). "112th Congress: Karen Bass, D-Calif. (33rd District)". Congressional Quarterly. ^ "California Assembly District 47". California Assembly. July 7, 2008. Archived from the original on June 2, 2009 . Retrieved October 1, 2013 . ^ "Full Biography | Congresswoman Karen Bass". U.S. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013 . Retrieved October 1, 2013 . ^ "Karen Bass '' Archives of Women's Political Communication". Archives of Women's Political Communication. Iowa State University . Retrieved October 1, 2013 . Bass was born October 3, 1953, and raised in Los Angeles. She attended San Diego State University from 1971''1973 and graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in health sciences. ^ a b c d e Barone, Michael; Chuck McCutcheon (2013). The Almanac of American Politics 2014. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 243''245. ISBN 978-0-226-10544-4. Copyright National Journal. ^ "Aztec Action Network". San Diego State University . Retrieved October 2, 2013 . Residence: Los Angeles ^ "Largest-Ever Congressional Black Caucus Sworn In". Diverse. January 3, 2019. ^ "Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond Says Goodbye to Seat as he Prepares to Pass "Chair" to Rep. Karen Bass". January 2, 2019. ^ "The Blue Wave Of Black Politicians Gets Sworn In". January 3, 2019. ^ a b Vogel, Nancy (February 28, 2008). "L.A. woman to follow Nunez". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035 . Retrieved December 21, 2015 . ^ "African American Speakers of the California". Los Angeles Sentinel . Retrieved December 21, 2015 . ^ "Karen Bass, David Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg, and Michael Villines | JFK Library". www.jfklibrary.org . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Karen Bass ancestry". RootsWeb . Retrieved October 1, 2013 . ^ "Karen Bass: Madame Speaker". Los Angeles Times. June 27, 2009 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ a b "About Karen". KarenBass.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010 . Retrieved December 4, 2010 . ^ "About Us". Community Coalition. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014 . Retrieved February 15, 2014 . ^ "BREAKING NEWS: LAUSD Settlement Announced by Community Coalition and Parents". Community Coalition . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Profile Series: Representative Karen Bass -". February 27, 2018 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Samad, Anthony Asadullah. "Between the lines". 8 February 2007. The Black Commentator . Retrieved September 11, 2012 . ^ Bass, Karen. "The State of Black California" (PDF) . February 2007. California Democratic Caucus. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 5, 2013 . Retrieved September 11, 2012 . ^ Yi, Matthew (February 29, 2008). "L.A. lawmaker first African American woman to lead state Assembly". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved March 1, 2008 . ^ "Karen Bass Makes United States History as the first African American Woman to be named to Speaker of | Black Voice News". March 6, 2008 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ href='https://jewishjournal.com/author/'></a>, BY <a (June 3, 2009). "Q&A with Karen Bass: Life in the Hot Seat". Jewish Journal . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "African American Speakers of the California". Los Angeles Sentinel. April 29, 2010 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Cogan, Marin. "Former California speaker resets". POLITICO . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Morrison, Patt (June 27, 2009). "Madam Speaker: An interview with state Assembly Speaker Karen Bass". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009 . Retrieved July 8, 2009 . ^ Merl, Jean (February 18, 2010). "Karen Bass confirms candidacy for seat in Congress". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved March 3, 2010 . ^ a b c "Representative Karen Bass' Campaign Finances '' Project Vote Smart" . Retrieved October 2, 2013 . ^ Van Oot, Torey (November 3, 2010). "Bass, Denham win seats in Congress". The Sacramento Bee . Retrieved November 3, 2010 . ^ a b c "California's 37th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations '' House Foreign Affairs Committee". House.gov. Archived from the original on April 17, 2019. ^ "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus . Retrieved March 7, 2018 . ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018 . Retrieved August 1, 2018 . ^ Tully-McManus, Katherine; Tully-McManus, Katherine (November 28, 2018). "Rep. Karen Bass Elected to Lead Growing Congressional Black Caucus" . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Lopez, German (May 22, 2018). "Congress's prison reform bill, explained". Vox . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Family First Prevention Services Act '' CWLA" . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "National Foster Youth Institute | Non-Profit Organization". www.nfyi.org . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Q&A on Gun Control". Congresswoman Karen Bass. December 19, 2012 . Retrieved December 12, 2019 . ^ "Rep. Bass Applauds Background Check Legislation". Congresswoman Karen Bass. February 27, 2019 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Rep. Bass Speaks on Closing the Charleston Gun Loophole". Congresswoman Karen Bass. February 28, 2019 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Almukhtar, Sarah; Buchanan, Larry; Corum, Jonathan; Lu, Denise; Parlapiano, Alicia; Ward, Joe; Yourish, Karen (December 13, 2019). " ' No Choice' or 'a Sham': Where Every House Member Stands on Impeachment". The New York Times . Retrieved December 13, 2019 . ^ Bass, Congressmember (December 13, 2019). "I just voted to proceed on both articles of impeachment into Donald Trump.He abused the power of his office.He obstructed Congress.No one is above the law.pic.twitter.com/Y8C70Ol0Ox". @RepKarenBass . Retrieved December 13, 2019 . ^ www.grandpixels.com (March 23, 2018). "42nd Annual Stoney Awards". Suzanne Westenhoefer . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Karen Bass Makes United States History as the first African American Woman to be named to Speaker of (sic)". The Black Voice News. Riverside, California: Brown Publishing Company. March 6, 2008. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013 . Retrieved October 2, 2013 . Sources [ edit ] External links [ edit ] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karen Bass .Official U.S. House websiteKaren Bass at CurlieAppearances on C-SPANBiography at the Biographical Directory of the United States CongressProfile at Vote SmartFinancial information (federal office) at the Federal Election CommissionLegislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
FBI Abandons Use of Term 'Black Identity Extremism' - WSJ
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:51
WASHINGTON'--The Federal Bureau of Investigation's director said the bureau has abandoned the term ''black identity extremism'' as part of a broad reconceptualization of how it thinks about racially motivated crime.
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI director Christopher Wray said the bureau has replaced an array of categories that it once used to describe and track violent extremism with the broader designation ''racially motivated violent extremism.''
The term ''black identity extremism'' drew scrutiny from civil rights leaders and others over concerns that it delegitimized activism against police violence and drew a false equivalence with white supremacy.
In a controversial move, the bureau has stopped characterizing white supremacy'--which Democrats say poses a growing violent threat'--as a separate category, considering all racially motivated violent extremism as a single broad category.
Mr. Wray acknowledged that many domestic terrorism arrests involved white supremacy. Many such cases ''are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence,'' Mr. Wray said in his testimony.
Democrats in Congress had been told about the adoption of the term ''racially motivated violent extremism'' in a private briefing, they said earlier this year. In addition, an FBI official said last month in a House subcommittee hearing that the term black identity extremism had not been used by the bureau since early 2018.
Mr. Wray said the shift was an attempt to emphasize that law enforcement doesn't investigate people merely for their ideology. In the U.S., the First Amendment broadly protects a wide swath of hateful speech as well as the right to organize in groups around hateful ideologies. Law enforcement can only intervene if there are concerns about violence.
''We only investigate violence. We don't investigate extremism. We don't investigate ideology. We don't investigate rhetoric. It doesn't matter how repugnant, how abhorrent or whatever it is,'' Mr. Wray told members of the Senate panel.
The elimination of the use of terms like ''white supremacy'' and ''black identity extremism'' was meant to reflect the FBI's approach in domestic terrorism situations.
''That was part of the reorganization of all of our domestic terrorism threat categorization. That terminology went away as part of this racially motivated violent extremism category,'' Mr. Wray told Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), who had pressed him on the ''black identity extremism'' label.
Mr. Wray's comments provided the most high-profile explanation by the bureau about how and why it has shifted the way it thinks about domestic terrorism and extremism.
The controversy over the term ''black identity extremism'' began in 2017 when the FBI produced a 12-page report alleging that such activists were increasingly targeting law enforcement. Such extremists were acting ''in retaliation for perceived past police brutality incidents,'' the report said.
The issue of police killings has roiled U.S. politics since 2014 and sparked a wave of activism under the banner ''Black Lives Matter'' after several high-profile incidents. They include the deaths of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner while in the custody of police in New York City.
As a result, the use of the term by the bureau has drawn criticism from civil-rights activists who say it raises the specter of the kind of surveillance the FBI employed against civil-rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s.
''We're deeply concerned about the FBI's 'black identity extremist' designation. This is mere distraction from the very real threat of white supremacy,'' said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in congressional testimony earlier this year.
''It is not real. It is not a real threat. It harkens back to the dark days of our federal government abusing its power to go after civil rights activists during the heyday of the civil-rights movement. There is no such thing as black identity extremism,'' Ms. Clarke said.
Write to Byron Tau at byron.tau@wsj.com
Black Identity Extremists - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:42
In the United States, Black Identity Extremists (BIE) was a designation used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from August 2017 to July 2019. It first appeared in an counterterrorism report dated August 3, 2017 sent to thousands of American police departments and described safety concerns about allegedly violent African-American activists.[1] The term was discontinued when the FBI merged several classifications under the umbrella term of ''racially motivated violent extremism''.[2]
[ edit ] The term first received media attention in October 2017 when Foreign Policy published a leaked copy of the report in October 2017.[3][4][5] According to Foreign Policy, the report is the first reference to "black identity extremists", while also noting the report claims "[t]he FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence". However, former government officials and legal experts claimed the term described a movement that did not exist.[3]
Civil liberties organizations and political commentators expressed concern that the internal use of this designation by the FBI's counter-terrorism unit signals a politically-motivated effort to falsely equivocate black activism, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, with white supremacists.[6][7]
In November 2017, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the nation's largest black police group, states that the FBI designation is "ill advised."[4]
In December 2017, Rakem Balogun was arrested after he was designated as a "Black Identity Extremist".[8][9][10][11][12][13][14] However, by May of 2018 all charges against him had been dropped.[15]
In March 2018, the term was discussed during a sitting of the Congressional Black Caucus.[16][17]
See also [ edit ] COINTELPRORacial views of Donald TrumpReferences [ edit ] ^ "US judge orders release of 'first Black Identity Extremist ' ". www.aljazeera.com . Retrieved 2018-05-08 . ^ Tau, Byron (July 23, 2019). "FBI Abandons Use of Term 'Black Identity Extremism ' ". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved March 25, 2020 . ^ a b "The FBI's New U.S. Terrorist Threat: 'Black Identity Extremists ' ". Foreign Policy . Retrieved 2018-01-02 . ^ a b "FBI's "black identity extremists" label is ill-advised, the nation's largest black police group says" . Retrieved 2017-12-16 . ^ Weinberger, Sharon. "BIE Redacted". www.documentcloud.org . Retrieved 2017-12-16 . ^ Beydoun, Khaled A.; Hansford, Justin (2017-11-15). "Opinion | The F.B.I.'s Dangerous Crackdown on 'Black Identity Extremists ' ". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-01-02 . ^ Kortyka, Lindsey. "Who Are "Black Identity Extremists"? The FBI Identified Them As A New Domestic Terror Threat". Bustle . Retrieved 2018-01-03 . ^ Schladebeck, Jessica. "Black activist jailed for Facebook posts slams secret surveillance and FBI for 'their tyranny' - NY Daily News". nydailynews.com. ^ "Is a Court Case in Texas the First Prosecution of a 'Black Identity Extremist'?". foreignpolicy.com. ^ Branigin, Anne. "Is This the 1st Victim of COINTELPRO 2.0? Jailed 'Black Identity Extremist' Speaks Out". theroot.com. ^ Krueger, Katherine. "Activist Thought To Be First Jailed As 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". splinternews.com. ^ Levitz, Eric. "Feds Jailed Gun Owner for Making Politically Incorrect Facebook Posts". nymag.com. ^ "Texas judge dismisses FBI case against 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". dailydot.com. 12 May 2018. ^ Levin, Sam (11 May 2018). "Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance". The Guardian. ^ Bourmont, Martin de (11 May 2018). "Charges Dropped in First Case Against 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". The Daily Beast. ^ "Congressional Black Caucus". Congressional Black Caucus. 2018-03-20 . Retrieved 2018-05-08 . ^ "US legislators worried by FBI term 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". www.aljazeera.com . Retrieved 2018-05-08 .
Rakem Balogun - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:41
Rakem Balogun, whose legal name is Christopher Daniels, is an American activist, best known for his involvement in a Facebook-related incident that occurred on December 12, 2017, which became headline news in the United States.
Background [ edit ] Balogun enlisted as a US Marine in 2001 and served in the Iraq War in 2003.[1][2] Balogun cites his time serving in the US Marine Corps as alienating due to the behaviour and racial attitudes of white officers, and left the Marine Corps 3 years into an 8-year contract on an "Other Than Honorable" discharge .[3] Balogun became a founding member of groups such as Guerrilla Mainframe in 2008, and of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club in 2014, both based in Dallas, Texas. Balogun cites the killing of unarmed black men by police officers as the motivation for creating these groups.[4] In 2016, Balogun distanced himself from the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, as he felt it had become too influenced by New Black Panther Party (also based in Dallas), which he identifies as being a Black Separatist organisation, something which clashed with his Socialist outlook.[5] However, during a 2019 interview on Klepper, Balogun is seen leading a demonstration including several participants in Huey P. Newton Gun Club paraphernalia.[6]
2017 arrest [ edit ] Balogun was startled awake in his Dallas home by a large crash and police officers screaming commands on December 12, 2017, when he and his 15-year-old son were forced outside of their Dallas home dressed only in their underwear. Balogun was handcuffed and learned FBI agents were investigating domestic terrorism and had been monitoring him for years for posts on Facebook criticizing police. In particular, posts by Balogun praising Micah Johnson, the perpetrator of the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers, were cited as grounds for Balogun's arrest.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13] According to Balogun he was exercising his right to free speech when he praised Johnson,[14] and was not endorsing violence against individual police officers, but a general struggle against the Dallas Police Department.[6]
The event made worldwide news due to Balogun being the first person ever to be publicly designated a "Black Identity Extremist" by the FBI, sparking a national debate on the appropriateness of that term. In May 2018, Balogun had all charges dropped against him.[15]
References [ edit ] ^ Alcorn, Chauncey (26 July 2018). "Black gun rights advocates criticize FBI's, NRA's response to Rakem Balogun". Mic . Retrieved 7 June 2019 . ^ Simek, Peter (October 2018). "The Right to Bear Arms (And Say Shocking Stuff on Facebook)". D Magazine . Retrieved 7 June 2019 . Daniels enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 2001. Three months later, the World Trade Center towers fell. By 2003, he was in Ramadi, Iraq, serving in an artillery unit. ^ Simek, Peter (October 2018). ^ Simek, Peter (October 2018). ^ Simek, Peter (October 2018). ^ a b Klepper, Jordan (June 6, 2019). "This Is My Gun, These Are My Rights". Klepper. Season 1. Episode 6. Event occurs at 14. Comedy Central. ^ Schladebeck, Jessica. "Black activist jailed for Facebook posts slams secret surveillance and FBI for 'their tyranny' - NY Daily News". nydailynews.com. ^ "Is a Court Case in Texas the First Prosecution of a 'Black Identity Extremist'?". foreignpolicy.com. ^ Branigin, Anne. "Is This the 1st Victim of COINTELPRO 2.0? Jailed 'Black Identity Extremist' Speaks Out". theroot.com. ^ Krueger, Katherine. "Activist Thought To Be First Jailed As 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". splinternews.com. ^ Levitz, Eric. "Feds Jailed Gun Owner for Making Politically Incorrect Facebook Posts". nymag.com. ^ "Texas judge dismisses FBI case against 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". dailydot.com. 12 May 2018. ^ Levin, Sam (11 May 2018). "Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance". The Guardian. ^ Meet Rakem Balogun, the Texas man whose support for a cop killer made him a FBI target, Mic, Aaron Morrison, 17 July 2018 ^ Bourmont, Martin de (11 May 2018). "Charges Dropped in First Case Against 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". The Daily Beast.
The FBI and Its Fictional ''Black Identity Extremism'' Movement
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:40
H ours after police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on a quiet suburban street in Ferguson, Missouri, Olajuwon Ali Davis stood with a few dozen people on that same street. As the impromptu candlelight vigil that August night in 2014 turned into a historic wave of nationwide protests against police violence, Davis, wearing a black Malcolm X T-shirt, was among the first to lift his hands in surrender, as Brown was rumored to have been doing when Wilson shot him.
Within days, the gesture became the symbol of a movement for police accountability and racial justice the nation had not seen since the civil rights era. And the refrain protesters began chanting that night '-- ''Hands up, don't shoot'' '-- would soon be replaced by one that would echo across the country for years to come: Black lives matter.
Davis, who was 22 at the time, kept showing up as the protests grew larger and angrier, and as scores of law enforcement descended on Ferguson wearing riot gear and firing tear gas. Days after Brown's death, during a short-lived break in the looting and police violence, Davis was photographed wearing all black and directing traffic; the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which he had joined on the heels of Brown's killing, was keeping the peace.
Days later, Davis emailed a local reporter who had covered the NBPP's peacekeeping efforts to thank him for portraying ''the true nature and the intent'' of the party, which, despite taking its name, is not affiliated with the Black Panther Party of the 1960s. ''For the record we the NBPP and its local chapter members have and never [sic] promoted acts of violence towards anyone or any establishment or businesses,'' Davis wrote to the Riverfront Times, a St. Louis weekly. ''True enough there are people so angry that they show their pain and emotions with aggression towards cops and frankly anything that they can get their hands on. But let these few not distort the genuine peaceful intention and benevolence of the NBPP.''
Three months later, Davis and another young man named Brandon Orlando Baldwin were arrested in an FBI sting and accused of planning to plant bombs, kill officials connected to the Brown case, and blow up St. Louis's iconic Gateway Arch.
Ten-year-old Robert Dunn uses a megaphone to address hundreds of demonstrators during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in Maryland on April 22, 2015.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Ideological Make-BelieveThree years later, the FBI listed Davis's case in a secret memo warning of the rise of a ''black identity extremist'' movement whose members' ''perceptions of police brutality against African Americans'' spurred what the FBI claimed was ''an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement.'' Although Baldwin was convicted of the same crimes, the FBI report inexplicably only mentioned one suspect.
The ''black identity extremism'' report was prepared by the FBI's Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit, part of the bureau's Counterterrorism Division, and was distributed to scores of local and federal law enforcement partners across the country. Although Davis and Baldwin were not charged under anti-terrorism laws, they do appear to be the first individuals retroactively labeled by the FBI as ''black identity extremists.''
The FBI report was written six months into the Trump administration '-- as white supremacist groups felt emboldened by support for their ideology seemingly coming from the very top of the government '-- and was released only a week before the ''Unite the Right'' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white nationalist ran down and killed Heather Heyer. When the report was leaked to Foreign Policy later in 2017, it prompted fierce and widespread criticism from activists, civil rights advocates, and lawmakers, many of whom accused the FBI of reverting to the surveillance and sabotage of black activists that had defined its activities in the civil rights era.
Critics called the report's contents ''fiction,'' ''fantasy,'' ''weak'' and ''irresponsible.'' Several noted that it seemed designed to distract attention from the reality of police abuse against minorities. ''The feds have invented a title '-- BIE '-- and linked it to a handful of episodes of violence,'' wrote Andrew Cohen, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. ''To deflect legitimate criticism of police tactics, to undermine a legitimate protest movement that has emerged in the past three years to protest police brutality, the FBI has tarred the dissenters as domestic terrorists, an organized group with a criminal ideology that are a threat to police officers.''
''Whenever you create an assumption that somebody poses a physical threat to law enforcement, that provides incentive for law enforcement to shoot first and ask questions later.''
The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, which includes leaders of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, called for the classification to be eliminated. ''This assessment resurrects the historically negative legacy of African American civil rights leaders who were unconstitutionally targeted and attacked by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for seeking full U.S. citizenship under the law,'' the group
wrote in a statement.
Yet even more worrisome than the report's political implications is the immediate threat to life that labeling someone a ''terrorist'' can pose, especially as the FBI has no way to monitor what law enforcement departments do with the reports it distributes. For many black people, already accustomed to being uniquely vulnerable to police violence, the fear is that being viewed as potential terrorists for expressing legitimate political grievances might give police license to target them even more intensely than they already do.
''Not only can they go after these people with surveillance, but they can then justify using the most aggressive, violent tactics,'' said Justin Hansford, a St. Louis activist and law professor who heads the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University. ''Whenever you create an assumption that somebody poses a physical threat to law enforcement, that provides incentive for law enforcement to shoot first and ask questions later.''
Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in December 2017, shortly after the report was leaked to the press, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the FBI investigates as domestic terrorism only cases involving federal crimes that include the use or attempted use of violence in furtherance of political or social goals. ''We don't have that, we don't investigate,'' Wray said. ''It doesn't matter whether they are right-wing, left-wing, or any other wing.''
FBI Director Christopher Wray arrives to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on oversight of the FBI in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 7, 2017.
Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
''We take respect for the First Amendment very seriously, and in this context, as in every other domestic terrorism context, we want to be very clear with people, and all the American people, that we do not investigate rhetoric, ideology, opinion, no matter who might consider it extremist,'' he added. ''What we do investigate is when rhetoric, ideology, opinion takes that next step into the category of federal crime and of particular violence.''
At the hearing, Wray said that the ''black identity extremism'' report was based on both open-source information and ongoing FBI investigations. He also said, citing no specific numbers, that the bureau had ''about 50 percent more'' investigations of white supremacists than it did of ''black identity extremists.'' In subsequent meetings with lawmakers, he said he was unfamiliar with any investigations of ''black identity extremists.''
In a statement to The Intercept, a spokesperson for the FBI wrote that the agency ''does not police ideology.'' The bureau, she added, will only initiate an investigation if there is an allegation of a federal crime or a threat to national security. ''Our focus is not on membership in particular groups but on criminal activity,'' the spokesperson wrote. ''When an individual takes violent action based on belief or ideology '-- and breaks the law '-- the FBI will enforce the rule of law. The FBI cannot initiate an investigation based solely on an individual's race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of their constitutional rights, and we remain committed to protecting those rights for all Americans.''
The FBI declined to answer The Intercept's questions about how various ideologies are presented, downplayed, or emphasized in threat assessment reports that the agency routinely circulates to law enforcement, or about how those reports might impact surveillance and policing of targeted communities, regardless of the threats they pose. At the 2017 Judiciary Committee hearing, as well as at a second hearing before the same committee in June 2018, Wray also failed to address those questions.
''My big concern is that local law enforcement will misinterpret that and will clamp down on people exercising their First Amendment rights,'' Rep. Karen Bass, one of the report's fiercest critics in Congress, told him at the first hearing.
Police stand watch as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
It's unclear how the ''black identity extremism'' report has been used by local law enforcement agencies. But if the threat is as serious as the FBI report implies, that hasn't turned into successful federal prosecutions. According to
The Intercept's analysis, Davis and Baldwin's case was the only federal prosecution of individuals the FBI considers to be ''black identity extremists'' that resulted in a conviction. By comparison, the analysis found that
268 right-wing extremists were prosecuted in federal courts since 9/11 for crimes that appear to meet the legal definition of domestic terrorism, even though the Justice Department applied anti-terrorism laws against only 34 of them.
While several news reports referred to the case of Christopher Daniels, a Texas activist who advocated for the rights of black gun owners, as the first known prosecution of a ''black identity extremist,'' the FBI appears to have retroactively used that label to refer to individuals it started surveilling as early as 2014, on the heels of the Ferguson protests. Daniels, who also went by the name Rakem Balogun, was indicted of a weapons offense months after the release of the FBI report, but a judge dismissed the charge last May. The FBI declined to comment on any of these cases, as well as on the origins of the ''black identity extremist'' label.
''This was literally picking six random events and then imagining a movement around them.''
None of the other five individuals referenced in the FBI's 2017 report were federally prosecuted. They include three black men who attacked and, in two cases, killed, police officers in New York, Baton Rouge, and Dallas, though the FBI's report fails to connect their actions to any specific group or clear ideology. A man who shot at two police stations in Indiana in October 2016 and another who drove his car toward three police officers in Arizona in September 2016 '-- both of whom were prosecuted on state charges '-- also appear to have acted independently of any groups or discernible ideology. Three were killed by police on the scene.
Davis himself, while he had recently joined the New Black Panther Party, was found to have plotted the St. Louis bombings without the group's knowledge or support. And he was also known to police as a devotee of the Moorish Science Temple of America, a black variation of the overwhelmingly white sovereign citizen movement, a domestic extremist ideology well known to the FBI.
The only connection between the six men referenced in the report, besides their race, is a thread of anger at police that is common among tens of thousands of Americans who never committed or intended to commit acts of violence. ''In all of them, there is no connection to any national movement; the cases are not linked in any way,'' said Michael German, a former FBI agent and a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice's Liberty and National Security Program. ''This was literally picking six random events and then imagining a movement around them.''
''This is not just a failure of an intelligence product, but a dangerous intelligence product,'' German added. ''It spreads misinformation rather than intelligence.''
Olajuwon Ali Davis, far left, was one of a small group of people who went into the Ferguson Police Department to speak with Lt. Craig Rettke on the night of Aug. 9, 2014, hours after Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.
Photo: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Polaris
The Bomb PlotOn November 21, 2014, three months after Brown's killing, Davis and Baldwin were arrested in an FBI sting and indicted in federal court on weapons charges, accused of making false statements to buy guns at a Cabela's store where Baldwin worked.
Three days later, a grand jury declined to charge Wilson for Brown's death. As protests once again engulfed St. Louis, news outlets citing unnamed law enforcement sources reported that Davis and Baldwin had bought what they thought was a pipe bomb and had plans to buy two more from undercover agents, and that they intended to blow up the city's celebrated arch and kill St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson. In a packed courtroom, the friends and families of the accused dismissed those accusations as ''lies,'' while the New Black Panther Party's national leadership called them a ''FRAME UP attempt.'' Davis's wife, who was pregnant and due in two weeks, fainted in court and went into early labor.
The most explosive allegations against Davis and Baldwin were not detailed in the original court filings. But in a revised federal indictment filed months after their arrest, the two were charged with additional crimes, including attempting to ''damage and destroy, by means of explosives, a building, vehicle and other property.''
If the court documents were light on detail, the press coverage was not. In the heated atmosphere that followed the Ferguson protests, many news outlets hyped the story, writing headlines that mischaracterized Davis and Baldwin as affiliates of the ''Black Panthers,'' and letting anonymous law enforcement sources drive the narrative around their alleged scheme. The press picked on the story's most salacious details: Davis and Baldwin had planned to buy more bombs, several outlets reported, but had been unable to do so because they were waiting for funds to be disbursed to ''a girlfriend's'' EBT card '-- a detail, presumably leaked by law enforcement, that turned out to be false.
According to their nearly identical sentencing plea agreements, Davis and Baldwin, who met during the protests over Brown's killing, discussed acquiring guns and bombs and wanting to organize Ferguson protesters to ''be like an army.'' Baldwin told an FBI informant that he wanted to ''build bombs and blow things up.''
''We are at war, you understand, bro,'' he told the informant. According to Baldwin's plea, Davis ''put it out there that he was a terrorist'' '-- a reference that appears to have been scrapped from Davis's own plea. The Gateway Arch, which according to earlier accounts had been the pair's main target, was never actually mentioned in conversations recorded by law enforcement, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Pastor Spencer Booker addresses the crowd at a press conference, where a boycott and protest of Black Friday shopping was announced by the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition in St. Louis on Nov. 12, 2014. Olajuwon Ali Davis, far left, participated in the public announcement.
Photo: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Polaris
For their part, law enforcement officials conceded that it was unlikely that Davis and Baldwin would have been capable of executing a bomb plot, and that it was unclear how they would have made it through airport-style security at the arch; nonetheless, they painted the duo as a dangerous threat.
Richard Callahan, then-U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Missouri, said in a statement after the guilty plea that the disruption of the plot days before the grand jury's rejection of charges against Wilson ''undoubtedly saved lives. Luckily for all of us, we'll never know just how many.'' But that seemed to contradict an earlier interview, in which he had said that a lot of Davis's and Baldwin's ideas were ''totally unrealistic and impractical, and we didn't include [in the indictment] all of the things they rambled on about, to not sensationalize the case or make it more than it is.'' Callahan did not respond to The Intercept's request for comment. Kenneth Tihen, a lead prosecutor in the case, declined to comment.
Davis and Baldwin pleaded guilty to explosives and gun charges in June 2015, and in September 2015 they were sentenced to seven-year prison terms. (Davis's father told The Intercept that before their plea, prosecutors had threatened his son with the possibility of 30 years in prison.)
At sentencing, Davis called his actions ''reckless, irresponsible and just stupid.'' Baldwin's attorney said on behalf of his client that Baldwin also apologized for ''his stupidity.'' Davis's attorney did not respond to The Intercept's requests for comment; Baldwin's declined to comment. Davis and Baldwin, who are currently in prison, could not be reached for comment.
But those close to them maintain that their ordeal was a classic case of entrapment.
''They wanted to set an example through my son to show that we are onto you all. The FBI, the federal government, is onto you activist people. We're watching you; this can happen to you too.''
''He was tricked,'' Henry Davis, Olajuwon Davis's father, told The Intercept. ''They wanted to set an example through my son to show that we are onto you all. The FBI, the federal government, is onto you activist people. We're watching you; this can happen to you too.''
Henry Davis said that FBI ''agents'' befriended his son during the Ferguson protests, then offered him money, marijuana, and hotel stays. They later moved into his apartment complex and spent weeks hanging out with him, talking about ''the resistance.''
His son, he said, felt obligated to do what they asked. ''They pretended to be part of the whole movement, said that they wanted to be down,'' Henry Davis said. He added that FBI agents gave his son and Baldwin the money they used to buy the guns, claiming that they couldn't buy the weapons themselves because of felony records. But the same agents later insisted that Davis and Baldwin pay for the pipe bombs with their own money. That should have made his son suspicious, Henry Davis said.
''I'm not trying to justify his actions, because I'm ashamed, and I've expressed my disappointment to my son,'' said Henry Davis. But, he added, ''Olajuwon never had the intention of harming anyone. He's actually harmless. '... They got him.''
Baldwin's father, Berlin Baldwin Jr., also told The Intercept that his son was caught in a trap. ''If you believe in what you hear on TV, yeah, you would think he was a terrorist,'' he said. The elder Baldwin readily admitted that his son made a mistake and committed a crime, but added, ''He is not no terrorist. They just went after somebody and wrapped him up in it. And he's none of what they're saying. Just none of that stuff is true.''
Daniels, the Dallas gun activist who federal authorities tried and failed to prosecute as a ''black identity extremist,'' put it more bluntly. ''A lot of people in this movement are not fully developed and mature individuals,'' he told The Intercept, noting that he himself had staved off entrapment attempts by law enforcement. ''If I go to any white college in America and talk to a whole bunch of 20-year-olds, and be like, 'Hey man, I got some grenades, would you like to buy some?' '-- somebody's going to buy them. It's like offering a gun to a baby.''
''Moorish'' CitizensBrandon Orlando Baldwin appears to have been politicized by the protests over Brown's killing. Three days after the shooting, Baldwin changed his Facebook profile picture to one of himself wearing a black beret '-- a symbol of the Black Panthers '-- and in the following months, his social media posts alternated between enraged comments about police brutality and pictures of himself with his young daughter.
Brandon Orlando Baldwin and his daughter.
Photo: Courtesy of the Baldwin family
In one post about the proliferation of videos showing police abuse, he wrote, ''Stop filming and start blow'n they fuckin heads off'... or beaten they Ass with they batons'... When r we gonna really say enough is enough and stop turning the fuckin cheek for ppl who wouldn't turn on the water if yo Ass was on fire.'' In October 2014, a month before his arrest and while he was already under FBI surveillance, he posted: ''I wonder how many of my Followers are FEDS.''
To his family, Baldwin's arrest came as a shock, his father told The Intercept. His parents had not even known that he had started going to the protests in Ferguson until a family friend told his father that he had seen him on TV. ''I immediately called him and said, What the hell are you doing?'' Berlin Baldwin Jr. said.
''He might have been a protester, but he's not an activist,'' the senior Baldwin added, arguing that his son was young, naive, and new to the world of protests and activism. ''To me and the family, we feel that he was brainwashed. '... It was just a big mistake in his life, thinking that he was joining something that was important, being young.''
Davis had a longer history of political engagement. He had been a valedictorian in high school and won a full scholarship to the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he was studying economics, his father told The Intercept. Davis was also a promising actor, and in 2013 he starred in an award-winning independent film that was released last year. ''The story surrounding his arrest and crime aren't a full picture,'' Robert Herrera, the film's director, said in an interview. ''I think people would have a hard time reconciling who they see on screen versus what they read about him '-- and I think that is something to think about when you read about all the young minorities out in this country who are considered irredeemable criminals.''
''The bureau's fever dreams of leftist subversion have undermined American efforts for social justice.''
In college, inspired by an African history class, Davis learned about the Moorish movement, a group that's grown considerably in recent years, whose beliefs are a mixture of sovereign citizen ideology '-- a historically right-wing and white supremacist ideology whose adherents reject the legitimacy of government institutions '-- and devotion to the Moorish Science Temple of America. The senior Davis, who is a vocal Trump supporter and hopes the president will pardon his son, had dreamed that Olajuwon Davis would become the first black secretary of the Treasury. But to his father's horror, Davis joined the Moors, dropped out of college, and moved back to St. Louis. ''The Moors convinced him that he was too black and too powerful to work for the government,'' his father said.
Because they reject government authority, including that of law enforcement, sovereign citizens are perceived by police agencies as a top threat. But the FBI's ''black identity extremism'' report, while noting ''sparse evidence'' of a convergence of sovereign citizen extremism and Moorish beliefs, said that the connection is clearest in the production of fraudulent personal identification documents. ''Not all self-identified Moors are sovereign citizens, and not all sovereign citizen Moors engage in violence against law enforcement or other illegal activity,'' the FBI conceded in the report.
Davis filed an ''Abjuration of Citizenship'' document with the Moorish nation movement, according to the Anti-Defamation League, and declared himself an ''aboriginal indigenous Moorish national of Northwest Amexem,'' the Moorish name for North America.
He carried a Moorish ID and said he had been tased and arrested in 2013 after attempting to make a ''tax-free'' purchase at a gas station using the ID. In social media posts, he described St. Louis as a ''Slave Capital in a Slave State!'' and the Gateway Arch as a ''Symbol of Our destruction and demise.'' According to his father, Davis met out-of-state members of the New Black Panther Party after Brown's killing and was quickly recruited to lead the group's local chapter. He befriended two FBI informants shortly thereafter.
A screenshot of the Moorish ID that Olajuwon Ali Davis shared in a YouTube video where he discussed sovereign citizenship.
Screenshot: The Intercept
The older Davis said his son did not realize that he was being framed, but the younger Davis indicated in social media posts that he knew he was under surveillance. ''Family and Friends, every day I got Caucasians following me in SUV trucks,'' he wrote on Facebook two days before his arrest. ''Please be advised that if you show any signs of noncompliance with this Devil they will try to assassinate you.''
In prison, Davis has been taking classes, reading Paulo Coelho novels, recording himself reading books to his children, and volunteering to support fellow inmates who were placed on suicide watch, he wrote last year in a letter to the judge who sentenced him. ''I recognize that my incarceration was due to my failure to adhere to the principles of unwavering faith and affirming peace in thought and in action,'' he wrote. ''My imprisonment has given me the chance to once again develop a perspective that is sound and humane.''
Egregious ''Bothsidesism''As protests over Brown's killing intensified in Ferguson and spilled across the country over the next months and years, so did the FBI's scrutiny of protesters. In November 2014, days before the Ferguson grand jury's decision and Davis and Baldwin's arrest, the bureau circulated an internal bulletin warning law enforcement of ''Potential Criminal Reactions to Missouri Grand Jury Announcement.'' Two years later, after protests against police brutality had engulfed Baltimore, Chicago, and several other cities, the FBI again issued an intelligence bulletin, warning that ''Black Separatist Extremists' Call for Retaliation in Response to Police-Involved Incidents Could Incite Acts of Violence against Law Enforcement.''
By 2017, the FBI had given this presumed threat a new name: Black Identity Extremism, or what the bureau claimed was a growing, violent, and racially motivated movement targeting law enforcement. Filled with innuendo and stereotypes, the 12-page report that first introduced the label was written so imprecisely that the very definition of a ''black identity extremist'' was left grammatically incomplete, making its meaning unclear:
The FBI defines black identity extremists as individuals who seek, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society and some do so in furtherance of establishing a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions, communities, or governing organizations within the United States.
The report also explicitly connected its analysis to the Ferguson protests, focusing on incidents of what it called ''premeditated attacks against law enforcement officers since 2014.''
''The FBI assesses it is very likely incidents of alleged police abuse against African Americans since [Ferguson] have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity, within the BIE movement,'' it noted, adding that agency had ''high confidence'' in its assessment. ''The FBI further judges it is very likely BIEs proactively target police and openly identify and justify their actions with social-political agendas commensurate with their perceived injustices against African Americans, and in some cases, their identified affiliations with violent extremist groups.''
Hansford, the activist and professor, told The Intercept that law enforcement took legitimate grievances about a broken system as personal attacks against them, and fabricated a nonexistent threat to repress criticism. ''The Black Lives Matter protesters and other black protesters oftentimes are protesting the police themselves, so it's a situation of self-interest where [police] feel personally attacked,'' he said. ''The problem is there really hasn't been a major [African-American] group that has in any way, shape, or form been a tangible threat to law enforcement, physically, since the Black Liberation Army,'' Hansford added, citing a militant black nationalist group active in the 1970s. ''It's been over 40 years.''
Lawmakers also condemned the report. In addition to Wray's meetings with the Congressional Black Caucus and testimonies about it at two separate House Judiciary Committee hearings, Bass memorably grilled then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the report's claims at a different committee hearing. Sessions said he hadn't read the report and couldn't name an African-American organization that had committed violence against police. Moments after Bass asked him whether he considered the Ku Klux Klan to be ''white identity extremists,'' Sessions quipped that the names of any white supremacist groups were ''not coming to me at this moment.''
Despite a barrage of criticism the FBI did not retract or amend the report. Speaking before the House Judiciary Committee in December 2017, Wray said that the FBI would not ''withdraw intelligence assessments based on public outcry.'' Appearing before that committee again, in June 2018, he offered no answers to some legislators' questions about who exactly had written the report and based on what premises, but he said that their feedback ''prompted us to go back and take a very hard look at how we are bucketing the different categories of domestic terrorism.'' ''I think it's been a useful learning experience for us,'' Wray said, ''and I expect we will see some changes in how we do things going forward.'' Still, to date, the FBI has issued no clarification or amendment to the report.
But the ''black identity extremism'' report wasn't the only one the FBI produced that year warning about the threat posed by a nonexistent ideological group. As Jezebel reported in January, the FBI in 2017 issued a similar alert about what it called ''pro-choice extremists.''
In a one-page memo obtained via public records request by the government transparency group Property of the People, the FBI lists the new category of made-up extremists along actually existing ''pro-life extremists'' under the common banner of ''Abortion Extremism Ideology.'' As was the case with ''black identity extremism,'' the FBI concedes in the report that its own evidence for claiming that such an ideology exists is scant. ''Only one pro-choice extremist has been prosecuted,'' the report notes. ''And that person acted independently and without any direct affiliation to a pro-choice group.''
As Jezebel notes, that is a reference to Theodore Shulman, who served three years in prison for harassing and threatening to kill two leaders of the anti-abortion movement. The only killing of an anti-abortion activist came at the hands of a mentally ill man who had also killed someone else that day, and that showed no signs of being motivated by ideology.
The documents obtained by Property of the People also give a sense of how these reports might be put to use by law enforcement. In one email published by the group, a Washington state sheriff shares the FBI material with his staff with the following warning: ''Attached is the latest and greatest about groups we should be aware of. Some of them operate in Eastern Washington.''
Property of the People called the equation of imaginary ''pro-choice extremism'' to the real ''pro-life extremism,'' whose adherents have murdered at least a dozen doctors and abortion providers, ''an especially egregious case of 'bothsidesism.'''
''The term 'terrorist' is so nebulous, it's so abstract. Anything they don't like, they'll call terrorist.''
''The FBI has a long, sad history of targeting progressive movements as threats to national security,'' Ryan Shapiro, the group's executive director, told The Intercept. ''From the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements to the animal rights, anti-fascist, pro-choice, and Black Lives Matter movements today, the bureau's fever dreams of leftist subversion have undermined American efforts for social justice.''
The FBI has also done little to address criticism that while it has long warned of the ''persistent'' threat posed by white supremacist groups '-- and even investigated white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement, as The Intercept has reported '-- it has grossly undercounted the violent incidents stemming from white supremacist ideology. While a May 2017 FBI report argued that ''lone actors and small cells'' within the white supremacist extremist movement ''will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence,'' that report minimized the level of violence coming from these individuals, listing only ''one lethal and five potentially lethal attacks'' carried out by white supremacist extremists in 2016 and omitting, for instance, the case of Brent Ward Luyster, a neo-Nazi who murdered three people in 2016 while under FBI investigation.
Between 2008 and 2017, ''right-wing extremists'' were responsible for 274 murders '-- more than 70 percent of all murders carried out by domestic extremists, according to a review by the ADL. And of 34 extremist-related murders in 2017, 59 percent were related to right-wing extremism, including 53 percent involving individuals who explicitly espoused white supremacist views. But many of those cases were rarely discussed by officials in terms of domestic terrorism, nor were the accused charged under anti-terrorism laws, even though they appeared to be motivated by a clear ideology.
Instead, as The Intercept's analysis revealed, the Justice Department applied anti-terrorism laws against only 34 of 268 right-wing extremists it prosecuted for crimes that appear to meet the legal definition of domestic terrorism '-- while also targeting 17 environmental and animal rights activists with anti-terrorism laws.
''They view terrorism through a distorted lens that overemphasizes nonviolent acts by groups opposed to government policy over acts of violence against marginalized groups here in the United States,'' said German, the former FBI agent, referring to the agency. ''The language is intentionally malleable because they want to include certain acts and exclude other similar acts, depending on who is committing them or who the victim of the crime is.''
''The reason they're able to do this is because the term 'terrorist' is so nebulous, it's so abstract. Anything they don't like, they'll call terrorist,'' echoed Hansford, the activist and law professor. ''They will always resist having a more precise definition of terrorism because they want to use it as a tool to basically go after whoever they want to go after.''
Members of an FBI evidence response team work at the scene of the attack on police officers in Dallas on July 9, 2016.
Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP
The FBI's ''BIE List''In addition to the case of Davis and Baldwin '-- which the FBI report inexplicably describes as involving only one unnamed suspect '-- the ''black identity extremism'' report mentions the deadly shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge in the summer of 2016. Those shootings followed the police killings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana, which were caught on video and reignited the national outrage sparked by Brown's killing two years earlier. The report also lists nonfatal attacks on police in New York, Indiana, and Arizona.
But despite the FBI's efforts to group the incidents together, there is no evidence that the perpetrators knew each other, belonged to any common groups, or subscribed to the same set of beliefs. Instead, the cases present a mix of resentment toward police, anger at the treatment of minorities, and mental health issues. At least two of the men referenced had expressed sovereign citizen beliefs: one was a Muslim convert who had shown fascination with jihadi violence, and two were military veterans who had sought treatment for symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. In many cases, the ideologies that law enforcement has attributed to them appear to have been based on FBI agents scrolling through comments the men had made on social media.
Three of the six referenced in the report were killed before their motives could be tested in court. Micah Johnson, who on July 7, 2016, shot and killed five law enforcement officers and wounded several others at a Dallas protest against police violence, told police negotiators before being killed in a standoff that ''he was upset about recent police shootings and white people, and expressed a desire to kill white people, especially white officers,'' according to the FBI report. The report notes that Johnson had ''searched and liked social media pages of BIE and black separatist groups'' and ''appeared to have been influenced by BIE ideology.'' It also cites news reports saying that he had been ''ousted from a local BIE group for being too radical.'' It's unclear what groups the FBI was referring to, since ''black identity extremist'' organizations do not exist.
Gavin Eugene Long, who shot six Baton Rouge police officers on July 17, 2016, killing three, had used ''black separatist rhetoric'' on social media and in a manifesto he left behind, in which he described his actions ''as a necessary evil '... in order to create substantial change,'' the FBI report notes, adding that Long had also declared himself a ''Moor,'' changed his ''slave'' name to a Moorish name, and was carrying a Moorish identification card at the time of his death. In videos and tweets posted shortly before the shooting, Long had praised Johnson, the Dallas shooter. He added, if ''anything happens to me '... don't affiliate me with anybody.''
The cases present a mix of resentment toward police, anger at the treatment of minorities, and mental health issues.
Both Johnson and Long were military veterans. Johnson had sought treatment for anxiety, depression, and hallucinations after returning from Afghanistan in 2014, according to the Veterans Health Administration, and he had reportedly told doctors that he heard voices and mortars exploding, and that he had panic attacks and nightmares. Long, who served with the Marines in Iraq between 2008 and 2009, had told doctors that he experienced symptoms of PTSD, though his ultimate diagnosis was ''adjustment disorder with depressed mood.''
The FBI report also lists the case of Zale Thompson, who attacked four New York police officers with a hatchet in October 2014, injuring two. According to the report, Thompson had tattoos that ''indicated he was affiliated with a black separatist extremist group'' and ''pocket litter indicating he may have been associated with another black separatist group.'' The FBI report cites ''law enforcement reporting'' as its source, but doesn't mention that Thompson also appeared to have become fascinated by Islamic State propaganda videos and jihadi rhetoric.
Finally, the report listed the cases, though not the names, of Damoine Wilcoxson and Marc Laquon Payne. Wilcoxson was sentenced to 37 years in Indiana state prison after shooting at two Indianapolis police stations in 2016, leaving behind delirious handwritten notes saying, ''White must die.'' Payne was accused of plowing his car into three officers in Arizona that same year. Authorities indicated that Payne, who has pleaded not guilty and is facing trial later this year, was impaired at the time and that his motives were unknown, but the FBI report notes that Payne's social media accounts ''indicated that he was tied to a BIE group and a Moorish group and that he was angry over police shootings since at least the killing of Brown in 2014.''
But while the FBI stretched its definition of ''black identity extremism'' to include a disparate series of disconnected cases, white criminal suspects' connections to extremist groups are often discounted, German said. ''There's evidence that the shooter in Las Vegas had expressed some anti-government views that are in line with some far-right groups, but you don't see this rush to say he was a far-right extremist and to attribute those deaths to far-right extremism in the United States,'' he said, referring to the massacre of 59 people at a country music concert in 2017. ''That's where the politics of this kind of approach are very damaging and divisive in American society, because they do tend to reflect political views rather than the threat of violence.''
Rakem Balogun, photographed near his home in Dallas, Texas.
Photo: Allison V. Smith
Rakem's StoryThe case of Rakem Balogun is often characterized as the first attempted federal prosecution of a ''black identity extremist'' since the FBI report about the supposed ideology. Balogun is a Dallas-based former Marine and a member of Guerrilla Mainframe, a pan-African group with a broad agenda ranging between universal health care and the abolition of the U.S. Constitution. He was also a member of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, which promotes the Second Amendment rights of African-Americans.
Balogun, whose legal name is Christopher Daniels, was arrested in December 2017, when officers in riot gear pulled him and his 15-year-old son out of their house and forced them to stand outside in the cold, handcuffed and in their underwear. Balogun spent the next five months in jail on a single illegal firearms possession charge, while prosecutors tried and failed to paint him as a domestic terrorist. At his detention hearing, where Balogun was denied bail, an FBI agent testified that he had been under surveillance for two years, since video of him at an open-carry rally against police brutality circulated online, including on the right-wing conspiracy site InfoWars.
The video shows protesters, including Balogun, chanting, ''The only good pig is a pig that's dead'' and ''Oink oink, bang bang.'' Balogun's Facebook page ''openly and publicly advocates violence toward law enforcement,'' the FBI agent said. On the first anniversary of the July 2016 Dallas police shooting, Balogun posted several comments that appeared to celebrate shooter Micah Johnson. ''Today one year ago one Black Man brought Dallas Pig Department to their knees,'' he wrote.
Today, Balogun says he always suspected that he was being watched. ''Anybody that knows a little bit about the history of black activism would know that once you become politically involved as a black person, especially as somebody who counters popular politics, that you will be watched,'' he told The Intercept months after a judge ordered his release. ''I don't mind having an audience. I'm not doing anything illegal and I don't advocate for anything illegal.''
''The thing about it is, a lot of mature black nationalists, militants, are not into the concept of going to war with the police or the state or anything of that nature,'' he added, noting that he espouses what he called ''scientific revolutionary socialism,'' and that he believes in an individual's right to self-defense.
Ultimately, the case against Balogun hinged on an accusation that he was prohibited from owning a gun due to a 10-year-old misdemeanor conviction for domestic assault in another state. Prosecutors tried to convince him to take a plea deal, he said. ''Their plan was for me to be weak and sign for six months, and to feel guilty for being a black activist who promotes a culture of self-defense and self-preservation in a white nation. '... That's really the crime,'' he told The Intercept. He refused to take a deal.
Balogun, who has long been an advocate for gun rights, said he's used to the double standard applied to black gun owners. Perhaps the most infamous example of that is Philando Castile, who was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop, which his girlfriend streamed on Facebook Live. Castile was a legal gun owner and told the officer he had a gun, but he was shot anyway while reaching for his license as ordered. Balogun told The Intercept that while police officers are generally friendly with open-carry demonstrators in Texas, black open-carry demonstrators routinely receive more hostile treatment.
A federal judge ultimately dismissed the gun charge against him, but Balogun lost his job and home, and missed his newborn daughter's first months while he was in jail. He says he is now considering legal action to obtain whatever surveillance material the government may have gathered on him. Wray said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in June 2017 that he was not familiar with Balogun's case.
Babu Omowale, a founder and director of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, told The Intercept that he is sure Balogun was not the only member under surveillance. The group, which is named after a co-founder of the Black Panther Party, is mostly made up of former members or the New Black Panther Party who have focused their activism on gun rights and self-defense in the black community, mostly staging open-carry rallies, neighborhood patrols, and in one case, counterdemonstrating as an anti-Muslim group rallied outside a Dallas mosque.
''We see them sitting outside of our meetings, watching us, but it's not going to stop us from organizing our people,'' said Omowale, referring to the FBI. ''We've known about it since the 1960s, when J. Edgar Hoover was over the counterintelligence program where he sought out black leadership.''
At a rally outside the U.S. Courthouse on Oct. 29, 1969, Fred Hampton, chair of the Illinois Black Panther Party, speaks at a protest against the trial of eight people accused of conspiracy to cause a riot during the Democratic National Convention in 1968.
Photo: AP
COINTELPRO 2.0The FBI's leaked memo, as well as evidence that had already emerged that the FBI was targeting black activists for surveillance, drew widespread comparisons to the notorious COINTELPRO, a program aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, and sabotaging the civil rights, anti-war, and black liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s. ''Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the original 'Black Identity Extremists,''' a HuffPost column noted. Several people called the FBI report ''COINTELPRO 2.0.'' The FBI itself referred to the civil rights era in its 2017 report, retroactively applying its new ''black identity extremist'' label to the now-defunct Black Liberation Army. ''BIEs have historically justified and perpetrated violence against law enforcement, which they perceived as representative of the institutionalized oppression of African Americans,'' the report argued. ''BIE violence peaked in the 1960s and 1970s in response to changing socioeconomic attitudes and treatment of blacks during the Civil Rights Movement.''
Under the COINTELPRO umbrella, the FBI went from tracking King's every move and attempting to smear him, to surveilling Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, including by obtaining a floor map of his apartment, before Chicago police shot about 90 rounds into the apartment in 1969, killing Hampton and fellow Panther Mark Clark. At the same time, they routinely failed to intervene as white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan engaged in a sustained campaign of violence against civil rights activists and African-Americans.
The FBI report noted that between 1970 and 1984, the Black Liberation Army was involved in at least 38 criminal incidents, including 26 armed assaults, three assassinations, four bombings, and four hijackings and hostage-takings '-- half of them targeting law enforcement officers. But it made no reference to law enforcement violence against black activists, including the 1985 bombing of the Philadelphia headquarters of black liberation group MOVE, that killed 11 people.
Speaking before the House Judiciary Committee in November 2017, Wray called COINTELPRO ''one of the darker moments in FBI's history.'' ''It's something we are not proud of, but it's also something we have learned from,'' he said. But when Rep. Cedric Richmond asked him why the FBI's building continued to be named after J. Edgar Hoover '-- COINTELPRO's infamous architect '-- Wray replied, ''Like most people, he's complicated.''
The ''black identity extremism'' report was hardly the first FBI effort to revive the tactics of COINTELPRO. In 2012, German, then at the American Civil Liberties Union, obtained public records revealing that the FBI had come up with yet another label to target what they claimed was a growing threat: ''black separatist'' domestic terrorism. Then, as now, the more recent violence driven by black nationalist ideology dated back decades, but the FBI included new warnings in its terrorism training materials that inexplicably connected the growing size of the black population in states like Georgia with a growing domestic terror threat. (As the ACLU noted at the time, the FBI had around the same time also invented what it called ''American Islamic Extremists.'')
''The government has always kept an eye on black people because they want to keep us in a certain social order.''
''You would hope that a law enforcement agency learns from its past mistakes,'' said German. ''I think that's where the biggest failure is, that there are enough parallels to how the FBI reacted to protests in the 1960s and 1970s that should have dissuaded them from adopting similar approaches again.''
But rather than learning from the past, it seems that the FBI is trying to maintain its old ways under a different name. While the ideologies that the terms ''black separatism'' and ''black identity extremism'' purport to represent would appear rather different, the FBI has recently folded both into the latter category, documents reveal. In an internal email exchange obtained by Property of the People and shared with The Intercept, Michael F. Paul, an official with the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, wrote to colleagues that the bureau had updated its definition of ''black separatist extremism'' in order ''to broaden it beyond simply those seeking 'separatism,''' he wrote. ''The threat or movement has simply evolved,'' Paul added, ''and many are seeking more than/other than separation.''
Shapiro, of Property of the People, said the reclassification aimed to cast an even wider net on black activists at a time when police accountability, rather than separatism, was their priority. ''Black Lives Matter isn't a separatist movement, and the FBI wanted to expand its surveillance of black activists and communities,'' he told The Intercept.
''With 'black identity extremism,' the FBI has expanded its 'black separatist extremist' category to also designate groups like Black Lives Matter a security threat,'' he added. ''The 'BIE' classification is the FBI's bureaucratic umbrella for targeting as terrorists black people who expose the daily terror against their families and neighborhoods perpetrated by unaccountable killers in blue.''
To many black activists, that's a familiar story.
''The government has always kept an eye on black people because they want to keep us in a certain social order,'' said Omowale, of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club. ''The term 'black identity extremist' may be a new term, but the way that the government operates is nothing new. They've been doing it since we've been in this country, since black people, even slaves, tried to organize for some type of freedom.''
UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts | New Scientist
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:25
By David Adam
There are a limited number of ICU beds in the UKJustin Paget
The UK should now be able to cope with the spread of the covid-19 virus, according to one of the epidemiologists advising the government.
Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London gave evidence today to the UK's parliamentary select committee on science and technology as part of an inquiry into the nation's response to the coronavirus outbreak.
He said that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people's movements make him ''reasonably confident'' the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower.
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The need for intensive care beds will get very close to capacity in some areas, but won't be breached at a national level, said Ferguson. The projections are based on computer simulations of the virus spreading, which take into account the properties of the virus, the reduced transmission between people asked to stay at home and the capacity of hospitals, particularly intensive care units.
The Imperial model has played a key role in informing the UK's coronavirus strategy, but this approach has been criticised by some. ''To be fair, the Imperial people are the some of the best infectious disease modellers on the planet,'' Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia, UK, told New Scientist last week. ''But it is risky to put all your eggs in a single basket.''
Ferguson said the current strategy was intended to keep transmission of the virus at low levels until a vaccine was available. Experts say that could take 12 to 18 months and Ferguson acknowledged it was impractical to keep the UK in lockdown for so long, especially because of the impact on the economy. ''We'll be paying for this year for decades to come,'' he said.
The UK government is aiming to relax restrictions on people's movements only when the country has the ability to test more people for the virus, said Ferguson. Some have criticised the UK for not following the advice of the World Health Organization to ''test, test, test''. But Ferguson said community testing and contact tracing wasn't included as a possible strategy in the original modelling because not enough tests were available.
He said the UK should have the testing capacity ''within a few weeks'' to copy what South Korea has done and aggressively test and trace the general population.
New data from the rest of Europe suggests that the outbreak is running faster than expected, said Ferguson. As a result, epidemiologists have revised their estimate of the reproduction number (R0) of the virus. This measure of how many other people a carrier usually infects is now believed to be just over three, he said, up from 2.5. ''That adds more evidence to support the more intensive social distancing measures,'' he said.
His comments come as a team at the University of Oxford released provisional findings of a different model that they say shows that up to half the UK population could already have been infected. The model is based on different assumptions to those of Ferguson and others involved in advising the UK government.
Most importantly, it assumes that most people who contract the virus don't show symptoms and that very few need to go to hospital. ''I don't think that's consistent with the observed data,'' Ferguson told the committee.
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Inaccurate Virus Models Are Panicking Officials Into Ill-advised Lockdowns
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:17
As U.S. state and local officials halt the economy and quarantine their communities over the Wuhan virus crisis, one would hope our leaders were making such major decisions based on well-sourced data and statistical analysis. That is not the case.
A scan of statements made by media, state governors, local leaders, county judges, and more show many relying on the same source, an online mapping tool called COVID Act Now. The website says it is ''built to enable political leaders to quickly make decisions in their Coronavirus response informed by best available data and modeling.''
An interactive map provides users a catastrophic forecast for each state, should they wait to implement COVID Act Now's suggested strict measures to ''flatten the curve.'' But a closer look at how many of COVID Act Now's predictions have already fallen short, and how they became a ubiquitous resource across the country overnight, suggests something more sinister.
When Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced a shelter-in-place order on Dallas County Sunday, he displayed COVID Act Now graphs with predictive outcomes after three months if certain drastic measures are taken. The NBC Dallas affiliate also embedded the COVID Act Now models in their story on the mandate.
The headline of an NBC Oregon affiliate featured COVID Act Now data, and a headline blaring, ''Coronavirus model sees Oregon hospitals overwhelmed by mid-April.'' Both The Oregonian and The East Oregonian also published stories featuring the widely shared data predicting a ''point of no return.''
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer cited COVID Act Now when telling her state they would exceed 7 million cases in Michigan, with 1 million hospitalized and 460,000 deaths if the state did nothing.
A local CBS report in Georgia featured an Emory University professor urging Gov. Brian Kemp with the same ''point of no return'' language and COVID Act Now models.
We need '...@GovKemp'(C) to act now, the point of ''no return'' for GA is rapidly closing. To prevent a catastrophe in the healthcare system due to #COVID19 we need for him to shut down GA now. '...@drmt'(C) '...'...@Armstrws'(C) '...@colleenkraftmd'(C) https://t.co/aZEJVYcUH0
'-- Carlos del Rio (@CarlosdelRio7) March 21, 2020
The models are being shared across social media, news reports, and finding their way into officials' daily decisions, which is concerning because COVID Act Now's predictions have already been proven to be wildly wrong.
COVID Act Now predicted that by March 19 the state of Tennessee could expect 190 hospitalizations of patients with confirmed Wuhan virus. By March 19, they only had 15 patients hospitalized.
In New York, Covid Act Now claimed nearly 5,400 New Yorkers would've been hospitalized by March 19. The actual number of hospitalizations is around 750. The site also claimed nearly 13,000 New York hospitalizations by March 23. The actual number was around 2,500.
In Georgia, COVID Act Now predicted 688 hospitalizations by March 23. By that date, they had around 800 confirmed cases in the whole state, and fewer than 300 hospitalized.
In Florida, Covid Act Now predicted that by March 19, the state would face 400 hospitalizations. On March 19, Gov. Ron DeSantis said 90 people in Florida had been hospitalized.
COVID Act Now's models in other states, including Oklahoma and Virginia, were also far off in their predictions. Jordan Schachtel, a national security writer, said COVID Act Now's modeling comes from one team based at Imperial College London that is not only highly scrutinized, but has a track record of bad predictions.
4) Their models come 100% from Imperial College UK projection that is coming under *heavy* scrutiny from scientific community. IC UK produced the famed doomsday scenario that guaranteed 2MM dead Americans. The man behind the projections is refusing to make his code public.
'-- Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) March 24, 2020
Jessica Hamzelou at New Scientist notes the systematic errors researchers and scientists have found with the modeling COVID Act Now relies on:
Chen Shen at the New England Complex Systems Institute, a research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his colleagues argue that the Imperial team's model is flawed, and contains 'incorrect assumptions'. They point out that the Imperial team's model doesn't account for the availability of tests, or the possibility of 'super-spreader events' at gatherings, and has other issues.
Among other issues, COVID Act Now lists the ''Known Limitations'' of their model. Here are a few that seem especially alarming, considering they generate a model for each individual state:
Many of the inputs into this model (hospitalization rate, hospitalization rate) are based on early estimates that are likely to be wrong.
Demographics, populations, and hospital bed counts are outdated. Demographics for the USA as a whole are used, rather than specific to each state.
The model does not adjust for the population density, culturally-determined interaction frequency and closeness, humidity, temperature, etc in calculating R0.
This is not a node-based analysis, and thus assumes everyone spreads the disease at the same rate. In practice, there are some folks who are 'super-spreaders,' and others who are almost isolated.
So why is the organization or seemingly innocent online mapping tool using inaccurate algorithms to scaremonger leaders into tanking the economy? Politics, of course.
Founders of the site include Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and three Silicon Valley tech workers and Democratic activists '-- Zachary Rosen, Max Henderson, and Igor Kofman '-- who are all also donors to various Democratic campaigns and political organizations since 2016. Henderson and Kofman donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, while Rosen donated to the Democratic National Committee, recently resigned Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, and other Democratic candidates. Prior to building the COVID Act Now website, Kofman created an online game designed to raise $1 million for the eventual 2020 Democratic candidate and defeat President Trump. The game's website is now defunct.
Perhaps the goal of COVID Act Now was never to provide accurate information, but to scare citizens and government officials into to implementing rash and draconian measures. The creators even admit as much with the caveat that ''this model is designed to drive fast action, not predict the future.''
They generated this model under the guise of protecting communities from overrun hospitals, a trend that is not on track to happen as they predicted. Not only is the data false, and looking more incorrect with each passing day, but the website is optimized for a disinformation campaign.
A social media share button prompts users to share their models and alarming graphs on Facebook and Twitter with the auto-fill text, ''This is the point of no return for intervention to prevent X's hospital system from being overloaded by Coronavirus.''
The daunting phrase, the ''point of no return,'' is the same talking point being repeated by government officials justifying their shelter-in-place orders and filling local news headlines.
Democrats are not going to waste such a rich political opportunity as a global pandemic. Americans already witnessed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats attempt to take advantage of an economic recession with a pipe-dream relief bill this week. Projects like COVID Act Now are another attempt to play the same political games, but with help from unknown, behind-the-scenes Democratic activists instead.
Our community leaders, the mayors and the city councils, deserve better than to be swindled by a handful Silicon Valley tech bros. Our governors and state officials deserve better data and analysis than a Democratic activists' model that doesn't adjust for important geographical factors like population density or temperature. Americans and their families deserve better than to be jobless, hopeless, and quarantined because of a single website's inaccurate and hyperbolic hospitalization models.
Copyright (C) 2020 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.
COVID-19: Further Evidence that the Virus Originated in the US - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:59
It would be useful to read this prior article for background:
China's Coronavirus: A Shocking Update. Did The Virus Originate in the US?
By Larry Romanoff , March 04, 2020
***
As readers will recall from the earlier article (above), Japanese and Taiwanese epidemiologists and pharmacologists have determined that the new coronavirus could have originated in the US since that country is the only one known to have all five types '' from which all others must have descended. Wuhan in China has only one of those types, rendering it in analogy as a kind of ''branch'' which cannot exist by itself but must have grown from a ''tree''.
The Taiwanese physician noted that in August of 2019 the US had a flurry of lung pneumonias or similar, which the Americans blamed on 'vaping' from e-cigarettes, but which, according to the scientist, the symptoms and conditions could not be explained by e-cigarettes. He said he wrote to the US officials telling them he suspected those deaths were likely due to the coronavirus. He claims his warnings were ignored.
Immediately prior to that, the CDC totally shut down the US Military's main bio-lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland, due to an absence of safeguards against pathogen leakages, issuing a complete ''cease and desist'' order to the military. It was immediately after this event that the 'e-cigarette' epidemic arose.
Screenshot from The New York Times August 08, 2019
We also had the Japanese citizens infected in September of 2019, in Hawaii, people who had never been to China, these infections occurring on US soil long before the outbreak in Wuhan but only shortly after the locking down of Fort Detrick.
Then, on Chinese social media, another article appeared, aware of the above but presenting further details. It stated in part that five ''foreign'' athletes or other personnel visiting Wuhan for the World Military Games (October 18-27, 2019) were hospitalised in Wuhan for an undetermined infection.
The article explains more clearly that the Wuhan version of the virus could have come only from the US because it is what they call a ''branch'' which could not have been created first because it would have no 'seed'. It would have to have been a new variety spun off the original 'trunk', and that trunk exists only in the US. (1)
There has been much public speculation that the coronavirus had been deliberately transmitted to China but, according to the Chinese article, a less sinister alternative is possible.
If some members of the US team at the World Military Games (18-27 October) had become infected by the virus from an accidental outbreak at Fort Detrick it is possible that, with a long initial incubation period, their symptoms might have been minor, and those individuals could easily have 'toured' the city of Wuhan during their stay, infecting potentially thousands of local residents in various locations, many of whom would later travel to the seafood market from which the virus would spread like wildfire (as it did).
That would account also for the practical impossibility of locating the legendary ''patient zero'' '' which in this case has never been found since there would have been many of them.
Next, Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease expert at Georgetown University in Washington, said in an article in Science magazine that the first human infection has been confirmed as occurring in November 2019, (not in Wuhan), suggesting the virus originated elsewhere and then spread to the seafood markets. ''One group put the origin of the outbreak as early as 18 September 2019.'' (2) (3)
Wuhan seafood market may not be source of novel virus spreading globally.
Description of earliest cases suggests the outbreak began elsewhere.
The article states:
''As confirmed cases of a novel virus surge around the world with worrisome speed, all eyes have so far focused on a seafood market in Wuhan, China, as the origin of the outbreak. But a description of the first clinical cases published in The Lancet on Friday challenges that hypothesis.'' (4) (5)
The paper, written by a group of Chinese researchers from several institutions, offers details about the first 41 hospitalized patients who had confirmed infections with what has been dubbed 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
In the earliest case, the patient became ill on 1 December 2019 and had no reported link to the seafood market, the authors report. ''No epidemiological link was found between the first patient and later cases'', they state. Their data also show that, in total, 13 of the 41 cases had no link to the marketplace. ''That's a big number, 13, with no link'', says Daniel Lucey . . . (6)
Earlier reports from Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization had said the first patient had onset of symptoms on 8 December 2019 '' and those reports simply said ''most'' cases had links to the seafood market, which was closed on 1 January. (7)
''Lucey says if the new data are accurate, the first human infections must have occurred in November 2019 '' if not earlier '' because there is an incubation time between infection and symptoms surfacing. If so, the virus possibly spread silently between people in Wuhan '' and perhaps elsewhere '' before the cluster of cases from the city's now-infamous Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was discovered in late December. ''The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace'', Lucey asserts.
''China must have realized the epidemic did not originate in that Wuhan Huanan seafood market'', Lucey told Science Insider. (8)
Kristian Andersen is an evolutionary biologist at the Scripps Research Institute who has analyzed sequences of 2019-nCoV to try to clarify its origin. He said the scenario was ''entirely plausible'' of infected persons bringing the virus into the seafood market from somewhere outside. According to the Science article,
''Andersen posted his analysis of 27 available genomes of 2019-nCoV on 25 January on a virology research website. It suggests they had a ''most recent common ancestor'' '' meaning a common source '' as early as 1 October 2019.'' (9)
It was interesting that Lucey also noted that MERS was originally believed to have come from a patient in Saudi Arabia in June of 2012, but later and more thorough studies traced it back to an earlier hospital outbreak of unexplained pneumonia in Jordan in April of that year. Lucey said that from stored samples from people who died in Jordan, medical authorities confirmed they had been infected with the MERS virus. (10)
This would provide impetus for caution among the public in accepting the ''official standard narrative'' that the Western media are always so eager to provide '' as they did with SARS, MERS, and ZIKA, all of which 'official narratives' were later proven to have been wrong.
In this case, the Western media flooded their pages for months about the COVID-19 virus originating in the Wuhan seafood market, caused by people eating bats and wild animals. All of this has been proven wrong.
Not only did the virus not originate at the seafood market, it did not originate in Wuhan at all, and it has now been proven that it did not originate in China but was brought to China from another country. Part of the proof of this assertion is that the genome varieties of the virus in Iran and Italy have been sequenced and declared to have no part of the variety that infected China and must, by definition, have originated elsewhere.
It would seem the only possibility for origination would be the US because only that country has the ''tree trunk'' of all the varieties. And it may therefore be true that the original source of the COVID-19 virus was the US military bio-warfare lab at Fort Detrick. This would not be a surprise, given that the CDC completely shut down Fort Detrick, but also because, as I related in an earlier article, between 2005 and 2012 the US had experienced 1,059 events where pathogens had been either stolen or escaped from American bio-labs during the prior ten years.
*
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai's Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: [email protected] . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Notes
(1) https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/CjGWaaDSKTyjWRMyQyGXUA
(2) https://science.sciencemag.org/content/367/6477/492.full
(3) Science; Jon Cohen; Jan. 26, 2020 https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/wuhan-seafood-market-may-not-be-source-novel-virus-spreading-globally
(4) https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30183-5/fulltext
(5) https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30183-5/fulltext
(6) http://wjw.wuhan.gov.cn/front/web/showDetail/2020011109036
(7) http://wjw.wuhan.gov.cn/front/web/showDetail/2020011509040
(8) https://sciencespeaksblog.org/2020/01/25/wuhan-coronavirus-2019-ncov-qa-6-an-evidence-based-hypothesis/
(9) http://virological.org/t/clock-and-tmrca-based-on-27-genomes/347
(10) http://applications.emro.who.int/emhj/v19/Supp1/EMHJ_2013_19_Supp1_S12_S18.pdf
Featured image is from Health.mil
Vulture Investors Using Coronavirus Carnage to Wipe Out Small Business
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:56
Private equity firms are reportedly using the Chinese coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to cheaply buy up businesses, which will have a crippling impact on America's small business owners.
While small and medium-sized businesses struggle to stay afloat in the midst of the coronavirus crisis '-- awaiting aid from the federal government '-- reports indicate that private equity firms on Wall Street ''have been waiting'' for economic devastation to capitalize on those hardships.
CNBC reports:
The coronavirus pandemic is shutting down entire sectors of the economy and putting millions of Americans out of work, but one corner of Wall Street may find opportunity amid the carnage: private equity. [Emphasis added]
The group, which includes investment giants Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR, has a record $1.5 trillion in cash ready to deploy and has been actively seeking deals across the struggling travel, entertainment and energy industries, according to a half-dozen investment bankers who declined to be identified to speak candidly about potential clients. [Emphasis added]
''They have been waiting for this type of market dislocation,'' the head of mergers at a major Wall Street firm told CNBC. ''I don't think they wanted something quite this bad, but they did want a pullback in valuation.'' [Emphasis added]
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Rohit Chopra has blasted the predatory practices currently being used to further devastate American small businesses and monopolize economic power.
''Small business in America is facing extinction,'' Chopra wrote on Twitter. ''COVID19 has put them in peril. But it's the predatory fallout that could wipe them out for good.''
''Small businesses shouldn't go extinct,'' Chopra wrote. ''We need to preserve them by throwing them a lifeline to stay afloat and by policing against shameless shakedowns during our national emergency.''
Chopra detailed three impending ''existential threats'' to small business amid the coronavirus crisis, noting how multinational corporations like Amazon are using the pandemic to further devastate smaller and medium-sized sellers:
1. Loan sharks are crippling cash-strapped companies. Their poison pill loans come with exorbitant rates, draconian terms, and an automatic green light to collect whatever they can when a company falls short. https://t.co/LI1bC7QrVL
'-- Rohit Chopra (@chopraftc) March 24, 2020
3. Vulture investors, especially in private equity, are waiting in the wings to scoop up scores of struggling businesses on the cheap through "roll-up" deals. They can then extract cash by saddling companies with debt and kicking workers to the curb. https://t.co/IoBygiKfC7
'-- Rohit Chopra (@chopraftc) March 24, 2020
Chopra said ''lawyers running lawsuit mills are suing small businesses to extract cash'' and that small businesses are ''now under siege,'' suggesting immediate federal action to stop the predatory deals.
Small businesses need help now to stop lenders and their lawyers from exploiting this emergency and kicking small businesses while they're down.
''> We need a moratorium on these sham collection actions.''> We need to crack down on abusive, take-it-or-leave-it contract terms.
'-- Rohit Chopra (@chopraftc) March 19, 2020
While restaurants, local retail shops, movie theaters, and other small to medium-sized American businesses have been forced to close their doors, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard has warned of a 30 percent unemployment rate during the year's second quarter.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder .
COVID Near You
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:43
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Wat Nederland mag met jouw gegevens in strijd tegen het coronavirus | Nieuwsuur
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:53
Ben je vandaag al naar buiten geweest? Hoe ver? Wie kwam je tegen? Het zijn vragen die normaal alleen jij kunt beantwoorden. Maar sommige overheden kennen het antwoord inmiddels ook. Zij gebruiken locatiegegevens van burgers in de strijd tegen het coronavirus. Zo kregen Isralirs een sms'je nadat ze contact hadden met coronapatinten, en worden besmette Zuid-Koreanen gevolgd om zeker te weten dat ze hun quarantaine niet doorbreken.
Noodzakelijk, of gaat dit te ver? De Europese Unie roept lidstaten op om het gebruik van locatiegegevens te overwegen. Onder meer Belgi, Slowakije en Oostenrijk zijn al overstag. Nederlandse telecomproviders zijn bereid de overheid te helpen, maar de Tweede Kamer ziet dat voorlopig niet zitten.
In deze video zie je wat de Nederlandse overheid mag doen met onze gegevens (best veel) en wat de Isralische overheid al doet (nog veel meer).
Purmerend en Beemster openen 'corona-kliklijn' | Binnenland | Telegraaf.nl
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:52
Dat gebeurt via de Mijn Gemeente-app. Normaal gesproken komen meldingen daarvan eerst bij een klantcontactcentrum, maar de 'corona-kliks' komen rechtstreeks binnen bij medewerkers van de Handhaving.
Voor iedereen op straat geldt de regel om anderhalve meter afstand te houden van anderen om verspreiding van het coronavirus te beperken. Ook vraagt de overheid om niet samen te komen met drie of meer personen.